BBC Two announces spring/summer schedule

It’s always relatively exciting when the big channels announce their seasonal schedules – even though you try and keep your ears to beanstalk, or whatever the phrase is, and think you know what’s going to happen, there’s always a few tasty nuggets out there that take you by surprise. Today it’s the turn of BBC Two, who announced its spring/summer schedule and, as ever, there are some good things to look forward to, including a new fantasy comedy series starrin Matt Lucas. Have a look over the jump to investigate…

The Culture Show This, now stalwart, programme is getting a new weekday slot (at 7pm) and has been extended to 50 minutes. Good news as I’ve always thought discussion and the features are stifled a bit by the previous half-hour format. The new Culture Show starts from July.

Poetry Season Griff Rhys Jones presents Why Poetry Matters, which sort of speaks for itself, My Life In Verse… stars Malorie Blackman, Sheila Hancock, Cerys Mathews and Robert Webb; there’s Armando Ianucci On Milton; Simon Schama’s John Donne; and Off By Heart, which follows primary school children across the country as they take part in a recitation competition (Jeremy Paxman hosts the final).

Classic Goldie A Monkey Tennis contender if ever I heard one, this follows drum n’ bass rinser Goldie as he’s commissioned to write a seven-minute composition to be performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra.

The Birth Of British Music Hosted by Charles Hazelwood and does what is says on the tin.

Incredible Human Journey Dr Alice Roberts, her out of Coast, is back for a new series, telling how humans came to populate every corner of the world. Bloody parasites.

James May On The Moon Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing, JM trains for four days with the US Air Force before travelling to the edge of space in a U2 spy plane. Elsewehre in the mini space season, there’s NASA – Triumph And Tragedy, and Defying Gravity, a new adventure drama series that follows the exploits of eight astronauts on a mysterious six-year mission.

On Thin Ice James Cracknell and Ben Fogle undertake a 470-mile race to the geographic South Pole. The twats.

The Price Of Life Follows the NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence), the body that conducts the process by which the NHS decides which drug treatments it can afford to offer patients.

Recession Britain season This has Freefall, a drama about the events that have caused all the turmoil (and starring Aidan Gillen, Dominic Cooper, Alfie Allen and Sarah Harding… Girls Aloud’s Sarah Harding?), a Recession Britian series itself, Property Watch and Economy Gastronomy, which sees Allegra McEvedy and Paul Merrett showing how you can slash budgets and still eat well.

Krod Mandoon And The Flaming Sword Of Fire I saw this in, I think SFX, a few months ago and it stars Matt Lucas and Sean Maguire in a fantasy comedy series. It’s set in the darkest days of the Marconian Empire and Krod Mandoon (maguire) is the last hope against the evil ruler, Chancellor Dongalor (Lucas).

Psychoville The League Of Gentleman team is back…

Down The Line Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson bring their phone-in chatshow host Gary Bellamy to TV…

Taking The Flak Comedy drama about how journalists in war zones live in a state of perpetual danger, and not just from the bombs and disease.

Other highlights include The Supersizers Eat…, That Mitchell And Webb Look, Gandhi: His Life And Legacy, South Pacific (a documentary, not a musical), Springwatch 2009, Death Of Respect, The Trouble With Working Women and Mary Queen Of Charity Shops.

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