Archive for Culture Vulture

Culture Vulture: our guide to the week’s entertainment

Saturday 23 July 2022

Genius of the Ancient World: Socrates 7pm BBC4

Genius of the Ancient World has proven to be one of the most popular programmes on BBC4. Socrates explores the life and work of the ancient Greek philosopher. The series was first aired in 2015, and it quickly became one of the most-watched programmes on the channel. Socrates is presented in an accessible and engaging way, and it provides viewers with a fascinating insight into the life and work of one of the most important thinkers in history. If you’re looking for something educational and entertaining, then BBC4’s Socrates is definitely worth a watch.

My Life as a Rolling Stone 4/4 Charlie Watts 9pm BBC2

When Charlie Watts died in 2021, the world lost a true legend of rock and roll. For 60 years, he was the heartbeat of the Rolling Stones, laying the foundation for some of the most iconic songs in rock history. His unrivaled precision and style made him one of the most sought-after drummers of his generation, and his influence can still be heard in today’s music. In this film, a stellar cast of musicians comes together to describe Charlie’s brilliance as a drummer and his unique persona. Through vivid archive footage and a soundtrack of classic Stones tracks, we explore the legacy of one of the greatest drummers of all time. Thank you, Charlie, for everything. You are truly missed.

The Hector. From Scotland to Nova Scotia 10.25pm BBC4

In 1851, a ship carrying Scottish immigrants set sail for Nova Scotia. The ship was called the Hector, and on board were more than 170 people, hopeful for a new life in Canada. Unfortunately, the journey was not an easy one. The ship was battered by storms, and several of the passengers became sick. Despite these challenges, the Hector arrived safely in Halifax after 17 days at sea. The passengers on board were some of the first Scots to settle in Nova Scotia, and their story is told in this programme. Today, the Hector is remembered as a symbol of hope and perseverance, and its legacy continues to be felt in Nova Scotia.

Sunday 24 July 2022

Bend It Like Beckham 6.45pm E4

A vibrant, funny film, Bend it Like Beckham explores culture clash and gender stereotypes with wit and humor. An Indian family living in London tries to raise their soccer-playing daughter in a traditional way, but Jess’ dream is to play professionally like her hero David Beckham. Her skills on the field are impressive, but her traditional mother is convinced that soccer is not an appropriate activity for a young lady. Meanwhile, Jess’ elder sister Pinky is preparing for an Indian wedding and a lifetime of cooking the perfect chapatti. As the two sisters negotiate their different dreams, they discover that they have more in common than they thought. With a great soundtrack and delightful performances, Bend it Like Beckham is a feel-good film that will leave you smiling.

Monday 25 July 2022

The American Diplomat 8.30pm PBS America

In PBS America’s The American Diplomat, host Nicholas Kralev interviews current and former diplomats to get their insights on the art of diplomacy. In each episode, Kralev situates diplomacy in the context of specific historical events and challenges that diplomats have faced. Through these interviews, Kralev shines a light on both the successes and failures of diplomacy, offering viewers a nuanced understanding of this complex field. The American Diplomat is an enlightening and entertaining show that is sure to interest anyone who wants to learn more about the world of international relations.

Myanmar: The Forgotten Revolution 11.05pm Channel 4

Evan Williams Productions is back with another investigative documentary, this time focusing on the mass killings that have taken place in Myanmar. The film features exclusive video footage and eye-witness accounts of three major incidents, including the Saffron Revolution in 2007 and the more recent violence against the Rohingya people. Myanmar: The Forgotten Revolution is sure to be a controversial and thought-provoking watch. However, it is also an important reminder of the brutal reality of life in Myanmar for many people. Williams does not shy away from uncomfortable truths, and his film is all the better for it.

Revolutionary Road 11.15pm BBC 2

If you’re in the mood for a thought-provoking film, then Revolutionary Road is a great choice. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, this 2008 film tells the story of a young couple living in the suburbs of 1950s America. While at first, their life seems perfect, the strain of conformity starts to take its toll. As they both grow increasingly unhappy, they begin to wonder if there’s more to life than what they’re currently experiencing. Revolutionary Road is a powerful film that will leave you wondering about the choices you make in your own life.

