BBC’s factual slate delves into controversial topics

BBC’s new factual slate includes programming across multiple genres, including new shows on controversial and timely topics such as BBC2′s Abortion: What Britain Really Thinks and the two-part docuseries Addicted Parents: ...
June 2, 2017

BBC’s new factual slate includes programming across multiple genres, including new shows on controversial and timely topics such as BBC2′s Abortion: What Britain Really Thinks and the two-part docuseries Addicted Parents: Last Chance to Keep My Children.

Also coming to the BBC are new programs with famous faces, including a new doc on Diana, Princess of Wales and a new food series featuring chef Nigella Lawson.

Historian Lucy Wosley returns to the BBC with the special Fizz Bang Wallop — A Tudor Firework Spectacular, where she explores the science and history of fireworks.

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India, the BBC has multiple new titles slated to examine the tumultuous event.

Below are a list of new BBC programs with descriptions courtesy of the network.

“Earth from Space”

Earth from Space invites viewers to look at our natural world from a brand new perspective, capturing the extraordinary beauty and diversity of the planet in astonishing detail. From animal gatherings and migrations, to tracking huge weather systems that span the globe, to a lone elephant marching across the African plain, space cameras reveal the story of our natural world like you’ve never seen it before.

Earth From Space, a 4 x 60, is being made by BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit.


This landmark 90-minute BBC1 documentary tells the inside story of the tumultuous and unprecedented week that followed the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, exploring how she came to have such an extraordinary effect on the nation and people around the world.

The film features in-depth interviews with her sons, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, speaking in detail about that week’s events from the moment they heard the news of their mother’s death to the day of the funeral itself, as well as reflecting more broadly on her life and what she meant to them both then and now.

The film also includes interviews with family members, close friends, political figures and journalists, many of them speaking for the first time about the events of that week.

Diana (title TBC) is being made by Sandpaper Films.

“The Makeover Show”

Hosted by English media presenter and model Claudia Winkleman, The Makeover Show is a smart and contemporary new style format for BBC1. Funny, warm and moving, the series will see a range of people from all over the UK receive the ultimate makeover from some of the country’s best stylists, hairdressers and makeup artist.

The Makeover Show (3×60) series will be produced by Electric Ray.

“Miriam’s Great American Adventure”

Miriam Margolyes embarks on an epic trip through the heart of Middle America in this new three-part series for BBC1. Miriam is no stranger to America, having lived in LA for 16 years, and she saw it as a liberal, welcoming and classless country that she came to love. But then 2016 happened, leaving Miriam wondering if she really knew it at all.

Now she’s going to journey nearly 1,000 miles from Chicago to New Orleans, immersing herself in communities along the way as she gets to know the people of middle America, whose voices are reshaping the nation.

Miriam’s Great American Adventure (3×60) is being made by Wild Pictures.

“The Real Marigold Hotel”

Critically acclaimed and multi award-winning travel documentary The Real Marigold Hotel will be returning to BBC1 for a new four-part series in 2018. A brand new line up of famous senior citizens will head off on an adventure of a lifetime to India, road-testing retirement in Udaipur, in the western Indian state of Rajasthan.

The Real Marigold Hotel (4×60) is a Twofour production.

“Britain’s Greatest Invention”

Sir Trevor McDonald, Angela Rippon, Giles Coren, Len Goodman, David Harewood, Angela Scanlon and Nick Knowles battle it out to reveal Britain’s Greatest Invention live on BBC2.

“Nigella: At My Table”

In her latest series, Nigella shares the food she cooks for family and friends, from fresh takes on classics she has evolved over time to colorful dishes with vibrant flavors coming out of mixing ingredients from many different cultures to bring something new to everyday eating.

The 6×30 series is being made by BBC Studios’ Unscripted Productions and will be distributed by FremantleMedia International.

“Abortion: What Britain Really Thinks”

This topical special presented by Anne Robinson marks the 50th anniversary of the partial legalization of abortion.This program asks if this 50-year-old legislation reflects the views of modern Britain. Do recent advances in medicine mean the law is out of date?

Abortion: What Britain Really Thinks (1×60) is being made by Raw TV.

“Chris Packham: Me and My Asperger’s”

Having recently decided to open up about having autism, Chris Packham invites us to take a step inside his mind as he attempts to better understand the condition and explain what it feels like to be him.

Chris Packham: Me and My Asperger’s is being made by Raw.

“A Vicar’s Life”

In a new six-part religion series, BBC2 goes behind the scenes of the lives of country vicars at the heart of the rural community in the stunning Herefordshire countryside.

A Vicar’s Life (6×30) is made by BBC Studios’ Pacific Quay Productions for BBC2.

“Addicted Parents: Last Chance to Keep My Children”

This two-part documentary series has unique access to the only rehab in the UK to allow children to live with their mums and dads, as their parents. Filmed over a year, this series follows mothers and fathers and their children through detox and recovery.

Addicted Parents: Last Chance To Keep My Children (2×60) is being made by Lambent Productions.

“Who Should We Let In? Ian Hislop On The First Great Immigration Row”

Exploring attitudes to immigration in Victorian and Edwardian Britain, Hislop casts a searing light on one of the most important and divisive issues of our times. This was the era when British views on immigrants crystallised and the first peacetime controls on immigration were imposed, leaving a legacy we’re still grappling with today.

Who Should We Let In? Ian Hislop On The First Great Immigration Row (1×60) is being made by Wingspan Productions.

“Fizz Bang Wallop - A Tudor Firework Spectacular”

Historian Lucy Worsley and materials scientist Zoe Laughlin explore the science and history of fireworks using an original pyrotechnics instruction manual from 1635 to recreate one of the most spectacular fireworks displays from the Tudor era.

Fizz Bang Wallop – A Tudor Firework Spectacular (1×90) is being made by STV Productions.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India, a major season of programs across BBC1 and BBC2 brings to life some of the forgotten voices of Partition, explores the hidden history of what happened in August 1947 and reveals the legacy Partition leaves us with today.

“My Family, Partition And Me: India 1947″

Anita Rani explores the human impact of the Partition of India through the intimate stories of four British families, including her own, in a new two-part BBC1 series. Using compelling first-hand testimony from British Partition survivors, their children and grandchildren retrace the dramatic journeys they were forced to make during Partition.

My Family, Partition And Me: India 1947 (2×60) is being produced by Wall To Wall, in association with Pickle Pictures.

“India’s Partition: The Forgotten Story”

British film-maker Gurinder Chadha travels from Southall to Delhi to find out about the Partition of India – one of the most seismic and violent events of the 20th century.

India’s Partition: The Forgotten Story (1 x 60) is being made by Bent It TV.

“World’s Most Dangerous Border”

Journalists and new presenting talent Adnan Sarwar and Babita Sharma travel either side of the contentious Indo-Pakistan border. From Gujarat and Sindh to the volatile and fiercely-contested northern region of Kashmir, they cross landscapes of extraordinary variety and often staggering beauty. On their journey, the pair discover enduring traditions, surprising religious diversity and unexpected flashes of modernity in the countries of their respective parents’ birth. The shadow of Partition hangs over both, but where do these two mighty nations stand in the 21st century?

World’s Most Dangerous Border (3x 60) is being made by October Films.

“One Week in Summer”

Set over the dramatic seven days leading up to partition of India and Pakistan, this innovative film will give a unique blow-by-blow account of that tumultuous week, as day by day, chaos consumed the Indian sub-continent during the last days of British Rule.

One Week in Summer (1×60) is being made by Voltage TV.




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