Princess Diana’s Death: Mystery Solved, looks into what really happened to the People’s Princess

WAS PRINCESS DIANA’S death an accident or murder?

The official explanation after an intense inquest is that she died after an accidental road crash in a Paris tunnel in 1997.

French investigators concluded that her driver, Henri Paul, was three times over the legal blood alcohol limit when he was behind the wheel of her Mercedes.

Yet many believe that we have not been told the whole truth about Diana’s death, nor that it was an accident.

Internationally renowned detective Colin McLaren, the man who cracked the case of who killed JFK, sets out to find answers in a two-part doco Princess Diana’s Death: Mystery Solved.

In his investigation, McLaren touches on some of the theories and evidence behind Diana’s death. Are they tinfoil-hat conspiracies or uncomfortably close to the truth?
You be the judge.

Below are some of the reported theories:

Diana was killed because of her relationship with Dodi Fayed

Fayed, who also died in the crash, was the son of Mohamed Al-Fayed, the owner of Harrods department store.

Al-Fayed was so hated by the British establishment that he was refused British citizenship despite owning such an iconic business.

It has been claimed that Diana was pregnant with Fayed’s child and that the British establishment would not accept a relationship between the mother of the future king and a Muslim.

The Royal Family was involved in her death

Both the Royal Family and MI5 have been accused of being involved in both the “hit” and any subsequent cover-up.

It is also claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin told colleagues that he had proof that the Royal Family was behind her assassination.

Diana was killed because of her work against land mines

The anti-mine campaigner was allegedly planning to expose important people involved in the British arms trade industry.

Her work was already turning the tide against the sale and proliferation of land mines. When money is threatened, people act.

Was it enough to get her killed?

Diana’s car was run off the road by a white Fiat Uno

The owner of the alleged Fiat has never been found.

It was claimed that the Fiat was owned by a French journalist who later committed suicide in 2000 – in a manner that some say was suspicious – but investigators ruled that theory out.

The unexplained bright flash before the Mercedes entered the tunnel

One theory is that it was the media attempting to take pictures of Diana in the car.

Another more sinister theory is that the light was part of an assassination attempt. In Tom Cain’s fiction book, The Accident Man, a former British marine soldier on a motorbike shines a bright light into the eyes of Henri Paul, causing him to lose control and crash.

This is fiction, yet in 2014, a former SAS sniper’s wife claimed he told her the SAS was behind Diana’s death.

It was an accident

Sometimes accidents just happen, even to famous people.

Maybe Henri Paul really was drunk. Maybe another car – or possibly the media – accidentally came too close to the Mercedes, leading him to lose control and crash.

Sometimes there really is no conspiracy, just bad luck.

  • Charles Purcell

Princess Diana’s Death: Mystery Solved is on HISTORY on August 24 and 31 at 8pm.

Princess Diana’s Death: Mystery Solved

You be the judge.”

Nothing is solved if they don’t reach a conclusion!

###Robert Redford’s The American West

From Tuesday 11 October at 7.30pm AEST

Featuring exclusive interviews with James Caan, Tom Selleck, Danny Glover, Burt Reynolds, Kiefer Sutherland, Ed Harris and Mark Harmon

Spanning the years 1865 to 1890, The American West, will show how, in the aftermath of the Civil War, The United States transforms into the “land of opportunity”.

This 8-part highly dramatised action packed docudrama provides unprecedented access to the wilderness, frontier lawlessness, and bloodshed of the 40 years between the end of the American Civil War and the turn of the 20th Century, when the west was won.

From Jesse James and Crazy Horse, to Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp and Buffalo Bill, the characters at the centre of this violent, blood-soaked period in American history are explored as each episode follows the stories and struggles of the West’s most infamous outlaws as they fight for their land and identity.

These men were the first to live the American dream, and the first to die for it.

Jim Buchan, General Manager – Factual said ”The American West is a subject that that is always popular with our History audience many of whom grew up reading these legendary tales.

“Redford’s approach and knowledge brings a fantastic new aspect to the retelling of this most exciting era in American history.”

The American West is Executive Produced by Emmy® Award-winning Stephen David Entertainment (“The World Wars,” ”The Men Who Built America”) and Robert Redford.

