Documentary

Wednesday, 11 July 2012, 8:00PM – 9:00PM

“She was so small I realised she was the size of a spoon, so I put her in a spoon and took a picture…I had never seen a dog that small.”
Beth Di Caprio

With over 22 million pets between us, Britain is undoubtedly a nation of animal lovers. And for many, it seems the smaller the pet the better. As Super Tiny Animals returns for a second series, the cute factor is off the scale and seeing is believing!

In this two-part documentary series we take a look at some of the world’s most popular miniature pets and meet the people who love and pamper them. From tiny terriers to tea-cup cats and dinky horses, these miniature animals are guaranteed to melt even the steeliest of hearts.

Dressing up our little darlings is nothing new, but animal accessories are now enjoying record profits and in 2012 it’s estimated we’ll spend £30 million on them, in the UK alone. For some the lines between the patter of tiny feet and the patter of tiny paws are starting to blur. Twenty-seven-year-old Lynsey from Kent lives with her ‘baby’ Rocky, a tiny chihuahua, who gets star treatment as he is pushed round town in his very own buggy.

Rocky has been named Britain’s Best Dressed Dog and Lynsey admits: “I was recently asked how much I’ve spent on Rocky so I tallied it up and it was just below the £3000 mark. Yes, I know that’s crazy but Rocky’s worth every penny.”

Lynsey’s affections for Rocky run so deep that she even shares her bed with him: “I know some people are like, ‘Urgh, you let a dog sleep in your bed’ but look at him, he’s not a normal dog.”

Across the pond, in New York, a growing social scene centred on super tiny pets has emerged and at its heart are the Doggie Moms. Erika, Ashley, Karen, Grace and Leslie are taking New York City by storm with their new reality show about the hectic social lives they enjoy with their super tiny pets, who prove that small dogs have become the new way to network in the Big Apple. Their devotion includes reading bedtime stories to their pooches but what else makes a Doggie Mom?

Karen says: “A Doggie Mom is somebody who treats their dog just like a child.”

Leslie explains: “When I’m talking about her with other people, I mistakenly call her my daughter. I think that’s ok.”

Last year, Louie the micro pig hit the headlines as Britain’s first performing pig. His owner and trainer, Sue Williams is co-director of a dog display team and two years ago she came up with the idea of training her miniature pig to see if her methods could work with animals who aren’t pre-programmed to please their owners. Louie soon became one of the display team.

Sue says: “When I go to the shows and the pigs come out, normally I get a double take. Once the pig starts to do things, people really start to realise the importance of this training and how successful you can be if you do it in the right way. They think, ‘If the pig comes running when she calls it, then my dog should come running when I call it too.’”

Some super tiny animals don’t just perform for fun. Over in Jacksonville, Florida we meet six-year-old miniature horse, Princess Confetti, who acts as a ‘guide horse’ for her owner Cheryl, one of only four working guide horses in the world. Cheryl says: “Confetti is trained to do almost everything a guide dog is trained to do. It’s very important for Confetti to be small in stature as she has to navigate me through doorways and crowded places, so small is best.”

Cheryl originally chose her because guide horses live longer than guide dogs. But she didn’t realise how Confetti would help her deal with her disability, by helping other people deal with it too. She explains: “It’s a very rewarding experience because people see the horse and they don’t see my disability. And it’s a very freeing experience. I actually forget she’s a horse until somebody says, ‘Look at the pony’. She is part of our family.”

Other miniature animals keen to have their moment in the spotlight include Ratatouille the snowboarding opossum and Truffles, the long-jumping guinea pig who broke the world record with an impressive 20.5cm leap.

Committed to her love of all things tiny, is 19-year-old Kayleigh who lives in a suburban semi in Oxford with her parents and a super tiny zoo of approximately 100 pets, many of which are rescue animals, including the unusual baby sugar gliders, native to Australia and one of the smallest marsupials in the world. Kayleigh says “Not many people can hug a meerkat whenever they want to or have a sugar glider flying around the room, so I am very lucky.”

