We’re excited to reveal that the brand new series of The Crystal Maze, confirmed by Channel 4 today, will be made here at The Bottle Yard Studios.
Fizz, RDF Television’s entertainment label, has opted to base the show at the Studios, which offer the largest volume of flexible production space for film and TV production in the West of England. A purpose built maze spanning over 30,000 square feet is being created by the original Crystal Maze designer, James Dillon (The Mighty Boosh, The Royle Family), to be built in previously un-filmed areas of the Studios.
The new 20 x 60 series will be hosted by new Maze Master Richard Ayoade, and includes a set of celebrity specials for Stand Up to Cancer. Originally airing from 1990 to 1995, the iconic show returned to Channel 4 in October 2016 for a Stand Up To Cancer celebrity special and proved a hit with loyal fans and newcomers alike, winning a consolidated audience of 4.3 million viewers.
Jane Wilson, Director of Production at RDF Television, says: “I first visited The Bottle Yard years ago and I immediately knew it would be perfect for something and that ‘something’ has turned out to be The Crystal Maze. The scale, atmosphere and versatility of the space perfectly compliment the iconic status of the original show. The Bottle Yard’s unique features and the actual fabric of the building itself will be incorporated into a fantastic new set. Clearly we were made for each other.
“Fiona and her team run the place with unflappable professionalism and could not have been more helpful or accommodating. We are delighted to be working with them and other companies based on site to realise the rebirth of The Crystal Maze.”
Fiona Francombe, The Bottle Yard Studios’ Site Director says: “The Crystal Maze is an incredibly important booking for The Bottle Yard – one of the UK’s most popular ever gameshows which has stood the test of time and is now set to gain a whole new generation of followers. RDF Television needed a considerable amount of space they could really make their own, and large-scale, flexible space is something we do very well at the Studios. The areas in the Main Warehouse they will be using have previously mainly been used for set construction and prop storage, so for us to see new life being breathed into them, and for it to be a set on this scale for a show of this profile is tremendously exciting. We’re so proud to have secured this opportunity for The Bottle Yard and for Bristol to be home to the new Maze.”
Neale Simpson, Creative Director at Fizz adds: “It was a huge privilege to bring this channel-defining show back as a special for Stand Up To Cancer. We’re thrilled at the prospect of building a maze to the scale and cinematic spectacle of the original, and our hope is to bring a new vision to the legendary time travelling adventure that will excite the next generation of viewers.”
Producers are already looking for teams of five contestants who have what it takes to navigate the Aztec, Medieval, Industrial and Future zones of the maze. They will face a range of skill, mystery, physical and mental challenges to win crystals that equate to time in the final test – the legendary Crystal Dome. Details of how contestants can apply will soon be announced.
The Crystal Maze will be executive produced by Peter Usher and Neale Simpson for Fizz and has been commissioned by Tom Beck, Commissioning Editor for Entertainment, and Head of Entertainment, Ed Havard. The Crystal Maze is a Banijay Group Format.