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29 October 2014
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21.08.02

ABOUT THE BBC


BBC TWO challenges preconceptions and prejudice this Autumn


Full press pack available


Telling the stories that no-one else is telling, in a way that no-one else is doing - BBC TWO strides into the autumn with a £106 million slate of programming to set the nation thinking.


A linked season of dramas and documentaries called What's Your Problem? challenges prejudice head-on by tackling the difficult subject of disability in a new and immensely powerful way.


Christopher Eccleston plays Joe Broughton in Flesh and BloodLeading the season is the drama Flesh and Blood, in which adopted Joe Broughton (Christopher Eccleston) decides to trace his biological parents after the birth of his own daughter.


When he discovers that his real parents are learning disabled, Joe's world is blown apart. For him, it's the beginning of a journey which challenges not only his preconceptions about disability, but his own sense of identity.


The roles of Joe's parents are played by Dorothy Cockin and Peter Kirby, who were cast after an extensive search among people with learning disabilities in the north west of England.


Continuing the channel's first disability season is a series of film shorts whose stars include Ralf Little, Frances de la Tour and Tim Healy, together with individual documentaries on deafness, blindness and surviving thalidomide.

Jane Root, Controller of BBC TWO, says: "BBC TWO has never shied away from the difficult or the risky and that is what has produced extraordinary programmes.


"For the first time we are using drama - as well as documentaries - to tackle this often undiscussed subject and the result is some really powerful voices, which I think will help us to confront our own fears and prejudices.


"What’s Your Problem? avoids the predictable approach of presenting disabled people as either heroes or villains and instead tries to reflect what it really means to people to be disabled now, in the 21st century."


Great Britons - the top 100 has been revealedGreat Britons leads a season that demonstrates real quality in every genre. An unprecedented quest has already begun to find the greatest Briton of all time.


It's been narrowed down to 100 by the public (see separate release), and soon viewers will get the chance to vote on the final 10, whose cases will be passionately championed by 10 leading figures.


Hosted by Anne Robinson, it's set to create nationwide debate and culminates in a live results programme where the public's choice of their greatest Briton ever will be finally revealed.


BBC TWO continues to invigorate its current affairs programming, with compelling subjects and gripping narrative.


True Spies, presented by distinguished investigative reporter Peter Taylor, is a startling series on the innermost workings of the secret service.


Made by the team behind SAS: The Iranian Embassy Siege, it features Special Branch officers, MI5 agents and hears from the people they watched but who never knew the full extent of the scrutiny they were under.


Leo Sayer - a "surburban celebrity"Another factual highlight in the season is The Entertainers (working title) which takes a look at some of the hardest working people in show business, "surburban celebrities" like Leo Sayer, Bernard Manning and Bernie Clifton.


Louis Theroux is an advisor on this series, which gets up close and personal with a mix of fly-on-the-wall and video diary.


The channel has also struck a real coup by securing two of its top faces to return to the channel.


After four years, Jeremy Clarkson is back with Top Gear, which has been overhauled and extended, but still promises lots of fast cars and fast-paced entertainment.


A-ha - Alan Partridge is back at the controls!And the popular character, Alan Partridge, is back on BBC TWO after five years away from the screen, with Steve Coogan starring in I'm Alan Partridge.


It completes a line up of some of the best comedy on television, joining The Office, Happiness and League Of Gentlemen in the autumn schedule.


Along with top comedy, there are some strong single dramas in this season which continue to tackle difficult subjects in a bold way.


Tomorrow La Scala!Tomorrow La Scala!, a co-production between BBC Films and the Film Council, stars Jessica Stevenson as an ambitious young director attempting to stage Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd in a maximum security prison.


Directed by Francesca Joseph (who produced the documentary series Driving School) and produced by Ruth Caleb and Chris Collins, it uses real prisoners as extras in a gritty film with some wonderful comic moments.


Emma Thompson in Wit

Wit
, starring Emma Thompson as an obstreperous university professor who discovers she has cancer, is an unflinching film from Mike Nichols that will have an equally strong impact on viewers.



Tipping The Velvet
is a three-part adaptation by Andrew Davies of Sarah Waters' acclaimed novel, a lesbian love story set in the hidden and decadent world of bohemian London in the 1890's.


It stars Rachael Stirling as the heroine Nan Astley, Keeley Hawes, Anna Chancellor and Jodhi May.


A rare and intimate portrait of one of the leading forces in British theatre forms the centrepiece of BBC TWO's arts season.


With unique and exclusive access, Nigel Williams' two part filmic biography explores Harold Pinter’s life, work and political passions in Arena: Harold Pinter. An accompanying season of his work will be broadcast on BBC FOUR.


The Dancer's Body
Deborah Bull, former prima ballerina, puts her own body through a series of challenges to illustrate the workings of The Dancer's Body.


This landmark series uses the latest techniques to investigate the science behind those parts of the body and brain that make this level of performance possible.




Season highlights


Other new series to look out for in the autumn season include:

Deadringers, which has been adapted from radio for television;

TLC, a black comedy set in an NHS hospital starring Reece Shearsmith and Alexander Armstrong;

I Will Survive, about the walking wounded of fame's battleground;

Two Men In a Trench, featuring two of Britain's foremost battlefield archaeologists, Tony Pollard and Neil Oliver;

And Martin Luther, a two-part drama documentary which brings to life the epic story of a solitary monk's struggle against the tyranny of a decadent and corrupt Church in Renaissance Europe. Timothy West recalls Luther's life over the course of his final days.


Jane Root says: "We're really proud of the programmes we will be offering viewers this autumn.


"There's real quality in every type of programming and some fresh, new approaches which we believe will set people across the UK both thinking and talking."


Notes to Editors


The BBC ONE Autumn press pack is available here, in PDF format, as a complete pack or by genres. You may require Adobe Acrobat Software to read PDF files which can be obtained here.


Full BBC TWO Autumn 2002 press pack (550 KB)


Entertainment (183 KB)


Drama (79 KB)


Factual (253 KB)


CBBC (68 KB)


Sport (60 KB)


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