History TV and radio: what’s on next week (20–26 October 2018)

Can't decide which shows to watch or listen to next week? Here are 10 programmes you won't want to miss...

100 Days to Victory. (Image Credit: BBC/Electric Pictures)

Archive On 4: Witnessing The Worst

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Radio 4

Saturday 20 October, 8.00pm 

The BBC’s chief international correspondent, Lyse Doucet, looks back at the pioneering work of the first female war correspondents. The show features archive reports from the pioneering likes of Martha Gellhorn, Clare Hollingworth, Gloria Emerson and Marie Colvin, in addition to contemporary women journalists reflecting on how their predecessors helped to shape what they do.

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Living With The Empire

Radio 4

Monday 22 October, 8.00pm

Kwasi Kwarteng concludes his series on Britain’s colonial past by looking at the idea of an “empire of rules”. If the empire had a cultural heart, he argues, it was to be found at the University of Oxford, where generations of colonial administrators studied. Plus has the contemporary institution done enough to shake off this imperial past?

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Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark. The BBC television drama is putting Cornwall’s coastline at risk of "over-tourism” as visitors flock to the area to visit the show's scenic filming locations, tourism chiefs have warned. (Photo by BBC/Mammoth Screen/Mike Hogan)

The Death Of The Postwar Settlement

Radio 4

Tuesday 23 October, 11.00am

At the end of the Second World War, a new international order was constructed with the aim of ensuring peace and stability. But this settlement appears to be failing, why? The BBC’s former diplomatic editor, Bridget Kendall, presents a three-part series that begins by looking at reconstruction efforts in the immediate wake of conflict.

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A Dangerous Dynasty: House Of Assad

BBC Two

Tuesday 23 October, 9.00pm  

Why did Bashar al-Assad order a brutal clampdown when faced with demands for more freedom during the Arab Spring? The series charting the modern history of Syria through the prism of its ruling family concludes with the multiple tragedies of the country’s civil war.

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Inside The Tower Of London

Channel 5

Tuesday 23 October, 9.15pm 

What’s it like to work at the 900-year-old castle that houses the Crown Jewels? Here’s a new four-part series that mixes behind-the-scenes footage with – notably when we meet historian Tracy Borman – tales of the tower’s bloody past.

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Pick of the week

100 Days To Victory

BBC Two

Thursday 25 October, 8.00pm

In early 1918, German advances on the western front made the Allies’ situation perilous, yet by the autumn the war was over and the Germans defeated. A two-part docudrama explores how this came about, a tale of how a crisis led to new tactics, rooted in the “combined arms” co-ordination of artillery, tanks, aircraft and infantry.

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In Search Of El Dorado

Radio 4

Friday 26 October, 11.00am 

Sir Walter Ralegh twice visited Guyana in search of a fabled city of gold. In a two-part series marking the 400th anniversary of Ralegh’s death, Jerry Brotton follows in the adventurer’s footsteps, in part a way to consider how the lure of shiny metal for Europeans helped to shape the  region’s history.

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Blues And Beyond With Cerys Matthews And Val Wilmer

BBC Four

Friday 26 October, 8.00pm

Val Wilmer made her considerable reputation photographing musicians, in particular the jazz and blues musicians who visited Britain from the 1950s onwards. Here, Wilmer chats with DJ and musician Cerys Matthews, and the duo select their favourite blues musicians, including Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Jimi Hendrix. Expect evocative archive footage.

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Made In Great Britain

BBC Two

Friday 26 October, 9.00pm

In a new living history series, four contemporary craftspeople rediscover the manufacturing methods employed by our predecessors. They begin in Sheffield with the story of how it grew from a rural market town to a world centre for steel production. Presented by Steph McGovern.

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Walking Britain’s Lost Railways

Channel 5

Friday 26 October, 9.00pm

Rob Bell’s excellent series concludes with a hike along a route that once linked Ruabon, near Wrexham, with Barmouth on the coast. Along the way, he takes time out from railway history to travel the vertiginous Pontcysyllte Aqueductand visits a former signal box that now serves as a nature observatory.

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