Special

Monday, 24 December 2012, 8:30PM – 10:00PM

“As soon as I met the girls there was something very special immediately…we clicked straight away and it felt very comfortable from that moment.”  – Emma Bunton

The Spice Girls are undisputedly the biggest, best-selling all-female group ever and their mantra of Girl Power is currently taking London by storm all over again with the launch of new musical Viva Forever!

This brand new feature-length documentary will celebrate the Spice Girls’ music and their story as Girl Power is introduced to a new generation through the musical. It will explore the band’s stratospheric rise to fame, featuring exclusive new interviews with all five girls, and with the people who know them best and worked with them along the way.

Victoria Beckham says of the band’s success: “It was such a whirlwind, it was really quite overwhelming. And we were so tired. We were working really, really hard. I mean the record company would have us at the airport sometimes at five o’clock in the morning. We’d fly somewhere, we’d be working all day, we’d get in super, super late, we’d have a couple of hours sleep and then we’d go off again the next day.” Melanie C says: “Everything we touched turned to gold. It was ridiculous.”

More than 15 years since they took the pop world by storm, this documentary provides the definitive portrait of a band which sold more than 75 million records worldwide and examines the story of the five girls whose music, look, attitude and success had such a profound, era-defining impact on the 90s and whose influence in British pop culture is still felt.

We examine how their relationships with each other have evolved over time, the truth behind the rumours, and how the five girls now juggle individual projects and roles as working mothers.

Mel B says of her Spice persona: “Every woman gets a little bit scary now and again…I liked my name. It kind of put a barrier up because when somebody would first meet me they would think I was going to be horrible. And actually I picked and chose whether I was going to be nice or not nice!”

Geri recalls the story behind her infamous Union Jack dress at The Brits: “I remember the stylist at the time told me not to wear it. I literally got “don’t wear that”. And I was going, “but I like it. I like it”…For me that dress symbolises what the Spice Girls is about.”

As the highly anticipated musical is launched in the West End this December, we look at the creative process behind it, see the girls in the lead up to its premiere and go behind the scenes leading up to opening night, providing the perfect opportunity to reflect on the music that made the Spice Girls’ success.

Melanie C explains: “I think us girls have always felt that our songs were quite theatrical, you know. And you know, there’s great subject matter in there. There’s quite a lot of storytelling within the songs as well. So it was something we’d talked about for years and years and years.“

This is an opportunity to tell their story first-hand, revealing the extent of their ambition, their aims, their creative partnerships, their music and their legacy. Victoria says: “I’m really proud to be Posh. I’m so proud to have been in the Spice Girls and to have achieved everything I have. I’m the luckiest girl in the world, I really am. No-one knows that more than me.”

The documentary also includes interviews with the writer of the musical Jennifer Saunders and its producer Judy Craymer. Jennifer says: “For a long time…if I’ve written it, I’ve always been in control of how it went on. So this is a massive collaboration where I’m just not allowed to be as bossy as I would like to be. So it’s kind of terrifying.”

Other new and exclusive interviews featured include two of the Spice Mums – Victoria’s mum Jackie and Melanie C’s mum Joan, plus Richard E Grant, Perez Hilton and Dawn French.

11:00pm Friday 4 January on BBC TWO

He may be 70 years old, but there is no mellowing the Big Yin – otherwise known as Billy Connolly – as Kirsty Wark finds out in this Review Show Special.

She caught up with Glasgow’s most famous son to discuss his latest acting role in Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut Quartet.

The ever-candid Connolly also talks about his troubled relationship with his father and his hedonistic younger days. And with an imminent role in the Hobbit, there are some unexpected views on Tolkien fans, and Billy gives Kirsty a rare insight into his acting techniques, which include flirting with Dame Judi Dench.

9:00pm Thursday 3 January on BBC TWO

Queen Victoria’s relationships with her children were complex and tumultuous, and historians assert that behind closed doors, royal domestic life was a battlefield.

