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24 September 2014
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BBC Two: Amazon
Bruce Parry presents Amazon

BBC Two unveils its Autumn 2008 highlights

Programmes A-B

A Number


Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind) and Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill, Enduring Love) play a father and son whose relationship is brought into question in A Number, a screen adaptation of British playwright Caryl Churchill's stage play.


When Bernard (Ifans) discovers he is just one of an unidentified number of clones, his whole existence is called into question and he turns to his father Salter (Wilkinson) to provide some answers about where he really came from, and what really happened to his mother. As Salter attempts to justify his actions and clones creep out of the woodwork, questions of human identity, nature versus nurture and the morality of cloning are explored.






Explorer Bruce Parry (Tribe) embarks on an epic journey to the source of the Amazon – the world's greatest river, its largest forest, the most bio-diverse habitat on the planet and home to some of the last uncontacted tribes left on Earth.


This landmark series follows Bruce on a breathtaking journey from the Amazon's source on a slope of Nevado Mismi, an 18,000-foot mountain in the Peruvian Andes, all the way to the sea, 6,500km away on Brazil's Atlantic coast.


Along the route he tells the stories of the people – from loggers to soya farmers, cattle barons to tribespeople – who inhabit the greatest forest on Earth.


The audience can see exclusive tasters of the series online, where they can also find Bruce and the team's blogs and more pictures from the eight-month journey, at




The American Future - A History
Simon Schama presents The American Future - A History

The American Future - A History


The 2008 US Presidential election is unique in many ways. Voters are feeling uncertain about military outcomes and anxious about sudden shaky prosperity, leading to a weakened faith in governance that has not been felt this painfully since Watergate.


In its desire for national regeneration, the voting public has been going to the polls in numbers not seen for many generations. In a country whose mission is always to reinvent everything, history is rarely treated as a living, breathing thing – but certainly there are strong grounds for calling this election "historic".


Historian Simon Schama takes the long perspective, looking at four of the critical issues facing the country: war, moral fervour, immigration and the increasingly difficult relationship between expectations of prosperity and the reality of economic and environmental limits.


In his travels through America, past and present, Schama aims to reveal the big picture at a critical moment of choice – for the United States, and for the world.






The Bar is the most powerful profession in Britain. It produces Prime Ministers, millionaires and the judges who shape our law. The climb to the top is steep – thousands train to become barristers every year, yet just one in four succeed.


With unique and unprecedented access to courts and counsel, this series follows students as they aspire to join one of the world's elite professions.


It also hears from practising barristers as they reveal the highs and lows of working at the Bar amid what they perceive as an attack from the Government, which wants to curb their earnings and open up the legal profession to others.


Barristers – where raw emotion meets centuries-old tradition – comes from the makers of Anatomy Of A Crime (RTS 2006 and Grierson 2007 best documentary series).


Front Desk


Beautiful People
Beautiful People

Beautiful People


In her first comedy role since The Kumars At No. 42, Meera Syal stars in this adaptation by Jonathan Harvey (Beautiful Thing, Gimme Gimme Gimme) of Beautiful People, the wild childhood memoirs of Simon Doonan, Creative Director of Barneys, New York.


Exploring Simon's memories of his desire to escape suburban Reading and live among the "beautiful people" from the perspective of his New York department store window, it features a host of eccentric characters: 13-year-old Simon and his best friend Kyle, who cannot open a fridge door without belting out a show tune; Mum Debbie, a whirlwind of matriarchal warmth in killer heels; Dad Andy, a lovable Irish softy and avid wine-maker; older sister Ashlene, a wannabe ghetto queen; family lodger, blind Aunty Hayley; and lobotomised grandma Narg (gran backwards), who has lost God – but found a foul mouth.


The series also stars Olivia Colman (Peep Show, That Mitchell And Webb Look), Aidan McArdle (Not Only But Always), Layton Williams (Billy Elliot in the West End), Samuel Barnett (The History Boys) and 13-year-old Luke Ward-Wilkinson (Wild At Heart) as young Simon.




British Style Genius


This major landmark series looks at what makes British fashion and style so distinctive – and so influential.


Brits such as John Galliano and Alexander McQueen now head up exclusive Parisian couture houses. In Tokyo, Paul Smith and Savile Row are the touchstone of gentlemanly style. And around the world British fashion icon Kate Moss stares out from magazine covers and billboards.


British Style Genius examines the looks and trends that have come to define British style, from the high street to high-end couture; from bespoke tailoring to street cool; from fashion rebels to traditionalist Sloanes.


The series features the designers and models, the stylists and stars, the retail movers and shakers, who together have created a major industry.


The British look is eclectic, a mix of tradition and transgression, as much inspired by the consumer as by the catwalk.


From the glamour and artifice of high fashion to the cutting edge creativity of street style, British Style Genius covers it all with the help of contributions from, among others: Kate Moss and Twiggy, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen, Michael Caine and Roger Moore, Paul Smith and Ozwald Boateng, Philip Green and Stuart Rose.


A dedicated website, with content that will reflect and enhance the series, will also be available.




Building The Olympic Dream


What happens after the euphoria of winning the Olympic bid? This series films behind the scenes of the preparations for the London 2012 Olympics – capturing the scale and excitement of this extraordinary project, which is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime event in this country.


The series follows the journeys of the key decision makers, the people who bear the responsibility of ensuring that everything will be ready on time and those whose lives are changing as a result of the Games.


Front Desk





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