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30/10/2017

BBC Announces Number Of New Factual Commissions

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The BBC's Controller of Factual Commissioning, Alison Kirkham, has announced a wide range of new factual titles across BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four featuring Vicky McClure, Lucy Worsley, David Olusoga, Lenny Henry and Ed Balls.

The commissions include:
• BAFTA winning actress Vicky Mcclure explores how music therapy can help fight dementia in My Dementia Choir
• Lucy Worsley presents a special film to mark 100 years of women in the UK being allowed to vote
• David Olusoga tells the story of a single Georgian townhouse from the time it was built in 1838 until the present day in The House
• Lenny Henry examines the deep-rooted relationship between the crown and the Commonwealth in Lenny Henry: Commonwealth Kid
• Ed Balls travels to America's Deep South to immerse himself in the lives of those who put Trump in power

Making the announcement, Alison Kirkham, said: "This has been a brilliant year for Factual on the BBC, from our success at the BAFTAs earlier in the year, where we swept the board in six categories to us topping the recent Grierson shortlist with 29 nominations across 14 categories. We've had critical and ratings success with Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum And Dad, Diana, 7 Days, Hospital II, Chris Packham: Asperger's And Me among the many highlights as well as the upcoming Blue Planet II.

"The new titles I'm announcing today demonstrate my on-going commitment to bringing audiences high quality, challenging and timely content with a breadth, scale and impact not found anywhere else. From the latest in cutting edge science to history programmes offering fresh perspectives on the past as well as series tackling some of the big issues facing us today I hope that these new commissions will entertain and inspire viewers and open their eyes to the world in new ways."

Vicky McClure: My Dementia Choir (BBC One)
BAFTA winning actress Vicky McClure takes us on a deeply personal journey to discover the true extent of music's power in fighting dementia in this new series for BBC One. Joining forces with the University of Nottingham and specialists from the fields of medicine, music therapy and performance she is forming a very special band and choir who will rehearse together to put on one truly unforgettable performance.

The series follows Vicky as she recruits ex musicians and singers with dementia and hears their stories. The band and choir will be supported by a range of specialists as they work towards their final performance and the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy in our understanding of how music therapy can help people with dementia.

Vicky McClure: My Dementia Choir (2x60') was commissioned by Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual and Charlotte Moore, Director of Content. The commissioning editor is Craig Hunter. It is being made by Curve Media where the Executive Producer is Camilla Lewis.

How Women Won The Vote With Lucy Worsley (BBC One)
February 2018 will mark 100 years of women in the UK being allowed to vote. Today in Britain, this democratic act feels like a basic human right, but as Lucy Worsley will reveal in this 90 minute special, the battle that women had to wage for this right was complex and hard-fought.

Using original source materials to piece together a captivating telling of the forgotten stories from this period of history, Lucy will explore the range of people who fought for the vote - young and old, rich and poor, men and women, from all over the country - some of whom decided to go against every rule and expectation that Victorian society had about them.

Lucy says: "I'm thrilled to be marking the 100 year anniversary of women getting the vote with this 90 minute film for BBC One in such a dramatic and exciting way."

How Women Won The Vote With Lucy Worsley (1x90') was commissioned by Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning Specialist Factual and Natural History and Charlotte Moore, Director of Content and the Commissioning Editor is Simon Young. It is being made by Brook Lapping where the Executive Producer is Emma Hindley.

Lenny Henry: The Commonwealth Kid (BBC One)
Sir Lenny Henry is Dudley born, but Jamaica bred. He considers himself a Commonwealth Kid, born to Jamaican parents who came to the UK as part of the post-Windrush generation in 1957.

Always fascinated with his own heritage and the Commonwealth, in this film Lenny will examine the deep-rooted relationship between the crown, the Commonwealth and its 2.3 billion people. It's an issue close to his heart and a subject he feels deeply passionate about. And as the 2018 Commonwealth Summit takes place in London for the first time in over 30 years, it's a timely moment to explore the role of this community of nations in the 21st Century.

Lenny says: "I'm delighted and excited to revisit where my parents grew up and explore things I don't know about Jamaica and the Bahamas especially in the context of the Commonwealth."

Lenny Henry: The Commonwealth Kid (1x60') was commissioned by Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual and Charlotte Moore, Director of Content and the BBC Commissioning Editor is Simon Young. The film is being made by Burning Bright Productions and Douglas Road Productions Executive Producer are Clive Tulloh and Barbara Emile.

