Culture Vulture: our guide to the week’s entertainment (15-21 October 2022)

Highlights this week include programmes on T S Eliot, the classic film Brighton Rock and the return of Gangs of London.

Saturday 15 October 2022

Mae West Dirty Blond PBS America 10.20pm

The first major documentary film to explore West’s life and career, as she “climbed the ladder of success wrong by wrong” to become a writer, performer and subversive agitator for social change.

Who Killed the KLF? Sky Documentaries 9pm

In the 1990s, the KLF were one of the most successful pop groups in the world. They had a number 1 album, a best-selling single, and even won a Brit Award. But then, in May 1992, they shocked the music industry by announcing their retirement. Two years later, on 23 August 1994, they made an even bigger splash by burning one million pounds sterling. This new documentary investigates the reasons behind the KLF’s seemingly bizarre behaviour. Through interviews with former band members, friends, and experts, the film tries to get to the bottom of one of pop music’s biggest mysteries. Who killed the KLF? The answer may surprise you.

Re-union: The Maidan Uprising BBC Radio 4 10.15pm

Kirsty Wark brings together a group of people who, in 2013, led the protests in what became known as Ukraine’s Maidan uprising.

Sunday 16 October 2022

Return to T S Eliotland BBC4 7pm

AN Wilson explores the life and work of TS Eliot. From the halls of Harvard University to a Somerset village, via a Margate promenade shelter, he follows the spiritual and psychological journey that Eliot took in his most iconic poems. From The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock to The Waste Land and from Ash Wednesday to Four Quartets, Wilson traces Eliot’s life story as it informs his greatest works.

The Four Quartets, Starring Ralph Fiennes BBC4 8pm

A performance of T S Eliot’s poetic masterpiece.

Monday 17 October 2022

Country Music Rub (Beginnings -1933) (1/8) Episodes 2-5 follow Tues-Fri. PBS America 8.25pm

So-called ‘Hillbilly music’ begins to reach a wider audience.

Analysis: How Xi Jinping Did It BBC Radio 4 8,30pm

How China’s President Xi Jinping took control of his party and his country.

Tuesday 18 October 2022

Devil’s Advocate: The Mostly True Story of Giovanni di Stefano Sky Documentaries 7pm

Giovanni di Stefano was once known as the Devil’s Advocate, and it’s easy to see why. A quick-talking lawyer with a silver tongue, di Stefano has represented some of the world’s most notorious criminals, including Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milošević. He’s also been accused of being a con artist, a fraudster, and a danger to society. But despite his checkered past, di Stefano remains an enigmatic and intriguing figure. In this documentary, filmmakers Tony Montana and Antonello Sarno explore di Stefano’s complicated life story, from his humble beginnings in Sicily to his current status as a criminal mastermind. Along the way, they interview di Stefano’s friends, foes, and victims, painting a picture of a man who is both charming and dangerous in equal measure. If you’re looking for a true crime story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, Devil’s Advocate is a must-watch.

Recently re-discovered episode of Hancock`s Half hour BBC Radio 4 6.30pm

A lost episode of 1950s radio show Hancock’s Half Hour recently found and restored.

The episode, the only one to feature the actor and comedian Peter Sellers – who was standing in for Hancock’s regular collaborator Kenneth Williams – is from the first series of the sitcom and is called The Marriage Bureau.

It aired in February 1955 and has never been repeated, according to the Tony Hancock Appreciation Society.

Wednesday 19 October 2022

Why the Industrial Revolution Happened Here BBC4 8pm

A key factor in the Industrial Revolution was knowledge. Britain’s political system encouraged scientific thought and freedom to try out scientific and business ideas.

Liverpool Narcos Sky Documentaries 9-11pm

Back-to-back showings of all three parts of Liverpool Narcos, he fascinating documentary series from Sky that tells the story of how a group of drug dealers from the city became some of the most powerful and feared criminals in the country. The series follows their rise to power, their bloody battles with rivals, and their ultimate downfall. With unparalleled access to the family members and friends of the dealers, as well as law enforcement and government officials, Liverpool Narcos provides an inside look at some of the most notorious gangs in recent history. If you’re looking for an edge-of-your-seat true crime story, this is it.

Thursday 20 October 2022

Brighton Rock Talking Pictures 6.05pm

In Brighton in 1935, small-time gang leader Pinkie Brown murders a journalist and later desperately tries to cover his tracks but runs into trouble with the police, a few witnesses, and a rival gang.

Jewish G.I.s of World War Two PBS America 7.15pm

This is the profound and remarkable story of the 550,000 Jewish Americans who served their country in World War II. These brave men and women fought for their nation and for Jewish people worldwide. Like all Americans, they fought against fascism, but they also waged a more personal fight – to save their brethren in Europe. Jewish servicemen were also among the first to assist the survivors of the Nazi concentration camps liberated by American troops. After years of struggle, these soldiers emerged transformed, more powerfully American and more deeply Jewish, determined to continue the fight for equality and tolerance at home.

The Bottom Line – U.K.`s Defence Industry BBC Radio 4 8.30pm

Evan Davis chairs a round table discussion providing insight into business from the people at the top.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) Film4

See the Counter Culture review here

Friday 21 October 2022

Ten Years of the Digital Human BBC Radio 4

With a decade of peeking down every dark alleyway of the internet The Digital Human has a unique archive of our lives lived online; how we connect to one another, how we explore and express who we are and how we accept these new technological innovations into our lives often without question. Aleks selects the most revealing and thought provoking stories from the back catalogue to see how far we’ve come and where our technologies might be taking us.

Gangs of London Sky Atlantic 9pm

Sky Atlantic’s “Gangs of London” is a gritty, action-packed series that follows the lives of London’s criminal underworld. The show’s focus on violence and crime gives it a dark and dangerous edge, and the cast of characters is both corrupt and fascinating. From ruthless gangsters to crooked cops, “Gangs of London” paints a picture of a city controlled by corruption and power. The show’s second season is even more intense than the first, with new villains and plenty of twists and turns. If you’re looking for a gripping drama with plenty of action, “Gangs of London” is definitely the show for you.

Gaming Wall Street 9pm Sky Documentaries

In this series, director Tobias Deml tries to get to the bottom of how Redditors turned a video game retailer into a financial frenzy.

Selections from Henry Falconer and Pat Harrington

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