Posts Tagged ‘series’

The Blitz: why has Hull been ommited from the BBC series?

September 12th, 2015

Anniversary of the Blitz: ‘I thought, I cannot be alive’

Laughably, it was because no suitable local celebrity could be found to guide the BBC cameras around Hull’s proud Victorian civic buildings, her 18th-century Old Town, her vast docks, and her spectacular Gothic parish church with its colossal perpendicular windows (mercifully left unscathed).

This ignores the fact that Hull has a series of brilliant and notable people connected with it – starting with Alan Johnson, the affable MP for Hull and Hessle, and continuing with actors Maureen Lipman and Sir Tom Courtenay, BBC radio luminary Jenni Murray and a raft of groovy musicians: Roland Gift from Fine Young Cannibals, Everything But the Girl, The Housemartins…

But perhaps it is just as well they didn’t find someone to do it. Because Hull has its own singular character and story which has never relied on celebrities to promote it.

It was named the 2017 City of Culture partly, the judges said, because the force of the city was not delivered via one or two famous people on a red carpet. Hull’s triumphant pitch came from a passionate desire felt by the entire city.

Secondly, Hull has other concerns. Of course the Blitz is acknowledged and respected here. There are still bomb sites in the middle of the town; walking around this morning, I passed one. But right now, the feeling and the mood here is all about the future.

With less than 500 days to go before arrival of the juggernaut that is the £18 million City of Culture, the thrill and excitement is palpable.

Arts institutions are getting ready for a new unveiling, with more than a fresh lick of paint; several are being rebuilt.

Will Hull still exist in 100 years?
Why you should visit Hull – before it’s too late

A spectacular, 365-day programme is being put together, with the partnership of not just local, national and international cultural institutions, but also every child in the city, and 4,000 volunteers.

Let other cities trot out their celebs to play out their war stories, and good luck to them. The nation will soon see that Hull has a different story to tell.

• Rosie Millard is chair of Hull City of Culture 2017


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The Blitz: why has Hull been omitted from the BBC series?

September 9th, 2015

Anniversary of the Blitz: ‘I thought, I cannot be alive’

Laughably, it was because no suitable local celebrity could be found to guide the BBC cameras around Hull’s proud Victorian civic buildings, her 18th-century Old Town, her vast docks, and her spectacular Gothic parish church with its colossal perpendicular windows (mercifully left unscathed).

This ignores the fact that Hull has a series of brilliant and notable people connected with it – starting with Alan Johnson, the affable MP for Hull and Hessle, and continuing with actors Maureen Lipman and Sir Tom Courtenay, BBC radio luminary Jenni Murray and a raft of groovy musicians: Roland Gift from Fine Young Cannibals, Everything But the Girl, The Housemartins…

But perhaps it is just as well they didn’t find someone to do it. Because Hull has its own singular character and story which has never relied on celebrities to promote it.

It was named the 2017 City of Culture partly, the judges said, because the force of the city was not delivered via one or two famous people on a red carpet. Hull’s triumphant pitch came from a passionate desire felt by the entire city.

Secondly, Hull has other concerns. Of course the Blitz is acknowledged and respected here. There are still bomb sites in the middle of the town; walking around this morning, I passed one. But right now, the feeling and the mood here is all about the future.

With less than 500 days to go before arrival of the juggernaut that is the £18 million City of Culture, the thrill and excitement is palpable.

Arts institutions are getting ready for a new unveiling, with more than a fresh lick of paint; several are being rebuilt.

Will Hull still exist in 100 years?
Why you should visit Hull – before it’s too late

A spectacular, 365-day programme is being put together, with the partnership of not just local, national and international cultural institutions, but also every child in the city, and 4,000 volunteers.

Let other cities trot out their celebs to play out their war stories, and good luck to them. The nation will soon see that Hull has a different story to tell.

• Rosie Millard is chair of Hull City of Culture 2017


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Japan complained over ‘Tenko’ BBC television series

July 16th, 2014

The idea for the programme emerged from research into Evelyn Turner, a British military nurse, for an episode of “This is your Life”. Ms Turner was aboard one of the last transport ships to leave Singapore while it was under attack from Japanese forces in early 1942, but was captured after the vessel was sunk.

She endured regular beatings, malnutrition, disease and the death of many of her friends in a succession of camps in Sumatra.

The initial approach to the Foreign Office stated that while the Japanese Embassy was “not trying to deny the historical fact”, according to Kyodo News, the embassy nevertheless suggest there was “a danger that the association of past Japanese violence, and its gratuitous screening at this moment, with the cultural manifestations of the exhibition, would create a bad impression”.

The embassy also felt it had received a “deliberate brush-off” when it previously contacted the BBC and asked the Foreign Office to intervene.

Louise Jamieson as Blanche Simmons in Tenko (BAND Photo)

An official “expressed anxieties” to the BBC, while another Foreign Office official criticised the BBC’s “complete lack of feeling over timing” in correspondence to a colleague.

He also pointed out that the BBC had broadcast a documentary about Japanese atrocities in Malaya earlier in the year, when Zenko Suzuki, the then-Japanese prime minister, was paying an official visit to Britain.

The files also show that Julian Ridsdale, the chairman of the British-Japanese Parliamentary Group, asked George Howard, the chairman of the BBC, to edit the programme.

Mr Ridsdale allegedly asked the BBC to make “cuts in the future [programmes] to remove some of the more brutal scenes”. It is not clear whether the BBC acted on the request.

Tenko – which translates as “roll call” – regularly attracted 15 million viewers and was largely filmed in Dorset.


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