Television

BBC Intercative to showcase stories made by UK viewers

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MUMBAI: BBCi in the UK has launched a new television service for digital satellite viewers. This will showcase real-life stories made by people from across the UK..

Commissioned by BBC New Media and developed by BBC Nations and Regions, Your Stories appears behind the red button on BBCi digital satellite on page 5670. The service is drawn from two BBC projects which give people the skills to make their own short films: Video Nation and Digital Stories.

Video Nation has a team of over 30 producers around Britain working with local people to make short films by training individuals in the use of camcorders and storytelling. Video Nation films feature individuals sharing moments of their lives with the camera, and range from the humorous to the bizarre and moving. Digital Stories projects include Capture Wales, Telling Lives and digital storytelling at BBC Open Centres.

In workshops run by the BBC, people from all walks of life come together to tell their story with the help of laptop computers, scanners, digital cameras and editing software. The resulting shorts are touching, amusing and often surprising. The BBCi service is available to viewers 24 hours a day by pushing the red button on their digital remote control - no matter what BBC channel they have on.

Themes vary from current events to BBC campaigns and programmes. Daily themes also shed light on particular enthusiasms of the contributors. Wheels was an eclectic mix of stories including a woman cyclist from North Wales and a desperate learner driver. My Music included stories from a man whose rock'n'roll heroes had all died by the age of 27 (while he lived on); an eight-year-old trumpet player; and a blind pianist.

BBCi controller Rahul Chakkara says, "The BBCi audience is maturing. They are looking for content that is social and highly involving, and available to them whenever they want. Your Stories is the beginning of our efforts to meet this need. We go beyond involvement through interaction and we involve our audiences by encouraging them to produce their own content."

Next month, BBCi's Your Stories has a week dedicated to new films by GCSE students. The films have been made during the stress of the revision period, and also link with the GCSE Bitesize website.

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