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BBC Northern Ireland announce a host of new programmes for Autumn 2021



BBC Northern Ireland has announced an array of new programmes for Autumn 2021 offering up entertainment and intrigue in the run up to Christmas.


As the longer evenings draw in, audiences can sit back with Eamonn Holmes, Wendy Austin, Patrick Kielty and many others as they present an eclectic selection of programmes to audiences both at home and across the wider UK.


This autumn will see programmes that tantalise the tastebuds, celebrate the real lives of people living here and mark key anniversaries of this place.


Eddie Doyle, Head of Content Commissioning, BBC NI says:


“It has been another long and difficult year for audiences and we wanted to bring some much needed entertainment and escapism to the darker evenings. Our offering will hopefully make people laugh, reminisce and look at Northern Ireland from a different perspective.


“We’ve focused on light-entertainment formats and stories which resonate with people from this part of the world. BBC Northern Ireland will also continue to work in partnership with BBC Three and Northern Ireland Screen to support the local independent sector by bringing viewers a mix of programmes on a whole range of topics which interest them.”


Farm To Feast: Best Menu Wins


Presented by Eamonn Holmes and introducing Michelin star chef Danni Barry and food critic Joris Minne as judges, Farm To Feast: Best Menu Wins is the first farm to fork cookery programme.


The six-part series, made by Stellify Media, invites seven of Northern Ireland’s most talented amateur cooks to move into a stately home in Fermanagh, where they live together and compete against each other, using some of the most amazing ingredients on our doorstep to make culinary masterpieces.


The Girl With The Colourful Leg


The Girl With The Colourful Leg tells the inspirational story of 25 year old Belfast model Bernadette Hagans, the first contestant with a physical disability to reach the final of Miss Northern Ireland. Diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer at 22 that resulted in the amputation of her right leg, this deeply personal documentary follows Bernadette’s journey from the beauty pageant boot camp to the glamourous gala final and her role as a disability and diversity champion inspiring and educating those she meets along the way.


Paula McIntyre’s Hamely Kitchen


There is nothing chef and food writer Paula McIntyre loves more than looking to the past for inspiration while creating dishes which are right up to date.


In Paula McIntyre’s Hamely Kitchen, a new three-part series made by Clean Slate Productions in association with Northern Ireland Screen Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund, Paula will be sharing a mouth-watering selection of recipes, which she hopes viewers will serve up to their own family and friends.


Patrick Kielty: Northern Ireland, the Union And Me (Working Title)


On the 100th anniversary of its creation, Patrick Kielty will explore what the future holds for Northern Ireland, in an authored documentary for BBC One.


He’ll ask why a new trade border in the Irish Sea has led to violent protests, sparking fear among some of a return to conflict, nearly 25 years after the end of the Troubles; a conflict which claimed thousands of lives, including that of Patrick’s father Jack Kielty.


In this very personal film, Patrick’s focus will be on a new generation born long after the ceasefire, as he tries to understand what is driving this new wave of unrest, particularly in working class protestant communities.


He’ll also be exploring why some feel that a united Ireland may now be on the horizon and how the trauma of Northern Ireland’s past is shaping its future.


The film is made by Dragonfly and produced in partnership with The Open University for BBC.


Hope Street


This year’s Autumn line-up will also include the premiere of new BBC and Britbox police drama, Hope Street, filmed in the seaside town of Donaghadee. The ten part series which is a collaboration between BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Daytime will play first in Northern Ireland, before its BBC One network transmission next year.


Set in the fictional town of Port Devine the series will focus on the local police department – and the mysterious arrival of English Detective Constable Alimah Kahn, the first Muslim police officer in the town’s history.


Crime NI


Crime NI is a 40 minute crime prevention and appeals programme made in association with Crimestoppers and the PSNI. Presented by Wendy Austin, the new BBC One Northern Ireland programme will focus on crimes which affect people in their everyday lives including fraud, rural crime, theft and traffic offences. Crime NI is a co-production between Green Inc and Rare TV.


Northern Irish School Days


In the feel-good film Northern Irish School Days from Afro-Mic Productions present and former classmates reminisce about their shared experiences, from first day nerves to the excitement of getting ready for the school disco.


