TV & radio: what to tune in to next week (16 - 22 December 2017)

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

The Art That Made Mexico: Paradise, Power And Prayers. (Image Credit: BBC/Red Sk

The Art That Made Mexico: Paradise, Power And Prayers. (Image Credit: BBC/Red Sky Productions/Laura Kaye)

 
Archive On 4: Return of the Anglosphere 
Radio 4
Saturday 16 December, 8.00pm
 
In the wake of the Brexit vote, the idea of the Anglosphere, or English-speaking world, seems to be making a comeback. Is there a genuine cultural and political bond between Australians, Canadians, Americans and Brits? Or is the Anglosphere a nostalgic idea unsuited to a world where China and India are in the ascendancy? Jonathan Powell investigates.
 
 
 
Book of the Week: Village Christmas
Radio 4
Monday 18 December, 9.45am
 
Over five weekday episodes, Derek Jacobi reads from a new collection of seasonally themed writings by Laurie Lee (1914-97) of Cider With Rosie fame. As well as looking back at Lee’s childhood in the Cotswolds, the pieces chart the writer’s reflections on a changing London.
 
 
 
Iceland’s Dark Lullabies 
Radio 4
Monday 18 December, 8.00pm
 
In a one-off documentary, storyteller Andri Snær Magnason offers his take on the scary traditional tales associated with the bleak midwinter in Iceland. These are stories that date back to the pre-Christian era of Norse gods and, in the context of the 21st century, offer an antidote to seasonal schmaltz. 
 
 
 
The Art That Made Mexico: Paradise, Power And Prayers 
BBC Four 
Monday 18 December, 9.00pm
 
Concluding her series on Mexican art, Alinka Echeverria considers the role of faith in the life of the country. It’s a tale of how separate Mesoamerican and Catholics traditions of iconography combined, and say much about the personal relationship between believer and the divine.
 
 
 

Pick of the week

Black Music In Europe: A Hidden History 
Radio 4
Tuesday 19 December, 9.00am
 
The story of popular black music in Europe is often taken as beginning with the arrival of the Empire Windrush in 1948. Not true, suggests this three-part series presented by Clarke Peters of The Wire fame. First up, the actor hears examples of black music recorded in Europe at the start of the 20th century.
 
 
 

Invasion! With Sam Willis. (Image Credit: BBC/Rachel Ramsay)
 
Invasion! With Sam Willis 
BBC Four 
Tuesday 19 December, 9.00pm
 
The series on how Britain has been shaped by foreign folk arriving on these shores concludes. As well as charting the rich cultural legacy of the Huguenots, who came to Britain as refugees, Willis considers French plans to invade Britain by balloon.
 
 
 
David Jason’s Secret Service 
More4
Tuesday 19 December, 9.00pm
 
The espionage history series concludes with host David Jason considering how some of Britain’s best minds were recruited to help win the war against the Nazis. We also see a recently rediscovered cache of drawing that show how German tech boffins planned to attack Britons on the home front. 
 
 
 
Peaky Blinders 
BBC Two 
Wednesday 20 December, 9.00pm
 
The fourth series of the 1920s-set gangster series concludes on the night of Bonnie Gold’s big fight. As the bell rings and the crowd roars in anticipation of what will follow, Changretta prepares to play a final card in his vendetta against the Shelbys.
 
 
 
Darcey Bussell: Looking For Fred Astaire 
BBC One 
Thursday 21 December, 10.45pm
 
The Strictly judge surveys the life and times of one Fred Austerlitz, raised in Omaha, Nebraska. One name change and a move to New York later, and Astaire was on his way to Hollywood stardom. Bussell explores the role of London in this transformation and why Fred, remarkably, wasn’t regarded as his family’s best hoofer.
 
 

Darcey Bussell: Looking For Fred Astaire. (Image Credit: BBC/Matchlight/Andrew Muggleton)
 
 
Saturday Night Fever: The Ultimate Disco Movie 
BBC Two
Friday 22 December, 9.00pm
 
It’s 40 years since John Travolta strutted through Brooklyn in time to the Bee Gees’ ‘Stayin’ Alive’. Travolta himself, along with Barry Gibb and Strictly’s Bruno Tonioli, look back at the making of the movie that gave the world “disco fever”.
 
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