Website for the over 60s  January/February 2018
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Art, Passion &
Power: The Story Of
The Royal Collection

Andrew Graham-Dixon

With Andrew Graham-Dixon
Coming soon to BBC FOUR

In a major four-part series, Andrew Graham-Dixon explores the history of the Royal Collection - the dazzling collection of art and decorative objects collected by kings and queens over the last 500 years and today owned by The Queen as Sovereign.

Andrew argues that while on the surface the Royal Collection projects permanence, within these objects are stories of calamity, artistic passions and reinvention.

Andrew Graham-Dixon

In this first episode, Andrew marvels at the works acquired by the great founders of the Royal Collection, Henry VIII and Charles I.

Henry VIII tried to overwhelm with magnificence, and deployed the most essential rule of royal collecting: that great art projects power.

Charles I by Sir Anthony Van Dyck

For Charles I art was a way to compete with other kings through taste, and Andrew reveals how this doomed monarch became the greatest royal collector in British history.

Andrew Graham-Dixon

Art, Passion & Power: The Story Of The Royal Collection is coming soon to BBC FOUR.

There will be four episodes.

Next of Kin

Archie Panjabi and Jack Davenport in Next of Kin

Six part drama starts 8th January, 9.00pm-10.00pm BBC ONE

Next Of Kin is a new six part drama starring Emmy Award winner and Golden Globe nominee, Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife, The Fall), and renowned actor, Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean, Smash), star in Mammoth Screen’s fast- paced family thriller, Next Of Kin.

The contemporary drama follows whip-smart doctor Mona Harcourt (Panjabi) who lives in London with political lobbyist husband Guy (Davenport). When a bomb goes off in London on the same day that her brother, Kareem, is abducted and murdered in Pakistan, Mona’s charmed life is shaken to its core.

Archie Panjabi in Next of Kin

The situation escalates when Mona realises that her brother’s son Danish – known as Danny – has vanished from university and is being linked to both the bombing and the murder of his father. With the family facing accusations and becoming embroiled in a tangled web of betrayal and conspiracy, Mona finds herself confronted with the ultimate dilemma: how far would you go to keep your family safe?

Episode 1 sets the scene. On the same day that a terrorist attack brings London to a standstill, GP Mona Harcourt receives the devastating news that her brother Kareem has been kidnapped on his way home to the UK from his charity clinic in Lahore.

Jack Davenport and Archie Panjabi in Next of Kin

Mona and her family’s horror is aggravated by the attentions of the police counter terrorism unit and their interest in Kareem’s teenage son Danny. Danny has not been seen at university for six weeks, and Mona is determined to find him before the police do.

Next of Kin is a six part drama. It starts on 8th January at 9.00pm-10.00pm on BBC ONE.


Death in Paradise

Ardal O'Hanlon as DI Jack Mooney in Death in Paradise

    Starts on Thursday 4th January
    9.00pm-10.00pm on BBC ONE

Award-winning crime drama Death in Paradise returns to BBC One for a seventh series, starring Ardal O'Hanlon as DI Jack Mooney.

In episode one, DI Jack Mooney and the team are left puzzled when Diane Smith, fiancée of hotel billionaire Philip Marston (Denis Lawson), is found dead the day before her lavish wedding.

Denis Lawson as Philip Marston

   Denis Lawson as Philip Marston

All evidence points towards suicide, but Jack is convinced there’s more to this case than meets the eye and turns his attentions to her family to be. With the victim's room locked from the inside and all suspects in different locations around the hotel, how could any of them have committed murder?

Puzzled by a single painted nail on the victim’s hand, Jack is determined to prove foul play, despite the Commissioner insisting on closing the case. With a distinct lack of physical evidence, the team have a tough task on their hands.

Meanwhile, Jack discovers a local island delicacy, while his daughter Siobhan has a tough decision to make. Elsewhere, Dwayne finds himself in hot water with former flame Audrey.

Ardal O'Hanlon with Josephine Jobert in Death in Paradise

Ardal O’Hanlon reprises his role as DI Jack Mooney, joining series regulars Josephine Jobert, Danny John-Jules, Tobi Bakare, Elizabeth Bourgine and Don Warrington, plus an exciting line-up of guest stars for more baffling murder cases and warm-hearted Caribbean fun.

