Zai Bennett unveils new season of factual programmes for BBC Three

Our mantra of never afraid to try to new things will continue into 2013 and this raft of new commissions shows our commitment to bold, thought-provoking programmes for 16-34s."Zai Bennett, Controller, BBC Three
Date: 07.02.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.49
Category: BBC Three
Zai Bennett, Controller of BBC Three, unveils a new season of factual programmes around the issue of mental health alongside brand new commissions in comedy and entertainment.

Zai Bennett says: “2012 was yet another incredible year for BBC Three. We had more viewers to the channel than ever before, won two BAFTAs, a coveted Foreign Press Association Award and numerous other awards. We brought new British talent to our screens, innovated, pushed boundaries and challenged viewers. Our mantra of never afraid to try to new things will continue into 2013 and this raft of new commissions shows our commitment to bold, thought-provoking programmes for 16-34s."

Mental Health Season (all working titles)

OCD Camp (2x60-min)

OCD Camp follows six British teens and young adults living with OCD as they embark on a unique, life changing week-long treatment course in the USA. Commissioned as part of BBC Three’s new season on mental health, the two-part series will document their incredible journey to the Blue Compass OCD camp near Seattle, where course leaders use exposure therapy to enable their participants to confront their fears, with a specially-designed outward bound programme of climbing, trekking and rafting. Taking the group into a remote environment and out of their personal comfort zone will provide a rare insight into the condition and how direct treatments are used to start to manage the condition. While medical experts accept that OCD is currently incurable, the American team claim a high success rate, transforming the lives of lives of everyone who takes part.

[BBC commisioning editor, Sam Bickley. Indie executive, Mark Rubens, Watershed TV]

Mental Me (1x60-min)

Mental illness affects us all and often strikes in the late teens and early 20s. In this one hour we’ll explain the science behind the most common mental illnesses that affect young people - why they develop in the first place, what’s going on inside our bodies and what we can do to treat them. In the same style as BBC Three’s previous How Drugs Work, this documentary from Pioneer Productions will bring together personal stories of mental illness, the latest scientific information and dramatic CGI to explore the causes, and dispel the most common myths, about mental illness.

[BBC commisioning editor, Elliot Reed. Indie executive, Alice Harper, Pioneer Productions]

Minds Like Ours (1x90-min)

Bold, thought-provoking, ambitious, Minds Like Ours is a powerful new documentary for BBC Three that will ask young people with mental health disorders to turn the camera on themselves – and show us the world through their eyes. Using handheld cameras, 20 extraordinary young people will take us with them as they navigate the rocky road into adulthood and meet the everyday challenges of teenage relationships, uncomprehending parents, university and finding a job. Filmed over six months, they will show us what life is really like, living with a mental health disorder – from schizophrenia to bipolar, OCD to personality disorders. This will be their story, in their own words.

[BBC commisioning editor, Elliot Reed. Indie executive, Jes Wilkins, Firecracker Films]

Inside A Teenage Mental Health Unit (3x60-min)

For a year cameras were given unparalled access to the McGuinness Unit in Manchester, one of the largest teenage mental health units in Britain. It’s the place of last resort for young people with psychosis or eating disorders, who self-harm or have OCD. We hear from the patients as these vulnerable teenagers try and turn their lives around, and from the staff who help them.

[BBC commisioning editor, Clare Paterson. Indie executive, Jane Merkin, Platform Productions]

Rachel Bruno: Me And My Dad (1x60-min)

Twenty-six-year-old Rachel Bruno lives at home with her brother and sister, and works as a waitress in a pizza restaurant. But Rachel is also the daughter of Frank Bruno, ex-heavyweight boxing champion of the world and much-loved national treasure. Since being sectioned for the first time 10 years ago, Frank is now one of Britain’s most famous sufferers of bipolar affective disorder - an illness that's more commonly known as manic depression. In this personal, authored documentary Rachel will set out to discover the truth about her dad's illness. Through talking to Frank about his condition and spending time with other sufferers, Rachel will explore this potentially devastating illness that affects around 1 in 100 people. And ultimately, she'll discover whether she herself is at risk of developing it too.

[BBC executive, Clare Sillery, BBC Productions]

Football, Schizophrenia And Me (1x60-min)

This film will tell the story of an extraordinary football league, in which every player suffers from a mental health problem – be it OCD, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Following a number of key characters over one season, from training sessions to the hotly-contested end-of-year final, we’ll see how taking part in this unique league changes the lives of players for good. This film will challenge the way we see mental health disorders in young men.

[BBC commisioning editor, Fiona Campbell. Indie executive, Alistair Pegg, Blast Films]

BBC Learning is funding a number of programmes in the Mental Health Season and will be helping the BBC Three audience improve their understanding of mental health issues with new online resources as well as creating content for use in the classroom.

Barely Legal Drivers (6x60-min)

Britain’s young drivers are some of the most dangerous in Europe. Barely Legal Drivers follows inexperienced teen drivers to see what they’re really like behind the wheel. Each week two novices will be let loose on the road in their family car. They believe they’re filming a slice of modern teenage life. In fact, it’s all about their driving. They don’t know their parents will be watching their every manoeuvre as the cars are fitted with state-of-art cameras and a telemetry recorder to secretly track all their journeys. Each teen will go on three road trips geared towards testing every aspect of their driving. At the end of it all, helped by a former traffic cop, the parents will have a decision to make. If they don’t like the way the teens operate behind the wheel both of them could end up with advanced driving lessons. But if they think their kids’ driving is up to scratch their teen will get a car that they can call their very own.

