The Last Dukes

Dukedoms are created by the monarch for reasons ranging from a grateful nation rewarding a major war leader to a king acknowledging his illegitimate son. The last dukedom to be created was by Queen Victoria. As they gradually become extinct what will become of those that remain? Do they still have power and wealth? What is it to be a duke in the 21st century? Answers come from a surprising variety of extraordinary character.

Our War Episode 2 The Invisible Enemy

This seriesfirst aired in 2011, marks a decade of fighting in Afghanistan with a unique insight into the war told through films shot by the soldiers themselves. The BBC was given unprecedented access by the Ministry of Defence to thousands of hours of footage shot on helmet cameras and personal video cameras by soldiers. With the raw honesty of first person stories of life on the front line, the series offers a gripping and poignant insight into every side of the young soldiers’ experience, the average age is 21, from fear to boredom, grief to bravery, the camaraderie of the platoon and the return home. Episode 2 The Invisible Enemy – Follows the plight of the first troops sent to Helmand Province in 2006 and shows how, three years later, Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs had changed the war. A small platoon entered the town of Sangin in 2006 equipped to stay for a few days but ended up staying months, under heavy bombardment. As they struggle to survive, a supply drop off lands behind enemy lines by mistake. Later, in 2009, Captain Alex Rawlins films his men from 1st Battalion, the Grenadier Guards under threat from the increasing number of IEDs in Helmand Province. They lost of one their mates, 23 year old Guardsman Jamie Janes, who stood on a landmine during a patrol. The film shows how Jamie Janes’s death became a turning point in the British public’s awareness of the human cost of IEDs and how a misspelled letter turned into a political storm for the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

Walking Through History Episode 3 Cornwall

Tony Robinson embarks on spectacular walks through some of Britain’s most historic landscapes in search of the richest stories from it’s past. Episode 3 Cornwall – Tony takes a four day trek along the coastline between Plymouth in Devon and Falmouthlearning about the thriving smuggling trade in Cornwall during the late 18th century. The area’s tiny secretive harbours, beaches and secluded coves were ideal for illicit imports such as tobacco and brandy, and the business was so huge it threatened the national economy. Along his route, visiting such beauty spots as Lantic Bay and Polperro, he encounters all sorts of reminders of the trade and meets descendants of those involved.

The Real DaVinci Code

The Real Da Vinci Code ought to be the last word among plentiful video debates over the validity of startling claims in Dan Brown’s bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code. Produced by Britain’s Channel Four Television and broadcast on the Discovery Channel in the U.S.the irreverent but no-nonsense documentary systematically dismantles so called historical facts Brown embraced (not only in his story, but in interviews) to support the idea that the Holy Grail is actually the blood lineage of Jesus, carried by descendants of his child by Mary Magdalene. Hosted by Tony Robinson (Blackadder’s Baldrick), The Real Da Vinci Code hopscotches through France, Scotland, Israel, Italy, Spain, and America to investigate evidence that the major historical players in Brown’s alternative Grail legend, the heretical Cathars, the wealthy but persecuted Knights Templar, the secretive Priory of Sion, did the things Brown (and his research sources) said they did.

Revealed Camilla’s Family Affair

Being a royal mistress really isn’t easy. It’s a tightrope walk between satisfying the kingkeeping your husband happy and avoiding any whiff of scandal. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall got it right … in the end. She is the only royal mistress ever to marry her Prince Charming. But then she did learn from a real expert, her own great grandmother Mrs. Alice Keppel, the long term mistress of King Edward VII. Alice was hailed as one of the great beauties of the Naughty Nineties, renowned for her narrow waist and ample bosom. She was the perfect royal mistress charming, intelligent, gorgeous and above all else, discrete. Set against a scintillating background of aristocratic adultery, historian Kate Williams uncovers Alice’s incredible story, investigating the magical childhood in Scotland that honed her ambition and the marriage to George Keppel that actually thrived on infidelity.

Who Do You Think You Are? Alan Cumming

Who Do You Think You Are? is a British genealogy documentary series. In each episodea celebrity traces their family tree. Alan Cumming was determined to learn more about his maternal grandfather, Tom Darling. His mother had a number of mementoes from her father’s military career, including a bravery medal, and believed he died in an accident in Malaya (now called Malaysia). In finding the truth, Alan uncovered a story of courage, heartbreak and raw emotion. The actor met a historian in Edinburgh to learn more about Tom’s first years in the Army. He discovered he served as a motorbike despatch rider during World War II, carrying messages between different units in northern France.

