Open Eye: Open minds, open cities

New Saturday documentary series goes beneath the surface of three of Britain's great cities

Open Minds, the new magazine-style series from the OU, returns to prime-time television this month. Offering a Saturday morning entertaining work-out for the mind, television viewers now have a real alternative to kids' cartoons to kick-start the weekend. Ranging across big ideas about health, the environment and urban living, Open Minds represents mind-candy with vitamins.

With presenters Anita McNaught and Dan Rowland, the three programmes leave the studio sofa behind to get beneath the surface of city living in Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast.

Each Open Minds includes documentaries on living and working in the cities of Mexico City, London or New York and puts the use of modern drugs in medicine under the microscope. New Poet Laureate Andrew Motion interprets poems by Betjeman, Wordsworth and Larkin and comedian Jo Brand and author Kathy Lette talk about their favourite books.

In another regular feature, OU lecturer Stephen Regan takes a relaxed and entertaining look at Britain's most famous beds, including Queen Victoria's at Osborne House (with a plaque to Prince Albert) and the Great Bed of Ware which could easily accommodate 50 people.

The first programme comes from Glasgow, the 1999 City of Architecture. Looking beyond the established reputation of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Open Minds assesses the achievement of the city's 'lost genius', the architect Alexander Thomson.

The Glasgow visitor is now welcomed by the energy of a creative renaissance rather than industrial no-go zones and an alcohol-fuelled 'Glasgow kiss'. This programme looks at how a city re-invented itself.

When Catholic monk Brother Walfred set up a football team in Glasgow as a fundraising venture in the 1880s he could have had no idea that he was inadvertently beginning one of the fiercest battles in football. As yet another city football executive has to resign following secret sectarian celebrations, OU social scientist David Goldblatt explores how the Rangers- Celtic rivalry became so deep-rooted and looks at the work being done to rid the relationship of bigotry. Scottish academics and fans of the 'Beautiful Game', Charlie Johnstone and Ian Weddle chart the great Glaswegian footballing chasm.

Direct from the changing skyline of the Cardiff Bay development, the September 18 Open Minds tests opinion on the radical harbour-side changes. David Goldblatt visits the bohemian Butetown to meet the 'Medicis of Cardiff' and we get the low-down on new Welsh film-making. The presenters take a ride on the railway from Merthyr Tydfil to Cardiff and track its importance in the history of the Welsh capital.

In this programme, OU chemist Mike Bullivant looks at the story of the controversial anti-impotence drug Viagra which started life as a new treatment for angina. He talks to researchers at Pfizer who developed the drug as well as to MS patient Ivan Jackson, a human guinea-pig who tested it during clinical trials.

As the peace process begins again, Open Minds from Belfast on September 25 looks at the murals which cover the city's walls, but also digs deeper to present fresh insights on a remarkable city. This programme investigates the city's linen industry and the new entrepreneurial energy coming out of the thriving Chinese community. We find out how Belfast's close business community is using the new concept of knowledge management to benefit the bottom line of growing companies.

Mike Bullivant turns his attention to Beta Interferon, a valuable but expensive treatment for Multiple Sclerosis. Some health authorities will prescribe the drug but others refuse, thus turning health care into a postcode lottery for patients. MS patient Alex Fraser and her mother Pauline talk about the difference the drug has made to their lives. Alex's consultant Mohammad Shariaf can prescribe the pounds 10,000- a-year drug to only five patients even though he has 100 on the waiting list.

Launching the OU on screen this autumn Open Minds takes the lid off Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast. Look inside and enjoy.

Glasgow 09:05am 11 September

Cardiff 09:05am 18 September

Belfast 09:05am 25 September

www.open.ac.uk/bbc/openminds

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

    £18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

    Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

    £40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

    £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

    £20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

    Day In a Page

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
    Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
    Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

    Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

    Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
    Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

    Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

    The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
    Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

    Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

    His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

    Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future