Spanning 60 years, this three-part family saga explores the reign of Victoria through her personal relationships with her husband and her nine children. It is a story of manipulation, conflict, intimidation, emotional blackmail and fevered attempts by her children to escape the clutches of their domineering and needy mother.

The series uses a wealth of written material and photos left by Victoria, Albert and her children, including letters, diaries, memoirs, and journals, to bring the subject and characters to life.

This final episode focuses on Victoria’s relationship with her sons and how, after Albert’s death, they struggled to assert themselves from beneath their father’s shadow. It explores Victoria’s difficult relationship with her eldest son Bertie, who she blamed for Albert’s death, believing his sexual indiscretions to have fatally weakened her husband. It also examines her relationship with her son Leopold, the physically weak but spirited haemophiliac who put up the most determined effort to break free from his mother’s control.

Ep 3/3

9:00pm Wednesday 2 January on BBC TWO

Queen Victoria’s relationships with her children were complex and tumultuous and historians assert that behind closed doors, royal domestic life was a battlefield.

Spanning 60 years, this three-part family saga explores the reign of Victoria through her personal relationships with her husband and her nine children. It is a story of manipulation, conflict, intimidation, emotional blackmail and fevered attempts by her children to escape the clutches of their domineering and needy mother.

The series uses a wealth of written material and photos left by Victoria, Albert and her children, including letters, diaries, memoirs, and journals, to bring the subject and characters to life.

This second episode concentrates on Victoria’s relationship with her daughters. It looks at how, after Albert’s death, Victoria clung to and bullied them and arranged their marriages. In response, the princesses fought back, becoming unlikely champions of female independence.

Ep 2/3

9:00pm Tuesday 1 January on BBC TWO

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert shared a passionate marriage and historians claim behind closed doors their domestic life was a battlefield.

Spanning 60 years, this three-part family saga explores the reign of Victoria through her personal relationships with her husband and her nine children. It is a story of manipulation, conflict, intimidation, emotional blackmail and fevered attempts by her children to escape the clutches of their domineering and needy mother.

The series uses a wealth of written material and photos left by Victoria, Albert and her children, including letters, diaries, memoirs, and journals, to bring the subject and characters to life.

This first episode focuses on Victoria’s tempestuous relationship with Prince Albert and their attempts to engineer the upbringing of their children, and to save the monarchy by projecting a modern image of the royal family.

Ep 1/3

5:30pm Tuesday 1 January on BBC TWO

On the eve of his retirement as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams gives BBC Two an exclusive insight into his thoughts after 10 years in one of the toughest jobs in Britain.

Goodbye To Canterbury reveals how the art and architecture of Canterbury Cathedral have been a spiritual touchstone throughout his ministry; how ancient stones and relics are signposts in the modern world; and what this extraordinary building has to teach his successors.

The Archbishop reveals how the struggle between the established Catholic church and the new forces of the Reformation shaped the cathedral and, even today, mean it is a divided building. He also reveals how the brave deeds of the ordinary people of Canterbury saved their church from the carpet bombing of the Luftwaffe in 1942 – and most recently, how the ancient stones have taught him how to respond to the pressures of being a modern Archbishop.

This is a journey through 2000 years of English art and architecture: most spectacularly, the exotic tombs of his predecessors, the Archbishops’ throne itself, the oldest illustrated book in England, a casket that once held remains of the most famous saint in the medieval world, and the Miracle Windows showing pilgrims restored to health.

Most importantly, the Archbishop reveals how the tensions between Church and State (which led to the murder of an archbishop in 1170, inside the cathedral) continue today as both the cathedral building and the individual holding the office of Archbishop must struggle to resolve twin loyalties to country and to God.

As Archbishop Williams asserts: “This is the mother church of England… throughout history, any battle about how this space was going to be used was in part a battle for the very soul of England… even today, it is the point of intersection between the kingdom of God, the values of God, and all the skill, the art, the problems, the politics of human beings.”

12:15pm Tuesday 1 January on BBC ONE

On New Year’s Day, BBC One will broadcast the Archbishop of Canterbury’s annual New Year’s Message.

