Saturday 26 Jul 2014
Guy Martin – a 29-year-old motorcycle racer, truck mechanic and engineering boffin – faces a challenge. He and his companion, Mave – who is also handy with a spanner, blowtorch and hammer – are taking to the canals of Britain to restore a dilapidated narrow boat, fitting it inside and out with all the mod cons you would expect ... in the Victorian era. This is not going to be your average cruise.
In this first instalment of The Boat That Guy Built, the skilled duo set out on their maiden voyage. It does not take long to realise that where there is work, there needs to be refreshment, so they set about making everything needed to create a cup of tea.
After negotiating some of the finest ingenuity from the industrial revolution, the Anderton Boat Lift, the pair build a blast furnace and then start heating it up and filling it with iron ore and coke. Far from clicking a switch on the kettle, they will need exactly the right ratio and temperature to produce molten iron. Next, Guy heads off to choose the tea he will be drinking, learning a bit more about its heritage and acquiring the correct slurping and sucking tasting technique, before heading to the Wedgwood factory to create cups to drink it from.
Back at the furnace, Guy and Mave make a green sand cast of a pot. Just as their cast is finished, it appears that so, too, is the furnace as they crack the front. The iron is poured into their mould and, if it sets, it will make a pot. Will the duo finally enjoy a well-earned cuppa?
Drawing on the rich history of British waterways, a proud industrial heritage and sterling innovation, the presenting duo have an exciting challenge on their hands, but have they bitten off more than they can chew?
Harry's cry for attention veers out of control when he steals Karen's phone and causes turmoil among the staff of Waterloo Road, as the school drama continues. Meanwhile, Chris and Karen have their hands full with the school business initiative contest and Tom struggles to readjust during his first day back.
When Karen and Harry come to blows over his falling grades, a disgruntled Harry gets his revenge by causing mischief with Karen's phone, sending incendiary emails to the other staff in the guise of his mum. As widespread anger and paranoia spread through the school, Karen is faced with an unexpected staffroom revolt.
Meanwhile, it's Sam's first day back and she hasn't forgotten about the way Amy and Lauren treated her last term. Emotions run high during the school business initiative as Sam and Amy battle for authority and Harry is reluctantly paired with disruptive Kyle, leaving Chris Mead struggling to keep discipline.
Elsewhere, it's Tom's first day back since his attack and both Josh and Karen fear he's returning too soon. They prove to be fears that are well founded when Tom starts snapping at pupils and teachers, before a violent classroom incident causes Karen to take decisive action.
And Cesca and Jonah's secret affair is curtailed when one of Harry's fake emails leads Cesca to believe that Karen has found out the truth.
Harry Fisher is played by Ceallach Spellman, Karen Fisher by Amanda Burton, Chris Mead by William Ash, Tom Clarkson by Jason Done, Sambuca Kelly by Holly Kenny, Amy Porter by Ayesha Gwilt, Kyle Stack by George Sampson, Josh Stevenson by William Rush, Francesca Montoya by Karen David and Jonah Kirby by Lucien Laviscount.
Waterloo Road is simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat 108, Freeview 50, Sky 143 and Virgin 108.
MasterChef is searching for the country's best amateur cook and now only 10 contestants remain in the competition. Tonight, for the first time, they leave the comfort zone of the MasterChef kitchen and are unleashed on the public.
Judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace give the amateurs the chance to step up to a tough outside challenge when the contestants travel north of the border. Divided in to two teams, the final 10 have their work cut out for them when they must prepare a hearty lunch for 100 hungry sporting Scotsmen at the Invercharron Highland Games.
Tensions run high and the pressure is immense as each team must create up to 200 dishes, consisting of two mains and one dessert, from a range of Scottish ingredients in just two hours. Working for the first time as a team, in a tent in the middle of a field, on equipment they have never worked on before, conditions are tough! The hungry burly competitors have just 45 minutes to re-fuel so it is crucial the contestants deliver their food on time.
John and Gregg must then decide which team deserves the extraordinary privilege of going on to cook an exclusive dinner at the incredibly awe-inspiring Skibo Castle, with arguably the best chef in Scotland, Michelin-starred Tom Kitchin.
