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BBC Four announces Army collection online and new factual series, Art Nouveau


Richard Klein, Controller BBC Four, today announced further details on the first BBC Four online collection and a major new arts series for the channel at the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival.

In September, BBC Four will launch its first online collection for the channel’s Army Season.

BBC Four’s Army Season takes a contemporary look at the art of soldiering, the history and culture of its regimental make up, and the specialist skills in logistics that make the modern British Army one of the most efficient forces anywhere in the world. It includes a new series on The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and a series on five different regiments, Regimental Stories. As part of the season, there will be a comprehensive BBC Four Archive collection – forty programmes available on the BBC Four website, exploring the changes undergone by the British soldier in the 20th century.

The archive stretches from the early 1950s through to the 1990s and includes highlights such as the first recorded Trooping of the Colour; peacekeeping in the desert hills of the Yemeni hinterland in the Aden crisis in Soldier In The Sun; and the logistics of providing UN peacekeeping support in Angolain Defence Of The Realm. It provides a fascinating insight into social history and the way our military history has been reported over the decades.

This is the first online collection and launches BBC Four’s enhanced role as the gateway through which audiences can explore the rich heritage of BBC TV programming online. Richard Klein will curate both the linear and digital offerings, while Mark Urban, Diplomatic and Defence Editor for Newsnight, will introduce the Army collection online.

Richard Klein said: “With the launch of the Army collection online, BBC Four becomes a fully digital brand able to offer viewers a permanent collection of programmes to enjoy at any time. They will be carefully curated by BBC Four and will enable viewers to delve more deeply into subjects that they have enjoyed on the channel. Over time, as we add new collections, there will be an extensive range of archive programmes available online.”

Richard Klein also announced a major new arts series, Art Nouveau, which looks at how the movement flourished in the burgeoning cities of Europe at the end of the 19th century, reflecting an explosion of new ideas about nature, sex, the city and God. Its artists and designers fed on the frentic energy of the streets. In less than a decade Art Nouveau went from nowhere to everywhere. Paying no homage to history or tradition, it proposed decoration and beauty as an antidote to 19th century decorum and earnestness. By 1914 the movement was gone as soon as the war started.

In this three-part series, BBC Four will explore the European cities which most powerfully expressed the movement at its creative heights, connecting the impact of the movement on the fabric of those cities today. It will also plunder rare archive footage and photo archives to bring the movement to life today. With access to some of the greatest collections and using interesting new camera techniques, BBC Four will take viewers behind closed doors to see exquisite objects, some never before seen on TV, and to explore the story and legacy of Art Nouveau.

LD – general enquiries

JL – Army collection

AH – Art Noveau


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