Your Paintings: A Culture Show Special

For yearsthousands of paintings owned by the British public have been hidden away and inaccessible, until now. Thanks to the work of the Your Paintings project, over 200,000 works in our national collections have been painstakingly uncovered, photographed and put online, some for the very first time, allowing art experts and amateur sleuths alike to make connections and discoveries that wouldn’t have been possible before. Alastair Sooke teams up with art detective Dr. Bendor Grosvenor to unearth some hidden gems and find out what the paintings say about British society.

Rocket Science Episode 1

Across the U.K.fewer and fewer youngsters want to study chemistry and physics, so with the help of physics teacher Andy Smith, Rocket Science sets out to convert a small sample by teaching them everything safe there is to know about fireworks. Kids? Fireworks? It’s a health and safety nightmare. But once Andy has grabbed their attention with a few flashes and bangs, he shows the class how much serious science is involved in the creation of the average rocket. Episode 1 – Physics teacher Andy Smith tries to convert his pupils to physics and chemistry. at the beginning Andy is in for a rough ride. Pupil Chantelle, for instance, thinks science is just copying answers from a textbook, while Taz wants to be Kate Moss, and Charlie can do the work but won’t behave. To engage the children, Andy has to battle short attention spans and the fact that most chemicals in the school storeroom are well past their sell by date.

Windsor Castle A Royal Year Episode 1 The Banquet

For the better part of a millenniumWindsor Castle has been at the heart of British history the awesome fortress, family home, treasure trove and burial ground for the Royal dynasty who went on to take its name. But there is another side to the Castle that tourists never see. It is the real Windsor, a beloved home not only to the Royal family but to more than 400 people who live and work there year round. Windsor Castle A Royal Year provides a fascinating, insider’s look at this grand landmark, where crown and community live and work side by side. Episode 1 The Banquet – After six months of planning and preparation, France’s President and Madame Chirac arrive to mark the centenary of Entente Cordiale. In addition to an official state dinner, guests will be treated to an abridged version of Les Miserables, to be performed in the Waterloo Chamber. But, as protesters gather outside the Castle and producer Sir Cameron Macintosh copes with last minute delays, unexpected glitches could upset all of the hard work and planning.

Rocket Science Episode 2

Across the U.K.fewer and fewer youngsters want to study chemistry and physics, so with the help of physics teacher Andy Smith, Rocket Science sets out to convert a small sample by teaching them everything safe there is to know about fireworks. Kids? Fireworks? It’s a health and safety nightmare. But once Andy has grabbed their attention with a few flashes and bangs, he shows the class how much serious science is involved in the creation of the average rocket. Episode 2 – The kids finally mount their own triumphant firework display for the retiring head, and we see how practical work makes all the difference. They are involved and excited as they do kitchen chemistry, measure the speed of sound, and even take on the atomic basics of how coloured light is created. To show how firework science connects to the real world, Mr Smith organises field trips to where the chemicals that colour fireworks actually come from Nevada, Scotland and China.

Windsor Castle A Royal Year Episode 2 Four Seasons

For the better part of a millenniumWindsor Castle has been at the heart of British history the awesome fortress, family home, treasure trove and burial ground for the Royal dynasty who went on to take its name. But there is another side to the Castle that tourists never see. It is the real Windsor, a beloved home not only to the Royal family but to more than 400 people who live and work there year round. Windsor Castle A Royal Year provides a fascinating, insider’s look at this grand landmark, where crown and community live and work side by side. Episode 2 Four Seasons – Rituals and events mark the calendar year for the Castle and its staff. Two of the year’s largest events take place in June, as The Queen returns for The Order of the Garter ceremony, an annual celebration of Britain’s oldest and highest order of chivalry. Also in June, the biggest event in the racing calendar, the Royal Ascot, assembles high society on the Castle’s impressive grounds.

