UKTV has made its first true crime commission for free-to-air channel W and streaming service UKTV Play with Red Flag (8 x 60’) produced by First Look TV.

Over eight episodes, the stories of people who have been catfished, gaslit and deceived are told through first-person survivor testimony. In each episode, Red Flag explores the experiences of those who have been targeted by digital manipulators who use dating sites, instant messaging and fake personas to prey on and exploit their partners.

Red Flag has been commissioned for UKTV by commissioning executive Emile Nawagamuwa with Head of Factual and Factual Entertainment Helen Nightingale and ordered for W by Adam Collings, channel director and Hilary Rosen, director of commissioning. Will Hanrahan is executive producer for First Look TV and the series producers are Graham Smiles and Jo Robinson.

Adam Collings said: “This series marks our first true crime UKTV Original commission for W and the unique format sets the series apart from others, making for insightful and intriguing viewing. This is such an important commission for our 2024 slate, and I’m so pleased we get to share the survivors’ stories and try to signpost the hallmarks of deception for others.”

Emile said: “We’re incredibly excited to be working with First Look on our first true crime series. The deeply personal accounts from survivors will offer valuable insight to the perilous landscape of modern dating. Those affected will be at the forefront, this is a chance to tell their story and send messages of caution and solidarity to others who may be living the same experience.”

Will Hanrahan, executive producer for First Look said: “This is an important series that shines a light on an epidemic of fakery in the UK dating world. We can all too easily find ourselves scammed, blackmailed and even hoodwinked into sex by those who hide behind fake identities or who prey on our instincts to help others in need. It will make for compelling viewing – and we hope it prevents such crimes happening to you or someone you know. Given the subject, we think UKTV’s W channel is the perfect partner, and we are delighted to be working with them again.”

Red Flag will air on UKTV’s free-to-air channel W and streaming service UKTV Play in 2024.

Jon Creamer

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