Broadcasting giant Sky has confirmed that it has commissioned a second series of its high-stakes entertainment show, The Heist, to be filmed in Northumberland.
Recent tweets have also revealed that it is not too late to sign up to be a part of the programme.
It will be made by leading British independent production company, Shine TV, famed for Channel 4’s Hunted, Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls and Kilimanjaro: The Bigger Red Nose Climb. According to Sky, The Heist sees ordinary citizens of a small town take on an extraordinary game.
The challenge for the contestants is to keep cool under pressure and to plan and commit a perfect heist; evading detection from a crack team of detectives in order to win a substantial and life-changing cash prize. The location for the first series was Thirsk.
Shirley Jones, commissioning editor of entertainment at Sky, said: “I am so thrilled that The Heist is returning.
“It was a great show made by a brilliant team, which in turn became a huge hit with viewers.
“So many people thought they could do better than the thieves and easily outwit the detectives, so we’re throwing down the gauntlet and calling for the local people of Northumberland to join in for round two in this battle of cops versus robbers.”
Matt Bennett, senior executive producer at Shine TV also commented: “We’re delighted to be making The Heist again for Sky One.
“On the one hand, The Heist unashamedly appeals to the uniquely British love of a good detective story, yet on the other, it revels in the dramatic twists and turns of a criminal caper, full of rich personalities and good humour.
“The casting is going well – we are just over half way through.”
Last week, Shine TV Casting tweeted: ‘We’ve had a great response for Sky One’s The Heist, which we are filming in Alnwick for three weeks this June and July.
‘There’s still time to put your name forward if you are interested in being considered for the series. Email us at email@example.com with your name, address and number.’
The ongoing casting, revealed by the Gazette in January, has caused a lot of excitement locally.
County councillor for Alnwick, Gordon Castle, said: “I could see from the start why Alnwick was chosen – apart from its magnificent setting, it has such a strong presence and sense of identity. This is sure to come over well in a reality TV show of this unusual nature.
“It’s about real, local people in an unreal situation, but everything filmed will be in and around Alnwick and it is sure to draw even more visitors to the jewel in Northumberland’s crown.”
Bill Batey, clerk of Alnwick Town Council, said: “As we have already said, this is fantastic news for Alnwick. It will bring national and international exposure to this part of Northumberland.”
The series is due to be aired in 2020 on Sky One and streaming service NOW TV.
* The Heist joins a raft of recent original commissions which Sky says demonstrates its continued investment in original content and commitment to supporting the creative industry, including Riviera 2, Catherine the Great, Chernobyl and Temple.
This follows a record 16 BAFTA nominations for Sky programming announced last week, including A League of their Own for best Comedy Entertainment Programme.
The Heist series two was commissioned for Sky One by Phil Edgar Jones (director of Sky Arts and head of entertainment) and Shirley Jones (commissioning editor – Sky Arts & Entertainment). The show is produced by Shine TV, part of Endemol Shine Group. Tim Whitwell is creative director, Matt Bennett is the executive producer, Tom Hutchings is series editor, Jo Locke is series producer and Lucy Curtis is senior producer.