BBC Two Winter/Spring 2008
BBC Two turns spotlight on white working class
Channel announces Winter/Spring 2008 programme highlights
The white working class in Britain is put under the spotlight this
winter on BBC Two, in a season of unflinching programmes examining why
some sections of this community feel increasingly marginalised today.
As political parties debate the way forward for immigration, debate
rages in the media and the popularity of the far-right continues to rise
in some sections of society, White explores the complex mix of feelings
that lead some white working class people to feel under siege and as if
their very sense of self is being brought into question.
Says Roly Keating, Controller, BBC Two: "It's BBC Two's role to reflect
contemporary society and this is a timely moment for us to examine the
roots of this debate.
"The White season is a complex look at how life has
changed for the white working class in Britain.
"It will enable the
audience to consider the views and circumstances of people who have a
strong point of view and join in the debate, both online with the BBC
and in their own homes and communities."
The season consists of a range of documentaries and a compelling drama,
White Girl, written by Abi Morgan (BBC Two's Tsunami: The Aftermath, Sex
Traffic) and starring Anna Maxwell Martin (Bleak House).
White Girl focuses on an inspirational 11-year-old girl, Leah, her
family's relocation to an entirely Muslim community in Bradford and her
feeling of isolation, which is heightened at school when she discovers
that she and her siblings are the only white children.
But Leah views
the Muslim culture and faith with innocent fascination, finding a refuge
of calm and safety which is in sharp contrast to the pain and sadness at
A provocative and emotional drama, it explores the hope as well as
the tension that can arise when two very different cultures collide.
Documentaries in the season include Last Orders, which tells the story
of the embattled Wibsey Working Men's Club in the city of Bradford.
white working class was once regarded as the "backbone of the nation",
but they now feel that their community is under threat and largely
forgotten by the Government.
All White In Barking observes
relationships and questions prejudices in a multi-cultural East London
The Poles Are Coming sees Tim Samuels (the man behind The Zimmers)
taking a subversive look at the reality of immigration in Middle
As Gdansk's leaders travel to Peterborough to plead with their
countrymen to come back to a Poland where there is a shortage of
workers, the programme asks what would happen to our economy if they did
leave and whether any will be tempted away.
Finally, Rivers Of Blood assesses the impact of Enoch Powell's infamous ‘rivers of blood' speech,
40 years after the event.
|BBC Two Winter/Spring 2008 |
Other programme highlights
The winter and spring 2008 schedule for BBC Two continues to bring
viewers compelling programmes that make them think more about the world
around them, talk more and do more.
Says Roly Keating: "BBC Two will be launching the new year with gripping
drama, fresh new comedy and impactful factual in the heart of the
"From House Of Saddam, a drama about Saddam Hussein's reign, to
Taking The Flak, a caustic comedy about a news reporting team based
abroad, from Tropic Of Capricorn, Simon Reeve's follow up to Equator, to
Delia Smith's return to cookery, BBC Two offers viewers thoughtful,
immersive and rewarding content."
House Of Saddam is a gripping drama series about one of the world's most
terrifying regimes and its subsequent downfall. This BBC/HBO co-
production tells the story of the opulent lifestyle of Saddam Hussein
and his inner circle, set against a backdrop of war and the tragedies of
the Iraqi people.
Torchwood is also set to get the nation talking this winter, moving to
BBC Two for an even bigger and bolder series.
Captain Jack Harkness
(John Barrowman) and his alien-fighting team are joined by Freema
Agyeman (Doctor Who's Martha Jones) for three episodes, along with other
guest stars including Richard Briers (Monarch Of The Glen), Alan Dale(Ugly Betty) and James Marsters (Buffy The Vampire Slayer).
BBC Two continues to nurture comedy with a number of brand-new shows.
Taking The Flak is an acerbic comedy following the progress of a small
African war, as seen through the eyes of a team of journalists sending
back the nightly reports from the BBC "Ten".
