BBC Lines Up Six New Drama Commissions


The BBC has revealed six new commissions for its drama slate, including a series from Candice Carty-Williams, writer of the best-selling novel Queenie.

The original drama Champion, from Carty-Williams, tells the story of what happens when fame collides with family. It is billed as “a love letter to Black British music” set in south London.

Adapted by award-winning journalist Dolly Alderton from her own best-selling memoir of the same name, Everything I Know About Love gives an unflinching account of surviving your 20s. It is touted as a “Sex & The City for millennials,” covering bad dates and squalid flat-shares, heartaches and humiliations, and, most importantly, unbreakable female friendships.

Shane Meadows has set his first-ever BBC television drama with The Gallows Pole, based on the novel of the same name by Benjamin Myers. Set against the backdrop of the coming industrial revolution in 18th-century Yorkshire, the drama fictionalizes the true story of the rise and fall of David Hartley and the Cragg Vale Coiners. Element Pictures (Normal People) is producing.

From two-time BAFTA-winning writer-director Stefan Golaszewski comes Marriage, a four-part drama about a couple who need each other. The series examines in intimate detail the fears, frustrations and salvation of marriage and the comfort that can only be found in togetherness.

Inspired by Cash Carraway’s book Skint Estate, the series Cash Carraway (w/t) is a wild and punky tale of being trapped below the poverty line and doing everything it takes to escape. Daisy May Cooper (This Country) stars.

Adapted by Theresa Ikoko from Nikki May’s soon-to-be-published debut novel of the same name, Wahala follows three thirty-something Nigerian-British female friends living in London, successfully navigating a world that mixes roast dinners with jollof rice. BBC Studios will distribute the series internationally.

Piers Wenger, BBC’s director of drama, said: “I am incredibly proud of drama on the BBC and how its popularity, range and ambition is being recognized by viewers and critics alike. Seeing Small Axe, I May Destroy You and Normal People receive a record number of Bafta nominations and Line of Duty becoming the biggest drama of the 21st Century is staggering and humbling.

“We pride ourselves on the creative contribution we make and the value we offer to audiences. We will continue to build on the momentum of recent years to ensure that the BBC is and continues to be the home of the very best of British drama.

“In 2021, there are many places for audiences to access premium content. But it is our commitment to creative risk and our passion for Britain’s stand-out writing talent which ensures that even in the age of global streamers, we are able to win big.

“In the next few months alone, our dramas will feature world-class screen talent such as Emily Blunt, Ben Whishaw, Paul Bettany, Claire Foy, Colin Farrell, Jamie Dornan, David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Martin Freeman, as well as rising stars Erin Doherty, Bukky Bakray, Malachi Kirby, Connor Swindells, Shalom Brune-Franklin and Nicôle Lecky. And I’m delighted to announce these new commissions today, from writers who are already striking a chord with the British public: Cash, Dolly and Candice with their incredible books, Theresa with the astounding Rocks, Stefan, who following the huge success of Mum and Him & Her is turning his hand to hour-long drama, and not least of all the legendary Shane Meadows, who is working with the BBC for the first time on a historical drama which is destined to feel utterly of the moment. And finally, I’m thrilled to say we will be working with the unequaled Michaela Coel on another project, more news about that to follow in due course…”