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Schama to front BBC Jewish history series

By
Simon Schama
Academic and TV presenter Simon Schama is to front a new series on BBC Two documenting the incredible history of the Jews.

In the five-part series, titled The History Of The Jews, Schama will explore the 4,000 years of Jewish history from the Ancient Israelites to the impact of the Jewish people on the modern world.

Discussing the series, Schama said that any historian would want to tell the "epic story" of the Jewish people on Earth.

"From the invention of the single faceless God to the invention of psycho-analysis, the Jewish story brims with illumination; ordeal and cultural revolutions; with poetry, politics and picturing," he said.

"One of the first American presidents said that from their mere numbers the Jews ought to have been no more than a mere puff of stardust amidst the constellations; but they have been more like an explosive sunspot that never dies down.

"Coloured by passion and pathos, populated by troublemakers, and visionaries, I've always wanted to bring this story to a contemporary television audience and since Jews have shaped the world as much as they have been shaped by it, their experience will, I hope, become part of everyone's story."

The BBC's Martin Davidson, who commissioned The History Of The Jews, added: "From the Diaspora right through to the present day, the history of the Jewish people is fundamental in the history of civilisation.

"I am delighted that Simon Schama, with his expertise, is returning to BBC Two to present such an important and wide-ranging authored series."

Produced for the BBC by Oxford Film and Television, The History Of The Jews will be broadcast on BBC Two in 2012.

Last week, the BBC announced that Jeremy Paxman is to front a new series on BBC One in the autumn telling the remarkable story of the British Empire.

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