Vietnam in the frame for new season of BBC World News programmes

Date: 26.07.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.15
Category: BBC World News
BBC World News has announced a season of programmes focusing on Vietnam to air starting 24 August 2013.

Forty years after American troops pulled out at the end of a bitter war, Vietnam Direct examines how the country has tried to escape its traumatic past and transform itself into one of the most dynamic societies in Asia. 

The Country Direct seasons give BBC audiences around the world the opportunity to get behind the headlines to see everyday life in one country. Through BBC World News programmes like Fast Track, One Square Mile and Working Lives, the BBC's unrivalled network of journalists explore the issues faced by a country and its people – from the economic opportunities and challenges to living life at every level of society; from its traditions and history to future plans and innovations.

For Vietnam Direct topics include: how cities recover from the devastating effects of Agent Orange; the rise of youth culture; workers’ role in Vietnam’s economic rise; and the latest technology helping to keep the country’s favourite mode of transport on the road.

Recent Country Direct seasons have focused on Croatia, Mozambique, Canada, Georgia, Ecuador and Qatar.

Highlights of Vietnam Direct include:

One Square Mile – Da Nang

Saturday August 24 20.30 (SG/HK)
Sunday August 25 08.30, 15.30 (SG/HK)

BBC’s Indonesia correspondent Karishma Vaswani travels to Da Nang in central Vietnam, to find a city trying to escape the horrors of the Vietnam War and re-invent itself as a sustainable 21st-century financial and tech powerhouse. One Square Mile tells the story of the families who for two generations have lived with the highest concentration of the poison Agent Orange in the world. She learns of a ground-breaking clean-up project - a partnership between the Vietnamese and US governments and meets some of the movers and shakers behind Da Nang’s drive to become the most liveable city in Vietnam – turning it from orange to green. Karishma also meets the leaders of a dynamic western-inspired youth culture who take over the city’s seaside boulevards once a month.

Working Lives

Saturday August 24 10.10, 23.10 (SG/HK)
Sunday August 25 17.10 (SG/HK)

BBC presenter and journalist Justin Rowlatt (Newsnight, China on Four Wheels) meets five Vietnamese workers from across the income scale for this special edition of Working Lives. From the female CEO of one of Vietnam’s biggest companies – dairy foods giant Vinamilk – to a 96-year-old teacher of the zither to the recent graduates desperately seeking hi-tech jobs, Justin explores whether the work force is ready to help Vietnam make the move from one of the world's fastest growing emerging economies, to a modern industrialised economy and propel it further into the 21st century.

Fast Track

Saturday August 24 19.30, 21.30 (SG/HK)
Sunday August 25 02.30, 14.30 (SG/HK)

For Fast Track, Rajan Datar explores how Vietnam is turning its past into future success. He explores the Vietnam-war era bunker deep beneath one of Hanoi’s best hotels, discovers the art of noodle cuisine in ancient Hoi An, and finds out what the six-star resort on the former prison colony island of Con Dao now offers to very different kinds of guests than those imprisoned here in French colonial days. Rajan also provides a reminder of Vietnam’s amazing habitats and wildlife as he joins a night stake out on the beach waiting for sea turtles to come and lay their eggs.

Click

Saturday August 24 14:30 (SG/HK)
Sunday August 25 03:30, 11:30, 21:30 (SG/HK)

BBC World News’ tech digest turns its focus on Vietnam with special features. In Ho Chi Minh City, Click reporter LJ Rich explores hi-tech start-up culture as Vietnam seeks to develop a bigger hi-tech sector in order to remain internationally competitive. And in a country where two motor-powered wheels are vital for millions of people, LJ also learns about the technology being used to improve scooter and motorbike performance and keep the machines safe from theft.

In addition, throughout the season BBC World News’ Chief Business Correspondent Linda Yueh will be presenting reports on Vietnam, including live interviews from 19 to 23 August, for the channel’s regular news programmes, covering the stories and questioning the people who shape the country’s business world.

Content will also be available on bbc.com.

For further information on how to receive BBC World News, download schedules or find out more about the channel, visit bbc.com/tvschedule.

For more information contact: Shivani Sundralingam on +65 6507 4234 or email shivani.sundralingam@bbc.co.uk