The new schedule will bring our global audience a richer mix of programmes and digital content to keep them up to speed with the key stories of the day and satisfy their interest in a broad array of topics.Mary Hockaday, Controller, BBC World Service English
BBC World Service's new Spring schedule rolls out from the end of March, continuing to reflect the funding boost received last year with strengthened original journalism, a fresh approach to arts programming and the launch of a new season of programmes exploring a varied collection of human stories.
New culture series In the Studio will give unique access to the world's leading creative people in the process of making their art and work a reality. BBC OS will bring together Outside Source and World Have Your Say into a new extended two-hour programme, and The Newsroom will increase its coverage of key stories, with up to six broadcasts a day.
Launching in April is Life Stories - a new season exploring fascinating stories about who we are and how we live. BBC World Service is also rolling out a new product launch with BBC Minute On… - additional 60-second programmes which will explore a single subject in greater detail and be available to partner stations around the world.
Mary Hockaday, Controller of BBC World Service English, says: "This spring we'll be rolling out an enriched schedule with strengthened news programmes, a brand new culture series shedding light on how the world's leading creative people work, think and develop, and a new season of programmes delving into a diverse range of intriguing human stories. Making the most of the funding boost we received last year, the new schedule will bring our global audience a richer mix of programmes and digital content to keep them up to speed with the key stories of the day and satisfy their interest in a broad array of topics."
In the Studio will take listeners into the working lives of leading and emerging artists from across the globe. Each week the series will follow painters, designers, musicians, dancers, directors and creatives of all types as they make their work. The series launches with Chinese artist, activist and architect Ai Weiwei, who will take Tim Marlow (Artistic Director of the Royal Academy) on a tour of his Berlin studio, revealing Ai Weiwei's creative process and the details that continue to inspire and drive his work. Subsequent episodes will go on set with rock-star cinematographer Christopher Doyle as he directs a movie in Hong Kong; and meet Brazilian visual artist Vik Muniz, who creates images photographed from helicopters and microscopes. The series will continue throughout the year, spending time with actors, game designers, artistic directors and many more.
BBC OS will bring together the best of Outside Source and World Have Your Say, building on both programmes' strengths and including new elements that give a vibrant account of the day's events with explanation and reaction from those involved. Showcasing the best of the BBC's global resources, the two hour programme will be broadcast every weekday at the new time of 1500-1700 GMT, opening it up to peak audiences in Europe, Africa and America. Nuala McGovern, who has presented Outside Source since 2015, will anchor the programme across the two hours from the middle of the BBC newsroom in London.
The Newsroom - From 1 May, The Newsroom - where the BBC's worldwide network of correspondents report on the stories of the day - will enhance its coverage with up to six editions across the day, seven days a week. The Newsroom will be able to adapt rapidly to breaking stories and events whenever they happen.
Life Stories - April will see the launch of Life Stories – a new season of content across BBC World Service, BBC World News and digital platforms exploring a diverse range of stories - from celebrating the birthday of one of the oldest women in Africa to uncovering differing attitudes to death, companionship and rites of passage around the world. Celebrating Life at 117 (TV and radio) follows a trainee journalist as she travels to Kenya to celebrate the 117th birthday of her great grandmother who is thought to be the oldest woman in Africa. #GrannyWisdom will see some of the world's top social media stars find out what their grandmothers think about their online lives and the issues they deal with in the digital world; this content will be shared online and on BBC World Service radio. Living With The Dead (TV and radio) will look at an Indonesian community who live with the bodies of their loved ones, while Dying To Talk (radio) will visit the Death Cafes popping up worldwide encouraging people to talk about grief and fear of death. A Stranger's Ear (radio) will head to Japan where a man has set up a network of temporary friends – people who lend a sympathetic ear to a stranger in need. Four Days (TV and radio) will look at the impact of the practice in Nepal of confining women away from the family during their period. Last year a 15 year-old girl died, suffocated by a fire she lit in the hut where she was staying during menstruation. The season will also see BBC World Service and Wellcome Collection join forces to host a series of events and broadcasts exploring humankind's relationship with animals in The Evidence: Humans And Animals (radio). Over five programmes, presenters Claudia Hammond and Tim Cockerill will be joined by a panel of experts in front of a live audience to discuss topics including human and animal interaction, intelligence and consciousness.
BBC Minute On... - BBC World Service is also launching new BBC Minute products with BBC Minute On… - new 60 second features that will focus on a single subject. From 3 April, in addition to the existing BBC Minute which provides a dynamic roundup of the latest news updated every half hour, there will now also be two additional BBC Minute products each day which elaborate on the key talking point of the day or explore a topic - from tech and money to fitness and science - in more detail. BBC Minute is aimed at younger audiences around the world, and is available to partner stations who broadcast them on their own stations, bringing the BBC's impartial journalism to new listeners across the globe.