A+E Networks EMEA has commissioned Avalon and Motion Content Group to produce a 4×60’ history series, Al Murray: Why Does Everyone Hate the British Empire? authored and presented by Al Murray.

Al Murray: Why Does Everyone Hate the British Empire? marks the third collaboration between Avalon and Sky HISTORY for a series featuring historian and writer Al Murray and his comedic alter ego, The Pub Landlord. Following in the footsteps of the award-winning Why Does Everyone Hate the English? (2018), which explored the roots of England’s most deep historic enmities, and the ratings success Why Do the British Win Every War? (2020), which discussed whether Britain has been helped or hindered by its military legacy.

Now Al Murray will be “taking a global history lesson to try and unpick the legacy of the empire and, importantly, how it’s viewed today by the citizens of these countries.”

In each country, Al will pair up with a local comedian, to explore the history of British colonial rule in that country and its legacy. In India, Al will be joined by Anuvab Pal; in Jamaica, by Chris Daley; in South Africa by Loyiso Gola; and in Australia, by Aboriginal comedian, Kevin Kropinyeri. Together, they’ll find out about the origins of British rule, its impact upon each country and how its legacy continues to influence governance, culture and attitudes.

Al Murray said: “This is a debate that is ongoing and becoming more and more heated. The history demands exploration, the legacy assessment. I’ve been lucky enough to go all over the world to take a look for myself, find out what legacy remains and, most importantly, how it figures in the lives of people in Britain’s former colonies. Is this a story with a happy ending or is it not yet over?”

The series was commissioned and executive produced by Dan Korn, VP of Programming at A+E Networks EMEA, with Diana Carter, Commissioning Editor and Head of Talent at A+E Networks EMEA.

Dan Korn said: “As the country views its history through the eyes of a new generation, with new sensibilities and perspectives, who better than Al Murray, The Pub Landlord and SKY History to examine what remains the most controversial, debated and obscured part of our nation’s history; the British Empire.”

Produced by Avalon, Al Murray: Why Does Everyone Hate the British Empire? is a series directed by Andrew Fettis (Three Men in a BoatTop Gear) while the Executive Producers for Avalon are Jay Taylor, Jamie Isaacs and Richard Allen Turner. The series is co-produced by Motion Content Group and the Executive Producers for Motion are Martin Oxley and Deep Sehgal.

Jay Taylor, Executive Producer for Avalon, said: “There is no better person than Al to explore the ‘hot topic’ of the British Empire, his blend of humour with historical insight means his discoveries are always fascinating and we’re delighted to be working the great team at A+E EMEA on this new series.”

Deep Sehgal, Executive Producer for Motion Content Group, said: “In this series Al Murray and his alter-ego have probed some of the most uncomfortable areas of the colonial past – and re-examined some enduring myths of Empire in the process.”

Al Murray: Why Does Everyone Hate the British Empire? is set to broadcast in the UK on Sky HISTORY and on The HISTORY Channel across key European markets in the autumn of 2023. The show will air in the Netherlands and Belgium in 2024.

Jon Creamer

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