Paris – exploring the history, beauty and bohemian soul of one of the world's most romantic and mysterious cities – starts Tuesday 26 June, 9pm, BBC Two
Art historian and passionate Parisian, Sandrine Voillet, uncovers some of the hidden delights of Paris in a new series for BBC Two exploring the history, beauty and bohemian soul of one of the world's most romantic and mysterious cities.
Paris, a co-production between The Open University and BBC Two, uncovers the city through the eyes, heart and mind of Sandrine Voillet.
With the help of her friends and various locals including fashion designer Christian Lacroix, actress Jane Birkin and Olivier Picasso, Sandrine guides us through 800 years of Paris' past, celebrating the art, literature, music, films, design and architecture that have helped create the spectacular "City of Lights".
Fusing cultural history, travel and contemporary life, the three-part series features tales of the lavish court of the Sun King Louis XIV and the sexual decadence of revolutionary Paris; the crazy early 1900s immortalised by the notorious Moulin Rouge and Folies Bergère to the jazz explosion of the Thirties and the heyday of Sixties hedonism, which inspired the film, music and literature of the time.
Sandrine introduces us to a cast of extraordinary characters who have lived in and been inspired by the city – Marquise de Sévigné, Marquis de Sade, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Honoré Daumier, Auguste Rodin, Pablo Picasso, and Josephine Baker, among many others.
Xavière Hassan, Head of French at The Open University and adviser on the programme, said: "Following the steps of Sandrine, I'm sure many viewers will discover new secret places and stories hidden in the heart of one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
"The Open University has more than 3,000 students studying French at four different levels from beginner to advanced, but you do not have to be a French student to enjoy Paris."
Notes to Editors
The Executive Producer for the BBC is Kim Thomas, the Executive Producer for The Open University is Emma De'Ath and the academic consultant for The Open University is Xavière Hassan.
The Open University and BBC have been in partnership for more than 30 years' providing educational programming to a mass audience.
In recent times this partnership has evolved from late night programming for delivering courses to peak-time programmes with a broad appeal to encourage wider participation in learning.