Christmas 2019 on BBC Two...
Hugh Grant: A Life On Screen
In this new documentary, award-winning actor Hugh Grant tells the story behind his success.
With an outstanding career in film and television, this one-off special will delve into the archives to showcase some of Hugh’s incredible work and includes an in-depth interview with the man himself.
From his early days starting out in comedy troupe, The Jockeys of Norfolk, to his breakthrough role as Charles in Four Weddings And A Funeral, for which he won a Bafta in 1995, Hugh Grant has become one of Britain’s best-loved film stars.
Since then, Hugh Grant has gone from strength to strength with box office hits including Bridget Jones’s Diary, Love Actually, Notting Hill, About A Boy, Two Weeks’ Notice, Paddington 2 and Florence Foster Jenkins. Most recently, he has turned his talents to television in the critically acclaimed BBC drama A Very English Scandal, playing notorious politician Jeremy Thorpe, for which he was also nominated for a Bafta.
The programme also includes interviews from friends and colleagues who have helped shape Hugh’s glittering career, such as Andie MacDowell, Richard Curtis, Sandra Bullock, Colin Firth and Nicholas Hoult.
Hugh Grant: A Life On Screen, 1x60’ for BBC Two, was commissioned by Charlotte Moore and Kate Phillips, Controller Entertainment Commissioning BBC. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Pinki Chambers. Katherine Allen and Clare Brown are the Executive Producers for Whizz Kid Entertainment and Bafta Productions.
Inside The Christmas Factory
Gregg Wallace heads to a factory in Nottingham which makes 200,000 canapes every 24 hours. He discovers the secrets of party food on a grand scale as he follows production of mini quiche bites and vol-au-vents. The journey begins with a tonne of egg - 20,000 individual eggs - which are whisked into a custardy filling followed by 283kg of bacon and 800kg of cheese which transform this mix into Quiche Lorraine. This round-the-clock operation requires 600 staff in the run up to Christmas, as 85% of their annual production is made and despatched in December.
Cherry Healey explores failsafe scientific methods for cooking the perfect turkey. Historian Ruth Goodman finds that kissing under the mistletoe is a more recent tradition than you might imagine and asks how the traditional period of advent, once indelibly associated with fasting, came to be connected with chocolate calendars.
Inside The Christmas Factory, a factual documentary series for BBC Two, was commissioned by Patrick Holland and Tom McDonald. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Abigail Priddle. Amanda Lyon and Sanjay Singhal are the Executive Producers for Voltage TV.
The Repair Shop At Christmas
Christmas has arrived at The Repair Shop and a dedicated team of Britain's most passionate and skilled crafts people are beavering away to ensure that beloved family treasures are restored and reunited with their owners in time for the festive season.
Among the many items coming into the barn for a seasonal spruce are a much-loved but worn-out rocking horse that has brought joy to countless sick children over 40 years, a much loved but thread bare companion in need of a stitch in time, an iconic but dilapidated Chopper bike which once lit up Christmas morning for two brothers, a broken down clockwork train set and a treasured harmonium which has been silent for decades.
The Repair Shop At Christmas is the festive fairy tale celebrating the season of joy and giving, proving that 'make do and mend' is still a philosophy to live by after all these years.
The Repair Shop At Christmas was commissioned for BBC One by Carla-Maria Lawson. Rob Butterfield, Hannah Lamb, Emma Walsh are the Executive Producers for Ricochet.
Only Connect Specials
Education Special: Clareites v Beaks
Victoria Coren Mitchell is back in the host’s chair for a one-off special of Only Connect: The series where knowledge will only take you so far. Patience and lateral thinking are also vital.
For this Education special, two stellar former teams with ties to schooling are back to draw connections between things which, at first glance seem utterly random. The battle between students and teachers is on as the Clareites - all recent graduates of Clare College Cambridge, take on the Beaks - a team of schoolmasters.
Travel Special: Globetrotters v Eurovisionaries
Victoria Coren Mitchell is back in the host’s chair for a one-off travel special of Only Connect: the series where knowledge will only take you so far. Patience and lateral thinking are also vital.