Tuesday 26 July 2022

Augmented 8.20pm PBS America

When Hugh Herr was just 17 years old, he suffered a devastating climbing accident that left him without legs. Herr was an experienced climber, and the accident occurred while he was attempting to scale a challenging route. After months of hospitalization and rehabilitation, Herr was fitted with prosthetic legs. However, he quickly became frustrated with their design. The limbs were bulky and uncomfortable, and they restricted his mobility. Determined to find a better solution, Herr embarked on a journey to invent more effective prosthetic devices. Over the years, he has created a number of innovative limbs that have improved the lives of countless amputees. Now Herr is teaming up with an injured climber to help her regain her ability to climb. Together, they are proving that even severe injuries need not be insurmountable obstacles.

Wednesday 27 July 2022

Berlin’s Nightlife 11.30am BBC Radio 4

Berlin is famous for its clubbing scene, which has long been a breeding ground for creative and countercultural expression. However, the future of the scene is now in jeopardy, as rising rents and gentrification threaten to drive clubs out of business. In addition, the city’s strict noise regulations make it difficult for clubs to operate without running afoul of the law. To survive, Berlin’s clubbing community will need to find ways to work more closely with the state. One possibility is to create special “club zones” where noise restrictions are relaxed. Alternatively, clubs could band together to negotiate better deals with landlords and city officials. Whatever the solution, it’s clear that Berlin’s clubbing scene faces challenges in the years ahead. But with a little creativity and unity, it can surely find a way to keep the party going as this programme shows.

Secrets Of The Lost Liners: SS Normandie 9pm Sky History

The SS Normandie was designed to be the grandest, most luxurious ship afloat. She had all the latest Art Deco features, including a grandiose main staircase and a magnificent dining room with a ceiling painted to look like the sky. She also had state-of-the-art safety features, including watertight compartments and fireproof materials.

Despite all of these features, the Normandie met with disaster. In 1942, she was being refitted in New York for use as a troopship when a fire broke out. The fire spread quickly, and the ship capsized. The fire was initially blamed on sabotage, but it was later determined to be an accident. However, the rumors of sabotage have never been completely extinguished. To this day, the Normandie remains one of the most famous ocean liners in history.

Thursday 28 July 2022

Bette and Joan: Talking Pictures 8.30 BBC4

In the golden age of Hollywood, two actresses came to embody the power and glamour of Tinseltown: Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Both Oscar winners, both box office favourites, their successes helped bankroll their movie studios. And both married four times. They had so much in common but hated each other. Their rivalry was the stuff of legend, playing out both onscreen and off. But despite their differences, they shared a respect for each other’s talents. In an era when actresses were often treated as little more than commodities, Davis and Crawford refused to be typecast or sidelined. They demanded roles that would challenge them, and they refused to compromise their vision for their films. In doing so, they changed the course of Hollywood history. As Talking Pictures host Elwy Yost said of them, “Bette Davis and Joan Crawford were two of the most powerful, uncompromising women in an industry not known for its strong-minded women.” Thanks to their groundbreaking work, today’s actresses owe a debt of gratitude to Davis and Crawford.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? 9pm BBC4

Baby Jane Hudson was a child star who enjoyed a brief moment of fame in the 1930s. Her career came to an abrupt end, however, when she was involved in a tragic accident that left her younger sister disabled. Baby Jane’s decline into obscurity and madness was chronicled in this 1962 film, which starred Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. The film was a critical and commercial success, and its portrayal of Jane as a narcissistic, delusional woman helped to establish Davis as one of Hollywood’s most talented character actresses.

