The owners of Bristol’s Bottle Yard Studios have welcomed Channel 4’s decision to base the new series of The Crystal Maze at the facility.
Already home to major productions including BBC One’s Poldark, Sherlock and E4 comedy Crazyhead, Bottle Yard is the largest production facility in the West of England. Over 30,000 square feet of the site will be dedicated to the new Crystal Maze which is being designed by James Dillon who came up with the original 1990 look.
The new set will be built in previously un-filmed areas of the studio and show boss Jane Wilson, Director of Production at programme makers RDF Television, says it will incorporate the studio’s “unique features” directly into the set.
As before, teams will navigate the Aztec, Medieval, Industrial and Future zones of the maze where they’ll face a range of skill, mystery, physical and mental challenges to win crystals that equate to time in the final test – the legendary Crystal Dome.
Twenty one hour episodes will be filmed, including celebrity specials for Stand Up to Cancer, with new Maze Master Richard Ayoade guiding contestants through the challenges.
Last year 4.3 million viewers tuned in for a ‘one-off’ celebrity special in support of the charity.
RDF’s Jane Wilson said: “I first visited The Bottle Yard years ago and I immediately knew it would be perfect for something and that ‘something’ has turned out to be The Crystal Maze.
“The scale, atmosphere and versatility of the space perfectly compliment the iconic status of the original show.
“The Bottle Yard’s unique features and the actual fabric of the building itself will be incorporated into a fantastic new set. Clearly we were made for each other.“
Fiona Francombe, Bottle Yard Studios’ Site Director added: “The Crystal Maze is an incredibly important booking for The Bottle Yard – one of the UK’s most popular ever gameshows whichhas stood the test of time and is now set to gain a whole new generation of followers.
RDF Television needed a considerable amount of space they could really make their own, and large-scale, flexible space is something we do very well at the Studios.
“The areas in the Main Warehouse they will be using have previously mainly been used for set construction and prop storage, so for us to see new life being breathed into them, and for it to be a set on this scale for a show of this profile is tremendously exciting.
“We’re so proud to have secured this opportunity for The Bottle Yard and for Bristol to be home to the new Maze.”