Two stellar former teams are back to draw connections between things which, at first glance seem utterly random. The battle is on as the Globetrotters, a team of travel enthusiasts, take on the Eurovisionaries, three Eurovision Song Contest aficionados. So join Victoria Coren Mitchell if you want to know what connects
Champion Of Champions: Verbivores v Escapologists
Victoria Coren Mitchell is back in the host’s chair for a one-off special of Only Connect: The series where knowledge will only take you so far. Patience and lateral thinking are also vital.
Two series champions are back for the ultimate battle of the brains, as they compete to draw together the connections between things which at first glance seem utterly random. Series 12 Champions the Verbivores take on Series 13 Champions the Escapologists but only one can be named Champion of Champions.
Happy Hour Special: Alesmen v Cosmpolitans
Victoria Coren Mitchell is back in the host’s chair for a very merry one-off special of Only Connect: the series where knowledge will only take you so far. Patience and lateral thinking are also vital.
It’s Happy Hour tonight and two stellar former teams are back to draw connections between things which, at first glance seem utterly random. The battle is on as the Alesmen - a team of Real Ale fans, take on the Cosmopolitans, a trio who enjoy a cocktail.
Only Connect, a quiz show for BBC Two, was commissioned by Channel Controller is Patrick Holland and Head of Commissioning is Kate Phillips. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Sarah Clay. Chris Stuart and Mark Hill are the Executive Producers for Parasol Media and RDF Television.
Top Gear sets out on perhaps its toughest road-trip ever: A high-altitude voyage from Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, to the Forbidden City of Lo Manthang, a secretive kingdom perched high on the Tibetan plateau, on the far side of the Himalayas. A five-day expedition through the highest mountains, deepest gorges and harshest terrain on the planet.
On their journey, the Top Gear presenters battle huge river crossings, vast mudslides, and dizzying mountain passes, on a trip that would test even the hardiest new 4x4s on the planet to the limit. But Paddy, Freddie and Chris aren’t crossing the Himalayas in new 4x4s. They’re crossing the Himalayas in a very small old Peugeot, a very small old Renault, and Nepal’s first (and only) home-built car…
Top Gear is made by BBC Studios. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two and Kate Phillips, Head of Commissioning, Entertainment. The Executive Producers are Clare Pizey and Alex Renton.
Gareth Malone’s Christmas Concert
Christmas is a time for family, but across the UK this year more than 400,000 NHS workers will be giving up time with their loved ones to care for patients on Christmas Day. The chief executive of one hard-working district general hospital in Britain thinks her staff could do with a festive boost and welcomes Gareth Malone in to help put on a special Christmas concert. Gareth embeds himself in the busy Watford General Hospital, enlisting the help of staff, patients and their families from right across the hospital, to produce a concert full of wonder for everyone to enjoy.
Gareth Malone’s Christmas Concert, a BBC Two special, is commissioned by Patrick Holland and Clare Sillery. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Emily Smith. The show is produced and directed by Matt Rudge for Swan Films.
Live Baby Live
On 13th July 1991, INXS, one of the world’s greatest rock and roll bands, were filmed in concert at Wembley Stadium, London performing one of their most stunning concerts ever to a sold out, crowd of 72,000 fans. The Wembley concert was the last of a 12 month worldwide run of dates on the band's record breaking X-Factor Tour and those there on the day witnessed a band at the absolute peak of their powers.
This electrifying concert was directed by David Mallet (AC/DC, U2, Madonna), and featured classic anthems New Sensation, Mystify and Need You Tonight. Eagle Rock Films has fully restored INXS' classic concert film to present Live Baby Live in HD for the first time ever, on BBC Two.
Live Baby Live is commissioned by Jan Younghusband, Head of Music Commissioning for Television, BBC and Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two. The Executive Producers are Terry Shand, Geoff Kempin, Samantha Evans, CM Murphy for Propaganda Films/Truism Production.
Snow Cats & Me
In this heartwarming two part Christmas series, Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan travels to Russia to help cat expert Dr Victor Lukarevsky as he tries - for the first time ever - to rescue and rehabilitate lynx from the lucrative fur and pet trades back to the wild.
Joining Lukarevsky in the wild Ural Mountains, Gordon helps rescue Koshka and Miass, two adult lynx. They’ve been held in tiny steel cages by a fur trapper for years, bred for the fur their kittens provide.
