TV & Radio

TV and radio listings will be updated every Friday

Twelve Bar Blues
Twelve Bar Blues
Radio 4
Saturday 20th July, 10.30am

Three chords played in a repeating pattern over a dozen bars. What is it about this sequence that so endures? Nick Barraclough investigates the history of the 12-bar blues, demonstrating how it shows up in sometimes surprising ways in songs including 'Hound Dog' and Duffy’s 'Mercy'.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

David Starkey’s Music and Monarchy
Pick of the Week
David Starkey’s Music and Monarchy
BBC Two
Saturday 20th July, 8.10pm

In what, to judge by the first episode, will be an excellent series, David Starkey charts how royals helped shape the development of British music. He begins with Henry V, who thought it essential to take a choir with him when campaigning in France, a way to get God on his side.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

The Plane that Saved Britain
The Plane that Saved Britain
Channel 4
Sunday 21st July, 8.00pm

No, not the Hurricane, Spitfire or Lancaster, but the Mosquito. Former Royal Marines commando and pilot Arthur Williams speaks up for a plane made of plywood and canvas that was so fast the enemy simply couldn’t keep up. Williams gets to take the controls of a Mosquito, a plane restored to airworthiness by an American billionaire.

Find out more at the Channel 4 website

The White Queen
The White Queen
BBC One
Sunday 21st July, 9.00pm

Episode six of the historical drama finds Henry and Elizabeth back on the throne. However, this being the Wars of the Roses, the plotting continues. Also this week, The Real White Queen and Her Rivals (BBC Two, Wednesday 24 July, 9.00pm) finds author Philippa Gregory concluding her profiles of Elizabeth Woodville, Anne Neville and Margaret Beaufort.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

Lucy Kellaway’s History of Office Life
Lucy Kellaway’s History of Office Life
Radio 4
Monday 22nd July, 1.45pm

In a 10-part weekday series, Financial Times columnist and satirist Lucy Kellaway charts the history of white-collar work. She begins with essayist Charles Lamb’s account of life at the East India Company in the early 19th century. Suffice to say Lamb often angrily despaired of the “Philistines” he served.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

Burton and Taylor
Burton and Taylor
BBC Four
Monday 22nd July, 9.00pm

In 1983, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor shared a stage in a production Noel Coward’s Private Lives. What might have passed between them? A superb one-off drama featuring outstanding performances from Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter. Also this week, Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood (BBC Four, Tuesday 23 July, 9.00pm) looks back at when the couple met.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

The Long View
The Long View
Radio 4
Tuesday 23rd July, 9.00am

In an episode originally scheduled for transmission last week, 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

Who Do You Think You Are?
Who Do You Think You Are?
BBC One
Wednesday 24th July, 9.00pm

The celebrity genealogy series returns for a 10th series. First up, actor Una Stubbs, lately seen as Mrs Hudson in the hit BBC drama Sherlock, traces her roots. She discovers forebears who endured terrible poverty and, more happily, she investigates an ancestor who was the founder of the garden city movement.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

Bought with Love: The Secret History of British Art Collections
Bought with Love: The Secret History of British Art Collections
BBC Four
Wednesday 24th July, 9.00pm

How did Britain’s country houses get so full of top-notch paintings? It’s in part, suggests Helen Rosslyn, down to 18th-century aristocrats buying art during the Grand Tour era. The art historian also explores the roots of the Royal Academy.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website

Reflections
Reflections
Radio 4
Thursday 25th July, 9.00am

Norman Tebbit reflects on his life and career in the company of historian Peter Hennessy. It’s the tale of a Thatcher arch-loyalist who entered parliament in 1970 after working as a pilot, arguably came to be seen as the public face of Essex man and was injured in the 1984 Brighton bombing.

Find out more at the BBC TV & Radio programming website