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Oh No Not Another Documentary

two young peopleBBC spotlights mixed-race Britain

Mixed-Race Britain is once again put under the spotlight this Autumn as BBC Two broadcasts several programmes aiming to show a more balanced picture of mixed-race families and individuals in the UK.

Leading the programming is Shirley Bassey – A Very British Diva (working title), an intimate and revealing drama that tells the extraordinary life story of Dame Shirley Bassey – one of Britain's national treasures and one of the world's most enduring and successful divas.

In a three-part series, journalist and TV presenter George Alagiah leads viewers through the remarkable and untold story of how Britain's mixed-race community has become part of everyone's lives today.

With previously unseen footage and unheard testimony, Mixed Britannia (working title) uncovers a tale of illicit love, marriage, children, tragedy and triumph. Charting events from the turn of the 20th century to the present day, George explores the social factors that have influenced the shape of the mixed-race Britain we see today.

Mixed – Sex, Race And Empire is a one-off documentary exploring the social, sexual, economic and political issues that led to the race mixing of people across the world. From India to West Africa via South America and the USA, this programme reflects upon the stories and consequences of racial mixing across the world.

Twincredibles tells the surprising story of two-tone twins. There's only a one in a million chance that black and white parents will have twins of different skin colour, and 50 years ago these twin births were almost unheard of in the UK, but with the number of interracial relationships increasing, so too are the number of cases. From toddlers through to two sisters in their fifties, this documentary explores the life experiences of five sets of two-tone twins, who are identical in every other way, but lead very different lives because of the colour of their skin. The film captures the effects this genetic phenomenon has had on their personal and professional lives.

Whether these programmes will portray a balanced picture remains to be seen. The titles certainly indicate some sensationalism is to come, which will be a shame. We suppose it is the lack of programmes in this area that causes us to become so disappointed with what eventually makes it to our television screens. Where are the dramas, the comedies, the art programmes and the political debates. Guess it's the documentary once again then...

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