“The Bridge” Is Back: Harder, Hotter and Tougher

“The Bridge” Is Back: Harder, Hotter and Tougher
AJ Odudu presents the eight-part series in which 16 strangers come together for the chance to win the big cash prize, but unaware of the epic challenge required to take the money home.
[via press release from Channel 4]
The Bridge is back: harder, hotter and tougher

AJ Odudu hosts with Aldo Kane as the series’ extreme locations expert

Channel 4’s gruelling reality competition The Bridge returns for a supersized second series in a new tropical location. There’s double the drama and double the money up for grabs as two teams go head to head to be the first to get their hands on a £200k jackpot.

AJ Odudu presents the eight-part series in which 16 strangers come together for the chance to win the big cash prize, but unaware of the epic challenge required to take the money home.

In this new series, made by Manchester-based Workerbee, a Banijay UK company, the contestants must put egos and differences aside to tackle the ultimate test of physical ability, mental skill and teamwork. Going head to head, the teams face a race to build a bridge over 1,000 feet of water in just 12 days to reach the cash held on top of ‘Fortune Rock’. But will whoever reaches the money first choose to share it with their teammates?

Adventurer and explorer Aldo Kane joins the competitors in the paradise islands of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, overseeing the challenges that will test the teams’ nerves and ability. He’ll make sure no one reaches the jackpot without giving it their all.

Along the way, the teams will face surprise dilemmas and devious temptations that disrupt the whole competition as we discover who is prepared to deceive their teammates for their own personal gain. Working together is key, but in this pressure-cooker environment everyone must decide who to trust and where their allegiances lie.

AJ Odudu said: “The opportunity to front The Bridge has happened almost serendipitously. From the Strictly Ballroom I have taken off onto my next, new adventure. Literally. It’s so exciting to front a show that promises to push the envelope and I know The Bridge is going to be bold, full of excitement and filled with plenty of drama. Bring it on.”

Aldo Kane said: “Over the last 25 years, I have been operating in some of the world’s most extreme, remote and hostile locations, but this is one of the highest-stake missions I’ve ever worked on. For those involved in the challenge, if they can survive the pressure, this could be a truly life-changing experience, for more reasons than just the prize money. The cash won’t come easy though, I am looking forward to putting the team through their paces and stretching their every fibre, from morals and emotions to basic campcraft and survival. This hybrid formula from Workerbee is going to be epic!”

Phil Harris, Channel 4’s Head of Entertainment & Events, said: “We are really excited work with HBO Max and Workerbee to bring viewers more of this mischievous reality-challenge hybrid show. AJ was a phenomenal host on The Big Breakfast, so I am thrilled she is joining to guide us through the action whilst Aldo reminds us just what an incredibly tough task this is.”

Steve Handley, commissioning editor for Channel 4, said: “I’m thrilled The Bridge is returning, with AJ at the helm and Aldo guiding the team through the adventure. It may look like paradise, but our cast of ordinary folks are going to have to achieve the extraordinary to get their hands on the prize. I can’t wait to see if they can do it!”

Managing Director of Workerbee and Executive Producer Rick Murray, said: “We thought that building The Bridge in Wales was an epic challenge given the physical and mental endurance needed as well as coping with the Welsh weather. But this second series is in another league. Contributors might have a sunnier climate to enjoy, but the challenge will be far tougher with some devious twists and turn to throw them off course from day one.”

The Bridge is an 8×60′ reality format produced by Workerbee, a Banijay UK company, and HBO Max. It was commissioned for Channel 4 by Phil Harris, Head of Entertainment & Events, and Steve Handley, commissioning editor, Entertainment & Live Events. The executive producers for Workerbee are Jon Cahn, Michelle Chappell and Rick Murray.

The format, originally produced by Zeppelin, part of Banijay Iberia, has experienced a resurgence since Workerbee produced the UK version in 2021, with new series ordered in Brazil and Australia. Banijay Rights has struck multiple deals for the UK version with broadcasters in the Netherlands and across Africa and Latin America. The series aired on HBO Max in the US and will be returning for a second series with HBO Max airing the same version as Channel 4 in the USA, Latin America and Asia.


