BBC overhauls UKTV brand in bid to resonate with wider audience

The Australian arm of BBC Worldwide has given one of its primary channels an overhaul in both look and content after admitting the previous brand “lacked an emotional connection with the viewers”.uktv-bbc-rebrnd-2016

Central to that aim is a new visual identity for the brand with a new strapline “a cracking celebration of brilliant British entertainment”, as the broadcaster looks to connect with new markets and skew the demographics slightly younger.


Christlieb: British comedian Michael McIntyre would be “the embodiment of the spirit of the new brand”

Speaking at a media briefing in Sydney today Tim Christlieb, director of channels, BBC Worldwide ANZ, said British comedian Michael McIntyre would be “the embodiment of the spirit of the new brand”, in an attempt to differentiate it from its premium BBC First channel.

“It will be witty and sociable, light-hearted, quirky, confident and spontaneous,” he said. “A place where viewers come for fun, amusement and relaxation, a place to escape boredom and a place where viewers feel included in the conversation.  And it will all be underpinned by the trustworthiness of the BBC brand.”

In a bid to pull the age demographics of its viewership down, without losing their core audience, the British broadcaster has started a quiet change to its scheduling on the channel, which broadcasts on Foxtel, bringing in more factual shows like Who Do You Think You Are? to complement existing programs such as QI, 8 Out of 10 Cats and New Tricks.

At the briefing Christlieb also announced the slate of new and returning shows that would be coming to its flagship BBC First channel, which he said had enjoyed 30% increase in prime time viewing this year.

“It’s the channel that gets most attention on the platform,” he added. “When we talk to people it’s clear there is a great amount of appreciation and love for the brand.”

Among them is a new series of the highly-awarded local drama Top of the Lake, which will feature Nicole Kidman alongside some returning cast members.

Hollywood stars are also slated to appear in several other BBC dramas set to drop in the new year including Sam Riley and Kate Bosworth in World War II spy drama SS-GB, set in a world where the Nazis had won the Battle of Britain and invaded London.

Mad Max: Fury Road star Tom Hardy leads the cast for Taboo, about an adventurer who returns to avenge his father’s murder in Victorian London.

Another returning shows is The Missing, with a mainly new cast and new case.

After a shaky rebirth and departure of host Chris Evans, Top Gear is returning next year with Friends star Matt Leblanc as host, with the new series to air on BBC Knowledge, as well as Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie.


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