Channel 4 to broadcast hunt for Richard III

Channel 4 has commissioned independent production company Darlow Smithson to make a history programme about the extraordinary hunt for the remains of Richard III - beneath a council car park in Leicester.

Having followed the project for the last two years, the Darlow Smithson team have been filming the archaeologists from University of Leicester leading the search for the burial place of King Richard III - capturing every incredible unearthing. The dig, also involving Leicester City Council and in association with the Richard III Society, has made remarkable breakthroughs including the ruins of a medieval friary - and human remains.

The human remains, which show evidence of near-death trauma and curvature of the spine, will now be sent for forensic tests to establish whether they have indeed discovered the last English King to have been killed in battle. The DNA material will be tested to see if it matches that of a 17th-generation descendent of the monarch's sister. The results will be revealed in the documentary to be aired later this year.

Richard III is one of the most notorious Kings of England - his death at the Battle of Bosworth effectively ended the Wars of the Roses. The disappearance of his young nephews - known as the Princes in the Tower - and William Shakespeare's play 'Richard III' have also contributed to his infamy.

Channel 4 Commissioning Editor John Hay said: "The circumstances surrounding his death have been hotly contested throughout the many centuries since - the fascinating dig could provide answers about the nature of his death and his final resting place - solving one of the greatest mysteries of British history."

Darlow Smithson Executive Producer Simon Young says: "This documentary will reveal every step of this incredible search as it unfolds. Richard III has been immortalised in history by Shakespeare, but this account was based on Tudor spin and propaganda, these archaeological discoveries present a unique opportunity to find out who he really was."

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