“Pioneers of Australian Surfing”

Wednesday 14 December at 7.30pm AEDT

Narrated by Dan Wyllie

On Wednesday, December 14 at 7.30pm, the HISTORY Channel explores the fascinating story of the birth of the Australian surfing boom with the premiere of Men of Wood & Foam.

This exclusive one-hour documentary uncovers a golden decade in surfing, starting in 1956, when surfing was transformed into a sport and culture with its very own music, movies, fashion and heroes.

Underpinning this exciting transformation was a small group of artisans who started out in the 1950s making wooden surfboards in their backyards along Sydney’s eastern beaches, before eventually moving to Brookvale where they experimented with “blowing foam” to make lighter and more responsive surfboards from plastics.

These pioneering artisans, Barry Bennett, Scott Dillon, Denny Keogh, Greg McDonagh, Bill Wallace and Gordon Woods became known as ‘The Brookvale Six’.

The transition from long wooden paddle boards, known as “tooth picks”, to the modern “Malibu Chip” surfboard first began in 1956, when American lifeguards arrived in Australia for an international surf carnival being held in conjunction with the Melbourne Olympics at Torquay in Victoria.

As soon as the Brookvale board builders saw the surfboards the Americans had brought with them, and the manoeuvres they could perform, the race was on to secure one of them to use as a prototype. Gordon Woods jumped in his car and drove 600 miles to make an offer.

By 1958, Bennett had formed the core of The Brookvale Six, building Malibu Chip boards from balsa wood – and by the start of the 1960s, surfboard riding really began to take off when the Brookvale pioneers produced the first lightweight foam boards, kicking off a huge Australian surfing boom.

Soon, Australia had its own surf champion in Midget Farrelly, its own stomp craze with Little Pattie, The Delltones and The Atlantics, its own surfing movies (Midget Goes Hawaiian, Surfing The Southern Cross) and its own surf magazines.

The Brookvale Six had not only supplied the entire country with surfboards, but also made design breakthroughs that put Australia at the forefront of the sport for decades to come - inspiring a never-before-seen evolution in Australian surf culture.

“Surfing is integral to the fabric of Australian lifestyle,” said Brian Walsh, Foxtel’s Executive Director of Television. “This fascinating documentary captures the heart and soul of a colourful chapter from our past”.

“We tend to associate surfing with the contemporary stars of today’s competitive pro circuit, but this unique perspective demonstrates what a rich history we have in one of Australia’s favourite past times. Men of Wood & Foam takes viewers on a sentimental journey through the changing years of the sport and brilliantly tells the story of the pioneers who shaped it. I am delighted that the HISTORY Channel continues to tell our stories, Australian stories and this is a very special one,” he said.

Featuring in-depth interviews with all members of The Brookvale Six: Gordon Woods, Bill Wallace, Scott Dillon, Danny Keogh, Greg McDonagh and Barry Bennett, leading surfers including Layne Beachley, Nat Young and the late Midget Farrelly, famous faces from the time including Patricia ‘Little Pattie’ Amphlett; as well as rare archival surfing footage spanning seven decades, Men of Wood & Foam explores a truly iconic time in Australian sporting and cultural history.

Men of Wood & Foam is produced by Backbeach Pictures and Panga Productions and will premiere exclusively on Foxtel’s HISTORY Channel Wednesday December 14 at 7.30pm AEDT.

Following Men of Wood & Foam the HISTORY Channel will also premiere the 1971 classic surf film Morning of the Earth at 8.30pm AEDT.

###Coast Australia

Neil Oliver returns for the most spectacular season yet of Coast Australia

From Monday 9 January at 7.30pm

Foxtel’s spectacular factual series Coast Australia, presented by internationally renowned historian and television presenter Neil Oliver, will return for its biggest season yet on Monday, January 9 at 7.30pm AEDT, exclusive to HISTORY.

Each one hour episode of season three will showcase a brand new strip of Australia’s vast and colourful coastline, as Neil and his team of co-presenters gather stories about the history, the people, the archaeology, the geography and the marine life of each area, capturing the incredible diversity around the edge of a young nation built on an ancient land.

The regions explored across each state over eight episodes include Port Lincoln, Botany Bay, Portland, South WA, King Island, Newcastle, Far North Queensland and North Kimberley.

