BBC Two

Gurinder Chadha: The relationship between Britain and India didn’t just start in the 1960s

Gurinder Chadha (Credit: Rex Features)

It’s 4pm on a Friday afternoon, a time of the week when most of us are preparing to wind down the working week. Not Gurinder Chadha, co-creator and director of ITV’s new period drama, Beecham House, otherwise known as “Downton in Delhi”.

She’s at work in a Soho edit suite, putting the finishing touches to another project, her latest movie, Blinded by the Light. The film is based on journalist and broadcaster Sarfraz Manzoor’s memoir, Greetings from Bury Park.

Mum writer Stefan Golaszewski: Loss of self seems to be an essential component of becoming a mother

Stefan Golaszewski (Credit: RTS/Richard Kendal)

If anyone ever doubted that comedy and tragedy go hand in hand, look no further than the much-garlanded BBC Two sitcom, Mum, starring Lesley Manville as Cathy, a late-­middle-aged mother coming to terms with the death of her husband.

Making a TV audience laugh is among the most difficult skills for any screenwriter to learn, but to make them laugh one minute and almost cry a few moments later is the hallmark of a very special talent.

From acting to writing: Toby Jones talks Don't Forget the Driver

Barry Green (Toby Jones) in Don't Forget the Driver (Credit: BBC Two)

You wait years for a TV comedy centred on the disruption caused by the sudden arrival of a foreign migrant in a settled world and, suddenly, two come along at once.

This spring, Channel 4 has showcased Home, Rufus Jones’s well-­received show in which his uptight character, Peter, and partner return from holiday to find a Syrian man called Sami (Youssef Kerkour) living in the boot of the family car.

BBC Arena commissions Werner Herzog tribute to Bruce Chatwin

Werner Herzog with Chatwin's rucksack (Credit: BBC)

The pair were friends, and worked together on Herzog’s film Cobra Verde, which was adapted from Chatwin’s book The Viceroy of Ouidah.

“We were kindred spirits - he as a writer, I as a filmmaker,” said Herzog of their friendship. “Bruce Chatwin was a writer like no other. He crafted mythical tales into voyages of the mind.”

When Chatwin was dying, he gave Herzog the rucksack he’d taken on his travels around the world.

Colin Farrell joins Andrew Haigh’s series The North Water

Colin Farrell (Credit: BBC)

The series of the same name is set in the UK during the late 1850s and follows Patrick Sumner, a disgraced ex-army surgeon who tries to escape his past by signing up as a ship’s doctor for a whaling expedition in the Arctic.

On board the ship, Sumner encounters Henry Drax (Colin Farrell) the ship’s psychotic harpooner who’s developed an indifference towards killing.

Sumner’s attempts to flee the horrors of his past soon becomes a search for redemption, as he fights for survival in the Arctic.

Reggie Yates’ diversity documentary among new BBC commissions

Reggie Yates (Credit: BBC/Ellis Parrinder)

The BBC Two documentary will be joined by a host of specialist programmes that range from the artistry of dance to new series The Novels That Shaped Our World (w/t), which will mark the 300th anniversary of Robinson Crusoe and the origins behind the British novel.

“This year we’ll be giving you a front-row seat to the best in arts and culture from celebrating the novel and the art of poetry with landmark programing, to encouraging participation in the arts with the return of Get Creative,” said Jonty Claypole, Director of Arts at BBC.