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BBC WORLD NEWS – Saturday 16 January, 9.10pm

The official story is that 7th July was the worst-ever terrorist attack in London carried out by four Muslim suicide bombers. But a growing number of people believe there was a conspiracy by the British Government to kill its own citizens to justify increasing State control, jettisoning civil liberties and a security crackdown on the Muslim community. They argue that Muslims have nothing to gain, and a lot to lose, by bringing terror to Europe. Most counter-theories suggest the four men were patsies who thought they were going to be delivering drugs, money, confidential documents, or other material to various locations round London, or even dummy bombs to test out London’s defences, but were deceived, set up and murdered.

Replayed: Sundays at 7.10am & 3.10pm

BBC WORLD NEWS – Saturday 16 January, 9.10pm

In December 1988, Britain’s worst terrorist attack left 270 people dead. After a massive police and FBI investigation, a Libyan intelligence officer was found guilty of mass murder, but he has now been granted a second appeal against his conviction. Twenty years on, will the full story of Pan Am flight 103 finally emerge? The Conspiracy Files follows the trail of evidence from the Middle East, through Europe and on to North America, investigating the tangled web of claims and counter-claims surrounding the Lockerbie bombing.

Replayed: Sundays at 7.10am & 3.10pm

BBC WORLD NEWS – Saturdays from 9 January, 9.10pm

The Conspiracy Files is a unique series which thoroughly investigates widely held conspiracy theories with an open mind, exploring the inconsistencies and holes in official accounts and providing a definitive account of what really happened. In an age profuse with wild theories about nearly every major global incident, this series provides an analytical counterpoint and takes nothing for granted.

9/11: The Conspiracy Files begins with a programme about the final mystery of 9/11: a third tower at the World Trade Centre, which along with the Twin Towers also collapsed that day. Seven years on, the last official report on the World Trade Centre has finally been published. Updating the 9/11 episode in Series 1 of The Conspiracy Files, this documentary features new interviews with the lead official investigator and an important new eyewitness together with architects, scientists and others who think there was a sinister plot to destroy the building. World Trade Centre Building 7 has become the subject of heated speculation and a host of conspiracy theories suggesting it was brought down by a controlled demolition.
Replayed: Sundays at 7.10am & 3.10pm

BBC Worldwide Australia has made its long-form content available on mobile platforms for the first time in New Zealand after the conclusion of a deal with Telecom for its Mobile TV service.

Subscribers can now stream episodes of Top Gear, Doctor Who, Little Britain, The Office and Extras through the XT Network’s mobile site – TWorld.

The deal includes a significant amount of content, with hit comedies such as The Catherine Tate Show and cult classic The Mighty Boosh slated for future launch.

“This deal brings quality drama, comedy and entertainment programming direct to mobile,” said Louisa Bayles, BBC Worldwide Australia’s Digital Sales Manager. 

“Streaming through Telecom’s Mobile TV service means that fans of Doctor Who and Top Gear can now enjoy them whenever they want, but this is also a fantastic opportunity to reach out to new audiences.”

“We are thrilled to have award winning BBC shows as part of our top line-up of content from New Zealand and overseas networks. Mobile TV is proving a popular addition to our TWorld mobile site with Kiwis throughout the country taking advantage of its breadth and quality of shows,” added Paul Taylor of Telecom NZ.

Making content available on digital platforms is a core part in BBC Worldwide’s objective of securing the broadest possible distribution strategy for its huge range of television content.

BBC WORLD NEWS – Saturday 24 October, 10.10pm

The world’s biggest cities are on a collision course with disaster. With over-flowing populations they are on the front line of the relentless and destructive advance of climate change. According to the United Nations, half the world’s population now lives in the city. This is expected to rise to 75% by 2050. As the effects of climate change begin to unfold, it is these cities that are going to feel the effects. Equally it is these cities that are causing the damage, emitting 75% of the world’s carbon. Most changes to the climate are incremental. They creep up on us slowly and inevitably. Temperatures rise and fall – but the trend is ever upwards even if, paradoxically, some seasons and places get colder, windier and wetter. Sea levels rise, not just because ice sheets collapse but because seas are getting warmer, and warm water expands. How will the megacities cope, is violence inevitable? Will climate change drive migration, and if so will ever expanding cities accelerate climate change? Travelling from Nigeria to Alaska, from Bangladesh to Australia – in eight new films Hot Cities raises the important questions.