Can Gordon and Victor repair their psychological and physical wounds and teach them How to live in the wild again?
We follow Koshka and Miass as they begin to regain their strength and, in an unexpected turn of events, they have two beautiful kittens. Having never raised her own kittens before will she be able to look after them?
They are joined by two lynx from Russia’s pet trade, an overly friendly young male Bryansk and Dasha a skittish young female. Both were raised in a house and have never seen the outdoors. These pets will be the ultimate test of Lukarevsky’s project to rehabilitate captive lynx.
In the second episode Gordon and Dr Lukarevsky keep a close eye on Koshka’s family as they continue on the road to full recovery. They have to prove their ability to hunt and survive before they can be released back to the wild come spring.
In the meantime, Bryansk is having to be trained from scratch how to survive in the wild. He’s been so domesticated it’s a major challenge for Gordon and Victor to help him find his wild instincts. If he can’t he will not be able to be released and will have to spend the rest of his life in captivity.
Snow Cats & Me, a 2x60’, is produced by Oak Island Films. The executive producer is Ted Oakes. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller BBC Two. commissioning editor at the BBC is Jack Bootle.
A Merry Tudor Christmas With Lucy Worsley
In A Merry Tudor Christmas With Lucy Worsley, Lucy will immerse herself in the food, music, dance and traditions of the 16th century - a heady 12 days of revelry that ran from December 25 to January 5. In this Yuletide treat Lucy discovers how Christmas was celebrated in the reign of Henry VIII, sheds an extraordinary new light on Tudor times through the prism of this festive event, and uncovers the roots of some surprising and familiar Christmas traditions. For the Tudors, the build-up to Christmas didn’t mean endless parties or too many mince pies, but a month of fasting and religious devotion before twelve days of merriment finally kicked in on December 25.
On a quest to piece together how Tudors celebrated Christmas using newly accessible archive and rare historical documents, Lucy will reveal a new perspective on a devout Catholic country when Christmas was full of religious spectacle, enormous charitable acts and rare moments of togetherness between King and subjects, Lords and labourers, priests and worshippers. With the help of food historian Annie Gray, Lucy steps into the Hampton Court Palace kitchens to cook an elaborate Christmas feast that a young Henry VIII would have enjoyed on his first Christmas as king, including the pièce de résistance of the kings table - a boar’s head - and the festivities climax on Twelfth Night as Lucy dances the night away in a royal knees-up.
A Merry Tudor Christmas With Lucy Worsley is a 1x60’ for BBC Two in association with PBS by Burning Bright Productions. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two and the Commissioning Editor is Simon Young. The Executive Producer is Susanne Curran and the Producer & Director is Peter Sweasey.
Frankie Boyle’s New World Order 2019
Frankie Boyle returns with his New World Order end of year special where, with the help of his guests, he’ll dissect the bewildering year that was 2019. The show features Frankie at his satirical best with stand-up, review and discussion - all in an attempt to make sense of the last 12 months. Frankie Boyle’s New World Order is made by Zeppotron, part of Endemol Shine Group.
Frankie Boyle’s New World Order 2019, a 1x30’ for BBC Two, is made by Zeppotron was commissioned by Patrick Holland and Shane Allen. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Alex Moody. Ruth Phillips and Peter Holmes are the Executive Producers for Zeppotron.
Liam Gallagher: As It Was
Liam Gallagher: As It Was tells the honest and emotional story of how one of the most electrifying rock’n’roll frontmen went from the dizzying heights of his champagne supernova years in Oasis to living on the edge, ostracised and lost in the musical wilderness of booze, notoriety and bitter legal battles. Starting again, alone, stripped bare and with nowhere to hide, Liam risks everything to make the greatest comeback of all time. Directors Charlie Lightening and Gavin Fitzgerald invite us backstage for a no-holds-barred look at the life of one of the most talked-about and charismatic artists of his generation.
Liam Gallagher: As It Was was commissioned by: Jan Younghusband, Head of Music Commissioning , BBC and Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two. Executive Producers: Julian Bird, Joel Kennedy and Tim Davenport for Lorton Entertainment Producer: Steven Lappin for Lorton Entertainment.
