A documentary about 17 year old racing driver Billy Monger and a UK adaptation of Lifetime’s format The Rap Game were among the commissions announced today by BBC Three Controller Damian Kavanagh at his Meet The Controller session at the Edinburgh TV Festival.
“On BBC Three we will always provide a platform for distinct voices and tell stories that matter to young people in Britain today. With these new shows, we’re doing just that by featuring a truly unique voice who unpacks the housing crisis and its impact on young people in Blindboy Undestroys the World, an incredible story of triumph over adversity in Billy Whizz and a drama that will address the rise of the far right, a subject that has increasingly become part of the national conversation in The Left Behind”, he said. “Whilst The Rap Game is an exciting new format for BBC Three that taps into a creative culture that actively embraces young people sharing their experiences.” The four shows come after TVWise previously reported that the channel had commissioned new drama Normal People from author Sally Rooney.
Billy Whizz tells the remarkable story of Billy Monger, one of Britain’s most exciting young racing drivers, who last year at the age of just 17 was involved in a devastating crash, resulting in the loss of both of his legs. Incredibly, soon after his accident, Billy resolved to get back to racing, in the hope of becoming the first ever amputee to race competitively in a single-seater racing car. Producers secured exclusive access to to document his return to racing after the horrific crash at Donnington Park in 2017.
This film follows Billy and his family, as he pursues his dream to one day race in Formula One. With the support of the racing community and his hero, Lewis Hamilton, Billy will have to change the rules of motorsport and learn to drive again without legs, whilst coming to terms with life as a disabled person – a term Billy is reluctant to accept. This inspirational story is about the incredible will of one young man; but also the extraordinary support his family provides during the toughest time of their lives. Billy Whizz is produced by Oxford Scientific Films, with Caroline Hawkins serving as the Executive Producer. The Director is Charlie Russell.
The Rap Game UK is a local adaptation of Lifetime’s format, in which five aspiring British MCs will move into a residential recording studio to spend 30 days together, writing, performing and ultimately competing to prove that they’re the next rap superstar. The series follows the MCs in every episode as they write, practice and perform a new track. All the while, they are being trained, mentored and given a crash course in the music business by some of the UK’s biggest rap names. Their worlds, in their words. But which of them will win?
BBC Three has ordered six episodes for the show’s first season. The adaptation is being produced by Naked Television. Lifetime’s parent company A+E Networks is distributing. The Rap Game UK was commissioned by BBC Three Controller Damian Kavanagh and the BBC’s Head of Commissioning for Popular Factual David Brindley. The executive producers are Tom O’Brien and Simon Andreae. The BBC commissioning editor is Ricky Cooper.
Blindboy Undestroys The World is a satirical undercover programme which features Blindboy Boatclub from The Rubber Bandits on a quest to unpack the housing crisis and to question the system that leaves millennials homeless. He explores how it is possible for some landlords to prey on the vulnerable to developers who manipulate the system, how it is possible for money launderers to invest their money in swanky Mayfair property, to the Government policy that gave birth to Generation Rent.
With a unique mixture of irreverent commentary, absurdism, secret filming and a band of undercover reporters, Blindboy seeks to expose the socially corrupt practices that exist in the dark and shady world of property. Blindboy Undestroys The World is produced for BBC Three by Rumpus. It was commissioned by BBC Three Controller Damian Kavanagh and the BBC’s Controller of Entertainment Commissioning Kate Phillips. The executive producer is Iain Wimbush. The BBC commissioning editor is Ruby Kuraishe.
The Left Behind is a one-off drama set in Cardiff exploring the rise of the far-right. It charts one young man’s increasing attraction to anti-immigrant sentiment as a way of explaining the very real problems he faces in his own life; problems with housing and zero-hours employment that make him feel ‘left behind’ in his own country. With no prospects and little hope for the future, what way out is there for Britain’s increasingly desperate white working class?
The project has been meticulously researched and the script is being penned by Welsh playwright Alan Harris. BBC Studios is producing, with award-winning film-maker Joseph Bullman attached as the director. It was commissioned by BBC Three Controller Damian Kavanagh and the BBC’s Head of Commissioning for Documentaries Clare Sillery. The executive producer is Aysha Rafaele. The BBC Commissioning editor is Emma Loach.