The House (BBC Two)
Presented by David Olusoga, The House is an ambitious new history series for BBC Two, which tells the story of a single Georgian-style townhouse from the time it was built in 1840 until the present day.

Beginning on the steps of the four-storey home in Liverpool, David traces the lives of the house's many residents across 200 years of history. Using painstaking detective work - professional records and archives, contemporary documents and the help of expert witnesses the series uncovers the stories of the individuals and families who lived in this Grade II-listed terraced house, from the fashionable merchant who first moved in during the early 1840s to the dockers who lived there at the height of the Liverpool Blitz.

Over the course of four episodes, The House will paint a unique portrait of Britain - one that connects a single house to the fortunes of a city, a nation and ultimately the wider world, and how history affects its residents.

The House (4x60') has been commissioned by Tom McDonald and Patrick Holland and the Commissioning Editor is Simon Young. The House is being made by Twenty Twenty Productions, the Executive Producer is Maxine Watson and the Series Producer is Mary Crisp.

Ed Balls: My Deep South Road Trip (BBC Two)
Fresh from winning over the nation's hearts on Strictly, have-a-go hero, Ed Balls, is going State-side, travelling to America's Deep South to immerse himself in the lives of those who put Trump in power.

In 2016, a year of seismic change - Britain voted to leave the EU, Donald Trump became the leader of the free world, and, most surprising of all, in the week that Trump was voted in, Ed Balls' salsa to Gangnam Style took the country by storm. As Trump, an entertainment heavyweight, was moving into politics, Ed was making the exact same journey in reverse.

A year into one of the most controversial presidencies of all time, in this entertaining series for BBC Two, Ed will head to some of the original Confederate states, to find out how those who voted for Trump feel about him now.

Ed Balls says: "It's one thing to swap being a politician for reality TV and embarrass your family in the process. It's quite another thing to swap reality TV for the US Presidency and turn the world upside down. I've always loved visiting the American south - the food and the music are fabulous and there's so much to learn from its history. But I was as shocked as anyone else by the way the south helped sweep Trump to victory. So I'm looking forward to visiting the communities at the heart of the Trump revolution, getting to know the voters who elected him and finding out what they think of him one year on."

The series (3x60') was commissioned by David Brindley, Head of Commissioning, Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment and Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two. It is being made by Expectation Factual where it is being Executive Produced by Amy Flanagan and Colin Barr.

Kensington (BBC Two)
Kensington is a part of Britain like no other. In just five square miles, you can find £40 million pound mansions, high-rise tower blocks, extreme wealth, and those struggling to get by. More so than anywhere else in Britain, it is a borough where extremes live side by side.

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster, this bold film asks: how did Kensington become home to such inequality?

Kensington (1x60') was commissioned by Tom McDonald and Patrick Holland, Controller BBC Two and the Commissioning Editor is Simon Young. It is being made by Blast! Films where the Director is James Ross and the Executive Producers are Alistair Pegg and Edmund Coulthard.

Heart Transplant (BBC Two)
With Prime Minister Theresa May pledging to introduce presumed consent for organ donation in England at the Conservative Party Conference last week and with 6,500 people currently on the organ transplant waiting list, this topical 90 minute special brings viewers the most complete picture of the donation process ever put on screen.

Filmed at the Institute of Transplantation in Newcastle, one of Europe's leading transplant centres, the programme reveals the latest pioneering transplant surgery which leading surgeons think could improve the prognosis for thousands of people awaiting transplants around the world.

Heart Transplant (1x90') was commissioned by Tom McDonald and Patrick Holland and the Commissioning Editor is Craig Hunter. It is being made by 7 Wonder where the Executive Producer is Alan Holland.

From Ice To Fire - The Incredible Science Of Temperature (BBC Four)
In this spectacular three part series, Helen Czerski explores the incredible science of temperature. She'll take us from a starting point of the simple human sensations of heat and cold deep into the world of molecular physics, fluid dynamics and high-energy plasmas to reveal the mind-bending science that lies at the heart of this most immediate of our senses.

From Ice To Fire - The Incredible Science Of Temperature was commissioned by Tom McDonald and Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four and the Commissioning Editor is Abigail Priddle. It is being made by BBC Studios Science Unit where the Executive Producer is Jacqueline Smith.

(MH)
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