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BBC Studios to launch ad-free streamer BBC Select

The streaming channel will be available in the US and Canada in early 2021.

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MUMBAI: BBC Studios is foraying into the global streaming market with BBC Select, an ad-free subscription channel launching in early 2021 in the US and Canada.

BBC Select will be available on Amazon Prime Video and the Apple TV app and offer a diverse range of programs about culture, politics and ideas. Most of the shows will be exclusive premieres for audiences in the US and Canada.

“For nearly a century, the BBC has been synonymous with extraordinary television programs – full stop. Name any genre, the BBC is best in class at identifying talent and providing them a platform for expression,” said Americas BBC Studios president Rebecca Glashow. “As we shift our business focus to engaging our fans direct, the digital space offers us the opportunity to bring audiences a portfolio of shows that bring new ideas and perspectives into the conversation. Our research has shown that audiences are looking for an alternative to what is already out there. BBC Select is it.” 

“BBC Select is for those who crave knowledge, new perspectives, and programs that are not your standard fare,” added general manager and launch director Louise la Grange. “BBC Select will combine a rich line up of never-before-seen shows in the US and Canada with a prized portfolio of thought-provoking, eye-opening programmes that provide context and colour to the world we all share – all in one place.”

Some of programmes being shown exclusively on BBC Select are:

Shock of the Nude, hosted by professor of classics Mary Beard, gives a personal take on the nude in western art, right from ancient Greece to the present, and asks why artists seem so obsessed by nudity; 

Reggie Yates in China sees actor, DJ, and presenter Reggie Yates travel to four very different cities in China to discover the new fault-lines in society and how they affect a generation who have grown up with seemingly more freedom than that of any other in the last 70 years; 

In Search of Frida Kahlo follows musician Emeli Sandé - who was inspired by the paintings of Kahlo when writing her album - as she visits Mexico City to tell the story of one of Mexico’s most famous artists.

Fall of an Icon explores the life of Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, who after 15 years of house arrest was celebrated as an icon of democracy. But years on, she is now seen by many as an international pariah.

Mystery of the Missing Princess tells the story of Princess Latifa, the daughter of Dubai’s ruler, who attempted to escape from torture and imprisonment at the hands of her father.

Putin – A Russian Spy Story is the portrait of a politician who modelled himself on the Russian James Bond and whose presidency reads like a spy thriller.

The Last Igloo follows a lone Inuit as he hunts, fishes, and constructs an igloo. It tells the story of skills that are disappearing and of how climate change is affecting the lives of Greenland's indigenous people.

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