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24 September 2014
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BBC Northern Ireland Autumn 2005
From Belfast to Dachau

BBC Northern Ireland - Autumn highlights 2005

October Programme Information

From Belfast to Dachau


One east Belfast man's remarkable journey back into his past


"The first thing we encountered was the smell. A horrible, terrible smell. Then, as we approached the camp along the railway line, we discovered the endless boxcars full of rotting corpses. This was Dachau." - Teddy Dixon


Teddy Dixon spent the first two years of the Second World War working as an air-raid warden, walking the streets of his beloved Belfast, ensuring lights were out and curtains drawn.


Then he received a letter from America which was to change his life forever, calling him up to report for duty with the US Army.


Within weeks, Teddy Dixon was transformed from a young lad on Belfast's Cregagh Road to GI Edward Dixon, F Company, 42nd Rainbow Division, or just plain 'Irish', as he was known to his American comrades-in-arms.


It was the start of a remarkable journey which took Teddy into combat in France and Germany and to Dachau concentration camp, the full horror of which he was among the first to discover.


Today, at home in east Belfast, these haunting memories live on, still waking him at night.


However, Teddy was to embark on two more remarkable and emotional journeys. The first to a reunion in June 2004 with the American buddies he fought alongside but has not seen since 1946; and the second, back to Dachau in April of this year, for the first time since the end of the war.


Teddy hoped these journeys would bring him peace of mind. His journeys were filmed for this powerful landmark documentary by DoubleBand Films for BBC NI to mark the year of the 60th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe.


From Belfast to Dachau is due to be broadcast in October.


Love and Loss


Belfast man Kieran Creagh's passionate crusade to help AIDS patients in South Africa


He was born in Belfast and worked as a bank official in Bangor. But several years ago, 43-year-old Kieran Creagh swapped a life of bank drafts and lodgments for the priesthood.


It was a decision that has taken him to a township outside Pretoria, South Africa, where today he runs a hospice for AIDS patients.


As Love and Loss: My African Journey reveals, Kieran Creagh is no ordinary priest.


He's a passionate and charismatic man who rages against an unsympathetic world and the hierarchy of the church. His strong convictions are born out of the suffering he witnesses every day.


In the township where he lives and works, up to 40 per cent of young adults are infected with HIV and AIDS. In the one year since he opened the Leratong Hospice, Kieran has seen more than 140 patients die.


Love and Loss: My African Journey is the inspirational story of one Belfast man's brave attempt to bring hope and dignity to a people in crisis.


The documentary reveals Kieran's day-to-day work in the hospice and township, and explores his controversial views on issues such as contraception.


It also follows him as he takes part in the experimental trial of a new vaccine aimed at combating the spread of AIDS, having become the first man in Africa to be injected with the serum.


The documentary has been produced by DoubleBand Film Productions and is due to be shown in October.


From boys to men


Five self-confessed mummy's boys are turned into real men


Mummy's Boys is a fun new factual entertainment series for BBC ONE Northern Ireland, taking five life-long 'Mummy's Boys' and turning them into 'real men'.


The series gathers up five of the laziest, scruffiest and slobbiest men from every corner of Northern Ireland. Can their mentors - psychologist Fergus and army sergeant Aileen - turn them around in just six weeks?


Fergus and Aileen mercilessly reveal their shortcomings, expose their deepest insecurities and challenge them at everything from ironing and speed-dating to surviving the deep dark forests of Slovenia and organising a nude charity calendar shoot.


Will hairdresser Craig find his own home, at last? Can farmer Sam ever find the nerve to get a date? Will rugby player Alan try to take risks off the pitch? Is Michael Barlow ever going to get off the couch? Will Derek from Enniskillen finally buy his own underwear? And what will their mummies think?


Mummy's Boys is an entertaining look at a social phenomenon particular to Northern Ireland – the grown-up man who still depends on his mother; it's a series that makes serious points about modern masculinity.


