TV & radio: what to tune in to next week (29 November – 3 December)

Can't decide what programmes to watch or listen to? Check out our history TV and radio listings, packed full of shows you won't want to miss

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Walking Through History
Channel 4
Saturday 29 November, 8.00pm

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Tony Robinson’s latest hike into the past takes him from Lyme Regis to the Somerset Levels. It’s a route taken by the Duke of Monmouth in 1685 as Charles II’s illegitimate son sought to overthrow his uncle, James. On Sunday 30 November, Tony Robinson’s World War One (Discovery, 8.00pm) looks at the final year of the conflict.

Find out more here.

Archive On 4: Singing Together
Radio 4
Saturday 29 November, 8.00pm

Jarvis Cocker looks back at Singing Together, a BBC Schools Radio show that set out to teach children about the joys of song. The show first aired in 1939, aimed at boosting morale among evacuees, and continued broadcasting until the 1970s. As the Pulp frontman discovers, its evolution over these years reflected changes in British society.

Find out more here.

Tomorrow’s Worlds: The Unearthly History Of Science Fiction 
BBC Two
Saturday 29 November, 9.45pm

Dominic Sandbrook charts our obsession with invasions from outer space. He discovers stories that reflect real-life anxieties: a challenge to imperial power in The War Of The Worlds, Cold War paranoia in Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, and concerns over racism and immigration in District 9.

Find out more here.

Sunday Feature: A Cultural History of the Plague
Radio 3
Sunday 30 November, 6.45pm

Dr Laura Ashe tells the story of the Black Death, estimated to have wiped out between 30 and 60 per cent of Europe’s population. She discovers that a fascination with pandemics has endured up to the present day, helping to shape our reaction to Ebola.

Find out more here.

The Great Wall Of China: The Hidden Story
Channel 4
Sunday 30 November, 8.00pm

Drawing on a recent survey and mapping efforts conducted by drones, the Secret History strand considers the history of the Great Wall. How has it stood for so long? One answer, it seems, is because a kind of sticky rice soup was used in the construction, which has made it resistant to water damage.

Find out more here.

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The Roosevelts: An Intimate History
PBS America
Sunday 30 November, 8.00pm

Ken Burns’ epic series looks at the years leading up to Franklin D Roosevelt’s death, a loss that left many Americans distraught. Also this week on PBS America, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (Wednesday 3rd December, 8.00pm) profiles the Wild West outlaws.

Find out more here.

 

Pick of the Week…

Home Front
Radio 4
Monday 1 December, 12.04pm

The hugely ambitious weekday drama returns with another 30 weekday episodes. The setting is again Folkestone and we begin by eavesdropping on the Graham family as, a century ago to the day, they prepare for an arrival. There’s an omnibus edition on Friday 5th December (9.00pm).

Find out more here.

Dancing Cheek To Cheek: An Intimate History Of Dance
BBC Four
Monday 1 December, 9.00pm

Len Goodman and Lucy Worsley consider how dance in Britain saw rapid changes during the first decades of the 20th century as ragtime and the tango crossed the Atlantic. We also get to look on as the ever-game duo try the lively Charleston.

Find out more here.

Secrets Of The Castle With Ruth, Peter And Tom
BBC Two
Tuesday 2 December, 9.00pm

This week’s theme is interior design. Medieval castles, it turns out, were rendered and lime-washed to make them lighter and brighter. Plus Ruth makes paint to decorate a bedchamber, we learn about castle toilets and Tom makes tiles, a three-day process.

Find out more here.

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Great Continental Railway Journeys
BBC Two
Wednesday 3 December, 9.00pm

Bradshaw’s in hand, Michael Portillo leaves Europe to explore the Holy Land. His journey takes in Jersualem, where he gets a glimpse of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Bethlehem and a float in the Dead Sea. It ends in the town of Beersheba in the unforgiving Negev desert.

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Find out more here.