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Exclusive: BBC Studios Showcase unveils line-up

Drama Republic’s Pure (pictured) and 72 Films’ global history series Icons are among the programmes headlining next year’s BBC Studios Showcase.

The annual event will mark its 43rd year and the first under the integrated BBC Studios banner. Running from 17-20 February in Liverpool, Showcase will include two in-depth drama sessions, Crime Pays and Bold Stories For Our Time.

The former will feature the likes of The Mallorca Files (Cosmopolitan Pictures/Clerkenwell Films) and new development deals, while the latter will feature Kirstie Swain’s Channel 4 relationship drama Pure along with Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sanditon, from Red Planet Pictures and Masterpiece Theatre.

Elsewhere, comedy offerings include Dead Pixels, the Channel 4 comedy from Peep Show creators Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong; Ghosts (Monumental Television); Don’t Forget The Driver (Sister Pictures/Hootenanny); and Defending The Guilty (Big Talk).

Meanwhile, the session Our Connection to the Natural World will showcase the BBC Natural History Unit’s landmark production One Planet: Seven Worlds (BBC Studios) and Serengeti, from Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment and John Downer Productions.

Speakers at the session include NHU creative director Mike Gunton, and executive producers from the division.

New science and history titles presented to international buyers include The Planets (BBC Studios Production with NOVA and WGBH Boston for BBC and PBS, co-produced by Tencent Penguin Pictures) and global history programme Icons (72 Films), which looks to tell the definitive story of the 20th century.

Other factual content figuring in Showcase includes the new series of Top Gear (BBC Studios) and travelogues such as Sue Perkins In Japan (Folk Films Production in association with Square Peg TV).

The four-day event will feature a number of masterclasses, as well as co-production forums. BBC Studios is the biggest distributor outside of the US studios.

Paul Dempsey, president of global markets for the distributor, said: “More than ever before we’ll be able to give our guests at Showcase a truly end-to-end view of the opportunities to partner on some of the very best British content from BBC Studios and independent producers. They will hear about projects that are either at the very earliest stage of development, newly scripted or in production as well as screen finished programmes.”