A+E Networks UK has commissioned a large-scale competition format series, The Chop: Britain’s Top Woodworker (9×60’) for Sky HISTORY from Big Wheel Film & Television and Motion Content Group.

The show will air in the UK on Sky HISTORY in October.

Hosted by comedian Lee Mack, TV Presenter Rick Edwards and Master Carpenter William Hardie, The Chop: Britain’s Top Woodworker sees 10 of the country’s finest carpenters gather in Epping Forest to whittle, carve and chop their way to the final, to see who will be crowned Britain’s Top Woodworker and the chance to stage their own personal exhibition at the prestigious William Morris Gallery in London.

Master Carpenter William Hardie oversees the construction of a grand and spectacular cabin in the woods, adding a new room every week, each on a different historical theme, including  Nelson’s cabin on HMS Victory, a Victorian pub, a Gothic bedroom, a Georgian hunting lodge, and a 1960s’ Mad Men-inspired lounge.

The contestants are tasked with creating amazing items and artefacts to furnish the rooms whilst expert guest judges with specialist knowledge of the different historical eras help Lee, Rick and William decide who progresses to the next round and which will get the chop.

Week by week the cabin evolves to become a living museum of what is possible in woodwork.

Lee Mack said: “When I was at school I loved woodwork, mainly because there was never any homework. Being surrounded by the amazing carpenters in this competition has reinvigorated that love, and has inspired me to invest in my first shingle froe (Google it…).”

Rick Edwards added: “I came into this show knowing absolutely nothing about carpentry. The contestants and Will took me on a real journey. I learnt about techniques and styles of woodwork and, perhaps most importantly, I learnt things about myself – for example, I’m not good with my hands.  It’s great to be part of a show celebrating a trade that, in an era of disposable furniture, deserves more respect and appreciation. I’ll never look at a table the same way again.”

The series has been commissioned by Dan Korn, VP of Programming at A+E Networks UK, and Diana Carter, Commissioning Editor and Head of Talent at A+E Networks UK.

Dan Korn said: “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with the great team at Big Wheel and Motion on this exciting and innovative new format, the scale of which you would only expect to see on terrestrial channels. The skill and endeavour on show in the series is breath-taking but what makes The Chop particularly special, is the remarkable contributors whose patience, good humour and temperaments are tested to the limit in this high pressure and wholly entertaining new series.”  

The executive producer for Big Wheel Film & Television is James Quinn and Melanie Darlaston for Motion Content Group.

James Quinn, CEO of Big Wheel Film & Television said: “We’re delighted to have worked with A+E Networks UK on such a large-scale and ambitious series. An enormously talented and hard-working team has created a playful, entertaining and inspiring show that we at Big Wheel are very proud of.”

Executive Producer for Motion Content Group Melanie Darlaston added:It’s a series that showcases and celebrates real talent. It’s also very funny. What’s not to like?”

The Chop: Britain’s Top Woodworker is produced by Big Wheel Film & Television, and is a co-production with Motion Content Group. The new series will be broadcast in the UK on Sky HISTORY in October 2020 and will be available on Sky, Virgin, BT, TalkTalk and NOW TV. The series will also  launch on HISTORY in the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden in October 2020.

HISTORY changed to Sky HISTORY on 27th May 2020 on all broadcasting platforms across the UK.

Jon Creamer

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