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BBC Documentaries

Season 1999 1999

  • 1999-09-25T20:00:00Z on BBC
  • 60 mins
  • 1 day, 18 hours, 0 mins (42 episodes)
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary, Special Interest

Documentaries produced by or for the BBC.

42 episodes

1999x01 Ian Dury - On My Life

  • Season Premiere

    1999-09-25T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Ian Dury was unique ! A poet, a great songwriter with good band around him : Kilburn and the High Roads, the Blockheads ! Remember the Roadette song, What a waste, Hit me with your rythm stick...
It's a really nice doc on his life, on his childhood,the polio, his music, his paintings, his battles! Ian Dury was always present in the doc and some guests were here : Humphrey Ocean, Baxter Dury, Chaz Jankel, John Turnbull...

The Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth is a month by month travelogue of the greatest sights of massed wildlife from all over the world. Each month focuses on just one such incredible show of wildlife. Specifically, the months are as follows:

* January - Massed Monarch Butterflies in Mexico
* February - Massive migration of Caribou in Newfoundland
* March - Dancing of the Red-Crested Cranes in Japan
* April - Red Garter Snakes in Canada returning to the surface after hibernating in the snow and having mass orgies. This footage may scare the youngsters.
* May - 70000 gannets gathering together on one small rocky outcrop in Scotland
* June - Grizzly Bears fishing for Salmon in Alaskan rivers
* July - Flamingos feeding on a soda lake in Kenya
* August - Emperor Penguins looking after their chicks during the dark winter in Antarctica
* September - The incredible acrobatics of the Dusky Dolphins off New Zealand
* October - Wildebeest Migration in East Africa. Once again this footage could scare younger viewers due to the presence of Crocodiles.
* November - The incredible Red Crab migration on Christmas Island.
* December - Coral spawning at Summer Solstice on the Great Barrier Reef.

1999x03 Definitely Dusty

  • 1999-12-26T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary charting the career of diva Dusty Springfield, who died in March, from Catholic schoolgirl to superstar. Springfield's trademark panda eyes and blonde beehive became famous around the world after hits such as You Don't Have to Say You Love Me and Son of a Preacher Man.
Fellow musicians, including Elton John , Burt Bacharach, Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys, Lulu and Martha Reeves , join fans, friends and archive footage to paint a picture of the complex and vulnerable singer.

1999x04 Father & Son John Peel

  • 1999-08-29T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Father and Son was a short documentary at the home of John Peel, exploring his relationships with his father and with his eldest son William. This was shown on BBC2 during John Peel Night, which was broadcast on Sunday 29 August 1999, the night before John Peel's 60th birthday.

He mentions that at some date in 2001 he will be older than his father ever was.

Peel would subsequently apologise to William both privately and publicly for his comments about him in the programme.

1999x05 It's Slade

  • 1999-12-23T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary about one of Britain's greatest and best-loved bands. Slade scored six number ones in the 70s, a feat rivalled only by Abba. Formed in Wolverhampton and led by Noddy Holder, Slade sold over 50 million records worldwide during a 20-year career which saw them re-invent themselves as skinhead yobs, then mirror-hatted platform-shoe-pioneering glam gods, before finally re-emerging as hard rock heroes. Their poorly-spelled, self-written selection of terrace anthems included Cum on Feel the Noize, Coz I Luv You, Take Me Bak Ome, Mama Weer All Crazee Now and, unforgettably, Merry Xmas Everybody. Apart from Noddy and his bandmates - Dave Hill, Jim Lea and Don Powell - the cast here also includes Noel Gallagher of Oasis (who covered Cum On Feel the Noize), Status Quo, Toyah Wilcox, Suzi Quatro and Ozzy Osbourne.

1999x06 The Megantic Outlaw

  • 1999-11-16T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Donald Morrison was born in the town of Megantic Quebec to parents who had emigrated from Lewis in search of a better life. However, the life awaiting them was full of difficulty. When he came of age, Donald headed west and worked as a cowboy, sending money to his parents to pay off the debt on their homestead. Donald's life began to unravel when the owner of the debt claimed that the payments had never been made and evicted the family. This documentary tells Donald's story as he went on the run accused of murder and trying to clear his name.

1999x07 Are You Sitting Comfortably?

  • 1999-01-01T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

A look at the history of children's television broadcasting on the BBC, with lots of clips from classic shows interspersed with soundbites from celebrities.

1999x08 Ross Kemp: Alive in Alaska

  • 1999-09-12T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Ross camp at journeys through the Denali National park in Alaska. Home to Rich wildlife and mount Kinley North America's highest mountain.

1999x09 The Shealtiels

  • 1999-01-01T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary telling the story of a Jewish family that has been scattered far and wide by religious and racial intolerance throughout the years. From as far afield as Japan, Norway, Africa and the USA, different branches of the Shealtiels have begun to rediscover each other, their tale illustrating the global dispersal of the Jew

1999x10 What Makes Us Tick

  • 1999-01-09T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

In the last few months, significant strides have been made towards locating the human body clock. This documentary follows the quest forthe elusive element and explores the brain's stopwatch -the device allowing the measurement of the passage of time.

