Documentaries produced by or for the BBC.
A special 60th anniversary programme in which
Leo McKern walks the fields of Picardy and retells the story of this heroic and tragic battle. With the letters, diaries, and memories of men who took part.
1 July 1916 - the first day of the Battle of the Somme -was the worst day in British military history. In less than 24 hours 60,000 British soldiers became casualties; and nearly 20,000 of them died. The battle dragged on for another four-and-a-half months. It turned a gracious part of northern France into a landscape like the moon's. It produced anger and cynicism, but also incredible gallantry and courage. During it 1,200,000 British, French and Germans were killed or wounded. By the end of it the armies of Britain and her Empire had advanced about seven miles.
First transmitted in 1976, to celebrate the Poet Laureate's 70th birthday, Sir John Betjeman recalls in vivid detail the agonies and the delights of growing up, set against the background of his Highgate and Chelsea homes, holidays in Cornwall, boarding school and Oxford. The commentary is taken entirely from Betjeman's autobiographical poem, Summoned By Bells, first published in 1960.
Part of the BBC's 50th Anniversary celebrations, this documentary chronicles the history of BBC television.
Sea in the Blood
Thalassaemia - meaning ' sea in the blood ' - is the name given to a once mysterious disease which was found in Mediterranean countries. More recently it was shown to be one of the most common genetic diseases in the world.
Today, as a result of the applica-, tion of the most advanced methods of biology, more is known about this form of anaemia than any other disease. But this knowledge will not simply affect the sufferers; there is no doubt that its consequences for genetics are widespread and will affect us all. In less than a generation it is likely that many people will face difficult, many think dangerous, choices as a result of the new biology.
Robert Reid looks at the work, how it affects people in underdeveloped countries, how it is 'already affecting people in Britain ', and what its wider effects might be.