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BBC Documentaries

Season 2010 2010

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  • 2010-01-21T21:00:00Z on BBC One
  • 60 mins
  • 10 days, 3 hours, 0 mins (243 episodes)
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary, Special Interest
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Documentaries produced by or for the BBC.
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245 episodes

Season Premiere


2010x01 Aristotle's Lagoon

2010x01 Aristotle's Lagoon

  • Season Premiere

    2010-01-21T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

In the 4th century BC the Greek philosopher Aristotle travelled to Lesvos, an island in the Aegean teeming, then as now, with wildlife. His fascination with what he found there, and his painstaking study of it, led to the birth of a new science - biology. Professor Armand Leroi follows in Aristotle's footsteps to discover the creatures, places and ideas that inspired the philosopher in his pioneering work.

Over three thousand years ago, legend has it that Queen Hatshepsut, Egypt's first female pharaoh, sent a fleet of ships to the wonderful, distant land of Punt. A bas-relief in the temple where she is entombed in Luxor shows them bringing back extraordinary treasures. But did this expedition really happen? And if it did, where exactly is the land of Punt?

Drawing upon recent finds, the archaeologist Cheryl Ward sets out to recreate the voyage, in a full-size replica of one of these ancient ships, sailing it in the wake of Hatshepsut's fleet, in search of the mythical land of Punt. A human adventure as well as a scientific challenge, the expedition proves that, contrary to popular belief, the ancient Egyptians had the necessary tools, science and techniques to sail the seas.

Since shooting to fame in 2002 as one fifth of one of Girls Aloud, Nicola Roberts has had to deal with life under the spotlight. As a result, everyone seems to have an opinion about her fashion, hairstyles and her naturally pale complexion.

In this documentary, Nicola goes on a personal journey to explore the culture of tanning amongst young women and men in the UK, and the extremes they will go to in order to obtain the perfect tan.

Nicola meets young women whose love of tanning is an addiction, who use sunbeds 5-6 times a week and who inject untested tanning-aid drugs. She meets girls in their early teens who, like her when she was young, experience the pressures from their peers to conform and be tanned.

Nicola reveals how she has overcome her early reliance on fake tan and her gradual sense of confidence in her own skin. She meets top dermatologists and cancer experts who explain the risks tanning addicts are exposing themselves to. Nicola's journey takes her into hospital wards where some of the estimated 120 under-40s who die from skin cancer each year are treated. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in under-35s in the UK.

Nicola meets the families of those who have died from melanoma and who are now pushing for a change in the law to protect the young from the tanning industry. Her journey takes her to Westminster, where she has the chance to rally support for a new bill that would protect under-18s from the dangers of sunbeds.

On Christmas Day 2009, as Northwest Airlines Flight 253 began its descent towards Detroit Metropolitan Airport, a 23-year-old man left the airplane toilet, returned to his seat and pulled a blanket across his lap. He then attempted to detonate a device containing military-grade explosive PETN, a deadly bomb designed to take the plane out of the sky. With powerful eyewitness testimony and in-depth expert analysis, this timely documentary examines how alleged bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab slipped under the US intelligence radar and evaded three sets of airport security.

From Abdulmutallab's student days in London, via his time in the Al Qaeda hotspot of Yemen, to the final leg of his journey on a flight bound for the USA, the timeline of this story throws up important questions. What did security services know about him before he boarded the plane? What would have happened to the 290 passengers and crew on board if the bomb had detonated successfully? What lessons have be learned? And, in the aftermath of this attack, how safe is it to fly?

Graham Bell and Ed Leigh journey southwards through the frozen province of British Columbia, Canada, towards the home of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. En route, they travel through remote communities cut off from civilisation through the winter, learning how the locals survive off the land.

Leigh and Bell experience this harsh life for themselves alongside miners, loggers and hunters, and find out what it is like to function and work in such harsh conditions. Their journey ends with a gruelling trek on foot through the spectacular Coast Range Mountains into Whistler, one of the Olympic venues.


2010x06 Tchaikovsky's Women

2010x06 Tchaikovsky's Women

  • 2010-02-19T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

The first of two films by Christopher Nupen about the music and the artistic preoccupations of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky covers the period from the first tentative stirrings of Tchaikovsky's musical talent to the composition of his opera Eugene Onegin and the disastrous failure of his marriage to Antonina Milyukova.

It looks at the women who fired his musical imagination in the early years, from Katerina Kabanova in his first orchestral work, The Storm, to his dearly loved Tatyana in Onegin. There are, however, natural correspondences with the women in his private life - his mother Alexandra, his governess Fanny Durbach, the Belgian opera singer Desiree Artot, Antonina Milyukova and his patroness, Nadezhda von Meck.

Up to the time of his marriage the prime source of inspiration for much of his best music lay in Tchaikovsky's deep identification with the fate of his vulnerable young heroines. All through his life he was preoccupied with the idea of fate and in the beginning it was the fate of these young women that touched him most - Katerina in The Storm, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Francesca in Francesca da Rimini and above all Tatyana in Eugene Onegin. His identification with Tatyana was so complete that it had a direct influence on his decision to marry Antonina Milyukova with such unhappy consequences.

The film features Cynthia Harvey and Mark Silver, both principal dancers with the Royal Ballet, as well as Welsh soprano Helen Field and Swedish Soprano Clarry Bartha. The music is performed by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy.


2010x07 Tchaikovsky: Fate

2010x07 Tchaikovsky: Fate

  • 2010-02-20T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

The first of two films by Christopher Nupen about the music and the artistic preoccupations of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky covers the period from the first tentative stirrings of Tchaikovsky's musical talent to the composition of his opera Eugene Onegin and the disastrous failure of his marriage to Antonina Milyukova.

It looks at the women who fired his musical imagination in the early years, from Katerina Kabanova in his first orchestral work, The Storm, to his dearly loved Tatyana in Onegin. There are, however, natural correspondences with the women in his private life - his mother Alexandra, his governess Fanny Durbach, the Belgian opera singer Desiree Artot, Antonina Milyukova and his patroness, Nadezhda von Meck.

Up to the time of his marriage the prime source of inspiration for much of his best music lay in Tchaikovsky's deep identification with the fate of his vulnerable young heroines. All through his life he was preoccupied with the idea of fate and in the beginning it was the fate of these young women that touched him most - Katerina in The Storm, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Francesca in Francesca da Rimini and above all Tatyana in Eugene Onegin. His identification with Tatyana was so complete that it had a direct influence on his decision to marry Antonina Milyukova with such unhappy consequences.

The film features Cynthia Harvey and Mark Silver, both principal dancers with the Royal Ballet, as well as Welsh soprano Helen Field and Swedish Soprano Clarry Bartha. The music is performed by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Food writer and critic William Sitwell investigates the passions, pressures and obsessions behind that apparently all-important description, 'Michelin-starred chef'. 'It elevates your average stove monkey to superior cheffy status; it puts you in a completely new culinary class. But how relevant is Michelin? Do we want poncey food? Or can you get a Michelin star for a good steak and chips? Is the Michelin Guide harmful in its influence? And does the path to Michelin-starred perfection lead to dangerous obsession?'

In the lead-up to the 2010 Guide's publication, Sitwell goes behind the scenes to hear contrasting views on the Michelin phenomenon, from Raymond Blanc and Marco Pierre White to chefs dreaming of stars and restaurateurs dismissive of them.

He rolls up his sleeves and immerses himself in this extraordinary world, spending a day in the kitchen with Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley hotel, who has two stars and is hoping for that mythical third. He learns just what is involved at this level, from the precise placing of a sliced fresh chestnut on a bed of Dorset crab, to the presentation of today's pre-starter: fish and chip soup. In France, he encounters the big boss of Michelin at their Paris HQ and hears from the widow of the celebrated three-star chef, who was the ultimate perfectionist, a passionate chef who took his own life. And he explores who the strictly anonymous people are who make these apparently vital decisions. A senior British Michelin inspector, interviewed in shadow, confesses to enjoying the anonymity, likening himself to a secret agent, 'licensed to eat'.


2010x09 The Lure of Las Vegas

2010x09 The Lure of Las Vegas

  • 2010-03-08T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Dream city, Sin City, a mirage in the desert, Las Vegas is a film set in its own right, a piece of pop art, an outdoor museum of American culture. What is the story behind the neon lights and fantastical buildings? What will its future be in these tough times?

Alan Yentob takes a mob tour and talks to producers and performers about the golden days when Sinatra and Dino held the stage, and the wise guys called the shots. With Jerry Weintraub, producer of Ocean's Eleven and Thirteen, and Brandon Flowers of the Killers.

2010x10 The Man Who Ate Everything

  • 2010-03-21T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Andrew Graham-Dixon presents a personal profile of the legendary food writer Alan Davidson, one of the unsung heroes of the culinary world.

Davidson's greatest work, The Oxford Companion to Food, took him 20 years to write. It's an encyclopaedia of everything a human being can eat, from aardvark to zucchini, all catalogued in 2,650 separate entries. But it is much more than just a food reference book; it is a portrait of the whole human race, its many cultures, customs and histories, all revealed through the stories of what we eat. If you want to understand why the Genoese enjoy dolphin, how to cook a warthog, why the French call dandelions 'piss-en-lit' or who invented Spam, then 'The Companion', as it is known by aficionados, is the place to look.

King Edward VII has always been an enigma. Twentieth-century dynasty builder and sex addict; dyslexic dunce and astute political operator; boorish philistine and civilised cosmopolitan - he was all of these.

Using extensive new research, Edward VII - Prince of Pleasure unravels the mystery of this thoroughly modern monarch and shows that his legacy is still very relevant today.

2010x12 In Search of the Perfect Loaf

  • 2010-03-25T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary which follows award-winning artisan baker Tom Herbert in his search to bake a loaf that will win him first prize at the National Organic Food Awards.

For years now, some town halls have been renaming their Christmas Lights as Winter Lights festivals. More and more Christians are ending up in court, defending themselves against what they see as victimisation for not being allowed to wear a cross to work or to pray for a patient. Many Christians feel that Christianity - once the heart of British society - is being pushed to the margins.

Nicky Campbell investigates whether Christians are being discriminated against. He explores the effects of multiculturalism and asks Muslims whether they are offended by Christmas Lights celebrations. Campbell also analyses the impact of recent human rights legislation and the Equality Bill: do they promote a more or less tolerant society? A poll specially commissioned for the BBC reveals what the public think.

If the Christian faith is being sidelined from the public space, is that a good or a bad thing? Campbell interviews Christians who claim they have been discriminated against, as well as leading religious and secular voices, including Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols; Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks; Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir Ali; Shami Chakrabati, Director of the civil rights organistation Liberty; and Polly Toynbee, President of the National Secular Society.

2010x14 Women, Weddings, War and Me

  • 2010-03-23T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

21-year-old Nel has lived in Britain since she was six, after her family fled war and violence in Afghanistan. Despite respecting her parents' decision to leave, Nel has always felt a strong connection with the country and longs to know what her life would have been like if she'd stayed and grown up there.

This documentary tells the intimate story of a young woman returning to Afghanistan. In Kabul, she sees the modern face of the country through her cousin - one of only a handful of female lecturers at Kabul University. But even her cousin accepts that her marriage will be arranged.

Outside the capital, behind the closed doors of hospital wards and prisons, Nel soon discovers a world of extreme violence against women and gains a new understanding of why her family decided to leave.

2010x15 Around the World by Zeppelin

  • 2010-02-07T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

As a crew of forty kept the zeppelin in the air, Lady Grace feasted her eyes on the world's major cities, white alpine peaks, oceans and swamps, and fell in love with a married man. Rare archival footage gives glimpses of day-to-day life in a zeppelin gondola, Grace listening to one of her fellow passengers playing the accordion, the repair of a tear in the cloth shell during the flight, the sleeping cabins and lounge, and the splendid views from the windows. The film offers a fascinating look into the world of the roaring twenties which would soon be gone forever.

2010x16 Sue Johnston's Shangri La

  • 2010-02-15T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Sue Johnston goes in search of her lifelong dream - the lost, fantasy world of Shangri La.

The film is a contemporary travelogue and a journey into the private world of Sue Johnston. She changes and learns about herself, overcoming fears and exposing a previously private, emotional side.

Sue first came across the story of Shangri La as a 16 year old in 1959 when she watched the movie Lost Horizon with her mother on their first black and white television. The film was based on a book written by Englishman James Hilton in 1933. She read the book voraciously and has re-read it many times over the years since. As a child she was fascinated by the Orient and the mysteries of the Far East, but in those post-war austerity days the chances of ever following her dream, of finding the actual place, seemed an unattainable goal.

It looked like her dream would remain just that, as life took over and she got married, had a child, started a successful acting career and got divorced. The dream slipped further away into the dark, forgotten corners of her mind. Recently, as her life has changed, she has recalled her longed-for Shangri La. Her parents died, her son left home and settled into his own life, and her sense of mortality hit home. She decided that it was time to find the inspiration for the book, the story of Lost Horizon.

Sue's quest takes her through south-west China's Yunnan province and into Tibet, travelling over high mountain passes, into deep, hidden valleys and gorges, through bustling towns and ultimately on horseback to her final destination, the sacred mountain of Kawarkapo and the tiny, isolated village of Yipung - on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau and the basis for James Hilton's novel.


2010x17 Heavy Metal Britannia

2010x17 Heavy Metal Britannia

  • 2010-03-05T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Nigel Planer narrates a documentary which traces the origins and development of British heavy metal from its humble beginnings in the industrialised Midlands to its proud international triumph.

In the late 60s a number of British bands were forging a new kind of sound. Known as hard rock, it was loud, tough, energetic and sometimes dark in outlook. They didn't know it, but Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and, most significantly, Black Sabbath were defining what first became heavy rock and then eventually heavy metal.

Inspired by blues rock, progressive rock, classical music and high energy American rock, they synthesised the sound that would inspire bands like Judas Priest to take metal even further during the 70s.

By the 80s its originators had fallen foul of punk rock, creative stasis or drug and alcohol abuse. But a new wave of British heavy metal was ready to take up the crusade. With the success of bands like Iron Maiden, it went global.

Contributors include Lemmy, Sabbath's Tony Iommi, Ian Gillan from Deep Purple, Judas Priest singer Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden and Saxon's Biff Byford.

