Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Programme Information

New this week 2011

The Story Of Jesus Ep 1/2

New series
Friday 22 April
10.00-11.00am BBC ONE

Reconstruction of Jesus (Selva Rasalingam, centre) in the synagogue revealing he is the one referred to in Isaiah's prophesy
Reconstruction of Jesus (Selva Rasalingam, centre) in the synagogue revealing he is the one referred to in Isaiah's prophesy

A group of the world's leading Biblical experts investigates the true meaning behind the 2,000-year-old story of Jesus, the historical figure and the inspiration for over two billion Christians.

This two-part series, featuring the very latest archaeological, historical and theological research, alongside specially shot dramatisations, aerial and time-lapse footage, re-examines the Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus, analysing his teaching, the land in which he lived and preached, and the people who surrounded him.

The first episode traces Jesus's story from his birth to the beginning of his ministry, when he performed some of his famous healings and miracles. Expert analysis is provided by: Simon Gathercole (Cambridge University), who visits Bethlehem, the site Jesus's birth; James Strange (Florida University), who investigates the early years of his life; Joan Taylor (University of London), who looks at the key character of John the Baptist; and Greg Carey (Lancaster Seminary), who investigates some of Jesus's key miracles, their meaning and significance. Jesus is played by Selva Rasalingam.


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The Baby Born In A Concentration Camp

Tuesday 19 April
10.35-11.05pm BBC ONE (Title change 1 April)

To mark the Jewish festival of Passover, The Baby Born In A Concentration Camp tells the remarkable story of Anka, a young Jewish woman who not only survived the horrors of the Holocaust, but did so with a baby girl – to whom she had given birth in a concentration camp. Often difficult, sometimes funny and always moving, the intimate details of Anka's story are shared by Anka, now 93, and Eva, 65, the baby born just days before she and her mother were saved by American soldiers.

As a young woman, Anka was feisty, attractive and strong. She became pregnant with Eva in the ghetto in October 1944 but, before she had the chance to tell her husband, he was deported "East". Not knowing where he was headed, Anka decided to follow him and volunteered to take the cattle train the next day: the train to Auschwitz.

If Anka's pregnancy had been detected, she would have been sent straight to the gas chamber, but it was not. Anka provides a vivid and moving account of the day of Eva's birth, including how she gave birth lying on a cart, surrounded by typhoid sufferers, and how an SS officer gave her permission to scream.


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Does Christianity Have A Future?

Sunday 17 April
10.25-11.25pm BBC ONE

Ann Widdecombe investigates the future of Christianity in the UK, asking whether it is in decline and, if so, whether the Church of England should continue to enjoy its preferential profile in public life.

Christianity in the UK is either doomed or evolving, depending on who you believe. Popular perception, opinion polls and media reports suggest the former but recent evidence, including the largest-ever in-depth surveys of young peoples' attitudes, shows that Christianity may not be in freefall at all, but in fact may be in the process of adapting itself to the modern world.

Ann Widdecombe explores whether new generations may yet turn out to be more religious than their parents and asks what sort of role the Church of England may be playing in informing the moral and spiritual life of the UK's younger generations.


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Eurovision – Your Country Needs Blue

Saturday 16 April
6.10-7.10pm BBC ONE
Pop superstars Blue get some Eurovision advice from the experts
Pop superstars Blue get some Eurovision advice from the experts

This year the UK is taking a completely new approach for their Eurovision entry: a known act, with a proven track record both here and internationally. Blue are up to the task. They've sold over 13 million records, won two Brit Awards and had 40 No. 1 singles worldwide.

But what does it take to be a winner at Eurovision? Graham Norton brings his own inimitable style of commentary to this one-hour special, which features some help from some of the biggest names in the business as Blue set out to discover what it takes to restore national pride. Expert opinion from Sir Cliff Richard, Robin Gibb, Robbie Williams, JLS, Arlene Phillips and John Barrowman contributes to the group's plan.

Drawing on a wealth of archive footage from previous years and following Blue at each stage, the documentary joins the band behind the scenes as they record and remix their song, work on a new image and meet choreographers, designers and stylists. There's insight into the tension and group dynamic as the band put themselves under increasing pressure and question whether the strength of their friendship and talent will be enough to get them through. Cameras also follow them as they hit the road on a publicity blitz to win over fans here and around Europe.

