Seven million Pepsi Points to win a fighter jet? It should have been impossible. But 20-year-old John Leonard sees the ad in 1995 - and finds a loophole.
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Carl Sagan did more to popularize science than any man on the planet, sharing his wonder and fascination with the mysteries of the universe with millions. He was the rarest of all creatures: the celebrity scientist. While some accused him of being a grandstander, none can deny that his approach to science helped introduce millions of people to the great wonders of the universe that fascinated him all his life. Carl Sagan played many roles: professor, working scientist, bestselling author and TV personality. In his classic television series, he brought science to the masses in an accessible, entertaining format. But he also performed groundbreaking research in astronomy, and was willing to risk his reputation to investigate the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Explore the remarkable life of this visionary scientist from his childhood to his death from bone marrow disease at 62. Colleagues trace the many contributions he made to his field, while family members including his wife and sister offer insight into the private man. From Cosmos to Contact, this is the story of the dedicated man who shared his love of the heavens with millions.
1996 • People
In the first of three episodes we learn how Rembrandt arrived in Amsterdam ‘like a thunderclap’ and was courted by the city’s wealthy elite, before falling into conflict with the city’s most powerful patrons. Jones explores the highs and lows of Rembrandt’s personal life too: from the new-found riches enjoyed with his wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh, to the tragedies that unfolded before him, leading to some of his most celebrated work.
More than five centuries ago, Michelangelo Buonarroti was the darling of the Catholic Church. Throughout his masterful career, the Papacy commissioned him to create many of its most important pieces, including the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel. He spent his life glorifying the Church, etching Catholic ideals into masterpieces that defined religion for the masses. Yet when he died, his body was secretly shepherded off to Florence, and the Church was denied the opportunity to honor him with a grand funeral in Rome. Historians have long wondered about the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death, but now, five hundred years after his death, new finds are revealing a darker side to the master artisan. While restoring Michelangelo's sculptures in the tomb of Julius II, art historian Antonio Forcellino noticed some strange inconsistencies in the famous statue: "The Moses." Forcellino believes he has pieced together evidence of a deep rift between the Church and the esteemed artist. The cause: Michelangelo's belief in Protestant ideals. The imperfections in the statue started him on a careful scientific and historical investigation that exposed remarkable evidence of Michelangelo's involvement with a clandestine fellowship trying to put an end to the decadence and corruption of the Clergy and reform the Church from within. The group's radical ideas and accusations of corruption were considered heretical and punishable by death. Michelangelo's involvement put him at dangerous odds with powerful officials who held his livelihood - and life - in their hands. "Michelangelo Revealed" takes us back over 500 years to the dangerous political climate of papal Rome, vividly portrayed through dramatic reconstruction. We are thrown into the heart of a fierce battle for religious control between the cardinals, and the resulting injustices of the Inquisition, shedding new light on the angst surrounding Michelangelo's "Last Judgement" in the Sistine Chapel and his previously shrouded connections to a subversive religious group and persecuted religious beliefs. "Secrets of the Dead: Michelangelo Revealed" deconstructs the puzzling discrepancies between the sculptures Michelangelo created and the way he described them, revealing an intricate effort to carve his own beliefs into stone, while protecting himself from the wrath of a powerful Cardinal who viewed him as a heretic. MICHELANGELO REVEALED paints a stunning new picture of brave religious expression, personal vendettas, careful cover-ups and a most gifted artist desperately trying to reconcile his loyalty to the church with his own personal belief about the road to salvation.
Bill Gates talks to Amol Rajan about wealth, conspiracy theories and recent controversies. They visit a remote region outside Nairobi in Kenya, where Gates supports local farms and hospitals through his charitable foundation, for a rare, in-depth interview with the tech entrepreneur. Gates has spent much of his life being the richest man on earth. He excelled at school, founded Microsoft and helped to realise his vision of having a computer on every desk in every home. His public image has changed over the years, from geek to business titan and philanthropist. In recent years, he has become the subject of endless conspiracy theories and has attracted unfavourable headlines on the subject of his divorce and his association with Jeffrey Epstein. In this challenging and personal interview, Rajan tackles these issues head-on, talking to Gates about his early success, his wealth, how he uses it now, and the controversies that have arisen over the years. In this unusually candid interview, Gates is often revealing in his responses.
2023 • People
Ahead of what is expected to be his World Cup farewell, this wide-reaching documentary seeks to provide a detailed understanding of the real Lionel Messi. He is one of the greatest players of all time, but in contrast with his awe-inspiring ability on the pitch, he is an enigmatic figure off it. With incredible footage of the Argentinean superstar as a child prodigy, this is Messi as you have never seen him before. School friends describe how a painfully shy boy with a growth hormone deficiency would draw crowds to see him play from the age of nine, while former teammates Cesc Fabregas and Xavi tell behind-the-scenes tales of what Messi is like in the dressing room. Ex-Argentina team-mates Pablo Zabaleta, Javier Mascherano and Hernan Crespo explain the more complex sides of Messi’s story. How is it that Argentina’s all-time top scorer has had to deal with spells of sustained criticism at home while the controversial figure of Diego Maradona is universally loved across the South American nation?
2022 • People
Louis XIV the Sun King had France's magnificent Palace of Versailles built and it pays extraordinary testimony to his reign. He ruled for an incredible 72 years at a time when France was all powerful. Discover the truth about the King's very open 'secret' second marriage to Francois D'Aubinge and his many affairs. It’s been claimed Louis bathed only three times in his entire life. How does that square with the luxurious Turkish bath at the Palace, or the stories of him disinfecting his skin with alcohol, or the fact that he had literally hundreds of pairs of underwear which he changed many times during a day? He was very conscious of his height at only five feet four inches tall, however in his wigs and heels he appeared to be alot taller, Tracy explains how this extraordinary effect was achieved.