Upcoming series: Confidential, CBC

Everything you ever wanted to know about chocolate, Christmas, high heels, hairstyles, and diets … Pop culture docs delve into our everyday obsessions in the Confidential series on CBC Television – beginning Dec. 14

Ever wondered how many shoes the average North American woman owns? Did you know that if your Christmas turkey isn’t turning out, you can call the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line in Chicago for tips? Is it true that blondes have more fun? CBC Television’s CONFIDENTIAL series introduces viewers to quirky, fascinating and little known facts about obsessions with everything from the joys and stress of the Christmas season to the decadent world of chocolate, the big business behind fad diets to the hottest haircuts and stilettos from the world of fashion. A type of urban anthropology, the CONFIDENTIAL series has proved to have worldwide appeal, selling internationally in over 20 countries.

CHRISTMAS CONFIDENTIAL – Thursday, Dec. 14 at 9 p.m. (Where Available)

The CONFIDENTIAL series opens with an exploration of a holiday that fascinates people all over the world. According to CHRISTMAS CONFIDENTIAL, no event in history has ever marshalled so many people and so much effort to celebrate just one day. Viewers will meet unabashed Christmas enthusiasts-a Brooklyn judge with a house so decorated that it’s a tourist attraction, Santa hopefuls competing in the Father Christmas games in Sweden, and pet photographers who can Christmas-ize almost any animal. Chef and author Nigella Lawson weighs in with ‘Confessions of a Culinary Queen’, offering Christmas recipe secrets and tips to survive the holidays.

In CHRISTMAS CONFIDENTIAL, meet those who take Christmas to the extreme, thousands in the annual running of the Santas in Liverpool, the opera-loving creator of animated holiday windows, and the French filmmaker fixated on how Christmas stopped a war. Eavesdrop on backroom deals of the Christmas industry insiders, and meet the turkey therapists who talk anxious cooks through the big day. From the great Christmas tree showdown, to obsessive ornament collectors, CHRISTMAS CONFIDENTIAL has something for everyone.

DIET CONFIDENTIAL – Thursday, Jan. 4 at 8 p.m.

What’s the recipe for the successful modern diet? Take a piece of expensive real estate for the title (South Beach, Sonoma, Beverly Hills), add a pinch of celebrity endorsement, stir in a media-friendly diet guru and the diet is set to be a hit, spawning book and food company spin-offs. DIET CONFIDENTIAL explores today’s world of serial dieting.

One might think diets are about science, but they’re mostly about marketing. After Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution reached extraordinary heights of popularity around the world, it raised the stakes for every would-be diet guru. Now, new breeds of successors are trying to achieve diet and financial glory with more books, more eating plans and more promises. DIET CONFIDENTIAL is a compelling and entertaining look behind the scenes at the battle for our bodies and our wallets.

HIGH HEEL CONFIDENTIAL – Thursday, Jan. 11 at 8 p.m.

Just how far will a woman go for the perfect pair of shoes? Shoes speak volumes about the wearer and have been symbols of sex, status and style throughout history. With the average North American woman owning at least 30 pairs, HIGH HEEL CONFIDENTIAL takes a revealing look at the world of high heels.

Shoe aficionados will get up close and personal with their idols, including an interview with the shoe god himself, Manolo Blahnik (whose shoes range in price from $500 to $7,500) and also designer Patrick Cox and Tamara Mellon, President and CEO of Jimmy Choo. HIGH HEEL CONFIDENTIAL takes viewers behind the scenes with shoe designers and makers in glamorous Paris, London, Florence and New York, from the workshops to the runways and everything in between. The documentary also visits Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum, tracing the history of heels and the birth of the stiletto in the 1950s. Viewers will also learn about the lengths to which women will go-including foot surgeries such as toe shortenings-in order to keep wearing their beloved heels.

HAIRSTYLE CONFIDENTIAL – Thursday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m.

A witty, fast-paced look at our obsession with hair, HAIRSTYLE CONFIDENTIAL untangles the myths and mystique surrounding hair in popular culture. British fashion expert Caroline Cox provides the context behind the coiffeur. The documentary features interviews with the original stylist guru Vidal Sassoon and spends a day with Hollywood’s hottest hairdresser, Ken Pavés (Jessica Simpson’s stylist and best friend).

Viewers enter the secret world behind the latest hair fad: hair extensions, from their beginnings as the shorn hair of devout Hindus in India to the dyeing and styling process in Italy. Why do we spill all our secrets to our “hairapist”? What is the next miracle cure for baldness? And do blondes really have more fun? All these questions and more are explored in HAIRSTYLE CONFIDENTIAL.

CHOCOLATE CONFIDENTIAL – Thursday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m.

It’s the most popular flavour in the world and as CHOCOLATE CONFIDENTIAL reveals, the lengths to which some people will go to pursue their passion for chocolate are amazing. Some would say that chocolate rivals sex as a universal obsession. You can drink it, eat it, it’s good for your heart and can even be a beauty tool-chocolate is a billion dollar industry.

According to the documentary, the average North American consumes 11.7 pounds of chocolate each year-a low statistic considering the Swiss gobble up to 22.3 pounds each. CHOCOLATE CONFIDENTIAL includes an interview with Chloe Doutre-Roussel, the so-called ‘chocolate angel’ who eats pounds each day and travels all over the world to find the perfect cocoa bean. Even New York cosmetic mogul Bobbi Brown has jumped on the chocolate bandwagon, launching a new line of cocoa-hued makeup. From the artistry of high-end chocolate-makers in Paris to the cocoa bean plantations in the Caribbean, CHOCOLATE CONFIDENTIAL travels the world, offering delectable insider information.

For the CONFIDENTIAL series, Sue Dando is executive producer and Mark Starowicz is the executive director of documentaries for CBC.