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BBC Three unveiled new commissions

Zai BennettZai Bennett, Controller, BBC Three, today unveiled a raft of new commissions at the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival.


The commissions span the genres of comedy, entertainment, factual entertainment and factual – and following the huge success and critical acclaim for the recent Mental Health Season on the channel – It’s A Mad World – he also announced a season of programmes around the justice system both here and in the US.

Zai Bennett said: “Since I was up in Edinburgh a year ago we’ve had so many cut through shows on BBC Three, and, judging by the calibre of the new commissions I’m announcing today, next year will be no different.  We’ve won two BAFTAs (Our War and The Revolution Will Be Televised), two Broadcast Awards (My Murder and The Revolution Will Be Televised [digital]), a Freesat Award (Our War), a British Comedy Award (Jack Whitehall) and had over 40 shows which pulled in audiences of well over 1m (first tx consolidated).

“We’ve unleashed Nev on the world, tackled really serious issues such as mental health, body image, the horsemeat scandal, the Cleveland kidnappings, the treatment of women in India, brought women’s football to the nation and humour and satire to audiences through Russell Howard’s Good News, The Revolution Will Be Televised, Cuckoo, Bluestone 42, Bad Education, Some Girls and Pramface to name but a few.”


Siblings – 6 x 30’

A brand-new scripted comedy series from the company that made The Inbetweeners, Siblings is about the world’s worst brother and sister. Obnoxious, lazy, self-centred, underachieving, incompetent and occasionally depraved, they cause chaos and disaster wherever they go. The series is from Bwark Productions (The Inbetweeners, Drifters) and is written by Keith Akushie (Fresh Meat), produced by Phil Gilbert and executive produced by Simon Wilson.  BBC commissioning executive is Chris Sussman.

Seann Walsh’s Late Night Comedy Spectacular – 1 x 60’

From deep inside the Edinburgh Fringe, rising superstar Seann Walsh hosts a riotous hour of the most exciting new acts in comedy. See the next generation of talent make their mark on the sweaty coal-face of the world’s greatest comedy festival, including Tom Rosenthal (Friday Night Dinner, Plebs), Aisling Bea (Winner of So You Think You’re Funny 2012) and everyone’s favourite Limerick-based hip-hop artists, The Rubberbandits. From BBC In-house comedy, directed by Richard Valentine, produced by Alex Moody and executive produced by Saurabh Kakkar.

Staying In With Greg & Russell – 8 x 45’

BBC Three’s brand-new, irreverent chat show where celebrity guests come over to stay at Greg & Russell’s. Greg James (BBC Radio 1 Drivetime DJ) & Russell Kane (Perrier award-winning stand-up comedian) have decided to take their bromance to the next level and are moving in together to host their very own chat show.  Each week they’ll invite a couple of celebrity guests to ‘their place’ for an unmissable evening of unique entertainment. Our hosts’ charm, hospitality and flair for what really makes a memorable evening is set to guarantee our guests have got plenty to talk about. The show will be set in a surreal, studio version of the duo’s dream pad, and recorded in front of a live studio audience. From Talkback (part of FremantleMedia UK).  Dan Baldwin and Neil McCallum are executive producers for Talkback and the BBC commissioning executive is Ruby Kuraishe.

Jack Whitehall’s Backchat – 4 x 30’ plus 2 specials

Backchat is an entertainment show hosted by Jack, but he’s brought his father, Michael, along too. Each week Jack will be inviting big celebrity names along for a chat and sketches. Unfortunately his dad will also be throwing in his own observations and questions, as well as giving Jack a telling off for his interview manner. Join the fun as Whitehall junior and senior meet some brilliant celebrity guests in this very unique new comedy show. From Tiger Aspect, the executive producers are Ben Cavey and Andy Brereton and the series producer is Suzi Aplin. The BBC executive is Karl Warner.

New sitcoms proved a big hit with audiences last year and Bad Education, Cuckoo, Some Girls, Badults and Bluestone 42 will all be returning.

Factual Entertainment

Sun, Sex And Suspicious Parents: Thailand – 6 x 60’ plus catch up show

The series where parents secretly keep tabs on their kids’ holidays returns with a new series from Thailand. From RDF Television, the executive producer is Jo Scarratt.  BBC executive is Elliot Reed.

Snow, Sex And Suspicious Parents – 3 x 60’ plus catch up show

This is Sun Sex And Suspicious Parents but with an icy twist as parents secretly spy on their kids on their skiing holidays – watching their every snow plough, slalom, parallel turn and gallon of gluhwein. Jo Scarratt is the executive producer for RDF Television and Elliot Reed is the BBC executive.


