Trio of BBC Commissions for Glasgow Indie

A Glasgow-based independent TV production has been commissioned to make a trio of arts and history programmes for the BBC.

Matchlight has secured six hours' worth of new specialist factual commissions for BBC Two and BBC Four.

For BBC Two, Professor Amanda Vickery marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s first novel, Sense and Sensibility, with The Prime of Miss Jane Austen; while former soldier, diplomat and historian, Rory Stewart MP, will consider the history of foreign interventions in Afghanistan, in The Great Game.

And on BBC Four, Dr Helen Castor will write and present She Wolves, a three part history of the queens of England before Elizabeth I, based upon her own bestselling book, She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth.

This is the second time the Matchlight team will have worked with Vickery and Stewart. Vickery wrote and presented Matchlight’s three-part history series, At Home with the Georgians, which screened on BBC Two in December and which received a nomination at the Royal Television Society Programme of the Year awards.  

Two years ago, meanwhile, Stewart worked with Matchlight’s Ross Wilson and Iain Scollay on the BBC’s The Legacy of Lawrence of Arabia.

In a Matchlight statement, creative director, Ross Wilson, is quoted, as saying: “It’s a real pleasure to be working again with Amanda and Rory on such high profile commissions and in Helen Castor I think we have found a new and very interesting partner. All three excel at making history that is sharp, engaging and approachable.

“Helen is, we think, a brilliant new history presenter and with Amanda and Rory she strengthens our position as a producer of top end history and arts. Matchlight is now just two years old, we opened for business in June two years ago, but in that time I think we have established a good reputation for delivering popular and intelligent specialist factual programmes of scale and ambition that rate well. The six hours of programming we are announcing today across BBC Two and BBC Four will, I hope, consolidate that reputation.”

The three commissions are a joint venture with London-based production and distribution group, DCD Media.