BBC First Puts Together Oz Launch Slate


LONDON: As of this August, BBC First will debut on Foxtel as the new home of premium British drama and comedy in Australia, featuring such programs as The Musketeers and Call the Midwife.

The launch slate includes the recent British hit Peaky Blinders along with The Politician's Husband, single drama Burton and Taylor and the new Alan Partridge mocumentaries. Returning series, including New Tricks, are already confirmed for the channel from 2015 as they enter new seasons. Other highlights include Playhouse Presents. As new comedies and dramas hit TV screens in the U.K., they will become available in Australia on BBC First.

The channel already announced its first local production, Banished, a seven-part epic loosely inspired by events in 1788 when the British established a panel colony in Australia.

Australia is the first territory launch for BBC First. None of the programs on BBC First will be available on terrestrial television for at least 12 months.

Jon Penn, the managing director of BBC Worldwide ANZ, said: "The BBC has always been pioneering and the launch of BBC First in Australia continues in this spirit, offering something totally unique to the market. British drama and comedy has a world-renowned reputation for being clever, complex and immensely enjoyable, attracting top talent on and off the screen. For the first time in Australia, all the very best new British dramas and comedies will be available in one place, giving viewers the opportunity to indulge and immerse themselves in world-class creativity."