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Monday 13 Oct 2014

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BBC One Winter/Spring 2008

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: Jill Scott plays Precious

BBC One unveils bold winter schedule

A new drama based on the adventures of Precious Ramotswe, the proprietor of the only female-owned detective agency in Botswana, and a major event drama which retells the last week in the life of Jesus Christ, headline the winter 2008 season on BBC One, Roly Keating announced today.

Says Roly Keating, acting Controller of BBC One: "The winter schedule on BBC One reflects a confident and innovative channel, with some big names and bold commissions.

"In an epic film treat for viewers, the combined talents of Richard Curtis and Anthony Minghella will bring The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency alive for the channel. Filmed entirely on location in Botswana, it's an entertaining and optimistic story, offering a very different insight to Africa than we are used to seeing in the news.

"Plus, for the first time on television, The Passion will tell the story of Jesus Christ from three different points of view, with all the key characters intimately characterised, and will be played out over one week to create a compelling viewing experience."

Based on the best-selling novel by Alexander McCall Smith, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is a poignant and amusing story chronicling the adventures of Precious and capturing the spirit of Botswana; its dignity, friendliness and reliance on community and pride.

Singer and actress Jill Scott stars as Precious Ramotswe in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency which is directed and written by Anthony Minghella and co-written by Richard Curtis. See additional release for more information.

The Passion, written by Emmy Award-winner Frank Deasy (Prime Suspect 7) and developed by Nigel Stafford-Clark (Bleak House), will be scheduled across one week of the schedule in the run up to Easter 2008.

Joseph Mawle (Soundproof) plays Jesus Christ and James Nesbitt (Murphy's Law) is Pontius Pilate in this unique and compelling dramatisation.

Set in the political and religious context of the time it retells the extraordinary events that took place in Jerusalem during Passover week and places the audience at the heart of the action by telling the story from three points of view: that of the religious authorities, the Romans and Jesus. See additional release for more information.

In the final chapter of his epic overview of life on earth, Sir David Attenborough aims to transform our perceptions of cold blooded animals. Life In Cold Blood uses the latest filming technology from the BBC's world-renowned Natural History Unit to reveal the intimate lives of cold blooded reptiles and amphibians and discover the secrets of their success.

Amazing TV firsts include wild rattlesnakes hunting, anacondas giving birth underwater, a male frog "giving birth", a mother caiman leading her crèche of babies to safety and semaphoring Panamanian Golden Frogs.

Building on the success of Cranford this autumn, there will be two historic classics dramatised for viewers' enjoyment this winter: Jane Austen's Sense And Sensibility and Flora Thompson's Lark Rise To Candleford.

David Morrissey, Dominic Cooper, Dan Stevens, Mark Williams, Janet McTeer and Mark Gatiss lead an all-star cast in Andrew Davies's romantic, witty and stylish new three-part adaptation of Sense And Sensibility, which tells the story of two young sisters on a voyage of burgeoning sexual and romantic discovery.

Julia Sawalha, Dawn French, Olivia Hallinan, Liz Smith, Ben Miles, Olivia Grant, Mark Heap and Brendan Coyle star in a new adaptation of Flora Thompson's magical memoir of her Oxfordshire childhood at the end of the 19th century, seen through the eyes of a teenage girl.

Ashes To Ashes is the next chapter in the life of Gene Hunt, the brash detective in Life On Mars. He is no longer the self-styled "Sheriff of Manchester", instead it's 1981 and he has transferred to London's Met Police where he's about to meet his match in DI Alex Drake (Keeley Hawes).

Alex is an intelligent, independent DI and single mother in the modern world of 2008 who suddenly finds herself in 1981 surrounded by speedboats, city dealers, guns, brothels, well-dressed criminals and New Romantics.

Louise Lombard (CSI, House Of Elliott), Lyndsey Marshal (Rome) and Danny Dyer (Straightheads, The Football Factory) star in Kiss Of Death (formerly Blood Rush), a gritty new two-part crime drama.

