The reality of how war touches all of our lives, past and present, is to be told in a week of special programmes commemorating Remembrance Sunday on BBC One Daytime.

Remembrance Week, presented by Rav Wilding (Crimewatch, Helicopter Heroes), will feature interviews with people whose incredible stories span decades and conflicts, from the Second World War through to the current Afghan conflict.

Celebrating the courage and bravery of the people involved, it will hear directly from serving and retired members of the UK Armed Forces, as well as civilians and their families. It will also reveal stories from those touched and affected by war in different and sometimes unusual ways, from miners and teachers on the home front, to those who nursed and entertained the troops on the frontline.

Each episode will include feature interviews, archive footage, personal photos, letters and diaries right through to recent conflicts such as the Falklands, Balkans and Gulf Wars.

Rav Wilding says: “Remembrance Week will not only reveal the incredible and emotive stories from individuals who have fought and are still fighting, but also be an uplifting and inspiring series about bravery, camaraderie and companionship. As an ex-soldier myself, supporting our troops is so important to me so I’m thrilled to be presenting such an important series.”

Liam Keelan, BBC Daytime Controller, who commissioned the series says: “BBC Daytime is proud to be devoting a week of special programming to mark Remembrance Day. It will be filled with stories of courage, emotion and sacrifice right through to the present day. The series reflects our commitment to bring the daytime audience more programmes which delve into social history as well as the issues they care passionately about.”

The BBC executive producer is Gerard Melling, and the 5×45′ series for BBC One Daytime is being made by Fever Media. The executive producer for Fever Media is David Mortimer.


Calling all entrepreneurs. Win an opportunity of a lifetime. Lord Sugar is ready to set up a new business with an initial investment worth a quarter of a million pounds

In a climate where small businesses are being encouraged to get the country’s economy back on its feet, Lord Sugar today announced a twist to the 2011 series of The Apprentice.

Next year’s successful Apprentice will no longer win a £100K job working in one of Lord Sugar’s businesses. Instead, Lord Sugar will set up a new business with an initial investment worth £250,000 – a life-changing opportunity in this time of economic hardship when re-growth and long-term commitment are the key to financial recovery.

The winner, whether a keen business rookie or someone who’s had several years of experience, will choose the type of business they want to set up – be it a digital online firm, catering company or fashion accessories line. Lord Sugar is looking for an Apprentice with the flair and drive to build a business, which he will jointly own with the winner, each taking a 50% interest. Lord Sugar will be mentoring and guiding his winning Apprentice, bringing with him over 40 years of his own business experience to help the business take its first fledgling steps.

Lord Sugar comments: “In the past years I was searching for a candidate to employ, now I am looking for a business partner. The good news is they won’t have to put any money into the new company, I will. With an injection of £250,000 of value into this start up company, this is an amazing opportunity for someone who will choose the type of business it will be. I will be looking for a person with some expertise who can demonstrate they have a good understanding of all facets of business, so as to take this venture to another level.”

With the stakes set higher than ever, Lord Sugar and his eagle-eyed advisors, Nick Hewer and Karren Brady, will be watching how the 16 eager new apprentices perform 12 challenging tasks – each striving to prove they have the commercial acumen and skill to be worthy of entering into a business with Lord Sugar as winner of The Apprentice 2011.

It’s not too late for those budding apprentices who would still like to apply to take part in the next series of BBC One’s The Apprentice Series 7 (which will broadcast in 2011). They should log onto The closing date for applications is 30 June 2010.

Transmission date for Series 7 is yet to be confirmed. However, Series 6 of The Apprentice will broadcast later this Autumn on BBC One.

The Apprentice is a talkbackTHAMES production for BBC One. Michele Kurland is executive producer, Mark Saben is series editor. Jo Wallace is the executive editor for the BBC.


Jo Woodcock (All The Small Things) and Becci Gemmell (Home Time) return as land girls Bea and Joyce in the new, five-part series of the award-winning Land Girls, for BBC One Daytime.

They’re joined by newcomer Seline Hizli, who plays streetwise, cockney land girl Connie Carter, who causes mayhem from the moment she arrives on the farm.

