Higher channels

January 21, 2000

John Davies looks, listens and selects programmes of academic interest (all times pm unless stated).

Pick of the week.

Human ancestry seems to be a media obsession. While C4's Secrets of the Stone Age concludes with a look at Neanderthal culture (Monday 9.00) and the Discovery Channel has The Human Journey (Friday 8.00 and Sunday 7.00), R4 starts Origins - The Human Factor (Wednesday 9.00), a three-part series in which Aubrey Manning seeks evidence for human evolution. Experts include University College London's Lesley Aiello (also and adviser on BBC2's upcoming Ape-man).

FRIDAY January 21 Afternoon Play: The Prince (2.15 R4). Machiavelli's treatise becomes radio drama.

SATURDAY January 22 Sleaze (7.00 C4). Two-part series on corrupt MPs presented by Anthony Howard.

Archive Hour - The History Man (8.00 R4). David Cannadine on the history of history on radio and television.

The Ghana Generation (8.00 C4). One-off documentary profiles a range of Ghanaians - village chief, footballer, female law student, paediatrician.

The Brains Trust (10.00 R3). Discussion series returns with (in programme one) mathematician Ian Stewart, historian Theodore Zeldin, philosopher Jonathan Glover and theologian Angela Tilby.

SUNDAY January 23 Rough Magic (5.40 R4). Birkbeck's Steve Connor continues his "anthropology of everyday life" series.

Sunday Feature: Joseph Brodsky (5.45 R3). Radio portrait of exiled Nobel prizewinning poet Brodsky (1940-96).

Time Team (6.00 C4). Medieval and Roman pottery in a Dorset village.

Money Programme Special: The Price of Life (7.30 BBC2). The potential of the South African economy and the threat from Aids.

The South Bank Show (10.45 ITV). "William Shakespeare - Man Of The Millennium", with comments from Germaine Greer, Kenneth Branagh, Jonathan Bate et al.

MONDAY January 24 Panorama: Back to the Kitchen Sink (10.00 BBC1; 10.10 in Wales). Are children of full-time working parents disadvantaged? Yes, suggests new research presented here.

TUESDAY January 25 Offshore (11.00am R4). A year in the life of the school of ocean sciences at the University of Wales, Bangor. Four-part series.

WEDNESDAY January 26 Tuning into Children (11.00am R4). Series about the development of five to nine-year-olds. Experts include Bath University's Helen Haste and Judy Dunn of the Institute of Psychiatry.

Origins - The Human Factor (9.00 R4). See pick of the week.

Night Waves (9.30 R3). The role of intellectuals and academics in contemporary culture. With Cambridge's Stefan Collini.

THURSDAY January In our Time with Melvyn Bragg (9.00am R4). On economic rights, with Will Hutton and Amartya Sen.

The Material World (4.30 R4). Southampton University archaeologists Simon Keay and Martin Millett on excavating an ancient port.

Churchill's Secret Army (8.00 C4). The story of the Special Operations Executive (SOE). First of three.

Meet the Ancestors (9.00 BBC2). A 12-year-old girl's skeleton from 1,000 years ago in Bucks. Caroline Wilkinson of Manchester University is among the experts.

Horizon: The Diamond Makers (9.30 BBC2). Can there be a man-made diamond?

More programmes at: www.thesis.co.uk email: Davieses@aol.com

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