Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) UK & Ireland has commissioned 50 hours of new and returning shows for its linear channels and discovery+.

A brand-new 8×60 series, James May & The Dull Men’s Club (w/t) will see May “solve the essential conundrums you didn’t know you had.”

Teaming up with the ‘Dull Men’s Club’ Facebook phenomenon, May and his ‘Dull Men’ will try and bring a little bit of order and rationale to the chaos of modern existence. Produced by Plum Pictures, each episode “will explore questions that the team wants to test, including why your washing machine can’t double-up as a cooker allowing you to make a casserole at the same time as cleaning your whites?”

WBD UK & Ireland has also commissioned Ant Anstead: The Naked Mechanic (w/t), a new 8×60 series produced by ITN Productions that combines the intricacies of car restoration with the take-outs of home renovation. The series will follow motor specialist Ant Anstead, widely known for his work on Master Mechanic and Wheeler Dealers, who has bought a 500-year-old farmhouse in rural Bedfordshire, in desperate need of repair, for his mum and dad. To help pay for the spiralling cost of the home renovation, Ant will buy, restore and sell old cars, including a Land Rover Series 3, Triumph Dolomite and Jaguar XJS, with a hope to turn some profit to put towards helping fund the home renovation. Both James May & The Dull Men’s Club (w/t) and Ant Anstead: The Naked Mechanic (w/t) will air on Quest later this year.

Vinnie Jones in the Country is back for a second season after a successful first run. The Lime-produced 6×60 series will see Vinnie stretch himself both financially and emotionally as life in the country moves at pace having just bought a new farm. Familiar characters like builder Wobbly and Pip the dog are back, along with a host of new and old friends of Vinnie. Series 2 will be available on discovery+ in late 2024.

One of WBD UK & Ireland’s most popular genres, True Crime, will be bolstered by the return of Faking It. The long-standing series, which has previously explored high-profile stories and criminal cases centred on fabrications and false confessions across popular culture, politics and prolific crime, is back this summer with body language expert, Dr Cliff Lansley, linguistics professor, Dawn Archer, and forensic psychologist, Kerry Daynes. This time the experts will explore the telltale signs, verbal slips, unwitting gestures and psychology behind controversial influencer Andrew Tate, convicted serial killer Levi Bellfield, and The Grindr Killer Stephen Port.

Andrew Tate: Icon or Toxic? A Faking It Special will look at Tate’s responses to his alleged crimes which include charges of rape and human trafficking in Romania. Serial Killer Serial Liar Levi Bellfield: A Faking It Special investigates the dubious confessions and devastating crimes of convicted serial killer Levi Bellfield. His surprise statement in 2023 that he was the secret killer of Lin Russell and her daughter, Megan, aged six, in 1996, has led to an official review of the case. The Grindr Killer Scandal: A Faking It Special examines the words and actions of Stephen Port, who murdered four men he met through online dating sites. Eight police officers face gross misconduct investigations over the handling of the case. The Faking Specials drop on discovery+ this summer.

Staying with True Crime, WBD UK & Ireland has also commissioned brand-new 999 Murderer Calling (w/t), a Shearwater-produced series coming to Quest Red later this year. Each episode will feature two stories of gripping 999 calls where the caller was the killer, and each call was part of a callous and premeditated plan to evade justice. Cases include Luke D’Wit, the ‘Fentanyl Killer’, who lied to emergency services about a double murder he claimed to have no knowledge about, and Mitesh Patel who drugged and strangled his wife before calling 999 to say there’d been a break in.

On Food Network is Tom Kerridge Secrets of the Pub Kitchen, a 10×30 series produced by Bone Soup that will invite viewers into the kitchen of the acclaimed British chef’s Michelin-starred pub, The Coach. Tom reveals his trade secrets and shares dishes we can cook at home. Roux Back Down the River, back for a second season, sees Michel Roux embark on a culinary voyage down the Thames in this 5×60 series produced by Sidney Street – the two new series will air on Food Network in September. Meanwhile Marcus in the Med: Mallorca, a 10×30 series produced by Plimsoll Productions, will bring summer sun to viewers in July as Marcus Wareing immerses himself in Mallorcan culture and cooking as he discovers delicious new dishes and hidden restaurants on this stunning island.

Charlotte Reid, VP Commissioning WBD UK & Ireland, said: “We are excited by this slate of new and returning series for both discovery+ and our linear channels. We’re delighted to be working with brilliant new and returning talent including James May, Ant Anstead, Vinnie Jones, some of the best chefs in the business in Tom Kerridge, Michel Roux and Marcus Wareing, as well as continuing to build on our successful Faking It series with new specials examining politics, popular culture and prolific crime.”

The series were commissioned by Charlotte Reid and executive produced for WBD by Deirdre Dowling, Rebecca Reilly, Romy Page and Matt Reid.

Jon Creamer

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