A hard hitting and controversial new drama charting how the demonisation of asylum seekers and Islam is feeding the far right in Britain is one of the highlights of BBC1's£177m winter season.

A hard hitting and controversial new drama charting how the demonisation of asylum seekers and Islam is feeding the far right in Britain is one of the highlights of BBC1's£177m winter season.

England Expects , commissioned by BBC1 controller Lorraine Heggessey and controller of drama commissioning Jane Tranter, will feature Steven Mackintosh as a responsible family man who is fiercely protective of his daughter but as things start to go wrong begins to lose his grip on reality. As his behaviour becomes more erratic he looks for other people to blame, and he is seduced back to his far right roots as his life spirals out of control.

"Using drama is a powerful way of getting viewers to engage with difficult subjects," said Heggessey. "It can provide viewers with a three-dimensional and emotional understanding of often complex situations. Drama introduces them to issues and dilemmas that they would otherwise be likely to ignore, by getting under the skin of subjects."

Other drama includes The Deputy, about a deputy prime minister; the dramatisation of the "Bakewell Tart" murder; Hustle, from indie Kudos which made Spooksand Sea of Souls, a new investigative drama following a team of parapsychologists who investigate extraordinary circumstances surrounding ordinary people. Auf Wiedersehen, Petalso returns.

BBC1 will also take part in the Taking Care season of programmes on children in care, due to air in February, with documentaries About A Child, which looks at the sort of childhood faced by young people growing up in care, and After Care, which explores the legacy of care. They are complemented by storylines in Casualty, Doctorsand Neighbours, plus special programming on CBBC, including a 60-minute Tracy Beakerspecial.

"I have long felt passionately that as a society we have betrayed children put into care through no fault of their own," said Heggessey. "In this season through documentaries and special storylines in our drama series we hope to bring to life the reality of the impact of being in care to viewers of all ages."

A special day of programmes on debt leads current affairs while a new weekly interactive quiz - Don't Get Mad Get Even- aims to replicate the suucess of Test the Nation.

In comedy, Amanda Holden and Jamie Theakston team up in Mad About Alice, about a couple who broke up long before their marriage was really over, while Ben Miller and Sarah Alexander star in The Worst Week of My Life.

Factual sees Victoria Wood offering an honest take on the dieting industry in Victoria's Big Fat Documentarywhile Rolf Harris will explore the art of portraiture in Star Portraitswhen each week he'll be joined by a guest celebrity who will sit for three professional portrait painters.

Noah's Ark will tell the story behind the legend while The Divine Michelangelowill reveal the truth behind his masterpieces.