Sky Books Steve McQueen, Tina Turner Films for New Documentary Channel

Tina Turner 2 H 2016
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Comcast's European pay TV giant has set a slate of nine original shows for its upcoming Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature channels.

Comcast-owned pay TV giant Sky has booked a slate of nine new original documentaries and factual shows ahead of the launch of its new channels Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature. 

Among this lineup of new programming are biographies of Tina Turner, produced by Searching for Sugar Man producers Lightbox and with exclusive access to the star herself, Hollywood legend Steve McQueen, exploring the story behind one film from his prime in the mid-1960s era that was started but never completed, and Stephen Hawking, drawing on private family archive and including interviews with his family, friends and colleagues.

Two sports documentaries include The United Way about English soccer team Manchester United, led by legend Eric Cantona, and Tyson Bruno, a feature-length film charting the highs and lows of the two boxing icons.

Lancaster will tell the story of the legendary Lancaster Bomber airplane, synonymous with the Dambusters, and the servicemen who flew them. And from the world of music, The Go-Go's will look at the pioneering female punk band and Look Away will explore the darker side of rock and a subject that has been has glossed over for decades: statutory rape.

"These new commissions showcase Sky’s investment in world-class original content and the breadth and range of factual shows our customers will be able to find on Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature," said Sky's managing director of content Zai Bennett. "With the launch of these two new services and Sky History, we want to provide viewers with compelling, engaging and informative TV, a place where nature and documentary fans can gravitate to."

Speaking the The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year, Bennett said that Sky was not only betting on content that features Britishness, but also Hollywood star power. 

Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature, alongside the rebranded Sky History, will launch May 27. The new shows are currently in production and will air at the end of 2020 and into 2021. They were commissioned by Bennett and Jamie Morris, director of program strategy. Tina Turner, The Go-Go's and Lancaster were also negotiated by Jack Oliver, head of co-productions at Sky Entertainment.