Jools’ Annual Hootenanny 2019
Jools’ Annual Hootenanny is now firmly part of the UK’s tradition in celebrating the New Year on television. He and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra take centre stage in providing the soundtrack to seeing out the old year and welcoming in the new one. Jools welcomes a variety of vocalists from across the decades to join him and his hugely successful band in performing songs that get you both dancing and reflecting on this night of all nights. Also in the studio will be bands performing in their own right, adding to the musical mix and atmosphere. In amongst the performances, Jools chats to invited guests from the world of TV, comedy and film and get their thoughts and predictions for the upcoming 12 months. With a band of pipes and drums for the midnight moment and more hits than you can shake a stick at - it’s the best soundtrack any party could have.
Jools’ Annual Hootenanny 2019 was commissioned by Jan Younghusband, Head of Music Commissioning , BBC and Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two. Executive producer: Alison Howe for BBC Studios.
Romeo And Juliet: Beyond Words
In an unprecedented combination of ballet, theatre, film and music BBC Two brings a cinematic reimagining of Shakespeare’s seminal love story this Christmas in association with The Royal Ballet.
Young stars of The Royal Ballet perform Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s original choreography, with William Bracewell as Romeo, Francesca Hayward as Juliet and Matthew Ball as Tybalt. Shot on location, the film features the iconic original costume designs by Nicholas Georgiadis and Prokofiev’s score performed by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House conducted by Koen Kessels.
Romeo And Juliet: Beyond Words was commissioned by Head of BBC Music TV Commissioning, Jan Younghusband for Patrick Holland, Controller BBC Two. The Executive Producers are Kevin O’Hare for the Royal Ballet, William Trevitt from Footwork Films.
New Year’s Day Concert From Vienna
Petroc Trelawny presents this year’s traditional musical start to the year with music from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna. This year’s concert is lead for the first time by celebrated Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons, who guides the Vienna Philharmonic in an array of polkas, waltzes and gallops by the Strauss family and their contemporaries.
As always, the concert will end with the ever-popular By The Beautiful Blue Danube and the foot-stamping Radetzky March.
The New Year’s Day Concert From Vienna is transmitted in over 90 countries, and watched by some 50 million.
New Year’s Day Concert From Vienna was commissioned by Head of BBC TV Commissioning, Jan Younghusband, for Patrick Holland, Controller BBC Two. The Executive Producer is Mark Cooper.
A Bear Called Paddington & A Man Called Michael (w/t)
This is the story of the unassuming man whose greatest creation, Paddington Bear, became one of the nation’s best loved characters.
Now an international phenomenon, the little bear from Peru, was the product of a very particular post-war world. Michael Bond drew on his wartime memories of evacuee children to shape Paddington’s personality and his literary agent, from a Jewish family who fled the Nazis, inspired Paddington’s kindly friend, Mr Gruber.
The values of decency and tolerance Michael Bond saw in the world he grew up in, were the same he gave to the young bear and this film offers a fascinating, heart-warming portrait of the world that gave birth to Paddington.
Featuring interviews with Michael Bond’s family, friends and celebrity admirers, the film will also remind us of the other classic characters Michael Bond created, among them The Herbs, Olga da Polga and Monsieur Pamplemousse.
A Bear Called Paddington & A Man Called Michael (w/t) is a BBC Studios production. It was commissioned for BBC Arts and BBC Two by Mark Bell. Richard Bright is the Executive Producer.
The Christmas Misadventures Of Romesh Ranganathan
A year ago Romesh Ranganathan visited the Arctic to film a Christmas episode of The Misadventures Of Romesh Ranganathan. This year he has agreed to do another Christmas episode - on the strict understanding that he will not go anywhere cold. And so Rom is travelling to the Sahara desert.
Owing to the tradition of shooting Christmas episodes in July, he has arrived at the hottest time of the year - over the next week temperatures will rise to 50 degrees Celsius - an inescapable wall of heat that beats down from above, rises up from the sand below and makes everyone massively narky.
Guided by Bobo, a local of Berber descent who was born and grew up in the desert, Rom will discover a place that is vast and inhospitable - at once impossibly bleak and impossibly beautiful.
Epic, informative and ever so slightly silly, Romesh’s misadventures in the Sahara shine a light on one of the most overlit places on earth.
