30 March 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
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Alleycats Films receives series order from RTÉ for second season of Pulling with my Parents
06 Mar 2020 : News Desk
Pulling With My Parents from Alleycats Films.
The Northern Irish independent production company has started 2020 with a string of commissions, including three new documentary orders for BBC Northern Ireland, and a second-series renewal from RTÉ for dating format Pulling With My Parents.

Ray McCarthy, RTÉ commissioning editors of popular factual and factual entertainment, has ordered a second season of Pulling With My Parents (6 x 50 mins) in the wake of its successful debut last October on RTÉ2. The new series will roll out on the Irish public broadcaster in the summer with Ed Stobart and Des Henderson, who devised and developed the format executive producing for Alleycats with series producer Stu Smith.

Pulling With My Parents follows young singletons who are stuck on a merry-go-round of bad dates and dating apps. Disheartened by swiping left and right, ghosting and disastrous assignations, the lovelorn millennials enlist their parents to overhaul their online profiles and help them crack the dating game.

Alleycats has a strong track record in creating hit formats, having produced three seasons of the award-winning Keeping ‘er Country/Stetsons and Stilettos, a co-production between BBC One Northern Ireland and RTE One in the Republic of Ireland. The series, which offers an insight into Ireland’s rural Country music scene, was one of the most popular all Ireland documentary series.

On the documentary front, BBC Northern Ireland has commissioned three new titles from the Derry-based producer. These include: 2 x 30 mins series -  The Borrowers and Belfast Harbour (working title) and My Big Gay Wedding Video (working title) (1 x 30 mins) for BBC NI’s True North strand. Alleycats executive producers Henderson and Stobart will oversee all three projects.

An original Alleycats format, The Borrowers was initially produced for RTÉ One, where it aired to critical acclaim in a primetime slot last year. The series explores the human stories behind loan applications, ranging from the sad to the joyful to the downright quirky. For its second incarnation on the BBC, Alleycats has secured exclusive access to Northern Ireland’s Credit Union network, setting up fixed rigs in two loan offices at opposite ends of the country.

Belfast Harbour, meanwhile, is an in-depth look at one of the UK’s busiest seaport, home to the legendary Harland and Wolff shipyard and the birthplace of the doomed Titanic. Covering 20% of the Northern Ireland capital, the Harbour is at the heart of Belfast’s community life and an essential part of the UK’s economic backbone. The series is produced and directed by Jon Turner.

Marking the legalisation this year of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, True North: My Big Gay Wedding Video will invite viewers to a joyous series of very different weddings. Due to be filmed this summer, the 1 X 30 film will capture a seminal moment in Northern Ireland’s social history as seen through the eyes of couples in love.

Speaking about the news, Alleycats MD Ed Stobart told IFTN: “Rich stories have always emanated from the island of Ireland and to be able to bring some of them to Irish screens is always a pleasure. From documentary, obs docs, a glorious celebration of love and a now successful returning international format, we’re proud to be stretching our muscles across the factual entertainment genre”.

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Lorcan Finnegan and Imogen Poots discuss Vivarium with IFTN
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