Factual highlights, summer 2017
50 Shades of Gay
Catching a Killer: The Wind in the Willows Murder: July
In the centre of historic Oxford a man lies dead in his doorway. There are no suspects, no witnesses and no sign of forced entry. Adrian Greenwood, 42, a famous author and antiquarian book dealer is dead in his own home, stabbed in a frenzied and brutal attack. Greenwood had built up a reputation throughout his short life as an exceptionally talented book dealer. He had bought and sold early editions of Harry Potter and came to media attention following the sale of a rare piece by Banksy in 2011. The pressure is on Detective Superintendent Kevin Brown and his team to discover who killed Adrian Greenwood. And what has happened to his £50,000 early edition of The Wind in the Willows? With unprecedented access to Thames Valley Police Major Crime Unit, this film follows all the twists and turns of this real-life crime. The answers, as they start to emerge, paint a shocking picture of the perpetrator; a man whose life has fallen apart. With extraordinary access to the minute-by-minute police investigation, the film also follows the perpetrator’s family as they learn the devastating truth about what has happened.
After a fallow year the “Educating…” series is back for a fifth series. Across eight episodes we follow Harrop Fold, a school in Salford, Manchester, and the stories of its inspirational teachers and students, as well as the remarkable work the school does in the local community. Team Harrop has been galvanised by its significant challenges but unswerving commitment to making the difference. The new series promises to unearth entertaining and heart-rending stories from the hallways of Harrop Fold, with a few new elements thrown in to the mix.
Epidemic (w/t): July
This landmark film tells the behind-the-scenes uplifting story of how an unlikely coalition of Tory politicians, pioneering doctors and gay men came together to fight a deadly disease with no cure – and how Britain was changed forever by the battle against AIDS in the 1980s. Together they overcame a homophobic press, the ignorance of the medical establishment, and the outright hostility of Margaret Thatcher, in order to create a campaign that would change hearts and minds about AIDS – and gay men. Not only did their effort stem the tide of the AIDS plague – but by making us talk publicly about sex in a new way, they helped to create a more liberal Britain - that has lasted until today.
Not Guilty (w/t): July
This film reveals how gay men continued to be persecuted long after the 1967 Act began to decriminalise homosexuality. Far from ushering in an end to prejudice, 1967 unleashed a backlash of homophobia enforced by the police and the courts, as many aspects of gay life continued to be illegal. The film tells the stories of some of the 15,000 men who fell foul of Britain’s homophobic laws during the past half century - and exposes how the injustice continues today.
Out on 4 Collection: All 4
All 4 will offer up a celebration of landmark Channel 4 shows including My Beautiful Launderette, Queer as Folk, Metrosexuality, Terry and Julian featuring Julian Clary, Sugar Rush, Cucumber, Banana and Muslim Drag Queens.
Phil Spencer: Find Me a Home: July
This current affairs special is a departure for Phil, who spends most of his time property hunting for people with healthy budgets and lengthy wish lists for their dream home. This time, Phil is searching for homes on behalf of low paid families and the young who are increasingly amongst the hidden victims of the housing crisis. These are ordinary families who do not have high social support needs and do not correspond with simplistic notions of welfare dependency. When Phil embarks on the searches he isn’t prepared for the challenges that face him and is shocked by the reality of what is available to them. Can he negotiate his way through the mire of red tape? With the full weight of his property-finding prowess will he be able to pull off the impossible and find decent homes for people that the government and local authorities can’t, or won’t, help?
Raised by Queers (w/t): All 4
Kieron Richardson (Hollyoaks) will be exploring parenting in the LGBTQIA community and speaking to those who have been on this journey. The one-off (30 mins) documentary will release exclusively on All 4, Channel 4’s on-demand channel, and will see Kieron meet parents and children with first-hand experience of parenting within the LGBTQIA community, discovering more about the world of surrogacy and modern parenting, the challenges faced, and finding out how rewarding the experience can be.
Random Acts: July
Channel 4 is expanding its distinctive 'artist-authored documentary' approach to arts programming with a new strand embedding artists in locations and institutions around the UK and beyond, and a slate of programmes featuring an exciting range of new talent. Channel 4's dedicated short arts strand Random Acts is partnering with Tate on its Queer British Art 1861-1967 exhibition, which marks the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in the UK. The six shorts, which will be directed by contemporary LGBTQ directors, will explore queer identity and will be shown in the exhibition at Tate Britain from April to October, and on Channel 4 as part of its LGBTQ programming.
50 Shades of Gay: July
In this documentary, Rupert Everett delivers his personal and frank take on the developments in gay life in Britain since the decriminalisation of homosexuality 50 years ago. Rupert meets LGBT people of all ages and walks of life, from former royal butler Paul Burrell to the lesbian community of Hebden Bridge, and explores with them how the LGBT experience has changed on the journey towards the mainstream. Huge progress has been made - but has something of the edge and distinctiveness of gay identity also been lost?