Louis Theroux returns to BBC Knowledge with a new season of diverse films, starting with an exploration of three American cities that face uniquely devastating challenges: sex trafficking, murder and opiate dependency.
He’ll spend time in an anorexia treatment facility, catching a glimpse into the world of those suffering from the disease and the causes behind this mysterious eating disorder.
Finally, Louis re-examines his relationship with UK television personality Jimmy Savile since the world uncovered his hidden past as a predatory sex offender.
LOUIS THEROUX: TRAFFICKING SEX
Tuesday November 21 at 8.30pm
Houston, the fourth biggest city in America, is widely accepted to be the number one hotspot for trafficking in North America, including child prostitution. The US Department of Justice estimates that at least 1 in 5 of all victims in America are trafficked through the city.
With access to the authorities trying to combat this illegal activity including the Police Department’s ‘Vice and Human Trafficking Unit’, and a range of secular and faith-based organisations trying to tackle these crimes head-on. Louis explores this form of modern day slavery in the ‘Land of the Free’, and of those dedicating their lives to ending it.
LOUIS THEROUX: MURDER IN MILWAUKEE
Tuesday November 28 at 8.30pm
Milwaukee is one of the most racially and politically divided cities in the USA, as well as being one of the poorest. With its huge gun problem and high homicide rate, it’s a city that encapsulates America’s complex and troubled relationship with guns and the increasing disharmony between African American communities and (largely white) police forces.
With access to Milwaukee Police Force’s Homicide Unit, the District Attorney’s office, the Public Defender’s office and the County courts – Louis explores three of America’s unfortunate defining aspects - murder, guns and the police.
LOUIS THEROUX: HEROIN TOWN
Tuesday December 5 at 8.30pm
America’s love affair with prescription painkillers has led to a population dependent on opiates. But since a crackdown on their over-prescription, Americans have turned to the cheaper and stronger opiate: heroin. The drug now claims more lives in the US than car accidents or gun crime, and life expectancy in the US is declining which is largely attributed to the rise in fatal heroin overdoses.
In Huntington, West Virginia, Louis embeds himself in an Appalachian community that is being devastated by widespread heroin use. One in ten babies in the city are born addicted to opiates and the fatal overdose rate is 13 times the national average. Louis follows the frontline emergency services, who respond to multiple daily overdose call-outs, and spends time with a community of users who are caught in the vice-like grip of drug misuse.
LOUIS THEROUX: TALKING TO ANOREXIA
Tuesday December 12 at 8.30pm
Louis sets out to understand the disorder with the highest death rate of any mental illness. Anorexia, a pathological fear of eating and gaining weight, affects around one in every 250 women in the UK at some point in their lives. Immersing himself in two of London’s biggest adult eating-disorder treatment facilities, Louis meets women of all ages and at various stages of their illness. As he witnesses the dangerous power that anorexia holds over them, he finds himself drawn into a complex relationship between the disorder and the person it inhabits
LOUIS THEROUX: SAVILE
Tuesday December 19 at 8.30pm
In 1999 and 2000, Louis filmed with popular British television personality Jimmy Savile for his immersive documentary ‘When Louis Met Jimmy’. At the time Louis knew there was more to Savile than met the eye. But while he succeeded in showing a different side of Savile, the darkest side of this complex man eluded him. Following his 2011 death, ‘Saint Jimmy’ was revealed to be a predatory sex offender who used his celebrity status to commit crimes against many victims. In light of the devastating revelations, Louis sets out to understand the truth by talking to people who worked closely with Savile, to some of his victims, and also by re-examining moments from the original film and footage that’s never aired before on television.