So what ever happened to Baby Jane? The answer may lie in the fact that the movie is simply too disturbing for modern audiences. The story of two aging sisters who torment each other may simply be too dark and twisted for today’s viewers. In addition, the movie’s outdated attitudes towards mental illness and disability make it difficult to watch. Nonetheless, in the decades since its release, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? has become a cult classic, with many fans appreciating its campy, gothic atmosphere.

Friday 29 July 2022

Huey Long 1pm PBS America

Huey Long was one of the most controversial and divisive figures in American politics. A flamboyant demagogue from Louisiana, he rose to power in the early 1930s on a wave of populist fervor. Huey Long served as the 40th governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 and as a U.S. senator from 1932 to 1935. His “Share Our Wealth” program proposed redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor, and he quickly became a thorn in the side of President Franklin Roosevelt. Although he was ousted from the Democratic Party and ultimately assassinated, his legacy continues to resonate today. The film also includes interviews with some of Long’s family members and closest associates, who provide personal insights into the man behind the legend. This promises to be a fascinating look at one of the most colorful characters in American history.

Thomas Jefferson 3.10pm PBS America

As any history buff knows, Thomas Jefferson was one of America’s Founding Fathers and the third President of the United States. He was also a prolific writer, philosopher, and inventor. In addition, Jefferson was a passionate advocate for democracy and civil rights. All of these accomplishments make Jefferson an extremely interesting figure, and PBS America’s “Thomas Jefferson” documentary does an excellent job of exploring his life and legacy. The film features interviews with historians and Jefferson experts, as well as footage of historical sites associated with Jefferson. It’s a must-see for anyone interested in American history or the life of one of America’s most iconic leaders.

Russia 1917 – Countdown to Revolution 6.25pm PBS America

On March 8, 1917, Russia was a powder keg ready to explode. The country had been at war for three years, the economy was in shambles, and the people were angry and hungry. On that fateful day, a group of women marched on the streets of Petrograd to protest the lack of bread. The police tried to disperse the crowd, but the women would not be silenced. Their demonstration quickly turned into a full-blown revolution, and within days the czar was forced to abdicate. The Russian Revolution had begun.

PBS America’s “Countdown to Revolution” is a fascinating look at the events leading up to this pivotal moment in history. The documentary interviews key participants in the revolution, including members of the Mensheviks and Bolsheviks, as well as everyday citizens. It also features archival footage of the demonstrations and riots that engulfed Petrograd in those fateful days of March 1917. “Countdown to Revolution” is must-see viewing for anyone interested in this defining moment in world history.

Stalin: Inside The Terror 7.40pm PBS America

Seen through the eyes of those who knew him best, “Stalin: Inside The Terror” is a haunting portrait of one of the most ruthless dictators in history. Through archival footage and interviews with Stalin’s family and closest aides, the film explores how he rose to power and kept control over the Soviet Union through a reign of terror. Viewers will gain a unique insight into Stalin’s private world, including his dark sense of humor and his love of dogs. The film also sheds light on Stalin’s relationship with his wife, who was forced to live in fear of her husband’s wrath. By providing an intimate look at the man behind the monster, “Stalin: Inside The Terror” offers a chilling glimpse into the mind of a madman.

And on Disney+ from Tuesday 26 July

Santa Evita

We are big fans of Eva Peron here at Counter Culture so we’re looking forward to seeing Santa Evita.

Santa Evita is the story of a body with no grave and the legend that was born from it. In 1955, a military coup in Argentina overthrew then President Juan Domingo Perón and hid Evita’s body for 16 years to prevent it from becoming a symbol against the regime. When Evita’s body was finally discovered, it was embalmed and put on display for the public. Today, her preserved body lies in Eva’s body was later buried in the Duarte family tomb in La Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, and her legend has only grown in the years since her death. Santa Evita captures the imagination of both locals and tourists alike, who flock to see her enigmatic corpse. For many, she represents the power of the people and the fight for justice. Her story is one of tragedy and triumph, and her legend will continue to live on for years to come.

