BBC entertains the nation in time of need

Announcing a range of programmes that will bring the nation together and provide great British entertainment during these difficult times.

Published: 24 March 2020
The BBC is determined to do all it can to raise a smile and keep the country entertained during these testing times. Our pledge is offer the best escapism, fun and distraction we can, alongside the news and information everyone needs.
— Tony Hall, Director-General

Over the coming weeks there will be something for everyone to enjoy as we give audiences the choice to escape and be entertained.

With so many of the UK’s big events cancelled, the BBC will connect people virtually and give them something to look forward to from the comfort of their own homes. For fans across the country lamenting the loss of Eurovision and Glastonbury, we will bring the nation together to experience both. And in the absence of live sport and the Euros, Peter Crouch promises to Save Our Summer.

Our channels will keep the finger on the pulse as the crisis unfolds with weekly shows from favourites including The Graham Norton Show, Have I Got News For You and The Mash Report. All will be recorded as live during the week of transmission.

Programming to lift the spirits from the nation’s favourite choirmaster Gareth Malone; the captivating world of apes, monkeys and lemurs in new natural history series Primates; Rylan Clark-Neal’s You Are What You Wear and Spandau Ballet’s The Kemps - alongside new series of Sewing Bee, The Real Marigold Hotel, Your Home Made Perfect and I’ll Get This.

On Saturday nights, BBC One will provide the laughs and host a comedy takeover with some of the very best British comedy series, kicking off with Gavin & Stacey and Outnumbered from Saturday 4 April, and more classic titles will be announced soon. While on BBC Two new comedy series starting soon include There She Goes, The Other One, First Team and Alma’s Not Normal. And we will show the multi-award winning Peter Kay’s Car Share on Friday nights across the summer.

New drama series to feast on include Killing Eve, Normal People, Devs, The Luminaries, Twin, Miss America, and Us. The Cops, Party Animals, Cardiac Arrest and Between The Lines will return to the BBC for another outing. And we will be bringing audiences a selection of some of our finest classic drama adaptations on the current exam syllabus including King Lear starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thomspon directed by Sir Richard Eyre; Russell T Davies’ adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Tess Of The D’Urbevilles starring Gemma Arterton; Pride And Prejudice; Great Expectations starring Gillian Anderson and Ray Winstone; Jane Austen’s Emma and JB Priestley’s An Inspector Calls.

The One Show will continue to be at the heart of daily life: we will be stargazing with Dara Ó Briain in his back garden and Chris Packham will be finding out what is happening to our wildlife and how animals will continued to be looked after. Tim Peake will be chatting about how to keep your mind active in period of self-isolation - and he is a man who knows. And Saturday Kitchen Live continues at the weekend.

BBC Three continues to entertain young audiences with new series from the UK’s first Drag Superstar, The Vivienne Takes On Hollywood, which follows her on her adventure to Hollywood; and new series Models: From Street To Catwalk throws open the doors to one of the UK’s biggest modelling agencies to reveal the stories behind the billboards and photoshoots. Recent additions to the BBC Three rail in BBC iPlayer include series two of Hot Property featuring Yung Filly, new comedy In My Skin has and comedy drama My Left Nut.

Director-General Tony Hall says: "The BBC is determined to do all it can to raise a smile and keep the country entertained during these testing times. We have lots of great shows already recorded, but we have also found ways to keep many other shows going so that the familiar faces people love will still be in their living rooms in the weeks and months ahead. I think that is incredibly important.

"The BBC will also deliver a range of virtual events to replace some of those that have now had to be cancelled. We can all still have a Eurovision moment, even if it is different from the past. Our pledge is offer the best escapism, fun and distraction we can, alongside the news and information everyone needs."

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, says: "Bringing the nation together to be entertained is a vital public service. Throughout this crisis we will respond to the mood of the nation and provide programmes to help us escape and laugh; and create memorable events which we can all enjoy from home to replace those we’re going to be missing this summer."


New programmes details below:

Glastonbury Experience

Glastonbury may have had to cancel its 50th anniversary festival this June, but we are still working to mark the weekend with a Glastonbury experience to celebrate the spirit of this unique event. We will bring the nation together and create a weekend of the best in music across radio, television and online with amazing performances for you to enjoy in the comfort of your home. And we will be in touch shortly with more details of the weekend.

Eurovision: Come Together


BBC One and Graham Norton bring the country together for a special Eurovision broadcast - Eurovision: Come Together on Saturday 16 May.

Produced by BBC Studios the show will feature classic Eurovision performances, a look at what would have been in 2020 and entertaining interviews, including this year’s UK entry James Newman.

  • Eurovision: Come Together will be produced by BBC Studios for BBC One

Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer


Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer is BBC One’s brand new jam-packed live entertainment show for summer 2020. The series is set to be a one-stop shop of summery entertainment led by former professional footballer and national hero Peter Crouch along with multi-talented TV and BBC Radio 1 presenter Maya Jama and comedy supremo Alex Horne and his band the Horne Section broadcasting live from his studio hub, intent on giving the ensconced British public a little bit of all the big summer events that have been taken away.

