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TV and radio listings will be updated every Friday
Charlie Luxton helps to refurbish one of the world’s oldest surviving frying ranges as the architectural history series follows the construction of a fully working coal-fired Edwardian fish’n’chip shop at Beamish Museum. Meantime, Dan Cruickshank explores the surprising history of Britain’s national dish.
Simon Schama interviews Eric Hobsbawn, who’s still working at the age of 94. Among other subjects, Hobsbawn discusses his four-volume history of the 19th and 20th centuries, his turbulent childhood and his Marxist views. Also featuring excerpts from earlier broadcast appearances.
John Humphrys hosts a show mixing performance and documentary to mark the great liner’s demise 100 years ago. Also look out the final part of Julian Fellowes’ Titanic (ITV1, Sunday 15 April, 9.00pm), and Words Of The Titanic (ITV1, Sunday 15 April, 10.00pm), featuring readings from the diaries, accounts and letters of the ship’s passengers and crew.
In his bestseller, The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz (2011), former PoW Denis Avey wrote about how he temporarily swapped places with a Jewish inmate at the notorious concentration camp. A documentary that examines Avey’s controversial claim: why would he want to do it and was this even possible?
In a 20-part weekday series, Neil MacGregor of the British Museum uses artefacts from the Bard’s era to explore the Elizabethan and Jacobean worlds. The first show features a small silver medal showing Sir Francis Drake’s 1577-80 circumnavigation, a way to show how this epic journey changed theatregoers’ view of the world. (Also airs at 7.45pm).
Historian Suzannah Lipscomb and reporter Joe Crowley tell tales of nasty goings-on at the Tower of London. In another new series, No County For Old Men (History, Tuesday 17 April, 10.00pm), John Thomson and Simon Day of Fast Show fame explore different regions of Britain.
Dominic Sandbrook gets to grip with a decade that, he argues, did much to shape 21st-century Britain. The first of four programmes deals with the years from 1970-72, and Sandbrook’s subjects range from a boom in package holidays to glam rock, and industrial unrest to the arrival of Ugandan refugees. Excellent.
Cambridge classicist Mary Beard ignores emperors and the aristocracy in favour of looking at how ordinary Romans would have lived. What emerges is a picture of Rome as an often chaotic metropolis that sucked in arrivals from around the world. Even those who started out as slaves, Beard reveals, might make their fortunes in the city.
Bettany Hughes continues her series on the hidden and oftentimes controversial history of women in religion. The subject of her second film is the story of the priestess, and takes in the poet Sappho, vestal virgins in Rome and women in the early Christian church.
The story of the March 1944 mass breakout from Stalag Luft III has been told and re-told, but it still bears revisiting. Lindy Wilson focuses on her uncle, RAF squadron leader Roger Bushell, the template for Richard Attenborough’s character in the 1963 movie.