1999x11 Don't Call Us

  • 1999-01-13T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary tracing the history of the talent show from its earliest days as a radio vehicle for Canadian comic Carroll Levis through to Opportunity Knocks and New Faces, which launched a whole host of household names.Su Pollard , Mickey Most , Tony Hatch , Patty Boulaye and Nina Myskow are among those who talk about their experiences.

1999x12 The Jerwood Fashion Prize

  • 1999-02-17T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

A documentary that follows some of Britain's young fashion designers as they compete for a prize that is worth more than £200,000. The competition, launched last September with the help of BBC TV's Looking Good programme, attracted nearly 200 entrants; eight were selected and challenged to produce a collection for the catwalk.

1999x13 Man in the Sand

  • 1999-02-20T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

The political folk singer Woody Guthrie died in 1967. A prolific composer until illness curtailed his work at the end of the forties, Guthrie has been a major influence on artists such as Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. In 1995 Guthrie's daughter Nora discovered hundreds of lyrics written by her father which had never become songs. She asked Essex troubadour Billy Bragg to compose a musical backing for them and, along with US country-rockers Wilco, he created the album Mermaid Avenue. This documentary charts Bragg's search around America for the man behind the myth, and the making of the album.

1999x14 Casualty 250: the Full Medical

  • 1999-03-17T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

As a salute to Britain's longest-running medical drama which reached its 250th episode last month, Gaby Roslin presents this documentary which charts the success of the programme since its inception in 1986. Regular stars past and present reminisce about the drama as well as some familiar faces who just passed through.

1999x15 Killer in the Family

  • 1999-03-30T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary in which four people share their emotional experiences of having a killer in their family. Among those taking part are John Sutcliffe , father of Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe , and Betty Scott , the mother of multiple-killer Dennis Nilsen.

1999x16 Lindbergh

  • 1999-04-04T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

For over a decade after Charles
Lindbergh's historic flight across the Atlantic in 1927, the aviator was viewed as America's greatest hero. One of the most honoured private citizens on earth, in the air Lindbergh seemed to represent all that made America great. But back on the ground his stubborn prejudice and right-wing political views led many of those who had worshipped him to come to see him as a traitor. Archive footage and photographs contribute to this documentary portrait, which traces the aviator's meteoric rise to world celebrity, chronicles the tragic kidnapping of his son, and investigates racist and anti-Semitic attitudes which were revealed by Lindbergh's flirtation with Nazi Germany. Narrated by Stacy Keach.

A documentary offering an overview of the socio-historical context of Charles Dickens 's novel. There is comment from the cast and makers of Tony Marchant 's BBC dramatisation, who also talk about the filming of the classic.

1999x18 Manchester United Family

  • 1999-05-15T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary recalling those times in United's history where their performances failed to live up to their fans' high expectations. In 1974, United suffered the indignity of relegation to Division Two - their fate sealed by a defeat at the hands of arch rivals Manchester City. Promotion back to the elite was secured the following season, but sustained success eluded United until the early eighties.

1999x19 Man on the Moon

  • 1999-07-13T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Thirty years after Neil Armstrong took that famous "giant leap for mankind", he introduces the inside story of Apollo 11. The programme looks at how the dedication and commitment of Nasa workers, from the astronauts' maid to the technicians, made the mission possible. Including an interview with the second man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin.

1999x20 Sale Fever

  • 1999-07-20T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

One-off documentary following dedicated shoppers on the first day of the winter sale at Harrods. The famous London store opens its doors to cameras for the first time, revealing the world of the obsessive bargain hunter.

1999x21 The Making of Aristocrats

  • 1999-07-25T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

This documentary goes behind the scenes of the lavish drama Aristocrats.. The programme talks to members of the cast and reveals how the 18th-century settings were created.

1999x22 Omagh - the Legacy

  • 1999-08-15T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

It is a year since the worst single act of the Troubles saw a car bomb kill 29 and injure a further 350 in the centre of Omagh,Northern Ireland. Liam Neeson narrates this poignant and powerful story of two children-16-year-old Claire Gallagher and ten-year-old Stephen Coyle - horrifically injured in the blast.

1999x23 Joan Crawford: Always the Star

  • 1999-08-21T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary charting the sometimes stormy life and career of Hollywood actress Joan Crawford.

1999x24 Pot of Gold

  • 1999-08-30T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

A fly-on-the-wall documentary following four top British athletes-m medallist John Maycock , modern pentathlete Stephanie Cook , rower James Cracknell and sprinter Joyce Maduaka as they start gruelling training sessions for the next Olympic games.Presented by Commonwealth gold medallist Iwan Thomas.

1999x25 Feel the Need

  • 1999-09-01T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Gaby Roslin presents a documentary celebrating the 20th anniversary of BBC Children in Need on television. As well as reflecting on the achievements of a broadcast that has raised L255 million in its lifetime, tonight's programme also looks at the continuing reasons to raise money. Some viewers may find certain scenes distressing.