Packed with nostalgia and lots of fun, this coming-of-age film delves into some unmissable archive footage providing a unique insight into how some of us have been educated.


Barra’s Wild Days Out


In Barra’s Wild Days Out, presenter Barra Best takes a road trip to uncover some of the hidden wildlife right on our doorstep. Along the way he meets the local people who make it their mission to care for these creatures. Join him as he makes a journey to get up close with some furry friends and some rather unexpected animals.


The Borrowers


The Borrowers, made by Alleycats TV, is a new three-part factual entertainment series using fixed-rig cameras to bring viewers inside the Credit Union Loan office. With traditional banks becoming a distant memory in many towns across Northern Ireland, the Credit Union remains a constant that local communities still depend on.

There is a story behind every loan and this series follows local members hoping to borrow money, from purchasing a new car to house repairs or expanding a small business, will the Credit Union loan officers be able to help?


Ulster By The Sea


Ulster By The Sea is a new three-part observational documentary series and an intimate portrait of caravan life on the west, north and east coasts of Ulster. It follows the personal stories of those who love nothing more than to escape to their ‘home from home’ by the seaside.


PSNI – 20 Years


It has now been twenty years since the recommendations of the Patten Report were implemented, and a new police service for Northern Ireland was created.


In this special film made by Third Street Studios, Stephen Nolan looks back at some of the newsworthy, controversial - and, at times, traumatic events that have marked the first twenty years of the PSNI. Stephen talks to members of the force who have served in both its junior and senior ranks, to those who support and to those who challenge the current role and actions of the service in Northern Ireland.


A Stitch Through Time


A new four-part series sees up-and-coming fashion designers compete to complete technical and design-led challenges inspired by Ulster’s rich textiles heritage. Inspired by iconic garments from the Dungiven Costume to the Ulster Coat these four fashionistas go head to head to impress their judges, designers Katie Larmour and Una Rodden with their creations.


Host Claire McCollum is joined by textile historian Bruce Clark, a descendent of one of Ulster’s great linen families, to reveal the stories behind the design challenges.


A Stitch Through Time is a DoubleBand Films production for BBC Northern Ireland in association with the Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund.


Return To The Bonfire


Return To The Bonfire tells the story of the communities in the Greater Shankill area as they prepare for Bonfire Night 2021.


Exploring the vibrant culture and the impassioned politics of the district from Highfield at the foot of the Black Mountain to the densely packed streets of the Lower Shankill we meet a variety of very different people of different ages who call this place their home as they prepare for the 11th night.



Responsible fashion, shedding tarantulas and an investigation into a controversial Easter Rising shooting are part of BBC Gaeilge’s line up for Autumn all with support from Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund.


In a new documentary, Lá i 1916 (A day In 1916) produced by Clean Slate Productions, Kevin Magee examines the facts and twists around the shooting of the first RIC officer, a native of the Donegal Gaeltacht, who was killed during the Easter Rising.


Peataí! (Big Mountain Productions) returns to the Ark Farm for a new series with the team of experts meeting some wonderful pets and their owners, while in a new four-part series, Éadaí SOS, (Waddell Media) presenters Caoimhe ‘Chats’ Ní Chathail and Proinsias Ó Coinn challenge four clothing-obsessed fashionistas to reduce, reuse and recycle the contents of their wardrobes.


Long-running magazine series, I Lár an Aonaigh (Below The Radar TV) returns for a tenth series with a special musical edition, and other new documentaries include Séamus Ó Grianna: Saol Corrach, a one-hour film from Macha Media exploring the life, work and contradictions of one of the most important Irish language writers, and in Críochdheighilt (DoubleBand Films) journalist and author Ian Malcolm, explores the impact of Partition on ordinary lives and communities a century after the creation of Northern Ireland.


This autumn will welcome the return of Tricked Out Tractors for the second series and There’s No Place Like Tyrone for series number three alongside the ever popular Nolan Live.


The Blame Game also returns this autumn for another series with Tim McGarry, Colin Murphy and Neil Delamere being joined by Diona Doherty as well as comedy guests from near and far.


All programmes will be available to watch live on BBC One NI and BBC Two NI and afterwards to watch anytime on BBC iPlayer. Transmission details will be issued at a later date.