In episode one, Coast Australia takes viewers on an exciting journey through Western Australia, travelling along the coastline from Albany all the way to Esperance and uncovering some incredible stories along the way.

Neil Oliver said “Travelling around Australia for Coast has been an intense experience and I’m acutely aware that I’ve had the privilege of seeing more of the continent than most Australians.

“My visits have changed the way I think, underlining to me what a vastly varied planet we live on. And I have to add that no matter how much I see of your country, it always leaves me wanting more! I’ll be back.”

Throughout the series, Neil will again be joined by some of Australia’s leading experts in their field: palaeontologist Professor Tim Flannery, historian Dr Alice Garner, marine ecologist Professor Emma Johnston and landscape architect Brendan Moar.

Also joining the Coast Australia presenting team this season is Australian marine scientist, journalist, filmmaker and global adventurer, Dr Dean Miller.

Dr Dean has travelled the world extensively through his work as a marine scientist, from researching fur seals in the Antarctic, to polar bears in the Russian Arctic and tiger sharks in the Great Barrier Reef. His passion for Australia’s natural landscape will see him uncover some incredible stories this season – with some action-packed adventures along the way.

Coast Australia is commissioned by Foxtel and produced by Great Southern Film and Television, with the format licensed from BBC Worldwide ANZ. It is based on the BAFTA Award-winning BBC series Coast.

Uncharted - coming to History channel in 2018

LAWLESS - The Real Bushrangers

Mike Munro returns to television as host of aA four-part documentary series premiering

Tuesday 24 October at 8.30pm AEDT

LAWLESS – The Real Bushrangers is a four-part original landmark documentary series unearthing the truth behind Australia’s legendary outlaws.

Hosted by respected journalist Mike Munro (himself a descendant of bushrangers) we follow investigations into the past and deliver the findings to living descendants of both bushrangers and those who fought against them.

In each fascinating episode, the team focuses on a single bushranger legend; Ned Kelly (VIC), Ben Hall (NSW), Captain Moonlite (NSW) and the last of the wild colonial boys - Patrick & James Kenniff (QLD). All are larger than life characters involved in infamous events heavily shrouded in mystery and folklore. The bushrangers are heroes to some, villains to others and for their descendants who carry their legacy today; they are a cause of either pain and shame, or pride and glory. There are always two sides to every story. But how do we separate fact from fiction?

Enter Mike Munro and the specialist LAWLESS investigation team; Dr Kiera Lindsey (historian), Adam Ford (archaeologist) and Professor Roger Byard (forensic Pathologist). Together they use their skills to apply an objective and rigorous analysis of these pivotal events.

Revisiting existing and new historical evidence they use 21st century high-tech science to get beyond the myths. Using archaeology to literally break new ground and the latest forensic methods to test the historical evidence, the team illuminates a fact-based version of our history. In each case the key question they seek to answer is – what really happened?

Mike Munro said: “With bushrangers in my own family tree, LAWLESS was the chance of a lifetime to sort fact from fiction in these great yarns that have been handed down through the generations and find out what really happened.

“Working on this series for the last two years has been an absolute highlight of my career. It has been wonderful working with the terrific teams at both Genepool Productions and Foxtel. It’s about Australians, for Australians and I could not be more proud.”

Jim Buchan, General Manager – Factual said “The bushranger is an iconic character looming large within Australia’s history as well as national consciousness. This lawless era spanned an entire century, far longer than the 30 years of the American Wild West that’s been so amplified by Hollywood film and television. Australians, however, collectively know very little about these infamous individuals and the circumstances that created them.

“LAWLESS - The Real Bushrangers series will for the first time bring a completely new and contemporary perspective to one of the most fascinating eras in the story of Australia. I am therefore delighted that Mike Munro along with Genepool Productions will be bringing this new exciting series to the HISTORY channel audience for the first time.”

Sonya Pemberton, Executive Producer, Genepool Productions said “We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Foxtel on this landmark series.

“It’s a remarkable opportunity to investigate our iconic bushranger stories in ways never before attempted in this country. Using archaeology, forensic science and taking a fresh view of history, LAWLESS - The Real Bushrangers will go behind the myths and offer evidence-based insights into events that shaped our nation.”