Death in Paradise starts on 4th January. There are eight episodes.


James Norton as Alex in McMafia

Starts on BBC ONE, January 1st

In McMafia, a young woman, Lyudmilla (Sofya Lebedeva), arrives in Cairo to take up a job as a beautician, only to find she has been deceived and kidnapped by a human trafficking ring.

Meanwhile, Semiyon (David Strathairn) meets his associate in Mumbai - Dilly (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) - to discuss how to challenge Benny Chopra’s (Atul Kale) control of the main port. Dilly argues that he will need a great deal of money to cause any disruption, so Semiyon has Alex transfer Dilly the cash through a complex and untraceable offshore route.

Sofya Lebedeva as Lyudmilla in McMafia

     Sofya Lebedeva as Lyudmilla

Semiyon travels to Prague, searching for an ally to challenge Vadim’s (Merab Ninidze) smuggling operations in the region. He meets Reznik, the thuggish head of a counterfeiting operation, but finds his deputy Benes (Karel Roden) to be more switched on.

Realising he needs help, Semiyon asks Alex to join him in Prague. Alex, who is struggling to keep his family together and to hide Semiyon’s illegal investment from his staff, is reluctant to be directly involved, but eventually agrees to make the trip.

James Norton as Alex in McMafia

            James Norton as Alex

Back in London and already shaken by some family news, Alex is horrified by the violent effects his actions can have in this new world.

McMafia starring James Norton starts on 1st January on BBC ONE. There are eight episodes.


School for Stammerers

Jessica Davies in School for Stammerers

Starts Tuesday 9th January,
ITV1, 9.00pm-10.30pm

One-off documentary, School for Stammerers, follows the emotional journey of six individuals as they attempt to achieve the one thing that could change their lives – control of their stammer.

A lorry driver, a teacher, a pharmacist, a professional photographer, and two school boys have all agreed to undergo a course that claims it can transform a stammerer’s speech in just four days.

The McGuire Programme is an intensive and emotionally-charged residential course run by former stammerers.

The course uses physical and psychological techniques and can lead to life-changing results but is not for the fainthearted. Over the four day intensive course, from 7am to 10pm the students can talk to no-one but their coaches. They can have no contact with their loved ones. And within 48 hours they’ll be forced to talk to complete strangers using the techniques they’ve learnt.

Bigger public tests follow; they’ll be challenged to speak on a soapbox in Trafalgar Square and, at the end of the course, every student has to stand up and speak in front of their amazed and emotional friends and family.

Attenborough and the Sea Dragon

David Attenborough

Watch it on Sunday 7th January
8.00pm-9.00pm on BBC ONE

On the Jurassic coast of Britain a remarkable 200 million year-old fossil is discovered - the bones of an Ichthyosaur - a giant sea dragon that ruled the oceans when the dinosaurs ruled the land.

In this one-hour special for BBC One, Sir David Attenborough brings a passion project to the screen as he joins the hunt to bring this ancient creature’s story to life.

The bones are spotted by experienced fossil hunter Chris Moore, but are trapped high within crumbling cliffs in Dorset. Chris and his team have to dig them out by hand before winter storms arrive; they are so well preserved that the team of scientists are able to use the latest techniques to analyse them - giving us new insights into the lives of these remarkable creatures. This could be a completely new species of ichthyosaur.

The extraordinary fossil is covered in preserved skin, which leads to new revelations about how these predators looked. As the story unfolds, David compares the sea dragon to animals alive today, including dolphins, sharks, crocodiles and leatherback turtles.

When Chris reveals more of the fossilised bones the investigation takes a surprising twist, as the team realise that they are dealing with a 200 million year-old murder mystery. Through painstaking forensic work they reveal that the sea dragon was most likely attacked by the most fearsome of all the ichthyosaurs of that time - the Temnodontosaurus.

David Attenborough

Using state of the art imaging technology and cutting edge CGI the team build the skeleton and create the most detailed animation of an Ichthyosaur ever made - bringing it to life as well as reconstructing its fate.

