Reef Television to produce landmark opera film for BBC Two


Reef Television has been commissioned to produce a landmark music film for BBC Two about Verdi’s opera La Traviata for June 2015.  La Traviata and the Women of London will tell the story of how La Traviata confronted Victorian audiences in London with one of the most challenging social problems of the day – prostitution – and the legacy this had for society as a whole.

This new documentary follows on the success of Reef’s award-winning drama documentary Messiah at the Foundling Hospital which played on BBC Two over Easter 2014.  It will once again be presented by the historian Professor Amanda Vickery and BBC Radio 3 presenter Tom Service, who will lift the lid on the social history and music respectively.  The film will include excerpts of the opera specially staged for the film, and Reef Television have engaged Opera North to help produce this music.

The commission for BBC Two was announced by the BBC’s Director General Tony Hall at Sadler’s Wells on Wednesday 14 January as part of the BBC’s Year of Song and Dance which includes a raft of new commissions covering music and dance in 2015.

“La Traviata remains the most popular opera in the world and its tunes are almost like hit singles”, said Ben Weston, Head of Specialist Factual at Reef Television.  “But what most people don’t know is the profoundly shocking nature of its story for audiences of that time.  We’re thrilled to be working for BBC Two once again to bring that amazing story to life”.

Selling Houses New Series Launches Tonight


Series 2 of Selling Houses with Amanda Lamb premieres on More 4 at 9.00 PM tonight and will play weekly for ten weeks. The series opener comes from Cardiff. Selling Houses is series produced by Martin Dowd and Reef’s exec producers are Rachel Platt and Philip J Smith. The series was commissioned by David Sayer for Channel 4.

Reef Management Team Changes

Reef Television is delighted to announce that the company’s board of directors has approved the following changes to the management team. As from the 1st January Richard Farmbrough will be promoted to Chief Executive  and Paul Hanrahan will become Managing Director. This brings Reef in line with many other production companies. Richard Farmbrough commented: “This title change more accurately reflects the evolving nature of the jobs that Paul and I do. Whilst Paul will continue to manage the company on a day to day basis and have oversight of all our productions, I will continue to head up our creative endeavour. Furthermore this slight change in focus will free up my time to concentrate on our future strategy as we look to build partnerships with other players in the industry and target our creative ambition beyond the UK television market.”

Britain's Craziest Christmas Lights


Britain's Craziest Christmas Lights repeats tonight on Channel 5. Narrated by the popular former Slade vocalist Noddy Holder, this documentary takes a warm-hearted look at those Christmas fanatics whose lives are fairly traditional for the most of the year but change dramatically in the run-up to the festive season.

Eschewing the typical procedure of rooting around the loft for an ageing box of decorations, our Christmas-obsessed characters plan their displays months in advance. For them, putting up the lights also involves a head for heights, questionable DIY wiring and an unshakable resolve.

This festive programme will air on the 2nd of December at 8pm on Channel 5.