Press release: 

Sydney, 17 December 2013: The successful Australian version of BBC Two’s Coast series is to get its UK premiere on BBC Two, the channel where the original format was conceived.

Coast Australia, hosted by British historian and television presenter Neil Oliver, has launched to record ratings on Foxtel’s The History Channel in Australia. The first programme, which transmitted on Monday 2 December, achieved the channel’s largest ever audience with an average of 163,000 viewers watching its debut screening and 234,000 watching the programme on its launch night*.

The Coast format was sold by BBC Worldwide Australia & New Zealand to Great Southern Television who produced the new series for Foxtel’s The History Channel, the first time the format has been produced outside of the UK.

The 8 x 1 hour series explores the stunning Australian coastline, focusing on the history, people, archaeology, geography and marine life of different areas each week, with the high production values of the original UK series. BBC Two Controller Janice Hadlow has agreed to bring a taste of the Australian coastline and its fascinating stories to British viewers on BBC Two in 2014.

Jon Penn, Managing Director of BBC Worldwide Australia & New Zealand, said: ‘We’re so pleased to be able to take a brilliant BBC format like Coast, produce a local version with our partners Great Southern and the original host, and to see it find its way back on to BBC Two. It’s a great example of BBC Worldwide maximising the potential of the BBC’s landmark content to benefit both UK and international audiences, and it’s the ultimate boomerang story.”

Phil Smith, Managing Director of Great Southern TV and Executive Producer of Coast Australia: "We have treated the Coast format with the ultimate respect, endeavouring to replicate the intelligence and charm of the great UK series. We deliberately kept the format close to the UK version and used the presenter Neil Oliver, who is a familiar face to viewers in the UK and Australia. We are certain the UK audience will appreciate this amazing insight into Australia – as we beam a much needed dose of Vitamin D into homes during the winter months.

“It is spectacular and fascinating, and also shows parts of Australia from above, in HD, for the first time. Australia put on its Sunday best whenever we arrived with cameras. Sunshine, glistening beaches, incredible underwater footage. It really did behave. We are extremely proud of the series, it is a privilege and a responsibility and I hope BBC viewers see a wee bit of Australia they might want to visit one day. At the very least, they will learn so much more about this wonderful way off nation."

This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain personal views which are not the views of the BBC unless specifically stated. If you have received it in error, please delete it from your system. Do not use, copy or disclose the information in any way nor act in reliance on it and notify the sender immediately.

Please note that the BBC monitors e-mails sent or received. Further communication will signify your consent to this

This e-mail has been sent by one of the following wholly-owned subsidiaries of the BBC:

BBC Worldwide Limited, Registration Number: 1420028 England, Registered Address: BBC Media Centre, 201 Wood Lane, London, W12 7TQ
BBC Global News Limited, Registration Number: 04514407 England, Registered Address: BBC Media Centre, 201 Wood Lane, London, W12 7TQ
BBC World Distribution Limited, Registration Number: 04514408, Registered Address: BBC Media Centre, 201 Wood Lane, London, W12 7TQ