British pubcaster Channel 4 has set a May drop date for Where’s My History?, an hour-long documentary focusing on Birmingham City FC captain Troy Deeney’s campaign to make the teaching of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) histories and experiences mandatory in British schools.
Frustrated by the lack of BAME content in the educational curriculum and the impact this has on students, Deeney (pictured) wrote an open letter to the UK’s secretary of state for education, set up a public petition that surpassed 50,000 signatures, and commissioned a YouGov survey of 1,000 primary and secondary school teachers from across Britain. The poll found that only 12% of teachers said they felt empowered to teach “optional” Black-related topics.
The documentary will recount Deeney’s own troubled experiences in school, and also follow him for meetings with such figures as boxer Anthony Joshua, actor David Harewood, ex-footballer and pundit Micah Richards, musicians Big Narstie and DJ Cuppy, and Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, as well as teachers, students, and young activists campaigning for change.
“As the proud father of four children, three of which are currently in the education system, this topic has moved front and center in my life. I have seen more and more how important it is for my children to be able to see themselves represented in what they are being taught, and learn about the contribution and background of people who look like them,” said Deeney in a news release.
Added Channel 4 commissioning editor Joe Blake-Turner: “Troy Deeney and SBX Studios have embarked on a project that has the power to transform education in this country and have a really positive long-term impact on society.”
Where’s My History? is the first Channel 4 commission for SBX Studios, a new prodco founded by communications and content specialists SoapBox London and two-time unified heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua.
Channel 4 has also commissioned a docuseries from Love Productions and Motion Content Group, Kids in the Wild (w/t), which will transport a group of youths from their cooped-up, pandemic-era lives to the outdoors for a summer of parent-free adventure.
The series will follow a diverse group of 20 kids, aged 9 to 11, who will spend two weeks of their summer living in a specially built wilderness camp in rural Britain without parental rules (but under the eye of trained professionals). There, they will not only have to learn how to take care of themselves in a rustic setting, but also deal with the social challenges of living with other children from across Britain whom they’ve never met before.
During filming, the children will have extensive adult support from camp counselors and chaperones to ensure their safety and well-being. Their parents will also be on site, able to watch their kids’ progress from remote cameras. Midway through the shoot, the children will take a break and spend at least one night with their parents.
Kids in the Wild (6 x 60 min.) is produced by Love Productions for Channel 4. Sara Ramsden is executive producer for Love Productions, with Sue Medhurst as series producer. Commissioning editors for Channel 4 are Anna Miralis and Madonna Benjamin.