Following the continued success of factual programming on the channel, Zai Bennett, Controller of BBC Three, today unveiled The Body Beautiful, a new season of programmes exploring the topic of body image.
On air this autumn, The Body Beautiful season features a collection of enlightening documentaries that question whether making changes to your body can bring you happiness whilst highlighting the variety of ways young people are striving for these physical changes.
Zai Bennett, Controller of BBC Three, said: “Body image is a big issue for our audience on BBC Three so in The Body Beautiful - a challenging and penetrating season of programmes - we’re asking whether changing your body can really make you happy.”
The Body Beautiful season will offer a range of content to young audiences across BBC TV, radio and online; from BBC Three, BBC Radio One and 1Xtra to Children, Schools and Learning.
Programmes within the BBC Three season include I Want To Change My Body - a bold, original and ambitious documentary which sees young body-obsessed Brits turn the camera on themselves.
Diving beneath the surface of Britain’s body confidence crisis, I Want To Change My Body follows up to 30 young people aged 16 to 25 who are unhappy with their appearance as they go on a personal quest to transform their bodies with the hope that the changes will make them happier.
With each of the young people using a handheld camera, the diverse characters from across Britain will personally film their own extraordinary journeys over six months. From extreme weight loss surgery to hair transplant surgery, they will take us with them on the roller-coaster ride of anxiety, emotion, excitement and pressure they experience on their quest for perfection. This is the real story of body-obsessed Britain, told through their eyes.
Dying For Clear Skin considers how society’s obsession with looks puts extraordinary pressure on young people to have perfect, smooth skin. In 2011 Jesse Jones went missing and five days later his body was found at the bottom of a cliff. Presenter, Gemma Cairney, speaks to his friends and family as she investigates how a young, confident boy transformed into a 24-year-old young man whose obsession and worry about his acne had tragic consequences.
Gemma herself worried about her skin as a teenager and she meets Will, a 15-year-old boy and empathises with his current battle as a chronic acne sufferer. She accompanies him to experience first-hand how a supposedly minor issue is impacting on lives around the UK; she explores what treatment is available and talks to leading experts about what can be done to help people with the condition.
Jackie Green Transsexual Beauty Queen follows the world’s youngest transsexual as she attempts to win Miss England and draw attention to the challenges she’s faced to become her true self. From bullying to suicide attempts, surgery to the catwalk, follow one girl’s brave attempt to achieve acceptance for who she really is.
Using computer graphics to travel inside the body How Your Body Works (w/t) explores the physiological and psychological changes that happen as young people strive to alter their appearance. We find out how crash diets can actually alter your brain and show how ultrasound waves can destroy fat cells to sculpt the ultimate physique. It follows a man having the latest hair transplant treatment and reveals what actually happens to our skin as people inject synthetic hormones to achieve the perfect tan.
Pumping Up, Pumping Down (w/t) follows four young men who feel that their size and shape is negatively impacting their life, as they attempt to achieve their dream physique. Two are skinny men who’re going to be pumping up and two will be super muscular men desperate to come down in size. For three months, they’ll receive expert advice from a top sports physician, personal trainer and nutritionist, who’ll design bespoke exercise and diet plans for the four men to follow. Will these young men achieve their dream bodies and more importantly will their new physiques make them happy?
Jake Humphrey hosts the interactive, live debate show, Free Speech, where the focus of this edition considers how much body image impacts on young people's lives. Four panellists will join the studio audience in the programme that involves viewers from beginning to end. Viewers have their say on which aspects of body image should be discussed while the Free Speech Power Bar is updated live to reflect what the audience thinks of the panellists' responses.
BBC Radio One and Radio 1Xtra will be supporting the season during the second week of programming, reflecting issues around body image in both its daytime programmes and on the Sunday Night Surgery.
The Body Beautiful Season will also be supported by BBC Learning. As well as co-commissioning programming for BBC Three, Learning will create additional online content around issues to be debated in Free Speech and also extend the reach of the season to younger audiences by making specially commissioned resources available to schools.
There is a strong appetite for factual programming on BBC Three from its audience. In the last year the channel has been the most watched digital channel for factual content with programmes such as Alex: A Life Fast Forward and Women, Weddings, War And Me achieving joint position as the most watched factual programmes on a digital channel. Next week sees the latest series of the award-winning Our War.
I Want To Change My Body is a 1 x 90’ programme made by Firecracker Films. The Executive Producer for Firecracker is Sam Emmery and the Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Charlotte Moore.
Jackie Green Transsexual Beauty Queen is a 1 x 60’ programme made by Renegade Pictures. The Executive Producer for Renegade is Dan Murdoch and the Commissioning Executive Producer for the BBC is Fiona Campbell.
Dying For Clear Skin is a 1 x 60’ programme made by Mentorn Media. The Executive Producer for Mentorn is Hannah Wyatt and the Commissioning Executive Producer for the BBC is Fiona Campbell.
How Your Body Works (w/t) is a 2 x 60’ programme made by Pioneer Productions. The Executive Producer for Pioneer is Jeremy Dear and the Commissioning Executive Producer for the BBC is Sam Bickley.
Pumping Up, Pumping Down (w/t), is a 1 x 60’ programme made by RDF. The Executive Producer for RDF is Tayte Simpson and the Commissioning Executive Producer for the BBC is Sam Bickley.
Free Speech is a 1 x60’ programme made by Mentorn Media. The Commissioning Executive Producer for the BBC is Fiona Campbell.
Body image is a big issue for our audience on BBC Three so in The Body Beautiful - a challenging and penetrating season of programmes - we’re asking whether changing your body can really make you happy."