Written by Barbara Machin (Waking The Dead) the format represents a bold step forward for the crime genre: as events flip both backwards and forward in time, this compelling story is told at various times from the point of view of every character involved – those investigating the crime, as well as the killer and his victims.

Mistresses is the story of four friends who experience love and infidelity in very different ways. Starring Sarah Parish, Sharon Small, Orla Brady and Shelley Conn, characters include GP Katie who finds her well-ordered existence thrown into disarray when her married lover dies and his son reveals a determination to trace the other woman in his father's life, and Jessica the fun-loving minx and archetypal mistress who believes in the joys of no-strings-attached sex and claims there is no such thing as love, until she falls for another woman who is about to get married.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Carlyle head an all-star cast in a dynamic new thriller about a man whose search for the truth about his brother's death catapults him into an international conspiracy – and a passionate love affair.The Last Enemy is written by Peter Berry (Prime Suspect 6, Kiszko – A Life For A Life) and co-stars Max Beesley, Anamaria Marinca, David Harewood and Geraldine James.

Martin Shaw (Judge John Deed) heads the cast of a powerful two-part supernatural thriller, written and directed by Joe Ahearne (Doctor Who, This Life), about an exorcist battling demons in what he discovers to be the beginning of the End of Days – the final battle of good against evil.

Shaw plays Father Jacob in Apparitions, a Jesuit priest who works for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to investigate miraculous happenings and to promote candidates to sainthood. His vocation is tested when he is approached by Donna (Romy Irving), a 10-year-old girl who is convinced her father is possessed by demons.

Messiah is also back on BBC One with Marc Warren as DCI Joseph Walker, who has finally met his match. He used to be celebrated for his finely tuned instincts and tenacity of character, but on his latest investigation Joseph's troubled past returns to haunt him.

Saturday nights continue to be an appointment to view on BBC One with an exciting new entertainment show, The One And Only hosted by Graham Norton. This series puts top tribute acts through their paces performing as the star of their dreams to win important viewers' votes and avoid the weekly elimination. The prize is a three-month performing contract in Las Vegas with the renowned Legends In Concert, one of the world's longest-running celebrity impersonator shows.

The Apprentice returns to BBC One with harder tasks, hungrier candidates and a tougher boss than ever before. A new group of aspiring tycoons try their luck at securing the job of a lifetime with no-nonsense boss and self-made millionaire, Sir Alan Sugar. Meanwhile Crimewatch returns with a brand new look and a new presenting team led by Kirsty Young, as it enters its 24th year on the channel.

This winter, factual drama Miss Nightingale tells the story of a critical time in the life of Florence Nightingale, one of the most famous, but least understood, figures in British history.

BBC One also has two new insightful documentary series this season. Meet The Immigrants is a six-part observational documentary following the stories of migrants living and working in Britain today.

Pope John Paul II – The War Years is the remarkable story of the five years which transformed the life of Karol Wojtyla – the man who would become John Paul II – and set him on the path to the Vatican.

Finally BBC One brings viewers the most popular sporting events this winter and the return of the fundraising event, Sport Relief.

The Six Nations Rugby returns in February with all the games live on the BBC while the FA Cup continues with the all-important third round at the beginning of the New Year.

Sport Relief includes three days of events for the nation to participate in, plus the fundraising entertainment evening with contributions from many of the UK's biggest sporting names and some of the BBC's best-loved shows.

Christmas Day

BBC One's winter 2008 is launched off the back of a strong schedule of programmes for all the family this Christmas.

The BBC can today confirm that its Christmas Day schedule consists of film premieres Finding Nemo and Shrek 2, Doctor Who: Voyage Of The Damned, a Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special, two gripping EastEnders episodes, To The Manor Born and the Catherine Tate Christmas Special.

For further information consult the listings released today – now added to TV Programme Information Week 52/01.

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