BBC Director of Drama vows to build on the momentum around BBC drama as he unveils six new commissions from some of the country’s most exciting talent.
After topping the Bafta nominations (including a record-breaking 15 for Small Axe, eight for I May Destroy You and seven for Normal People), and the unprecedented success of Line of Duty (becoming the UK’s most watched drama series of the 21st century), Piers Wenger, BBC Director of Drama, today announced six new commissions, further illustrating quality and ambitious dramas that are pushing the boundaries.
Dolly Alderton will be adapting her much-loved autobiography Everything I Know About Love, the BIFA-winning writer of Rocks, Theresa Ikoko, will adapt soon-to-be published novel Wahala and “voice of a new generation” Cash Carraway pens Cash Carraway (w/t), inspired by her darkly funny debut memoir and starring Bafta-winner Daisy May Cooper.
Candice Carty-Williams, author of bestselling novel Queenie takes on her first TV project, an original drama series, the two time Bafta-winning writer-director of Mum, Stefan Golaszewski, turns his hand to drama for the first time and multi-award winning and revered writer-director Shane Meadows will tackle his first period drama, also his first ever drama for the BBC.
Wenger also revealed that he is working on a new project with the multi-talented Michaela Coel, after their remarkable collaboration on I May Destroy You. The first still of highly-anticipated BBC One drama The Tourist was also released.
Piers Wenger says: “I am incredibly proud of drama on the BBC and how its popularity, range and ambition is being recognised by viewers and critics alike. Seeing Small Axe, I May Destroy You and Normal People receive a record number of Bafta nominations and Line of Duty becoming the biggest drama of the 21st Century is staggering and humbling.
“We pride ourselves on the creative contribution we make and the value we offer to audiences. We will continue to build on the momentum of recent years to ensure that the BBC is and continues to be the home of the very best of British drama.
“In 2021, there are many places for audiences to access premium content. But it is our commitment to creative risk and our passion for Britain’s stand-out writing talent which ensures that even in the age of global streamers, we are able to win big.
“In the next few months alone, our dramas will feature world class screen talent such as Emily Blunt, Ben Whishaw, Paul Bettany, Claire Foy, Colin Farrell, Jamie Dornan, David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Martin Freeman, as well as rising stars Erin Doherty, Bukky Bakray, Malachi Kirby, Connor Swindells, Shalom Brune-Franklin and Nicôle Lecky. And I’m delighted to announce these new commissions today, from writers who are already striking a chord with the British public: Cash, Dolly and Candice with their incredible books, Theresa with the astounding Rocks, Stefan, who following the huge success of Mum and Him & Her is turning his hand to hour-long drama, and not least of all the legendary Shane Meadows, who is working with the BBC for the first time on a historical drama which is destined to feel utterly of the moment. And finally, I’m thrilled to say we will be working with the unequalled Michaela Coel on another project, more news about that to follow in due course…”