2010x18 South Africa in Pictures

  • 2010-04-27T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

British fashion photographer Rankin explores South Africa's rich photographic tradition, discovering how its leading photographers have captured this complex, often turbulent, nation through remarkable images and charting the unique role photography has played in documenting the story and people of this fascinating country.

Through encounters with legendary conflict photographers the Bang Bang Club, documentary photographer David Goldblatt and photojournalist Alf Kumalo amongst others, Rankin goes on a compelling and moving photographic journey to see the nation through their gaze.

Richard E Grant - who grew up in Swaziland - examines the controversial history of the safari. Exploring the world of the big game hunters and the luxury of today's safaris, he goes on a personal journey to experience how the beauty of the bush made Africa the white man's playground.

Paul Merton goes in search of the origins of screen comedy in the forgotten world of silent cinema - not in Hollywood, but closer to home in pre-1914 Britain and France.

Revealing the unknown stars and lost masterpieces, he brings to life the pioneering techniques and optical inventiveness of the virtuosos who mastered a new art form. With a playful eye and comic sense of timing, Merton combines the role of presenter and director to recreate the weird and wonderful world that is early European cinema in a series of cinematic experiments of his own.

2010x21 Sun, Sex, and Holiday Madness

  • 2010-01-07T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

The exploits of young Britons abroad often hit the headlines, but are holidaymakers risking more than just their reputations?
BBC Radio 1 DJ Greg James joins British tourists heading to party capital Magaluf on the Spanish island of Mallorca, to examine the risks that many seem all too willing to take with their mind, body and soul.


2010x22 Dive, Dive, Dive!

2010x22 Dive, Dive, Dive!

  • 2010-05-03T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Robert Llewellyn discovers why submarine movies have gripped us for over a century. He travels along the River Medway to find a beached cold war Russian nuclear sub and then on to the abandoned WW2 German U-boat pens on the French coast, recalling many of the real events that inspired these films. From 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to Das Boot, Llewellyn discovers that fear - and bravery - is the key, and he also reveals the unique role that Walt Disney played in promoting atomic submarines.

This fascinating documentary – part of a BBC season on the subject – looks at Britain’s history of mental health care. From frontal lobotomies to care in the community, Mental: A History of the Madhouse tells the story of the closure of Britain’s mental asylums. They’re a grizzly reminder of a time when ‘out of sight, out of mind’ was the mantra for tackling the nation’s mental health issues. But as part of its season on mental health, the BBC has revisited Britain’s asylums to look at how we used to treat the issues that face up to one in four people.
In the post-war period, 150,000 people were hidden away in these vast Victorian institutions. Institutions like High Royds Hospital, near Leeds, which forms the basis of this programme. High Royds with its Gothic clock tower and endless corridors, looks like the stuff of nightmares, built to keep out of sight those deemed to be out of their minds. But mental health care in the UK has changed, and today the asylums have all but disappeared as attitudes towards these issues have softened. Built around testimonies from patients, doctors and psychiatric nurses, the film explores the seismic shift in mental health care over the last sixty years.
Mental: A History of the Madhouse tackles some heavyweight subject matter and is anything but light evening viewing. However, it does an admirable service to the issues at hand and offers an insightful exploration of a subject that is all too often ignored.


2010x24 Murder on the Lake

2010x24 Murder on the Lake

  • 2010-02-02T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Joan Root, with her husband Alan, produced beautiful and famous natural history films, born of her deep love of Africa and its flora and fauna. This delicate but determined member of Kenya's Happy Valley was gunned down in January 2006 by intruders bearing AK-47s. Four men were charged with her murder, including David Chege, the leader of a private vigilante group Root herself had financed to stop the illegal fishing that was killing Lake Naivasha, the beautiful lake beside which she lived.

Chege was from Karagita, the largest of the slums that has sprung up beside the lake in the last twenty years. In that time, the population of Naivasha has rocketed from 30,000 to 350,000 as a desperate tide of impoverished migrant workers arrived in search of employment on Kenya's flourishing flower farms. This has created squalor, crime and, in the minds of Root and her fellow naturalists, ecological apocalypse.

This film tells the story of the extraordinary life and brutal death of Joan Root, and of her campaign to save the lake she loved. Who killed Joan Root? Was it the fish poachers, whom Root stopped from plying their illegal trade in a bid to save her beloved Lake Naivasha? Was it her loyal lieutenant Chege, whom Root ultimately cut off from her payroll? Or was it one of her white neighbours, with whom Root had feuded?

Through the telling of Root's story, the film opens a window onto contemporary Africa and the developed world's relationship to it. For it is the Kenyan rose, which is exported by the millions on a daily basis from Naivasha, that has brought not just jobs and foreign exchange earnings, but a population explosion that has caused the destruction of the environment Root worked so hard to stop. Her campaign may have ultimately cost her her life.

At 6.26 pm, June 11th 1955, the world of playboy racers and their exotic cars exploded in a devastating fireball. On the home straight early in the Le Mans 24-Hour race, future British world champion Mike Hawthorn made a rash mistake. Pierre Levegh's Mercedes 300 SLR smashed into the crowd, killing 83 people and injuring 120 more. It remains the worst disaster in motor racing history.

The story was quickly engulfed by conspiracy theory, blame and scandal. Was the mysterious explosion caused by Mercedes gambling all on untried technologies? Did they compound it by using a lethal fuel additive? Have the French authorities been covering up the truth ever since? Or was the winner, the doomed British star Mike Hawthorn, guilty of reckless driving and did his desire to win at all costs start the terrible chain of events?


2010x26 Revealing Anne Lister

2010x26 Revealing Anne Lister

  • 2010-05-31T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

The world of early 19th century England is usually seen through the eyes of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters. Sue Perkins explores a dramatically different version of this world, as lived and recorded by the remarkable Anne Lister.

Anne was born in Halifax in 1791. A Yorkshire landowner, she was a polymath, autodidact and traveller who kept a detailed diary. Running to more than 4,000,000 words, the work ranks as one of the most important journals in English literature. Parts of Anne's epic diary were written in code: once deciphered they reveal graphic details of Anne's many love affairs with women.

Franz Schubert was undervalued in his own lifetime and for at least the next century because he died young and, for all the appreciation of his intimate circle of friends, he failed to achieve public recognition and financial success. He was the first great composer in western music to live by his art alone, without patronage, but he enjoyed only one public concert of his music in his lifetime.

Christopher Nupen's documentary uses Schubert's words and music to help us feel closer to what the composer himself was trying to say. The film begins with the funeral of Beethoven, at which Schubert was a torch bearer, and the story is told almost entirely in music that Schubert wrote between then and his death.


2010x28 For Queen and Country

2010x28 For Queen and Country

  • 2010-06-07T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary following the Grenadier Guards as they prepare to lead the 2010 Trooping the Colour. But these men have had precious little time to prepare; as fighting soldiers, they have just spent six months on the front line in Afghanistan's Helmand Province. This is the story of how one and a half thousand men and women join together to create one of the greatest military ceremonies on earth. It is a ceremony with just one standard: Excellence.


2010x29 Stephen Fry on Wagner

2010x29 Stephen Fry on Wagner

  • 2010-05-25T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Stephen Fry explores his passion for controversial composer Richard Wagner. Can he salvage the music he loves from its dark association with Hitler's Nazi regime? His journey takes him to Germany, Switzerland and Russia as he pieces together the story of the composer's turbulent career.

Along the way he plays Wagner's piano, meets the composer's descendants and eavesdrops on rehearsals for the legendary Bayreuth Festival, the annual extravaganza of Wagner's music held in a theatre designed by the composer himself.

Documentary telling the story of Australia's most cherished TV star, Skippy the bush kangaroo, the crime-busting marsupial who conquered the world in the late 60s and early 70s.

The 91 episodes of Skippy were sold in 128 countries and watched by hundreds of millions. It put Australia on the map and - for those of a certain generation - the heroic marsupial is synonymous with their childhood, often in more profound ways than they realise.

Includes interviews with every surviving member of the cast and some of the key crew - not least those responsible for getting the best performances out of the temperamental star.

In 2008 Ben Fogle caught a flesh-eating disease called leishmaniasis which, if untreated, would have destroyed his face. In this film, Ben investigates a sickness that's far worse but virtually unheard of - noma, which eats away the faces of thousands of Africa's poorest children. Ninety per cent of noma victims die while survivors are left terribly disfigured.


2010x32 Biology of Dads

2010x32 Biology of Dads

  • 2010-06-22T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Child psychologist Laverne Antrobus goes on a quest to discover why dads are so important. Through a series of extraordinary experiments she discovers how radical changes in a man's hormones during his partner's pregnancy actually serve to boost his nurturing instincts. Laverne's final investigation is perhaps most intriguing of all: can a father's relationship with his daughter really influence when she reaches puberty and who she eventually marries?

2010x33 The Box That Changed Britain

  • 2010-05-09T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Poet Roger McGough narrates the story of how a simple invention - the shipping container - changed the world forever and forced Britain into the modern era of globalisation. With a blend of archive and modern-day filming, the impact of the box is told through the eyes of dockers, seafarers, ship spotters, factory workers and logisticians. From quayside in container ports to onboard enormous ships, the documentary explains how the container has transformed our communities, economy and coastline.


2010x34 Nixon in the Den

2010x34 Nixon in the Den

  • 2010-06-08T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

David Reynolds takes a fresh look at the controversial career and embattled presidency of Richard Nixon. Reynolds sees Nixon as a successful international statesman, but that the methods that won him this acclaim also doomed his presidency in the Watergate scandal. Using memos, audio and home movie footage, the film throws new light on Nixon's secrecy, deception and mistrust of aides, as he ran his presidency largely from his 'den' - a hideaway office across the road from the White House.

Who could have predicted it? The Who in their sixties, singing 'Hope I die before I get old' to enthusiastic audiences spanning generations; Mick Jagger, with seven years already on his bus pass, snaking across the stage singing 'Let's spend the night together'; or a topless, leathery Iggy Pop growling 'Last year I was 21', before climbing the speaker stacks for a bit of mock fornication. Scenes that is at once incredibly odd, but undeniably powerful and inspiring. Forever Young takes a closer look at how rock 'n' roll has had to deal with the unthinkable - namely growing old. From its roots in the Fifties as a music made by young people for young people, to the 21st-century phenomena of the 'revival' and the 'comeback', the programme investigates what happens when the music refuses to die and its performers refuse to leave the stage. What happens when rock's youthful rebelliousness is delivered wrapped in wrinkles? Featuring contributions by Iggy Pop, Lemmy, Rick Wakeman, Suggs and Alison Moyet.


2010x36 African Railway

2010x36 African Railway

  • 2010-04-28T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

In a moving and often funny documentary, award-winning filmmaker Sean Langan is off to East Africa to ride the rails of the Tazara railroad, whose passenger and goods trains travel through spectacular scenery and a game park teeming with wild animals.

The railway was built by the Chinese just after independence to link Zambia's copper belt to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam, and once carried the region's hopes and dreams. But now it is in crisis. Every day there are derailments, trains running out of fuel and mechanical breakdowns.

Langan meets the train crews, controllers and maintenance crews who battle to keep it going - and at Tazara HQ he is on the track of Tazara's elusive Chinese railway advisors to find out why it is in such a parlous state.


2010x37 Requiem for Detroit

2010x37 Requiem for Detroit

  • 2010-03-13T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

A documentary about the decay and industrial collapse of America's fourth largest city.


2010x38 Between Life and Death

2010x38 Between Life and Death

  • 2010-07-13T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Provocative documentary following the doctors who can now interrupt, and even reverse, the process of death. Filmed over six months in the country's leading brain injury unit (Addenbooke's Hospital, Cambridge), it follows the journey of a man who, by only moving his eyes, is eventually asked if he wants to live or die. Two other families are also plunged into the most ethically difficult decision in modern medicine.


2010x39 In Loving Memory

2010x39 In Loving Memory

  • 2010-07-07T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Road users pass them every day - sudden flashes of flowers tied to lampposts or lying by the side of the road. Across the UK roadside memorials have become the expected response when someone dies suddenly in a traffic collision. For friends and family the spot where these tributes are left becomes sacred; for others these shrines are an eyesore and a display that should be kept private. Yet behind each roadside memorial there is a story of personal grief.


2010x40 Who Killed Caravaggio?

2010x40 Who Killed Caravaggio?

  • 2010-07-18T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

An investigation into the life and death of the great Baroque artist Caravaggio, who died in 1610 aged only 39 after a life full of violent incident. Art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon travels from Rome to Naples, then to Sicily and Malta, where Caravaggio died four years after being exiled from Rome for killing a man in a street fight.


2010x41 Britain Goes Camping

2010x41 Britain Goes Camping

  • 2010-07-20T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Featuring the evocative memories and unseen archive of generations of enthusiasts, a documentary which tells the intriguing story of how sleeping under canvas evolved from a leisure activity for a handful of adventurous Edwardian gents to the quintessentially British family pastime that it is today.


2010x42 Great British Outdoors

2010x42 Great British Outdoors

  • 2010-07-19T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Mud, midges, barbed wire - just why do us Brits love the great outdoors?

In this nostalgic look at life for campers, twitchers, ramblers and metal detectors, Mark Benton examines the history of the British fresh air freak.

One of the true originals of American country music, 73-year-old Californian-born Merle Haggard has always felt and expressed America's contradictions in his life and his songs. This is the journey of the former Nixon poster boy of Okie from Muskogee renown to the now outspoken critic of the Bush era, as director Gandulf Hennig explores one of the greatest songbooks in American music.

2010x44 Rich Hall's 'The Dirty South'

  • 2010-07-12T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Rich Hall sets his keen eye and acerbic wit on his homeland once again as he sifts truth from fiction in Hollywood's version of the southern states of the USA. Using specially shot interviews and featuring archive footage from classic movies such as Gone With The Wind, A Streetcar Named Desire and Deliverance, Rich discovers a South that is about so much more than just rednecks, racism and hillbillies.


2010x45 The Blind Me

2010x45 The Blind Me

  • 2010-07-21T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Growing up is hard enough for most young people, but how different would it be if you couldn't view the world through your eyes. This documentary follows four young blind people on the rollercoaster ride to adulthood as they try to work out what they want from their lives.

Eighteen-year-old Dwight is seeking love and independence, Karen dreams of a career designing jewellery and blind couple Katy and Scott are facing dilemmas about their future together.

Author Rob Penn travels around the world collecting handbuilt parts for his dream bicycle and charts the social history of one of mankind's greatest inventions.

