Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

BBC Two Summer & Autumn 2011

Diverse, stimulating and rewarding television on BBC Two


With the global economy recovering from meltdown, it has never been more important to understand money – both how it gets made and how it gets lost. This new BBC Two moment seeks to analyse, argue and investigate the world of money, profit and regulation, with a series of programmes – from observational documentaries to Oscar-winning features – that chronicle the multi-faceted world of finance.


Vanessa Engle's new series is an intimate investigation into personal attitudes to money – a subject that is on most people's minds. With the furore over MPs' expenses and bankers' bonuses and with the recession and the economic cuts, people have been forced to think about what they privately feel and believe about money. This series of three films follows people who dedicate their lives to getting rich, examines how people choose to spend their money, and explores how money affects personal relationships.

The Party's Over – How The West Lost The War Of Globalisation

BBC Business Editor Robert Peston makes sense of the past 30 years of the global economy and predicts current government cuts are just the start of an era of austerity caused by the seismic rebalancing of the world economy between the West and the emerging economies led by China.

Robert charts the parallel lives of families in Britain and in the new superpower economies, interviewing politicians, bankers and economists around the world, to expose the realities of our economic predicament.

The first programme shows how the consumer boom in the West was an illusion fuelled by cheap credit and the huge deflationary effect of cheap goods made in China.

The second film looks to the future, asking whether China and other developing economies are taking the lead in the so-called knowledge economy, previously dominated by the West, and investigates what we can do to compete.

Robert brings home to the audience the implications of a crisis that has been brewing for decades.

Inside Job

The Academy Award winning documentary film Inside Job tells a compelling tale of a corrupt economic system that saw the world in near financial collapse in 2008 when hit by the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Narrated by Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting) and directed by Charles H Ferguson (No End In Sight) the film features extensive research and probing interviews with major financial insiders, academics and politicians in a bid to find out what, and most importantly who, helped to create the financial meltdown.

The film traces the systematic failures and internal corruption in which millions of ordinary people lost their jobs, homes and savings – yet, even today, no one has been prosecuted for their role in the financial meltdown.

Travelling between the US, Iceland, Britain, France, Singapore and China a chilling culture of greed and secrecy emerges, but have enough lessons been learnt to prevent history repeating itself?

When Bankers Were Good

Following the success of Ian Hislop's series The Age Of The Do-Gooders, he returns with a new film exploring attitudes to money and morality in the 19th century.

Coming at a time when the reputation of bankers could perhaps hardly be lower, Hislop's thought-provoking film looks back to the period when the City of London first became the financial capital of the world, and Victorian fat-cats achieved wealth on a scale never envisaged by previous generations.

But many Victorian bankers were far from comfortable about their riches – which caused them intense soul-searching and much debate about the moral purpose of money and its corrupting nature. For some extraordinary individuals this led to an energetic outpouring of philanthropy that ensured their wealth did not just line their own pockets, but was also directed towards those that really needed it.

Packed with interesting anecdotes and contemporary resonance, Ian Hislop's film celebrates a golden age of philanthropy.

How We Made Our Millions

Peter Jones, one of Britain's most successful and well-known entrepreneurs, gives viewers an access-all-areas VIP pass into the glossy and fascinating world of high-end business. He provides a unique insight into the minds of two of the UK's most prominent and inspiring business people, each of whom is a name behind some of Britain's biggest brands. They allow Peter to interrogate them on their successes and failures, discuss business strategies and techniques, and work out what makes their business brains tick.

With insightful and probing questions, Peter takes a behind-the-scenes tour of their companies, factories and glamorous homes, to discover what it takes to reach the top, and what fun (or not!) there is to be had along the way.

Front Desk

JL: Money

HD: The Party's Over – How The West Lost The War Of Globalisation

BBC Productions

When Bankers Were Good: Wingspan Productions

How We Made Our Millions: BBC Productions North

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Mixed Britannia


Mixed-race Britain is put under the spotlight this autumn in a collection of revealing new programmes. With a mix of drama and documentaries, the season provides a window into the varied lives of mixed-race people living in the UK and helps us understand what the increase in mixed-race people means for the way we live in Britain today.

Mixed Britannia

George Alagiah explores the remarkable and untold story of Britain's mixed-race community in a new three-part series uncovering a tale of illicit love, tragedy and triumph.

With previously unseen material and unheard testimony, charting events from the turn of the 20th century to the present day, George examines the social factors that have influenced the shape of today's mixed-race Britain. He discovers the love between merchant seamen and liberated female workers; how the British eugenics movement physically examined mixed-race children in the name of science; how pioneering white couples adopted mixed-race babies; and how Britain's mixed-race population exploded with the arrival of people from all over the globe – making it one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the UK.