Watch David Attenborough and the Sea Dragon on Sunday 7th January, 8.00pm-9.00pm on BBC ONE


Sennheiser Set 880 Home Entertainment
 Sound Experience

Sennheiser’s Set 880 assistive listening device delivers crystal clear, enhanced sound to users with changing hearing needs

Sennheiser’s Set 880 assistive listening device delivers crystal clear, enhanced sound to users with changing hearing needs. Listening enjoyment is guaranteed with intuitive features including pre-set hearing profiles, enhanced speech clarity, volume control for each ear and fast switching between audio sources. The Set 880 is effortlessly simple to set up and use.

Your + in home entertainment sound experience

Sennheiser’s Set 880 assistive listening device delivers crystal clear, enhanced sound to users with changing hearing needs

As we age, our ears need some assistance in order to pick up speech effortlessly or enjoy music to the full. This is not only a matter of overall volume but also of processing the audio signal as a whole. So, just turning the TV louder is no solution, apart from the fact that it disturbs the people around us. Enter the Sennheiser Set 880: It lets you personalise your listening experience according to your needs, without affecting your environment. The Set 880 can be connected to two audio sources at once, so you don’t have to unplug and plug in just to switch between TV and radio, for example. Rediscover the joys of listening to your home audio equipment.

Your + in effortless listening

The Set 880 delivers the boosted sound of your TV and radio sound directly to your ears, without any distractions, so no details will be lost

The Set 880 delivers the boosted sound of your TV and radio sound directly to your ears, without any distractions, so no details will be lost. With a choice of five different preset hearing profiles you always have the right one at hand to optimize speech or music. You can shift the left/right volume balance to improve sound for a “weaker” ear. You can even switch from stereo to mono to get the full audio content in each ear. A unique feature is the Speech Intelligibility function: It reduces TV background noise for you to follow spoken dialog effortlessly. You will see how much more fun it is watching TV or listening to music when the sound is tailored to your needs.

Your + in comfort

The Sennheiser Set 880 is sleek and slim

Though it brims with features, the Sennheiser Set 880 is sleek and slim. Its lightweight under-the-chin headset applies no pressure to the head, adjusts automatically as you put it on, and does not interfere with your hairstyle or your glasses. Advanced wireless technology ensures a stable connection to the docking station within the range of up to 70 m (200 ft). So, you can go to the kitchen to get a drink while still listening to your program. No need to worry about the battery, either. With up to 18 hours from a single charge the Set 880 lets you listen as long as you like. It recharges automatically as soon as you put the headset on the docking station.

Your + in independence

Setup is easy and straightforward with the Set 880 from Sennheiser

From unboxing to the actual listening session, with the Set 880 you always know exactly what to do. Setup is extremely easy and straightforward. Buttons are few, large and clearly marked, so you don’t need glasses to identify them. The same goes for the easy to read LEDs that indicate the battery and connection status at a glance. The Set 880 even switches on and off automatically, so its battery will not run flat accidentally.

What's in the box?

The Sennheiser Set 880

· Headphones with built-in Li-Polymer rechargeable battery
· Docking station
· 1 pair of ear pads for small ears
· Power supply with national adapters for EU, UK, US and AUS
· TV Optical cable for digital audio out
· TV Connection cable 3.5 mm for headphone audio out
· Instruction manual

Sennheiser’s Set 880 retails at £269.99.

    Watch our video to
  discover the benefits

       Click on arrow to watch

Sennheiser’s Set 880 is available to buy now from


Girlfriends starring Zoe Wanamaker, Phyllis Logan and Miranda Richardson

Starts Wednesday 3rd January

For life-long friends Linda, Sue and Gail, the years have flown by, yet their lives seem more complicated than ever. When Linda’s husband Micky vanishes from a cruise ship on their wedding anniversary Linda suddenly finds herself on her own for the first time in nearly 30 years. Widowed and out of her depth she turns to her old friends Gail and Sue for support, who each have their own problems to face…

The series stars Phyllis Logan (The Good Karma Hospital, Downton Abbey), Miranda Richardson (Mapp & Lucia, And Then There Were None, Churchill, iBoy) and Zoë Wanamaker (Mr Selfridge, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, My Family, Gormenghast, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone) in the three lead roles.