2010x47 The Games That Time Forgot

  • 2010-07-26T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Alex Horne tries to discover why some games survived, and examines the best of those that didn't.

Whilst revisiting his own childhood haunts, he attempts to relaunch the ancient sport of 'The Quintain', horseless jousting, and tries his damnedest to understand the rules of the 'Jingling Match'. Not forgetting his attempt to restage the forgotten spectacle of 'Cricket on Horseback'.

This might just be a journey to the very heart of sport itself, but if not, it will be a lot of fun playing games that haven't been seen for hundreds of years and even more fun discovering why.

With eyewitness accounts from former British team mates and top stars of continental cycling, Death of the Mountain recounts the dramatic events of 13th July during the 13th stage of the 1967 Tour de France when Tom Simpson died trying to climb the notorious Mont Ventoux in Southern France.
Interwoven into this story of Simpson's controversial death is the remarkable story of how the miner's son from Nottinghamshire conquered continental cycling during the 1960s.


2010x49 Elvis in Las Vegas

2010x49 Elvis in Las Vegas

  • 2010-01-03T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

In 1969, Elvis Presley was at the peak of his powers with a stage show at the Hilton and recordings that made him "the most famous entertainer in the world". But, beneath the surface, his own demons – and the schemes of his celebrity manager, Colonel Tom Parker – were taking their toll. This is the untold story of how Elvis transformed Las Vegas but how the city helped destroy him.
Based in Seventies Vegas, and featuring some of Elvis's finest performances, home movies and rare archive footage, Elvis In Vegas reveals a bizarre tale of intrigue and excess, recounted by those closest to him. It reveals how the Las Vegas experience impacted on his spectacular shows, chart-topping recordings, volatile relationship with Colonel Parker and his unusual private life – all set against the glamorous backdrop of a "Sin City" that would never be the same again.
The programme features interviews with Priscilla Presley, Colonel Parker's wife, Loanne, the Memphis Mafia, Tom Jones, Nancy Sinatra, songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and many more.

Chef Rick Stein takes a light-hearted look at the role that food played in the creation of Italian opera and shows how music and food are intrinsically linked in Italy. He draws parallels between cooking and composing, noting how both involve the skilful combination of ingredients and how they share the common purpose of bringing pleasure to many. Rick also explains why he thinks the music of Verdi, Rossini and Puccini are linked to the food of the regions where they lived and worked.

2010x51 What Makes a Great Tenor?

  • 2010-06-02T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

The great tenor Rolando Villazon takes us inside the world of the sexiest and most risky of all operatic voices. It's a journey which includes some of the great names of the past, such as Caruso and Lanza, and some of the brightest stars performing today, like Domingo, Alagna and Florez. We hear how they tackle their most famous roles and what the risks and rewards are.

2010x52 The Day the Immigrants Left

  • 2010-02-24T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Evan Davis presents a programme exploring the effects of immigration in the UK by focusing on Wisbech, a town in Cambridgeshire.

Since 2004 this once prosperous market town has received up to 9,000 immigrants seeking work - the majority from Eastern Europe. But with nearly 2,000 locals unemployed and claiming benefits, many of them blame the foreign workers for their predicament.

To test if the town needs so many foreign workers, immigrant employees are temporarily removed from their jobs, and the work given to the local unemployed. Now the town's British workers have a chance to prove they can do it.

Eleven British unemployed workers are recruited to go into a range of different Wisbech workplaces including a potato company, an asparagus farm, an Indian restaurant and a building site run by a local landlord.

Moving beyond the workplace, Evan Davis investigates how the town's local public services, such as schools and the NHS, are coping with the demands of the new arrivals.

As the British unemployed workers get to grips with their new jobs, this documentary examines the facts and dispels the myths around the subject of immigration.

The story of Britain's maritime past has a hidden history of shanties and sea songs, and choirmaster Gareth Malone has been travelling Britain's coast to explore this unique heritage. From dedicated traditionalists to groundbreaking recording artists, Gareth meets a variety of sea-singers from across the country.

2010x54 Hero: The Bobby Moore Story

  • 2010-06-10T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Moving and inspiring film telling the story of Bobby Moore, who has passed into football legend as the captain who led England to its only World Cup victory in 1966.


2010x55 Stealing Shakespeare

2010x55 Stealing Shakespeare

  • 2010-07-29T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

The remarkable story of how a 53-year-old rare book dealer from the North East of England became the centre of a mystery surrounding the disappearance of a long lost Shakespeare First Folio.

The film follows bachelor Raymond Scott as he finds himself the focus of a worldwide investigation, involving the FBI, a Cuban fiancee and Durham CID.

The extraordinary behind-the-scenes story of five days in May when the UK's political leaders haggled over who should form the next government. In exclusive interviews, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and other key players tell the BBC's political editor Nick Robinson how the coalition government was created.

2010x57 The Duchess and the Fuhrer

  • 2010-03-02T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Almost 90 years ago, Kitty Murray wrote a new chapter in history by becoming Scotland's first female MP. An aristocrat who campaigned alongside communists, she led the fight against appeasing Hitler. But who was the Duchess of Atholl? And why has history forgotten her? Elizabeth Quigley looks back to investigate.


2010x58 Britain's Park Story

2010x58 Britain's Park Story

  • 2010-08-02T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Historian Dan Cruickshank reveals the history of Britain's public parks. He travels the country to discover their evolution - a story of class, civic pride, changing fashions in sport and recreation which helps re-evaluate the amazing assets they are. From their civic heyday in the 19th century to the neglect of the 1980s and their resurgence today, the film is a fascinating and entertaining history of an often-overlooked great British invention.


2010x59 Hammond Meets Moss

2010x59 Hammond Meets Moss

  • 2010-06-06T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond and motor racing legend Sir Stirling Moss share the same life-altering experience - they had their lives changed forever by terrible car accidents.

The pair recovered quickly from their respective physical injuries, but the acquired brain injuries of those major impacts meant their minds took much longer to heal. But why should brain tissue take so much longer to repair itself than skin and bone and what kind of trauma does the organ go through when trying to 're-boot' itself?

In an engaging and intimate conversation punctuated by some extraordinary medical insights and archive footage of both of their accidents, the two men exchange their experiences.


2010x60 Sectioned

2010x60 Sectioned

  • 2010-05-19T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Powerful documentary which, for the first time, follows three people who have been sectioned on their journey through the mental health system. With unprecedented access to one of the largest mental health trusts in the UK, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, the film focuses on Andrew, Richard and Anthony as they battle to regain control of their lives, bringing into sharp focus the huge challenges faced by patients and staff alike.

2010x61 Young, British and Angry

  • 2010-05-19T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Ben Anderson reports on the English Defence League, a movement set up to protest against what it perceives to be the spread of militant Islam in Britain, and whose demonstrations often end up in violence. The reporter questions what motivates these young men to join this organisation and their motivation to take part in violent acts

2010x62 Van Gogh: Painted With Words

  • 2010-04-05T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Drama-documentary presented by Alan Yentob, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role as Van Gogh.

Every word spoken by the actors in this film is sourced from the letters that Van Gogh sent to his younger brother Theo, and of those around him. What emerges is a complex portrait of a sophisticated, civilised and yet tormented man.

This is Van Gogh's story in his own words.

2010x63 Battle for North America

  • 2010-03-16T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary telling the story of the Battle of Quebec, 1759, where at stake was the future of North America and the fate of the British Empire. Britain used its growing industrial strength and a new scientific approach to fight a campaign unlike any that had gone before. It launched a fleet of 200 ships carrying 20,000 men on a deadly mission through uncharted waters. Dan Snow sets sail up the magnificent St Lawrence River following the route taken by the British.


2010x64 Infinite Space

2010x64 Infinite Space

  • 2010-08-08T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary feature film, tracing the lifelong quest of visionary genius John Lautner to create 'architecture that has no beginning and no end.' It is the story of a complicated life - and the most sensual architecture of the 20th century.

2010x65 Treasures of the Anglo Saxons

  • 2010-08-10T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Art historian Dr Nina Ramirez reveals the codes and messages hidden in Anglo-Saxon art. From the beautiful jewellery that adorned the first violent pagan invaders through to the stunning Christian manuscripts they would become famous for, she explores the beliefs and ideas that shaped Anglo-Saxon art.

Examining many of the greatest Anglo-Saxon treasures - such as the Sutton Hoo Treasures, the Staffordshire Hoard, the Franks Casket and the Lindisfarne Gospels - Dr Ramirez charts 600 years of artistic development which was stopped dead in its tracks by the Norman Conquest.


2010x66 Domesday

2010x66 Domesday

  • 2010-08-10T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Dr Stephen Baxter, medieval historian at King's College, London, reveals the human and political drama that lies within the parchment of England's earliest surviving public record, the Domesday Book. He also finds out the real reason it was commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1086.

The Domesday Book is the first great national survey of England, a record of who owned every piece of land and property in the kingdom. It also records the traumatic impact of the Norman conquest on Anglo-Saxon England, the greatest social and political upheaval in the country's history.

Most historians believe that Domesday is a tax book for raising revenue, but Baxter has his own theory. He proves that the Domesday Book could not have been used to collect taxes and he argues that it is about something far more important than money. Its real purpose was to confer revolutionary new powers on the monarchy in Norman England.

2010x67 The Making of King Arthur

  • 2010-08-17T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Poet Simon Armitage traces the evolution of the Arthurian legend through the literature of the medieval age and reveals that King Arthur is not the great national hero he is usually considered to be. He's a fickle and transitory character who was appropriated the the Normans to justify their conquest, he was cuckolded when French writers began adapting the story and it took Thomas Malory's masterpiece of English literature, Le Mort d'Arthur, to restore dignity and reclaim him as the national hero we know today.

2010x68 The Genius of Omar Khayyam

  • 2010-03-30T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Born almost 1000 years ago in Persia, Omar Khayyam was an astronomer, mathematician and poet. His contribution to algebra and geometry has sealed his reputation as one the greatest mathematicians of all time; and a lunar crater has been named after him for his advances in astronomy.

2010x69 Madness in the Fast Lane

  • 2010-08-10T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

In 2008, BBC cameras filmed two Swedish sisters throwing themselves into traffic on the M6. When it was shown on BBC One, nearly 7 million viewers were glued to their screens, and millions more watched it later on YouTube.

Now, two years later, this documentary reveals the full story of the hours just before the cameras captured that motorway footage, and the even more chilling story of what happened over next 72 hours, which left one of the sisters fleeing the scene of a crime, after she had stabbed a man through the chest.

Internet dating is here to stay. Fifteen million people in the UK are single and half of them are now looking for love online. Sue Bourne, award-winning director of 'My Street' and 'Mum and Me' sets out to discover what the growing phenomenon of internet dating is doing to people and relationships.


2010x71 Alice and Her Six Dads

2010x71 Alice and Her Six Dads

  • 2010-07-29T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

A warm hearted and emotional film, following 22-year-old Alice as she searches for her real dad.

During Alice's life there have been six different men that she's thought of as being her dad - some meant more to her than others. But there's one of these men Alice has no memory of - her biological dad. In this film Alice sets off on a journey to meet these different men from her childhood, and in the process work out what it really means to be a dad. And Alice has a big decision to make, she's recently got engaged, but which of her dads will walk her down the aisle?


2010x72 Autism, Disco and Me

2010x72 Autism, Disco and Me

  • 2010-05-06T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Two years ago, James Hobley couldn't read or write and was happier playing with his cats than talking to his family. Then, aged eight, he discovered disco dancing and his life changed forever. Within months he was reading and writing and winning dance competitions. Now he wants to be known as James the amazing dancer, not James the boy with autism. He's competing for the world title in disco at Blackpool's Tower Ballroom, but can he win?

2010x73 Autistic Driving School

  • 2010-04-29T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Every teenager wants to drive. It represents a coming of age, a new beginning and the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want. Learning to drive is a daunting and stressful experience even for the calmest of individuals, but much more so when you have autism and see the world and understand things very differently to other people. Taking a driving test is something that everyone can relate to - a stressful rite of passage for all young people but even more so for autistic people with low self-confidence and poor social skills.

Learning to drive represents the independence that many autistic people find so difficult to achieve in the rest of their lives - people who cannot cope with crowds, noisy and unreliable public transport or even being looked at by strangers.

The film follows a group of young characters with autism at different stages along the journey towards learning to drive. Stories includes the build up to theory and practical tests and a woman who has passed her test but is too scared to drive on her own.

2010x74 The Eiger: Wall of Death

  • 2010-09-01T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

A history of one of the world's most challenging mountains, the Eiger, and its infamous north face. The film gets to the heart of one of Europe's most notorious peaks, exploring its character and its impact on the people who climb it and live in its awesome shadow.

Alice Roberts embarks on a quest to discover what lies behind the passion for wild swimming, now becoming popular in Britain. She follows in the wake of Waterlog, the classic swimming text by the late journalist and author, Roger Deakin.

Her journey takes in cavernous plunge pools, languid rivers and unfathomable underground lakes, as well as a skinny dip in a moorland pool. Along the way Alice becomes aware that she is not alone on her watery journey.

Documentary telling the story of 14-year-old Rebecca Flint, an ordinary schoolgirl from the Isle of Man who in Japan becomes Beckii Cruel, a teen icon and an internet sensation.

Beckii became famous in Japan after uploading films of herself dancing on YouTube. She did this secretly, without telling her parents. This intimate documentary has exclusive access to her as it explores the real world of Beckii and the other British teenage girls who hope to become famous in Japan.


2010x77 The Vera Lynn Story

2010x77 The Vera Lynn Story

  • 2010-09-12T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Sir David Frost interviews Dame Vera at her home in Sussex and hears about her extraordinary career. She talks revealingly about her childhood in London's East Ham; her days singing with the big bands of the 30s; her role as WW2's Forces Sweetheart and her successful post-war career.

2010x78 Vatican: The Hidden World

  • 2010-09-15T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

To mark the Papal visit to the UK, camera crew have spent a year filming a world that few have ever seen. With unprecedented access to the Vatican and the people who live and work there, this is a unique profile of the heart of the Catholic Church and the world's smallest Sovereign State. Archivists reveal the Vatican's secrets, including the signed testimony of Galileo recorded by the Inquisition. A Cardinal journeys deep below St Peter's Basilica to inspect the site claimed to be tomb of the Saint himself, and curators share a private viewing of Michelangelo's extraordinary decoration of the Sistine Chapel. An intriguing behind-the-scenes look at the workings of one of the world's most powerful and mysterious institutions.

