Culture Vulture: our guide to the week’s entertainment

Sunday 27 February 2022

Soundtracks: Songs That Defined History 1:00 (1/8)

This fascinating series continues with “Out, Loud and Proud”. A look at the growth of the gay rights movement and how music has played a vital role in promoting tolerance of sexual diversity.

Desert Island Discs BBC RADIO 4 11:00

I listen to Desert Island Discs every week. It’s just one reason I support the BBC and public service broadcasting. It reminds me of all the good things the BBC does. This week Professor Nick Webborn, Chair of the British Paralympic Association and Professor of Sports and Exercise Medicine, shares the soundtrack of his life with Lauren Laverne.

Peaky Blinders BBC1 21:00

It’s the end of the road for this great TV show with this season (6). The good news though is that there is a stage show and a film coming. The Peaky Blinders movie will begin filming in 2023 and the stage show, titled Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby, is coming to Birmingham in the UK this September, then London and other UK locations later.

The new episodes show Tommy Shelby pitted against the charismatic Fascist politician Sir Oswald Mosley (Sam Claflin) once more in what is sure to be a tense showdown. “Dark as f**k” is how Cillian Murphy (Thomas Shelby / Exec Producer) described season 6 in an interview with Esquire. “I think it’s going to be very intense,” Murphy previously told Rolling Stone. “The word we keep using is ‘gothic’. Yeah, it’s going to be heavy!”

Sadly Helen McCrory who played Polly so brilliantly will be absent as she died. The cast and crew ant this to be a tribute to her. I’m sure all fans will want that too.

Louis Theroux’s Forbidden America: Porn’s Me Too (3/3) BBC2 22:00

Louis head to LA as the porn industry grapples with its own wave of #MeToo.

Frank Skinner on Muhammad Ali BBC2 23:00

I like Frank Skinner and am a big fan of Ali so this is a no-brainer. I will be interested to see how far Frank delves into Ali’s membership of the Nation of Islam, relationship with Malcolm X and opposition to the Vietnam war.

Monday 28 February 2022

Thomas Chatterton: The Myth of the Doomed Poet BBC4 20:30

One of the first, if not the first, to die in a lonely garret of a drug overdose, was 17-year-old poet-forger Thomas Chatterton. His career really took off after that but did he take his own life in an act of creative despair? “Give me a Chatterton attic,” wrote Dylan Thomas. Michael Symmons Roberts set out to interrogate the myth of the poet as doomed risk-taker.

Chernobyl: The Lost Tapes Sky Documentaries 21:00

Chernobyl: The Lost Tapes tells the story of the nuclear power-plant explosions at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukrainian SSR on 26th April 1986.

The two explosions happened after a routine test at the power plant went wrong. The explosions released more than 400 times more radiation than the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.

Emmy Award-winner and James Jones uses newly discovered footage filmed at the nuclear plant during the disaster coupled with deeply personal interviews of those who were there.

The synopsis says: “From a ten-year-old schoolboy to a Russian general, the film details how the lives of millions of people were transformed and how their memories of that fateful night and the aftermath have haunted them since.”

Tuesday 1 March 2022

Danny Dyer on Harold Pinter Sky Arts 00:10

Taken under his wing following roles in films like 1997’s Human Traffic, Pinter cast Dyer in several of his plays. Now, years after Pinter’s death, Danny takes a look back at his mentor’s work (including exploring the effects the Cold War had on his plays) and the profound influence he had on his life.

Wednesday 2 March 2022

Your Body Uncovered with Kate Garraway (1/6) BBC2 20:00

Your Body Uncovered with Kate Garraway on BBC2 shows us a minor medical miracle. Just imagine that we could better understand our health conditions simply by looking inside our own bodies. Now, this groundbreaking new BBC2 series allows patients to do just that, thanks to some incredible state-of-the-art 3D technology. Each week, presenter Kate Garraway meets patients with everyday medical conditions and, together with consultant Dr Guddi Singh from Trust Me, I’m A Doctor fame, guides them through an immersive journey inside their own bodies to help better understand their illnesses.

The fall of Singapore BBC RADIO 4 09:30

In February 1942, Singapore fell to the Japanese. Tens of thousands of Commonwealth soldiers became prisoners of war. Most were set to work in prison camps across South East Asia. Witness is a great way to learn about history and it is very accessible. This episode lasts only 14 minutes but covers its subject well.

Thursday 3 March 2022

Split Up in Care: Life Without Siblings BBC3 22:00

Thousands of children have been separated from their brothers and sisters by the UK care system. Ashley John-Baptiste hears from those whose lives have been changed forever.

Friday 4 March 2022

AI: A Future for Humans The Reith Lectures Stuart Russell – Living With Artificial Intelligence (4/4) BBC RADIO 4 21:00

Stuart Russell suggests a way forward for human control over super-powerful artificial intelligence. If you missed the first three fret not as you can hear them here.

The Atom and Us PBS America 21:50

Take an action-packed tour through the history of one of the most controversial subjects of the 20th century – nuclear power – as told by those who experienced it first-hand. Focusing on events in the US, UK, France and Germany, it charts its social and political development from the early days of post-war atomic euphoria, through to the struggling ‘nuclear renaissance’ of the present day.

Looking ahead…

I’m not that interested in the Superbowl but I tuned in to watch the entertainment which included the Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power trailer. It is expected to last for five seasons. It stars Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Joseph Mawle, Lenny Henry, Peter Mullan and Saint Maud star Morfydd Clark.

Selections by Pat Harrington

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