TV & radio: what to tune in to next week (13–18 June 2015)

Can't decide what programmes to watch or listen to? Here are 10 you won't want to miss...

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The 90s: Ten Years That Changed The World
Channel 4
Saturday 13th June, 9.00pm

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Kathy Burke narrates a look back at the “most culturally significant decade of our generation”. As that rather over-hyped description suggests, the emphasis is on music, moving images and art. Expect tunes from Blur and Oasis, and contributions from the likes of Jarvis Cocker, David Baddiel and Irvine Welsh.

Find out more here.
 

 

Pick of the Week…

The BBC At War
BBC Two
Sunday 14th June, 9.00pm

Over two episodes, Jonathan Dimbleby tells the story of Auntie between 1939 and 1945. Prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, the Corporation had no newsgathering capability. By the end, it was one of the world’s most trusted sources of information – a transformation that came about via battles with Whitehall and with Fleet Street’s press barons.

Find out more here.
 

Sean Bean On Waterloo
History
Sunday 14th June, 10.00pm

The actor and Sharpe star tells the story of Napoleon’s final defeat, along the way firing weapons from the 19th century and meeting some of those whose forebears fought in the battle. Part one of two. Also this week, look out for Waterloo: The Ultimate Battle (Discovery, Thursday 18th June, 9pm).

Find out more here.

Napoleon: The Man And The Myths
Radio 4
Monday 15th June, 1.45pm

Over five weekday episodes, historian Andrew Roberts challenges what we think we know about Napoleon. Little Boney, it turns out, was of average height. Also this week, listen out for Drama: Waterloo: The Ball At Brussels (Wednesday 17th June, 2.15pm), which charts Wellington’s attendance of a society event shortly before his greatest victory.

Find out more here.
 

Thomas Chatterton: The Myth Of The Doomed Poet
BBC Four
Monday 15th June, 8.30pm

Michael Symmons Roberts profiles a writer who died of arsenic poisoning, perhaps as a suicide, at the age of just 17. Chatterton’s death, it’s argued, did much to build the myth of the tortured artist. Followed by How To Be A Bohemian With Victoria Coren Mitchell (9.00pm), which focuses on the Bloomsbury Group.

Find out more here.

Victoria Coren Mitchell and Stephen Fry. (BBC/Wingspan Productions/Richard Ranken)
 

Natural Histories
Radio 4
Tuesday 16th June, 11.00am

Brett Westwood considers our attitudes to butterflies down the years. Today, we see them as delicate and beautiful, yet in the past butterflies’ eye-spots, which evolved to deter predators, were seen as menacing, a sign people’s behaviour was being watched and thus a discouragement to lewdness.

Find out more here.

To read our interview with the series producer, click here.
 

Napoleon
BBC Two
Wednesday 17th June, 9.00pm

Andrew Roberts picks up the story of Napoleon in 1805, when the French leader was at the height of his power. In great part, his theme is how Napoleon’s Grande Armée was a genuine meritocracy, in contrast to the European forces he bested at such battles as Austerlitz, when the French defeated a far larger Austro-Russian force.

Find out more here.

In profile: Napoleon Bonaparte

Science Stories
Radio 4
Wednesday 17th June, 9.00pm

A series looking at the history of science recalls how James Watt kept designs for a radically improved steam engine on a shelf in his workshop for years. If you missed it, the first episode charting feuding between fossil hunters in the Wild West, is well worth checking out.

Find out more here.
 

Mrs Thatcher And The Writers
Radio 4
Thursday 18th June, 11.30am

At the height of her power, Margaret Thatcher broke bread with such writers as Philip Larkin, VS Naipaul and Anthony Powell. What did she get out of these meetings? DJ Taylor investigates, as well as exploring why Thatcher so fascinates authors.

Find out more here.
 

Catching History’s Criminals: The Forensics Story
BBC Four
Thursday 18th June, 9.00pm

Surgeon and writer Gabriel Weston charts the development of forensic science. Kicking off a three-part series, she looks at difficulties around identifying bodies, especially where killers have taken measures to destroy the remains of victims. Gripping stuff, but possibly not for the squeamish.

Find out more here.

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(BBC/Alastair McCormick)