The BBC has commissioned five new unscripted programmes as part of a Hot House initiative, with support from Northern Ireland Screen. The programmes, which are co-commissioned for BBC Factual and BBC Northern Ireland, will be broadcast to audiences in Northern Ireland and across the UK on BBC network and BBC NI television.
The commissions were announced by Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer, BBC, during her Dan Gilbert Lecture at the Belfast Media Festival. The commissions include a new 15-part series for BBC Daytime featuring MasterChef’s Anna Haugh, a new six-part series on competing to become an art dealer, single documentaries exploring motorcycle racing and First Holy Communions and a new entertainment ‘reality game show’ pilot.
After a competitive process earlier this year, five Northern Ireland-based independent production companies were chosen by BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Factual to take part in the Hot House development initiative. The scheme, which builds on the successful partnership between the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen, saw BBC network and BBC NI commissioning teams provide local indies with the advice, support and tools to help them compete for BBC network factual commissions and BBC NI/ BBC network co-commissions.
The ambition is to grow network production capacity in Northern Ireland and help locally-based indies to secure network commissions – with all of the benefits this would provide, including for the creative economy in Northern Ireland. The project also supports the BBC’s Across The UK strategy commitments to move content away from London to allow the BBC to better reflect, represent and serve all audiences.
The five successful indies were Below The Radar, DoubleBand Films, Stellify Media, Alleycats Films and Walk On Air Films.
Each of these independent production companies were then given £50,000 development funding from the BBC. They were then able to apply for match-funding