2006 BBC Productions

BBC Radio 2Brenda Blethyn

"The Lady Vanishes" - March & April - 6x15mins

Read by Brenda Blethyn / Directed by Neil Gardner

The Oscar nominated actress Brenda Blethyn reads a new six-part abridgement of Ethel Lina White's classic 1930's railway thriller - originally titled 'The Wheel Spins'.





Alex Kingston

"Rebecca" - May & June - 8x15mins

Read by Alex Kingston / Directed by Neil Gardner

Star of the UK stage and internal screen Alex Kingston (E.R.) reads a new eight-part abridgement of Daphne du Maurier's incredible story of romance and suspense.



BBC Radio 3'Night Watch' by Rembrandt

"Rembrandt 400" - July - 1x60mins

Presented by Neil MacGregor / Produced by Richard Bannerman

Neil MacGregor, the Director of the British Museum, visits Amsterdam to reassess the qualities that make Rembrandt's subjects reach out so directly to us today.





Carla Bley

"Jazz File - Carla Bley" - September - 3x30mins

Presented by John Fordham / Produced by Richard Bannerman

Carla Bley ranks with the finest and most influential jazz personalities from the second half of the 20th Century onwards. John Fordham celebrates this verstile, some would say eccentric talent, who has won an array of international awards and accolades.


Miles Kington

"Jazz File - Swing City" - December - 3x30mins

Presented by Miles Kington / Produced by Neil Rosser

Kansas City became the focus for the greatest jazz players of the day during the 1920's and 30's, and Miles Kington explores the streets where speak-easies, clubs and honky-tonks thrived, and where alcohol flowed and the Prohibition was largely ignored.


BBC Radio 4Anna Scott-Brown on location

"Giants On Our Hands" - April - 1x30mins

Presented by Adam Fowler / Produced by Anna Scott-Brown

From Sri-Lanka's forests to the streets of Bangkok, from India to indonesia, Adam Fowler uncovers the plight of the working elephant. Once the work horse of Asia, many thousands are now redundant and face an uncertain future. He walks this twilight zone with them as ancient culture and modern politics struggle to find the answer.



Bert Williams

"The Tragi-Comic Life of Bert Williams" - May - 1x30mins

Presented by Lenny Henry / Produced by Neil Rosser

Lenny Henry tells the story of the first great Black comedian, Bert Williams, As part of a double act with George Walker, Bert became a star in musical comedy and vaudeville in the latter years of the nineteenth century. But when a solo career led him to record monologues and comedy songs, he became a huge success, even though that success was built on playing the racial stereotype. his biggest hit 'Nobody' encapsulated both the isolation of the everyman, and the plight of the Black man in America at the beginning of the 20th Century.


1812 Overture

"Why Is the 1812 So Popular?" - May - 1x30mins

Presented by Alasdair Malloy / Produced by Richard Bannerman

Tchaikovsky called it 'very noisy and loud' and considered it to have 'no artistic merit', but with its cannons, muskets and orchestral battlefield, the 1812 Overture has become by far his most popular piece. Alasdair Malloy finds out from the players and the conductor Barry Wordsworth whether its performers emerge ready for battle each time they face it, and how those bangs and effects are co-ordinated at the piece's climax without hazard to players or audience.


Territorial Army

"The Other S.A.S. - Serving in the T.A." - 2x30mins

Presented by Mike Nicholson / Produced by Adam Fowler

At one time the Territorial Army was seen as a social club and a chance to shoot off a few real weapons. Not any more. With TA members being compulsorily drafted to fight in combat zones, these 'Weekend Warriors' are being asked to provide more and more of the British army's fighting strength. Mike Nicholson discovers the consequences for Territorials, their families and their employers, and asks the policy-makers if this is good defence policy or just a way of getting an army on the cheap. He also considers how their commitment to the TA affects the lives of the soldiers themselves and their families, and asks how the 'One Army' notion of the Territotirals and the Regulars fighting together is born out in training and suppport, when injury and even death have to be faced.


Simon Fanshawe

"Bridging The Gap" - August - 1x30mins

Presented by Simon Fanshawe / Produced by Tamsyn Challenger

'On The Streets' in Gorton, Manchester, tries to re-address the cavernous void between the young and old. It's originators could be described as the surrogate parents of a generation of Manchester tearaways. Simon Fanshaw discusses the key contribution they are making to a generation of would-be ASBO kids, and guides us through a story fo hope and positivity in an area that has come under increasing media scrutiny since Manchester was declared the ASBO capital of Britain.




Ainsley Harriot in Ipswich

"Kitchen Connections with Ainsley Harriot" - 5x15mins

Presented by Ainsley Harriot / Produced by Clare Csonka

Chef Ainsley Harriot travels around the UK to meet 5 immigrant families to learn how they are integrating their traditional cooking into their new lives, and just why they left their home countries to come to the UK.






John Betjeman

"Betjeman The Broadcaster" - 1x60mins

Produced by Richard Bannerman

Uncovering the unparallelled audio journey taken by Sir John Betjemen on radio and TV on the occassion of the 100th anniversary of his birth.







Richard Foster

"The Old Bill" - Series 2 - 5x15mins

Presented by Richard Foster / Produced by Judith Kampfner

A second series where historian Richard Foster brings history to life though old bills and documents, revealing how much or how little we have changed.










Tom Mangold at Swedish ethanol factory

"Driven By Oil" - September - 4x30mins

Presented by Tom Mangold / Produced by Adam Fowler

A landmark series presented by investigative journalist Tom Mangold, analysing how the age of oil has driven how we live, where we live, how we travel, and how political and military struggles for power and wealth have always been linked to it. And with oil supply peaking, where do we look now for a replacement power source?




Barbara Dickson

"Finding Her Voice" - October - 1x30mins

Presented by Barbara Dickson / Produced by Richard Bannerman

Barbara Dickson tells the story of female empowerment through music. Women used to sing about 'losing their man'...now they kick him out and move on!







Lowri Blake

"Page To Performance" - December - 2x30mins

Presented by Lowri Blake / Produced by Richard Bannerman

Classical musician Lowri Blake investigates a piece of well-loved classical music from the composer's earliest sketch through to the most passionate performance in the concert hall.






Under The Sking - Noel Butler

"Under The Skin" - December - 1x30mins

Presented by Bernie Clifton / Produced by Douglas Mounce

The English fascination with people wearing animal costumes stretches back into folklore. Bernie Clifton, famous for his performing Ostrich, explores the world of 'skin' performers and discovers the techniques required by those appearing as pantomime horses and sports mascots.










International Polar Year

"The Poles & The Planet" - December - 1x60mins

Presented by Adam Fowler / Produced by Adam Fowler

In this archive hour, vivid and remarkable archive from the 1957 Polar expedition is used to recall the event as the first major international scientific collaboration connects with the 2007 Interntaional Polar Year and the planetary challenges facing Earth's inhabitants.



BBC World ServiceGemma Mortensson

"Special Rapporteurs" - August & September - 3x25mins

Presented by Gemma Mortensson / Produced by Tamsyn Challenger

The Special Rapporteurs are UN-appointed investigators of the human rights world. In this series Gemma Mortensson follows three of them as they go on fact finding missions in Europe, India and Russia.