James Holland presents a fresh analysis into the Battle of Britain, exploring the lesser-told German point of view, and highlighting the role of those who supported the Few during the summer of 1940.

Focusing on the tactics, technologies and intelligence available to both sides, Holland examines the ways in which both Germany and Britain used their resources: from aircraft to air defence, and from intelligence to organisation. And, by gaining rare firsthand testimony from German veterans, and access to the untapped diaries and documents we reveal that this was a battle of two sides and many layers. Part of the Battle of Britain season to mark the 70th anniversary.

2010x80 Benedict: Trials of a Pope

  • 2010-09-15T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Award-winning film-maker Mark Dowd looks at the life of Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. The journey takes Mark from Bavaria to the heart of the Vatican itself.


2010x81 Spitfire Women

2010x81 Spitfire Women

  • 2010-09-18T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

During World War II, a remarkable band of female pilots fought against all odds for the right to aid the war effort. Without these Spitfire Women, the war may never have been won.

These trailblazers were part of the Air Transport Auxiliary, a thousand-strong organisation that delivered aircraft to the frontline RAF during Britain's darkest hours. Every day, responsibility fell on their shoulders to get the planes to the fighters, which often pushed them into dangerous and even deadly situations.

Using interviews with the last few surviving veterans, archive footage and dramatic reconstruction, this documentary brings to life the forgotten story of the ATA. The resilience of these women in the face of open discrimination is one of the most inspiring and overlooked milestones in women's rights. Their story is one of courage, sexism and patriotism, but above all a story about women who want to break the confines of the world they live in and reach for the skies.


2010x82 Wellington Bomber

2010x82 Wellington Bomber

  • 2010-09-14T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Wellington Bomber takes a look at a challenge posed by the RAF and the War Ministry during the war – could a Wellington Bomber be built from scratch in a single day? One autumn weekend, early in the Second World War at an aircraft factory at Broughton in North Wales, a group of British workers set out to smash the world record for building a bomber from scratch.

Combining archive footage of the attempt with testimonials from the workers involved at the time, one of whom was only 14 years old, this fascinating film documents the amazing attempt bolt by bolt. Their story of the excitement of the attempt and of their wartime lives is the heart of this documentary.

The exquisite Rosslyn Chapel is a masterpiece in stone. It used to be one of Scotland's best kept secrets, but it became world-famous when it was featured in Dan Brown's the Da Vinci Code.
Art historian Helen Rosslyn, whose husband's ancestor built the chapel over 500 years ago, is the guide on a journey of discovery around this perfect gem of a building. Extraordinary carvings of green men, inverted angels and mysterious masonic marks beg the questions of where these images come from and who were the stonemasons that created them? Helen's search leads her across Scotland and to Normandy in search of the creators of this medieval masterpiece.

In the first of two films exploring the life and music of Jean Sibelius, celebrated filmmaker Christopher Nupen looks at the Finnish composer's development from his beginnings to the time of his third symphony.

At the peak of his career Sibelius was hailed by almost every leading critic and composer in England as the greatest symphonist of the twentieth century. The Americans went even further, with a survey by the New York Philharmonic Society in 1935 showing his music to be more popular with their concert-goers than that of any other composer in the history of music - a degree of recognition in his own lifetime unequalled in Western music.
The film offers an intimate account, using archive footage and Sibelius's music and words, of a great artist's struggle with his medium, with the world and with himself.

In the second of two films exploring the life and music of Jean Sibelius, celebrated filmmaker Christopher Nupen covers the period from the fourth symphony to the unfinished eighth.

At the peak of his career Sibelius was hailed by almost every leading critic and composer in England as the greatest symphonist of the twentieth century. The words are provided almost entirely by Sibelius himself and his wife Aino and the music by Vladimir Ashkenazy, Elisabeth Soderstrom and Boris Belkin with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Michael Smith goes in search of the Newcastle of his youth.

Approaching the Toon from the Tyne, he believes the place has more in common with Baltic City States than London, where he now lives. He argues that there are in fact several Norths; unlike the South, where everything is centered on London's inescapable black hole gravity, the North has plural accents and plural identities. The North East is the far north, the Deep North of the title, remote and disconnected from this axis. As far as the North East is concerned, Leeds and Manchester may as well be in the midlands.

Smith's North is a land apart entirely, and a land that defines itself by this basic fact. A small conurbation clustered by the coast, separated from the main rump by miles and miles of rural emptiness. Deep North is a lyrical meditation on Newcastle and the North East, and ultimately, a subjective and personal response of a prodigal son returning.

Samantha Poling investigates how homeopathy has penetrated the heart of the NHS and asks whether prescribing homeopathic preparations for serious conditions could be dangerous for patients.

The investigation looks at the history and preparation of homeopathic remedies and the extent of their use in Scotland and England. Advocates of homeopathy, including patients and a former GP who overcame her scepticism and became an enthusiastic practitioner, report stories of dramatic recovery in some cases.

Glasgow still has a fully fledged homeopathic hospital while in English towns and cities, with the exception of London, such hospitals have been downgraded or closed. Powerful voices, including the British Medical Association, question the level of funding within the NHS for homeopathy and call for more evidence-based research to back up the claims of homoepathic practitioners.

Engineer Jem Stansfield is used to creating explosions, but in this programme he uncovers the story of how we have learnt to control them and harness their power for our own means.

From recreating a rather dramatic ancient Chinese alchemy accident to splitting an atom in his own home-built replica of a 1930s piece of equipment, Jem reveals how explosives work and how we have used their power throughout history. He goes underground to show how gunpowder was used in the mines of Cornwall, recreates the first test of guncotton in a quarry with dramatic results and visits a modern high explosives factory with a noble history.

Ground-breaking high speed photography makes for some startling revelations at every step of the way.

2010x89 Dam Busters Declassified

  • 2010-09-17T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Martin Shaw takes a fresh look at one of the most famous war stories of them all. The actor, himself a pilot, takes to the skies to retrace the route of the 1943 raid by 617 Squadron which used bouncing bombs to destroy German dams. He sheds new light on the story as he separates the fact from the myth behind this tale of courage and ingenuity.


2010x90 Joey Dunlop Remembered

2010x90 Joey Dunlop Remembered

  • 2010-05-15T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

A tribute to Joey Dunlop to mark the tenth anniversary of the famous motorcycle racer's death. His family, friends and fellow riders describe the many ways he still is fondly remembered.

The programme features a number of firsts, including unseen interviews with Joey, his wife Linda and two of his children. There is also a chance to see unpublished pictures of Joey plus a visit by Linda to Japan to meet the former president of Honda Racing.

2010x91 Norman Wisdom: His Story

  • 2010-10-15T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

From street urchin to knight of the realm: the story of Norman Wisdom, who used to be one of the biggest film stars in the UK - portraying a man who rarely stepped out of character in public, and whose highly individual comic style hid the private tragedy of his early life.

The actor's life story is told through the people who knew him well: his son and daughter Nick and Jaqui Wisdom, and his daughter-in-law Kim, plus film director Stephen Frears, actors Ricky Tomlinson, Leslie Phillips and Honor Blackman and singer Dame Vera Lynn.

Crime author Denise Mina investigates the life and work of one of the world's greatest horror writers, Edgar Allan Poe. The relationships between Poe and the women in his life - mother, wife, paramour and muse - were tenuous at best, disastrous at worst, yet they provided inspiration and stimulus for some of the most terrifying and influential short stories of the early 19th century.

Travelling between New York, Virginia and Baltimore, Mina unravels Poe's tortuous and peculiar relationships. Dramatised inserts take us into the minds of Poe and his women through their own letters, journals and published writing.

Stacey Dooley explores the issue underage sex trafficking in Cambodia, investigating how thousands of young girls are being sold into sexual slavery often by those they trust the most, their family. She confronts the problem head on as she joins the police on raids to shut down brothels and learns the harsh realities for girls who are trafficked and abused in the sex industry

In the 1960s, a small indie label would conquer American music. With artists like the Doors, Love, Tim Buckley, the Incredible String Band and the Stooges, Elektra Records was consistently on the cutting edge, having built its name initially with folk revival artists like Judy Collins and Tom Paxton, signed out of Greenwich Village. Elektra was run by suave visionary Jac Holzman and this is his story. Featuring contributions from Jackson Browne, Iggy Pop, Judy Collins and choice BBC archive.

Military historian Howard Tuck travels along the south coast uncovering forgotten traces of one of the most terrifying planned invasions of Britain. Howard knocks on doors and takes metal detectors into the countryside to unearth untold stories of bravery, tragedy and guilt lain buried for 70 years.

2010x96 Secrets of the Universe

  • 2010-11-04T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Greg Foot buckles up for a 13.7 billion year trip through time, to answer the biggest question of them all - where do we come from?
But the last thing you'll find in this programme is a particle accelerator. All Greg needs is the stuff that's lying around. So, you want to prove the Big Bang really happened? Easy - it can all be done by playing guitar at 60 mph and blowing up a watermelon in super slow-motion.
What about calculating the speed of light? By microwaving ants on full power, of course.
Whether Greg is squeezing a car into suitcase or making Big Ben strike 13 o'clock - this is the story of how we all got here, as you've never seen it before.

Eminent classical historian Robin Lane Fox embarks on a journey in search of the origins of the Greek myths. He firmly believes that that these fantastical stories lie at the root of western culture, and yet little is known about where the myths of the Greek gods came from, and how they grew. Now, after 35 years of travelling, excavation and interpretation, he is confident he has uncovered answers.

Stephen Fry loves Louisiana. Four months after the BP oil spill, dubbed the worst ecological disaster in the history of America, Fry returns to the Deep South together with zoologist Mark Carwardine, to see what the impact has been on the people, the vast wetlands and the species that live there. What they find both surprises and divides the travelling duo.

What really went on at the ancient Greek oracle at Delphi, how did it get its awesome reputation and why is it still influential today?
Michael Scott of Cambridge University uncovers the secrets of the most famous oracle in the ancient world. A vital force in ancient history for a thousand years it is now one of Greece's most beautiful tourist sites, but in its time it has been a gateway into the supernatural, a cockpit of political conflict, and a beacon for internationalism. And at its heart was the famous inscription which still inspires visitors today - 'Know Thyself'.

On both sides of the Atlantic, John F Kennedy continues to be invoked by today's politicians in the hope that some of his magic might rub off on them. Now, 50 years since Kennedy's election, Andrew Marr looks afresh at the events of 1960 and provides a fascinating insight into politics today.

From the heads of Roman Emperors to the “blood head” of contemporary British artist Marc Quinn, the greatest figures in world sculpture have continually turned to the head to re-evaluate what it means to be human and to reformulate how closely sculpture can capture it.

Witty, eclectic and deeply insightful, this single film is a journey through the most enduring subject for world sculpture, a journey that carves a path through politics and religion, the ancient and the modern.

Actor David Thewlis has his head sculpted by three different sculptors, while the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, artist Maggi Hambling and writer Ben Okri discuss art’s most enduring preoccupation, ourselves.

The Prussian king Frederick the Great was one of the greatest warriors and leaders in modern European history, achieving greatness through the Seven Years War and lauded as a philosopher and cultured 'Prince of the Enlightenment'. Yet the reputation of both Frederick and his Prussia was to be tarnished by association with Hitler's Nazi regime. Historian Christopher Clark re-examines the life and achievements of one of Germany's most colourful and controversial leaders.

Virginia Woolf said Homer's epic poem the Odyssey was 'alive to every tremor and gleam of existence'. Following the magical and strange adventures of warrior king Odysseus, inventor of the idea of the Trojan Horse, the poem can claim to be the greatest story ever told. Now British poet Simon Armitage goes on his own Greek adventure, following in the footsteps of one of his own personal heroes. Yet Simon ponders the question of whether he even likes the guy.


2010x104 Operation Mincemeat

2010x104 Operation Mincemeat

  • 2010-12-05T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

For more than 60 years, the real story behind Operation Mincemeat has been shrouded in secrecy. Now, Ben Macintyre reveals the extraordinary truth in a documentary based on his bestselling book.

In 1943, British intelligence hatched a daring plan. As the Allies prepared to invade Sicily, their purpose was to convince the Germans that Greece was the real target. The plot to fool the Fuhrer was the brainchild of Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond.

British agents procured the body of a tramp and reinvented his entire identity. He was given a new name, an officer rank and a briefcase containing plans for a fake invasion of Greece. The body was floated off the Spanish coast where Nazi spies would find it.

The deception was an astonishing success. Hitler fell for it totally, ordering his armies to Greece to await an invasion that never happened. Meanwhile, the Allies landed in Sicily with minimal resistance. The island fell in a month. The war turned in the Allies' favour.

Together with original witnesses, Macintyre recreates the remarkable story of how one brilliant team, and one dead tramp, pulled off a deception which changed the course of history.


2010x105 The Joy of Stats

2010x105 The Joy of Stats

  • 2010-12-07T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary which takes viewers on a rollercoaster ride through the wonderful world of statistics to explore the remarkable power thay have to change our understanding of the world, presented by superstar boffin Professor Hans Rosling, whose eye-opening, mind-expanding and funny online lectures have made him an international internet legend.

Rosling is a man who revels in the glorious nerdiness of statistics, and here he entertainingly explores their history, how they work mathematically and how they can be used in today's computer age to see the world as it really is, not just as we imagine it to be.
Rosling's lectures use huge quantities of public data to reveal the story of the world's past, present and future development. Now he tells the story of the world in 200 countries over 200 years using 120,000 numbers - in just four minutes.

The film also explores cutting-edge examples of statistics in action today. In San Francisco, a new app mashes up police department data with the city's street map to show what crime is being reported street by street, house by house, in near real-time. Every citizen can use it and the hidden patterns of their city are starkly revealed. Meanwhile, at Google HQ the machine translation project tries to translate between 57 languages, using lots of statistics and no linguists.

Despite its light and witty touch, the film nonetheless has a serious message - without statistics we are cast adrift on an ocean of confusion, but armed with stats we can take control of our lives, hold our rulers to account and see the world as it really is. What's more, Hans concludes, we can now collect and analyse such huge quantities of data and at such speeds that scientific method itself seems to be changing.

