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The BBC has announced a slate of new commissions that it claims is part of its plan to stretch its creative muscle outside of London and portray audiences from across the U.K.
Among the eight new series unveiled by Piers Wenger, director of BBC Drama, is Northern Ireland police drama Blue Lights from Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn, writers of 2020 hit mini-series The Salisbury Poisonings, and Better, a redemption thriller set in the northern English city of Leeds from Sam Vincent and Johnathan Brackley, writers of the BBC/AMC sci-fi Humans, and powerhouse production banner Sister (Chernobyl, Gangs of London). Better also marks the first commission for Sister’s newly announced north England operation, Northern Sister.
Scottish drama The Control Room comes from BAFTA- and RTS-award-winning writer Nick Leather, Megan Gallagher’s Wolf is based on Mo Hayder’s acclaimed Jack Caffery novels from Wales, while from Ruth Fowler, Rules of the Game is a thriller set to star Maxine Peake (Black Mirror, Peterloo).
Rounding out the commissions, Grime Kids is a series from Theresa Ikoko set against the backdrop of the birth of grime in ’90s East London, Ryan J Brown’s Wrecked is a comedy-horror set aboard a cruise liner and Domino Day by Lauren Sequeira is a supernatural series set in Manchester, which explores the inner turmoil of a young witch who tries to reconcile her dark powers with her quest to find love.
“Telling stories that reflect the whole of the U.K. is about more than meeting quotas,” said Wenger. “It’s about enriching and emboldening what British drama means by honouring the true range of authorship across all of our nations and regions. I want to do more to celebrate that plurality. I want it to become an essential not-so-secret weapon and a core part of our USP.”
In addition to the new slate, the BBC is bolstering its decision-making and talent development outside of London with the appointment of Jessica Loveland as the head of new writing who will lead the new Writersroom based in Salford and four new commissioning roles across the U.K.
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