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TV and radio listings will be updated every Friday
Ian McMillan explores the story behind Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant Massacree (1967), a talking blues set on Thanksgiving Day that took a swipe at the USA’s involvement in Vietnam. Also marking Thanksgiving, The Essay: TV Dinners To Roadside Diners (Radio 3, weeknights from Monday 18 November, 10.45pm), finds five US writers discussing the cultural history of favourite comfort foods.
With the Leveson Report soon to be published, Steve Hewlett looks at past efforts to regulate the press in Britain. These range from flogging journalists back in the 17th century through to 1920s attempts to stop the reporting of salacious details in messy divorce cases.
Astonishingly, The Rolling Stones have now been treading the boards for five decades, years of tumultuous social change. Marking the anniversary, director Brett Morgan’s two-part documentary mixes archive footage with more recently recorded interviews with Mick, Keef, Charlie and Ronnie, plus former members Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor.
With an atmospheric soundtrack from British Sea Power, director Penny Woolcock’s superb film uses BFI archive footage to explore the place of the coastline in the lives of Britons. Also based on material from the vaults, Britain On Film (BBC Four, Tuesday 20 November, 8.30pm) recalls working life in the 1960s.
Fi Glover looks at the role of radio in political revolutions over the past 90 years. The events considered include the Prague uprising against the Nazis in 1945, when Scottish soldier William Greig made a call to arms across the airwaves.
Laurence Rees considers the hold that Hitler had over Germany at the height of his powers, through the 1930s and up to the invasion of France in 1940. It was era when hundreds of thousands of people gathered to pay homage to their leader in Nuremburg. Why and how did Hitler inspire such devotion?
Food writer Stefan Gates looks back at what he contends was a forgotten golden age for British cuisine, the years that followed the Restoration. Plus also look out for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (BBC Four, Wednesday 21 November, 9.00pm), in which Clarissa Dickson Wright charts the history of the traditional British dinner.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Borgias and the power they exerted during the Italian Renaissance. In the 15th century, the family gave the world two popes, including Alexander VI, now remembered as one of the most corrupt pontiffs in history.
Still clutching his 1913 Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo heads for Germany. He begins in Berlin, a centre for science and technology in the run-up to the First World War, before heading to the picturesque Harz mountains, the industrial Ruhr valley and the castle-dotted Rhine.
We’re in mini-series territory with the tale of how Rome succumbed to civil war. This six-part drama begins with Julius Caesar’s nephew, Octavian, trying to bring the city together. But oh no, power-hungry Marc Anthony has other ideas. Starring Santiago Cabrera, Vincent Regan, James Frain and Emily Blunt.