BBC TWO - Winter/Spring highlights 2006
Introduction - Drama takes a leading role on BBC TWO
Drama moves centre stage on BBC TWO in winter and spring 2006 with a roll-call of contemporary plays and strongly authored pieces.
Roly Keating, Controller of BBC TWO, said today: "Strong authorship and individual voices are the backbone of the channel and I'm pleased that we'll be launching the new year with some really bold drama in the heart of the schedule."
The Line of Beauty, adapted by Andrew Davies from Alan Hollinghurst's Booker Prize-winning novel, is a story about love, class, sex and money that gets deep under the skin of the Thatcherite Eighties.
Full of style and wit, this series is a richly textured coming-of-age story, starring Dan Stevens, Tim McInnerny and Hayley Atwell.
Shoot The Messenger, a brave and provocative drama about one man's (David Oyelowo) painful journey of self-discovery which challenges his attitude to, and expectation of, his own black community, is the first of three hard-hitting contemporary plays from distinctive voices.
Writer Sharon Foster (also writer of Babyfather) won the Dennis Potter Screenwriting Award, which recognises talent and personal vision, for this drama.
The second single play, Soundproof, breaks new ground in bringing deaf and hearing actors together in a compelling and very contemporary whodunit.
Devised by director Edmund Coulthard, who won a Bafta for Best New Director, and starring Joseph Mawle, Susan Lynch and Neil Stuke, it follows the channel's tradition for bold, original and challenging dramas (Flesh and Blood, Every Time You Look At Me).
Shiny Shiny Bright New Hole In My Heart is as modern-day tale of temptation, which follows a successful woman who becomes addicted to shopping.
Written and directed by award-winning Marc Munden, this improvised drama stars Sally Hawkins, Steven Mackintosh and Daniela Nardini.
Factual dramas on BBC TWO will focus on some bizarre moments in modern history and the characters involved.
Pinochet In Surrey is the dramatised account of the former Chilean dictator's arrest in London in 1998 and the events that ensued and sparked off a huge international incident.
It stars Derek Jacobi as Pinochet, with Phyllida Law and Peter Capaldi.
BBC TWO highlights Winter/Spring 2006
Coup! tells the story of what happened when a group of upper-crust Brits tried to mount a coup in Equatorial Guinea in 2004.
Written by John Fortune, it provides a shocking – and sometimes hilarious – insight into the true story of how Simon Mann (Jared Harris) found himself betrayed, arrested and confined to an African jail. Robert Bathurst plays Mark Thatcher.
Alongside drama, BBC TWO has some bold new factual series this winter/spring - and some popular returning formats and faces.
In Balderdash & Piffle, Victoria Coren and her team go in search of the mysterious origins of some of our most familiar words and phrases.
The series asks the public to join in the wordhunt and any successful findings will be immortalised in the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.
In a unique television event, Archbishop Desmond Tutu brokers six face-to-face encounters between victims and perpetrators of the Northern Ireland conflict. Facing The Truth includes a meeting between Michael Stone and the widow and brother of a man he is convicted of murdering (Dermott Hackett).
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.
Plus, following The Lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon, BBC TWO and the British Film Institute (bfi) team up for another magical journey into The Lost World of Friese-Greene, a pioneering filmmaker who shot in colour in the early Twenties at a time when the world was filmed in black and white.
Dan Cruickshank traces the original route in a vintage car, tracking down relatives of the people who appear in the films.
Francesco da Mosto, the charismatic Venetian presenter, author and architect, is back with a new series which explores the history and beauty of his native country.
As well as Italy's famous treasures, he'll be introducing viewers to some of the nation's best kept secrets, in Francesco's Italy – Top To Toe.
Other familiar faces back on the channel in 2006 include Bill Oddie, who returns with a new series of Springwatch, and Jimmy Doherty, who faces new challenges on Jimmy's Farm.
Meanwhile, six more well-known faces delve into their families' past in a new series of
Who Do You Think You Are?
It features Jeremy Paxman, Stephen Fry, Sheila Hancock, Jane Horrocks, Julian Clary, Gurinder Chadha and some startling revelations.
Entertainment and comedy
Be afraid, be very afraid… he's back. The notoriously hard-to-please boss, Sir Alan Sugar, will be putting 14 young high-fliers through their paces in a second series of The Apprentice.
They'll undergo a gruelling selection process for a year-long job with the self-made tycoon, but each week one of them will be sacked with the immortal words, "You're Fired!"
This year the phenomenon is bigger and better with Tim's Story, following last year's winner Tim Campbell, and The Apprentice – You're Hired after the final episode of the series.
Over on BBC THREE, The Apprentice – You're Fired will give viewers a chance to catch up with the latest firing after each episode.
Light Entertainment is a major new series charting the story of popular British culture over the last 50 years.
Each programme looks at the many facets of light entertainment and includes contributions from stars past and present.
BBC TWO continues to have a rich vein of new comedy running through it with Hyperdrive, a new science fiction comedy which follows the spaceship HMS Camden Lock as it goes about protecting British interests in a changing galaxy; Bladecamp [update February 2006: Bladecamp is now named Thin Ice], set in the cut-throat world of amateur ice skating; and Feel The Force, about two policewomen who will try anything.
BBC TWO will be getting the adrenaline pumping with its coverage of the Winter Olympics in Turin and, for the first time in ten years, viewers can see it in prime time as it happens because we'll be in the same time zone.
Other programmes from across the BBC TWO schedule will broadcast Winter Olympic specials, including a Turin special from Top Gear.
Plus, in anticipation of the world's biggest sporting event, BBC TWO presents The World Cup Story, covering 70 years and featuring interviews with some of the great players.
Other highlights on the channel in winter/spring 2006 include:
Riot At The Rite, a stunning recreation of what happened at the premiere of one of the most notorious ballets ever staged, Stravinsky's Rite Of Spring.
Whose Britain Is It Anyway?, a major investigation by Peter and Dan Snow into who owns Britain.
Elizabeth David – A Life In Recipes, a drama about the woman who changed the nation's attitude to cooking and her pioneering battle.
Marvels Of The Modern Age, tracing the roots of Modernism and how it has become a way of life.
The Wilson Conspiracy, a documentary examining the mysteries surrounding Harold Wilson's career as Labour leader and Prime Minster, 30 years after his shock resignation.
And Kath & Kim, those foxy Australian ladies, who are back for a second series of the cult comedy.