BBC Three has announced a raft of new programming including a disability season.
The Disability Season comprises the following programmes:
Disability High – 3×60′
Studying, partying and dating – the everyday antics of the 2014 student. The scene in classrooms, common rooms and student bars is the same up and down the country, and National Star College in Cheltenham is little different. Except that all the students are disabled.
Disability High is a ground-breaking new series which will follow a stand-out cast of students at National Star College through the everyday dramas of growing up – falling in love and fitting in, rebelling and finding independence – whilse also struggling to overcome the unique challenges that face young disabled people in Britain today.
The World’s Worst Place To Be Disabled – 1×60′
Journalist and disabled rights activist Sophie Morgan has been in a wheelchair since a car accident when she was 18. Overnight her life changed dramatically and the future she had planned disappeared. Ten years on, Sophie believes that she is more fulfilled since her accident. She lives independently in London and has a successful career. She is about to experience what life is like for the millions of people in the world who don’t have nearly as much access to the facilities and opportunities as she does. Sophie will leave London and travel around countries that have some of the worst disability rights – from one where disabled children are banned from schools, to another where they are exiled for bringing a curse.
Personal Services – 2×60′
The ultimate rite of passage for a young person is becoming independent. That means moving out to live alone or with friends, not having to rely on or answer to parents and generally being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. But for over 300,000 young people who have a long-term physically limiting disability, becoming an adult is a very different story. This group of youngsters will never be 100% independent because they’re always going to need assistance – some of them 24hrs a day. Having someone wash you, dress you, cook for you and even move you is a fact of life for even the brightest and most rebellious of these people. The biggest decision they have to make when becoming an adult is who to employ as their carer.
The Three Musketeers – 1×60′ (working title)
The harsh reality is that in mainstream society a young disabled person is more likely to sink than swim. No home, no job, no future, no hope. But the fortunate 250 students at Derwen College in Shropshire, the largest and oldest specialist residential college in Britain for 16-25 year olds with learning disabilities, are offered a chance to reach their full potential. And the true test comes when those students leave to continue their lives outside.
My Broken Brain: Britain’s Secret Disability – 1×60′
My Broken Brain follows Charlie Elmore, a young victim of a brain injury, as she retraces her story. From the snowboarding accident that led to her injuries, to the life-and-death drama of hospital and rehabilitation, through to the reality of what it’s now like living with a brain injury. This is a film about the ability to bounce back, the bond of family through adversity and the sheer strength of human spirit. Access behind never-opened doors provides a privileged insight into the ripple effect of a life turned upside down.
The Truth About Becoming Disabled – 1×60′
The truth about being disabled follows newly disabled young people through their recovery process in order to showcase how physical and mental hardships are made all the worse by systemic failings of disability support in the UK. Hosted by Peter Mitchell, former sportsman and actor.
Amal Fashanu: Where Is A Home For Amir? – 1×60′
What happens to young disabled teens when they get kicked out by the care system? This is an authored documentary by 25-year-old presenter Amal Fashanu, as she battles to help her younger half-brother Amir.
The Boy Who Wants To Cut His Leg Off – 1×60′
Dillon Chapman from Somerset wants to have his left leg amputated. For him and his parents this is a difficult decision, but for them it’s the only course of treatment for a condition that is stripping Dillon of any childhood. Born with one of the most extreme forms of Neurofibromatosis (NF1) that doctors have ever seen in a child in the UK, Dillon now has over 200 tumours growing within his small body. The tumours in Dillon’s left leg, which is now four times larger and over six centimetres longer than his right, make life unbearable for him. This strong boy is now adamant that he wants his severely debilitating leg amputated. Dillon’s fighting spirit and love of life means he’s soon to realise his dream of having a prosthetic leg, a decision his mum and dad fully support. But is it right for an 11 year old to make the decision to have his own leg removed? Will the doctors and specialist agree with the family that the time is right for amputation?
The Totally Senseless Gameshow – 1×30′
Martin Dougan and a cast of non-disabled teams and celebrity guests, push boundaries and play with taboos in this humorous, tongue in cheek mock gameshow.
My Baby – 1×60′
Multi-award-winning programme maker Ben Antony directs the audience through a true story, a drama documentary of a disabled couple’s struggle to keep their baby.
Outside of the disability season the new the channel, which is soon to be moving to an online platform has also announced new factual and comedy commissions.
Life Is Toff – 6×30′
Life Is Toff is a comedy factual entertainment series about a family. But a family like no other. The Fulfords – masters of the 3000-acre Great Fulford estate in rural Devon – are Britain’s most chaotic and loveable aristocrats. And now there’s a new generation coming of age – four young adults struggling with the same problems, insecurities and rites of passage that we all confront, but with the weight of 800 years of history and tradition bearing down on them.
This series tells funny, warm, intimate and surprising stories from the private lives of the family, across a momentous few months for all four of the Fulford children – Arthur, Matilda, Humphrey and Edmund. The unfolding coming-of-age narratives will run throughout the series, through teenage and 20-something challenges and dilemmas we can all relate to, providing many comedy moments along the way.
Fried – 6×30′
Fried follows the staff in a struggling branch of a low-rent fast food chain. There’s Mary, the manager sent from head office who has grandiose plans for this fried chicken shop. Her job is openly coveted by bitter assistant manager Derek, who’s been here ‘since it were a Wimpy’. Then there’s geeky teenager Joe, and the man who’s decided they’re best friends – foul-mouthed and relentlessly self-absorbed Ed. Every week the team has to deal with customers, with one another and with the indelible smell of oil.
Fried is created and written by Jack and Harry Williams; the producer is Sarah Hammond. It is a Two Brothers Pictures/Bwark co-production. The BBC commissioning executive is Chris Sussman.
Josh – 6×30′
Josh is a brand-new sitcom series written by Josh Widdicombe and Tom Craine, and, as the title suggests, stars Josh too. The show follows Josh and two mates living in a flatshare and features Elis James as Owen and Beattie Edmondson as Kate. Jack Dee also stars as the trio’s landlord, Geoff, who is a shoo-in for this year’s Most Irritating Landlord award. This sitcom will focus on the small things in life. Josh is like the rest of us: easily embarrassed, full of polite indignation and mildly irritated by having the teabag and hot water given to him separately on a train… but only for Josh can that irritation escalate within 30 minutes to him accidentally scalding the driver and causing a three train pile-up.
Top Coppers – 6×30′
Top Coppers is a big, silly, gag-filled, action comedy set in the colourful and fictional world of Justice City. We follow the adventures of police detectives Mahogany and Rust, as they attempt to rid the city of its deranged criminal underworld.
Together – 6×30′
Together is a brand-new romantic comedy written by and starring Jonny Sweet (Chickens, Babylon) and based on the Radio 4 comedy Hard To Tell, where each episode centres around a couple in a new relationship, dealing with the interferences, obstructions and general disasters wrought by their family and friends. Sweet plays Tom, a charmless, witless but passionate 26-year-old prone to failure. He still has the same amount of self-possession as when he was aged 11 and, despite some genuine human potential, is yet to assemble anything close to what any other adult might call a ‘life’.
New BBC3 Controller Sam Bickley says: “BBC Three has a deservedly brilliant reputation for its seasons, so I’m proud to be announcing the Disability Season today. Following huge critical acclaim and high viewing figures for the channel’s Crime and Punishment and Mental Health seasons, we’ve commissioned a brand-new set of programmes around the issue of disability which doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects and faces head-on many of the issues facing young disabled people in Britain today.