University Challenge contestants Eric Monkman and Bobby Seagull are to travel the country in search of British’s most remarkable scientific and technological achievements for their first TV series.

Monkman and Seagull’s Genius Guide to Britain (4×30′) is made by Label1. The duo rose to fame when they were rival captains on University Challenge last year.

In this show, they will seek out the hidden gems of British ingenuity from Sir Hiram Maxim’s Captive Flying Machines to the world’s smallest museum in a phone booth, and from the Titanic’s little sister (used to ferry people to the ill-fated passenger liner) to the science of the deep-fried Mars bar.

Abigail Priddle, BBC Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual, says: “We are thrilled to be able to join Eric and Bobby on their intellectual journey around Great Britain as they visit some of the scientific and technological gems of our nations, bringing with them their own special brand of insight on everything from time travel to Beethoven’s fifth to biscuits.”

Eric Monkman, says: “Curiosity is an approach to life. The more you know, the more you realise you don’t know. My admiration for British genius is one of the major factors that led me to study in the United Kingdom. I am fortunate to now have the opportunity to see more of your beautiful country. I look forward to learning more about Britain’s scientific discoveries and to sharing what I learn with everyone."

Bobby Seagull, says: "The beauty of our friendship is that we’re both driven by the same thing… a curiosity about the world. We obviously faced off on University Challenge. Eric defeated me… but I’ve forgiven him now!”

Lorraine Charker-Phillips, Head of Programmes, Label1, says: "We are delighted to be making this series with such engaging new talent. Bobby and Eric are kind, sincere, and very smart. We hope their warm on-screen dynamic will encourage knowledge-hungry viewers to join them on their journey through our nation’s most unusual and enigmatic technological and scientific achievements".

Simon Dickson, Creative Director, Label1, says: "Forget travelogues in which ‘idiots’ go abroad. Here’s one in which two very smart guys show us what’s special on our own doorstep. Expect technological marvels, amazing inventions, and feats of engineering. And some pretty surreal motorway conversations."

Monkman and Seagull’s Genius Guide to Britain (4×30′) is made by Label1. The series producer is Merle Currie and the series director is Sam Palmer. It is executive produced by Label1 co-founders Lorraine Charker-Phillips and Simon Dickson. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two and Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History & Specialist Factual. The Commissioning Editor is Abigail Priddle.

Staff Reporter

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