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Timeshift: Flights of Fancy (BBC Four Saturday 13 August 2022)

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Flights of Fancy: Timeshift explores the lofts of pigeon fanciers, places of sporting excellence, scientific endeavour, and male obsession, to tell the tale of a remarkable bird. The common pigeon has been a dependable fixture of British life for centuries, serving as a racer, messenger, and even a contestant in beauty pageants.

In order to establish themselves as man’s best feathered companion, pigeons have participated in two world wars, crossed oceans, and transcended boundaries of age, class, and race. In the meantime, pigeon enthusiasts have developed ways to make the ideal bird faster and more attractive by using backyard genetics.

Due to legislation, pigeons are now ejected from public areas because of a decline in public favour for them brought on by a growing distaste for the waste they leave behind. But as this programme demonstrates, passionate British pigeon enthusiasts are committed to maintaining their hobby. What then awaits the modern pigeon in the future? Narrated by Miles Jupp.

Airdate: Wednesday 10 August 2022 at 11.25pm on BBC Four.

Season 5 Episode 16