Pick of the Week
The Art Of Monarchy
Saturday 11th February, 10.30am
Will Gompertz, explores the history of the British monarchy via the treasures of the Royal Collection. In the first of eight episodes, the BBC’s arts editor considers personal images and portraits of royalty, including an intimate portrait of Queen Victoria intended for Albert’s eyes only.
Archive On Four: The Lost World Of The Suffragettes
Saturday 11th February, 8.00pm
In the 1970s, historian Brian Harrison recorded a series of interviews with those who were part of the suffragette movement. A century on from the struggle to secure the vote for women, Harrison and Baroness Brenda Dean join Dan Snow as they use the interviews to explore the experiences of suffragettes.
The Last Explorers
Sunday 12th February, 6.00pm
The excellent series on adventurers concludes with Neil Oliver profiling Thomas Blake Glover, an entrepreneur whose experiences in Japan led to him being dubbed the Scottish Samurai. Also this afternoon, look out for Time Team (4.25pm, Channel 4), which finds the crew digging at the site of Charles II’s racing stables in Newmarket.
Call The Midwife
Sunday 12th February, 8.00pm
Who would have predicted that Auntie’s 1950s-set drama about East End midwives would be such a runaway hit? That’s perhaps because it’s a series that artfully treads a line between grit and sentimentality, much helped by strong performances from, among others, Jessica Raine, Jenny Agutter and Miranda Hart. Tonight, cleaner Peggy’s brother, Frank, is diagnosed with cancer.
Sport And The British
Monday 13th February, 1.45pm
The split between rugby union and league, tennis and golf as middle-class pursuits and, a recurring theme, gambling are among the subjects as the weekday series hosted by Clare Balding continues. There’s also a sporting theme to In Living Memory (Radio 4, Wednesday 15th February, 11.00am), which recalls the last-ever Gentlemen v Players cricket match
Lost Kingdoms Of Africa
Monday 13th February, 9.00pm
Gus Casely-Hayford visits Morocco to tell the story of the Berber kings, whose realm once extended to west Africa and the north of Spain. Over on BBC One, Andrew Marr looks at Elizabeth II’s efforts to modernise the monarchy in The Diamond Queen (9.00pm).
The World Against Apartheid: Have You Heard From Johannesburg?
Tuesday 14th February, 10.00pm
The fourth episode of Connie Fields’ superb series focuses on the way economic pressure was brought to bear on the apartheid regime. What began as a grassroots campaign – a boycott of companies with links to South Africa, including Barclays and Shell – ultimately led to businesses pulling out of the country en masse.
Wednesday 15th February, 9.00pm
The third and final part of the drama-documentary set in France’s opulent palace charts the reign of Louis XVI. He wasn’t, we’re told, necessarily a bad man, but Louis was an ineffective ruler. Via starving peasants, sacked finance ministers and ruinously expensive foreign adventures, the guillotine beckoned.
Bullets, Boots And Bandages: How To Really Win A War
Thursday 16th February, 9.00pm
Saul David finishes up his series on military logistics down the ages by looking at the challenges generals face in equipping their soldiers for the fight. Not-a-lot-of-people-know-that facts abound: during the First World War, schoolchildren collected conkers to make cordite.
Thursday 16th February, 10.00pm
Following Hitler’s strike against Stalin in 1941, it was imperative for the Allies to keep the USSR in the war. As veterans recount here, this meant convoys carrying vital supplies heading north into the Arctic Circle. Not only did the sailors have to contend with the severe cold and storms, but German attacks too.