The Adult Season

8:30pm Tuesday 24 August on BBC THREE

The boys take centre stage this week as eight-year-old Matthew explains why he wants to break into the competitive world of child modelling, as BBC Three’s Adult Season continues

BBC Three’s recent Adult Season has proved a huge hit with 16–34 year olds with more watching the season and the channel than ever before.

BBC Three continues to be the most watched digital channel for 16-34 year olds for the hours it broadcasts – and has grown its share of young audiences by 58% since Danny Cohen began as Controller just over three years ago.

The Adult Season has just ended and ran over four weeks with a range of documentaries and entertainment shows looking at what it is like to be a young adult in Britain today. Online, BBC Three hosted a debate where young people shared their personal experiences of what it means to become an “adult”.

Danny Cohen said: “The record-breaking audience response to the Adult Season is testament to the quality of the programmes being made for BBC Three by a wonderful range of producers and directors. Their programmes have really connected with young audiences – as we’ve also been able to see from the fantastic online response to the Season.”

Headlines include:

The Adult Season gave the channel four of its five best weeks ever in terms of share amongst 16-34 year olds, peaking with a 6% share in the week of the 26 July – the channel’s best weekly share ever

The season so far has reached 17million individuals, 39% of all 16-34 year olds

Episode One of Underage And Pregnant, which follows a mix of young mums, and some dads, with varied backgrounds as they come to terms with pregnancy, birth, and their new lives with a baby, was the best performing originated programme ever in a pre-watershed slot on BBC Three, with an audience of 1million (9.6% share in the target audience)

Small Teen, Big World is the most watched documentary ever on BBC Three with an audience of 1.2million for its first transmission. The show followed the lives of Jazz, a teenager with an undiagnosed form of dwarfism and her mum, Bev, who has the same condition. The debate and impact of the film was immediate: on the night of transmission there were over 60 pages of comments about the film on Twitter. During the broadcast, Jazz received 600 friend requests on Facebook and by the next day it had risen to 1400. A viewer she has never met set up a Facebook fan-club about her which now has over 500 members

All Adult Season programmes were strong on the BBC iPlayer – this was led by Glamour Models: Mum And Me with 478,000 requests.

Following the success of last year’s Adult Season, which brought BBC Three its highest-rating two weeks in its history among the target audience of 16 to 34 year olds, the season returns this summer with a host of new and returning programmes.

The season will explore the pressures on young people to grow up quickly, and what it means to be an adult.

Danny Cohen, Controller BBC Three, says: “The Adult Season brought BBC Three record-breaking audiences last summer and we’re excited about returning to a territory that had such a big impact with young viewers.”

Leading the season of eight documentaries will be a series of four films entitled My Mum And Me.

If your parent is physically unwell, schoolfriend sympathy and a shoulder to cry on are often at hand. But for a young person with a parent suffering from mental health problems, the stigma can be overwhelming and domestic upheaval can be an unspoken secret.

In this intimate and deeply personal authored single documentary, Tulisa: Crazy About Mum, Tulisa from chart-smashing N-Dubz – whose own mother suffered from a schizo-affective disorder – will break the taboo to find out what life is like for other young Britons with a mentally ill mum or dad. The series is produced by Rowen Deacon and executive produced by Hannah Wyatt for Mentorn Media.

Danielle Lineker will explore the subject of step-families. Danielle is a step-child herself and last year became a step-mum when she married Gary Lineker, who has four children. Gary also became a step-father to Danielle’s seven-year-old daughter. Gary and his 18-year-old son George will also feature in the film.

In the programme, Danielle will meet with other young people and families to discuss their experience of becoming a step-child, step-sibling or step-parent. Katy Shepherd is the producer/director and Ninder Billing is the executive producer for BBC Vision.

Being a teenager is tough, but for Jazz it’s even harder, because she has an undiagnosed form of dwarfism and is smaller than an average 7 year old. Small Teen Big World (working title) tells the story of the close relationship between Jazz and her mum Bev, who has the same condition.

Starting with home video footage of when Bev was pregnant, this documentary follows mother and daughter through moving house and attempting to track down Jazz’s average-sized father, but everything, including plans to celebrate Jazz’s 16th birthday, come to a halt when Bev ends up in hospital. The documentary is produced and directed by Kerry Brierley and executive produced by Cat Lewis for Nine Lives Media.

