Its breathtaking shape defied every engineering and construction rule in the book. Danish architect Jorn Utzon's original plans were so radical that they were physically impossible to build using existing technology. Completion of the Opera House was supposed to take five years at a cost of seven million dollars. In the end, construction took 14 years and cost over 100 million dollars.
In the second mini-documentary of the series, Chris takes a closer look at Francis De Groot's famous sword. De Groot, an Irish-born right-wing agitator, upstaged the 1932 opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge by slicing through the ceremonial ribbon moments before the NSW Premier Jack Lang could cut it. A lengthy court battle followed, establishing that De Groot, not Lang, had legally opened the bridge. The antique sword he wielded, now held by a private collector has thus cemented its place as an Australian national treasure and is now included in the National Heritage List.
What do you do when your house is more shabby than chic and you'd rather throw out than make-do and-mend? In her six-part series Kirstie's Vintage Home, the queen of crafts, Kirstie Allsopp, invites hopeless households to her own vintage cafe to teach them new skills to inject a bit of style into their homes.
This series reveals the dramatic journeys of young medical students on their way to becoming top physicians. It follows their progress in different stages of their education, from working on plastic dummies to dealing with actual patients later in their training.
David Attenborough presents the biggest ever wildlife series devoted to mammals. Tonight, a range of adaptations from sucker-feet to gripping tails help tree dwelling mammals survive, and in the dark forest super senses come into play.
In episode four we meet Sharon (42) who at her heaviest weighed 114kg. Like many women, Sharon's weight spiralled during pregnancy. Sharon has recently lost weight and is now down to 100kg. Sharon's BMI is over forty and for her height she is still in the morbidly obese range. The best option for Sharon is gastric band surgery to drastically reduce the size of her stomach. Sharon will feel fuller much more quickly which will help her to control her weight.
Entertaining French sommelier Olivier Magny uncorks the mysteries of wine. Touring beautiful vineyards from Burgundy to Bordeaux, Olivier reveals the varieties and origins of some of the most popular wines and explains what makes a top tipple.
Ottomans Vs Christians recounts the incredible battle of civilisations in the 16th century between the mighty Ottoman Empire, with its capital in Istanbul, and the Christian empires of Europe led by Spain, Venice, and the Holy League. Shot in glorious high definition on location at the key landmarks of the struggle for dominance of Europe, presenter Julian Davison takes us on a journey back in time to a world of magnificent galleys laden with riches and merciless pirates who prowled the waters, to spectacular battles and bloodied acts of treachery and revenge.
Monty Halls goes back to his marine biologist roots as he studies whales and dolphins off the spectacular west coast of Ireland. This week his mission is to track down basking sharks, true monsters of the deep which can grow up to 10 metres long.
Mining has always been about politics, and this second episode explores the fractious, drama-filled and utterly critical relationship between business and government, and the importance of this affiliation to the nation.
The community midwives of Manchester's Saint Mary's Hospital are responsible for almost 5,000 newborn babies every year. Every day they are trying to spot the mums who might need more than just a cursory examination - determining which mums will cope easily with a new baby and which ones might have a struggle.
This new ten-part series reveals the dramatic stories of individual medical students on their way to becoming top physicians. It follows their progress in different stages of their education, from working on plastic dummies to dealing with actual patients later in their training. It also captures the highs as well as the inevitable lows that they will experience during their studies.
In the final leg of their travels, Ken and Ching make an emotional return to their ancestral homes. They begin first in the dim sum capital Guangzhou to explore the birthplace of Cantonese cuisine, the food most familiar to the West, before heading their separate ways.
High up in a spectacular tree house, Jimmy Doherty develops an intimate understanding of the inner workings of a British forest. It's now autumn, and the forest is bursting with fruit and nuts and is looking spectacular.
Meet modern-day treasure hunter Drew Pritchard. With demanding customers, high turnover, and one of the biggest decorative salvage yards in the UK, Drew is constantly on the road in search of derelict gems and forgotten remnants.
In this new four-part series, renowned physicist Brian Greene reveals a mind-boggling reality beneath the surface of our everyday world. Brian is going to let you in on a secret: We've all been deceived. Our perceptions of time and space have led us astray. Much of what we thought we knew about our universe just might be wrong.
Liz Bonnin visits the Icelandic volcano that partially closed European airspace during the spring of 2010 and examines the likelihood of a new eruption. Dallas Campbell explains the problems posed by probability, and Jem Stansfield visits France to explore the applications of solar furnaces.
After a year of city living, marine biologist and professional diver Monty Halls returns to live the good life in the Highlands and islands of Scotland. Moving into a recently renovated traditional thatched crofter's cottage, Monty starts with the basics - bringing in pigs and turkeys to fatten up for Christmas - while immersing himself in fishing, peat cutting, highland games and other highlights of the brief summer months. During a previous time on the west coast of Scotland, he was readily accepted, but island communities can be far harder to crack.
Shane Hendriks, a builder and designer, took an idea from his son's building blocks and built a house of five cubes. Arranged in an ark to maximise the northerly aspect of the sun, it has a sense of rolling, tumbling movement.