Not to be outdone by their tiny counterparts, we meet some of the largest animals at the other end of the super tiny scale including Darius, the largest bunny in the world and his owner Annette Edwards, who also holds the claim to fame as the oldest page 3 model. Darius measures a massive 4 foot 4 inches and regularly travels from his home in the Cotswolds to make public appearances. Annette says “As pets, giant rabbits are a bit special. They’re cuddly, really nice animals”.

We also follow the heart-warming story of mini miracle Beyonce, the world’s smallest puppy born at a rescue centre in North Carolina in March 2012, weighing just one ounce. Beyonce was never expected to survive but against all the odds she was born with a heartbeat and nursed to health by Beth Di Caprio at the centre. Pictures taken of Beyonce made her an overnight internet sensation and were used in a campaign to help rehome other dogs. Beth explains: “We get many stories about people who have been inspired to go out and rescue a dog…a pretty incredible legacy that she’s created already.”

Tuesday, 3 July 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

“The fighters are our salvation but the bombers alone provide the means of victory.” – Winston Churchill

ITV1’s new documentary Bomber Command tells the incredible story of some of the only men in the British forces not to receive a campaign medal for their efforts in the Second World War.

Just days after Her Majesty The Queen finally unveils a memorial in London’s Green Park to honour the 55,573 men of Bomber Command – half their total number – who lost their lives in the war, this hour-long documentary meets some of the last surviving men who fearlessly led air missions over Adolf Hitler’s Germany.

It follows the journey of Bomber Command airmen through the Second World War from their arrival at RAF bases to the controversial bombing of Dresden. Some argue that the courageous men of Bomber Command – responsible for the bombing of Germany’s industrial heartlands and the Dambusters raid – were among the greatest fighters of the war. Yet snubbed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, they were some of the only men in the entire Armed Forces not to receive a campaign medal.

Journalist John Sergeant – a keen student of the Second World War – voices the documentary.

Following the success of the channel’s award-winning series Our War and Small Teen Big World, BBC Three unveils a new season of documentaries for 2012.

This year sees the return of Our War, BBC Three’s Bafta-winning and critically acclaimed documentary series. This time the programme makers are taking viewers closer than ever to the defining moments of the Afghanistan war.

New series We Call It Home and New Kids on the Block capture life for Britain’s young, visiting Britain’s estates and following first-time parents.

Zai Bennett, Controller, BBC Three says: “BBC Three is the only digital channel commissioning award-winning factual for young adults. We are delighted to be adding two new and innovative documentary series to the channel.

“We Call It Home (w/t) will capture what life is really like on one of Britain’s toughest estates – not only the highs and lows, but importantly the honesty and humour of some of our audience in their own words. New Kids on The Block (w/t) will give our audience an insight to the first fraught months of bringing a new baby in to the world, with young parents learning how to cope from each other and their families and friends as they live together in the apartment block.”

We Call It Home (w/t)

We Call It Home looks at the story of British estates, meeting some of the lively, engaging and charming characters who capture the truth of life on Britain’s estates. Set entirely on a housing estate in North Manchester, the documentary tells the stories of young people growing up at the sharp end of life in Britain in 2012 – in their own words.

Life changing stories of teenage pregnancies, looming jail sentences, drug addicted parents and dreams of escaping to become a world famous rap star are mixed with fleeting snapshots of every day young life that are shocking, hilarious, outrageous and profound.

This series is immersed in the world of the estate. From the launderette beleaguered by local burglars to the beauticians where a ‘wow brow’ is the current fashion statement of the summer; from the impromptu riding stables on a patch of wasteland to the disused council property that has been turned into an illegal party house, the everyday activities of the estate provide a rich backdrop to the extraordinary highs and lows of young life in this vibrant and often contradictory world.

We Call It Home (6×60) will be executive produced by Simon Dickson for Dragonfly Productions and Samantha Anstiss for the BBC.

