I want to challenge programme-makers and British talent to continue to push the boundaries of creativity and raise the bar even further on quality and innovation. The new commissions that I’m proud to announce today reflect the diverse range of distinctive, pioneering programmes audiences expect from BBC One.Charlotte Moore
Date: 26.08.2015 Last updated: 26.08.2015 at 22.13
Controller of BBC One, Charlotte Moore, has today announced a range of new commissions for the channel.
Speaking at the 2015 Edinburgh Television Festival, Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One, said:
“BBC One has had a record-breaking year informing, educating and entertaining over 42 million people every week with world-class, distinctive programmes. It is the nation’s most watched channel, and supports a thriving UK creative industry whose ambition is unrivalled. Over the last 12 months, BBC One has taken risks and produced channel-defining shows of scale across genres, with share increasing to its highest levels since 2008.
"I want to challenge programme-makers and British talent to continue to push the boundaries of creativity and raise the bar even further on quality and innovation. The new commissions that I’m proud to announce today reflect the diverse range of distinctive, pioneering programmes audiences expect from BBC One.
"Oscar award-winning film director Steve McQueen’s six-part series for BBC One will tell the stories of people whose voices have never been heard: a West Indian community at the heart of our capital city. Russell T Davies returns to BBC One with a bold adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to mark next year’s Shakespeare’s celebrations. Innovation takes shape in Stop!, a new musical drama series that will bring a unique new form of storytelling to BBC One; a new cutting-edge science series with Dara O Briain; a history series exploring Italy’s Invisible Cities with Alexander Armstrong and Dr Michael Scott; and a special from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall exposing the shocking world of poaching and the illegal wildlife trade."
Steve McQueen series (6x60 minutes)
Steve McQueen’s BBC One six-part drama series will tell the stories of people whose voices haven't been heard: a West Indian community at the heart of our capital city whose lives have been shaped by their own force of will, despite an often hostile environment. Set during the late Sixties, Seventies and Eighties, these lives encompass not just the daily battle for survival, but the rich cultural inheritance of their Caribbean history.
The story starts in 1968 at the moment of Enoch Powell's notorious River of Blood speech. In the same year, a small restaurant called The Mangrove opens in Ladbroke Grove: a place of cameraderie and friendship that becomes a social heart for the community - and, over time, a flashpoint for resistance.
Steve McQueen says: "These stories are passionate, personal and unique. They are testimony to the truth of real lives and urgently need to be told. This is about a legacy which has not only made my life as an artist possible, but also has shaped the Britain that we live in today."
A Rainmark Films Production, the executive producer is Tracey Scoffield and the producer is David Tanner.
Commissioned by Charlotte Moore and Polly Hill, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning. The executive producer for the BBC is Lucy Richer.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
For one night only, BBC One becomes the Globe, with a bold and accessible 90-minute adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Adapted by Russell T Davies (Doctor Who, Cucumber), it is a truthful version of the play - the original play, the original words, the original Shakespeare. Warm and funny, it will have as much attitude and invention as any theatrical interpretation.
Russell T Davies says: “I’ve wanted to make this for the BBC for my entire adult life - and only the BBC can put on a play like this, for all the family, smack-bang in the heart of primetime. With a riot of prosthetics, CGI, magic and action, it needs the brilliant Doctor Who team in Cardiff to bring it to life.”
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a much-loved comedy by William Shakespeare, set in the tyrannical court of Athens and the magical forest around the city. The single drama will be for everyone: children, who can laugh at Bottom and his Mechanicals and marvel at the fairies’ awesome powers; for adults, who know those broken hearts and star-crossed lovers all too well; for whole families, united in front of the television to enjoy the play’s dazzling world of danger, jokes, scares, poetry, thrills and fun.
Adapted by Russell T Davies, directed by David Kerr, produced by Nikki Wilson and executive produced by Russell T Davies, Faith Penhale and Brian Minchin. Filming in Roath Lock, Cardiff for transmission in 2016 as part of BBC’s Shakespeare Season. A BBC Cymru Wales Production in association with BBC Worldwide for BBC One. Commissioned by Charlotte Moore and Polly Hill, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning.
Stop! (4x60 mins)
Innovative new musical drama series “Stop! In The Name Of Love”, produced by Red Planet Pictures, centres around the iconic sounds of Motown anthems, and brings a unique new form of storytelling to BBC One. Written by Tony Jordan from a format created by Stop! (London) Ltd, it’s a co-production between Red Planet Pictures and Stop! (London) Ltd following a deal with EMI Music Publishing.
The series will reflect the diversity of modern Britain, focusing on six smart, 30-something women’s complicated lives as they deal with love, friendship, success and failure. The music of Berry Gordy Jr’s famous record label will be woven into each drama, with characters singing songs at key moments within the spoken narrative.