The series has been produced by Extreme Production and will be shown in October.


Autumn on BBC Northern Ireland The Day The Music Died


The Day the Music Died


The story of the Miami Showband tragedy and its impact on the music industry


In the early hours of 31 July 1975, the Miami Showband were attacked by a UVF gang after returning from a gig at the Castle Ballroom in Banbridge.


The murders of lead singer Fran O'Toole, Brian McCoy and Anthony Geraghty shocked Ireland north and south.


With exclusive interviews with the surviving band members - Steve Travers, Des Lee, and Ray Miller - along with contributors including Gerry Anderson and Fr Brian Darcy, The Day the Music Died marks the 30th anniversary of the attack in telling the story of the Miami Showband, and how the survivors have lived with the tragedy that took the lives of their friends.


The documentary also looks at the dramatic impact the tragedy had on the music industry across Ireland at the time.


The Day the Music Died is produced by DoubleBand Films and is due to be broadcast in October.


A God Given Gift


The inspiring story of a young Portadown dancer


At just seven years of age, Portadown-born Leigh Alderson pulled on his first pair of ballet pumps and told his mother he wanted to go to dance classes.


There was just something about it he found fulfilling, intoxicating even.


Since then he hasn't stoped dancing, securing a highly coveted place at the world famous Royal Ballet School in London.


In A God Given Gift...The Leigh Alderson Story, a BBC Northern Ireland documentary team follows Leigh through one of his most challenging periods at the Royal.


Graduating to the final year is tough and gruelling. Not everyone makes it. Can Leigh find the inner resources to make it through to the next critical stage in his career: the performance year when world class dance companies come in search of the next superstars of the ballet world?


With the help of documentary footage shot several years ago, the programme plots this young Portadown man's journey from childhood to adulthood.


Flashbacks to Leigh's early dancing classes in Portadown and Lisburn reveal his unswerving passion for dance.


All is not plain sailing, as a perfectionist Leigh challenges himself as much as his adjudicators. His devotion and passion for dance is not in doubt but he is also his own toughest taskmaster.


A God Given Gift...The Leigh Alderson Story has been produced by Clare Delargy and is due to be broadcast in October.


Resolute to the end


Brent goose makes its epic journey back to these shores


It was Kendrew Colhoun, the Project Leader on Supergoose, who spotted him - Resolute, one of the six 'supergeese', flying among a small flock of Brent geese away up in the Canadian Arctic.


Devon Island, where Resolute was filmed, is the largest uninhabited island in the world, just a few hundred miles from the North Pole.


From the satellite readings, Kendrew knew that two birds, Resolute and Espie, were close together in this area. After weeks of fog, wind and rain the weather suddenly cleared to allow for a helicopter trip to try and locate them.


Kendrew, presenter Darryl Grimason and cameraman Michael Quinn, flew for several hours from their base on Cornwallis Island over a vast landscape of islands and ice fields.


The helicopter had to re-fuel at a remote air strip and the pilot was about to turn back when Kendrew made the crucial sighting.


The pilot was able to fly alongside the flock and Michael Quinn filmed the crucial footage of Resolute in flight, the tiny transmitter clearly visible on his back - an incredible achievement!


This will be just one of the highlights of Supergoose – the Return, produced by Yamal Productions, due to be shown on BBC ONE NI in October.

Autumn on BBC Northern Ireland The Evacuees


The Evacuees


Poignant documentary reveals some of the remarkable untold stories of evacuation


During the Second World War, thousands of children were evacuated from Belfast, separated from their families and their familiar city streets to live with strangers in the countryside.


Many of these evacuees did not know where they were going, nor for how long.


But one thing was certain - the experience would change the children's lives forever.


On the 60th anniversary of the end of the war, The Evacuees is a poignant documentary revealing the remarkable untold stories of those evacuated to the countryside.


It has been produced by DoubleBand Films and due to be broadcast in October.



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