The dramatised story of how Jimmy Perry and David Croft overcame BBC management scepticism, focus groups and cast constipation to get the much-loved series onto air. Running from Perry's initial idea in 1967 until the transmission of the first episode in 1968, this affectionate and witty film shows the beginnings of Perry and Croft's writing partnership and the casting woes, personal clashes and production difficulties that put the show's very existence in jeopardy. It reveals to fans and newcomers alike what went on behind the scenes in the making of Dad's Army and is a true love letter to British creativity.
The cast includes Paul Ritter to play Jimmy Perry (Friday Night Dinner, The World's End, Quantum of Solace), Richard Dormer as David Croft (Fortitude, Good Vibrations, Game of Thrones), John Sessions to play Arthur Lowe (Filth, Gangs Of New York), Julian Sands as John Le Mesurier (The Killing Fields, The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo, A Room With a View), Mark Heap as Clive Dunn (Friday Night Dinner, Green Wing & Spaced), Shane Richie to play Bill Pertwee (EastEnders), Kevin Bishop as James Beck (The Kevin Bishop Show, Whites), Keith Allen to play Paul Fox (Bodies, Robin Hood, The Comic Strip Presents…), Michael Cochrane as Arnold Ridley (The Archers), Ralph Riach (Braveheart, Hamish Macbeth) to play John Laurie and Sally Phillips as Ann Croft (Smack The Pony, Bridget Jones' Diary, Miranda).
Gorilla Family and Me
Wildlife cameraman, Gordon Buchanan realises a lifelong dream when he travels to the Democratic Republic of Congo, to spend time with a family of Grauer’s Gorillas, the largest primates on earth.
Despite being charged on several occasions by the fearsome leader of the family, Chimanuka, Gordon starts to gain the trust of these mysterious, little understood gorillas. He discovers an incredibly gentle, compassionate side of their alpha male, but also uncovers a fierce rivalry that could ultimately threaten the very existence of Chimanuka’s family.
Gordon is based in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park, one of the last refuges of Grauer’s Gorilla. Park guides lead him deep into the forest to meet Chimanuka, a 30 year old male gorilla, who leads a family of 25. Although Chimanuka has been habituated to human contact he is wary of Gordon and his camera. He frequently places himself between Gordon and the rest of the family. Gordon slowly builds his trust and identifies key family members, gaining fascinating insight into the family dynamic of these rare gorillas.
Gareth Malone's Great Choir Reunion
It's 10 years since choirmaster Gareth Malone first set out on a mission to get Britain singing. Since then he’s inspired hundreds of people creating 14 very different choirs across the country, from schools to entire towns to military wives. Now to mark the 10th anniversary, he has a dream: to track down and bring together all the choirs he's formed for a huge reunion party. As a centre-piece for this party, he wants to put together his 'choir of choirs', a super-group of the most talented singers he's encountered over the years. He's got just four short weeks. Can he bring them together in time? And can they pull off a performance that's worthy of a decade's work getting the nation singing? As we follow Gareth on his latest mission, we rediscover the characters and stories of 10 years of The Choir.
In the first episode, Gareth tracks down ex-pupils from the first two choirs he created at Northolt High School and Lancaster Boys School. He discovers how being part of the choir changed their lives, and how they have gone on to successful careers, many in music. When he gets a group of them together to start rehearsing for the big reunion, they immediately feel the old bonds of camaraderie, and Gareth can't resist suggesting an inpromptu performance for friends and family.
In the second episode Gareth continues to spread the word of his reunion to the remainder of his choirs, and tracks down some of the best singers from South Oxhey Community Choir, the Military Wives and the nine workplace choirs he formed for his choral contest Sing While You Work. Frenzied rehearsals and preparations for the reunion culminate in a hugely emotional and joyous reunion party with choir members from across the country coming together to celebrate 10 years of The Choir.
Top Gear: From A-Z
With Chris Evans soon to get behind the wheel for the new series of Top Gear, this two-part extravaganza celebrates the best and brightest from the Clarkson, Hammond and May years. Top Gear: From A-Z will feature astonishing footage, insider facts and quirky statistics from the past 13 years of the world’s biggest motoring show. It’ll laugh with the best, the oddest and the silliest moments from Top Gear, in alphabetical order, with each of the letters introduced by a star guest from the Top Gear celebrity fold.
