BBC Studios ANZ unveils highlights in BBC’s 100th year

A tease of epic dramas, gripping thrillers and real life stories coming to BBC channels in 2022 and beyond.

BBC Studios Australia and New Zealand has announced a raft of new titles for BBC First, BBC UKTV, BBC Earth and CBeebies in the coming year, as part of the BBC’s 100 anniversary.

Epic dramas, gripping thrillers, real life stories, new series of big popular shows all premiere on BBC First this year.

Titles hitting BBC First include Around The World in 80 Days, with David Tennant, Martin Compston and Tuppence Middleton in psychological thriller Our House, Iain De Castecker and Joanna Vanderham in another roller-coaster thriller, The Control Room.

The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe stars Eddie Marsan and Monica Dolan, Sherwood stars an ensemble cast led by David Morrissey and Happy Valley is back for a third and final series with Sarah Lancashire, James Norton and Siobhan Finneran. There are also new series of crime dramas We Hunt Together and Shetland and Christmas specials of Death in Paradise and Call The Midwife to see out the year.

From mid-August, BBC First will have a new on-screen look with new channel idents inspired by the strands of storytelling and the art of costume design. Built on the scripts of some of the biggest shows, words combine to form strands and storylines that weave, twist, fray and distort before revealing the BBC First logo.

UKTV will have new series of Graham Norton and Jonathan Ross, Coronation Street Icons, a new series of 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Richard Osman’s House of Games to join the existing quiz-com line-up of Would I Lie to You and Taskmaster.

CBeebies has a new series of Hey Duggee and more episodes of the Bluey for their second window.

Chrissie Carras, Head of Branded Services, BBC Studios Australia and New Zealand, said: “As we celebrate 100 years of the BBC, it’s a reminder that the BBC is constantly looking to the future and anticipating what audiences want. Our channels are packed with the best British talent from the worlds of drama, factual and entertainment. With a mix of exciting new shows and the latest series of our biggest, most popular titles arriving across our branded services portfolio, the BBC brand continues to provide a trusted navigational tool for audiences seeking a premium viewing experience and advertisers looking for a premium space.

“The complementary linear and digital rights we provide our platform partners enables them to give their customers a choice over how to watch our shows be that via channels, on-demand or associated SVOD services. While audience patterns are changing, there is still clear demand for linear channels as part of that mix and we believe there is a place for them for years to come.”

BBC First 

Around the World in 80 Days
8 x 60’
Sundays at 8.30pm from June 26
London, 1872. On the day his world is turned upside down by a postcard from a lost love, Phileas Fogg (David Tennant) is inspired by an article about the exciting advances in travel to take on an almost impossible wager – to circumnavigate the globe in just eighty days. As a man who has spent the last twenty years in a comfortable leather armchair at The Reform Club, he will need all the resilience he can muster and of course would be nowhere without the assistance of quick-witted Frenchman, Passepartout (Ibrahim Koma). Joining them on the road will be the Daily Telegraph journalist who came up with the whole crazy idea in the first place – Abigail Fix (Leonie Benesch). Based on the 1873 Jules Verne novel, the adventure will reveal to Fogg, Fix and Passepartout the importance of trust, tolerance, openness and love. For these three damaged, disparate souls who leave England on their extraordinary mission, the challenges and characters they encounter opens their eyes forever. 

We Hunt Together – Series 2
6 x 60’
Thursdays at 8.30pm July 7
Return of this exhilarating cat-and-mouse thriller, combining striking visuals and shocking storylines with moral depth and dark humour. After series one’s dramatic finale, Freddy (Hermione Corfield) successfully claimed to be an innocent bystander to Baba’s murder spree. She now has a degree of notoriety. But despite this new fame, Freddy is listless and missing her lover. Is she hunting a new partner to appease the darkness inside her? As people close to Freddy start dying, it appears somebody has her in their sights. As the body count racks up, Detectives Jackson (Babou Ceesay) and Franks (Eve Myles) realise a dangerous new game of lust, obsession and murder has begun.

Our House
4 x 60’
Wednesdays at 8.30pm from July 13
Adaptation of Louise Candlish’s Sunday Times best-selling real-estate novel Our House. When Fi Lawson (Tuppence Middleton) arrives home to find strangers moving into her house, she is plunged into terror and confusion. Fi insists her home isn’t for sale – how can this other family think the house is theirs? Discovering that her husband, Bram (Martin Compston) has disappeared, Fi’s panic rises as she realises the secrets and lies have only just begun. But Bram isn’t the only one with things to hide… In this gripping story of intrigue, conspiracy and betrayal, will either survive the chilling truth – that there are far worse things you can lose than your house.

