The BBC has announced five new scripted commissions at the Edinburgh TV Festival including a new Sally Wainwright drama, a Jenna Coleman starrer and a new show from Mood writer Nicôle Lecky.

Happy Valley writer Sally Wainwright returns to the BBC with Hot Flush, a new drama for BBC One and BBC iPlayer announced today by Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, at the Edinburgh TV Festival.

Hot Flush centres on the lives of five women of a certain age who come together to create a makeshift, butt-of-the-joke punk-rock band in order to enter a talent contest, but when they rehearse together they suddenly discover that they have a lot more to say than they ever imagined, and this is the way to say it.

The six-part drama from Doctor Foster producers Drama Republic, follows the women as they deal with demanding jobs, grown-up children who still eat up their energy, dependent parents, husbands who’ve let them down and the menopause.

Hot Flush (6×60) is written and executive produced by Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax, Gentleman Jack). Roanna Benn (Doctor Foster, My Mad Fat Diary, Pure) is the executive producer for Drama Republic and the producer is Clare Shepherd (The A Word, Viewpoint, Kidnapped).


Nicôle Lecky has written her second drama for the BBC following the success of the BAFTA-winning Mood.

The new six-part untitled series from Firebird Pictures for BBC One and BBC iPlayer, centres on Lorna, a self-made and successful black businesswoman from South London who has worked hard to be where she is – and best friend Juliet, a white woman born into the privileged gated community they both call home.  Daughters Grace and Allegra are BFFs and life is to die for. A safe haven for the super-rich and their little darlings, Primrose Estate is a place where bad things never happen ….

Until, that is, Grace and Allegra are implicated in a shocking scandal at their exclusive private school and Juliet and Lorna are forced to take sides, pushing their friendship to the extreme.  As toxic secrets and lies ripple through the heart of the idyllic town – and a teenager goes missing – cracks within the community threaten to reveal the elitist ugliness and betrayal beneath. Because it turns out that people are not who they say they are…especially the one per cent.

The 6 x 60 series is produced by Firebird Pictures, one of BBC Studios’ owned production labels, for BBC One and BBC iPlayer. It is written and created by Nicôle Lecky. The executive producers are Elizabeth Kilgarriff, Nicôle Lecky, Ayela Butt and Lucy Richer for the BBC.

The BBC has also commissioned Virdee, a new detective series based on AA Dhand’s best-selling crime novels and starring Sacha Dhawan (Doctor Who, The Great, Wolf), from newly formed production company Magical Society, headed up by Paul Trijbits (Jane Eyre, The Letter For The King, The Casual Vacancy).

The new six-part drama introduces Detective Harry Virdee (Sacha Dhawan), a Bradford cop disowned by his Sikh family for marrying Saima, who is Muslim. Harry struggles with the abandonment, constantly attempting to reunite with his family. With his personal life in chaos, he must hunt down a killer targeting the Asian community.


Virdee (6 x 60’) is adapted for the screen by AA Dhand. The series is executive produced by Paul Trijbits, AA Dhand and Jo McClellan for the BBC, and produced by Stella Nwimo (Top Boy, Gangs of London). The co-producers are Gareth Coulam Evans, Callum Dodgson, Sylvie Richards and Karl Hall. Virdee is a Magical Society production in association with Screen Yorkshire for BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Cineflix Rights is the exclusive worldwide distribution partner.

Filming will start later this year in and around Bradford and further cast will be announced in due course.


In new drama, The Jetty, Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who, The Cry, The Serpent) stars as rookie detective Ember Manning in a new thriller from writer Cat Jones and producers Firebird Pictures.

In the four-part series, for BBC One and BBC iPlayer, a fire tears through a holiday home in a scenic Lancashire lake town. Detective Ember Manning must work out how it connects to a podcast journalist investigating a missing persons cold case and an illicit ‘love’ triangle between a man in his twenties and two underage girls.

But as Ember gets close to the truth, it threatens to destroy her life – forcing her to re-evaluate everything she thought she knew about her past, present and the town she’s always called home.

The Jetty (4 x 60) is produced by Firebird Pictures, one of BBC Studios’ owned production labels.

It was written and created by Cat Jones. The director is Marialy Rivas (Young & Wild, Perry Mason, Princesita). The executive producers are Elizabeth Kilgarriff, Sarah Wyatt, Cat Jones, Marialy Rivas, Jenna Coleman and Jo McClellan for the BBC.


Comedy thriller Black Ops has also been recommissioned for a second six-part series on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, Jon Petrie, Director of BBC Comedy, announced today at the Edinburgh TV Festival.

The show is produced by BBC Studios Comedy Productions and Mondo Deluxe and created by BAFTA- winning actor and writer Gbemisola Ikumelo (Famalam, Brain in Gear), BAFTA-winning actor and producer Akemnji Ndifornyen(Famalam, The Queen’s Gambit) and writing duo Joe Tucker and Lloyd Woolf (Click and Collect, Witless).

In the first series, Dom and Kay joined the Met Police as Police Community Support Officers in the hope of cleaning up their community, but found themselves unwittingly thrust into the murky world of deep cover infiltration and a powerful criminal enterprise.

In series two, Gbemisola Ikumelo will be reprising her role as Dom and Hammed Animashaun (The Wheel of Time) will be back as Kay, with the duo set to be thrust into a new adventure. Akemnji Ndifornyen also reprises his role as gang boss Tevin.

Black Ops (6×30) is a BBC Studios Comedy Production, co-produced with Mondo Deluxe for BBC One and BBC iPlayer. It is created by Gbemisola Ikumelo, Akemnji Ndifornyen, Joe Tucker and Lloyd Woolf and was commissioned by Jon Petrie for BBC One and BBC iPlayer. The Executive Producer is Josh Cole and the Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Seb Barwell. BBC Studios is the international distributor for the series.

Production is set to get underway in 2024 and further casting will be announced in due course.

Jon Creamer

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