This hour-long documentary charts the rise and fall of one Britain’s most famous TV presenters, who found himself at the centre of a media storm that began with a simple slip of the tongue.
John Leslie was the darling of the television schedules. From becoming the first Scottish host of iconic children’s show Blue Peter to taking his place on the This Morning sofa alongside co-host Fern Britton, the Edinburgh-born frontman was at the height of his fame in 2002.
But when journalist Matthew Wright incorrectly named Leslie as the alleged rapist of fellow TV star Ulrika Jonsson live on air, it started a tidal wave of rumour and allegation that resulted in John Leslie being sacked from his presenting job and becoming a borderline pariah.
With interviews with TV stars, journalists and those who worked with him, we reveal John Leslie’s rise to stardom, how he and a succession of glamorous girlfriends became firm fixtures in the tabloid press, and how, despite being found not guilty in court, a frenzy of front page scandals and allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour destroyed his career.
In 2020, after another not guilty verdict following a trial for indecent assault, a judge told John Leslie he could walk free from court without a stain on his character. We examine just how possible this was for a man who had triumphed in the court of law, but faced a sterner challenge winning over the court of public opinion.
House of Maxwell charts the story of one of the most extraordinary family sagas the world has ever seen. When Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted last year of grooming and trafficking underage girls, she became the most notorious member of a family already mired in controversy.
To understand the Ghislaine Maxwell story, you have to understand her family. Spanning more than half a century, this is a staggering tale of fortunes built and lost, mysterious deaths and a spectacular descent into scandal and criminality.
From her father Robert Maxwell’s beginnings as impoverished survivor of the Holocaust, via the extraordinary creation and collapse of his multimillion pound media business, to his apparently accidental death and revelations of fraud on a grand scale. From the dark story of Ghislaine Maxwell’s upbringing as a multi-millionaire’s daughter and a life of high society glamour, to her crimes in collusion with Jeffrey Epstein and their impact on their victims.
The story is told using intimate first-hand testimony – including from a survivor speaking for the first time about their experience of the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell – and exclusive never-before-seen sources of archive. House of Maxwell is a story woven through British and American society and culture and will offer a unique window into a world of money, power, and abuse across half a century.
When Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of grooming and trafficking underage girls, she became a household name with her face on front pages of newspapers all over the world. But she wasn’t always the most notorious member of the Maxwell family.
This episode tells the story of how her father Robert started the extraordinary saga that is the Maxwell family story and the formative influence he had on the lives of Ghislaine and his other children.
When Ghislaine is still in her twenties, Robert finally achieves his dream of owning a major British newspaper, bringing his children into the heart of his rapidly growing empire. Told using never-seen-before archive and testimony from those who worked closely with Maxwell and his family, many of whom have never spoken before.
They describe how Robert’s intense rivalry with Rupert Murdoch drove his ruthless ambitions to be one of the world’s greatest media moguls. It leads to an extraordinary spending spree to try and crack America. With his daughter Ghislaine at his side in New York, Robert is lauded as he rescues one of the city’s most iconic newspapers. The rise of the Maxwells seems unstoppable.
But behind the grandeur and illusions of grand success, all is not as it seems. The news breaks of Robert’s mysterious disappearance off his yacht in the Canary Islands. Ghislaine and her mother travel to Tenerife and are met by a media frenzy.
But there’s another problem. Never-heard-before secret recordings of executives within his businesses show the rising panic as they start to realise there are huge holes in Robert’s company finances. We see the beginnings of a scandal which will change the lives of all of the Maxwells forever.
It’s the third week of MasterChef and coming up to the halfway point of the Heats. This year the judges are mixing it up – introducing a whole new set of challenges that the passionate amateurs must complete to progress in the competition.
Nine home cooks arrive with both their dreams and ingredients ready for their first test, the Audition Round. This year’s auditionees come from all over the UK - cooking a range of dishes that not only aim to challenge the palettes of the judges, but to make their tastebuds dance. Cooking their Signature Dish, the hopefuls must show John and Gregg who they are as a cook and how good they could become.
John and Gregg don’t witness them cook in the MasterChef kitchen. Instead, they taste each dish in the new Tasting Room. Just like diners in a restaurant, they judge each contestant’s food solely on the plate that is put in front of them. After tasting all nine plates, John and Gregg pick their three favourite dishes, giving those cooks a well-earned MasterChef apron and immunity from cooking in the next round.