Created by Roland Moore, the highly-popular and award-winning drama returns for a second series set in the rural Forties and continues to follow the lives and loves of the land girls doing their bit for Britain in the Women’s Land Army (WLA).

Additional new faces joining the cast are Clive Wood (London’s Burning), who plays millionaire American businessman Jack Gillespie; Raquel Cassidy (Lead Balloon, Teachers) as Lady Hoxley’s sister, the fun-loving Diana Granville; and Liam Garrigan (The Pillars Of The Earth, Holby, The Chase), who plays the young and charming Rev Henry Jameson.

Other familiar faces returning for the new series include Sophie Ward as Lady Hoxley, Mark Benton as Farmer Finch, Danny Webb as Sgt Tucker, Susan Cookson and Mykola Allen as Esther and her son, Martin, and Liam Boyle as Billy Finch.

Against the backdrop of war weary Forties Britain, Land Girls is again set on the Hoxley estate – at the run-down Pasture Farm and the opulent Hoxley Manor – and several months have passed since the end of the last series.

Bea, now a farmer’s wife and mother, and land girl Joyce, are joined at Pasture Farm by new land girl Connie. As the women work hard on the land, serving their country, the drama follows them as they live out their lives in the shadow of war.

Liam Keelan, Controller of BBC Daytime, says: “It’s wonderful to have so many of our original cast returning for the second series of our award-winning drama, as well as some exciting new names, too. The first series proved to be hugely popular, pulling in audiences of more than two million with its warm, uplifting, but also compelling, story.

He adds: “The first series of Land Girls was something completely new for our viewers, as it was the first period drama commissioned and shown for the BBC One Daytime audience. This second series is part of BBC Daytime’s ongoing commitment to produce more quality original British drama, which we know our audiences love.”

Becci Gemmell plays the fiercely patriotic and eternally optimistic Joyce who, at the end of the last series, was briefly reunited with her husband, John, before he was forced to join the dangerous bomber command.

Jo Woodcock plays Bea, who is married to Billy (played by Liam Boyle). She has a six-month-old son, the result of being seduced and having a one-night stand with an American GI. Despite this, Bea and Billy are now happily married, but new arrivals in Helmstead lead to cracks appearing in their marriage.

Seline Hizli plays Connie, a feisty, opinionated, young cockney. Prone to telling tall stories, it is hard to know who the real Connie is, as she causes mayhem everywhere she goes. But, after she meets the Rev Henry Jameson (played by Liam Garrigan), will she come good in the end?

Sophie Ward plays Lady Ellen Hoxley, the lady of the manor. Widowed at the end of the last series she is coping well with bereavement, as she never had a deep love for her husband, Laurence, and is free of his secret.

Ellen now has her sister, Diana (played by Raquel Cassidy), staying with her. The two women are very different and bicker continually – within the confines of “proper” behaviour, of course.

The arrival of American businessman Jack Gillespie (played by Clive Wood) attracts attention from them both – leading to an upper-class love triangle.

Susan Cookson plays Esther Reeves and Mykola Allen plays her son, Martin. Along with the land girls, who Esther looks after, they live at Pasture Farm with Frederick Finch (played by Mark Benton). When Martin falls victim to a nasty accident, Esther is faced with a moral dilemma to save her son.

Danny Webb plays Sgt Tucker, arrested at the end of the last series for the murder of Lord Hoxley. As the case falls apart he is released, but faces the struggle of having to rebuild his life.

Land Girls is again being made by the team behind BBC Birmingham’s award-winning Doctors, and is being filmed on location in and around the West Midlands.

The executive producers are Will Trotter and John Yorke and the producer is Erika Hossington.


Sir Terry Wogan is set to embark on a fascinating landmark journey in a brand new two-part documentary, Terry Wogan’s Ireland, for BBC One. After 40 years, one of Britain’s best loved broadcasters is going back to his homeland.

