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TV and radio listings will be updated every Friday
The historian turns his focus on the Bard’s attitudes towards royalty. Via such tragedies as Richard II, Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear, Schama argues that Shakespeare’s first-hand knowledge of the courts of Elizabeth I and James I of England had a profound effect on shaping these plays.
With the help of material from the archives, Paddy Ashdown looks back at his life and career. It’s an interview that encompasses service with the Royal Marines, 11 years as leader of the Liberal Democrats, when he had high hopes of participating in office following Tony Blair’s first landslide, and the horrors of Bosnia in 1992.
Beginning a quartet of films based on Shakespeare’s history plays, Ben Whishaw plays the ill-starred monarch. A strong cast also includes David Suchet, Lesley Duncan and Patrick Stewart. Followed by Derek Jacobi On Richard II: Shakespeare Uncovered (BBC Two, 11.20pm), plus look out for Trevor Nunn On The Tempest: Shakespeare Uncovered (BBC Four, Tuesday 3 July, 9.00pm).
Robert Macfarlane’s travel book charts his journeys along ancient pilgrim routes in Britain and overseas (weekdays). Also listen out on Radio 4 for The New Elizabethans (weekdays, 12.45pm), which includes profiles of Philip Larkin and Barbara Windsor; and Roger Law And The Chinese Curiosities (weekdays, 2.45pm), a travelogue around China’s diverse museums from the co-creator of Spitting Image.
For the third of his talks on the institutions that shape our lives, economic historian Niall Ferguson turns his attention to The Landscape of the Law. He argues we’re going through a time when the legal system in the English-speaking world is in danger of degenerating.
The living history series moves to life in the 1920s. Class divides are still the order of the day, which isn’t all bad for the Goldings, as changes in middle-class attitudes towards children mean they spend more time together as a family. For the posh Taylors, the living is still easy. Then comes the Wall Street Crash…
Following the recent unveiling of a memorial to those who flew over occupied Europe, here’s a documentary that gathers together the memories of those who served in Lancasters and Wellingtons. John Sergeant narrates a documentary that also tells the wider story of the campaign against Germany’s infrastructure and cities.
Has Reverdy Road in Bermondsey changed much down the years? Not as much as you might think if the social history series is to be believed. Here’s a locale that’s so far largely resisted gentrification. Also tonight, Harry Potter concludes his history of the English legal system in The Strange Case Of The Law (BBC Four, 9.00pm).
Acclaimed director George Carey charts the short but remarkable life of Gareth Jones, the Welsh journalist and adventurer who first broke news of famines in Stalin’s Soviet Union to the wider world. Did Jones’s scoop somehow contribute to his death following his kidnap by bandits in Mongolia?
The series that goes behind the scenes at famous museums visits the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, which features items collected by the Habsburgs. Followed by Mafia’s Greatest Hits (10.00pm), which focuses on ex-FBI agent Joe Pistone, whose undercover work was immortalised in the movie Donnie Brasco.