Northern Irish indie Alleycats Films has bagged a second-series renewal from RTÉ for dating format Pulling With My Parents, and three new documentary orders for BBC Northern Ireland.
Pulling With My Parents (6 x 50 mins) follows in the wake of the format’s debut last October on RTÉ2. The new series will roll out on the Irish public broadcaster in the summer with Ed Stobart and Des Henderson, who devised and developed the format executive producing for Alleycats with series producer Stu Smith.
Pulling With My Parents follows young singletons who are stuck on a merry-go-round of bad dates and dating apps. Disheartened by swiping left and right, ghosting and disastrous assignations, the lovelorn millennials enlist their parents to overhaul their online profiles and help them crack the dating game.
On the documentary front, BBC Northern Ireland has commissioned three new titles from the Derry-based producer. These include: 2 x 30 mins series –  The Borrowers and Belfast Harbour (working title) and My Big Gay Wedding Video (working title) (1 x 30 mins) for BBC NI’s True North strand. Alleycats executive producers Henderson and Stobart will oversee all three projects.
An original Alleycats format, The Borrowers was initially produced for RTÉ One, where it aired in a primetime slot last year. The series explores the human stories behind loan applications. For its second incarnation on the BBC, Alleycats has secured exclusive access to Northern Ireland’s Credit Union network, setting up fixed rigs in two loan offices at opposite ends of the country.
Belfast Harbour, meanwhile, is an in-depth look at one of the UK’s busiest seaports, home to the legendary Harland and Wolff shipyard and the birthplace of the doomed Titanic. Covering 20% of the Northern Ireland capital, the Harbour is at the heart of Belfast’s community life and an essential part of the UK’s economic backbone. The series is produced and directed by Jon Turner.
Marking the legalisation this year of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, True North: My Big Gay Wedding Video will invite viewers to a joyous series of very different weddings. Due to be filmed this summer, the 1 X 30 film will capture a seminal moment in Northern Ireland’s social history as seen through the eyes of couples in love.
Alleycats MD Ed Stobart said: “Rich stories have always emanated from the island of Ireland and to be able to bring some of them to Irish screens is always a pleasure. From documentary, obs docs, a glorious celebration of love and a now successful returning international format, we’re proud to be stretching our muscles across the factual entertainment genre.’

Staff Reporter

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