A season full of brand new shows; major returning hits; new comic talent; gripping drama and hard-hitting documentaries on the back of a record-breaking 2009.
BBC Three enters 2010 at the top of its game with more young people than ever before watching the channel, and a Winter/Spring season brimming with the next generation of creative talent.
Russell Tovey, Nicola Roberts, Dan Clark, Robert Peston, Johnny Vegas, Russell Howard, Simon Bird, Harriet Braun, Catherine Johnson – just some of the artists gracing BBC Three both in front of and behind the screen in 2010.
The channel is now the most watched amongst 16-34s for the hours it broadcasts with 4.8 million watching every week.
Danny Cohen, Controller, BBC Three, said: “BBC Three has evolved a great deal in the last couple of years, with the channel growing by 29% since its re-launch. I believe my mission is clear – to provide thought-provoking and entertaining programmes for young viewers, featuring young British talent.
“Our new programme line-up delivers on this promise. It is a rich and innovative combination of thought-provoking Documentaries, fresh Comedy and Drama, and hit Entertainment – and I feel confident that we will continue to attract young viewers in 2010.”
Bold, original drama now sits at the heart of BBC Three and a new year sees the return of the hit Being Human. Russell Tovey, Lenora Crichlow and Aidan Turner are back as George, Annie and Mitchell – a werewolf, a ghost and a vampire trying to live normal lives. The critically-acclaimed drama will also be back for a third series which sees the housemates relocate from their current home in Bristol to Wales – a move triggered by events in the dramatic climax of the second series.
Created by Harriet Braun (Mistresses, Attachments), Lip Service is a modern relationship drama following the lives of a group of twenty-something lesbians living in Glasgow. Produced by Kudos Film and Television (Ashes To Ashes, Spooks, Life On Mars) the drama stars Laura Fraser as Cat, a self-assured architect; Ruta Gedmintas as Frankie, a spirited photographer; and Fiona Button who plays Tess, a struggling actress.
The channel’s commitment to new original UK drama remains as strong as ever with the commission of three new pilots which will result in one going to full series – a repeat of BBC Three’s experiment two years ago resulted in the commission of the hugely successful Being Human.
Written by Catherine Johnson, best known for the film Mamma Mia, Dappers is a Bristol-based comedy about Faye and Ashley who are young mothers and best mates living in housing association flats in well-to-do Clifton.
Pulse is a medical horror drama based in St Timothy’s – one of the UK’s top teaching hospitals, home to some of the country’s most promising trainee doctors. But beneath its veneer of medical normality lies a secret network of dangerous experiments pushing back the boundaries of science itself, with potentially horrifying consequences. Pulse is written by Paul Cornell.
Written by Leo Richardson and inspired by his stage play, Stanley Park is a sharply observed, character-based ensemble comedy drama. Set in a south London suburb, it tells the story of a group of young friends experiencing the hilarious but often painful upheavals that take place during a tumultuous period in their lives.
BBC Three remains the only digital channel to tackle serious issues for young viewers and the channel goes one step further this year with a range of fresh, new projects.
In a pioneering new dance show Dancing On Wheels, six celebrities are paired with six wheelchair users as they compete to represent the UK in the European Wheelchair dance championships.
Coached and choreographed by Strictly Come Dancing’s Brian Fortuna the celebrity dancers are Heather Small; Caroline Flack; Kevin Sacre; Martin Offiah; Michelle Gayle and Mark Foster. Their dances, which include the waltz, cha cha cha, tango and rumba, are judged by Strictly’s James and Ola Jordan and Paralympian Ade Adepitan who must choose which couple to eliminate from the competition each week.
BBC Three presents a ground-breaking season of documentaries about young people with autism called Living With Autism.
Two years ago, James Hobley couldn’t read or write, and then he discovered disco dancing and his world changed. Now, 10-years-old, James could soon be eligible for mainstream school and hopes to win the World Disco Dancing Championships. Disco Kid follows his incredible story.
