The Seven Wonders Of The Commonwealth
Friday, 18 July 2014

The Seven Wonders Of The Commonwealth

With the Commonwealth Games upon us, peek into a world of treasures

Written by Ben Felsenburg
Ben-Felsenberg-176Just as Christmas trees come out every year however few of us now do religion, so the notion of the Commonwealth lives on intermittently, even if the British Empire has long fallen under the shadow of national guilt. Yes, the Commonwealth Games are back – though they may leave the rest of the world bemused and cause many to wonder how long they’ll last and if they truly measure up to the Olympics.

But there are no such qualms at the BBC, which is going all in with a feast of programmes to celebrate the sport and festivities in Glasgow. The opening ceremony is on Wednesday night, but first comes this spectacular scene-setter, The Seven Wonders Of The Commonwealth (BBC One, Sunday, 9.10pm).

Household names have been dispatched across the planet in search of the natural landmarks that show the Commonwealth in its full globe-spanning glory. Lucky Denise Lewis wonders at the beauty of Victoria Falls in Zambia, Dan Snow is kayaks with dolphins in New Zealand and Reggie Yates gets away from it all on an uninhabited paradise island in the Solomons.

Of course, the more cynical among us may perceive some political chicanery in reminding Scotland, as it hosts the Games, of the importance of belonging to a greater whole. And note the Beeb’s special weapon to preserve the Union: how can the Scots leave us when their Hebridean island of Staffa is graced with a visit from the national treasure known as Clare Balding? 

NOT TO BE MISSED

Tv-July18-NotToBeMissed-590

FIRST NIGHT OF THE PROMS, BBC Two, Friday, 8pm
A summer’s feast of music begins with a performance of Elgar’s moving oratorio The Kingdom.

The Mill, Channel 4, Sunday, 8pm
A surprise hit last year, the drama about the Industrial Revolution returns with more human stories behind the brutal poverty of the age.

Amazing Spaces SHED OF THE YEAR, Channel 4, Thursday, 8pm
This threepart spin-off series celebrates a very British kind of eccentricity as George Clarke helps judge the top entries in the Shed of the Year contest.


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