History TV and radio: what’s on next week? (16–22 February 2019)

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

Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle. (Photo by BBC/Douglas Road Productions/Carlton Dixon)

And the Academy Award Goes To…

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BBC Radio 4

Saturday 16 February, 10.30am

It’s Oscar season. Cue the return of the series where Paul Gambacinni traces the story behind films that took the Best Picture gong, beginning with Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. There’s more Academy Award history in Mark Kermode’s Oscar Winners: A Secrets Of Cinema Special (BBC Four, Thursday 21 February, 9pm).

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Pick of the week

Drama: China Towns

BBC Radio 4

Saturday 16 February, 2.30pm

The Five Towns novels of Arnold Bennett (1867–1931) tell a sprawling story of life in the Potteries during the industrial revolution. Here, they receive an adaptation by Shaun McKenna and Lin Coghlan that stretches across 11 episodes. First up, Edwin Clayhanger dreams of becoming a painter. Starring Neil Dudgeon and Tim McInnerny. (Continues Sunday 17 February, 3pm.)

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The Archive Hour: Bent Coppers

BBC Radio 4

Saturday 16 February, 8pm

Author Jake Arnott traces the history of police corruption, a recurring theme in his novels, and hears tales of failed murder investigations and whistleblowers enduring blighted lives. Interviewees include Steve Noonan, from the independent Office for Police Conduct, sociologist Sarah Moore and dramatist GF Newman.

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Traitors

Channel 4

Sunday 17 February, 9pm

As the Second World War ends, Feef Symonds (Emma Appleton) is training to be a spy and expects to be sent into Nazi territory. Instead, she finds herself in a desk job in the civil service as the chill of the Cold War begins to descend. A promising new spy thriller also stars Keeley Hawes and Michael Stuhlbarg.

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Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle

BBC Four

Sunday 17 February, 10pm & 10.15pm

Playing out over eight monologues, this new series shown on four successive evenings explores the experience of West Indian immigrants to the UK. In the first episode, set in 1949, Eunice (Danielle Vitalis) reflects on how a year in London has changed her attitudes and expectations. Concludes on Wednesday 20 February.

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Great British Railway Journeys

BBC Two

Monday 18 February, 6.30pm

Back on the rails for a final week in the current series, pastel-packing Michael Portillo begins his latest journey through Edwardian Britain in Warwick, where he hears a tale of scandal involving society hostess Daisy Greville, Countess of Warwick, the inspiration for the music hall song ‘Daisy, Daisy’.

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A Very British History

BBC Four

Monday 18 February, 9pm

Poet Sue Brown explores the lives of Birmingham’s Caribbean community. It’s a story that begins with post-Second World War immigrants encountering prejudice and hostility, but also takes in the role of local black churches, music and the rise of Rastafarianism.

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A Very British History. (Photo by BBC/Ed Barlow)
A Very British History. (Photo by BBC/Ed Barlow)

Making History

BBC Radio 4

Tuesday 19 February, 3.30pm

The current series of the history magazine show concludes with an episode where the theme is battle lines. Expect items on a fable of Nazi invasion, the earliest tanks and cross-dressing troops. Presented by Tom Lawrence and Iszi Lawrence.

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Das Boot

Sky Atlantic

Wednesday 20 February, 9pm & 10.10pm

Penultimate double bill of the submarine drama, and the crew of U-612 swap their American passenger for a captured U-boat skipper. Divided loyalties, though, remain a problem. Back on dry land, Simone has fallen for guerrilla fighter Carla.

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Back in Time for School

BBC Two

Thursday 21 February, 8pm

The living history time travellers arrive in the 1990s. It’s the decade of girl power, Gladiators and Britpop, but the first cultural landmark is Italia 90 and the trading of World Cup stickers. In the canteen, turkey drummers and potato smiley faces are on the fast-food menu.

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