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BBC World Service Unveils New Programmes

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BBC World Service has announced a number of new shows that will increase the network's music, arts and factual programmes.

Launching this Autumn, the schedule includes; a new arts strand highlighting cultural happenings around the world, three new music programmes bringing the expertise of BBC Music to global audiences, and a new weekly strand for landmark factual series that will explore contemporary issues and stories.

Mary Hockaday, Controller, BBC World Service English, said: "News and current affairs remains the heart of the World Service, but there's room for more breadth and depth – guiding listeners through a complex world and offering more culture and music – and our new schedule will deliver a richer mix of bold programmes and great talent to reflect the breadth of our listeners' interests. An innovative new arts strand will sit where arts and news collide, new music programmes will showcase the BBC's outstanding musical expertise for our global audience, and I'm also introducing a new home for distinctive factual series where we'll take a deeper look over several episodes at the big questions of our time."

The new factual strand, The Compass, will be home to longer factual series to explore topics in greater depth. Each series will help explain the world with a narrative arc across the weeks, with each sequence of programmes will reflect something new about the 21st Century.

'Waithood' will launch the strand, and will look at the changing timetable of adulthood. Across the world, the gap between childhood and adulthood is getting bigger for many young people who struggle to find jobs and settle down to start a family. Over three programmes, Jake Wallis Simons will examine the challenges and new identities of Waithood in communities in Africa, Europe and America. The series will be followed by 'Local Warming', a three-programme offering in the run-up to the Paris Climate conference which will focus on how people regard climate change where they live as their environment changes.

Other commissions include 'America in Black and White', a four-part series examining the future of race relations in the United States, and 'My Perfect Country', a new series and digital proposition with Fi Glover and Martha Lane Fox who share successful examples of technological and social change across the globe.

The Cultural Frontline is the network's new arts strand and will allow writers, reporters, thinkers and artists to submit dispatches from their part of the world, investigating the ways that culture is responding to and changing the world they live in. The weekly programme will provide a platform for reactions and observations from the frontline of the arts and social change.

A collaboration between BBC World Service and BBC Music has also been announced. The two organisations will come together to launch three new monthly programmes. BBC Radio 6 Music presenter, singer and reporter Cerys Matthews will have her own show, 'BBC Music on the World Service with Cerys Matthews', celebrating all genres and eras of music. Elsewhere, 'Music Extra' will present a selection of music documentaries and special programmes from all of the BBC radio networks; while 'BBC Introducing' will see Radio 1's Huw Stephens showcase the best of new British music for a worldwide audience.

The new programmes, plus the World Service's existing monthly music programme 'Global Beats', will air in rotation across the month, providing an hour-long, weekly instalment of new music from around the world and within the UK, as well as explore the musical connections that stretch across countries.

Steve Titherington, Senior Commissioning Editor, BBC World Service, said: "Music is a vital part of people's lives globally. We want to celebrate the best music being created in the UK and around the world and explore how music is connected across countries and languages. By teaming up with BBC Music, we can capitalise on the BBC's extensive archive, iconic DJs and authoritative presenters with interviews, documentaries and special features on a range of musical trends, themes and history."


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