BBC One ready to take risks, controller Charlotte Moore says
Published 23/09/2015 | 00:10
BBC One will be defined in the coming years by its commitment to risk-taking, the controller of the channel has said.
Charlotte Moore spoke while unveiling the autumn and winter schedule, highlights of which include remakes of classic sitcoms, a live episode of hit show Mrs Brown's Boys and a documentary about comedy star Peter Kay.
Speaking on the set in west London of new show Dickensian, a 20-part period drama based on the novels of Charles Dickens, she said: "We all know BBC One's remit is to entertain, educate and inform for a mainstream audience.
"But tonight I want to make three promises: BBC One will be defined in the coming years by its commitment to risk-taking. I will guarantee investment in innovation. And I will challenge every new commission to break the mould."
2016 marks 60 years since Hancock's Half Hour launched the sitcom on BBC television, so BBC One will enlist the biggest names in British writing and performing to revisit loved classics.
It will be launched by a one-off live episode of Mrs Brown's Boys.
Star Brendan O'Carroll said: "This is very exciting. When I heard the BBC were letting us go fully live I thought: 'They've lost their minds!'
"I'm seriously delighted about this. As Mrs Brown's Boys started in the theatre, it gives us a chance to show the TV audience LIVE what we really do. Put the kids to bed early!"
The documentary about Kay, Twenty Years of Funny, will celebrate his career spanning two decades as one of Britain's best-loved comedians.
From his childhood growing up in Bolton, to the places and people who have influenced him, it will show how he began his journey into the world of comedy and his eventual rise to become a household name.
Kay said : "What a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the last 20 years and highlight some of the work it's been my honour to create."
In drama, Troy - Fall of a City will retell the fall of Troy from the perspective of a Trojan family at the heart of the Greek siege.
Ms Moore said: "David Farr's bold and visceral rendition of the 3,000-year-old classic, told across multiple parts, will be unlike anything we've ever seen on BBC One before.
"Intimate and epic, gripping and exhilarating, rich with psychological intrigue and human drama, we will feel the characters' passions, pain and loss."
Farr said: "The story of Ilium, the ancient city of Troy, has always gripped me.
"Fall of a City aims to convey in all its emotional richness, the effects of war and the toll taken on city and family by the horrors of siege."
There will also be an adaptation of To Sir With Love, by Hanif Kureishi, from the autobiographical novel by ER Braithwaite.
Set in the bomb-damaged East End of London in the aftermath of the Second World War, Guyanese engineer Ricky Braithwaite is de-mobbed from the RAF to find a cold welcome in a Britain which has turned its back on the black men and women who had fought alongside them in the war.
Taking a job as a teacher at an unconventional "free'"school in the East End, he faces a class of unruly white working-class kids who test him to his limits.
Kureishi said : "ER Braithwaite's To Sir With Love, written and set in London's East End at the end of the 1950s, is a moving, tough and informative story about an intelligent man whose only hope of work - since he is black - is to become a teacher.
"As a young man in the 1960s, TSWL was the only novel I was aware of which dealt with the subject of race in Britain and I hope this dramatisation provides a vivid portrayal, particularly for the young, of how Britain has changed since then, and how it has remained the same."