Artworks Scotland When Alan Cumming Met Stanley Baxter

In his first BBC TV appearance for almost a decadelegendary Glaswegian entertainer Stanley Baxter chats to Scotland’s Broadway superstar Alan Cumming. There was something quite charming in this old-fashioned chat between showbiz chums, When Alan Cumming Met Stanley Baxter, even though it was an unashamed mutual admiration society. A more ruthless editor might have taken all this out, but it was kind of the point, a gentle encounter between an old ham and a younger one framed as his heir.

Rocket Science Episode 3

Across the U.K.fewer and fewer youngsters want to study chemistry and physics, so with the help of physics teacher Andy Smith, Rocket Science sets out to convert a small sample by teaching them everything safe there is to know about fireworks. Kids? Fireworks? It’s a health and safety nightmare. But once Andy has grabbed their attention with a few flashes and bangs, he shows the class how much serious science is involved in the creation of the average rocket. Episode 3 – Charlie and friends are off to China, to the the birthplace of the banger. Every evening in Liuyang, there is a huge display as firework manufacturers show off their latest designs, and the kids learn how the precision and power of physics is used to create the fantastic sky writing fireworks. Back home, Mr Smith takes the class to witness the extraordinary power of expanding gases with the Royal Artillery. Finally, the whole class are invited behind the scenes at one of the biggest firework displays the U.K. has ever seen. Has the Rocket Science project made any difference to the kids’ interest and appreciation of the science that fills the world around them?

Windsor Castle A Royal Year Episode 3 The Ranger

For the better part of a millenniumWindsor Castle has been at the heart of British history the awesome fortress, family home, treasure trove and burial ground for the Royal dynasty who went on to take its name. But there is another side to the Castle that tourists never see. It is the real Windsor, a beloved home not only to the Royal family but to more than 400 people who live and work there year round. Windsor Castle A Royal Year provides a fascinating, insider’s look at this grand landmark, where crown and community live and work side by side. Episode 3The Ranger – The Ranger for the 15,000 acre Great Park of Windsor Castle is none other than Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Like the Castle, the grounds have a pageantry of their own. And nothing is grander than a Royal Wedding, as Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles celebrate their nuptials.

Brilliant Britain Alan Cumming

Celebrities discuss eccentricities in the UK and what makes the British sense of humour unique. Episode Alan Cumming – The actor explores the roots of Scottish humour and does the rounds with some Glasgow refuse collectors.

Stardate Mysteries of Venus

Stardate presents and examines the most intriguing planetsasteroids, stars and astrological phenomena in precise detail with the help of scientists and experts. This award winning series is a reliable source for information and trivia about the galaxy and is used in some astronomy classes. Some of the programs funded by the US government and produced with NASA, give the viewers a better grasp on the concepts of space. Episode Stardate: Mysteries of Venus – As the Venus Express spacecraft approaches its destination this documentary examines this most intriguing of planets and help find the answers to why a planet the same size, age and of similar composition to Earth has become our almost exact opposite. Why is it so hot? Could Venus’s runaway greenhouse effect one day happen on Earth? Why does the entire surface of the planet seem to have been resurfaced in one go? And do the opaque clouds which surround Venus host an even greater mystery: alien life? Presenter Adam Hart-Davis reports from a tense mission control in Germany as the spacecraft is manouvered into orbit.

A303 Highway To The Sun

The A303 is the road that passes Stonehenge on the way to the beaches of Devon and Cornwall. On the wayit whisks drivers through 5,000 years of remarkable moments in British history. And it is the star of this film made for armchair travelers and history lovers. Writer Tom Fort drives its 92 mile length in a lovingly restored Morris Traveller. Along the way he has many adventures, he digs up the 1960s master plan for the A303’s dreams of superhighway status, meets up with a Neolithic traveler who knew the road like the back of his hand, gets to know a section of the Roman 303, uncovers a medieval murder mystery, and discovers what lies at the end of the Highway to the Sun.

Kings & Queens Of England Episode 12 Elizabeth the Second 1926-Present

Series detailing the lives of 12 significant English rulers between 1066 and the present day. From William the Conqueror via Richard III to Queen Victoria and Elizabeth IIpresenter Dr. in a thousand years, the British monarchy has evolved from divinely appointed warrior kings to benign political figureheads. Among them are some of the most fascinating historical figures conquerors, murderers, lovers and schemers. Their gripping stories are at the heart of the nation’s history. From this millennium of violence, romance, intrigue and controversy, Cambridge University’s Dr Nigel Spivey tells the stories of twelve great kings and queens. At the scenes of the decisive moments in British history, accompanied by dramatic reconstructions, he pieces together the incidents, battles and motivations that shaped our lives. Episode 12 Elizabeth the Second, 1952 – Present – The final programme in the series brings the history of the British monarchy up to date with a profile of Queen Elizabeth II. Given that Britain has lost an empire and no longer rules the waves, Nigel Spivey reflects on how much influence the Queen retains, especially when celebrities such as the Beckhams live in equal luxury and inspire greater public fascination.

