BBC Orders Barking Murders Drama, Grenfell Doc & More


BBC One has unveiled a range of new commissions, including the factual drama The Barking Murders (working title), which goes beneath the headlines to shed new light on this story by telling it from the point of view of the families of Stephen Port’s victims.

The three-part crime story comes from Jeff Pope and Neil McKay, the award-winning team behind The Moorside and Appropriate Adult. It will focus on the families’ fight to uncover the truth about what had happened to their lost sons and brothers.

Also new in the way of drama, The Victim is a contemporary legal thriller told through the eyes of the plaintiff and the accused. Set in Edinburgh, within Scotland’s unique legal system, the show offers a constantly surprising and twisting perspective on who is really the victim. It is written by Rob Williams.

Written by Jacquelin Perske, adapted from the novel by Helen FitzGerald, The Cry is a psychological drama set in Scotland and Australia that chronicles the collapse of a marriage in the aftermath of a tragedy and explores the myths and truths of motherhood. The 4×1-hour drama marks the first TV commission for Scottish production company Synchronicity Films.

There are also a number of factual highlights coming to the channel, including Grenfell, a single documentary that will bring together the human stories from the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, drawing on the collective testimonies of the men, women and children who were directly affected by the devastating tower block fire.

In a landmark documentary series, tentatively titled The Stephen Lawrence Story, BBC One will examine one of the most famous cases of 20th century Britain, the murder of 18-year-old black student Stephen Lawrence by a group of white teenage boys. Academy Award-winning documentary makers James Gay-Rees and Asif Kapadia are on board.

Avalon is producing the brand-new innovative format The Button for BBC One. The 8×30-minute game show will visit five families or friends each week and place a talking button at the heart of their front room, where the teams face spontaneous challenges against the clock to win a cash prize.

Stars of the hit series The Real Marigold Hotel will be heading to Cuba, Thailand, China and Iceland in the new 4×1-hour series Marigold on Tour from Twofour.

Additionally, BBC One will be exploring the nationwide obesity crisis with a season of dedicated programs. This includes Crash Diet Revolution and The Truth About Obesity (working title). Also, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is to present a new three-part series for BBC One about the obesity crisis in the U.K.

Charlotte Moore, the director of BBC Content, said: “Over the last year, BBC One has defied industry trends by achieving its highest share in a decade and reaffirming its position as the U.K.’s most popular channel. As audiences become increasingly diverse and their media habits fragment it’s overwhelming to see BBC One continues to unite us as a nation and dominate viewing with such high-quality programs across every genre. BBC One reaches more people than any other, it’s the biggest channel for 16-to-34s and has grown share year on year. It’s a huge privilege to run BBC One and I don’t take our success for granted, it’s a credit to the incredibly talented program makers that work for the channel who help maintain our outstanding creative form.

“The new commissions I’m announcing today are examples of the range and ambition audiences can expect from the channel going forward as we continue to challenge what mainstream television can do and connect with a diverse modern Britain.

“In drama, I’m announcing two new home-grown Scottish series from STV Productions and Synchronicity Films; and a compelling factual drama from the makers of the biggest new drama of the year The Moorside. BBC One will take viewers behind the headlines with Grenfell and The Stephen Lawrence Story—both powerful documentaries from award-winning directors about two of the most important stories of our time. BBC One will take on obesity in a new season of programs that will tackle one of the U.K.’s fastest growing epidemics. Innovation with our new entertainment format The Button and BBC One goes global with Marigold on Tour.”