• 1
    Shameless (UK)

    Shameless (UK)

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    Channel 4
    The critically acclaimed and brilliantly funny drama from award-winning writer Paul Abbott features the Chatsworth Estate's Gallaghers, probably the UK's most dysfunctional family.

    Head of the family, Frank, embarks on a series of adventures with his remarkably well-balanced children Fiona, Lip, Ian, Debbie, Carl and Liam - not forgetting the other two with Frank's valium-fuelled lover, Sheila. A shambolic family living on a Manchester estate, where eldest sister Fiona has to look after her five younger siblings after their mother's disappearance and their father became an alcoholic. After Fiona herself escapes, it's down to her twelve year old Sister Debbie to run the Gallagher household. With Sheila leaving and Monica's return it's a whole new ball game at the Gallagher residents, and it's not all plain sailing with Monica's estranged girlfriend Norma living in the van in the yard. No-ones life is ever going to be the same.

    Now in its eighth series things are still as dysfunctional as ever on the Chatsworth Estate with, Frank and Libby trying to get married with Monica coming back on the scene, Mimi's a new mother once again but still has the task of having to find out ho the father is. Also, Karen and Jamie are trying to get on with their lives after all the recent events and, there's also a whole load of new people on the scene just waiting to cause mayhem.

    Shameless is packed with sex, drugs, gratuitous violence, love and scams. Chaos ensues with more tales of how one extraordinary family goes about its normal everyday life.moreless
  • 2
    Hollyoaks

    Hollyoaks

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    Channel 4
    Hollyoaks is set in the fictional borough of Hollyoaks in Chester. The first episode was broadcast on 23rd October 1995. The show attracts an average of 3 million viewers per week. The series was devised by Phil Redmond, who also created GRANGE HILL and BROOKSIDE.

    Hollyoaks was orignally only on one night a week but, a second weekly episode began in 1996, a third followed in 1999, and a fourth was added in 2001. The series then went five nights a week in November 2003.

    Hollyoaks is aimed mainly at 16-30 year olds. Like Brookside, Hollyoaks tends to deal with current affairs and topics that matter. It also appeals itself to a present day audience by playing a wide range of recent music and well known Bands.

    As the UK's fourth biggest soap, Hollyoaks is known for breaking bounderies. its story lines include, self-harm, serial murder, explosions, car crash, adultery, fires, sexuality, suicide, street crime, gangsters, drinking, drugs, mental health (schizophrenia), domestic abuse (men and women), cults, deception, credit card fraud, incest, perjury, false imprisonment and rape (inc male rape).

    Hollyoaks is an award winning show winning 3 awards at the 2007 Briitsh Soap Awards. Including Sexiest Female, Best Comedy Performance and Villain of the Year. On Saturday 3rd May 2008, Hollyoaks won 6 awards at the British Soap Awards including, Best Actor/Actress, Best Exit, Sexiest Female, Best On-Screen Patnrship, Most Spectacular Scene. In 2010 Hollyoaks won Most Spectacular Scene at the 2010 British Soap Awards and in 2010, Emmett J. Scanlan (Brendan Brady) won Villain of the Year and Best Newcomer.

    On the 26th February 2007 Hollyoaks under went a major revamp, with a brand new opening title sequence, which highlight's the shows major aim to appeal to a more mature audience. The opening credits have since been updated on various occasions, when a character has left or when new characters have joined. With the most recent version debuting on Monday 13th September 2010, which included a major revamp with a whole new design and reworked opening theme. This has since seen some minor changes with characters being both removed and added.

    It was announced 21st May 2008, that as of Monday 2nd June 2008, Hollyoaks will air its episode in HD format.

    Hollyoaks is on weekdays at 6.30pm on Channel 4. And the first look episode airs weeknights at 7pm on E4 with, a catch-up edition of the previous days episode at 2.05pm on E4.

