BBC announces multi-platform offering for UK teens

MUMBAI: UK pubcaster The BBC has announced details of new content aimed at 12-16 year-olds in the UK, across TV, radio and on the web.Titled BBC Switch, it will be an extension and improvement of the BBC‘s offering for the age group and will not involve a new channel or service.

Two new shows will launch in the new BBC Two slot, dedicated to teenagers. The slot will begin on 20 October on BBC Two on Saturday afternoons. A weekly music TV show Sound, co-hosted by Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac and new signing Nick Grimshaw.

Focusing on the best new UK music the show has no studio base and will be filmed at outside locations across the country. Sound will be fast-paced, showcasing the most exciting new music while mixing up live performances and interviews across a variety of genres.

A new drama Falcon Beach also launches on 20 October. The show revolves around the lives of central characters Jason, Paige, Tanya and Lane in the beautiful sun-soaked town of Falcon Beach. This is an addictive coming-of-age drama about teenagers, their passions, relationships, friends, families and enemies. In India the show airs on Star World.

BBC Radio 1 will launch a five hour teen slot on Sunday nights. Annie Mac will host a new show (7-10pm) and new Radio 1 signing Kelly Osbourne fronts Radio 1‘s Surgery (10pm-midnight).

BBC Switch online launches on 14 October. The site is an online portal for teens to access content across the BBC services they love, including Radio 1, 1Xtra, Slink, Blast, EastEnders and:

Signs Of Life is an online interactive drama. It is the biggest commission of its kind and consists of eight episodes. Players move between watching the drama unfold and interacting with the plot. The adventure follows Daisy, her jealous boyfriend Joe, and Joe‘s mysterious father Max and is a mix of drama, games and psychological tests centring on astrological events in an English village. The emotional themes of each episode are further explored via interactive personality tests. Players can save and share the results of the personality test as widgets that appear on their own social networking page.

Them– This is a web guide to the "tribes" that exist within the UK today, informed by the young people that belong to them. The Surgery is a source of information for teenagers about personal issues such as relationships, puberty and health. The site is written for girls and boys aged 12 to 16 and is also the primary online destination for Radio 1 listeners in need of advice. Slink is an online magazine for girls aged 12 to 16. Full of entertainment, chat and advice.

The site is a safe and friendly place for girls to be themselves, watch interviews with their favourite stars, play games, get vocal about the issues affecting their lives and, with help from Slink‘s panel of experts, confront their problems from acne to exams.

BBC Vision director Jana Bennett said, "I am incredibly proud of the work being done by Andy Pariftt and his team, it is great to have this project as part of BBC Vision. BBC Switch reflects exactly the way we want to work within Vision, bringing together content and programming in a way that feels natural to our audience. These initiatives announced today work in a completely complementary way and bring innovative programming to a very important audience."

Radio 1, 1Xtra and BBC Switch controller Andy Parfitt said, "This is a big step in delivering the vision that was set out in Creative Futures. The BBC connects with young children in a very significant way, but when they reach their secondary school years this relationship is not as strong.

"Our aim is to make distinctive and powerful content 12 to 16 year olds can embrace and, through our work with BBC Vision, Radio 1 and online, I feel we are achieving that. We‘ve worked hard to really get to know this audience and the insights we have collected are at the heart of everything we will do.

"This announcement completes a wide range of changes and initiatives across which all deliver this October – together they give us a great opportunity to build the BBC‘s relationship with younger audiences," he said.

BBC Switch head Geoffrey Goodwin said, "We have aimed to create high quality, innovative content across multiple platforms, particularly concentrating on the digital sphere. It is clear to us that storytelling is important to our audience and we have developed new narrative formats online such as the successful Wannabees and now Signs Of Life. It is of utmost importance that we deliver to young people a truly 360 degree experience with this content."


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