The Duke A Portrait of Prince Philip Episode 1

A major two part documentary series offers a unique and personal insight into the life and work of The Duke of Edinburgh. He has been a constant figure in the lives of the British peoplea fixed point in a changing landscape. But he still remains something of an enigma. Bombastic and autocratic say his critics. Colourful and stimulating say his admirers. Famous for his so called gaffes, while some of his initiatives have shown him to be a man ahead of his time. Granted unparalleled access over recent months, this documentary has followed the Duke, producing a fascinating chronicle of the role HRH has carved out for himself.

Diana Life Through The Lens

Photographer Jayne Fincher shares her experiences as part of Princess Diana’s press corps in this documentary. Fincherwho photographed Diana for 17 years, reveals behind the scenes insight into the media phenomenon surrounding the famous royal. Often called the Most Photographed Woman in the WorldDiana was under the media’s constant glare, but who created her public image, the monarchy, the press, her devoted fans or Diana herself?

MegaStructures Built from Disaster Episode 3 Tunnels

Megastructures: Built from Disaster explores how accidents throughout the world have influenced the evolution of modern structural engineering. Episode 3 Tunnels – the word evokes mysteryadventure and claustrophobia. They make mountains manageable, connect our cities and can even bring together continents. But every tunnel is an enclosed space – a very dangerous place to be if something goes wrong. This episode looks at how recent catastrophes at the Channel Tunnel, Mont Blanc and Gotthard Tunnels of Europe spawned a revolution in tunnel building technology that is still evolving today. From failsafe evacuation systems through fireproof concrete and radical new approaches to tunnel design itself this programme will see how new tunnel projects are using high tech to keep alive if the worst happens. At the core of the programme is the cutting-edge Marmaray Tunnel in Turkey – this US 4 billion project will connect Europe and Asia with a dual bore rail tunnel running under the Bosphorous Straits. But there is a problem, the Anatolian Fault Line lies 11 miles from the site.

The Duke A Portrait of Prince Philip Episode 2

A major two part documentary series offers a unique and personal insight into the life and work of The Duke of Edinburgh. He has been a constant figure in the lives of the British peoplea fixed point in a changing landscape. But he still remains something of an enigma. Bombastic and autocratic say his critics. Colourful and stimulating say his admirers. Famous for his so called gaffes, while some of his initiatives have shown him to be a man ahead of his time. Granted unparalleled access over recent months, this documentary has followed the Duke, producing a fascinating chronicle of the role HRH has carved out for himself.

Rory Bremner and the Fighting Scots

The Scots have a reputation as braveferocious warriors. Despite a troubled history with England, history shows that more of Scotland’s young men sign up to fight for the crown than anywhere else in Britain. Rory Bremner, whose own father and great grandfather were distinguished Scottish soldiers, sets out to discover why rebel clansmen became loyal servants of the military establishment. His story takes him to Culloden, Crimea and northern France. As the sound of the pipes floats over Scottish military camps in Afghanistan he asks if, after 250 years, the Scottish soldier’s loyalty to Queen and country is running out?

Our Man in the Vatican Episode 1

This series follows local man Francis Campbell in his role as the UK’s ambassador to the Vatican. Delving beneath the ceremonial dutieswe get an unique glimpse into the real life of a diplomat operating within the hidden world of the Vatican. Episode 1 – This episode sees Francis hear the Pope’s new year address to the diplomatic corps, and he also deals with news of a hastily arranged visit by the prime minister to the Vatican.

