Two Rivers Media has received a co-commission from BBC Factual and BBC Scotland to make a three-part documentary series – its first series commission for BBC Three and iPlayer.

Confessions of a Teenage Fraudster (3 x ’45) tells the story of Elliot Castro, the Glasgow teenager who became “one of the most prolific scammers and fraudsters ever seen in Britain.”

The series uncovers how the working-class sixteen year old with aspirations to live the high life, stole millions of pounds and embarked upon a five-year spending spree, paid for by other people’s money.

Testimony from Elliot, officers and investigators who pursued him across the world, along with others who have encountered him throughout life, is complemented with archive and visual effects, to explore not only how and why a Glasgow teenager became an international fraudster but how he is now reflecting on his crimes.  The series also looks at the impact of credit card fraud and how it grew in the early parts of the 21st century.

Alan Clements, Managing Director and Executive Producer, Two Rivers Media, says: ‘As well as a powerful story which takes the viewer across the globe, this series gives a real insight into our modern relationship with money and credit and our desire for the finer things in life.

‘We are grateful to the investigators and others who came into contact with Elliot who have helped shine a light on this important area and allowed us to take a deep dive into all aspects of this amazing story.’

Tom Coveney, BBC Lead Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual, said: ‘This is an insightful cautionary tale of a teenager attempting reckless scams in pursuit of his dreams, but coming face to face with nightmare consequences. It’s a powerful Scottish story that will resonate across the UK.’

Louise Thornton, Head of Commissioning, BBC Scotland, said: ‘Our co-commission strategy with network colleagues continues to deliver exciting opportunities for suppliers in Scotland, resulting in outstanding content for our audiences. The story of Elliot Castro’s time as an international fraudster and how it eventually ended is compellingly told in this three part series.’

Confessions of a Teenage Fraudster, a 3 x 45 min for BBC Three and iPlayer, was commissioned by Louise Thornton, Head of Commissioning for BBC Scotland, Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning for Specialist Factual and Nasfim Haque, Head of Content for BBC Three. The Commissioning Editors are Anna Dickeson, Tom Coveney, Head of Commissioning, Science and David Harron for BBC Scotland.  It is Executive Produced by Alan Clements for Two Rivers Media, Series Produced and Directed by Robert Neill, with Wendie Ottewill as Consultant Executive Producer. All3Media International will distribute the programme.

This commission follows Two Rivers’ Keeping It Up, the feature-length documentary on the story of Viagra for BBC Two’s Storyville, broadcast in December.  The company’s most recent broadcasts were Barbie Uncovered for Sky Documentaries; and series two of Gemma and Gorka: Life Behind the Lens, following radio presenter Gemma Atkinson and her fiancé, Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Gorka Márquez, for UKTV. Other recent broadcasts include the theatrical release of Cassius X: Becoming Ali, originally produced for Smithsonian Network.

Jon Creamer

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