International Emmy awards 2014: Educating Yorkshire and Utopia tipped for global remakes after winning prestigious TV gongs

Educating Yorkshire will be remade in China

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The Independent Culture

The Channel 4 series Educating Yorkshire is to be relocated to China after the documentary won a prestigious International Emmy award in New York.

Educating Yorkshire and Channel 4 drama Utopia helped British television enjoy a night of success at the awards.

Educating Yorkshire, the fly-on-the-wall series which followed staff and pupils at Thornhill Community Academy in Dewsbury, made a star out of student Musharaf Asghar, who overcame his stammer with the help of English teacher Mr Burton, to address the school’s assembly.

The UK National Television Awards-winning series won the non-scripted entertainment category at the Emmys ceremony, presented by British comedian Matt Lucas.

The Educating… format, which launched in Essex and recently focused on a school in London’s East End, is now going global.

Twofour, the Plymouth-based production company which devised the show, and distributor Shine International, have licensed the format to Chinese broadcaster Hunan TV. The series will be renamed The School under a cooperation deal.

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David Brindley, David Clews and Andy Mackenzie, the producers of 'Educating Yorkshire', pose backstage at the 42nd International Emmy Awards in New York (Reuters)

Beryl Yan, Hunan’s head of international business at Hunan TV, said: “We have very high expectations of The School as the original UK series has achieved such a success. The format itself is a breakthrough in telling real-life stories and sheds light on how the future of our nation is being educated."

She added: “A group of in-house production teams are currently working on different ideas of localisation and we expect to launch the Chinese version next year.”

The format has also been sold to a Dutch broadcaster.

Utopia, the cult conspiracy drama series, which ran on Channel 4 for two series before being axed, won the Best Drama award. It is being remade by the Gone Girl team of director David Fincher and screenwriter Gillian Flynn for HBO

Additionally, Stephen Dillane, star of the Sky Atlantic/Canal Plus crime drama The Tunnel, won best actor.

Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s Chief Creative Officer, said: “Both Utopia and Educating Yorkshire have been defining pieces in the creative renewal of Channel 4. It’s wonderful they have been recognised internationally for their quality and unique tone of voice.”

The Mad Men stars John Slattery and Christina Hendricks presented the International Emmy Founders Award to Matthew Weiner, the series creator. “Doesn’t he have enough Emmys?” joked Slattery.

Rupert Murdoch presented the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Directorate Award to Roberto Marinho, head of of Brazilian media giant Globo Organisation.

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