BBC bosses have announced plans to launch a new soap set in northern England to rival ITV’s Coronation Street and Emmerdale.
In documents published on Thursday, bosses revealed plans to relocate vast areas of their corporation across England to boost regional appeal, with plans including the production of ‘two new network long-running dramas.’
The report also states that viewers will see ‘a noticeable shift in portrayal of different parts of the UK in drama, comedy and factual’ shows with plans to produce and film one series from the north of England.
New changes: BBC bosses have announced plans to launch a new soap set in northern England to rival ITV’s Coronation Street and Emmerdale
It’s thought that BBC’s plans for future soaps also include a second drama that will be filmed in either Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
A source told The Sun: ‘We’re still working through the exact detail but we expect it to be a long running show.
‘That could mean anything from a weekly programme, to 30 episodes a year, but that’s all to be worked out.’
Since its inception in 1960, Coronation Street has been filmed close to its setting in Manchester, and in 2014 relocated to MediaCityUK to make room for a vast set extension unveiled in 2018.
Shake-up: Bosses revealed measures to relocate parts of the corporation around England to boost regional appeal, including the production of ‘two new network long-running dramas’
Meanwhile Emmerdale is filmed at The Leeds Studios, with an exterior set outside the city acting as backdrop for the famous village scenes.
Currently BBC’s flagship soap EastEnders is filmed at Elstree in north London, with the set undergoing a £87 million revamp that is set to be completed in 2023.
The channels’ weekly programmes Casualty and Holby City are recorded in Cardiff and Elstree respectively.
It’s not the first time the channel attempted to launch a new series, with its Spain-based show Eldorado axed after just one year in 1993.
The plans come in a new report published by BBC bosses detailing measures to ‘better reflect’ all parts of the UK.
Viewers will see a ‘noticeable shift in portrayal of different parts of the UK in drama, comedy and factual’ shows, the broadcaster said.
More soap? It’s thought that BBC’s plans for future soaps also include a second drama that will be filmed in either Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland
News and current affairs programmes like Newsnight will be presented from different UK bases throughout the year.
Radio 4’s Today programme will be co-presented from outside London for at least 100 episodes a year. PM will also be presented from across the UK.
The BBC said that ‘major parts of BBC News’ would ‘shift across the UK… ensuring we cover the stories that matter most to audiences and more effectively representing different voices and perspectives.’
The new plan is designed to result in editorial choices which are influenced by communities across the UK.
Daytime show Morning Live will be broadcast year-round from Salford from 2022.
New series? The channels’ weekly programmes Casualty and Holby City are recorded in Cardiff and Elstree respectively (Casualty pictured)
The BBC said the plans will ‘cement our commitment to better reflect, represent, and serve all parts of the country.’
Unveiling the new plans, BBC Director-General Tim Davie said: ‘Our mission must be to deliver for the whole of the UK and ensure every household gets value from the BBC.
‘These plans will get us closer to audiences, create jobs and investment, and develop and nurture new talent.
‘Over the last year, the BBC – which has been an essential part of the UK’s culture, democracy and creativity for almost a century – has helped inform, educate and entertain all four Nations, as we have collectively faced some of our toughest moments in recent history.
‘Now, as we look to the future, we must play our part in supporting social and economic recovery, rebuilding the creative sector and telling the stories that need to be heard from all corners of the UK.’
Big move: The plans come in a new report published by BBC bosses detailing measures to ‘better reflect’ all parts of the UK
What changes will the BBC implement in its ‘biggest transformation in decades’?
- A new BBC One show will be created, tailoring specifically to viewers in the north west and the north east of England.
- Funds will be invested in two major drama series, with one set in the north of England and another from Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
- Radio 4’s Today programme will be co-presented from outside London for at least 100 episodes a year. PM will also be presented from across the UK.
- Key daytime programmes on each of Radio 1, 1Xtra and Radio 2 will be made across the UK.
- 50 per cent of network radio and music spend will be outside London by 2028.
- Newsbeat and Asian Network will be based in Birmingham.
- Radio 3 and 6 Music will be ‘rooted in Salford’.
- Cardiff will become the new home of BBC News’s Climate and Science team – while the Technology team will move to Glasgow.
- Towns and areas that had previously not had a regional TV presence will have new BBC reporters – with a total of 100 hired
- More performances from the Proms will be broadcast outside London.