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11 March 2008
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Programme Information

Network TV Week 13


BBC ONE Unplaced Week 13
The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Time to be confirmed BBC ONE


Precious (Jill Scott) becomes Botswana's first female detective
Precious (Jill Scott) becomes
Botswana's first female

The first BBC drama to be filmed entirely on location in Botswana, The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency sees Academy Award-winning film-maker Anthony Minghella direct a script adapted by Minghella and Academy Award nominee Richard Curtis, from a novel by best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith.


When Precious Ramotswe was young, she spent her days with Obed, her father, in the wilds of Botswana learning the secrets of nature, and with that, the joys of a natural inquisitiveness and intuition.


When Obed dies, he leaves Precious the first "step up" into her new career – 180 cows. With this investment she decides to become her country's first-ever female detective.


With a bad marriage to jazz musician Note Makoti behind her, the sassily independent Precious embarks on a radical and exciting new chapter in her life.


Precious is not deterred by town gossips and, despite few assets – a tiny white van, two desks, two chairs, two decrepit typewriters, a teapot and three teacups – she sets up her detective agency with a powerful sense of vocation.


She teams up with secretary Mma Makutsi – whose prim exterior and peculiar behaviour belie her super-efficiency – and is cheered on by her neighbour BK, the flamboyant hairdresser at The Last Chance Salon, and Mr JLB Matekoni of Speedy Motors.


Her first cases include Happy Bapetsi, who is seeking help to prove that the man claiming to be her father is, in fact, an impostor; Alice Busang and her philandering husband, Kremlin; Mr Lepodise, the bolt-factory owner whose employee lost a finger in an incident; and the human bones in a glove compartment of a Mercedes Benz belonging to the sinister Charlie Kgotso.


The most troubling of her cases, however, involves an evil form of witchcraft and the riddle surrounding a kidnapping...


Precious Ramotswe is played by Jill Scott, Obed by Vasco Shoba, Note Makoti by Colin Salmon, Mma Makutsi by Anika Noni Rose, BK by Desmond Dube, Mr JLB Matekoni by Lucian Msamati, Happy Bapetsi by Bongeka Mpongwana, Alice Busang by Nikki Amuka Bird, Kremlin Busang by David Oyelowo, Mr Lepodise by Lindani Nkosi and Charlie Kgotso by Idris Elba.




BBC TWO Unplaced Week 13
Shroud Of Turin – Material Evidence
Day and time to be confirmed BBC TWO
Easter press release


BBC Two examines the mystery of The Turin Shroud in a new documentary presented by Rageh Omaar. This year sees the 20th anniversary of the Carbon 14 dating of the Shroud of Turin that deemed the most famous relic in Christendom a fake. But since then, despite many attempts, no one has been able to determine who the forger was or how the forgery might have been done.


Shroud Of Turin – Material Evidence sets out to discover exactly what it is about the image on the Shroud that has defied imitation and explores new evidence that may challenge the Carbon 14 verdict.


With unique access to the Shroud itself and those closest to it, Rageh embarks on a journey of discovery that takes him to meet Dr John Jackson, the leader of the 1978 US investigation that was given access to the cloth; to Professor Christopher Ramsey of the Oxford Laboratory that did the original C14 test; to Jerusalem; and, of course, to Turin, where the production team was given permission to film the Shroud itself in High Definition for the first time.


With the help of a team of international scholars, Rageh examines new evidence that links the Turin Shroud with two other and earlier Shrouds of Christ that history records – the Shroud of Constantinople and the Shroud of the Gospels. This film asks if they could be one and the same.


The documentary is made by David Rolfe, at Performance Films, who made the 1978 Bafta-winning film The Silent Witness about the Shroud.



The Secret Peacemaker
Day and time to be confirmed BBC TWO


Award-winning reporter Peter Taylor meets The Secret Peacemaker
Award-winning reporter Peter
Taylor meets The Secret

The Secret Peacemaker is the story of an ordinary man caught up in extraordinary times: a man, until recently, known only as "The Contact". Driven by a determination to bring the British Government and the IRA together for peace talks, he acted as a secret go-between for more than 20 years. Without him, the Good Friday Agreement would probably not have happened.


Keeping his association with MI6 and the IRA a secret for decades, "The Contact" has lived a life punctuated by shadowy meetings with British spies and sometimes tense encounters with the IRA leadership. Award-winning BBC journalist Peter Taylor has reported on Northern Ireland for over 30 years. He has known the identity of "The Contact" for the last 10 years. In 1997, "The Contact" promised Taylor that he would tell him the whole story when the time was right. Now that time has come.


"The Contact" had his first experience as a go-between on Bloody Sunday in 1972 when he persuaded the IRA to remove their weapons from Derry's Bogside. In 1975, he was instrumental in bringing about a ceasefire in which the IRA engaged in secret talks with the British. In the Nineties, on one memorable occasion, he controversially brought together Martin McGuinness and a British agent from MI5 for secret peace talks – in his own home.


For over 20 years, "The Contact" has not spoken openly about his vital role on the long road to peace in Northern Ireland. Now he talks exclusively to Peter Taylor about his extraordinary experience as The Secret Peacemaker.





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