Selections by Pat Harrington and Henry Falconer

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Culture Vulture: our guide to the week’s entertainment

Saturday 16 July 2022

Timeshift: Italian Noir – The Story of Italian Crime Fiction 1220am BBC4

A documentary that profiles a new wave of Italian crime fiction that has emerged to challenge the conventions of the detective novel.

Vice (2018) 1130pm BBC2

The story of Washington insider Dick Cheney

The story of Dick Cheney, an unassuming bureaucratic Washington insider, who quietly wielded immense power as Vice President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today.

Sunday 17 July 2022

Tongue and Talk: The Dialect Poets – Hull 4.30pm BBC RADIO 4

Playwright, poet, and comedian Gill Adams explores dialect and poetry in her native Hull, the East Yorkshire city with a long association with fishing, ships, and the sea. Niche, but interesting.

Murder in Provence (1/3) 8pm ITV1

Adapted from the books by M.L. Longworth, Murder in Provence follows Antoine Verlaque, an Investigating Judge in Aix-en-Provence, and his romantic partner Marine Bonnet as they investigate the murders, mysteries, and dark underbelly of their idyllic home. Their efforts are aided by Hélène, a detective and Antoine’s trusted confidante.

The Proms BBC4 8pm

The eagerly anticipated return of audience favourite John Wilson kicks off BBC Four’s 2022 Proms season. He conducts award-winning orchestra Sinfonia of London in a packed all-British programme.

Much-loved classics, including Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and Elgar’s Enigma Variations, sit alongside Walton’s colourful Partita and Arnold Bax’s portrait of the Arthurian castle Tintagel. And it’s the Proms premiere of Huw Watkins’s dazzling Flute Concerto, written especially for tonight’s soloist, Adam Walker.

Monday 18 July 2022

Peter Brook 8pm BBC RADIO 4

This intimate and personal look at Peter Brook’s theatre work is in conversation with Glenda Jackson and was recorded just a year before his death. With landmark productions that changed the face of British theatre, such as the electrifying Marat Sade and the liberating, landmark acrobatic production of Midsummer Night’s Dream, and since moving to Paris, internationally renowned The Mahabharata, this is a moving tribute to a world-class director.

Tuesday 19 July 2022

Freddie Flintoff`s Field of Dreams 8pm BBC1

Has he found a home for his newly-formed cricket team of disadvantaged teenagers?

Lucy In The Sky (2019) 11.10pm Film 4

Astronaut Lucy Cola returns to Earth after a transcendent experience during a mission to space and begins to lose touch with reality in a world that now seems too small.

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Unvaccinated BBC2 9pm

Covid-19 is on the rise again in the UK. After multiple lockdowns and more than 197,000 deaths, experts are warning we’re now entering a fifth wave of the pandemic. So why are around four million adults in the UK still yet to receive a single dose of the vaccine? In this timely, eye-opening investigation Professor Hannah Fry seeks to understand why so many remain unvaccinated against Covid-19.

To fully explore this complex and deeply divisive debate, Hannah brings seven unvaccinated participants together under one roof to unpack long-held opinions, beliefs, and fears that have prevented them from getting the vaccine. Together, they meet leading experts, confront the latest science and statistics to emerge in the field, and dissect how misinformation spreads on social media. At the end of the experiment, each contributor is asked if what they have learned has changed their mind and whether they will now take up the vaccine.

Billy Wilder: Nobody’s Perfect 1200 Sky Arts

A documentary by Clara and Julia Kuperberg that draws on interviews made with the six-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Billy Wilder to create an in-depth profile of one of cinema’s greats.

Thursday 21 July 2022

The Undeclared War Episode 4. 9pm Channel 4

Marina moves to London for a new opportunity, and Danny is unconvinced by information Saara shares from an anonymous source. Saara’s hand is forced when Kathy informs her that GCHQ is about to reveal the names of the FSB coders.

All episodes are available on More 4

For Bette Davis fans BBC4 has some treats tonight for us. Star of over 100 films and the first person to receive ten Oscar nominations.

