BBC Two today announces a new eight-part series with Michel Roux Jr who takes on an inspirational, ambitious and very personal mission to create a new generation of restaurant superstars.

But, Michel is not looking for great chefs. He’s looking for great service. His father and uncle revolutionised eating in the UK and now Roux Jr wants to do the same for front-of-house staff by giving a unique opportunity to eight young Brits, and with access to life behind-the-scenes at some of the country’s top restaurants.

For Michel, proprietor of Michelin-starred restaurant Le Gavroche, bad service can undermine the foodie revolution that has taken place in restaurant kitchens across the UK, but he believes that anyone can develop a passion and talent for service.

To prove it he’s going to take eight inexperienced youngsters aged 17 to 24 and, in just eight weeks, transform them into a confident and efficient front-of-house team. At the end of the project, two of them will be offered potentially life changing opportunities to train for up to six months in the hospitality industry. They will be awarded scholarships with the Academy of Food and Wine where they will be trained in top restaurants and hotels, gaining an important foothold to a career in the hospitality sector.

However, Michel’s ambition is that all of those taking part will develop the passion, skills and confidence to secure potentially lucrative jobs at top restaurants and hotels. With an absorbing range of challenges, tasks and tests; the inspirational vision of Michel and his team; world-class experts and, of course, eight willing trainees, this series will be jam-packed with factual treats as it reveals the fascinating secrets of the “art of the table”.

Co-producer, Lionel Mill, explains: “Michel Roux has such presence, integrity and expertise, not just as a restaurateur but also in television. He is as passionate about service as he is about food and for our young generation, of whom many are unemployed, the show provides direction and life skills that engender self respect and a sense of pride.”

At Your Service (working title) is an 8×60 co-production between Millionmedia and Ricochet (a Shed Media Group company). Executive Producers are Patrick Holland for Ricochet and Lionel Mill for Millionmedia. Commissioned by BBC Commissioning Executive for Documentaries, Emma Willis.


Over one British summer, camper van lover and passionate foodie Martin Dorey journeys around the UK on the ultimate escapist adventure – celebrating the freedom of camper van living.

Commissioned by Liam Keelan for BBC Two, The Camper Van Cook (working title) will see Martin and his trusty camper van hit the road as he travels to some of the most beautiful places in the British Isles – from Scotland all the way down to Cornwall – immersing himself in the places, the people and produce.

The Camper Van Cook is the first BBC Daytime commission from Plum Pictures (James May’s Toy Stories, Wayne Rooney’s Street Striker).

In each episode, Martin will unearth some of the freshest seasonal local food, as he searches for oysters in Kent, whiskey in Mull, honey in Northumbria and crabs in Norfolk. He’ll meet other people as passionate about food as he is – the growers, fishermen, farmers, beekeepers and fellow holiday makers. It’s these characters who will guide him through the best producers, beauty spots, local recipes and traditions.

At the end of each episode Martin will host a party for his new friends in his camper van. With just a small gas-powered fridge, a sink and a two ring cooker, he’ll open up his temporary home on wheels and cook his guests some of the great local food he’s found along the way.

Viewers will see that Martin’s van has its own unique personality and temperament. It’s a four-wheeled 30-year-old classic in which anything can happen in his – and often does.

Liam Keelan, Controller BBC Daytime, says: “As Martin and his beloved van cross the length and breadth of Britain, this new series for BBC Daytime will capture the very essence of escapism as well as the simplicity of locally produced and cooked food.”

Will Daws of Plum Pictures adds: “I am already jealous of Martin, who gets to spend his summer discovering the beautiful, hidden gems of Britain – it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!”

Martin says: “I’m really excited to have the chance to take my van on a trip around the UK sampling along the way everything that’s great about Britain.”

The Camper Van Cook (working title) is a 10 x 30-minute series for BBC Two Daytime, due to TX in Autumn 2010. The BBC executive producer is Lindsay Bradbury and the series has been made for the BBC by Plum Pictures.


In boxes in dusty attics sleeps much of the home movie history of Britain, the forgotten heirlooms and hand-me-downs that deserve to see the light of day. In a new series for BBC Two, The Great British Home Movie Roadshow will be travelling across the UK, unearthing the hidden treasures of Britain’s home movie archive.

