BBC commissions Soldier: Made in Yorkshire
January 13, 2022
A new 6×60” series co-commissioned by BBC Factual and BBC England will chart the progress of new infantry recruits as they train to fight on the frontline in the British Army. The six-part series will air on BBC One and iPlayer.
Soldier: Made in Yorkshire (working title) follows a new intake on the gruelling six-month training course at the British Army’s Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire.
The recruits will be pushed to their limits as they navigate the extreme ups and downs of their new world, and are transformed from young civilians into well-drilled soldiers.
After a period of economic instability where many sectors have faced recruitment issues, the British Army continues to attract young people into a career with the armed forces from all over Britain and the Commonwealth. If the fresh-faced recruits can pass the arduous course, they will take up roles in one of the British Army’s eighteen infantry regiments.
Label1, makers of the multi-award-winning BBC series Hospital, secured exclusive access to the infantry training centre and cameras will follow recruits over twenty-six demanding weeks as they are put through their paces on a course designed to test their physical and mental agility, military prowess, and survival skills.
Some will stay the course as they achieve things they never dreamed themselves capable of, and others will struggle at the first hurdle as they face the reality of what it means to be a frontline soldier.
Over six episodes, the series will chart the progress of the new recruits under the supervision of a dedicated team of military instructors, army chaplains and welfare support volunteers doing all they can to build each new recruit’s mental and physical endurance.
The new series is the latest example of the BBC’s commitment to producing more content from across the UK.
Over the next six years the BBC will increase activity across the North of England to further cement a commitment to reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country, and deliver great value for all audiences.
The exciting proposals set out in “The BBC Across the UK” plan gives even more prominence to stories from communities across the North region, as part of the biggest creative and journalistic reshaping of the BBC in its history.
Label1 co-founder Lorraine Charker-Phillips, said: “At Label1 we’re well-known for our popular award-winning documentaries about the NHS and the education system. Now, we are privileged to be working with the British Army on this series about one of the United Kingdom’s most historic and personally transformative military training courses.”
Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Science & Natural History at BBC Television, said: “This is no game show: infantry training at Catterick is the real thing. If these young recruits can survive the course, they don’t just win bragging rights – they win a whole new life. It’s real-world drama at its most thrilling and uplifting, and I’m delighted to be working with BBC England and the award-winning team at Label1 to bring it to the screen.”
Aisling O’Connor, Head of TV Commissioning for BBC England, said: “We are always on the lookout for great access and new story telling opportunities in England. So, I’m delighted to be working with Label1 and BBC Factual on this exciting proposition for the audience.”
A British Army spokesperson, said: “The British Army is greatly looking forward to collaborating with the BBC and Label1 on this new documentary on the Infantry Training Centre’s Combat Infantry Course, which provides the skills required for young men and women to become the next generation of infanteers in the Army of tomorrow. The training environment is a testing one which will present these young recruits with challenges they never thought achievable prior to enlistment. There will be many highs and lows, some will fail in their endeavours but all will leave Catterick having had the experiences of a lifetime and having formed lifelong friendships.”
‘Soldier: Made in Yorkshire’ (w/t) is a BBC Factual and BBC England co-commission for BBC One and iPlayer has been produced by Label1.
The series producer is Kim Rossiter and the series director is Paul Wells. It is executive produced by Fran Baker and Label1 co-founders Lorraine Charker-Phillips and Simon Dickson. It was commissioned by Jack Bootle, Head of Science and Natural History and Aisling O’Connor, Head of TV Commissioning BBC England.
News on transmission dates will be released in due course.