Biography

ARTS CHANNEL – Thursday 26 February, 8.30pm

Starring Catherine McCormack and Greg Wise, this is the compelling story of the woman behind the Mrs Elizabeth David persona. Elizabeth David is the most important cookery writer of the past century – she revolutionised the way we, as a nation, think about food. When Mrs David published her first book in 1950, post-war rationing was still in place and olive oil was only found in chemists in bottles marked “for external use only”. British housewives were making do with Spam, dried egg and over-boiled cabbage. David changed all that. Her books, with their beautiful descriptions of mouth-watering Mediterranean cuisine, introduced the country to the previously unheard of delights of olives, apricots, avocados and basil. This film tells the compelling story of the woman behind the Mrs David persona. At the heart of the drama is the one true love affair of David’s life – the affair which she claimed drove her to success as a food writer – and the moment where it all came crashing down. Her misery at losing this great love was so extreme that she suffered a brain haemorrhage, which tragically and ironically robbed her of a full sense of taste.

DISCOVERY CHANNEL – Wednesday 19 November, 8.30pm

He was only 18 when he made his first million. Today he is the boss of the international company Virgin Enterprises and nobody can stop him. Richard Branson is one of the richest men in Britain and he is definitely one of its most eccentric and courageous entrepreneurs. Richard Branson began his entrepreneurial trajectory in the 70s, making money from what was then a hobby. With the success of the album ‘Tubular Bells’ which he produced he launched a music label, Virgin Records – and stars like the Rolling Stones, U2, Janet Jackson and Phil Collins came flocking to a label that seemed to nurture creativity. Today, Virgin Enterprises runs a huge number of businesses – from condoms to airlines. More than 50.000 people work for Virgin, despite the fact that Branson claims to not know how to use a personal computer. His strengths lie in founding new enterprises, not necessarily in leading them himself – and moving on to the next challenge.