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  1. The Great British Bake Off: The rocky road to the quarter-finals

    Wednesday 17 September 2014, 19:56

    Tessa Delaunay-Martin Tessa Delaunay-Martin TV blog

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    Attention: This post contains spoilers and is intended for viewers who have already seen episode seven, Pastry, of The Great British Bake Off.

    The final five bakers are gearing up for Advanced Dough week and while we’ve seen some outstanding original creations, it hasn’t been easy baking the whole way.

    With 21 challenges behind them it’s not hard to lose track of all the signatures, technicals and showstoppers, so we decided to take a look at the bakes that have earned Chetna, Luis, Martha, Nancy and Richard a place in the quarter-finals:

    Chetna

    Chetna
     
    Dubbed the Flavour Queen by Paul Hollywood, Chetna has consistently delivered tasty bakes from the start, including tiered Victoria sponges (which Paul thought were too tall) and a cardamom, pistachio and coffee Swiss roll:

    Chetna's Cardamom, Pistachio and Coffee Swiss Roll - Signature Ep 1

    Her flavourful bakes also include aromatic fenugreek and carom crackers, crispy lentil kachoris with a “staggering” amount of spices according to Paul, lemon meringue eclairs and chocolate eclairs with mango and praline.

    The only bake Chetna seems to have missed on the flavours was during Pies and Tarts week with her rice custard tart with mangoes and raspberries:

    Chetna’s Rice Custard Tart with Mangoes and Raspberries - Signature ep5  
    Even when her onion and pine nut...

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  2. The Secrets: Filming five dramas in six weeks

    Friday 5 September 2014, 09:17

    Guy Heeley Guy Heeley Producer

    Morale can be lifted by the simplest of things.

    It was 3pm on Thursday, 6 February 2014, a day on which more rain fell on Hampstead Heath than on any other day throughout the notorious winter storms, and we had been filming on The Secrets since early in the morning without any respite from the weather.

    Everyone was soaked through and freezing cold but with fading light and spirit, some lukewarm hot chocolate arrived on set from the nearest cafe, which was a 30 minute walk away, and we once again were able to pretend it was a sunny family day out, as the script for The Visitor required! 

    Anthony Welsh as Dean, director Dominic Savage and Paige Meade as Cassie Director Dominic Savage with actors Anthony Welsh and Paige Meade on set for The Visitor


    As the producer on The Secrets my role was to oversee the production on all levels from casting the actors and the crew, to structuring the shoot, to location finding, to all aspects of post-production.

    Director Dominic Savage and I had decided to base the shooting of the series in Kentish Town in North London so we would have access to many different kinds of urban architecture and outside spaces within a relatively small distance.

    Given that we were making five distinct episodes, with entirely different storylines...

    Read more about The Secrets: Filming five dramas in six weeks

  3. 21 Up New Generation: It's like my extended family

    Thursday 28 August 2014, 14:11

    Melanie Archer Melanie Archer Series Producer

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    I am the series producer of 21 Up New Generation, the third instalment of the new series of the famous documentary series Seven Up!, which began in 1964, and has filmed with the same group of contributors every seven years since.

    At the turn of the millennium, the BBC asked us to make 7Up 2000 to follow in Seven Up’s footsteps, with a new generation of children, all turning seven in the year 2000.

    The director Julian Farino and I met thousands of children from different social, ethnic and economic backgrounds living all over the UK and chose a group of them to film with.

    Melanie Archer with contributor Asif and director Julian Farino Melanie Archer with contributor Asif and director Julian Farino


    The idea was to revisit them with the same production team, to take a snapshot of their lives every seven years.

    Here we are already 14 years later. Things have changed so much since we started.

    When we made 7Up 2000, I was 26 years old, and had no idea about children, let alone how to interview them.

    When one boy, Talan, explained to me how we’re all connected in the great circle of life, I thought he was incredibly profound.

    Fourteen years and three kids later, I realise he was just quoting from The Lion King.

    Talan, aged 14, in his Cornwall home Talan: 'Anyone who has seen any...

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  4. Match Of The Day At 50: My iconic theme even has a banjo

    Friday 22 August 2014, 09:16

    Barry Stoller Barry Stoller Composer

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    Match Of The Day celebrates its 50th anniversary on Friday, 22 August 2014. A special documentary, Match Of The Day At 50, looks back on the last five decades, and includes the first ever TV interview with the man who composed the iconic theme tune.

