BBC Three and BBC England have made three new commissions from indies based in the North of England as a result of their Northern Voices collaboration.

The Factual Development Scheme invited independent production companies from the local area to submit ideas that reflect the life experiences of 16-24 year-olds in the region with the promise of a commission at the end of the development process. Three were commissioned including Bricking It (w/t) from York-based indie Button Down, No More: Bad Girl (w/t) from Leeds indie ClockWork and Nail Bar Boys (w/t) from Liverpool indie LA Factual.

Fiona Campbell, Controller, BBC Three, says: “These three original commissions are exactly why it is so important for us to collaborate with BBC England and the nation’s teams. We were blown away by the ideas presented to us and we’re proud that BBC Three can be the platform to tell these stories and showcase new voices.”

Aisling O’Connor, Head of TV Commissioning for England, comments: “BBC England has worked closely with BBC Three in the search for Northern voices and we are proud to partner up with them to create diverse content that will appeal to larger audiences across the North and the rest of UK. These three commissions are the next step in an exciting journey with BBC Three to explore untold stories and get to the heart of local communities.”

The commissions are the result of BBC Three’s previously announced commitment to running at least one creative partnership in each nation or region as part of the BBC Content’s package of activity to support the sector outside London during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

BBC England’s ongoing ambition is to uncover original, untold stories, find exciting new voices and talent, and to work with independent production companies outside of London.

Bricking It

Bricking It (w/t) from Button Down is an observational documentary series that follows groups of young bricklayers working on northern building sites as they go head-to head to see who can earn the most cash. With the prospect of each bricklayer earning up to £2,000 per week, depending on how many bricks they lay, there are big financial incentives for working hard and it can be a rewarding career.

No More: Bad Girl

No More: Bad Girl from ClockWork Films follows producer/presenter Persephone Rizvi, charting a very personal journey into friendships in her hometown of Huddersfield in a surprising, funny, and fearless way. After abruptly leaving seven years ago without disclosing the reasons why to some of the friends she kept closest whilst growing up, Persephone will return to revisit her kidulthood and the life she led where her motto when it came to having a good time was ‘go hard or go home, gal’.

Nail Bar Boys

Meet Astro, Little Kenny, Brandon, Bruno, Dragon and Big Tony. Together, they work in a nail salon in Liverpool which forms the backdrop to Nail Bar Boys from LA Factual. The second generation Vietnamese ‘lads’ from Manchester and Liverpool are local celebrities who have built a community based around their salon. From overcoming addiction, trying to find a girlfriend to learning how to run a successful business, the series follows these larger than life characters and gets to know them in both their work and home lives. It also shows them preparing and taking part in a charity boxing match between local businesses which, alongside raising money for local causes, offers bragging rights to the winner.

Jon Creamer

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