History TV and radio: what’s on next week? (15–21 June 2019)

Can't decide which shows to watch or listen to this week? Here are 10 history radio and TV programmes airing in the UK that you won't want to miss...

Gentleman Jack. (Image Credit: BBC/Lookout Point/HBO/Matt Squire)

Britain’s Most Historic Towns

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Channel 4

Saturday 15 June, 8pm

Professor Alice Roberts heads for Canterbury, a locale strongly associated with the some of the most dramatic episodes of the Plantagenet era. Expect tales of the Black Death and the murder of Thomas Becket, plus Chaucer and an aerial survey showing how religious buildings still dominate the city’s topography.

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New Generation Thinkers The Art Of Rowing With Mary Wollstonecraft

Radio 3

Sunday 16 June, 7.15pm 

Following the publication of A Vindication Of The Rights Of Women, feminist pioneer Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–97) headed for Scandinavia. Having been abandoned by her partner, the American adventurer Gilbert Imlay, she was alone. Lisa Mullen looks back at Wollstonecraft’s travels and the letters she wrote while she was away.

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Gentleman Jack

BBC One

Sunday 16 June, 9pm

There’s a widowed vicar in town, the odious Rev Thomas Ainsworth, and he has plans to marry Ann Walker. Anne Lister, as might be guessed, does not welcome the presence of this newcomer. Sally Wainwright’s fine historical drama continues to entertain and impress.

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Thatcher: A Very British Revolution

BBC Two

Monday 17 June, 9pm

The excellent political history series reaches 1990, the year Margaret Thatcher was effectively forced to resign as prime minister. In part, her fall was down to poor political judgement, notably in the introduction of the so-called poll tax, but there’s also a vivid sense of a woman too long in power and out of touch.

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The Reith Lectures 2019

Radio 4

Tuesday 18 June, 9am 

Concluding his Reith Lectures at Cardiff University’s new School of Journalism, Media and Culture, Jonathan Sumption turns his attention to the idea of the United Kingdom having a written constitution, and to ways in which faith in the political process might be restored. Chaired by Anita Anand.

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Secrets Of The Railways

Yesterday

Tuesday 18 June, 8pm

On the border between France and Spain lies a once luxurious station, Canfranc International, that’s now been abandoned. The first episode in a new six-part series looks at the story of a railway line in the Pyrenees that was the scene of much drama and intrigue during the Second World War

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In Our Time

Radio 4

Thursday 20 June, 9am 

Melvyn Bragg and learned guests discuss events in 427 BC when Athenians decided to send a fast ship to Lesbos. Its task was to revoke an order to kill all adult men in Mytilene following a revolt, an order that, Athenians feared, would only make other foes fight to the death instead of surrender.

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Catch-22

Channel 4

Thursday 20 June, 9 pm

Joseph Heller’s classic satirical novel of the Second World War gets a new adaptation. At its centre lies Captain John Yossarian (Christopher Abbott), a man hoping to make it through the conflict unscathed, despite the best efforts of the enemy and, worse, his own side to prevent this happening. A strong cast includes George Clooney and Hugh Laurie.

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Science And Religion

Radio 4

Friday 21 June, 11am

In a new three-part series, Nick Spencer takes a critical look at the relationship between science and religion down the years. The received wisdom is they have always been in conflict. Not true, says Spencer, who looks at how science and religion have interacted, for example, during the Islamic Golden Age.

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The Nile: Egypt’s Great River With Bettany Hughes

Channel 5

Friday 21 June, 9pm

The classicist continues her journey up the Nile. Along the way, she disembarks from her traditional dahabiya to see a vast desert catacomb. Here, thousands of mummified animals were left as an offering. Plus Hughes also discusses why Cleopatra so fascinates her.

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