BBC’s Tom McDonald, head of commissioning for natural history and specialist factual, has unveiled seven new commissions for BBC1 and BBC2.
In the two-part history series Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family (pictured), Danny Dyer follows up his successful Who Do You Think You Are? by exploring how his ancestors lived, dressing, eating and living his way through 800 years of British history.
Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family is made by Wall to Wall and executive produced by Colette Flight for BBC1. It was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, director of TV content, and McDonald. The commissioning editor is Simon Young.
Over on BBC2, the 90-minute special Victoria & Albert: The Wedding sees Lucy Worsley overseeing an authentic restaging of the wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert with a team of experts that includes food historian Annie Gray, clothing expert Harriet Waterhouse and military historian Jasdeep Singh.
Victoria & Albert: The Wedding is produced by BBC Studios. Ian Denyer directs with Jon Swain serving as EP. It was commissioned by BBC2 controller Patrick Holland and McDonald. The BBC commissioning editors are Abigail Priddle and Jack Bootle.
Science special 8 Days will air on BBC2 and revisit the Apollo 11 mission that brought us to the moon — over the course of eight days, three hours, 18 minutes and 35 seconds — and brought us some of the most iconic images in human history.
Using hours of declassified cockpit audio recorded by the astronauts themselves, 8 Days will recreate the journey, bringing the audio to life with digital effects and dramatized reenactments.
The 90-minute film is made by the science unit at BBC Studios and co-produced with PBS, NOVA and the Open University. Jonathan Renouf serves as executive producer. It was commissioned by Holland and McDonald.
In The Planets, meanwhile, professor Brian Cox tells the story of our solar system’s planets, using the latest planetary research and “the most accurate and detailed imagery ever produced,” according to a BBC release.
The 5 x 60-minute series is made by the science unit at BBC Studios and co-produced with Tencent Penguin Pictures and the Open University. Andrew Cohen serves as EP, and it was commissioned by Holland and McDonald.
In Twinstitute, identical twin doctors Chris and Xand van Tulleken use their unique center for science to test competing health theories using 30 pairs of identical twin researchers. With each pair sharing DNA, the twins are ideally equipped to each try out one theory, while the other tries a competing theory, testing everything from diet vs. exercise, to planning vs. cramming, to meditation vs. swearing.
In Male Circumcision (w/t), over on BBC1, journalist Adnan Sarwar explores the history and complex issues surrounding the practice of male circumcision. He consults with Jewish and Muslim religious leaders, practitioners, campaigners and members of the British Medical Association to determine the role and meaning of circumcision in the 21st century.
The 40-minute special is made by Black Pepper Media and Matchlight Productions, with Alan Clements serving as EP. It was commissioned by Moore and McDonald, with commissioning editor Priddle.
Meanwhile, in Pilgrimage: The Road to Rome (3 x 60 minutes), eight famous people do away with all luxuries as they complete the grueling 1,000 km ancient Via Francigena Pilgrimage, starting in the Swiss Alps and ending in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.
Participants are TV personality Les Dennis, comedian Katy Brand, Olympic athlete Greg Rutherford, actress Lesley Joseph, dancer Brendan Cole, comedian Stephen K. Amos, TV presenter Mehreen Baig and Eurovision Song Contest winner and politician Dana.
Pilgrimage: The Road To Rome is made by CTVC for BBC2, with Caroline Matthews and Colm Martin serving as executive producers. It was commissioned by Holland and McDonald, with commissioning editor Fatima Salaria.