BBC First to launch on Foxtel on 3rd August

The BBC is world-renowned for producing premium programming that is loved by Australian audiences, and BBC First delivers scripted drama with award-winning actors and compelling stories across varying genres such as comedy, thriller and historical.Brian Walsh, Foxtel Director of Television
Date: 26.05.2014     Last updated: 27.05.2014 at 11.22
Category: BBC Worldwide
New acquisitions The Fall and The Honourable Woman announced

New premium drama channel BBC First will launch on Foxtel at 9.30am on Sunday 3rd August. 

The BBC Worldwide channel, which will showcase the very best new British dramas and comedies in one place for the first time, will launch with a special box set screening of the cinematic blockbuster The Musketeers.   The box set will be followed by a preview of the first episode of BAFTA award winning Peaky Blinders, starring Cillian Murphy and Sam Neill, and the captivating single drama Burton and Taylor which earned Helena Bonham Carter Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations and also stars Dominic West.  

The Musketeers will also be screened as double episodes across five Sunday nights from 10th August.

Natalie Edgar, Director of Television, BBC Worldwide Australia and New Zealand, said: “A Sunday launch gives us the chance to reach as many viewers as possible on our first day. We wanted to mark this exciting occasion with a very special line-up for viewers which gives them a real taste of the channel and delivers content to them in a way we know they like to enjoy it. We’re pleased to offer viewers the opportunity to watch all ten episodes of The Musketeers back to back, as well as give audiences a glimpse of the quality and breadth of drama on the channel which encompasses epic series to intimate one-offs, featuring top talent both in front of and behind the camera.

“Over the months ahead we will be offering viewers more opportunities to binge view by scheduling box sets of series and audiences’ will get the first chance to see premiere episodes of our biggest new programmes at 8.30pm.”

Latest acquisitions of major new BBC series for BBC First include two powerful contemporary dramas - The Honourable Woman starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, and the second series of The Fall, starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan. The Fall will be the first of many titles which will be shown on the channel is quick succession to their UK transmission.

The Honourable Woman, written and directed by BAFTA winner Hugo Blick, is a fast-paced thriller set against an international backdrop.  As a young girl Nessa Stein witnessed the assassination of her father by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.  Now in her thirties she is at the forefront of the Middle East peace process.  After a Palestinian businessman who she awards a lucrative contract is killed, Nessa and her brother come under the close scrutiny of Whitehall and the Secret Intelligence Service. Set against the gripping backdrop of government paranoia and espionage, the series tells the story of one woman’s personal journey to right the wrongs conducted in a past life.

Currently filming in Belfast, the second series of the hugely popular and critically acclaimed psychological thriller, The Fall, sees the icy and in control Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson continue her pursuit of serial killer Paul Spector.

Brian Walsh, Foxtel Director of Television said, “The addition of BBC First cements our commitment to providing Foxtel customers with first-run, high quality international drama. The BBC is world-renowned for producing premium programming that is loved by Australian audiences, and BBC First delivers scripted drama with award-winning actors and compelling stories across varying genres such as comedy, thriller and historical.”

 Titles which will be shown on the channel in launch month include:

  • The Musketeers –a thrilling world of action, adventure and romance inspired by Dumas’ legendary characters, starring Luke Pasqualino, Tom Burke, Santiago Cabrera, Howard Charles and Peter Capaldi.
  • Peaky Blinders – acclaimed epic gangster family saga set in the lawless streets of post-war Birmingham on the cusp of the 1920s, starring Cillian Murphy.
  • The Politician’s Husband – a gripping drama about the shifting balance of power in a political marriage, starring David Tennant and Emily Watson and created by Paula Milne.
  • Burton and Taylor – starring Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West and telling the story of Hollywood’s original ‘it’ couple Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, acting together in Noel Coward’s ‘Private Lives’.
  • Alan Partridge – his two new mockumentaries Welcome To The Places of My Life and On Open Books With Martin Bryce, starring Steve Coogan.
  • The Fear – a bold edgy drama starring Peter Mullan as a former crime boss whose empire is brought to its knees by the disintegration of his criminal mind.
  • Breathless – following the lives of a group of doctors and nurses working in a busy gynaecology unit in a London hospital in the 1960s.

BBC First joins existing BBC channels – UKTV, BBC Knowledge, CBeebies and BBC World News – on the Foxtel platform.  It will also be available on Foxtel GO and in high definition.  Drama and comedy fans will be able to check what’s coming up on BBC First via the programme page bbc.com/First.

For more information contact: Sue Affleck, Communications Manager, BBC Worldwide ANZ Sue.affleck@bbc.com  T: +61 2 9744 4501 M: ++61 404 604731


About BBC Worldwide Australia & New Zealand

Australia & New Zealand (ANZ) is a priority territory for BBC Worldwide, focusing on growth across all its core business areas. Based in Macquarie Park, Sydney, BBC Worldwide ANZ wholly owns five channels: UKTV, BBC Knowledge and CBeebies in Australia; UKTV and BBC Knowledge in New Zealand; and is responsible for the distribution and promotion of BBC World News which transmits in both countries. In August 2014 it will launch a new premium channel BBC First, showcasing premiere drama and comedy on the Foxtel platform in Australia. BBC Worldwide ANZ distributes great British content from the BBC and other producers to all free-to-air and most subscription channels in Australia and New Zealand. It works with partners to bring BBC Worldwide DVDs, magazines, digital apps, innovative products and live events to the local market, as well as offering advertising opportunities for the BBC’s world renowned bbc.com news site and lonelyplanet.com. Australia is the most successful territory for the global BBC iPlayer.

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About Foxtel

Foxtel is one of Australia’s most progressive and dynamic media companies, directly employing around 2,500 people, and delivering a diverse subscription television service to both regional and metropolitan areas over cable, satellite and broadband distribution. We offer a better entertainment experience every day to each one of our 2.3 million subscribing homes through delivery of exclusive and inspiring programming across all genres, the world’s most popular channel brands, and investment in high quality local content. As constant champions of innovation we have brought customers the iQ personal digital recorder, Australia’s largest HD offering, Foxtel 3D, and more recently, the Foxtel Go App for iPad. Foxtel is owned by Telstra Corporation Limited ACN 051 775 556 (50%) and The News Corporation Ltd (50%). foxtel.com.au