The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe
4 x 60’
Thursdays at 8.30pm from August 18
The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe explores a bizarre true story of Anne (Monica Dolan) and John Darwin (Eddie Marsan), a couple from Hartlepool who went to extreme lengths to get out of their unimaginable debt. The extraordinary real-life story made news headlines in the UK, firstly when John went missing while canoeing off the coast and later when it was revealed that, with the help of his wife, he had faked his own death to claim life insurance and avoid bankruptcy. The series is inspired by a memoir written by journalist David Leigh who was the first journalist to track down Anne as she was on the verge of setting up a new life in Panama.

6 x 60’
Wednesdays at 8.30pm from August 24
From award-winning writer James Graham comes a politically pertinent thriller about a community torn apart by two shocking killings. A complex political past means that the industrial villages around Sherwood Forest have often been divided communities. But when two local residents are killed, old wounds are reopened and the town is engulfed in tension and fear. It’s down to police chief Ian and London met police officer Kevin to solve the case. Can they help this fractured community heal? Drawn from real-life events, Sherwood is a shockingly relevant thriller about a burgeoning lack of trust in police and government – and the way long-buried political tensions can resurface to devastating effect. Starring David Morrissey, Joanne Frogatt, Robert Glenister, Lesley Manville and Adeel Ahktar.

The Control Room
3 x 60’
Starring Iain De Castecker and Joanna Vanderham. In a busy control room, Gabe, a young emergency services call handler, takes a call from a panicked woman confessing to killing her boyfriend. And whilst she refuses to say who she is, the woman realises that she and Gabe know each other. This is someone from Gabe’s past, someone important. Suddenly Gabe is no longer just a call handler… but the police’s one and only lead in their hunt for a killer. He tells them that the voice sounds familiar but he just can’t pin it down. However, the moment Gabe leaves the control room, he embarks on a secret quest back to his hometown, back to his childhood, with only one question for everyone he meets – what happened to Samantha Tolmie?

Happy Valley
Series 3 6 x 60’
Sally Wainwright’s multi-award winning police drama returns for an unmissable final series. Starring Sarah Lancashire and James Norton. When Sergeant Catherine discovers the remains of a gangland murder victim it sparks a chain of events that unwittingly leads her straight back to murderer and rapist Tommy Lee Royce. Meanwhile, Catherine’s grandson Ryan is now sixteen and has ideas of his own about what kind of relationship he wants to have with Tommy, the man Catherine refuses to acknowledge as his father. The first two series of this critically acclaimed drama each won BAFTAs for Drama Series and Writing: Drama for Sally Wainwright, with Sarah Lancashire winning Leading Actress for series two.

Shetland – Series 7
6 x 60’
Shetland follows DI Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall) and his team as they investigate complex crimes within a close-knit island community. In this isolated and sometimes inhospitable environment, the team must rely on a uniquely resourceful style of policing to unpick the truth.

The Diplomat
6 x 60’
The six-part series follows Laura Simmonds (Sophie Rundle) and her Barcelona Consul colleague and friend Alba Ortiz (Serena Manteghi) as they fight to protect British nationals who find themselves in trouble in the Catalan city. Mixing the roles of lawyer, counsellor and cop, Laura and Alba’s diplomatic skills are stretched to the limit by the stream of cases that walk through the Consul’s doors.


Coronation Street Icons
5 x 60’
Sundays at 7.50pm from August 7
Sally Lindsay narrates this celebratory documentary series looking at some of Corrie’s most iconic characters – Audrey Roberts, Roy Cropper, Norris Cole, Liz McDonald and Sally Metcalfe. Follow key cast members through their characters’ storylines, and discover what the actor themselves think on their time on the show.

BBC Earth

Life Below Zero – Series 9
19 x 60’
Saturdays at 8.30pm from July 2
The relentless daily challenges of life in Alaska continue. More gripping adventures of the resilient characters surviving the punishing environment of the frozen North, as a new season of change and unpredictability in the unforgiving Arctic brings unique threats for the Alaskans. A lone wolf stalks Sue’s camp. Jessie Holmes must set up a remote camp. Along the unforgiving Yukon river, Andy and Denise strive to create new power sources. And Ricko brings his young children to the bush in order to teach them the intense lifestyle he learned from his Athabaskan ancestors.

