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BBC iPlayer to premiere BBC Four’s Storyville documentaries

The BBC will premiere three upcoming Storyville documentaries on iPlayer ahead of their BBC Four broadcast in October. 

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, Smash And Grab: The Story Of The Pink Panthers and The Great Hip-Hop Hoax will all be available for streaming on October 12 on iPlayer before they’re shown on BBC Four from October 21. 

Previous Storyville documentaries have proven popular with iPlayer users according to series editor Nick Fraser, who calls the move ‘a bold experiment.’

BBC iPlayer to premiere BBC Four’s Storyville documentaries
Protestors at a Berlin demonstration in support of Vladimir Putin’s least favourite band

Read our guide to BBC iPlayerFraser added: Storyville has been doing very well on BBC iPlayer and we want to see how our films do when they are premiered there. It’s another step on the way to making documentaries freely available in any medium through the BBC. And these films are not only exceptional – but exceptionally entertaining. They’re up-to-date, sometimes funny and often subversive.”

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer tells the story of the famous Russian feminist punk band and Smash And Grab: The Story Of The Pink Panthers focusses on a notorious gang of jewel thieves. The Great Hip-Hop Hoax tells the audacious tale of how two lads from Dundee, mockingly called ‘the rapping Proclaimers’ by industry suits, reinvented themselves as an American duo, fooling the record industry with fake accents and made up backstories. 

This is all part of what the BBC is billing as the Modern Outlaws Season. Victoria Jaye, Head of TV Content, BBC iPlayer, says: “By network premiering these three powerful Storyville films on BBC iPlayer and featuring them as a single Modern Outlaws Season, we want to increase their exposure and attract audiences who might miss them in the schedule. 

“This forms part of our BBC iPlayer trial to premiere up to 40 hours of programmes across the service and we’re excited to see how the audience respond to us more creatively harnessing BBC iPlayer to complement how they discover our programmes.”

This move follows the BBC’s decision to launch youth-oriented comedy exclusively on iPlayer before broadcasting it on BBC Three. Pilots of would-be BBC Three shows have also debuted on iPlayer, as a way to gauge their popularity. 

BBC iPlayer is available online, on selected iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BB10 devices and various smart TVs and connected Blu-ray players. 

Image: Grüne Bundestagsfraktion/Flickr

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