LAWLESS - The Real Bushrangers is produced by Emmy Award-winning Australian science television specialists Genepool Productions (part of the CJZ Group) with the support of Screen Australia, Film Victoria and Screen Queensland and will premiere on Foxtel’s HISTORY channel on Tuesday, October 24 at 8.30pm (AEDT).

Coast Australia - Season 4

Coast Australia with Neil Oliver commences production on season four

And new co-presenter Dave Johnston is introduced

Foxtel’s hugely popular factual series Coast Australia, presented by world-renowned British archaeologist and television presenter Neil Oliver has commenced production on season four.

The first three seasons of Coast Australia achieved outstanding ratings for the HISTORY channel, establishing the franchise as one of the most successful factual series to date on Foxtel.

Each one hour episode of season four will showcase a different strip of Australia’s spectacular coastline, as Neil Oliver and his team of co-presenters gather stories about the history, the people, the archaeology, the geography and the marine life of each region, investigating fascinating and little-known facts along the way.

The regions explored across each state this season include: Sydney Harbour, the west coast of Tasmania, the Great Australian Bight, Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay, Bunbury to Geraldton in Western Australia, Cocos and Christmas Island, Cooktown to Karumba in Queensland and Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

Foxtel’s General Manager of Entertainment and Factual Channels, Jim Buchan said “It’s incredibly exciting to be bringing a fourth season of Coast Australia to our audience, who’ve demonstrated over the past three seasons how they simply can’t get enough of this spectacular series. The show gives us a fantastic opportunity to capture untold Australian history in an accessible, contemporary way while also exploring our rich, diverse and stunning landscape.”

Throughout the series, Neil will again be joined by some of Australia’s leading experts in their field: palaeontologist Professor Tim Flannery, historian Dr Alice Garner, marine ecologist Professor Emma Johnston and marine biologist, Dr Dean Miller.

Also joining the Coast Australia presenting team this season is archaeologist, anthropologist and founder of the Australian Indigenous Archaeologist Association, Dave Johnston. Dave has worked as an archaeologist in Australia since 1990 and during that time has completed over 2000 archaeological and Indigenous heritage projects.

Coast Australia is commissioned by Foxtel and produced by Great Southern Film and Television, with the format licensed from BBC Worldwide ANZ. It is based on the BAFTA Award-winning BBC series Coast, which has been broadcast in the UK and internationally for the past twelve years.

Season four of Coast Australia will air on Foxtel’s HISTORY channel in early 2019.

MATESHIP – Australia & USA: A Century Together

4 July 4t 7.30pm AEST

Foxtel’s HISTORY channel presents MATESHIP – Australia & USA: A Century Together a 1 x hour documentary celebrating 100 years of the close bonds that unite Australia and America.

Since July 4 1918, the United States of America and Australia have never fought a major war without each other. It’s one of the longest alliances in modern history.

The relationship has not always been easy or even. Both countries have changed dramatically since 1918 when they first fought together at Hamel on the Western Front. The scale of US power has transformed the world. However, this friendship, forged in battle, shaped also by deep exchanges of ideas, art, people and trade, is a fascinating story of trust, difference, loyalty and respect what Australians would call mateship.

Hosted by respected journalist and broadcaster Mike Munro, the program explores through key places, periods and personal ties, the history of the US-Australian relationship. Mike Munro encounters people and places that bring the past to life, even revealing some of his own experiences as a young journalist in Australia during the tumultuous Vietnam War.

In France with US historian Mitch Yokelson, Mike Munro illuminates the first shared war experiences between American and Australian troops on the Western Front – battles that helped secure the Allies victory in WWI. American and Australian Vietnam veterans explain how their lasting friendship was forged in the heat of battle, as they fly their lovingly restored Huey helicopter over San Francisco Bay.

The documentary also draws on the rich moving and still archives of Americans and Australians at war and at peace. Historians, cultural commentators, activists and military experts add their insights to the rich and complex 100 year bond between the two nations and embraces political, economic and cultural history.

Group General Manager, Entertainment & Factual, Jim Buchan said “Most Australians have only a general idea of their shared connection with the United States of America. Few know the amazing depth and breadth of this history. July 4th 2018 will mark the centenary of a unique friendship between these two nations. Allies that have fought together in every conflict since the battle of Hamel in WWI where American troops fought and won in an Australian regiment under the leadership of General John Monash.