The winning team have just one-and-a-half hours to recreate a menu designed by The Observer's 2010 Chef Of The Year, Tom Kitchin. Tom puts together a complex four-course menu including some of his celebrated dishes and some which he has designed especially for the occasion. All demand precision timing and incredible attention to detail.
The losing team must return to London immediately, where they battle for their MasterChef lives. These contestants must face their ultimate challenge when, to stay in the competition, they have just 70 minutes to recreate one of John Torode's dishes to perfection.
Only the best will survive in the competition to become MasterChef Champion 2011.
MasterChef is simulcast in HD on BBC One HD on Freesat channel 108, Freeview channel 50, Sky channel 143 and Virgin Media channel 108.
When David Attenborough was filming in Madagascar for Zoo Quest in 1960, he was given pieces of an egg belonging to the largest bird to have ever lived – the extinct "elephant bird". The enormous egg has become one of his most treasured possessions.
In Attenborough And The Giant Egg, David returns to Madagascar to see how the island has changed in the last 50 years and to search for more clues about the amazing elephant bird, which was something like a giant ostrich, weighing half a ton. He also investigates whether unravelling the story of its extinction can throw light on what is happening on the island today.
There have been dramatic changes since David's first visit – 80 per cent of Madagascar's native forest has been destroyed; the human population has quadrupled; and many of its unique species are teetering on the brink of extinction. On the positive side, new species have been discovered and, today, scientists and conservationists know far more about the complexities of the environment.
Modern carbon-dating techniques reveal, for the first time, the age of David's egg. Scientists are surprised to find it is only 1,300 years old. Such a recent date confirms that the elephant bird existed alongside human beings for several hundred years.
"Man may not have been able to tackle an adult bird but they could have taken its eggs, which would have been a huge source of food," says David. He concludes that, although there were several factors contributing to the giant bird's demise – including climate change and deforestation – the loss of its eggs was probably the final blow to the species.
"For me, this egg is a reminder of how easy it is for species to disappear and be exterminated as human beings take over more and more of the natural world. But there is hope. We understand more about ecology and eco systems, more about what needs to be done to protect the natural world, and I hope that certainly we take those lessons to heart in Madagascar to save its wonderful wildlife, for it is, indeed, an island of marvels."
Attenborough And The Giant Egg is simulcast on the award-winning BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel available through Freesat channel 109, Freeview channel 54, Sky channel 169 and Virgin Media channel 187.
Neil Oliver concludes the story of how today's Britain and its people came to be, forged over thousands of years of ancient history. The final episode in this landmark series explores what happened when the Stone Age came to an end with the introduction of a radical new technology – metal. Over the next thousand years the Bronze Age would see the start of social mobility, wealth and village life – the beginnings of something we would recognise as a modern world.
Neil travels to the far southwest corner of Ireland in search of traces of the very first copper to be mined beyond mainland Europe. The people who brought metal technology also brought a whole new culture. The Amesbury Archer, buried in Wiltshire around 2300 BC, was born 1,000 miles away in the Alps. Compared with the communal Stone Age burials, these new "Beaker" burials were individual, where people were buried with the objects important to them in life. Neil handles the possessions of the Amesbury Archer, the earliest copper and gold ever found in Britain.
With rich natural resources of copper and tin, Britain was catapulted into the technological forefront of Bronze Age Europe. Now not everyone had to be a farmer. People who could control the mining and trade of metal could become seriously rich, and new luxury goods began to appear – but with bronze it was also possible to make something that had never been seen before: swords.
On Dartmoor Neil sees some of the first permanent homes, dating from around 1500 BC. These are the beginnings of village life. Bronze had laid the foundations of a new world – a very different world to that of the Stone Age – and the people of Britain were about to embark on the next chapters of pre-history.
In the next series of A History Of Ancient Britain, Neil continues the story through an age of iron, the first Celtic kings and druids, and finally the Roman Empire that finally brought pre-history to an end.
A History Of Ancient Britain is simulcast on the award-winning BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel available through Freesat channel 109, Freeview channel 54, Sky channel 169 and Virgin Media channel 187.
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