Press Office

Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

Little Ships

Little Ships

Seventy years on from Dunkirk, Dan Snow tells the extraordinary story of the boats that played such a pivotal role in the evacuation of Allied troops from northern France in the fateful days of 1940. He looks back to a time when the future of Europe hung in the balance, and meets some of the veterans of the "miracle Dunkirk".

The documentary accompanies a fleet of the Little Ships that made the original perilous voyage as they return to France. Dan explores the fascinating history of these boats, their role in the evacuation and the people who struggle to keep them afloat today.

With the passing of the years, there are fewer veterans of Dunkirk still alive to tell their story, so these vessels are becoming increasingly important evidence in the preservation of an incredible chapter in British history.

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Turn Back Time

Turn Back Time

BBC One brings the story of the British high street to life in an ambitious new series that transports a parade of empty shops and a group of shop keeping families back to the birth of the high street in the 1870s, before propelling them through a century of dizzying change, right up to the modern era.

In a picturesque market square in Shepton Mallet, the families' lives are turned upside down as they get to grips with how shopkeepers lived and worked in six key eras of British history. They are overseen by a Chamber of Commerce which enforces historically accurate rules and regulations as the decades tick by.

Laced with real-life entertainment, family drama and human endeavour, the families have to deal with whatever history throws at them, from delivering goods by horse and cart to wartime rationing to the birth of the supermarket. Can they bring back the high street and make it thrive?

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Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are?

Hit genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? returns to BBC One as a host of famous faces trace their family trees to reveal the lives of their ancestors and explore major themes in British social history.

In an extended series of nine 60-minute films, to be screened this summer, the seventh series features personalities from the worlds of acting, television, comedy and music.

Bruce Forsyth, Rupert Everett, Alexander Armstrong, Alan Cumming, Jason Donovan, Monty Don and Hugh Quarshie step into the past to discover their families' secret love stories, tales of heroism, criminal convictions and personal tragedies in these constantly surprising genealogical detective stories.

Legendary television presenter Bruce Forsyth receives a bombshell in a letter from America claiming that his great grandfather was a bigamist. He embarks on an extraordinary investigation to discover who his great grandfather really was, his rise to fame as an eminent landscape gardener and to discover whether there is any truth in the startling claim.

In a unique twist, the series also features its first ever married couple, actors Rupert Penry-Jones and Dervla Kirwan. Rupert investigates whether he has Indian blood in his heritage while, for the first time in public, Dervla talks about her family’s link with the IRA through her great great uncle Michael Collins, who played a crucial role in the establishment of the Irish Free State in the Twenties.

With stories reaching back hundreds of years, the series unearths the secrets that had been hidden by the passage of time, and reveals the personal stories that helped shape their family histories.

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Edwardian Farm

Edwardian Farm

Following on from BBC Two's hugely successful Victorian Farm, intrepid trio Alex Langlands, Peter Ginn and Ruth Goodman set up home for a year on a Devon farm to experience the trials and tribulations of life at the turn of the 20th century.

The action is based primarily on the farm, although the new location also allows the team to explore other aspects of the working countryside, including rivers, coasts and mining.

From investigating the impact of water-powered machines to building a dinghy for everyday use, the team engage in a host of challenging activities, delving into Britain's rural heritage once again to unearth how Edwardian farmers recovered from the agricultural depression leaner, fitter and more diverse then ever before.

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English Story

English Story

Historian Michael Wood presents English Story, a new BBC Four series that shines an intimate light on the lives of ordinary people over the last 2,000 years. Set in the Leicestershire village of Kibworth, Michael unites the villagers in digging up their back gardens to unearth artefacts and look into the history that's all around them.

Kibworth is modern Britain in miniature – located in the very heart of England and now split by the A6, it's the kind of place people drive through without giving it a second thought. But like most places in England, an incredibly rich historical tapestry lies just beneath the surface.

From the Romans to the Vikings, from the Black Death to the Civil War, this series lays bare a history peopled by fascinating real-life characters, including Tudor teachers, highwaymen, Suffragettes and First World War soldiers.

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Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed Doors

We are all familiar with the splendours of Georgian architecture, but we know less of what went on behind closed doors in the 18th century. In a new three-part series, Amanda Vickery brings the Georgian home back to life and opens a fascinating window on the soul of an age.

Using artefacts, letters, criminal trial records and diaries, Amanda makes us look afresh at a world considered familiar through costume dramas but which only now offers up its secrets. She sheds light on the full spectrum of Georgian society, from the richest to the poorest to the intriguing world of the "middling" classes.

Using dramatic reconstruction to breathe life into the personal stories of these characters, viewers gain access to the dreams, hopes and fears of the Georgians. Amanda provides a compelling account of their attitudes to love and sex as well as the burning issues of the day, such as privacy, consumption and security.

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A Century Of Fatherhood

A Century Of Fatherhood

A Century Of Fatherhood charts the history of the role of the father in Britain across the 20th century, a hundred years of dramatic change encompassing two world wars and major social and sexual revolutions.

Fathers in history have often been stereotyped as remote, distant figures, but this three-part series challenges this assumption. It reveals that most fathers enjoyed a much closer relationship with their children than has previously been thought and played a very active and important role in their upbringing.

Through expert opinion and moving testimony from dads of all ages, the programmes provide a unique insight into fatherhood across the past century. The series is part of BBC Four's Fatherhood Season.

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All Our Working Lives

All Our Working Lives

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

Four key episodes from the original series – covering the shipbuilding, coal, cotton and chemicals industries – are each updated with a brand new 30-minute follow-up edition, picking up where the original left off. Over 90 minutes, viewers can see the history and scale of Britain's industrial change through the 20th century to the modern day.

The follow-up episodes adopt a similar style and approach to the originals, coupling archive footage with powerful testimonials and personal memories from workers, managers and experts in each industry. The series examines working conditions, job satisfaction, pay and business success and failure. Above all the series is about change – for the better and for the worse.

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