Blueprint, a landmark production by BBC Northern Ireland, chronicles an epic journey through space and time to tell an incredible story that has been 600 million years in the making – how Northern Ireland became the place it is today.
This major, multi-faceted season across television, radio and online features a series of exciting output which will give the people of Northern Ireland an unforgettable insight into where we live and who we are and change the way they see Northern Ireland forever.
Blueprint series editor Paul McGuigan says: “We're rolling 600 million years of Northern Ireland's unique past into an exciting series across television, radio and online.
The television series is presented by William Crawley, and is bursting with incredible facts, stunning special effects and breathtaking shots of our landscape. On Radio Ulster Caroline Nolan takes us on an incredible journey of discovery deep into the surroundings we so often take for granted; In Blueprint: Off The Beaten Track Darryl Grimason urges us to get out there and enjoy our landscape; and there is also an interactive website underpinning the whole series at bbc.co.uk/blueprint
"Blueprint is about this special place and its people. We hope that once you've experienced it, you'll see Northern Ireland in a whole new light.”
On Monday nights at 9pm the flagship Blueprint series on BBC One NI, beginning on March 31, will step back 600 million years to begin the story of Northern Ireland’s blueprint.
This landmark three-part series is presented William Crawley, who is joined by two archaeological experts who help him unearth the story of Northern Ireland’s past. Professor Peter Woodman discovered the first evidence of human life here, and Dr Emily Murray uses the latest scientific techniques to bring the past to life.
William, Peter and Emily leave no stone unturned as they take viewers on an unbelievable odyssey through Northern Ireland’s past which boasts exploding volcanoes, woolly mammoths, rivers of lava, tropical oceans and icy plateaus, much of which is brought back to life with stunning special effects.
In the first programme of the series, William and his two co-presenters tell of the cataclysmic events which shaped our landscape and how, over millions of years, our land has been baked by deserts, drowned beneath tropical oceans, torched by volcanoes and frozen in ice.
In the second programme, the trio tell of the prehistoric plants and animals that have colonised our land and look at the mystery of why creatures such as woolly mammoths, giant deer and brown bears have now disappeared from these shores.
And in the third and final programme, we hear about the countless waves of people who have travelled to this island to be changed forever by the world they discovered here, from our earliest ancestors 10,000 years ago to our recent eastern European immigrants.
On Wednesday nights at 10.40pm on BBC One NI, starting on April 2, the journey continues with the series Blueprint: Off The Beaten Track. Here presenter Darryl Grimason puts on his walking boots to show viewers how they can get up close and personal to the Blueprint experience.
From the windswept wilderness on Fermanagh’s Cuilcagh Way to the Devil’s Coachroad in the Mourne Mountains and on to the rough and dynamic coastline of the north coast, each week viewers can see Darryl trek landscapes featured in the Blueprint programme to learn more about the history land, people and plants and animals in that area.
In this adventurous new series Darryl is joined by expert contributors to celebrate the history, culture and landscape we often take for granted. The series gives a blow-by-blow account of what it is like to walk through these landscapes and offers top tips and advice for viewers who want to get out there and experience it for themselves.
On Saturday mornings at 11.30am, listeners can enjoy BBC Radio Ulster’s Blueprint series, which starts on April 5. In this three-part series Caroline Nolan travels the length and breadth of Northern Ireland to unravel our dramatic past.
Complementing the Blueprint television series by looking at our landscape, our plants and animals and the people who have lived here over the years, Blueprint on BBC Radio Ulster offers a unique experience to its TV counterpart as Caroline travels to different locations and gives vibrant descriptions of her surroundings while learning from a range of experts who offer enthusiastic insights into the land around them and its inhabitants, both past and present.
Soaking in all the natural sounds of our landscape and wildlife, this BBC Radio Ulster series brings to life Northern Ireland’s past and present to reveal the Blueprint of where we live.
And the Blueprint experience can be deepened even further at bbc.co.uk/blueprint. Here visitors to the site can use an interactive timeline which starts 600 million years ago and runs to the present day and select a featured time period and then the relevant local locations in Northern Ireland will appear. Here, visitors can find a range of information on that location alongside associated clips from the TV and Radio strands of the project. This will include some of the striking computer generated imagery from the television programme.
The website will also boast an impressive amount of information that didn’t make it into the television and radio programmes. This information was gathered together from a huge range of authoritative sources and will be organised within the site in a way which is accessible to a wide range of users. Also online, users can download footnoted scripts from the Blueprint television and radio programmes, get more information on each programme, go behind the scenes at the making of Blueprint and meet all the presenters and experts who have contributed to the project.
So take a deep breath and prepare to delve into the Blueprint of the place you call home. Northern Ireland will never look the same again.
Blueprint, BBC One NI, starting Monday, March 31 at 9pm, repeated Wednesdays on BBC Two NI at 7pm.
Blueprint: Off The Beaten Track, BBC One NI, starting Wednesday, April 2 at 10.40pm, (repeated Thursdays on BBC Two NI at 7pm).
Blueprint, BBC Radio Ulster, Starting Saturday, April 5 at 11.30am, repeated Sundays at 2.30pm.
Watch Blueprint and Blueprint: Off The Beaten track on demand at bbc.co.uk/iplayer.
Listen to Blueprint on demand at bbc.co.uk/radioulster.