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Wednesday, 5 December, 2001, 15:11 GMT
More hi-tech animals lead BBC line-up
A new filming technique has been used to make Weird Nature
A new filming technique has been used in Weird Nature
The BBC's recent pedigree in hi-tech natural history shows is set to continue with a new series that promises to show viewers animal movement in 3-D.

Weird Nature was unveiled as part of BBC One's 174m winter line-up, which also includes a number of programmes that will tackle sensitive and topical issues.


BBC One must continue to push the boundaries of creativity and innovation

Lorraine Heggessey
BBC One controller
The first prime-time TV comedy to centre around a disabled character will get its debut, while the channel will also devote a whole day to the state of the NHS.

"BBC One must keep its finger on the pulse of Britain today if it is to stay relevant to the lives of the audience," the channel's controller Lorraine Heggessey said.

The new schedule was intended to be a "fresh approach to conveying the way we live now", she added.

Stephen Tompkinson and Dawn French play Ted and Alice
Stephen Tompkinson and Dawn French play Ted and Alice
Weird Nature has taken three years to make, and a brand new filming technique has been used to show animal movements in 3D.

The programme will compare man and animals to find the strangest community on the planet.

BBC One has had recent ratings successes with Walking With Dinosaurs and Walking With Beasts, which have used ground-breaking technology to bring extinct creatures back to life.

All About Me is centred on a boy with cerebral palsy
All About Me is centred on a boy with cerebral palsy
Among other new shows to hit UK TV screens will be a new Dawn French and Stephen Tompkinson comedy Ted and Alice.

Former Ballykissangel star Tompkinson plays an alien who falls in love with French's character.

In sitcom All About Me, a boy with cerebral palsy will play the central character, starring alongside veteran comic Jasper Carrot and Goodness Gracious Me's Meera Syal.

Raj, played by Jamil Dhillon, 11, is in a wheelchair and cannot talk, but viewers will hear his thoughts through a voice-over.

James Bolam is starring as Dr Harold Shipman on ITV
James Bolam is starring as Dr Harold Shipman on ITV
And one day will be dedicated to giving viewers a "true snapshot" of the state of the National Health Service with a specially-commissioned poll, regional link-ups, a live nationwide debate and themed programming.

Another highlight from the factual department will include a documentary following the highs and lows of treating unborn babies in Life Before Birth.

ITV1 recently unveiled its winter line-up, containing a number of high-profile dramas, including a dramatisation of the story of Dr Harold Shipman.

Both channels have also released their Christmas Day schedules, with BBC One's return of Only Fools and Horses - to be aired at 2105 GMT - favourite to win the festive ratings battle.

Only Fools and Horses is the BBC's Christmas centrepiece
Only Fools and Horses is the BBC's Christmas centrepiece
It will be up against a Stars In Their Eyes Christmas Special on ITV1, while Toy Story, BBC One's Christmas Day afternoon film, faces screen classic The Great Escape on the other channel.

BBC One will screen two espisodes of EastEnders on Christmas Day as well as film Sliding Doors, while ITV1 also has a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? celebrity special and a festive edition of You've Been Framed.

"This is a special time for family and friends and we need to offer something extra special to earn our place in living rooms around the UK this Christmas," Ms Heggessey said.

See also:

16 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
Beasts roar to ratings win
04 Oct 01 | TV and Radio
BBC to screen 'risky' sitcom
28 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
ITV 'not surprised' at ratings defeat
16 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
BBC One tops ratings
29 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
Del Boy is Christmas ratings favourite
13 Sep 01 | TV and Radio
BBC One chief quashes critics
25 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
BBC rejects ITV chief's criticism
12 Sep 01 | TV and Radio
Heggessey one year on
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