Zai Bennett, Controller of BBC Three, has commissioned a raft of outstanding new factual and current affairs programmes covering a broad range of subjects guaranteed to inform, educate and entertain the channel’s young adult audience.
Zai Bennett, Controller of BBC Three says: “BBC Three is the only channel that commissions original documentaries and current affairs specifically for young adults. These shows cover a range of topics from the war in Afghanistan to life at Bangkok airport, from a pupil referral unit in West London to drug cartels in Mexico. They demonstrate the range and quality that BBC Three viewers expect from our top-fight factual content like recent agenda-setting documentary Life And Death Row.”
Our War (series 3) – 2 x 60 minutes
The double BAFTA-winning BBC Three series returns to capture the end of Britain’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan in a new landmark documentary series. As the final British troops prepare to leave Helmand Province, the series returns to tell the story of our longest war for over century. This 13-year-long military campaign has been recorded like no other modern conflict – by the young soldiers themselves. From the gripping drama of an enemy ambush as experienced by infantry foot-soldiers, to a terrifying nine-day siege on a mountain top, the shocking moments a British apache accidentally opens fire on a British platoon and the devastating aftermath of an IED explosion, this remarkable collection captures personal moments of fear, bravery and exhilaration.
The Unit – 4 x 60 minutes
The Bridge AP Academy in West London is one of the UK’s biggest Pupil Referral Units, taking in pupils who’ve been permanently excluded or moved from schools from across West London. For many, this is a chance to get their lives back on track. If they can still get an education, they have a future – but it’s not always easy. Facing extremely challenging behaviour is all in a day’s work for teachers, mentors and therapists at The Bridge, but as they start to get under the skins of the young people, we discover that some of the behavioural problems mask deeply traumatic personal experiences. This engaging, powerful and provocative series asks some big questions about whether these young people have failed or been failed by the system, and as we follow them over a make-or-break year, we discover whether The Bridge can really help turn their lives around. The Unit is made by Keo Films. The executive producer is Katie Buchanan and the BBC commissioning executive is Clare Paterson.
Bangkok Airport (w/t) – 6 x 60 minutes
Bangkok airport, the gateway to South-East Asia, is a thriving, bustling hub of excitement and anticipation, of pale arrivals to tanned departures and everything in between. BBC Three has gained unparalleled access to all aspects of the airport in this thrilling six-part series which sees young Brits passing through to embark on adventures of a lifetime. Each episode follows some of the thousands of youth British travellers checking in and checking out, run-ins with the tourist police, incidents in immigration, customs, treatment at the on-site medical centre, missed flights, expired passports and emergencies abroad. The action takes place inside and occasionally outside the airport – at island trouble spots and the British Embassy in downtown Bangkok. And in a unique twist, contributors’ UGC (user generated content) will be used alongside fly-on-the-wall docusoap content. Bangkok Airport is made by Keo Films. It is series produced by Fiona Inskip and executive produced by Paula Trafford. BBC commissioning editor is Sam Bickley.
Eye Of The Tyger (w/t) – 3 x 60 minutes
Cuckoo and Outnumbered star Tyger Drew Honey turns detective for BBC Three as he tours the UK, reporting on issues affecting young people in Britain today. Across three shows, Tyger explores the issues of pornography; relationships and dating; and body image. As one of the first generation to have unlimited access to porn, Tyger wants to know how it affects today’s youth. With hardcore porn only a click away, he speaks to the people watching it and the industry which churns it out like never before – from old-school porn movies to the new generation of interactive porn performers, as he meets a girl who pays her way through university by web-camming.
In the second programme, a single Tyger is looking for love, so joins the million-plus young adults who are using online dating apps in search of a relationship. With fast, quick-fix disposable encounters and a trend for open relationships, are young people and incapable of traditional commitment? Are young people more connected than ever before, but actually feeling lonelier? Tyger meets those caught up in the melting pot of modern relationships and talks to professionals about the addictive nature of digital dating.
In the final episode, Tyger is thrown in the deep end as he explores male body image and discovers how far some guys will go for the perfect look. He immerses himself in the trend-setting world of ‘Men’s Fitness’, bravely competes in a national competition for a ‘beach body look’, and tries out potent sports supplements that are seriously damaging young people’s health. He meets the vainest boys in Britain, who thinks nothing of waxing and make-up, and learns that the obsession with selfies may be fuelling a growth in young men opting for plastic surgery.
Stacey Dooley: New Drugs Frontiers (w/t) – 3 x 60 minutes
Across the world there’s a cat and mouse battle being fought between drug traffickers and law enforcement, and in this brand-new series, Stacey Dooley goes to the heart of this ongoing war.
Despite global efforts to crack down on the drugs trade, new and more powerful drugs are constantly being created. New countries are being dragged into the battle, which is presenting major challenges to the authorities trying to combat them and posing new threats to local populations and the people who take the drugs.
In this series, Stacey travels to Mexico to investigate the meth trade, the drug cartels and how they’re destroying whole swathes of the country. In South Africa she’s on the trail of the latest and most potent strains of skunk, and in India she reveals the truth behind the latest wave of designer drugs hitting Britain’s streets. In all three countries, she joins the authorities on the front line, tracks down participants and victims, and witnesses the chaos and destruction these dangerous substances leave in their wake.
Russell Brand: Give It Up – 1 x 60 minutes
Following on from his critically acclaimed 2012 BBC Three documentary From Addiction To Recovery, Russell has spent the last 18 months finding out more about addiction treatment around the globe, and investigates how we might best improve treatment for addicts in the UK. The film sees Russell concentrate on the political and social attitudes which impact on treatment programmes. He travels to Switzerland to learn more about their approach to treating addicts and where his long-held views on addiction and recovery are challenged. He will interview political decision-makers, government advisors and police officials to garner their views, and he will meet addicts from all strata of society battling addiction, those in 12-step programmes and also addicts who haven’t been through rehab and who don’t agree with his abstinence-based central philosophy.
Life Through Your Lens (w/t) – 1 x 60 minutes
Life Through Your Lens, a one-hour documentary from Fresh Online – the ground-breaking BBC Learning/BBC Three initiative, paints a unique picture of Britain, focused and filtered through the lens of young filmmakers. The film is a compilation of clips from the best films submitted to Fresh Online (bbc.co.uk/fresh) and interviews with the young filmmakers who made them.