What Are We Feeding Our Kids?
1 x 60’
Thursday, July 28 at 8.30pm The crisis in child obesity has been talked about for a quarter of a century. Yet every year our children gain weight and grow unhealthier. Doctor Chris van Tulleken wants to know what’s going on. Childhood obesity is recognised as a huge problem, but nothing seems to change. In this powerful programme, Chris reveals the latest science behind a new category of food that may be a factor at work. And he undergoes an experiment on his own body, with results that surprise even the scientists. With knowledge gathered from scientists, doctors, young people, and the food industry itself, Chris sheds light on the shocking reality of childhood obesity to find answers and inspire change.

Secret of Skin
6 x 30’
Thursdays at 8.30pm from September 8 It protects against a hostile environment, defends against predators, communicates, and can provide extra-sensory abilities. Discover the extraordinary secrets of skin. With the help of experts, hands-on experiments and stunning case studies from the natural world, this fascinating series reveals how skin adapts, moves and protects. Learn about frogs that excrete lethal poisons through their skin, animals whose skin has evolved ‘air conditioning’ to keep them cool, and hippos who have their own type of sunscreen. It’s all revealed in this series exploring one of nature’s greatest wonders.

Wilderness Week
Nightly at 7.20pm from October 24
BBC Earth goes off the beaten track with a week-long programming stunt. Wild Patagonia and Wild Kingdoms look at the animals inhabiting some of the most remote places on earth; Ben Fogle meets the people who have left the rat-race behind in a new series of Where The Wild Men Are and Steve Backshall and Levinson Wood undertake epic journeys in Expedition with Steve Backshall and Levinson Wood From Russia to Iran.

5 x 60’
Deep space. High drama. Take a front row seat for the greatest show in the universe. From the makers of The Planets. Every night, above our heads, a drama of epic proportions is playing out. Alien planets, zombie stars, black holes bigger than a billion suns. The cast of characters is extraordinary, and each one has its own incredible story to tell. Universe takes you on an interstellar journey to places we didn’t even know existed 10 years ago – including new discoveries of strange alien worlds. Using incredible CGI and drawing on huge advances in technology and scientific understanding, it immerses you in awe-inspiring wonders. The Planets captured the story of the solar system. Universe goes far beyond, propelling you into the vastness of space.

Brian Cox’s Adventures in Space and Time
4 x 60’
Discovering our place in the universe. Brian Cox looks back on a decade of discovery and towards the next space frontier, asking the biggest question of all – what’s next?

Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic
1 x 90’
Louis investigates the story of a man whose become one of the most controversial and captivating icons of recent times: the self-described ‘gay hillbilly’, ‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic. Ten years after he met Joe for the documentary America’s Most Dangerous Pets, Louis returns to Oklahoma, responding to a direct call from Joe to tell the ‘real story’ and to explore the saga of an animal hoarder turned convicted felon. Looking back at his original documentary, Louis reflects on hours of unseen footage to try and understand who the real Joe Exotic is and how he roped a vast menagerie of animals and humans into a grand project of vanity and deception. He tells how Joe’s captivating charisma became a key ingredient in a viral television sensation, with life-changing consequences for all those involved – including Carole Baskin, the target of his murder-for-hire plot and a mass trolling campaign.

5 Responses

  1. Looking forward to Happy Valley, Sherwood, and Chris Lang’s The Thief, His Wife, and The Canoe.
    Any word yet on Marriage with Nicola Walker and Sean Bean?

  2. Looking forward to Happy Valley S3 and We Hunt Together S2, and will watch Shetland and Call The Midwife as usual. Starting from Mid-August means from May till then they are admitting they have nothing, The Brian Cox docos are repeats of clips shows of stuff he has done before. I have cancelled my Foxtel subscription for a few months until the soccer restarts. Seven announced Around The World In 80 Days in it’s upfronts, surprised to see it has been on-sold BBC First. There’s a vote of confidence.

    1. “Mid-August” is the new logo, or whatever they are referring to with “on-screen look and channel idents”. I don’t think it has anything to do with the shows, as the premiere dates of 3 of them are before then – which is only 8 weeks anyway.

      Each of the 9 BBCFirst series look excellent.

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