From Sunday 17 April 7.40pm
Joe and Claire hope to create ‘one of the greatest homes on the planet’, that looks like a huge piece of art, with 34 enormous, angled zinc shards. But the expensive build faces mind-boggling problems.
This new series of Grand Designs features wildly different cutting-edge homes and dramatic personal stories.
All throughout Kevin McCloud is on hand to guide us through the trials and tribulations of creating extraordinary, highly personal places to live no matter the odds.
Few of us would think of building their home to look like a work of art, but on a hill overlooking a beautiful valley in South Devon Joe and Claire are going to do just that. Their new house will be a giant sculpture inspired by the local landscape, 70 metres long and featuring 34 enormous, angled zinc shards jutting out in all directions. It will be complicated and expensive to build, but Joe is young, wealthy and ambitious, as well as fearless. He intends to invest a large part of his self-made fortune into making the impossible possible. His aim is to build "one of the greatest homes on the planet”.
But with huge ambition can come huge risk, and right from the start the problems are mind boggling. Major structural engineering changes are necessary to contend with high winds hitting the shards, and the £835,000 budget virtually doubles before the first walls go up. A team of local builders then struggle through all weathers to build a vast intricate wooden frame, but the prefabricated timbers simply won’t fit together. As delays mount, what should have been a masterpiece is in real danger of becoming a white elephant.
Production credit: FremantleMedia Ltd/Naked West Production. Written and presented by Kevin McCloud. Executive Producers: John Lonsdale and John Comerford.
Monday 18 April 8.30pm
Sir David Attenborough joins Ben Garrod and a team of investigators at a mammoth graveyard, near Swindon, to explore whether Neanderthals might have killed the Ice Age beasts.
Four years ago, a couple walking round a freshly dug gravel pit just outside Swindon noticed something unusual protruding from the mud. It was the top of a huge fossilised Mammoth leg bone. Sally and Neville Hollingworth, both keen amateur fossil hunters, had stumbled across the discovery of a lifetime - a mammoth graveyard in the prehistoric riverbed of the Thames.
They returned to dig up more bones and tusks and a stone ‘hand axe’ made by an early human. Unlike most mammoth discoveries that date back tens of thousands of years, Sally and Neville’s finds appear to be hundreds of thousands of years old - offering an extremely rare glimpse of life deep in the Ice Ages.
When Sir David Attenborough heard about their remarkable finds he was keen to see them for himself.They join biologist Prof. Ben Garrod and a team of archaeologists and palaeontologists as they carefully excavate the quarry. The site raises many questions: Why were the mammoths here? How did they die? Could the ancient humans have killed them? Or was there some kind of catastrophic event?Sir David and Ben meet with leading experts in the fields of evolution, both human and mammoth to grasp a greater understanding of our relationship with this iconic ice-age giant.
Laboratory dating of soil samples suggests the site dates to around 215,000 years ago. As the team finds more tools and bones, they realise this could be a once-in-a-generation discovery, offering a unique window into prehistoric Britain.
Production credit: A BBC Production.
Wednesday 20 April 9.30pm
Hosted by Rhys Nicholson, part two of the Allstars Super Show revels in a sensational line-up of the biggest names and brightest new stars of comedy as they raise the roof of the historic Palais Theatre and fill the city with laughter.
After the couple of years we’ve had, Melbourne, it’s time to make some noise.
Production credit: Broadcast produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in association with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Event produced by the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Festival Director Susan Provan. ABC Executive Producer Rachel Millar.