“Both country’s cultures have significantly influenced one another’s and continue to do so today. It’s therefore wonderful to be highlighting this tremendous history through incredible archive with WildBear productions, support from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Mike Munro who has been instrumental in capturing some incredible and moving interviews.”

In the lead up to the July 4 anniversary, HISTORY will also present an exclusive series of short form pieces including MATESHIP in the Fast Food Invasion, Television, Sport, Music, Retail, Vietnam, Music and Politics.

Some of the famous faces interviewed include Former Prime Minister of Australia John Howard, World Champion Surfer Layne Beachley, Cartoonist and Social Commentator Michael Leunig, Musician Marcia Hines, Film Director Phillip Noyce and Founding Member of INXS Kirk Pengilly.

MATESHIP – Australia & USA: A Century Together is produced by WildBear Entertainment. WildBear EPs Alan Erson and Michael Tear. Director Susan Lambert and will premiere on July 4th at 7.30pm AEST only on Foxtel’s HISTORY channel or stream it on demand.

History Channel has acquired Darwin’s Secret, a 50-minute documentary about a voyage by Charles Darwin aboard HMS Beagle from 1831 to 1836 that led to him formulating the Theory of Evolution.

The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill

From Monday 27 August at 7.30pm AEST

250 years after Captain James Cook began his epic exploration of the Pacific, Sam Neill journeys in the wake, uncovering stories that resonate from those times on both sides of the beach. Visiting the islands and lands where Cook went and meeting the descendants of the people Cook met, Sam hears their stories from oral tradition. What did Cook’s arrival mean to Pacific island cultures then and now?

Across six stunning episodes without a re-enactment or fake quill in sight, Sam takes an epic and thoroughly modern look at 250 years of Pacific history. Sam begins with a disclaimer – he is merely an actor – but the story of Cook, and the impact he has had on the Pacific in the 250 years since his first voyage, has always fascinated him.

“The Pacific made Cook and it killed him too… they are forever bound together. He stitched its islands, its continental borders and its indigenous peoples into the fabric of the global community we know today. Admire him or abhor him, James Cook cannot be banished from its history even now, as peoples of the modern Pacific, we make our own history,” Sam Neill said.
Cook first set sail to the Pacific in 1768. These vast waters, one third of the Earth’s surface, were uncharted – but not unknown. A rich diversity of people and cultures navigated, traded, lived and fought here for thousands of years. Before Cook, the Pacific was disconnected from the power and ideas of Europe, Asia and America. In the wake of Cook, everything changed.

On the 250th anniversary of the HMS Endeavour’s departure from England, actor Sam Neill takes a deeply personal, present-day voyage to map his own understanding of James Cook, Europe’s greatest navigator, and the immense Pacific Ocean itself. Setting sail on a great ocean tanker as well as many a smaller craft, Sam crosses the length and breadth of the largest ocean in the world to experience for himself a contemporary journey in Cook’s footsteps.

Group General Manager, Factual, Jim Buchan said “Foxtel is delighted to have acclaimed actor Sam Neill, a brilliant raconteur with a lifelong passion for Captain Cook’s story, hosting this epic series for Foxtel’s HISTORY channel.”

“It couldn’t be more timely, as Australia as a nation debates what has become a very controversial topic – the apparent discovery of Australia by Cook, his legacy in terms of the Indigenous peoples left in his wake and our national day being associated with settlement.”

Shot in high definition with lush aerial photography, the series will excite the mind and senses with an untold story of our own backyard.

The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill is directed by Sally Aitken (David Stratton: A Cinematic Life, Streets of Your Town, Getting Frank Gehry) and Kriv Stenders (Red Dog, Australia Day, Why Anzac with Sam Neill, The Go-Betweens: Right Here) and produced by Essential Media & Entertainment and Frame Up Films with the support of NZ On Air (NZ) and Screen Australia, in association with Create NSW.

The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill will premiere exclusively on Foxtel’s HISTORY channel, Mondays 7.30pm (AEST) from August 27. The series will also be available to customers On Demand.