Voiced by John Bishop and with behind-the-scenes insights and a daft alphabet (B is for Bark, I is for Inch High, Q is for Queuing and so on) this is not only about the stunts, pranks and pratfalls but the brilliant journalism, beautiful photography and the trio of middle aged men who sat at the heart of the show.
A Gert Lush Christmas
This Christmas will see Russell Howard’s eagerly awaited debut comedy-drama A Gert Lush Christmas on BBC Two. Co-written with fellow stand-up Steve Williams (Russell Howard’s Good News, Michael McCintyre’s Comedy Roadshow), Russell will star alongside Neil Morrisey (Men Behaving Badly, Waterloo Road), Greg Davies (The Inbetweeners, Man Down), Sophie Thompson (EastEnders) and for the very first time, alongside his sister Kerry Howard (Him & Her, I Give it A Year).
Christmas ‘tis the season to be jolly’, unless you are Dan Colman (Russell Howard), a regular guy who is about to introduce the woman of his dreams, Lisa (Hannah Britland), to his crazy but loveable west country family. With his fitness-obsessed Dad (Neil Morrisey), party animal Uncle Tony (Greg Davies), wonderfully inappropriate brother Jake (Dougie McMeekin) and lovely but utterly bonkers mum (Sophie Thompson)… what could possibly go wrong?
Stephen Fry: A Life on Screen
BBC Two celebrates the incredible career of Stephen Fry, spanning over 30 years across a multitude of film and TV roles.
Through interviews and iconic clips, the programme follows Stephen’s first steps into comedy with the Cambridge Footlights, his early successes in comedy and drama with Hugh Laurie and Ben Elton through to his myriad of achievements in television and major motion pictures.
Hear from Stephen himself and from friends and colleagues who have worked closely with him throughout his career.
The Many Faces of Ronnie Corbett
Now in its sixth year, Many Faces is the flagship screen biography series for BBC Two. Each edition profiles a star's career and illustrates the key turning points and phases that made them a success.
The programmes use interviews together with archive clips to present a warm and informed commentary for old and new fans.
The Many Faces of Ronnie Corbett turns the spotlight on an icon of television entertainment. His starring role in ‘The Two Ronnies’ has earned him a chapter in the book of all time comedy greats. But who knew of his days as a devout teenage organist or his first screen role in You’re Only Young Twice?
Like many of his generation Ronnie had a strong career on stage and was 36 before his first big television break. That was on the ground-breaking Frost Report - a live tinder box of comedy talent that also introduced John Cleese and Ronnie Barker.
Ronnie’s comedy is still vibrant. Show-business has refused to let him stop working. The list of his modern day collaborators is both lengthy and impressive.
Expect to see favourite moments and many surprises in The Many Faces of Ronnie Corbett.
Previous editions of Many Faces have included Ronnie Barker, Dame Judi Dench, Robbie Coltrane, Michael Crawford, Michael Caine, Stanley Baxter and Les Dawson.
Charlie Brooker’s End of the Year Wipe 2015
Charlie Brooker returns for his annual review of the year. This time he’ll tackle 2015. Which is lucky, because it’s just happened.
Joined by contributors like Doug Stanhope, Morgana Robinson and Diane Morgan as Philomena Cunk, 2015 Wipe sees Charlie once again take aim at the news, TV, trends and events of the past 12 months.
On the dawn of 2016, Charlie will look back on a year which saw the beginning of Corbyn-mania and a Tory majority and the end of Page Three and Cecil the Lion.
Backchat End of Year show 2015
As 2015 draws to a close Jack Whitehall, and his father Michael, return to BBC TWo to pick apart all the big news stories from the past 12 months. Joined by a host of celebrity guests the pair will discuss and dissect their favourite moments of the year. Expect candid chat and family feuds with the country’s funniest father and son as Backchat looks back.
