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Martin Parr’s new idents for BBC One will roll out over 2017
Martin Parr’s new idents for BBC One will roll out over 2017

Martin Parr has made a series of idents for the BBC

Famous for turning the banalities of life in Britain into fascinating artifacts of British identity, Martin Parr is turning to the small screen with a new series

Photographer Martin Parr is renowned for his Britishness. And I’m not talking about what we sell to our international friends via tourist campaigns – Queen’s English and St Paul’s Cathedral – but I’m talking about finding the fascinating in what would be palmed off as otherwise banal, whether that’s documenting a chippy in Ramsgate or photographing teens hanging out at Brighton pier. He has now been commissioned for an equally very British project – creating a series of idents for BBC One over the coming year by being asked to "capture an evolving portrait of modern Britain in all its diversity” based around the theme of "oneness”. The photographer said, "To have the chance to makes stills and film these diverse groups of people, but sharing the same interests or roles all over the United Kingdom is a real privilege."

So far we’ve seen sea swimmers in Clevedon, Somerset – which premiered on New Year’s Day – a Zumba class in Bristol and wheelchair rugby team from Osprey. The BBC released a statement explaining their reasoning behind it, saying:

"BBC One is a channel with its finger on the pulse of a fast-changing modern Britain.

"What better way to demonstrate this than by commissioning Martin Parr, one of the most celebrated documentary photographers of our time, to create idents from a series of portraits that reflect and represent the rich diversity of communities living in the UK today?

"Renowned for finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, I hope that the series of images Parr captures across the year will document everyday Britain in all its glory and serve as a fascinating and lasting record of 2017.”

While the intentions to celebrate diversity may be spelled out, just a couple of non-white faces appear throughout, which seems at odds with the mission statement. But with another 11 months of roll outs to come, we will hopefully see more varied portraits of a range of people and their lives.