Higher channels

September 25, 1998

John Davies selects radio and television programmes of use to THES readers. (All times pm unless stated.)

Pick of the week

Horizon: Chimps on Death Row Thursday 9.25 BBC2.

Horizon continues the debate on the contentious issue of animal experimentation by showing "what chimpanzees have endured in the name of science", from being sent into space to being infected with Aids.

Also this week SATURDAY September 26 The Ageing Future (11.30 am, BBC World Service Radio, repeated Monday 10.30 pm). First of four "gerontology plus futurology" programmes, part of a season for the UN International Year of Older Persons.

Blue Skies (9.0 R3). Steve Jones explores the influence of Darwin's evolutionary theories in "almost every field of human endeavour". First of new series.

Chris Patten's East and West (7.15 BBC2). The last governor of Hong Kong considers Asia's future and interviews Taiwan president Lee Teng Hui, Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi and members of China's unofficial opposition.

Cold War (8.05 BBC2). Part two: Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech opens a narrative of the years 1945-47.

SUNDAY September Centurions: W. H. Auden (4.15 R3). The poet's stature is considered here, while in a series of Postscript talks from Monday (also R3), under the title "Re-Reading Auden", explores different facets of the writer who died 25 years ago this month.

A Very Singular Man - A Film Portrait of Ted Heath (5.45 BBC2). If you want revealing interviews with retired politicians, Michael Cockerell is your man, and here he turns his attention to Britain's second oldest living ex-prime minister.

Dr Livingstone, I Presume? (6.0 History Channel). Conventionally told biodoc of the missionary/explorer.

Don DeLillo: the Word, the Image and the Gun (8.0 UK Arena, repeated 3.0 Monday). Cable/satellite reshowing of BBC programme in which the American novelist ponders his culture's fascination with guns, assassinations and conspiracy theories.

Absolute Truth (8.0 BBC2). New series about the state of the Roman Catholic Church today looks at the impact of the Second Vatican Council.

MONDAY September 28

War Walks (8.30 UK Horizons). Military historian Richard Holmes's battefields-revisited series is getting daily repeats. Today it's Waterloo, to be followed by Mons (Tuesday), the Somme (Wednesday) and Arras (Thursday).

Omnibus: Cat People (10.40 BBC1). A survey of cat culture, featuring Christopher Frayling, Posy Simmonds, Doris Lessing and anthropologist Nicholas Saunders.

TUESDAY (Sept 29)

Timewatch: Sex and War (9.0 BBC2). An estimated 250,000 homosexuals served in Britain's armed forces during the second world war. Timewatch contrasts personal recollections from the time with current military attitudes.

Turn on, Turn Off - Drugs that Changed the World (9.02 Radio 4). Contraceptive pills, male as well as female. With Susan Greenfield.

Night Waves (10.45 R3). Includes interview with veteran OU history professor Arthur Marwick about his new book The Sixties.

WEDNESDAY September 30

University Challenge (8.0 BBC2) Birkbeck vs Warwick.

Close Up (9.30 BBC2). On the reclusive historical novelist Patrick O'Brian, praised by fans such asA. S. Byatt and Charlton Heston.


The Material World (4.30 R4). Exploring the idea of "celestial harmony" with astronomer Jacqueline Mitton and historian of science Allan Chapman.

Hooked: Britain in Pursuit of Pleasure 1900-75 (8.30 C4). The first of six programmes on "addictive pleasures" is about smoking.

Horizon: Chimps on Death Row (see above)

To make and retain recorded radio or TVprogrammes for educational use your institution must have an Education Recording Agency licence. The ERA can be contacted on 0171 837 3222. John Davies can be contacted at Davieses@aol.com

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