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Thursday 27 Nov 2014

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BBC Three unveils World Cup line-up of programmes

As World Cup excitement reaches fever pitch, BBC Three today announces a thought-provoking and entertaining multiplatform season of programmes, to complement the event.

Danny Cohen, Controller of BBC Three, said: "This season of programmes aims to give young viewers thought-provoking insights into South Africa and the life of Nelson Mandela. We've also got some fun entertainment treats to sit alongside the big live games."

Who Is Nelson Mandela? (working title) – Everyone has heard of Nelson Mandela and every celebrity in the world queues up to be photographed with him, but what exactly did he do to become such an incredible icon today?

This eye-opening documentary, made by the BBC's News and Current affairs team, will see Being Human actress Lenora Crichlow set off to discover the amazing story of how Mandela brought peace to his country and what he means to people there today.

In an emotion-packed journey for Lenora, she uncovers a far more complex and fascinating picture of Mandela and his country than she ever imagined: she discovers a vibrant Rainbow nation, but also learns more about the horrors of apartheid and the extent of poverty and violence in the country today.

On her journey she unlocks the secrets of who Mandela really is, and why his achievements in life are so admired. Who Is Nelson Mandela? is a 60-minute documentary.

On average, 29 million people watch the channel each month and BBC Three now reaches more young people in its broadcast hours than any other digital channel. Over the past three years the channel has grown by 48%. Further World Cup programmes include:

WAGs, Kids And World Cup Dreams – a 5x60-minute series that follows five WAGs as they leave their pampered lives behind to experience the reality of life behind the gloss of the World Cup. Chantelle Tagoe (Emile Heskey's partner), Ellie Darby (Matthew Upson's partner), Elen Rivas (Frank Lampard's former partner) and ex-girlfriends of Jermaine Pennant and Jermaine Defoe – Amii Grove and Imogen Thomas – will roll up their sleeves and work in some of the poorest and most deprived neighbourhoods in the host nation, South Africa.

They will be faced with the stark reality of the country's orphan crisis, HIV pandemic and social breakdown, a world away from the glamorous experience the players will have throughout the event.

To complement the series WAGs' Stories (5x30-minute) catches up with the girls since their return home, with highlights from their experiences in South Africa.

England's Worst Ever Football Team – leading the nation's quest to reveal the worst England team of all time. Through a mix of archive footage and talking heads, including, Razor Ruddock and Mark Lawrenson, this 90-minute show will be a light-hearted and somewhat heated debate of who should win a place on the shamed team. No one is safe as the criteria will not just be based on blunders on the pitch but dodgy hair cuts, misdemeanours that have occurred in nightclubs and recording studios.

World Cup's Most Shocking Moments – presented by Richard Bacon and yet to be announced special guest presenter – who also happens to be one of England's current star strikers – will take a look back on the 50 greatest shocks in the history of the World Cup. Viewers can sit back and laugh or cringe as this light-hearted show highlights the most shocking moments from the last six tournaments and includes moments such as Maradona's "Hand of God", Zinedine Zidane's headbutt in the 2006 final and England's penalty pain.

The two-hour show will also feature firsthand accounts from players such as David Seaman, who recalls being lobbed by Ronaldinho; John Barnes reveals how Gazza almost rapped on the classic anthem World In Motion; and referee Graham Poll talks about his infamous three yellow card moment.

Special 1 TV stars Jose Mourinho, aka The Special One, in a topical spoof phone-in show. The series will be hosted by a puppet version of Jose and co-hosts Wayne Rooney and Sven Eriksson. Joining their debate will be the likes of Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, David Beckham and Steven Gerrard, as well as personalities from beyond the world of football such as Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama. Each week, Jose and his rubbery cohorts will put their own twist on the week's headlines with a particular focus on the World Cup goings-on.

To complement the TV show there will be a multiplatform element to include daily video exclusives for online and social media activity across the BBC Three Facebook page, BBC Three blog, BBC You Tube channel and Twitter.

Last, but by no means least, BBC Three will also be showing two live matches at the end of the group stage on 22 and 24 June.

Notes to Editors

BBC Three has a unique role to play in public service television. It is the only youth-focused channel with a regular commitment to News, Current Affairs and serious Documentaries. We are the only channel tackling politics for the young through our General Election coverage and documentaries on the war in Afghanistan, child trafficking, autism, the use of rape as a weapon of war in the Congo, bullying and the life of Nelson Mandela.

No other youth-focused British channel makes programmes like these on a consistent basis. And with the channel growing 48% in the last three years we know that young people like the ways in which we approach these subjects, and find them thought-provoking and stimulating.

Who Is Nelson Mandela? (working title) – is a BBC News and Current Affairs production for BBC Three. The BBC executive producer is Sam Bagnall, series producer Gian Quaglieni, the producer is Ben Steele. The programme was commissioned by Danny Cohen, Controller of BBC Three.

WAGs, Kids And World Cup Dreams – is a Lovewest production for BBC Three. The executive producer for the BBC is Harry Lansdown and Kieran Smith for Lovewest. The producer is Simon Kerfoot. The programme was commissioned by Danny Cohen, Controller of BBC Three, and Harry Lansdown, commissioning editor for BBC Knowledge.

England's Worst Ever Football Team – is a Plum Pictures production for BBC Three. The BBC executive producer is Karl Warner and Will Daws for Plum Pictures. The producer is Kevin Hylands. The show was commissioned by Danny Cohen, Controller of BBC Three, and Karl Warner, executive editor for BBC Entertainment.

World Cup's Most Shocking Moments – is a Zig Zag film for BBC Three. The executive producers are Brent Baker and Danny Fenton for Zigzag, the producer/director is Dan Riley. The programme was commissioned by Danny Cohen, Controller of BBC Three, and Harry Lansdown, commissioning editor for BBC Knowledge.

The Special 1 – is a Caboom production for BBC Three. The series was created by Irish writer and impressionist Mario Rosenstock. The producer, director and puppeteer is Damian Farrall. The executive producers are Karl Warner for the BBC and Damian Farrall for Caboom. The series was commissioned by Danny Cohen, Controller of BBC Three, and Karl Warner, executive editor for BBC Entertainment


Information for viewers

More content about Who Is Mandela?; WAGs, Kids And World Cup Dreams; The WAGs' Stories; England's Worst Ever Football Team; World Cup's Most Shocking Moments; and Special 1 TV will be published, as transmission approaches, on:;;;;;

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