Bette Davis: A Basically Benevolent Volcano 8pm BBC4

A documentary about and an interview with Hollywood actress Bette Davis about her life and career from the late 1920s to the 1980s on stage and mostly before the camera.

Now, Voyager (1942) 8.45pm BBC4

A frumpy spinster blossoms under therapy and becomes an elegant, independent woman.

Dark Victory (1939) 10.40pm BBC4

A young socialite is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and must decide whether or not she’ll meet her final days with dignity.

1220 Bette Davis: Talking Pictures 12.20 BBC4

A look back at television appearances made by Hollywood legend Bette Davis, capturing the milestones and highlights of her life and career.

Friday 22 July 2022

Cobain: Montage of Heck 9pm Sky Documentaries

Filmmaker Brett Morgen explores the Nirvana frontman’s childhood, career, and tragic death, using material from the Cobain family’s personal archives.

Selections by Henry Falconer and Patrick Harrington

And on Discovery+

Jussie Smollett: A Faking It special. Investigates the case of actor Jussie Smollett who was convicted of falsely claiming to have been the victim of a violent hate crime in 2019. Available from Saturday 16 July 2022.

Selections by Henry Falconer and Patrick Harrington

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Culture vulture: our guide to the week’s entertainment

Saturday 9 July 2022

Britain’s Ancient Capital – Secrets of Orkney (1/3) 7.45pm PBS America

Orkney – seven miles off the coast of Scotland, and cut off by the tumultuous Pentland Firth, the fastest-flowing tidal race in Europe, is often viewed as remote. But recent discoveries there are turning the Stone Age map of Britain upside down. Rather than an outpost at the edge of the world, recent finds suggest an extraordinary theory – that Orkney was the cultural capital of our ancient world and the origin of the stone circle cult which culminated in Stonehenge.

A Hard Look At Soft Power 8pm BBC Radio 4

An interesting analysis of “Soft power”: the use of a country’s cultural and economic influence to persuade other countries to do something, rather than the use of military power.

My Life As A Rolling Stone: Keith Richards (2/4) 9pm BBC2

Keith Richards has lived a life of legend and in this documentary, he talks exclusively about his 60-year career as the lead guitar player in The Rolling Stones.

Richards’s brilliance as a songwriter and performer, along with his defiant hedonism, have made him a cultural hero to millions and helped to shape the whole idea of what rock ‘n’ roll means.

The film features a vivid archive of Richards’s extraordinary career, a soundtrack full of his classic riffs, and interviews with a stellar cast of musical idols.

Sunday 10 July 2022

The Beatles: Made on Merseyside 1pm PBS America

Few dispute that the Beatles defined 1960s music and popular culture like no other band, but how John, Paul, George, and Ringo made the journey from Merseyside teenagers to international pop stars is less known. Director Alan Byron’s documentary recounts the rise of the band as American rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm and blues dragged post-war Liverpool into one of the most vibrant music cities ever with the Mersey Beat sound

Farewell My Lovely (1944) 11.05am Great Movies Classic

After being hired to find an ex-con’s former girlfriend, Philip Marlowe is drawn into a deeply complex web of mystery and deceit.

Mansfield Park 3pm BBC Radio4

Lin Coghlin’s 10-part adaptation of one of the great English classics by Jane Austen, starring Felicity Jones, Benedict Cumberbatch, and David Tennant.

Red Shelley – Reformer and Radical (2/2) 4pm BBC Radio 4

On the bicentenary of Percy Shelley’s death in 1822, Benjamin Zephaniah brings us his very personal take on Percy Shelley’s work.

Our Classical Century: 1918-2018 7pm BBC4

Our Classical Century celebrates the most memorable musical moments from 1918 – 2018. It is a season of programming on BBC Four, BBC Radio 3, and BBC Two. A host of well-loved guests & presenters guide us through the century in documentaries, features, and performances.

