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24 September 2014
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BBC TWO Winter/Spring
Balderdash and Piffle

BBC TWO - Winter/Spring highlights 2006


Balderdash & Piffle


Balderdash & Piffle is a major new series for BBC TWO about words and phrases and where they come from.


It explores the hidden histories behind words and recruits the nation's help to try to solve some of the most intriguing mysteries in the English language.

BBC TWO highlights Winter/Spring 2006 Ian Hislop in Balderdash and Piffle


The series is presented from locations in Oxford, home of the Oxford English Dictionary, by Victoria Coren.


A host of language-lovers travel the world, each on the trail of a different word.


Ian Hislop examines the ever-baffling jargon that is management-speak; Daniela Nardini gets her tongue twisted round a delightful 99; and Jerry Hall twirls her swizzlestick as she contemplates the origin of the word cocktail.


Ever wondered about ploughman's lunch, codswallop, bingo or boffin? The series has the answers.


The whole nation is also invited to join the Wordhunt and dig for words and their origins. If members of the public come forward with new evidence about the 50 words and phrases on the target list, their efforts will be immortalised for ever in the Oxford English Dictionary.


To become involved, viewers can visit



BBC TWO highlights Winter/Spring 2006 Who Do You Think You Are?


Who Do You Think You Are?


Julian Clary decides he's "common as muck" and Jane Horrocks declares she's "more Lancashire than hotpot".


This second series offers six more well-known faces, including Jeremy Paxman, Stephen Fry, Sheila Hancock and director Gurinder Chadha the chance to delve into their families' past.

BBC TWO highlights Winter/Spring 2006 Stephen Fry


They uncover more than a few surprises, family secrets and mysterious ancestors, sometimes with only the briefest of evidence to go on.

BBC TWO highlights Winter/Spring 2006 Julian Clary


In Stephen Fry's own words: "This was one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life. On both sides there were remarkable shocks. All in all, quite a journey."




Francesco's Italy - Top To Toe


Francesco da Mosto, the charismatic Venetian presenter, author and architect who brought the story of Venice to BBC TWO audiences, returns to the channel, abandoning his boat for an open-top car journey through the art, history and beauty of Italy.


Francesco explores Italy's well-known treasures as well as its secret side: the landscape gardens of Tuscany alongside the prima donnas of La Scala; the ruins of Pompeii juxtaposed with Gracie Fields' hideaway on Capri; Botticelli's The Birth Of Venus; and Pisa's Leaning Tower.


Along the way, Francesco reveals that he is half Sicilian, and his journey leads him to explore his father's roots in the north and on to his mother's family in the south.




The Hairy Bikers' Cookbook


Following a critically acclaimed and highly popular pilot programme earlier this year, and a phenomenal public reaction, the new year sees the arrival on BBC TWO of a highly unusual documentary series presented by two warm, life-long foodies.


Dave Myers and Si King are big, bearded bikers who met 17 years ago working behind the scenes on the set of a Catherine Cookson drama.


Having discovered a mutual passionate love of food, travel and adventure, they pack up their panniers, rev up their bikes and head off in search of authentic culinary and cultural experiences in all corners of the world.


With their friendly disposition and infectious enthusiasm, the lads are welcomed with open arms by locals of all ages.


Film crew in tow, Dave and Si are off on six quests that take in Namibia, the Isle of Man and Ireland, Transylvania, Turkey, Vietnam and Mexico.


Factual Publicity


The Will To Walk


Three people face a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: the chance to walk again…


Mik is paraplegic and has been a wheelchair user since childhood. After a recent car crash, doctors operated on him and, suddenly, he could feel his toes. He might even walk, but it would mean more operations and a lot of pain. He must now decide if it's worth it.


This film also follows the stories of Sue, who has multiple sclerosis and stakes everything on stem cell treatment – it's her last chance of recovery but everything depends on whether she can raise enough money; and Judy, a successful businesswoman until she broke her neck in a fall. Doctors said she'd never walk again but she's determined to prove them wrong.




Facing The Truth


In six gripping face-to-face encounters, victims and perpetrators from the Northern Ireland conflict meet for the first time in a unique event.


Archbishop Desmond Tutu oversees these meetings as victims and perpetrators face the truth and each other, in a series presented by Fergal Keane.


Victims tell their stories about the human costs of what the perpetrators have done; and perpetrators acknowledge the pain and suffering they have caused, revealing crucial details about their acts of violence.


In these compelling encounters, victims question perpetrators directly as they try to get to the truth.






The Orkney child abuse case was one in a series of high-profile scandals that rocked Britain in the late Eighties and early Nineties.


It illuminated a burgeoning child abuse "industry" that seemed to be spinning out of control. In the Eighties, new theories and techniques aimed at uncovering the existence of child abuse had swept across the Atlantic and through the British social work profession.


In February 1991, the unsuspecting and remote Scottish island was hit by co-ordinated dawn raids, police and social workers swooping without warning on four Orkney families and taking their nine children into care.