Starring Doon Mackichan (Smack The Pony) and Martin Jarvis (Titanic), among others, with guest
appearances from George Alagiah, Sophie Raworth and Dermot Murnaghan, it
is a synthesis of news and narrative comedy, shot by an award-winning
news cameraman entirely on location in Kenya.
Never Better stars Green Wing's Stephen Mangan as Keith, the wrong
person trying to do the right thing.
A recovering alcoholic in his mid-thirties, Keith doesn't realise that alcohol was the least of his
Lab Rats is a new comedy set in a university laboratory,
starring Chris Addison (The Thick Of It) and executive produced by
Empty is a poignant comedy about two very different
ordinary guys who work for a property maintenance company – Jacky
(Gregor Fisher) and Tony (Billy Boyd).
For both men work is an escape
and when they are together in an empty flat they can go into their own
little world – where comic imaginings are sparked by items they find or
problems they encounter.
|BBC Two Winter/Spring 2008 |
Ordinary people in extraordinary situations are the focus of a brand-new
documentary series, Wonderland.
An eclectic mix of real-life stories,
it features a couple meeting for the first time after falling in love
with each other's internet identities in the online world of Second Life
and a poignant film about actor Norman Wisdom and his family working out
whether they can live together.
Following the success of BBC Two's Equator, Simon Reeve embarks on a new
odyssey along the Tropic Of Capricorn, unearthing fascinating stories of
human history, culture and politics as he journeys through Africa,
Australia and South America.
Award-winning journalist Peter Taylor returns to the channel with a
major new contemporary history series exploring four major terrorist
attacks from the past three decades – each of which marked a key point
in The Age Of Terror.
For the first time Peter tells the story of his
experiences during 40 years of reporting, trying to understand the
motives for terrorism while revealing the events around each terrorist
Louis Theroux gets immersed in two new subjects for the winter and
spring season on BBC Two.
In South Africa, he explores the
extraordinary world of the South African hunting industry in The
Hunters, while in America he makes an eye-opening visit to the San
Quentin Prison in California, meeting more extraordinary characters.
|BBC Two Winter/Spring 2008 |
Single documentaries continue to feature in the heart of the BBC Two
New films for 2008 include: Abortion, exploring this hotly
debated subject through personal testimony; Teen Mum School, which looks
at life in a pupil referral unit for pregnant schoolgirls and mums-to-be; and Class Of 62 At 60, in which filmmaker Marilyn Gaunt follows up
two previous films by returning to her baby boomer classmates. As they
approach 60 and their pensions she reflects on their journey over the
last four decades and their expectations for the future.
Extreme Pilgrim is a compelling new series exploring the physical
elements of three of the world's greatest religions.
Vicar Pete Owen
Jones is dissatisfied with some aspects of his faith and sets off on
extreme pilgrimages to China, India and Egypt to explore Zen Buddhism,
Hinduism and ascetic Christianity, pushing himself to the limit of
physical, mental and spiritual endurance.
Paradise Or Bust follows the dream of two 26-year-olds, Ben Keene and
Mark Bowness, who have leased a paradise island in Fiji, started a
website and hope that up to 5,000 strangers from around the world will
join their tribe and help them build an eco-tourist village.
Reflecting a growing trend in the use of Alternative Therapies,
Professor Kathy Sykes sets off on a personal and scientific journey to
explore three popular and fast-growing alternative therapies:
meditation, hypnotherapy and reflexology.
In Around The World In 80 Gardens, BBC Two's resident gardening expert,
Monty Don, explores 80 of the world's most celebrated gardens, from
ancient to modern, large to small and grand to humble.
architectural historian Dan Cruikshank explores the history of humankind
through architecture, taking viewers on an unexpected treasure trail of
locations, in Dan Cruikshank's Adventures In Architecture.
And, finally, the queen of cooking, Delia Smith, chooses BBC Two to make
her welcome return to the kitchen.
In a cookery series that also gives
a glimpse into the life of one of Britain's most celebrated cooks, Delia
reveals the shortcuts that take the effort out of cooking but not the
quality out of the end dish.