New Kids on the Block (w/t)

New Kids on the Block (4×60) is a fascinating new series that follows four new sets of parents as they face the most pressurised experience of their lives: the challenge of becoming first-time parents. The couples will head straight from the hospital to an apartment block, where they will spend the first months of their parental lives living alongside one another.

The couples will face the highs and lows of becoming new parents, dealing with breastfeeding, nappy changing and a serious lack of sleep in the same — all in the same building.

BBC Three will follow as each couple must face their own unique challenges and experiences of first-time parenting.

New Kids on the Block (4×60) will be executive produced by Jes Wilkins for Firecracker Films and Fiona Campbell for the BBC.

Friday, 29 June 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

This brand new documentary offers a unique insight into life on the road with one of Britain’s oldest family circuses.

The Paulo family has been performing in circuses since the 1800s. Having spanned a number of generations, the Paulo family are currently running their own circus, led by Big Kenny with the help of his wife, Kath, and their three sons, Kenny Junior, Leigh and Patrick.

Being part of a circus means there are great highs that come from the satisfaction of the crowd, but this doesn’t come without a number of lows.

Life on the road can be tough. As well as it being hard to maintain relationships, things most people take for granted such as water, electricity and internet access are in short supply.

Big Kenny is worried about low ticket sales, and rising petrol prices are also cause for huge concern.

Amanda, who is a distant relative of the Paulo’s and is a trapeze artiste and horse trainer for the circus, worries about the constant abuse she receives from protesters against animals in circuses.

Big Kenny’s oldest son, Kenny Junior, and his wife, Teddy, currently both perform in the circus, but they have a four-year-old daughter and, as she approaches school age, they realise the importance of education and consider whether a life on the road is right for them.

Meanwhile, ringmaster Leigh, and Big Kenny’s middle son, has fallen in love with a non circus girl who doesn’t want him to travel, so could his future with the circus be coming to an end?

As Big Kenny fights to keep the circus together, will 21st century pressures force them off the road?

9:00pm Sunday, June 24 on C4

Every year in Britain, more than 600 people commit murder. The majority of these killers will eventually be sent to Gartree Prison in Leicestershire, which is home to Europe’s largest population of life-sentenced prisoners. This Cutting Edge documentary, filmed over six months at HMP Gartree, provides an unprecedented insight into the lives of convicted killers facing a lifetime behind bars.

9:00pm Friday 15 June on BBC FOUR

Final episode of the three-part series tracing the history of punk music investigates the post-Punk era from 1978-81.

Punk had shown what it was against – now what was it for? In the wake of its demise, a new generation of musicians would re-imagine the world they lived in through the music they made. Freed up by punk’s DIY ethos, a kaleidoscope of musical influences broke three chord conformity.

Public Image Limited allowed Johnny Rotten to become John Lydon the artist. In Manchester, Mark E Smith made poetry for the working class, while Ian Curtis turned punk’s external rage into an arty existential drama.

A rash of left-wing art school intellectuals like Gang of Four and Scritti Politti imbued post-punk with a sense of radical politics, while The Pop Group infused funk with anti-capitalist sentiment in the early days of Thatcher.

Flirting with fascism and violence, the working class Oi! movement tried to drag punk from the Kings Road into the heart of the East End whilst Anarcho punks Crass embarked on the most radical vision of any.

The series features new and significant contributions from the most notable punk-inspired artists including John Lydon, Mark E Smith, Jerry Dammers, Peter Hook and Bobby Gillespie.

9:00pm Thursday 14 June on BBC TWO

Around the world, obesity levels are rising. More people are now overweight than undernourished; two thirds of British adults are overweight and one in four of us is classified as obese. In the first of this three-part series, Jacques Peretti traces those responsible for revolutionising our eating habits, to find out how decisions made in America 40 years ago influence the way we eat now.