Anthony Head as John Myers

        Anthony Head as John Myers

It also showcases a stellar supporting cast including Daisy Head (Guilt, The Syndicate 3), Chris Fountain (Coronation Street, Hollyoaks), Philip Cumbus (The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui, Comus), Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter, Ripper Street), Val Lilley (Cuffs, Mr Sloane, Shameless), Anthony Head (A Street Cat Named Bob, You, Me & Them), Adrian Rawlins (Hard Sun, Maigret in Montmartre), Wendy Craig (The Worst Witch, Unforgotten), Dave Hill (Porridge and Vera).

There's also Steve Evets (This Is Us, Looking For Eric, Rev), Paula Wilcox (Upstart Crow, Mount Pleasant, Boomers), Chloe Hart (Kinky Boots, Hairspray), Elena Saurel (Midsomer Murders, Silent Witness), Thailia Zucchi (The Windsors, New Tricks), Emmett J Scanlan (The Fall, In The Flesh), Rochenda Sandall (Love, Lies & Records, Broken) and Matthew Marsh (Love, Lies & Records, Riviera).

It's the final night of Linda and Micky’s celebratory wedding anniversary cruise, but what should be a relaxing holiday takes an unexpected turn, changing their lives and that of their children forever. With her world turned upside down, back home Linda turns to life-long friends Sue and Gail for support as she struggles to cope.

When she discovers the depressing reality of the family’s badly managed finances, Linda fears for the future, but the girlfriends are horrified to learn there may be bigger problems in store for their friend.

Zoe Wanamaker and Adrian Rawlings

   Zoe Wanamaker and Adrian Rawlings

Meanwhile overburdened Gail is juggling caring for her aging mother and looking after her demanding grandson as she anxiously prepares for her son Tom’s release from prison. With her divorce to her second husband Dave nearing completion; an unwanted letter causes Gail to face her true feelings. But is it too late for her to do anything about it?

When high-flying Sue gets a call from her PA she’s not prepared for the devastating news facing her at work. As the future of her career as the high-powered Feature’s Editor of the bridal magazine is thrown into question, Sue’s horrified by the realisation this may have more to do with her age than her performance at work. After committing her best years to her career and to her married lover and business partner John, Sue starts to question the choices she’s made.

Miranda Richardson as Sue Thackery

  Miranda Richardson as Sue Thackery

In the second episode, an unhappy Sue reluctantly faces the arrival of her landmark birthday. But her age quickly becomes the least of her worries when her son Andrew confesses a big secret he’s been keeping from her and tensions rise at her birthday celebrations. When Sue goes back to her flat in York, she encounters more than she bargained for.

Ruby and Ryan worry how their mum will cope as they head back to work on the cruise ship. But a knock on the door throws a spanner in the works when Linda is accused of pushing Micky overboard and Sue and Gail are forced to take matters into their owns hands. But they’re not prepared for the secrets they’re about to uncover and as further information comes to light they’re forced to question what they thought they knew about their friend Linda and her husband Micky.

Meanwhile, with her son Tom back inside for breaking his bail curfew, Gail is left holding the forte once again. Despite this she’s determined to rekindle the sparks between her and Dave before their divorce is finalised. With the clock ticking she’s desperate to reconnect with her ex and goes to extreme lengths, but all does not go according to plan.

Girlfriends starring Zoe Wanamaker, Phyllis Logan and Miranda Richardson

Rollem Productions brand new ITV drama Girlfriends comes from the pen of BAFTA award- winning screenwriter Kay Mellor.

Hard Sun

Hard Sun starring Agyness Deyn and Jim Sturgess

Starts on 6th January, BBC ONE
 9.35pm-10.30pm, six episodes

In Hard Sun, Charlie Hicks (Jim Sturgess) and Elaine Renko (Agyness Deyn) are detectives who, whilst investigating a murder in the inner city, stumble upon proof that the world faces certain destruction - in five years.

It’s a terrifying reality that the British government is trying urgently to suppress.

Jim Sturgess as Charlie Hicks and Agyness Deyn as Elaine Renko

     Jim Sturgess as Charlie Hicks and
        Agyness Deyn as Elaine Renko

Hicks and Renko find themselves pursued by ruthless Security Service operatives, who are trying to kill them in order to keep secret the truth about the mysterious cosmic event.