The Great History Quiz
This 60-minute special is dedicated to that notorious dynasty the Tudors, who ruled the country from 1485 to 1603 and changed the face of British history forever. Across six challenging rounds The Great History Quiz will bring the kings, queens, courtiers, noblemen and women, sailors and discoverers, heroes and villains, playwrights and poets, rogues and vagabonds who helped shape this extraordinary period back to life.
Hosted by Kirsty Young, The Great History Quiz gives viewers the chance to pit their wits against some of the country’s most respected historians. Between them our teams have racked up 16 university degrees, published 18 books and contributed to over two hundred hours of television. They are author and broadcaster Professor Kate Williams, author and Horrible Histories consultant Greg Jenner and their Team Captain Dr. Lucy Worsley, Chief curator at Royal Palaces. Challenging them are author and broadcaster Dr. Anna Whitelock, architectural historian Dr. Jonathan Foyle and their Team Captain the broadcaster Dan Snow.
From politics to medicine, warfare to food, the quiz will uncover extraordinary facts from the worlds of court and kingdom in a series of fun and revealing rounds. Locking in the unfolding characters and events is The Great History Quiz Timeline (beginning at the Battle of Bosworth and ending with the death of Elizabeth I), which will fill as the show progresses.
Masterchef The Professionals Finals
The BAFTA-winning competition for professional chefs reaches the final of its eighth series.
The finalists come together in the MasterChef kitchen to face the Scraps and Trimmings Test first, with the opportunity ahead of them to cook at The Chef's Table in the City of London, now one of the most significant and impressive culinary events in Britain today. If they want to cook for their idols they must first prove to judges Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace that they can create high end food from anything. Only the strongest go on to cook their own food for a dining room full of the greatest chefs in the country - chefs who hold over 30 Michelin Stars between them.
Back in MasterChef HQ the remaining chefs must now earn their right to travel to one of the most exciting restaurants in the world by impressing the judges in one final Invention Test – this time without using any meat, fish or poultry. Only the strongest three chefs will continue in the competition with the experience of a lifetime as they travel to Alba, Italy to cook in the three Michelin starred Piazza Duomo under Head Chef Enrico Crippa.
Lastly, it’s back to the MasterChef Kitchen for one final cook-off to decide who will be this year’s champion. The chefs must simply cook the best three courses of their lives for one final judgement from Marcus, Monica and Gregg.
Stephen Fry conjures up some seasonal merriment, with Jenny Eclair, Johnny Vegas, Bill Bailey and Alan Davies.
Mock the Week Christmas special
The Mock the Week Christmas special is guaranteed to be as irreverent as ever. As well as the usual hilarious mix of out-takes, best bits and heaps of unseen material, there’s a real festive feel (well as much as Dara and co. are capable of), ranging from the traditional Christmas quiz and Scenes We’d Like to See, to a seasonal newsreel from Hugh Dennis and a guest appearance from a somewhat sinister teddy bear. There are great contributions from the likes of Josh Widdecombe, Holly Walsh, Rob Beckett, Katherine Ryan, Ed Byrne, Romesh Ranganathan and Sara Pascoe and even something a little bit different in the opening titles too. Don’t miss it.
Live at the Apollo Christmas special
BBC Two welcomes the BAFTA-nominated Live At The Apollo to its new home for a highly anticipated 11th series with seven brand new episodes.
At the forefront of its genre, the roll call of stand-ups who have performed in front of the famous Live At The Apollo lights plays out like a who’s who of comedic royalty, and this series is no different. Each episode will see a national (and sometimes international!) stand-up both compering and performing, before introducing two of the best established and up-coming stand-ups to the stage.
In this fabulously festive final episode from the legendary Hammersmith Apollo, the incredible Nina Conti is your host, as she introduces all the way from Canada the brilliant Tanyalee Davis , Royal Variety Show favourite Hal Cruttenden and the star of The Last Leg and Mock The Week, Josh Widdicombe.
