TV & Radio
TV and radio listings will be updated every Friday
The series on houses with a history concludes with Michael Buerk and Bettany Hughes counting down the country’s 10 most remarkable buildings. Celebrity contributors include Ronni Ancona, David Jason and Mark Williams. Also this week on ITV1, look out for Robson Green: How The North Was Built (Tuesday 9 July, 9.00pm), which focuses on changes wrought by the industrial revolution.
How did Winston Churchill put together his speeches? It seems clues are to be found in a collection of gramophone records found in an old cupboard in the dining room at Chatworth. The discs include 43 of Churchill’s own speeches. Historian Andrew Roberts meets the Cambridge archivists digitising the recordings.
Tony Robinson and Phil Harding consider how submarines developed in the First World War, the first conflict where the craft played a vital military role. A fascinating documentary includes footage of a dive to the wreck of HMS Holland 5, commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1902.
The Wars of the Roses continue to rage as the BBC’s expensive adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s novels reaches episode four. Over in France, the exiled Warwick continues to cause problems, which only grow worse when he gains control of an army. Meantime, Elizabeth finally gives birth to a son.
Griff Rhys Jones’s father never talked much about his experiences in the Second World War. As a medical officer to a West African division, he travelled first to Ghana and then to Burma. His son explores what it was like to be part of a force taking on the Japanese in the sweltering jungle.
In the 1930s and 1940s, James Lee-Milne battled to save England’s country houses by taking them under the control of the National Trust. He also enjoyed a colourful personal life, as Christopher William Hill’s trilogy inspired by his diaries reveals. Continues with episodes entitled The Unending Battle (Tuesday 9 July, 2.15pm) and What England Owes (Wednesday 9 July, 2.15pm).
The series in which Jonathan Freedland looks at present-day events through the prism of the past continues. This week, in light of Edward Snowden's explosive revelations, Freedland and guests look at how a secret team of code breakers during the First World War were snooping on all telegram and cable traffic, including friendly nations.
On 6 July 1988, the Piper Alpha oil rig exploded, with the loss of 167 lives. A quarter of a century on, here’s a feature-length documentary that remembers what happened via a mix of dramatic reconstructions, archive footage and personal testimonies on a night when the 61 survivors included men who jumped 175 feet from the rig’s helipad.
Lars Tharp, ceramics expert for the Antiques Roadshow, selects half-a-dozen examples of Chinese porcelain that act as a guide to a thousand years of the nation’s history. Among other things, we learn how, while westerners have long been enthralled by flamboyant blue-and-white pieces, Chinese domestic taste is very different.
Historian Peter Hennessy hosts a four-part series in which he asks senior politicians to reflect on their lives and careers. First up, Shirley Williams looks back on serving as a Labour cabinet minister and quitting the party to become a founding member of the SDP in 1981.