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Isle of Media secures the production of a major TV series featuring Laurence Llewllyn Bowen

Isle of Media, Formatzone and Laurence of Suburbia TV SeriesIsle of Media, an industry driven Public Private Partnership with the Isle of Man Government, tasked to grow the Digital Media Hub on the Isle of Man, have secured a major twelve-part TV series, which is being produced on the island by the newly founded Formatzone IOM Ltd.

The production ‘Laurence of Suburbia’ stars Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen, best known for his BBC series Changing Rooms and DIY SOS. It takes a fresh approach to the TV makeover format, featuring houses where the history of the house and the location inspire the design. The first two episodes are based on the Isle of Man.

CEO of Isle of Media Stuart Semark says, “We have been talking to Mark Rowland for some time about the possibility of bringing Formatzone to the island and when the opportunity of basing the production of ‘Laurence of Suburbia’ here became realistic we approached the Department of Economic Development (DED) and the Treasury to see if they would be prepared to support the project.”

Zoe Guilford who looks after film at the DED says, “Stuart and I have worked together for several months to make this production a reality and to secure the long-term commitment of Formatzone on the island. We are optimistic that this will be a very successful series in the international TV market and that Formatzone’s presence here will attract other significant companies in the future.”

Formatzone was established by Mark Rowland and its MD, Ben Robinson, to create television formats for the international marketplace. Both highly respected TV industry executives with extensive experience in format development TV production and international distribution – previous international hits include ‘Supernanny’ and ‘Robot Wars’. The concept for ‘Laurence of Suburbia’ was a collaborative effort with Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen.

Mark Rowland says, “We are delighted to be launching an international format business on the island. The skills involved to develop the business are all here, from TV production expertise to finance and marketing. With ‘Laurence of Suburbia’ it’s also great to be able to look at the history of the island through the designs Laurence is bringing to the rooms we are making-over.”

‘Laurence of Suburbia’ will be launched by Sky Vision, the international distribution arm of Sky TV at MIPCOM, the annual international TV Market in Cannes, France in October where the first two episodes featuring the Island will be shown to international buyers.

Ben Robinson, Formatzone MD and Series Producer of Laurence of Suburbia says, “The quality of the team has been excellent and the can-do attitude of everyone involved makes working on the island an absolute pleasure, there’s also great young talent we are bringing into the industry through the production.”

The Production involves over 25 local people including producers, researchers, camera and sound and because it’s a home makeover format designers, builders, electricians and decorators too – all working together to a tight deadline.

Mark Rowland also commented, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Zoe Guilford from the DED and Stuart from Isle of Media, for their tremendous support in making ‘Laurence of Suburbia’ a reality. We are so impressed with the warmth and professionalism we have found on the island, we are already looking towards the next production and a long a successful future for Formatzone on the island.”

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