It may sound like a premature April Fool's joke - but all it's part of the BBC's new Make It Digital initiative, which will also give a coding device to every Year 7 child in the country (who, it's worth pointing out, are too young to play GTA... officially).
The press blurb reads exactly like this: "BBC Make it Digital will capture the spirit of the BBC Micro, which helped Britain get to grips with the first wave of personal computers in the 1980s, for the digital age. It will put digital creativity in the spotlight like never before, and help build the nation’s digital skills, through an ambitious range of new programmes, partnerships and projects."
Among the announced projects are:
- A major partnership to develop and give a ‘Micro Bit’ coding device to all year 7 children across the UK for free to inspire a future generation - 1 million devices in total
- A season of programmes and online activity involving the BBC’s biggest and best-loved brands, including Doctor Who, EastEnders, Radio 1, The One Show, Children in Need, BBC Weather and many more, including a new BBC Two drama based on Grand Theft Auto and a documentary on Bletchley Park
- The Make it Digital Traineeship to create life-changing opportunities for up to 5,000 young unemployed people, the largest traineeship of its kind
- Partnerships with around 50 major organisations across the UK, including Apps for Good, ARM, Barclays, British Computing Society, BT, Code Club, DWP, Google, iDEA, Microsoft, Nesta, Samsung, Skills Funding Agency, Tech City UK, the Tech Partnership, TeenTech, Young Rewired State
- A range of formal education activities and events, including Bitesize, Live Lessons and School Report
That's as far as it goes with regards to details about the GTA drama, but - for our money - it's stuff like this which justifies the BBC, and why we're staunch advocates of protecting the licence fee at all costs. Still, how they balance the honourable aims of the initiative with the more controversial elements of the GTA brand - whether the drama will focus on GTA as a cultural phenomenon, or set within the GTA world itself - is going to be interesting.
Especially if they try to tackle the latter on a BBC budget, in a potentially post-Clarkson world...
UPDATE: Apparently, the drama will tell the tale of how Grand Theft Auto - a "British coding success story" - was conceived, and tackle the controversy it encountered.