Contact: Rachel AshdownRegion: All UK

Title: Commissioning Editor, Entertainment
Genre: Entertainment
Region: All UK

About Channel

The BBC is the world's leading public service broadcaster with a channel portfolio that  provides entertainment, news, drama, factual, current affairs, comedy, children’s and arts coverage across BBC One, BBC, Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC and CBeebies. 

Programme Interests

Looking For

BBC 1:

Areas we are interested in:

Saturday night: Peak

Think big in terms of scale and think carefully about talent (both on and off-screen), delivery and execution. The heart of the show needs to be more than a clever device.

Please think about whether your idea:

BBC One on Saturday night ‘Brings The Nation Together’. Ultimately Saturday nights should make the audience feel like joining in. That doesn’t necessarily mean shows need to be interactive – for example  in terms of apps and live voting - but the Saturday night show  needs to make people have a reaction.

Shows need warmth in their storytelling and put stories and people that the audiences can relate and react to centre stage. They can be loveable or infuriating but ultimately the viewers want to spend their Saturday with them. Our audiences love the personal growth and the journey people go on in these shows, and those making the journey should have earned the right to be there.

Humour is key to Saturday night entertainment. We want our audiences to laugh out loud and laugh together. And we want them to laugh along with the people on screen enjoying themselves.

Scale doesn’t necessarily mean physical scale or the monetary scale of a prize - it’s about why our audience would care or come back to this not just week on week but year after year. Who wins the glitter ball trophy in Strictly s is a source of national debate.

Performance has traditionally worked well but please think about how the format can take it into a new space. Is there an aspect of the judging that feels new but that has the familiarity we know audiences want? We’re happy to look beyond performance but still need the values and elements that are enjoyed in our current performance hits on Saturday night.

Talent is a central premise for Saturday nights. Please think about the people a show can be built around. Are there clever combinations of talent that help deliver the broadest audience? Audiences love to see icons they know they can trust, who speak about a subject with authority and have a cross generational appeal. They need to have a very clear role in the show, whether as host or judge. Think outside of the box in terms of presenters and think about new talent. Are there people who are well known for one thing, for example as a performer, star of a drama or a musician but could also play a central role on Saturday nights?

Saturday night: Early peak

We don’t want to over-prescribe but are looking for a format full of innovative moments commanding a reaction that draws people in and makes them stay.

Early peak is a busy time in the house so rapid-fire content works well here, but it needs to be wrapped up in a clear narrative and live in a clear and distinctive world. As we’re catering to a family audience ideas need breadth and must offer something for everyone. Visually it should feel like the easy start to the big night in –with guaranteed laughs, distinctive visuals and clear intention with multiple entry points.

The BBC One audience

Entertainment brings mass audiences to BBC One and offers shared viewing experiences that appeal across genders and generations. It can also be really effective at attracting younger audiences to the channel.

During the week pre-watershed shows which are informative but light-hearted, laid-back and family-friendly work well. Meanwhile later in the evening, when physical activity has ceased and it's all about the mind, the less traditional audience is ready to experiment and has fewer set expectations.

On Saturday nights the audience want to see high quality, big scale entertainment which gives them a sense of escape and release and which they can share with others, both at the time and afterwards.

For families, Saturday teatime viewing is often driven by children, with parents’ priority being just enjoying time together. But for the children, it should feel different and grown-up compared with content on specialist channels. Ultimately multi-layered shows like Total Wipeout which can meet the needs of both adults and kids at the same time work best. 

BBC 2: 

Areas we are interested in:


The BBC Two audience

The challenge for entertainment on BBC Two is to continue to bring younger audiences (25-44 year-olds) to the channel without alienating the older heartland.

Factual-based formats have achieved this in the past by providing immersive experiences with strong entertainment values (which attracts younger viewers) whilst being set in a world which gives older viewers (over 55s) 'permission to watch'.

Tonally, the BBC Two audience appreciates something that creates a conversation with them and includes them in new experiences as well as telling a compelling story with strong entertainment values.

They also want content which prompts knowing smiles as well as laugh out loud moments. 

BBC 3:

Areas we are interested in:


Current commissioning steers

Never too traditional or straightforward, we’re not looking for panel shows or studio based entertainment shows but ideas that play with standard entertainment formats, tap in to the zeitgeist and exude warmth and humour.

Some examples of our longform shows are Asian ProvocateurMurder in Successville and Stupid Man, Smart Phone. All of these are self-contained episodes that have a good dose of cheek, warmth and a twist in their tales.

Asian Provocateur is a twist on the authored travelogue that is funny, candid and avoids earnest reflection. It puts author Romesh Ranganathan to the test and also explores a theme that almost anyone can relate to - appeasing our mum's!

Murder in Successville, where whodunit meets game show, is a unique way of playfully testing celebrities and poking fun at our burgeoning celebrity culture. It also taps into the growing trend of immersive experiences such as Secret Cinema, the real- life Crystal Maze and interactive theatre.

Stupid Man, Smart Phone sees Russell Kane and celebrity vloggers dropped into extreme survival situations with nothing but their smart phones and their internet followers for help. This show reflects our universal use of the internet and our phones as a lifeline, yet it’s more comedy than factual entertainment, and more Dumb and Dumber than your average survivalist show.

In short-form we want to hear those ideas that are new in shape or form and made for online. Or maybe you have a new talent that no-one knows about? If so we want to hear from you.

The key point to remember is that we aren’t looking for a cut down of traditional long form material. It isn’t about short clips. It’s hopefully the nursery slopes for some really brilliant talent and ideas. We want BBC Three to become a hub for new talent, creativity and experimentation.

They can be anything from five to 30 minutes, whatever the idea warrants. We want suppliers to be really experimental with both the cast and the execution. 



The audience

BBC Three aims to connect with 16 to 34 year olds, so tone is really important on the channel. Humour is an entertainment essential for this audience. But younger audiences also want opportunities to connect with others: they are looking for things worth talking about, whether ground-breaking formats or moments sharable online and great television they'll want to watch and discuss with their friends.

As well as TV that is light-hearted and fun, we also want to give this audience entertainment content that is opinionated and thought-provoking, providing powerful examples of life and human nature laid bare.  

16 to 34s are inquisitive and ambitious, independent and adventurous and will be attracted to shows on BBC Three that feel like they're absolutely relevant to them and their lives. However, this doesn't mean they're only interested in seeing themselves or their peers on screen, or they're only interested in youth-specific issues. Great BBC Three programmes will explore the world with the audience and introduce them to a range of characters that they'll love... or love to hate. The key is not to aim too young as this audience doesn't think of themselves as 'kids'.

Watch Commissioner Overview

Watch Commissioner Showreel

Read Commissioner Brief