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Thursday 27 Nov 2014

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BBC announces event coverage of the Pope's Visit 2010

The BBC will be covering all the key events of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Britain from the 16-19 September across TV, Radio and online, and today announces details of coverage of the major live events, anchored by Huw Edwards for TV and Edward Stourton for radio.

To provide expert advice on the significance of each of the ceremonies, accompanying Huw and Ed in each location will be presenters and specialists, including Monsignor Mark Langham, who now works for the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and was the former Administrator of Westminster Cathedral; Monsignor Roderick Strange, Rector of the Pontifical Beda College in Rome; the Anglican Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, The Right Reverend Dr Geoffrey Rowell; and Newman biographer, Dr Joyce Sugg.

BBC Television's special live programmes will begin on BBC One Daytime on Thursday 16 September with The Pope's arrival and Official State Greeting by Her Majesty The Queen in Edinburgh. This will be followed later in the day on BBC Two with a live broadcast of Pope Benedict's first celebration of Mass in Britain at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, with Sally Magnusson leading the commentary.

On Friday 17 September BBC Two and BBC Radio 4 LW will broadcast live from Westminster Abbey where the Pope will join the Archbishop of Canterbury in a celebration of Evening Prayer. Huw Edwards will present for TV and Edward Stourton will be joined by Monsignor Mark Langham on Radio 4.

BBC Two Daytime will broadcast a live relay of the Papal Mass from Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 18 September, when Pope Benedict will celebrate mass with the Bishops of England and Wales and representatives from Dioceses and organisations from across the country. Expert anaylsis for the Westminster Cathedral Mass will be provided by Monsignor Mark Langham.

Over 80,000 worshippers are expected at Cofton Park for The Beatification Mass of John Henry Newman on Sunday 19 September. BBC Two Daytime will provide full coverage of the Mass of Beatification where Pope Benedict will declare Cardinal John Henry Newman, "Blessed". Edward Stourton will lead the commentary. Radio 4's Sunday Programme, and a special edition Sunday Worship will both also be broadcast live from the scene in the lead up to the main ceremony.

Speaking about the live events, Aaqil Ahmed, Commissioning Editor for Television and Head of Religion and Ethics, said: "This is the first Papal Visit to Britain for 28 years and the first ever State Visit and is of great significance not only to the millions of Catholics in this country but to the countless others who will be watching in the UK and around the globe. I am delighted that the BBC is bringing together a team of presenters and specialists who can provide insight into such an historic occasion."

The BBC will also be covering other events during the Papal Visit on the BBC News Channel.

Full Broadcast details:

Thursday 16 September 2010

Pope Benedict arrival and official State greeting from Her Majesty The Queen in Edinburgh. BBC One Daytime, presenter – Huw Edwards

Papal Mass from Bellahouston Park in Glasgow. BBC Two, presenter – Huw Edwards; commentator – Sally Magnusson

Friday 17 September 2010

Westminster Abbey Service. BBC Two, presenter/commentator – Huw Edwards

Radio 4 LW, presenter – Edward Stourton; commentator Monsignor Mark Langham

Saturday 18 September 2010

Westminster Cathedral Mass. BBC Two Daytime, presenter – Huw Edwards; commentator – Monsignor Mark Langham

Sunday 19 September 2010

The Beatification Mass of Cardinal John Henry Newman at Cofton Park. BBC Two Daytime, presenter – Huw Edwards; commentators – Edward Stourton and Monsignor Mark Langham

The BBC is carrying out a major news operation involving pooling coverage with all the broadcasters in the UK over the course of the visit. On the BBC, it will be covered extensively across news outlets on TV, radio and online, including live coverage from every event and comprehensive reporting on stories as they unfold. There will also be some current affairs programming looking at different aspects of the Catholic Church.

Notes to Editors

The live coverage is part of a wide range of programming across the BBC to mark the Pope's Visit 2010. Highlights include:

Benedict: Trials Of A Pope (BBC Two) – award-winning film maker Mark Dowd goes in search of the real Joseph Ratzinger. This is a man who was the darling of liberals in the Second Vatican Council but who is now the champion of traditionalists. This is a journey that takes him from the papal homeland of Bavaria to the heart of the Vatican itself. Mark will explore how the current clerical abuse crisis has dogged the Pope's mission to combat western secularism. The programme also features a rare interview with the Pope's brother, Georg Ratzinger, who tells the BBC how his brother has been affected by recent scandals. Mark also profiles the attempts of the Church here in the UK to fashion a positive message about Pope Benedict by training up an army young religious spin doctors called "Catholic Voices".

