BBC Daytime Turns Attention To Consumer Affairs

Last year, the BBC Trust told the corporation’;s editorial decision-makers that they needed to stop being so derivative – particularly in daytime slots. Now it looks like it has got the response it wanted, with a new batch of commissions that focus on consumer issues rather than soft lifestyle.

Greenlit by controller of daytime Liam Keelan, the four titles include Britain’;s Killer Roads, Tricks Of The Tradesmen, You’;ve Been Scammed and The Food Fighters. They are part of the BBC’;s “ongoing commitment to bring issues of the moment to daytime television audiences.”

According to Keelan: “Over the last year BBC Daytime has increased its current, social and consumer affairs output by around 140% and these four titles continue our commitment to bringing viewers even more consumer programmes. The series cover a range of issues from dangerous roads to food safety and I’;m delighted to have commissioned them.”

All four shows have been ordered from indie producers. Britain’;s Killer Roads from Reef Television starts with the insight that more than 2,000 people died on Britain’;s roads in 2009 – our biggest cause of early death. With half of all fatal collisions occurring on just one-tenth of Britain’;s roads, the show looks at how “simple changes like better road markings or installing crash barriers can save lives.”

You’;ve Been Scammed, a 10 x 45 mins series from Flame TV, focuses on scams that are fleecing us of our hard-earned cash while Dirty Tricks Of The Tradesmen (15 x 45 mins, Objective Productions and Crook Productions) tackles terrible builders, bad plumbers, rubbish electricians and so on.

The Food Fighters is a second series from True North which looks at dodgy takeaways and revolting restaurants from the POV of health inspectors and the Food Standards Agency. Andrew Sheldon is the executive producer for True North and Jacqueline Hewer is exec producer for the BBC. The four series are due for TX in summer/autumn 2011.

In a separate development, The Daily Telegraph reported this week that new BBC1 controller Danny Cohen wants more blue-collar comedy in the mould of Only Fools and Horses and Open All Hours. One new show which DT uses to illustrate the point is Mrs Brown’;s Boys, based around an Irish mother who interferes in the lives of her children.

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