This year will be the final message delivered by Dr Rowan Williams.

11:10pm Monday 31 December on BBC TWO

Joining Jools for his 20th Annual Hootenanny – and the last to be filmed at BBC Television Centre – will be a host of stars from all walks of British life and a variety of guest singers sitting in with Jools’ Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, and some of the star turns over the decades and the last 12 months.

British musical icon and recording artist for over 50 years Petula Clark performs two of her biggest songs along with a surprising cover of Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’ from her upcoming album; the biggest selling act of 2012, singer-songwriter Emeli Sand� will perform numbers from her million-selling ‘Our Version Of Events’, including her No 1 single ‘Read All About It’, where she will be joined by Professor Green. Also in the studio will be Soul legend Bobby Womack with a track from his recent album ‘The Bravest Man In The Universe’ along with a number or two from his vast back catalogue; one of the UK breakout stars of the year Lianne La Havas will perform her ode to going out with an older man in ‘Age’ plus an Ella Fitzgerald number; King of the charts in the early Eighties, Adam Ant will perform some of his classic pop tunes along with a number from his upcoming album with his new group The Good, The Mad & The Lovely Posse. East London’s own Paloma Faith will perform an Etta James number along with ‘Just Be’ from her big-selling 2012 album; Scandinavian good timers and smart dressers The Hives will be dropping in to dazzle with their rock and roll tunes including crowd favourite ‘Hate To Say I Told You So’; from Detroit, soul singer Bettye Lavette will be performing her 1965 tune ‘Let Me Down Easy’ along with her take on The Black Keys ‘I’m Not The One’ from her new album. Frontman of Dexys Midnight Runners, Kevin Rowland, will be reprising a couple of their classic Eighties tunes along with a number from their 2012 album ‘One Day I’m Going To Soar’. Holding court in the ‘middle of the floor’ will be Nottingham’s newest star, singer-songwriter Jake Bugg who had huge success in 2012, reaching No 1 with his debut album and also sharing the space will be legendary Irish folk group The Dubliners, who are celebrating their 50th anniversary and will be performing a couple of their classic tunes, including the barnstorming ‘The Irish Rover’. Concluding the line-up are Fine Young Cannibals frontman Roland Gift with one or two of their classic tunes, and UK soul singer extraordinaire Ruby Turner.

Add in the reflections and musings of a room full of talent of all descriptions on the departing year, and their predictions for 2013, plus the Pipes & Drums of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards taking us into the New Year the traditional way.?

Producers: Alison Howe & Mark Cooper

Director: Janet Fraser Crook

9:00pm Sunday 30 December on BBC FOUR

Hollywood’s Lost Screen Goddess Clara Bow tells the story of one of the greatest stars of the silent era.

Clara Bow is almost forgotten today, but as a silent film star, her level of fame was unparalleled. Lauded as the first ever sex symbol, for a while she was box office gold. She was a trailblazer, whose natural acting style hadn’t been seen before.

Biographer David Stenn asserts: “Billy Wilder called it ‘flesh impact’ … and the only people he ever saw who had that were Clara Bow and Marilyn Monroe.”

But in just a few short years everything had changed. Clara Bow’s public fall from grace into virtual obscurity reflects a turbulent period for Hollywood as a whole. It came at a time when one of the most significant changes in cinematic history took place, the switch from the hugely popular silent films to the talkies.

This documentary tells the life story of an actress born on the wrong side of the tracks who, for a while, became Hollywood royalty. The film is a rediscovery of a significant talent destroyed by hypocrisy and fame.

4:40pm Sunday 30 December on BBC ONE

Alfie Boe and soprano sensation Laura Wright are the guest soloists to join 5,000 voices in the Royal Albert Hall for spectacular hymns that reflect an historic year for the United Kingdom.

Aled Jones meets Olympic gold medallists Helen Glover and Heather Stanning and there’s a special performance by the Songs Of Praise Senior School Choir of the Year from St George’s College in Weybridge.

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