Channel 5 has commissioned a “deeply personal” two-part documentary series exploring wealth fronted by actor Brian Cox.

The two-parter will be produced by Naked (a Fremantle label) and will be a “unique investigation into wealth at the extreme ends of the spectrum as Brian aims to better understand the impact of wealth on our lives and society at a time when our economies are experiencing significant stressors.”

Brian Cox: That’s the Way the Money Goes (w/t) will see the actor go on a personal quest as he explores our complicated relationship with money and wealth. Throughout the programme he will tell his own story, from growing up in poverty to becoming a highly paid Hollywood actor, playing one of the richest and most bloodthirsty capitalists on TV. This is his mission to remove his fear of poverty and to untangle the knotty issue of money and happiness.

As part of the doc, he rolls up his sleeves in a soup kitchen in the Bronx, mingles with supermodels on Miami Beach, meets the homeless in Harlem and drops in on a billionaire in London’s most expensive house. “His blunt questioning and passionate anger exposes a world in which the richest 1% own half of the world’s wealth and the safety net for the poorest is being swept away on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Brian Cox said: “This is a fascinating subject and having lived both ends of the wealth gap, this series will allow me to examine my own relationship with money whilst gaining a deeper understanding of how wealth really affects society today.”

Daniel Pearl, Commissioning Editor, Factual, Channel 5 & P+ said: “This is an important series to be bringing to the Channel, exploring a topic that has never been more relevant. Working with Brian continues to show our ability to attract incredible talent and I’m looking forward to seeing him tell his story”

Fatima Salaria, Managing Director, Naked adds: “The wealth divide has never been bigger and the richest 1% now own half of the world’s wealth – all while more people are falling into extreme poverty. Alongside Producer / Director Tristan Quinn we’re delighted to be working with Brian as he guides viewers through his own exploration in this important and compelling series which will see him try to gain a better understanding of what it means to be rich or poor in society today.”

Brian Cox: That’s the Way the Money Goes (w/t) (2 x 60’) was commissioned by Daniel Pearl for Channel 5. It is a Naked production for Channel 5, executive produced by Fatima Salaria, Emma Whitlock, Tom O’Brien and Brian Cox. The series producer / director is Tristan Quinn. Fremantle will distribute the two-parter internationally.

Jon Creamer

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