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World News

'The Chosen' Season Four launches in London's Leicester Square

by Ros Mayfield

Christian celebrities and fans of 'The Chosen' flocked to London's Leicester Square last night, for the star-studded launch of Season Four.

The series, set in the first century AD, follows the life and ministry of Jesus, through the eyes of his disciples. Writers and directors use creative licence to imagine the friendships and day-to-day lives that might have developed among those chosen by Jesus as his closest followers. 

While staying true to biblical detail and history, their lives as Jewish fishermen and labourers are explored in more detail, while the character of Matthew (referred to in the Bible as a former tax collector), played by Paras Patel, is many fans' favourite for his vulnerable portrayal of someone living with autism.

In just a few years 'The Chosen' has grown from a tiny project filmed in Austin, Texas, to a global phenomenon, reaching Christians and non Christians alike, with an inspirational retelling of the gospel story.

Judy May's PR team, KOVA, masterminded the UK launch, including getting the first two episodes shown in many UK cinemas. 

So far the show can boast more than six hundred million views globally, which May thinks speaks for itself:

"It does show that people want this content. People want to hear more and see more of the life of Jesus and what that could have been like."

The launch of Season Four is a far cry from the show's humble beginnings. Production started on a tiny budget, with each new episode paid for using an innovative 'crowd-funding' model, where viewers were able to watch an episode for free, and - if they enjoyed it - were given the opportunity to 'pay it forward' and buy one for a stranger. 

Little by little the budget grew, allowing more episodes to be made, based on the strength of the ones before.

Judy explains how the actors are coping with their new found fame, and says they haven't forgotten how it all began:

"They're so humble about where they were when it started. And how it's grown in popularity. It's such a crazy phenomenon, but all the cast are so lovely, humble and grateful."

(The first two episodes of Season Four will be available in local UK theatres on Thursday 1 February.)

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