TV & Radio

TV and radio listings will be updated every Friday

Public Enemy: Prophets Of Rage
Public Enemy: Prophets Of Rage
BBC Four
Friday 9th December, 9.00pm

It’s easy to forget now, but there was a time when Public Enemy were genuinely feared by sections of the American establishment. As to why, this documentary profile outlines how the band welded leader Chuck D’s radical politics to extraordinary collages of samples, a combination that immediately connected with disaffected youth.

Pub Dig
Pub Dig
History
Friday 9th December, 9.00pm

Another week, another alehouse, as Rory McGrath, archaeologist Paul Blinkhorn and the team explore the history of Ye Olde Smugglers Inn in the East Sussex village of Alfriston. Followed by How Beer Saved the World (10.00pm, History), which argues that farmers first grew grain for brewing purposes.

Tony Robinson’s Gods And Monsters
Tony Robinson’s Gods And Monsters
Channel 4
Saturday 10th December, 8.00pm

You really didn’t want to get ill back in the olden days. That seems to be the main message of tonight’s episode in the series looking at our forebears’ beliefs. In a particularly visceral moment, host Tony Robinson is plonked in a pit filled with blood and other bits of slaughtered cattle as he recreates a ‘cure’ from yesteryear.

The Blood Telegram
The Blood Telegram
Radio 4
Sunday 11th December, 1.30pm

Jonny Dymond looks back to 1971, when East Pakistan (soon to be independent Bangladesh) was in crisis. In the midst of a brutal military crackdown, a brave young diplomat, Archer K Blood, sent a telegram accusing the Nixon government of being “morally bankrupt” in refusing to condemn what was happening.

The People’s Post: A Narrative History Of The Post Office
The People’s Post: A Narrative History Of The Post Office
Radio 4
Monday 12th December, 1.45pm

Dominic Sandbrook continues his weekday series charting the history of the Post Office. He begins this week’s shows in 1840, the year when the Penny Black adhesive stamp was introduced. There’s an omnibus edition of the show on Friday at 9.00pm.

How New Is The New Philanthropy?
How New Is The New Philanthropy?
Radio 4
Monday 12th December, 8.00pm

Covering similar ground to Ian Hislop’s recent documentary on Victorian bankers, Professor Hugh Cunningham looks at the history of philanthropy from the 18th century until the present day. Cunningham begins with penal reformer John Howard, the first man to be dubbed a philanthropist.

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It’s Got Bells On
Radio 2
Monday 12th December, 10.00pm

Titter ye not. Stewart Lee speaks up for those brave men and women who don bells and wield hankies in the name of Morris dancing. It’s a form that proves to have a fascinating history. Moreover, it’s still evolving: consider the Morris/hip-hop collision pioneered by folk band the Demon Barbers for evidence.

Random Edition: The Death Of Prince Albert
Random Edition: The Death Of Prince Albert
Radio 4
Wednesday 14th December, 11.00am

On 14 December 1861, Victoria’s consort Albert died. How did the nation react? Marking 150 years since Albert’s demise, Peter Snow hunts for clues in the pages of the London Daily News. The paper carried reports of Albert’s decline, and how news of the death spread, in a pre-radio and telephone age, via the ringing of church bells.

A Short History Of Bells
Pick of the Week
A Short History Of Bells
BBC Four
Wednesday 14th December, 9.00pm

Richard Taylor, who previously hosted Churches: How to Read Them, traces the story of bell-ringing in Britain over the past 1,500 years. It’s a tale that says much about British social history and also answers one of life’s eternal questions: just why is Big Ben’s bong so flat?

Jerusalem: The Making Of A Holy City
Jerusalem: The Making Of A Holy City
BBC Four
Thursday 15th December, 9.00pm

The second part of Simon Sebag Montefiore’s history of Jerusalem looks at the part played by Islam in its development. Covering the construction of the Dome of the Rock, plus the struggle between Saladin and Richard the Lionheart, the programme ends in the 13th century with King Frederick II’s attempts to bring peace via a power-sharing deal.

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