The BBC have announced a slate of brand new content at this year's Edinburgh TV Festival, with the latest being a new documentary about assisted dying, written and presented by Liz Carr.


The Good Omens actress and disability rights activist will helm Better Off Dead?, the new documentary offering coming to BBC One and iPlayer.

The documentary will explore the controversial topic of assisted dying, or euthanasia, which has long sparked conversation and which Carr has been a long-time campaigner against a change in the law.

According to the synopsis for Better Off Dead?: "This year, a House of Commons Select Committee has for the first time launched an enquiry into the legalisation of assisted suicide, with its findings set to influence future government policy.

"Concerned that any change in the law sends the message that the lives of disabled and marginalised people are less valuable, Liz will take an in-depth look at the issue, speaking to people from all sides of the debate. She will also travel to Canada to explore the repercussions of some of the most permissive euthanasia laws in the world. Here she will be confronted with a law for people who are disabled, and not just the terminally ill."

Silent Witness XXIII
Liz Carr in Silent Witness. BBC/Sally Mais

Speaking about the new documentary, Carr, who has starred in dramas such as Silent Witness, The Witcher and This Is Going to Hurt, said: “Too many disabled people will have had the experience of someone, often a complete stranger, telling them, 'if I was like you, I’d rather be dead'.

"Putting such low value on our lives has been reported in medical settings when disabled and older people have 'do not resuscitate' orders placed on their medical notes without their consent. This documentary is about challenging the assumptions behind these actions and shining a light on the many grey areas in this often one sided debate."

Carr also added: "I'm pro-choice, an atheist, a rights campaigner and assisted suicide scares me. I want everyone to have a good death and through this documentary, I hope to show why I'm unconvinced that any type of 'assisted dying' is the answer to this."

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Similarly, Kate Phillips, director of unscripted at the BBC, says: “Factual at the BBC is in great shape, with recent series such as Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland and Parole, as well as singles such as Rose Ayling Ellis’s film on the deaf community or Matt Willis on addiction, winning widespread acclaim.

"We want to continue bringing audiences impactful new films that inspire debate and bring fresh new perspectives on important issues, and I’m really pleased that Liz Carr is presenting this new film, sharing her own unique insight into the difficult debate around assisted suicide."

As of now, there's no confirmed release date for Better Off Dead? but we do know that the 60-minute film will be making its way to BBC One and iPlayer when it does.

Some of the other recently announced BBC titles during this year's Edinburgh TV Festival also include a raft of new dramas including Virdee starring Sacha Dhawan (Wolf), Hot Flush from Happy Valley's Sally Wainwright and new detective drama The Jetty starring Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who).

Better Off Dead? will be coming to BBC One and iPlayer. Check out more of our Documentaries coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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