Country Strife: Abz on the Christmas Farm (w/t)
Country Strife: Abz on the Christmas Farm catches up with ex boy band rapper turned smallholder, Abz Love, and his girlfriend Vicky Fallon, as a tumultuous year on the farm draws to a close and over a Christmas drink by the tree, they reflect on the highs and lows of their new life. We see how their green money making schemes - from rock star eggs to alpaca rearing – fared and we get a real insight into the hard graft of farming a small holding. With no money in the bank but big plans for growing a new a crop that will sustain them, Abz resorts to selling everything he owns on ebay. Over an astonishing few days the auction for his Brit Award attracts bids of over £1 million and as Christmas approaches, Abz and Vicky are optimistic about the future, bursting with plans and fully committed to their new lifestyle and the friends they have made in their wet little corner of Wales.
Back in Time for Christmas
In an explosion of festive nostalgia, the Robshaw family – stars of BBC Two’s Back in Time for Dinner - are travelling back in time over two episodes to experience the surprising and forgotten ways Britain has celebrated Christmas since 1940.
Episode 1 – The 1940s, 1950s and 1960s
In the most austere Christmas on record (1940) the family get into the make do and mend spirit for presents (carrot fudge anyone?), decorate the house with paper chains made of newspaper, sit down to ox heart and a Christmas pudding made from carrot and grated potato and try and imagine the terror of the night of the 29th December 1940 where heavy bombing saw London set ablaze...
Onward to 1950s. There's ham on the menu for Christmas lunch, carols to sing in church and, for dad Brandon, son Fred and our presenter Giles Coren a Christmas Day football match to attend (there was football on Christmas Day in Britain until the early 60s, the milkman and postman continued to call on Christmas Day until late 50s and public transport ran till the early 70s…)
Finally, the 1960s where turkey makes its first appearance on the family's festive table. There's a trip to a celebrity pantomime and Fred's gift of a toy machine gun and a chocolate smoking set would hardly have raised an eyebrow back in the day.
Episode 2 – The 1970s, 1980s and 1990
The family discover how the race for a Christmas number one single was born, meet an EastEnders star who'll reminisce about the soap's fine tradition of Christmas misery and discover how, as consumerism reached fever pitch in the 90s that Christmas gluttony starts with breakfast and doesn't stop there...
Darcey’s Ballet Heroes
In this 60-minute film for BBC Two, much-loved ballet star and Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell undertakes a very personal journey to meet the heroes and dancers who transformed male ballet; Arthur Mitchell, Anthony Dowell, Peter Schauffus, Irek Mukhamedov, Carlos Acosta and others.
Athletic, seductive, complicated, misunderstood: male ballet dancers don’t conform. After almost disappearing from ballet’s centre stage in the 19th century, pushed aside by the newly arrived pointe-shoed, tutu toting, prima ballerinas, over the last 100 years the spotlight has dramatically shifted back to men. From dressing rooms and rehearsal studios in London, Copenhagen, New York and beyond, Darcey takes us behind the scenes and reveals the secrets and the choreography that bring the subject matter vividly to life. The film is rich in archive, insightful commentary, personal anecdotes, and uniquely intimate access that few - other than a former Royal Ballet Prima Ballerina - would be able to secure. This is the story of men in ballet told first hand by the best male dancers in the world.
Simply Nigella: Christmas Special
In this hour-long special, Nigella shares her fool proof guide to stress-free festive cooking and easy entertaining – with a line-up of celebratory dishes which will be both indulgent and practical.
Inspired by the sparkling Christmas lights in Kansas City USA, Nigella shows us how to have our most relaxed, most spectacular Christmas yet. She’ll introduce us to the local, home-spun food that has inspired some of this year’s favorite festive recipes, adding a British twist back in her kitchen.
Her oh-so-slow cooked black treacle ham replaces the traditional turkey as the party centre piece, paired with a refreshingly bright medley of sweet and sour vegetable slaw.
Nigella treats her guests to not one, but three sumptuous cakes to tuck in to. Her trio of bundt cakes begins with a delicately flavoured cider and five spice sponge, topped with an indulgent salted caramel sauce, followed by a delicious lemon and thyme version and ending with a pumpkin bundt, adorned with an aromatic orange icing.
Other sweet treats include Nigella’s make-ahead triple chocolate buckwheat cookies. And for those cold wintery nights, Nigella whisks up a gloriously green spiced parsnip and spinach soup. Enjoying the leftover ham, Nigella creates her stir fried rice with double sprouts, chilli and pineapple topped with a fried egg.
