Press Office

Wednesday 16 Apr 2014

Press Release

New commissions and return of Sherlock for BBC One

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in Sherlock

BBC One Controller Jay Hunt today announces a raft of new programming and recommissions for the channel. Across comedy, factual and drama, the multi-genre announcement reflects BBC One's continued drive to develop diverse and high quality programming for the channel.

Drama

Bird Song is a two-part adaptation of the acclaimed novel by Sebastian Faulks. A truly epic drama, it's the story of Stephen and Isabelle brought together by love and torn apart by the First World War. This extraordinary tale of love, loss, heroism and hope will be brought to screen by award-winning writer Abi Morgan and produced by Working Title television.

Written by Ronan Bennett, Undisclosed (working title) is a taut and compelling mystery thriller revolving around Harry Venn, a small-time solicitor. Forced to delve into his murky past when asked to find a missing alibi witness, Venn soon finds himself caught up in a bigger and more complex conspiracy. Blurring the line between the political and the personal, Undisclosed is created by Ronan Bennett and Walter Bernstein.

Comedy and Entertainment

Based on the sell out theatre show, Mrs Brown's Boys is written by and stars comedian Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown, a Dublin matriarch who just can't resist interfering in the lives of her family and friends. Filmed in Glasgow and set in Dublin, the six-part series is a co-production with BOCPIX and RTE, set for 2011.

Ask Rhod Gilbert is a fresh take on the comedy panel show that sees the award winning Welsh comedian get to grips with a series of burning questions posed by well-known personalities and members of the public. From the sublime to the ridiculous, Rhod - along with his two trusty side-kicks in the form of comedian Greg Davies and emerging stand-up comedian Lloyd Langford – aim to provide all the answers. Each week they will be joined by a guest comic, a well-known showbiz personality, and a special guest "Authenticator". The series will record in Glasgow, London and Belfast.

Factual

The chef judged to have written "the most useful cookery book of all time", Simon Hopkinson comes to BBC One. His book "Roast Chicken And Other Stories" reveals how to create restaurant quality food with everyday – and often unpopular – ingredients such as cheaper cuts of meat, run of the mill veg and off cuts of fish. While he has 20 years experience as a professional chef, Simon is completely new to TV and reflects the channel's commitment to developing new talent.

BAFTA award-winning film maker Brian Woods has been commissioned to make a major longitudinal documentary on child poverty in Britain. Four million children in this country live on the breadline – one of the worst rates in the industrialised world. Building on the success of single films on BBC One such as Wounded and Between Life And Death, My Life – Child Poverty In Britain will examine the situation through the eyes of the children involved.

BBC One Controller Jay Hunt said: "These new commissions demonstrate the sheer range and creative ambition on BBC One. From adapting a modern classic like Birdsong to developing new talent across comedy and factual, the channel is continuing to deliver bold programming for audiences."

Recommissions

Hunt also confirmed the recommissions of Sherlock Holmes and Luther for BBC One. Following a highly successful launch with over 7.5m viewers watching the first episode in July 2010, Sherlock returns for three new 90-minute episodes in Autumn 2011, while Luther comes back with two, two-hour specials

Hunt says: "Sherlock was the hit of the Summer. Luther the most memorable new detective on the block. I am delighted they will both be returning to BBC One."

Talking of the Sherlock recommission, co-creators, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, say: "We've been overwhelmed by the warmth of response to our new Sherlock Holmes and John Watson and can't wait to take them on three new adventures next year. There'll be baffling new puzzles, old friends and new enemies – whether on two, or four legs. And we might well be seeing the cold master of logic and reason unexpectedly falling. But in love? Or over a precipice? Who can tell?"

Notes to Editors

Reach for BBC One has grown year on year, bucking the trend for terrestrial channel viewing. So far in 2010, an average of 78.3% of those aged 4+ tune in to the channel in any given week (15+ minute reach) vs 77.5% for the same period of 2009.

SH5

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