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29 October 2014
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BBC ONE puts history centre stage this autumn

BBC ONE launches an ambitious, energetic and confident schedule with history taking centre stage in this £220 million season.

BBC ONE autumn season features the drama Charles II

Through a range of programming, BBC ONE goes back in time to offer audiences an opportunity to consider new perspectives on historic, social and personal situations.

Lorraine Heggessey, Controller of BBC ONE, said: "Opening the door to a wide variety of subjects is key to BBC ONE, and through a range of documentaries and drama we've recreated the world of yesterday for the viewers of today.

"Building on our expertise in the area of computer generated imagery we've pushed technology to the limits to recreate the world of ancient Italy while our autumn period drama focuses on Charles II."

Pompeii - The Last Day follows the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79 and brings to life this remarkable 24-hour period.

Pompeii - The Last Day

Using historical and forensic evidence to re-enact an account of this last day, the programme explores the horrific impact of the natural disaster on the city through its people.

Colosseum travels back to the age of the gladiators, investigating how they worked and lived.

Using special effects and dramatic reconstructions the programme tells the story of Verus, a man who went from being a slave to one of the biggest gladiatorial stars of his time.

Central to the programme is the reconstruction of a fight that is the based on the only recorded eye witness account of the gladiators at work.

A dynamic romp through history, Charles II is set in the corridors and bedrooms of power at a time when the relationship between monarch and state was at crisis point.

The series stars Rufus Sewell, Dame Diana Rigg and Rupert Graves.

Rufus Sewell and Emma Pearson in Charles II

To complement the drama, BBC ONE is also showing two documentaries, The Boy Who Would be King and Oliver Cromwell - Warts and All.

This autumn BBC ONE also offers new perspectives on contemporary life in an unique project as the channel presents six modern takes on Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.

The medieval tales are imaginatively updated to reflect Britain today, with themes such as the cult of celebrity, the obsession with youth and bigotry shown towards asylum seekers.

Written by some of Britain's best known contemporary writers - Tony Marchant, Peter Bowker, Sally Wainwright and Tony Grounds - and joined by two new writers to television drama Olivia Hetreed and Avie Luthra, the tales are set on the pilgrims' route to Canterbury.

The journey begins in Southwark and goes through Gravesend, Rochester and Chatham before finally reaching Canterbury.

The tales are The Knight's Tale, The Miller's Tale, The Sea-Captain's Tale, The Wife of Bath, The Man of Law's Tale and The Pardoner's Tale.

Starring Julie Walters, James Nesbitt, Om Puri, Paul Nicholls, Dennis Waterman, John Simm, Andrew Lincoln, Keeley Hawes, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jonny Lee Miller.

Other season highlights:

• Holy Cross is a factually based drama telling the story of events on the Ardoyne Road in Belfast in 2001 when a dispute broke out over a route to school.

Told through the story of two fictional families the drama attempts to go behind the headlines and discover why the people involved in this particular dispute felt they had to see it through, no matter what the consequences.

• In Looking for Victoria Prunella Scales explores the intimate life of Queen Victoria.

The actress embarks on a personal quest to unravel the innermost thoughts of the woman she has played on stage for over 20 years.

• BBC ONE launches its new documentary strand, ONE life, with a series of films that take the viewer to the very heart of the story.

Shot by a range of highly talented directors these films offer an unflinching view of the stories of everyday people.

• In Hand of God Michael Buerk examines the impact of religion on public life and asks what happens when public figures take their religion to work with them in the worlds of sports, politics and entertainment.

• This season sees the culmination of the biggest ever television search for young sporting talent in Born To Win.

Over 5,000 young people applied and now we follow the hopes and fears of the top 20 as they make the journey to Austria, where they will compete for their chance to become the superstars of tomorrow.

Johnny Vaughan and Suzi Perry host Superstars• And the superstars of today compete for top honours as Johnny Vaughan and Suzi Perry present the return of the legendary sports-entertainment show Superstars.

Filmed at the world famous La Manga club in Southern Spain, top sporting stars compete against each other in 10 demanding events.

• Sea Monsters: A Walking with Dinosaurs Special brings to life the dangers of the pre-historic underwater world as Nigel Marven explores the strange and fascinating creatures who lived there.

• Following last year's ground breaking Abyss Live, this year BBC ONE is going even deeper in Beyond the Abyss.

Over one unique day of broadcasting viewers will be taken down for a mesmerising look into the deep.

• Hunting Chris Ryan takes former SAS trooper and best selling author Chris Ryan and abandons him in three of the world's most extreme environments as he is hunted by a crack force of Special Forces soldiers.

• The Human Mind tells the exciting story of how the mind makes us who we are.

Lord Robert Winston travels the world to find out how the human mind learns, how it creates our personality and how it deals with other people.

• More than a million of them hide in the darkest recess of our bodies, they can alter our behaviour and take over our lives.

Bodysnatchers delves into the surprising underworld of the parasite, human kind's closest companion.

• Nina Wadia joins Jasper Carrott in the second series of All About Me and Raj gets his long awaited voice machine.

• Married life comes under the spotlight in BBC ONE's new late night comedy showcasing the best of black British talent. Brace yourself for The Crouches!

The Crouches

Notes to Editors

Special issue photographs - for media use only - from the autumn schedule are available on the BBC digital picture service's Programme and Publicity Specials folder.

The BBC ONE autumn press pack is available below in PDF format, by genres or as a complete pack.

You may require Adobe Acrobat Software to read PDF files which can be obtained here.

Tip for users: when in the PDF files use the "Zoom In" tool to magnify the text.

BBC ONE autumn pack (1.32 MB)

Drama (260 KB)

Entertainment (289 KB)

Factual (381 KB)

Sport (221 KB)

CBBC & Daytime (178 KB)

BBC TWO's autumn examines the world we live in (30.07.03)

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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