This two-part series will offer a unique insight into Sir Terry’s early years and follow him as he travels around Ireland from the south to the north. Along the way he’ll meet old friends, as he steps back into his past to explore how Ireland helped shape him. He’ll journey across a stunning landscape, through towns and villages dominated and irrevocably changed by their historic and political past. He’ll meet the people of a new Ireland and look forward to what it means to be Irish in the 21st century.

Cardiff-based Presentable will produce the two 60-minute programmes for BBC One. Terry Wogan’s Ireland will be filmed later this month in HD and will air on BBC One in 2010. It will be executive produced by Martyn Ingram and Teresa Watkins, and directed by Christopher Bruce.

Terry Wogan’s Ireland has been commissioned by Charlotte Moore, BBC Commissioning Editor for Documentaries, and is being made through BBC Cymru Wales.

Maxine Watson, BBC Commissioning Executive, says: “Terry is the perfect person to take us on this journey. He, like millions of Irish people before him, may have settled elsewhere, yet across the diaspora there remains a strong sense of Irish identity.”

Terry Wogan is currently presenting Weekend Wogan, the second series of which is on every Sunday on BBC Radio 2 between 10am-1pm. Watch programme highlights each week on


Ewan McGregor and his RAF pilot brother, Colin, are set to relive the experiences of young airmen in a bid to find out what it was like to live and fight through the most significant air battle in British history.

The one-off documentary, The Real Battle Of Britain, will be shown on BBC One this September as part of a wider season to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Second World War air campaign.

Ewan McGregor says: “The Battle Of Britain was a dramatic turning point in the history of the Second World War and a defining moment in world history. It is a privilege for Colin and I to make this documentary; not only to mark the 70th anniversary itself, but to be able to pay tribute to the courage and sacrifice of those who fought during the battle.”

Flying across the skies of England, the brothers will get hands on experience of the fighter aircraft of the time; experiencing the excitement, pressures and strains of air combat. For Colin, it’s a chance to see if his modern jet fighter training compares to the seat-of-the-pants skills needed to master a Spitfire. Along the way they will meet some of the heroes who fought in the battle some 70 years before. Real pilots, radar operators and ground-crew will instruct and guide them through their own Battle Of Britain.

Martin Davidson, Commissioning Editor, History and Business, says: “I am really proud of the Battle Of Britain Season across BBC Television, which I hope will bring the nation together with some really inspiring programmes. From Ewan and Colin’s experiences in The Real Battle Of Britain, to the BBC Two drama First Light and the range of thought-provoking documentaries, the season will not only commemorate what many historians view as the most significant air battle in our history, but also hopefully bring it to life for the modern audience.”

Also on BBC One, Dig 1940, is a three-part series that sees presenter Jules Hudson and his team of experts excavate wartime artefacts and the wreckage of aircraft shot down during 1940. Hitler’s Germany was determined to invade our small island, and all that stood in the way was the men and women of Britain. Accompanied by the people who witnessed events for real, the programme will unearth secrets that have been buried for 70 years, revealing some poignant and personal stories of heroism from Britain’s most perilous year.

Leading the programming on BBC Two, First Light is an intimate one-off drama-documentary, that tells the extraordinary story of nineteen-year-old Geoffrey Wellum – one of the youngest pilots to participate in the battle, who was posted at the beginning of the war having never flown a Spitfire.

Based on Geoffrey’s personal and deeply moving memoirs, the film will deliver a compelling testimony of his wartime experiences, revisiting the stark emotions and fiery action that dazzled and terrified him as a young man and which changed his life forever.

Serving as a pertinent reminder of courage and sacrifice, providing the audience with a unique opportunity to relive real experiences and emotions, the programme combines evocative drama on the ground and in the air, with computer graphics and real-time spitfire flying, capturing the claustrophobia of the cockpit and the frenzy of back-to-back dog fighting.

Also on BBC Two, Battle Of Britain – The Real Story (wt); writer and historian James Holland presents a unique examination of the tactics, technologies and intelligence on both sides during the extraordinary summer of 1940. Drawing on specialist research, and first-hand testimonies from both the Germans and the British, Holland presents a striking new analysis of this most epic of stories and evaluates the impact of the battle and its place in history.

