Banijay today confirms it has successfully acquired the rights to Famous Last Words. The original format from Simson & Zartov ApS will be distributed by the unscripted global leader outside Denmark and sits as part of Banijay Rights’ burgeoning catalogue.
Famous Last Words allows well-known personalities to shape their own legacy. In each episode, one star completes a poignant interview, which is only aired after their passing. Allowing their own voices and a sense of currency to prevail at a time when usually the media is consumed by archive footage and news commentary, the show gives audiences the chance to hear directly from key figures in the wake of their deaths. This one-of-a-kind format offers a platform for them to dictate how they would like to be remembered. It marks a specific way of creating content for television; one that is respectful, serious and immediate, so expect to hear them speak candidly on their highs, lows and personal achievements.
Just as a time capsule is left for future generations to enjoy and learn from, these final conversations provide a genuine insight into the celebrities’ mindset as they look back on their life. Knowing it is their closing opportunity, and the fact only the interviewer and the interviewee are present in the studio, expect honesty and often high entertainment as they take to “the stage” for their last words. Remotely operated cameras ensure filming is confidential and this recording is kept safe to guarantee nothing is revealed until the interviewee has passed away.
In the original Danish production, the show had renowned presenter Mikael Bertelsen meet a range of well-known Danes for their final ever interview. Owing to the host’s reputation, the show attracted a number of household national names, with the respectful conversation with composer Bent Fabricius-Bjerre captivating a sizeable audience – 46.5% share of 20-60-year olds.
Carlotta Rossi Spencer, Head of Format Acquisitions, Banijay comments: “The strength of this format is in its core: it is intimate, emotional and honest. Because of this, its international potential is huge. A unique and original offering, it certainly stands out in the market and is incredibly universal and adaptable; we are looking forward to travelling this unique title across our footprint and beyond.”