SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL(TM) AND THE BBC EXPLORE THE ORIGINS OF BREXIT AND THE MIGRANT CRISIS IN
"EUROPE IN CHAOS"
BACK-TO-BACK HOUR LONG SPECIALS PREMIERE THURSDAY, MARCH 28 AT 8PM ET/PT
NEW YORK - February 25, 2019 - Smithsonian Channel and the BBC have teamed up on a riveting insider account of two forces that threaten to tear Europe apart: Brexit and the migrant crisis. Two hour-long specials reveal the fierce arguments and personality clashes among Europe's leaders as they struggled over the past decade to find common ground amid intense political pressure, overwhelming waves of refugees and a referendum in Britain that shocked the world. The back-to-back specials of EUROPE IN CHAOS premiere on Smithsonian Channel on Thursday, March 28 at 8 PM ET/PT, just as the United Kingdom enters the March 29 deadline for withdrawal from the European Union.
The first hour, titled BREXIT, tells the story of how British Prime Minister David Cameron - who favored remaining in the EU - caved to the Euro-skeptic wing of his party and ended up calling the referendum that plunged his country into its biggest political crisis since World War II. For the first time on television, former Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs William Hague, former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg recreate the internal arguments that led to Cameron's fateful decision. The special also reveals insider accounts from the UK's allies in the EU, who watched with dismay and then alarm as the political storm in Britain forced them into an impossible choice: to abandon fundamental principles of their Union or lose a key member forever.
MIGRANT CRISIS goes behind the scenes to show how European leaders desperately struggled to address one of the century's greatest humanitarian crises: the influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees arriving on Europe's borders in 2015 from Syria and North Africa. Again the EU faced a threat that challenged a core conviction - the principle of open borders within the Union - against the intractable political problem of a flood of migrants, with no end in sight. The crisis exposes a sharp division between East and West, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and others offering sanctuary while Eastern European countries argue fiercely to stem the tide and send migrants back.
EUROPE IN CRISIS comes from notable documentary filmmaker Norma Percy, whose work has encompassed several significant international stories (The Death of Yugoslavia, Endgame in Ireland). Her most recent series include Putin, Russia and the West and Inside Obama's White House. Percy's work has won more than two dozen major awards, including an Emmy(R), two BAFTAs, four Royal Television Society Journalism awards and five Peabody Awards for broadcast excellence.
EUROPE IN CHAOS is produced by Brook Lapping Productions, Ltd. and Smithsonian Networks in association with BBC and France Television. Norma Percy, Greg Sanderson and Lucy Hetherington are executive producers for Brook Lapping. Charles Poe and David Royle ar�e executive producers for Smithsonian Channel.
Smithsonian Channel(TM), owned by Smithsonian Networks(TM), a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, is where curiosity lives, inspiration strikes and wonders never cease. This is the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing factual entertainment, available in HD and 4K Ultra HD across multiple platforms. Smithsonian Channel, winner of Emmy(R) and Peabody awards for its programming, combines the storytelling prowess of SHOWTIME(R) with the unmatched resources and rich traditions of the Smithsonian, to create programming that shines new light on popular genres such as air and space, travel, history, science, nature and pop culture. Among the network's offerings are series including Aerial America, America in Color, The Lost Tapes, Mighty Ships, Million Dollar American Princesses, The Pacific War in Color and Air Disasters, as well as critically-acclaimed specials that include The Coronation, The Mountain Lion and Me, Earth from Outer Space and Titanoboa: Monster Snake. Smithsonian Networks also operates Smithsonian Channel Plus(TM), a subscription video streaming service delivering over a thousand hours of the Channel's stunning and diverse library of documentaries and series in HD and 4K Ultra HD. Smithsonian Channel is also available internationally in Canada, Singapore, Latin America and the UK. To learn more, go to www.smithsonianchannel.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.