In a one-off special, the Culture Show explores the extraordinary and diverse works of art that came out of the darkness of the Second World War. British artists created a kaleidoscope of colour; huge canvases and intimate sketches; posters and portraits, cartoons and chaotic battle scenes; some of which have become iconic images, enduring art works that instantly evoke the period. Others have been virtually forgotten. But whether their creators were official war artists or anonymous graphic designers they were responding to the most intense human experiences imaginable.

On BBC Four, Wellington Bomber takes a look at a challenge posed by the RAF and the War Ministry during the war – could a Wellington Bomber be built from scratch in a single day? Combining archive footage of the attempt with testimonials from the workers involved at the time, this fascinating film documents the amazing attempt bolt by bolt.

Other programmes on BBC Four include Spitfire Women, the story of the remarkable women who, against all odds, flew planes for the Air Transport Auxiliary from 1939 to the end of the Second World War. Using archive footage and testimonies from the surviving members and their relatives, Spitfire Women captures the drama, danger and significance of the story of these unsung heroines, who came from across the world to fight for Britain but whose tales of courage and determination remain largely unrecognised.

On the Battle Of Britain anniversary weekend in September, BBC Two will be covering the special Battle Of Britain 70th Anniversary memorial service at Westminster Abbey as well as featuring a special night of reflection, debate and archive programmes on BBC Four’s live Battle Of Britain evening.

BBC Archive also takes audiences back to the time that has become known as Britain’s finest hour. Original radio recordings include interviews with some of the Battle Of Britain pilots who flew Hurricanes and Spitfires, revealing the struggles that “the few” faced as they set out on missions from which they knew they may well never return. Commander-in-Chief Hugh Dowding speaks about his clashes with Winston Churchill and a television documentary takes some of the people who built Spitfires during the war back to the site of their factory where they modestly recall their incredible achievements.

The collection also features rarely seen BBC documents that tell the story of the controversial news report on a dogfight over the Channel, revealing the importance of the anti-aircraft gunners and searchlight operators who protected Britain on the ground. Also included is a confidential report that talks about the character of captured German pilots.

BBC Archive’s Battle Of Britain collection will be available online from July 2010 and can be found by visiting




Meet Britain’s most glamorous taxi fleet, as BBC One announces a brand-new, three-part, comedy-drama series revolving around the lives and loves of a group of women launching an all-female cab company.

With a high profile cast, led by EastEnders actress Jo Joyner and comedy star Lisa Millett, the series tells the story of an unlikely pair of northern women who embark on a business adventure and start a cab company run by women, for women.

But the road towards becoming entrepreneurs never runs smoothly, and it’s not long before personal obstacles interfere with their professional dreams.

Candy Cabs features an ensemble cast including Paul Nicholls, Denis Lawson, John Henshaw, Jodie Prenger, Paul Kaye, Claire Sweeney, Melanie Hill, Tom Goodman-Hill, Daniel Ryan and Ricky Whittle.

Candy Cabs will be produced by Splash Media for BBC, and filming will commence at the end of May.

Commissioning Head of Comedy, Cheryl Taylor, says: “We’re delighted to be on board with the girls from Candy Cabs. The series has a wonderful cast, warm and witty writing and a sparkling seaside setting brimming with northern soul.

“We look forward to three nights of emotional and dramatic fun with these lovely ladies.”

Joint managing director of Splash Media, Jane Lush, says: “Candy Cabs will bring both a smile to your face and a tear to your eye and I’m thrilled that Splash Media is producing its first comedy-drama for BBC One.

Candy Cabs is written by Johanne McAndrew and Elliot Hope, whose television credits include Dalziel And Pascoe, Daylight Robbery, Holby City and Footballers Wives. “Our girls are mad, bad and addicted to lip gloss. Candy Cabs is about friendships, fun and finding yourself.”

Candy Cabs is created by Jane Lush, produced by John Rushton and directed by Minkie Spiro. The executive producers are Jane Lush and Fenia Vardanis.


