BBC1 and BBC3 today announced a raft of new commissions for 2012, alongside popular returning series.
The BBC’s flagship channel is firmly focused on drama. To coincide with the London Olympics, feature-length drama Bert and Dickie charts the story of Bert Bushnell and Dickie Burnell’s quest for rowing golds in the 1948 Games.
Crime drama Savage will follow a young policeman coming to terms with the murder of his best friend, while on the other side of the coin, security staff will plan a major heist in Inside Men.
Rounding off the crime-orientated fare is May Day, a five-part series by Whitechapel scribes Ben Court and Caroline Ip, which focuses on a community forced to question itself when a girl goes missing.
Author William Boyd is set to adapt his own book, Restless, into a two-part drama intended for the 9:00pm slot, while Sally Wainwright, who penned ITV’s Unforgiven, will bring the intriguingly named Anthony and Cleopatra to the same primetime slot. The six-part series tells the story of two 70-somethings who fall in love but face difficulties with their families.
Meanwhile, over on BBC3, viewers will gain a new insight into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Mixed Up in the Middle East. Reya, who’s half Arab and half Jewish but has been raised in Britain, visits family in Israel and the Palestinian territories for the first time, sharing in their everyday lives.
And, to provide a window on our own world, Eastern European immigrants will share their impressions of Britain and the British as they embark on a unique bus tour.
Up for Hire Live sees four unemployed young people accomplish a 40-year career in one week, as they go from new starter to company executive. Stripped across a week, each documentary charting their experiences will be followed by a live studio debate.
On the comedy front, White Van Man returns for another six-part series, while two comedy pilots also put in an appearance: Eggbox, which profiles life on a teenage cancer ward, and IED, a single-camera comedy about a British bomb disposal unit.
Sharon Horgan and Holly Walsh star in Life Story, with Horgan as Helen, a woman framed for murdering her boss. While coping with the ups and downs of prison life and her less-than-supportive family and friends, Helen must also uncover the identity of the real killer.
Finally, Elijah Wood sprinkles a little Hollywood stardust on Wilfred, a live-action comedy about a man who befriends his neighbour’s dog. Well, everyone else sees Wilfred as a dog – it’s just Ryan (Wood) who sees an Australian in a dog suit…