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24 September 2014
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BBC TWO's summer of events

Press pack available below

BBC TWO sends out a call to action to viewers to help save their local and national heritage in a new initiative that will live beyond the TV programme.

Griff Rhys Jones presents RestorationRestoration forms the backbone of BBC TWO's £97 million spring/summer 2003 season of events and big Arts pieces.

Presented by keen conservationist Griff Rhys Jones, the programme will give viewers the chance to learn about - and actively visit - Britain's social and architectural history through some of its landmark buildings.

BBC TWO has teamed up with the UK's heritage bodies to give viewers a chance to save one of 30 historic landmarks from across the country which are on the brink of extinction.

From cottages to castles, factories to chapels, celebrities - including Richard E. Grant, Robert Hardy and Fiona Bruce - will campaign to save the building of their choice in ten hour-long programmes devoted to a different geographical area of the UK.

Each episode will focus on three properties in the region, vividly bringing their history to life.

The series culminates in a magnificent live event and a grand open weekend in September, which gives viewers the opportunity to visit over 3,000 buildings - some not usually open to the public.

Viewers are invited to cast their vote to try and save the building of their choice for this, and for future, generations.

Says Jane Root, Controller of BBC TWO: "With the shocking statistic that one historical monument has been lost in the UK every day since the end of World War Two, Restoration will throw a timely spotlight on the thousands more still at risk and offer the audience a chance to save one of these buildings and make their mark on history."

Saturday nights

Big impactful arts documentaries and dramas sitting in the heart of the Saturday night schedule will offer a real alternative to the more traditional line-up of entertainment programmes offered by other channels.

On 5 April, BBC TWO launches the biggest ever search for Britain's best-loved book, in an exciting initiative aimed at getting the nation reading. The Big Read is a grass roots campaign that takes television off the screen and into communities on a scale that has never been seen before, turning a private experience into a shared public experience.

Hugh Bonneville plays Philip LarkinUsing drama to really get under the skin of key arts figures, Larkin: Love Again examines the last 30 years in the complex life of poet Philip Larkin, played by Hugh Bonneville.

Using privileged access to unpublished letters and recordings of Larkin's work, and with support from the Larkin Society, Larkin: Love Again is an authentic portrait of one of the foremost figures in 20th century poetry.

On the centenary of his birth, a dramatised biography brings one of the most celebrated authors of the 20th century to life. George Orwell - A Life In Pictures stars Chris Langham as the writer of the iconic 1984 and witness of many extraordinary events in the first half of the century, re-told in this programme.

On the 300th anniversary of St Petersburg, Peter In Paradise tells the story of the acclaimed visionary, moderniser, town planner and military strategist - and alleged hooligan, torturer and tyrant - Peter The Great. This drama documentary examines the 6ft 8in giant's faults and flaws, while revealing the extraordinary legacy he created in the city of St Petersburg.

To complete a full night of celebratory programming on BBC TWO, with complementary programmes on BBC FOUR and BBC Radio 3, a gala concert will be broadcast from the Mariinsky Theatre, conducted by Valery Gergiev with star-studded soloists including Renee Fleming and Placido Domingo.

John LennonCelebrating the work of a more modern musical hero, Arena: Imagine Imagine examines the extraordinary popularity of John Lennon's Imagine. It tells the story of the creation of the song, analyses its impact on the lives of fans across the world and includes a rare interview with Yoko Ono.

From music to theatre, Michael Wood goes In Search Of Shakespeare in a major four-part documentary series for Saturday nights. In this historical detective story, Michael Wood explores Shakespeare's mysterious life, set against the dangerous and exciting times in which he lived.

Other season highlights

BBC TWO has a season of events across the spring and summer, including the largest ever broadcast about our wildlife, a season celebrating the diversity and richness of Asian culture in the UK today and a landmark drama series about the most notorious British spies.

Wild In Your Garden presented by Bill Oddie is a week long event revealing the secret lives of the animal neighbours that live in gardens, towns and cities.

With complementary programming on children's TV, radio and BBCi, the main coverage centres on one neighbourhood, observed in a massive round-the-clock surveillance. If it moves, you'll see it - from birds and badgers, foxes and frogs to hedgehogs and squirrels.

Geetie Singh, co-owner of The Duke of Cambridge organic pubBig Dreams on BBC TWO looks at the impact that the Asian community has had on Britain, examining the crossover between the two cultures and highlighting issues that are as relevant to being British as they are to being Asian.

The Big Dreams season includes: Secrets Of Asian Success, a documentary series exploring the secret of Asian success in British society; Mecca Cola, which looks at how a new brand of cola is preparing to take on the American brand in the Islamic world; The Village, a drama written by Dennis Potter Screenwriting Award-winner, Avie Luthra, which tells the story of an English teacher who loses his passport on a visit to England and is arrested at customs as an illegal immigrant; and You're Breaking Up, a new comedy that tells a young man's life story through mobile phone conversations.

Cambridge Spies stars Tom Hollander, Rupert Penry-Jones, Toby Stephens and Samuel West as Burgess, Maclean, Philby and Blunt, in a fascinating four-part drama series.

Recreating a notorious episode in history, it tells the story of four young university students courted by Soviet agents and recruited into a world of covert intelligence and espionage.

Other highlights of the BBC TWO spring/summer season include:

The Day Britain Stopped, a feature-length drama documentary offering an insight into what could happen if the country's transport system ground to a halt - with devastating consequences.

I'll Show Them Who's Boss featuring ruthless business mogul Gerry Robinson, who turns his attentions from the Granada Media empire to small businesses in dire need of some help.

What The World Really Thinks, a unique broadcasting event bringing together 10 national broadcasters and a range of diverse voices to discover what the world really thinks of America.

Alice & Camilla, which tells the fascinating story of Camilla Parker-Bowles and Alice Keppel, two women from the same family who won the hearts of two future Kings.

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, a new talk show presented by Anne Robinson in which a celebrity guest conjures up their fantasy dinner party - and the outspoken hostess offers her opinions.

Early Doors, a new comedy series from Craig Cash and Phil Mealey, set in a Manchester Pub.

Dead Ringers returns for more topical impersonations of public figures with Jon Culshaw, Jan Ravens, Phil Cornwell and Kevin Connelly.

Says Jane Root: "This season we've created some big events that go beyond the television screen and into communities. Along with some really good reasons to stay in, particularly on Saturday nights, I think we've created as many good reasons to get out and about this summer to enjoy a total BBC experience."

The BBC TWO Spring / Summer 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 Spring / Summer press pack (1.07 MB)

Factual (426 KB)

Drama (201 KB)

Entertainment (142 KB)

Sport (192 KB)

Notes to Editors

• Samuel Pepys, featured in the BBC TWO spring/summer press pack, has now moved to Autumn 2003.

• Big Dreams is the new name for Asian Season (as listed in the BBC Two press pack). Secrets Of Asian Success, part of the Big Dreams season, was formerly called Asian Nation.

Restoration - saving Britain's heritage (19.03.03)

An inventive new season as BBC ONE springs into summer (18.03.03)

All the BBC's digital services are now available on Freeview, the new free-to-view digital terrestrial television service, as well as on satellite and cable.

Freeview offers the BBC's eight television channels, interactive services from BBCi, as well as 11 BBC radio networks.



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