Paramount Pictures Resort is to Feature the BBC’s Doctor Who
The BBC is to turn shows such as Doctor Who, Top Gear and Sherlock into theme park attractions in a British rival to Disneyland.
BBC Worldwide, the corporation’s commercial arm, has signed a landmark deal with the company behind a £2bn Paramount Pictures resort planned for Kent.
The London Paramount Entertainment Resort will offer rides based on the Hollywood studio’s blockbuster franchises – Star Trek and Transformers among them – and popular BBC shows.
Where Paramount can offer Indiana Jones and Mission: Impossible, the BBC counts Jeremy Clarkson and Fawlty Towers among its prize properties. Paramount has Lara Croft and Shrek; the BBC has Miranda and Postman Pat.
But the Hollywood studio and the BBC make perfect bedfellows, according to the company behind the park.
David Testa, director of London Resort Company Holdings, said:
“The BBC has played an instrumental role in shaping the British entertainment industry for nearly a century, creating some of the most iconic and cherished characters on TV and radio.
It seems only right therefore that its programmes will be present at the new London Paramount Entertainment Resort, which will combine the glamour of Hollywood with the best of British culture.”
The resort is scheduled to open in Swanscombe, Kent in 2020 and hopes to 15 million visitors per year.
The south-east of England location was chosen to position the park as a rival to Disneyland Paris.
The BBC said it could not confirm which shows will be developed into rides as negotiations are at an early stage, but it is all but certain that Doctor Who – with its potential for Tardis simulators and Dalek battles – will be the star attraction.
Merlin, the fantasy series based on the legend of King Arthur, is also a likely contender, as is the hit children’s show In The Night Garden.
BBC Worldwide will make millions from licensing deals, some of which will be ploughed back into programme-making.
The planned resort will have an indoor water park, cinemas, restaurants and hotels over a 400-acre site.
It is close to Ebbsfleet, which will become Britain’s first new garden city for a century under plans announced earlier this year by George Osborne.