ED TV Fest 2015 Damian Kavanagh

Speaking at the Edinburgh Television Festival this afternoon, Damian Kavanagh, controller of BBC Three, outlined his vision for the channel.

"Behaviour is changing and we have to be on that trajectory" he revealed he hopes to have a digital-only BBC Three from mid-January.

He announced that the future BBC Three will involve no panel shows, no studio entertainment formats and no formatted factual shows like Don't Tell The Bride.

He also announced a range of factual and entertainment titles that demonstrate the creative risk taking ambition of new BBC Three.

Race season includes Ferguson One Year On, We Want Our Country Back, KKK Town and Is Britain Racist?, and Gender season includes No Place To Be A Woman, Girls Run The World, Transgender Love Story and Stoked Up In Stoke.

Is This Rape? Sex On Trial is part of the gender season and a ground breaking social experiment to find out what British teenagers understand about rape.

Brand new entertainment show The Fear will bring the phenomenon of homemade horror into the living room to unearth the next big horror director, and Murder Games is a new drama documentary about the murder of Breck Bednar.

Damian Kavanagh said "This is a period of unprecedented change for media and particularly media for young people. I want BBC Three at the forefront of this change providing content that is relevant to young people in a format they want at a time of their choosing. I want us to make content for young people that makes them think about the world around them and raises the issues that matter to them. I also want new BBC Three to entertain and make them laugh."

He went on to say that he wanted the best ideas from the best British talent, in comedy, drama and documentaries, both long form and new forms. He went on to add "I want BBC Three to be the go to place for young people to explore and learn about subjects that impact their lives and to be a place where they can be entertained and get daily content in new forms, not just TV."

He assured the audience here in Edinburgh that... "We will continue to innovate with original British comedy, stand-out entertainment, brave documentary and intelligent factual programmes as can be demonstrated by our very recent successes including the critically acclaimed Defying The Label Season on disability in the UK, Reggie Yates hard hitting expose of homophobia and racism in Russia, the unique and truly innovative Murder In Succesville with Tom Davis and the ongoing success of Brentford’s finest in People Just Do Nothing.

Our new show The Fear, like Murder In Successville and Romesh Asian Provacateur, shows how we are pushing the boundaries and innovating with entertainment for young people by trying out new formats with new talent. We want Matt Giffen to unearth the next big horror director.

The Breck Bednar drama documentary Murder Games, just like the award winning Murdered By My Boyfriend, shows how BBC Three can stories in ways that young people can feel part of. We have also recently commissioned Murdered By My Father from young screenwriter Vinay Patel about the honour killing of a 16 year old girl"

Here's a rundown of those new BBC Three commissions...

Race Season

September 2015

A collection of films examining race in the UK and around the world, featuring films about Britain First, The Ku Klux Klan, a visit to Ferguson a year after the death of Michael Brown and an investigation into racial prejudices on the streets of Britain. The Worst Things I Have Ever Been Called is a new piece of short form that will simply demonstrate first person examples of some of the abuse directed at people.

We Want our Country Back (Working Title)

Britain First wants to ban Islam from the UK by closing all mosques and removing every written text from the religion from the UK. Director, Miles Blayden-Ryall, spends the summer with party leaders Jayda Fransen and Paul Golding as they spread their agenda on our street and online.

By getting inside the party, he is able to ask why they feel the country has been betrayed from within, and why Jayda and Paul are preparing for an oncoming war that they believe is inevitable. The film examines the rapid rise of the party and starts to unravel the tactics and strategies it uses to make sure nothing gets in the way of the message that it wants to promote.

KKK Town (Working Title)

With race relations stretched to breaking point in some American cities, the notorious supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan says it’s seeing a surge in membership. They claim that white Americans – angry at what they perceive as attacks on their heritage - are joining the infamous group in large numbers, convinced they must prepare for a coming race war. With access to the young leaders of the Loyal White Knights chapter in North Carolina, we film their secretive rituals and hear them explain why their members choose to don the infamous hood.

When a white supremacist walked into a church in Charleston, South Carolina and massacred nine black worshippers protests erupted - led by Black Power groups. The Klan travel to the South Carolina Statehouse to protest against the removal of the confederate flag but when Black Power groups turn out to demonstrate against the KKK, the two opposing visions of America violently come face to face.

Is Britain Racist? (Working Title)

Three quarters of us say we have no racial prejudices whatsoever, but is this really true?  Race hate crimes are on the increase and the internet is brimming with evidence of racist incidents caught on camera phones.  Are we saying one thing but doing another?  To expose the reality of racism in Britain presenter Mona Chalabi, sends reporters undercover to reveal how much prejudice there is on the streets of Britain.  She also puts British people to the test to explore how Race still affects everything from those we do business with to those that who we end up marrying.

Ferguson One Year On (Working Title)

Shocking images of American police killing black people has left the world in disbelief. The shooting on August 9th 2014 of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri lit a fire that is still raging in the hearts of African Americans.

