BBC One - reflecting the nation

Saturday 27 August 2011, 16:00

Danny Cohen Danny Cohen

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I've been the Controller of BBC One now for ten months and have begun to put new plans in place to make the channel as vibrant and creative as it can possibly be.

One of the big things for me is to try and make sure that BBC One offers something for everyone and does a good job of reflecting the nation back to itself. BBC One is the Nation's Favourite Channel, and I think it's important that all licence-fee payers find plenty on BBC One that informs, educates and entertains.

With this in mind, I hope that the programmes you see on this preview video are enticing - and encompass the quality, scale, thoughtfulness and entertainment values that I want BBC One to deliver.

The programmes previewed include brand new drama Call The Midwife starring Miranda Hart and Jessica Raine, the epic new natural history series Frozen Planet, and new comedy starring Sir David Jason, The Royal Bodyguard. It is thrilling to have Sir David returning to the BBC for his first comedy since Only Fools and Horses, and this video gives you the very first exclusive snippet of a show that is currently still in production.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to announce a raft of exciting new commissions for BBC One.

In Drama, we've just given the green-light to The Village - a bold new series from Peter Moffatt. It's the story of one man's journey through the 20th Century, beginning with his humble childhood on a downtrodden farm. The Village is one of those scripts you read and can't wait to see realised on-screen from the moment you turn the final page. It has the richness and emotional depth of the very finest television writing.

Also on its way for BBC One viewers is Fight For Life, a major new natural history series which will use the latest live technology and filming techniques to tell the story of young animals right across the world. This is a very ambitious new live event for BBC One that we hope will bring viewers closer to the daily experience of wild animals than they have ever been before.

In entertainment, we're delighted to be able to announce a new series starring one of Scotland's brightest young talents, Kevin Bridges. BBC One should simultaneously be the home of Britain's national treasures in comedy and also a place where new talent can flourish. We are therefore thrilled to be working with Kevin, who combines brilliant jokes with an acute vision of human nature.

Finally, I'd like to announce two new projects that introduce a new level of risk and experimentation to BBC One. BBC One should be known for boldness, quality and mainstream impact, but I'd also like it to be known for a commitment to risk and innovation that is unusual on a mainstream channel.

To this end, we've commissioned a six-part improvised drama series from Dominic Savage for BBC One - Love Life - that will test the boundaries of fiction on the Channel. We are also announcing a run of new transmittable comedy pilots in order to supercharge the comedy development process for BBC One. Our aim here is to use a run of transmittable pilots as a way of reaching out to joyous new things, in the way we managed with Being Human on BBC Three.

So, from the African savannah to a small English village, from major live events to one of Britain's hottest young comic talents, these commissions show the range and ambition we have for BBC One, and our aim to combine world-class quality with risk and innovation.

Thanks again for taking the time to read this and watch the video - and I hope you find plenty to enjoy on BBC One in the coming months and years.

Danny Cohen is Controller of BBC One

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