Peretti travels to America to investigate the story of High Fructose Corn Syrup. The sweetener was championed in the US in the 1970s by Richard Nixon’s Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz to make use of the excess corn grown by farmers. Cheaper and sweeter than sugar, it soon found its way into almost all processed foods and soft drinks. HFCS is not only sweeter than sugar, it also interferes with Leptin, the hormone that controls appetite, so once you start eating or drinking it, you don’t know when to stop.

British nutritionist John Yudkin was one of the first to raise the dangers of sugar but his findings were discredited in America at the time. Meanwhile, a US Congress report blamed fat, not sugar, for the disturbing rise in cardio-vascular disease and the food industry responded with ranges of ‘low fat’, ‘heart healthy’ products in which the fat was removed – but the substitute was yet more sugar.

Meanwhile, in 1970s Britain, food manufacturers used advertising campaigns to promote the idea of snacking between meals. Outside the home, fast food chains offered clean, bright premises with tempting burgers cooked and served with a very un-British zeal and efficiency. Twenty years after the arrival of McDonalds, the number of fast food outlets in Britain had quadrupled.

Ep 1/3

Tuesday, 5 June 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

This information is embargoed from press use and republication until Tuesday 29 May 2012.

Martin Clunes realises a childhood dream of visiting the Indian ocean island of Madagascar to see the threatened species of lemurs for a documentary for ITV1.

Moved by the plight of the planet’s last surviving lemurs, Martin sets out to explore what is being done to save them and their environment.

These iconic and endearing primates live only on Madagascar, and one by one, they are dying there. The forests where they thrived have been destroyed, and the lemurs are hunted and eaten by man. Seventeen species are already extinct. This paradise island has turned into their hell. Only a miracle will save them all now.

Madagascar broke away from mainland Africa about 140million years ago, and it is thought the lemurs arrived on the island on rafts of matted vegetation 60 million years ago. They developed into more than 100 different species to make best use of the abundant sources of food on this island, which has been called Eden with its thousands of unique plants and animals.

Martin’s journey takes him to remote corners of the island in search of the elusive primates, which range in size from just over an ounce to over twenty pounds. The largest is the Indri. At two feet tall and weighing two stone, the Indri has been described as looking like a small child dressed in a panda suit.

Far away from the popular tourist areas, Martin hacks through dense rainforest in remote corners of Madagascar, in his bid to find the surviving lemurs. It’s a gruelling uphill hike to 2000 feet above sea level. But his arduous journey is rewarded by his first sighting of one of the world’s rarest primates, the Greater Bamboo lemur.

Martin meets the dedicated conservationists who are battling to save the lemurs, and retain the island’s natural habitat so the creatures can thrive again.

Martin travels with Tony King from the British based conservation charity The Aspinall Foundation. Tony is on a mission to protect the Greater Bamboo Lemur, one of the 25 most endangered primates on the planet, whose numbers have dwindled to just 60 left in the wild in recent years.
Richard Lewis and Dr Jonah Ratsimbazafy from the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust show Martin how they are fighting to save the rare Alaotra reed lemur whose habitat is under threat from encroaching rice cultivation and over fishing. Poverty and hunger is rife on the island and forests have been burnt down so more rice can be grown to feed the local population.

Martin plants a tree with Dr Rainer Dolch of locally based Mitsinjo, which runs ecological monitoring of endangered lemur species. The non- governmental conservation organisation has already planted more than one million trees in an attempt to create forest corridors, linking up the last remaining pockets of rainforest habitat, to prevent inter-breeding and eventual extinction.

Finally Martin finds a ray of hope for the future survival of the lemurs when he travels to Parc Ivoloina where a remarkable experiment has been carried out. In 1997 five captive-bred Black & White Ruffed lemurs were flown from the United States to Madagascar. From Ivoloina they were carried in cages on bamboo poles to the neighbouring wildlife reserve of Betampona to be released into the wild. The hope was that they would mate with the wild population, thus expanding the gene pool. Between 1997 and 2001 ten captive bred lemurs were released this way.

