Wednesday 27 Aug 2014
Taking The Flak
Taking the Flak is a comedy drama about how journalists in war zones live in a state of perpetual danger not just from bombs but from disease, dysentery, bedbugs, bugged beds, their colleagues, their competitors and their loved ones, who are out of sight and out of mind. If they can't get themselves embedded with the army, they'll get embedded with each other.
In the first true synthesis of news and narrative comedy, Taking The Flak has been shot by an award-winning news cameraman entirely on location in Tanzania and Kenya and created, co-written and co-produced by experienced, award-winning journalists and comedy writers.
Acerbic and caustic, Taking The Flak stars British and Kenyan actors, including Martin Jarvis (Grim & Evil), Doon Mackichan (Smack The Pony), Bruce Mackinnon (The Catherine Tate Show), Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Star Stories) and Joanna Brookes (Bad Girls).
Guest stars include Mackenzie Crook (The Office, Pirates Of The Caribbean) and Ruby Wax (Ruby Wax Meets), as well as a number of well-known BBC newsreaders playing themselves.
Terror! Robespierre And The French Revolution
In 1794, French revolutionary Maximilien Robespierre produced the world's first defence of state terror – claiming that the road to virtue lay through political violence.
This 90-minute film combines drama, archive and documentary interviews to examine Robespierre's year in charge of the Committee Of Public Safety – the powerful state machine at the heart of Revolutionary France.
Debating Robespierre's legacy is Slavoj Zizek, who argues that terror in the cause of virtue is justifiable, and Simon Schama, who believes the road from Robespierre ran straight to the gulag and the 20th-century concentration camp.
Based on original sources, the film follows the life and death politics of the Committee during "Year Two" of the new Republic.
It was a year which gave birth to key features of the modern age: the thought crime; the belief that calculated acts of violence can perfect humanity; the notion that the interests of "mankind" can be placed above those of "man"; the use of policemen to enforce morals; and the use of denunciation as a political tool.
That Mitchell And Webb Look
With a host of new characters, David Mitchell and Robert Webb's BAFTA award-winning sketch show returns for a third series, once again featuring Sarah Hadland and James Bachman.
That Mitchell And Webb Look crackles with more of David's and Rob's brainy but daft comedy, with a host of new characters as well as old favourites including Sir Digby Chicken Caesar, Ginger and the Lazy Writers.
Regular new feature The Quiz Broadcast is a game show in the wake of "The Event" – a global catastrophe that has destroyed society as we know it. The last few surviving humans compete for top prizes, such as fuel and food.
A wealth of inventive new one-off sketches include the mysterious futuristic cult of Vectron – a religion that began as the result of a misunderstanding; an exciting new system for finding books on shelves called the Jan Hankl's Flank Pat™; and a couple who definitely aren't swingers and are very keen to let everyone know.
Timewatch – Coventrated
Over two nights in November 1940, the city of Coventry was reduced to rubble by an aerial bombardment that was so devastating that a new word was coined to describe it – Coventrated.
It was the most terrifying air raid on a British city in the war so far, and was to prove a turning point in the conflict. The Luftwaffe weren't just attacking the many armaments factories that surrounded the city – their firepower was directed against ordinary civilians and their homes.
As a result 500 people died, the ancient cathedral was destroyed and the city would never be the same again.
In a powerful and moving documentary for Timewatch, survivors of the Coventry bombing – some of whom have never before spoken about the raids – talk of the fateful 48 hours when the war came to the Midlands.
BBC Front Desk Publicity
The Trouble With Working Women
Nearly 40 years after the Equal Pay Act, women are still paid on average 17% less than men. This topical series takes a look at the issues facing working women today, talking to high-fliers, business women, academics and mums.
Exploring why there are still only a handful of women in the top jobs in the City and whether it's true that girls who go to single sex schools go on to earn more, presenters Sophie Raworth and Justin Rowlatt (Newsnight reporter and "ethical man") talk to Labour's Deputy Leader Harriet Harman and multi-millionaire lingerie magnate Michelle Mone.
The series also takes a video pod around the country to canvass views about women at work and the issues affecting them.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers continues his brooding interpretation of King Henry VIII.
Written and created by Michael Hirst, season three features an all-star cast, including veteran actors Peter O'Toole (Lawrence Of Arabia) and Max Von Sydow (The Exorcist, Rush Hour 3) as Cardinal Von Waldburg.