The Christmas Misadventures Of Romesh Ranganathan, a 1x60’ for BBC Two, was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two and Catherine Catton, Commissioning Editor, Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment. The Executive Producers for Rumpus Media are Emily Hudd and Morgan Roberts.
Earth’s Tropical Islands
From the makers of Earth’s Greatest Rivers, brand new series Earth’s Tropical Islands travels to three of the most exotic, mysterious and remote islands on Planet Earth: Madagascar, Borneo and Hawaii. Over three episodes, narrated by actor David Harewood, we will reveal how these isolated and iconic tropical islands harbour remarkable wildlife and human castaways found nowhere else on Earth.
Madagascar, famed for its lemurs, is the oldest island in the world and home to the largest collection of unique animals found on any island. Borneo cradles more diversity of life than any other island - over 60,000 species of animals and plants - from orangutans, to sun bears and flying snakes. And Hawaii is the most remote island chain in the world, colonised by intrepid whales, carnivorous caterpillars and albatross.
In a rapidly changing world, these fragile islands are a vital gauge for the health of our planet.
Earth’s Tropical Islands, a 3x60’ for BBC Two, is made by BBC Studios Natural History Unit, co-produced by PBS. The Executive Producer is Mark Brownlow and the Series Producer is Kathryn Jeffs. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two and Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual. The Commissioning Editor is Tom Coveney.
Noel At The Apollo
This December, the Bafta-nominated Live At The Apollo returns to BBC Two for its fifth annual Christmas special, Noel At The Apollo.
At the forefront of its genre, the roll call of stand-ups who have performed in front of the famous lights plays out like a who’s who of comedic royalty, and this episode is no different.
The fabulous Sara Pascoe is your host for some yuletide fun and frolics as she introduces, Chris McCausland and Flo and Joan to the Noel At The Apollo stage.
Live At The Apollo, a comedy series for BBC Two was commissioned by Patrick Holland. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Pinki Chambers. Anthony Caveney and Andrew Beint are the Executive Producers for Open Mike Productions.
Dragons’ Den: Pitches To Riches
In this one hour special Angela Scanlon discovers what happened next to some of the most memorable businesses and entrepreneurs who have exited the famous Den Doors over past 17 series.
Across the show we’ll follow the Dragons as they catch up with some of their most promising investments and discover what having Dragon on board can do for your business.
Angela takes the Dragons on a trip down memory lane when she shows them footage of themselves from former series. There’ll be some cringeworthy moments and some funny ones - is there anything they’d do differently now? And she meets the latest and youngest Dragon, Sara Davies, who has been a diehard fan of the show since her university days. What’s it like to go up against and win pitches from her business heroes?
We’ll trawl through the archive selecting some of the most inspiring and extraordinary pitches focusing on a variety of products and services. We’ll revisit and catch up with the entrepreneurs who found success despite rejection from the Dragons, those who won the Den’s biggest investments and follow up on those jaw dropping moments when it all went horribly wrong under the glare of five powerful Dragons.
Dragons’ Den: Pitches To Riches, a 1x60’ for BBC Two, was commissioned by Patrick Holland and Kate Phillips. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Sarah Clay. Chi Ukairo is the Executive Producers and Sam Davies is the Series Producer for BBC Studios.
MasterChef: The Professionals Rematch 2019
For the second year running, judges Gregg Wallace, Monica Galetti and Marcus Wareing hit the road to catch up with five of the competition’s most successful past contestants. For each of these chefs, taking part in MasterChef: The Professionals has had a career-changing impact.
Travelling to some inspiring and diverse gastronomic destinations - from fashionable restaurants and pop-ups in London and coastal St Andrews in Scotland, to a Michelin-starred hotel restaurant in Surrey and a fledgling project in the grounds of a stately home in rural Derbyshire, the judges find their past alumni making waves in the culinary world.
But it wouldn't be MasterChef: The Professionals without an element of competition. So all five finalists return to the MasterChef kitchen to show the judges how much their food has evolved. In this spectacular rematch, there is extraordinary food and creativity on show, as the chefs battle to prove to the judges, once again, that they are best in the kitchen.