    Three omnibus editions air every week, on Saturdays at 1.25pm on E4, Sunday mornings on 'T4' Channel 4 at 8.45am, but the time does vary and, in the early hours on Monday morning at 3.15am on E4. Spin-Offs Hollyoaks: In The City Hollyoaks: Later Hollyoaks: The Morning After the Night Beforemoreless
  • 3
    Time Team

    Time Team

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    Channel 4
    Archaeology for the masses. From what might be perceived as a 'stuffy' subject, Time Team has popularised the subject with its enthusiasm to uncover the secrets of Britain's rich and long history. From sites which pre-date the Pyramids, to the Second World War, Time Team will entertain you and enrich your historical knowledge of Britain.

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  • 4
    White Teeth

    White Teeth

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    Channel 4 (ended 2002)
    Zadie Smith's anarchic comedy set in multiracial northwest London comes mind-blowingly to life in a four-part adaptation of her acclaimed first novel. Hailed as "street-smart and learned, sassy and philosophical" by the New York Times and "funny as hell" by Newsweek, Smith wrote White Teeth at the astonishing age of 24. Set in the cultural farrago of Willesden Green, where Smith grew up, White Teeth tells the story of three families in the hippy-to-hiphop era of 1974 to 1992 -- with a nostalgia-inducing soundtrack of popular hits from the period.

    "I wanted to write a book about a man who... lives a good life by accident," Smith says of White Teeth's protagonist, professional envelope-folder Archie Jones (played by Phil Davis), whom she compares to Jimmy Stewart. In British-music-hall fashion, she pairs Archie with a sidekick who is his opposite in nearly every way. Bengali waiter Samad Iqbal (Om Puri) is intellectual where Archie is clueless, a devout Muslim where Archie is a laid-back atheist, and a tormented adulterer where Archie is an oblivious family man. But they have been best friends since an experience involving a fugitive war criminal during World War II -- an incident that comes back to haunt Archie at crucial points in the plot. The story begins on New Year's Eve 1974, when Archie decides to end it all in a carbon monoxide-filled haze. Coincidentally, a nearby commune is celebrating the impending end of the world. Both Archie and the world survive to have some very unusual adventures.

    Smith populates White Teeth with an assortment of curious characters worthy of Dickens himself -- from Archie and Samad's headstrong spouses, lapsed Jehovah's Witness Clara (Naomie Harris) and tart-tongued Bengali Alsana (Archie Panjabi); to Clara's fire-and-brimstone mother, Hortense (Mona Hammond); Samad and Alsana's twin sons, brainy Magid and gang-leader Millat (both played by Christopher Simpson); and Archie and Clara's diffident daughter, Irie (Sarah Ozeke). Then there are the smugly scholarly Malfen family, the militant Keepers of the Eternal and Victorious Islamic Nation (an Islamic sect with an acronym problem), and a crazed animal liberation outfit called Fighting Animal Torture and Exploitation (FATE). All come together for a debacle at a pre-millennium bash for a genetically modified mouse. "White Teeth", the book by Zadie Smith, was commissioned by UK Network Channel 4 in the spring of 2002. Filming began in June of the same year and the first episode of four was aired on 17th September 2002. The show won praise from Film and TV critics and launched the career of one of it's stars Naomie Harris. The show gained healthy viewing figures throughout and peaked at 3.5 Million during the final episode. The Series has now been shown throughout the world and was aired in Australia, Sweden and most recently the USA to great success.moreless
  • 5
    Brookside

