Documentary

9:00pm Friday 1 June on BBC TWO

This second episode, Tribes To Nations, explores how our modern ethnic and linguistic identities took shape after the Dark Ages – and how English, Scots and Welsh nations emerged under the impact of the Viking invasions.

Michael Wood travels across Britain and Ireland to witness local communities making exciting new discoveries about their medieval origins: from Northern Scotland and County Antrim to the Black Country, Cornwall and Norfolk, where a community is taking part in a huge dig and discovering the lives of their early Anglo-Saxon ancestors.

The tale of the coming of the Vikings is seen from Ireland, the Wirral , Govan and York, as the Vikings begin to change the racial and cultural makeup of much of Britain and Ireland.

Towards the year 1000 various kingdoms have arisen across Britain. The British people have created societies, law and order, and, Michael concludes, “the dialogue has begun between the rulers and the people”.

Ep 2/8

8:00pm Friday 1 June on BBC ONE

As part of the Diamond Jubilee weekend, BBC One will be broadcasting a personal tribute to Her Majesty The Queen by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

In this unique film, The Prince will reflect on various public events and private family moments during the 60 years of The Queen’s reign, and will explore previously unseen photographs and cine films from Her Majesty’s private collection – many of them shot by The Queen herself.

The filming has taken place at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Balmoral and Highgrove, under the direction of John Bridcut who worked with The Prince on Charles at 60: The Passionate Prince (BBC One 2008) and The Prince and the Composer (BBC Four, 2011). It is a Crux Production for the BBC.

Confirmed for Friday 1 June on BBC One at 8.00-9.00pm

Ep 1/1

9:00pm Monday 28 May on BBC TWO

Afghanistan: one of the most isolated and barren landscapes on earth is a strange place for an Empire or Superpower to invade. But for three of the greatest powers the world has seen, it became an unlikely target and an enduring obsession.

The 19th century British invasions into Afghanistan, immortalised by Rudyard Kipling as ‘The Great Game’, ended in huge loss of life and British retreat, and set a template for the perils of incursion in this mountainous country.

In this two-part series, author, journalist and former Deputy Governor during the coalition’s occupation of Iraq, Rory Stewart MP travels to Afghanistan to uncover the fears, the paranoia and perceived threats that led three very different Superpowers: Britain, Russia and the United States into Afghanistan from the 19th century to the present day.

In this first film, Rory tells the story of the decision-making that led to the first British invasion of Afghanistan, and the three Anglo-Afghan wars fought in this era. He reveals Afghanistan’s unlikely reaction to this period and an Afghan-elite’s futile attempt to impose western-inspired ideas and modernity on the country.

As Rory meets with historians and academics worldwide, as well as Afghan royalty to discuss the invasions, he introduces a deeply personal and intriguing view into the role Afghanistan has played in power politics throughout modern history.

Ep 1/2

10:00pm Tuesday, May 22 on C4

This is a film about a group of big women who are happy with their weight and of some who want to get even fatter. Fat girls eating food is becoming an underground internet activity. Magazines and online websites featuring ‘Big Beautiful Women’ have become more and more popular. These women love their bodies and there are millions of men around the world who admire them. This fascinating documentary follows the lives of four ‘Big’ models in the USA and UK, exploring the relationship these women have with their food and bodies, and also with their fans, and reveals what motivates them to this bizarre sexual lifestyle.

10:00pm Tuesday, May 15 on C4

Documentary exploring the world of ‘mutual relationships’ where glamorous girls use their charm and beauty to get ‘gifts’ from men. Some girls even get ‘allowances’ put into their bank accounts by the super-rich and famous.

8:00pm Tuesday 8 May on BBC TWO

Tony Caldeira is a man on a mission – to create a British workforce who can defeat the economic might of China – using only cushions!

