From August, BBC First on Foxtel will be the new home of British drama and comedy in Australia, all airing on the same channel down under for the very first time.
BBC Worldwide state that BBC First is to offer programmes with a uniquely British perspective. From features to sweeping series and every configuration in between, BBC First will give its audience many productions that would not otherwise make it to Australia.
Launch titles include recent British hits The Musketeers and Peaky Blinders along with The Politician’s Husband, single drama Burton and Taylor and the new Alan Partridge mockumentaries. Talent from Helena Bonham Carter, Daniel Radcliffe and David Tennant to Ricky Gervais, Steve Coogan and Dawn French are all lined up to appear on the channel.
Other series include, Playhouse Presents, Call The Midwife and New Tricks. In addition, none of the programmes on BBC First will be available on Aussie terrestrial television for at least twelve months. It was recently announced that Banished, written by Jimmy McGovern, will be the first local production for BBC First.
Australia is the first territory to launch BBC First, one of three new global brands announced by BBC Worldwide in October 2013. It will also benefit from the extra investment BBC Worldwide has pledged for content, an additional £30million across the company for a range of genres, taking BBC Worldwide’s total content investment commitment to £200million pa from 2014/15.
‘The BBC has always been pioneering and the launch of BBC First in Australia continues in this spirit, offering something totally unique to the market. British drama and comedy has a world-renowned reputation for being clever, complex and immensely enjoyable, attracting top talent on and off the screen. For the first time in Australia, all the very best new British dramas and comedies will be available in one place, giving viewers the opportunity to indulge and immerse themselves in world class creativity.’ – Jon Penn, Managing Director of BBC Worldwide ANZ
BBC First joins existing BBC channels – UKTV, BBC Knowledge, CBeebies and BBC World News – on the Foxtel platform from August. It will also be available on Foxtel GO and in high definition. Foxtel is Australia’s equivalent of BSkyB.