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Channel 4 takes to the UK’s waterways in Narrow Escapes


Channel 4 has commissioned Bowled Over Media and Motion Content Group to produce a new 20x60’ daytime format following the lives of people who have swapped their homes of bricks and mortar for a new life on the water.

In Narrow Escapes we meet those who call the waterways – the UK’s canal network - home. Whether it be retirees looking for freedom, young people searching for an affordable alternative to the cost-of-living crisis, newlyweds, families or divorcees, we’ll be introduced to a new and vibrant community made up of people from all walks of life, ages and backgrounds.

From continuous cruisers to business owners operating from their boats and the workers and volunteers on land who maintain the waterways, Narrow Escapes is a snapshot of modern life on the canals. We’ll see the realities of all aspects of canal life, from emptying loos to the rules, costs and practicalities of narrow boating, as well as looking after pets, doing some narrowboat DIY, throwing parties and waving to towpath gawpers. 

Plus, as we voyage across the country opening and closing locks with those who have made their narrow escapes, we’ll have a unique view of the beauty of the natural world from the water, meeting the spectrum of wildlife that also calls the waterways home.

Gill Brown, commissioning editor for Channel 4, said: “Narrow Escapes is a joyful and inspiring series capturing the diverse characters living on our canals and showcasing the unique perks and quirks of narrow boat living, as well as revelling in the magnificent scenery and nature in the UK.”

Heidi Gomes, Creative Director of Bowled Over Media, said: “What a complete privilege it’s been to be welcomed into our contributors’ narrow, floating homes, to catch a glimpse of the reality of life on the waterways. Whilst a challenging show logistically, it’s been a total joy to witness the highs and lows of boating life around the regions, and we are hugely grateful to Gill Brown, Channel 4 and MCG for supporting our small, diverse indie through the fund and to the Canal and River Trust for enabling access. From watching businesses, families, couples and solo boaters, we hope the audience will enjoy tuning in every day for a Narrow Escape!”

Deep Sehgal, Head of Creative Diversity for Motion Content Group, said: “We are absolutely delighted to support such a talented company as they grow. The scale and ambition of this commission, exploring Britain’s beautiful canal network, represents well-deserved recognition of their ability to tell great stories and achieve mainstream success.”

Narrow Escapes was funded by Channel 4 and Motion Content Group’s Diverse Indies Fund. The Diverse Indies Fund was set up to support small and medium-sized ethnically diverse-owned independent production companies to produce new projects. The fund is overseen editorially by Vivienne Molokwu, Senior Commissioning Editor at Channel 4, and managed by Deep Sehgal, Head of Creative Diversity at Motion Content Group.

Narrow Escapes is a 20x60’ series for Channel 4 Daytime. It was commissioned by Gill Brown, Commissioning Editor, Daytime and Features with Jo Street, Head of Daytime and Features. It is produced by Bowled Over Media with Motion Content Group. Heidi Gomes is Series Producer, Chris Hailes is Series Director and Sarah Adams is Producer. Deep Sehgal is Executive Producer for Motion Content Group.

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