Shirley Bassey – A Very British Diva

This intimate and revealing drama tells the extraordinary life story of Dame Shirley Bassey, one of Britain's national treasures and one of the world's most successful divas. But her rise from poverty to international stardom is no ordinary rags to riches story. Set against the backdrop of mixed-race Britain from the Thirties to the Sixties, this is a story of love, loss and ambition.

Mixed Race

This documentary explores the historical and contemporary social, sexual and political attitudes to race mixing. From the strict application of "anti-miscegenation" laws in the USA and South Africa to the emergence of Mestizo cultures in the colonies of South America, the programme examines the complex history of interracial relationships around the world.


Twincredibles tells the surprising story of "two-tone" twins. There's only a one in a million chance that black and white parents will have twins of different skin colour, but with the number of interracial relationships increasing, so too are the number of cases. The film captures the effects this genetic phenomenon has had on the personal and professional lives of five sets of twins.


LZ: Mixed Britannia

Mixed Britannia and Mixed Race: BBC Productions

Shirley Bassey – A Very British Diva: A Digital Cinema Media production

Twincredibles: A Blast Films production

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Reverse Missionary

Reverse Missionary follows three young Christian missionaries from Malawi, India and Jamaica as they travel to different parts of Britain, in a new three-part series.

Reversing the paths taken by three 19th-century British missionaries who exported Christianity around the world, they arrive in 21st-century Britain to discover the historical roots of their faith and pursue their own missionary agenda in the UK.

While they stay in Britain the modern-day missionaries engage in their own missionary work. But as the visitors learn more about life in an increasingly secular Britain they have to contemplate some of the social issues that the church grapples with today.

Front Desk

A Twenty Twenty production

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Damned If They Do

Damned If They Do follows on from the 2004 documentary Someone To Watch Over Me, which revealed the pressures on the system responsible for safeguarding vulnerable children in inner-city Bristol. The series explores the problems that exist in society that lead to the neglect and abuse of children, most often by their own families. It also throws light on why there is a perpetual recruitment crisis in social work, and the difficulties social workers face in everyday life.


BBC Productions

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Your Money And How They Spend It

In this year of spending cuts, the BBC's Political Editor Nick Robinson examines in this two-part series how our politicians raise money and why they spend it in the way they do. He asks who gets the most from government and who gets the least, and he challenges our assumptions on what's fair – asking the rich whether they pay too little in tax, and those on benefits whether they get too much.

The films reveal the history of how we came to love public spending – and resent footing the bill. And, drawing on his experience in the front seat of contemporary political events, Nick exposes the behind-the-scenes drama as today's politicians wrestle with their central challenge: how to balance the resentment people feel about an increasing tax bill against the frustration that emerges when the public spending they cherish is cut.


A BBC Current Affairs production

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Towns With Nicholas Crane

We live in one of the most urbanised countries on Earth. By 2030 a staggering 92 per cent of us will be living in urban centres. For most people, that conjures up the bright lights and big opportunities of our great cities. But there is another way to live the urban life. Smaller than a city; more intimate; much greener; more surprising: the forgotten world of the town.

In this beautifully crafted series, produced in partnership with The Open University, geographer and adventurer Nicholas Crane explores four iconic British towns: Scarborough, a survivor perched on the edge of Yorkshire; Ludlow on the Welsh border, the perfect English country town; Perth, gateway to the Scottish highlands and a town that wants to be a city; and Totnes in Devon, birthplace of a new vision for the future. In each he uncovers the secrets of their survival; the reasons for their enduring appeal; and what they can teach people today about living the urban dream.

Front Desk

A Tern Television production

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Britain's Got Class

Class remains a British obsession. But what exactly does it mean – and how much does it matter in the 21st century? Is the nation still divided into the traditional upper, middle and lower classes – or do we now have a new class system, structured in an entirely different way?

The Great British Class Survey, a nationwide interactive survey designed by leading academics in conjunction with BBC Lab UK, examines what class means in Britain today. Since January more than 140,000 people across the country have taken part, and this hour-long special programme looks at what the results mean, exploring the true make-up of Britain and its social groups, using the findings of the largest study of its kind ever conducted in the UK.

Lively, surprising and provocative, Britain's Got Class is unmissable for anyone who wants to understand modern Britain – and their place in it.

In a separate one-off programme following Britain's Got Class on BBC Two, a more comic interpretation of the survey findings will be provided.


BBC Productions

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Observational documentary series Wonderland returns to seek out the people and places that offer a glimpse of today's Britain usually hidden from view.

Opportunity Knocked For Me explores the lives of the entertainment show winners of 25 years ago, and looks at how they and their relationships have been affected by the shock and triumph of the limelight.

Propellerheads follows micro-light enthusiasts as they take to the wing for the three day Round Britain Rally; and The Church Of Free Weddings tells the stories of the only church in Britain where everything – even the wedding dresses – is free.


BBC Productions

Propellerheads: A Walker George Films production

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