TV & Radio

TV and radio listings will be updated every Friday

The Unsent Letters of Erik Satie
The Unsent Letters of Erik Satie
Radio 4
Saturday 13th July, 10.30am

Alistair McGowan profiles his musical hero, Erik Satie. The documentary draws heavily on Satie’s unsent letters to artist Suzanne Valadon, with whom he had his only love affair. Also listen out for the McGowan-penned Afternoon Drama: Three Pieces in the Shape of a Pear (Radio 4, Monday 15 July, 2.15pm), centred on key relationships in the composer’s life.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

The White Queen
The White Queen
BBC One
Sunday 14th July, 9.00pm

A rather confused Henry VI is back on the throne but, as history records, this isn’t a state of affairs that will last too long. Accordingly, the fifth episode of Auntie’s lavish Wars of the Roses drama finds Edward IV resorting to arms as he bids to reclaim the crown. Bloody battlefield scenes follow.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

Secret Knowledge: Stradivarius and Me
Secret Knowledge: Stradivarius and Me
BBC Four
Monday 15th July, 8.00pm

Around 650 of the musical instruments made by Antonio Stradivari (1644–1737) survive, including violins that fetch millions if they come on the market. But what is it that makes these instruments so special? Clemency Burton-Hill investigates, charting Stradivari’s life via four special violins on display at this summer’s Stradivarius exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

See our gallery of images from the exhibition at www.historyextra.com/stradivarius 

The Long View
The Long View
Radio 4
Tuesday 16th July, 9.00am

Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland looks for parallels between today’s concerns over tax avoidance and the eighth century, when the Venerable Bede grumbled that people only joined monasteries to avoid paying the state. Freedland’s guests include Margaret Hodge, forthright chair of the Public Accounts Committee.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

Robson Green: How the North was Built
Robson Green: How the North was Built
ITV1
Tuesday 16th July, 9.00pm

The actor concludes his journey through northern England’s industrial past by focusing on the metal and shipbuilding industries. If more recent royal history appeals, today also brings Princess Diana’s Dresses: The Auction (Channel 4, 9.00pm), which considers what frocks worn by Diana, including her wedding dress, tell us about her life and times.

Find out more at the ITV website

Family Tree
Family Tree
BBC Two
Tuesday 16th July, 10.00pm

Tom Chadwick is unemployed, single and not a little glum. Then he inherits a collection of family memorabilia from a long-lost great-aunt, Victoria, and begins to trace his family history. Co-written by Christopher Guest of This Is Spinal Tap fame, a new sitcom starring Chris O’Dowd.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

 

The Real White Queen and Her Rivals
Pick of the Week
The Real White Queen and Her Rivals
BBC Two
Wednesday 17th July, 9.00pm

In a two-part documentary, Philippa Gregory explores the lives of the three women central to her Cousins’ War novels, Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville. As reflected in the BBC drama The White Queen, which is based on Gregory’s books, it’s a story of brutal dynastic rivalries.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

Read our interview with Philippa Gregory

Bought with Love: The Secret History of British Art Collections
Bought with Love: The Secret History of British Art Collections
BBC Four
Wednesday 17th July, 9.00pm

In a new three-part series, art historian Helen Rosslyn charts how so many great paintings ended up in Britain. She begins in the 17th century, when pioneers such as Thomas Howard, the Earl of Arundel and a man with a passion for the Old Masters of the Italian Renaissance, sparked an appreciation of fine art amongst the elite.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

The Culture Show: Maxine Peake – Performance, Protest and Peterloo
The Culture Show: Maxine Peake – Performance, Protest and Peterloo
BBC Two
Wednesday 17th July, 10.00pm

The actor discusses Percy Bysshe Shelley’s The Masque Of Anarchy, which was written in response to the Peterloo Massacre of 1819. Touring Manchester in the company of journalist Miranda Sawyer, Peake, who’s performing the piece at the city’s International Festival, argues the poem is more relevant today than ever.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

Reflections
Reflections
Radio 4
Thursday 18th July, 9.00am

Peter Hennessy meets Jack Straw to discuss the Labour politician’s life and career, including the then foreign secretary’s support for the Iraq War. Also today on Radio 4, Absinthe Makes The Art Grow Fonder (11.30am) finds writer Michèle Roberts telling the story of a liquor associated with both creativity and madness.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website