ITV has announced a new three-part “landmark” documentary following the UK’s elite Parachute Regiment.
For The Paras: Men Of War, producers were granted unprecedented access to the elite regiment and spent 12 months filming months filming all aspects of this closed world which turns raw recruits into elite soldiers trained to kill.
Viewers will see young men, many still in their late teens, pushed to the extremes of their endurance and learn vital skills as they give their all to pass through the highly pressurised and often brutally demanding recruitment stage and be accepted into the regiment.
Only a few of those who join up will make it to the end.
ITV says the series “will offer a unique perspective and unflinching account of what it takes to make the grade, as well as providing an intimate insight into the characters of the young men and the officers charged with transforming them into battle ready paratroopers, who are the first in to any conflict.”
Tom Giles, ITV Controller of Current Affairs and produced by Neil Grant, said: “At a moment when the armed forces are under more scrutiny than ever, this new series presents a unique opportunity to see inside the world of the Parachute Regiment, which is usually firmly closed to outsiders, and get a powerful understanding of the people and culture within an elite, sometimes controversial, regiment that we all know of, but about which we have little real inside knowledge.”
Neil Grant, Executive Producer said: “This is no ordinary and predictable army access documentary. This is raw, honest and revealing – sugar coated it isn’t.
“Uniquely this series goes inside the Para mindset of what it takes to succeed and the personal consequences of failing to make the grade.
“It’s an intimate portrait of loyalty and honour, of the kill or be killed mindset and being a member of the Regiment entitled to wear the coveted maroon beret.”
Nick Betts, Series Producer and Director added: “The Paras are trained killers who’ve courted secrecy, controversy and admiration in equal measure, and who largely view all ‘media’ with extreme caution.
“The dialogue with the Regiment involved a long period of just listening, without filming – but then slowly the real men behind their identities as soldiers emerged.
“The ambition of the series was to show the raw, often brutal truth of why young men from all backgrounds desire to become Paratroopers. And in order to do this they must strip away the person they are, to become capable of killing.”