    I am a composer and musician and I composed the music for the BBC’s football programme, Match Of The Day.

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    Barry's tune is synonymous with Match Of The Day - but it wasn't the programme's first theme

    It all began because of my cousin Shirley in the summer of 1970.

    I was 29 years old when she introduced me to Sam Leitch, the new editor on Match Of...

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  5. Siblings: Relationships we love to hate

    Thursday 7 August 2014, 16:49

    Matt Hewitt Matt Hewitt Researcher, TV Blog

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    To celebrate the start of Siblings, a new BBC Three sitcom featuring dysfunctional brother/sister duo Dan and Hannah, we looked back at the highs and lows of sharing your life with a sibling in 10 popular BBC comedies.


    Del and Rodney Trotter in Only Fools and Horses (1981)


    The earliest of our sibling sets is one of the best-loved in British comedy.

    The two shared a close bond, strengthened by their wheeler-dealing scrapes.

    Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst) and older brother Del (David Jason) Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst) was raised by older brother Del (David Jason)

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    Rodney proves to Del he really is a plonker, when they get caught in a hold-up at the supermarket...

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  6. Great War Diaries: Turning diaries into compelling drama

    Tuesday 5 August 2014, 14:50

    Jan Peter Jan Peter Director and Screenwriter

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    I first got involved in Great War Diaries four years ago, as both director and screenwriter.

    Great War Diaries is a three-part factual drama about how ordinary people from all over Europe and the USA lived through the war, based on their personal diaries and letters.

    I loved the idea of showing history as a kind of chaos or confusion; the way we all live history every day, without knowing the why, how or even the outcome of events.

    It is in the real diaries and letters of ordinary people, those who lived through the Great War, that you can see this so clearly.

    There are, of course, a great many diaries...

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  7. Art Of China: My journey of discovery

    Wednesday 30 July 2014, 08:00

    Andrew Graham-Dixon Andrew Graham-Dixon Presenter

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    As an art historian with a strong interest in all of the different cultures of the world, I have been to some wonderful and fascinating places.

    But never anywhere quite as dramatic and surprising as China, where I spent almost three months last year for BBC Four’s Art Of China.

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    Watch the trail: Nothing quite prepares you for the experience

     
    China's landscapes are spectacular.

    As for the painting, the sculpture, the architecture - well I hope anyone who watches Art Of China will agree that it is thrillingly strange, different from anything they've ever seen, and just breathtakingly beautiful...

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  8. Operation Cloud Lab: Secrets Of The Skies

    Wednesday 16 July 2014, 11:46

    Felicity Aston Felicity Aston Presenter

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    I joined Operation Cloud Lab: Secrets Of The Skies as the expedition leader and also as a meteorologist.

    The plan was to fly from Florida to California, looking at the science of the skies.

    But as well as scientists, there were plenty of other people on the team including three pilots, a ground crew of 14 that followed the airship by road and a full production team including two camera crews.

    Not everyone could be on board at once – the airship would never have got off the ground!

    But I was really fortunate to spend a lot of time on board and flew most of the way across the continent.

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    Operation...

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  9. Talk To The Animals: Witnessing a chimp apology

    Tuesday 15 July 2014, 09:15

    Lucy Cooke Lucy Cooke Presenter

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    Presenter and zoologist Lucy Cooke meets a few engaging animal conversationalists while filming BBC One's Talk To The Animals.

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    Lucy Cooke tries to understand the banded mongoose squeaks that scientists have decoded

    In addition to being hugely chatty creatures, scent also plays a key role in mongoose life. It actually allows them to identify each other.

    They live in tight gangs - extended family units with distinct boundaries between rival territories.

    One of the experiments that didn’t make it into the show tested the importance of scent in maintaining these boundaries and involved me standing...

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  10. The Honourable Woman: Dramatic blood-soaked scenes

    Monday 14 July 2014, 12:45

    Ed Smith Ed Smith Special Effects Supervisor

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    ATTENTION: This post contains spoilers and is intended for viewers who have already seen episode two of The Honourable Woman.

    The Honourable Woman is an epic eight-part BBC Two drama starring Maggie Gyllenhaal as powerful businesswoman and philanthropist Nessa Stein, daughter of the late Israeli arms procurer Eli Stein. Newly enobled into the House of Lords, she is rocked by the mysterious death of a business contact and a kidnapping.

    My role for The Honourable Woman was as special effects supervisor.

    I work as a supervisor for live action special effects, this means that we provide all the special...

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