“My Dementia Choir,” “My Deep South Road Trip” among BBC commissions

UK pubcaster BBC has commissioned a string of factual titles to air across its BBC1, BBC2 and BBC4 channels. Vicky McClure: My Dementia Choir (w/t) is the first of three titles ...
October 30, 2017

UK pubcaster BBC has commissioned a string of factual titles to air across its BBC1, BBC2 and BBC4 channels.

Vicky McClure: My Dementia Choir (w/t) is the first of three titles for BBC1. The 2 x 60-minute series follows BAFTA Award-winning actress Vicky McClure (pictured) as she explores music and its capacity for combating dementia.

My Dementia Choir was commissioned by Tom McDonald, head of commissioning, natural history and specialist factual, and Charlotte Moore, director of content. Craig Hunter serves as commissioning editor. The series is being produced by Curve Media, with Camilla Lewis as executive producer.

Also set to air on BBC1 is How Women Won the Vote with Lucy Worsley (w/t). The 1 x 90-minute special sees Worsley, an historian and television presenter, revisit the battles that women had to wage to win the right to vote. February 2018 will mark 100 years of women’s suffrage in the UK.

McDonald and Moore commissioned How Women Won the Vote, while Simon Young is commissioning editor. The special will be produced by Brook Lapping, where Emma Hindley is executive producer.

Lenny Henry: The Commonwealth Kid (w/t) is the final new BBC1 title. Prompted by the upcoming 2018 Commonwealth Summit in London, the  1x 60-minute special follows comedian, actor and singer Sir Lenny Henry as he explores the UK’s relationship with the Caribbean members of the British commonwealth.

The special was commissioned by McDonald and Moore. Young serves as commissioning editor. Burning Bright Productions and Douglas Road Productions are producing the film, while Clive Tulloh and Barbara Emile serve was executive producers.

Four new series are slated to air on BBC2. In The House (w/t), historian and television presenter David Olusoga traces the life of a Georgian-style townhouse, beginning with its construction in 1840 and spanning through the present day.

McDonald and Patrick Holland, controller of BBC Two, commissioned the 4 x 60-minute series. Young is commissioning editor. Twenty Twenty Productions will produce the series, while Maxine Watson serves as executive producer and Mary Crisp serves as series producer.

Meanwhile, Ed Balls: My Deep South Road Trip (w/t) follows the retired politician as he travels to America’s Deep South to meet those who elected US president Donald Trump to power.

Holland commissioned the 3 x 60-minute series with David Brindley, head of commissioning, popular factual and factual entertainment. Expectation Factual, the fledging prodco from former ITV exec Peter Fincham and previous Endemol Shine Group boss Tim Hincks, is producing the series, with Amy Flanagan and Colin Barr serving as executive producers.

In the doc Kensington (w/t), the British borough’s striking income inequality is explored in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire that took place June 2017. McDonald and Holland commissioned the special, with Young serving as commissioning editor. Blast! Films is producing the film, with James Ross as director and Alistair Pegg and Edmund Coulthard as executive producers.

Heart Transplant (w/t) is the last of the new BBC2 titles. The 1 x 90 doc follows four patients undergoing surgery to provide an overview of how organ donations make their way to transplant patients in the UK. McDonald and Holland commissioned the doc with Hunter as commissioning editor. The doc is produced by 7 Wonder, with Alan Holland serving as executive producer.

Finally, a three-part series hosted by physicist and oceanographer Helen Czerski is slated to air on BBC4. From Ice to Fire – The Incredible Science of Temperature (w/t) explores the science of temperature.

McDonald commissioned the series with Cassian Harrison, channel editor, BBC Four. Abigail Priddle is commissioning editor. The series is being produced by BBC Studios Science Unit, with Jacqueline Smith as executive producer.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.