BBC Two

BBC Two searches for the greatest icon of the 20th Century

(Credit: BBC)

Co-produced with The Open University, Icons will tell the history of the 20th century through the people who shaped it, inviting the public to vote on 28 icons shortlisted by a panel of academics.

Each episode will focus on different categories of excellence, including leaders, explorers, scientists, entertainers, activists, sports stars, and artists and writers.

The series follows influential figures such as Nelson Mandela, Marie Curie, Billie Holiday, Martin Luther King Jr and Virginia Woolf.

Julie Hesmondhalgh discusses social campaigning: "This artist's life can be for you"

Julie Hesmondhalgh with Noreen Kershaw (Credit: Jess Boulton)

The actor, who has won two RTS North West awards for her performances in ITV soap Coronation Street and BBC Two factual drama Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster, was giving this year’s Anthony H Wilson Memorial Lecture.

During the course of a conversation with actor and director Noreen Kershaw, Hesmondhalgh proved to be the embodiment of the words of the late Granada Reports anchor and music impresario, Wilson, who memorably summed up his city: “This is Manchester: we do things differently here.”

BBC Two confirms air date for new drama Death and Nightingales

Billy Winters (Matthew Rhys), Beth Winters (Ann Skelly), Liam Ward (Jamie Dornan) in Death and Nightingales (Credit: BBC/Night Flight Pictures Ltd 2018/Helen Sloan)

Adapted from Eugene McCabe’s classic novel of the same name, the three-part drama stars Ann Skelly (Red Rock), Matthew Rhys (The Americans) and Jamie Dornan (The Fall).

The nineteenth century period drama is set in the rural countryside of Fermanagh, Ireland, following young catholic Beth Winters (Skelly) and her dysfunctional relationship with her Protestant stepfather Billy Winters (Rhys).

TV picks of the week: 29 October - 4 November

Crow's Blood (Credit: Channel 4)

Black Earth Rising

Monday: BBC Two, 9.00pm


Michaela Coel (Credit: BBC)

The thrilling political drama comes to a close with a key villain finally being unmasked. Kate (Michaela Coel) also finds what she’s been looking for. A collective guilt hangs over her and Michael (John Goodman) over the Rwandan genocide and the reprisals that saw Hutu refugees massacred in camps.

Paddy McGuinness and Freddie Flintoff to present new series of Top Gear

Freddie Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris (Credit: BBC)

Following the departures of host Matt LeBlanc and co-presenter Rory Reid after the next series, McGuinness and Flintoff will join Chris Harris in a new all-British line-up of Top Gear.

Sabine Schmitz will remain in the Top Gear family with Reid continuing to host Top Gear spin-off Extra Gear on BBC Two.

The announcement took place near the River Thames in London as a photocall, as the new line-up was joined by the real stars of the show: a blue Porsche 911 GT2RS and a red Aston Martin DSB Superleggera.