Almost 200 hours of BBC Worldwide’s leading drama, factual and entertainment content will air in New Zealand following deals across terrestrial and subscription platforms in that territory.

Award-winning filmmaker Louis Theroux leads an eclectic selection of content licensed to national broadcaster TVNZ with his excoriating expose of California’s drug underworld: The City Addicted to Crystal Meth. Other titles to air on the national broadcaster will include the UK’s latest comedy sensation in Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow (Open Mike Productions) and heart-rending contemporary drama Father and Son (a Left Bank Pictures / Octagon production) starring Dougray Scott. The courageous helicopter paramedics of Northern England make their NZ television debut in factual series Air Medics, while new series of Celebrity Masterchef (Shine Productions), Famous Rich & Homeless (Love Productions) and Tribal Wives (a Diverse Bristol Production) will all return to TVNZ.

New factual content features strongly in sales to Prime Television with lauded BBC Science producer Michael Mosley’s new titles: 10 Things You Need to Know About Sleep, 10 Things You Need to Know about Losing Weight and his new series aiming to discover just how much science can improve his life: Make Me…

Several major dramas premier in the latest content deal with subscription broadcaster Rialto Channel. The BBC / Blast! Films co-production Soundproof is a gripping urban thriller that breaks new ground in bringing deaf and hearing actors together, and Last Resort is a modern love story that won Best New British Feature at the Edinburgh Film Festival. Rialto Channel will also air the two most recent series of the television show for true music lovers Later…With Jools Holland.

Nearly 70 hours of BBC Worldwide lifestyle content will air on New Zealand’s Living Channel and Food TV, including territory premieres of Why Are Thin People Not Fat?, 50 Things to Eat Before You Die, Gardeners’ World 2009 and from those larrikin motorists with an eye on the menu: The Hairy Bikers – Mums Know Best.

And a stunning selection of more than 40 hours of factual programming has been acquired by the Documentary Channel, including Inside the Saudi Kingdom, The Satanic Verses Affair, Did Darwin Kill God? and a comprehensive selection from the BBC’s seminal science strand Horizon which includes Why Do We Dream?, The Secret Life of Your Bodyclock and Why Can’t We Predict Earthquakes?

“The immense variety of our content is key to our ability to license such a broad range of programming across such a diversity of platforms” said Robyn Campbell, BBC Worldwide’s Sales Manager, NZ. “We’re pleased to bring such a calibre of programming to New Zealand audiences.”

Major drama, natural history and factual titles make up a swathe of BBC Worldwide content licensed to New Zealand broadcasters in recent weeks.

Landmark natural history series South Pacific (6 x 50’), much of which was filmed in and around New Zealand, will air on TVNZ. The national broadcaster has acquired two other major productions from the BBC’s renowned Natural History Unit; Yellowstone (3 x 50’), about the national park that is one of the world’s last great wildernesses, and Nature’s Great Events, (6 x 50’) an eyewitness account of the dramatic wildlife stories behind the planet’s most breathtaking natural events.

Acclaimed British actors Hugh Bonneville and Janet McTeer star in new detective thriller Hunter, (2 x 50’) also acquired by TVNZ, while Freefall, (1 x 90’ from Origin Pictures) is a dramatic interpretation of the economic crisis and its effect on ordinary Londoners, and comes from award-winning writer Dominic Savage.

The first series of Top Gear Australia (8 x 50’), a Freehand Production for SBS and BBC Worldwide, will join its UK counterpart at NZ’s home of Top Gear, Prime Television.

