The Secret Millions (5 x 60′) – Documentary series that follows five Channel 4 faces – Gok Wan, Katie Piper, Jimmy Doherty, Dave Fishwick and George Clarke – as they work with charities on the frontline developing new projects – meanwhile secretly trying to help secure £2 million of Lottery money that could turn the big idea into reality. From a radical approach to turning ex-prisoners’ lives around, to getting unemployed young people trained up and fit for work – the projects could bring new thinking to big problems and change lives.
In 2011, Channel 4 teamed up with the Big Lottery Fund to ask the nation to decide which five themes were their priorities for funding during the current financial climate. The results were used to decide which five exciting and innovative projects across the UK should get a total of £10 million of Lottery money.
Each week, The Secret Millions follows a celebrity working with a charity to test out a bold idea dealing with big social issues. The people they work with have no idea that behind the scenes the Big Lottery Fund are assessing the project throughout and the Channel 4 celebrities are working with the charity bosses in hopes of convincing BIG to give away millions of pounds to turn the project into a reality. The Channel 4 talent are working on ideas to which they have emotional connections and are able to add real value to through their relevant skills and talents.
Getting involved on the front line, the Channel 4 talent will experience first-hand the issues facing the grassroots workers and the beneficiaries in need of help. With their support, the celebrities will help set up a trial-run of an innovative project conceived by the charity – when really, it is part of the secret bid to win millions of pounds of Lottery funding.
The projects will range from working on employment prospects for disadvantaged young people and jobs for ex-prisoners, to helping families with disabled children and innovating in social housing. Drawing on their own personal experience, skills and contacts to improve the idea, the Channel 4 celebrities hope to persuade the Big Lottery Fund that the projects really are worthy of this life-changing funding. If they are successful, the celebrities will reveal the secret millions at exciting and emotional surprise events.
Over the weeks, the cameras follow the hard work, the emotional strains and the exhilarating moments. Throughout, the charities, beneficiaries and Channel 4 faces learn to work together on these innovative ideas – providing emotional support, a better future or a second chance to those in need.
The five projects are:
Channel: Channel 4
Producer: RDF Television / Twenty Twenty
TX: 17th March 2013
Source: Channel 4 press release