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US Presidents Season on BBC

As a West Wing-nut I’m intrigued by the BBC’s US Presidents season which began yesterday.

Justin Webb, the US Editor on BBC hosted a special Start the Week first thing on Radio 4 discussing the ideas that have shaped America. A terrific scene setter for the big series starting later in the day.

Later in the afternoon on Radio 4 a self-described epic series began called America, Empire of Liberty. It’ll be NINETY episodes long in three series presented by David Reynolds, who is the Professor of International History at Cambridge University and a Fellow of Christ’s College.The first episode is here, and there’s an omnibus edition on Friday at 9pm.

BBC4 showed a range of programmes which are available on iplayer. We watched President Hollywood a remarkable show which considered the impact of the incumbent Presidents on the presentation of the Oval Office in the movies and on TV. Central to it were the parallels between the West Wing’s 2004 fictional election and the current run-off. Incidentally, check out this page on BBC which details the parallels.

And if you can cope with Michael Portillo stuffing his face, check out on BBC4 iplayer’s Dinner with Portillo which is a conversation over dinner with a number of US commentators looking at US Presidents in the movies.

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