The pair must use every bit of their ingenuity to protect themselves and those they love.

Agyness Deyn and Jim Sturgess in Hard Sun

       Agyness Deyn and Jim Sturgess

Hard Sun starring Jim Sturgess and Agyness Deyn starts on 6th January. There are six episodes.

A House Through Time

David Olusoga in A House Through Time

Starts 4th January, 9.00pm-10.00pm
BBC TWO, four episodes

Through the prism of one single terraced house in Liverpool, this series tells a story of Britain from the 1840s to the present day - a period of seismic social change.

Searching through city archives, scouring records, and tracking down their living descendants, presenter David Olusoga tells the untold stories of the people who once lived in the house and gains a unique insight into the making of modern Britain.

In the first episode of the series David follows the stories of the first inhabitants of the house, those who lived there in the 1840s and 1850s. In a remarkable piece of historical detective work David discovers how the house came to be built as a merchant’s residence by a canny property developer at a time when Liverpool was one of the great trading ports of the British Empire.

He then uncovers the story of the very first tenant, a customs clerk with a taste for fine furniture and the high life, and explores what happened to his lavish lifestyle when the money dried up.

The second residents, the newly-wed James Orr and his wife Ann, are a seemingly ordinary middle-class couple. But they prove to be anything but, and David discovers that James and Ann spent their early lives as servants, ascending Liverpool society through hard work and a series of canny financial decisions that brought them enormous wealth.

David then discovers a darker tale when he searches for evidence of the cotton broker Wilfred Steele. Wilfred’s story leads David in extraordinary directions. He discovers a portrait of Wilfred hanging in the Walker Art Gallery; but then the evidence leads him to debtors’ prison and eventually to America, where David discovers that Wilfred’s attempts to escape his past have had tragic consequences for his family back home.

Britain's Brightest Family

Britain's Brightest Family

Starts Wednesday, 10th January,
8.00pm-8.30pm, ITV1

The Chase's Governess, aka Anne Hegerty, is in the hot seat as she hosts a brand new 30-minute quiz show where sixteen brilliantly bright families from across the country take part in a knock out tournament to win the coveted title of Britain’s Brightest Family and a holiday of a life time.

But all is not what it seems - there’s a twist. In this game it’s not just what you know that’s important but also what you think your family knows. Players must nominate a family member to answer the questions. How well do our families know each other? In this bright new series we’ll find out.

Anne explains, “It's a knockout competition to find Britain's brightest family. Sixteen families going up against each other to face challenges including word and number puzzles, problem-solving and general knowledge skills. Each team has been selected by its teenage captain, so it's a chance for the whole family to show what they know, and how well they know each other.”

Did she think we’re a nation of genius’ or dummies? “Oh, I have no misgivings about our future given the quality of the teams who competed. Some terrifically bright families and some especially smart and confident under-16s. Several of them will be quizzers to be reckoned with in years to come.”

“The quality was so high overall. As someone who struggles a bit with maths, it was particularly impressive for me to see how well some of the contestants did in the number rounds, especially under time pressure.”

Did she pick get any tips from the families that would help improve intelligence? “The families that did best had strong, confident adults who'd brought up happy assertive children who thrived on competition and loved learning things. That's the sort of family I'd love to see more of!”

   Sixtyplusurfers Competition

     Win a Tipping
       Point Game

Win a Tipping Point Game

Sixtyplusurfers has teamed up with John Adams to offer two lucky readers the chance to win Tipping Point, a fantastic game for all the family.

Have you got what it takes to beat the machine? Find out with Tipping Point! Based on the popular daytime ITV quiz show hosted by Good Morning Britain’s Ben Shephard, the game comes complete with an electronic Tipping Point machine with moving base plate, as well as question cards and counters.

Win a Tipping Point Game

As with the TV show, the aim of the game is for players/teams to answer as many general knowledge questions correctly as they can and compete in two rounds of questions. The more questions answered correctly means more chances to play against the machine and collect as many counters as possible.

