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Disney announces first UK-made original shows for Disney+

Written by on 15 April 2021

Disney has announced the first UK-made original productions for its streaming platform Disney+, with three new shows in the works.

It comes after the entertainment giant revealed it had teamed-up with sporting legend David Beckham on a new show that will see him mentor young footballers in east London.

The newly announced shows include what Disney describes as “a swashbuckling family adventure, an electrifying heist drama and an innovative comedy series”.

Sally Wainwright attending a photocall for 'Gentleman Jack' during the BFI and Radio Times Television Festival at the BFI Southbank, London. Image: Sally Wainwright will pen a new Disney series

BAFTA-winning writer Sally Wainwright, who is behind shows such as Happy Valley, Gentleman Jack and The Archers, will pen The Ballad Of Renegade Nell, a series set in the 18th century about a highway robber, that will be made under the Disney banner.

The company has also commissioned two shows for its more grown-up brand, Star – heist drama Culprits, and comedy Extraordinary.

Liam Keelan, Disney’s vice president of original content, commented: “These three outstanding titles represent exactly where we want to be with our commissioning strategy for Disney and Star – projects of scale, originality and with top talent attached.

“This is just the beginning of a concerted push to bring the best ideas and storytellers to the service, appealing to audiences both here in the UK and across the globe.”

Johanna Devereaux, director of scripted programming, added: “It is a pleasure and a privilege to be working with these exceptional writers and producers.

“The Walt Disney Company is deeply committed to supporting diverse, ambitious storytelling from renowned creators and brand new voices, and we are thrilled to welcome Sally, J, Emma, and their outstanding producing teams to Disney+.”

The streaming platform has had a bumper first year, with Disney revealing that it had attracted 100 million subscribers since launching in 2019.

Its Disney+ originals have proved to be a big success for the platform, with blockbuster shows like The Mandalorian and WandaVision being made especially for the service.