Heading up the drama output is The Mark of Cain, written by Bafta-winner Tony Merchant and starring Shameless actor Gerard Kearns, which tells the story of two young soldiers in Iraq, and shows the aftermath of their experiences once they return home. The show will air in May.
This month sees award winning writer Irving Welsh return to the channel, with the dark TV film comedy Wedding Belles. Co-written with Dean Cavanagh, it stars Shirley Henderson and Green Wing’s Michelle Gomez as two of four female Glaswegians who lives are thrown into turmoil, including holding their respective partners at gun point while wearing wedding dresses.
March also sees John Simm star as Vincent Van Gogh in The Yellow House, depicting the manic period in which the troubled artist shared a house with fellow painter Paul Gauguin, played by Bleak House’s John Lynch.
In factual entertainment, Dumped follows ten people over three weeks as they attempt to live off the waste at a real British rubbish dump, while Death of a Fox, part of the Cutting Edge strand, follows the growth in urban foxes, and shows the animals being caught and killed. April’s The Lie of the Land, shows how the change in farming traditions has led to some farmers having to kill their own animals, to keep up with market forces.
Documentaries feature heavily, with a look back at Tony Blair’s last 10 years in power in a Blair-Brown season, and Mummy's War sees Carol Thatcher visit the Falklands, 25 years after her mother battled for the territory, to see whether attitudes have changed. Shrink Rap sees Pamela Stephenson, now psychotherapist Dr Connolly, interview the like of Robin Williams, Stephen Fry and David Blunkett
The Seven Sins of England will look at the nation’s history of binge-drinking, rudeness, violence and bigotry, using real life people to deliver the words of their ancestral counterparts. In Face of Britain, Coast presenter and archaeologist Neil Oliver completes a genetic survey of Britain’s inhabitants to “find out who we really are.”
New US drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, starring Matthew Perry, appears in June on the main channel, with Brothers and Sisters, Runaway and What about Brian making their debuts on E4.
In comedy, award winning sitcom Peep Show returns for a fourth series next month.
Big Brother 8 was included in the spring launch programme, but Channel Four would not comment on what week it would air, or how long its run would be. The channel is still conducting its review into the show following the recent Celebrity Big Brother controversy.