Author Alain de Botton has joined forces with director Neil Crombie to launch a factual indie - Seneca Productions.
Author Alain de Botton has joined forces with director Neil Crombie to launch a factual indie - Seneca Productions.

The pair will initially take on eight employees to work on Seneca's first commission, The Art of Travelfor Channel 4. The hour-long documentary, ordered by C4 commissioning editor for arts and performance Jan Younghusband, is based on de Botton's book of the same name.

It will examine what people are seeking when they travel, making reference to historic figures such as Van Gogh, Edward Hopper and Wordsworth. Filming will take place this summer and the programme will broadcast in the spring.

The new indie also has a project based on architecture in the pipeline. It will operate out of the London-based offices of Johnny Vaughan's production company, World's End.

Both Crombie and de Botton worked together with indie Diverse on Philosophy: A Guide to Happinessand Status Anxiety, both presented by the author and shown on C4.

De Botton said he believed audiences want accessible arts programmes that "entertain as well as inform" but are underserved by the current offering.

"I think there's such a hunger among some people for these kinds of programmes and there's so few of them, on British TV, at least" he said.