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BBC launches 'Switch' for teens


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BBC launches 'Switch' for teens

The BBC has launched a raft of new multi-platform content strands aimed at 12-16 year olds, under the name of 'Switch'.

BBC Switch will include an on-air strand on BBC Two, which begins on October 20, featuring two new programmes.

Sound will be a weekly music show, hosted by Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac and newcomer Nick Grimshaw, showcasing new UK music, which will filmed on location across the country. This will be aired alongside newly acquired Canadian drama, Falcon Beach which follows the lives of a group of teenagers in a "sun-soaked town" as they come of age.

On Radio 1, BBC Switch becomes a five hour teen slot on Sunday nights from October 14, as part of the station's new schedule, announced earlier this month. This is being hosted by Annie Mac, with Kelly Osbourne taking over Sunday Surgery.

Andy Parfitt controller Radio 1, 1Xtra and BBC Switch said: "The BBC connects with young children in a very significant way, but when they reach their secondary school years this relationship is not as strong. Our aim is to make distinctive and powerful content 12-16 year olds can embrace and through our work with BBC Vision, Radio 1 and online I feel we are achieving that. We’ve worked hard to really get to know this audience and the insights we have collected are at the heart of everything we will do."

Online, the BBC is launching a portal for teens to access content from across the corporation. It will feature an online drama from Endemol UK, Signs of Life, an eight-part series following the strange astrological events in an English village. The show features psychological elements, which viewers can try themselves through interactive personality tests. Players can save and share the results of the personality test as ‘widgets’ that appear on their own social networking page.

Magazine style web content willl appear in the form of Slink, aimed at girls aged 12-16, which will feature entertainment, chat and advice. Online advice shop, The Surgery, will also offer teenagers assistance about personal issues and health. The digital space will feature a web guide to the ‘tribes’ in the UK today, called THEM, which will be created by the young people that belong to them.

Jana Bennett, Director BBC Vision said "I am incredibly proud of the work being done by Andy and his team, it is great to have this project as part of BBC Vision. BBC Switch reflects exactly the way we want to work within Vision, bringing together content and programming in a way that feels natural to our audience. These initiatives announced today work in a completely complementary way and bring innovative programming to a very important audience."

BBC Switch will also partner with the first Radio 1 Under 18s event to be held at Wembley Arena in November. The event, the biggest under 18s event of its kind, will be hosted by Radio 1 DJs and feature some of the best UK and international artists

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