TV and radio: what to tune into next week (26 February–3 March 2016)

Can't decide which programmes to watch or listen to next week? Here are 10 you won't want to miss...

Pompeii: New Secret Revealed With Mary Beard. (BBC/Lion Television LTD/Cateri
Incarnations: India In 50 Lives 
Radio 4
Friday 26th February, 9.00pm
 
This omnibus edition of Professor Sunil Khilnani’s biography-based history of India features such figures as Annie Besant, a London-born activist who was a prominent supporter of Indian self-rule, and lawyer Chidambaram Pillai, who started a shipping company. On Monday 29th February, the weekday episodes continue with mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan (1.45pm). 
 
 
Incarnations: India In 50 Lives. (BBC/Sheetal Mallar)
 
Drama: Trial By Laughter 
Radio 4
Saturday 27th February, 2.30pm
 
In 1817, Fleet Street bookseller, publisher and satirist William Hone (1780-1842) stood trial for “impious blasphemy and seditious libel”. Drawing on the court transcript, this comedy-drama by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman of Private Eye fame explores Hone’s battles with the establishment.  
 
 
 
Archive On 4: Skill, Stamina And Luck 
Radio 4
Saturday 27th February, 8.00pm
 
Drawing on the BBC archives, novelist and game designer Naomi Alderman traces the history of “interactive fiction”. It’s a story that takes in experimental works from the likes of British novelist BS Johnson, in addition to videogames and, yes, role-playing fiction featuring dragons.
 
 
 
Simon Schama: The Obliterators 
Radio 4
Sunday 28th February, 1.30pm
 
Simon Schama searches for a religious or political motive behind the destruction of archaeological sites by the so-called Islamic State. He also considers what our own history of iconoclasm during the Reformation might teach us here.
 
 
 
Churchill’s Secret
ITV
Sunday 28th February, 8.00pm
 
In the summer of 1953, Winston Churchill suffered a severe stroke. News of the prime minister’s condition was kept from the public and from parliament. This one-off drama, starring Michael Gambon and Lindsay Duncan as Winston and Clementine Churchill, offers a fictionalised take on what might have happened next.
 
 
 
 
Museum Of Lost Objects 
Radio 4
Monday 29th February, 12.04pm
 
In a 10-part weekday series, Kanishk Tharoor examines the histories of sites and objects destroyed or looted in Iraq and Syria. He begins with the winged-bull of Nineveh, a huge statue that once guarded the gates of the ancient Assyrian city.
 
 
 
The Renaissance Unchained 
BBC Four 
Monday 29th February, 9.00pm
 
In what is proving to be a terrific series, Waldemar Januszczak turns his attention to the use of colour in Renaissance art. His focus is on what was then venal Venice, and he celebrates the art and artistry of Bellini, Giorgione, Titian and Veronese. 
 
 
The Renaissance Unchained. (BBC/ZCZ Films/Matt Conway)
 
Back In Time For The Weekend 
BBC Two
Tuesday 1st March, 8.00pm 
 
The Ashby Hawkins family arrives in the exotic 1990s. Before older readers harrumph, remember there are now many twenty-somethings born in the decade of britpop and Blair’s triumph. Expect the arrival of the internet, mobile phones and handheld games consoles, plus a guest appearance from Tommy Walsh and a spot of line-dancing.
 
 
 
In Our Time 
Radio 4
Thursday 3rd March, 9.00am
 
Melvyn Bragg and learned guests discuss the Dutch East India Company, which dominated the 17th-century Asian spice trade. Also today, listen out for Laverne In The Willows (Radio 4, 11.30am), which finds Lauren Laverne exploring the story behind Kenneth Grahame’s 1908 children’s classic, The Wind In The Willows.
 

 

Pick of the week

 
Pompeii: New Secrets Revealed With Mary Beard 
BBC One
Thursday 3rd March, 9.00pm
 
Pompeii, buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, is currently the subject of a multimillion-euro preservation project. It’s work that’s offering new insights into the Roman town, and Roman life more generally. Professor Mary Beard acts as our guide as she goes behind the scenes to see what’s being revealed. 
 
 
Read Mary Beard's 'A to Z of life in Pompeii' here.
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