House of Commons

Conservation of Big Ben to be revealed in new documentary

Big Ben

This is a three year project undertaken by Channel 4 and ITN Productions, which gives them unprecedented access into the Big Ben refurbishment. The world famous landmark will disappear from view behind scaffolding for the next three years, and will undergo an extensive £29 million refurbishment in its 157 year history.

It will be documented in 3x60 minute programmes, with the first in 2017 to introduce audiences to the current state of Big Ben, as well as the dedicated architects, engineers, clock makers, stonemasons and scaffolders who will repair it.

The BBC needs to broaden its range, says Sir David Attenborough

(Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

It’s a rare that two thoroughgoing BBC men are seen smiling, let alone laughing, inside the precincts of the House of Commons. When senior BBC people visit Parliament, they are invariably greeted by sceptical MPs, keen to give them a rough time. 

The atmosphere could not have been more different when, last month, the RTS invited Andrew Marr and Sir David Attenborough to hold a conversation at the Commons.  

Sir David Attenborough: BBC licence fee is the biggest possible bargain in Britain

David Attenborough speaking to the RTS (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

Speaking to the RTS All Party Parliamentary Group in the House of Commons the veteran natural history broadcaster said that today’s BBC commissioners were reluctant to back lengthy documentaries dealing with serious topics.

“One of the things which BBC Two did very well was to make serious programmes on serious subjects – 13 part series. That requires three years. There’s a great reluctance elsewhere to do those sorts of programmes…

“Today there is a tendency to do shorter series” He added to audience laughter: “’Today we present a new two-part series.’”