Newman: Saint Or Sinner? (BBC Two) – Ann Widdecombe explores Newman's road to Sainthood. In the programme Ann will meet Deacon Jack Sullivan from Boston who was apparently miraculously cured by the intercession of Newman. She also speaks to witnesses to his recovery, such as the back specialists and the Vatican medics who pronounced the miracle authentic. Ann will travel to Rome, Oxford and Birmingham to meet ordinary Catholics, historians and specialists on the life of Newman to shed light on his life and work, as well meeting leading figures from the Catholic and Anglican Church to explain Newman's importance to British Catholicism.

The Pope's Visit (BBC Two) – Highlights of the Pope's historic visit, studio debate and analysis of its impact and significance for Britain and the Catholic Church worldwide.

Vatican – The Hidden World Of God's Servants (BBC Four) – takes an intriguing behind-the-scenes look at the workings of the Vatican itself, through the eyes of some of those who work there in Vatican employees, from the Pope's bodyguard to a Cardinal, break their silence to offer a unique insight into the papal seat of power.

The Pope's British Divisions (Radio 4) – Mark Dowd investigates how Britain's Catholic community has changed since the last Papal visit in 1982. He'll examine the impact of immigration, the sex abuse crisis and the rise of secularism. Dowd will also ask if the Church's once-strong liberal wing is becoming a minority as British Catholics heed the Pope's call for a "smaller but purer" Church.

John Henry Newman (Radio 3) – Edward Stourton presents John Henry Newman: A Very English Saint. Cardinal Newman is one of the most important religious figures of recent history. He spent the first half of his life as an Anglican fighting against the liberalism which drew Protestantism further from its catholic roots. Whilst the second half of his life was spent re-establishing Roman Catholicism in Britain in the firm belief that the true Church was found in Rome. This programme will look at why Newman is such an important figure theologically and socially and tell his story of transformation: from Anglican to Catholic; from heretic to saint; from rejection and suspicion to being lauded as one of the greatest theologians of modern times.

Sunday Programme (Radio 4) – special edition live from Cofton Park, Birmingham, where the Pope will beatify Cardinal Newman. Presented by Edward Stourton with Jane Little co-presenting from the crowd. The programme will include analysis and comment on the Pope's visit so far plus the significance of the beatification of Newman and the decision by Pope Benedict to conduct this himself. Interviews will include Deacon Jack Sullivan and Newman experts attending the event.

Sunday Worship (Radio 4) – special edition live from Cofton Park. The service is led by music from Jo Boyce and Mike Stanley, with school choirs from Coventry and Birmingham, in front of the thousands who will be gathered on the grassy slopes near Newman's oratory church, to celebrate the life of one of the greatest English theologians of the 19th Century and prepare for the forthcoming Papal Mass.

Highlights from the Beatification of Cardinal Newman (Radio 4) – as this visit draws to its conclusion, commentator Edward Stourton presents the highlights from the Papal Mass for the Beatification of Cardinal Newman and explores the process around his road to Sainthood.

Sunday Half Hour (Radio 2) – special hour-long edition with presenter Fr Brian D'Arcy in the crowd at the Vigil in Hyde Park. This programme will feature Brian talking to those who have travelled to be there and hear their personal stories mixed with actuality of the service and music performed in front of Pope Benedict. BBC Radio 5 Live will have extensive coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the UK. Shelagh Fogarty leads 5 Live's coverage and will be live in Edinburgh on Thursday 16 September for his arrival, with coverage of the Pope's first mass of his visit in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, during 5 Live Drive (4-7pm) with Aasmah Mir. On Friday 17 September Shelagh presents 5 Live Breakfast (6-9am) from Twickenham, where Pope Benedict will be staying, with live coverage of his official engagements throughout the day. Shelagh will also present coverage of the final mass of his visit at Cofton Park in Birmingham from 10am on Sunday 19 September.

Notes to Editors

God's Ambassador (Radio 4) Friday 3 and Monday 6 September.

In this two-part series, Ruth Mcdonald follows Ambassador Francis Campbell during the preparations for the Pope's visit to the UK – the first state visit by the head of the Catholic Church to this country.

Ruth travels between London, Rome and Birmingham, as she trails Francis and the team in Whitehall and the Vatican.


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