    Brookside

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    Channel 4 (ended 2003)
    The first episode was shown on Channel 4's opening night, November 2nd 1982 at 8pm. Initially screening twice weekly, it created hysteria in its opening months as bad-language and poor acting meant the series was panned by critics and viewers alike. However, after its first year, 'Brookside' became extremely popular and was Channel 4's top rated series for the rest of the 1980's. High points from the early years included the terrifying siege from 1985 in which 3 characters were held hostage in Number 7 by a crazed gunman. The following year, perennial favourite Sheila Grant (Sue Johnston) was sexually attacked and the writers of 'Brookside' sensitively handled the issue with admirable restraint. It was also during 1986 that 'Brookside's most long-running and popular character Jimmy Corkhill (Dean Sullivan) first appeared. It was at the turn of the 1990's that things started to change. A third episode was added to the schedule and to accommodate this extra air time, a new shopping parade was built and new characters and storylines tended to revolve more around Brookside Parade than good old Brookside Close. Perhaps 'Brookside's most remembered storyline came in 1993 with the arrival of the Jordache family. Mandy (Sandra Maitland), Beth (Anna Friel)and Rachel (Tiffany Chapman) were the victims of a hard-hitting domestic & sexual abuse storyline which climaxed with them murdering violent father Trevor (Brian Murray) and burying him under the patio! Here, 'Brookside' celebrated its highest ever audience figures of 8.5 million viewers. However, the need to shock and create sensational storylines is what ultimately killed 'Brookside'. 1996 saw the soap at its most contentious with the new, posh Simpson family. Viewers were subjected to incest as Brother and Sister Nat & Georgia jumped into bed together! And, with the re-appearance of Clair Sweeney as Lindsay Corkhill, the soap descended into gangsters, guns, murders and a good 3 years of explosions and carnage that wasn't all that well executed and viewers switched off in their droves. An attempt to take the show 'back to its roots' in 2002 completely backfired with the addition of the hideously mis-cast Gordon family. In 2002, just as the soap was celebrating its 20th Birthday (with yet another siege involving armed drug-dealers, culminating in a Police helicopter crashing on Brookside Parade!!), Channel 4 announced it was relegating its flagship soap to a 'graveyard' Saturday afternoon slot after viewing figures dropped to below 1 million. It was here 'Brookside' became unwatchable. During its final year, characters left with little or no explanation, storylines became repetitive and boring and it was literally only when Channel 4 then decided to screen the soap in a new 10.30pm late-night slot that things improved. The addition of vile drug-dealer Jack Michaelson (Paul Duckworth) saw 'Brookside' return to its hard-hitting core but it was just all too late... The axe fell and the remaining characters left one by one as an incinerator plant was due to be built on the demolished Brookside Close! We never did see the Close being flattened! After the demise of 'Brookside' a DVD was released wrapping up some open-ended storylines. It was called 'Unfinished Business'. BROADCAST HISTORY 1982 - Tuesday & Thursday 8pm-8.30pm Jan 1983 to Nov 1984 - Tuesday & Wednesday 8pm Nov and Dec 1984 - Monday & Wednesday 8pm Jan 1985 to July 1988 - Monday & Tuesday 8pm Aug 1988 to July 1990 - Monday & Wednesday 8pm From July 1990, an extra episode was added screening: 1990-1994 - Monday, Wednesday & Friday 8pm 1994-2001 - Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 8pm 2001 - Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 8pm (NB Channel 4 moved 'Brookside' around the schedule from around 2001, sometimes screening 2 episodes back-to-back) 2002 - Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 8pm November 2002 - Saturdays 4pm-5.30pm September 2003 - Tuesdays 10.30pm-12.00 November 4th 2003 - Final episode. 2915 episodes altogether were made.moreless
  • 6
    Faking It

