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BBC Factual Commissions Spotlight Issues of Teen Homelessness, Guns


Alison Kirkham, the controller of BBC factual commissioning, has revealed a range of new nonfiction highlights set to air across the BBC channels in the coming months, touching on topics such as homeless teenagers in Britain and gun violence.

For BBC One, Hidden Homeless will see Stacey Dooley meet with teens who are facing life without a home. The one-hour doc is for Children In Need.

Coming to BBC Two, Inside the Bank of England (working title) will offer unprecedented access to the inner workings of the Bank, with cameras following as Governor Mark Carney and his staff try to revive the U.K. economy. This series aims to demystify central banking, telling the story of Britain’s economy through the people who work tirelessly to keep it on track.

Also for BBC Two, Gun No.6 tells the story of crimes carried out using Britain’s most deadly, illegal gun. Over one decade this gun has been used in 11 shootings, with three people murdered and at least four injured—the gun is still out there. The film is a hybrid of documentary and reconstruction.

Finding Dad (working title) is a new doc for BBC Three fronted by Mim Shaikh that will be shown as part of the Big British Asian Summer. It follows Shaikh on a personal journey to try and track down his father

There are two new Storyville installments for BBC Four. Under the Wire is an account of legendary Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin and photographer Paul Conroy’s mission to Homs, Syria, in February 2012. The Cleaners is about a secret team of content moderators who trawl through the world’s most violent, disturbing and highly contentious online material to decide what stays and what gets removed.

Also for BBC Four is October Films’ Can Science Make Me Perfect? with Alice Roberts, a special that follows the titular professor as she embarks on a mission to design and create a scientifically perfect human body. The 90-minute special uses cutting-edge science and natural-history research to uncover the secrets of natural selection and reveal what our bodies would look like if we took them back to the drawing board. With help from a leading CGI sculptor named Scott Eaton and Europe’s foremost SFX and model maker, Sangeet Probakar, the “perfect” Roberts is 3D printed as a real-life sculpture to be displayed as a permanent installation in the Science Museum in London.

Kirkham commented: “The BBC factual department has had a fantastic 12 months, winning multiple awards including Baftas, RTS Awards and Griersons. This range of programmes that we are announcing demonstrates our continued commitment to take audiences into worlds and explore issues with broad appeal that are hugely relevant today, including homelessness, the economy and Brexit, the challenges of social media, disability and gun crime. Through unprecedented access and fantastic storytelling, each subject will be explored in a truly engaging and thought-provoking way.”

About Kristin Brzoznowski

Kristin Brzoznowski is the executive editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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