The BBC is to celebrate India with a season of programmes across television and radio. The output aims to be a celebration of the richness of the landscape and people of the country as well as its culture, art, business and politics the corporation note.
On BBC One there will be a major exploration of the past, present and future of India through the remarkable story of Kolkata, fronted by Sue Perkins and entitled 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 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 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,
“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.” – Kim Shillinglaw, Controller of BBC Two and Four
Over on BBC Four Sanjeev Bhaskar presents a retrospective 90-minute documentary on the history of Indian cinema in Bollywood And Beyond: A Century Of Indian Cinema. More than any other art form, in any other country, Indian cinema speaks for the people. It is adored, its stars are idolised and it is watched by a daily audience of over 15 million, in 13,000 cinemas across the sub-continent. While Treasures Of The Indus is a three part series which tells the story of the Indian Sub-Continent through the treasures that have shaped the modern Indian world.
In The White Mughal: A Story In Art historian William Dalrymple travels to the Deccan Plains of India to explore the remarkable love affair between British diplomat James Achilles Kirkpatrick and Khair un-Nissa, the Muslim princess he married. Through the 18th century art and architecture of both countries, and in archives across both continents, Dalrymple unearths a story of seduction and betrayal at odds with the conventional boundaries of empire.
BBC radio will also broadcast special programmes across Radio 2, the BBC Asian Network and the BBC World Service.