Uncanny: release date, presenter, episode guide, trailer and everything we know

Uncanny presenter Danny Robins wearing a red parka, looking over his shoulder towards the camera, with a spooked expression on his face. He's standing in a misty forest landscape, and there is a ghostly, shadowy figure standing in the distance.
(Image credit: BBC)

Uncanny has already been a massive hit on BBC Radio 4 and as a podcast on BBC Sounds, with presenter Danny Robins' investigations into the paranormal experiences related by his guests going down a storm with believers and sceptics alike.

Now Uncanny is about to make the leap to the small screen with a new three-part series for BBC2 and BBC iPlayer featuring brand-new cases for Danny and the team to investigate.

"I've been blown away by the response to Uncanny," said Danny, when the series was announced. "We've built an incredible community around the show, many of whom never realised how interested in the paranormal they were! I'm incredibly excited to get the chance to both continue the podcast and adapt it for TV, as we explore that biggest of all questions: 'do ghosts exist?'. I promise it will be scary and fascinating in equal measure — so, do you dare watch?"

Here's everything we know about the show so far... 

Uncanny release date

Uncanny will make its TV debut on (appropriately enough) Friday October 13 at 9pm on BBC2 and BBC iPlayer.

Uncanny presenter and experts

Danny Robins, the original host of the BBC Sounds podcast, will of course be fronting the TV version of Uncanny, and he'll be joined by his podcast pals Dr Ciarán O'Keeffe, the team's resident sceptic, and Evelyn Hollow, the team's resident believer, who will each be providing their own potential explanations for the experiences that the witnesses are recounting.

Danny Robins, Dr Ciarán O'Keeffe and Evelyn Hollow sit around two circular tables in a bar. The trio are looking into the camera, and both tables are covered with document folders, notebooks and loose pieces of paper

Host Danny Robins with resident experts Dr Ciarán O'Keeffe and Evelyn Hollow (Image credit: BBC)

Uncanny episode guide

Episode 1 — "Miss Howard" (Friday October 13): In the first case of the series, Danny is visited in his studio by Cate, who is haunted by memories of her childhood and wants answers to a mystery that's troubled her all her life. Cate grew up in an old house in the quintessentially English village of Melbourn, Cambridgeshire, in the 1970s. After her father started renovation works on the property, Cate began to be visited by a mysterious woman known simply as Miss Howard. Who was she? Could she have been a ghost disturbed by the building works? Might she be the spirit of a former resident? Or is there a rational explanation? Danny's investigation into the case sees him interview former residents of the house. He also dives into the history of the village, explores the theory of 'time slips', and examines the hallucinatory effects of domestic mould...

Episode 2 — "The Bearpark Poltergeist" (Friday October 20): In the second case, Danny is visited in his studio by Ian. As a teenager, growing up in a pit community in County Durham, Ian experienced phenomena that seemed to defy rational explanation. He believes his house was haunted by an entity that would shake drawers, ring bells, and even flush the toilet. And Ian wasn't the only person to witness strange things in the house... but could there be a scientific explanation for all this? With help from Dr Ciarán O'Keeffe and Evelyn Hollow, Danny investigates Bearpark's industrial history, the science of sleep paralysis, and the mechanics of a flushing toilet. His quest for answers even takes him deep into the earth, into an abandoned mine shaft...

Episode 3 — "The Oxford Haunting" (Friday October 27): It's the early 1990s, and while many students their age are out raving, three Theology students at Oxford University are about to experience the house share from hell! In this third and final case, Danny Robins meets Heather who, 30 years ago, moves into a student house with two friends — a house which they believe is haunted by a malevolent entity. Events become so frightening that the group are compelled to call in an exorcist — but the exorcism doesn't go according to plan. It's one of the most unsettling cases Danny has ever come across. But could it simply be a shared delusion? To find an answer, Danny must track down Heather's housemates to find out what they remember about events...

Is there a trailer for Uncanny?

There is, and you can watch it below!

In the trailer, Danny is seen interviewing a witness and asking him if he believes in ghosts — the witness replies that he believes what he's experienced. Danny interviews another witness and points out that there will be people saying that this couldn't have happened, and the witness responds that she understands why people would say that. As text on the screen confirms that the hit paranormal podcast is coming to TV, Danny turns to the camera and asks, "are you team believer, or team sceptic?" Evelyn Hollow is seen saying "it's absolutely wild", and Dr Ciarán O'Keeffe says "it would be so much simpler to say 'it's a ghost'". Then we see Danny walking and looking over his shoulder, and a glitching shot of an Edwardian era house. The trailer ends with Danny saying to the camera: "I'm Danny Robins, and this is Uncanny."

Danny Robins interview for Uncanny

How did Uncanny first come about?

"This all starts really from me doing a show called The Battersea Poltergeist, which was about a real-life ghost story. At the end of that, I asked people to send me in their own ghost stories, and I wasn't prepared for the huge deluge that I received! I received so many messages from people who, I think in many cases, had never told anybody about it, not even their partners, and these were really profound, life-changing moments where people had experienced something they felt was supernatural — and in a lot of cases people weren't believers. So Uncanny was my attempt to try and make sense of this, and give them answers — and the podcast took off, we're onto our third series now!"

How does the TV series compare to the podcast?

"The TV series is basically the podcast come to life in visual form. We're trying to be as true to the pod as possible, so we have a witness telling me this strange, life-changing, deeply frightening story, and then we do experiments to try and explore some of the potential scientific explanations, we go to the place where it happened, and try to bring the story to life. The whole point of Uncanny, I guess, is that we keep an open mind. There are lots of paranormal shows out there that preach to the converted, that are for believers, and there's lots of sceptic people who debunk, and we sit in the middle — I am not sure what I think! I would love ghosts to be real, but I haven't yet got to the point where I am a fully signed-up, card-carrying believer."

Dr Ciaran O'Keefe, Danny Robins and Evelyn Hollow stand in a row in a bar, facing the camera

Ciarán, Danny and Evelyn are on the case in three brand-new investigations (Image credit: BBC)

What can you tell us about your first investigation?

"It's a great case, it's one of the best I've come across, I think. Cate emailed me and she had this experience as a child in this particular house in Melbourn, in Cambridgeshire. It's really unsettling, it involves this woman appearing to her in the house, in the daytime, so we're not talking night-time sleep hallucination, she was seeing this woman in the house, pretty much on a daily basis, for years. Let's just say, in a spoiler-free way, the ending we get is not the ending I expected — it blows you away!"

You featured updates on previous investigations in the podcast. Will you be doing the same in the TV series?

"That's one of the things we'll be doing that's slightly different — in episode two we'll do an update on case one, and in episode three we'll talk about case two, so there is a five-minute chunk of episodes two and three that doesn't exist at the moment! We'll be updating on the previous case with new evidence coming in, so there's a very real chance that if you email me, you will be appearing on episode two or three of the programme!"

Do people approach you with their ghost stories in real life too?

"I've found myself in this weird kind of thing recently — like in the way when you meet a doctor and ask 'does that rash look normal?', people tell me their stories now everywhere I go. The other day I was in a finance meeting at the BBC about our budget, and suddenly someone was saying 'can I tell you about my poltergeist?'!"

Steven Perkins
Staff Writer for TV & Satellite Week, TV Times, What's On TV and whattowatch.com

Steven Perkins is a Staff Writer for TV & Satellite Week, TV Times, What's On TV and whattowatch.com, who has been writing about TV professionally since 2008. He was previously the TV Editor for Inside Soap before taking up his current role in 2020. He loves everything from gritty dramas to docusoaps about airports and thinks about the Eurovision Song Contest all year round.