100 Days to Victory

The extraordinary story of how the Allies turned the tide to win the Great War

Two-Part Series airing Thursdays at 8.30pm (AEST) from November 1


In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, Foxtel’s HISTORY channel brings 100 Days to Victory – a gripping account of the last 100 Days of the First World War.

In early 1918, the Allied armies had their backs to the wall as a great German offensive swept westward in a final bid to win the bloodiest war of all. Four generals staring at defeat – Marshal Ferdinand Foch (France), Field Marshal Douglas Haig (Britain), General John Monash (Australia) and General Arthur Currie (Canada) – had to come together to defeat the enemy with unprecedented teamwork and innovation.

After four years of bloodshed, Australian General Monash and Canadian General Currie were for the first time placed in charge of their own armies. Previously outsiders to the key decisions of war, Monash and Curry found themselves in the centre of the action, orchestrating a mobile multifaceted warfare combining tanks, artillery, aeroplanes and infantry.

New technology, new weapons and a new collaborative approach saw the Allies win a great victory at Amiens. Then on 29th September, a combined Australian, British and American force broke through the ‘impregnable’ Hindenburg Line, leaving the Germans no choice but to seek peace negotiations.

Through cinematic recreations, interviews with top historians and state-of-the-art CGI, this two-part series reveals how visionary Allied leadership, revolutionary tactics and the indomitable bravery of Australian diggers and their allies, turned the tide to win the Great War.

100 Days To Victory is commissioned by Foxtel, Corus Entertainment and the BBC with the support of Screen Australia, Screenwest, Lotterywest and the Canada Media Fund. It is an Australian-Canadian coproduction and is produced by Electric Pictures and Bristol Global Media. The two-part series will premiere exclusively on Foxtel’s HISTORY channel, Thursdays at 8.30pm (AEST) from November 1 and will also be available to stream On Demand.

Foxtel has pre-bought four-part documentary Titanic: Stories from the Deep for History Channel. Hosted by Victor Garber (who played Titanic’s builder Thomas Andrews in the 1997 film), the documentary will begin production soon.

End of Empire : The Rise and Fall of Dynasties

The fascinatingly brutal stories of history’s real “Game of Thrones”. Where family dynasties fought for control of the empires created by great warrior kings - only to lose it all

Starts Monday 27 May at 7.30pm AEST

Historian David Adams crosses Europe and Asia as he investigates the warrior kings who created vast empires only for their families to later dismember the empire as they fight over the spoils. In a real “Game of Thrones” the dysfunctional families of Attila the Hun; Timur (Tamerlane the Great); Edgar, King of the English and Charlemagne manage to lose it all.

In End of Empire: The Rise and Fall of Dynasties, David investigates the mystery of who murdered Edgar’s eldest son, the rightful King of England. He also looks into how a brilliant strategist like Tamerlane destroy cities, building towers of skulls of slain enemies, but not leave behind a proper succession plan?

Episode 1 – Timur - The Sword of Islam

Timur (Tamerlane the Great) is the clan leader who will conquer Central Asia, create architectural wonders - and leave behind a quarrelling, violent family who lose it all.

Episode 2 – Edgar – King of the English
In the 10th century Edgar is crowned the first King of the English. But after his death murder, incompetence and a scheming stepmother result in the End of Empire.

Episode 3 – Attila – The Barbarian Invader
Through political guile, masterful deal-making and war Attila the Hun built an empire that spanned Europe – only for his sons to lose it all within fifteen years.

Episode 4 – Charlemagne – The Father of Europe

At a time of political chaos Charlemagne creates a united Europe - only for his family to rip it apart as sons turn on their father and brother fights brother.

In telling the course of his travels through Europe and Asia David takes the audience from the magnificent mosques of legendary Samarkand to archaeological digs at medieval English castles, colourful picnics in Georgia, the ancient walls of Constantinople and joins in a traditional horseback buzkashi tournament in Uzbekistan.

End of Empire: The Rise and Fall of Dynasties is a Foxtel and Radiance Entertainment production and will be available to stream every week or watch on HISTORY from Monday, May 27 at 7.30pm AEST.

Aussie Inventions That Changed The World

From Monday 24 June at 7.30pm AEST

History’s Newest Original Commission

From life-saving devices to modern conveniences, Aussie Inventions That Changed The World is an original 8 part series that reveals a raft of great Australian inventors who turned game-changing ideas into a reality and forever changed how we live.