One year on Reggie Yates has come to Ferguson, a small town in America’s Bible Belt to find out if anything has changed. Some of the worst civil disorder seen in decades has galvanized a new movement marching under the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter and politicized a new generation of young activists like Clifton Kinnie who were in the streets protesting and demanding an end to police brutality. He wants to know from both black and white citizens of Ferguson if a community so polarized by the shooting of Michael Brown can come together and heal.

Reggie witnesses first hand just how the next generation of police officers are being trained at the Police Academy. But more shockingly, he discovers just how the system still discriminates against African Americans. Reggie wants to know how in a country with an African American President young black men are still 21 times as likely to be killed by police as white men of the same age. With the events that started in Ferguson the country is forced to confront an uncomfortable truth – Racism still runs deep in America.

Franklyn Addo: PTSD Gangs

Upcoming Singer/Songwriter Franklyn Addo explores the prevalence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder amongst gangs of London.

The Worst Things I Have Ever Been Called (Working Title)

In the style of our ‘Things You’ve Always Wanted to Ask A Trans Person’ film we explore some of the most bizarre and shocking things people have been called as a result of their race or ethnicity. Shocking and authentic but also warm and intimate, this film lifts the lid on the realities of racial stereotyping and the micro-agression many young people face in a supposedly accepting modern Britain.

Gender Season

October 2015


Being a woman or a man in the UK today. Finding your way as a transgender person or gay or straight in 2015. Exploited for sex online. Victims of violence and rape. All are topics covered by a series of films exploring gender and sexuality today.

Stacey Dooley "'I continue to be proud and impressed by BBC Three's approach and delivery. Consistently they deliver hard hitting, necessary documentaries and this years 'gender season' is no exception. I'm enormously proud of our latest films, which takes us to Honduras and the Philippines to focus on what life is really like for females. I know Stephen has made a doc focusing on male suicide here at home. Again, an important watch. I genuinely believe the channel attracts a younger audience whilst encouraging us all to think and in some cases react to our programmes. Who else really does that? '


Is This Rape? Sex on Trial (Working Title)

A major social experiment to find out what British teenagers understand about rape. Research has revealed that there is considerable confusion surrounding the existing law amongst this age group - one area of particular concern is what counts as consent.

With presenter Will Best, two dozen teenage boys and girls will spend two days being put to the test to see what they actually think about consent. They’ll be shown a drama, specially created for this experiment, about sexual relations between a teenage boy and girl and as the scenario unfolds they will be challenged to make a crucial decision - whether it’s consensual sex or whether a crime has been committed.

As the teens consider their judgments, viewers will also have a chance to participate in an online poll. During the experiment it will be revealed to what extent the teenagers view consent differently, and how that compares to what the law dictates. The teens will also be confronted by personal testimonies showing how confusion around consent can lead to the possibility of them being accused of a crime.

Girls Run the World (Working Title)

The charts are full of extraordinary female artists - Beyonce, Miley, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj... One of the brightest is Charli XCX - she has written tracks for the likes of Iggy Azalia and Rihanna, and is fast becoming a global pop star in her own right. But is it really so great to be a woman in music today? Are these increasingly liberated times when Miley and Minaj can twerk and jiggle their way through their routines while still proudly declaring themselves feminists? Or are female artists being exploited by an innately sexist industry?

In this film Charli explores her own experiences as a modern pop star. We follow her on the road, playing shows at Glastonbury and in the States, as well as talking to fellow pop stars about the role of women in music today. Charli also meets her idol, Geri Halliwell, to discuss whether the 21st century is now the true era of 'Girl Power'.

Stacey Dooley: No Place to be a Woman (Working Title)

Stacey Dooley travels to two of the worst countries in the world to be a woman to investigate why young women there live in such dangerous, desperate and degrading conditions.

In the first film Stacey travels to the Philippines which is becoming the world capital of the cybersex industry. Here girls, who are rarely let out and are often underage, must perform on webcams and be photographed for a global online audience, including many men from the UK.

In the second film Stacey travels to Honduras, currently the country with the highest murder rate for young women. A woman is murdered every 13 hours and as Stacey discovers, very little is being done to address it. She meets some of the young women who’ve had enough and are campaigning for change, she spends a night with a group of female students as they try to evade the police and put up posters demanding more rights for women.

Professor Green: Suicide and Me (Working Title)

UK rapper Professor Green, aka Stephen Manderson, takes an intensely personal journey to uncover the truth behind the suicide of his father seven years ago.  His platinum hit Read All About It and songs such as Goodnight have given fans a glimpse into this tragic story. But now for the first time Stephen discovers what really happened to his Dad.  Opening up to close family for the first time about his estrangement from his father, re-connecting with old relatives, meeting others affected by suicide and laying bare his own demons, Stephen faces tough answers.

Through this personal journey, Stephen explores the wider scourge of male suicide in the UK. As the biggest single killer of men under 45, latest figures show suicide accounts for nearly 5000 male deaths a year in the UK.  By understanding the complex factors behind it, the stigma around it and some of the ways it is being tackled, Stephen highlights the urgency of addressing this most pressing of problems.

