TV & Radio

TV and radio listings will be updated every Friday

The Tudors
The Tudors
BBC Two
Saturday 29th January, 9.45pm

Pity poor Katherine Howard. Bored, naïve and a bit of a spoilt brat, she’s about to try Henry VIII’s patience. Not a good idea as history – which in truth this daft but largely fun series has never appeared overly concerned with – testifies. The bits with Henry’s festering leg aren’t for the squeamish.

The Far Pavilions
The Far Pavilions
Radio 4
Monday 31st January, 10.45am

MM Kaye’s epic bestseller gets an equally epic adaptation over 20 weekday episodes. For those unfamiliar with the novel, it focuses on young Ashton, an English orphan adopted by a Hindu nursemaid in 19th-century India. Renamed Ashok, the lad finds himself at the centre of momentous events. Also at 7.45pm.

The Long View
The Long View
Radio 4
Tuesday 1st February, 9.00am

The excellent series that looks at a contemporary issue through the prism of the past returns. The first episode considers Nick Clegg's u-turn on tuition fees in the light of a similarly damaging about-face by Robert Peel in 1829. Jonathan Freedland hosts. Later in the day, Great Lives (4.30pm, Radio 4) finds playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah
speaking up for Marcus Garvey.

Gladiators: Rome Unwrapped
Gladiators: Rome Unwrapped
Five
Tuesday 1st February, 8.00pm

What was life (and death) like at Rome’s Colosseum? A documentary that uses CGI to recreate the opening games at the great stadium, in 80AD. Also this week on Five, Secrets Of The Vanishing Sphinx (8.00pm, Thursday 3rd February) focuses on the vast and enigmatic statue at Giza.

Children Of The Revolution
Children Of The Revolution
BBC Four
Tuesday 1st February, 9.00pm

The fact that children were key to Britain’s economic success during the Industrial Revolution is a truth that’s often overlooked. Professor Jane Humphries’ documentary cast a critical eye on 19th-century exploitation and explores the grim conditions endured by all too many of our forebears as youngsters.

Boardwalk Empire
Boardwalk Empire
Sky Atlantic
Tuesday 1st February, 9.00pm

Sky Atlantic, which draws its programming in great part from HBO, launches amidst much fuss. Turns out a historical drama is the first big-hitter on the channel, with critically acclaimed Boardwalk Empire focusing on organised crime in 1920s Atlantic City. Martin Scorsese directs the opener, which stars Steve Buscemi. (Continues Wednesday 2nd February.)

One Block In Harlem
One Block In Harlem
BBC World Service
Wednesday 2nd February, 9.05am

Whether you’re talking jazz, soul food, politics or literature, the story of Harlem is central to the Afro-American experience. Journalist Michael Goldfarb explores the history of a Manhattan borough that’s now undergoing gentrification via just one street and the way this locale has changed since 1910. Part one of two; repeated at 12.05pm, 3.05pm, 8.05pm and 1.05am .

In Our Time
In Our Time
Radio 4
Thursday 3rd February, 9.00am

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Battle of Bannockburn, Robert the Bruce’s famous victory against Edward II in June 1314. Although Scotland’s independence wouldn’t be fully acknowledged for another 14 years, with the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton, Bannockburn was none the less a decisive moment.

Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day
Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day
Channel 4
Thursday 3rd February, 9.00am

Sometimes against the odds, the modern-day builders using Roman methods to construct a Roman villa push on. This week, they have the dangerous and difficult job of putting up the structure’s oak frame. Meantime, plumber Kevin has to source 200,000 tiny mosaic tiles.

Abraham Lincoln: Saint Or Sinner?
Pick of the Week
Abraham Lincoln: Saint Or Sinner?
BBC Four
Thursday 3rd February, 9.00pm

With the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the American Civil War approaching, here’s a two-part documentary that examines the life and times of the president who abolished slavery. The figure that emerges is no shining idealist, but a pragmatic politician and a man of his times who seriously contemplated deporting freed slaves.

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