If you’re imagining a ‘Lord of the Flies’ style summer camp from the producers of ‘Great British Bake Off’, it might look something like their new reality show for Britain’s Channel 4, ‘Kids in the Wild’.
The six-part series from Love Productions and Love Island co-producer Motion Content Group is conceived as a salutary production that will transport a penned-in pandemic generation “back to an idyllic old-fashioned summer and the carefree abandon of swallows and amazons, away from their parents to the… first time.”
The show will bring together a diverse 20-strong group of 9- to 11-year-olds from across the country who will spend part of their summer in nature, without “the shackles” of adult supervision and rules.
An official description for the show, shared with diversity exclusively, it reads: “Empowered to make their own choices and unleash their own ingenuity, we will ask: ‘Who are the children of Britain in 2022, and have we underestimated what they are truly capable of?'”
Channel 4 aims to get to the bottom of children’s “mental and physical” reactions to life in the wild, as well as their social structures and interactions, as they learn how to cook and eat in a camp and sleep in shared bunks with children they know not.
The broadcaster promises the young participants “comprehensive adult care” to ensure their protection. Not only will there be adult camp counselors teaching the youngsters how to live in the great outdoors, trained escorts will ensure their safety and their parents will also be on hand, watching their antics from remote controlled cameras. Halfway through the shoot, the kids can take a break and spend at least one night at home with their families.
Given the uplifting tone of Love Productions’ Bake Off for Channel 4 (via the BBC) and the channel’s track record for mellow rig-based shows like The Secret Life of Four Year Olds, it’s unlikely that Kids in the Wild’ will have the same vibe as, say, ‘Eden’ – Channel 4’s ill-fated 2016 reality series in which adults spent a year trying to build a self-sufficient society in a remote part of Scotland. (The show was pulled from the air after a handful of episodes.)
‘Kids in the Wild’ will be filmed in the UK countryside at the start of the school holidays this summer. As part of the production, the children spend 14 days in a specially set up wilderness camp.
Sara Ramsden, executive producer at Love Productions, said: “New and growing evidence suggests that experiencing adventurous play is effective at reducing childhood anxiety. As this series will take kids off their screens, we hope it will shed light on the ongoing debate about the impact of phones and social media on children.”
Madonna Benjamin, Editor at Channel 4, added: “’Kids in the Wild’ celebrates childhood by giving children the opportunity to experience a summer of fun, adventure and new discoveries. It examines how this generation has been deprived of so much freedom and an opportunity for social cohesion that it missed. We hope audiences get a privileged glimpse of just how adaptable and imaginative our children can be.”
Martin Oxley, Executive Producer, Motion Content Group, said: “At the heart of ‘Kids in the Wild’ is a fascinating and timely exploration of the impact modern life is having on children today, giving them the freedom to be in a idyllic setting to see if this is the case. You can be relieved of the fears and pressures that worry parents so much.”
Kids in the Wild was commissioned by editors Anna Miralis and Madonna Benjamin for Channel 4. Executive producers include Love Productions’ Ramsden and Motion Content Group’s Oxley. The series’ producer is Sue Medhurst.
(Pictured: “Lord of the Flies” )
https://variety.com/2022/tv/global/kids-in-the-wild-channel-4-bake-off-love-1235218553/ Channel 4 orders Kids in the Wild from Love Productions