Channel 4 has added four new shows to its specialist factual slate with commissions for Dragonfly, Underworld TV, Uplands Television, Wild Pictures and BBC Studios.

My Grandparents’ War (w/t) 4 x 60’ marks the 80th anniversary of the start of World War 2 by asking some of country’s most high-profile actors to re-trace their grandparents’ footsteps.  At historic locations from the beaches of Dunkirk to the PoW camps in Asia, each will learn about the life and death decisions their grandparents faced.  Filming has been completed with Kristin Scott Thomas and Mark Rylance, and episodes featuring two other award-winning actors is scheduled to film next month. Wild Pictures is the production company. Series Director is Leo Burley, Executive Producers are Tom Anstiss and Paul Hamann and the Commissioning Editor is Fatima Salaria.

What Makes A Murderer? (w/t) 3 x 60’ from Dragonfly Film TV and Underworld TV is a three-part series where pioneering neuro-criminologist Professor Adrian Raine teams up with leading forensic psychologist Dr. Vicky Thakordas-Desai, to take three convicted murderers on a documentary journey of self-discovery. The series will see each perpetrator explore their life and crimes in unprecedented detail, while experts will help them to uncover the previously hidden sociological, biological and psychological factors that may have influenced their behavioural traits, their actions and ultimately, their path to criminality. Series Director is James W Newton. Executive Producers are Tom Pullen (Dragonfly), Adam Boome (UWTV) and the Commissioning Editor is Jonah Weston.

To mark Remembrance Day 2019, David Lammy MP explores the decisions taken to deny individual memorials for thousands of Black Africans who died in their own continent fighting for the British in World War I in The Unremembered (w/t): 1 x 60’. The war graves commission is widely respected for its inclusive approach to the graves of soldiers, who died fighting in Europe. All were given the same gravestone regardless of rank, background or creed. But this programme reveals how a conscious decision was taken not to grant the same dignity to untold numbers of black African soldiers and porters who were categorised as not needing to be individually memorialised. David Lammy travels to Africa and sees the sites of mass burials and considers what ought to be done for those who gave their life for Britain’s First World War effort and who are now still unremembered. The production company is Uplands Television and the Producer/ Director is John Deol. Executive Producer is Mike Smith and the Commissioning Editor is Shaminder Nahal.

In Bradley Wiggins: Tour de Flight (w/t) 1 x 90’, cycling legend Bradley Wiggins attempts to smash a world record in a bid to pedal across the English Channel in a human-powered aircraft in the fastest time possible. His cycling skills will be pushed to its limits – he now has to learn from scratch how to cycle lying flat – and he will embark on a gruelling training scheme to shed the pounds he’s gained since winning the Tour De France – he needs to lose almost 20 kilos to be anywhere near light enough to make the crossing . Bradley’s challenge will push him to his mental and physical limits in this incredible technical feat – can he pedal the hardest 22 miles of his life to reach the shores of the nation that gave him his yellow jersey? The production company is BBC Studios Science and the Producer/Director is Laura Blount. Executive Producer is Paul Overton, the Development Executive is Claudia Lewis and the Commissioning Editor is Jonah Weston.

Fatima Salaria, Head of Specialist Factual at Channel 4, said: “These are programmes with impact at their core- the power to challenge and provoke, shock and inspire. From using cutting edge science to radically re-think criminality to campaigning for an overhaul of a hallowed institution, these are films that aim to the set the agenda. It’s especially exciting to draw on the multi-talents of David Lammy, Mark Rylance, Kristin Scott Thomas, Bradley Wiggins and many more- all with unique and audacious stories to tell.”

Staff Reporter

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