BBC Children’s has commissioned, Crongton, from All3Media’s New Pictures in association with All3Media International.
The ten-part returning series, aimed at a 10-12 audience, is written by the writer and comedian Archie Maddocks, and based on the best-selling novels by Alex Wheatle.
Crongton (10 x 25’) chronicles the lives and journeys of a group of young people living in a thriving, multicultural community in a fictional urban housing estate, as they navigate the complexities of social politics, peer pressure and identity while trying to forge a place for themselves within a world full of possibility and littered with danger. Shot through with irreverent humour and featuring animated fantasy sequences, it’s a joyful, energetic ride through the trials and tribulations of growing up, a celebration of the kind of community you only find on an estate, and a look at how you come to terms with the darkness of the world around you when you’re on the cusp of childhood and adulthood.
Archie Maddocks said: “Reading Alex Wheatle’s books, I was struck by how much the characters and their world reflect my own upbringing. They were just like me and my friends; I could have known them all. CRONGTON is a project that has been close to my heart for a very long time and, like many, many fans of the novels, I can’t wait to finally see the transformation of Alex’s amazing world from the page to the screen.”
Willow Grylls, Co-Founder and CEO, and Imogen O’Sullivan, Executive Producer, both for New Pictures said: “Alex Wheatle’s Crongton books are modern classics, and well-thumbed staples in classrooms across the country. They offer a picture of a diverse, chaotic, funny, and joyful British experience with so much to say to young people, and particularly young people from less well represented backgrounds. Our aim with this television adaptation of CRONGTON is to charm not just young people, but everyone young at heart in a visually distinctive, uniquely British series, with real cultural importance, and wide international appeal. We’re very proud to be playing a part in helping bring the stories of Liccle Bit, Venetia, and the gang to the widest audience possible.”
Amy Buscombe, Commissioning Editor for BBC Children’s added: “With more screen choice than ever before it’s vital that young people see their lives and the issues they face represented on TV. This commission will bring the characters and stories from CRONGTON to a whole new audience on BBC iPlayer in what will be a high quality and creative drama.”
Archie Maddocks is an Olivier Award-nominated writer and standup comedian. His work has been produced at the Bush Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, Orange Tree Theatre, Royal Court, and in New York at the New Light Theatre. His play A PLACE FOR WE was shortlisted for the Bruntwood Prize and the Alfred Fagon Award. It was staged at the Park Theatre in autumn 2021 and nominated for a 2022 Olivier Award. Archie has had pilots commissioned from Working Title, Sky, CBS Studios, Warp, BBC, and Expanded Media and has been in the writers’ room for a number of series. His co-written film Gassed Up won the LFF audience in 2023. Alongside CRONGTON, Archie is currently writing an episode of a new Amazon show, and is under commission for original drama and comedy pilots for various broadcasters alongside writing a feature for Warner Music UK.
Crongton is being produced by Joanna Hanley (PHOENIX RISE), directed by Ethosheia Hylton (BOARDERS), and executive produced by Imogen O’Sullivan (CHAMPION), Elaine Pyke (NO ESCAPE), and Willow Grylls (THE LONG SHADOW). Aisha Bywaters is casting the series. Alongside Archie Maddocks, episodic writers include Athena Kugblenu (HORRIBLE HISTORIES), Thara Popoola (SEX EDUCATION), Willow Mirza (A TOWN CALLED MALICE), with story contributions from Alex Wheatle, Haleema Mirza (SECRET INVASION), and Cherish Shirley (EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT LOVE).
The series was commissioned by Sarah Muller, Senior Head of Children’s Commissioning 7+ and the commissioning editor is Amy Buscombe for BBC Children’s and BBC iPlayer. It is being produced in association with All3Media International, which has exclusive worldwide distribution rights.
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