Robin Buss's pick of the week

17th September 2004 at 01:00
BOLLYWOOD STAR. C4 Monday-Thursday, September 20-23, 9.30-10.20am; rpt November 29 to December 2

Bollywood Star is like an Asian version of Pop Idol in which contestants from Britain bid for a chance to star in the Bombay film industry.

The four films take us from the early auditions to the final results, a roller-coaster ride of hope, heartbreak and hilarity, as the talented, the enthusiastic and the ludicrously over-optimistic turn up to be judged. Many qualities are required for a Bollywood star, not only acting, singing and dancing, but also personality and looks.

For a while, musician Bally Sagoo, choreographer Honey Kalaria, actress Sophiya Hacque and the other judges despair of finding a single entrant who fits the bill, as one no-hoper after another struts and mimes across the floor.

Eventually, though, there are agonising choices to be made and hurtful decisions, as when a mother, who has been offered a chance for the final, has to decide what to do when her daughter is turned down.

The later films follow the progress of the winners in India, where they learn about much more than the dream world of Bollywood.

Primarily intended for expressive arts for 14 to 19-year-olds, these films could also be used in various other areas of the curriculum.

Geography Junction

C4 Tuesday and Wednesday, September 21-29, 4.45-5am

It may be time for seven to 11-year-olds to start thinking about extreme weather - the subject of this four-parter being repeated at the start of this term - since they are the ones who will live longest with the consequences of climate change.

The programmes show how life survives in extreme cold, dryness, wind and heat. Teacher's notes and a resource book are available from an aptly-named locality (4Learning, PO Box 400, Wetherby, LS23 7LG).

Street Child

Radio 4 Fridays, September 24 to December 3, 3-3.15am

This new 10-part radio adaptation of Berlie Doherty's novel tells the story of Jim Jarvis, a workhouse lad in Victorian London, who finds his way to a crucial meeting with Doctor Barnardo, after a gruelling life on the streets. Designed for seven to 11-year-olds, it will provide material for English, history and drama.

Time to Move

Radio 4 Wednesdays, September 22 to December 1, 3.35-3.55am

Radio is superb for exciting the imagination. Think of Ted Hughes' "The Iron Man": "his head shaped like a dustbin, but as big as a bedroom". How do you show that on TV? There are 10 new programmes in this series of Time to Move, for six to eight-year-old movement and dance. Hughes' story comes in the first batch of three, which is based on contrasts between animal and mechanical movements. The second unit explores colour and dance, and the third develops a narrative based on a Norwegian folk tale.

Full listings can be found at:

* www.channel4.comlearningmainprogrammestv_schedule.htm


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