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TV and radio listings will be updated every Friday
Melvyn Bragg concludes his survey of the class and culture in Britain by looking at the last 30 years. Underlying the documentary is the question of whether we’ve somehow become more culturally democratic at the same as wealth is creating a more extreme class system.
Will Gompertz turns his attention to the ever-evolving contract between rulers and the people they rule. Objects from the Royal Collections used to illustrate the theme include a memorial ring bearing a miniature of Charles I, and a sword and scabbard used by Queen Elizabeth II at investitures.
Tony Robinson looks on as archaeologists dig at the site of William Shakespeare’s house, New Place, in Stratford-upon-Avon. Records suggest it was Tudor Stratford’s biggest home, and it stood until 1702 when it was demolished to make way for a huge Georgian pile.
In a new weekday series, John Sergeant travels Britain in the footsteps of Victorian photographer Francis Frith. In the 1860s, Frith set out to document every city, town and village in the UK. Sergeant begins in London, where he learns about the history of Chelsea pensioners and passes beneath Tower Bridge.
Niall Ferguson explores contemporary China through the prism of its past. In the first of three episodes, he looks at issues around civil liberties. In a bid to hold together the disparate regions and ethnic groups of a vast country, he argues, China’s rulers have long tried to make individuals subjugate themselves to the state.
The historical investigative series turns its attention to the 1949 murder of governor Duncan Stewart in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, an area controlled for more than a century up to 1946 by the so-called white rajas. What was the motivation for the attack? Mike Thomson investigates with the aid of documents discovered by historian Simon Ball.
Jeremy Paxman is in Boy’s Own adventures territory as he considers a very British kind of hero, the adventurer-gentleman. The show also considers the place of sport in colonial history. In Jamaica, for example, cricket became a battleground for those campaigning for racial equality.
Getting its 30th-anniversary Falklands show in early, Five's Revealed strand looks back at events in the South Atlantic in 1982. It’s in great part the tale of how close British forces, operating thousands of miles from the UK, came to losing the campaign.
Helen Castor profiles Isabella (1295–1358) and Margaret of Anjou (1429–82), French-born queen consorts of England. Both were labelled “she-wolves” because they were perceived to be ambitious. But how much of this perception stems from their actions and how much from misogyny?
Using the British Museum’s Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam exhibition as his starting point, Rageh Omaar explores the work of Islamic artists down the centuries. In particular, how should we square restrictions on representations of the human form with an Islamic tradition of figurative art?