The U.S. flu epidemic of 1918 8pm Smithsonian

The 1918 influenza pandemic, commonly known by the misnomer Spanish flu was an exceptionally deadly global influenza pandemic caused by the H1N1 influenza A virus. The earliest documented case was in March 1918 in Kansas, United States. Two years later, nearly a third of the global population, or an estimated 500 million people, had been infected in four successive waves. Estimates of deaths range from 17 million to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million, making it the second deadliest pandemic in human history after the Black Death bubonic plague of 1346–1353.

Monday 11 July 2022

Ceausescu’s Children 11am BBC Radio 4

Today, the actor Ionica Adriana lives with her family in the North Yorkshire countryside – but her life could have turned out wildly different. Until the age of two-and-a-half, Ionica lived in an orphanage, in Transylvania, north-western Romania.

From 1965-1989, the Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu enforced a strict set of policies to set about vastly increasing the Romanian population. But widespread poverty meant it was impossible for many Romanian parents to look after their newborn children – and so many ended up in state-run institutions, where they received little care and attention and were left in dirty clothes to feed and fend for themselves.

Ionica returns to Romania to uncover her past and the history of Ceaușescu’s barbaric orphanages. She explores what childcare and protection looks like in Romania today, and meets someone who grew up in the state system his entire childhood and has an emotional encounter of her own.

Where Angels Fear To Tread (1991) 10.55pm Great movies Classic

After a rich Edwardian widow impulsively marries a handsome but poor Tuscan dentist and dies in childbirth, her English in-laws try to gain custody of the baby.

Tuesday 12 July 2022

Britain’s Travel Chaos: How To Save Your Summer 8pm Channel 5

Documentary looking at some of the travel problems faced by British holidaymakers so far in 2022, hearing stories from people who have experienced holiday nightmares. Thousands of families have had flights canceled, and holidays ruined, but it’s not just the airline industry in crisis. The whole country has plunged into chaos with national rail strikes, ferry cancellations, relentless roadworks, and food and petrol prices skyrocketing.

A Very British History – Birmingham Irish 11pm BBC 4

Musician Angela Moran, whose grandparents were amongst thousands of Irish to move to Britain in the 1950s, tells the story of the Birmingham Irish through the memories of local people and rare archive footage.

Wednesday 13 July 2022

Sideways -A Nuclear Awakening 9am BBC Radio4

In this new mini-series from Sideways, writer and Times columnist Matthew Syed is calling for a nuclear awakening. Since the end of the Cold War, when relations between two of the world’s nuclear superpowers – the former USSR and the USA – seemed rosier, Matthew argues that many of us have slipped into a kind of comfortable amnesia about the presence of these destroyers of worlds.

Thursday 14 July 2022

Hollywood`s Brightest Bombshell – the Hedy Lamarr Story 7.30pm BBC4

While Hedy Lamarr was infamous for her marriages and affairs, this film rediscovers her not only as an actress but also as the co-inventor of 1940s wireless technology.

Bridge of Spies (2015) Film4 6.15pm

The performance by Rylance is masterful

During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers. See our review here

The Undeclared War 9pm C4 All episodes available on More 4

In 2024, a leading team of analysts buried in the heart of GCHQ secretly works to ward off a foreign cyber-attack on the country’s electoral system.

Friday 15 July 2022

Living with the Gods – Festivals 2.45pm BBC Radio4

Neil MacGregor focuses on special gatherings and how they shape a communal identity.

And on Netflix…

Better Call Saul Episodes releasing weekly on Netflix from Tuesday 12 July 2020

It’s time for the final six episodes of season six, the final ever set to air.