    Faking It

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    Channel 4
    Faking It is a documentary series made by RDF Media for Channel 4 (UK). Part makeover, part challenge, and part fly-on-the-wall show, each programme follows a volunteer from one walk of life who lives and trains with an expert from a completely different field. After a four-week crash course in their mentor's area of expertise, the volunteer is put to the test by competing against genuine practitioners. Judges (who in most cases aren't initially aware that there is a faker in the line-up) are asked to pick a winner, and then pick out the fake. There is no particular prize for success - the fakers do it just for the experience. And to entertain us, of course. The programme has won several prestigious awards: Montreux Television Festival 2003 Golden Rose (awarded for the best TV programme overall) (Orchestra Conductor episode) BAFTA Awards Best Factual Primetime Feature 2001 (Chef episode); Best Factual Feature 2002 (series 4) Royal Television Society (RTS) Awards Best Primetime Feature 2001 (Series 3) Radio Times Reader's Choice Awards Best Factual Programme 2002 Broadcasting Press Guild Awards Best Single Documentary 2002 (Drag Queen episode) Faking It has been sold around the world and has been, or soon will be, seen on Life Network Canada; Channel 9 Australia; TV2 Denmark; TV Norge Norway; Kanal 5 Sweden, BBC America, BBC Prime (South Africa) and Channel 33 Dubai. An American version was shown in both the UK and USA (on TLC) in March 2003 and other domestic versions are in production in Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and Brazil. Faking It is made in 16:9 widescreen, except Season 7 which is in 4:3. Frequently Asked Questions How are fakers selected? In a variety of ways. Generally, the challenge is devised first, and then the producers look for someone who is a good contrast. Usually they advertise in relevant publications and websites - for instance, having decided they wanted someone who worked in computing to become a surfer, they advertised in the computer magazines. Other times, they actively scout for fakers (a visit to a London music college turned up Sian Evans, the cellist who would be transformed into a DJ in one of the show's classic episodes), or invite people who've written in. For the first USA series, open auditions were held. Now that the series has taken off, the producers have plenty of applicants to choose from, so the shortlisted applicants (sometimes as many as 50) have a final audition before the faker is chosen. What do they win? I don't know what it says about the different cultures, but for some reasons Americans are always asking this question while Brits almost never do. The answer is: nothing. You could say that the experience of being on the show is its own reward. "Faking It" isn't really a gameshow, after all - more of a "staged documentary" (to coin a phrase). Do they get paid? They get "expenses", apparently - it appears that they are compensated for loss of earnings, but they don't get an actual fee. Is it three weeks or four weeks? I'm sure they've said both. Has it changed? It's four weeks on the UK show, three weeks on the US version. I'm not sure why the difference - perhaps they just reckon Americans won't be able to get four weeks off work. Has anyone ever dropped out? No. The fakers are free to walk out if they choose, but no-one has ever done so (the closest is Chris Sweeney, who left, but then came back). There was one faker who never made it to screen though - the girl originally selected to become a ballroom dancer was so bad that she was sent home after two weeks. About episode titles: With the exception of "Web Surfer to Wave Surfer" and the follow-up special "Faking It Changed My Life", none of the British episodes had official titles when shown in the UK. For the purposes of this guide, the titles given are those used by BBC America (where known). These can be considered semi-official. The Faking It USA episode titles were used by both TLC and Channel 4 and can be considered official.moreless
  • 7
    8 Out of 10 Cats

    8 Out of 10 Cats

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    Channel 4
    Channel 4's topical panel quiz show, see's two teams (made up of the team captain and two celebrity guests), who are then asked questions relating to opinion polls and statistics based on the week's events in the news and media. It's currently airing its seventeenth series.

    8 out of 10 Cats is presented by Jimmy Carr, with team captains Sean Lock and Jon Richardson. The voice of John Pohlhammer introduces the panel at the beginning of each episode. Originally Dave Spikey was the team captain against Lock for the first four series, he was then replaced with Jason Manford from series 5 to 10 who was replaced by Richardson from series 11. Air days:
    • Monday (Series 17–present)
    • Friday (Series 1–6, 8–13, 15–16)
    • Monday (Series 14)
    • Thursday (Series 7)moreless
  • 8
    The IT Crowd

    The IT Crowd

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    Channel 4 (ended 2013)
    At the UK company Reynholm Industries, their corporate high-rise towers are full of beautiful happy people with one success story after another. Well, except for the employees that work in the basement - the IT department. While their colleagues work in fantastic surroundings, Jen, Roy and Moss must work below ground in the dark and horrible basement, struggling to make it into normal society. Jen (Katherine Parkinson) is a career person who is looking to climb the corporate ladder. Unfortunately, due to fibbing on her CV (resume), she finds herself the manager of the IT Department. The problem is, she knows nothing about technology! Roy (Chris O'Dowd) and Moss (Richard Ayoade) make up the IT Department and share a love of technology, science fiction and not having to work if at all possible. What they don't like is the idea of being supervised by someone who knows nothing about computers. Seeing that Roy and Moss may know a lot about computers, but very little about working with people, Jen takes on the role of "Relationship Manager" to help the guys and help herself in the process. The IT Crowd is a playful and somewhat surreal look at what it's really like to be the underof every company - the IT Department. In 2008, The IT Crowd won the Rose D'Or for Best Comedy.moreless
  • 9
    Phoenix Nights

