BBC World brings in new shows to pep up programming

MUMBAI: BBC World is souping up its fare for the upcoming season.

Among India-specific shows that have been lined up for the next quarter (July-September) are new series of the quiz showUniversity Challenge , Business Bizarre, Question Time India and Wheels.

The Beeb has new additions to its global programme line up as well, while reviving a few old shows. Offerings include documentaries, lifestyle entertainment shows, factual programming from the natural kingdom to the corridors of power, and architectural marvels from modern as well as ancient civilizations.

University Challenge (Thursdays), is presented by Siddhartha Basu (of Mastermind India fame) and is the Indian variant of the succesful UK quiz show.

Business Bizarre (Sundays from 6 July) returns as a 13-episode series. Question Time India (Fridays from 4 july), Face to Face (Saturdays till 30 August) and Wheels (Saturdays from 6 September presumably replacing Face to Face) are all part of the fresh menu that is being served up by the Beeb.

Jumpstarting the whole change process as far as the global shows are concerned is the return of the award-winning series Horizon, to be aired on 26 July. A mix of stories ranging from the exhilarating and groundbreaking to the downright sensational will be profiled on the show. In its new format, it will analyse new developments in science, medicine and technology. Horizon promises to saturate the growing global thirst for strong science programmes.

Holidays in the Axis of Evil , slotted to premiere on 12 July, takes its cue from US President George W Bush's much-publicised labeling of six countries as 'axis of evil', a year ago. In a three-part travelogue, reporter Ben Anderson, armed with a hidden camera and a tourist map, visits all six listed 'rogue' states and tries to find the reality of life in the countries labeled as one of the most repressive regimes in the world.

Profiles returns with further authored portraits of interesting international personalities and key decision-makers, from guest presenters. The list includes the Pope's enforcer Cardinal Ratzinger, the creator of the medical foundation for the care of victims of torture Helen Bamber and evolutionist and author Richard Dawkins.

The channel also continues on its hunt for the world's Greatest Briton. The interesting mix includes Horatio Nelson, William Shakespeare, Elizabeth I, Sir Isaac Newton, Winston Churchill and John Lennon amidst last season's contenders Charles Darwin, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Diana, Princess of Wales and Oliver Cromwell. As these contenders battle it out for the top spot as BBC World's international 21st century role model, the channel will be taking account of the public opinion on its website. Click Online's presenter Stephen Cole will reveal the result of the poll in a specially commissioned eleventh programme.

Next in the line is a new, three-part series Bitter Harvest , which starts on 9 August. Telling the inside story of biotechnology, the show will give insights on the revolution it has wrought in the food industry. Besides, three programmes examining some of the major technological advances and scientific discoveries that have helped shape our modern world - the hidden mechanics of global economics to advances in artificial intelligence- will be premiering as The Virtual World on 16 August.

With a special three part series set to launch on 12 September- Great Spaces Season, the channel will examine stunning architecture around the world, both ancient and modern. The debutante series Heritage ,on the other hand, will explore some of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the challenges they face. The 13 programme series will document our disappearing world, from Kathmandu's temples and the Medina at Essaouira in Morocco, to vanishing cultures and peoples. The locations will include World Heritages Sites and other key cultural and historic places that are unique and face a variety of threats such as war, tourism, population pressures, changing climate and development.

Yet another show, Dreamspaces will premiere on BBC World on 18 September. The 12-part travelogue will profile the best in modern architectural and contemporary design. Presented by renowned architect David Adjaye, ex-lead singer of the band Elastica Justine Frischman and architect and presenter, Charlie Luxton, each edition features topical issues concerning design and architecture. The show promises to offer a reflective look at some of the greatest modem architects and a visit to cities packed with amazing structures of design and ingenuity.

Throughout the series the team travel to New York, Helsinki, Puerto Rico, Chicago, Romania, Brazil Israel and many more international destinations, looking at various aspects of design and architecture, and their relationship with contemporary living.

Last on the list of new launches is a six-series, Andrew Graham-Dixon anchored, 50 minute show offering a view of the Renaissance that will debut on 6 September.

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