[BBC commisioning editor, Sam Bickley. Indie executive, Guy Templeton, Renegade Pictures]

Comedy and Entertainment

Sweat The Small Stuff (8x30-min)

Radio One breakfast presenter Nick ‘Grimmy’ Grimshaw is to host a brand new panel show for BBC Three. Each week, Grimmy will be joined by team captains Kiss FM DJs Rickie and Melvin and regular Rochelle Humes (The Saturdays) where he will share his daily, fickle obsessions with his celebrity guests, putting the teams through a series of games and questions to draw out the really important matters in life. Sweat The Small Stuff is a weekly show and the two-series run has been commissioned by BBC Three Controller Zai Bennett. BBC executive producer is Sean Hancock with executive producers Dan Baldwin (MD of Talkback) and Leon Wilson. Sweat The Small Stuff is a Talkback (part of FremantleMedia UK) production.

The Revolution Will Be Televised – Series two

A second series of the bold and exciting satirical series returns this summer. Produced by Hat Trick Productions this series brings corruption, greed and hypocrisy to the fore and drags it to the court of public opinion in each unforgettable half hour.

In the great tradition of mischief-makers like Michael Moore, Mark Thomas and Dom Joly, Heydon Prowse and Jolyon Rubinstein bash a variety of arrogant, puffed-up people over the head with an inflated pig’s bladder, on behalf of anyone who has stared open-mouthed at the arrogance, hypocrisy, corruption and greed of the various politicians, avaricious multi-nationals and tax-shy billionaires who have been taking the piss out of the British public for years. Now it’s their turn to be outraged, deceived, inconvenienced and humiliated.

Also coming up on the channel this spring:

In The Flesh

In The Flesh is a new three-part drama for BBC Three which tells the story of teenager Kieren Walker (Luke Newberry) and his reintegration back into both the local community and the heart of his family. After his death four years ago, his friends and family thought they’d never see Kieren again. But then, shortly after his funeral, thousands of the dead were re-animated in one freak night; and now, after months of re-habilitation and medication, the zombies are gradually being returned to their homes.

Now known as PDS sufferers (Partially Deceased Syndrome) and since the passing of the PDS Protection Act, the government has set an agenda of acceptance and tolerance, one that is at odds with the communities abandoned at the time of the rising, and the bloody battle between zombies and humans that ensued.

Commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning with Zai Bennett, Controller, BBC Three. Made by BBC Drama Production North, it is directed by Jonny Campbell (Eric And Ernie, Doctor Who), produced by Ann Harrison Baxter (The Secret Of Crickley Hall, Waterloo Road), and the executive producer is Hilary Martin (The Secret Of Crickley Hall, South Riding).

In The Flesh is written by new writer Dominic Mitchell, his first TV commission and was developed by the BBC Drama Production team in Salford and discovered through ‘Northern Voices’, a BBC Writersroom competition.

Comic Relief’s Big Chat with Graham Norton

Graham Norton takes over BBC Three for a whole night to raise money for Comic Relief in this chat show marathon.

Bollywood Live

Romance, music, intrigue and drama are set to hit the City of Bradford this summer as BBC Three announces Bollywood Live, a one hour “spectacular” live from the centre of Bradford which re-tells the story of Bizet’s Carmen in a contemporary Bollywood style.

Bollywood Live follows the story of Bradford girl Karmen who is bored with her receptionist job. She’s a wannabe dancer obsessed with movie stardom. When a Indian film crew comes to the city to record sequences for their new movie version of the opera Carmen she thinks her time has come... cue fabulous dance routines, gorgeous saris and passionate melodrama.

Women’s Euros 2013

The BBC is to broadcast all of England’s UEFA European Women’s Championship games when the team heads to Sweden this summer. The deal will see live coverage of all England’s matches, both semi-finals and the final played out across BBC Two and BBC Three. In addition, all other peak time matches will be broadcast on BBC Three.

Following a hugely successful London 2012, the BBC is committed to raising the profile of women’s sport in the UK and building on its already impressive portfolio of events and related output.

Free Speech

BBC Three and BBC Learning have commissioned a new series of Free Speech, the monthly live current affairs debate programme. Produced by Mentorn Media, the makers of Question Time, the new presenter of Free Speech is Rick Edwards who takes over from Jake Humphrey. The next programme is broadcast on 13 February 2013.

Notes to Editors

  • Within 10 years of launching BBC Three has become the most watched digital channel in the UK (2012 Inds & 16-34s)
  • It’s the only channel in the UK dedicated to making original, British, multi-genre programming for young adults (2012 awards two BAFTAs and a Foreign Press Association Award)
  • BBC Three nurtures new, British talent giving them a platform and a voice
  • No other channel in the UK makes high quality, targeted factual programmes for young adults or the quality and quantity of new comedy
  • BBC Three is a cheerleader for young adult audiences within in the BBC

Key stats

  • BBC Three was the most watched digital channel in the hours it broadcasts in 2012 (achieving a 2.9% share)
  • Among the target 16-34 audience, BBC Three was the number one channel in 2012 – with a 6% share, up from 5.5% last year, an increase of 0.5 share points or a 9% y-o-y increase
  • BBC Three has the second highest AI of all the BBC Services across TV and Radio in 2012
  • Live +7 numbers for Cuckoo and Bad Ed 3.5m, Russell Howard 2.9m, Sun Sex 2.68m, Junior Docs 2.32m
  • On average, BBC Three reaches over 13.3 million people each week (23% of individuals), and reaches 30% of the target 16-34 audience - 4.37m
  • Successful original series, 21 eps got over 1m viewers