Finally, at the end of the show, viewers will see the finished song in a special performance that Blue think will do it. Next stop: Dusseldorf!


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BBC TWO New this week

Fix My Family

Monday 18 April
9.00-10.00pm BBC TWO

Emma Loach's documentary Fix My Family follows the desperate people who turn up at Save The Family – a hostel set up 30 years ago by the uncompromising Edna Speed, where homeless families are given shelter and basic life lessons in the hope that they will be able to prevent their children from being taken into care.

Every week families arrive at the purpose-built village in North Wales. With their few belongings in a couple of bin bags, they look to sprightly 75-year-old Edna and her staff for help with their housing, debt, relationship and parenting problems, and also with their addictions and how to live with their past.

The staff provide 24-hour support and use tremendous energy and creativity to try to mend these broken families. They are not experts – they are either ex-residents themselves or have gone through similar traumatic experiences. This, they say, is the key to truly identifying with the residents' pain.

But this is not a soft option. There are rules that all residents are expected to follow – and they have Edna to face if they don't.

Fix My Family follows residents including 18-year-old Vicky, who's already lived in several refuges with her baby son; and Celia, who, after having four children taken into care, has now had two more children and, with Save The Family's help, is proving that with the right support she can be a good mother.


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The Secrets Of Scott's Hut

Sunday 17 April
8.00-9.30pm BBC TWO

Ben Fogle inside Captain Scott's hut
Ben Fogle inside Captain Scott's hut

Captain Scott's heroic and ultimately tragic race to the South Pole in 1911 is a "Boy's Own" adventure story that has endured for the past 100 years. Deep in the wilderness of the Antarctic lies Scott's hut, a treasure trove of some 10,000 artefacts left behind by his team as the men headed out on their race to the Pole.

Adventurer and broadcaster Ben Fogle has been given exclusive access to Scott's hut and, in this programme, spends a few weeks there, on the remote Cape Evans in Antarctica, alongside a dedicated team of conservationists. Working and living under extreme conditions, as Scott did, their mission is to restore Scott's weather-beaten hut and its artefacts – without disturbing the past.

Cameras follow Ben on his intrepid journey across the frozen wastes, as he joins the international effort to preserve the hut and its artefacts for future generations. The simple structure was home to the expedition party between 1911 and 1912 and has remained virtually untouched for the past 100 years. It is in many ways a time capsule and, for the first time, the team explores these precious remains and reveals their historical significance. The programme also features the words of Scott, with readings from his diaries by acclaimed actor and director Kenneth Branagh.

"Captain Robert Falcon Scott has been a hero of mine since before I can remember," says Ben. "So many books have been written about his race to the South Pole in 1911 but, a century on, all this new information is coming to light. It's an extraordinary opportunity to see a part of Scott's world that's been lost for 100 years and to learn more about the man I've idolised for most of my life."


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BBC THREE New this week

So What If My Baby Is Born Like Me?

Tuesday 19 April
9.00-10.00pm BBC THREE

Jono Lancaster and his girlfriend, Laura
Jono Lancaster and his girlfriend, Laura

Deciding to become a parent can be a huge decision for any young person, but having a genetic condition that could be passed down to your kids can make it an agonising dilemma with potentially serious consequences.

Jono Lancaster, the subject of last year's BBC Three documentary Love Me, Love My Face, was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, a rare genetic condition that has affected every aspect of his life – from being given up for adoption at birth to being bullied at school and undergoing serious operations.

Now 26, Jono and his long-term girlfriend Laura have bought a house together and are contemplating the idea of marriage and children. But Jono is still unsure whether he can bring a child into the world knowing it may have to go through the same things that he did, and possibly much worse.

Treacher Collins syndrome affects the way the bones and tissues in the face develop and can mean babies are born without ears, have vision problems and in some cases require 24-hour care. Any child Jono fathered would have a 50/50 chance of inheriting the condition.

So What If My Baby Is Born Like Me? follows Jono and Laura as they explore the science, ethics, history and very human stories behind the decisions faced by other people with genetic conditions. As they try to decide if, and how, they will ever have children they meet potential parents who have one of a range of genetic conditions, and explore the science currently on offer to potential parents such as IVF, Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and Genetic Testing.


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