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BBC seeks ambitious new factual entertainment and history series format from Scotland



BBC Scotland, BBC Content and Screen Scotland come together to fund major new titles

Suppliers based in Scotland are being invited to pitch ideas for the next large scale, ambitious and premium factual entertainment and history series as part of the BBC’s commitment to increase portrayal across its services and deliver high impact quality programming to all audiences across the UK.

At a briefing held in Glasgow, BBC Scotland and network commissioners, together with Screen Scotland, outlined plans to co-fund the development and production of either returning or one-off series rooted in Scotland but with a narrative and creative treatment, which will resonate with network audiences. Titles that can capture attention with originality and timeliness and can play out on peak BBC One or Two whilst finding a large audience on iPlayer are being sought.

Speaking at the event Louise Thornton, Head of Commissioning for BBC Scotland says: “Our co-commission strategy with network colleagues and our partnership with Screen Scotland allows us to bring this exciting opportunity to Scotland-based suppliers. We have a strong track record reflecting Scotland through powerful and innovative storytelling across all genres so we know the talent is here to bring the next evolution in factual entertainment and history programming to life. We are committed to continuing our drive to invest in ambitious, quality content for audiences not just in Scotland but across the UK and the world and we are excited to see what ideas come in to us.”

Catherine Catton; Head of Commissioning Factual Entertainment says: “I am delighted we are working with BBC Scotland and Screen Scotland on this initiative to find the next funny factual entertainment format. It’s a great opportunity to tap into all the talent and creativity in Scotland and I can’t wait to see the ideas put forward.”

Jack Bootle; Head of Commissioning Specialist Factual adds: “I’m looking forward to collaborating with BBC Scotland and Screen Scotland on this initiative. It’s a really exciting way to create content that I know will captivate audiences across the UK.”

Speaking about the initiative; Dani Carlaw, Head of Unscripted, Screen Scotland says: “The opportunity for Scotland to deliver dynamic, creative content in Factual Entertainment and History is one that Screen Scotland is dedicated to championing through these initiatives. I look forward to seeing our strong Scotland-based suppliers rise to this timely challenge to captivate audiences far and wide, and enhance business and market growth for our screen sector.”

From the applications, suppliers will be selected and funded to develop their ideas before final decision on commissions are made for each genre.

This announcement is part of the BBC’s Across the UK strategy, getting closer to audiences to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the UK.

Full details outlining the scope and criteria for each genre can be found at:

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