This is a new two-part series for BBC Two. It was produced in co-operation with the Faculty of Arts and the OU’s Ireland office, located in Belfast. The programme recounts the adventures of video journalist Simon Reeve as he travels across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and learns about the country’s religion, culture and history. The second and final part airs this Sunday, 29 November at 8pm on BBC2.
Simon Reeve is an English author and presenter who has documented his extensive travels around the world in books, articles and television. His programmes on the Tropic of Capricorn (2008), Pilgrimages (2013) and Sacred Rivers (2014) have explored contemporary religiosity. The Ireland series was commissioned under the BBCs Religion and Ethics strand and examines Ireland’s changing relationship to religion, in particular the Catholic Church. The Faculty of Arts, in co-operation with the Open Media Unit, has developed a landing page, full of free learning resources related to Irish history, literature and society. There are short articles and study materials as well as an interactive timeline which charts the main events in Irish history, from 3500BC to the 1990s. http://www.open.edu/openlearn/whats-on/tv/ireland-simon-reeve.
Dr Janice Holmes is the nominated academic for the series. She is based in the OU’s Belfast office and specialises in nineteenth and twentieth-century Irish religious, gender and local history. Click on these links to delve into Irish history on our Timeline and read an article about parading in Northern Ireland (which will be covered in episode 2).