Lonely Planet confirmed for November launch on BBC Knowledge

This dedicated home on BBC Knowledge marks a major step in our development of Lonely Planet as a television brandJana Bennett, President Worldwide Networks and Global BBC iPlayer
Date: 26.09.2011     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.58
Category: BBC Worldwide
Viewers of BBC Knowledge around the world will begin a new journey of discovery on 1st November with the launch of Lonely Planet branded programming blocks on the channel. The news follows Jana Bennett’s announcement in June of plans to integrate the travel brand into BBC Worldwide’s international channel portfolio.

The Lonely Planet block on BBC Knowledge will provide a dedicated home to the channel’s most compelling and immersive travel programming, including ‘Free Rein’, specially commissioned by BBC Worldwide Channels from Lonely Planet’s production arm and Freehand. The programme follows screen legends Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward (The Thorn Birds) as they set out on the ultimate adventure across The Kimberley, the Outback’s last frontier.

Also destined for the new programme block in 2012 is the action-packed series ‘Year of Adventures’, starring Ben Fogle and based on the Lonely Planet book of the same name. Currently filming in Wales, Europe, the USA and Australia, the series is a Lonely Planet TV and BBC Bristol production for BBC Worldwide Channels.

Jana Bennett, President Worldwide Networks and Global BBC iPlayer, said, “This dedicated home on BBC Knowledge marks a major step in our development of Lonely Planet as a television brand. BBC Worldwide will continue to support its growth through these programming blocks and through specially commissioned Lonely Planet productions. We hope that in time, the brand can evolve into a standalone television channel.”

The new block will roll out across all of BBC Worldwide’s localised BBC Knowledge feeds around the world – Poland, Africa, Italy, the Nordic Region (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden), Australia, New Zealand and Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea). In India, the block will feature on BBC Entertainment, as part of the multi-genre schedule that airs in that market.

The block will debut in Asia on 1st November, with ‘Arctic With Bruce Parry’ as the launch title and ‘Free Rein’ to follow in December. Australia and New Zealand follow on 2nd November, with ‘Free Rein’ premiering in Australia that day, and on 12th November in New Zealand. On 5th November, the block launches in EMEA with ‘Tribe’, ‘Long Way Round’ and Lonely Planet TV production ‘Roads Less Travelled’ among the programme line up. In India, Lonely Planet will debut on BBC Entertainment on 29th November, with ‘Free Rein’ and ‘Amazon With Bruce Parry’.

Further programmes set to roll out on Lonely Planet include the critically acclaimed ‘Paul Merton in India’, ‘Tropic of Cancer with Simon Reeve’ and ‘Russia: A Journey with Jonathan Dimbleby’.

Commenting on the line-up, David Weiland, SVP Programming and TV Channels, said, “The Lonely Planet schedule is designed to take our viewers on a journey of exploration and discovery, and we’ve selected these titles to feed their passion for experiencing the world through travel. Along with our own growing roster of original commissions – like ‘Free Rein’ and ‘Year of Adventures’ – these programmes will find a natural home in the Lonely Planet block, with a host of engaging personalities and experts to transport viewers right to the heart of a place.”

Founded in 1973, Lonely Planet has grown to become the best-loved travel publishing brand in the world. In February 2011, BBC Worldwide took full ownership of the brand, having held a 75 percent stake in the company since 2007.

Harriet Otoo