Presented by Kirsty Wark and Dan Cruickshank, the series will capture the nation’s history through the eyes of its most important historians – the British public.

Home movies capture a social history that is often neglected – whether taking a view of historic events, documenting the reality of British life or creating home-made dramas, this archive is the nation’s story.

The series attempts to uncover amateur-filmed footage that reflects the events of the last 70 years, documenting real life and the magic moments people think deserve to be on screen.

From street parties to strikes, celebrities backstage to intimate scenes of domestic life, some of these events will be familiar, but raw and unfiltered – this is the unscripted, unedited version of Britain’s past.

The Great British Home Movie Roadshow will be travelling to four UK cities – London, Glasgow, Bradford and Falmouth, in Cornwall – arriving with the technology and the experts that can bring the footage to life, enabling visitors to watch the films they once thought were worthless or unplayable.

Working with the BFI and the regional film archives, experts will be on hand to analyse the footage as it comes into the roadshow, to offer real historical context, precise dating and, perhaps, a permanent place in the BFI’s own archive.

The Great British Home Movie Roadshow is a Diverse production. The executive producer at Diverse is Alan Brown and the series producer is Stephen Taylor Woodrow. The executive producer for the BBC is Jo Ball.

Jo says: “The footage that has turned up so far is extraordinary. Not only are the films compelling to watch, they also capture a social history that is often forgotten. I can’t wait to see what else is out there.”

Stephen Taylor Woodrow says: “This is an incredibly exciting project, and nothing could have prepared us for the response.

“We have already had over 1,000 films sent in and have already identified several national treasures. This is our heritage brought to life – reality TV from the past.”

The show is due to be broadcast in summer 2010.

Chris Moyles is to front a fascinating one-off documentary for BBC Two on the story of the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show.

In When Moyles Met the Radio 1 Breakfast DJs, Chris will tell the story of the most defining pop culture moments from the past 40 years – through the eyes of former Radio 1 Breakfast DJs.

The Radio 1 Breakfast Show is at the very heart of popular culture in the UK. Millions of people have grown up listening to it since the station launched in 1967 and view the breakfast show as a key part of their lives.

The 60-minute film will be made up of archive material and new interviews with previous hosts of the prestigious show including Tony Blackburn, Simon Mayo, Mike Smith, Sara Cox, Zoe Ball, Mike Read and Steve Wright.

Chris became the longest-serving Radio 1 breakfast DJ in 2009 and has first-hand experience of what it’s like to be at the centre of a national conversation with millions of people each day.

He says: “Millions and millions of people have grown up listening to the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, it’s been on everyday for over 40 years.

“Everyone between the ages of eight and 80 will have heard it at some point – it’s massive.”

Katie Taylor, Executive Editor, BBC Entertainment, says: “We’re thrilled to have Chris on board to unearth the real story behind the early morning antics of some of his most legendary predecessors.

“He will be exploring a subject that so many viewers will have their own memories of, across a variety of eras, sparking feelings of nostalgia in homes all over the country.”

Andy Auerbach, Executive Producer, Magnum Media, adds: “Every generation has its own Radio 1 Breakfast Show and people of all ages feel incredible nostalgia for DJs that they grew up with.

“As the current incumbent, Chris Moyles is uniquely placed to tell the inside story of the biggest job in radio.”

Commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC Two, and Katie Taylor, the documentary is being made by Magnum Media.

The executive producers are Andy Auerbach and Dean Nabarro. The producer and director is Jeff Simpson.

Mathew Horne (Gavin And Stacey, The Catherine Tate Show), Marc Warren (Hustle, Mutual Friends), Mark Gatiss (The League Of Gentlemen, Crooked House) and talented newcomer Douglas Booth are announced to star in Worried About The Boy, a BBC Two drama from Red Production Company about a young Boy George and his journey to become a star on the Eighties fashion and pop music scene.

Written by Tony Basgallop (Hotel Babylon, Hughie Green Most Sincerely) and directed by Julian Jarrold (Red Riding, Brideshead Revisited), Worried About The Boy follows George’s journey from cloakroom attendant to cultural icon – from falling in love for the first time, to embracing his unique style, to meeting his Culture Club bandmates.

As a teenager, George O’Dowd realised he was not like the other boys his own age – sharp-witted, independent-minded and with a passion for clothes and make-up, he dreamt of becoming a star.

