TV & radio guide - Saturday

December 2, 2000

The Medieval Ball (2.30 R4). Terry Jones (ex-Monty Python Chaucer enthusiast) begins a four-part series examining how the medieval world saw itself through its maps, with Hereford Cathedral’s Mappa Mundi featuring heavily in the first programme.
(5.50 BBC2). "It starts with good intentions, then we all end up in a huge room sitting on golden chairs listening to boring speeches." This could be said of quite a few grand projects, but Nick Fraser is in fact talking about the European Union. Half French and half English, Fraser is an engaging guide, gradually becoming disillusioned as his filming proceeds through the corridors of Brussels, the little-used (and little-loved by its users) Strasbourg parliament building and an EU anti-racism centre in Vienna. It takes a visit to Romania with an EU parliamentary committee for Fraser to realise that the "democratic blunder" of Strasbourg is preferable to the tyranny of Ceausescu and his palaces. With as much French and German as English spoken, it’s good that BBC2 is continuing its subtitling policy here.
Black Holes (6.25 C4). Repeat featuring Stephen Hawking and others talking about the mysterious phenomena (presumably not as up-to-date as last Thursday’s Horizon).
Open Court at the British Museum
(6.50 BBC2). Behind the scenes of the expanded museum with curators, scholars and Norman Foster. The museum’s new Great Court is unveiled on Wednesday - when a National Lottery Special comes live from the BM (Wed 8.00 BBC1). » QE II Great Court opening
Zoë (7.20 C4). Glyndebourne-commissioned "teenage opera" by composer John Lunn and screenwriter/librettist Stephen Plaice.
House Detectives
(7.40 BBC2). A Spitalfields, London, Georgian survival. » House Detectives
Archive Hour: You’re Through to the Show, Caller
(8.00 R4). The 50-year history of the radio phone-in.
Secrets of the Ancients
(8.10 BBC2). Repeat series: this week, the one where they try to recreate Archimedes’ claw in Syracuse (Italy, not New York state). With engineer Jo da Silva, archaeologist Roger Wilson, mathematician Chris Rorres and others.
Days in the Life
(8.55 BBC2). The "gathering of the tribes" - the poetry counterculture in the Albert Hall, 11 June 1965.
Telling Tales
(9.50 BBC2). Alan Bennett recalls his boyhood piety. (A final 15 minutes from Bennett’s past on Wednesday, 9.45 BBC2).
(10.35 BBC2). Tom Sutcliffe on the unseen in cinema. The final programme in this series, on slow-motion and freeze-frame effects, follows on Sunday (11.00, 11.30 in Wales).

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