- Weird and wonderful
- Kings & Queens
- TV & Radio
TV and radio listings will be updated every Friday
Melvyn Bragg looks at the influence of the King James Bible down the years. Not only has it had a huge influence on English literature, argues the novelist, but on the wider culture as “the seedbed of Western democracy” – and much more besides.
Tony Robinson and co embark on a tricky dig. St Kyneburgha’s Church in Cambridgeshire is thought to be the site of one of the largest Roman structures ever built in Britain. However, the team has to excavate in the church’s graveyard to recover any artefacts that may be accessible.
The second of Niall Ferguson’s six “killer apps” is science. The pursuit, he argues, of scientific and technological knowledge helped to ensure the West’s ascendancy. To illustrate his point, he contrasts the Prussians under Frederick the Great (fascinated by science) with the Ottoman court (largely uninterested, apparently).
The name may not be as immediately familiar as Freud or Jung, but the ideas of psychoanalyst Reich, who argued that sexual repression led to social ills, were and remain hugely influential. Matthew Sweet profiles the author of The Sexual Revolution, who died in an American prison in 1957.
Winston Churchill was a man of extraordinary energy. In a 10-part weekday series, historian David Cannadine looks at Churchill’s interests outside politics, which turn out to have included bricklaying (he was a member of the Amalgamated Union of Building Trade Workers), food and grog, and journalism.
The history series that draws on rarely seen documents returns. The first of three documentaries, The Bomb, The Chancellor and Britain’s Nuclear Secrets, asks whether chancellor Denis Healey was kept in the dark over costly plans to modernise Polaris in the 1970s.
In a three-part series, Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou explores how recent archaeological finds are changing the way we view the Bible. She begins with the story of King David. Was his empire really as vast as has been suggested? Did he even exist? These are questions of huge contemporary significance in Israel.
Michael Cockerell looks at how power is exercised in Britain. A three-part series begins with the role of the cabinet secretary, a post currently held by Gus O’Donnell, interviewed here along with four other mandarins who have held the post.
The history of our nine-to-five lives reaches the years 1964-80. Initially, these were years of optimism as baby boomers found it easy to get jobs. Then came the 1970s and industrial conflict, culminating in the 1978/79 winter of discontent that swept Thatcher into power.
What exactly happened to Rome’s Ninth Legion, often said to have disappeared in Britain around AD 117? A documentary that looks at different ideas and places the Ninth’s fate at the beginning of a chain of events that ultimately led to the Roman Empire’s demise.