BBC Four

New music series seeks fan memorabilia

PHOP punks

From drumsticks to diary entries, new BBC Four series the People’s History of Pop (PHOP) will look at the evolution of music through the eyes of its fans.

The series will be split into four episodes, to air throughout 2016, each focusing on a different decade of pop history.

In an industry first, production company 7 Wonder is working with Historypin, a user-generated digital archive of historical artefacts, to collate music memorabilia from fans across the country.

BBC announces Storyville slate for Winter 2024, including escapes from North Korea, state surveillance and Nazi hunters

Two boys stand either side of their dad in an old, slightly blue-tinted family photo, all of them stood on a lawn

Revenge: Our Dad the Nazi Killer is written and directed by Danny Ben-Moshe, and concerns Nazi hunter groups established by Jewish vigilantes in post-war Australia. The film follows three brothers as they try and see if their dad and uncle, both of whom survived the Holocaust, were involved.

New BBC World Service documentary exhibits Russians rallying against Ukraine War

After Russia’s war censorship laws were introduced following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, it became virtually impossible to speak up against the war in Russia. Journalists fled the country, media outlets closed, and individuals began to be arrested as they criticised the conflict.

Storyville, Inside Russia: Traitors and Heroes follows one small, independent YouTube channel battling against this censorship. Two journalists document stories from the perspectives of a selection of Russian citizens throughout the past year of war.

Joe Lycett to present UK’s largest ever live life drawing masterclass for BBC Two

Following the success of the programmes in 2020, with 30,000 viewers sending in their artworks from home, this new two-hour special will be broadcast live across BBC Two and BBC Four from English Heritage’s Wrest Park in Bedfordshire.

Life models will disrobe and assume poses inspired by great works of art for the amateur artists on set, and those at home, to draw.

BBC acquires Finnish drama series Man In Room 301

(credit: BBC)

The six-part psychological thriller is written by British writer Kate Ashfield (Shaun Of The Dead) and directed by Mikko Kuparinen.

Man In Room 301 follows the Kurtti family, whose lives are irretrievably altered when their two-year-old son Tommi is killed by a gunshot.

Twelve years later, while on a holiday in Greece, the family come across a man who looks unnervingly like the boy’s killer.

Gripping and tense throughout, Man In Room 301 explores themes of guilt, retribution, justice and forgiveness.

Cathartic documentary breaks silence

Xavier Alford

In Locked In: Breaking the Silence, which is made by Bristol indie Marble Films and aired at the end of November, Alford talks to doctors and fellow sufferers but, crucially, opens up to his family about a progressively worsening condition that causes muscle weakness and atrophy.

Following a diagnosis a decade ago, he felt a “responsibility”, as a documentary-maker, to make a film, but “felt way, way too raw – I wasn’t ready”. 

Alford was talking to Lynn Barlow at an RTS West of England event that offered a first look at the feature-length documentary. 

BBC Four renews Raiders of The Lost Past With Dr Janina Ramirez

Dr Ramirez will once again follow in the footsteps of the greatest explorer-archaeologists around the world in search of hallowed ancient sites.

The second series will visit the southern fjords of Norway to find the Oseberg Viking Ship, the Greek island of Crete to reveal the truth behind the myth of the minotaur and the Konya Plain of Turkey to explore the world’s oldest city.