Leaving the suburbs of Eltham for the smoke of the city he soon became a fixture at the infamous Blitz Club – the favourite haunt of those at the forefront of the New Romantic movement.

Set at the heart of the changing music scene and youth attitudes of the Eighties, Worried About The Boy reflects on an iconic and influential star and the cultural era he is synonymous with.

Douglas Booth plays Boy George, Mathew Horne plays Culture Club drummer Jon Moss, Marc Warren plays nightclub pioneer and Visage front-man Steve Strange, and Mark Gatiss plays music impresario Malcolm McLaren.

Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, says: “Worried About The Boy will be an evocative and visually enticing drama about one of our most iconic British pop stars. With its mix of music, fashion and youth, it rounds off our trio of dramas for BBC Two’s Eighties season perfectly.”

Nicola Shindler, Executive Producer, Red Production Company, says: “At Red Production Company we always try to tackle provocative subjects with humour and warmth and this is exactly what Tony’s script does with Boy George. I was very excited at taking such an iconic British character and showing a different side to a story everyone thinks they know. The early Eighties magical setting of the Blitz Club and the New Romantics is fun, visual and new to TV drama.”

Matthew Bird (The Street, Plus One) will produce the 90-minute drama, which begins filming in Manchester this month.

Worried About The Boy was commissioned by Ben Stephenson and Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two.

The executive producers are Nicola Shindler (Red Production Company) and Juliette Howell and Lucy Richer (BBC Drama).

Worried About The Boy will show as part of the Eighties season on BBC Two, which includes dramas The Royal Wedding, written by Abi Morgan, and an adaptation of Martin Amis’ Money, starring Nick Frost.

The season will broadcast in the spring.

Space Dive (working title), an exclusive BBC documentary, is set to follow Felix Baumgartner, elite BASE jumper, as he freefalls from space, shattering world records.

BBC Two has the behind-the-scenes story of Felix’s two-year preparations to jump from 125,000 feet; a height that will qualify him as the first person to break the sound barrier in a freefall jump from the edge of Space.

Gary Hunter, BBC executive producer, says: “This is a fascinating blend of scientific challenge and human endeavour.”

BBC Two will chart Felix’s arduous training as he readies his body and his mind for a difficult task that will push the human body to its limit.

Working with him along the way will be a team of the world’s leading space scientists and US Air Force veteran Joe Kittinger, who, in 1960, jumped from 102,800 feet, and must watch as Felix attempts to claim his crown.

The documentary will follow Felix’s solo journey to the edge of Space with the aid of just a balloon, and his attempts to freefall back to Earth.

Reaching record-shattering speeds of more than 690mph (Mach 1) in just 35 seconds, breaking the sound barrier without propulsion and creating a human sonic boom on his way back to Earth, Felix will put his body through the most arduous and life-threatening conditions ever experienced in freefall.

The momentous dive, staged by Red Bull, will be achieved with support from a wide team of scientists, engineers and medics who have worked for organisations including NASA and the US Air Force.

It is hoped that the historic jump will answer a number of important scientific questions.

Felix’s record-breaking jump is due to take place in North America, later this year.

The BBC/National Geographic Channel co-production (1 x 90-minutes) will be aired shortly after the jump.

Space Dive (working title) is part of the BBC’s 2010 celebration of science.

Behind the scenes at Britain’s retail giants, buying teams have the power to create trends, make or break careers and decide exactly what the public buys.

Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis presents a new 7 x 60-minute series produced by Maverick Television for BBC Two. The Buying Game goes behind closed doors at some of the biggest names in UK retail to expose the secret world of buying for the first time.

In a twist, these buyers won’t be turning to their trusted suppliers for the next big thing. Instead, they’ll be gambling on the talents of the British public in their quest to find the best and most innovative new products. For the fledgling designer, this is a chance in a lifetime.

Theo Paphitis – Dragon, retailer and business star – knows and loves the business of buying. He’ll be at the helm of this ambitious project: demystifying shop talk and revealing the competitive inner workings of retail, from prototype to product development to the finished article on the shop floor.

Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two, says: “It’s going to be fascinating to see Theo’s extraordinary understanding of the market and astute business acumen at work outside of the Den, combined with a great insight into a rarely glimpsed side of the retail industry.”

