Planet Word

In Planet Word, a five-part series on language for BBC Two, Stephen Fry dissects language in all its guises with his inimitable mixture of learning, love of lexicon and humour.

From the cutting-edge of linguistic research to the glories of world literature, Stephen analyses how we use and abuse language, corral it for good and bad, and seeks out whether we are anywhere near to beginning to understand the complexities of its DNA.

Commenting on the series, Mark Bell, the BBC’s Arts Commissioning Editor, said: “Language is what sets humans apart from other species. Planet Word explores our linguistic achievements and how these skills developed. Human dictionary Stephen Fry is the ideal guide for the journey of how we came to be so verbal.”

Spanning locations across the globe including Hong Kong, Sydney, Israel, Kenya, Tanzania, Malaysia and Japan, Planet Word journeys through the thousands of years since man first mastered speech to the cyber world of today with its html, codes and texting.

Planet Word is a Sprout Pictures production commissioned by Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor for Arts, on behalf of Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC Two.


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