MasterChef: The Professionals Rematch 2019, a 1x60’ for BBC Two, was commissioned by Patrick Holland and Kate Phillips. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Carla-Maria Lawson. David Ambler is Executive Producer and Rachel Palin is Series Editor for Shine TV.
2019: A Year In The Life Of A Year
A review of the year unlike any other review of the year, because almost all of it is made up, 2019: A Year In The Life Of A Year is the latest blockbuster in the A Year In The Life Of A Year cinematic universe. Written, presented and presented by Rhys Thomas OBE, it features a lot of things that happened in 2019, but not necessarily in the right order.
2019: A Year In The Life Of A Year, for BBC Two, was commissioned by Patrick Holland and Shane Allen. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Alex Moody. Ben Caudell is the Executive Producer for BBC Studios - Comedy.
Carols From King's
A solo chorister sings Once In Royal David's City, in the hushed expectancy of the candlelit, fan-vaulted chapel of King's College, Cambridge and Carols From King's, the traditional, well-loved celebration of the Christmas story begins once more.
The world-famous King's College Choir sing carols old and new, including the Sussex Carol, Ding Dong Merrily On High and O Holy Night, directed for the first time by Daniel Hyde. A former organ scholar at King's College, Daniel Hyde returned earlier this year to take up the role of Director of Music. The service is led by the Dean, the Revd Dr Stephen Cherry and the Chaplain, the Revd Andrew Hammond.
First broadcast 65 years ago, Carols from King's was inspired by and complements BBC Radio 4's A Festival Of Nine Lessons And Carols. The television programme gives viewers an opportunity to enjoy the magnificent architecture of the chapel, the exquisite singing of the choir, readings from the King James Bible and seasonal poetry, read by members of King's College.
Carols From King's, is a BBC Studios Factual Salford programme for BBC Two. Commissioned by Patrick Holland, Channel Controller and Tom McDonald, Senior Head of Factual Commissioning. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Daisy Scalchi. Rob Unsworth and Hugh Faupel are the Executive Producers for BBC Studios.
Sandi Toksvig hosts the seasonal Quizmas Quiz with Johnny Vegas, Sara Pascoe, Josh Widdicombe, and Alan Davies. Find out how Sara Pascoe’s mum ruined the quiz for everybody, how big Dumbo’s ears would need to be in real life, what the equivalent of an aquatic sheepdog is, why ice is slippery (it’s not what you think) and the best way of getting your wine to 'breathe'. Oh, and after seventeen years Alan Davies finally lands that 'Blue Whale' bonus he’s been hoping for!
QI, a quiz show series for BBC Two, was commissioned by was commissioned by Patrick Holland and Kate Phillips. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Sarah Clay. John Lloyd and Jonno Richards are the Executive Producers and Piers Fletcher is the Series Producer for Freemantle Media.
Students can breathe a sigh of relief, because they’re off the hook for the next couple of weeks. Instead, we’re turning our attention to graduates, and for this special festive series we’ve invited fourteen teams of famous faces to forego an evening’s wassailing, and instead compete for the title of Christmas University Challenge Champions. As always, each of the ten matches will be fought under the basilisk stare of presenter Jeremy Paxman.
To be eligible to play, we ask that each team member should have graduated from the institution they’re playing for, and since leaving, they should have gone on to make their mark in their field - so we can expect to see television presenters, writers, actors, journalists, explorers and composers all struggling to deal with the kind of questions we throw at the UK’s brainiest students.
There’ll be a sprinkling of Christmas-themed questions in amongst the usual brain-crunching teasers about the Treaty of Westphalia and quantum mechanics, but no amount of tinsel and fairy-lights strewn across the set can disguise the fiercely competitive nature of the contests ahead of us. We invite all University Challenge viewers to test themselves against the great and the good who have gamely volunteered to entertain us with a demonstration of what they know, and what don’t know, about pretty much everything.
University Challenge, a quiz show series for BBC Two, was commissioned by Patrick Holland and Kate Phillips. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Pinki Chambers. Peter Gwyn is the Executive Producer for ITV Studios.
Eat The Years (w/t)
Eat The Years (w/t), takes an iconic restaurant back in time with Giles Coren challenging Heston Blumenthal to re-create an extraordinary tasting menu from a pivotal year for his world-renowned restaurant, The Fat Duck.
