BBC delve into world of Tiger King with gritty new documentary Louis Theroux: The Cult of Joe Exotic

LOUIS Theroux is launching his second stint into Tiger King Joe Exotic's wonderfully eccentric world after the former zoo-keeper was jailed.

The BBC's investigative journalist is returning to Oklahoma to front feature-length special Louis Theroux: The Cult of Joe Exotic.

The one-off show is news which will no doubt spark excitement among both fans of the cult Netflix star and the award-winning documentary maker.

Louis told how the Joe Exotic story – which he first examined in America's Most Dangerous Pets while clambering into cages with Joe's animals at Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park – had got "stranger and bigger" on his return 10 years later.

This is partly down to Joe, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, rocketing in fame due to the subsequent Tiger King documentary, before he was locked up.

The I Saw A Tiger singer, 58, is behind bars after having been found guilty of a murder-for-hire plot and multiple animal cruelty charges.

The former centred around his nemesis, Big Cat Sanctuary founder Carole Baskin, 59, who will no doubt be referenced in the new show.

While he is behind bars, Joe's campaign team are continuing to battle for a presidential pardon for the TV star, something that was refused by Donald Trump shortly before he left office this year.

Louis, like in many of his shows, formed a bond with Joe a decade ago in the original documentary and this will no doubt be reignited when he delves into his life, friendships and associates much more.

As well as trawling through unseen footage from 2011, the broadcaster reveals Louis will meet "old friends from his original documentary, the team trying to get him out of prison and those closest to Joe who have never spoken before."

Speaking of his latest project, Louis said: “This is one of those quintessentially American stories, taking place in the heartland of Oklahoma, with a cast of characters almost too colourful and larger-than-life to be believed.

"I spent eight or nine days filming at the park back in 2011, over the course of three separate visits.

"I’d forgotten how much we shot until I went back into the footage during lockdown. It’s extraordinary how much was there.

"Since then the story just got stranger and bigger, and in going back at the end of last year I uncovered a real-life drama that took me in directions I never could have expected."

Meanwhile, Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries, History and Religion for the BBC said: “In this follow-up to Louis’ revelatory first-look at the life of Joe Exotic in America’s Most Dangerous Pets, viewers will be taken even more deeply into the weird world of one of America’s most notorious figures.

"This feature-length special will be full to the brim with never-before-seen footage and brand new interviews with those on all sides of the Joe Exotic story."

A release date on the BBC has not yet been confirmed.

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