Culture Vulture: Our Guide to the week’s entertainment

Saturday 9 October 2021

Paris Police 1900, BBC4 9pm

Turmoil in Paris as rumours spread about the release of Dreyfus

Polystyrene: I Am a Cliche, Sky Arts 9pm
Celeste Bell looks at the legacy of her mother – X-Ray Spex founder Polystyrene.

Sunday 10 October 2021
Sylvia Plath: Inside the Bell Jar, BBC4 9pm
Deasl with the semi-autobiographical novel about a young woman’s struggle in 1950s America. The novel was published shortly before Sylvia’s death in 1963.

Monday 11 October 2021
Paul Merson, Football, Gambling and Me, BBC1 9pm
Being addicted to gambling is a terrible thing. It can lead to ruin yet our society views gambling as more acceptable than other forms of addiction. Paul Merson once played for Arsenal and England. During that time he was struggling with his demons and squandering his wages. Here he tries to understand why.
Dispatches, Clapped Out: Is the NHS broken?
Our NHS holds a special place in the hearts of Britons. Yet few would argue that it can be a creaking system.

Tuesday 12 October 2021
Who Do You Think You Are?, BBC1 9pm
A welcome return. The first episode looks at the background of Josh Widdecombe. It’s an entertaining and educational series. You never know quite what will turn up in the family backgrounds (some may haver regretted featuring on the programme!) and there is a lot of human interest in the stories from the past. You also learn a lot of history along the way, looking through the prism of one family.
Googlebox, C4 10.20pm
It’s always facinating to watch the diverse armchair critics reating to and commenting on some of the TV programmes of the week. This week it’s Strictly, The Mating Game, Family Fortunes, Extreme Food Phobics. I’ve not watched any of those but another two I have. I’m looking forward to seeing what they say about Squid Game wihich I found interesting but extremely violent. Likewise the Hairy Bikers Go North which I really enjoy.
Hansa Studios: By the Wall 1976-90, Sky Arts 11pm
So many stars have recorded at this iconic Berlin studio which used to overlook the Wall and has hosted many well-known acts including David Bowie, Iggy Pop, U2 and Brian Eno.

Wednesday 13 October 2021
Inside Holloway: Rebels and Murderers, Channel 5, 10pm
Although we hear about the prisoners – including Myra Hindley and Rosemary West; Maxine Carr, partner of Soham murderer Ian Huntley and Tracey Connelly (mother of Baby P) – it’s not really about them. This is social history as Holloway has been linked to key moments. The Suffragette movement, the creation of the Republic of Ireland, the British Fascist movement in the wake of WW2, and the abolition of the death penalty all feature in the story of Holloway.

Thursday 14 October 2021
The Hairy Bikers Go North, BBC2, 8pm
I’m a big fan of Si King and Dave Myers (collectively known as the Hairy Bikers because, well, they are hairy and they are Bikers). They’ve gone back to their roots and are showcasing the small businesses and entrepreneurs of the North who are doing wonderful things for our country. More power to their elbow!

Friday 15 October 2021
Propaganda: The Art of Selling Lies, PBS America, 5.20pm
If you don’t want to be manipulated it’s useful to understand the techniques that those in power or who desire power might seek to use on you.

Selected by Pat Harrington


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