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Ed Balls In Europe

 Ed Balls In EuropeEd Balls In Europe








Ed Balls heads to Europe as part of a three-part BBC Two series, produced in partnership with The Open University, to discover why so many people are rejecting mainstream politics. 

On his travels, the former politician meets everyday voters to find out what’s behind this populist revolution - and the potential consequences for Europe’s future. 

The first leg of Ed’s journey takes him to Holland - and the fishing towns of Den Helder and Scheveningen. Here he meets with two fishermen, Dirk and Willem. Dirk takes Ed out for a day of trawler fishing. In the Netherlands, the fishing industry is important to the country’s national identity. Ed hears how the impact of EU law around fishing practices has affected their business. 

In Scheveningen, Willem shows Ed around the local fish factory and invites him to join his daily ritual: a bracing dip in the chilly North Sea. Willem tells Ed that he believes in a vision for Dutch politics which puts ‘Netherlands First’ and restores pride to the people of Holland. 

With Willem’s words ringing in his ears, Ed journeys north in the country, to Ede, where he meets with Harold Veerwoert who is a ‘Black Pete’ actor and entertainer. Black Pete involves the Dutch daubing themselves in black paint to portray the helper of a Santa Claus-like figure called Sinterklaas. Despite finding the practice uncomfortable Ed attempts to learn more about this age-old tradition, which has come under fire for being akin to blackface and which, in recent years, campaigners have called for to be banned. 

The second leg of Ed’s journey takes him to Spain where, unlike Holland, far-right populism is relatively new. In Andalucia, the Vox Party- the first far right party since the days of Franco to win seats in the parliament, is pledging to stand up for the controversial practice of bullfighting. Ed spends time with a famed local matador and his family to try to understand the communities who defend bullfighting. 

Finally, Ed travels over the Mediterranean Sea to the tip of Morocco, to visit the Spanish enclave of Melilla, where he spends a shift with the local police, the Guardia Civil, whose responsibility it is to stop migrants jumping over the 11ft fence which separates Africa and Europe. 

As Ed is faced with the issues which are influencing people’s move to populism, he reflects on the challenges that mainstream politics faces, and how politics must evolve. 

The first part of Travels In Euroland With Ed Balls is screened on Thursday 23 January – BBC Two 

6 January 2020

Masked Singer Ratings

The Masked SingerThe Masked Singer









ITV's new talent show The Masked Singer edged out the return of the BBC's The Greatest Dancer in Saturday night's TV ratings, overnight figures show.

The Masked Singer, which sees celebrities singing anonymously behind outlandish costumes, drew an average audience of 5.5 million viewers. 

It went head-to-head with The Greatest Dancer, which attracted 3.2 million. 

The second episode of The Masked Singer was shown on Sunday, when its figures dropped to 4.2 million. 

The Masked Singer keeps the identities of its singing celebrities closely guarded secrets by disguising them as butterflies, octopuses, ducks and the like. 

Judges Jonathan Ross, Rita Ora, Davina McCall and Ken Jeong have to guess who they are, based solely on their vocals and cryptic hints delivered in a distorted voice. 

One contestant is unmasked at the end of every show. 

6 January 2020

Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memprial DayHolocaust Memprial Day









The BBC is marking Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January 2020) and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau with a special televised Holocaust Memorial Day event, as well as a range of content across TV and radio.

The BBC is producing the national Holocaust Memorial Day event on behalf of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust with the theme of Stand Together. Other programme highlights include a major new drama telling the story of the Windermere Children, child survivors of the Nazi Holocaust; Robert Rinder helping second and third generations of families who experienced the Holocaust retrace their relatives’ footstep; David Baddiel investigating the history and modern face of Holocaust denial; a moving documentary exploring the untold story of the infamous Bergen-Belsen concentration camp; a special edition of Words And Music on BBC Radio 3.

Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC, said: "This is an important moment to stop and reflect on a period in our history which showed both the worst, and the best, of the human spirit. That's why we've invested in drama, documentary and events to mark the 75th anniversary. We'll be telling new stories, as well as sharing first-hand testimonies from those who lived through the horror of the concentration camps.

"It's our responsibility as the nation's public service broadcaster to bring these stories to new generations - and I'd like to thank the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, and our European media partners, for their invaluable support. Together, we're offering everyone the chance to reflect on the consequences of prejudice and hatred, and in doing so we'll ensure that the millions of lives lost in the Holocaust are not forgotten."

6 January 2020


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