Thursday, 11 August 2011

Two new military series from the BBC

Those of you as bored as I was by the new opening episode of WDYTYA last night may take heart that the Beeb has something else up its sleeve! From the BBC press office, news of two series being produced for BBC Daytime:

Two brand new series commemorating the war effort made by thousands of Britons from the Second World War to the present day, have today been announced by BBC Daytime.

In Remembrance Week on BBC One this autumn, Gethin Jones explores the personal stories of people whose lives have been touched by war from the Second World War to recent modern day conflicts including the Falklands, Balkans, the Gulf Wars and Afghanistan.

Over on BBC Two, in How We Won The War, Jules Hudson looks back to Forties Britain, as he travels across the UK to meet some of the ordinary men and women who did extraordinary things to help win the Second World War and who were heroes in their own right.

Liam Keelan, Controller of Daytime, says: "These two new social history series celebrate and commemorate the war effort made by the many individuals across the UK from the Second World War to modern day. I'm delighted to welcome Gethin Jones as the host of Remembrance Week and Jules Hudson – a passionate Second World War historian – to How We Won The War. Both series have emotional but uplifting stories that I hope will inspire our audiences at home about the bravery, camaraderie and companionship of troops throughout history."

Remembrance Week

In the week leading up to Remembrance Sunday 2011, BBC One Daytime celebrates stories of courage, emotion and sacrifice made by thousands of people from all walks of life and from all over the UK.

Remembrance Week, presented by Gethin Jones, explores the reality of modern day conflicts as well as those from the past through the personal stories of people whose lives have been touched by war. The series will focus on modern day conflicts including the Falklands, Balkans, the Gulf Wars and Afghanistan.

Gethin Jones says: "It's a real privilege to be asked to spend time with our hero's home and abroad as we approach remembrance week. It's a time to honour and reflect on the heroic work our armed forces – past and present – carry out."

War veterans, active service men, and posthumous heroes, as well as stories from those not directly involved such as nurses, teachers, civilians, former entertainers of the troops and families form the heart of this series.

As well as first person interviews the series will show archive footage, personal photos, letters, diaries, souvenirs and footage from current operations.

The BBC executive producer for Remembrance Week (series 2) isGerard Melling, and the 5 x 45 minute series is being made by Fever Media. The executive producer for Fever is David Mortimer. The series is due to air in November 2011.


How We Won The War

In How We Won The War, Jules Hudson (Countryfile, Dig 1940) travels across the UK to discover how the Second World War was actually won – right here at home – by the ordinary people of the UK.

Jules will discover how across the country men, women and children of Britain all did their bit. He'll hear the untold stories of the effort from land girls, home guards, inventors and nurses – who all helped Britain to victory in one of the most important events of the 20th century.

Each region of the British Isles made its own unique contribution to the war effort – from London to Scotland and East Anglia to Wales. Jules will hear the remarkable stories of heroism, sacrifice, ingenuity and dedication all waiting to be told.

Jules will also focus on several key locations that helped us win the war from the spectacular to the bizarre – including an underground Spitfire factory in Wiltshire, where women worked around the clock, to a POW camp for die-hard Nazis in Scotland.

The BBC executive producer for How We Won The War is Pam Cavannagh and the 10 x 30 minute series for BBC Two Daytime is being made by 360 Production in Northern Ireland. The executive producer for 360 is John Farren. The series is due to air in spring 2012.

(With thanks to Paul Reed @sommecourt on Twitter)

Chris

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