Historically Australia has punched well above its weight on the world stage of timely innovations, scientific breakthroughs, and cleverly designed new technologies. And yet amongst our national heroes the sporting, military and political greats have typically enjoyed the limelight, while our remarkable inventors have been largely ignored. This series sets the record straight.

Comedian, actor and brainiac Matt Parkinson heads up a team of expert co-hosts; science journalist Anja Taylor , inventor Sally Dominguez and historian and writer David Hunt , who explore the little known stories across eight themed episodes; Home Life, Communication, Wartime, Farm Smart, Medicine, Food Preservation, Airborne and Super Vision,

Matt and the team explore inventions that are loved by the world and born in Australia including familiar ones like the Bionic Ear, Wine Cask, Pacemaker and WiFi, along with other inventions known to few, such as the Telephane and Transporter.

Drawing on an eclectic mix of contributors, from inventors, engineers, historians and model makers, to a colourful range of invention re-builds, road-tests and experiments, the series is an active and contemporary journey into the past.

Aussie Inventions That Changed The World delivers a unique view of these inventions by bringing them back to life. From the birth of the Black Box thanks to the unwavering perseverance of David Warren, which is now an essential component of air safety. And the rebuild of Worsfold’s life-saving Transporter from World War One, then road-tested to understand its bespoke functionality.

“What’s really exciting about this series is that it will remind Australians that, at our best, we are a progressive, innovative country. We thrive on challenges and these invention stories are all about people who backed themselves against the odds. Sometimes the best ideas are the ones that stand out from the pack.” Matt Parkinson said.

Group General Manager, Factual, Jim Buchan said, “It’s amazing how many Australians have contributed to inventing ingenious solutions to unique challenges. Our latest commission is a fun, warm, feel good series celebrating our nation’s pioneering spirit: a spirit of inventive problem-solving and resourcefulness demonstrated by inspiring individuals throughout our history.

“The producers SkinnyDip Pictures and Northern Pictures have done an incredible job with such an ambitious series, and our expert presenters have told these stories with real wit and candour. My personal favourites may well be the rare interviews with Australian inventors. Captured for posterity they reflect the very personal experience of some who improved daily life, while others achieved the extraordinary!”

Aussie Inventions That Changed The World will be available to stream every week or watch on HISTORY from Monday, June 24 at 7.30pm AEST.

There will be a 30-minute documentary on the 150th anniversary of rural paper The Weekly Times on History this Sunday (September 15) at 7.30pm AEST, featuring interviews with former and current editors and reporters. The program is called Memories & Milestones: 150 years of The Weekly Times.

Hiroshima: 75 Years Later

Wednesday, 5 August at 7.30pm

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, an extraordinary new documentary film, Hiroshima: 75 Years Later , will premiere on Wednesday, August 5 at 7.30pm AEST, available to stream on Foxtel and watch on HISTORY.

Featuring recently declassified U.S. and Japanese colour archival footage and audio from survivors, scientists and the military never-before-seen on television – this revealing two-hour film recounts one of the most shocking and sobering moments in international wartime history, from the making of the bombs to the horrifying devastation that it caused in Hiroshima and then Nagasaki.

Within days of the bombing of Nagasaki, officials at the Tokyo-based news company, Nippon Eigasha, made a decision to shoot a film in the two stricken cities. The crew proceeded to film the utter destruction near ground zero as well as inside the hospitals treating the victims and those suffering from the lingering effects of radiation.

However, on October 24, 1945, a Japanese cameraman in Nagasaki was ordered to stop shooting by an American military policeman. His film, and then the rest of the 25,000 feet of Nippon Eigasha footage, was confiscated by the U.S. General Headquarters. However, several weeks later, a US army filmmaker by the name of Daniel McGovern convinced the military to let them finish filming. Under McGovern’s supervision, the team completed their project and edited the footage down to a three-hour film for US audiences. The film was titled The Effects of Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and was sent back to the US with the intention of being released. But upon its arrival, it was quickly deemed top-secret and suppressed by the US government.

