Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

BBC to reflect on contemporary Britain with raft of documentaries

Charlotte Moore, BBC Commissioning Editor for Documentaries, today unveiled a raft of forthcoming documentary highlights across BBC Television which look at the story of contemporary Britain.

Speaking in advance of her session at Sheffield documentary festival today (Thursday 4 November), Charlotte Moore said: "The BBC has a huge responsibility to reflect and capture modern Britain through challenging and thought-provoking documentaries that try to make sense of the world around us. Our mission is to find interesting ways to tell stories about ordinary and extraordinary people using unique access to often contentious and challenging subjects which resonate with Britain today."

"In Winter 2011, the Dangerous Pleasures Season on BBC Three will look at the darker side of young people's pursuit of pleasure through a number of series and one-off documentaries. Also on BBC Three in 2011, we will have a new three-part series called Kids Behind Bars. Filmed at Vinney Green Secure Unit this extraordinary series tells the stories of children in the unit and finds out what's being done to set them straight.

"BBC Three continues to do what no other channel does in providing documentaries and current affairs for a young audience. Since 2008, the average audience for a documentary on Three has increased by 80 per cent and the recent Adult Season* gave the channel four of its five best weeks ever in terms of share amongst 16 to-34-year-olds."

Charlotte Moore continued: "We also have a huge breadth of great access documentaries coming up across the channels. Highlights include the forthcoming series of Wonderland on BBC Two featuring Suburbia In Therapy, one of the first-ever animated documentary commissions for terrestrial television in the UK, directed by Zac Beattie, with access to relationship counselling service Relate.

"Also on BBC Two, we have a new three-part documentary called The Face Saving Doctors (w/t), following the pioneering work of doctors at the world renowned Oxford Craniofacial Surgery Unit, based at Oxford Children's Hospital.

"BBC Four has a brand-new series with unparalleled access to Sandhurst (w/t). Across the channels we also have strong one-off documentaries from world renowned film-makers such as Grierson Lifetime Achievement winner Penny Woolcock, with On The Streets for BBC Four and Bafta award-winning Brian Woods's documentary My Life – Child Poverty In Britain Today. Also, on BBC One, we will be revisiting Neighbourhood Watched, which explores the lives of housing officers in the North West."

BBC One

In Spring 2011, Bafta award-winning film-maker Brian Woods will bring a major observational documentary to BBC One. My Life – Child Poverty In Britain Today was shot through the summer and autumn of 2010 and winter of 2011 and will be an intimate portrayal of the realities of child poverty in Britain today, told through the eyes and words of the children themselves, giving them a voice.
 
Also on BBC One, Neighbourhood Watched II (4x40') will revisit the lives of the nation's housing officers in the North West and the tenants they watch over. Filmed over nine months, this longitudinal series revisits some of the previously filmed officers together with some new additions. The films highlight the tensions, the problems and the upsides of living in social housing in 2010 as well as touching on the wider ongoing debate.

BBC Two

Coming to BBC Two next year, The Face Saving Doctors (w/t) is a (3x60') documentary series which has, for the first time, gained behind-the-scenes access to the world renowned Oxford Craniofacial Surgery Unit based at Oxford Children's Hospital.

Every year, the team at the unit help 600 children with severely disfigured heads and faces. In this series, the programme-makers follow children with life-threatening conditions through pioneering surgery which quite literally rebuilds their heads and faces and, ultimately, their lives.

The new series of Wonderland begins in January and includes Wonderland – Suburbia In Therapy (w/t), which is one of the first animated feature-length documentaries to be commissioned for British terrestrial television.

With access to Relate, documentary-maker Zac Beattie and animator Jonathan Hodgson combine their talents to take audiences inside the process of relationship counselling and the lives of those attending counselling using a mixture of documentary sound with animated image.

Wonderland – My Big Hasidic Wedding (w/t) gets inside the world of the Stamford Hill orthodox Jewish community. Film-maker Paddy Wivell follows a traditional wedding and explores the world of matchmakers, weddings and the Hasidic tradition.

Wonderland – Help, My Child Loves Burning (w/t) meets child arsonists and their parents and follows parents dealing with the shock of discovering that their children are at risk of setting serious fires.

