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An ambitious series that draws heavily on the riches held within the BBC archives. With a starry cast of interviewees, each programme focuses on a single year.

Across multiple genres - from film, TV, music and show business to politics and social history - each show explores the most startling and intriguing events of the 12 months under examination.

The series digs deep into the most culturally resonant events of each year, asking what happened, how we reacted and whether these stories seem more or less controversial today. Narrated by Jan Leeming.

This edition lifts the lid on taboo-busting 1976, reliving the year’s most extraordinary events in TV, film, show business and politics. It was the year of some of the most scandalous TV ever. I, Claudius saw a stellar cast embroiled in Roman decadence.

Bouquet of Barbed Wire mixed steamy affairs and shocking domestic violence, all with an implied undercurrent of incest. And a tabloid storm followed the teatime encounter between Bill Grundy and the sweary Sex Pistols.

On the big screen, fringe movie, Snuff, claimed to include a real murder, while the 12-year-old Jodie Foster took on her most notorious role as a prostitute in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver .

In music, two British legends weren’t afraid to ruffle feathers as, in their own ways, both Rod Stewart and Elton John took a stand against discrimination. In Jamaica, global icon Bob Marley survived an attempt on his life. While a toxic on-stage rant in Birmingham inadvertently created Rock Against Racism.

At times that year, it felt like society itself was crumbling. British naval forces buckled under pressure in a bitter dispute over fish. The London police found itself under fire with accusations of corruption and heavy-handedness. Even royalty came under threat as Princess Margaret’s marriage publicly fell apart.

In sport, Soviet cheat Boris Onishchenko didn’t prosper at the Olympics. In art, a pile of Bricks caused outrage at The Tate. While, on the streets, that year’s legendary long hot summer eventually exploded into shocking violence.

Dennis Potter and Spike Milligan were cancelled by the BBC for very different reasons. And a thought-provoking anti-smoking documentary had us gasping.

Featuring views and interviews with actor and comedian John Thomson, actress Claire Sweeney, journalist and politician Martin Bell, former politician Edwina Currie; and broadcaster Penny Smith.

That Was The Year That Was begins Saturday 23rd September on Channel 5.


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