Notes to editors:

Praise for series one:

“This new reality show feels like one of the more innovative and intriguing formats of recent times.” – heat

“This new reality series grabs from the outset.” – The Sunday Telegraph

“Genuinely entertaining stuff.” – The Sun TV Mag

“Fiendishly addictive television.” – The Times

Aisling Bea’s Award-Winning Comedy “This Way Up” Returns to Channel 4 for Second Series

Aisling Bea’s Award-Winning Comedy “This Way Up” Returns to Channel 4 for Second Series
Aisling Bea’s Merman-produced comedy co-starring Sharon Horgan has been commissioned for a second series for Channel 4 and Hulu.
[via press release from Channel 4]
Aisling Bea’s award-winning comedy This Way Up returns to Channel 4 for second series

Sharon Horgan and Aisling Bea reunite their sister act for the Merman-produced comedy.


“… as fiercely realistic as it is funny” ***** Lucy Mangan, The Guardian

“I want to watch it again” **** Carol Midgley, The Times

“Deftly preys on your fears and pricks your sympathies. At the same time [… ] a gratifyingly high gag rate” **** Jaspar Rees, The Daily Telegraph

Aisling Bea’s Merman-produced comedy co-starring Sharon Horgan has been commissioned for a second series (6 x 30) for Channel 4 and Hulu. Bea took home the Breakthrough Talent BAFTA Craft award for writing series one earlier this year.

In the forthcoming series, viewers can expect more bittersweet sister-related shenanigans, including ill-advised trips to infra-red saunas, and possibly another sung duet… to give the people what they want.

Series two is set after the events of the series one finale, with things in flux for Aine (Aisling Bea, Living With Yourself; Quiz) and her sister, Shona (Sharon Horgan, Catastrophe; Military Wives).

Aine’s starting to leave her time in rehab behind and live less cautiously, which may not be entirely wise. Will she and Richard (Tobias Menzies, The Crown; Game of Thrones) make a cheeky go of it? Or continue to exist in the odd tension of the employer-employee dynamic? Or is emotional risk the “sexy bit”?

At the end of series one we saw Shona newly engaged after Vish’s (Aasif Mandvi, Evil; The Brink) proposal, despite sharing a stolen kiss with business partner, Charlotte (Indira Varma, Game of Thrones; Luther). How will Charlotte and Shona manage running a new business together after *that* kiss? Will Shona be able to go through with marrying Vish? Planning a wedding? Can she tell him what happened? Is there anything more to tell?

Despite the sisters’ numerous ups and downs, This Way Up centres on the unshakable bond between Aine and Shona and their passionate, caring, often-angry, always-hilarious relationship. In the darkest moments, when faced with overwhelming loneliness and sadness, the two sisters will always save each other and bring each other back into the light.

Creator Aisling Bea said: “I am over the moon that our little baby This Way Up gets to grow up and start school. Thanks to its grandparents Channel 4 and Hulu for paying its school fees and to my wonderful team, crew and cast for helping bring it to life the first-time round. I was so overwhelmed by the love and support for the show.

The themes of loneliness and vulnerability seemed to connect in a far more widespread way than I had anticipated, and it feels particularly relevant writing series two during the last few months. I was so touched by the people from different countries, ages, genders and backgrounds who have gotten in touch to share their stories since the show has aired. I’m entirely grateful to be working and to be able to get our brilliant team back to work too, even though it is odd as hell filming during a worldwide pandemic. Our priority will be to keep our crew and cast safe and healthy whilst also staying creative and trying to make the best show we can.

I hope you love seeing where Aine and Shona have moved on to. In the meantime, thank you to everyone who has offered myself and Sharon large record deals since hearing us sing Zombie and please wear a mask literally, but drop your metaphorical one.”

Merman co-founder Sharon Horgan said: “It’s been a really tough, strange old year. We know we’re lucky to be back working at all but especially lucky to be working again on This Way Up. Aish continues to make us laugh and cry with her observations on life and love and loneliness. I can’t wait to be her sister again so I can legitimately give her a dead arm whenever I feel like it.”

Jack Bayles, Commissioning Editor for Channel 4 Comedy, said: “In This Way Up Aisling and the team have created something both beautifully observed and infectiously funny. It was a glorious first outing packed with skilful writing and outstanding performances. Like all fans of the show, we can’t wait to dive back in!”

This Way Up has been recommissioned for Channel 4 by Jack Bayles, Commissioning Editor for Comedy and Fiona McDermott, Head of Channel 4 Comedy. It is written by Aisling Bea, produced by Merman and distributed by NBCUniversal Global Distribution on behalf of Sky Studios. It is again directed by Alex Winckler and produced by Gavin O’Grady. Executive Producers are Clelia Mountford, Sharon Horgan and Aisling Bea. The series will air in the US on Hulu.