New Year’s Eve Hootenany
Jools Holland will again be welcoming a host of stars to see in the New Year with his 23rd Annual Hootenanny. As is the tradition on BBC Two, Jools Holland provides the best possible party to see in the last bit of 2015 and welcome in 2016. This year he and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra are joined by a mix of artists some who have had a stellar 12 months alongside legends whose songs are timeless classics.
Ian Wade/ Sian Davies
Carols from Kings
The much-loved Christmas Eve celebration of carols and readings, Carols from King’s, is broadcast on BBC Two. This traditional celebration of the birth of Christ is, for many, the true start of Christmas. A solo chorister sings Once In Royal David's City and heralds a glorious feast of Christmas words and music from the candlelit fan-vaulted splendour of the Chapel of King's College, Cambridge. The world-famous Choir, directed by Stephen Cleobury, sing carols old and new including In Dulci Jubilo, The Angel Gabriel, Away in a Manger, Dormi Jesu (Rutter), O Holy Night, De Virgine Maria (Rutti), O Magnum Mysterium (Ola Gjeilo) and O Come All Ye Faithful. The Christmas story is told in the words of the King James Bible and in poems by Elizabeth Jennings, Thomas Merton and Christina Rossetti.
New Year’s Day Concert from Vienna 2016 (also on BBC Four)
BBC Two, BBC Four and BBC Red Button return to Vienna, the city of music, for the traditional classical start to the New Year; the New Year’s Day Concert given by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets to attend the concert are almost impossible to obtain but BBC viewers can enjoy the best seats in the house.
Filmed inside the stunning Golden Hall at the Musikverein in the heart of Vienna the orchestra will present a programme of music from the vast repertoire of the Strauss family and its contemporaries; the finest galops, polkas and waltzes culminating in the ever-popular On the Beautiful Blue Danube and the rousing Radetzky March.
2016 marks the 75th anniversary of this much-loved concert which is broadcast in over 90 countries and watched by 50 million television viewers around the world. As well as coverage of the orchestra from inside the Musikverein the programme will also include performance sequences with the Vienna Boys’ Choir and the Vienna State Ballet.
The concert is traditionally conducted by a different maestro every year and 2016 sees the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Mariss Jansons whose musical collaboration with the orchestra goes back to 1992. This will be his third time at the New Year’s Day concert having previously conducted in 2006 and 2012.
Christmas University Challenge
In Christmas University Challenge, teams of prominent alumni from 14 universities and university colleges will compete for the glory of their institutions and the honour of being declared Series Champions. Each team will compete in one of seven first round matches. The four teams with the highest winning scores will play in two semi-finals, with the winners meeting in the final.
The line-up includes:
UCL: Lynne Truss, award-winning and best-selling writer of Eats, Shoots And Leaves; Vivienne Parry, science writer and broadcaster and Head of Engagement at Genomics England; Tom Dyckhoff, historian and architecture and design writer and Adam Rutherford, science writer, broadcaster and scientific advisor on Ex Machina.
Birmingham: John Hammond, BBC weather forecaster; Pamela Relph, Paralympic Gold medallist in the LTA Mixed Coxed Four; Joanna Gosling, BBC news presenter and author and Emma Darwin, historical fiction and non-fiction writer.
Oriel College, Oxford: Jon Bentley, journalist, TV producer and presenter; Camilla Wright, journalist and founder of influential gossip website Popbitch; Peter Harness, playwright and screenwriter and John Nunn, chess grandmaster and author.
Trinity College, Cambridge: Faisal Islam, Political Editor of Sky News; Zoe Heron, BAFTA-winning television producer; Timothy Gowers, Fields Medal-winning mathematician and Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Cambridge and Bee Wilson, award-winning food writer and historian.
Manchester: Jesse Armstrong, BAFTA-winning screenwriter; Robert Rinder, television presenter and criminal barrister; Lucy Porter, actress, writer and comedian and Christine Burns MBE, political activist, author and equality and inclusion consultant.