1999x26 Born Too Soon

  • 1999-09-06T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Every year thousands of premature babies are born in this country, and many die because they are too young to survive life outside the womb. This documentary, to mark the end of National Pregnancy Week, celebrates the lives of the survivors and reveals pioneering British research which will significantly reduce the numbers of premature births in the future.

1999x27 100 Years Young

  • 1999-09-07T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

When the Queen came to the throne in 1952, there were about 200 hundreth birthday telegrams to send out. This year, there are over 9,000 and the number is doubling every decade. In this documentary, contemporary centenarians reveal themselves to be busier and healthier than some much younger people, with passions as diverse as motorbikes, dancing, painting and religion.

1999x28 A Bitter Pill

  • 1999-09-13T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Figures show a third of drugs given to children in hospitals have never been tested for use on them. In this documentary, parents of children who've died from drug errors tell their stories and doctors discuss the dilemmas of treating children with new drugs. Shelley Jofre and Steve Le Fevre report.

1999x29 The World According to ...

  • 1999-10-27T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

One-off documentary in which David, Shelby, Terri, Emma, and Natasha - five children between the ages of six and ten who live on the outskirts of Bristol - relate their views on the world around them. One boy's ideal day out would be to the Natural History Museum, another wants to grow up to be a tooth fairy, while another cannot distinguish between God and the prime minister.

1999x30 Getting Older Younger

  • 1999-11-03T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

One-off documentary in which advertising and marketing executives explain how they target products at children. With advertising infiltrating the classroom, British children are losing their innocence earlier than ever before. This film examines the techniques used to sell products to consumers as young as three.

1999x31 It's Lulu!

  • 1999-11-12T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

A special documentary profiling the life and career of Scottish singing sensation Lulu, who first shot to fame at the tender age of 15 with the chart-topping single Shout.

1999x32 Ruth Ellis: a Life for a Life

  • 1999-11-28T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Nightclub hostess Ruth Ellis infamously shot her lover i David Blakely dead in April 1955. This one-off drama-documentary, presented by Kirsty Wark and containing interviews, archive footage and a violent opening scene, reveals evidence that could have prevented her from becoming the last British woman to be hanged.

A documentary charting a year in the life of the staff and owners of Sudely Castle in Gloucestershire. Narrated by Alan Titchmarsh.

1999x34 The Bunny Years

  • 1999-12-07T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

A one-off documentary that sets out to debunk the image of the women who were employed as hostesses at the notorious Playboy Club. Former bunny girls who have gone on to become writers, doctors and entrepreneurs recall a time of innocence, glamour and independence.

1999x35 Phones, Robbers and Videotape

  • 1999-12-15T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary examining the growing epidemic of crime against Britain's phone companies. The programme reveals how powerful computers are being used in the war against "phone hacking", and also how crime-fighting squads are having to deal with gangs of youngsters stealing from public telephones. Narrated by Jamie Theakston.

Feature-length documentary that blends music with newly restored archive film to provide a decade-by-decade journey through the 20th century. The programme includes the very first moving pictures - recorded at the Paris World Exhibition of 1900 - and features performances from a range of artists such as Frank Sinatra, Shirley Temple, Judy Garland and the Rolling Stones.

1999x37 Magic Morris

  • 1999-05-23T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

An affectionate tribute to Johnny Morris, the television presenter who died earlier this month.He is remembered for his animal voices, and the programme includes archive clips as well as recollections from his colleagues. Hosted by Bill Oddie.

1999x38 It's...The Monty Python Story

  • 1999-10-09T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

A documentary hosted by Eddie Izzard about the History of Monty Python, from their early lives and careers through the Flying Circus and movies to Graham Chapman's death and the question of another reunion. Features interviews with David Frost, Frank Skinner, Robin Williams, Kevin Kline, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Part of Python Night.

1999x39 Gulag

  • 1999-07-10T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary examining Stalin's Gulag. Between the October Revolution and Stalin's death in 1953, millions of people died in the camps. The film explores the Gulag legacy, hearing from victims and perpetrators of the system.

Documentary which tells the remarkable story of a man whose visionary ideas about myth helped shape the whole Star Wars cycle of films. Joseph Campbell's writings are the missing link between ancient myths and modern movies, Homer and Hollywood 'high concept'. His ideas about the universal appeal of stories involving a 'hero's journey' have also influenced films as diverse as Mad Max and Babe. Campbell himself was a reluctant hero, who lived a scholarly life - he didn't own a television and rarely went to the cinema. Yet Campbell remains a force in Hollywood. With contributions from George Lucas, director George Miller, and writers Robert McKee and Richard Adams, among others.

1999x41 The Bay City Rollers - Remember?

  • 1999-04-05T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Between 1974 and 1978 the Bay City Rollers were one of the most successful pop groups on the planet scoring 11 Top Ten hits in the UKand reaching number one in America. They sold in the region of 120-million records worldwide and their tartan image was copied by a generation of teenagers.
But all the pressures of international touring took their toll and amid business rows over missing money the band split in 1979. The band members talk about their memories and how they have been recordingonce more. Also featuring interviews with celebrity fans including
Jonathan King and Lowri Turner. Director Neil Dougan