The BBC today announced plans to mark the First World War Centenary with the biggest and most ambitious pan-BBC season ever undertaken.
Featuring four years of programming and events spanning 2014-2018 – echoing the timeframe of the war – the World War One Centenary on the BBC will be unique in scale and breadth on BBC TV, Radio and Online and across international, national and local services.
The season will begin in early 2014 with Britain’s Great War on BBC One, presented by Jeremy Paxman. This four-part documentary series will explore how Britain and the lives of British people were changed by the conflict.
Making the announcement, Director-General Tony Hall said: “This season is going to have a profound impact on the way we think about World War One. On television, on radio and on digital, we’ll be exploring how this conflict, above all others, shaped our families, our communities, our world – and continues to influence us today.’’
World War One Centenary Controller, Adrian Van Klaveren continued, "With over 130 specially commissioned programmes and around 2,500 hours of programming, the BBC will be shining a spotlight on the First World War across all of our services. What we offer over the coming four years will be much more than a chronological historical record. We are setting out to broaden people's understanding of the war and to commemorate and remember those who died. Through documentaries, drama, news coverage, children’s programmes and arts and performance, we will tell well-known stories from fresh perspectives and original stories so far untold.
“The bbc.co.uk/ww1 portal will bring together the BBC’s TV and radio programming, news and features alongside exclusive, in-depth and interactive online content. We want to provide audiences with a truly interactive and more personal story of the war, and introduce a range of digital formats and features that deepen understanding and challenge preconceptions. We are connecting content from across BBC Online, partner organisations and the wider internet, allowing audiences to explore the topics that matter to them and curating a lasting legacy for generations to come.”