Players must think about their answers though – if they answer incorrectly, they risk being eliminated from the game! The winning team with the most counters goes on to compete in the end game where they can try to win the coveted Jackpot counter! Suitable for 3+ players and over, so a great family game!

For more information please visit the website at  

For Your Chance to Win

Tell us what counter are the players competing to win
in Tipping Point?

    a) Crystal
    b) Jackpot
    c) Bonanza
    d) Medallion

 To Enter the Competition

Tell us what counter are the players competing to win in Tipping Point? Then send in your answer together with your full name, postal address and telephone number to the Sixtyplusurfers email address as shown below:

* Please label your entry
Tipping Point Competition

* This competition is open to our
UK readers only


     The Cruise: Return
  to the Mediterranean


The Cruise: Return to the Mediterranean

      Watch it on ITV1, Starts Thursday
       11th January, 8.30pm-9.00pm

With unique access to one of the world’s largest luxury cruise ships, the Royal Princess, this six-part series returns to follows life on board for the staff and passengers who live, work and play on the vessel as it navigates the Mediterranean.

The crew are winding up for a busy summer season and face new challenges including tension on the bridge as they sail into busy holiday destinations, and heat in the galley, where staff produce up to 20,000 high-quality meals a day.

In the first episode, bad weather threatens to stop the Royal Princess docking in port with huge knock-on effects across the ship.

Customer Service Agent, Timothy

    Customer Service Agent, Timothy

As staff welcome 4,000 new passengers in Athens, Timothy is under pressure to hit sales targets on the shore excursion desk and devises a creative way to up his numbers.

New hotel general manager Craig is only six weeks into the biggest job of his career and must find ways to motivate his staff who work long hours far from home.

New Hotel General Manager, Craig

     New Hotel General Manager, Craig

And four Norfolk women come aboard including cruise first-timer Maureen who’s hoping to find love on the ocean waves.

Bartender, Campbell

                 Bartender, Campbell

As the ship heads for Marseille, the bridge receives a worrying weather report of strong winds in the South of France and senior staff hold an emergency summit.

If they can’t dock it’ll mean refunding all the excursions they’ve sold tickets for and feeding and entertaining thousands of disappointed passengers. They need a plan B – and fast.

Customer Service Agent, Victoria

    Customer Service Agent, Victoria

As they approach the coast, the captain and his navigation team gather on the bridge, joined by the local pilot boat captain who knows the area well. But the swell is too strong and the risk is too great.

As captain Bob Oliver decides to abort mission, the rest of the ship must go into overdrive.

Chef, David must cook extra meals

    Chef, David must cook extra meals

Chef, David must cook 4000 extra meals from scratch and the entertainment team have to muster themselves to put on a host of extra activities.

The Cruise: Return to the Mediterranean

The Cruise:  Return to the Mediterranean starts on Thursday, 11th January, 8.30pm-9.00pm.

There are six episodes.

         Great Art

Tim Marlow

          Starts Thursday 4th January
     ITV1 from 10.45pm-11.45pm

Great Art, a five-part series produced by Seventh Art Productions explores the life and work of the world's most celebrated artists.

This weekly series will offer an in-depth look at iconic artists including Canaletto, the Impressionists, Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Vermeer.

Each 50-minute episode will reveal unique insights into the life of the artists, from exploring the places they lived and worked to uncovering their formative relationships through private letters. Great Art will also provide privileged access to the artists’ masterpieces, going behind-the-scenes at the world’s leading museums.

Conservator, Clara De La Pen

Great Art is introduced by curator and broadcaster Tim Marlow, Artistic Director of The Royal Academy of Arts, and features a host of eminent art experts, providing the perfect guides to history’s artistic greats.

Tim says, “I am delighted to be introducing this series of excellent films for ITV. The appetite for the arts in this country goes from strength to strength and I know ITV’s Great Art will find a wide and appreciative audience.”

Great Art will also provide privileged access to the artists’ masterpieces, going behind-the-scenes at the world’s leading museums

The series is commissioned for ITV by Jo Clinton-Davis, Controller of Factual and Sue Murphy, Head of Factual Entertainment.

Jo Clinton-Davis says, “Shot through with passion and expertise in equal measure, these films tell compelling stories which enrich our understanding of those artists and the art which have most profoundly influenced our cultural heritage.”

