Secrets of Great British Castles
Friday 10th April, 8.00pm
Dan Jones charts the history of one of London’s most famous landmarks, the Tower of London. Also on Channel 5, The Last Days Of Rasputin (Thursday 16th April, 8.00pm) explores the demise of the faith healer, murdered in December 1916 because he was thought to have a malign influence on Tsar Nicholas II and his family.
Pick of the Week…
Sex And The Church
Friday 10th April, 9.00pm
Oxford academic Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch presents a three-part series exploring western attitudes to sex, sexuality and gender. It’s largely the story of how Christianity, which so often equates sex with sin and pleasure with vice, has shaped these attitudes. However, MacCulloch also argues that we need to understand, for example, how Greek philosophy plays in here.
Sunday 12th April, 9.00pm
The soapy drama of Cornish vistas, which never knowingly misses an opportunity to show Aidan Turner with his shirt off, continues with an episode that finds Ross trying to save former estate worker Jim from jail. Over on Channel 4, in Indian Summers (9.00pm), we discover how Ralph (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) and Cynthia (Julie Walters) came to be so close.
(BBC/Mammoth Screen/Mike Hogan)
Writing The Century
Monday 13th April, 10.45am & 7.45pm
The drama-documentary series charting 20th-century life returns with five new weekday episodes. This time around the focus is on the diaries of Fred Kitchen, a Yorkshire farm labourer whom we re-meet as his first book is about to be published.
The Essay: British Film Comedians
Monday 13th April, 10.45pm
Simon Heffer presents another five weekday talks celebrating mid-20th century British cinema. This time around, his focus is on those whose job it was to make audiences laugh: the comic actors Will Hay, Alastair Sim, Terry-Thomas, Tony Hancock and Sid James.
Back In Time For Dinner
Tuesday 14th April, 8.00pm
The Robshaw family’s journey through British food culture reaches the 1990s, the decade when we discovered such novelties as bagged salad, organic veg boxes and gastro pubs where the food was as important as the ale. Presented by Giles Coren and Polly Russell.
(BBC/Wall to Wall/Duncan Stingemore)
Great Irish Journeys With Martha Kearney
Wednesday 15th April, 8.00pm
The broadcaster concludes her travelogue by visiting some of Ireland’s most remote and spiritual places. Followed by The Quizeum (8.30pm), which this week finds Griff Rhys Jones, plus panelists Kate Williams, Janina Ramirez, Dan Cruickshank and Gus Casely-Hayford, at London’s Foundling Museum.
Treasures Of Ancient Greece
Wednesday 15th April, 9.00pm
The second episode of Alastair Sooke’s series sees the historian and critic asking how ancient Greeks got so good at art so quickly. It’s the story of a creative revolution in both sculpture and architecture, and it’s also the tale of a culture fascinated by depicting the naked human body.
In Our Time
Thursday 16th April, 9.00am
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the life of Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit priest who headed up a Christian mission to Ming dynasty China in the 16th century. This, it’s argued, was one of the most important encounters between Renaissance Europe and a country that was largely closed to outsiders.
Thursday 16th April, 9.00pm
Jimmy McGovern’s drama of life in an Australian penal colony concludes with an episode that finds Tommy Barrett (Julian Rhind-Tutt) facing the gallows. But will hangman James Freeman (Russell Tovey) be able to put the noose around his friend’s neck? And how will the prisoners react to one of their own being executed?