BBC Children’s has unveiled an exciting development in its programming lineup with the announcement of “Crongton,” a new ten-part series. The production is spearheaded by the renowned drama production company New Pictures, an All3Media Company, in collaboration with All3Media International. Targeted at the 10-12 age group, this returning series is scripted by the award-winning writer and comedian Archie Maddocks, drawing inspiration from the best-selling novels by Alex Wheatle.
The narrative of “Crongton” (10 x 25′) revolves around the lives and experiences of a group of young individuals residing in a vibrant, multicultural community within a fictional urban housing estate. As they navigate the intricacies of social dynamics, peer influence, and identity, the series delves into their quest to carve a niche for themselves in a world teeming with opportunities and perils. Infused with irreverent humour and interspersed with animated fantasy sequences, “Crongton” promises to be a spirited journey through the challenges and triumphs of adolescence. It stands as a celebration of the unique sense of community found on estates and explores how individuals reconcile with the darkness in the world as they teeter on the edge between childhood and adulthood.
Archie Maddocks says: “Reading Alex Wheatle’s books, I was struck by how much the characters and their world reflect my own upbringing. They were just like me and my friends; I could have known them all. Crongton is a project that has been close to my heart for a very long time and, like many, many fans of the novels, I can’t wait to finally see the transformation of Alex’s amazing world from the page to the screen.”
Willow Grylls, Co-Founder and CEO, and Imogen O’Sullivan, Executive Producer, both for New Pictures says: “Alex Wheatle’s Crongton books are modern classics, and well-thumbed staples in classrooms across the country. They offer a picture of a diverse, chaotic, funny, and joyful British experience with so much to say to young people, and particularly young people from less well represented backgrounds. Our aim with this television adaptation of Crongton is to charm not just young people, but everyone young at heart in a visually distinctive, uniquely British series, with real cultural importance, and wide international appeal. We’re very proud to be playing a part in helping bring the stories of Liccle Bit, Venetia, and the gang to the widest audience possible.”
Amy Buscombe, Commissioning Editor for BBC Children’s adds: “With more screen choice than ever before it’s vital that young people see their lives and the issues they face represented on TV. This commission will bring the characters and stories from Crongton to a whole new audience on BBC iPlayer in what will be a high quality and creative drama.”
Sarah Muller, Senior Head of Children’s Commissioning 7+ says: “I love the books and the characters, they are so authentic and remind me of where I grew up and went to school in London. I just know this will be must-see family viewing.”
The production team for “Crongton” includes Joanna Hanley as producer, Ethosheia Hylton as director, and executive producers Imogen O’Sullivan, Elaine Pyke, and Willow Grylls. Casting for the series is led by Aisha Bywaters. Alongside Maddocks, episodic writers Athena Kugblenu, Thara Popoola, and Willow Mirza contribute their talents, with story contributions from Wheatle, Haleema Mirza, and Cherish Shirley.
The series, commissioned by Sarah Muller and led by commissioning editor Amy Buscombe for BBC Children’s and BBC iPlayer, enjoys a collaboration with All3Media International, holding exclusive worldwide distribution rights. As the production unfolds, “Crongton” aims to captivate audiences with its distinct British charm and cultural significance.