The footage, now declassified, features in this intimate and immersive film, which follows a chronological timeline from the day the first atomic bomb was dropped to a year later as reconstruction began, and explores why the bomb was dropped, what the victims and US soldiers on the ground witnessed, how humanity rebuilds after a nuclear apocalypse, and finally, its impact on the world we live in today.

Hiroshima: 75 Years Later is produced by October Films for A + E Networks. The documentary is available to watch on Foxtel’s HISTORY channel and to stream for Foxtel subscribers On Demand via internet connected IQ boxes, on smartphones and tablets using the Foxtel GO app and via Foxtel NOW.

Click here to view trailer

What Will Become of Us

Sunday 16 August at 7.30pm on HISTORY

Westfield Corporation’s Sir Frank Lowy AC revisits his haunting past to help him make a life changing decision.

Official Selection – Tribeca Film Festival 2019 and Sydney Film Festival 2020

Foxtel is proud to present the documentary feature What Will Become of Us airing Sunday, August 16 at 7.30pm on the HISTORY channel . The documentary follows Sir Frank Lowy, the billionaire co-founder of Westfield Corporation, as he faces a dilemma: whether or not to sell his multinational company. Standing at a crossroads, Sir Frank must look to his past to shape his perspective on this monumental decision.

“When I think of that young Jewish boy fleeing the Nazis I find it hard to believe how I ended up here,” Says Sir Frank.

Frank Lowy arrived in Australia in 1952 aged 21, haunted by the mystery behind the disappearance of his father in the Holocaust. In this documentary, Lowy speaks about his survival instinct and drive to succeed, and in recent years, caring for his beloved wife, Shirley, who has Alzheimer’s.

“Sir Frank Lowy is a titan of Australian and global business, whose early life experiences have been shaped by some of the biggest moments in history. This documentary presents a deeply personal journey of hardship, strength and resilience and is an extraordinary Australian story. Foxtel is proud to showcase this moving and emotional documentary,” said Brian Walsh, Foxtel’s Executive Director of Television.

Oscar-nominated documentary director Steven Cantor brings us a personal behind-the-scenes look into Frank Lowy’s life. With the help of famed writer David Kushner, Frank revisits his meager beginnings, family tragedies, struggles, and triumphs as he seeks an answer to the daunting question of how to move forward.

“The first time I met Frank Lowy, I knew I wanted to make a film about him. Both his past and present day goals and struggles were rich with storytelling possibilities…While we were making the movie, I liked to joke with him that at the age where most of us were worried about making school sports teams or our first kiss or the pimples on our foreheads, he had fled the Eastern European anti-Semitism, evaded the Nazis for a couple of years, became a refugee, ended up in a detainment camp in Cyprus, and finally made his way to Palestine where he was conscripted into the army to fight as a commando in the Arab-Israeli War…” said Director Steven Cantor.

Born in what is now Slovakia in 1930, he survived World War II living with his mother in Budapest and evading capture by the Nazis. His father and many other family members died in concentration camps. In 1946 he boarded a refugee ship bound for Palestine. He was detained on arrival by British authorities and interned in a detention camp in Cyprus. He later made his way to Palestine, joined the Golani Brigade and fought in the 1948 War of Independence which led to the establishment of the State of Israel.

In 1952 Lowy left Israel for Australia and started a business delivering small goods. In 1953, he met fellow immigrant John Saunders. In 1960 they created Westfield Development Corporation and developed shopping centres throughout Australia before expanding to the United States in the 1970s, New Zealand in the mid-1990s and the United Kingdom in 2000.

In 1999 the University of New South Wales conferred upon him an Honorary Doctorate of Letters in recognition of his contribution to business and the community. In 2000 Lowy was awarded Australia’s highest civilian honour being made a Companion in the Order of Australia (AC) for services to business and philanthropy. He was knighted in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours (UK) for services to business and philanthropy.

He served two five-year terms as a member of the board of Australia’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia. He also served for 10 years as a Director of UK media group, Daily Mail and General Trust plc (UK) until 2007.

He has served in several corporate, community and philanthropic roles in Australia and internationally, including as Chairman of Football Federation Australia (2003-2015); as founder and Chairman of the Lowy Institute for International Policy; Chairman of the Institute for National Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv; and, founder and Chairman of the Lowy Medical Research Institute.