BBC One today announced a new comedy series, Come Fly With Me (working title), starring and written by the makers of Little Britain, Matt Lucas and David Walliams.

Set in a busy airport, the six-part series features all new characters played by Matt and David, plus special guest appearances throughout the series.

Jay Hunt, Controller BBC One said: “It’s thrilling that Matt and David’s next big show will be on BBC One. They are uniquely talented comic writers and performers and Come Fly With Me is a wonderfully exciting idea.”

Mark Freeland, Head of Comedy, said: “I’m proud and excited that the BBC are back working with David and Matt, two of the country’s most brilliant comedy talents. Also it’s great that it’ll be boom time once again for dress, wig and make up suppliers in the UK.”

The series is now in pre-production in the UK, to be filmed in HD, for broadcast later this year, and is a Little Britain Productions/BBC Production. Executive Producer for Little Britain Productions is Geoff Posner, and Mark Freeland for BBC Productions.

The producer is Adam Tandy, whose credits include the award-winning The Thick Of It and In The Loop and the director is Paul King (The Mighty Boosh).

The BBC today announces it will be launching a simulcast of BBC One in high definition (HD) this Autumn.


BBC One HD, which will simulcast a network version of the BBC One schedule for the first time, will see some of the BBC’s most loved programmes including EastEnders, Holby City, The One Show, The Apprentice, The Weakest Link and QI move to HD by the end of the year. They will be broadcast alongside Autumn schedule highlights including Strictly Come Dancing, Human Planet and Waterloo Road.

Plans are also underway for HD moves for Songs Of Praise and Casualty, as well as Match Of The Day, A Question Of Sport, and Blue Peter.

BBC One in HD will be made available to all digital television platforms offering HD channels – Freesat, Freeview, Sky and Virgin Media.

It will be in addition to the existing BBC HD channel, which will showcase the best of the rest of the BBC in HD. It is also announced today that the BBC HD Channel itself will extend its regular broadcast hours over the coming months from around nine hours a day to 12.

The BBC is charged with “delivering to the public the benefit of emerging communications technologies and services” under its Royal Charter. With today’s announcement, the BBC continues its transition to deliver all its programmes in HD, with BBC One leading the way.

Jana Bennett, Director BBC Vision, says: “BBC HD has established itself as the most popular HD service, and these changes are important next steps in improving that service still further, providing an opportunity to showcase the wide variety of BBC programmes in the highest possible quality. We recognise that audiences have already been enjoying many of their favourite programmes in HD, and I’m delighted that we can now broaden their choice.”

Danielle Nagler, Head of BBC HD, says: “HD is the future of television: people who have HD have clearly told us that they want more of their licence fee-funded content in HD. I’m delighted that the HD simulcast of BBC One will become available on satellite, on cable, and now also on Freeview’s new HD service. This is a key moment for us on the journey to HD becoming the norm for all our programmes and channels.

“Audiences have already been enjoying many BBC One programmes in HD on our existing HD channel and the arrival of BBC One simulcast in HD will make it easier for them to find the programmes they love in high definition. BBC HD – the most popular HD channel in the UK – will continue to show programmes from across all BBC channels.”

Jay Hunt, Controller, BBC One, says: “HD is the gold standard for broadcasting, and it’s right that we bring all the excitement of HD to BBC One – the most watched channel in the UK.

“BBC One HD will bring families together for shared viewing of their favourite programmes from EastEnders and Strictly Come Dancing to The One Show, in incredible and vivid detail.”

The Autumn launch is the first stage in delivering BBC One in HD. The majority of programmes in the BBC One network evening schedule will be available in HD at launch, and by 2012 it is expected that the vast majority of all BBC One titles across all hours will be in HD.

The BBC’s existing HD Channel will continue to remain home to the best of the BBC’s programmes from across all its channels, including Top Gear, the Proms, Later… With Jools Holland, The Culture Show, Dragons’ Den, Being Human, Mad Men, sporting programmes including Wimbledon, as well as CBeebies favourites In The Night Garden and ZingZillas.