Further acquisitions from the network include new drama Heart and Soul (6 x 50’), starring Neil Pearson and Sarah Lancashire, about the rivalry between two British village choirs, as well as the much -anticipated upcoming Doctor Who specials – The Waters of Mars (1x 60’) and the as-yet unnamed Christmas 2009 specials.  Celebrated chef Rick Stein’s culinary journey around South-East Asia – Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey (6 x 60’ from Denham Productions) – will also air on Prime.

A further 247 hours of content from BBC Worldwide has sold in to New Zealand’s Living Channel and its sister network Food TV, including the NZ premieres of quality titles such as Celebrity Fantasy Homes, Rhodes Across The Caribbean and Eating In The Sun.

“This is a terrific range of content that displays the diversity and appeal of BBC Worldwide’s catalogue” said Robyn Campbell, BBC Worldwide Australia’s Sales Manager, NZ. “I know it will appeal to audiences all over New Zealand.”

This April, BBC World News premieres a new series of Peschardt’s People. Viewers will get to take a closer look at the lives of some of the most interesting and influential personalities across the Asia-Pacific region. The new series, which lasts 26 weeks, has been filmed across the world in India, the Middle East, Korea, Japan, the UK, New Zealand, Thailand and Singapore.

Over the past six years, Peschardt’s People has become an integral part of the BBC World News schedule. Previous guests have included Robert De Niro, the Royal Family of Bahrain, Toni Collette and Sir Edmund Hillary.

Michael Peschardt is a former Senior Foreign Correspondent with BBC News who has made the relaxed, informal but revealing interview style of Peschardt’s People his trademark. Spending an average of three days with each of his guests, he interviews them about the people, places, and issues that really matter to them, encouraging them to open up and talk sincerely and passionately about their lives.

In the first programme of the new series, Michael interviews Dr Chris O’Brien, the former Head of the Sydney Cancer Centre, whose life has been turned upside down since the discovery of a cancerous tumour in his brain. He talks with courage, dignity and breath-taking honesty about the approach of death – what it means to him and his family and what others might learn from his experiences.

Other Antipodeans to be featured in the new series include Australian Greg Norman and a few New Zealanders, Georgina Beyer, the world’s first transsexual member of parliament, Director Niki Caro and Fashion Designer Suzie Moncrieff.

Transmission times:
Sundays from 12 April, 11.00am
Repeated at 4.30pm Sundays

The series features the following people to name a few…

Episode 1: Dr Chris O’Brien – April 11
A powerful story of how one man has come to terms with what’s been diagnosed as a terminal brain tumour. Dr Chris O’Brien is the star of one of Australia’s most popular television programmes. He is also one of the world’s leading head and neck cancer specialists. But his life turned upside down when he was given six months to live after an enormous cancerous tumour was detected in his brain. He talks with great candour and courage about life death and the lessons we all need to learn.

Episode 2: Kim Young Se – April 18

Michael spends time in Seoul with one of the world’s greatest living designers. Kim Young Se has designed some of the best selling MP3 players, mobile phones, and high tech gadgets on the planet. He’s now working on a flying car. Treated like a rock star in Korea, he takes Michael around the Design Olympiad in Seoul.

Episode 3: Georgina Beyer – April 25
Michael travels to New Zealand to meet the first transexual woman in the world to be elected as a member of parliament. Georgina who grew up as plain George talks with great honesty about her personal turmoil and the extraordinary transformation that took her from being a sex worker in Sydney to election as an MP in what has traditionally been a socially conservative area of New Zealand.

Episode 5: Niki Caro – May 11
Michael meets the New Zealand director of academy award winning films like Whale Rider and North Country. She shows him her home as she tells him about the struggle facing female directors in Hollywood. She knows one failure would mean the effective end to her career.

