TV & radio: what to tune into next week (26 November–2 December 2016)

Can't decide which shows to watch or listen to next week? BBC History Magazine's TV editor, Jonathan Wright, lists 10 programmes you won't want to miss...

Britain At Low Tide
Channel 4
Saturday 26th November, 8.00pm

Continuing the series on shoreline archaeology, Tori Herridge and Alex Langlands head for Lancashire. Here, the duo investigate a beach filled with building rubble that dates back to the Second World War and hear about Liverpool’s version of the Whiskey Galore! story.

Find out more here.


The Brits Who Designed The Modern World
Saturday 26th November, 9.30pm

To celebrate the Design Museum moving to a new £83m home in Kensington, Brenda Emmanus profiles 10 of Britain’s best designers. They include Sir Kenneth Grange, the industrial designer behind the Kenwood Chef and the streamlined nose cone of the InterCity 125.

Find out more here.

(BBC/David Shulman)


Jazzie B’s 1980s: From Dole To Soul
Saturday 26th November, 10.30pm

The Soul II Soul frontman looks back at the decade of Thatcherism, which at a personal level was a story of against-the-odds entrepreneurship emphasising the collective over the individual. Jazzie B is also one of the guests in the concluding episode of Back In Time For Brixton (BBC Two, Monday 28th November, 9.00pm).

Find out more here.


The Mayflower Pilgrims: Behind The Myth
Sunday 27th November, 8.00pm

Marking Thanksgiving in the US, here’s a drama-documentary that looks back at events in 1620, when 102 colonists, the Pilgrims, made their way from Plymouth to the New World. They endured a terrible journey, as the journals of William Bradford (played by Roger Rees), on whose journals this piece is largely based, related.

Find out more here.

(BBC/PBS/Plimoth Plantation/Kristen Oney)


Pick of the Week…

Whites vs Blacks: How Football Changed A Nation
Sunday 27th November, 9.00pm

In 1979, Len Cantello of West Bromwich Albion had his testimonial. Extraordinarily, at least from a 21st-century perspective, it featured a team of white players lining up against a team of black players. Baggies fan Adrian Chiles looks back at a match played in an era when, all too often, monkey chants rang around English stadiums. 

Find out more here.


The Green Book
Radio 4
Tuesday 29th November, 8.00pm

Alvin Hall takes a road trip in the US. Which sounds fun, except the presenter is recalling an era when Afro-American motorists heading south would carry a copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book. It was a volume that offered advice on hotels, shops and petrol stations that, during the Jim Crow era, served black customers.

Find out more here.


Black And British: A Forgotten History
Wednesday 30th November, 9.00pm

Historian David Olusoga’s excellent series concludes with an exploration of how the legacy of empire continues to shape our multicultural nation. It’s a documentary that takes in racial violence in the 1970s and 1980s, Cecil Rhodes being outfoxed in South Africa and the career of crooner Leslie ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson.

Find out more here.



Who Do You Think You Are?
Thursday 1st December, 8.00pm

Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden traces her forebears. In addition to investigating family tales of French ancestry that turn out to have their roots in years when Wellington fought his way into France during the Peninsular War, she explores the traumatic Second World War experiences of her paternal grandfather, a psychiatric nurse who committed suicide in 1983.

Find out more here.


The Sikhs Of Smethwick
BBC Four
Thursday 1st December, 9.00pm

Documentary-maker Billy Dosanjh looks back at 50 years of Sikh history in his Midlands hometown. Drawing on archive footage, often of weddings, he traces a story that takes in agricultural life in northern India, working in the steel industry and the rise of consumer culture. 

Find out more here.

(BBC/Blakeway Productions/Billy Dosanjh)


Drama: Tommies
Radio 4
Friday 2nd December, 2.15pm

Jonathan Ruffle’s drama of events a century ago takes to the rails as we follow the story of two rival sergeants, Ahmadullah and Zarbab. They are among British Indian Army PoWs forced to work as slave labourers on a project to build a railway from Baghdad to Berlin.

Find out more here.

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