By Ellie Iorizzo, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter
Channel 5’s head of programming said the broadcaster has been “blessed” to commission a documentary about money – fronted by actor Brian Cox – as the UK faces a cost-of-living crisis.
The two-part series titled Brian Cox: That’s The Way The Money Goes will see the Succession star investigate wealth at opposite ends of the spectrum and explore our complicated relationship with money.
The documentary will see the Scottish actor Cox, 76, tell his own story from growing up in poverty to becoming a Hollywood actor playing one of the richest men on TV.
Announcing the new series at the Edinburgh TV festival, Channel 5 boss Ben Frow said he came out of the first meeting with Cox thinking it was a “very simple idea”.
“It was clever,” he said.
“How do people spend their money? You have that compare and contrast between a billionaire who buys a house for £90million and then spends £30million redecorating it, or somebody who buys vintage cars and spends millions and throws money away.
“And somebody is going up and down the aisle of a supermarket with £30 in their purse, how do they spend that money?
“I love that idea of the contrast between our understanding of and our relationship with (money) – a really simple idea.”
The documentary comes as the UK faces a cost-of-living crisis.
Frow said: “I mean, how timely is the show now. We have been so blessed.
“Could we be more on the money at a time of huge financial pressure on peoples’ purses.”
He added: “To get Brian Cox on Channel Five, it’s impossible. Why would he not go to one of our competitors?
“But what reassured me… We know we could do that compare and contrast in a warmer, more formatted way.”
The series will see Cox visit a soup Kitchen in the Bronx, meet supermodels on Miami beach, speak to homeless people living in Harlem and visit a billionaire in London’s most expensive house.
Cox said: “This is a fascinating subject and having lived both ends of the wealth gap, this series will allow me to examine my own relationship with money whilst gaining a deeper understanding of how wealth really affects society today.”
A teaser clip of the two-part series was shown at the TV festival in Scotland.
In it, Cox says: “In this series, I want to find out what money does to you, to me, how it affects all our lives. Whether we have it or we don’t.
“After my father died, my mother discovered his bank had the sum of £10 in it, we were destitute. For me, money is very much my own personal demon.
“Something I have avoided confronting until now.”
Cox gained recognition for his extensive work with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre, before starring as Logan Roy in the critically acclaimed HBO series Succession.
Brian Cox: That’s The Way The Money Goes was commissioned by Daniel Pearl and directed by Tristan Quinn.