ROSS KEMP SEARCHES FOR MICHAEL JACKSON'S ZOO IN NEW ITV DOC
ITV have commissioned a 1x75' documentary from Rare TV. Searching For Michael Jackson's Zoo will be fronted by Ross Kemp and look at the fate of the animals kept by the King Of Pop at his Neverland Ranch.
At its peak, Michael Jackson’s private zoo hosted over 120 exotic animals, including zebras, giraffes, elephants, lions, tigers and his pet chimpanzee Bubbles. Following Jackson’s death in 2009, the zoo was dismantled and the animals dispersed.
Kemp embarks on a journey across the US to find out where all those animals ended up, and swiftly discovers that the Thriller star’s reputation as an animal lover masked a disturbing truth: that not only was Jackson largely indifferent to his animals’ welfare but that many of the creatures in his care were neglected and maltreated.
Ross Kemp said: "For obvious reasons, Michael Jackson’s legacy has been ruined for many people, but he remains an idol for millions. Part of that fascination comes from his Neverland home and one of its key features – bizarre for some, magical for others – was his extraordinary collection of animals...
He continued: "But so little is known about the fate of many that became celebrities in their own right during Jackson’s career. But after travelling nearly 3,000 miles across the United States, the search gave me a new insight into the singer, and opened my eyes to our continued uncomfortable relationship with wild animals."
Alexander Gardiner, CEO of Rare TV, said: "To the outside world, Bubbles the chimp was one of Michael Jackson’s closest companions. The truth is much darker, as Ross Kemp reveals in this compelling but troubling documentary. Both creatively and commercially, this project is a milestone for Rare TV...
He continued: "Not only is Searching for Michael Jackson’s Zoo documentary-making of the highest calibre, but it marks our first primetime production for ITV. That’s the icing on the cake in a year that has seen Rare TV deliver 16 different titles for 10 different channels."
Searching For Michael Jackson's Zoo airs this April on ITV.