Higher channels

January 14, 2000

John Davies scans the schedules for programmes of academic interest. (All times pm unless stated.)

Pick of the week

Politicians experiencing first-hand what they pontificate about - that's the idea behind At the Sharp End (Wednesday 7.30 BBC2). This week, three MPs, Quentin Davies, Fiona MacTaggart and Lembit Opik (see Soapbox, page 18) sample a media studies course at Luton University. It's fairly superficial, but the trio seem to acquire a little extra knowledge.

FRIDAY January 14 The Routes of English (4.00 R4, repeated Tuesday 1.30). Melvyn Bragg's history of the spoken language resumes with "Coining It", all about linguistic innovation.

SATURDAY January 15

Brecht: Poems and Songs (1.50 and 3.00 R3). Adrian Mitchell presents a selection of poems in translation. Part of a R3 weekend devoted mainly to the music of Kurt Weill.

Set in Stone (3.00 Discovery Home & Leisure). Tom Maude visits Jedburgh Abbey; then it is Winchester Cathedral's turn in Janet Street-Porter's Cathedral Calls (7.45 BBC2).

The Archive Hour: Biafra (8.00 R4). Martin Bell recalls reporting Nigeria's 1967-68 civil war, with archive recordings.

Meet the Ancestors (7.35 and 8.15 BBC2). More about the multiple burial site discovered in London's Spitalfields last year.

SUNDAY January 16

Sunday Feature: People Be Good (4.00 R3). Kevin Jackson discusses one of the 19th century's most influential figures.

Time Team (5.30 C4). Investigating an RAF Spitfire that crashed in France in 1940.

A Kosovo Journey (10.45 ITV). Jonathan Dimbleby talks with soldiers, Kosovars, Serbs, UN officials and others and concludes that last year's Nato action made things worse.

MONDAY January 17

Mapping the Town (11.00am R4). The history of St Andrews, Fife.

Biography: Martin Bormann (7.00 History Channel). Hitler's henchman profiled.

Costing the Earth - Storm Alert (9.00 R4). Why is weather getting more extreme?

Secrets of the Stone Age (9.00 C4). Clues to the intelligence of upper-palaeolithic peoples up to 30,000 years ago, from Europe's Ice Age.

Night Waves (9.30 R3). Announcement of this year's T. S. Eliot prize for poetry, plus Isabel Allende interviewed.

TUESDAY January 18

Beyond Bedlam (9.00 R4). Patients and nurses at the Bethlem Royal mental hospital in South London talk about schizophrenia and psychosis in this illuminating new series presented by Raj Persaud.

Pictures in the Post: Heyday (10.20 BBC2). Delightful social-history series about the picture postcard's heyday a century ago.

WEDNESDAY January 19

At the Sharp End (7.30 BBC2). Pick of the week.

Ecological by Design (8.00 Discovery Channel). The latest on sustainable architecture, etc.

THURSDAY January 20

In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg (9.00am R4). On communication, with Ian Angell (LSE).

Meet the Ancestors (9.00 BBC2). An Anglo-Saxon burial ground outside Peterborough.

Horizon: Lost City of the Nasca (9.30 BBC2). Focus on Peru's 2,000-year-old civilisation and archaeologist Giuseppe Orefici's excavation of the "ceremonial" city of Cahuachi.

Night Waves (9.30 R3). Neurologist Antonio Damasio on consciousness and the sense of self.

More details - including R2's epilepsy campaign and who's on University Challenge - can be found at The THES website at: www.thesis.co.uk email: Davieses@aol.com

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