2017 has been the most successful year to date for The Open University and BBC partnership.
Our TV and radio programmes reached more people than ever before and have won an unprecedented number of awards, including a BAFTA and a Grierson. Everything we produce creates unique resources for our teaching and learning.
Exploring the planet, and the universe
Our stellar list of programmes this year covered both our planet and the universe. We ended 2017 exploring our oceans with the amazing Blue Planet II . This enthralled millions of viewers and created an enormous demand for our Oceans poster. Earlier in the year, we ventured into space with Professor Stephen Hawking searching for a new earth (The Search for a New Earth) and Brian Cox examining the race space this century (21st Century Race for Space).
History, health and human experience
OU/BBC programmes also explored all the human experience. We looked at the complexity of our bodies in The Human Body: The Secrets Of Your Life Revealed, the challenges for our healthcare system in Hospital. We followed the complex cases handled by The Detectives, and were inspired by the positive stories from people living with a terminal illness in A Time to Live.
The strength of the human spirit was further explored in Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain, and humankind’s ingenuity in Britain’s Greatest Inventions. We visited our millennials in the latest instalment of Child of our Time and marked the 50th Anniversary of the home of the OU in Milton Keynes and Me, a film by Richard Mercer. Prejudice and Pride: The People’s History of LGBTQ Britain marked another anniversary, with a change in law of the Sexual Offences Act 1967.
Beyond the screen and airwaves
The OU/BBC partnership continued to expand beyond TV and radio content. In October we launched Go the Distance, a new series about distance learning on the BBC’s online channel, World Service Learning English. On BBC 3 we co-produced Drugsland, complementing the series with short films for Facebook and other social media platforms. We also worked with our colleagues in Northern Ireland on a fascinating series about the Languages of Ulster, with OpenLearn hosting four video shorts in connection with the series.
2018 will be another year of inspiring content across the BBC and OU programmes include Civilisations, Big Life Fix, and Rituals.
Find out more
Read more about the threat to the planet exposed in Blue Planet, by the academic experts who advised the team behind the programme.
Find out from expert Dr Kerry Jones, academic consultant on A Time to Live, more about end of life care.
Dr Rajvinder Samra explains the role of the academic consultant, and what OU students learnt from the Hospital series.
Explore more on OU News about our fantastic TV and Radio productions with the BBC.