- Weird and wonderful
- Kings & Queens
- TV & Radio
TV and radio listings will be updated every Friday
In the penultimate episode of the series exploring British history through objects in the Royal Collection, Will Gompertz turns his attention to empire and the commonwealth. Artefacts under consideration include a shawl given to Princess Elizabeth as a wedding present by Gandhi, a shawl pointedly bearing words that translate as ‘Victory to India’.
Are the English really as tolerant as they fondly like to believe? Not if you’re answering the question in historical terms, argues Diarmaid MacCulloch. Indeed, he suggests, until comparatively recently the English were among the most intolerant people on Earth.
Tony Robinson and co head for south Wales, and the Roman legionary fortress of Caerleon, which in its heyday stood on the very edge of the empire. Just outside the fort, archaeologists have found signs of a huge structure leading down to the river – what was its purpose?
Julian Fellowes’ new four-part drama finds the scriptwriter turning his attention to the sinking of Titanic. Or more specifically to the lives and, for all too many, deaths of passengers and crewmembers aboard the great liner. Downton Abbey meets the disaster flick then, should be fun.
In large part a fly-on-the-wall documentary following the lives of young singers, Angelic Voices also traces the 900-year history of choristers at Salisbury Cathedral. Among other nuggets, we learn that in the 14th century the local lads called to serve were essentially skivvies for the canons and sometimes went hungry.
Marking the Diamond Jubilee, Len Goodman looks back at the decade when Elizabeth Windsor ascended to the throne. In the first of five weekday episodes, Pam Ayres joins the Strictly Come Dancing judge for a spot of reminiscing about the joys of playing out on Second World War bombsites.
China’s rapid growth appears to mark a shift in political influence from west to east. Niall Ferguson concludes his series on China by asking which is more worrying: the idea the country will continue its rise to economic superpower or that it might falter because of its many contradictions?
Jeremy Paxman considers the idea of ‘Doing Good’ as it played out during the later imperial era. It’s a tale of how a simple desire to conquer new territory mutated into a mission to improve the world. Along the way Paxman considers the careers of two very different imperial figures, David Livingstone and Cecil Rhodes.
Chris Naunton, director of the Egypt Exploration Society, traces the career of Victorian adventurer and archaeologist Sir Flinders Petrie. It was Petrie, we learn, who first scientifically surveyed the pyramids. Petrie also worked in Palestine, liked to dig in his underwear, and had some very dubious beliefs linked to race and eugenics.
Quip-and-pun-tastic Stephen Smith looks at the influence of Art Nouveau on British design in the early 20th century. Those whose work he considers include illustrator Aubrey Beardsley, whose drawings for Oscar Wilde’s Salome caused an uproar, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and, melding the new style to Arts and Crafts, William Morris.