BBC Two commissions Frankie Goes to Russia series from ITN Productions

1st May 2018

The two-part series Frankie Goes to Russia will see the comedian visit the nation in the run-up to the football World Cup, looking behind the stereotypes and half-truths of Russian football and culture with his trademark provocative humour.

Over two hour-long programmes Frankie will join a World Cup volunteer induction course (complete with chemical suit and face mask), meet some of Russia’s most dedicated football fans and investigate the facilities awaiting English fans who make the trip to support their team. (Full synopsis below.)

The programmes are due to air ahead of the World Cup in June.

Bernie Kay, Executive Producer, ITN Productions says: “Sending a provocateur like Frankie to Russia was a bold move by ITN Productions and shows how we are always looking to diversify and approach nonfiction programming in new ways. Frankie has been an incredible voice for the programmes bringing his inimitable humour and insight to challenge assumptions associated with Russia and football.”

  • Frankie Goes to Russia is made by ITN Productions
  • The Executive Producer for ITN Productions is Bernie Kay
  • The Director and Producer is Jenny Dames and Director of Photography is Neil Harvey.
  • The programmes were commissioned for the BBC by Clare Sillery, Head of Documentaries and Commissioning Editors Emma Loach and Jamie Balment

Frankie Goes to Russia 2 x 60 – Synopsis

The 2018 football World Cup is about to kick off against a backdrop of spy poisoning, alleged state-sponsored doping, threats of ultra football hooliganism and perhaps the worst relations between Russia and the West since the Cold War.

In Frankie Goes to Russia, comedian Frankie Boyle is heading to Russia before the tournament begins to go behind the stereotypes and half-truths of Russian football and culture with his trademark provocative humour.

Over two hour-long programmes, Frankie will visit several of the host cities to see what awaits the thousands of British fans expected to make the trip to the World Cup this summer. He’ll discover the Soviet drunk tanks brought out of retirement for unruly fans and learn how to put on a full body chemical warfare suit and face-mask at a World Cup volunteer induction

Frankie heads to the sleepy seaside town preparing to host the England team, and visits a city twinned with Glasgow, that is renowned for its football violence.

Wanting to find out how much football really means to people in Russia, Frankie risks life and limb with a daredevil motorbike football team, records a world cup rap with a hip hop artist and learns how to inflict serious bodily harm with some sabre wielding Cossacks who will be policing the World Cup stadiums.

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