BBC Three has announced four new original commissions.
Unveiled at the Edinburgh TV festival by Damian Kavanagh, Controller of the online channel, the slate includes a documentary that follows a young racing driver who had a life-changing crash and a contest between five aspiring British MCs to prove they’re the next rap superstar, as well as a drama exploring the ride of right-wing sentiments in the UK.
Speaking about the new commissions, Kavanagh says: “On BBC Three we will always provide a platform for distinct voices and tell stories that matter to young people in Britain today. With these new shows, we’re doing just that by featuring a truly unique voice who unpacks the housing crisis and its impact on young people in Blindboy Undestroys the World, an incredible story of triumph over adversity in Billy Whizz and a drama that will address the rise of the far right, a subject that has increasingly become part of the national conversation in The Left Behind. Whilst The Rap Game is an exciting new format for BBC Three that taps into a creative culture that actively embraces young people sharing their experiences.”
The commissions join an adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Conversations With Friends, whch will be adapted by the author and directed by Oscar-nominated Irish film Director Lenny Abrahamson (Room, Frank).
Here’s the line-up announced:
Billy Whizz (w/t)
Billy Whizz follows the remarkable story of Billy Monger, one of Britain’s most exciting young racing drivers, who last year at the age of just 17 was involved in a devastating crash, resulting in the loss of both of his legs. Incredibly, soon after his accident, Billy resolved to get back to racing, in the hope of becoming the first ever amputee to race competitively in a single-seater racing car. With exclusive access to document his return to racing after the horrific crash at Donnington Park in 2017, this film follows Billy and his family, as he pursues his dream to one day race in Formula One. With the support of the racing community and his hero, Lewis Hamilton, Billy will have to change the rules of motorsport and learn to drive again without legs, whilst coming to terms with life as a disabled person – a term Billy is reluctant to accept.
This heart-warming and inspirational story is about the incredible will of one young man; but also the extraordinary support his family provides during the toughest time of their lives.
Billy Whizz is produced by Oxford Scientific Films. Caroline Hawkins is the Executive Producer. The Director is Charlie Russell. It was commissioned by Damian Kavanagh, Controller of BBC Three and Claire Sillery, Head of Documentaries Commissioning. The BBC commissioning editor is Jamie Balment.
Blindboy Undestroys the World (w/t)
With a combination of investigative reporting and absurdism, anarchic polemist Blindboy from The Rubber Bandits leaves Limerick to unpack the housing crisis. From dodgy landlords to the multinationals, he seeks to expose the stark reality of being a millennial simply looking for a place to call home.
He explores how it is possible for some landlords to prey on the vulnerable to developers who manipulate the system, how it is possible for money launderers to invest their money in swanky Mayfair property, to the Government policy that gave birth to Generation Rent.
With a unique mixture of irreverent commentary, absurdism, secret filming and a band of undercover reporters, Blindboy seeks to expose the socially corrupt practices that exist in the dark and shady world of property.
Blindboy Undestroys the World is produced by Rumpus. Iain Wimbush is the Executive Producer. It was commissioned by Damian Kavanagh, Controller of BBC Three and Kate Phillips, Controller Entertainment Commissioning. The BBC commissioning editor is Ruby Kuraishe.
The Rap Game UK (w/t)
The Rap Game UK is a 6-part series for BBC Three in which five aspiring British MCs move into a residential recording studio to spend 30 days together, writing, performing and ultimately competing to prove that they’re the next rap superstar.
Reflecting the new wave of British rap-influenced music that’s conquering the charts, the series follows the MCs as in every episode, they write, practice and perform a new track. All the while, they are being trained, mentored and given a crash course in the music business by some of the UK’s biggest rap names.
At a time when UK MC culture has come to dominate the airwaves, The Rap Game UK provides an authentic, raw and unfiltered look at the fiery explosion of creativity, craft and highly personal storytelling sweeping across the country. Their worlds, in their words. But which of them will win?
The Rap Game UK is produced by Naked Television. Distributed by global media company A+E Networks, it is based on US broadcaster Lifetime’s hit series The Rap Game. Tom O’Brien and Simon Andreae are Executive Producers of The Rap Game UK, which is commissioned by Damian Kavanagh, Controller of BBC Three and David Brindley, Head of Commissioning, Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment. The BBC commissioning editor is Ricky Cooper.
The Left Behind (w/t)
According to reports, the number of far-right linked referrals to the government’s de-radicalisation programme, Prevent, has dramatically risen.
BBC Three explores the rise of the far-right in a single drama charting one young man’s increasing attraction to anti-immigrant sentiment as a way of explaining the very real problems he faces in his own life; problems with housing and zero-hours employment that make him feel ‘left behind’ in his own country.
A terrifyingly vivid, meticulously researched depiction of the lure of the far-right, the film will be set in Cardiff by Welsh playwright Alan Harris (Sugar Baby, How My Light Is Spent), directed by award-winning film-maker Joseph Bullman (Killed By My Debt, The Secret History of My Streets) and produced by the BBC Studios team behind previous Bafta-winning factual dramas Murdered For Bering Different, Don’t Take My Baby and Murdered By My Father.
The Left Behind (w/t) is produced by BBC Studios. The Exec producer is Aysha Rafaele. It was commissioned by Damian Kavanagh, Controller of BBC Three and Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries. The BBC Commissioning editor is Emma Loach.