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Exclusive: C5 readies “Esther Rantzen’s House Trap” from Plimsoll


UK commercial broadcast television net Channel 5 has commissioned Bristol-based indie Plimsoll Productions to produce a consumer series with Dame Esther Razen (pictured), the defender of consumers across the nation for 50 years.

Each week, Esther Rantzen’s House Trap will focus on a different industry where older people are victims of rogue traders. Razen’s team will identify a likely suspect then lure them into a specially constructed house, where hidden cameras and microphones capture their every move. With the help of undercover agents playing the part of vulnerable homeowners, Razen hopes to expose rogue traders’ motives to the public.

The 4 x 60-minute series was commissioned by Ben Frow and Sean Doyle, commissioning editor for Channel 5. It is executive produced by Karen Plumb and Grant Mansfield for Plimsoll Productions.

Esther Rantzen’s House Trap is the latest commission in the consumer genre from Channel 5, which has recently ordered such consumer-focused programs as Shop Smart Save Money and the forthcoming series of Do the Right Thing.

The commission follows a wave of recent activity from Plimsoll, who earlier this yearacquired Cardiff-based BearHugTV, launched a Cardiff office, produced the upcoming Hostile Planet for National Geographic and adapted their Channel 4 format Rescue Dogs to Super Dogs for Discovery-owned cable net Animal Planet in the U.S.

Esther Rantzen’s House Trap, meanwhile, will sit alongside the Bristol indie’s stable of programs, including the live event Yellowstone Live for National Geographic, watched by 13 million viewers.

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