Using the full scope of communication technology and the hosts showbiz-heavy phonebook, Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer will take advantage of everyone being stuck at home to remotely bring audiences live music, replacement sports action, exclusive comedy, celebrity guests, interactive audience fun and VT adventures from all over the country - and beyond.

An entertainment show like no other for a time like no other, the series picks up where the cancelled festivals, tournaments and gatherings left off and takes a running jump into the night. So sit back with Peter, Maya, Alex and his band plus a host of other special guests and get ready to party for a summer like no other. Besides, who needs a studio audience, anyway?

  • Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer is a Fulwell 73 production for BBC One, Commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content and Kate Phillips, Controller Entertainment Commissioning. The Executive Producer for Fulwell73 is Gabe Turner and Andy Price. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Syeda Irtizaali

Have I Got News For You


Have I Got News For You is determined to make its usual Friday night show, for its 59th series on 3 April. The regulars will be sitting in their usual seats, come what may (although we can’t quite be sure where those seats will be). Paul will be using the wonders of modern technology and Ian Hislop will be using semaphore. Steph McGovern will be hosting the first show with guest, Miles Jupp and Helen Lewis.

  • Have I Got News For You is produced by Hat Trick Productions for BBC One. The executive producer is Richard Wilson and the Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Ruby Kuraishe

The Graham Norton Show


Graham Norton will be back on Friday nights - not quite as usual, but still featuring the biggest stars and the best stories, including the famous Red Chair - now relocated to the comfort of your own armchair at home. From Friday 10 April.

  • The Graham Norton Show is a So Television production for BBC One. It is Executive Produced by Graham Stuart and the Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Sarah Clay

The Mash Report


We’re very pleased that it’s going to be possible to put The Mash Report back on BBC Two at a time when people need laughter and topical insight more than ever. Reflecting what everyone else is going through at the moment, the show will be self-isolating, with the whole cast filming themselves at home.

Nish Kumar will be virtually joined by our quarantined correspondents including Rachel Parris, Geoff Norcott, Ellie Taylor, Steve N Allen, Catherine Bohart, Desiree Burch, and Ahir Shah. So if you don’t like jokes and analysis, you will at least get to see inside the houses of some very minor celebrities.

  • The Mash Report is a Zeppotron production for BBC Two. It is Executive Produced by Chris Stott and Executive Producers for Zeppotron are Peter Holmes and Ruth Phillips. Katie Taylor is the Commissioning Editor for the BBC

The Choir: Britain In Lockdown


With Britain and the world facing an unprecedented crisis, people in isolation are turning to music and song to help them through. Now, the nation's favourite choirmaster Gareth Malone is harnessing that positive energy and bringing all those who are staying in their homes, but who want to sing, together to form The Great British Home Chorus.

Having recently won an RTS Programme Award for The Choir: Our School By The Tower, this fast-moving, topical and inspiring BBC Two series will follow Gareth’s new venture as he connects amateurs and professionals all over the country in a chorus of uplifting joy amidst these uncertain times.

  • Executive Producers Amanda Westwood and Richard Mills from Twenty Twenty. Commissioned by Patrick Holland and Clare Sillery, Comm Eds: Emily Smith and Max Gogarty

The Vivienne Takes On Hollywood

BBC Three

UK’s first Drag Superstar The Vivienne is embarking on an adventure to Hollywood where, each week, she’ll be joined by a different celebrity co-pilot who helps her along the way to making her first ever music video. As The Vivienne is a fish out of water, she spends time with numerous Hollywood legends, all of whom guide her on the journey to see what it takes to make it in this city.

Guests include Tony-award winning singer Marissa Jaret Winokur, comedian and motivational speaker Daniel Franzese, Hollywood legend Bruce Vilanch, world renowned choreographer Mark Kanemura, local drag expert Chester Lockhart, and special guest Chad Michaels.

  • The Vivienne Takes on Hollywood (6x15') is made by World Of Wonder. The Executive Producers are Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, and Tom Campbell and it was directed by Pete Williams and Maitee Cueva

BBC Three

A brand new factual series for BBC Three, produced by MultiStory Media, part of ITV Studios. The series will throw open the doors to one of the UK’s biggest modelling agencies to reveal the stories behind the billboards and photoshoots. The series will give viewers an exclusive, access-all-areas pass to the inner workings of the modelling industry in the UK and across the world.

Manchester-based agency Nemesis is allowing cameras in for an unrivalled insight into the industry. An edgy, diverse ‘Manchester look’ is in demand across the board, and the region has become a hotbed for new talent. The agency is looking for brand new talent to add to its roster, but there is no time to waste and the wannabe models will only get one shot to impress. This four-part series will follow the potential next generation of modelling elite as they are scouted from some of the most deprived areas of the North West and embark on a new career, taking them across the UK and beyond.

Models: Street To Catwalk opens a window into the experience of being scouted by a top agency. Viewers will get a rare look behind the scenes of the glamorous, jet-set- world of modelling, while exploring the intimate and emotional stories of Manchester’s young men and women who have been given a shot at changing their lives forever.

  • Models: Street To Catwalk (4x30’) was commissioned by Fiona Campbell, Controller BBC Three. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Carl Callam. The Executive Producer for MultiStory is Mark Rubens. Series Produced by Steph Atkinson


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