The Heaven and Earth Show
The Heaven and Earth Show was a BBC television programme that aired on Sunday mornings from 10 am to 11 am on BBC One. The show ran for nine years between 1998 and 2007, looking at spiritual and moral issues. Over the years it had numerous presenters, and its final presenter was Gloria Hunniford.
|The Heaven and Earth Show|
|Directed by||Studio: Patty Marr / Matt Woodward|
|Theme music composer||Dave Cooke (original theme) / Steve Millington|
|Country of origin||UK|
|Executive producer(s)||Chris Loughlin|
|Location(s)||BBC Manchester, then Granada Studios, Manchester|
|Running time||60 min. per episode|
|Original network||BBC One|
|Original release||6 September 1998– 2 September 2007|
The programme had a magazine format, with guests of all backgrounds talking about various ethical, spiritual and cultural issues. The programme also featured phone-ins, email and text readouts. Commonly a celebrity guest would be interviewed about their career with a particular focus on religious belief or spirituality; some later guests included Jermaine Jackson, Al Green, Alexei Sayle and Vic Reeves. Heaven and Earth was notably different from traditional "God slot" (Sunday morning/afternoon) programming in that it concentrated on a wide range of beliefs rather than just Christianity — for example, features on the ethics of halal meat or "New Age" concepts of spirituality. It included prominent figures from the Church and Islamic, Jewish, Hindu and secular communities and would also contain reports on topical religious issues, with notable reporters including Toyah Willcox, John Walters, Ed Stourton, Myleene Klass, Kate Silverton and Kate Gerbeau.
Occasionally there were special programmes such as that on 7 September 2003 covering three different types of beliefs: theist, New Age followers and atheists or agnostics. A specially commissioned poll was produced on issues raised.
Heaven and Earth was made by the BBC's in-house Religion and Ethics department and was broadcast live from a former news studio at the BBC in Oxford Road, Manchester. Later on, as part of a re-launch, the show moved to ITV's Granada Studios.
The BBC announced in the spring of 2007 that they would be cancelling the show in autumn after a run of nine years and replacing it for a 12-month period with commissions made by two independent production companies. On 2 September 2007, Heaven & Earth had its final show; The Proclaimers and Beth Neilsen Chapman were the final musical guests.
Over the years many guests appeared on the programme, including:
- Dolly Parton - US country music singer/songwriter
- Ray Charles - US blues musician/songwriter/performer
- Barry White - US soul/pop singer
- William Shatner - Canadian actor (Star Trek)
- Vanessa Feltz - British TV and radio presenter
- Kevin Costner - US movie star
- Cliff Richard - British pop singer
- Michael Ball - British singer
- Vic Reeves - British comedian
- Matthew Kelly - British TV presenter
- Lionel Richie - US musician
- Liza Minnelli - US stage and movie star
- Noel Edmonds - British TV presenter
- Tony Robinson - British actor and presenter
- John Barrowman - British actor (Doctor Who, Torchwood)
- Tom Baker - British actor (The Doctor in Doctor Who)
- Myleene Klass - British musician and TV presenter
- Henry Olonga - Zimbabwean cricketer
- Morgan Freeman - US actor
- Pierce Brosnan - Irish actor (James Bond)
- Dennis Hopper - US actor
- Mike Oldfield - Musician
- Nerina Pallot - British singer
- Gary Numan - British singer and musician
- Jim Jefferies - Australian comedian
- Ed Byrne - Irish comedian
- Anja Steinbauer - Philosopher
- Jon Lydon - Sex Pistols front man.
- Sunday Life, replacement TV show