Autism School follows the experiences of teenagers studying and living together at a specialist boarding school, while The Autistic Driving School follows young autistic people facing the challenging rite of passage that is learning to drive.
The season also includes a follow up to last year’s acclaimed documentary The Autistic Me. It follows the fortunes of three young people with autism, and their families, as they continue their difficult journey to adulthood.
In the build up to the World Cup, five Wags of top English footballers leave behind their privileged lives to undertake a life-changing journey to understand the reality of daily life in South Africa. In Wags In South Africa (working title), Chantelle Tagoe (Emille Heskey’s partner), Ellie Darby (Matthew Upson’s partner), Elen Rivas (Frank Lampard’s ex-partner) and Amii Grove and Imogen Thomas, the former girlfriends of Jermaine Pennant and Jermaine Defoe, are faced with the stark reality of the orphan crisis, HIV pandemic and social breakdown that engulfs the country.
Girls Aloud star Nicola Roberts explores the extremes to which some people go to achieve the perfect tan in What Would You Do For A Tan?
Other documentaries featuring in the Dangerous Pleasures Season include Stag Weekends – The Dirty Secrets in which BBC reporter Simon Boazman investigates the impact that the stag industry is having on the sex trade in Europe.
In 2010 BBC Three’s commitment to hard-hitting current affairs continues with a series of documentaries that follow young people as they explore fresh challenges and troubles in foreign lands.
In Judith: Going Back to Congo, Thandie Newton narrates a film which follows 23-year-old Judith as she returns to the Democratic Republic of Congo where rape has become a weapon of war.
In Nel: From Camden To Kabul, 21-year-old Nel returns to Afghanistan to find out what life for women was like under the Taliban, and how much life has really changed for women since.
Girls On The Frontline follows four extraordinary young women pushed to their limits as they serve in the British Army on the frontline of the conflict in Afghanistan. With unprecedented access, BBC Three explores how these young women, all in their twenties, face frontline battle and the challenges of some of the most violent months for British forces so far.
For the first time, award-winning business journalist Robert Peston comes to BBC Three in Peston On Money (working title). In six short films, shot exclusively for online and aimed at young people, Robert examines how the UK was hit by the largest financial disaster in half a century and what viewers can do to protect themselves. He also chairs a BBC Three audience debate tackling a wide range of issues including why debt is dangerous.
Lindsay Lohan travels across India to meet the people involved in child trafficking in Lindsay Lohan In India (working title). From poverty-stricken parents sending their children away to work, to traffickers trying to make a quick buck, Lindsay questions if there is any solution to this abominable trade.
There’s plenty of fresh, new comedy on BBC Three this year. In a brand new show, critically-acclaimed character comedian Simon Brodkin unleashes his London Geeza in… Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show.
Russell Tovey plays Steve, a laddish man with no desire to seek employment, in a hilarious and often shocking comedy about what really goes on behind the bedroom doors of today’s twenty-somethings in Young, Lazy And Unemployed.
Puppets join the cast on BBC Three this year in the shape of We Are Mongrels. This ambitious new comedy tells the tale of four urban animals who hang out together in the bin yard of an inner-city pub.
In The Gemma Factor, Gemma Collinge has only one ambition – to be famous by the time she’s 21. Living in a tiny backwater, Gemma dreams of escaping to the Big Smoke for the bright lights and all its trappings.
In the coming months, the entertainment slate should give young audiences plenty to make them smile.
One of the runaway hits of 2009, Russell Howard’s Good News is back as, each week, Russell scours the media looking for the big stories dominating the news and offering his own unique perspective.
In the exciting new comedy panel show, The King Is Dead, a well-known public figure is hypothetically bumped off each week and a comic interview panel led by Simon Bird must scour the Great British celebrity pool for a top-notch replacement.
Following the hit series, The Undercover Princes, BBC Three once again throws open the regal runway to welcome three princesses in The Undercover Princesses who head for the UK in search of their very own Prince Charming.