Higher Channels

April 21, 2000

John Davies appraises the broadcasting week (all times pm unless stated).

Pick of the week

To celebrate Shakespeare's birthday (April 23) Radio 3 has scheduled a day of programmes, while BBC1 has a comedy-drama about a Bard-obsessed coach driver (Happy Birthday Shakespeare, Sunday 9.00 and Monday 9.20). R3 highlights include Shakespeare's London (12.15), an exploration by Iain Sinclair; Jonathan Bate on Shakespeare's international appeal in Sunday Feature: All the World his Stage (5.45); and a new production of As You Like It (7.30). Music includes Britten's Midsummer Night's Dream (2.45) and Purcell's Fairy Queen (9.45). The History Channel also chips in with Biography: William Shakespeare (2.00). On Tuesday, Radio 4 begins a series on the sounds of Shakespeare's England (Lend Me Your Ears, 9.30am).

FRIDAY April 21

A Virus of Violence (8.00 Discovery Channel). Are popular media making people violent?

SATURDAY April 22

One Foot in the Past (7.35 BBC2). Sex in the Georgian city.

Remember the Alamo (8.05 BBC2). The story of the 1836 siege, with comments from Davy Crockett's great-great-granddaughter and clips from films that romanticised it.

SUNDAY April 23

Shakespeare Day (from 9.00am R3). See pick of the week.

Alice in Wonderland (6.05 C4). New version of the Lewis Carroll classic.

The Real John Betjeman (8.00 C4). Facts about the poet's life - one of them being that he was a second world war spy.

Seeing Salvation (8.10 BBC2). Final programme in Neil MacGregor's art series goes from Holbein's Dead Christ to the resurrection and the last judgement.

MONDAY April 24

Start the Week (9.00 am R4). Guests include cognitive psychologist Geoffrey Miller and psychoanalysis fan Juliet Mitchell.

Gloriana (6.50 BBC2). Phyllida Lloyd's Opera North production of Britten's opera imaginatively redone for television.

Pigs Might Fly (8.00 Discovery Channel). On gravity and its effect on the universe.

The Lost Gods of Easter Island (8.30 BBC2). David Attenborough attempts to trace the provenance of a carved figure, visiting museums in London, St Petersburg, Australia and Easter Island itself.

TUESDAY April 25

Home Ground - Death at Porton Down (7.30 BBC2). Investigation into the death in the 1950s of a national serviceman who had been exposed to nerve gas. Experts include Leeds University toxicologist Alastair Hay.

University Challenge (8.30 BBC2). First semi-final: Oriel v Keble, both of Oxford.

EUtopia (11.20 BBC2, and rest of week). First of four films about the European Union contrasts how illegal immigrants are dealt with in Austria and Italy.

WEDNESDAY April 26

Thinking Allowed (4.00 R4). Bristol geographer Ron Johnston and philosopher Ted Honderich on democratic institutions.

The Reith Lectures (8.00 R4). BP Amoco chief executive John Browne's theme is sustainable development.

THURSDAY April

The Material World (4.30 R4). Edinburgh University's Wilson Poon on the centrality of physics.

Great Excavations (8.00 C4). "Digging by the Book". The books are Homer's Iliad and the Bible, utilised by archaeological pioneers Heinrich Schliemann and Flinders Petrie.

More programmes at: www.thesis.co.uk

Email: Davieses@aol.com

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