Wonderland – Troubled (w/t) is set in one of the most staunchly loyalist communities in Belfast. The film explores the world of the loyalist Blood and Thunder marching bands in the Shankhill area and asks how well the emotional wounds among older and younger members of the Protestant community have healed.

If you want to sit your family down and have a long conversation, there's one place to put them where they can't escape you and walk out the door – the car. Wonderland – On The Road (w/t) joins four families driving across Britain as they talk frankly about life, family and the challenges that face them. Filmed entirely in four cars, with multi-camera set-up, it's an entire film in four conversations.
 
BBC Three

In Winter 2011 the Dangerous Pleasures Season follows young people's pursuit of pleasure and, in doing so, isn't afraid to show the darker side of tackling challenging subjects head on. The season comprises of a mixture of series and one-off documentaries.

Launching with the series Sun, Sex And Suspicious Parents, each week, two sets of parents will embark on a top-secret mission to observe their offspring and uncover what really happens in the clubs, bars and booze cruises abroad when their children go on holiday.

High – How Drugs Work is a three-part series on the science of recreational drug use, revealing the chemical impact on the body of the most frequently used drugs – cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy. The impact of these drugs is revealed using state-of-the-art visual effects and CGI to take viewers on a trip through the human body.

In Is Oral Sex Safe? Actress Jaime Winstone investigates how oral sex could cause oral cancer. As the numbers of younger people being diagnosed with orophyrangeal cancer rise, Jamie looks at the cause – the human papillomavirus – and whether there is any way to reverse this trend.

The controversial world of music videos is explored in the single documentary Music, Money And Hip Hop Honeys, presented by Nel Hedayat. Nel, who also presented the acclaimed BBC Three documentary Women, Weddings, War And Me, follows dancers in Britain and America as they chase fame and wealth to investigate how the music industry treats the girls who dance in the videos.

Cannabis – What's The Harm? is presented by ex-EastEnders actor James Alexandrou. With access to the Avon and Somerset police force's drug squads and the Borders Agency, this two-part series looks at both the dealers and users and talks to the UK's top doctors and psychologists about the effects of cannabis.

In Ready, Steady… Drink, Emily Atack, who plays Charlotte Hinchcliffe in The Inbetweeners, looks at the UK's culture of drinking games and whether they should be banned. Travelling the length and breadth of the country Emily investigates why young Brits like to find new and more risky ways of drinking and she asks if there is anything the government can do to stop them.

Also on BBC Three in 2011, and distinct from the Dangerous Pleasures Season, Kids Behind Bars is a new, extraordinary, three–part series. Filming in a secure unit for a year the series documents the journeys of boys and girls who are behind bars, to tell their stories and explore what it's like to be locked up while you're still a child.

BBC Four

A year in the making, and featuring unparalleled access, next year, Sandhurst (w/t) will follow one class of cadets through the world-famous 12-month course. The series will show exactly what it takes to turn a group of ordinary young men and women into extraordinary leaders, capable of leading troops in a British Army operating in Afghanistan.

Also due to transmit on BBC Four, on 8 November, is award-winning film-maker Penny Woolcock's film about homelessness, On The Streets. Woolcock spent eight months working and filming the homeless, giving the seen but unheard residents of London's streets a voice. The film is being screened in Sheffield on 4 and 5 November.

Notes to Editors

BBC One

My Life – Child Poverty in Britain is a True Vision production for the BBC made by Bafta-winning team – director Jezza Neumann and producer Brian Woods. Executive produced for the BBC by Sam Anthony, the commissioning editor is Charlotte Moore.

Neighbourhood Watched II is a Raw Television Production. The executive producer is Lucy Willis and BBC executive producer is Emma Willis. Commissioned for BBC One by Charlotte Moore, BBC Documentary Commissioning Editor.

BBC Two

The Face Saving Doctors (W/T) is a Landmark Films production, and the executive producer is Nick O'Dwyer and BBC executive producer is Maxine Watson. Commissioned for BBC Two by Charlotte Moore, BBC Documentary Commissioning Editor.

Wonderland

Wonderland is executive produced by Nick Mirsky and commissioned for BBC Two by Charlotte Moore, BBC Documentary Commissioning Editor.

