TV & Radio
TV and radio listings will be updated every Friday
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.
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.
Kicking off a White House season, here’s a documentary that tells the story of Richard Nixon’s fall from grace because of the Watergate scandal. An impressive list of interviewees includes journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, and the actors who played them in All The President’s Men, Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford.
Following a lavish coronation designed to silence critics at court, things would seem to be on the up for Elizabeth Woodville, now Queen Elizabeth. However, life at court is never easy, especially when tensions between leading lights escalates. Meantime, Edward needs a son to secure his reign.
The weekday drama-documentary series tracing life in the 20th century via letters and journals returns. The focus this time around is on the years 1918-21, as seen through the eyes of cross-dressing actress and suffragette Vera “Jack” Holme (1881-1969).
Ahead of a major retrospective opening at Tate Britain in London, poet Michael Symons Roberts offers his take on the painter LS Lowry. Even today, Lowry is a figure who divides opinion, adored by many but dismissed by some critics as a “Sunday painter”.
In the first episode of a two-part documentary, TV presenter Fern Britton, actor Brian Cox, author Barbara Taylor Bradford and model Kiera Chaplin trace how members of their families had to go into the workhouse after falling on hard times. Kiera Chaplin learns how her grandfather Charlie overcame terrible poverty to become the world’s biggest star.
Ever ready with an ironic quip, Stephen Smith considers the history of the jewel-encrusted eggs made by Carl Fabergé (1846-1920). These days, we learn, moneyed collectors such as oligarch Viktor Vekselberg will pay millions to own fabulous objects forever associated with the doomed Russian royal family.
Melvyn Bragg and learned guests discuss The Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Written six centuries ago, Luo Guanzhong’s historical novel tells the story of China in the second and third centuries, when the Han Dynasty collapsed and feudal lords jockeyed for power.
Dr Michael Scott sets out to discover how the ancient Greeks thought and lived. Over two episodes, he outlines a world where the people had what now seem unsettling and strange customs and beliefs, yet whose ideas – democracy, philosophy, sport in the guise of the Olympics – still influence our world today.
This week’s places with a past include a property near Birmingham, Fairlight, where Greg Rusedski walks an expansive lawn that was probably the birthplace of modern tennis. Other contributors include Rageh Omaar, who visits England’s first mosque, and photographer Rankin, who sees an Edinburgh home central to the story of photography. Presented by Michael Buerk and Bettany Hughes.