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Friday, 24 August, 2001, 09:21 GMT 10:21 UK
Peaktime viewing gets factual
David Attenborough
David Attenborough is celebrating 50 years in TV
Spending on factual programmes on BBC One is going up by 20% as the channel unveils a crop of new specialist shows, it has been announced.

One of the channel's most ambitious projects is to recreate ancient Egyptian life using drama reconstruction and digital technology.

Pyramid, scheduled for April 2002, will be presented by Egyptologist John Romer, telling the story of the construction of the only survivor of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Professor Robert Winston
Professor Robert Winston explores the influence of DNA
Celebrating 50 years in television, David Attenborough travels the world searching for many of the 4,000 species of mammals.

The Life of Mammals, a 10-part series, has taken three years to make and attempts to understand why the animals outlived dinosaurs.

Following on from BBC One's Son of God series, fronted by newsreader Jeremy Bowen, the factual department is turning its attention to the life of Moses.


I am passionately committed to increasing BBC One's investment in specialist factual programme in prime time

Lorraine Heggessey
Computer technology will once again be used to simulate the life of the biblical figure for a one-off show.

Sharks

Another big project is the tentatively titled The Abyss, which the explores some of the deepest oceans, up to a mile under water.

Manned submersibles will be launched with cameras to capture footage such as untouched wrecks too deep for divers to reach as well as deep sea sharks.

Professor Robert Winston returns in a series, this time studying DNA in Inside Human Genome.

"I am passionately committed to increasing BBC One's investment in specialist factual programme in prime time," said BBC One controller Lorraine Heggessey.

Novels

"We're constantly looking for new ambitious ideas to surprise and delight as these new commissions show."

In the field of drama, BBC One is introducing three series adapted from novels.

Phyllida Law
Phyllida Law will take the role of the grandmother in Stig of the Dump
Stig of the Dump, which was previously on screen in the early 80s, will be put into a Sunday teatime slot.

Based on the Clive King novel, the new drama will star Geoffrey Palmer, Phyllida Law, Johnny Vegas and Lisa Coleman.

The team behind the upcoming Harry Potter film has been drafted in to make central character Stig as real to life as possible.

Tony Parsons bestseller Man and Boy will also be turned in a series.

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger's first screenplay, a thriller called Fields of Gold, will be directed by Bill Anderson.

See also:

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