Ellie Simmonds explores disability and adoption in ITV documentary


Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Simmonds will investigate why about 40 percent of children in the care system in England and Wales have a registered disability.

This is a marked increase compared to the rest of the population, which is eight percent, and Simmonds wants to learn why this is the case.

To uncover the truth behind these statistics, Simmonds meets families who have adopted disabled children and those who felt unable to raise a disabled child.

Channel 4 announces documentary Spacey Unmasked

The two-part series, produced by Roast Beef Productions, takes a deep dive into a man who was once considered one of the most powerful and respected actors in the world. 

The series tells the story of his childhood and growing success on Broadway which led to a meteoric rise to fame and stardom. 

This all came crashing down when he was accused by multiple men of grooming, sexual harassment and abuse.

BBC announces new documentary Bradford on Duty

Following nurses, police officers and council workers, the five-part series will get under the skin of the UK’s youngest and most entrepreneurial city. 

Cameras will have access to Bradford’s public services and give an insight into the realities of working in the public service industry in the heart of Northern England.

Each episode will see the men and women patrolling and making the streets safer, plus the strategies created to improve the city.

BBC announces one-off documentary Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen

Credit: BBC

The documentary will include never before seen home movies of the Queen filmed by members of the Royal Family.

Viewers will see private and intimate moments of the Queen as a young girl through her own eyes and words as she grew up and throughout her reign.

To accompany the release of the documentary, three new images of a young princess Elizabeth have been revealed.

The Royal Family have been filming themselves from the 1920s and over the decades those home-made recordings have added up.

ITV commissions People Vs Post Office: The Real Story

The film will be an accompaniment to the four-part drama coming to ITV next year and will give exclusive access to campaigner Alan Bates.

Bates has rigorously campaigned for nearly 20 years to uncover and expose the scandal that has been described as the most widespread miscarriage of justice in the British legal history. 

Over 14 years, the Post Office accused hundreds of sub postmasters of theft, over 700 were given criminal convictions and many went to prison, ruining livelihoods and destroying reputations. 

BBC Three announces mental health documentary with James Arthur

The incredibly personal documentary, James Arthur: Out of Our Minds (working title), will take place in the Northeast where Arthur grew up and has returned to after many years living in London.

Middlesbrough born singer Arthur will be open up about his mental health problems and issues he has had with antidepressants as he prepares to go out on tour. 

A government review discovered that 7.3 million, around 17% of the adult population are taking anti-depressants.

Channel 4 announces new documentary Football’s Coming Out

Credit: Channel 4

The digital documentary will explore why there are still barriers for top footballers being openly LGBTQ+, with many Premier League football players often experiencing numerous challenges if they come out publicly.

Produced by Bullion Productions, the documentary will show the pressure players face if they decide to come out and the reaction that invokes from other players, fans, press, social media and financial donors. 

Archive footage will be used to show what previously happened in historical case studies and how that has changed over time. 

David Baddiel to present documentary on the effects of social media

Credit: BBC

Writer, comedian and self-confessed Twitter addict David Baddiel is exploring the impact social media has on people’s behaviour both on and offline. 

Baddiel recognises that there are positive reasons to use social media such as revolutionising communication, pushing social change forward and highlighting important issues.

However, there are also negatives to these platforms and areas where outrage and angry exchanges dominate.

Channel 4 commissions hard-hitting documentary What Killed the Whale?

Credit: Channel 4

Produced by STV Studios, the special will involve a critical investigation into why more and more whales are being washed up and dying along the UK’s shores. 

Since 1990, 12,000 stranded cetaceans have been recorded in the UK and explorer and biologist Al-Shamahi, is on a mission to find out why that is happening and who or what is to blame. 

How much of an impact do pollution, fishing, ship strikes and other human activity have on the dire crisis?