Stacey Dooley documentary on teen homelessness among new factual commissions for BBC

The five new documentaries will take on teenage homelessness, gun crime, parenthood, war and the UK economy.

”The BBC factual department has had a fantastic 12 months, winning multiple awards including Baftas, RTS Awards and Griersons,"  said Alison Kirkham, Controller of BBC Factual Commissioning.

New BBC music legacy heads to East London

The new studios, part of the Stratford Waterfront development by the London Legacy Development Corporation, will be a base for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and the BBC Singers and will regularly be used by the BBC Concert Orchestra.

The site will allow the BBC to record and broadcast more live music with the new music recording equipment and rehearsal space. BBC’s radio stations BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Asian Network, Radio 2, Radio 3 and 6 Music, plus BBC Introducing, will all curate and broadcast performances regularly from the site.

BBC orders Years and Years from Russell T Davies

(Credit: BBC)

Years and Years follows the Lyons, a busy Mancunian family. There’s Daniel who is getting married to Ralph, Stephen and Celeste worrying over their children, man-eater Rosie and estranged Edith. At the head of the chaotic family is Gran, the regal Muriel. When their lives all converge on one crucial night in 2019 the story is propelled into the future following the lives and loves of the Lyons over 15 years in a Britain rocked by volatile political, economic and technological advances.

How Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad got made

In May 2015, Rio Ferdinand’s wife Rebecca lost her life to breast cancer, leaving behind her husband and three children. The documentary that followed captures the footballer’s own grief and worries for his children as he speaks, frankly and movingly, on camera. He meets other families coping with bereavement and loss, and looks at what help is available for parents and children who have lost a loved one.

Lynn Novick on the power of documentaries and working with Ken Burns

(Credit: Florentine Films/Stephanie Berger)

Can something as apparently ephemeral as a TV programme be genuinely cathartic and help to bring a measure of healing, perhaps even closure, to a national tragedy? That was the hope behind the making of The Vietnam War, the acclaimed documentary made by Ken Burns and his long-time collaborator Lynn Novick.

Last month, PBS America began showing the 18-hour directors’ cut in the UK. This followed the British premiere of the 10-hour version by BBC Four last autumn and its repeat over Christmas.