    Phoenix Nights

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    Channel 4 (ended 2002)
    Award-winning comedy. Peter Kay plays Legendary social club owner Brian Potter and his hapless band of staff and regulars are determined to make the Phoenix Club a success no matter what.moreless
  • 10
    You Are What You Eat

    You Are What You Eat

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    Channel 4
    Let holistic nutritionist Gillian McKeith rid you of your poor eating habits in this life-affirming cooking show. Gillian visits real-life people all over England and confronts them with their eating habits. She places all the food they've eaten for a week on a table before them and lets them stare in wonder. Gillian then dives into their other habits, nasty and naughty. Follow their journey through a healthy vegan diet for eight weeks. Each contestant is revisited after the program to see their success or failure in our own eyes.moreless
  • 11
    Black Books

    Black Books

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    Channel 4 (ended 2004)
    Black Books is a second-hand bookshop in London run by an Irishman named Bernard Black. He is probably the planet's least-suited person to run such an establishment: he makes no effort to sell, closes at strange hours on a whim, is in a perpetual alcoholic stupor, abhors his customers (sometimes physically abusing them) and is often comatose at his desk. Help comes in the lumpy shape of Manny Bianco, a hairy, bumbling individual who becomes Bernard's assistant. Manny is not exactly great at the job either but he is a million times better than Bernard. Next door is Fran, an anxious, frustrated woman who runs a sort of new-age shop selling the most unlikely bits of arty junk. Fran is friends with Bernard and, through him, with Manny; together the trio become embroiled in escapades that are sometimes extreme, fantastically ludicrous, and always bizarre. The show has won two BAFTA awards and one Bronze Rose award.moreless
  • 12
    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares

    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares

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    Channel 4
    Each week Gordon travels to a different restaurant in dire need of help. He often has to deal with chefs and waitresses stuck in their ways, ready-made meals and slow service, none of which he allows in any of his own restaurants. With a long history in the food industry, Gordon uses his wealth of knowledge to try to get them back on track and into financially viable businesses.moreless
  • 13
    Live From Abbey Road

    Live From Abbey Road

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    Channel 4 (Mini-Series 2007)
    See some of rock music's biggest stars perform at London's legendary recording studio Abbey Road in this Channel 4 series. The show subsequently aired on the Sundance Channel in the States. The show had 12 episodes, each with 60 minutes. There were usually 3 artists per show(except in the ninth episode, where there were four artists), all of them singing three songs (except for Richard Ashcroft in show 11, Madeleine Peyroux in show 6, Craig David in show 10 and Iron Maiden in show 12, who sang only 2 songs and, Shawn Colvin and Nerina Pallot in show 9, who sang only 1 song)moreless
  • 14
    Countdown

    Countdown

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    Channel 4
    Countdown is a game show adapted from the French format "Des Chiffres Et Des Lettres". The show was originally broadcast on British regional TV channel Yorkshire Television, at 6.30pm following the local news programme "Calendar" (1968), and was originally called "Calendar Countdown". The show works on a winner-stays-on basis, with contestants retiring after eight wins. The top eight players return at the end of the series to compete in a knockout phase with the top prize being the complete (20 volume) Oxford English Dictionary, worth around 6000 UKP. Champion-of-Champions competitions are also held about once every two years, seeing who is the best of the best.

    Richard Whiteley had been a presenter on "Calendar" from 1968 until 1995. "Countdown" shortly thereafter moved to Channel 4 upon that channel's launch. Originally, Carol Vorderman only presented the numbers rounds of the game - the letters rounds were presented in the early series by other hostesse's (Kathy Hytner, Beverley Isherwood and Linda Barratt have all had this role, Hytner the longest, due to budget-cutting, the other 2 were axed in 1983) After Kathy Hytner Left in 1987, Karen Loughlin took over until the end of 1988. Throughout 1989 before Carol became the sole hostess, Lucy Summers took the role of presenting the Letter Rounds. The show has had many on-screen adjudicators, of whom the longest-serving and best-known is Susie Dent (January 1992 to present).