Old Before My Time – 3 x 60’

Presented by Cherry Healey, this series looks at the health implications, diseases and conditions associated with either drinking too much, taking too many party/club drugs or eating too much. Many of these conditions are presenting in people in their teens, 20s and early 30s and are normally associated with people who are at least twice their age. The series uncovers how our youthful lifestyle choices if left unchecked are damaging our bodies and creating problems and ill health for decades to come and even leading to most prematurely aging condition of all – death.  Made by Silver River for BBC Three, Claire Faragher is executive producer and Sam Bickley is BBC commissioning executive.

Sex, Money, Beauty: The Secrets Of South America – 3 x 60’

Billie J D Porter explores life in South America in three films through Argentina’s attitude to sex; Brazil’s moneyed elite and struggling poor, and Venezuela’s obsession with beauty and body image.

South America is a continent packed with contrasts. Poor developing nations are rapidly transforming into emerging economies capable of competing on the global stage. Affluent people live extravagant lifestyles while their fellow countrymen face extreme poverty. This series explores the culture of South America through attitudes to sex, money and beauty. The show is a BBC In-house production. Executive producers are Lucy Hetherington and Gian Quaglieni.

Prostitution: What’s The Harm? – 1 x 60’

BBC Three is setting out to examine the attitudes and experiences of young people in the UK to prostitution, in a one-hour documentary to be shown in the autumn. Presented by Billie J D Porter, the programme will reflect a wide range of opinions and experiences. It will feature the young men who buy sex and the young women who sell it and will look at the different motivations for paying for sex and at the changing nature of the industry.  It will also reflect the moves being made by some politicians to ban outright the purchase of sex, question who they are trying to criminalise, and ask – what is the right approach? The show is a BBC In-house production. The executive producer is Sam Collyns.

Justice Season

A season of programmes examining crime and punishment here in the UK and in the US and asking whether we treat young adults fairly. Programmes include:

Life And Death Row – 3 x 60’

Some young Britons want the UK to follow in America’s footsteps and reintroduce capital punishment. But do they really know what it means to live in the shadow of the death penalty? Now, for the first time ever, this three-part series will tell the story of capital punishment through the eyes of the young people whose lives have been shaped by it. We’ll go inside prison walls to meet America’s youngest Death Row inmates and discover what it’s like to miss out on your formative years, living with the threat of the death chamber. We’ll also meet the victims and the families, some praying for an execution, some praying for a reprieve.

Each film in the trilogy focuses on a key aspect of the system – execution, trial and crime – and will chart the journey from the moment of murder to the death house. We will see how the capital punishment system impacts on young lives. These are not just stories packed full of unfolding drama, jeopardy and intense emotion, but real life tales that provoke fundamental questions about justice, the right to life and the right to kill.

At the core of each film is a compelling, driving narrative, enriched by a powerful chorus of young voices from across America – on Death Row and beyond.

Life And Death Row is a BBC In-house production. Producer/directors are Ben Anthony and Graeme McAulay and the executive producers are Colin Barr and Clare Sillery.

Stacey Dooley On Teen Domestic Violence – 1 x 60’

Stacey Dooley is on a mission to investigate domestic abuse amongst young Britons. It’s estimated that a quarter of girls aged 13 to 17 have experienced physical violence from a boyfriend. In this one-hour documentary, Stacey is going behind the startling statistics to meet the victims and hear their emotional stories of abuse, and in a bold move she will come face to face with the reformed perpetrators who want to turn their lives around.  Stacey is determined to challenge the apathy surrounding domestic abuse and find out what is being done to help those most affected. From Mentorn Productions, the BBC commissioning executive is Fiona Campbell.

Dead Behind Bars – 1 x 60’

In the last five years 41 offenders under 21 have killed themselves while in custody. They weren’t angels but they were young people in the care of the state. This film tells their story people through the testimony of their families and friends, as well as revealing the flaws in the system and the lapses of care which contributed towards some of their deaths. From Lambent Productions, the BBC commissioning executive is Darren Kemp.

My Man – 1 x 60’ (working title)

Following on from BBC Three’s award-winning My Murder in 2012, My Man is a factual drama based on the murder of a 21-year-old woman by her boyfriend. The film explores domestic abuse within teenage and young people’s relationships in line with recent research that reflects an increase in the reporting of domestic abuse in this age group.

Casey met and fell in love with her partner when she was 17 years old. Her murder was brutal – with her two year old daughter found next to her as she was dying – but away from the violence, the focus of this film will be the psychology and emotional complications that kept both of them locked in this destructive and tragic relationship.  It’s the subtle power dynamics and manipulations that many of the audience might recognise and rationalise in their own relationships that the film interrogates. This began as a love story, how did it turn so sour?

My Man is a BBC In-house production. Executive produced by Darren Kemp, produced by Pier Wilkie and directed by Bruce Goodison.

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