2010x106 My Father, the Bomb and Me

  • 2010-12-09T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Academic and broadcaster Lisa Jardine turns detective on her famous father, Jacob Bronowski. Through his personal and professional dilemmas she reveals the story of science in the 20th century, from Einstein to the atom bomb.

For many years our place in the universe was the subject of theologians and philosophers, not scientists, but in 1960 one man changed all that.

Dr Frank Drake was one of the leading lights in the new science of radio astronomy when he did something that was not only revolutionary, but could have cost him his career. Working at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Greenback in Virginia, he pointed one of their new 25-metre radio telescopes at a star called Tau Ceti twelve light years from earth, hoping for signs of extra-terrestrial intelligence.

Although project Ozma resulted in silence, it did result in one of the most seminal equations in the history of science - the Drake Equation - which examined seven key elements necessary for ET intelligence to exist, from the formation of stars to the likely length a given intelligent civilisation may survive. When Frank and his colleagues entered the figures, the equation suggested there were a staggering 50,000 civilisations capable of communicating across the galaxy.

However, in the 50 years of listening that has followed, not one single bleep has been heard from ET. So were Drake and his followers wrong and is there no life form out there capable of communicating? Drake's own calculations suggest that we would have to scan the entire radio spectrum of ten million stars to be sure of contact.

But what the equation and the search for life has done is focus science on some of the other questions about life in the universe, specifically biogenesis, the development of multi-cellular life and the development of intelligence itself.

The answers to those questions suggest that, far from being a one off, life may not only be common in the universe but once started will lead inevitably towards intelligent life.

To find out about the equation's influence, Dallas Campbell goes on a worldwide journey to meet the scientists who have dedicated their lives to focusing on its different aspects.


2010x108 Beautiful Equations

2010x108 Beautiful Equations

  • 2010-12-14T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Artist and writer Matt Collings takes the plunge into an alien world of equations. He asks top scientists to help him understand five of the most famous equations in science, talks to Stephen Hawking about his equation for black holes and comes face to face with a particle of anti-matter.

Along the way he discovers why Newton was right about those falling apples and how to make sense of E=mc2. As he gets to grips with these equations he wonders whether the concept of artistic beauty has any relevance to the world of physics.

From Raymond Baxter live on Tomorrow's World testing a new-fangled bulletproof vest on a nervous inventor to Doctor Who's contemporary spin on the War on Terror, British television and the Great British public have been fascinated with the brave new world offered up by science on TV.

Narrated by Robert Webb, this documentary takes a fantastic, incisive and funny voyage through the rich heritage of science TV in the UK, from real science programmes (including The Sky At Night, Horizon, Tomorrow's World, The Ascent of Man) to science-fiction (such as The Quatermass Experiment, Doctor Who, Doomwatch, Blake's 7, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), to find out what it tells us about Britain over the last 60 years.

Important figures in science and TV science, including Sir David Attenborough, Robert Winston, Dr Tim Hunt, Professor Colin Blakemore, Tony Robinson, Sir Patrick Moore and Johnny Ball, comment on growing up with TV science and on how it has reflected - or led - our collective image of science and the scientist.

2010x110 The Real Sleeping Beauty

  • 2010-12-09T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary following 16-year-old Louisa Ball, who suffers from the very rare sleep disorder Kleine Levin Syndrome, which causes her to sleep for up to two weeks at a time while life passes by without her, and has no known cure.

The disorder effects only one in a million people and the film follows Louisa over the most crucial period of her young life. Her GCSEs are looming, her birthday is coming up, she's got a major dance competition and her school prom - but will she be awake for all or any of them, and will she get the five GCSEs she needs to win her place at college?

While Louisa battles to stay awake, father Rick battles to find an answer to his daughter's condition, which ultimately leads him to one of the world's leading specialists in France.

Pompeii: one of the most famous volcanic eruptions in history. We know how its victims died, but this film sets out to answer another question - how did they live? Gleaning evidence from an extraordinary find, Cambridge professor and Pompeii expert Mary Beard provides new insight into the lives of the people who lived in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius before its cataclysmic eruption.

In a dark cellar in Oplontis, just three miles from the centre of Pompeii, 54 skeletons who didn't succumb to the torrent of volcanic ash are about to be put under the microscope. The remains will be submitted to a barrage of tests that will unlock one of the most comprehensive scientific snapshots of Pompeian life ever produced - and there are some big surprises in store.

Using the latest forensic techniques it is now possible to determine what those who perished in the disaster ate and drank, where they came from, what diseases they suffered, how rich they were, and perhaps, even more astonishingly, the details of their sex lives.

The way the remains were found in the cellar already provides an invaluable clue about the lives of the people they belonged to. On one side of the room were individuals buried with one of the most stunning hauls of gold, jewellery and coins ever found in Pompeii. On the other, were people buried with nothing. It looked the stark dividing line of a polarised ancient society: a room partitioned between super rich and abject poor. But on closer examination the skeletons reveal some surprises about life in Pompeii.

2010x112 How to Win the TV Debate

  • 2010-04-12T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

With Britain's first-ever political leaders' television debate imminent, award-winning reporter Michael Cockerell uncovers what it's like to take part in these contests and how leaders try to win them. He tells the inside story of why it has taken so long for such debates to arrive in the UK.
The programme features candid interviews with US Presidents and their advisers on the tricks of the debate trade. Blending new film and behind-the-scenes footage, some never seen before, it's a tragicomic tale of high politics and low cunning. From John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon through to Barack Obama, candidates are seen being prepared for their debates, then in the sometimes funny, sometimes disastrous results on live television.
Cockerell shows why for our would-be next Prime Ministers - Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg - the three debate stages across Britain will be what one former US President calls 'Tension City'.

2010x113 How Wales Won the Ryder Cup

  • 2010-09-29T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

For the three days of the Ryder Cup, Wales and Newport will be the focus of the world's sporting media. Against all the odds, the upstart of golf, the Celtic Manor, succeeded in its bid to host the event. But it was a battle filled with squabbles and mud-slinging.
Some of the main players involved speak about the bid process and the final decision by the Ryder Cup board, and the programme also hears from people at the Celtic Manor who faced the challenge of building the 2010 course.

Documentary about the troubled creation and enduring legacy of the science fiction classic Blade Runner, culled from 80 interviews and hours of never-before-seen outtakes and lost footage.

Powerful and inspiring documentary in which TV presenter Jeff Brazier is on a mission to improve his brother's life. Spencer Brazier is 24 and has cerebral palsy. He has very limited use of his hands and cannot speak. Spencer has no job, few friends and spends most of his time at home where he is completely reliant on his mum for support. Jeff believes that, despite his disability, Spencer is capable of living a much more active and fulfilling life.
Jeff wants to put his theories to the test. Over an intense three-week period he plans to push his brother to make some real changes in his life, but will Jeff's tough love prove too much for their already fragile relationship?
With much conflict and heartache along the way, the film shows the surprising and uplifting journey of two siblings trying to understand and accept each other for who they are.


2010x116 Love Me, Love My Face

2010x116 Love Me, Love My Face

  • 2010-11-18T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Jono Lancaster was born with a rare genetic condition, Treacher Collins Syndrome, which affected the way his facial bones developed while he was in his mother's womb. The condition has affected his hearing and the way he looks - he has no cheekbones, which means his eyes droop downwards - but this hasn't stopped him finding love with his beautiful girlfriend, Laura Richards.

Now 25, he was given up for adoption by his birth family just 36 hours after he was born. Treacher Collins makes Jono stand out, but what really sets him apart is his attitude to life - he's on a mission to find his parents and show them and the rest of the world that he's done really well for himself and he's happy just the way he is.

'I want to know where my personality begins and dyslexia ends. I'm fed up with putting things on hold and having this vision that one day I'm going to be something different to who I am now'.
Actress Kara Tointon dreams about reading a novel cover to cover. Standing in her way is her dyslexia. Kara is now wondering whether this neurological condition is affecting her work as an actress and even her day-to-day life.
In this intimate documentary, Kara is tested and undergoes specialist help. She also meets other young dyslexics, many of whom share Kara's experience of feeling 'stupid'.
As Kara faces some difficult truths about herself, will she be able to take control of her condition and transform her life?


2010x118 Decade of Discovery

2010x118 Decade of Discovery

  • 2010-12-14T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

A rare pygmy sloth that looks like a teddy bear and can swim, an insect as long as your arm and a fish from the deep with a face like a headlight. Just some of the extraordinary and weird new species chosen by presenter Chris Packham as his top ten discoveries of the last decade from around the world.

Also chosen are a giant orchid worth thousands, a walking shark and a small mammal related to an elephant with a nose to match, and two geckos which are evolving before our eyes. Equally extraordinary are the personal stories of how the new species were found, as told by the 21st century scientists and explorers who discovered them - the Indiana Joneses of the natural world.

All these species are new to us and new to science, and proof that the Earth can still surprise us.

Professor Robert Winston presents his top ten scientific breakthroughs of the past 50 years. Tracing these momentous and wide-ranging discoveries, he meets a real-life bionic woman, one of the first couples to test the male contraceptive pill, and even some of his early IVF patients. He explores the origins of the universe, probes the inner workings of the human mind and sees the most powerful laser in the world. To finish, Professor Winston reveals the breakthrough he thinks is most significant.


2010x120 The Ibrox Disaster

2010x120 The Ibrox Disaster

  • 2010-12-29T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

On 2 January 1971, 66 people died while leaving the ground after the traditional New Year Old Firm Derby. This came to be known as the Ibrox Disaster.

This documentary movingly tells the story of the terrible event from the perspective of survivors, bereaved families, rescue workers and players who took part in the game. First shown in 2001 to mark the 30th anniversary of the tragedy.

2010x121 100 Years of the Palladium

  • 2010-12-31T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Sir Cliff Richard, Bruce Forsyth, Michael Crawford and Andrew Lloyd Webber are among the stars sharing the gossip, glamour and behind the scenes shenanigans of the world's most famous theatre as it celebrates its 100th birthday.

A look at the dangers faced by women working as prostitutes in Britain. After the murders of three sex workers in Bradford, Chris Buckler speaks to women who continue to work on the streets despite the dangers.

Les Miserables is the world's best-loved musical. It's been seen by 57 million people and in 2010 celebrated its 25th anniversary with its two largest ever productions at London's O2 Arena. Matt Lucas, a life-long fan of 'Les Mis', was invited to fulfil his dream of performing in these shows alongside more than 300 stalwarts from previous productions.

This documentary tells the story of a musical that many thought would fail but which become a worldwide phenomenon with unforgettable songs like 'I Dreamed A Dream'. We follow Matt Lucas as he prepares for the performance of a lifetime, we hear from those involved with the show's creation including Cameron Mackintosh and Michael Ball, and of course we enjoy wonderful moments from the show itself.

Young Northumbrian folk-singing siblings Rachel and Becky Unthank take a journey around England from spring to autumn 2010 to experience its living folk dance traditions in action. They lead us through the back gardens and narrow streets of towns and villages from Newcastle to Penzance to discover the most surprising of dances, ceremonies, rituals and festivities that mark the turning of the seasons and the passing of the year.

On their journey the Unthanks learn about the evolving history of the dances, whether connected to the land and the cycles of fertility or to working customs and practices in industrial towns. The girls talk to local historians and visit Cecil Sharp House to explore the dances' 20th century revival and codification through archivist Sharp and others, and we get to enjoy extraordinary film archive of the dances through the decades which show that although the people have changed, the dances have often remained remarkably constant.

Rachel and Becky grew up clog dancing in their native Northumberland and now get to observe and try other English dances, including travellers' step dancing in Suffolk, horn dancing with huge antlers in Staffordshire and stick dancing in Oxfordshire. This curious but vibrant world of local dances flies in the face of modernisation, and sometimes of ridicule, to keep the traditions and the steps alive.

2010x125 Polar Bear: Spy on the Ice

  • 2010-12-29T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Shot mainly using spy cameras, this film gets closer than ever before to the world's greatest land predator.

Icebergcam, Blizzardcam and Snowballcam are a new generation of covert devices on a mission to explore the Arctic islands of Svalbard in Norway. Backed up by Snowcam and Driftcam, these state-of-the-art camouflaged cameras reveal the extraordinary curiosity and intelligence of the polar bear. The cameras are just a breath away when two sets of cubs emerge from winter maternity dens. They also capture the moment when the sea-ice breaks away from the island in the Spring. As one set of mother and cubs journey across the drifting ice in search of seals, the other is marooned on the island with very little food. How they cope with their different fates is captured in revelatory close-up detail. The cameras also follow the bears as they hunt seals, raid bird colonies, dive for kelp and indulge in entertaining courtship rituals. Icebergcam even discovers their little-known social nature as seven bears share a washed-up whale carcass.

Often just a paw's swipe from the play-fighting and squabbling bears, the spy cameras face their most challenging subject yet. When their curious subjects discover the cameras, they are subjected to some comical-but-destructive encounters. As the film captures its intimate portrait of polar bears' lives, it reveals how their intelligence and curiosity help them cope in a world of shrinking ice.

2010x126 Gerard Kelly: A Celebration

  • 2010-12-31T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

A celebration of the life and times of the actor Gerard Kelly, with contributions from his friends and colleagues. Gerard's career spanned nearly 40 years starting in 1973 at the age of fourteen, moved on to the hapless Willie Melvin in City Lights and culminated with the fabulous, outrageous Bunny in Extras. Among those appearing will be Richard Wilson, David Hayman, Les Dennis, Andy Gray, Jonathan Watson and Elaine C Smith.


2010x127 The Battle of Britain

2010x127 The Battle of Britain

  • 2010-09-19T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Seventy years on, brothers Colin and Ewan McGregor take viewers through the key moments of the Battle of Britain, when 'the few' of the RAF faced the might of the Nazi Luftwaffe.

As they fly historic planes, meet the veterans, explore the tactics and technology, Colin and Ewan discover the importance of the Battle and the surviving legacy of the 1940's campaign for the modern RAF.

Five years ago the people of White Horse Village in China were informed that the motorway was coming and a new high-rise city was to be built on their land. Carrie Gracie, a former BBC Beijing correspondent, has witnessed the upheaval from the very beginning.

The composer of Land of Hope and Glory is often regarded as the quintessential English gentleman, but Edward Elgar's image of hearty nobility was deliberately contrived. In reality, he was the son of a shopkeeper, who was awkward, nervous, self-pitying and often rude, while his marriage to his devoted wife Alice was complicated by romantic entanglements which fired his creative energy.

