As we power down for the festive break – amidst delivery deadlines, gift giving and afternoon work parties – we want to take a moment to reflect on 2023 while facing forward to 2024.

It’s been a year of many challenges and indie labels and freelancers at all levels have felt the pinch of the commissioning slow down. So, as we leave 2023 behind us, we’re looking forward to spending time with family and friends over the holidays, catching up on our favorite festive shows and films and recharging the batteries.  

For inspiration this is what some of our team will be doing – Beach Sauna in Brighton, walking in the Lake District, sports fans will be glued to the festive fixtures, and many are giving back whether doing seva in the Gurudwara or donating to foodbanks.  

Our teams’ binge watch recommendations – Only Murders in the Building, Ginny and Georgia Ted Lasso, Squid Game: The Challenge, Survival of the Thickest, Headliners Only with Kevin Hart and Chris Rock. 

And if you fancy replacing the Christmas quiz with a round of Commissioning Bingo 2023 edition – we’ll start you off with some of this years heavy hitters… from projects with multiple layers to hybrid anything, A-list talent to the next turn of the wheel, something that disrupts the paradigm, or Love Island meets Bake Off… without forgetting the ultimate ‘bingeability’ factor.

We want to celebrate the triumphs along the way and the fantastic talented people who have worked with us to achieve them. And we continue our ongoing mission to create content that disrupts, entertains and broadens the mainstream perspective. It’s been the creative driving force for both our development and production teams. 

Over the last year our teams have created and delivered some incredible shows.  

The beginning of the year saw the launch of our hit BBC3 series Charlotte in Sunderland which follows the real life of Charlotte Crosby, a social media influencer and self-made entrepreneur. The show which had privileged access to a roller coaster year shared with the viewer some momentous events – joyful and sad; from Charlotte finding love with Jake, to having their first baby whilst also dealing with her mum’s breast cancer diagnosis and the passing of her beloved nanna. This beautifully shot series reached valued but underserved audiences which has been amazing. 

Charlotte in Sunderland series 2 followed in November. Made from our new Northeast office, the Natterbox team did an incredible job of making an entertaining show, covering Charlotte juggling being a first-time mum whilst trying to keep her businesses afloat after a 6-month baby bubble. As well appearing in the Australian Masked Singer and recording a Xmas song for Paramount ! The finale of the series took us to Dubai where we worked with Tim Fare-Matthews and his brilliant team. We were honoured and a little choked to cover the spectacular proposal from Jake – giving Charlotte the “happy ever after” she’s always wanted. 

Well done David Metcalf, the Series Director who was across both series of Charlotte in Sunderland and the team Anita Hodgeman Duncan Clarke, The Natterbox crew Aysha Ali, Amanda Weatherill, Hannah Grencis, Bex Wallace, Sam Angell and Emily McNally. Thanks to the amazing Directors of Photography Matt Jones and Simon Glass and of course our lead editor Daniel Bowen. 

We appreciate the support, advice and drinks with the fabulous Alison Gwynn, Katie Strachan, from Northeast Screen. Victoria Glass and Jenifer Hartley, Director Invest Newcastle. All great collaborators.  

The amazing BBC Three teams have done an incredible job with the socials marketing and press strategy. Thank you Andre Soussa, Mairead Anderson, Bonnie Grieve, Kasia Sieczynska, Chris Mcclusky, Amy Huson and Jasmine Aloma. And of course, the Ents team, Ruby Kuraishe and Kalpna Knight Patel. 

In the summer, a special edition of our much-loved series, Extraordinary Portraits, landed to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the NHS. Hosted by the inimitable and multi-talented Bill Bailey, it was a great opportunity to tell the stories of the many unsung NHS workers. From a trauma surgeon to an end-of-life nurse and a hospital porter – they all show an extraordinary dedication to their patients on a daily basis. It has been great working with the commissioning team – thanks for all the chats, Emma Cahusac and Stephen Yeoman.  

And huge thanks and appreciation to the awesome team behind the scenes who helped to deliver a powerful moving and amazing series. Led by Rosie Taylor, our brilliant Head of Production and Series Producer David Skudder and Series Director Peter Coventry. 

And not forgetting the post-production houses CODA and RUN VT whose craft and skill have elevated our shows to the best they can be. Fab working with Thaddious Yianni and Sam Mangan, Congrats to Balvinder Sanghera and the whole team for their well-deserved Broadcast nomination.

We want to say a heartfelt thanks to all those who have supported us, shared their experiences with us and lifted us up. Wishing you a wonderful festive break and much joy, peace and love in the New Year.