BBC America Celebrates Summer of London
via press release
BBC AMERICA CELEBRATES THE SUMMER OF LONDON
Live Coverage of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
US Premiere Comedies: Twenty Twelve and Absolutely Fabulous
World Premiere Specials: The Brit List hosted by Asha Leo
US Premiere Documentaries: The Diamond Queen and Discovering Lennon
US Premiere Drama: Going For Gold – The ’48 Games
Entire Series Marathon: The Tudors
Multi-platform Summer of London countdown hosted by Asha Leo
New York – Wednesday, May 9, 2012 – As all eyes turn to London this summer, BBC AMERICA celebrates with a season of brilliantly British and exceptionally English programming. From The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June through the London Olympics in August, BBC AMERICA offers viewers a wide slate of live event coverage, comedies, documentaries, dramas and special features across all of BBC AMERICA’s branded platforms under the umbrella – BBC AMERICA’s Summer of London.
The channel announced today BBC AMERICA’s Summer of London programming will include live coverage of both the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant for Her Majesty The Queen and Jubilee Day, including Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, as well as the US premiere of the landmark documentary The Diamond Queen.
As a tribute to the London Olympics, the channel will air highly acclaimed comedy Twenty Twelve starring Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville, an Olympic themed Absolutely Fabulous special starring Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley and Doctor Who’s Matt Smith stars in the uplifting drama Going for Gold – The ’48 Games.
On the pop culture front, the channel will premiere The Brit List, a series of specials hosted by BBC AMERICA’s pop culture correspondent Asha Leo, as well as a series of Asha Leo hosted short-form pieces featuring insider highlights of the upcoming summer activities.
The last great British culture invasion will be celebrated with a slate of Beatles programming, including the premiere of the documentary Discovering Lennon, plus BBC AMERICA will get into the royal spirit with a marathon of the entire series of The Tudors.
Perry Simon, General Manager of BBC AMERICA, said: “It feels like we’re in the midst of a new British cultural invasion and this coming summer offers a non-stop series of events and stories that will put London front and center on the world stage. If you can’t experience it in person, we want to make BBC AMERICA the next best place for Americans to celebrate this historic Summer of London.”
On Sunday, June 3, in recognition of the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign on the throne, BBC AMERICA will present an entire day of specials and documentaries including the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant airing live at 9:00am ET. Over one thousand boats of all shapes and sizes will assemble, beautifully dressed with streamers and Union Jacks, for a formal procession down the River Thames in preparation for Her Majesty The Queen. The commemorative marathon leads up to the US premiere at 8:00pm ET/PT of The Diamond Queen (1 x 180), written and presented by Andrew Marr (History of Modern Britain) and executive produced by Nick Vaughn-Barratt. Marr presents a definitive analysis of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign with exclusive interviews with members of the Royal family including Princes William and Harry, The Duke of York and the Princess Royal. On June 5th, the celebration carries on with live Jubilee Day coverage including Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, together with other members of the Royal family, will attend a service of thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, which will be followed by a formal carriage procession.
The British invasion continues with a new series of world premiere specials, The Brit List (3 x 60), hosted by Asha Leo and produced by Embassy Row and executive produced by Michael Davies and Stephanie Masarsky-Sloves. Asha Leo has been a fixture on the channel over the past several months, hosting movies and interviewing celebrities on red carpets from London to LA. From Tom Hardy to Cadbury Flake commercials to the Aston Martin, The Brit List: 20 Sexiest, premiering Tuesday, June 12, 10:00pm ET/PT, ranks the hottest British models, actors, athletes, musicians and iconic elements of British pop culture. From Vivienne Westwood to Idris Elba, The Brit List: 20 Coolest, premiering Tuesday, June 19, 10:00pm ET/PT, looks at the effortless style, grace, energy and irreverence – in a word – “cool” that is uniquely British. From Lord Voldemort to Johnny Rotten, The Brit List: 20 Baddest, premiering Tuesday, June 26, 10:00pm ET/PT, features the nasty and naughty who utterly demolish the stereotype of the polite Brit. In addition to the three specials, Asha Leo will be counting down the top people, places, food, fashion and arts in and around London from May to August in The Brit List: Summer of London. The countdown, which will also include tips from some of the channel’s stars, launches on May 28 in on-air packages that throw to additional content online at BBCAmerica.com’s Anglophenia blog and across YouTube, Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter.
The last time most Americans remember such an onslaught of British culture from across the pond was the Beatles invasion of the 1960’s. To honor that period, as well as Sir Paul McCartney’s 70th birthday on June 18, BBC AMERICA will air a slate of Beatles specials in June including Beatles Biggest Secrets and The Beatles: From Liverpool to San Francisco. On Tuesday, June 19, 9:00pm ET/PT, BBC AMERICA will premiere Discovering Lennon (1 x 60), from executive producer Dominic Saville. The documentary shines a light on the bold and beautiful ideas of John Lennon, the artist. The avant-garde rock and roller is placed into today’s context by his contemporaries and current pop culture and political commentators including Mark Ronson, Damien Hirst, Rankin and John Simm.
Inspired by the London Olympics, BBC AMERICA will premiere a slate of programming to celebrate this iconic event. On Monday, June 25, 9:00pm ET/PT, BBC AMERICA will premiere Going for Gold – The ’48 Games (1 x 90). Written by William Ivory (Made in Dagenham) and executive produced by Jessica Pope (Sense and Sensibility), the drama is an inspiring story of how two young British men, Bert Bushnell (Matt Smith) and Dickie Burnell (Sam Haore, Jane Eyre), were thrown together just weeks before the final of the 1948 London Olympics and rose above distinctions of birth and class to defy the odds and become gold medalists.
On Saturday, June 30, Midnight ET/9pm PT, BBC AMERICA’s Ministry of Laughs comedy block debuts the docu-style comedy Twenty Twelve (13 x 30), which follows the team responsible for delivering the biggest show on earth: the London Olympics. From executive producer Jon Plowman (The Office, Extras, Absolutely Fabulous) and writer John Morton (People Like Us), the BAFTA-nominated series stars BAFTA-nominee Hugh Bonneville, BAFTA-nominee Olivia Colman (Peep Show), Jessica Hynes (Spaced), Amelia Bullmore (I’m Alan Partridge), Vincent Franklin (The Thick of It), and Karl Theobald (Green Wing) and is narrated by David Tennant (The Spies of Warsaw, Doctor Who).
This summer will also see the premiere of the third and final all-new Absolutely Fabulous (1 x 60) special on BBC AMERICA. Comedy sensations BAFTA-nominee Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley reprise their roles as Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone. From executive producer Jon Plowman, the special sees Eddy and Patsy playing their own very special part in the prestigious sporting event in London.
BBC AMERICA’s Summer of London launches Saturday, May 26 at 6:00am ET with a marathon of the entire series of The Tudors, ahead of the hit series returning to its regular Wednesday night 9:00pm ET/PT timeslot on June 6.