The Big Yin takes the ultimate road trip
Billy Connolly will be travelling the world’s most famous highway, Route 66, in a new four part documentary series produced by Maverick Television for ITV1. The Big Yin turns Easy Rider and follows a lifelong dream as he makes the iconic 2488 mile journey from Chicago to Santa Monica.
Route 66 is the embodiment of the American Dream. Millions have travelled its epic trail from the skyscrapers of Chicago and St Louis, through the Wild West badlands of Oklahoma and Texas, the Grand Canyon and deserts of New Mexico and Arizona, to the beaches of the Pacific and the excesses of LA. Set to a soundtrack of some of the best American music of the 20th century, Billy will also be bringing his banjo along for the ride. With his unrivalled ability to tell a great story, he will bring to life both the big and small moments of American history: the world changing events and the comic asides.
Billy says: “Travelling route 66 has always been a lifelong ambition. It brings together some of my favourite things, my trike, my banjo and America – the ultimate road trip.”
On his way, Billy will meet disciples of Route 66, from seasoned “roadies” to first-timers living the dream. And he won’t just be passing through – anything could happen on the way… from swapping his Harley saddle for a horse saddle in Texas to riding out with the ‘CHiPs’ (the California Highway Patrol).
The 4 x 60” series, working title Billy Connolly’s Route 66, will be filmed in May for peak time transmission on ITV1 in 2011.
The series is commissioned by Alison Sharman, Director of ITV Factual and Daytime and Jo Clinton-Davis, ITV Controller of Popular Factual.
Jo said: “The combination of Billy and Route 66 is an absolutely magical one. It may be Billy`s passion project but it’s also ours.”
It will be executive produced by Maverick’s Alex Fraser and Mark Downie.
Alex Fraser, Creative Director of Maverick Television, says: Alex Fraser, Creative Director of Maverick Television, says: “We are thrilled to be working with Billy. Route 66 is the perfect opportunity to tell the story of modern America”
Maverick Television is the award winning producer of Children’s Hospital for ITV1, alongside Embarrassing Bodies and How To Look Good Naked for Channel 4.