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BBC game show hosted by Zoe Ball wraps up filming in Titanic Quarter's T13: Can't Touch This set to return to Belfast

By John Mulgrew

Published 17/09/2015

Zoe Ball
Zoe Ball

A major new prime time BBC game show has this week completed filming its first series at the Titanic Quarter's T13 building - and is expected to return again later this year, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

Obstacle course show Can't Touch This has spent around a month filming at T13, amid high levels of secrecy.

And although the first of the 10-part series is now in the can, it's understood crews are set to return for more filming later this year.

It could be another lucrative long-term addition to Northern Ireland's film and television industry, as the team behind the show has been seeking a deal to produce the programme for other broadcasters outside the UK.

Production of the show began at T13 in Belfast around the middle of August and finished on Monday.

The series is set to air across the UK in 2016, and will feature Zoe Ball and Ashley Banjo as presenters. Great British Bake-off star Sue Perkins will provide narration.

The show has been created by Northern Ireland firm Stellify Media.

Stellify's managing director Matthew Worthy told the Belfast Telegraph it was a "massive commission" to produce what is one of the biggest game shows ever to be filmed here.

"As a local company it was hugely important to us to make this series in Belfast," he said.

Independent film and media firm Stellify was also recently hired to remake Blind Date for Irish broadcaster TV3.

The project is part of several tie-ups between the BBC and NI Screen, which have focused until now on high-end drama productions.

Can't Touch This will go up against some of television's mass audience heavyweights, all competing for the Saturday night prime time crown.

It's positioned itself as a "big, funny, physical action game show with a very simple premise - if you touch the prize, you win the prize".

While much of the concept has been kept under wraps, it is following in a similar vein to previous big-name successful shows such as Total Wipeout and It's a Knockout.

The concept sees contestants trying to negotiate a "larger-than-life" assault course while simultaneously battling it out to touch prizes along the way.

It's understood the major project involved a combination of BBC NI staff, along with an outside broadcast unit and external camera operators hired in.

T13 was previously home to Web Summit tech spin-off MoneyConf and EnterConf, which ran in June.

It has also been home to a skatepark and a number of other pop-up events over the last few years.

And in order to help keep a lid on the concept and details of the upcoming show, a row of shipping containers were placed down the centre of the warehouse.

Black drapes were also hung in order to help prevent sound from bleeding into the filming area from other events taking place.

Can't Touch This is set to hit television screens in early 2016.

But it could mean other international broadcasters buying the format, and using the huge set.

Earlier this year Alan Tyler, commissioning editor, BBC entertainment, said that the game show "takes all the fun of a large scale physical game show but gives it a new twist".

Belfast Telegraph

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