London Calling and Planet Earth Live to air on BBC Worldwide channels
Jana Bennett, President Worldwide Networks and Global BBC iPlayer, today confirmed the network’s commitment to stage bold and ambitious global television events as she uenveiled two new seasons for 2012 at MIPTV. London Calling and Planet Earth Live will run simultaneously across the BBC channels around the world, showcasing the very best of British programming and UK talent to the World.
As the eyes of the World turn to London this summer, the City of 2012 will be brought to life by the BBC through London Calling; a unique season of programmes that celebrate the music, fashion, art, culture and history of Britain’s capital city. The season will be led by live coverage from the spectacular Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Planet Earth Live is the biggest live wildlife broadcast ever undertaken by the BBC. It is an ambitious project which is the result of over ten years of innovation in techniques and formats at the BBC Natural History Unit.
Planet Earth Live, a unique and new project, will bring real animals and their everyday dramas to a global audience in real time. Viewers will witness first-hand these incredible animals’ struggle for survival in this animal soap opera, where nature writes the script.
Jana Bennett, said, “By creating synchronised broadcasts, we unite our viewers around the world and give them a real appointment to view. Ours is the only network in the world which can deliver such massive global moments to an international audience and is what made our coverage of The Royal Wedding last year so successful. This year I want to go bigger and bolder.
“Planet Earth Live and London Calling will enable our audiences to feel part of a truly global viewing experience - whether it be witnessing the wonder of nature as it unfolds before them or revelling in the celebrations taking place across London without ever having to leave the comfort of their living room.”
The two new global events come hot on the heels of the first global viewing event of 2012 as BBC Worldwide gave an international stage to Sport Relief - one the UK’s biggest televised fundraising efforts. The special two week season culminated with Sport Relief Goes Global, a four-hour extravaganza featuring comedy highlights from the UK’s night of fundraising entertainment on BBC ONE.
London Calling will air between June and August2on BBC Entertainment (Africa, Poland, the Nordic Region, Asia, India, Latin America and the channel’s pan-European service3), BBC Knowledge (Africa, Poland, the Nordic Region, Italy, Asia and Australia), BBC HD (Latin America, Poland, The Nordic region and Turkey), UKTV (Australia and New Zealand) and BBC World News (global). The season will also be available to users of BBC.com and to users of the global BBC iPlayer but will vary territory by territory.
Airing on BBC ONE in the UK, Planet Earth Live will air simultaneously4 to a global audience via BBC Knowledge (Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Poland, Italy, the Nordic Region) BBC Entertainment (India), BBC HD (Latin America) and in a selection of European countries on the global BBC iPlayer. The event excludes the US and Canada.
More information on London Calling
Live coverage from the stunning Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations - Thames River Pagent, BBC concert from Buckingham Palace and Thanksgiving Service & Royal Procession - will lead the superlative programming line-up for London Calling. The event coverage will come directly from BBC ONE in the UK and streamed live to viewers across the globe.
Andrew Marr presents a definitive analysis of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign with exclusive interviews with members of the Royal family including Princes William and Harry, The Duke of York and the Princess Royal in Diamond Queen, and uplifting drama Going for Gold- the ’48 games which stars Matt Smith (Doctor Who) as Bert Bushall one half of the gold medal-winning double sculls team that swept to Olympic glory against all the odds.
Viewers will also be invited to take a trip behind the scenes of the world’s oldest, biggest and busiest underground train network in The Tube1 and laugh-out-loud at the wickedly funny comedy Twenty Twelve which follows the fictional Olympics Deliverance team as they prepare for the London 2012 games. The season will also include the adventures of London’s most famous supersleuth, as Benedict Cumberbatch stars in BAFTA award-winning Sherlock.
BBC World News continues its unprecedented year-long focus on London through the London Calling season. World Olympic Dreams profiles 25 athletes drawn from across all five continents and competing in 20 different sports. This April Gold medallist Matthew Pinsent travels to Brazil – host to the Olympic Games in 2016 - where he meets a judo fighter, a boxer and four rugby players whose lives have been transformed from tragedy to triumph.
To celebrate London 2012, the Globe Theatre will stage every one of Shakespeare's plays in a different language over six weeks between April and June. The festival concludes with a performance of The Comedy of Errors in Dari, from Afghanistan. Globe to Globe on BBC World News follows the theatre company's journey - from the desperate search for actresses willing to risk persecution by taking part in Kabul, to rehearsals in India, and finally to the Globe's stage, where they hope to challenge the global perception of Afghanistan.
Commenting on the London Calling season Jana Bennett said “In the 1960's, Carnaby Street, Mary Quant and David Bailey put London at the heart of the Swinging Sixties; fifteen years ago there was Cool Britannia, and in 2012 the spotlight will focus firmly on London again. The BBC will be there, telling the story of a world-class city to a global audience”.
More information on Planet Earth Live
Planet Earth Live comes from the award winning natural history team behind the global phenomenon Frozen Planet, and is an epic live story following the critical life stages of some of the earth’s most charismatic animals.
Over the course of the series, the lives of the animals truly hang in the balance - from baby elephants in Kenya, black bears in Minnesota, Macaque monkeys in Sri Lanka and grey whales in the Pacific. Top Gear’s Richard Hammond will anchor live from Africa fulfilling his childhood dream and lifelong ambition to work with nature and Countryfile’s Julia Bradbury will be covering the action in North America.
Richard and Julia will be joined by a first-class team in wildlife camera crew and species experts, beaming in live from all around the world using real-time filming techniques, up-close HD wildlife footage and spectacular cinematography.
Tim Scoones, Executive producer for Planet Earth Live said: “Planet Earth Live combines the big landmark series the BBC’s natural history unit is world renowned for with live broadcasting, real time storytelling and digital innovation. I’m delighted to have the chance to show this unique series around the world.”
For further information, please contact:
Tessa Matchett/Louise Loffel
Communications, BBC Worldwide Channels
Tel: +44 (0)208 433 3808/ 3169
Notes to Editors:
 The Tube is a Blast! Films production distributed by Zodiak Rights
2 Dates vary according to territory
3 BBC Entertainment’s pan-European service covers Central and Eastern Europe, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and a number of Western European markets
4 Dates and times vary according to territory
BBC Worldwide Channels is one of five core BBC Worldwide businesses. Formed in 2005, the business’ diverse portfolio of channel brands provides a global showcase for the best mix of British TV across factual, entertainment, children’s and lifestyle programming. The company is the UK’s leading international broadcaster, operating a network of localised channels that reach over 300 million homes in more than 100 countries around the world.
BBC World News, the BBC's commercially funded international 24-hour news and information channel, is owned and operated by BBC World News Ltd, a member of the BBC’s commercial group of companies. BBC World News is available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, and over 300 million households and 1.8 million hotel rooms. The channel's content is also available on 136 cruise ships, 40 airlines, 23 mobile phone networks and a number of major online platforms including bbc.com/news. For further information on how to receive BBC World News, download schedules or find out more about the channel, visit bbc.com/tvschedule.
Planet Earth Live and London Calling will enable our audiences to feel part of a truly global viewing experience - whether it be witnessing the wonder of nature as it unfolds before them or revelling in the celebrations taking place across London without ever having to leave the comfort of their living room.”