Thursday 26 August 2010, 16:15
This time last year I wrote about the pleasures of three artistic women's lives dramatised - Enid, Gracie and Margot. This year, it's the story of how one man rewrote the rule of British television drama when he created in a single moment ITV's premier TV asset, Coronation Street.
Tony Warren's story of ordinary working people's everyday lives, set in a backstreet of a northern English industrial town was a sensation from the moment it hit the airwaves - live, no less! - in December 1960.
But it very nearly didn't happen. The Granada TV bosses decided people wouldn't want northern working classes voices in their living rooms via the telly. How wrong they were.
What was at first called Florizel Street went on to become Coronation Street, one of television's most enduring dramas.
It's not the only great show of course.
This autumn sees the always-excellent Michael Wood stand centre stage in Michael Wood's Story of England, a major series that tells the story of the English through the ordinary garden discoveries of people living in a small market town in Leicestershire - and you've never seen so much excitement and fuss over a few bits of broken pottery!
But it is amazing, truly, to see just how close to the big historical events even this village is, that this village's story of ordinary people through the ages, from Anglo-Saxon, Norman, Tudor, Georgian, Industrial Revolution and onwards, is reflected in this place. Terrific.
One other highlight I'd raise is BBC Four's Germany season. Yes, I am German, brought up on a farm in north Germany, and as a (semi) foreigner I have always been struck by how little the British seemed to know or comprehend of Germany's extraordinary culture, physical beauty and history.
Of course two World Wars don't half obscure the view and I understand that. But in Andrew Graham-Dixon's lovely series Art Of Germany I hope you'll see a new side of this country, culturally speaking, and in Julia Bradbury's charming German Wanderlust you'll hopefully be astounded and wowed by the sheer physical beauty of this vast country.
There's plenty more interesting programmes - from The Story Of British Sculpture to Anna Nicole - The Opera, the new Royal Opera House piece on glamour model Anna Nicole Smith, to the return of Jo Brand in Getting On.
And now, back to the rain, the wind and August.
Richard Klein is controller of BBC Four
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Friday 20 August 2010, 12:06
Friday 27 August 2010, 11:14