This ambitious new production is the product of a joint venture between acclaimed writer Tony Jordan, top UK film producer Duncan Kenworthy (Notting Hill, Love Actually, Four Weddings And A Funeral), group managing director Antenna group and former president of NBC Universal International Peter Smith, and independent music consultant and former chairman of Universal Music UK John Kennedy, who have concluded a unique deal with EMI Music Publishing, the owners of the publishing rights to Motown’s extensive library of hits.
Writer and founder of Red Planet Pictures, Tony Jordan says: “Stop! In The Name Of Love offers something completely different from any other show on television and I am delighted that the BBC has commissioned our ambitious new original drama. We’ve been developing the series for the past 18 months and have created a piece of drama that will be unmissable event TV and that truly reflects the multi-cultural world we’ve become. The music of Motown is iconic and mirrors the rich gamut of human emotion and experience as well as exploring universal themes that all cultures and ages can relate to. The musical arrangements and cutting-edge choreography will give us a uniquely modern take on a genre of music that is truly timeless.”
Duncan Kenworthy, Executive Producer, says: "I’m hugely excited about this opportunity to integrate some of the coolest songs ever written into a big, bold, diverse drama about contemporary love lives, and delighted that the BBC has commissioned it. Some music is so famous that it’s already woven into our lives. Stop! In The Name of Love will use Motown’s unforgettable tunes and powerful lyrics to help express the emotional complications – the heart and the heartbreak – of the new world we’re living in.”
Commissioned by Charlotte Moore and Polly Hill, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning.
Italy’s Invisible Cities (3x60 minutes)
Following the striking revelations of Rome’s Invisible City, Alexander Armstrong and Dr Michael Scott embark on an adventure to explore the hidden treasures of three more of Italy’s astonishing cities - Naples, Venice and Florence - bringing a fascinating new insight into 2,000 years of history.
With an armoury of cutting-edge technology, including ultra-high-definition 3D scans, CGI and drone cameras, the two presenters reveal the secret spaces of these extraordinary cities in vivid detail, while winding their way through the beautiful Italian landscape.
They’ll dive in the Bay of Naples, where they’ll also see innovative new underwater scans revealing the sunken world of a Roman holiday resort, submerged by ancient earthquakes. They’ll visit the canals of Venice where they’ll explore what lies beneath its magnificent palazzos. In Florence, they’ll visit the great cathedral, 'il Duomo'; new 3D images of the cathedral will reveal the beauty and complexity of the pioneering engineering behind the world’s biggest brick dome - a bold feat of ingenuity that defined the Renaissance.
Commissioned by Charlotte Moore and Martin Davidson, Head of Commissioning for Specialist Factual, the executive producer is Chris Granlund.
Tomorrow’s Food (3x60 minutes)
In Tomorrow’s Food, we show viewers the fascinating future of their food – from field, through the aisles of the supermarket, to our dining tables.
Led by Dara O Briain, this series will reveal the cutting-edge technologies and produce appearing in farms, supermarkets, kitchens and restaurants around the world, transforming how we grow, buy and eat our food. The world’s population may be growing, but we’re coming up with ingenious solutions to ensure the future of our breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
Dara will anchor the series in a different food location each week and the series will be packed with films from our food experts reporting about cutting-edge innovations in food across the globe.
Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett finds out how 3D printing is exploding into the food industry; whether the future of our burgers is more likely to be in a lab or on an insect farm than a field; and she goes on manoeuvres with the US Army to discover if they hold the secret to the end of sell-by dates.
Greengrocer Chris Bavin will take viewers inside future-facing farms with jaw-dropping solutions to producing more and better – from farms which can flourish in the desert, and those whose crops never see daylight, to automated farms using robots like 'The Shrimp' - Australia’s first robot sheep-dog, which herds cows!
Technology expert Dr Shini Somara finds out what the kitchen, supermarket and restaurant of the future promise and how 'health by stealth' will become a growing trend – from healthy chocolate to technology that can persuade us to feel full faster.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on Poaching
In this BBC One special, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall takes on the dark world of poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. He will lift the lid on a global and growing industry that is threatening the survival of our rarest and best-loved species.
In the wake of the Cecil the Lion scandal, the conflict between man and wildlife, poaching and conservation, trophy-hunting and the preservation of endangered animals, has never been more intense. For $20,000, tourist hunters can kill a lion for 'sport'. Any poacher who can bag a rhino can sell its horn for more than the price of gold. And with an estimated 35,000 elephants killed illegally every year, without intervention, we could be looking at a world with no elephants in the wild by 2030. The stakes have never been higher.
Hugh will follow the surprising trail of trafficked animal goods - from the savannahs of Africa to the suburbs of the United States (and perhaps even closer to home). In a bid to understand this murky trade, and the fight against it, he’ll be putting himself on the front line of the action.
In this ambitious and timely project, Hugh will be bringing his journalistic nous to bear on this epic call-to-action journey– empowering and inspiring viewers to play their part in combatting this crisis of the natural world.