However, for the remaining six contestants the competition is not over. They all get another chance to impress the judges and win themselves that coveted apron. Pulling out all the stops for another of their Signature Dishes, the hopefuls must then cook a sweet dish if they delivered a savoury dish in the first round and vice versa. This time, John and Gregg are in the kitchen witnessing their every move. The pressure is intense and the stakes are high as at the end, only four cooks can join the three already fast-tracked in the next round of challenges. For two - their MasterChef dream is over.
This week’s seven best home cooks from the first rounds return to test their culinary wits and try to prove to judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace that they have the potential to be MasterChef Champion 2022.
Tonight, the contestants face two more challenges - designed to gauge both their creativity and culinary repertoire. The first is the Market Challenge - where the seven are tasked with inventing a dish on the spot for judges John and Gregg from a market full of ingredients - which include poussin, clams and whole bream.
The pressure is on to impress because at the end of this test one contestant will be sent home. The remaining six take on their most demanding assignment so far - cooking a dish to a brief set by one of the country’s toughest food critics, Jimi Famurewa. Jimi has asked them to cook a dish with an interactive, playful or theatrical element to surprise and delight him and the judges.
At the end of this episode only four contestants can go through to the Quarter Final. Who can handle the pressure and show they have what it takes to progress further in the competition - another step closer to being crowned MasterChef Champion 2022?
Tonight, it’s the third Quarter Final and this week’s most talented four cooks return to fight for a place in the Semi Finals. Tonight, they face just one intense challenge. They must cook two courses that will excite not just John and Gregg, but also some of MasterChef’s most inspiring winners, finalists and contestants, who have all gone on to careers in the food industry.
Tonight, their fate is in the hands of MasterChef Champions Simon Wood (2015), Ping Coombes from 2014 and 2012 Champion Shelina Permalloo. With just two Semi Final places up for grabs, these amateurs need to show real flair and ambition to edge closer to the MasterChef 2022 trophy.
Exmoor Search and Rescue have the oldest serving Land Rover Defender on the Mountain Rescue England and Wales fleet. This 30yr old rescue workhorse is desperately in need of refurbishing and upgrading; with thousands of hours between them driving and repairing military Land Rover Defenders, the boys are a natural choice to take on the project. With ambitious plans but the tight time constraints brought about by needing to get the Land Rover back out on rescue duties, the team must burn the midnight oil.
While the Defender is away being painted there is just enough time for self-confessed ‘hoarder’ Titch, and his team, to clear out his lock-up that’s stuffed full of broken and half stripped motorcycles. The plan is to get as many of the dilapidated machines running as possible and then attempt to sell them at a busy local Auto-jumble.
Mark Millar (DIY SOS) is back helping more homeowners transform the most important rooms in the house, and proves that not even a global pandemic, rising material costs and a shortage of available tradesmen can come between Brits and our beloved home makeovers. Kitchens and bathrooms cost the most money and add the most value, but they can be the trickiest rooms to get right. Mark brings 30 years of experience to help design-loving homeowners achieve their dreams with amazing transformations, and tells the rest of us all what we need to know so we can create our own dream kitchens and bathrooms, on any budget. Prepare to be amazed.
Mark Millar helps two extreme DIY renovators, an ex-army father of two creating a £30k dream black and white kitchen in Oldham, and a couple renovating their dream home and making a £6k country-style spa bathroom in Northumberland.
In Hertfordshire, Sean is in a race against time to shift a tractor unit and trailer fully laden with 27-tonnes of wood, after it left a busy section of road and toppled over into a muddy ditch alongside a row of bushes. Sean's forced to put his horticultural skills to good use and saw his way through the bushes to get a strop fed around the rear end of the trailer. But even with his fellow recovery op Dan’s wrecker pulling the unit, and Sean’s wrecker hauling the trailer, this massive beast is still playing hard to get. Eventually the boys decide to add a second strop to the front end of the trailer - but will this be enough to pull it from its muddy resting place?
Lee faces a mucky rescue mission in Leicestershire when a lorry with a weighty load of building material onboard becomes trapped with its wheels buried in muddy farmland, where recent rains have turned the ground into a boggy recovery nightmare. With the light fading fast and Lee working in a wrecker he’s not familiar with, can he muster up all the pulling power required to wrestle this stricken lorry back onto to solid ground?
And just outside Brentwood in Essex, Steve dons his winter woolies and goes into battle with a stubborn 44-tonne unit and trailer loaded with 26 pallets of building bricks after it lost its grip on an icy road and slid back into a muddy ditch. With this busy country road completely shut in both directions, there’s no time to waste. But with the impact having damaged the truck’s airline brake system, the truck’s brakes are locked and Steve has a massive tug of war on his hands to haul this monster back upright.
Britain's sharpest armchair critics return for a new series to share more of their insightful and passionate takes on the week's biggest and best shows.