The BBC have started filming a 6 part mini series version of the popular family drama ‘Children in Need’ with a view to international sales.
‘We’ve been doing Children in Need as one off specials for many years, the show is a classic, but the viewing figures are beginning to wane due to the predictability of the storyline. We think that the new 60 minute format and a harder edge to the writing will allow the product to be revived with a view to selling it worldwide.’ explained the head of the BBC’s light entertainment division.
With a new writing team in place then many of the characters will see a change in their style. Pudsey Bear has become a hard drinking, drug abusing charity organiser who is in one scene shown holding up a bus queue of terrified old ladies with a knife and collection bucket while shouting, ’Give me the fucking money or I’ll slash yer’.
Critics are warming to some of the early preview footage citing the programme as shining a new light on the harsh and violent underworld of raising money for homeless orphans. ‘The gang fight between Children in Need and Save the Children charity collectors in Lakeside shopping centre was a visceral orgy of blood and small change against the uncaring backdrop of the modern consumer world. This is the brutal, untamed, shock laden, exploitation genre brought bang up to date’ gushed Mark Kermode. It is not just the critics that are waiting for more in anticipation, as leaked footage of Matt Baker being drowned in a bath of baked beans has become a Youtube hit.
Not all is going well with the new series though. Terry Wogan walked off the set last week claiming ‘artistic differences’ during the filming of a bondage scene with Tess Daly and Alesha Dixon. ‘We were really disappointed’ said Alesha, ‘We all thought he looked fantastic in just a leather posing pouch and gimp mask, but he refused to be filmed without more padding.’