The series is adapted from full-length feature films originally released in cinemas under Exhibition On Screen.

Great Art will also provide privileged access to the artists’ masterpieces, going behind-the-scenes at the world’s leading museums

Phil Grabsky, Executive Producer of Seventh Art Productions says, “Over the last twenty years my team, at Seventh Art Productions, and I have made countless art films for TV and cinema, most notably the international film series
Exhibition On Screen.

But I am especially delighted to be bringing the Great Art series to ITV, who fully support us in the desire to make wonderful art and artists' biographies as widely seen and enjoyed as possible. I hope these first two seasons, consisting of five films each, are the first of many, allowing the public to continue discovering and appreciating truly great art."

Episode 1 - Canaletto & The Art Of Venice At The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace

Canaletto - painting of Venice

Great Art will open with an episode dedicated to The Royal Collection Trust’s unparalleled collection of works by Venice’s famous view-painter Canaletto. Stepping inside the royal residences of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, it reveals how the world’s largest Canaletto collection made its home in Britain.

The episode also captures the essence and allure of Venice, embarking on a 21st century Grand Tour to reveal how Canaletto’s art was influenced by the great Italian city.

Episode 2 - The Impressionists and the Man Who Made Them

Great Art will also provide privileged access to the artists’ masterpieces, going behind-the-scenes at the world’s leading museums

Monet, Cézanne, Degas, Renoir: some of the world’s most popular artists. Their works, and that of their contemporaries, fetch tens of millions of dollars around the globe. But who were they really? Why and how exactly did they paint? What lies behind their enduring appeal?

To help answer these questions, this unique film secures unparalleled access to a landmark exhibition focused on the man credited with inventing impressionism as we know it: 19th-century Parisian art collector Paul Durand-Ruel.

It was his brave decision to firstly back these radical artists and then, on the verge of bankruptcy, to exhibit them in New York in 1886 that created impressionism as we know it.

Great Art will also provide privileged access to the artists’ masterpieces, going behind-the-scenes at the world’s leading museums

Thanks to his sales to enlightened wealthy Americans that subsequently filled American galleries with Impressionist masterworks Durand-Ruel kept impressionism alive at a time when it faced complete failure.

This energetic and revealing film tells his remarkable story, along with that of the Impressionists themselves.

Great Art is a five-part series produced by Seventh Art Productions and starts on Thursday 4th January on ITV1.

           Big Cats


      Starts Thursday, 18th January
            BBC ONE, 8.00pm-9.00pm

Cats have conquered the planet - from the world’s oldest desert, where Africa’s youngest lion pride survive against the odds, to the wetlands of Asia, where fishing cats teach their kittens to hunt.

Cats have adapted to the challenges of life in almost every environment on Earth. High in the jungle of central America, the acrobatic margay leaps through the tree tops; on a remote pacific beach a pregnant jaguar waits for thousands of turtles to arrive; while a bobcat, blind in one eye, learns how to survive by plucking sea gulls from the air.

 Rusty spotted cat, Sri Lanka, the World's smallest cat

       Rusty spotted cat, Sri Lanka, the
    World’s smallest cat… so small, that

            its happy dining on bugs!

For the first time advances in remote and low-light filming technology provide us with new insights into the secret life of the mysterious small cats. In the Karoo - a semi-desert natural region of South Africa - we follow the nocturnal pursuits of a tiny black-footed cat as it stakes its claim to the title of the world’s deadliest feline.

In Outer Mongolia the rarely-seen Pallas’s cat, at home with her kittens, shows off her unusual profile while hunting: a wide head, unusually low ears and the ability to flatten her body and disguise herself as a rock.

Margay Leopard in Central America

    Margay Leopard in Central America

Finally, in South Africa, we uncover the secret of the serval, who thrives among the futuristic landscape of Africa’s biggest industrial complex.

These remarkable cats live surprising lives in the most extraordinary places on the planet.

Cheetahs in Namibia

                 Cheetahs in Namibia

Big Cats starts on Starts Thursday, 18th January BBC ONE from 8.00pm-9.00pm and runs for three episodes.