Gaelic drama set to go overseas under distribution deal

The third series of Bannan launches on BBC Alba tonight.
The third series of Bannan launches on BBC Alba tonight.
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A Gaelic drama series filmed on the Isle of Skye is set to be screened around the world under a new distribution deal announced today.

Bannan, which is entering its third series on BBC Alba tonight, will be sold to broadcasters by international distributors DRG.

The show, which revolves around characters living in the remote island village of Camus, has already been touted as Scotland's answer to hit series like The Killing and The Bridge.

Producer Chris Young, who announced plans for the show in 2013, wants to keep making the series on the island for years to come and take it into "noir territory."

He is also hopeful of the show, which has only been available in the UK on BBC Alba to date, being shown on either BBC2 or BBC Four in future.

His Skye company, Young Films, has made 18 episodes of the show to date, with a fourth series recently going into production.

The deal with DRG - which will see Bannan showcased at the vast MIPCOM entertainment trade fair in Cannes next month - will also cover further programmes produced by Young Films.

Mr Young, whose previous shows include The Inbetweeners, said today: "When we first embarked on producing Bannan, we were clear that the drama should be appealing not only to a Gaelic and Scottish audience but to have strong storylines that would resonate across borders.

“We knew that the production talent existed within Scotland to make such a drama, and the wonderful location of Skye is unrivalled – all that was needed was the platform and resources to make it a reality."

Bannan, which has deployed a mix of little-known actors and islanders with no previous on-screen experience, has been the most popular show on BBC Alba since the first episodes were aired in September 2014.

Donald Campbell, chief executive of MG ALBA, the operators of BBC Alba, said: “The story of Bannan is part of the growth of BBC ALBA and the new distribution agreement is another landmark step in the development of the channel.

“It was important that BBC ALBA could embrace the drama genre in order to serve our Gaelic audience yet, the drama – and the channel – also needed to ensure that we could make an important contribution to the creative sector in Scotland.”