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BBC announces more iPlayer commissions

iPlayer across four screens light backgroundThe BBC has announced a raft of new programming commissions that will appear exclusively on its online catch-up service, the iPlayer.

The new iPlayer originals include nine original comedy shorts that will go live on the iPlayer on February 13 to mark Valentine’s Day, featuring comedians Bill Bailey and Matt Berry among others.

The BBC will also air a second season of original drama shorts in collaboration with BBC Three, having run a first season of these on the iPlayer last year. The shorts are called Oakwood, Playing Ball and Is This Thing On? from writers and directors that will all be receiving their first TV drama credit.

Another iPlayer exclusive in the pipeline is Private View – a programming strand that features major art exhibitions across the UK to bring these to widest possible audience, in collaboration with British arts institutions.

In March, musician Tinie Tempah will tour the V&A’s retrospective of Alexander McQueen’s work, while later in the year the iPlayer will collaborate with Turner Contemporary and Tate Liverpool to air private views of Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry and abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock.

The iPlayer is also due to air exclusive coverage of London Fashion Week, in collaboration with the British Fashion Council.

“BBC iPlayer presents a huge creative opportunity to push the boundaries of storytelling and engage audiences in new ways,” said Victoria Jaye, head of TV content for BBC iPlayer.

“Our exclusive content for 2015 demonstrates how established and emerging British artists, along with cultural organisations, are seizing this opportunity to create bold, original new work. This is a glimpse of iPlayer’s next wave of innovation.”

Last week, the BBC reported a record-breaking 3.5 billion TV and radio programme requests on the iPlayer in 2014, with mobile and tablet traffic driving much of the growth. Last year’s iPlayer Original Comedy Shorts attracted 1.9 million requests and the Original Drama shorts received 1.2m requests.