The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, crosses the India-Pakistan land border

Mayor announces ‘biggest ever’ London-India TV production

04 December 2017

A television remake of The Far Pavilions is set to become the biggest ever co-production between India and London, Mayor Sadiq Khan announced during a visit to Mumbai on Monday.

Based on the critically acclaimed novel by M.M. Kaye, the Far Pavilions is set in 19th-century India and tells the story of an Englishman brought up as a Hindu during the British Raj.

The novel was turned into a three-episode mini-series in 1984, starring Ben Cross, Amy Irving, Omar Sharif and Christopher Lee.

The planned remake will run to 30 hour-long episodes, starring some of India’s top on-screen talent and will be produced by Beautiful Bay Productions with producers based in India and in the UK and a creative crew that includes technicians from both countries, while post-production for the high-end drama will take place in London.

Sadiq said he was “delighted” to announce the landmark collaboration, estimated to be worth £113 million.

“Whether it’s Bollywood hits such as Judwaa 2 and Mubarakan being filmed on the streets of London, or blockbusters like Slumdog Millionaire and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - British movies filmed on location in India – the creative bond between India and the UK is as strong as ever - and one I have been promoting during my Mayoralty,” the Mayor said.

“The Far Pavilions remake represents the best of British and Indian talent and sends a clear message to the rest of the world that London is open to partnerships, to collaboration, to creativity and for business,” he said.

More than 1,000 films are produced in India every year, while London is the third biggest film-making city in the world after Los Angeles and New York with an average of 40 crews filming in London’s streets every day.

“It’s the perfect time to take my stage adaptation of Mollie Kaye’s masterpiece much further and deeper into its Indian cultural landscape, and to invite the best of Indian and British talents to contribute towards turning it into a high-end television series authentically written and cast for a global audience,” said Michael Ward, The Far Pavilions' producer.

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