The Route Masters Running London's Roads Episode 2 Night Bus

With access to 20,000 transport workers, bus drivers, cabbies, road menders and special police units, this series shows how London really works and introduces viewers to those whose job it is to keep the city moving. Seeing the city through the eyes of those responsible for vital maintenance and traffic regulation is a revelation. That this overcrowded city’s roads work as well as they do is more than impressive, it’s an everyday miracle! Episode 2 Night Bus – The number of passengers travelling around London in the small hours has tripled since 2000 and the night bus service has expanded to cope with the demand, but its drivers face an unpredictable crowd. Tommy McKerr faces trouble on the long N25 route to Essex when a gang of young men piles onto the bus without paying, while a homeless man shows how he has perfected the art of riding London’s longest route to keep warm.

Scotland on Screen

Scottish movie star Alan Cumming returns to his homeland to take a tour of the locations of some classic Scottish movies. He celebrates some of the weird and wonderful movies inspired by Scotlandsuch as The Wicker Man, which was filmed in Dumfries and Galloway. Film experts and actors, including Peter Mullen and David Hayman, compare the blockbusters Braveheart and Rob Roy, while Edinburgh’s contribution to Scottish cinema is celebrated by the contrasting films The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Trainspotting. Director Bill Forsyth meets Cumming in Cumbernauld – the setting of Forsyth’s film Gregory’s Girl – and explains why the new town was such a fitting location for his enduringly popular film.

Our Man in the Vatican Episode 2

This series follows local man Francis Campbell in his role as the UK’s ambassador to the Vatican. Delving beneath the ceremonial dutieswe get an unique glimpse into the real life of a diplomat operating within the hidden world of the Vatican. Episode 2 – In this episode, ahead of the G8 summit, cameras follow Francis deep into the Vatican for high level meetings.

Wales To Timbuktu Episode 1

From Wales to Timbuktu is a two part series about the meeting of two cultures through the eyes and words of teenagers from mid Wales. In February 2009four specially selected students travelled to Mali in Africa, on a 10 day literary adventure. Their aim was to immerse themselves in the culture of Timbuktu, Hay-on-Wye’s twin town. They recorded their experiences, observations and revelations by keeping diaries and writing notes. Key to their experience was the guidance of a writing mentor Tom Bullough a published author from Powys. Hay-on-Wye and Timbuktu are twinned not just as municipalities but also through their fundamental association with literature and the world of books. Timbuktu is the oldest home of the written word in Africa.

The Killer Wave of 1607

A tsunami in the Bristol Channel could have caused the deaths of up to 2,000 people in one of Britain’s greatest natural disasters, experts have said. For centuries, it has been thought that the great flood of January 1607 was caused by high tides and severe storms. Two experts have argued a tsunami could have caused the devastation. Eyewitness accounts of the disaster, published in six different pamphlets of the time, told of huge and mighty hills of water advancing at a speed “faster than a greyhound can run” and only receding 10 days later. Dr Roger Mussonhead of seismic hazards at the British Geological Survey, said there were other examples of earthquakes in the area caused by an ancient fault off south west Ireland. One magnitude 4.5 earthquake was recorded there on 8 February 1980. “The idea of putting a large historical earthquake in this spot is not so fanciful he said. “We know from seismological evidencethat we have actually had an earthquake here, so there is a fault and it is moving, it is active. Other UK tsunamis include a 70 feet high wave that hit Scotland 7,000 years ago, following a massive landslip in Norway.

Our Man in the Vatican Episode 3

This series follows local man Francis Campbell in his role as the UK’s ambassador to the Vatican. Delving beneath the ceremonial dutieswe get an unique glimpse into the real life of a diplomat operating within the hidden world of the Vatican. Episode 3 – Francis is back in Belfast to pick up an honorary degree at Queen’s, and work in the embassy steps up a gear when official confirmation arrives of the Pope’s plan to visit the UK in 2010.

Wales To Timbuktu Episode 2

From Wales to Timbuktu is a two part series about the meeting of two cultures through the eyes and words of teenagers from mid Wales. In February 2009four specially selected students travelled to Mali in Africa, on a 10 day literary adventure. Their aim was to immerse themselves in the culture of Timbuktu, Hay-on-Wye’s twin town. They recorded their experiences, observations and revelations by keeping diaries and writing notes. Key to their experience was the guidance of a writing mentor Tom Bullough a published author from Powys. Hay-on-Wye and Timbuktu are twinned not just as municipalities but also through their fundamental association with literature and the world of books. Timbuktu is the oldest home of the written word in Africa.