Higher channels

January 1, 1999

John Davies selects radio and television programmes. (All times pm unless stated.) FRIDAY january 1

Global Sunrise (7.00 UK Horizon). How wildlife around the planet reacts to the dawn. First shown two years ago on BBC.

Are You Sitting Comfortably? (4.05 BBC1). Children's television from its early days.

UK Confidential (6.40 BBC2). Mark Urban unearths revelations from 1968 government papers released under the 30-year rule.

SATURDAY january 2

Macbeth (3.45 C4). Michael Bogdanov's contemporary version of the Scottish play, originally shown in five episodes for schools.

Jazz Century (6.00 R3). Russell Davies opens a 52-part history of jazz.

Arena: Cuba Night (8.05). BBC2 pushes the boat out for the 40th anniversary of the Cuban revolution with a survey of US-Cuban relations, an exploration of the Che Guevara myth, Cuban baseball and even a Simpsons episode. Channel 4 follows on Wednesday with Fidel (11.35), which features an interview with Castro.

The Brains Trust (10.15 R3). Return of discussion series chaired by Joan Bakewell. Programme 1 has A.S. Byatt, Ian Stewart, Theodore Zeldin and Tom Wright.

SUNDAY january 3

Sun Wars (12.05 ITV). When will the year 2000 start? Who will see the first sunrise? Who is profiting by it all? Astronomer Robin Catchpole and Kristin Lipincott of the Greenwich Observatory look at these vital millennium questions. Lipincott is also among talking heads in an Equinox Special: Apocalypse When? (also Sunday 6.30 C4).

Time Team (5.25 C4). A new series of "archaeological riddles" begins with Josiah Wedgwood's first factory in Burslem, Staffs.

Watershed (5.00 World Service, repeated Tuesdays 3.30, 11.30 am). Are we running out of water? asks Andy Kershaw.

Victoriana (5.45 R4). Kate Flint explores the modern habit of rewriting the Victorian past.

The Comedy of Errors (7.30 R3). Shakespeare's play in a musical version.

The Mystery of the Taj Mahal (7.10 BBC2). Cambridge's Kate Spence and others explain how Shah Jahan's monument is more than just a magnificent tomb.

Whatever Happened to the Plague? (7.55 C4). Update on AIDS worldwide.

Inside the Lords (8.00 BBC2). Start of a three-part peek inside the second chamber.

MONDAY january 4

Digital Planet (7.30 BBC2). New series by the Open University starting with "cyberwar".

Longitude (9.30 BBC2). A "Time Season" kicks off with this drama-doc based on Dava Sobel's bestseller. (See also Wed.) TUESDAY january 5 University Challenge (8.0 BBC2). City U v Balliol, Oxford.

Weight of the Nation (8.0 BBC1). Slimming with the Beeb. (See also Thurs.) wednesday january 6

Thinking Allowed (R4). Laurie Taylor talks to Janet Foster about London Docklands.

The Flow of Time (9.40 BBC2). More time puzzles: in this one David Malone (Darwin: The Legacy) collects views of scientists Night Waves (10.45 R3). Attitudes to illness: discussion of David B. Morris's new book.

thursday january 7

In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg (9.00am R4). Talk about feminism with Germaine Greer and LSE Darwinian Helena Cronin.

Meet the Ancestors (9.00 BBC2). Return of the archaeology series. Julian Richards, ex-English Heritage, enlists experts to investigate an Anglo-Saxon graveyard in Suffolk.

Fat Files (9.30 BBC2). The metabolisms of the congenitally obese.

Secret History: The Tragedy of HMS Glorious (8.00 C4). Mysterious maritime disaster.

Experimental Feature: Mercian Hymns (11.45 R4). Geoffrey Hill's poem adapted.

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