BBC Wales has announced plans to develop a new flagship drama series for peaktime that will harness the world class creative expertise in drama production that exists in Wales.

BBC Wales’s award-winning drama, Belonging, will be brought to an end. A ninth series of eight episodes will be aired next spring and a special grand finale programme will be broadcast to mark Belonging’s tenth anniversary in 2009.

The chance to develop and write a brand new show for primetime will be a massive creative opportunity for the talented band of writers based in Wales. It has not yet been decided whether the show will be made in-house or by an independent company.

BBC Wales Head of English Language Programmes, Clare Hudson, says: “It will be a first class series made by some of the best writers around with a great cast.

“Our doors are open to any writer or company who think they have the best ideas and the best talent. We know that Wales can do it – just look at how we are leading the way with primetime BBC network drama such as Doctor Who and Torchwood.

“I have always been a great fan of Belonging. I love the subtlety of the writing and direction and I love the cast of characters. The series has deservedly won many awards over the years, and attracted a very loyal following in Wales.

“But we feel it is time now to bring it to a close – after almost ten years we want to explore new avenues and new ways of reaching and delighting our audiences.”

Julie Gardner, Head of Drama and Executive Producer of Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, paid tribute to the high quality of Belonging.

“We can promise a finale which the audience will absolutely love, and will talk about for years afterwards. In BBC Wales Drama we don’t ever stand still and we will announce the new show aimed at a peaktime audience next year.

“We have world-class creative expertise in Wales and this new drama will give a fantastic opportunity to work on one of BBC Wales’s flagship programmes.”

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