Peacock, Life and Death in the Warehouse lead new BBC Three slate
James R | On 02, Feb 2022
BBC Three has made its return to linear TV this week, and the channel is showing no sign of slowing down its commissions, with Peacock and Life and Death in the Warehouse leading its new slate of programming.
Peacock is a three-part comedy series from Big Talk (The Outlaws, Friday Night Dinner) and the writers of the BAFTA award winning People Just Do Nothing. Written by Steve Stamp and Ben Murray, Peacock is the story of Andy, a personal trainer at Sportif Leisure in the midst of an identity crisis. His world is one of selfies, bravado and gym memberships, where vanity and success are often horribly entangled. When Andy loses out on a job promotion to a younger, better looking PT, he suddenly realises he’s a man out of time. He needs to prove that there’s more to him than his good looks and his well curated dating profile. He sets out to prove that he can be taken seriously. But can he?
Allan ‘Seapa’ Mustafa (People Just Do Nothing) stars as Andy Peacock, Lucien Laviscount (Emily in Paris) as Jay, Thomas Gray (Absolutely Fine) as Spooner, Susan Wokoma (Year of the Rabbit) as Liz, Callie Cooke (The Stranger) as Carly, Mandeep Dhillon (After Life) as Georgia and Sophia Di Martino (Loki) as Blue.
Stamp says: “Clearly I am not someone qualified to write about going to the gym so it’s actually mostly about a bunch of flawed messes struggling to function in the modern world.”
The series is currently filming in Liverpool and will air later this year.
Life And Death In The Warehouse is a factual-based drama inspired by the real-world accounts of warehouse workers from many different companies in Britain and around the world. It tells the fictional story of warehouse worker Alys, whose childhood friend Megan joins the same distribution centre as a trainee manager. In a desperate attempt to keep her new job Megan presses pregnant Alys to get her ‘pick-rate’ up, putting Alys and her baby at risk.
From the Bafta-winning team behind Killed By My Debt and Murdered by My Father, Life And Death In The Warehouse is an authentic exploration of working conditions in distribution centres, a world shrouded in secrecy where warehouse workers are subjected to a gruelling work regime and obsessive monitoring.
In the ‘customer-fixated’ culture of distribution centres, ‘idle time’ (toilet breaks and conversations) and ‘pick’ or ‘aspirational’ rates (number of items picked per hour) are constantly measured with 24-hour surveillance, which can lead to disciplinary hearings and ruthless ‘off-boarding’ (sacking.) Pregnant women routinely fall below their target ‘pick-rate’ and are subjected to constant CCTV and algorithmic surveillance, ‘self enhancement plans’ and monitoring.
Written by new screenwriter Helen Black and directed by Joseph Bullman, the drama stars Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Megan (Peaky Blinders, The Left Behind, Luther), Poppy Lee Friar as Alys (In My Skin, Ackley Bridge, My Name Is Leon) and Craig Parkinson as Senior Manager Danny (Line Of Duty, Doctor Who, Four Lions). Additional cast include Kimberley Nixon as manager Donna, Aled ap Steffan as warehouse worker Devon, and Sion Daniel Young as manager Sean.
Also on the way is Hungry For It, a competition series that gives 10 aspiring cooks from all over the UK, all desperate to carve out a career in the food industry, a chance to skill up and put their talent to the test – with one amateur cook winning a life changing prize. The chefs will live together in a house, whilst competing and creating amazing dishes, in an attempt to impress industry experts and mentors. The series will be hosted by Stacey Dooley alongside two industry mentors who’ll be judging – chef and rapper, Big Zuu, and personal chef to the stars, Kayla Greer.
Another contest given the green light is The Drop, which aims to capture the cultural synergy between fashion, music, sport, celebrity and business and to provide one individual with a life-changing prize. A billion pound global industry and a subculture in its own right, streetwear has disrupted the fashion industry, with celebrities and brands always on the lookout to endorse the next big thing.
In The Drop, 10 of Britain’s most promising up-and-coming creatives, who all believe they are sitting on the next streetwear brand, that is ready to make the leap from the bedroom to the global market, go head to head to win the chance to have their first line stocked in a major UK retailer.
BBC Three has also commissioned Gassed Up, a series that will see racer Mist take on some of the biggest challenges the UK scene has to offer. Each episode will see him go head to head in a high octane challenge against a celebrity – supported by expert driver and drift queen Becky Evans and pro BMXer and prankster Ryan Taylor. Mentored and judged by specialists from the scene, Mist and his guests will learn the tricks of the trade, equipping them to create and commandeer crazy vehicles, leading to an ultimate head-to-head track challenge.
Zara McDermott will host Love In The Flesh, a series that focuses on real-life potential couples who have already formed relationships via dating apps and social media but who have never met each other in the real world. These online daters will be whisked away from the pressures of daily life and screens to explore whether their online relationships can turn into love in the flesh.
“I want BBC Three to look and sound different to anywhere else,” says channel controller Fiona Campbell, “and I want to shout the loudest in every way we can that the BBC is there for you no matter where you are from and who you are.”
For our guide to what’s new and coming soon to BBC Three, click here.