The Isle of Lewis has been confirmed as the location for Katie Morag, the new CBeebies drama based on the hugely popular series of books created by author and illustrator Mairi Hedderwick. Produced by Scottish indie Move On Up, Katie Morag is a 26-part series for CBeebies.
Filming on Katie Morag is expected to start in May for four months using both studio facilities on the island as well as the beautiful Hebridean landscape – a key part of the Katie Morag adventures.
Against a backdrop of the remote and beautiful Hebridean Islands, the stories will celebrate the intrinsic sense of community, the preciousness of the environment and the universal tensions and joys of family life.
Katie Morag is a small red-headed girl who lives with her family on the magical Scottish Island of Struay. Although she lives in a unique setting, her stories portray some of the enduring themes of childhood. Casting for the CBeebies drama is underway and will be announced in due course.
Lindy Cameron, Executive Producer, for Cromarty-based Move On Up is thrilled to be bringing the filming to the Isle of Lewis: “It was important to us to try and keep as much of this production in the Highlands as we were able and we're just delighted that we've been given the support to help with that. By shooting the entire series in such a unique and beautiful setting, and making good use of all the innate facilities and skills that Lewis has to offer us, we hope that the benefit to the Island, and to all of the Hebrides, will be great.”
Sara Harkins, CBeebies/BBC Scotland Executive Producer, adds: “The Katie Morag books have been delighting children for many years with engaging stories set on a beautiful Scottish Island. These adventures will now come to life in a live action drama series and we’re sure the combination of Mairi’s compelling stories, the passion of the Scottish Indie Move on Up, and the stunning Scottish landscape will make Katie Morag even more popular with fans new and old.”
Mairi Buchanan from Highlands and Islands Enterprise said: "By bringing Katie Morag to life in the Outer Hebrides, this TV series will highlight the potential of the area as a base for major productions, boosting both the local supply chain and tourism industry. This flagship production has the potential to showcase the scenery, landscape and culture of the Scottish islands which Mairi Hedderwick highlighted when writing the Katie Morag stories. Our support for the Creative Industries sector recognises not only its social value to local communities, but also its potential to drive economic growth."
Mark Thomas, Development Officer at Creative Scotland commented: “Katie Morag is one of the most loved Scottish literary characters ever created and we are delighted to support the realisation of Mairi Hedderwick's enthralling stories that delight young and old alike. The Isle of Lewis is a beautiful location and the perfect setting for this high profile, quality children’s television series. Move On Up's commitment to basing the production on Lewis will bring a welcome and significant boost to tourism and the local economy.”
Katie Morag will be executive produced by Lindy Cameron for Move on Up and by Sara Harkins and Michael Towner for CBeebies. It has also received support from BBC Scotland, Creative Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and will be broadcast on CBeebies in Autumn 2013.