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BBC Four kickstarts film seasons with a focus on RKO Pictures

BBC Four kickstarts film seasons with a focus on RKO

The first film season will focus on RKO Pictures, one of the Big Five major film studios of the Hollywood Golden Age with BBC Four scheduling the seminal six-part series The RKO Story: Tales From Hollywood presented by Edward Asner. The documentary reveals the behind the scenes stories of RKO Pictures and features interviews with stars which include Katharine Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Robert Mitchum, Lucille Ball and Jean Simmons.

It will begin on Thursday 21 April and will be the first time the critically acclaimed series will be shown on the BBC in over a decade. To accompany the series, audiences will be able to watch a selection of RKO films that will be scheduled to air on BBC Four and will be available on iPlayer.

The films, which will also begin from 21 April and chosen to air alongside corresponding episodes of the documentary where they are discussed, include King Kong, Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House, The Outlaw, Top Hat, The Gay Divorce, Bringing Up Baby, My Favourite Wife, Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, Suspicion, Angel Face, Cat People, I Walked With A Zombie and The Thing From Another World.

BBC Four is the home of the archive and the purpose of the film seasons are to unearth notable, distinctive series that provides audiences with the opportunity to watch rare, complementary programming.

Later this year, BBC Four will be scheduling film seasons with complementary documentaries that commemorate Hollywood Women, Black History Month and the Best of British.

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Channel 4 commissions a second series of Rescue: Extreme Medics

Channel 4 wins rights to FIFA Club World Cup UAE

Channel 4 has commissioned a second series of Rescue: Extreme Medics from Glasgow based Indie Firecrest Films along with single film, The Welsh Village that Won the Lottery (wt).

Rescue: Extreme Medics (4X60) tells the gripping stories of those unfortunate enough to need extreme, life-saving medical care when they’re struck low in Scotland’s wild and inhospitable landscapes. And it follows the extraordinary work of the clinicians, expert call handlers and specialist life savers who respond to these emergencies and make critical decisions in less than perfect conditions.

With multiple access-points across Scotland, this series will show the minute-by-minute decisions that are made as medics and paramedics battle to save lives, revealing the unique challenges they face on a daily basis. Where possible the series will follow from the initial 999 call through to the moment the patient leaves the hospital to return to their life at home.

Rescue: Extreme Medics was commissioned by Will Rowson and Madonna Benjamin from Channel 4 Documentaries. Executive Producers for Firecrest Films are Mick McAvoy and Iain Scollay.

Firecrest Creative Director Iain Scollay said, ‘We’re delighted to be returning with more Rescue: Extreme Medics. It’s one thing if you have a medical emergency when your minutes from an inner city emergency room, but when you set these stories against Scotland’s epic Highland landscape it feels like a genuinely fresh take.’

Will Rowson, Commissioning Editor said: “I’m delighted that Rescue is returning. Firecrest has forged a very strong relationship with the extraordinary Scottish Trauma Network and the result is a blue-light medical show like no other. It’s a distinctive, dramatic offering capturing stories from right across the nation”

The Welsh Village that Won the Lottery (w/t) was commissioned by Deborah Dunnett and Jane Handa from Channel 4 Daytime and Features. It is a co-production between Firecrest Films and Specky Productions, led by Anne-Claire Pilley. The single film is set in Rhymney, South Wales, where more than 400 people shared a multi-million pound lottery win in May. The film follows on from Firecrest and Specky’s single The Scottish Island That Won The Lottery which transmitted on Channel 4 in June 2021.

Deborah Dunnett, Commissioning Editor said, “What I love about these lottery wins is that they take us to places we don’t often see portrayed on UK-wide TV. But the themes are universal – love, money, community and hope.”

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Dom Littlewood gives viewers top security tips in new BBC One series Maximum Security

Dom Littlewood gives viewers top security tips in new BBC

Maximum Security will see presenter Dom Littlewood travel across the UK to explore the secrets of some of Britain’s most secure institutions, businesses and buildings.

Maximum Security coming to BBC One on 29 August, will see presenter Dom Littlewood travel across the UK to explore the secrets of some of Britain’s most secure institutions, businesses and buildings.

Apart from exclusive behind-the-scenes access to top-security locations, Dom and his team of experts will also provide viewers with useful tips on how to make their own homes and other valuables safe with the help of the latest technology. Additionally, the series will hear first-hand testimonies from victims of crime, and give valuable insight into how they have mitigated against it happening again.

