NEWS Renegade: How ‘The Hunger Games in the Highlands’ became the new BBC hit | Reality TV

DingDubbed The Highland Hunger Games, the BBC One psychological reality show Renegade has become a huge hit with audiences and has sparked interest in Scottish castles and filming locations.

This week, the dark drama starring Claudia Winkelmann was second only to the World Cup and the Meghan and Harry documentary on Twitter. It encouraged more young viewers to sign up for BBC iPlayer than any other program outside the Qatar Championships and achieved a larger audience share than EastEnders.

Meanwhile, staff at Ardross Castle, the 19th-century baronial-style castle that produced the UK and US versions of the show, reported weddings and corporate events “getting in touch with a lot of people” and “very busy” venues.

Situated on the banks of the River Alness, north of Inverness, the 100-acre castle is closed to the public and can be used for corporate events such as weddings and team-building. It was originally built as a hunting lodge by the 1st Duke of Sutherland in the late 1700s, but was converted by Alexander Ross for Sir Alexander Matheson with towers and turrets. It is now owned by the McTaggart family.

Adros Castle was used as a base for the show, and 22 strangers came here hoping to share the £120,000 prize. These include three “traitors” chosen by Winkelmann, who try to avoid detection while each night choosing one of the others (aka “the faithful”) to commit murder. Believers must figure out who the traitors are before they are killed.

The power of ‘TV tours’, with viewers wanting to visit the locations of TV series such as Downton Abbey and Peaky Blinders, has increased interest in visiting Highclere Castle and Birmingham.

Jenni Steele, film and creative industries manager at VisitScotland, said: “Research shows that one in five tourists is inspired to travel after seeing a destination on film or on TV.” and showcased the region to viewers and potential visitors from across the United States.

The traitors captivated viewers, earning 4 million viewers for the first episode on Nov. 29 and drawing comparisons to “Bad Nick” Bateman in Big Brother’s first season.

Adros Castle, Scotland.
Adros Castle, Scotland, where The Traitor was filmed. Photo: Peter Jolly/Shutterstock

Stephen Lambert, whose company Studio Lambert produces UK and US versions as well as hits Gogglebox, The Circle and Race Across the World, told the Guardian that his team discovered the Dutch original (created by TV producer Marc Pos, who worked on the original Dutch Big Brother and Eurovision) and acquired the rights to produce both shows, which they produced sequentially at Ardross six months ago.

“I can’t think of a reality TV show like this in terms of sets and presentation,” Lambert said. “It talks about the fact that people were murdered… [the traitors] Wearing a cloak with lots of burning fire makes it unique. Most reality TV tends to be set in a contemporary setting, and this clearly evokes the past in some way. “

He added: “The format builds up the tension,” which is “brutal,” and “because we know who the traitors are, it’s more interesting. It’s clear there’s more and more paranoia, and they’re taking it all very seriously, Because it’s intense and it’s a jackpot.”

His colleagues Mike Cotton and Tim Harcourt chose Ardross Castle because the Dutch version had one, the BBC wanted to shoot in Scotland, and Ardoss had the “round table hall” — It’s “the heart of the show” and where contestants drive out people they consider traitors.

The show, which will continue to run three nights a week on BBC One until the finale on December 22, said the BBC’s head of unscripted Kate Phillips said it appealed to audiences who wanted “something fresh and exciting”, echoing “a politically charged summer”.

“People want to talk about something escapist; we’re going through tough times right now [and] Sometimes when you get bad news, you want something escapist, glorious and totally immersive. “

Phillips said the show’s “utter unpredictability and twists and turns,” combined with its unique “melodramatic” feel, flaming torches, atmospheric music, already on Spotify, and Winkman — who knows she’s interested in humans Behavioral interest and asking to host – is part of its appeal.

Winkleman describes her outfits, which include Celtic labels such as Brora, as “a cross between Princess Anne, Ronnie Corbett and Madonna meets Guy Ritchie”, which has inspired some viewers to ask them to have their own social media account.

Renegade’s success is part of a trend toward high-concept reality TV. Reality veterans Big Brother and Survivor will be rebooted for modern audiences in the UK next year, but Studio Lambert is working on a new reality series called Rise and Fall that will focus on the imbalance of power in society.

Lambert said: “I think something like Rise & Fall … is a way of doing entertainment, but … focusing on power and inequality. If we achieve this in the way we want, we will talk about Something about our time.”

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