BBC Two has announced a number of new factual commissions this week, looking at a wide range of topics including the Syrian crisis to disability in Africa, and football fans in Russia.
Other commissions include the deeply personal David Harewood: Psychosis and Me, and innovative new formats such as Murder, in which a crime is seen through the eyes of the professionals who investigate it. It was also announced that successful existing series including Hospital, A House Through Time and Surgeons: At The Edge Of Life have been recommissioned.
"BBC Two is about values that urgently need championing right now: curiosity and challenge, diversity and difference, mischief and provocation," said Patrick Holland, BBC Two Controller, “[It’s] not shying from complexity but actively seeking it out.”
Among the programmes announced are:
Africa On Wheels (w/t)
A new four-part series, where journalist and athlete Ade Adepitan travels across Africa, from his city of birth Lagos in Nigeria - through Central and Eastern Africa and on to the deep south of the continent - the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Along the way, he will navigate every kind of terrain in his wheelchair and will explore the continent and how it is developing.
The story of the dynasty at the heart of the Syrian crisis, focusing on President Bashar and his wife Asma, the decision which caused them to uproot from their London home to rule over Syria, and what it has meant for both them and the country.
David Harewood: Psychosis & Me (w/t)
At 23 years old, Homeland star David Harewood suffered a mental breakdown and was sectioned. He was taken into hospital, where he was treated with anti-psychotic medication. 30 years later he is piecing together what happened to him, most of which he doesn't remember. Speaking to friends, family and people who saw his spiral into psychosis, he hopes to examine what happened to him, how it would be handled now and what effect the condition has on other people.
Frankie Goes to Russia
A two-part series where comedian Frankie Boyle travels to Russia ahead of the 2018 World Cup to discover the truth behind the stereotypes and hearsay surrounding Russian football fans.
A group of eight Jewish people, from all over the UK, travel first to Manchester and then to Israel, to examine some of the most pressing questions facing the Jewish community today.
An eight-part series looking at a murder investigation through the eyes of the professionals involved. Each week deals with a different person, from the detective investigating through to the scientist looking at forensic evidence and the lawyer arguing the case in court.
Project Interiors (w/t)
Ten fledgling designers will be launched into the competitive world of interior design. Each week one designer will be eliminated, with the ultimate prize of a design contract with a prestigious commercial client going to the winner.
Back In Time for School
Presenters Sara Cox and Polly Russell take a group of 20 teenage school children and four teachers on a journey through seven eras of the education system, from its very earliest days in the Victorian era, up to the end of the 20th century.
The Satanic Verses: 30 Years On (w/t)
In this hour long show, journalist Mobeen Azhar travels to his childhood home in Yorkshire to examine the legacy of Salman Rushdie's novel, which is interweaved with the very heart of Britain's Muslim community. By tracking down ordinary men and women who organised protests against the book, Azhar will examine what became a watershed moment for British Muslims and will highlight the fine line that exists between faith and freedom of speech.
Both commissioned programmes and recommissions are set to air later in the year.