Wonderland – Suburbia In Therapy (W/T) is made by documentary-maker Zac Beattie and animator Jonathan Hodgson.

Wonderland – My Big Hasidic Wedding (W/T) is made by documentary-maker Paddy Wivell.

Wonderland – Help, My Child Loves Burning (W/T) is made by documentary-maker Vanessa Stockley.

Wonderland – Troubled (W/T) is made by documentary-maker Alison Millar.

Wonderland – On The Road (W/T) is made by documentary-maker Zara Hayes

BBC Three

Kids Behind Bars is a Lambent Productions, and is the executive producer is Emma Wakefield. The BBC executive producer is Samantha Anstiss. Commissioned for BBC Three by Charlotte Moore, BBC Documentary Commissioning Editor.

The Dangerous Pleasures Season

Sun, Sex And Suspicious Parents is an RDF Television production, part of Zodiak Media Group. Executive Producers are Alannah Richardson and Tayte Simpson for RDF. Commissioned by Harry Lansdown, Commissioning Editor Factual Formats and Features, and Specialist Factual on BBC Three.

High – How Drugs Work is a Pioneer Productions West production. The executive producer is Stuart Carter for Pioneer Productions West. The BBC executive producer is Samantha Anstiss. Commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Documentary Commissioning Editor.

Cannabis – What's The Harm? A BBC Vision production from BBC Bristol. The BBC executive producer is Robi Dutta for BBC Vision Productions Bristol. Commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Documentary Commissioning Editor.

Is Oral Sex Safe? A Leopard Films production for BBC Current Affairs Commissioning Editor Clive Edwards. The executive producer is Jane Merkin for Leopard Films. The BBC executive producer is Fiona Campbell.

Music, Money And Hip Hop Honeys is a BBC Current Affairs production for BBC Current Affairs Commissioning Editor Clive Edwards. The executive producer is Darren Kemp for BBC Vision Productions London.

Ready, Steady… Drink is a Special Edition Films production for BBC Current Affairs Commissioning Editor Clive Edwards. The executive producer for Special Edition Films is Ravinder Chahal and the BBC executive producer is Fiona Campbell.

BBC Four

Sandhurst is an Icon Films production and the executive producers are Laura Marshall and Harry Marshall and the BBC executive producer is Sam Anthony. Commissioned for BBC Four by Charlotte Moore, BBC Documentary Commissioning Editor.

On the Streets is a Blast! Films production by Grierson Award-winning documentary film-maker Penny Woolcock. The executive producer for the BBC is Emma Willis. Commissioned for BBC Four by Charlotte Moore, BBC Documentary Commissioning Editor.

Further information on The Adult Season*

The Adult Season gave the channel four of its five best weeks ever in terms of share amongst 16 to-34-year-olds, peaking with a 6 per cent share in the week of 26 July – the channel's best weekly share ever.

The season so far has reached 17 million individuals – 39 per cent of all 16 to-34-year-olds.

The Adult Season gave the channel eight out of 10 best weeks ever to date and Small Teen, Big World was the channel's most watched ever documentary.

Episode one of Underage And Pregnant, which follows a mix of young mums, and some dads, with varied backgrounds as they come to terms with pregnancy, birth and their new lives with a baby, was the best performing originated programme ever in a pre-watershed slot on BBC Three, with an audience of 1 million (9.6 per cent share in the target audience).

Small Teen, Big World is the most watched documentary ever on BBC Three with an audience of 1.2 million for its first transmission. The show followed the lives of Jazz, a teenager with an undiagnosed form of dwarfism and her mum, Bev, who has the same condition. The debate and impact of the film was immediate: on the night of transmission there were over 60 pages of comments about the film on Twitter. During the broadcast, Jazz received 600 friend requests on Facebook and, by the next day, it had risen to 1,400. A viewer she has never met set up a Facebook fan-club about her which now has over 500 members.

BBC Three continues to be the most watched digital channel for 16 to-34-year-olds for the hours it broadcasts – and has grown its share of young audiences by 58 per cent since Danny Cohen (now Controller, BBC One) began as Controller just over three years ago.

BBC Three documentaries have increased their reach by 80 per cent since 2008, demonstrating the strong appetite for factual programming on BBC Three from its audience.

AH
For Wonderland please contact CD3

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