TV & radio: what to tune in to next week (11-17 November 2017)

Can't decide which shows to watch or listen to next week? Here are 10 programmes you won't want to miss...

Peaky Blinders. (Image Credit: BBC/Caryn Mandabach/Robert Viglasky)
Peaky Blinders. (Image Credit: BBC/Caryn Mandabach/Robert Viglasky)
 
 
Drama: Tommies 
Radio 4
Saturday 11 November, 2.30pm
 
The second part of the latest offering in Jonathan Ruffle’s drama again focuses on conflict in the Middle East. Also this week, listen out for The Ballads Of The Great War – 1917 (Radio 2, Saturday 11 November, 9.00pm), which features stories of Passchendaele, and the return of weekday drama Home Front (from Monday 13 November, 12.04pm).
 
 
Archive On 4: The Pound In Your Pocket 
Radio 4
Saturday 11 November, 8.00pm
 
In 1967, on the business desk of The Times, Frances Cairncross helped cover the devaluation of the pound. Following sterling’s curiously unremarked-upon post-Brexit plunge in 2016, what can we learn from events 50 years ago? A documentary that draws on the diaries of Cairncross’s father, Alex, who was head of the government economic service in 1967.  
 
 
The Royal British Festival Of Remembrance 
BBC One 
Saturday 11 November, 9.00pm
 
Huw Edwards presents coverage of the event honouring the nation’s servicemen and servicewomen. The weekend also brings coverage of Remembrance Sunday: The Cenotaph (BBC One, 10.20am & Radio 4, 10.30am), where Prince Charles will lay a wreath on Queen Elizabeth’s behalf.
 
 

Howard’s End. (Image Credit: BBC/Playground Television UK Limited 2017/Laurie Sparham)
 
 
Britain’s Forgotten Army 
Channel 4
Sunday 12 November, 7.00pm
 
In 1917, 140,000 workers recruited in British-controlled Shandong province travelled to Europe to serve on the Western Front in the Chinese Labour Corps. Drawing on recently discovered documents, letters and diaries, British descendents of the men set out to trace their forebears’ lives. 
 
 
Howard’s End 
BBC One
Sunday 12 November, 9.00pm
 
Scripted by Academy Award winner Kenneth Lonergan, EM Forster’s novel of Edwardian life is brought to the screen over four episodes. At its centre lie two sisters, Margaret and Helen Schiegel, and the way their lives intersect with the well-to-do Wilcoxes. 
 
 
Storyville: Toffs, Queers And Traitors: Guy Burgess – The Charming Spy
BBC Four
Monday 13 November, 9.00pm
 
In 1951, the British government was forced to admit that two of its diplomats, Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess, had disappeared. Recruited as Soviet spies, both had defected. Drawing on recently declassified documents, George Carey’s feature-length documentary focuses on the louche and extravagant Burgess, considering how snobbery and sexual hypocrisy aided his cause.
 
 

Toffs, Queers And Traitors: Guy Burgess – The Charming Spy. (Image Credit: © Ramsey & Musprat)
 

Pick of the week

Peaky Blinders 
BBC Two 
Wednesday 15 November, 9.00pm
 
Writer Steven Knight’s superb drama of Brummie gangsters returns for a new series. We rejoin Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) to find him a lonely figure, estranged from the family he sold out to the authorities. But then an outside threat urgently necessitates calling a Shelby clan meeting.
 
 
Venus Uncovered: Ancient Goddess Of Love 
BBC Four
Wednesday 15 November, 9.00pm
 
Bettany Hughes traces the origins of the Roman goddess of love, taking a “knife to the idea of Venus as a bit of divine totty”, and revealing a far more complex and intriguing figure. Also this week, Hughes hosts Eight Days That Made Rome: Rome’s First Emperor (Channel 5, Friday 17 November, 9.00pm).
 
 
Ovid: The Poet And The Emperor 
BBC Four
Thursday 16 November, 9.00pm
 
Michael Wood profiles the Roman poet and storyteller Ovid. While Ovid found fame for Metamorphoses, his life also encompassed scandal and exile. Simon Russell Beale and Anna Friel read from Ovid’s work, and there are more readings still in Ovid From The RSC: The World’s Greatest Storyteller (BBC Four, 10.00pm).
 
 
The World’s Greatest Bridges 
Channel 5
Friday 17 November, 8.00pm
 
Rob Ball tells the story of the Brooklyn Bridge, a tale that says much about official corruption in the US of the late 19th century. Also this evening on Channel 5, Bog Bodies Secrets Revealed (10.00pm) applies forensic techniques to two mummified bodies found in Jutland, Denmark in 1950. 
 

 

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