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Hadlow begins BBC Two/Four integration with new commissions

Janice Hadlow has commissioned a series for BBC Two factual series that will be backed up by a number of films for BBC Four – the first example of how the Corporation is bringing the networks closer together.

Hadlow was recently named acting controller of BBC For following the departure of Richard Klein and has expressed a desire for Two and Four to work closer together.

She has now announced Cloud Lab, a series in which scientists will take to the skies in the world’s largest airship to investigate insect life, trees and hurricanes.

This will run on BBC Two and be accompanied by films on BBC Four, including An Ocean of Air, which will look at who discovered oxygen.

BBC Two is also getting one-hour historical drama doc Messiah at the Founding Hospital, while BBC Four will broadcast Hanoverians: The First Georges as part of the same season on the 18th century.

“My ambition is to find ways to increase collaboration between the channels whilst ensuring that BBC Four retains the unique and distinctive voice that I know its viewers love,” said Hadlow. “Today I announced two examples of this new collaborative approach: a major season looking at the art and music of the 18th century and an exciting science moment taking us closer to the Earth’s atmosphere, as well as a number of other new commissions which demonstrate the confidence and range of both channels.

Hadlow announced a series of other programmes at the Edinburgh International Television Festival including World War I drama 37 Days from writer Mark Hayhurst and 2x60mins factual series Idris Elba: King of Speed, wildlife show Countdown to the Rains, three-part Ian Hislop’s Olden Days – The Power of the Past in Britain, Grow Make Eat: The Great Allotment Challenge, Secret Life of Cats follow up Cats and history biography Napoloeon.

Four has also ordered comedy music mockumentary called Rock Ratatouille and acquired Irish drama Amber from Content Television. The psychological drama comes from Screentime Production.