Aisling O’Connor, Head of TV Commissioning BBC England, says: “Our new slate of programmes delivers a fantastic range of stories which reflect life in every corner of England. We are working with a range of independent production companies, ensuring our audience sees itself reflected on screen and bringing the English landscape, locations and most importantly, people to all four channels and iPlayer.
“I’m also pleased to be working closely with the channel and genre commissioners. We are committed to nurturing fresh, young and diverse talent. Our new slate gives a voice to communities across the country.”
Walking with Chris Packham
This one-hour special will see Chris Packham take a walk down memory lane. The route in Hampshire inspired Chris as a young man and sparked his love for the natural world. He enjoys riverside views, conversations with local people and witnesses the flooding of a water meadow. His walk is also an opportunity to explore personal thoughts and emotions on family, mental health and our relationship with nature.
Winter Walks was a massive hit last winter, with audiences asking for more. Viewers can expect the same gentle, unfolding narrative with stunning scenery, sensory moments and a rich soundtrack with lots of birdsong and the crunching of feet.
The series captures the natural beauty of our landscapes, and allows its presenters a chance to reflect and find peace of mind. Shot by the presenters themselves on a hand-held 360 degree camera, viewers can enjoy an intimate and immersive view of each walk, mixed with stunning aerial images.
The presenters for this series are Alastair Campbell, Nihal Arthanayake, Amanda Owen and Reverend Kate Bottley. Meeting locals and fellow walkers along the way, they discover breathtaking views and forgotten histories, and offer personal insights on how they see the world around them.
Filmed in the North of England, viewers will be able to relax and unwind with walks that offer unique perspectives on majestic landscapes from the Yorkshire Dales, Cumbria and Lancashire.
Our new Walking with… series features celebrities in different regions of England. Similar to Winter Walks, the series will be self-shot, sensory and immersive. This will be a six-part series for BBC Two with the full list of celebrities and locations to be announced later this year.
Villages by the Sea
After a highly successful first series, popular history title Villages by the Sea returns to BBC Two.
Archaeologist Ben Robinson explores six of our most stunning coastal villages, from Northumberland to Suffolk and Cornwall, going beyond the postcard image to discover deeper stories about England’s past. Ben is joined by national experts and local enthusiasts in his quest. Using clues from buildings, street patterns, artefacts and the landscape Ben unwraps why the village is there, who lived there, and how.
Purple Productions based in Manchester, secured the commission after a competitive tender process. Purple was set up by Pam Cavannagh and Dympna Jackson in 2019.
Fog on the Tyne: The Alan Hull Story (w/t)
The story of the singer and songwriter from Geordie super-group Lindisfarne. Alan Hull was dubbed ‘the Geordie Dylan’ for his ability to compose a wide range of classic tracks in the 1970s. His songs included Lady Eleanor, Fog On The Tyne, Winter Song, Clear White Light and Run For Home.
Hull wrote about love and friendship, but also championed the underdog and the misunderstood, and celebrated working class culture in his hometown.
In this film, Brit award-winner Sam Fender explores the archives and discovers the real Alan Hull. We also hear contributions from Sting, The Unthanks, Elvis Costello, Kay Greyson and Mark Knopfler.
The Our Lives series is back, revealing extraordinary stories of people across the UK. BBC England brings audiences three films from three different production companies based in Norwich and Leeds
Finding Mum and Dad (w/t) This is the film documentary Director Carla Wright has wanted to make since she was a little girl. It follows the story of her cousin, abandoned at birth, as she searches for the truth about her biological family. Using DNA the women are hoping that they will at last find answers to a 26 year old mystery. Filming is focused on the North West.
Life on the High Wire Chris Bullzini is Britain’s most accomplished high wire artist, wowing crowds as he walks high above town squares with no safety net. One slip could mean death. The rest of the time he's balancing being a single dad. Chris is devoted to his artform and continues to train constantly so that he can push the boundaries. 2020 proves to be his most challenging year yet. His life and livelihood hang in the balance. Filming features Norfolk and Somerset.
Life in the Lambing Shed (w/t) The film follows young shepherdess Chloe Hallam through the most dramatic weeks of the farming calendar - lambing. Chloe is a fourth generation farmer from near Glossop in the Peak District. To ensure a future for herself and the next generations she must diversify. As well as delivering over 1000 lambs she somehow has to find time to deliver beauty treatments at her salon on the farm.