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29 October 2014
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BBC Two Winter/Spring 2008 
White Girl

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 home.


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.


The 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 community.


The Poles Are Coming sees Tim Samuels (the man behind The Zimmers) taking a subversive look at the reality of immigration in Middle England.


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 
House Of Saddam


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 schedule.


"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 problems.


Lab Rats is a new comedy set in a university laboratory, starring Chris Addison (The Thick Of It) and executive produced by Armando Iannucci.


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 
Wonderland: Norman Wisdom




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 attack.


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 
Louis Theroux: The Hunters


Single documentaries continue to feature in the heart of the BBC Two schedule.


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.


Meanwhile 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.




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