Danny Cohen looks ahead at the five key themes to define BBC One in 2013, and announces new commissions

The job of running BBC One is all about making television audiences love, both in terms of new programmes and maintaining the vibrancy and creativity of our longer running shows."Danny Cohen, Controller, BBC One
Date: 30.11.2012     Last updated: 19.03.2014 at 09.30
Category: BBC One
Controller of BBC One, Danny Cohen, says: "The job of running BBC One is all about making television audiences love, both in terms of new programmes and maintaining the vibrancy and creativity of our longer running shows."

2012 has been an extremely strong year for BBC One. The Olympics, Euros and Diamond Jubilee helped draw huge audiences and it's also been a year of record-breaking hits. Call The Midwife and The Voice UK are the biggest new Drama and Entertainment launches on the channel in over a decade; BBC One successfully launched four new returning drama series (The Syndicate, Prisoners' Wives, The Paradise, Call the Midwife); and Last Tango in Halifax is the highest mid-week drama launch of the year so far on any channel.

BBC One is on track to grow its peak-time share for the first time since 2008, and is the biggest channel in both peak and all hours so far this year.

Danny Cohen continues: "We plan to maintain our creative momentum in 2013, and there are five key themes that I am focused on to ensure that we deliver that. Event Drama, the biggest names in Comedy, high-impact intelligent Factual, a strong sense of contemporary Britain and warm-hearted popular Entertainment will all play an important role on BBC One in the coming year. Together, they will express the range and creative ambition audiences can expect from the channel in 2013."

Event Drama

Drama on BBC One takes another big leap in 2013 in the shape of some major event dramas, including The Village, Ripper Street, Luther, The White Queen and the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special. These shows will bring a rich range of tones and worlds to BBC One's fiction.

Danny says: "I aim to keep raising the stakes with our drama output on BBC One. Ben Stephenson and I are committed to finding pieces with great ambition, quality writing and memorable performances which portray a captivating range of fictional worlds and landscapes. We aim to keep working with Britain's very best writers, actors and directors."

Three new drama commissions announced today deliver the very best of event drama. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, based on the best-selling novel by Susanna Clarke and adapted by Peter Harness, will bring magic and adventure to BBC One in prime-time. David Nicholls, famed for his novel and subsequent film One Day will be bringing his talents to BBC One with new romantic drama The 7.39. And Toby Whithouse, the creator of Being Human, has penned a brilliant cold war spy drama series called The Game.

The biggest names in Comedy

Danny says: "With the line-up of comic talent appearing on and writing for the channel in 2013, this will be a big year for Comedy on BBC One."

BBC One kicks off the year with a blockbuster combination of Miranda and Mrs Brown's Boys, two incredibly successful series both with outstanding writer/performers at their heart. Exciting brand-new sitcoms from two masters of British comedy Ben Elton and David Walliams are also coming up later in the year. The return of Lee Mack in Not Going Out, a new series of Outnumbered and a second series of Asian sitcom Citizen Khan will play alongside a new comedy piece starring Sue Johnston based on last year's Christmas special Lapland.

Danny also announces a new sitcom series called Father Figure which is created, written by and starring the popular stand-up comedian Jason Byrne.

High-impact Factual

High-impact Factual programmes will also form an important part of the range BBC One offers.

Danny says: "The New Year begins with Africa, the latest piece of magic from the BBC's peerless Natural History Unit, voiced by Sir David Attenborough. It's full of unmissable moments that are the hallmark of the BBC's wildlife output. We will also be premiering a new series on DNA presented through the eyes and genetic coding of the brilliant polymath Eddie Izzard, and a series on the history of working-class Britain by Paul O'Grady."

Contemporary Britain

New prime-time documentary series The Prisoners And Life-Savers "will introduce a stronger and spikier flavour of contemporary Britain to BBC One in the coming months," he reveals. Plus a range of programmes that examine the cost of living and how people manage their budgets in these challenging times.

Warm-hearted and popular Entertainment

BBC One will continue to deliver confident Saturday night entertainment, with two new series launching in January. They are Richard Hammond's Secret Service, and Claire Balding will present a new intelligence test format called Britain's Brightest. Later in the year, The Voice UK returns, along with Strictly Come Dancing.

Further details on the new commissions announced can be found below

Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell

6x60 series, based on the bestselling novel by Susanna Clarke and adapted by Peter Harness. Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell is set during the Napoleonic Wars in an England where magic once existed and is about to return.

Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell is produced by Cuba, the production arm of leading literary and talent agency Curtis Brown in association with Feel Film and Farmoor. 

Toby Haynes directs, Nick Hirschkorn will produce with Nick Marston, Justin Thomson-Glover and Patrick Irwin are executive producing. Matthew Read is the Executive Producer for the BBC.

Cuba is also the production company behind BAFTA-winning Boy A and critically acclaimed Broken.

The 7.39

2x60 by award-winning writer David Nicholls (One Day, Starter For Ten) and produced by Carnival Films.

After fighting for a seat on their morning commute, Sally and Carl begin talking and suddenly their daily train journey becomes a lot more interesting.  Relatively happy in their home lives, they are, however, drawn to each other, and as their friendship grows to flirtation they refuse to admit - to each other or themselves - that a line might be crossed. The consequences of discovery will be life-changing, catastrophic perhaps, and yet they can’t help falling in love. A romantic drama for grown-ups, The 7.39 is charged, funny and moving.

Executive Producer for Carnival Films is Sally Woodward Gentle and Polly Hill for the BBC.

For more information, please contact CI2

The Game

6x60 series, written and created by Toby Whithouse (Being Human).

The Game is a Cold War spy thriller set in the secretive world of 1970s espionage.

Produced by BBC Cymru Wales and executive produced by Faith Penhale, Brian Minchin and Toby Whithouse. 

For more information and a full press release,  please contact JP4

Father Figure

New sitcom series created, written by and starring popular stand-up comedian Jason Byrne, made in house by BBC Production.

Jason Byrne plays Tom, a father figure we can all relate to. Tom is married with two sons and tries to be the best dad he can, but bad luck and his extended family are always upsetting his plans. The series will be produced by Julia McKenzie and the executive producer is Stephen McCrum for the BBC.

For more details, contact TD