BBC First acquires Indian Summers with Julie Walters

Date: 23.06.2014     Last updated: 26.06.2014 at 15.22
Category: BBC Worldwide
New premium drama channel BBC First has announced epic 10-part drama series, Indian Summers starring Julie Walters (Harry Potter, Mamma Mia), as its latest acquisition.

The series which has just gone into production, is set in the summer of 1932 against the sweeping grandeur of the Himalayas and the tea plantations of Northern India. India dreams of Independence, but the British are clinging to power. In the foothills of the Himalayas stands Simla; a little England where every summer the British power-brokers of this nation are posted to govern during the summer months.

The drama tells the rich and explosive story of the decline of the British Empire and the birth of modern India, from both sides of the experience. But at the heart of the story lie the implications and ramifications of the tangled web of passions, rivalries and clashes that define the lives of those brought together in this summer which will change everything.

The multi award-winning Walters, who received a BAFTA Fellowship this year, stars as Cynthia, a widow and doyenne of the expats Royal Club. A force to be reckoned with, her influence spreads throughout the community.

Also starring are Henry Lloyd-Hughes (The Inbetweeners, Harry Potter), Jemima West (The Borgias), Roshan Seth (A Passage to India, Gandhi) Nikesh Patel (Bedlam) and Lillete Dubey (Monsoon Wedding). The series from New Pictures is created and written by Paul Rutman (Vera).

Natalie Edgar, Director of Television, BBC Worldwide Australia and New Zealand, said: “We are focused on bringing our audiences the very best British dramas so we are delighted to have secured Indian Summers for BBC First.  Julie Walters is one of the most talented actresses of her generation.  With its rich cast of characters, stunning locations and stories of promises, secrets, politics, power, sex and love in tumultuous times, Indian Summers is set to be a stand-out series for next year.”

Indian Summers will be seen on BBC First in 2015. 

The BBC Worldwide channel, which will showcase the very best new British dramas and comedies in one place for the first time, launches on Foxtel on August 3. Titles which will be shown on the channel in launch month include:

  • The Musketeers –a thrilling world of action, adventure and romance inspired by Dumas’ legendary characters, starring Luke Pasqualino, Tom Burke, Santiago Cabrera, Howard Charles and Peter Capaldi.
  • Peaky Blinders – acclaimed epic gangster family saga set in the lawless streets of post-war Birmingham on the cusp of the 1920s, starring Cillian Murphy.
  • The Politician’s Husband – a gripping drama about the shifting balance of power in a political marriage, starring David Tennant and Emily Watson and created by Paula Milne.
  • Burton and Taylor – starring Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West and telling the story of Hollywood’s original ‘it’ couple Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, acting together in Noel Coward’s ‘Private Lives’.
  • Alan Partridge – his two new mockumentaries Welcome To The Places of My Life and On Open Books With Martin Bryce, starring Steve Coogan.

BBC First joins existing BBC channels – UKTV, BBC Knowledge, CBeebies and BBC World News – on the Foxtel platform.  It will also be available on Foxtel GO and in high definition.  Drama and comedy fans will be able to check what’s coming up on BBC First via the programme page bbc.com/first.

For more information contact: Sue Affleck, Communications Manager, BBC Worldwide ANZ Sue.affleck@bbc.com  T: +61 2 9744 4501 M: ++61 404 604731

About BBC Worldwide Australia & New Zealand

Australia & New Zealand (ANZ) is a priority territory for BBC Worldwide, focusing on growth across all its core business areas. Based in Macquarie Park, Sydney, BBC Worldwide ANZ wholly owns five channels: UKTV, BBC Knowledge and CBeebies in Australia; UKTV and BBC Knowledge in New Zealand; and is responsible for the distribution and promotion of BBC World News which transmits in both countries. In August 2014 it will launch a new premium channel BBC First, showcasing premiere drama and comedy on the Foxtel platform in Australia. BBC Worldwide ANZ distributes great British content from the BBC and other producers to all free-to-air and most subscription channels in Australia and New Zealand. It works with partners to bring BBC Worldwide DVDs, magazines, digital apps, innovative products and live events to the local market, as well as offering advertising opportunities for the BBC’s world renowned bbc.com news site and lonelyplanet.com. Australia is the most successful territory for the global BBC iPlayer.

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About Foxtel

Foxtel is one of Australia’s most progressive and dynamic media companies, directly employing around 2,500 people, and delivering a diverse subscription television service to both regional and metropolitan areas over cable, satellite and broadband distribution. We offer a better entertainment experience every day to each one of our 2.3 million subscribing homes through delivery of exclusive and inspiring programming across all genres, the world’s most popular channel brands, and investment in high quality local content. As constant champions of innovation we have brought customers the iQ personal digital recorder, Australia’s largest HD offering, Foxtel 3D, and more recently, the Foxtel Go App for iPad. Foxtel is owned by Telstra Corporation Limited ACN 051 775 556 (50%) and The News Corporation Ltd (50%). foxtel.com.au