The BBC has announced a host of new specialist factual commissions, including a new history series which sees Danny Dyer exploring his extraordinary family tree.
The Eastenders actor will reenact the lives of his ancestors in history series Danny Dyer's Right Royal Family.
The factual series will sit alongside a array of new specialist factual commissions for the BBC, including Lucy Worsley's re-staging of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s royal wedding, Professor Brian Cox's exploration of the solar system in The Planets, a retelling of the Apollo 11 space mission with declassified audio recording of the astronauts, a health study with pairs identical twins, a return of Pilgrimage with eight new celebrities taking on a new pilgrim route to Rome, and a documentary looking at male circumcision and its place in modern society.
"I'm thrilled to be announcing such a broad and bold range of titles showcasing the variety of forms, tones and modes we deliver science, history and religion content in," BBC's Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual, Tom Holland. "These titles show our huge commitment to innovating in specialist factual at the BBC and I can't wait for these titles to be on air."
Danny Dyer's Right Royal Family
After drawing in the highest ratings ever for his episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, Danny Dyer is delving deeper into his family history with a new two-part series for BBC One.
Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family will see the actor immerse himself in the lifestyles of his ancestors, retelling significant events and people from the last eight hundred years of British history, from the Vikings to the Tudors.
Dyer’s journey through his family tree will see him explore the passions and everyday life his remarkable historical family members, including eating a sheep’s tongue, dressing to fight in 14th century armour, hosting a sugar banquet and learning to hunt like his 30th great grandfather William the Conqueror.
“I’m still in shock at the fact that I’m related to such important people,” said Dyer. “I’ve had a ball getting to know them. It was a nutty experience.”
Professor Brian Cox is back with an explorative story of the planets that has never been told before.
The Planets will use scientific research and detailed imagery to reveal the dramatic origins of our solar system and Earth’s place within it.
The series will take viewers through an insightful narrative of the planets, from the transformation of Mars from a planet rich of water to a cold, deserted world, to the destructive and dominant Jupiter, that once left Earth’s fate hanging in the balance, to the details of the mysterious Neptune.
The five-part series examines the planets we already know, and explores the strong evidence that suggests there are more planets in our solar system that are yet to be discovered.
Victoria & Albert: The Wedding
Historian Lucy Worsley fronts the recreation of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s royal wedding in this one off special.
Using information about the wedding from history books, archives, newspapers and Queen Victoria’s diaries, Worsley and an expert team will restage the opulent celebration.
Food historian Annie Gray, clothing expert Harriet Waterhouse and military historian Jasdeep Singh will help to authentically recreate the significant day’s food, music, clothing and atmosphere.
Victoria & Albert: The Wedding will explore the public and private story of Victoria and Albert’s courtship and subsequent engagement, as well as the effect their wedding had on modern marriage.
Adnan Sarwar presents this personal exploration of the controversies and complexities of male circumcision.
The medical procedure is a significant part of some beliefs and has come into question in recent years between people of faith and the secular state.
Sarwar will meet with Jewish and Muslim religious leaders, practitioners and campaigners, and the British Medical Association to discuss the different views surrounding the issue and where circumcision fits into the 21st century lifestyle.
The presenter will also look at the religious basis for circumcision and his own personal outlook on the procedure, and if he were to have a son, would he have him circumcised?
Pilgrimage: The Road to Rome
Eight famous faces will leave their life of luxury behind and take on the 1000km ancient Via Francigena Pilgrimage as the series returns with Pilgrimage: The Road to Rome.
TV personality Les Dennis, comedian Katy Brand, Olympic athlete Greg Rutherford, actress Lesley Joseph, dancer Brendan Cole, comedian Stephen K Amos, TV presenter Mehreen Baig and Eurovision Song Contest winner and politician Dana will travel the ancient route together.
The journey will test the celebrities’ physical abilities and spiritual beliefs as the group, each with their own religious beliefs and backgrounds, make the epic journey from the Swiss Alps to St Peter’s Square, Rome.
Apollo 11, the space mission that saw man step foot on the moon for the first time, was completed in eight days. In those eight days, three men ventured into the unknown to change human history and open the doors to new scientific discovery.
To mark the 50th anniversary, BBC Two will explore the mission and the story behind the iconic images in this feature-length drama documentary.
The revealing documentary 8 Days uses declassified cockpit audio recorded by the astronauts, cutting-edge digital effects and dramatised performances to tell the personal adventure in a way that has never been shown before.
Identical twin doctors Chris and Xand van Tulleken will explore the ways in which our lifestyles can have a scientific effect on our bodies and what self-improvement methods really work.
The experiment will see 30 pairs of identical twins compete against each other, testing out theories that could all improve our lives, such as diet, exercise, organisation, meditation, and even swearing.