Travelling by 4-wheel drive, a bamboo raft, bush taxi and finally a two mile hike up incredibly steep hills, Martin sets off from Ivoloina with Bernard Richardson, who was closely involved in the release, in the hope of tracking down some of the original surviving captive bred lemurs in Betampona.

To his delight they discover two of the ten original captive bred lemurs, with six of their offspring, now fully integrated into the wild in Madagascar.
Martin Clunes talks about his journey to Madagascar

Madagascar has conjured up exotic images for Martin Clunes ever since he was a child.

One of the island’s most famous creatures, the cute and cuddly looking lemurs, were an even bigger attraction for this self confessed animal lover.

“I was thrilled to have the opportunity of travelling to Madagascar to see these endangered species. This is the Madagascar of my dreams. This is what I imagined it was like; an explosion of greenery, like a fireworks display,” says Martin.

“Ever since I was a child whenever the name Madagascar came up I had an ear open. I was fascinated by the island and it’s most inconic resident, the lemur. It sounded so exotic, and I was intrigued by the photographs and films I’d seen of the rainforests and lemurs.

“I knew very little about the island, and even less about the real plight of the lemurs which are such adorable looking creatures.

“The biggest threat to the lemurs is the destruction of the habitat. The forests are disappearing. The lemurs get isolated and there’s inbreeding and then it all goes wrong.

“The problems for the lemurs do seem quite insurmountable when you look at it. Everywhere you go on the island you see the plumes of smoke where people are burning down the rainforest.

“They chop down the forest, burn it, and the ash goes into the soil so they can grow rice.
It is not for profit. They are just growing enough rice to put on the table for their families to eat.

“When you fly over the island you see this scarred landscape, and you wonder how can anybody salvage anything from this? Then you see the people – Europeans and Madagascans who are working to hang on to what is left. Tiny steps are being taken.There are people who are at least trying to arrest the erosion in that country.

“The local people were lovely and very welcoming but not in a gushing way. The conservationists were particularly welcoming because they are desperate for people to take notice of what is happening there. It is a luxury holiday destination but tourists probably don’t go to the places I visited. It is an island full of surprises.”

The appearance of Martin emerging from the back of a small truck, or sitting head and shoulders above everyone else in a canoe caused much amusement for the locals.

“I was so much bigger than everybody there. You could see the locals just laughing at this great white ape!

“The biggest thrill of the trip for me was climbing up and deeper and deeper into the rain forest to find the lemurs. That was a huge privilege, and one that is not on offer to holidaymakers really. It was incredible to see nature going crazy; trees with things growing on things,growing on things, streets of trees, with so much life on them. It was just amazing. I was really lucky to get in there.

“But it was the hardest physical thing I have ever done. It was all uphill. It was like climbing stairs all day long but without any air. It took us about three or four hours to get to the top which was about 2000 feet above sea level.

“I thought I was fit and that I would be fine because I live on a hill and walk up it with the dogs every day. But not being able to get enough oxygen meant I had to have a few little sit downs on the way. Meanwhile the Madagsacan people who were carrying our equipment were running by me in bare feet.”

It was by no means a luxury holiday for Martin. He and the film crew used local trains, bush taxis, canoes and a raft made out of planks of wood tied together, to travel around the island and stayed in local houses.

“We stayed in huts and one rather scary truckers’ motel with bare wires sticking out of the wall and a glass of condoms on the dresser. It was all very basic.

“The infrastructure is just shot. You wouldn’t want to drive on the roads, and the bridges were every bit as dangerous as they looked. Every time we went over a bridge the drivers would take it in turns to guide each other over to avoid the gaping holes.”

Martin left Madagascar feeling a “mixture of sadness and inspiration”.

“It is quite sad. There are 17 species of lemurs extinct already. The habitat has become so precious it is almost the size of a park.

“The people there are the poorest I have ever seen, but there is a pride in what they have got in their wildlife.

“I was really impressed by the dedication of the conservationists. I do think there is hope. There are people who are making such a difference.

