Channel 4 recommissions The Piano
Claudia, Mika and Lang Lang return to Channel 4 as The Piano is recommissioned for two further series, a Christmas Special and documentary on the incredible Lucy
The heart-warming series that captured the nation, The Piano, is set to return for a further two series. Claudia Winkleman will once again play host as she’s joined by Lang Lang, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest classical pianists of the modern era and Mika, universally recognised as one of the world’s great performers.
Commissioned from Love Productions, the new series of The Piano, expanded from five episodes to seven, will create incredible opportunities for undiscovered pianists to showcase their talent on public pianos across the UK, including some new iconic locations.
In the spectacular finale of series one, viewers saw, 13-year old pianist Lucy win performance of the night with her awe-inspiring rendition of Debussy Arabesque at the Royal Festival Hall in front of more than 2,000 spectators. Since then, having won the hearts of the nation, Lucy has played at the coronation concert in front of royal guests.
Fellow finalists, Sean, Danny and Jay have also performed at the Alistair McGowan Piano Festival; Sean and Jay are writing music together, and Sean and Danny are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe in August.
The Piano was Channel 4’s best-rating new format since 2017 (Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds). The first episode consolidated to 2.7m and the series average was the same [2.7m]. Viewers across the country heralded the uniqueness of the series and said it offered up a completely fresh perspective on music talent shows.
Additionally, Love Productions will be producing a 1 x 60 Christmas special which will see some of our favourite pianists from series one return to play festive numbers in front of commuters in London’s King’s Cross Station. Claudia will be on hand throughout to sprinkle some secret Santa moments and celebrity surprises on the occasion. Whilst Mika and Lang Lang will, as ever, be watching proceedings before stepping in to deliver a few festive gifts of their own.
Also, Lucy’s outstanding talent will be explored further in a one-off documentary which will follow Lucy and her piano teacher, Daniel. The 1x70 commission will delve further into Lucy’s connection to the world around her and how she communicates through music.
Ian Katz, Channel 4, Chief Creative Officer said: “In a world full of wannabes seeking their moment in the limelight, The Piano was a breath of fresh air. It celebrated ordinary people doing something extraordinary for the sheer love of it. From the 94-year-old widower who played in Glasgow station to find company to Lucy, the remarkable 13-year-old who stole the ‘nations hearts’. It took viewers on a remarkable emotional roller coaster and I’m delighted that it will be coming back from more British stations, next year.”
Richard McKerrow, Creator’ and Executive Producer, Love Productions said: “It always felt somewhat of a creative leap so we were particularly thrilled with the success of The Piano on Channel 4. Most especially the warm response from everyone who watched. We’re extremely excited to be embarking on further series with the wonderful Claudia Winkleman at the helm along with Mika and Lang Lang and the opportunity to unearth a whole new range of unknown amateur pianists from across the country and to hear what music they want to play in public.”
The Piano was commissioned by Channel 4 Head of Specialist Factual, Shaminder Nahal and Senior Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, Madonna Benjamin. Executive Producer is Richard McKerrow and Series Editor is Ted Hill for Love Productions.
The Lucy documentary is directed by Poppy Goodheart and executive produced by Kira Phillips.