Great Continental Railway Journeys BBC Two Friday 30 October, 9.00pm
For his latest journey in Europe, Michael Portillo travels across Italy, from Pisa to Lake Garda, and explores the Edwardian fascination with the Renaissance. To begin with, Portillo learns about how a British engineer prevented the Leaning Tower of Pisa from collapsing, before discovering the romantic retreat of the British writer DH Lawrence in Gargnano.
10 Days That Toppled Thatcher Radio 4 Sunday 1 November, 1.30pm
James Landale examines the final days in office of the longest-serving prime minister of Britain in the 20th century, Margaret Thatcher. Landale interviews those who witnessed the crisis around the Conservative leadership in November 1990, and discusses how Thatcher was unable to retain the support of her cabinet, which ultimately resulted in her resignation.
The Invention of France Radio 4 Monday 2 November, 11.00am
Misha Glenny explores the history of France during the years following the army’s defeat at Agincourt in 1415. With contributions from Helen Castor, Anne Curry, Francoise Michaud-Frejaville, and Desmond Seward.
At Home With The Georgians BBC Four Tuesday 3 November, 8.00pm
Historian Amanda Vickery examines why the British fascination with our homes began in the 17th century. In the first episode of this series, Vickery uses previously lost Georgian letters and diaries to discover how the home changed the relationships between married couples, bachelors and spinsters.
The Stuarts in Exile BBC Four Tuesday 3 November, 9.00pm
Dr Clare Jackson investigates the lives of the Scottish and English Jacobites who supported the deposed Catholic Stuarts during the 18th century. Jackson reveals how George I and George II’s reigns were plagued with threats from Catholic rivals both in England and abroad.
Voices of the First World War: Battle of Loos Radio 4 Wednesday 4 November, 1.45pm
The third episode of this series includes first-hand accounts from veterans who fought at the battle of Loos in September 1915. Using recordings from the Imperial War Museum’s oral history records, listeners will hear stories from the soldiers who cleared the battlefields during the First World War, and who were tasked with identifying the dead. Dan Snow presents.
In the fourth episode of the series exploring how The Landmark Trust restores historical buildings, Alastair Dick-Cleland travels to a Cornish copper mine, where the engine house is currently under refurbishment. Meanwhile, John Evetts searches for an antique telescope to be installed in Belmont House, and Anna Keay discovers more about the life of Victorian astronomer Dr Bangay.
To read ‘10 of Britain’s most amazing landmark buildings’, click here.
Pick of the Week…
Dominic Sandbrook: Let Us Entertain You BBC Two Wednesday 4 November, 9.00pm
In a new series, Dominic Sandbrook reveals how British popular culture has developed since the end of the Second World War. Sandbrook explores how Britain experienced a ‘cultural revolution’ in the post-war era, which allowed British industries to expand and export new goods across the world.
The Last Kingdom BBC Two Thursday 5 November, 9.00pm
In the third episode of the series, the young hero Uhtred petitions the newly crowned king, Alfred, for protection. However, his alliance with the Saxons creates tensions between him and Brida, his Viking lover.
To read our interview with Dane Ubba actor Rune Temte, click here.
Brida (played by Emily Cox) and Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) in this week’s episode of The Last Kingdom. (BBC/Carnival Films/Joss Barratt)
Tutankhamun: The Truth Uncovered BBC Four Thursday 5 November, 9.00pm
New discoveries about the most famous Egyptian pharaoh, made using CT scan data and DNA analysis, are revealed in this documentary. For centuries, historians have argued over what killed Tutankhamun at the age of 19, but now it may be possible to uncover the remarkable truth.