A+E Networks UK has commissioned Honey Bee in association with Freshwater Films to co-produce four-parter Ross Kemp: Shipwreck Treasure Hunter (w/t) with Motion Content Group for Sky History.
Set to premiere in Spring 2022, it’s a personal quest for Ross. His grandfather, ‘Pop’ Chalmers, was in the Merchant Marines during World War II and was shipwrecked and survived three times. Pop’s two cousins (Ross’ first cousins twice removed) both served and died aboard HMS Hood when it went into battle against the mighty Bismarck. The young brothers were stationed at Scapa Flow and departed on the HMS Hood to intercept the Bismarck before being sunk.
For the series, Ross Kemp will be joined by expert diver Emily Turton and maritime archaeologist and expert diver Mallory Haas on expeditions to shipwrecks in the UK, uncovering history from Britain’s past. Ross will dive on WWI and WWII wrecks like the warship SMS Karlsruhe and SS Tabarka; a British submarine and the Iona II and an American Civil War ‘gun runner’ lost in mysterious circumstances in the Bristol Channel.
Kemp’s dives to these wrecks is a long-held ambition to reach back into his own familial past.
For Ross to undertake the dives, he has had to complete an advanced HSE scuba diving course to become a fully qualified diver in the 2 months leading up to the beginning of filming.
Ross Kemp said: “Every shipwreck I’ve dived on has had a story to tell, tales that echo from our past into the present. They speak to us of bravery, sacrifice, and progress but also of cruelty and heartbreak. I have discovered the impact the sea has had not only on my own family but also on world history. It’s been challenging; it’s been emotional, but it’s also been lots of fun. There are plenty more shipwrecks in the ocean and I can’t wait to dive on them.”
The series is commissioned and executive produced by Dan Korn, VP of Programming at A+E Networks UK, with Diana Carter, Commissioning Editor and Head of Talent at A+E Networks UK.
Dan Korn said: “The series not only captures the incredible history submerged around the British Isles and waiting to be discovered, but Ross’s passion for and personal connection with the subject matter really shines through.”
Johnny McDevitt (Britain’s Tiger Kings: On the Trail with Ross Kemp) is series director, Sam Taplin (Greatest Events of WWII in Colour, Drain the Ocean, and Titanic: The New Evidence) is series producer and executive producers for Honey Bee are Ed Taylor and Ros Edwards, executive producer for Freshwater Films is Ross Kemp and executive producer for Motion Content Group is Martin Oxley.
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