“I’m excited about the potential we have now, working together, across all our channels and iPlayer to give people the most ambitious, exciting and distinctive range of programming ever. Programmes that inform, educate, entertain and inspire. Risk taking, innovation and originality has to apply to everything we make. I’m making a commitment to you all tonight that we’re going to be open, collaborative and agile. I’m going to make sure our channels complement each other.” – Charlotte Moore, BBC Controller of TV Channels and iPlayer
Programmes announced at the event include a searingly insightful and funny exploration into the relationships of a multi-generational family, looking at how people build and maintain happy relationships and asking whether lifelong monogamy is possible – or even desirable in six part series Wanderlust. Previous ‘risk taking’ commissions include a return to department store sitcom Are You Being Served? and possibly Keeping Up Appearances among other comedy classics.
“Each channel has its own unique character and purpose. For me, BBC One helps make Britain great. It unites us as a nation around big, shared moments and events. It’s a place where everyone knows they’re going to find the very best programmes – programmes that are unashamedly popular, that feel timely and relevant and speak to a big broad audience. It’s the channel that tackles big universal subjects, and stories that people care about, stories that become part of our everyday conversation. Yes, people come to be entertained. But they’re informed and educated along the way. So if BBC One unites us and celebrates all the things we have in common, then BBC Two is about everything that’s different about our world. It’s a channel that stretches the mind and takes you to places and subjects you haven’t been before.” – Charlotte Moore
In the coming months, Charlotte will give BBC Two a much greater sense of identity with programmes that challenge the status quo, inspire original thinking – and give a voice to new perspectives and opinions such as King Charles III, A sell-out theatrical success, following a critically acclaimed run at the Almeida Theatre and in the West End, the play has toured nationally, and enjoyed a rapturous reception upon its transfer to Broadway. King Charles III won Best New Play at the Olivier Awards and the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards in 2015, and was awarded the South Bank Sky Arts Theatre Award.
“I love BBC Two. I believe it has a special role to play in broadcasting and, when it’s true to its DNA, it’s unbeatable. I want to make BBC Two confident again. I want to give BBC Two a much greater sense of identity. I want to commission programmes that challenge the status quo, inspire original thinking, and give a voice to new perspectives and opinions. It’s going to be lean-in, not lean-back television. BBC Two should be a place for talent to do their most distinctive signature work. And to do that, I understand you need freedom. You need to be able to experiment with form and subject matter and you need to know you’re backed. My ambition is to expand that authorship and diversity of voice across every genre on the channel. While drama, comedy and entertainment all play a crucial role, I want to put factual proudly at the heart of BBC Two. I want to embrace all the specialisms from science, history and religion to current affairs, natural history, documentaries, music and the arts. Because, by contrast to BBC One, audiences come to BBC Two to be informed – but we can entertain them too. – Charlotte Moore
Other programmes announced for BBC Two include Zadie Smith’s dazzling novel of London life, adapted by Rachel Bennette. NW tells the story of Natalie and Leah, friends who grew up together in North West London, whose lives have taken them in different directions while in documentary Living To Die is a one off programme which will look at people who have only months to live, how do they respond? How do they live out those few remaining weeks?
“A simpler, co-ordinated approach to commissioning decisions will deliver more creative opportunities, a greater diversity of distinctive, ground breaking programmes and – crucially – quicker decision-making for all. We’ll be much better placed to curate a journey for ideas and talent across the portfolio. BBC iPlayer will have an increasingly important part to play in the BBC’s future. I want to grow iPlayer in the future and will explore more premieres and how we reach new audiences.”
“We are going to continue to challenge what popular mainstream television is on BBC One. We’re going to support authorship, a diversity of voice and opinion, innovation in form and an unprecedented commitment to factual on BBC Two. And we’re going to keep pushing the boldness and range of what BBC Four and iPlayer can offer. Most importantly, we are going to provide the best home for talent – writers, actors, producers and directors. The licence fee gives us the creative freedom to work with you in ways that no-one else can. I want to make the most of that. From now on, we’re going to be the most distinctive we have ever been.” – Charlotte Moore, BBC Controller of TV Channels and iPlayer