TV & radio: what to tune in to next week (6–12 February 2015)

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

Programme Name: Shakespeare’s Mother: The Secret Life of a Tudor Woman - TX: 12/02/2015 - Episode: Shakespeare’s Mother: The Secret Life of a Tudor Woman (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Palmer’s Cottage at Mary Arden’s Farm  - (C) Mischa Haller 2013/ Shakespeare Birthplace Trust - Photographer: -

Home Front
Radio 4
Friday 6th February, 9.00pm

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The first omnibus edition of the drama set in First World War Britain finds us in Tynemouth, where factory owner Geoffrey Marshall is making profits from the conflict but has to cope with difficulties caused by skilled men joining up. On Monday 9th February (12.04pm), the weekday shows begin with Edie excited about her new job.

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And The Academy Award Goes To…
Radio 4
Saturday 7th February, 10.30am

With this year’s Oscars ceremony approaching, the series looking back at previous winners returns. In the first of three new episodes, Paul Gambaccini revisits William Wyler’s patriotic drama, Mrs Miniver. Did a movie that now seems jingoistic really deserve to take six Academy Awards?

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Archive On 4: Coups And Coalitions – The Two Elections Of 1974
Radio 4
Saturday 7th February, 8.00pm

Steve Richards looks back at a year of political uncertainty that saw Harold Wilson’s Labour Party claiming a majority of just three seats in October following an inconclusive election in February. Are there parallels with today? Richards asks veteran politicians to recall a tumultuous few months.

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Hitler’s Hunting Experiment
More4
Saturday 7th February, 9.00pm

Here’s another take on a subject that seems to fascinate documentary-makers: Nazi plans to re-create extinct animals. For those not aware of the story, the leaders of the Third Reich dreamt of bringing such creatures the auroch, basically a huge ancestor of the domestic cow, back to life so the species could be hunted.

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The Last Journey Of The Magna Carta King
BBC Four
Monday 9th February, 8.00pm

In a documentary first shown on regional channels, Dr Ben Robinson and Professor Stephen Church retrace King John’s final days. Was he poisoned, as legends suggest? Does he really deserve his reputation as a disastrous monarch? And what did happen to his crown jewels?

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Making History
Radio 4
Tuesday 10th February, 3.00pm

The history magazine show continues with an episode that looks back at the Allied bombing of Dresden 70 years ago. How are residents of the German town dealing with the past? Back in England, Martin Ellis visits Stoke-On-Trent to investigate whether history and heritage can become a major factor in the rejuvenation of the Potteries.

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Digging For Britain
BBC Four
Tuesday 10th February, 8.00pm

The archaeology series continues with Matt Williams and Dr Alice Roberts focusing on digs in the west of England. These include a Wiltshire site where graves have to be excavated because local badgers have built a set at the location. The dig yields a rare find: an Anglo-Saxon sword.

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Cleopatra: A Timewatch Guide
BBC Four
Tuesday 10th February, 9.00pm

Vanessa Collingridge considers how the public’s view of Cleopatra has changed down the years. It’s a tale that encompasses Roman propaganda, Shakespeare and the Hollywood epic where Elizabeth Taylor fell for Richard Burton. The overarching point is that we have a surprisingly hazy picture of the “real” Egyptian leader.

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Wolf Hall
BBC Two
Wednesday 11th February, 9.00pm

Episode four of the superb drama and Anne Boleyn gives birth to the future Queen Elizabeth. Ominously, Henry is disappointed that his new wife hasn’t given him a male heir. Meantime, principled and stubborn Thomas More (Anton Lesser) is about to fall from power.

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Pick of the week

Shakespeare’s Mother: The Secret Life Of A Tudor Woman
BBC Four
Thursday 12th February, 9.00pm

Michael Wood charts the life of Mary Arden, whose son William Shakespeare would do rather well in the world thanks to his pen and his imagination. It’s the story of a farmer’s daughter who ascended to a burgeoning middle class after marrying a wool and hide merchant, John Shakespeare.

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