In this revelatory portrait of a musical genius, John Bridcut explores the secret conflicts in Elgar's nature which produced some of Britain's greatest music.

When teenagers are out of control at school what can the teachers do? We see teachers getting extraordinary powers to take over young pupils' lives and stop them throwing away their considerable potential.

Expect tears and tantrums as badly-behaved schoolgirl Loretta Cook gets the shock of her life. Her mum hands control of the family over to her teacher, for one week, in a last-ditch attempt to sort out the teenager's bad behaviour. Spending a week with her teacher is Loretta's worst nightmare - and when Miss Dudley discovers that the parents are a big part of the problem, mum and dad are in the firing line too.

It's an unexpected battle of wills between the young teacher, who has never been in a student's home before and has no kids of her own, and Loretta's recently divorced parents, who can barely speak to each other. With the family fighting against the rules and structure Miss Dudley introduces, the teacher struggles to take command. With the whole project at risk, can she turn it around and convince the family that teacher knows best?

With 6,000 thousand children getting expelled every year and 2,000 being sent home every day, can radical interventions like this help to stop the bad behaviour before it reaches breaking point?


2010x131 Blackpool on Film

2010x131 Blackpool on Film

  • 2010-08-29T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

From the earliest Victorian filmmakers to the news cameras of today, this programme uses moving images from almost every decade in between to tell the story of this fascinating seaside town. With wall-to-wall archive including newsreel, documentary films and entertainment shows, it explores over a century of filmmaking to get to the heart of a remarkable British holiday resort.


2010x132 Festivals Britannia

2010x132 Festivals Britannia

  • 2010-12-17T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Continuing the critically-acclaimed Britannia music series for BBC Four, this documentary tells the story of the emergence and evolution of the British music festival through the mavericks, dreamers and dropouts who have produced, enjoyed and sometimes fought for them over the last 50 years.
The film traces the ebb and flow of British festival culture from jazz beginnings at Beaulieu in the late 50s through to the Isle of Wight festivals at the end of the 60s, early Glastonbury and one-off commercial festivals like 1972's Bickershaw, the free festivals of the 70s and 80s and on through the extended rave at Castlemorton in 1992 to the contemporary resurgence in festivals like Glastonbury, Isle of Wight and Reading in the last decade.
Sam Bridger's film explores the central tension between the people's desire to come together, dance to the music and build temporary communities and the desire of the state, the councils and the locals to police these often unruly gatherings.
At the heart of the documentary is an ongoing argument about British freedom and shifts in the political, musical and cultural landscape set to a wonderful soundtrack of 50 years of great popular music which takes in trad jazz, Traffic, Roy Harper, the Grateful Dead, Hawkwind, Orbital and much more.
Featuring rare archive and interviews with Michael Eavis, Richard Thompson, Acker Bilk, Terry Reid, the Levellers, Billy Bragg, John Giddings, Melvin Benn, Roy Harper, Nik Turner, Peter Jenner, Orbital, amongst others.

Art critic Laura Cumming takes a journey through more than five centuries of self-portraits and finds out how the greatest names in western art transformed themselves into their own masterpieces.

The film argues that self-portraits are a unique form of art, one that always reveals the truth of how artists saw themselves and how they wanted to be known to the world. Examining the works of key self-portraitists including Durer, Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Warhol, Laura traces the development of the genre, uncovering the strange and various ways artists have managed to get their inner and outer selves to match up.

Laura investigates the stories behind key self-portraits, interviews artists as they attempt a self-portrait, and shows how the history of the self-portrait is about more than how art and artists have changed; it also charts the evolution of the way we see ourselves and what it means to be human.

She also discusses Courbet with Julian Barnes, Rembrandt's theatricality with Simon Callow, and meets the contemporary artists Mark Wallinger and Patrick Hughes, observing the latter making his first ever self-portrait.


2010x134 Limbo Babies

2010x134 Limbo Babies

  • 2010-11-30T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Across Britain and Ireland lie thousands of unmarked mass graves. People drive past them every day, not knowing that in them are buried tens of thousands of tiny stillborn babies. Hidden and secret, it is as though they never existed.

The babies ended up buried in these graves because of a piece of Catholic theology according to which babies who were stillborn or who died shortly after birth and that had not been baptised could be denied a cemetery burial. Their souls could not go to heaven but would remain in a place called Limbo. These are the so-called 'Limbo babies', stillborn babies born to Roman Catholic families who could not be buried in consecrated ground.

In a rare personal testimony, mums, dads and families describe the harsh effects of this centuries-old practice on their lives. Many of them secretly buried their children as close as they could to consecrated ground, or in desolate, beautiful locations they felt had been touched by God.

The film documents pioneering work by communities, clergy and people seeking change, such as at Milltown, Belfast's biggest Roman Catholic Cemetery. In Milltown, families made the shock discovery that their loved ones, some of them 'Limbo babies', were now buried in a wildlife reserve. Their mass unmarked graves had been sold through error by the cemetery. The film follows events as relatives of the Milltown babies began a weekly protest, the Catholic Church tried to seek resolution, and people began to arrive at the cemetery gates with stories of unresolved grief.

Finally, Fr Thomas Norris, from the powerful International Theological Commission which advises the Pope, describes the current Limbo situation. Does it still exist?

2010x135 Remembrance: The Sikh Story

  • 2010-11-09T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary examining why followers of the Sikh religion were marked out as a 'martial race' under the British Empire, and how thousands of Sikh soldiers valiantly laid down their lives for Britain's freedom across two world wars.

With contributions from eminent historians, military experts and war veterans, the film features the last-ever interview with legendary WW2 Squadron Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji, and the first television broadcast of a rare audio recording of a WW1 Sikh prisoner of war, handed to Britain in 2010 after 94 years in German hands.


The story of the Great War told from a unique new aerial perspective. Featuring two remarkable historical finds, including a piece of archive footage filmed from an airship in summer 1919, capturing the trenches and battlefields in a way that's rarely been seen before. And aerial photographs taken by First World War pilots - developed for the first time in over ninety years - show not only the devastation inflicted during the fighting, but also quirks and human stories visible only from above.


2010x137 Angel of the Valleys

2010x137 Angel of the Valleys

  • 2010-08-24T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Fifty years after the village of Six Bells in Abertillery was hit by a tragic coal mining disaster killing 45 local men, renowned artist Sebastien Boyesen has returned to the community. He wants to create an iconic 20-metre-high landmark sculpture for Wales to change the face of the area for generations to come. But it's a hugely complex piece of work and Sebastien and his team are working against the clock to complete this enormous modern masterpiece in time for the memorial ceremony on 28th June 2010.

Alongside the tensions surrounding the building and installation of this giant sculpture, the film follows the moving true stories of the families who lost loved ones in the disaster, and we hear the experiences of some of those who were actually there at the time of the accident.


2010x138 On the Streets

2010x138 On the Streets

  • 2010-11-08T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Filmmaker Penny Woolcock spent eight months in a parallel world, the world of the homeless, befriending people and finding out where they eat, sleep and socialise.

While making her film, Woolcock realised that the very real problems of homeless people have very little to do with the lack of a roof over their heads or a bed to sleep in. Their problems come from their past lives - and are less easy to remedy. Despite the efforts of different charities to move people into homes, the streets are often where they feel safe and what they know best.

In this moving documentary, Woolcock gives the seen-but-unheard residents of London's streets a voice.

Documentary exploring Elton John's childhood, apprenticeship in the British music business, sudden stardom in the US at the dawn of the 70s, and his musical heyday. Plus the backstory to the new album reuniting him with Leon Russell, his American mentor. Features extensive exclusive interviews with Elton, plus colleagues and collaborators including Bernie Taupin, Leon Russell and more.

To most people hiccups are a temporary minor irritant, but to 25-year-old Christopher Sands his hiccups are a living nightmare. He hasn't stopped hiccupping for over two years. He can't sleep, can't work, can't eat properly and has tried hundreds of remedies that just don't work. His doctors have no idea why they started or how to stop them. This film follows Chris's desperate story as he refuses to give in to his hiccups and goes on an exhaustive search to find a cure. But is there one?

2010x141 To Kill a Mockingbird at 50

  • 2010-07-06T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Marking the 50th anniversary of the influential novel To Kill a Mockingbird, writer Andrew Smith visits Monroeville in Alabama, the setting of the book, to see how life there has changed in half a century.

Documentary marking the centenary of sculptor Henry Moore's birth, using film footage and notebook extracts to build up a picture from Moore's early life and student days in Leeds to his wartime experiences. His love of natural forms and his placing of sculpture in the landscape led to a reputation that brought him international success.

Twenty-three-year-old Judith Wanga grew up in London but was born thousands of miles away in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Sent away by her parents to live in Britain as a small child, she's now returning to Congo - two decades later - to meet them for the first time.

She wants to understand the childhood she missed and the country she was forced to leave. After reuniting with her parents in the capital, Kinshasa, Jude heads east to an area of the country that's been devastated by war.

It is the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman, where rape has become a weapon of war. Jude meets survivors - women and children - as well as perpetrators, and finds out what's driving this brutality - the precious minerals that make our mobile phones and laptops work.

Every year, a secret tribe take to the roads of Britain. In the space of a few months they will drive thousands of miles and spend thousands of pounds in pursuit of their prey. Their aim is to see as many birds as possible, wherever that bird may be.

Welcome to the very competitive world of the twitcher - obsessives who'll stop at nothing to get their bird.

The life and crimes of Dundee murderer Robert Mone, who remains active in his bid for parole.

Scots Gaelic with English subtitles

In 2002, Britain produced 15 per cent of its own cannabis. In 2010 that figure is 90 per cent, and police around the country raid at least three factories every day. Organised gangs are cashing in on widespread demand for cannabis among Britain's youth by setting up sophisticated factories in suburban homes and disused warehouses. Research shows a third of the UK's 15-year-olds have tried cannabis and a quarter of young people aged 16-24 smoke it regularly.

Presenter Rickie Haywood-Williams journeys beyond the scaremongering headlines to find out the true impact of the UK's skunk-smoking habit. Rickie accompanies Avon and Somerset police on raids, and rides in a heat-seeking helicopter as it uncovers cannabis farms with hi-tech thermal imaging equipment. He also meets a landlord who was horrified to find his tenant was in fact part of an organised gang who were farming cannabis in every bedroom of his house.

Rickie's journey also includes a trip to Amsterdam and meetings with some of the UK's three million smokers, from those who fiercely defend their habit to others who regret the effect it has had on their lives.

One of the greatest poets of his generation, Norman MacCaig (1910-96) was also an expert fly-fisher. His favourite loch, the Loch of the Green Corrie, lies high up in the mountains of Assynt in the far north-west of Scotland.

Fiddle maestro Aly Bain, Billy Connolly and award-winning poet and novelist Andrew Greig celebrate MacCaig in the centenary year of his birth with a journey from Edinburgh to Assynt and then the long climb to the Loch of the Green Corrie with its elusive trout.

Friends and fellow poets - including Jackie Kay, Liz Lochhead, Douglas Dunn and Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney - also feature with anecdotes, tributes and readings of some of MacCaig's finest poems.

The music Brian Eno has been involved in making ranges from the experimental to the massively popular. Paul Morley talks about some of Eno's hit tracks, including Heroes, Once in a Lifetime, With or Without You and Viva La Vida.

2010x149 The Real Winnie Mandela

  • 2010-01-25T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary which looks at the controversial life of
Winnie Mandela, asking whether she was the mother of the nation or a wilful egotist who simply got out of control.


2010x150 Who is Nelson Mandela

2010x150 Who is Nelson Mandela

  • 2010-06-08T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Actress Lenora Crichlow sets off to discover the story of how Nelson Mandela brought peace to his country and what he means to people there today. She uncovers a more complex and fascinating picture of Mandela and his country than she ever imagined, discovering a vibrant Rainbow Nation but also learning more about the horrors
of apartheid and the extent of poverty and violence. On her journey she unlocks the secrets of who Mandela really is and why his achievements are so special and so admired.

At the height of the industrial revolution in the last decades of the 19th century there was a dance, now rarely seen, that resounded through the collieries and pit villages of the north east of England - the clog dance.

For conductor and musician Charles Hazlewood, clog dance has become an obsession and he plans to put it firmly back on the map by staging a mass flashmob clog dance.

Helped by a team of local enthusiasts led by expert clog dancer Laura Connolly, Charles recruits and trains 140 men and women from across the north east, and one sunny Saturday in a busy square in central Newcastle they ambush the public with a six-minute performance.

Along the way, Charles delves into the history of this fascinating folk dance, learns and performs a few steps himself, and meets and works with some of the key characters keeping this ancient dance alive.


2010x152 Frost on Satire

2010x152 Frost on Satire

  • 2010-06-17T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Sir David Frost presents an investigation into the power of political satire with the help of some of the funniest TV moments of the last 50 years.
Beginning with the 1960s and That Was the Week That Was, he charts the development of television satire in Britain and the United States and is joined by the leading satirists from both sides of the Atlantic. From the UK, Rory Bremner, Ian Hislop and John Lloyd discuss their individual contributions, while from the US, Jon Stewart analyses the appeal of The Daily Show, Tina Fey and Will Ferrell talk about their respective portrayals of Sarah Palin and George W Bush, and Chevy Chase remembers how Saturday Night Live turned them into huge stars.

All of them tackle the key question of whether satire really can alter the course of political events.

2010x153 The Madness of Peter Howson

  • 2010-11-22T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Peter Howson is one of the world's most collected living artists, his work hanging on the walls of galleries and museums and in the homes of rock stars and actors. In 2008 he received the biggest commission of his career - to paint the largest-ever crowd scene in the history of British art - but the commission is fraught with so much difficulty its completion is in jeopardy from day one.

This film follows Peter over two difficult years, a journey that took him to the brink of bankruptcy, and also to the edge of his sanity.

In the early hours of 1st June 2009, Air France flight 447, en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, disappeared over the Atlantic. Five days later the shattered wreckage was discovered, with all 228 passengers and crew dead. One year on, a full explanation of what might have happened has emerged.

This film brings together an independent team of leading air crash investigators to provide the first credible solution to the mystery of flight 447. Conducting their own tests and simulations using the available evidence, they painstakingly piece together a convincing scenario of what they believe happened. Their conclusions raise worrying concerns about aviation's increasing reliance on automated flight systems.