Fighting Like a Girl (Working Title)

From girls who beat their boyfriends, to drunken brawlers to teenage girl gangs – BBC reporter, Alys Harte, looks at the rising number of women who are involved in violence and hears from their victims.  One in five violent crimes now involve a female perpetrator, but are girls treated the same way as boys when it comes to British justice?  What is the root cause of their violent behaviour? And how can young females exercise and express their aggression without being labelled a danger to society?

Stoked up in Stoke (Working Title)

Stoked Up In Stoke follows three cage fighters and their coach as they prepare for a Cage Fighting contest, Night Of The Gladiators, in Stoke-on-Trent. All relative newcomers to the sport, the three fighters will be fighting in the ‘white collar’ category, designed to open up the sport to young men from more ordinary backgrounds, rather than just the pro or semi-pro fighters.

The documentary also looks into the personal lives of the fighters and discovers that Cage Fighting has played a hugely positive role in their lives, helping them overcome troubled circumstances such as alcoholism, violent crime, drugs, poverty, unemployment, domestic abuse and obesity, in order to turn their lives around.

Transgender Love Story (Working Title) 

Most teens struggle to navigate the dating world.  But imagine the questions transgender teens must ask themselves: should they reveal the truth to a date? Will their big crush appreciate them for who they truly are?  Our documentary follows in close detail the love lives of several extraordinary transgender teens.

The documentary takes a look at a world that is both fascinatingly complex but relatable to all: the search to find your perfect mate and to find yourself.

Transitioning in Selfies (Working Title)

We follow a YouTuber as they transition from girl to boy by collating their collection of over 2,000 daily selfies into a short picture book video.

Britain’s Biggest Sexists (Working Title)

From City bankers to football fans, from toy manufacturers to universities, accusations of sexism in British life come thick and fast. Now journalist and prankster Leah Green is joining with a team of comedians to decide just who Britain’s Biggest Sexists are. Using comedy clips, viral videos and stunts on the streets of Britain Leah confronts some of the worst examples of sexist behaviour in different areas of life – from childhood to politics to work.

Along the way she meets women who’ve been abused for working in male dominated jobs, fired for becoming pregnant, or threatened with extreme violence for writing about sexism. She finds out why children’s toys are now more sexist than they have ever been and hears the outrageous and outdated views held by some of the people who help run the country.

Footballers’ Sex Secrets (Working Title)

Money, fame and sex increasingly seem to go hand in hand with being a professional footballer. Young footballers can earn over £30,000 a week by the age of eighteen. Amal Fashanu lifts the lid on the culture of football, to discover whether it is leading to worrying attitudes amongst young footballers. Should footballers be regarded as role models in society? Is the environment inside football clubs cultivating a degrading attitude towards women?

To answer these questions Amal explores the impact huge pay and widespread sexual promiscuity is having on these young men. She meets their girlfriends to witness the effect unprecedented female attention has on their relationships. She also looks at the fallout a footballer faces when they do break the law; can they really return to the game?

Tyger Takes On... Sexuality and Sexism

Tyger is part of the first generation to have free rein and unprecedented access to go and explore sexuality in all its shapes and sizes without having to conform to the neat box categories of the past.  In this film Tyger will explore the blurring boundaries of 21st century sexuality, as he meets some of the trailblazers who are forging a brave new world of sexual expression amidst a backdrop of elite sex parties and the nu-drag scene, as Tyger himself tries to be open minded about his own sexuality.

According to a recent UN report, Britain was ‘the most in yer face sexist country in the world’, where being groped is now seen as a normal part of a night out for young women. In the second film Tyger goes on a journey to find out just how sexist his generation are and whether things are getting worse not better? From university sports teams to nights out clubbing, Tyger investigates the issue to discover what is being done to tackle it, asking whether he himself is part of the problem?

One of the Lads? With Thomas Gray (Working Title)

Up and coming comedian and wannabe lad Thomas Gray explores different male cultures around the party towns of Britain, trying to ingratiate himself with the laddiest tribes in town and asking what it truly means to be a man today.

The Fear

The fear is an amateur horror film competition from which we want to unearth the next big horror director. The judges in the first stage are the audience who are seated in a special cinema so we can see every jump, scream and “oh f**k, why is she going down into the basement!?”

The top three films from this first round will then be shown to a world renowned director who will select the winner. The winner will then be given the resources to make a 30 minute horror film. Matthew Giffen controls the whole show from the projector room and takes us through the whole competition with wit, charm and just a small dose of creepiness!

Murder Games (Working Title)

A teenage boy is targeted by an online predator after befriending him while gaming. Murder Games tells the true story of Breck Bednar, a 14-year-old schoolboy who was lured to his death after being groomed online by Lewis Daynes.

For the first time in this gripping drama documentary Breck’s young gaming friends have decided to tell their story; a tale of manipulation and deceit which engulfed their friend and sent shockwaves through the gaming community. The programme also follows Breck’s parents and siblings as they struggle to come to terms with their son’s murder, and films with investigators tasked with piecing together the crime - working backwards from a chilling 999 call.