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24 September 2014
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Men Are Wonderful
Anne Reid as Barbara Cartland

BBC Four puts science at the heart of its Autumn/Winter schedule


Consuming Passion: 100 Years Of Mills & Boon


One of the most recognisable and compelling brands in our literary canon, Mills & Boon is synonymous with bodices being ripped and heaving bosoms.


But what is the real story behind this celebrated 100-year publishing legacy?


Consuming Passion interweaves the stories of three very different women each, in some way, touched by the influence of Mills & Boon.


Drawn from biographical fact about Gerald Mills, Charles Boon and his wife Mary, as well as testimonies from active Mills & Boon authoresses, the drama, which is also inspired by the writing styles within Mills & Boon, moves from the gently romantic through to the super-charged erotic.


Entertaining, funny, moving and very raunchy, Consuming Passion: 100 Years Of Mills & Boon stars Jodie Whittaker, Patrick Baladi, Olivia Colman, Daniel Mays, Emilia Fox and Patrick Kennedy.


It is written by Emma Frost (Shameless), produced by Ben Evans (The Curse Of Comedy, Fear Of Fanny, Fantabulosa!) and Abi Bach (Mischief Night) and directed by Dan Zeff (The Worst Week Of My Life).




Men Are Wonderful


A fun but emotionally heartfelt look at the life and loves of the pink Queen of Romance, Barbara Cartland.


Writer Jacquetta May delves behind Barbara Cartland's celebrity image to tell the story of her first marriage, which ended in a scandalous divorce, and of her intense devotion to her brother, Ronald.


Though she championed traditional values and fluffy femininity, Barbara (played as a young woman by Sinead Matthews) had to support herself and worked with ferocious energy to fund Ronald's triumphant election campaign. But his success was short-lived - Ronald was killed at Dunkirk leaving Barbara devastated.


She found solace in a phenomenal writing career, ultimately making her the most prolific author of the 20th century. She sold more than 100 million books in 37 languages.


In her seventies, at the height of her commercial powers, Barbara (played by Anne Reid) formed an unlikely friendship with Lord Mountbatten (David Warner), persuading the naval hero to collaborate with her on a novel.


Could this friendship finally provide Barbara with the happiness that eluded her throughout her life?




Time Shift: How To Write A Mills & Boon


What happens when a literary novelist tries to write popular romantic fiction? To mark the 100 years of romance publishers Mills & Boon, author Stella Duffy takes on the challenge of writing for them.


Romantic fiction is a global phenomenon, and Mills & Boon are among the biggest names in the business.


The company welcomes submissions from new authors – but as Stella soon finds out, writing a Mills & Boon is harder than it looks.


Help is at hand from the publishers themselves, a prolific Mills & Boon author and some avid romance fans, as Stella's quest to create the perfect Mills & Boon takes her from London to Italy.


In doing so she discovers as much about the joy and frustration of writing as she does about the art of romantic fiction.


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