In the final film of the series, Mum, Modelling And Me (working title) gives a voice to a young girl, Georgia, whose unusual life is reaching a crossroads. Her mother is tabloid favourite Alicia Douvall. Should she pursue her mother’s Faustian dreams of 21st-century tabloid celebrity or the more sensible advice of the man who is paying for her education?

This is a film about the extraordinary relationship between a daughter and her mother who has come to symbolise the values of our looks and fame-obsessed times. Produced and directed by Anna Keel and executive produced by Jes Wilkins for Firecracker.

Samantha Anstiss is the Commissioning Executive Producer for the BBC for the My Mum And Me series.

The Adult Season will also feature a number of single documentaries: The Blind Me, from the producers of last year’s acclaimed The Autistic Me, follows young blind people as they struggle to achieve the independent grown-up lives that others take for granted. Produced and directed by Dave Faulkes and executive produced by Jes Wilkins for Firecracker. Samantha Anstiss is the Commissioning Executive Producer for the BBC.

Alice And Her Six Dads tells the story of Alice’s unusual childhood – she called six men “dad” while she was growing up. She doesn’t know her real dad, as he left town when she was just two years old. Now 21, Alice wants to find him.

The film ends with a nerve-racking reconciliation, where Alice will finally get to meet her real dad. Will he want to know her? And can he live up to her expectations? Produced and directed by Adam Hopkins and executive produced by Lucy Willis for Raw TV and Samantha Anstiss is the Commissioning Executive Producer for the BBC.

Alongside these documentaries will be a range of new and returning series.

Following the success of last year’s one-off documentary, Baby Beauty Queens returns as a six-part series diving into the world of the child beauty pageants where nine year olds get spray tans and diamante eyelashes are all the rage.

Each episode explores a different element of pageant life, from the growth in the UK pageant scene to the explosion in the ultra-glamorous freestyle dance competitions and the little girls – and boys – who are keen to shine… not to mention the parents egging them on.

The series shines a light on life for aspiring pageant queens and child models in an image-obsessed 21st-century Britain. The series is executive produced by Nicholas O’Dwyer for Landmark Films. The Commissioning Executive Producer for Baby Beauty Queens for the BBC is Maxine Watson.

After a successful first series, Young, Dumb And Living Off Mum returns to BBC Three. The new series follows eight inept and spoilt 17 to 23 year olds as they leave their privileged pampered lives behind and attempt to grow up and sever the apron strings. From making their own beds to budgeting, they will shoulder responsibility for the first time in their lives.

Young, Dumb And Living Off Mum is a 6 x 60-minute factual entertainment show from Monkey Kingdom. The series is executive produced for BBC by Karl Warner, and for Monkey Kingdom by Helen Hawken. The series producer is Rachel Bloomfield and Samantha Anstiss is the Commissioning Executive Producer for the BBC.

Also returning to the Adult Season is Underage And Pregnant, with eight half-hour episodes. The candid programmes will once again follow a mix of young mums, and some dads, with varied backgrounds as they come to terms with pregnancy, birth, and their new lives with a baby.

The teens tell their own stories in an honest portrayal of how their lives were transformed. The executive producer at Mentorn Media is Hannah Wyatt, and Maxine Watson is the Commissioning Executive Producer for the BBC.

To accompany the series BBC Learning will launch a bespoke mobile-phone campaign in six specially selected London secondary schools. The campaign kicks off in June and will use bespoke drama as well as clips from Underage And Pregnant series 2, to explore sex, relationships and teen pregnancy, and engage pupils in relevant debate about the subject.

Sunday 19 July, 9.00pm (6 x 60-minutes)

In Young, Dumb And Living Off Mum, a group of 17 to 25 year olds who have been waited on hand and foot all their lives by their worn and weary parents are thrust into the adult world of responsibility, budgeting and hard work.

Living on a basic weekly budget, the overgrown children experience a new way of life, poles apart from their previously pampered lifestyles.

Competing in challenges set by their parents to test various factors important to adult life – from team work, creativity, cooperation and resilience to good old-fashioned hard work – they try prove themselves as capable of independence.

Dina, Orion, Danielle, Sean, Nicola, Jay, Rachel and Dogan get a shock to the system as they find themselves on the bottom rung of the ladder. Having never held down a proper job they suddenly find themselves working long hours as chambermaids and kitchen staff in a top London hotel; thinking on their feet while putting on a collective fashion show from scratch; teaching and mentoring a class of young school children; and renovating a property with limited resources.

