‘Beautifully made. I knew about esports but I didn’t realise it was exactly like this!’

BBC Studios in partnership with ESL, Twitch & YouTube

In an era where attracting young eyeballs is proving increasingly difficult, producers and broadcasters are blending historical programme-making skills with new platforms and partners to secure those elusive demographics.

In Game & Glory, BBC Studios and esports company ESL FACEIT Group teamed up for a documentary series capturing the buzzy world of competitive gaming. Filmed over a four-day period, the doc tells the story of one of the biggest events focused around first-person shooter video game Counter Strike, held in Rio de Janeiro. Producers had full access to the world-leading esports teams competing to win a prize pot of £1.2million.


Commissioned by ESL and airing on streamers Twitch and YouTube, the doc aimed to capture the expertise of BBCS’ documentary making and ESL’s esports acumen. The result was a film which the judges unanimously agreed was “thoughtful and well-made” and defied perceptions of the “insular” phenomenon of esports.

“This unique view of esports went against every stereotype I had about it,” one judge wrote. “Real high stakes, jeopardy and compelling characters really might have changed this game.”

Another talked up its success in bringing esports to a wider audience, as F1 has achieved through its Netflix doc.

“Beautifully made. I knew about esports but I didn’t realise it was exactly like this! This is Drive To Survive for gaming, and the doc successfully manages to distil the excitement and passion of the world, its characters, the fans… and even managed to make Counter Strike an engaging spectator sport.”



Somethin’ Else for Sky Kids

Funded by Sky in association with the English National Opera, the show stemmed from an initiative by the pay-TV operator to get primary schools engaged with the arts. The series encapsulated sound, singing and instruments with storylines appealing to children.

The result: a madcap caper involving four opera characters from the Coliseum heading out on a road trip to bring the opera to schoolchildren after their bus broke down, preventing them from attending the show in Italy.

cooking with the stars

Cooking With The Stars
South Shore for ITV1

This six-part studio-based cooking format sees six celebrities taught to cook from scratch by world-class chefs. The show was 80% funded by supermarket brand Marks & Spencer, whose aim was to increase public recognition of its full-service food offer, and not just its ready meals. It proved a hit for ITV1 viewers and measured a £5 return for M&S with every £1 spent on Cooking With The Stars. The series has its third run this summer.

Glow Up

Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star
Wall to Wall Media for BBC

As part of a partnership between the producers and Meta, gave viewers the opportunity to digitally complete their own versions of the challenges featured on the show. The experimentation with AR technology within conventional TV programming aimed to engage with audiences directly and inspire wider participation in STEM subjects.

Makeup artists were asked to create a look on their model, which was then turned into an AR filter. Audiences were given a QR code and invited to scan and visit the Glow Up Instagram account to use and share the finished filters.


Hollyoaks’ ‘Long Walk Home’ with UK Home Office (OMD)
Lime Pictures for E4 & Channel 4

Violence against women and girls is endemic in the UK, creating a society which is so desensitised to such behaviours that they often go unchallenged. Hollyoaks partnered with the government’s ‘Enough’ campaign in this episode to bring the severity of the issue to life. Hollyoaks built on its historic exploration of these real life issues for this episode, and 1m viewers tuned in to watch much-loved character Maxine negotiate a walk home from a night out. 2.8m people were reached on social and the ‘Enough’ website experienced a 90% boost in traffic.


Unlocked: What Does It Mean to Be Free?
The Space for Sky Arts

 In collaboration with Coventry City of Culture Trust, which is looking to support the city in its year as the UK’s city of culture, Sky Arts premiered 10 poignant original films from emerging artists in the area.

The successful pitches spanned all genres – from comedy, spoken word, drama and poetry to dance – and told new, insightful stories about the world we live in. The films delivered 25,000 viewers on Sky Arts and received four nominations at the RTS Midlands Awards while delivering positive brand awareness across the partners.