In incredible documentary, Messages Home, airing on Sunday 19 November at 7.00pm on Channel 4, recently rediscovered World War II footage reveals British soldiers in Burma recording filmed messages to their loved ones back home. These extraordinary films reveal stories including a lovelorn gunner yearning for his sweetheart, a father speaking to a daughter he’d never met, a decorated war hero traumatised by the lives he took and a special operations ‘Chindit’ who saw action behind enemy lines but told his family he was a ‘cabbage mechanic’ in the catering corps. The heart-warming films were found in old film canisters in a Manchester Town Hall basement and offer a glimpse into the lives of these courageous servicemen as they endured long periods of separation from their homes while serving in Asia.
These British troops who were stationed in India, Burma and Sri Lanka – fighting a relentless Burmese Campaign against a fearsome Japanese foe – regarded themselves as The Forgotten Army. Home leave wasn’t possible, post was slow, and sometimes letters didn’t get home at all. Some left behind pregnant wives, elderly parents who would pass away before they returned, or young children who barely recognised them when they came home. Morale was low, so the Ministry of Defence decided upon a scheme to provide a boost for the soldiers and their families. Between 1944 and 1946 the Directorate of Army Welfare in India recorded a series of short films titled’Calling Blighty.’
The films – a series of personal messages home to loved ones – were sent back, and families were invited to cinema screenings to try to catch a glimpse of their relatives on screen. Tragically, some of the soldiers had died by the time the films reached home. The reels found in Manchester feature servicemen from across the north west of England. Seventy years on, the North West Film Archive set out to track down the veterans and their families featured in the Calling Blighty messages and invited them to a special screening of the films.
Exec Prod: Emma Morgan
Prod/Dir: Paul Berczeller
Prod Co: Oxford Scientific Films
Messages Home: Lost Films Of The British Army airs Sunday 19 November 2017 from 7.00pm-8.00pm on Channel 4.
Feud: Bette And Joan Episode 2 airs 16 Dec on BBC Two
Hot on the heels of the premiere episode of Feud: Bette and Joan, the story continues with episode 2 airing at 9.55pm.
Episode two. Filming has started on What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? and Joan (Jessica Lange) and Bette (Susan Sarandon) agree on at least one thing: that the very pretty young actress cast as the neighbour will have to go.
Jack Warner (Stanley Tucci) is delighted with the daily rushes and encourages director Robert Aldrich (Alfred Molina) to add fuel to the actresses feud, to enhance their on-screen performances.
Pictured above is B. D. Hyman (played by Kiernan Shipka)
Feud: Bette And Joan Episode 2 (of 8) airs Saturday 16 December 2017 from 9.55pm-10.45pm on BBC Two.
Feud: Bette And Joan Premieres 16 Dec on BBC Two
The truly excellent eight part drama Feud: Bette and Joan, from Ryan Murphy and starring Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange, premieres on BBC Two on 16 December at 9.00pm.
Episode one. 1962. Hollywood legend Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) realises that good roles are not being written for women of her age – and decides to find one for herself.
When she comes across the novel What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? by Henry Farrell, she knows that she has found the perfect part and convinces director Robert Aldrich (Alfred Molina) to champion the movie.
But now she needs to bring her bitter Hollywood rival and star of equal magnitude Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) on board the project. Sparks are about to fly.
Beginning with Davis and Crawford’s collaboration on What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? and continuing long after the cameras stopped rolling, Feud: Bette And Joan explores with great style and wit how the two stars endured ageism, sexism and misogyny while struggling to hang on to success and fame in the twilight of their careers.
The eight-part series from Ryan Murphy (The People vs OJ Simpson) also stars Catherine Zeta-Jones as Olivia de Havilland, Kathy Bates as Joan Blondell, Judy Davis as Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, Stanley Tucci as Warner Bros. studio head Jack L. Warner, Jackie Hoffman as Mamacita, Crawford’s housekeeper, and Alison Wright as Pauline, Aldrich’s assistant.
Feud: Bette And Joan Episode 1 (of 8) airs Saturday 16 December 2017 from 9.00pm-9.55pm on BBC Two.
Michael McIntyre’s Big Show Episode 5 (BBC-1 16 Dec 2017, with Miranda Hart)
In the fifth episode of this series, airing on Saturday 16 December at 9.00pm on BBC One, National treasure Miranda Hart bravely gives Michael her phone in Celebrity Send To All.
There’s music from global pop megastar Niall Horan and stand-up comedy from the hilarious Jason Manford.
Plus an A&E doctor is fooled into thinking the theatre is actually a grand hotel, in the most ambitious Unexpected Star surprise ever.
Michael McIntyre’s Big Show Episode 5 (of 6) airs on Saturday 16 December 2017 from 9.00pm-10.00pm on BBC One.
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