BBC England is launching a new series that “puts current affairs in the hands of the people, telling their stories in their own words.”
We Are England will aim to reflect the changing face of England and explore hot topics in regions often ignored.
Each series of 60 programmes will therefore be made from hubs in Leeds, Newcastle, Birmingham, Bristol, London and Norwich. 120 will be broadcast per year.
Of the programmes already made, audiences will hear from pastors keeping city streets safe at night, army veterans suffering from mental health problems retraining as HGV drivers and the family of Michelle Bettles, 20 years on from her murder.
There will be 10 weekly themes per series, with the first including those ranging from mental health to the housing crisis, to unsolved murders and young entrepreneurs. Each hub will produce a different half hour film on each theme.
In the final week of the first series, six celebrities will take viewers on a personal journey of discovery to their hometowns, to understand what makes them who they are.
Aisling O’Connor, Head of TV Commissioning for BBC England, says: “We Are England... will get to the heart of subjects that matter nationally, framed through a local lens.
“It’s so important that BBC England reflects its audiences up and down the country. This series will deliver a range and rich diversity of story and content, told from the perspective of our local communities."
The BBC appointed award-winning executive producer Sarah Trigg as lead of the prime-time programme earlier in May 2021.
Trigg said: “Our talented teams across the country have been working hard to source and discover fresh content which explores a modern and fast-changing England and we can’t wait for viewers to see it.”
We Are England starts on Wednesday 26 January 2022 at 7.30pm on BBC One. The second 10-part series is due to start in autumn 2022.