Selected by Henry Falconer and Pat Harrington

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Culture Vulture: our guide to the week’s entertainment

Saturday 2 July 2022

Inspector Montalbano 9pm, BBC Four

I’m (PH) a big fan of this Sicily-set detective drama. This is a new episode but it’s the last one, for the foreseeable at least. The director of an amateur dramatics society has been fatally stabbed, apparently without a drop of blood being spilled

Mick Jagger: My Life As a Rolling Stone 9.30pm, BBC Two

“All the mythology is repeated,” says Mick Jagger, “until it becomes true.” As the BBC launches its season on 60 years of the Rolling Stones with documentaries celebrating each band member, this is Jagger’s chance to set the record straight

Who Killed the KLF? 9pm, Sky Documentaries

Who Killed the KLF?” explores the rise and fall of the KLF in the 1980s and 1990s, touching upon themes that perfectly capture the 21st-century zeitgeist. The story ends with a legendary act on a remote Scottish island. A tale as intriguing as it is bonkers.

Sunday 3 July 2022

9.35am – 1pm, repeated 5.40pm -9.05pm PBS America, The Balkans in Flames. Yugoslavia 1945-2000 (3 episodes)

See our review here.

Desert Island Discs: Adele 11:15 BBC RADIO 4 FM

One of my (PH) Sunday morning traditions is to listen to Desert Island Discs. It is a remarkable programme which gives you an insight, through their choices of music and a book, into what makes someone tick. It’s often led me to reevaluate my opinion of the person concerned (usually, though not always, in a positive direction). This week Adele, singer, and songwriter, shares the eight tracks, book, and luxury item she would take with her if cast away to a desert island. With Lauren Laverne.

Rolling with the Stones 7pm BBC RADIO 2

What made the Rolling Stones the Rolling Stones? Find out from Mick, Keith, Charlie, Ronnie, and Bill as they take you through the make up of the world’s greatest rock-n-roll band!

Percy Shelley, Reformer and Radical (1/2): The Original Dub Poet 16:30 BBC RADIO 4 FM

On the bicentenary of Percy Shelley’s death in 1822, Benjamin Zephaniah brings us his very personal take on Percy Shelley’s work.

Dunkirk (2017) 9pm BBC2

Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Commonwealth and Empire, and France are surrounded by the German Army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II. See the Counter Culture review here.

Monday 4 July 2022

In Dark Corners 9.30pm BBC RADIO 4 FM (1/3)

What will be uncovered when a light is shone in the dark corners of Britain’s most elite boarding school? Alex Renton presents a story of class, power, and privilege.

Continued Tuesday and Wednesday at 9.30pm.

Tuesday 5 July 2022

Fred Flintoff`s Field of Dreams 8pm BBC1 (1/3)

Freddie returns to his home town for the sporting challenge of a lifetime. Can he inspire some unlikely teens to give cricket a chance – or has he bitten off more than he can chew?

Ghislaine Maxwell – Making of a Monster 10pm C4 (1/3)

An in-depth look at the disgraced socialite’s life.

The Abominable Dr Phibes (1971) Talking Pictures 12.05am

Doctor, scientist, organist, and biblical scholar Anton Phibes seeks revenge on the nine doctors he considers responsible for the death of his wife. This is a very funny film. Camp and surreal with lots of black humour. Vincent Price is great as Dr. Phibes.

Wednesday 6 July 2022

Spitfire Paddy 8.45pm PBS America

A documentary detailing how, in 1940s wartime Britain, a 21-year-old Irishman named Brendan ‘Paddy’ Finucane became the youngest Wing Commander in the history of the Royal Air Force.

Trainspotting (1996) 11.25pm Film4

Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and the influence of friends. See the Counter Culture review here.

Thursday 7 July 2022

Stealing Shelley’s Heart (Drama) 2.15pm BBC RADIO 4

The poet Shelley was last seen sailing his ship into a storm. His wife, Mary, and lover, Jane, wait for news. For the bicentenary of Shelley’s death, a new drama by Hattie Naylor.

Friday 8 July 2022

AntiSocial 12.04pm BBC RADIO 4

Peace talks for the culture wars. In an era of polarisation, propaganda and pile-ons, Adam Fleming helps you work out what the arguments are really about. Listen to the introduction to the series here.

Selections by Patrick Harrington and Henry Falconer.

