TV & Radio
TV and radio listings will be updated every Friday
The idea of Tony Robinson and co exploring an area of woodland may suggest an agrarian-themed dig. However, Derwentcote in County Durham was once a powerhouse of iron and steel production. Expect scenes of adults excited by 200-year-old lumps of slag in a dig much helped by the jottings of an 18th-century industrial spy.
Never a man to steer clear of big questions, Niall Ferguson looks back through history as a way to explore whether the days when the West dominates the world are coming to an end. In the first programme, his theme is commercial competition as he contrasts political division in Europe with monolithic China in the 15th century.
Andrew Davies’s excellent adaptation of Winifred Holtby’s multi-stranded novel of 1930s life concludes. While Sarah Burton (Anna Maxwell Martin) works her way through a life crisis keyed off by her ill-fated encounter with Robert Carne (David Morrissey) in Manchester, corruption swirls around the decision over where a new housing estate should be built.
Tristram Hunt concludes his series on how British notions have spread around the world in unexpected ways. His focus this week is on journalist John Atkinson Hobson’s critique of the economics behind imperialism. Although Hobson was a liberal, his ideas hugely influenced a Russian revolutionary: Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
In a new weekday series, Tim Wonnacott and Rosemary Shrager visit castles, palaces and stately homes where Queen Victoria stayed. Beginning at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, the duo see the treasures on view and sample the dishes Victoria would have eaten.
Johnny Vaughan and Steve Brooker see what archaeological leftovers they can find on the gloopy shores of the Thames at Wapping. More than you might imagine in an entertaining series that tonight finds the duo talking alternative coinage, tobacco pipes and stinky trades.
In May 1979, 10 people died in a fire in a Woolworths store in Manchester. They were killed by fumes given off by burning furniture. In the series on key moments in recent history, Chris Ledgard explains how the tragedy led to a change in the law.
Guy Martin continues his renovation of a narrowboat using inventions from the industrial revolution. But is it really practical to power the shower using a steam engine? Plus a visit to Thomas Crapper’s factory and a ‘flush-off’ between 19th-century toilets.
In 1963, the Ku Klux Klan bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Four children died in the attack. Guardian journalist Gary Younge remembers the response of Welsh artist John Petts, whose stained-glass window made for the church depicts Christ as a black man.
Over four episodes, Kirsty Young looks at how British working lives have changed since the Second World War. She begins with post-war optimism and nationalisation, which soon gives way to widespread disillusionment as outdated management practices and strikes undermine the nation’s competitiveness.