Dom will shadow UK Border Force teams in Dover, where he will learn more about their work and how they ensure nothing illegal crosses the UK border. Throughout the series, audiences will discover how drug hauls and smuggling are handled at the Channel, and how the force patrols the ferry traffic.

Elsewhere in the series, Dom finds out what it takes to make Britain’s largest exhibition and stadium venues safe when hosting high-profile concerts and sporting events, he will also be learning how the UK’s busiest airport, Heathrow, operates its passport control and security checks.

Dom says: “Criminals are cunning, but luckily there is some amazing technology as well as simple tricks on how to make their lives harder. In Maximum Security, viewers can learn from top professionals in the security industry, and visit amazing locations which normally remain hidden.

“I am thrilled to be working on such an informative and educational show that provides audiences with practical tips to keep themselves safe and secure in their own homes.”

Acting Head of BBC Daytime and Early Peak, Lindsay Bradbury says: “Maximum Security doesn’t only bring entertainment, it takes viewers behind the scenes to normally inaccessible locations, providing practical tips which they can use in their day-to-day lives to be more secure. The programme reflects Daytime’s commitment to educate and inform its audiences perfectly.”

Juliet Rice, Creative Director Factual Entertainment, BBC Studios Bristol and Cardiff says: “It has been both eye-opening and reassuring to gain such privileged access to some of the UK’s most secure businesses and institutions, and see how they are keeping us all safe.”

Maximum Security (10 x 45) is commissioned by Lindsay Bradbury, Acting Head of BBC Daytime and Early Peak, Eve Winstanley is the BBC Daytime Commissioning Editor, the Series Editor is Maddi Knibbs for BBC Studios, Factual Entertainment Cardiff.

Watch Maximum Security on BBC One at 10am from 29th August. The full series will be available on iPlayer from 9 September.

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Curious Films to explore impact of Operation Yewtree in new documentary for Channel 4

Curious Films to explore impact of Operation Yewtree in new

This year marks ten years since the launch of Operation Yewtree, a police investigation that put some of Britain’s biggest entertainers in the dock for historic sex crimes. Now, Channel 4 has commissioned Curious Films (Caroline Flack: Her Life & Death, Reclaiming Amy) to produce a landmark documentary about the operation’s lasting impact on the country’s values, attitudes, and culture.

The Accused: National Treasures On Trial (1×60’) features three figures accused by Operation Yewtree or one of the subsequent investigations it spawned, three men who were accused but either never arrested, charged, or never convicted: Sir Cliff Richard, radio DJ Paul Gambaccini and former Pop Idol judge and DJ Neil Fox.

Led by their personal stories and experiences of being investigated, while in the full glare of the national media, including video diaries recorded with Paul Gambaccini and Neil Fox at the time, the documentary explores the immediate and longer-lasting impact the process had on them, their families, careers, and reputations, as well as examining the wider legacy of Yewtree through their eyes.

The documentary also hears from some of those close to the police investigation, along with journalists who were involved in the national conversation surrounding Yewtree.

Lee McMurray, commissioning editor, Factual Entertainment, Channel 4 says: “This film offers a unique and fresh take on events that changed us forever, compelling viewers to ask important questions about a watershed moment in recent British history. The hurt and anger felt by three household names caught in the eye of the storm sparked by Yewtree, is weighed against the need for and value of a police operation that, while not perfect, delivered long overdue justice to victims of heinous crimes.”

Jessie Versluys, executive producer, Curious Films added: “The Accused: National Treasures on Trial explores what it’s like to find yourself at the heart of a police investigation into alleged historic sex crimes. Using first-hand testimonies, it looks at the role of the media during this period, and the argument around whether celebrities should be named in the press before any charge has been made. At the same time it asks searching questions about Yewtree and assesses its role in changing Britain’s attitudes towards sex, morality, consent, gender relations and what we expect from public figures.”

The Accused: National Treasures on Trial is a 1×60’ documentary commissioned for Channel 4 by Lee McMurray, commissioning editor, Factual Entertainment. It is made by Curious Films and produced by Lauren Rowles, directed by Christian Collerton and executive produced by Jessie Versluys, alongside Dov Freedman and Charlie Russell, co-Founders of Curious Films.

The Accused: National Treasures on Trial will air on Wednesday 24th August at 9pm on Channel 4 & All 4.

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