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BBC Worldwide has agreed its first ever co-production deal with TVP in Poland for new drama Spies of Warsaw, a two part historical spy drama adapted by Dick Clement and Ian de Frenais from Alan Furst’s acclaimed novels.

The ambitious new drama from Fresh Pictures for BBC Four will soon be appearing on Poland’s national broadcaster, Polish Television (TVP), later this year.

TVP has previously bought a range of finished programming from BBC Worldwide including Married Single Other, Waking the Dead and Survivors.

Piotr Derewenda, TVP’s producer and editor, said:

“We are very pleased to enter into this new co-production partnership with such a prestigious company as BBC Worldwide. Furst’s thrilling story creates a unique opportunity for us to chart Poland’s fascinating history from a more European perspective and provides the perfect backdrop for the thrilling tale of great love, friendship and betrayal.

“We are also delighted that Coky Giedroyc, the director of such popular series like Sherlockand The Virgin Queen, will be joining the production. With her extraordinary talent and the potential for some outstanding actors, we believe Spies of Warsaw will be a big hit with international audiences.”

Ben Donald, Executive Producer for International Drama at BBC Worldwide, said:

“Fresh Pictures’ first drama, Spies in Warsaw, is a captivating adaptation of the best-selling spy novels. The story takes place in Poland, France and Italy which lends itself perfectly to international co-productions such as this latest deal with TVP.

“The adaptation also offers excellent casting opportunities for talent from around the world as the story spans various countries across Europe. I am also delighted that we are able to bring this production to Poland where there is not only an excellent infrastructure in place and production expertise but also a strong tradition of film-making.”

Richard Fell, Head of Drama at Fresh Pictures said:

'Working with BBCWW and TVP on 'Spies of Warsaw', has given us the opportunity to shoot Dick & Ian's wonderful script in Poland. It is a remarkable and beautiful country, and incredibly exciting to work in the range of authentic and rarely seen locations.'

Spies of Warsaw is arguably Furst’s most well-known novel. Spanning the decade from 1933 to 1943, Furst’s stories are portraits of subjugated peoples who try to resist the suffocating inevitability of Hitler’s regime.

The characters roam the foggy nights and steal across the rainy, cobbled streets of Prague, Berlin, Warsaw, Rome, and Paris. Furst's protagonists join the ranks of the Resistance in one way or another. They include faded nobility, b-movie filmmakers, newspapermen, ship's captains and compromised businessmen as well as waiters, shopkeepers, jaded intellectuals, tarnished grand dames, and boozy British secret agents. Together they march in the underground army that seeks to fight back against the Nazi occupiers.

Coky Giedroyc, whose previous credits include Sherlock and The Hour, will direct the new production.

Spies of Warsaw is a Fresh Pictures production, executive produced by Richard Fell for Fresh Pictures, and is the Indie’s first drama commission.

The deal with TVP has been brokered by BBC Worldwide and Apple Film Production in Poland. Apple Film Production led by Dariusz Jabłoński will act as the Polish co-producer on the series for TVP.

BBC Worldwide announced the deal at the close of its annual TV export market BBC Worldwide Showcase which is taking place this week (February 26-29) in Liverpool.

Source: BBC Media Centre, March 2012

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