Calling all Sheilas

WHAT do you get when you combine a bachelors’ and spinsters’ ball with the concept behind US blockbuster television shows Temptation Island or The Bachelor? How about a WA documentary series called Desperately Seeking Sheila?

The TV series, to be produced next year, is the brainchild of local film production company Artemis International, which this week secured a $700,000 ScreenWest Screen Industry Partnership Fund allocation, enabling it to shoot its six one-hour episodes.

The show will follow five bachelors from rural WA as they meet single city women from Australia and the UK. The cameras will be filming the city girls adjusting to life in the country and all of the social intrigue that comes with it.

According to Artemis International producer Brian Beaton, the series will have more in common with documentaries than reality television.

“We’re not calling it reality television. Most people think of Big Brother or Temptation Island or crass programming like that,” Mr Beaton said.

“There is a spectrum of reality television and they are at one end you have Perfect Match down to The Bachelor. We’re not on it. For starters there is no money involved, so that competitive element is nowhere near as strong and we won’t be doing any humiliating elimination scenes.’

The project will be shot in conjunction with UK commercial Television station ITV but the idea is 100 per cent Australian.

“It grew out of an idea of mine to make a documentary about the plight of single guys in the country and where all the girls had gone. I thought it would be interesting to do a documentary on how they are finding them,” Mr Beaton said.

The series will be screened on SBS in Australia and ITV in the UK next year.

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