An Exciting Future for Factual Content on the BBC Announced
Speaking on Thursday, 1st June 2017, at an event for the industry and press showcasing Factual on the BBC, Alison Kirkham announced over 35 hours of new commissions across history, science, religion, documentaries and factual entertainment that will inform, educate and entertain audiences over the coming years.
Hot on the heels of the department’s recent success at the Baftas, which saw BBC Factual sweep the board in six categories, winning awards for Exodus, Hillsborough, Muslims Like Us, Planet Earth II and Who Do you Think You Are? as well as receiving acting awards for factual dramas, Damilola, Our Loved Boy and Murdered By My Father, Alison Kirkham said:
“Just a few years ago, many within the industry were predicting the demise of Factual in a multi-channel, multi-choice world. In fact the opposite has proven to be true. Today audiences are rewarding the best Factual TV as emphatically as ever. Leading this department, my ambition is for us to share more untold and extraordinary stories. It’s a theme that came through in many of our Bafta-winning programmes and we’ll continue to give a voice to those who would otherwise not be heard.
“We are living in a period of seismic change when it feels harder than ever to get to grips with what is happening around us. In an era of false facts and fake news, it is the role of a proudly independent BBC to respond by offering a trusted lens through which to view and understand the world. Ours is a unique mission – to inform, educate and entertain – and BBC Factual is uniquely placed to do just that.”
Alison Kirkham outlined a series of promises that would define BBC Factual in the future and made a number of new announcements to support those plans:
“My vision in the years ahead is to offer the variety, breadth and unrivalled commitment to quality that has always been our trademark but also to engage with audiences more than ever, on their own terms, on what matters most to them today. No subject should be taboo. We can’t and won’t shy away from ambitious, complicated programmes.
“Count on us to provide a place for difficult issues and joyous passions to sit beside each other; to embrace complexity and authorship; and to take creative risks and back specialism. From history to science, religion to natural history, specialisms have always been a fundamental part of the story of BBC Factual and will continue to thrive on the BBC.
“Today we are announcing a range of new commissions that illustrate the way forward. There are programmes that open our eyes to the world, that show us what has never been seen and take us to places we have never been – and that entertain and inspire us. But there are also commissions that interrogate some of the big issues facing our society today – programmes which will be bold enough to ask challenging questions, spark tough debate and target real change.”