Tern, part of Zinc Media Group, is to make Darren McGarvey – Mind the Gap (w/t), a co-commission for BBC Scotland and BBC Factual for BBC Two and iPlayer.

Tern has previously worked with McGarvey on three series, including the BAFTA-winning Darren McGarvey’s Addictions (BBC Scotland), which won the 2022 BAFTA Scotland Factual Series award and Darren McGarvey’s Class Wars (BBC Scotland), which won the 2022 RTS Scotland awards for Documentary & Specialist Factual and On Screen Personality.

The new series Darren McGarvey – Mind the Gap (w/t) (3×60) looks at how, in 2023, Britain’s biggest public services – Health, Justice and Education – face major challenges affecting millions of us every day. He explores whether there is an increasing gap between the haves and have-nots, the rich and poor, the public and private and what might be fuelling that.

In each film, author, rapper and social commentator Darren McGarvey will travel the length and breadth of Britain, as well as visiting Denmark, Norway and Finland, to attempt to find out why these once-great public institutions of Health, Justice and Education face so many challenges. He will explore what he sees as the ever-increasing divide between those at very different ends of the spectrum as he joins them to reveal first-hand why the chasm, conflicts and challenges they face are so pressing. He’ll also seek out game-changers in each area, who are trying to forge a different path to make a positive difference and, ultimately, help bridge the gaps.

This latest commission follows Tern’s track record of producing talent-led programming, following, most recently, Martin Compston’s Norwegian Fling and Scotland’s Sacred Islands with Ben Fogle for BBC Network and BBC Scotland earlier this year.  

Harry Bell, Managing Director, Tern, says: “We are passionate about investing in up-and-coming talent at Tern, and are delighted to be working with Darren once again on Mind the Gap (w/t). Having won a BAFTA forDarren McGarvey’s Addictions, we are thrilled to be embarking on another adventure with Darren to investigate some of Britain’s biggest challenges.

“Tern’s strength is in marrying top talent with their passions, and Darren is the perfect fit to front this pivotal series. We feel this will be an important series, an important addition to the debate on our institutions, taking a fresh and fascinating perspective on some of the biggest issues of our times.”

David Harron, Commissioning Editor, BBC Scotland says: “We are delighted to be commissioning what is our 4th documentary series with Darren and Tern, this time for both Scottish and UK-wide audiences.  Darren is a huge and exciting talent and the subject matter of his new series is both important and timely.”

Darren McGarvey – Mind the Gap (w/t) was commissioned by David Harron for BBC Scotland and Aisling O’Connor, Commissioning Editor, BBC Factual for BBC Two and iPlayer. It is Directed by Jack Cocker, Series Produced by Emma Fentiman and Executive Produced by Harry Bell for Tern at Zinc Media. The series is being produced in partnership with The Open University.

Jon Creamer

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