‘We’re bringing programming to market that fits broadcaster needs’

Distributor Orange Smarty
Producer ScreenDog Productions
Length 2 x 47 minutes
Broadcaster BBC3 (UK)

Orange Smarty’s relationship with Stacey Dooley spans more than 10 titles, but it had to move fast to secure the journalist and presenter’s latest investigative series for the BBC.

Stalkers, produced by south coast indie ScreenDog Productions, was already a “hot property” before Orange Smarty boarded the series, according to founder and chief exec Karen Young.

In the two-parter, Dooley embeds herself with professionals – a Cheshire police unit specialising in stalking and a victim support organisation – to understand the criminal activity. She also spends time with the victims and perpetrators to uncover raw and stark details from those whose lives are consumed by stalking.

Episode one focuses on stalking by ex-partners, the most common type, with Dooley following stories involving victims and perpetrators. In episode two, Dooley covers stranger stalking, looking at how to stop stalking long term and exploring whether prison or therapy is the best method to prevent the crime.

Young says the doc goes beyond common perceptions of stalking, such as its association with celebrity. In talking to victims and culprits, the series informs viewers about the nuances of the crime, in particular the “type of people who become stalkers, and what led them to it”.

“With all Stacey’s programmes, she presents a balanced view without making any statements at the end of it, leaving the viewer to go away and mull it over,” Young says.

She adds that the doc’s balanced viewpoints are driven by the access ScreenDog secured with both the police and victim support units, and Dooley’s talent in executing engaging and informative investigative docs.

Stalkers, which was watched by 1.4 million when it aired on BBC1 in January, has already pre-sold to SBS in Australia and public broadcasters in the Nordics and Belgium, with Young citing Smarty’s prior work with Dooley as reasons for its solid start on the international market.

“We have a good knowledge of how Stacey’s programming sells, where it sells, and the value to broadcasters,” she says. “We’re bringing programming to market that fits broadcaster needs.”


Dooley’s presence is a selling point for “certain territories where her reputation is very strong”, such as Australia and the Nordics, but it is the universality of the subject matter that makes Stalkers something “most people can relate to in some way”, says Young. “There’s an intrigue. It resonates.”

Young believes the doc could sell as a standalone two-parter or form part of a “curated collection”.

“We’d pitch it as a collective to buyers, promoting the idea of a whole Stacey season, with our previous titles,” she says. “Talent is a key driver at the moment and taking talent and pushing them into another vehicle, such as Stacey has done with Glow Up and Sleeps Over, is something we’re going to see more and more.

“Online platforms are driven by talent, because it brings audience. The more you can utilise talent in different directions, the more opportunities you will create.”