Stuff The British Stole

Stuff The British Stole TV series

Coming to ABC and CBC

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Walkley award-winning journalist Marc Fennell ( Mastermind, The School That Tried To End Racism, The Feed) , will take audiences on a global adventure during Stuff The British Stole, a new six-part series based on his acclaimed, award-winning ABC Podcast.

This series of history-mysteries will be a wild, entertaining and visually stunning story of some of the most remarkable treasures acquired through the years of the British Empire and is set to air late this year.

An Australia-Canada co-production, Stuff the British Stole is co-produced by Wooden Horse, WildBear Entertainment and Cream Productions (Canada) for the ABC and the CBC. Principal production funding from Screen Australia. Financed with support from the Canada Media Fund, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, Ontario Creates, and Content Mint. FremantleMedia will distribute the series world-wide.

Jennifer Collins, ABC Head Factual and Culture, said: “We’re thrilled to partner with the CBC and bring this captivating podcast to television screens across Australia and Canada. Marc Fennell is a phenomenal host, and we can’t wait to see the mysteries of each object unfold.”

Screen Australia’s Head of Documentary, Alex West said, “ Stuff the British Stole promises to give voice to those who have been colonised and its bold exploration of the impact of the British empire is timely and necessary to keep discussions of cultural colonialism ongoing. We are excited to support Marc Fennell and his talented and passionate team in bringing his popular award-winning podcast to the screen in this Australia-Canada co-production.”

Sally Catto, General Manager, Entertainment, Factual and Sports, CBC, said: “We are excited to build on our valuable partnership with ABC and strengthen public broadcasting in both of our countries with this timely, authentic series that will open the eyes and minds of viewers while taking them on an entertaining journey through history.”

“Marc has created a history series that is not only utterly compelling but helps us understand who we are today. For Wooden Horse, WildBear and Cream it is a privilege to partner with two great public broadcasters on other sides of the globe but with so much in common,” said the Executive Producers from Wooden Horse, Wild Bear Entertainment and Cream Productions.

Stuff The British Stole begins filming this month and will air on ABC TV and ABC iview later this year and on CBC and CBC Gem in 2023.

To listen to Stuff The British Stole podcast, series 1 and 2, visit the ABC listen App.

Production Credit: An Australia-Canada co-production, Stuff the British Stole is co-produced by Wooden Horse, WildBear Entertainment and Cream Productions (Canada) for the ABC and the CBC. Principal production funding from Screen Australia. Financed with support from the Canada Media Fund, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, Ontario Creates, and Content Mint. FremantleMedia will distribute the series world-wide.

Executive producers: Richard Finlayson and Jude Troy (Wooden Horse); Alan Erson and Michael Tear (WildBear Entertainment); and David Brady and Kate Harrison (Cream Productions). Co-producer, Writer, Host: Marc Fennell. ABC Commissioning Editor and Executive Producer: Kalita Corrigan. ABC Head Factual and Culture: Jennifer Collins. CBC Executive Director of Unscripted Content: Jennifer Dettman. CBC Executive in Charge of Production, Unscripted Content: Nic Meloney.

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CBC unveiled the show during its 2022-23 upfronts on June 1, confirming it would be a 6 x 30-minute series and premiere in Canada in northern winter 2023.

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Mr Overexposed

Stop Thief! Stuff The British Stole premieres on ABC in November

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Based on the chart-topping podcast, presenter, author and Walkley award-winning journalist Marc Fennell hosts the riveting six-part series Stuff The British Stole. Premiering on ABC TV and on ABC iview from Tuesday 1 November at 8pm.

The British Empire stole a lot of stuff. Today, these relics are housed in museums that come with polite plaques. The truth usually isn’t so polite. Join Marc as he unravels the mysterious true histories behind those objects, and meets those who want them back.

The series takes audiences on a globe-trotting, emotional quest for truth, amidst bitterly contested histories. The episodes are as diverse as the Empire itself - each with a remarkable object at its heart.

“This tv series has been the greatest adventure and the biggest challenge of my working life. It’s taken me from deserts in the Middle East to ornate European palaces. I’ve traipsed into hidden vaults and the wild landscapes of Canada. Each of these mysteries is an emotional rollercoaster with humour and heartbreak. And that’s because our history is messy. But if we can unravel the truth, we can actually start to see ourselves and our world just that little bit clearer,” says Marc Fennell.

Over the series, Marc examines the stories behind some of the world’s most iconic and priceless relics including a scandalous diamond at the heart of the crown jewels that millions of Indians and Pakistani’s claim was stolen. He reveals the wild heist of a Scottish relic that has been crucial to the crowning of almost every British Monarch right up until Charles the 3rd and he pieces together the mystery of arguably the most controversial artwork in Australia - a mosaic looted in the middle of a war that saw Britain and Australia clash.

In the lead-up to new stories from Stuff The British Stole on TV, discover Stuff The British Stole podcast in ABC listen.