Helena Bonham Carter is set to play the stepmother of renowned food writer and chef Nigel Slater in Toast, a film based on his bestselling novel of the same name, with Freddie Highmore set to portray Slater as a 15-year-old boy, made by Ruby Films and Television for BBC One.

Jay Hunt, Controller, BBC One says : “Toast is a wonderfully nostalgic drama which will be a real treat for BBC One viewers. This remarkable cast is sure to really bring Nigel Slater’s story alive.”

Alison Owen, Executive Producer, Ruby Films says: “Freddie and Helena were our dream choices for Toast – we’re so happy to bring the Ruby standards of quality casting to this wonderful coming of age story for a UK audience.”

Toast is the ultimate nostalgia trip through everything edible in sixties Britain. Based on the heart-wrenching bitter-sweet story of food writer Nigel Slater’s childhood, Toast is a delicious retrieval of the tastes and smells that a young boy associates with his journey into adulthood.

It has so far sold a quarter of a million copies. It was also the winner of six literary awards, including the National Book Awards British Biography of the Year.

Highmore is best known for his role in Tim Burton’s Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and Bonham Carter has most recently starred in the visionary director’s big screen adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland and BBC Four’s Enid.

Written by Billy Elliot scribe Lee Hall based on the autobiographical novel by Slater, Toast is set to shoot in June in the West Midlands.

Directed by SJ Clarkson, best known for her TV directing roles for Life On Mars, Mistresses and more recently Heroes.

Commissioned by Jay Hunt, Controller, BBC One and Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning.

Toast is produced by Faye Ward at Ruby Films, and is funded by Screen West Midlands, Lipsync Post Production, Ruby Films and Television and the BBC.

Executive producers are Alison Owen, Paul Trijbits and Nicole Finnan and Jamie Laurenson at the BBC. The Works is selling the film internationally as a feature film.

Ruby Films and Television most recently produced Small Island and, RTS Award winner, Five Minutes Of Heaven for the BBC.

It has also recently completed principal photography on Jane Eyre for Focus Features and BBC Films. Directed by, Sin Nombre director, Cary Fukunaga, and starring Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland), Michael Fassbender (Fishtank, Inglorious Basterds), Jamie Bell, Imogen Poots and Dame Judi Dench.

Africa, a major new series for BBC One which celebrates the wildlife and landscapes of the great continent, has been commissioned.

Scheduled for 2012, the six-part series will use the latest in filming technology to explore previously unseen landscapes – from Angola to Mozambique and Libya to Sudan.

Africa’s wilderness is facing massive and irrevocable change and, for many places, the series could be the last chance to experience the planet’s greatest animals within their natural habitats.

From the Atlas Mountains in the north, to the Cape of Good Hope in the south, from the roof of Ethiopia in the east, to where the forest meets the sea in the west, the series aims to encompass the wildest places left on Earth.

BBC executive producer Mike Gunton says: “The series combines the epic power of Africa’s landscapes with intimate and dramatic moments in the lives of individual creatures that struggle to survive there. Each episode focuses on a different region, unearthing the elements that have given each place its own unique character.

“With this series we have the chance to bring about a step-change in the way we use new photographic technology to enhance the intensity of the audience’s experience and offer new perspectives on this amazing continent.

“That means there’s everything from previously unseen landscapes filmed from the air; 700 day time-lapses; joining vultures as they soar over equatorial glaciers; following camels to an oasis hidden inside an extinct volcano; or capturing the microscopic detail of the strange behaviour of sand grains.”

Kim Shillinglaw, Commissioning Editor for Science and Natural History, who will oversee the series, says: “Africa is going to look different and is going to be special. The BBC’s Natural History Unit is thriving by innovating, creating the very best wildlife filming which viewers love and remember for years to come.

“Other treats in store from this world-class unit include Human Planet and Frozen Planet, for BBC One, and, starting soon on BBC Two, the ever popular Springwatch, followed by Wild Night In – a fundraising extravaganza with the same presenting team.”

Africa was commissioned by Jay Hunt, Controller of BBC One. The executive producer is Mike Gunton and the series producer is James Honeyborne.

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