Are the so-called Black Diaries forgeries by MI5 to ensure the execution of a
British traitor? Or are they the genuine and lurid homosexual accounts of an Irish
hero and fearless campaigner for human rights?

In 1916, Sir Roger Casement was sentenced to be hanged for trying to enlist German
help in the Easter Rising. A powerful lobby of writers such as George Bernard Shaw
and Arthur Conan Doyle appealed for leniency because of his humanitarian work
against the evils of colonialism. Then MI5 circulated the Black Diaries and
Casement went to the gallows in disgrace.

Ever since, Irish Nationalists have claimed the diaries were forged by British
Intelligence and until recently the Home Office kept them under lock and key. Now
the truth is out. The Black Diaries have been submitted to forensic tests and the
findings are revealed.


2010x156 1984: A Sikh Story

2010x156 1984: A Sikh Story

  • 2010-01-10T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

In 1984 Indira Gandhi sent troops into the holiest and most revered of Sikh shrines, The Golden Temple. The aim was to expel the Sikh militant preacher, Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, and his followers. The bloodiest of consequences ensued, ultimately leading to Indira Gandhi's assassination by her own Sikh bodyguards and a backlash against the Sikhs that India had not witnessed since the days of partition.

1984: A Sikh Story tells the tale of this tumultuous year through the eyes of British-born Sikh, Sonia Deol, who was only 11 when the Indian army stormed The Golden Temple.

Sonia has only begun to understand her faith in recent years an awakening that began during her own visit to The Golden Temple; and there are many questions she needs answered. How could Indian troops, led by a Sikh, storm such a sacred shrine? How did the cult of Bhindranwale attract so many Sikh followers and why is he still revered by some today?

This one-off documentary takes Sonia on an emotional journey back to India in a bid to discover how such an attack could ever have taken place.

2010x157 Steve Winwood - English Soul

  • 2010-06-18T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

From childhood prodigy to veteran master, Birmingham-born Steve Winwood's extraordinary career is like a map of the major changes in British rock 'n' roll and rhythm and blues from the 1960s to the present. This in-depth profile traces that journey and reveals a master musician blending Ray Charles and English hymnody into a unique brand of English soul.

From the blues-boom-meets-beat-group chart hits of the Spencer Davis Group, through the psychedelic pop of early Traffic and into Berkshire as Traffic become the first band to 'get their heads together in a country cottage', then via a brief sojourn in supergroup Blind Faith and back to Traffic as a jam band who conquer the emerging American rock scene, Winwood's first ten years on the boards were extraordinary.

As the 80s dawned he reinvented himself as a solo artist and became a major star in the US with hits like Higher Love and Back in the High Life. These days he's back in arenas, touring with old friend Eric Clapton.

Paul Bernay's film blends extensive interviews with Winwood in his Gloucestershire home and film of Winwood's first return to that Berkshire cottage since 1969 with rare archive footage and contributing interviews with Eric Clapton, Paul Rodgers, Paul Jones, Paul Weller, Muff Winwood, Dave Mason and more.

Our supermarket shelves groan with fresh food from around the world. Farmer Jimmy Doherty explores the global logistics that bring these crops to a shop near you.

Richard Bacon and guest presenter Peter Crouch look back on the 50 greatest shocks in the history of the World Cup, covering the last six tournaments and including moments such as Maradona's 'Hand of God', Zinedine's Zidane's headbutt in the 2006 final and England's penalty pain.

Featuring first-hand accounts from people who were there, such as David Seaman talking about getting lobbed by Ronaldinho, John Barnes exclusively revealing how Gazza nearly rapped on World in Motion, and Graham Poll talking about his infamous three yellow cards moment.

2010x160 Britain's Youngest Boarders

  • 2010-09-22T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary following boys as young as seven or eight when they leave home for the first time and start boarding school in England. This film tells the story of three boys - Luke, Louis and Dominic - during their first term at Sunningdale, a small family-run prep school in Berkshire that educates 100 boys, the vast majority of whom go on to top public schools like Eton or Harrow.

Luke is joining his older brother James at Sunningdale. All the boys at the school can only benefit from the small class sizes of ten, but the school's system called 'fortnightly orders' - which places pupils from top to bottom in each class - shows just how academically superior young Luke really is.

Dominic has travelled half way around the world to join Sunningdale. He lives in Shanghai but he will go to school in the UK. He says his mum will find being apart for the ten-week term harder than he will. Dominic's dream is to attend an English public school and after his interview for Harrow, he hopes to be one of the lucky ones to be offered a place.

Louis starts boarding school after leaving his state school in north London. Tearful and homesick, he struggles at first. Getting into the football team and being made captain goes someway to helping Louis feel better, but is it enough to convince him to stay at Sunningdale until the end of term?

From the daily chapel services, to the headmaster's weekly dormitory check, and the boys' very first night in dormitories, we get to understand the magical world of boarding school life from the boy's point of view.


2010x161 Jobless

2010x161 Jobless

  • 2010-03-09T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

As the unemployment statistics start to climb once more, multi BAFTA winning film-maker Brian Woods goes behind the numbers to the people they represent, and presents his take on the recession.

Filmed throughout 2009, and seen in part through the eyes of the children, Jobless tells the interwoven stories of several families across the length and breadth of Britain, as both husband and wife cope with losing their jobs, in most cases for the first time in their lives.

Andy and Jackie both worked for a computer printer company in Bracknell. Andy is confident he will soon find something, but as the months pass, the strain starts to show on both adults and children, including their 8-year-old daughter Hannah.

In the North East of England, 9-year-old Leah sums up the world as she see it; "I don't really understand why there isn't that much money anymore, I only really understand that people are all losing their jobs. Is that the recession?" As the pressures of unemployment take their toll on her parents's relationship, and her dad's temper, Leah observes "If I'm naughty then he gets more angry with me that he usually would. But he's trying to keep himself calm, and I think he's doing well. I just hope he gets a job."

And in Enfield, Samantha, also nine, is missing her dad. Both her parents lost their jobs of 20+ years when the car parts company they worked for, originally part of Ford, filed for bankruptcy. But rather than meekly walking away, Samantha's dad, along with several hundred others, occupied the plant, demanding that Ford honour their original severance terms.

This gently-observed documentary takes us inside the experience of losing the thing most of us use to define ourselves.

Professor Brian Cox addresses the main challenges in bringing science to television, in this year's Huw Wheldon Memorial Lecture 2010. He tackles the risks in simplifying science for a television audience, the perils of abandoning fact in the name of balance and the importance of making science on television intellectually and emotionally engaging.


2010x164 Waiting for Work

2010x164 Waiting for Work

  • 2010-09-19T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Politically passionate Jack Ashley was one of the first working class reporters at the BBC. He wanted to show the suffering caused by high unemployment.

The documentary caused a storm.

Almost half a century later his daughter Jackie Ashley returns to Hartlepool to discover what happened to the families in the film, and assess the impact of being under the spotlight in the new age of television, on a struggling town.

Whilst making the film Jack Ashley stayed at the Grand Hotel, but he felt uncomfortable living in luxury while he interviewed people in poverty.

Instead, to get to know the community better, he moved in with a local shopkeeper, Leo Gillen.

The Gillen family were heavily involved in making the film. They had a social conscience and wanted both the poverty and the community spirit of Hartlepool to be shown.
When the documentary was shot Hartlepool’s unemployment rate was one of the highest in the country.

The Macmillan government was under pressure to do something, and Jack Ashley believed his film, shown nationwide on the BBC, may have tipped the balance.

Lord Hailsham was appointed the new Minister for the North. But he wanted to transform the North into a tourism hot spot - in double quick time. Most of Hailsham’s plans were eventually shelved, but he is credited with re-connecting the North East with the rest of Britain through multi-million pound transport projects like Teesside Airport.

The documentary brought Hartlepool’s problems to a national audience.

One of the families featured in the film - the Coomers - claimed that they had to burn their furniture to keep warm. Their revelations about life on the breadline shocked and split the town. Some thought they shouldn’t be washing their dirty linen in public.
But after the film's impact faded, Hartlepool carried on being a town with problems.

Jackie Ashley returned to Hartlepool to discover the impact of Waiting for Work on the town and to try to follow up the

2010x165 Inside the Perfect Predator

  • 2010-03-25T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Learn about the inner alchemy that gives four different hunters the edge over others. Those profiled include the peregrine falcon, the great white shark, the cheetah and the Nile crocodile.

2010x166 The Man Who Shot the 60's

  • 2010-01-13T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

A tribute to Brian Duffy, who passed away in May 2010. Duffy was one of the greatest photographers of his generation. Along with David Bailey and Terence Donovan he defined the image of the 1960s and was as famous as the stars he photographed. In the 1970s he suddenly disappeared from view and burned all his negatives. Filmed on the eve of the first-ever exhibition of his work, Duffy agrees to talk about his life, his work and why he made it all go up in flames.

Is French cuisine the best in the world or has it lost its magic? Bestselling New Yorker magazine writer Bill Buford dons a white hat and works in a series of French kitchens to investigate whether French food is all it's cracked up to be.
Bill starts in one of the best French restaurants in America before moving, with his family, to Lyon, where he enrols in a cookery school and works on the line for one of the most demanding chefs in France, Matthieu Viannay.
Can Bill survive in a restaurant where one of the signature dishes consists of garlic snails on a bed of crusty veal ears? Is sophisticated French food really worth the effort?

s French cuisine the best in the world or has it lost its magic? Bestselling New Yorker magazine writer Bill Buford dons a white hat and works in a series of French kitchens to investigate whether French food is all it's cracked up to be.
Bill leaves fancy French food behind and goes back to basics at the foot of the French Alps. He works in a bakery, kills a pig, makes cheese, gathers herbs and cooks in a small family restaurant in order to understand how to cook simple French food to perfection.

Twenty years after Nelson Mandela's release from prison, James Robbins reports from South Africa, a country transformed by the end of white minority rule and racial segregation. Former President FW de Klerk and Desmond Tutu look back on that historic day.

2010x171 What Makes a Great Soprano

  • 2010-06-19T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa takes a personal journey exploring the physical and artistic demands of being an international soprano in the 21st century. Along with fellow sopranos including Renee Fleming, Diana Damrau and Anna Netrebko, she explains the qualities that separate the great from the merely good, and shares some of her favourite performances from sopranos including Dame Nellie Melba, Maria Callas, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Kirsten Flagstad, Leontyne Price and Dame Joan Sutherland.

With Over the Rainbow's Dorothy about to create another star, whatever happened to the Nancys, Josephs and Marias? West End Story tracks the remarkable careers of the eventual winners: Jodie Prenger, Lee Mead and Connie Fisher, and it also tells the stories of some of the other finalists whose lives were turned upside down by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

At first glance Brazil appears to be an alluring playground of exciting carnivals, sultry samba, divine football and a vibrantly diverse people. But behind this dazzling facade lies a disturbing story of history’s largest-ever slave population. Astonishingly Brazil, a Portuguese colony, received ten-times more African slaves than the numbers transported to North America. This programme looks at those estimated 4 million people with whose blood, sweat and tears Brazil was built. Without them none of Brazil’s present-day success and appeal would exist. Using contemporary testimonies, this film takes a hard look at Brazil s dark history through the eyes of those slaves. They lived in squalid conditions on remote plantations or in teeming cities harboring fatal diseases. Most Africans survived only seven years in this ‘New World’. Some, however, did survive to create a new culture a fusion of African and European. This new ethnicity permeates and explains the modern Brazilian way of life. This outstanding film, winner of the Houston Film Festival Gold Award, is directed by Phil Grabsky. His film throws light on Brazil s inconvenient history.


2010x174 I Can't Stop Stealing

2010x174 I Can't Stop Stealing

  • 2010-08-26T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Britain was top of Europe's league for shoplifting in 2009 with an item being stolen from a UK store every minute. For many, nicking something is a one-off teenage rite of passage or a way to feed a drugs habit, but for some it becomes an addiction in itself.

This programme meets three people who have all battled with the urge to shoplift, following their stories as they reveal why they did it, the buzz they got from it, the impact it has had on their lives and how they kicked the habit. It also shows the people whose job it is to stop them getting away with it in a cat and mouse game where each side thinks they can outwit the other.

Shoplifting carries a maximum prison sentence of seven years and retailers spend millions of pounds on high tech surveillance equipment, yet people continue to brazenly steal from shops.

2010x175 Drinking with the Girls

  • 2010-10-06T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary in which Cherry Healey explores women's attitudes to alcohol. Cherry drinks with women across the country and tries to find out what girls drink, where they drink and how their tastes change throughout their lives.

From teenagers drinking in their bedrooms to grannies on a boozy trip, she hears people's embarrassing drunken secrets and sees how some women want to grow old disgracefully, as well as looking at why drunk women get such bad press.


2010x176 First Light

2010x176 First Light

  • 2010-09-14T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

At the age of just 18, Geoffrey Wellum was one of the youngest Spitfire pilots to go into combat in the Battle of Britain. A boy, barely out of school, he was determined to fight for survival. The price of victory was more than he could bear. Seventy years later, that same boy is still yearning to be free.

Sam Heughan
Older Boy
Geoffrey Wellum
Brian Kingcombe
Ben Aldridge
Tommy Lund
Alex Robertson
Gary Lewis
Paul Kynman
Paul Tinto
Trevor 'Wimpey' Wade
Jordan Bernarde
Alex Waldmann
Tuppence Middleton
Richard Walsh
Matthew Whiteman
Matthew Whiteman
Caleb Ranson
Matthew Whiteman

2010x179 Disappearing Island An-diugh

  • 2010-01-04T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Updating a profile of the Island of Barra first broadcast in 1965.

2010x180 The Tony Blair Interview

  • 2010-09-01T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Andrew Marr tackles Tony Blair in an exclusive interview and the first major political interview with Tony Blair since 2007, the year he stood down as Prime Minister. Andrew Marr seeks to learn more about what Blair was trying to achieve in office and how he now regards his record in office, as Blair's memoirs are published.

Shot entirely undercover over the course of nine months, a beautiful and moving documentary which tells the stories of three children growing up in today's Zimbabwe.

12-year-old Grace rummages through rubbish dumps in Harare to find bones to sell for school fees; nine-year-old Esther has to care for her baby sister and her mother who is dying of HIV/AIDS; and 13-year-old Obert pans for gold to make enough money to buy food for himself and his gran, while dreaming of somehow getting the education he craves.

