BBC Two has given a greenlight to a five-part series about former British Prime Minister Blair’s political party, which dominated the late 90s and early 2000s. New Labour (w/t), which is produced by BBC Studios, will look at how Blair and his colleagues including Gordon Brown, Peter Mandelson, Alastair Campbell, John Prescott took control of the Labour Party before becoming elected.
It will chart their leadership of the country through a tumultuous period of war and peace, terror and national trauma and exploring their controversial political legacy and the powerful personalities and emotional fault lines that ran through their years in charge in Britain.
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It comes on the back of the success of Thatcher: A Very British Revolution. Produced by BBC Studios Documentary Unit, New Labour was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two and Simon Young, Commissioning Editor, History. The Executive Producer for BBC Studios is Steve Condie.
Holland said, “Thatcher: A Very British Revolution was an exceptional piece of television, exploring in minute detail and with vivid color the life of the dominant political figure of her age. I am delighted that Steve Condie and his brilliant team are now embarking on this new documentary project, charting the rise and fall of the New Labour project which became synonymous with the subsequent decades.”
Condie added, “This is a great opportunity to examine the big characters who led New Labour through a politically seismic era, to understand their dramatic personal experiences, examine what they believed in and reveal how they shaped the country we live in today.”
Separately, BBC Three has ordered a three-part documentary series about a triple murder in the British town of Telford. Why Dad Killed Mum: My Family’s Secret is produced by Tim Hincks and Peter Fincham’s Expectation.
Tasnim Lowe was 16 months old when her dad set her mum’s home in Telford alight. Before he set the house on fire, he carried baby Tasnim to safety, placing her under an apple tree in the garden. Tasnim’s mum, grandmother and aunt were all killed in the blaze. Lucy Lowe, Tasnim’s mum, was just 16 years old. Despite denying his guilt, Azhar Ali Mehmood, Tasnim’s dad, was given a life sentence for triple murder. Tasnim’s dad has served 18 years in jail. He is now eligible for release and Tasnim, now 19 years old, has been asked to bring her opinion to the parole board. Tasnim wants answers about why her dad killed her mum. Her search takes her back to the late 90’s as she dives into local newspaper archives and court transcripts from her dad’s trial to begin to try to understand his motive. She discovers a shocking truth that takes her deep into a secret that rocked a community.
The three-part series, which will also air on BBC One, was commissioned by former BBC Three controller Damian Kavanagh and Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Emily Smith. The Executive Producer at Expectation is Ruth Kelly and Production Manager is Lizzie Murray. The Producer/ Director is Lila Allen.
Kelly said, “We are incredibly proud of our first factual series to broadcast on BBC Three and BBC One. It’s an important story of a remarkable young woman, made by a first-time female director told across three films. Championing new talent and new forms of storytelling is what we want to be doing at Expectation and BBC Three is one of the most exciting places to do that.”
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