“I hope by making this programme, and my involvement with the Born Free Foundation, I am raising the profile and educating people as far as I can about what is happening in Madagascar.”

A Buffalo Pictures production produced with Metius Productions. The executive producers are Philippa Braithwaite and Bill Jones. The producer/director is Dominic Ozanne.

Friday, 1 June 2012, 9:00PM – 10:15PM

“She is effectively the parent, the mother of the nation, so therefore she’s never off-duty.”
Prince Andrew

As millions of us join together to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee and the momentous achievement of 60 years on the throne, this one-off documentary provides a unique insight into the Queen’s life by those who know and love her best.

Presenter Alan Titchmarsh documents the Queen’s sixty years on the throne and interviews close family and friends including The Duke of York, The Duke of Cambridge, The Princess Royal and Princess Eugenie. He explores the closeness of her relationship with her parents, her coronation at the age of 25 as the mother of a two and four-year-old, and how she has succeeded in juggling the roles of Monarch, mother and devoted grandmother.

Film footage of the Royal family at home is shown for the first time, along with intimate readings taken from personal letters between Princess Elizabeth and her parents, made public for this programme.

Prince Andrew shares memories of his childhood growing up at Buckingham Palace, including cushion fights with his siblings and playing cricket in the corridors to avoid the mile walk to the garden. Asked whether the way he was brought up was down to the Queen or the Duke he says “The answer to that is 50/50. Responsibility, compassion perhaps comes from the Queen. Discipline and the duty comes from him.”

During a tour of Clarence House, Prince William says of the role the Queen has held in his life: “Being a young boy growing up, I’d say probably Queen first and then grandmother. But now it’s definitely grandmother first Queen second.” He later admits to getting just 30 minutes sleep the night before his wedding and recalls how he went to the Queen for advice about his big day.

Private footage shows a young Princess Elizabeth, or Lillibet, filmed by her father, some of which has never been broadcast before. We also hear from childhood friends.

We explore the relationship between the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh that has lasted more than 60 years, the beginnings of which are documented in deeply moving letters kept in the Royal archives at Windsor castle and never filmed before, written from Princess Elizabeth to her mother during her honeymoon.

Asked if he is daunted to follow in the footsteps of the Queen and the Prince of Wales in his future role, Prince William admits, “Incredibly, yeah. They’re quite hard footsteps to fill. There’s not much wiggle room left for me to try and find my own path, but I will do. Everyone’s fascinated by the Queen’s life and how she’s done it. And I would just hope, and I think she would love, is that a bit of what she’s done and a bit of what she’s achieved, and a bit of how she’s conducted herself, we all take away in our own lives and try and do it ourselves.”

9:00pm Friday 1 June on BBC FOUR

Thirty-five years after the Sex Pistols did their best to scupper the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, this three-part music documentary series traces the historic cosmology, meteoric impact and smouldering aftermath of a transformative force in British popular music history – punk.

The series follows a generation of musicians who musically rejected the 60s ideas of progression and maturity and replaced it with a concentrated effort to turn back the clock to rock ‘n’ roll’s golden past and then invented its future.

This first programme explores the musical and social climate that lead to punk, via glam, pub rock and a Britain which was doing its best to ignore its own increasing economic problems and the generation of British teenagers who were coming of age in the mid-70s while feeling totally ignored by their society and its institutions.

Using choice interview, archive and musical sequences, Punk Britannia will reveal how this period was a ‘back to the future’ enterprise – the first time British pop ate itself and came up with something totally new.

The series features new and significant contributions from all the great punk-inspired artists, including John Lydon, Mick Jones, Paul Weller, Mark E Smith, Paul Weller, Howard Devoto, Pete Shelley, Robert Smith, Adam ant, Billy Idol, Siouxsie Sioux and Bobby Gillespie.

Punk Britannia is a season of specialised programming in June across BBC Four and BBC Radio 6 Music, marking 35 years since Punk’s heyday in 1977, which exploded across the country during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1