Extraordinary allegations of Satanic ritual abuse had been made and an extraordinary fight ensued to have the children returned and the families' names cleared.


In Accused!, the parents, children and social workers involved describe their experience – some talking for the first time – of how and why it happened: what drove the social workers to act so drastically; the resulting campaign that galvanised the community; and the children themselves reveal what really happened in their all-important disclosure sessions with the social workers.




The Convent


Following on from the success of The Monastery, The Convent follows four ordinary women as they give up their everyday lifestyles to embark upon a spiritual journey with a community of nuns.


Offering a remarkable glimpse into the inner workings of convent life, the women will spend 40 days and 40 nights in a world without material possessions and where the pressures of modern life are left behind.


Cut off from the outside world, they will share the daily routine of prayers and work with the Sisters in an attempt to discover if life has any greater meaning.


This series explores whether the age-old values of the nuns hold any relevance to modern women and whether or not this experience will have the power to transform their lives.




A Question of Selection


With "selection" a taboo in New Labour's education policy, this series investigates whether under-privileged children in the Fifties and Sixties had a better deal under the 11+ system than they do today.


The first programme goes back to school with some well-known people for whom the chance to pass an exam and attend a grammar school took them out of the working classes and transformed their lives.


The next part returns with them to their schools today – to discover whether children from the same background have the same opportunities and standard of education.


A Question Of Selection also examines the "postcode lottery" which, critics say, has replaced selection by ability with selection by postcode.




The Private Life of an Easter Masterpiece


Three great paintings encompassing traditional Easter themes – The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci; Salvador Dali's The Christ Of St John Of The Cross; and Resurrection by Piero della Francesca – are forensically examined and explained in these special programmes.


The Private Life Of An Easter Masterpiece goes beyond art theory and fashionable artistic movements to present the biographies of the paintings themselves, exploring how the paint has been applied, how particular ideas are conveyed to viewers and how each work is a unique reflection of its own life and times.



BBC TWO highlights Winter/Spring 2006 The Snows


Whose Britain Is It Anyway?


Dynamic duo Peter and Dan Snow lift the lid on how few of Britain's 60 million inhabitants own its 60 million acres of land.


They reveal that 90 per cent live on about 10 per cent of the land and that homes are now a third smaller than previous generations'.


While the Forestry Commission is still the largest landowner, the Church has sold off over a million acres in recent times; and Prince Charles earns £36k a day from his Duchy of Cornwall land holdings and property portfolio.



BBC TWO highlights Winter/Spring 2006 Jimmy's Farm


Jimmy's Farm II


On the last visit to Jimmy's Farm at Christmas 2004, Essex boy Jimmy Doherty was ploughing ahead regardless of problems – determined to realise his dream of establishing a successful pig-farming business by returning to traditional agricultural methods.


Now it's his third year and everything is getting bigger. Ambitious as ever, Jimmy's recent additions include a bull, 100 rescued battery chickens and 800,000 bees.


Other challenges include creating a wildlife walk, managing the increasing numbers of staff and controlling the new prize boar.


Can Jimmy rise above the obstacles or has he finally bitten off more than he can chew?




How To Have A Good Death


It is an inevitable part of life but death is a taboo subject in today's society.


In How To Have A Good Death, Esther Rantzen examines the reality of end-of-life care in the UK and reveals the findings of the largest national survey ever held on the way people deal with death and dying.


Uncovering attitudes to, and experiences of, the medical care given to loved ones, the programme asks whether there is a need for change to improve care for the dying.


It also features new training and projects in British hospitals which encourage staff to see death and dying as having the same significance and value as any other stage in life, as well as hearing from doctors and nurses about the day-to-day reality of coping with dying patients.


BBC Learning is extending the debate by involving BBC Local Radio and BBC Radios 2 and 4 in a week of discussion on the subject of death and end-of-life care.


There will be a website and printed support material to accompany this season.



BBC TWO highlights Winter/Spring 2006 Elizabeth David


Elizabeth David: A Life in Recipes


Post-war Britain's culinary couture was limited, to say the least.


In the main, restaurants served dull, tasteless food, and "home-cooked" fare usually meant stewed to within an inch of its life.


Cookery writer Elizabeth David was to change – at least in part – the attitude of many to cuisine.


To this day she is revered by many of the country's acclaimed chefs, including Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver.


This fascinating drama-documentary tells the story of her pioneering battle to change ingrained British attitudes to eating, and bring the flavours of the Mediterranean to the austerity of Fifties Britain.




Springwatch with Bill Oddie


Springwatch 2005 renewed the nation's passion for British wildlife with its live day-by-day coverage following the fortunes of several well-loved creatures.


Off air, viewers joined the BBC's Breathing Space campaign in their thousands and pledged over 38 million hours of action for wildlife.


In 2006, Bill Oddie, Kate Humble and Simon King are back for three weeks of live wildlife reports from around the country and more news from the ongoing Springwatch survey.


They'll also be continuing the Breathing Space campaign by asking viewers to share their favourite spots for enjoying nature on their doorstep and beyond.




