Romesh Ranganathan and Mary Beard lead new BBC Two commissions
James R | On 25, Aug 2018
Romesh Ranganathan is returning to BBC Two, after his Misadventures this year, as part of a slate of new commissions by the channel.
Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, announced a range of new titles at the Edinburgh TV Festival this week, covering factual, entertainment and arts programming.
Following the success of the Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan, the comedian is reteaming with BBC Two for a topical, studio-based series, The Ranganation. His Ranganation is a group of 25 larger than life individuals from a cross-section of modern Britain who come together to take a look back over the week’s talking points to explore the news events and themes alongside comedians and expert guests.
Mary Beard will turn her eye to one of the most enduring subjects in all of art: the nude human figure. The Nude Uncovered by Mary Beard will set out to explore why there are so many images of naked bodies now and in the past, questioning our own attitudes to nudity and nakedness and reflecting on the changing history of the way people have looked and understood the naked human form.
Other new commissions include The Iraq War, which sees multi-award winning director of BBC Two’s Exodus, James Bluemel, return to the channel. His new five-part series is set to be a definitive account of the conflict and will examine in detail the human consequences of the Iraq War told by those who were there. The series will seek to challenge our view of what happened by throwing light on previously ignored perspectives and experiences and explore the far reaching human consequences on all those who were involved.
Race Across the World is an ambitious new factual-entertainment series that pits travellers against each other in a challenging race to reach the Far East without taking a single flight. Adventurers will hit the open-road, with no modern trappings such as mobile phones, and travel through astonishing scenery and cross continents using whatever mode of transport they can. From trains to pickup trucks and ferries to tuk-tuks, it will be an illuminating look at the world and a competitive race to reach the finish line in the fastest time.
Also announced is The Rise of the Nazis (working title), a dramatic history series that covers in detail how the Nazis took control of Germany. Leading historians will study the different psychological perspectives of Hitler’s contemporaries and highlight the incremental decisions and missed warning signs that could have prevented the rise of the Nazis.
Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, says: “I am delighted to announce such a compelling, exciting and challenging slate of shows. Race Across the World is a major new format that promises adrenaline, adventure and extraordinary encounters, as we leave modern tech behind and travel without a safety net. Couple this with James Bluemel’s unique take in the Iraq War, 72 Film’s intense focus on the years that made Hitler unstoppable, Mary Beard’s singular exploration of the role of nakedness and Romesh’s hilarious new opinionated studio show, BBC Two really is the home to the most eclectic range of programmes, never shying away from complexity, engaging with the most refreshing perspectives and voices. With Michaela Coel’s new drama announced earlier this week, we have a heady mix in-store for our viewers.”