    Sadly Richard Whiteley passed away after contracting pneumonia in October 2005, their was rumours that the next series (series 54) would be presented by a different guest presenter every week, although a good idea auditions for a new host were held (Richard Digance,Noel Edmonds and Paul Merton all have being rumoured to have auditioned), Sport-Presenter Des Lynam won the role, and presented from October 2005, until the travelling distance got too much for him. He has being quoted on saying, that he is a natural Sports presenter, and even though Carol kept him sane, he would rather go back into the area he is more familiar with.

    The Newest series to broadcast, is to be hosted by All-Round Entertainer, Des O'Connor who will be joined by Carol Vorderman and Susie Dent.moreless
  • 15
    Queer as Folk (UK)

    Queer as Folk (UK)

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    Channel 4 (ended 2000)
    Stuart Jones (Aidan Gillen) has got it all. He's rich, drop-dead gorgeous and always the centre of attention. He can be forgiven the arrogance because he's pretty close to perfection. His best mate Vince Tyler (Craig Kelly) is funny, adorable and definitely a babe but, unlike his friend, has zero confidence in himself. Since time began, Vince has carried a torch for Stuart but his love remains firmly unrequited. They're both 29, hitting Canal Street every night, stalwarts of the scene but just starting to wonder where else their lives may be going. Then along comes Nathan Maloney (Charlie Hunnam). Young, wild and coming out with a vengeance, he crowbars his way into their world and once he arrives, nothing is ever the same again.moreless
  • 16
    Peep Show

    Peep Show

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    Channel 4
    Essentially, a take on The Odd Couple, Peep Show revolves around the lives of Mark Corrigan and Jeremy Osbourne; two twenty-somethings who share a flat. Mark works in an office and has a bleak outlook on life; he's infatuated with his colleague, Sophie Chapman. Jeremy, in contrast, is a lazy, shallow man trying to make it in the music industry. A unique twist that immediately sets the show apart form other sitcoms is the use of the first person view point [the original show title was POV], where we get to see from the characters own eyes. We also get to hear internal thoughts and opinions which reveals things they wouldn't say out loud.moreless
  • 17
    How Clean Is Your House?

    How Clean Is Your House?

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    Channel 4
    A third season is on the way, so here they come again! Kim Woodburn and Aggie MacKenzie are aiming to conquer crud in the U.S.! By the time these two cleaning tornados whip through homes you can't even walk through, you'll be zipping through your own mess just to try out the handy tips they give, like polishing copper with ketchup/catsup and scrubbing tubs with baking soda and lemon juice. When's the last time you fog-proofed your bathroom mirrors by wiping them down with shaving cream? You think you know, but you might not! How Clean Is YOUR House?moreless
  • 18
    Jamie's School Dinners

    Jamie's School Dinners

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    Channel 4 (ended 2005)
    Jamie Oliver has set himself the challenge of a lifetime—to take charge of 20,000 school lunches a day across one of London's most demanding areas as he campaigns to ban junk foods in schools and stop students from eating a quarter of a ton of French fries a week. If he succeeds in transforming the way kids eat, Jamie will use this experience to create a blueprint for school meals across the country.

    Jamie's School Dinners finds Oliver taking on the school meals service of a Council-run secondary school in Greenwich, a London borough, as well as spending a month working with primary kids in a severely deprived part of Durham. After finding out what young people are eating for lunch, how it's prepared, and how on earth you cook for hundreds of kids at a time, Oliver works with the students and catering staff to steer students away from processed, pre-prepared meals towards healthier and more exciting choices such as wraps, Thai curries and fish pies. Jamie prepares the new meals from scratch daily with fiery school dinner lady, Nora.moreless
  • 19
    River Cottage Forever

    River Cottage Forever

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    Channel 4 (ended 2002)
    Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has managed to break away from urban life and finally settle at River Cottage in Dorset. after two years at the cottage, he's asking himself the big question: should he stay forever?moreless
  • 20
    The Ghost Squad

    The Ghost Squad

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    Channel 4 (ended 2005)
    Welcome to The Ghost Squad guide at TV.com. Amy Harris is an idealistic young undercover detective recruited to The Ghost Squad by her powerful new boss, Detective Superintendent Carol McKay. Pete, a thrill-seeking detective, lends support and guidance to Amy as she is thrust into the gritty new world of undercover work.moreless
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