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BBC targets MySpace generation with cross-platform offering

The BBC is launching a raft of programming aimed at 12- to 16-year-olds, including a new music show, as part of an attempt to reconnect with teenagers hooked on social networking sites and computer games.

The cross-platform programme strand is called BBC Switch and will encompass television, radio, an online portal and a Radio 1 gig to be held at Wembley.

A weekly music TV show, co-hosted by Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac and Nick Grimshaw, will begin on October 20 in a Saturday afternoon slot, filling the gap left by 'Top of the Pops', which was axed in July 2006.

Called 'Sound', the show will have no studio base, and instead will be filmed at locations around the UK.

'Sound' will be scheduled together with a new teen drama called 'Falcon', which is set around a fictional sun-soaked town called Falcon Beach in the US.

Radio 1 is beefing up its teenage content with a five-hour slot on Sunday nights featuring 'Switch with Annie Mac' and 'The Surgery with Kelly Osbourne'.

An online portal launches on October 14, offering access to content across the BBC in addition to an internet-based interactive drama called 'Signs of Life', a guide to health issues and a magazine for girls aged 12 to 16.

The Radio 1 music event, which the corporation claims will be the biggest under-18s event of its kind, will take place in November featuring a line-up of UK and international artists.

Jana Bennett, director of BBC Vision, said: "BBC Switch reflects exactly the way we want to work within Vision, bringing together content and programming in a way that feels natural to our audience.

"These initiatives announced today work in a completely complementary way and bring innovative programming to a very important audience."

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