Channel 5 has announced two travel series to be presented by Nick Knowles. They will be produced by Viacom International Studios (VIS)UK, which also makes Channel 5 format Big House Clearout, fronted by Knowles.

Revealed at an RTS West of England ‘In Conversation’ session last night, Nick Knowles’ Big Adventure-The American Southwest – an adventure series across the US’s Grand Canyon and Death Valley, and Nick Knowles’ Big Railway Adventures –a six-part travel series following six iconic railways journeys, have both been commissioned by Adrian Padmore, commissioning editor, Non-Scripted, Channel 5/Paramount+.

Nick Knowles’ Big Adventure -The American Southwest – is a four-part (4 x 60’) series. In the Grand Canyon, he’ll meet the ancient Native American tribe who call it home. He will kayak in the Colorado River, hike through the Vermilion Cliffs and see a conservation breeding programme at work which is successfully bringing back endangered condors to the Canyon. The series will also follow Knowles 400 miles to the west to Death Valley, where he will spend time with locals and learn how to survive in the hottest place on earth with temperatures regularly hitting 50 degrees centigrade.

Nick Knowles says: “I’ll be pushing myself to the limits with heat, altitude, deep caving, kayaking and trying to overcome my natural vertigo (which I’ve kept quiet until now).”

Nick Knowles’ Big Railway Adventures follows as Knowles travels the world by train in six one-hour-long episodes (6×60’). His journeys will take in multiple countries and continents to see some of the most dramatic railways . Along the way he will explore the lifestyles of the richest and poorest in some of the world’s most exotic- and beautiful- destinations. Journeys will include the 4th highest railway in the world leading to Machu Picchu in Peru, the Copper Canyon Railway in Mexico and Norway’s Nordland line from Trondheim to Bodo within the Arctic Circle. Later journeys include iconic routes through Alaska, Malaysia and India.

Nick Knowles adds: “My love of trains developed when I was a child and my father would take me to stand on a bridge in Southall, London, to watch old steam locomotives run by underneath. I have also been fascinated by, have visited and have even lived with indigenous cultures in Australia and the Navajo in the US. A chance to combine the two with some of the best camera men and film makers to showcase the wonders of the world is a lifetime’s ambition made real.”

Channel 5’s Adrian Padmore says: “We’re thrilled to be launching Nick Knowles compelling talent into a completely different factual space. Big Adventure and Big Railway Adventures will see him like we have never seen him before, from facing death defying environments to extreme railway journeys. We’re hoping this will be an eye opening treat for the Channel 5 audience.”

Nick Knowles’ Big Adventure-The American Southwest and Nick Knowles’ Big Railway Adventures are executive produced by Oliver Wright at Viacom International Studios (VIS) UK. For both series, Nick Knowles’ Big Railway Adventures and Nick Knowles’ Big Adventure-The American Southwest, the series editor is Grace Kitto, the producer is Andy Hall and the series director Ben Southwell.

Pippa Considine

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