From BAFTA-winning director Jezza Neumann and BAFTA-winning producer, Xoliswa Sithole, a powerful tale unfolds of the gaping chasm between what these children hope for and what their country can currently provide.

A look at the crimes of Peter Tobin, possibly the UK's most notorious serial killer, and the police investigation that caught him. Comprises interviews and dramatic reconstructions.

First shown in August 2009, The Autistic Me was a critically acclaimed documentary. It followed the lives of three young men with autism as they struggled with the transition into adulthood: finding work, looking for love and striving for independence. Now BBC Three catches up with the same characters a year after director Matt Rudge first met them. The last 12 months have seen dramatic changes and upheavals in their lives.

Twenty-four-year-old Oliver has high-functioning autism and is still desperate to find a job, but now he lives away from his parents in supported living and attends a course designed to help people with autism find employment. He attends mock interviews and has a work trial at a local supermarket, but will it pay off? With an encyclopedic knowledge of British history, is stacking shelves the best Oliver can get?

Sixteen-year-old Tom and his family have moved over 300 miles to Cornwall but their idyllic dream is proving a challenge for Tom. He is isolated in the countryside and, having left the support of his specialist residential school, must cope with the daunting prospect of starting at a mainstream college with thousands of students he doesn't know. Will Tom be able to make friends, and will he be able to fulfill his dream of being in a rock band?

Twenty-five-year-old Alex has Asperger's syndrome. At the end of the first film he had a date with Kirsty, an autistic girl he was talking to online. Now they are boyfriend and girlfriend. They text and email all the time but haven't been able to see each other because they live in separate towns on the south coast of England. Kirsty has invited Alex to her birthday party on Valentine's Day. Will he be able to get there, and what does the future hold for their relationship?


2010x184 The Hebridean Trail

2010x184 The Hebridean Trail

  • 2010-12-27T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Scotland's well-known walker Cameron McNeish explores one of the most diverse landscapes in Europe. On a newly developed 250-mile trail, he travels on foot and on bike through the long chain of the Outer Hebrides, from the most southerly inhabited island of Vatersay to the Butt of Lewis in the north.

Usain Bolt is the fastest man on the planet and a sportsman like no other. But what makes him so much faster than any other man in the history of the human race?

Who better to investigate than athletics legend Michael Johnson, the man Bolt has dethroned as the world's fastest human ever.

Johnson travels to Jamaica to meet Bolt and explore every element of the 23-year-old's story from the suspicions of drug taking and the burden of single-handedly carrying athletics to how Bolt is dealing with the constant worldwide media attention.

Documentary about the life of the great pianist and composer Chopin and the story of the women whose voices inspired his music. It is undeniable that Chopin revolutionised the nature of music composed for the piano both technically and emotionally. What is less well known is that the actual musical instrument that provided his greatest source of inspiration was the female voice.

To mark the 200th anniversary of Chopin's birth, this film follows young pianist James Rhodes on a journey to Warsaw, Paris and London to discover the real women who had such a powerful influence on the composer.


2010x187 Today I'm With You

2010x187 Today I'm With You

  • 2010-09-12T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

During the late 1960s Finnish photographer and filmmaker Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen came to Byker, a working class community in Newcastle upon Tyne. She fell in love with her new home just as it was about to be demolished. In 2005, Sirkka returned.


2010x188 How Vietnam Was Lost

2010x188 How Vietnam Was Lost

  • 2010-06-08T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Based on David Maraniss's book They Marched into Sunlight, a documentary telling the story of two seemingly unconnected events in October 1967 that changed the course of the Vietnam War.

Whilst a US battalion unwittingly marched into a Viet Cong ambush which killed 61 young men, half a world away angry students at the University of Wisconsin were protesting the presence of Dow Chemical recruiters on campus.

2010x189 Earth Under Water

  • no air date — 60 mins

Based on research by NASA astro-biologist and paleontologist Professor Peter Ward and a group of respected American climatologists, this eye-opening documentary uses scientific evidence past and present, archive film, location photography and CGI to explore the dire consequences should the atmosphere’s CO2 levels treble over the next 100-300 years, as predicted.


2010x190 Sidekick Stories

2010x190 Sidekick Stories

  • 2010-03-09T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

A celebration of the TV sidekick.

Narrated by Catherine Tate (Donna Noble to David Tennant's Dr Who), Sidekick Stories looks at the role of the assistant/companion on television, from drama to sitcom, and light entertainment to children's programmes.

What are the literary antecedents of the TV sidekick - and who's the greatest of them all? What's the dramatic function of the game show hostess? Did the That's Life reporters feel emasculated? How do you create a memorable robot? And what's it like playing straight man to a puppet?

We examine the role of the companion in Dr Who (the man with the most sidekicks in TV history) and reveal the hidden talents of the magician's assistant. There's Edward Hardwicke on how to play Dr Watson; Andrew Sachs on the enduring appeal of Manuel, and Isla St Clair on life as 'principal boy' to Larry Grayson's 'dame'.

The show also features Ian Carmichael (Lord Peter Wimsey; Jeeves and Wooster) in his last ever television interview.


2010x191 Maid in Britain

2010x191 Maid in Britain

  • 2010-12-28T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

A look at how domestic servants have been portrayed on television, from The Forsyte Saga in the 60s to Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs today. Why are butlers, cooks and nannies such staples of television drama long after their real-life roles have declined? Are these shows socially relevant or mere escapism, and how accurately does television reflect the experiences of real-life servants?

Featuring archive from Brideshead Revisited, Jeeves and Wooster and The Duchess of Duke Street, contributors include Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey), Jean Marsh (Upstairs, Downstairs), Susan Hampshire (The Forsyte Saga) and Wendy Craig (Nanny).

2010x192 When Brunel's Ship Came Home

  • 2010-07-12T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary revealing the epic story of how the SS Great Britain, Brunel's iconic ship, was brought home to Bristol in 1970.

Key figures from the salvage team recall their audacious mission to rescue a rusting hulk from a desolate corner of the Falkland Islands. When the ship eventually returned to Bristol, thousands of people lined the banks of the River Avon to welcome her home. The SS Great Britain is now a hugely successful visitor attraction.


2010x193 Men about the House

2010x193 Men about the House

  • 2010-06-30T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Father may be the head of the family, a potent symbol of authority, but he has always been the butt of some of our biggest laughs in British sitcom. Over the last five decades some of our most iconic comedy dads have been bewildered by a changing world and struggled with the work/life balance. These dads have coped with every curveball their writers threw at them and in the process changed the course of British comedy. They remain our most enduring Men About The House.

Charismatic, outspoken, and often controversial, Brian Clough is widely considered to be the best manager England never had and one of the best English managers the game of football has ever seen.

This frank documentary tells the story of an unforgettable career, including heady days with Derby County, unprecedented European success with Nottingham Forest and a notorious 44-day tenure as Leeds United boss, fictionalised in the novel and film 'The Damned United'.

For many his like will never be seen again. Martin O'Neill and Sir Michael Parkinson are among those who remember the man they called 'Cloughie'.

2010x195 The Princes Welsh Village

  • 2010-02-20T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

HRH Prince Charles talks exclusively to Griff Rhys Jones about his passion for the built environment in the new Coed Darcy development in South-West Wales, where a new village is being built from scratch. We hear from critics and supporters of the project and the Prince speaks frankly about his views on modern and traditional architecture, building sustainable communities and his fears for the future.

Danny Dyer goes on a quest to spot a UFO, spurred on by a meeting with his boyhood hero Sir Patrick Moore. Danny examines reported UFO landing sites and the sinister evidence that aliens may have been conducting scientific experiments here in Britain.

He meets witnesses who claim to have seen UFOs and one man who says he can prove he's been abducted by aliens. Danny's search for his own close encounter takes him all the way to the UFO Research Centre in Portland, Oregon

A leisurely trip down the River Dart, through moor and heath into ancient oak woodland and back out onto open pasture. Dippers, herons, kingfishers, mallards and many other water birds can all be found on its water, along its banks live badgers and foxes, and above it soar buzzards and peregrine falcons.

2010x198 Bellany - Fire in the Blood

  • 2010-04-05T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Captivating portrayal of family life illustrated by the work of renowned Scottish artist John Bellany.

Bellany's filmmaker son Paul takes us on a journey through the hurt and pain of a decimated family at the point of implosion, and unearths many unseen masterpieces along the way.

2010x199 All About the Good Life

  • 2010-12-28T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

The programme explores the enduring appeal of the classic sitcom. With contributions from, amongst others, Richard Briers, Penelope Keith, Monty Don, Brian Sewell and John O'Farrell, All About The Good Life goes behind the scenes and reveals all you ever wanted to know about the series from choosing outfits for Margo to the iconic title sequence.


2010x200 The Born Free Legacy

2010x200 The Born Free Legacy

  • 2010-09-26T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Born Free caused a sensation when it was first published in 1960. The book and the film that followed made a massive impact on conservation and science and our fundamental attitudes to wild animals and the environment. This documentary tells the story of the lives and legacy of George and Joy Adamson and Elsa, the orphaned lion cub they raised and successfully returned to the wild. The seismic shift in popular attitudes towards wild animals that the book and film caused are as controversial today as they are celebrated.

EastEnders actor Joe Swash turns ghostbuster and sets out in search of tangible proof that ghosts exist. He meets Britain's youngest professional psychic, who claims he has a hotline to the spirit world, sleeps in a haunted bedroom to lure an amorous spirit and stakes out a terrace house in Hartlepool where the family say they're sharing their home with at least four ghostly inhabitants. But it's a night alone in the Edinburgh vaults that makes Joe convinced he really believes in ghosts.

Chock-full of innuendo, dodgy lifts, occasional customers and much loved regulars, this documentary tells the story of the long-running farce set in the clothing section of a dilapidated department store. It's an affectionate look back at one of Britain's most popular sitcoms, where off camera the veneer of camaraderie concealed an undercurrent of envy and sadness.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the 'miracle of Dunkirk', 50 of the surviving 'little ships' which made the original perilous cross-channel voyage are returning to France. Dan Snow tells their extraordinary story: their role in the evacuation and the people who struggled to keep them afloat during those fateful days in 1940, when the future of Europe hung in the balance.


2010x204 The Great Climb

2010x204 The Great Climb

  • 2010-08-28T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

A spectacular live rock climb broadcast from the daunting overhanging cliff face at Sron Uladail on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides. Dougie Vipond joins leading climbers, Dave MacLeod and Tim Emmett, as they attempt a first ascent of an extreme new route, which promises to stretch their physical endurance and skill to the limit. With absolutely no guarantee that they will be able to conquer the route, and the huge physical and technical challenges involved, this promises to be a unique and compelling live event.

2010x205 Sue Johnston's Shangri-La

  • 2010-02-15T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Sue Johnston goes in search of her lifelong dream - the lost, fantasy world of Shangri La.
Sue first came across the story of Shangri La as a 16 year old in 1959 when she watched the movie Lost Horizon with her mother on their first black and white television. The film was based on a book written by Englishman James Hilton in 1933. She read the book voraciously and has re-read it many times over the years since. As a child she was fascinated by the Orient and the mysteries of the Far East, but in those post-war austerity days the chances of ever following her dream, of finding the actual place, seemed an unattainable goal.
It looked like her dream would remain just that, as life took over and she got married, had a child, started a successful acting career and got divorced. The dream slipped further away into the dark, forgotten corners of her mind. Recently, as her life has changed, she has recalled her longed-for Shangri La. Her parents died, her son left home and settled into his own life, and her sense of mortality hit home. She decided that it was time to find the inspiration for the book, the story of Lost Horizon.
Sue's quest takes her through south-west China's Yunnan province and into Tibet, travelling over high mountain passes, into deep, hidden valleys and gorges, through bustling towns and ultimately on horseback to her final destination, the sacred mountain of Kawarkapo and the tiny, isolated village of Yipung - on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau and the basis for James Hilton's novel.


2010x206 Excluded

2010x206 Excluded

  • 2010-09-21T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

In a failing comprehensive school in North London, three individuals lives are about to collide. Excluded charts the intersecting stories of Amanda, an ambitious headmistress, Ian, an idealistic new maths teacher, and Mark, a troubled and disruptive pupil. Against the odds, Ian makes a connection with Mark, but will he put his career on the line to save him? A witty, emotionally powerful and searingly real expose of the realities and struggles that inner-city schools face today.

2010x207 Vampires: Why They Bite

  • 2010-10-02T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

2010x208 Robert Plant: By Myself

  • 2010-11-06T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Robert Plant discusses his musical journey from Stourbridge, the British blues boom, superstardom with Led Zeppelin in the 70s, to the Band of Joy album. He also looks at his work with The Honeydrippers and North African musicians, his reunion with Jimmy Page, and his pairing with Alison Krauss.

Robert Plant has been performing and recording for more than 40 years. For 12 of those, he was the front man for what many still consider to be the greatest rock band ever - Led Zeppelin. BBC 2 presents a rare opportunity to hear what the man himself has to say about a life spent in music: from his earliest days as a school kid in Stourbridge to the world domination of Led Zeppelin, which ended when he was only 32 years old. The programme also looks at his triumphant solo career with bands such as The Strange Sensation and his startling collaboration with country singer Allison Krauss.

2010x209 Dunkirk: The Soldier's Story

  • 2010-06-05T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Veterans of World War II describe their experiences of the retreat to Dunkirk in 1940 and the evacuation.

On 10 May the German Army invaded Holland and Belgium. The Blitzkrieg had begun - an entirely new way of fighting war. For the young men aged 18 and 19 who joined up to 'do their bit' it was a terrifying baptism of fire, and for the British Army a shattering blow. Within three weeks it was a crushing defeat, leading to the largest military evacuation in history.

This film is the story, told in their own words, of a group of young men, now veterans, and their first experience of modern mechanised warfare.

This is the story of the band, the city and the album that gave birth to the UK electronic pop movement in late 70s Sheffield.
Against a backdrop of economic decline, art students Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh experimented with early synthesisers to create sounds which would inspire a new generation of pop music with their first band The Human League. When this fractured, Ian and Martyn recruited singer and old friend Glenn Gregory to form Heaven 17. Penthouse and Pavement, their first album, was released in 1980 and was a landmark in UK pop history, combining electronica with pop hooks.
Due to technological constraints the band were unable to perform the album live, but to celebrate its 30th anniversary the film also charts the band's troubled attempts to perform the album entirely live for the very first time.