Ridley Scott to help create a portrait of Britain in a Day

Footage submitted by the public will form a snapshot of the country for 2012


Director Ridley Scott is set to work with the BBC on a documentary project that will use footage filmed by ordinary people around the country to create a “definitive self-portrait of Britain”.


Britain in a Day will ask members of the public to film themselves on the same day, 12 November, and submit their videos via YouTube for inclusion in the feature-length documentary to be shown on BBC2 next year as part of the corporation’s Cultural Olympiad.

Ridley Scott, known for such seminal movies as Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator, will oversee the project which was inspired by a similar feature, the award-winning Life in a Day, made by his production company Scott Free London.

Scott said “Film-making has always been about just picking up a camera, getting out there and doing it.

“Our aim for this new project is to get everyone behind the lens and give us a window onto one day in Britain.”

Britain in a Day will be executive produced by Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald who created Life in a Day from over 4,500 hours of footage submitted by people from around the world. It will be directed by Morgan Matthews, the man behind BBC2 documentary The Fallen, which remembered every British serviceman and woman who died during the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The BBC aims to use personal moments from the unique lives of its contributors “to craft a single, coherent story that captures the variety and vibrancy of life in Britain today.”

Charlotte Moore, BBC commissioning editor for documentaries, said: “The Cultural Olympiad feels like an ideal opportunity to take a mirror to ourselves and capture something of the kaleidoscope of life that thrives in Britain today. 

“I hope that the fresh approach we are bringing to the production process will allow us to preserve a moment in time in a compelling and truly inclusive way. This is a bold project, hugely ambitious in scope and scale, and the BBC is in a unique position to deliver it with real impact.”


Promotional activity for Britain in a Day will include workshops around the country, collaborations with film schools and charities and a trailer featuring celebrities such as Stephen Fry, Fiona Bruce, John Humphrys, Raymond Blanc and Terry Pratchett.