[04/11/11 - 10:48 AM]
Discovery to Present An Evening of Premieres, Including the Real Story Behind "The King's Speech"
Also due this Saturday, April 16: "Filthy Cities" and "Pompeii: Back from the Dead."

[via press release from Discovery]


Discovery Channel will present an evening of all-new premieres on Saturday, April 16th, kicking off with the one-hour special THE REAL KING'S SPEECH. The documentary tells the true and historical story behind King George VI's attempts to correct his stammer - a fascinating story few knew until recently. The special is followed by the launch of FILTHY CITIES, a series examining what life was like in some of the world's dirtiest cities during some of the harshest of times. The evening is capped with a one-hour special POMPEII: BACK FROM THE DEAD, which examines the perfectly preserved remains of 54 bodies, the last people to die when Mount Vesuvius obliterated that city 2,000 years ago.

The Real King's Speech April 16th at 7PM e/p

Until recently, few people knew the true story of George VI. Known as "The reluctant King," he inherited the throne after his brother renounced it. The pressure of this role was daunting to the shy man - and was further compounded by the fact that King George VI had a stammer. This came at a time when technology and history collided. George VI was the first King in an age of mass media - through the airwaves he could speak to millions of people. For the first time in history a King not only needed to look the part but sound it too.

This one-hour special is a historical account of King George VI's attempts to overcome his stammer with the help of an unorthodox speech therapist - something that took years for him to achieve. Archive footage of the King's public speeches and, for the first time, interviews with Lionel Logue's former patients help tell the story of how a King found his voice and led a nation. The special will also include footage from the Academy Award(R)-winning film The King's Speech.

THE REAL KING'S SPEECH is produced by 1212 Productions, where Philip Armstrong-Dampier is executive producer. For Discovery Channel, Sarah Leslie is producer.

FILTHY CITIES: Medieval London April 16th at 8PM e/p

FILTHY CITIES host Don Wildman gets down and dirty in medieval grime to find out the hard way how the London we know today was forged in the filth of the 14th century. State of the art CGI reveals London's streets as they were 700 years ago - a city with 80,000 people packed in to just one square mile (denser than modern Manhattan). Don literally steps into the shoes of a medieval Londoner - wooden platforms designed to help people rise above the disgusting mess underfoot. He spends the night as a medieval muck-raker, shoveling a staggering six tons of waste, and tries his hand at a medieval butchery to learn what the authorities were up against.

FILTHY CITIES: New Stinking York April 16th at 9PM e/p

Through the use of CGI, host Don Wildman travels back to a seething 19th century Manhattan in the throws of the mass migration. Millions fled persecution, poverty and famine in Europe in search of the American Dream. When they arrived, what they found was even worse than what they left behind. New York was a city consumed by filth and corruption, with millions crammed together in the slums of Lower Manhattan. Don learns about some of the deadly disease-carrying parasites that thrived in the filthy, overcrowded tenement buildings. He also tries working with some cutting edge 19th century ingredients added to disguise reeking fetid meat: clothes dye and floor cleaner.

FILTHY CITIES is produced for Discovery by BBC where Sam Starbuck is series producer. For Discovery Channel, Brooke Runnette is executive producer and Elizabeth Massie is producer.


As Vesuvius rained destruction on the Roman town of Pompeii, 54 men, women and children took refuge in a dark cellar. There they waited while, outside, their friends and neighbors fell victim to the heat and ash that wiped out the city in a single, horrifying day. These people - rich and poor, young and old - thought they might survive. Instead, they became the last victims of the 79AD eruption. The discovery of their bones - perfectly preserved - reveals much about how the people of Pompeii died ... but also how they lived.

This one-hour special is produced for Discovery by Lion Television where Richard Bradley is executive producer and Paul Elston is writer and director. For Discovery Channel, Susan Winslow is executive producer.

  [april 2011]  

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