Henry's fourth wife, Anne Of Cleves, is played by British soul singer Joss Stone in her first major acting role.
The series begins with Henry facing a Catholic rebellion. Led by the charismatic Robert Aske, played by Gerard McSorley (The Constant Gardener, Braveheart), "The Pilgrimage Of Grace" calls more than 40,000 men to arms in Lincolnshire and the north.
Determined to save their old way of life, their Catholic faith and their beautiful monasteries from destruction at the hands of Thomas Cromwell (James Frain) and the Protestant reformers, the rebels prepare to march upon London unless Henry gives in.
In his private life, at least, Henry finds peace and stability. His marriage to Jane Seymour (Annabelle Wallis) brings him happiness and a longed-for son. But when tragedy strikes again, his public and private life is thrown into turmoil.
BBC Front Desk Publicity
What To Eat Now
Valentine Warner sets his sights on the culinary delights of summer as he continues his journey through the seasons for a second series. Summer cooking is all about lighter dishes and fabulous natural pairings; from plump tomatoes with succulent prawns, to tasty raspberry, peach and almond tart.
Val takes viewers on a joyful jaunt around Britain, unearthing the best seasonal ingredients: both bountiful and cheap. Each programme is packed full of fantastic, mouth-watering recipes themed around summer events, from barbecues to picnics.
Along the way, Val meets producers and suppliers who share his passion for summer grub. And with the help of time-lapse filming, he brings his favourite ingredients to life, following their journey from field to plate.
What To Eat Now is the definitive guide to what you should be eating this summer, how it grows and how to cook it.
BBC Front Desk Publicity
Who's Watching You?
With large parts of their lives monitored, recorded and stored, Britons are the most watched people in the world. In a three-part series, BBC Special News Correspondent Richard Bilton asks Who's Watching You?
Most surveillance is there to protect people, to make life easier and safer. But spy technology is racing ahead and increasingly it does not just track criminals, it tracks everyone. We leave a record in databases and on the internet almost wherever we go; every journey, every click of the mouse and every phone call.
Other forms of human surveillance have increased too. Local councils have used undercover operations to investigate where we live and even when we take the dog for a walk. And business too is turning to surveillance.
Created by David Simon and set in Baltimore, the first season of The Wire concentrated on the often-futile efforts of police to infiltrate a West Baltimore drug ring.
BBC Two continues its scheduling blockbuster with The Wire transmitting on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the spring and summer. In seasons two and three, as the Barksdale investigation escalates, the pressures on the working class and the city's political leadership are introduced.
Season four focuses on several young boys in the public school system, struggling with problems at home and the lure of the "corner" – set against the rise of a new drug empire and a new mayor in City Hall.
The fifth and final season centres on the media addressing – or rather failing to address – the fundamental political, economic and social realities depicted over the course of the series.
Over the five seasons David Simon is joined by such notable writers as his frequent collaborator Ed Burns, and famed novelists George Pelecanos, Richard Price and Dennis Lehane.
The ensemble cast is led by Dominic West and includes Lance Reddick, Idris Elba, Clarke Peters, Wendell Pierce, Domenick Lombardozzi, Andre Royo, Sonya Sohn, Michael K Williams and Wood Harris.
World Of Pain, A: Meera Syal On Self Harm
In a sensitive film, Meera Syal looks at the issue of rising levels of self harm in the UK. As an author, actress and mother, the subject is close to Meera's heart. "It seems to me the whole nation is facing a mental health epidemic," she says. "And those most at risk are our own children."
A recent Affinity Health Care survey of 800 teenagers, conducted by Dr David Kingsley, Consultant Adolescent Psychiatrist, Cheadle Royal Hospital, found that one in five admitted to self-harming at some point in their lives, most by cutting themselves.
More than half said they knew someone who had self-harmed, and the remainder had either burned, punched or poisoned themselves. Nearly half were motivated by depression.
Meeting victims, Meera learns about the complicated issues that can lead to a person taking such drastic action and asks how parents can protect their children from it.
A World Of Pain: Meera Syal On Self Harm is part of BBC Headroom, a cross-platform campaign from BBC Learning, to encourage people to look after their mental health and well-being.
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