Lonely Planet has established a London office for its television division, Lonely Planet Television. The office will be headed by Development Producer Tom Masters. Tom has worked as a producer for Atlantic Productions, Wark Clements, Princess Productions and Rapido. His credits include Lost Worlds for the History Channel, The Other Side of Armageddon for BBC Four, Excellent Adventures for Sky One and Atlas Russia for Discovery.
Lonely Planet Television’s Executive Producer Peter Beilby says of the move into the UK: “The aim of establishing a London office is to leverage the best British production talent to make programs for a British audience. Our aim is to combine British writers, producers and directors with Lonely Planet’s global resources to make programs which entertain, challenge and inform.
“Lonely Planet publications outsell all other travel guides in the UK and we have a large and loyal audience, so it makes sense for us to establish a foothold in this market. With books that cover every country in the world and over 500 writers, researchers and photographers in the field, we have a wealth of resources to draw on for our productions. Lonely Planet is also in a unique position to extend the TV viewing experience across multiple platforms that include books, the web and mobile products.”
Lonely Planet Television is the television production arm of the world’s most successful travel publisher. Established in 2001, Lonely Planet Television produces and develops factual programming for international broadcasters. Its flagship series, Lonely Planet Six Degrees, produced for Discovery Networks, is now in its third season, and screens in over 100 countries. Lonely Planet is currently in production on its second series of Going Bush for Australian broadcaster SBS. The series features Australian Olympic champion Cathy Freeman on a road trip across remote Aboriginal Australia. Lonely Planet Television’s other recent credits include The Sport Traveller series for Eurosport.
Lonely Planet Television’s foray into the UK also coincides with the UK premiere of its new travel franchise The Bluelist on Al Gore’s Current TV which launches in the UK on March 12. Current TV launched in the US in 2005, and is the first TV network created by, for and with an 18-34 year-old audience. Current has pioneered the use of viewer created content (VC?), which comprises roughly one-third of Current’s on-air broadcast content, and allows the audience to submit short-form, non fiction video “pods,” “viewer created ads” (V-CAMs), and mobile video. Its award-winning programming ranges from the hottest trends in technology, fashion, music and videogames, to pressing issues such as the environment, relationships, parenting, finance, politics and spirituality.
The Bluelist series is based on Lonely Planet’s well-known brand of the same name. The series of 26 “pods” spotlights Lonely Planet’s writers’ and staffers’ “Top 3” travel recommendations, from the expected (big wilderness escapes; best places for 24-hour party people) to the more unexpected (best places to have an existential crisis; best places to get into a fight). Current TV is encouraging its viewers to strap on a backpack, grab their digital video cameras and contribute their own Bluelist videos. Lonely Planet will also encourage its community to submit Bluelist videos to Current through its Bluelist website.