History TV and radio in the UK: what's on our screens this week?
Can't decide which shows to watch or listen to this week? Here are the latest history radio and TV programmes airing in the UK that you won't want to miss
Christmas at Blenheim Palace
Saturday 2 December, 7.25pm
For the first time, cameras have been given unprecedented access to Blenheim Palace’s most important and spectacular season – Christmas. Around 250,000 visitors are expected to flock to the breath-taking state rooms and sprawling grounds, which have been transformed into an unrecognisable winter wonderland.
Sandringham: The King at Christmas
Saturday 2 December, 8.25pm
This episode provides an hourly run-down of a royal Yuletide schedule that's timed with military precision and filled with royal tradition and quirks, while the palace chef reveals the huge number of ingredients required for their Christmas day feast.
Andrew Lloyd Webber at the BBC
Sunday 3 December, 8pm
To mark his 75th birthday, the renowned composer takes a nostalgic journey through the BBC archives, looking back on a collection some of his biggest and best-loved songs. Featuring [new or historical?] performances by stars including Barbra Streisand, Elaine Paige, Diana Ross, Michael Ball and Michael Crawford.
Julius Caesar: The Making of a Dictator
Monday 4 December, 9pm
In this second episode of the series, Julius Caesar leaves Rome to take the governorship of Gaul – modern-day France – to conquer its people and win yet greater power and prestige. But events beyond his control threaten to unravel him isolated. Pushed into a corner, he makes a decision that will change the course of the republic forever. Alongside the dramatic re-enactment, the series features a range of talking heads including historians Tom Holland, Mary Beard and Shushma Malik, and ex-MP and now-popular podcaster Rory Stewart.
An Art Lover’s Guide
Monday 4 December, 8pm
From a spectacular monument to the maritime globetrotting of Portugal's Golden Age, and the work of a photographer documenting the city's large African population, in this episode Janina Ramirez and Alastair Sooke discover Lisbon’s complex history of former glories and a darker, slave-trading past.
Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics
Tuesday 5 December, 11.30am
Taking a fresh and comedic look at the ancient world, in this episode Natalie Haynes tells the powerful story of a mother's love – Demeter – and her fury at the wrong that is done to her daughter.
Inside Hamleys at Christmas
Tuesday 5 December, 8pm
This episode reveals the hidden stories of Hamleys, from its links to the royals to the vital role its owners played in the Second World War. The programme reveals why traditional teddy bears still remain a favourite, and why magic played an important role in the store hundreds of years before Harry Potter came along.
The Secret Genius of Modern Life
Wednesday 6 December, 8pm
In this episode, Hannah Fry investigates the science and history behind the microwave oven, discovering how a melted candy bar in the pocket of an engineer kick-started its creation. She also learns about its hidden Second World War technology, and participates in a risky demonstration to show how the microwave zaps food and not the person using it.
Wednesday 6 December, 10pm
This episode of Free Thinking explores the literary and theological terrain of CS Lewis's Narnia.
Inside the Tower of London
Thursday 7 December, 8pm
Harking back to sunnier days at the Tower of London, the Beefeaters are preparing to say goodbye to their Chief Yeoman Warder, Pete McGowran. There is still plenty for Pete to do in his last few days at the fortress, including paying a visit to Ravenmaster Chris Skaife to learn the name of the recently arrived baby raven.
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