Handel’s Messiah is one of the most popular choral pieces in western music. It’s been recorded hundreds of times and contains a tune that’s as instantly recognisable as any in music. Yet few people know the extraordinary story of how this much-loved piece came to public attention or how it helped save the lives of tens of thousands of children. Historian Amanda Vickery and BBC Radio 3 presenter Tom Service present this one-hour drama documentary which re-creates the first performance of Messiah at London’s Foundling Hospital in 1750 and tells the heart-rending story of how this special fundraising concert helped maintain the Hospital and heralded a golden age of philanthropy.
Exploring historical documents and artefacts, Amanda Vickery examines the plight of women in Georgian London and attitudes of the time which led mothers to abandon their babies at the Hospital. Tom Service looks at the momentous trials and tribulations faced by Handel in London, and discovers how the composer became involved with the Foundling Hospital alongside another philanthropist of the day, the artist William Hogarth.
Narrated by the popular former Slade vocalist Noddy Holder, this documentary takes a warm-hearted look at those Christmas fanatics whose lives are fairly traditional for the most of the year but change dramatically in the run-up to the festive season. Eschewing the typical procedure of rooting around the loft for an ageing box of decorations, our Christmas-obsessed characters plan their displays months in advance. For them, putting up the lights also involves a head for heights, questionable DIY wiring and an unshakable resolve.
Britain's top chefs go head to head to see who can make the most money from creating fabulous food for the great British public, with locations ranging from an American diner and bowling alley in East London to the British Pullman, sister train to the Venice Simplon Orient-Express.
Now That’s What I Call Music! is one of the British pop music’s biggest success stories. Since the first ever Now was rolled out for Christmas 1983 with its delicious mix of Phil Collins, Kajagoogoo, Culture Club and Howard Jones, the series has gone on to sell more than 100 million records in the UK alone. Everyone owns one; you can pretty much work out someone’s age by it; and 30 years on, Now shows no signs of slowing down. With contributions from Sir Richard Branson, Dermot O’Leary, Dom Joly, Mark Wright, Jason Donovan, Limahl, Pete Waterman, Brian McFadden, Liz McClarnon, Gordon Smart and many others, this is going to be a must-see for all music fans.
The homeowners get the chance to snoop around each other’s houses before going head-to-head in competition for the buyer. Having sized up their rivals’ properties they then get one week, a thousand pounds and top-notch advice from Sarah Beeny on what home improvements to make, before a buyer comes round to select their favourite.
BBC One reveals the surprising and unexpected heritage stories that have shaped the lives of the whole nation. From the grandest of stately homes, to the landmarks of our crumbling industrial history; from the forgotten gems of our literary past, to Cold War icons, Britain’s Hidden Heritage digs deep to reveal some incredible secrets. The second series starts on Sunday 19th August 2012 at 7pm on BBC1.
Britain's First Photo Album presented by John Sergeant
Reef Television has been commissioned by BBC Two to produce Britain’s First Photo Album (w/t), a 10 x 30 mins series on the extraordinary achievement of Francis Frith, the pioneer Victorian photographer who embarked upon a colossal project to photograph as much of the United Kingdom as possible during the second half of the 19th century. This series is expected to transmit in early Spring 2012.
Charlie Luxton gives access-all-area tours of some incredible buildings which are usually closed to public, except for once a year, when they open their doors as part of a series of special architecture events across Britain. In five themed episodes, kicking off with Power, Charlie explores some of Britain's best kept building secrets.
Suggs invites viewers to join him at world famous members bar The Colony Room. Each show sees star guests chat and make merry whilst enjoying acoustic performances from some great acts. Featured in series one: Paul Weller, Estelle, Martin Freeman, Sharleen Spiteri, Billy Bragg, Tamsin Grieg, Levi Roots.
This one-off documentary, timed to coincide with the build-up to Remembrance Day 2007, was hosted by Dan Snow from the newly-opened Armed Forces Memorial, the first national memorial dedicated to the men and women of the UK Armed Forces (Regular and Reserve) killed on duty or as a result of terrorist action since the Second World War.
Architect twins Mario & Theo go in search of the most luxurious homes for sale in the UK. From waterside wonder to fantasy farmhouse, taking in the most expensive homes on sale in Britain, this pair of property perfectionists won't settle till they find the ultimate home.
Melissa Porter takes a look at our homes and shows us how to make the most of what we've got. Why move when investing in your home with a little careful planning can boost its long term value and give you the dream home you've always wanted.
An essential guide for anyone with a sense of adventure, but a limited budget, dreaming of owning a property abroad. From Brazil to India, Morocco to Slovakia, and Turkey to Egypt, we head off the beaten track to source some incredible properties.
Everyone loves to spend but do we always know when we're getting a bargain? Alistair Appleton and Kimberley Cohen show you how to shop, save the pennies and have yourself a fab holiday, as they take Britain's shopaholics on a tour of Europe's best shopping cities.
Ten celebrities including Ann Widdecombe, Germaine Greer and Charles Kennedy take us on a journey around their favourite garden. The celebrities' choices reveal something about their personal histories and tastes and allow us to luxuriate in a visually stunning exploration of some of Britain's most beautiful gardens.
In association with UKTV and the National Allotment Gardens Trust, Reef leads a nationwide competition to find Britain's best allotment site and award them a cash prize. Presented by Chris Collins, with expert judge Hannah Genders.
The public vote for Britain's most treasured items, taken from an expert selection from the nation's galleries and museums. From Bagpuss to the Bouncing Bomb, Shackleton's Compass to Wellington's boots, Shakespeare's First Folio to the Supermarine Spitfire - which would you vote for?
Architect Ptolemy Dean is setting out to capture five iconic British views which all have one thing in common - they are about to vanish forever. Ptolemy takes his sketchbook to record five very different views vanishing from our landscape: from the demolition of Sheffield's famous cooling towers, to the radical changes taking place to the iconic Liverpool skyline.'
One property, two buyers - but only one can win! Property developer Kristian Digby captures the tension when two people compete to buy a property at auction, follows the unfolding drama of the winning bidder's renovation job, and finds out how the losing bidder ultimately rates the final transformation!
Presenters Lorne Spicer and Jacey Normand help people recycle, refurbish and repair the clutter in their homes in order to raise money for themselves and a good cause. Being green has never been so entertaining - or so rewarding!
Robert Llewellyn sets out on a journey to discover which of the world's major religions is the richest. With 170 faiths practised in England and Wales, Robert takes off to Rome, Jerusalem and Canterbury to try and find out Who's Got God's Millions?
Angela Rippon and her team of experts guide two competing bargain spotters towards the best collectables in France, Belgium and Italy. Once back in the UK the contestants have one day to sell all their purchases at an antiques market; the one that makes the most money wins an antique prize chosen by Angela.