Jem Stansfield puts spider silk to the test and Liz Bonnin joins the RAF's flight school to find out the truth about multi-tasking. Dr Yan Wong experiments with sodium acetate and Dallas Campbell reveals the secret science of magic.
This time Nick visits Tullyveery House in County Down, home to Colin Heron. The estate's cattle and sheep herds are no longer enough to support the Georgian house and gardens. Colin's plan is to rent some of the garden for marquee weddings, but Nick wants him to be much more ambitious.
Nigella's passion for mouth-watering Italian food continues as she treats her supper guests to a sumptuous feast of lamb chops with mint, chilli and golden potatoes, served alongside roasted red onions with fennel and basil. Dessert is a true Anglo-Italian affair with a ruby red plum and amaretti crumble.
In this episode, Julia faces the ultimate Wainwright challenge: Scafell Pike, England's highest peak. Before tackling the 1000 metre ascent, she seeks advice from celebrated fell-runner and local farmer Jos Naylor.
The essence of Italian food, like Nigella's style of cooking, is simplicity and informality. In her new series, Nigella shows how easy it is to bring the spirit of Italy into the kitchen and onto the plate using ingredients available in any supermarket.
In episode two Adrian Long (53) experienced massive weight gain after a motorcycle accident left him disabled. Adrian's weight ballooned to almost 160kg. Adrian was even unable to use a public toilet due to his weight. Adrian will undergo a gastric bypass during which his stomach will become ten percent of its size.
Why would you name a house 'Flipped'? Felicity Jansen is the owner and has the nickname Flip. Plus her new home 'flips' the layout of the original 60's house on the site. The new house takes its style from the 1960s design which Felicity originally fell in love with. But when this became impractical for their family life it was demolished to make way for the 'Flipped House'.
Tonight, a lethal tree scorpion threatens a green ant colony. But will one prevail over many? And with the fastest jaws in the business, a tussle between the trap jaw ant and the bizarre, burrowing ant lion should be no contest at all. But is it? Meanwhile, a neighbourhood dispute between the brown house spider and one of the bug world's deadliest, the redback spider turns ugly.
For over two decades, Tracey Emin's art has shocked the world. Her work explores love, loss and sexuality and draws deeply on her past. Tracey knows she will not have children of her own, so wants to look back and explore her lineage.
Globetrotting French gourmet Julie Andrieu takes a culinary tour to discover the history, culture, food production and eating habits of some of the most scenic interesting places on earth. In this episode, Julie travels to Morocco.
In preparation for a motor journey around Britain, Richard Wilson is put through his paces as he learns how to use a gear stick again, having driven only automatics for the past 30 years. Richard drives classic cars, goes off-road, experiences the thrills and spills of the skidpan and gets a lesson in driving high performance cars from five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell.
In this episode, Julie goes in search of a particular Brasil, the Brasil of remote villages, old colonial towns and buzzing markets, a melting-pot of characters and cultures, of flavours and fragrances, of superstitions and surprises.
Actor Michael Caton has an iconic place in Australian screen history, however, large parts of his own family history remain unknown. Much of this knowledge was lost with the early death of his father, Septimus, who was killed in a tragic industrial accident when Michael was only two.
Dallas Campbell takes on the latest lie-detection technology, Jem Stansfield sets out to build a human-powered hydrofoil, and Dr Yan Wong gets on the 3D bandwagon. Plus, Liz Bonnin explores the dilemma that threatened to undermine her hero, Charles Darwin.
In this episode, Julie travels to Mexico. In modern Mexico, each region has its own aroma, its own taste, its own texture. Rightly proud of its gastronomic heritage, Mexican cuisine has now found great recognition and popularity worldwide.
Three mates with their own individual skills deconstruct history by reconstructing the devices that made it. This fun, lively and fast paced 'hands on history' show reveals a surprising amount of insight into the past.
This week it is the turn of Aron Ralston, arguably the most famous survivor in the world, to take his chances alone in the wild. His ordeal in a Utah canyon, where he had to cut off his own arm after getting trapped, was made into the Oscar-nominated film '127 Hours'. Now, he's spending another 127 hours as a castaway on a desert island, using the parallel timeline to relive his previous ordeal. The two stories merge, as he starts to suffer debilitating dehydration, and remembers how in the canyon he had to drink his own urine.
Turn Back Time: The Family tells the story of Britain's most valued institution: the family. Using a unique blend of living history and genealogy, three modern day British families are taken back in time to the 1900s before being fast-forwarded through almost one hundred years of family life.
Since 2008, Wall Street and Washington have fought against the tide of the fiercest financial crisis since the Great Depression. This four-part series tells the inside story of the global financial crisis.
James May is on a mission to save modern man. Thirty years ago men were a resourceful, practical and dependable band of brothers, but today they are a pale imitation of the men of yesteryear. The once-familiar skills all men possessed such as: building, making and mending have gone. But with James at the helm it's time for man to become useful and resourceful once again.
Digs are suggested by a member of the viewing public who knows of an unsolved archaeological mystery. The team then uncovers as much as they can about the archaeology and history of the site in three days.
This series, presented by composer Howard Goodall, shows that great pieces of music are not freak accidents of genius but the direct products of their time, place, culture and politics. 1791 saw the completion of Mozart's last opera The Magic Flute and his great Requiem. It was also the year of his death.