BBC Factual has commissioned Firecracker Films to make a new 1 x 60 film with presenter Stacey Dooley, in association with Little Dooley.
Stacey Dooley: Inside the Undertakers (w/t), for BBC One and iPlayer, follows Stacey as she confronts one of our last taboos – death – by immersing herself in the world of undertaking at one of the UK’s busiest family-run funeral businesses.
This new film follows Dooley’s previous acclaimed documentary from the same production team behind Inside the Convent, where she expressed her fear of death, seeking answers from the nuns she was staying with, but her curiosity wasn’t fully satisfied. Dooley’s life has since changed; and as a new mother, her worries for the future, and about death, have only been exacerbated. In order to try to overcome her fears, Dooley wants to face death head on.
In this new film, Dooley joins the team of funeral directors at Nottinghamshire-based firm, A.W. Lymn The Family Funeral Service. One of the largest independent funeral enterprises in the country, the company is a proud fifth-generation family-run business. Dooley will fully immerse herself in every aspect of the company’s day-to-day work to discover more about the business of death – from arranging funerals to making coffins, learning more about embalming to carving elaborate headstones – and will try to get the answers she has been searching for.
Additionally, Dooley’s time at the undertakers will act as a springboard for her to explore other people’s stories. She will follow several funerals, from start to finish, to see how faith, and also secular beliefs, play a part at this extraordinary moment.
Stacey Dooley commented: “Death is a topic that’s openly discussed in many other cultures, even celebrated in some instances, yet I am so awkwardly British about the whole thing!
It is, of course, inevitable, and that’s why I wanted to really explore exactly what happens when we do die. This access allows us to ponder the bigger questions surrounding life, as well as witness the practical logistics of a funeral. I’d like to thank every family member that has allowed us to document their story. I’m so grateful.”
Sam Emmery, Executive Producer at Firecracker Films, added: “We’re really excited to be working with Stacey on this documentary for the BBC. It’s an incredibly important subject that affects us all, but one that we don’t talk about enough. We’re also very grateful to A. W. Lymn The Family Funeral Service for granting us privileged access, offering viewers a unique window into their world.”
Daisy Scalchi, BBC Head of Religion & Ethics for Television said: “Death is a subject many of us find difficult. In grappling with conversations around death, Stacey is crossing one of our culture’s final frontiers in a way which will shed light on an inevitable, but often life-enhancing, topic. I’d like to thank all the families who have agreed to share their stories with us at such a difficult time.”
Stacey Dooley: Inside the Undertakers (w/t) is a 1x 60’ production from Firecracker Films, presented by Stacey Dooley in association with Little Dooley, for BBC One. It will be executive produced by Sam Emmery, with Alice Bowden as Producer Director and Julie Scott as Head of Production at Firecracker Films. It was commissioned by Daisy Scalchi, BBC Head of Religion & Ethics out of the Specialist Factual dept headed up by Jack Bootle. It will be distributed by Passion Distribution.
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