Internationally renowned, multi award-winning British actor Ray Winstone, whose film and television career spans four decades, is to front his first ever factual TV series Ray Winstone’s World: Sicily which will be a 6 x 60’ travelogue series about the Italian island. It is currently in production and is being financed by Banijay Rights, the leading distribution arm of Banijay Group, and producer SWR Media in association with Dash Pictures.
Winstone has worked with Directors such as Scorsese and Spielberg as well as acting alongside Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon and Harrison Ford. With a reputation for being a down to earth superstar, his love for his family and the Premier League Football Club West Ham United is only equalled by that he has for the island he has made his second home: Sicily.
Sicily has had a profound impact on Winstone and in this series he sets out to find out why. He’ll travel the length of the island alongside long-time friend, restauranteur Bruno Zoccola, and sports broadcaster Matthew Lorenzo. With local characters and new-found friends as their guides, they make their discoveries via Sicilian homes, kitchens, churches, temples and vineyards. In a courageous move, Winstone, Zoccola, Lorenzo and crew will visit and film from the summit of the active volcano, Mount Etna, as well as visiting the Aeolian island of Lipari and the historic yet frantic city of Palermo.
For Banijay Rights, Ray Winstone’s World: Sicily represents the latest project funded by the distributor using an innovative model that is not dependent on a broadcaster commission; having had success in a similar vein with other series such as Inside The Mind of a Serial Killer, from First Look TV.
Ray Winstone said, “I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world with my work, but Sicily has really got under my skin and I want to find out why – it’s something to do with the people you meet and finding a place that hasn’t been spoiled. I hope this helps people see Sicily and say ‘I want to go there’.”
Andreas Lemos, VP Sales & Acquisitions North America, said “We were immediately attracted to this project because of Ray’s transcendent international profile. It also felt like a distinctive, accessible take on the travel show with a really creative and entertaining entry point. Needless to say there’s already been a lot of pre-sale interest for the show.”
Daniel Sharp, Executive Producer, SWR Media commented, “The opportunity of working with Ray on his first ever factual series, sharing in his ambitions, capturing his passion for Sicily and bringing it to viewers, is very exciting. Partnering with Banijay Rights has been great – having them on board at an early stage has been a huge help in bringing this unique and exciting project from development to screen.”