ITVX has commissioned Wag Entertainment (an Asacha Media Group company) to produce two new true crime shows, which will launch on ITVX and peak time ITV1 in 2023.
In Search of Instagram’s Worst Con Artist is a two-parter that tells the inside story of Belle Gibson, the 21-year-old social influencer who claimed she cured her terminal cancer through wellness and healthy eating. Her miraculous story brought her fame and money, with a successful app, a book deal and countless television appearances. But when journalists investigated, they discovered something shocking: none of her story was true – she never had the cancer. She had misled her millions of followers – and for some there were devastating consequences.
With access to friends and family who speak on the record for the first time, this series discovers the truth about Belle Gibson. Was she a manipulative, compulsive liar or a damaged young woman exploited by big brands for their own ends?
One-hour special The Real Fatal Attraction is a documentary about an affair that led to revenge. A married barrister was seduced by a woman online, leading to a real-life meeting and ultimately an affair. But when his lover discovered he was married and wanted to call it off, it triggered a revenge plot. Falsely accused of rape and suspected of conspiracy to murder, he discovered the price of his affair and was faced with losing his family his job and ultimately his liberty.
Both The Real Fatal Attraction and In Search of Instagram’s Worst Con Artist are commissioned for ITVX by Nicola Lloyd, Factual commissioner, ITV.
Nicola Lloyd said: “In Search of Instagram’s Worst Con Artist is an extraordinary story of our time that highlights the complex world of social media, in which we create a profile and can choose how we want the world to see us, but how far will we go for likes? There is so much more to Belle Gibson than meets the eye. We may be familiar with the shocking fraud she committed but, by delving into her childhood and backstory, these films aim to tackle the truth regarding who Belle really is and the revelations are shocking. Belle may have shocked the world with her lies but these films reveal we’ll see it’s not for the first time.”
“The Real Fatal Attraction is a jaw-dropping and shocking tale of how an infatuation quickly turned into revenge. It illuminates our two most primal emotions: love and hate, demonstrating how one mistake can have devastating consequences. You’ll find yourself questioning and re-questioning your own judgement as the shocking twists and turns in the story unfold,” Lloyd added.
Bridget Boseley, creative director, Wag Entertainment said: “There’s a huge amount of interest in contemporary true crime in the UK at the moment, and these two stories are some of the most jaw-dropping you can imagine. As Wag pivots towards producing more content for the UK, we’re thrilled to be producing these shows for ITVX on top of our recent true crime series for Netflix and Paramount+, and with several more in production for other networks.”
The Real Fatal Attraction is produced and directed by John Holdsworth and executive produced by Bridget Boseley. In Search of Instagram’s Worst Con Artist is produced and directed by Chelsea Randall and the executive producers are Bridget Boseley and Eliya Arman.
ITV’s True Crime slate for ITVX ranges from upcoming three-part boxset Murder in the Family to return of highly successful Social Media Murders strand.
As well as the two ITVX commissions, Wag has recently produced the three-part premium limited series Don’t Pick Up the Phone for Netflix’s global platform and Paramount+ in the UK (launched as Pervert: Hunt For the Strip Search Caller).
The shocking true crime story of a hoax caller who targeted fast food restaurants across America – posing as a police officer investigating a theft, the caller instructed managers to strip-search the young female employees he said were suspects; for many victims, what began as a humiliating strip search escalated into sexual abuse. When the hoax caller hits McDonald’s in Mount Washington, Kentucky, a rookie detective makes it his mission to catch him – what he uncovers is extraordinary. With testimonies from investigators, victims and the people who were duped into committing strip-search crimes, this limited series tells the story of the hunt for the strip search hoaxer, and his victims’ search for justice.
Wag is also in production on true crime series for Channel 5, alongside multiple series for platforms and broadcasters in the US and UK.
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