Holidays In The Danger Zone

DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL – Tuesdays from 5 May, 7.30pm

Is the American legacy of the Cold War a lesson for today? America is now leading the War on Terror. Not long ago they were fighting the Communists – in battles waged from their own back yard in Central America to the jungles of South East Asia. The Americans have gone … but they left their mark. From the Vietnam War to the invasion of Panama a decade ago, America’s actions abroad have had a major impact across the globe. For many the US has become a figure of hate – but why? Ben Anderson takes a journey in the footprints of American soldiers and politicians to find an answer and perhaps a curtain raiser to the challenges faced today.

DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL – Tuesday 21 April, 8.30pm

Ben Anderson knows about traveling through potentially perilous places. In 2002 he visited the countries which made up President Bush’s infamous ‘Axis of Evil’ in the guise of a tourist. Anderson found that Western understanding of these countries was often at odds with reality. Could his trip to these four countries along the West African Coast, so ravaged by war, disease and corruption, also challenge perceptions and reveal the unexpected? Anderson looks at the real life stories behind the headlines.

Ivory Coast: Once the model for growth and stability in the region, the former French colony has succumbed to the terrifying chaos of civil war and militias. The plunge into violence has been so total that the country has been described as Africa’s answer to the Wild West, despite an uneasy peace deal.

DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL – Tuesday 14 April, 8.30pm

Ben Anderson knows about traveling through potentially perilous places. In 2002 he visited the countries which made up President Bush’s infamous ‘Axis of Evil’ in the guise of a tourist. Anderson found that Western understanding of these countries was often at odds with reality. Could his trip to these four countries along the West African Coast, so ravaged by war, disease and corruption, also challenge perceptions and reveal the unexpected? Anderson looks at the real life stories behind the headlines.

Sierra Leone: Recovering from one of the most brutal civil wars the world has seen, Sierra Leone is still in a state of chaos. But a war amputees football tournament and the underground club culture taking the capital by storm show a lighter side to the evident turmoil.

DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL – Tuesdays from 7 April, 8.30pm

Ben Anderson knows about travelling through potentially perilous places. In 2002 he visited the countries which made up President Bush’s infamous ‘Axis of Evil’ in the guise of a tourist. Anderson found that Western understanding of these countries was often at odds with reality. Could his trip to these four countries along the West African Coast, so ravaged by war, disease and corruption, also challenge perceptions and reveal the unexpected? Anderson looks at the real life stories behind the headlines.

Liberia: Arriving on the day the transitional government steps down, no one knows what is going to happen. A live rocket propelled grenade remains embedded in a tree in a playground and child soldiers are still hanging on to a terrifying arsenal.

“… featuring intrepid reporter Ben Anderson, whose action-man looks conceal a mild-mannered inquisitiveness and a casual disregard for his own safety. That’s probably the best approach for dealing with the rarely-seen West African countries.” Guardian

DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL – Thursdays from 3 February, 7.30pm

In this insightful and entertaining four-part series, journalist Simon Reeve travels to Central Asia to meet the Stans – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. As well as discovering a region teeming with Islamic militants, ruthless tyrants and radioactive wastelands, Simon also finds a more absurd side to these obscure countries including an American military base that sells Soviet knickknacks, a desert full of shipwrecks and a first-rate Beatles tribute band.

Episode 1: Kazakhstan

Simon Reeves journey around Central Asia begins in Kazakhstan. The country has oil deposits thought to rival those of Saudi Arabia. However Simon also discovers former biological weapons factories with poor security and housing a hundred types of plague, a shrinking sea now home to camel farmers and Beatles fans.