Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

BBC Four Spring/Summer 2010

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Sea Fever – A British Love Affair

Sea Fever – A British Love Affair explores the crucial ways in which the sea has helped shape modern Britain, from history and culture to economics and science.

As part of the season, flagship series White Sails And Grey Mist combines amateur film archive, most never previously seen on television, with fascinating tales of our relationship with the sea – how we have enjoyed it, fished it and survived its dangers. The result is an intimate insight into the role the sea has played in British life over the last hundred years.

Also included in the season is The Boats That Built Britain, which takes a voyage through the history of British seafaring and puts some of the vessels featured in the programme through their paces.

Timothy Spall – Somewhere At Sea is a mini-odyssey along the coast from Cornwall to Wales in the company of the actor and his wife on their Dutch barge.

The Box That Changed Britain tells the story of how global container shipping brought huge changes, transforming Britain’s ports, economy and society.

And the art and literature of the high seas will be explored in two special programmes presented by writer Owen Sheers, Art Of The Sea – In Pictures and Art Of The Sea – In Words.


White Sails And Grey Mist, an Available Light production
The Boats That Built Britain, a Form Films production
Timothy Spall – Somewhere At Sea, a Steadfast Television production
The Box That Changed Britain, BBC Productions
Art Of The Sea – In Pictures and Art Of The Sea – In Words, BBC Productions, Scotland

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Maps do so much more than help travellers get from A to B. When decoded, they reveal fascinating insights into the people, histories and cultures that created them. Two series explore further in a "maps moment" on BBC Four.

In Maps: Power, Plunder And Possession, a high defintion production, Professor Jerry Brotton tells the epic history of cartography and reveals the impact of maps on power, discovery, riches and belief.

The Beauty Of Maps uncovers the creative beauty of maps, the role of cartographers and the impact their creations have had within the art world.

A supporting website allows users to explore five historic maps in detail, taking a journey into the mesmerising worlds of digital mapping at

BBC Four's maps programming will be scheduled to coincide with a new British Library exhibition opening in April 2010: Magnificent Maps – Power, Propaganda And Art.


Maps: Power, Plunder And Possession, BBC Productions
The Beauty Of Maps, a Tern Television production

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The Great Northern Season

The Great Northern Season

From great buildings to great food, great television to great big lads on the rugby field, BBC Four celebrates the culture, history, life and architecture of northern England in a season of films.

The Golden Age Of Civic Architecture examines the magnificent architecture of towns and cities across the north. As part of a wide-ranging look at the history and architecture of the region, architectural historian Dr Jonathan Foyle explores the dazzling showmanship of Georgian and Victorian public buildings in Liverpool and Leeds, and tells the stories of the men who commissioned the magnificent municipal buildings of Manchester.

In a delicious overturning of lazy stereotypes about the north, cultural historian Andrew Hussey takes a journey through the culinary traditions of the region, from Lob Scouse to Pease Pudding to Parkin, in The Road To Wigan Pie Shop.

Eddie Waring – Mr Rugby League depicts the story of the game through one man's experience of class, power and money. Eddie introduced the nation to the sport but, in his northern heartland, he was both loved and loathed.

He managed to take rugby league to a new level although, in doing so, Eddie attracted enemies and became an "exile in his own land". This is his story and his role in the history of rugby league.

According to popular belief, the Sixties was the decade that swung. But the era began with a great roar that emanated not from swinging London, but from the north. In 1960 – Year Of The North, author Andrew Martin, whose novels such as Murder At Deviation Junction and Death On A Branch Line are rooted in the region, explores how new voices in books, film, TV and music woke Britain from its post-war slumber. The likes of Alan Sillitoe, Shelagh Delaney, Tony Warren and The Beatles, began a process that would make the northern voice central to the decade that followed.

The story of another great northern institution is told by BBC Four in a drama about the birth of Britain’s longest-running television soap opera. Florizel Street tells how the determination of a young screenwriter to show his native north in a new light changed British television for ever when Florizel Street eventually became Coronation Street.

BBC Four revisits the landmark documentary series All Our Working Lives, which looked at the broad decline in British industry through the 20th century and brings it right up to date with an exploration of the economic and industrial transformation that Britain has undergone since the early-Eighties.

Michael Smith's Deep North will see The Culture Show regular go in search of the Newcastle of his youth. Approaching the Toon from the Tyne, Michael believes the place has more in common with Baltic City States than London, where he now lives. Deep North is a lyrical mediation on Newcastle and the North East, a subjective and personal response of a prodigal son returning.

BBC Front Desk Publicity

BBC Productions

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A Night At The Museum

A Night At The Museum

While museums care for and preserve historical artefacts, who cares for the museums themselves? Acclaimed film-maker Richard Macer (The Department Store, The Naked Rambler, Welcome To My World) visits three different museums struggling to connect with a modern audience.

Staff at the Freud Museum in Hampstead are hoping that a dating evening may help broaden the appeal of their establishment dedicated to the father of psychoanalysis. In Leyland, mutiny brews as the British Commercial Vehicle Museum struggles to stay open. Meanwhile, a new director at the National Waterways Museum in Gloucester, attempts to save it from a potentially watery grave.

A Night At The Museum aims to find out whether a small piece of history dies each time a museum is forced to close.

BBC Front Desk Publicity

Platform Productions

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Outdoor Season

Outdoor Season

From a nostalgic exploration of Britain under pedal power to wild swimming, camping and bird-watching, BBC Four’s Outdoor Season celebrates the great British love affair with the countryside – whatever the weather.

Leading the season is Britain By Bike, in which Clare Balding embarks on a pedal-powered odyssey across the UK, rediscovering the magical world of Fifties-style cycling.

Clare follows in the tracks of compulsive cyclist and author Harold Briercliffe, whose guidebooks, The Cycling Touring Guides, helped open up the British countryside to post-war cyclists.

Other films in the season include Alice Roberts plunging into lakes and rivers in Wild Swimming With Alice Roberts, which is produced in HD; Dan Cruickshank revealing the rich history of the evolution of the nation's parks in Britain’s Park Story, and bike-obsessive Rob Penn building his dream machine in Ride Of My Life – The Story Of The Bicycle.

In The Great British Outdoors, Mark Benton voices a witty tribute to a very British story of mud, sweat and tent pegs in a world without a solid roof, while Twitchers – A Very British Obsession enters the competitive world of bird-watching fanatics.


Britain By Bike, a Lion TV production
Wild Swimming With Alice Roberts, BBC Productions
Britain’s Park Story, Objective Productions
Ride Of My Life – The Story Of The Bicycle, an Indus Films production
The Great British Outdoors, BBC Productions
Twitchers – A Very British Obsession, a Form Films production

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