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BBC lines up India shows

MUMBAI: BBC has announced a major new season of programmes across television channels and radio stations in the UK dedicated to India.

The season will be a celebration of the richness of the landscape and people of the country as well as its culture, art, business and politics.

On BBC One there will be a major exploration of the past, present and future of India through the story of Kolkata, fronted by Sue Perkins called ‘Sue Perkins in Kolkata’.

On BBC Two the season will go behind the scenes of ‘The World’s Busiest Railway Station 2015’ in Mumbai with Dan Snow, Anita Rani and Robert Llewellyn (pictured) and celebrate the glory of India’s wild world through the eyes of three special guides, scientist Liz Bonnin, actor Freida Pinto and mountaineer Jon Gupta in ‘The Wonders Of India’.

Also on BBC Two is a special new episode of the ground-breaking Asian sketch show, ‘Goodness Gracious Me’. BBC Four offers the opportunity to explore Indian culture in more depth with Dr Sona Datta, revealing the treasures that have shaped the modern Indian world in ‘Treasures Of The Indus’.

William Darymple unearths the story of the ‘White Mughals’, while the channel is also making ‘Bombay High’, a unique documentary musical filmed in Dharavi in Mumbai, the biggest slum in Asia.

BBC Two, BBC Four controller Kim Shillinglaw said, “I’m delighted to be celebrating the rich and surprising wonders of India across this ambitious season of programmes. On BBC Two, we’ll be taking viewers from the absolute highlights of India’s natural world to the inner workings of one of the biggest rail hubs on the planet, as well as welcoming back the Goodness Gracious Me team for a special India-themed episode with special guest Art Malik. BBC Four offers a wide range of cultural programming including an in-depth portrait of the origins of Indian civilisation and a spectacular musical documentary filmed at a high school in Mumbai.”

Perkins said, “At the start of this journey there were two things I knew about Kolkata: The Black Hole and Mother Theresa. It was a privilege to experience life beyond the clichés and to witness the vibrancy, chaos and multiculturalism of Bengal first hand. I was so taken with it, I’ve even become a cricket fan (Go Kolkata Knight Riders!)”

Sanjeev Bhaskar said, “India’s movie industry – the largest in the world – has survived and flourished for over 100 years, on a heady mix of three ‘M’’s: Morality tales, Melodrama and Music. From the silent era, through infant independent nation to burgeoning economic superpower, Indian films have consistently found audiences at home but also increasingly, via the diaspora, a significant presence around the world. India’s films are one of the great cultural survivors of the modern creative age.”