BBC Factual has commissioned Firecracker Films to produce a new 60-minute film featuring the acclaimed presenter Stacey Dooley, in partnership with Little Dooley.
Titled “Stacey Dooley: Inside the Undertakers” (working title), the documentary, set to air on BBC One and iPlayer, delves into one of society’s last taboos – death. Stacey immerses herself in the world of undertaking at one of the UK’s busiest family-run funeral businesses.
This fresh film follows Stacey’s previous highly-praised documentary, “Inside the Convent,” also produced by the same team. In that film, she candidly explored her fear of death, seeking insights from the nuns she stayed with. However, her curiosity remained unsated. With her recent transformation into motherhood, Stacey’s apprehensions about the future, particularly death, have intensified. To confront these fears head-on, she is determined to engage with the reality of death.
In this new documentary, Stacey joins the team of funeral directors at A.W. Lymn The Family Funeral Service, a Nottinghamshire-based company. As one of the largest independent funeral enterprises in the country and a proud fifth-generation family business, Stacey will fully immerse herself in every facet of the company’s day-to-day operations. She aims to gain a deeper understanding of the business of death – from arranging funerals to crafting coffins and learning about embalming to intricately carving headstones. Through this, she hopes to find the answers she seeks.
Furthermore, Stacey’s time at the Undertakers will serve as a launchpad for exploring the stories of others. She will closely follow several funerals, from the initial stages to the final moments, in order to observe how faith, and also non-religious beliefs, influence this profound moment.
Stacey Dooley commented: “Death is a topic that’s openly discussed in many other cultures, even celebrated in some instances, yet I am so awkwardly British about the whole thing!
“It is, of course, inevitable, and that’s why I wanted to really explore exactly what happens when we do die. This access allows us to ponder the bigger questions surrounding life, as well as witness the practical logistics of a funeral. I’d like to thank every family member who has allowed us to document their story. I’m so grateful.”
Sam Emmery, Executive Producer at Firecracker Films, added: “We’re really excited to be working with Stacey on this documentary for the BBC. It’s an incredibly important subject that affects us all, but one that we don’t talk about enough. We’re also very grateful to A. W. Lymn The Family Funeral Service for granting us privileged access, offering viewers a unique window into their world.”
Daisy Scalchi, BBC Head of Religion & Ethics for Television says: “Death is a subject many of us find difficult. In grappling with conversations around death, Stacey is crossing one of our culture’s final frontiers in a way which will shed light on an inevitable, but often life-enhancing, topic. I’d like to thank all the families who have agreed to share their stories with us at such a difficult time.”
“Stacey Dooley: Inside the Undertakers” (w/t) is a 60-minute production from Firecracker Films, presented by Stacey Dooley in association with Little Dooley, for BBC One. It will be executive produced by Sam Emmery, with Alice Bowden as Producer Director and Julie Scott as Head of Production at Firecracker Films. The commission came from Daisy Scalchi, BBC Head of Religion & Ethics, from the Specialist Factual department overseen by Jack Bootle. Distribution will be handled by Passion Distribution.