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Channel 4 Orders ‘Kids in the Wild’ From Love Productions

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If you picture a “Lord of the Flies”-style summer camp from the “Great British Bake Off” producers, it might look something like their new reality show for U.K. broadcaster Channel 4, “Kids in the Wild.”

The six-part series from Love Productions and “Love Island” co-producer Motion Content Group is fashioned as a wholesome production that transports a cooped-up pandemic generation “back to an idyllic old-fashioned summer and the carefree abandon of Swallows and Amazons, away from their parents for the first time.”

The show will convene a diverse, 20-member group of 9 to 11 year olds from across the country who will spend part of their summer living in nature, without “the shackles” of adult supervision and rules.

An official description for the show, shared with Variety exclusively, reads: “Empowered to make their own decisions and discover their own resourcefulness, we will ask, ‘Who are the children of Britain in 2022 and have we underestimated what they are really capable of?’”

Channel 4 wants to get to the bottom of the children’s “psychological and physical” responses to being in the wild, as well as their social structures and interactions as they learn how to cook and eat in a camp setting and sleep in communal bunks with kids they don’t know.

The broadcaster promises that the young participants will have “extensive adult support” to ensure their safeguarding. Not only will there be adult camp counsellors educating the youth on how to live in nature, but trained chaperones will see to their safety and their parents will also be on site, watching their antics from remote cameras. Halfway through the shoot, the kids can take a break and spend at least one night back home with their families.

Given the uplifting tone of Love Productions’ “Bake Off” for Channel 4 (via the BBC), and the broadcaster’s track record for gentle rig-based shows like “The Secret Life of Four Year Olds,” it’s unlikely that “Kids in the Wild” will have the same vibe of, say, “Eden” — Channel 4’s ill-fated 2016 reality series that saw adults trying to build a self-sufficient society in a remote part of Scotland for a whole year. (The show was yanked off air after a handful of episodes.)

“Kids in the Wild” will be filmed in a rural area of Britain at the start of school holidays this summer. The children will spend a fortnight in a specially created wilderness camp as part of the production.

Sara Ramsden, executive producer at Love Productions, said: “New and mounting evidence suggests that experiencing adventurous play is effective in reducing childhood anxiety. As this series will break kids away from their screens, we hope it will shed light on the ongoing debate about the influence of phones and social media on children.”

Madonna Benjamin, commissioning editor for Channel 4, added: “‘Kids in the Wild’ will celebrate childhood by giving the children the opportunity to experience a summer of fun, adventure and new discoveries. It will explore how this generation has been deprived of so much freedom and provide a chance for social cohesion they’ve missed out on. We hope that audiences will gain a privileged insight into just how adaptable and resourceful our children can be.”

Martin Oxley, executive producer at Motion Content Group, said: “At the heart of ‘Kids in The Wild’ is a fascinating and timely exploration of the impact modern life is having on children today, granting them freedom in an idyllic setting to see if they can be set free from the anxieties and pressures that worry parents so much.”

“Kids in the Wild” was commissioned for Channel 4 by commissioning editors Anna Miralis and Madonna Benjamin. Executive producers include Love Productions’ Ramsden and Motion Content Group’s Oxley. The series producer is Sue Medhurst.

(Pictured: “Lord of the Flies” [1993])