BBC Four has ordered a range of shows for their upcoming season on diversity. Said season of programming celebrates “British diversity and explores the secret tribes and communities that have helped shape modern British history.”
“BBC Four is a unique proposition within British TV and we’re always proud to celebrate voices and stories that are less known and often unheard”, said Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor for BBC Four. “This season of programming will take viewers into a whole series of hidden corners of our nation and its story. It’s a treat to be working with both established voices such as Sir Lenny Henry and Don McCullin and introducing a new generation of talent to our screens.”
Leading the slate of shows is A Very British History, which explores key moments in the 20th century for minority communities across Britain – including the Jewish community in Leeds, Afro-Caribbeans in Birmingham, Romany Gypsies around the home counties and Ugandan Asians in Leicester and beyond. While Windrush: Movement Of The People is a dance piece by Phoenix Dance Theatre which celebrates the arrival of the SS Empire Windrush which brought the first large numbers of Caribbean migrants to the UK.
Full details of BBC Four’s diversity season follows below:
A Very British History is fronted by presenters from various communities and explores the harsh reality many people faced when searching for a new life in Britain. We hear untold stories, from the joyful to the tragic, and follow emotional journeys back in time. Each of the four episodes aim to discover more about the history of communities in multi-cultural Britain. It is produced by BBC England Productions, with Tony Parker serving as the executive producer. It was commissioned by BBC Four Channel Editor Cassian Harrison and former Factual Commissioning Editor Clare Paterson.
Windrush: Movement Of The People is a narrative dance piece that explores not only the story of the 492 people who arrived from Jamaica at Tilbury dock on 22 June 1948, but also the subsequent stream of migration from former British colonies and the rise of multicultural Britain. It tells the collective history of the immigrants’ dreams, hopes and pain, while celebrating the complexities of their struggle for identity, equality and belonging. It was devised by Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Sharon Watson with musical compositions by Christella Litras. The executive producers are Emma Cahusac for the BBC, Helen Spencer for The Space, and Mark Hollander for Phoenix Dance Theatre. The producer is Martin Collins and Ross MacGibbon is the director.
Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle is a series of eight short-form monologues set in the front room of an Afro-Caribbean home. The monologues follow the highs and lows of one family from their arrival in England in the 1940s up to the present day as they explore their hopes and desires, challenges and shattered dreams. The series is produced by BBC Arts in partnership with Sir Lenny Henry’s production company Douglas Road and the Young Vic Theatre. The executive producers are Sir Lenny Henry, Kwame Kwei-Armah and Angela Ferreira. Lamia Dabboussy is the Commissioning Editor for the BBC.
Don McCullin: Looking For England is a single sixty-minute film following the 83 year-old photographer on a journey to document his country from inner cities to seaside towns. Sixty years after starting out as a photographer, he returns to his old haunts in the East End of London, Bradford, Consett, Eastbourne and Scarborough. Along the way he encounters an array of English characters at The Glyndebourne Festival and Goodwood Revival and photographs a hunt and a group of sabateurs aiming to disrupt them. McCullin’s journey is punctuated by scenes in his darkroom, a place he is allowing cameras into for the first time. It is produced by Bright Yellow Films and Oxford Films Sam Hobkinson and Nicolas Kent are the executive producers.