Oct 14 2016

Books that made the North East, BBC One, 16 October


New BBC One documentary series Books That Made Britain looks at the literature that helped to build our hometowns.

The landscapes and cities that have inspired some of Britain’s most loved authors will be celebrated in a new series of documentaries produced by BBC English Regions in partnership with BBC Learning as part of the #LoveToRead season.

Books That Made Britain is part of an eleven part regional series to transmit on BBC One in the North East and Cumbria on Sunday 16 October at 3.45pm.

Chris Donald, the creator of Viz, looks at how a gritty, industrial picture of the North East was ingrained into the southern conscience by writers like Catherine Cookson and Sid Chaplin. The programme uncovers if this is being countered now by writers such as Brian Talbot whose graphic novels are much more celebratory.

Chris, who also presents a Saturday evening show on BBC Newcastle and BBC Tees, will look at the charm of the northern voice and how it was either ignored or looked down upon by southern based publishers. And he will surprise viewers by drawing title pages for each of the writers.

Chris Donald, from Jesmond, says, “It’s been a challenge, interviewing authors and literary heavyweights. I’m a pretty low-brow bloke. Like Roger Mellie, I’m a bit of a fraud when it comes to TV presenting.  But it’s been fascinating. I’ve learnt a lot about the authors we covered, and their books. It’s made me want to read more. I hope the viewers feel the same.”

In the other episodes Martha Kearney will be in East Anglia, Suggs in London, John Wedgwood Clark on the Yorkshire Coast, Gemma Cairney will be exploring Bristol, Damian Barr in the South East, Chris Packham in the South West, Qasa Alom in the West Midlands, Alice Levine in the East Midlands, Craig Henderson in the South and Simon O’Brien in the North West.

All of the programmes will be all asking audiences to share their favourite book of all time using the hashtag #LoveToRead.

Books That Made Britain will go out on BBC One at 3.45pm on Sunday 16 October and on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after.