Ian Fletcher, the Beeb’s Head of Values and chair of its Way Ahead Task Force, will roam the halls of the BBC for a bit longer as a second series of W1A has been commissioned but the BBC. “I am very happy to have the cameras back,” said the fictional Fletcher (played by Downton Abbey‘s Hugh Bonneville), in a release. “Being Head of Values is all about resetting the dial for the BBC and perhaps about shining a new light on that dial, or at least shining the old light but with a new bulb, so none of us can be in any doubt where the dial is or can have any excuse for not being able to read what it says.”
Set inside the glass-pannelled walls of BBC’s New Broadcasting House, W1A will continue to follow the efforts of the Way Ahead Task Force as they position the BBC as they attempt to clarify and define (or re-define) the core purpose of the BBC across all its functions and to position it confidently for the future as they inch closer to a critical 2016 charter renewal and license fee negotiation. Series 2 presents a new set of challenges as there are rumors that Sky is set to bid for Wimbledon 2017 transmission rights. Cue Perfect Curve and Siobhan Sharpe as they take on the task of rebranding and/or improving the BBC’s coverage of Wimbledon, which has long been saddled with the criticism of being ‘too white’.
Set to return for series 2 alongside Bonneville are Jessica Hynes (Siobhan Sharpe, Brand Consultant), Jason Watkins (Simon Harwood, Director of Strategic Governance), Sarah Parish (Anna Rampton, Head of Output), Monica Dolan (Tracey Pritchard, Senior Communications Officer), David Westhead (Neil Reid, Current Controller of News and Current Affairs) and Nina Sosanya (Lucy Freeman, Producer).
Say what you will about the mockumentary style of W1A, this is brilliant telly. Series 2 will consist of one, one-hour special, followed by three, 30-minutes programs. Between this and Twenty Twelve, these two series are two of the smartest comedies to come out of the UK in some time. Well worth the two-hour commitment to binge watch series 1 in the next few months before the series 2 return.