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Middle East Focus: Twofour plots Middle East and US expansion

The Arab division of UK indie Twofour has sold a one-off doc about one of British explorer Wilfred Thesiger’s Arabian expeditions to broadcasters in the Middle East and the UK.

Abu Dhabi Media has ordered the show, In the Footsteps of Thesiger, and Twofour, which has international rights, has also shopped it to an as yet unnamed UK broadcaster.

The deal comes as Twofour Arabia seeks to expand in the Middle East from the base it set up in Abu Dhabi last May with the help of local funding and media development group twofour54. It particularly wants to extend its regional activity into Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The producer and distributor also plans to open a full-fledged US office next year and is looking at setting up a base in Hong Kong.

In the Footsteps of Thesiger is co-funded by Abu Dhabi-based pay TV operator Abu Dhabi Media, now run by former Virgin Media content chief Malcom Wall, and the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage.

The show follows Adrian Hayes’ 1,000 mile expedition following in Thesiger’s footsteps across the stretch of Southern Arabian desert known as the ‘Empty Quarter’. It is in the final stages of production and will deliver early next year. It is directed by Alexis Girardet who also directed Twofour’s two-part doc about Prince Harry’s expedition to the North Pole, Harry Welcomes Arctic Heroes.

Twofour Arabia GM Jonney Steven said that the company is currently looking at its formats with a view to localising them for Arab audiences, citing Twofour shows Educating Essex and The Hotel Inspector as ideas that could be reworked for the region.