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Shirley Bassey biopic and Life's Too Short lead BBC2 summer/autumn line-up

Dame Shirley Bassey, The Performance

Story by Jack Foley

THE life story of Dame Shirley Bassey and ‘fake documentary’ Life’s Too Short lead the summer and autumn line-up just announced by BBC2.

The Bassey biopic will show her “difficult rise from poverty to international stardom” and forms part of programming policy to look at mixed race culture as part of the new schedule.

Life’s Too Short, meanwhile, is the new comedy from Ricky Gervais’ and Steve Merchant, which will take the form of a mock documentary starring Warwick Davis as a misanthropic dwarf who is trying to get his career back on track.

Further programmes to look out for include heavyweight drama The Hour, starring Romola Garai, Dominic West and Ben Whishaw, begins later this summer.

The six-part series goes behind the scenes of the launch of a topical news programme in London 1956 and ties in with a murder. Find out more

Sir David Hare has also written and directed his first film for more than 20 years in the form of spy thriller Page Eight, which stars Bill Nighy, Michael Gambon and Rachel Weisz. Find out more

Acclaimed actor Ian Hart, meanwhile, is to play Adolf Hitler in one-off drama, The Man Who Put Hitler In The Dock, which will tell the true story of a Jewish lawyer (Ed Stoppard) who challenged Hitler and was eventually killed in a concentration camp.

Other highlights include the Stephen Fry fronted Fry’s Planet World, in which he examines the English Language, and the Amanda Vickery presented The Prime Of Miss Jane Austen, which will mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Austen’s first novel Sense And Sensibility.

In addition to the Dame Shirley film, BBC2’s mixed race season will include a three-part series called Mixed Britannia, which will find newsreader George Alagiah exploring Britain’s mixed-race communities.

And the last decade of war in Afghanistan will be marked with a series of programmes dedicated to the conflict, including Unknown Country, which will look at the nature of Afghanistan as a country.

Of the 17 “powerful documentaries” that have been commissioned, the most prominent is likely to be a programme dedicated to the Chilean miners who were cut off from the world for nearly three weeks.

Another will follow Saira Khan’s journey to adopt a baby from an orphanage in Pakistan.

Old favourites such as Top Gear, QI, The Choir, Masterchef: The Professionals and Dragon’s Den will also return.

Next story: Terry O’Quinn joins Hawaii Five-O

  1. Can’t wait for Page Eight. Looks quality.

    Michael    Jun 30    #