New BBC Alan Carr show follows players of Southampton FC Academy with Saints stars

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James Ward-Prowse, Kyle Walker-Peters and Alan Carr. Photos: PA.
James Ward-Prowse, Kyle Walker-Peters and Alan Carr. Photos: PA.

THE BBC has announced a slate of new children’s shows including a documentary series narrated by Alan Carr which will follow the young players and staff of Southampton FC Academy.

The broadcaster has said the new programming, which will be produced across Britain, will “reflect the lives of children in the UK”.

This comes after the broadcaster announced that CBBC will end as a linear TV channel in the next few years and is expected to move online to iPlayer.

The new documentary series, titled Football Academy, will explore the highs and lows of this season’s intake of young footballers while comedian Carr narrates the show.

Carr’s father Graham is a former professional footballer and team manager.

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England international players James Ward-Prowse, Nathan Redmond, Theo Walcott and Kyle Walker-Peters, and others in the Saints first team, will take part in challenges with the academy squad across the series.

There will also be appearances from football stars Mo Salah, Micah Richards and Alan Shearer, who is a graduate of the Southampton Academy.

Patricia Hidalgo, director of BBC children’s and education, said: “I am excited to see the wide range of content and high quality titles we have secured for children of all ages and their families to enjoy together over the coming months.”

The BBC previously said the decision to close the linear CBBC channel, as well as BBC Four, was part of their plans to become “digital-first”.

The news came off the back of the BBC needing to save a further £285 million in response to the Culture Secretary’s announcement in January that the licence fee will be frozen at £159 for the next two years.

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