When a handful of musical immigrants from the Caribbean islands came to Britain in the 1920s and 30s, it was the beginning of both musical and political change. Leslie Thompson, an innovative musician and trumpeter, and Ken 'Snakehips' Johnson, a brilliant dancer and charismatic band leader, pooled their talents to start the first black British swing band. Clemency Burton-Hill reveals the untold story of the black British swing musicians of the 1930s, whose meteoric rise to fame on London's high society dance floors was cut short by unexpected tragedy at the height of the Blitz.
In 1964 the Mary Poppins film premiered in Hollywood to world acclaim. But one person loathed it. She was PL Travers, the author of the books. To coincide with the release of Saving Mr Banks, this Culture Show special presented by Victoria Coren Mitchell explores the dark and complex life of the writer. Her twenty year battle with Walt Disney, the strange adoption of her child (he was one of twins) and how the film version overshadowed her writings but made her rich. With contributions from Emma Thompson, Cameron Mackintosh and PL Travers's granddaughter.
Why has a kids TV show about a mad man with a box that can travel anywhere in time and space become the BBC's longest running TV drama - and one of Britain's biggest brands? On its 50th anniversary, lifelong fan Matthew Sweet argues you ignore Doctor Who at your peril. It may be a piece of children's television, but he believes it's one of the most important cultural artefacts of modern Britain. Put simply, Doctor Who matters.
Amal Fashanu, daughter of John and niece to Justin, explores the culture of football to find out whether it is cultivating a worrying attitude towards women and sex. How do footballers juggle their intense professional and personal lives? Young footballers can be earning £30,000 a week by the age of 18 and retire by 30. In this short window, what is the impact on the relationships of these young men? Amal uses her contact book to meet girls keen to meet and sleep with footballers, players and managers to explore if this culture of permissive sex and predatory behaviour has become the norm. Using the backdrop of the ongoing Ched Evans situation, she meets the insiders in the secret world of footballers' sex lives who reveal how inflated egos, pressure, money, excessive levels of female attention and a culture of casual sex and macho competition totally out of touch with the outside world are spawning a disregard for women and sometimes the law.
As Henry VIII's court painter, Hans Holbein witnessed and recorded the most notorious era in English history. He painted most of the major characters of the age and created the famous image of the king himself that everyone today still recognises. But who really was Holbein? Where did he come from? And what were the dark and unsettling secrets hidden in his art? Waldemar Januszczak looks at the life and work of an artist who became famous for bringing the Tudor age to life, but who could have been so many other things.