University of East Anglia: Tim Bentinck, writer and actor who plays David in The Archers; Erica Wagner, author, literary critic and judge; Caroline Flint, Labour MP for Don Valley and Andy Stanford-Clark, engineer and master inventor at IBM.
Christ’s College, Cambridge: Natalie Haynes, writer and broadcaster; Nina Gold, award-winning casting director; James Reynolds, Rome Correspondent for BBC News and Kieran West, Olympic and World Champion rower.
Essex: Dotun Adebayo, broadcaster, writer and publisher; Rupert Maas, gallery owner, art expert and paintings expert for Antiques Roadshow; Nick Dear, BAFTA-winning playwright and screenwriter and Richard Bartle, computer game designer and researcher and pioneer of massively multiplayer online gaming.
Exeter: Nick Baker, TV presenter and naturalist; Barnaby Edwards, actor, writer and director; Hannah Kendall, award-winning classical composer and George Stiles, Olivier Award-winning composer of West End musicals.
Magdalen College, Oxford: Louis Theroux, BAFTA and RTS award-winning broadcaster and documentary filmmaker; Heather Berlin, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Neuroscience in New York and performer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; Matt Ridley, author, Times columnist and House of Lords member and Robin Lane Fox, TV presenter, author, historical advisor to films and gardening correspondent for the FT.
Aberdeen: Richard Klein, Director of Factual Programmes for ITV; Ian Boyd, Chief Scientific Adviser to DEFRA; Nicky Campbell, journalist, broadcaster and award-winning TV presenter and Kezia Dugdale, MSP and Leader of the Scottish Labour Party.
Sheffield: Adam Hart, professor, scientist, author and presenter of Hive Alive; Nicci Gerrard, journalist and best-selling novelist better known as Nicci French; Ruth Reed, architect and first female president of the Royal Institute of British Architects and Sid Lowe, football columnist, TV commentator and translator.
Durham: Monica Grady, space scientist and Royal Institution Christmas Lecturer; Tim Willcox, BBC news presenter; Tim Smit, co-founder of Eden Project Cornwall and Richard Ovenden, Bodleian Librarian.
London School of Economics: Martin Lewis, journalist, TV presenter, campaigner, finance and consumer affairs author and website founder; Justin Webb, The Today Programme presenter; James O’Brien, current affairs journalist and LBC radio host and Bob Neill, Conservative MP for Bromley and Chislehurst, Chairman of cross-party Justice Select Committee and Conservative Party Vice-Chairman.
Jessica Bromley - email@example.com
Ten Pieces II
Classical music but not as you know it.... This is the TV premiere of Ten Pieces II, an exciting and immersive family film that mixes a star-studded cast with magical animation, live action and stunning close-up performance to bring 10 pieces of orchestral music into vivid focus.
The BBC Philharmonic are conducted by rising star Alpesh Chauhan, playing side-by-side with members of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in Manchester's atmospheric Victoria Warehouse. Special guests are the Hallé Choir, violinist Nicola Benedetti, trumpeter Alison Balsom and DJ Mr Switch.
Christopher Eccleston explores Wagner’s dramatic Ride of the Valkyries, Radio 1’s Clara Amfo navigates Gabriel Prokofiev’s cutting-edge Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra, TV presenter and journalist James May introduces viewers to a favourite piece of Bach, while singer Pixie Lott dances to the energetic rhythms of Bernstein’s Mambo from West Side Story (Symphonic Dances).
The stories weave around the music, embracing stormy seas, motorways, a nightclub, a football pitch and a church, ranging from Stalin's Soviet Union to the swinging streets of New York, from suburbia (albeit with Norse spirits flying around) to Armageddon...
The follow-up to last year's BAFTA-nominated first Ten Pieces film, this new film has already been shown in cinemas nationwide to secondary school students and now transmits on TV for the first time, promising inspirational family entertainment.
Other presenters include actors Bobby Lockwood and Naomi Wilkinson on Bizet’s sultry Carmen, comedian and rapper Doc Brown introducing Anna Clyne’s turbulent Night Ferry, plus former footballer Dion Dublin, poet and broadcaster Lemn Sissay, CBBC presenter Molly Rainford and comedian Vikki Stone.