Until recently, manufacturing in China was cheap and that meant British manufacturing couldn’t compete. Cushion-magnate Tony, like many businessmen, turned to Chinese workers to make his products. However, soaring wages in China mean that Tony is now embarking on an ambitious experiment – to bring jobs back to Britain. The question is – does Britain want to work?

Tony’s challenge starts down at the local jobcentre, finding the superhero staff who can outperform the Chinese. Sewing floor supervisor Pam and experienced machinist Joanne must then train young people in the old skill of sewing and convince them that a broken nail isn’t the end of the world.

Meanwhile, Tony must inspire his new recruits to commit to the company, despite the fact they’re only earning the minimum wage. He’ll also need all the help he can get from his trusted factory manager Malcolm, despite their working styles being chalk and cheese.

The situation becomes starker when Tony visits China and he’s held to ransom by a member of staff who wants a 50% pay rise.

But back in Kirkby, his team of underdogs are falling like dominoes and his dream of bringing manufacturing jobs back to Britain is fading fast…

Ep 1/2

9:00pm Monday 7 May on BBC TWO

Historian Dominic Sandbrook examines the final years of the decade and how the late 70s reached deep into the future with debates about British life that still rage today.

Dominic considers the impact of the late 60’s hippy philosophy on the entrepreneurs of the 70s, in particular Richard Branson. Branson, argues Dominic, turned the free spirit of the 60s into a business success, with the realisation that the future wasn’t about heavy industry and nationalisation but about private enterprise and selling pleasure.

The floundering 60s ideal included the post-war concrete housing estates, which by the late 70s were associated with violence, vandalism and misery. Dominic looks at how the dream of better living had soured, shaping familiar debates about youth crime and problem families.

The post war dream of comprehensive education was also under attack with focus on a new TV show. The launch of BBC’s Grange Hill in 1978 became a cause of consternation among educational traditionalists, with its frank depiction of disruptive pupils. The worries over Grange Hill were signals of a deeper debate about educational standards that still bubble on today.

Ep 4/4

9:00pm Wednesday, May 2 on C4

The story of The Shard: the colossal glass skyscraper that has transformed London’s skyline. Built against a backdrop of massive public opposition and one of the worst recessions in history, this feat of architectural engineering in the heart of the capital will stand at over 1000ft: the tallest tower in Western Europe. Love it or hate it, The Shard is destined to become one of London’s most dominant landmarks. The film lifts the lid on the challenges and achievements of an enormous engineering project in a densely populated area of London.

9:00pm Wednesday 2 May on BBC TWO

Has the Catholic Church’s handling of sexual crimes by priests left it at breaking point? Around the world there have been allegations of cover-ups, and the church has faced criticism that it has put the reputation of the institution above the interests of vulnerable children.

In a powerful film for This World on BBC Two, Darragh MacIntyre investigates the failure of the church to deal with abusing priests in Ireland. As he travels around the country he hears harrowing stories from victims of clerical abuse and uncovers new evidence that shows the scandal has far from ended – and that it reaches the very top of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

With the help of Catholic Canon lawyer and commentator the Rev Thomas Doyle and leading Irish writer Colm Toibin, This World examines the unique relationship that has long existed between the Irish Church and Irish State. It also looks at the great power the Catholic Church once had and explains how the Catholic faithful were too frightened to break the silence and report crimes perpetrated on young victims.

8:00pm Wednesday, May 2 on C4

In 2009, a group of passionate scientists stumbled upon the fossils of the Titanoboa: the biggest snake of all time. At 48 feet long and weighing well over a tonne, the snake is one of the greatest discoveries since the T-Rex. The spectacular palaeontological find deep in the Cerrejon coal mines in Colombia has blown the doors off a lost period in prehistory. They had unexpectedly discovered a time after the dinosaurs when the world was once again ruled by super-sized reptiles, battling it out to become the planet’s top predators; among them, the gargantuan Titanoboa. Using pin-sharp CGI, and scintillating cutting-edge science, the programme brings back the real lost world.

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