Kim Shillinglaw, Controller BBC Two and BBC Four, celebrated the unique role of BBC Two and announced a raft of new commissions at a special preview event in London. The programmes cover every genre from comedy, drama to the powerful factual that we’ve come to expect from the channel.
The key new commissions include
Game Changer (working title)
Daniel Radcliffe and Bill Paxton to star in new factual drama. this special 90-minute drama tells the story of the controversy surrounding the computer game Grand Theft Auto – arguably the greatest British coding success story since Bletchley Park.
Following the news that Seth McFarnle’s popular animated comedy Family Guy is to jump ship to ITV2, The BBC have confirmed that the 13th season will air on BBC Two. The series begins with the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover episode that aired last year in the US.
The creative team behind BBC Three’s hit comedy Him and Her have been commissioned for a brand new comedy entitled Mum. The comedy is written Stefan Golaszewski; Director, Richard Laxton; Producer, Lyndsay Robinson and Executive Producer, Kenton Allen. Oliver Award winner and Bafta-nominated actress Lesley Manville stars as ‘Mum’, a mother in her late 50s and at a milestone in her life. We follow her and family through a year of new beginnings as she rebuilds her life following the death of her husband.
They have also announced a new three-part comedy entitled Stag which centres around a meek schoolteacher (Jim Howick) who struggles to survive the Stag weekend from hell, as he joins his future brother-in-law (Stephen Campbell Moore) and several obnoxious friends, on a deer-stalking expedition in the Scottish highlands. It quickly gets messier than anyone expected; as the hunters become the hunted, sordid secrets emerge and old friendships are tested to the limit.
In an impressive new raft of factual and entertainment series Nigella Lawson has landed a new show. Simply Nigella treats viewers to a handful of dishes per show, Nigella will talk about what the recipes mean to her as well as giving tips to find the easiest way to cook them. With feasts for special occasions sitting alongside tasty every day meals, Simply Nigella will deliver a true sense of balance between lightness and lushness.
Radio DJ Sara Cox has signed up to host yet another show with the ‘Great British..’ tagline. The Great British Pottery Throw Down is a six-part search for Britain’s best budding potter.
Choirmaster Gareth Malone is to return to the channel with The Naked Choir. It’s a series to seek out the very best and pose the ultimate test of vocal dexterity, creativity and ingenuity, Gareth is stipulating that each group must rely solely on the versatility of their voices and perform a cappella – without backing tracks or musical instruments.
Hairdressing reality show Hair returns hosted by comedian Katherine Ryan, and with judges Denise McAdam, session stylist and royal hairdresser; and Alain Pichon, international session stylist, the search for Britain’s best amateur hair stylist returns for a new series, this time on BBC Two.
Each week the competitors will face four different challenges which will test them on every level: the judges want precision and perfection and are not afraid to tell the contestants exactly where they have gone wrong.
Another notable factual commission is four-part documentary Let Us Entertain You
In the years since the end of the Second World War, Britain has been a nation in decline: the loss of Empire, the collapse of industry, and the decline of political and economic influence in world affairs. However, there is one arena in which we can legitimately claim superpower status – our popular culture. In the post-war years, Britain’s cultural contribution has been second to none, from music and fashion to art, film, literature and theatre. James Bond to Agatha Christie, Andrew Lloyd Webber to John Lennon, it is through our culture that the world now sees us.
Channel favourite Brian Cox returns with a brand new series Six Degrees in which he challenges a team of scientists and celebrities to get connected and battle their way through the six degrees of separation that connect everything in our universe. From Babbage to Buzzfeed, Lovelace to Linux, Six Degrees is based on the theory that everyone or everything is six or fewer steps away from any other person in the world. The panel show will rejoice in the often serendipitous connections that have led us through the digital revolution.
Following the success of her series exploring the Mekong River, Sue Perkins is embarking on an epic and unforgettable journey across the greatest mountain range on Earth in Himalayas with Sue Perkins. Over soaring peaks and mighty rivers, through hidden kingdoms and lush foothills, Sue will travel through one of the world’s most spectacular regions, where extreme geographical isolation has created and nurtured cultures as diverse as the landscape itself. Uncovering the story of this remote and inaccessible land, Sue will step into a world where adventure is of the very highest level.
Another intriguing factual piece is titled The Detectives. In July 2012 Greater Manchester Police set up a new unit to investigate sex offences. In the first of its kind for the force, 60 detectives were trained as specialist rape investigators. Within the first year, reports of sex offences across Britain reached levels never seen before in the history of policing. This three-part series follows the detectives as they investigate sex crime in unprecedented times. Gripping and dramatic it take us into their world, revealing the complexities and challenges, highs and lows, of investigating the crime that is second only to murder.
A three-part series called Wildest Tribes sees naturalist and wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan imbeds himself with remote tribes, using their remarkable field skills to get closer than ever before to iconic wildlife, including anacondas and lions. Gordon needs to be accepted by each tribe and learn their unique survival and tracking skills in order to gain a completely new insight into the wild animals which still dominate their lives.
Another landmark series, Atlantic – Earth’s Wildest Oceans reveals the mysteries of the Atlantic Ocean – from the Arctic to the Antarctic, the crushing depths of the abyss to the sun drenched tropical reef. This series will reveal the amazing, surprising and resilient inhabitants of the Atlantic, both animals and people, as they pit themselves against the world’s wildest ocean.
Each episode unveils the natural forces that underpin life in the Atlantic, from the world’s most powerful currents, ferocious hurricanes and huge chains of undersea volcanoes making this dynamic ocean rich in life.
Watch an exciting new showreel for the channel Below