In May 2015, Rio Ferdinand’s wife Rebecca lost her life to breast cancer, leaving behind her husband and three children. The documentary that followed captures the footballer’s own grief and worries for his children as he speaks, frankly and movingly, on camera. He meets other families coping with bereavement and loss, and looks at what help is available for parents and children who have lost a loved one.
Filming is set to begin in June, with John Malkovich (Being John Malkovich, In The Line Of Fire, Dangerous Liaisons) leading an all-star cast as Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot.
Robbie’s War: the Rise and Fall of a Playboy Millionaire
Monday: BBC Two, 9pm
For almost a decade, UKTV, currently owned jointly by BBC Studios and Discovery, has been screening innovative and successful original entertainment shows. Over the past five years, the number of original shows has grown fivefold. Today, UKTV commissions in every genre, other than children’s, news and current affairs.
Can something as apparently ephemeral as a TV programme be genuinely cathartic and help to bring a measure of healing, perhaps even closure, to a national tragedy? That was the hope behind the making of The Vietnam War, the acclaimed documentary made by Ken Burns and his long-time collaborator Lynn Novick.
Last month, PBS America began showing the 18-hour directors’ cut in the UK. This followed the British premiere of the 10-hour version by BBC Four last autumn and its repeat over Christmas.
Professional skill, time, money and the latest camera technologies are all vital to making landmark natural-history shows. Less well known, when it comes to seeking unique footage of life deep in the world’s oceans, is how programme-makers put their health on the line.
The lengths that these men and women go to in the cause of producing iconic TV was explained in detail during an RTS event, “Diving beneath the waves – the making of Blue Planet II”.
The huge disparity between the salaries of male and female on-air talent at the BBC has attracted widespread and much-deserved criticism. But recently released figures on the gender pay gap reveal that discrimination exists across television, from the top to the bottom of the industry.
Channel 4 recorded the worst (mean) average pay gap – of 28.6% – of the major UK broadcasters, followed by: UKTV at 17.9%; ITV, 16.4%; the BBC, 10.7%; Sky: 5.2%; and Channel 5, where women are, in fact, paid 2.9% more than men.
Well, I only went and won an RTS! What a wonderful, unexpected bonus after making the most important piece of TV I’ve ever made. My Family, Partition and Me told the story of the Partition of India, the brutal end of the Raj. Not only my story, the story of millions. My motivation for making it was realising, based on the reaction to my Who Do You Think You Are?, how little people know about this momentous period in history.