For this unique one-off event, Heston and his contemporary team reunite with original staff members to serve a historic tasting menu from 2001. With the Fat Duck dining room and kitchen redecorated overnight to match turn of the millennium styles, and an array of high-profile guests from 2001 walking through the door in period attire, Heston and his team must harness the knowledge, equipment and skills of yesteryear to serve perfect, mouth-watering examples of some of Heston’s most famous dishes.
Packed with nostalgia and emotion, the programme interweaves the challenge of pulling off a culinary masterclass with the incredible personal story of Heston’s rise to become a British food superstar, alongside the deeper historical context, revealing how he and his food shaped and mirrored recent British history.
Eat The Years (w/t), a 1x60' for BBC Two, is produced by Wonderhood Studios. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two and Simon Young, Commissioning Editor, History. The Executive Producer is Rebecca Templar, director Sam Roubicek and the series was developed by Emma Lorenz.
In Search Of Dracula With Mark Gatiss
Mark Gatiss, executive producer and co-writer of the forthcoming new Dracula series on BBC One, will captivate the viewer in this documentary. From Nosferatu to Hammer Horror and beyond, Mark uncovers the Carpathian heights and crepuscular lows of immortalising the Count.
The documentary begins at Orava Castle in Slovakia, as used in the classic vampire film Nosferatu. From there Mark takes the viewer to the London Library, on the trail of Bram Stoker's newly discovered research literature. From the UK, Mark flies to Philadelphia in the United States, where he studies Stoker’s hand-written notes and examines the abandoned ideas, storylines and characters which went in to become his world-famous story.
Mark meets with actors - including reuniting seven Hammer Brides! - film experts and historians as he explores the Count’s transition from page to screen. From Bela Lugosi’s Hollywood to Christopher Lee’s terrifying incarnation then finally coming face to face with the new Dracula himself; Danish actor Claes Bang. This documentary explores and celebrates this icon of popular culture asking just why do we keep coming back to the Count?
In Search Of Dracula (w/t) is a Hartswood Films and Bright Branch Media production. It was commissioned for BBC Arts and BBC Two by Mark Bell. Sue Vertue, Jo Pearce and Mark Gatiss are the Executive Producers.
Dolly Parton: HERE I AM
Dolly Parton has often been seen as a caricature. And it’s an impression she herself has done little to discourage. But for far too long this persona has obscured the real Dolly. Dolly Parton: HERE I AM is a major, feature-length documentary which uncovers a very different character - a Dolly that is no less extraordinary, but far more authentic and far more surprising.
Dolly Parton: HERE I AM is the latest film from Bafta winning producer/director, Francis Whately. With unprecedented access, it reveals the genius songwriter behind the rhinestones, the private individual who reveals almost everything if you take the time to explore the lyrics, the modern feminist who doesn’t want to be called a feminist. Talking about her on camera for the first time are Dolly’s musicians, co-writers and producers, in an exploration of why she is seen as one of the greatest songwriters of modern times.
Dolly personally takes viewers musically and lyrically though some of her greatest songs including The Bridge, I Will Always Love You and 9 To 5, revealing how they fit into her 50 year career. Coming right up-to-date, cameras capture her celebrating the 50th anniversary of her very first performance at the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville’s home of country, as well as featuring footage from that original performance.
Surrounded by friends and fellow stars is Dolly, the universally adored, global phenomenon in action, doing what she does best - being a star! Contributors to the film include Kylie Minogue, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Danny Nozell (Dolly’s manager), Charley Pride, Mac Davis, Chris Stapleton, Wayne Moss, music producers Linda Perry, Kent Wells and Val Garay, and band members Jerry Douglas, Carl Jackson, Charlie McCoy, Eddy Anderson, Lloyd Green, Mike Severs, Hargus ‘Pig’ Robbins and Stuart Duncan.
Dolly Parton: HERE I AM is a Man Alive Entertainment production, producer/director is Francis Whately, executive producers Justin Gorman, Dan McGaughey and Hannah Dodson. Commissioned for the BBC by Jan Younghusband, Head of Commissioning, Music Television. BBC Executive Producer is Phil Dolling.