BBC4’s Storyville to premiere documentaries on iPlayer

The acclaimed factual strand will air three programmes, including a profile of Russian band Pussy Riot, on the Internet before the television

The march of the iPlayer continues – flagship BBC documentary series Storyville is the latest BBC programme to be broadcast first on the service ahead of being broadcast on linear television.


The BBC4 series will premiere three documentaries belonging to a mini-season called Modern Outlaws online.

It is comprised of documentaries on the Russian pop group Pussy Riot, a profile of 1990s diamond thieves The Pink Panthers and a programme about the hoax surrounding the band Silibil N’ Brains who found fame as foul-mouthed hip hop band despite being in reality amiable Scotsmen, with fake American accents and made up identities.

The programmes – Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, Smash And Grab: The Story Of The Pink Panthers and The Great Hip-Hop Hoax – will each premiere on BBC iPlayer on Saturday 12 October and then be shown on BBC4 starting on October 21.

The Pussy Riot documentary contains rough first-hand interviews with band members, their families and the defense team and exclusive footage of the trial.

The Pink Panthers profiles the shadowy gang which emerged from the Balkans conflict and has stolen more than £270 million in diamonds in more than 241 robberies in cities from Paris to Tokyo.

The Great Hip-Hop Hoax tells the audacious tale of how two men from Dundee – branded “the rapping Proclaimers” – duped the record industry with an outrageous scam.

Storyville series editor Nick Fraser said: “This is a bold experiment. Storyville has been doing very well on BBC iPlayer and we want to see how our films do when they are premiered there. It’s another step on the way to making documentaries freely available in any medium through the BBC. And these films are not only exceptional – but exceptionally entertaining. They’re up-to-date, sometimes funny and often subversive.”

The strand will also air a host of other documentaries including Hotel Folly – Folie a Deux; The Spy Who Went Into The Cold – Kim Philby, Soviet Super Spy; Black Fish; and Fame In China but these will air on BBC4 first in the conventional way.


In the summer BBC controller of comedy commissioning Shane Allen announced that new Peter Kay BBC1 comedy Car Share will be premiered on iPlayer.