The Buying Game is commissioned by Janice Hadlow and Mirella Breda, Executive Editor for Entertainment Commissioning.

The executive producer is Steph Harris and the series producer is Claire Hobday.

Theo is also presenting Theo’s Adventure Capitalists on BBC Two later this month.

More content about The Buying Game will be published, as transmission approaches, on this page:

Simon Amstell is to make his writing and acting debut for Grandma’s House, a new sitcom for BBC Two, it was announced today.

Simon has penned the series with Dan Swimer who he previously worked with on PopWorld and Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

The six x 30-minute series commissioned from Tiger Aspect will start filming in Feburary and transmit later in the year.

Inspired by Simon Amstell’s own life, each episode we return to see his family at his Grandma’s House in Essex.

Simon will be joined by a fantastic ensemble cast including: Linda Bassett as Grandma (East Is East, Larkrise To Candleford, Sense And Sensibility), Geoffrey Hutchings (Benidorm, Sunshine) as Grandpa, Rebecca Front (Nighty Night, The Day Today) as Mum and Nicola Walker (Spooks, People Like Us) as Auntie Liz.

Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two, said: “Simon Amstell is a great comic talent and I am looking forward to his venture into sitcom.

“The script is very funny and I can’t wait to see it brought to life on BBC Two.”

Producer Ben Cavey added: “Simon and Dan have brought their razor-sharp wit to the family sitcom genre and the script is an absolutely modern take on family.”

The series was commissioned by Janice Hadlow and BBC Comedy Commissioning.

The show will be produced by Ben Cavey and executive produced by Sophie Clarke-Jervoise for Tiger Aspect and by Simon Lupton for the BBC. The show will be script edited by Jeremy Dyson .

More content about Grandma’s House will be published, as transmission approaches, on this page:

BBC Two Daytime today announced it has commissioned a second run of Pointless, the game show where obscure knowledge is the key to success, from Endemol UK’s newly-launched production arm Remarkable Television.

Hosted by comedian Alexander Armstrong, Pointless launched in August 2009 and quickly proved to be a hit with BBC Two’s daytime audience, peaking at 1.69 million viewers (17.2% share).

Liam Keelan, Controller, BBC Daytime, says: “Pointless has been a great addition to the quizzes on BBC Daytime and I’m sure viewers will continue to enjoy Alexander’s and Richard’s witty take on obscure knowledge.”

On Pointless every question has been asked to a panel of 100 people before the show – to find out the most obvious and the most obscure answers. Pairs of contestants compete for a cash prize by finding the least obvious answers – and scoring the fewest points. The Holy Grail is a pointless answer – an answer that none of the 100 people thought of.

Throughout the series Alexander is assisted by his “pointless friend” Richard Osman.

The executive producers for Remarkable Television are Tom Blakeson and David Flynn, and series producer is Michelle Woods.

The series was commissioned by Liam Keelan and is executive produced for the BBC by Pam Cavannagh.

In 2010 the BBC will be celebrating the power of the British novel with a major four-part documentary series presented by best selling novelist Sebastian Faulks (The Girl At The L’ion Dor, Birdsong, Devil May Care).

The Secret Life Of The Novel will look at the history of the novel through its characters – each episode focusing on a different archetype and looking at how they have developed over the centuries: The Hero, The Lover, The Snob, The Villain.

Journeying around the country, with the occasional foray abroad, Sebastian will use his unique personal knowledge of characterisation to get under the skin of some familiar and not-so-familiar characters of British literature.

From Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe to Martin Amis’s John Self; Jane Austen’s Emma to Monica Ali’s Chanu; Sebastian will put them all on the psychiatrist’s couch.

Mark Bell, Arts Commissioning Editor, commented: “Sebastian is an insider, a novelist with a real understanding of the craft. Booking him to front a four-part series on BBC Two about how characterisation works is really exciting. It demonstrates the type of bold arts programming the BBC is committed to delivering.”

The Secret Life Of The Novel is a four x 60-minute series produced by BBC Vision.

Executive producer is Basil Comely and the commissioning editor is Mark Bell.

The series is expected to transmit in Spring 2010 and will start shooting this Autumn.

More content about The Secret Life Of The Novel will be published, as transmission approaches, on this page:

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