TV & Radio

TV and radio listings will be updated every Friday

The Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England
The Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England
BBC Two
Friday 14th June, 9.00pm

Dr Ian Mortimer’s series on life in the 16th century concludes with the story of a new section within English society: the middle classes. It’s in great part a tale of urbanisation and education, told with plenty of references to one William Shakespeare.

Find out more at the BBC TV & radio programming website 

Britain’s Secret Homes
Britain’s Secret Homes
ITV1
Friday 14th June, 9.00pm

Another week of visits to buildings important to British history, with destinations ranging from a Liverpool semi central to the story of music through to a castle that was the scene for a battle of the sexes. Hosted by Michael Buerk and Bettany Hughes. Celebrity contributors include Ricky Tomlinson, Twiggy and Ann Widdecombe.

Find out more at the ITV website

1913: The Year Before
1913: The Year Before
Radio 4
Friday 14th June, 9.00pm

Michael Portillo presents an omnibus edition of the show about Britain in the era before the outbreak of the First World War. The series continues on weekdays from Monday 17 June (1.45pm) with an episode that focuses on industrial unrest.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

Archive On 4: Very British Dystopias
Archive On 4: Very British Dystopias
Radio 4
Saturday 15th June, 8.00pm

Professor Steven Fielding considers visions of the future that display an unease with the British political system. Drawing on the archives, it’s a documentary that encompasses George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Alan Moore’s V For Vendetta comic and TV series such as Edge Of Darkness.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

© Alamy
Drama On 3: Babbage
Radio 3
Sunday 16th June, 8.30pm

Charles Babbage (1791–1871) is credited with inventing the first mechanical computers. As David Pownall’s new play relates, he endured the bitter frustration of losing crucial government funding for his work developing an ‘analytical engine’, but persevered nonetheless. The play also explores his working relationship and friendship with Lord Byron’s daughter, mathematician Ada Lovelace.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

The White Queen
Pick of the Week
The White Queen
BBC One
Sunday 16th June, 9.00pm

How would the Wars of the Roses have played out from the perspective of women who were at the centre of events? It’s a question that’s central to a lavish new adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s historical novels. In the first episode, young widow Elizabeth Woodville meets Edward IV, an encounter that will have a profound effect on England’s future.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

Long Lost Family
Long Lost Family
ITV1
Monday 17th June, 9.00pm

It’s not quite a history series, but there’s plenty on genealogy in a series that aims to reunite people with relatives they haven’t seen for years. In the first of nine episodes, 69-year-old Sue seeks the daughter she gave up for adoption when she was just 19. Hosted by Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell.

Find out more at the ITV website

Beautiful Thing: A Passion for Porcelain
Beautiful Thing: A Passion for Porcelain
BBC Four
Tuesday 18th June, 9.00pm

Ros Savill, former director of the Wallace Collection, offers an appreciation of Sèvres porcelain. The pieces she views will strike many as too opulent and ostentatious. Nevertheless, they have much to say about 18th-century France and an unequal society heading for revolution.  

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

London’s Oldest Prison: A History of Criminal Justice
London’s Oldest Prison: A History of Criminal Justice
Radio 4
Wednesday 19th June, 11.00am

Professor Jerry White looks at the history of HMP Brixton in the 1850s. With the transportation of prisoners to Australia being phased out, the authorities needed new accommodation for thousands of offenders. Brixton became a prison that housed only women inmates.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

Samuari Head Hunters
Samuari Head Hunters
Yesterday
Thursday 20th June, 9.00pm

The Samurai have a reputation as honourable and aristocratic. But, suggests this drama-documentary, which tells the story of a peasant farmer who is forced to join a warlord’s army and rises through the ranks, there was a darker side to this warrior caste.

Find out more at the Yesterday website

Britain’s Secret Homes
Britain’s Secret Homes
ITV1
Friday 21st June, 9.00pm

The series in which celebs explore historically important buildings continues, with visits to a Scottish home linked to a jailbreak from the Tower of London and a 16-sided house dedicated to worshipping the sun. Presented by Michael Buerk and Bettany Hughes. Contributors include Rory McGrath and Ann Widdecombe.

Find out more at the ITV website

Forensic Firsts
Forensic Firsts
Yesterday
Friday 21st June, 9.00pm

A new series dedicated to the development of forensic techniques down the years kicks off with the cheery subject of blood spatters and how to analyse them. Different episodes will cover such themes as DNA profiling, fingerprints, skeletal secrets, insect evidence, toxicology and the science of the gunshot.

Find out more at the Yesterday website