The House That Dick Built


Inventor Dick Strawbridge and his family have a challenge: to create a sustainable lifestyle in an eco-friendly house that includes all mod cons – a "green dream" shared by many.


Their project is the restoration of a derelict farmhouse, with no plumbing or electricity, set in three wild acres.


With hilarious results, they build a water wheel, wind turbines and compost toilets.


In their permaculture garden, battery farm hens are liberated, pigs fattened and mulching is the buzz word on their road to self-sufficiency.



BBC TWO highlights Winter/Spring 2006 The Lost World of Friese-Greene


The Lost World of Friese-Greene


The BBC and the British Film Institute (bfi) are hitting the road together again. Following the success of their collaboration on The Lost World Of Mitchell & Kenyon, the BBC and the bfi are taking viewers on another magical journey, showcasing a series of remarkable films that were shot in pioneering early colour at a time when the world was filmed in black and white.


In the mid-Twenties, film-maker Claude Friese-Greene made a series of films during an intrepid drive from Land's End to John O'Groats, in the early days of the motor car.


These colour films have now been rescued from the archive to delight and intrigue today's audiences.

BBC TWO highlights Winter/Spring 2006 The Lost World of Friese-Greene


In The Lost World Of Friese-Greene, presenter Dan Cruickshank traces the original route in a vintage car, tracking down relatives of the people who appear in the films.


Remarkably, Dan also shows footage to people who actually appeared in the films as children and are seeing themselves on film for the first time, 80 years later.


This unique archive reveals many things in the UK that have changed in 80 years, as well as, surprisingly, what has remained the same.



BBC TWO highlights Winter/Spring 2006 The Romantics


The Romantics


David Tennant, David Threlfall and Dudley Sutton feature in the cast for this new series written and presented by acclaimed novelist and biographer Peter Ackroyd.


The English Romantic poets – from Blake, through to Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelley, Byron and Keats – were at the forefront of a movement between 1760 and 1830 which would redraw the political map of Europe and North America, expand the limits of the human imagination and radically impact on the way people see the world today.


Following on from the success of Peter Ackroyd's London, this series tells the turbulent story of the pioneers of the modern imagination: their political passions, personal dreams and private pleasures.



BBC TWO highlights Winter/Spring 2006 The Wilson Conspiracy


The Wilson Conspiracy


Harold Wilson's shock resignation in 1976 launched a host of conspiracy theories – raising questions about whether Wilson had been a victim of an MI5 "dirty trick"; whether he was a Soviet spy; whether there had been some scandal involving his political secretary Marcia Williams; or even that early signs of Alzheimer's were beginning to affect his legendary photographic memory.


Scheduled to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the resignation (March 2006), this programme uses contributions from Wilson's inner circle, interviews and dramatic reconstruction of revealing, unpublished interviews with Wilson to untangle the mysteries surrounding his career as Labour leader and Prime Minister.




Brick Lane


This documentary explores the unique history of the road that became the destination of many first-generation immigrants over the centuries, from the Huguenots and the Jews to the Bangladeshi residents of today.


This is the story of people who made extraordinary personal journeys, moving continents and overcoming prejudice in the hope of a brighter future in England.




Banglatown Banquet


Viewers can immerse themselves in the lives of a group of mature Muslim women in this thought-provoking drama.


Dressed in their hijabs, they leave the familiarity of their Bangladeshi community and set out on a voyage of discovery.




Marvels of the Modern Age


One hundred years ago, a new movement shocked culture to its core. It began as the aesthetic ideal of a few artists and idealists but became a way of life for millions of people.


That movement was Modernism and, today, it influences everything people do – from queuing in IKEA to pounding the treadmill at the gym.


This landmark series, written and presented by Dan Cruickshank, traces the roots of Modernism and focuses on the movement's leading lights, such as Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, and the century's most seismic political events including the rise of Nazi Germany.


The series coincides with a major exhibition at London's Victoria And Albert Museum and is accompanied by programming on BBC FOUR.



BBC TWO highlights Winter/Spring 2006 The Apprentice


The Apprentice


Burning ambition meets the school of hard knocks in the hotly anticipated second series of The Apprentice – the show which sees 14 young high-fliers battle it out through a gruelling selection process for a year-long job with selfmade tycoon and notoriously hard-to-please boss Sir Alan Sugar.


The 14 candidates face the biggest challenge of their lives – a 12-week-long job interview.


Each week, their ambition, business flair and wit is tested to the limit as they compete in business tasks set by Sir Alan.


Divided into teams, the winners of the weekly assignment are rewarded, while the losers report to the boardroom for a showdown with Sir Alan and his two assistants, Margaret Mountford and Nick Hewer.


After being grilled on their mistakes, one is then singled out for the sack with the immortal words from Sir Alan – "You're fired!"


Over on BBC THREE, viewers will be able to catch up with the latest firing after each episode of the series in The Apprentice – You're Fired.


Tim's Story, a standalone documentary following last year's winner Tim Campbell, precedes the series while The Apprentice – You're Hired will talk to the newly crowned winner after the final episode of the series.







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