Stephen Fry will examine the story behind the Western world's first printing press in a one-off doc for a BBC4 medieval season this April.

Stephen Fry and the Gutenberg Press: The Machine That Made Us will look at how Gutenberg kept his project secret and the effect that making the written word accessible to all had on the world.

BBC4 controller Janice Hadlow ordered the 60-minute doc from Wavelength Films. It will be produced by Lucy Ward and exec produced by Martin Davidson for the BBC.

Other programmes for the season include the 4 x 60-minute Inside the Medieval Mind, about the medieval world's fascination with the supernatural, attitudes to sex and courtly love and the stringent class system.

The series will be fronted by professor Robert Bartlett, one of the world's leading authorities on the Middle Ages, and is being made in-house. It will be produced by Julian Birkett and exec produced by Debbie Cadbury.

“Ideas we take for granted - such as what time it is and how far away a place is - existed in quite a different way in that period,” said Hadlow.

One of Bartlett's books is the basis of another programme in the season, The Saint and the Hanged Man. The doc was ordered from Hardy & Sons, and will be produced by Justin Hardy. It will be exec produced by Michael Poole.