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29 October 2014
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BBC ONE Autumn: The Virgin Queen
Anne-Marie Duff stars in The Virgin Queen

Big, brave and bold: Autumn 2005 on BBC ONE


The wonder of nature, the magic of ancient Egypt, Dickens with a twist and Shakespeare setting out to tame modern audiences - it's a big and bold £226m season on BBC ONE.


Unveiling his first Autumn season as Controller of BBC ONE, Peter Fincham presents a rich range of programming featuring landmark documentary and two ambitious drama initiatives at the heart of the channel; four brand new Shakespeare adaptations from some of the UK's top writing talent; and a stunning reworking of Bleak House.


Featuring an all-star cast and adapted by Andrew Davies, it will be shown twice a week in half-hour episodes - giving today's viewers all the pace, multiple storylines and gripping cliff hanger endings of the original text.


Peter Fincham said: "It's the role of BBC ONE to take risks, whether that is commissioning not one but four Shakespeare adaptations to deliver the classics in a new and unusual way, or scheduling the forerunners of the soaps in a way that modern audiences understand.


"This Autumn's line-up is absolutely heading in the direction that BBC ONE must continue to go: big, bold pieces in a rich and varied schedule which tempt the viewers into new areas."


After more than 50 years on the natural history front line, David Attenborough still has over 200 million creatures to investigate.


Invertebrates have dominated our world - now viewers can enter theirs, as Life In The Undergrowth uses state-of-the- art technology and breath-taking photography to get up close for the first time.


From bugs, beetles, spiders and scorpions to the most amazing butterflies and dragonflies, David introduces the audience to a host of incredible scenes never captured before.


Also launching this season is a major new landmark series: BBC ONE dramatises the story of the people who first uncovered Ancient Egypt for the modern world.


Egypt tells the story of the adventurers, archaeologists and explorers who travelled through Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries, igniting a fascination with Egypt that has been burning ever since.


Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming Of The Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth have been imaginatively updated for a modern audience - and feature a stellar cast.


David Nicholl's Much Ado About Nothing is pure romantic comedy set in a regional newsroom. Sarah Parish stars as Beatrice, a popular evening regional news presenter whose ex-lover and arch enemy Benedick, played by Damian Lewis, is hired as her co-anchor. Billie Piper plays weathergirl Hero.


Peter Bowker sets a Midsummer Night's Dream during a surreal weekend away at a holiday park featuring four warring couples, a donkey's head and a gaggle of fairies, with Imelda Staunton, Bill Paterson, Johnny Vegas and Sharon Small.


Peter Moffat's Macbeth is transposed to the enclosed and heated world of a top London restaurant kitchen, as James McAvoy stars as an arrogant megalomaniac chef driven to murder by the scheming Keeley Hawes as Ella Macbeth.


Shirley Henderson plays Kate to Rufus Sewell's Petruchio in Sally Wainwright's version of The Taming Of The Shrew. It's a tale of relationships against the backdrop of politics as Kate, an opposition MP, is instructed to find a husband to make her more electable.


Bleak House, a passionate indictment of the legal system, is one of Dickens' most celebrated achievements, serialised as the author intended and starring Gillian Anderson, Denis Lawson, Charles Dance, Alistair McGowan, Pauline Collins and Johnny Vegas.


Bleak House Charlie Brooks stars in Bleak House

Other seasonal highlights include:


A woman, a politician, a monarch and an icon, The Virgin Queen stars Anne-Marie Duff as Elizabeth I. Paula Milne's powerfully authored drama explores the full sweep of an extraordinary life. Also starring Joanne Whalley, Dexter Fletcher, Tara Fitzgerald and Robert Pugh.


Professor Robert Winston presents a definitive documentary series on the history of mankind's quest to understand the nature of God. The Story Of God explores religious beliefs from their earliest incarnations through to the development of today's major world religions and the status of religious faith in a scientific age.


Murder Blues charts the work of Operation Trident, the Metropolitan Police unit that deals with gun crime within London's black communities. Roger Graef's film reveals a side of London that is rarely seen and often ignored by the mainstream press. This film follows Trident's investigations into the criminals who regularly carry guns and meets the bereaved families and surviving victims of gun crime.


Mathematics takes an unusual centre stage as Terry Jones tells The Story Of One. It's a numerical mystery tour: a story of where numbers come from, from how the number one inspired some of the greatest minds in history and teamed up with zero to create digital.


Bill Oddie asks how much we see and read about dinosaurs is accurate, in The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs. He will be putting the giants of the dinosaur world through their paces, testing and challenging the latest theories as life size

bio-mechanical replicas reveal their devastating power.


Vicky Pollard, Emily and the only gay in the village join some new faces bringing some new catchphrases to BBC ONE for the third series of Little Britain.


Only Fools and Horses favourites Marlene and Boycie start a new life in Shropshire in John Sullivan's new sitcom Green, Green Grass.


Ben Miller, Sarah Alexander and Alison Steadman return for the second series of The Worst Week Of My Life. Things look they are going well for Howard and Mel but seven days in the life of Howard Steel are never simple...


Tamsin Greig, Micheal Landes and Trudie Styler star in Love Soup, a romantic comedy drama series from the creator of One Foot In The Grave, David Renwick. It deals with the paralleled lives of a perfectly matched couple who have yet to meet each other.


Blessed is a domestic comedy from multi-award winning writer and comedian Ben Elton about the trials and tribulations of a young couple bringing up two small children. Starring Ardal O'Hanlon and Mel Giedroyc.



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