Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy

TV News

BBC reveals Winter programming

By
Nine brand new drama titles headline an ambitious £158 million winter schedule as new look BBC ONE continues its drive to develop the originality and creative impetus of the channel.

The increased volume - amounting to more than 90 hours of top drama this season - represents an extra £20 million being spent on the genre over the same period last year. The spend on drama for winter 2001 has increased by almost 50 per cent to £59 million.

Introducing the season, Lorraine Heggessey, the new Controller of BBC ONE, said: "BBC drama is on top form this winter. Energy and creativity are evident in all of the great work achieved in this season’s pieces - a huge variety of stories and styles, but each one a work of real quality. BBC ONE is the channel where viewers can find truly original, stimulating and challenging work in drama.

"We take the viewers from Ronan Bennett’s Rebel Heart and Nancy Mitford’s Love in a Cold Climate to the award-winning modern realism of Paul Abbott’s Clocking Off and his latest work,
Best of Both Worlds.

"The added investment in BBC ONE is already visible on the screen. We have been able to offer viewers 20 per cent more drama than last winter and, if you include the four dramas in
the Christmas schedules, that means we are showing 13 brand new titles over the next three months. And it doesn’t stop there. The £100m promised in Greg Dyke’s MacTaggart lecture is going through the production cycle now and will appear on screen increasingly over the next 12 months or so. We have achieved this and maintained the rich mix that the audience expects from BBC ONE."

Drama

Winter on BBC ONE promises an action-packed season of romance and revolution, edge and aspiration, as top name writers and star performers combine to deliver a range of original drama.

* Ronan Bennett’s drama Rebel Heart is a story of passion and patriotism as it tells the story of one young man’s coming of age during the tumultuous years between 1916 and 1922 in Ireland.
* Award-winning script writer Paul Abbott brings a contemporary twist to the schedules with
Best of Both Worlds. Alice Evans stars as a happily married flight attendant on the London-Bologna route who gets seduced into living a double life with a bachelor in Italy.
* Glamour, decadence and gossip abound in Deborah Moggach’s adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s irrepressible tale of the upper classes in pre-war London in Love In A Cold Climate.
* Martin Shaw takes the title role of Judge John Deed, a maverick High Court Judge caught in a conflict of personal and professional interests, in a major new drama from writer/producer G.F. Newman.
* Sue Townsend brings her glorious creation to the screen in Adrian Mole - The Cappuccino Years. Played by Steven Mangan, Adrian is now a celebrity chef and a man of the metropolis… until Blair babe MP Pandora (Helen Baxendale) decides she has other plans...
* David Suchet, Samantha Bond, Keith Barron and Melanie Hill star as members of a crack police squad - Britain’s answer to the FBI - in NCS (National Crime Squad), an original thriller by Malcolm McKay.
* Michelle Collins and Paul Kaye star in Two Thousand Acres of Sky, a humorous and poignant drama about a single mum desperate to escape inner city life. In order to move to a small Scottish island community, itself fighting to save its only school, she needs to take a creative view of her single status.
* Stephen Tompkinson and Nick Berry as you have never seen them before star in In Deep, a gripping and gritty insight into the world of undercover detectives which exposes the dangerous and psychologically challenging nature of the work.
* Nathaniel Parker and Sharon Small star as Elizabeth George’s detective duo in A Great Deliverance.
* Returning series include Clive Owen in Paula Milne’s Second Sight, Paul Abbott’s Clocking Off, Monarch of the Glen, Ballykissangel, Casualty, Holby City and EastEnders.

Factual

The range, creativity and authority of BBC ONE’s factual output this season is evident in four key shows for winter.

* Could we survive nowadays living in the same conditions as early man had contend with? Surviving the Iron Age takes a group of 17 people back to those times. Based on an experiment the BBC pioneered nearly 30 years ago, this is the test for a new generation - some of whom were the children of the original participants.
* The cameras have followed a team of the most successful prosecutors and defenders in American law and the result is Boston Law, a searing insight into the US legal system.
* After BBC ONE’s chilling film on child poverty last year, Eyes of a Child, come two new documentaries from Chris Terrill - Through the Eyes of the Old and Through the Eyes of the Young - which use innovative camera techniques to give a unique insight into what it is like to be old and to be young in Britain today.
* John Cleese, with help from Elizabeth Hurley, sets out to discover the mysteries of identity, beauty, creativity and fame hidden behind the mask of life itself: The Human Face. It is a definitive guide to the story of the face through time - from 500 million years ago through to present day.

Comedy and entertainment

BBC ONE entertainment and comedy lives up to its hard-won pedigree as a showcase for top talent with brand new shows and returning favourites for winter.

* Lee Evans has quite literally thrown himself into his first situation comedy and brings his own unique brand of physical, knockabout comedy to Lee Evans - So What Now?
* And Pauline Quirke has become the subject of Office Gossip. Pauline, in her first sitcom since Birds of a Feather for BBC ONE, teams up with Robert Daws to mine the rich comic potential of contemporary office life.
* And the modern world also comes under the scrutiny of Clive Anderson in Clive Anderson Now, an exciting new show looking back at the week’s events in popular culture.
* But comedy doesn’t come much harder and faster than Comic Relief and this year it will be bigger than ever. The cream of comedy performers turn up in quite a few unusual places and guises in a bid to raise the most cash ever for the poor and disadvantaged.
* National Lottery Jet Set is planning to give one winner a week the exotic trappings of a jet set lifestyle… and the winner can keep on winning week after week… but only if they beat all comers…

Lorraine Heggessey said: "The emphasis this winter is on modern, home-grown and intelligent programmes whether they are drama, comedy or factual. That is the essence of the original channel - the new look BBC ONE."

You May Like