Episode 4: Sun Ji Hai – May 2nd

Michael spends time with the biggest star of the biggest game in the biggest country on earth. Sun Ji Hai is by most people’s reckoning the most successful player in the history of Chinese football. He shows Michael a slice of his life as a successful professional footballer.

Episode 6: Lijia Zhang – May 18th
Michael meets the a woman who once worked in a model Chinese communist munitions factory in the 1980’s but who has now transformed her life to write a best-selling autobiography about her struggles with the system and herself. Lijia talks about the sexual revolution going on in her homeland and the astonishing speed which her and other lives have changed.

Episode 12: Suzie Moncrieff – Fashion Designer

Michael travels to New Zealand to visit the woman who has built a unique international fashion show attracting hundreds of entries from around the world. Michael is the international judge for the awards and along with the former New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark is given the job of finding the international winner of the World of Wearable Art awards.

The WAHINE Disaster – directed by Sharon Barbour
Available from the Museum of Wellington – $29.95

The hour long documentary premiered on Maori TV this year and shown to survivors of the tragedy on the anniversary is now available on DVD.

The film’s already won international acclaim. It’s been nominated as Best Documentary or is the “Official Selection” of at least 5 major international film festivals this year.

It’s in the pipeline for broadcast on the BBC and the UK’s Royal Television Society is planning a special screening on a major IMAX cinema.

BBC Worldwide’s Australasian arm has concluded major deals for more than 500 hours of content with several New Zealand networks.

David Attenborough’s Life in Cold Blood (5 x 50) will debut on Prime Television later this year.

His exploration of reptiles and amphibians reveals them to be as dramatic, social, warm, sophisticated and passionate as warm-blooded animals. This BBC / Animal Planet co-production completes Attenborough’s overview of life on the planet, which began with 1979’s Life on Earth.

Also premiering on Prime is Ashes to Ashes (8 x 50) from Kudos Productions; the sequel to hit time-travel drama series Life on Mars. Alex Drake (Keeley Hawes), a modern-day detective, finds herself transported to 1981 after being shot, and comes face to face with Life on Mars’ famously unreconstructed alpha male, DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister).

The stunning new adaptation of Oliver Twist (2 x 90), starring Timothy Spall and Edward Fox, will air on national broadcaster TVNZ. Other titles licensed include Baby Borrowers on Holiday, (8 x 60) the Love Productions follow-up to the highly successful social experiment; Filthy Rich and Homeless (4 x 60) also from Love, in which five of Britain’s wealthiest people attempt life on the streets for ten days, and Outline Productions’ Dumped (4 x 50), which addresses recycling the hard way by sending ten consumers to live on a rubbish dump.

A further selection of primarily first-run factual content will air on TVNZ’s new digital channel TVNZ7. A number of one-hour Panorama, Horizon and This World specials will debut under TVNZ’s World’s Best Doco strand, including Hunting for Hezbollah, Cannabis: What Teenagers Need to Know, How I Became a Muslim Extremist and Global Warming – Bush’s Climate of Fear.

BBC Worldwide’s Sydney office has also concluded a major factual deal with New Zealand’s Documentary Channel. Among the titles to have their NZ premier on the channel will be The Story of India with Michael Wood (6 x 55), Days That Shook the World S3 (8 x 50), Sanjeev Bhaskar’s Indian Journey (4 x 60) and four series of Holidays In the Danger Zone (4 x 40).

Finally, a significant package of content has been licensed to NZ’s Living Channel and Food TV networks. Programs including The Monastery (3 x 50) Britain’s Best (11 x 46) and two series of The People’s Cookbook (10 x 46) will premier on the networks, while favourites such as Michael Palin’s Sahara (4 x 60), What Not to Wear S6 (5 x 58) and Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes (6 x 60) will also air.

“BBC Worldwide has the ability to deliver volume, quality and diversity from within its unsurpassed catalogue, proving that we really do have something for everyone” said Louisa Bayles, BBC Worldwide’s Sales Manager, NZ. “I know that this excellent range of content will resonate with New Zealanders up and down the country.”