BBC iPlayer has announced a raft of original commissions for 2015, including nine star-studded comedy shorts all themed around Valentine’s Day.
The series of shorts, called Funny Valentines, will see comedians such as Bill Bailey, Matt Berry, Romesh Ranganathan, Sara Pascoe, Limmy, Nick Helm, Modern Toss, Russ Abbott and Katy Wix give their own take on the day of love. They will all go live on 13th February.
The shorts include Bailey’s Love Song, a spoof music video starring Emma Thompson as a mysterious woman who opens an obsessive loner’s eyes to a new world; and ‘documentary’ Wild Love, Matt Berry’s follow-up to 2014 short Lone Wolf, in which the Toast of London star explores the animal kingdom’s most extraordinary mating rituals.
Others include A Wee Video For The Lassies from Brian Limond, AKA Limmy, who plays a nervous romantic filming his clip for a dating website, and The Lady and the Fly, a six minute animation from Modern Toss where a fly falls for the woman of his dreams, which features the voices of Mackenzie Cook and Paul Kaye.
Alongside Funny Valentines, the BBC’s online streaming service has also commissioned three drama shorts, a programme promising access into “blockbuster” art galleries, and an in-depth look at London Fashion Week 2015. All of which will join previously announced commissions Bitter Lake, a new film from Adam Curtis, and Eastenders: Back To Ours, a Gogglebox-style show in which some of the soap’s stars watch back their characters’ most famous moments.
Following on from last year’s Original Drama Shorts, the second season, in partnership with BBC 3, will be Oakwood, a coming-of-age story following a sixteen year old who longs to move to London with his punk band; Playing Ball, a “darkly comic” look at, “the relationship between mothers and daughters, and how far we will go for family,”; and Is This Thing On?, which sees an isolated horror fan announce that he’s going to kill himself live on the internet.
Private View, meanwhile, will “open the doors to the public on blockbuster art exhibitions across the UK to bring these to widest possible audience.” The show will be hosted by a variety of contemporary artists and personalities, including rapper Tinie Tempah, who will take viewers on a tour of the V&A’s retrospective of Alexander McQueen’s work. While, lastly, Abbey Clancy will present London Fashion Week, a behind-the-scenes look at the most high profile event in the fashion calendar.
The new commissions are part of the BBC’s well-publicised digital strategy, which will see the broadcaster fold BBC3 into iPlayer as an online-only channel later this year, subject to approval by the BBC Trust.