Production Credit: An Australia-Canada co-production. Co-produced by Wooden Horse, WildBear Entertainment and Cream Productions (Canada) for the ABC and the CBC. Principal production funding from Screen Australia. Financed with support from the Canada Media Fund, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, Ontario Creates, and Content Mint. Executive producers: Richard Finlayson and Jude Troy (Wooden Horse); Alan Erson and Michael Tear (WildBear Entertainment); and David Brady and Kate Harrison (Cream Productions). Co-producer, Writer, Marc Fennell. ABC Commissioning Editor and Executive Producer: Kalita Corrigan. CBC Executive Director of Unscripted Content: Jennifer Dettman. CBC Executive in Charge of Production, Unscripted Content: Nic Meloney. Acting Head of Factual and Culture: Richard Huddleston. FremantleMedia will distribute the series world-wide.

Episode 1: Jewel of Denial

Tuesday 1 November at 8pm on ABC TV and ABC iview

It is one of the most famous diamonds in the world and it sits at the heart of the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. But the true history of the Koh I Noor diamond is far from sparkling. At least three countries could stake a claim to it: India, Pakistan and even the Taliban in Afghanistan call it their own and have asked for it back. But beyond the glitz, Marc finds the tragedy of a 10-year-old boy ripped from his mother.

Marc travels to London where Sikh historian and author Peter Bance unveils a treasure trove dedicated to a young maharajah from the Punjab kingdom who has a strange history in Britain’s capital. Marc and historian Alice Proctor float down the Thames and into the dark waters of imperial history. Then the effervescent Rav Singh leads the way on a walking tour that reveals the uncomfortable truth of how much of London’s most famous tourist attractions were funded with loot surrendered by a child.

Was the diamond stolen? Surrendered? Or a gift? How much did Queen Victoria know? Would the diamond have survived had it not been brought to the UK? All big questions to be tackled but none bigger than this: even if you were to give the diamond back, who would you give it to?

A search for answers takes Marc all the way to Toronto, Canada into a very unusual family lunch conversation.

Just caught up with episode 2 (Stoned) which was about Stone of Destiny, which was initially seized by Edward I’s forces from Scone during the English invasion of Scotland in 1296, and had been used in the coronation of English monarchs, before it was transported to Edinburgh Castle in 1996. However, rumours suggest that the real thing is now at a pub in Glasgow.

It was a fascinating chat between Marc Fennell and Ian Hamilton, one of four University of Glasgow students who took part in the daring theft of the stone from Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1950, and Ian’s adult son. It was one of the last media interviews with Ian (the end credits showed that Ian, the last remaining survivor of the plot, died on October 3 this year, aged 97).

Episode 4: Shadow Boxer

Tuesday 22 November at 8pm

Binding together China, UK and Australia, Shadow Boxer, is a saga of martial arts, the high seas, a prestigious gallery and a precious object that very few people even know exists.

In the wake of an epic rebellion by Chinese martial artists against foreign military forces, a golden warrior statue is taken by British colonial forces. The theft, at a crucial turning point in global history, binds together multiple nations. But how on earth did this mysterious warrior statue end up in one of the most prestigious buildings in Australia?

An unexpected message from a former art gallery worker plunges Marc into the murky early days of Australia’s maritime history. A handful of sailors are sent into an event that very much appears to be a massacre. But the truth of all of this is far, far stranger.

Marc finds himself in Dublin to discover the curious role martial arts plays in a Chinese uprising that changed the course of history. In Scotland, Marc will connect the dots of looted art and how a superpower is rewriting history.

And this whirlwind global adventure unfurls in a stunning garden in Vancouver, Canada where a record-breaking YouTuber will lay bare how a generation of the Chinese diaspora are fighting to reclaim the past as well as how the past itself is told.

Episode 5: The Crow Flies

Tuesday 29 November at 8pm

When is a gift not really a gift? And when is a fair deal not really all that fair?

Crowfoot, a Chief of Blackfoot nation, negotiated one of the most controversial treaties in Canadian history – Treaty No. 7. Crowfoot was once a chief of the Blackfoot people in what is now Canada. Somehow his personal regalia – indeed the very shirt off his back – ended up in a museum in Exeter in the UK.

Along with his bow and blade, his sacred war shirt changed hands amidst the negotiating of the treaty that would alter the lives of millions. But some transactions aren’t all they seem as the Blackfoot people soon discovered.

Marc takes you to Siksika Nation in Alberta, Canada and sits down with experts and nation leaders to ask the questions: who was Chief Crowfoot, how did his regalia end up thousands of miles from home, and how did his treaty negotiation shape the future for the Blackfoot people?

The people Marc encounters paint a picture of Crowfoot as a proud leader in a turbulent time. A time in which many questionable treaties were being negotiated with the oncoming British settlers. Some suggest Chief Crowfoot gifted his regalia to a local Mounted Policeman. Others say it was purchased. But was it stolen? And will those sacred items ever be returned?

As The Crow Flies, ultimately, is a story about power. The power to take and the power to take something back.

Episode 6: The Return (season finale)

Tuesday 6 December at 8pm

For well over a century the remains of Yagan, an Indigenous Noongar warrior from WA, were missing in the UK. The search for Yagan and the fight to bring him home is one of history’s wildest detective stories.

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