These adolescents will be tested like never before in the ultimate cutting of the apron strings. Each week the person deemed to be the most useless is sent packing by their parents. For only the kid who can cut it in the world of work deserves the chance to finally fly the nest, and win a prize of a round-the-world trip, as well as earning their parents’ respect.

Most teenagers row with their parents. But what happens if you’re kicked out of the family home at such a young age? And living alone when in effect you are still a child?

Tony had to leave home after his mum discovered he was gay. At the tender age of 16, he was forced to fend for himself. He’s managed to survive alone for the last two years, but only just. Now 18, Tony’s had it with being unemployed, useless, skint and lonely but he’s too ashamed of his life to go and face his mum.

Home Alone follows his journey as he becomes a grown-up, and tries to reconcile with his family. As he begins to sort his life out, Tony makes some extraordinary discoveries that lead him in an entirely new direction. Maybe the family he’s been looking for can be found somewhere else – and maybe there’s a different way to go home?

When you’re a teenager the last thing you want in life is your mum to be your teacher, to be told what to do and to be chaperoned on every trip out.

In a revealing rites of passage documentary, Trapped In My Own Home explores exactly what this life is like for 13-year-old Megan.

Megan is home schooled by her strict Jehovah’s Witness mum and dad and leads a life structured around rules and routines. She wants to be like other girls her age though she has no idea what other girls her age do – but Megan is ready for a change.

As she’s pushing the boundaries, and attempting to spread her wings, her mum and dad reluctantly realise that their first born needs to be ‘socialised’ and find some friends, but where and how they do this is a problem.

Most young adults take their freedom for granted. They can choose their friends, stay out late, learn to drive and decide what they want to do as a career.

For people growing up on the autistic spectrum life is very different. Stuck in a strange limbo between childhood and adulthood they are unable to make these choices.

Please Let Me Grow Up! follows three characters with autism at pivotal moments on the rocky road to being accepted as an adult. They are all fighting for independence and responsibility but being frustrated by the shackles imposed on them by their disability, their families and the preconceived ideas of mainstream society.

Britain’s Most Embarrassing Parents will count down the nation’s top 10 eccentric mums and dads and feature impassioned pleas from their mortified offspring as to why their parents should be crowned Britain’s most embarrassing.

From a transvestite dad, to a middle-aged mum who has gone under the knife to look the double of her teenage daughter, it seems the nation’s parents have a lot to learn in the art of being cool in the eyes of their kids.

Presenter Kirsten O’Brien travels the UK in this one-hour special to take a warm-hearted and irreverent look at some of the country’s most unorthodox parents, whose stories will be told through interviews and documentary-style footage.

The world of celebrity isn’t immune to being an embarrassment to their kids as, also featured in our top 10, Vanessa Feltz’s and Shameless actress Tina Malone’s kids will testify.

This is the world of the child beauty pageant, where nine year olds get fake tans and seven year olds wear contact lenses.

Baby Beauty Queens follows three girls – aged between seven and nine – and their mothers in the lead-up to Mini Miss UK, the first American-style pageant to take place in Britain.

The programme also introduces the mastermind behind the pageant, a middle-aged ex-beauty queen who plans the entire event from her stairwell in Colchester. But who would enter such a competition?

In an exploration of the reasons and desires to be crowned Mini Miss UK, we discover that these baby beauty queens have surprising aspects to their lives.

From the evangelical Christians who are convinced that God will help them win the pageant, to the disadvantaged child for whom the contest holds the key to a better life, Baby Beauty Queens is an eccentric – and at times disturbing – snapshot of modern Britain.

What do most 21 year olds want? Otto Baxter knows exactly what he wants. He wants to have sex but he’s still a virgin and spends much of his time thinking about the girls he’d like to date and the type of women he’d like to have sleep with.

At 21 Otto is on the brink of ‘adulthood’, but how does that feel when you have Down’s syndrome and society still treats you like a child?

Otto – Love, Lust & Las Vegas follows Otto throughout his ‘coming of age’ year as he tackles the rites of passage most men his age are grappling with: searching for a girlfriend, getting a job, travelling and finding his place in the world. For Otto, this is a journey of self discovery and great adventure.

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