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Culture Vulture: our guide to the week’s entertainment

Saturday 25 June 2022

The Silk Road (episodes 1-3) from 4.55pm PBS America

Dr. Sam Willis starts in Venice and explores how its Renaissance architecture and art have been shaped by the east and by thousands of exchanges along the Silk Road. From Venice Sam travels to China’s ancient capital, Xian. Here, Sam’s story takes him back in time to reveal the tale of an emperor who was so desperate for horses to help protect his borders that he struck one of the most significant trade deals in human history – he wanted war horses, and in return, he gave the most precious material in the world, silk. From this single deal, a network of trading paths was carved out across thousands of miles by merchants, traders, envoys, pilgrims, and travelers. It is known to us today as the Silk Road.

The Queen and the Russian spy 7pm C4

The story of Anthony Blunt, art expert, courtier, and Soviet spy.

Sunday 26 June 2022

Queen Victoria – My Musical Britain 7pm BBC 4

To celebrate Queen Victoria’s 200th birthday, Dr. Lucy Worsley explores the character and legacy of the famous monarch in a way that has never been attempted before – through music.

Murder in the Alps 9pm C4 (1/3)

The true-crime tale of the killing of a British family in the French Alps. Ten years on and still unsolved, was it a crime of passion, family feud, or political hit? Will the truth ever come out?

American Reckoning 9.10pm PBS America

An investigation into an unsolved killing in Mississippi in 1967.

Monday 27 June 2022

Building Britain’s Biggest Nuclear Power Station 8.30pm BBC4

Documentary series going behind the scenes to capture the action at the construction site of Hinkley Point C, Britain’s controversial new nuclear power station.

A Very British Deterrent 9pm

A Very British Deterrent tells the story of the remarkable events, eye-watering costs, power relationships, and secret deals done half a century ago to secure Britain’s very first submarine-launched nuclear missiles.

Sherwood (5/6) 9pm BBC1

As the manhunt closes in on Scott and Andy’s location, the search for the spy cop turns the clock back to 1984 to reveal their identity and the events of that fateful night.

Tuesday 28 June 2022

Manchester Ballads 2.30pm BBC Radio 4 Extra

Folk singer Eliza Carthy explores the history and legacy of Manchester’s 19th-century ‘broadside ballads’.

From Ukraine to Israel 9.05am BBC World Service

Tensions in Israel between Ukrainian and Russian Jews.

Storyville: Citizen Ashe 10pm BBC4

A Storyville documentary that tells the story of sports legend and social activist Arthur Ashe, who in 1975 became the first black man to win Wimbledon.

Wednesday 29 June 2022

Thatcher: A Very British Revolution (4/5) 9pm BBC 4

An in-depth examination of Margaret Thatcher, her rise to power, and the changes brought forth by her years in leadership. Told without narration, the story uses archive film and the testimonies of those who knew her personally, and most of all, politically.

Thursday 30 June 2022

The Undeclared War 9pm C4 (full series available on All 4 from the 30th).

A leading team of analysts buried in the heart of GCHQ (the UK’s version of the NSA) secretly works to ward off a foreign cyber-attack on the country’s electoral system.

Friday 1 July 2022

McCarthy 7.25 PBS America

The rise and fall of Joseph McCarthy, the Wisconsin Senator who would test the limits of American decency and democracy.

British Planes That Won The War WIth Rob Bell (3/4) 9pm Channel 5

The presenter reveals how the Lancaster bomber played a crucial role in the outcome of the Second World War. For the first time, Allied forces could take the fight to the enemy. The design for the new Lancaster bomber represented a major capability breakthrough for the Allies. Its four powerful Merlin engines allowed it to carry the largest bombs used by the RAF.

Selections by Pat Harrington and Henry Falconer

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Culture Vulture: our guide to the week’s entertainment

Sunday 19 June 2022

Our Classical Century 7pm BBC4

Our Classical Century is a celebration of the most memorable musical moments from 1918 – 2018. A host of well-loved guests & presenters guide us through the century in documentaries, features and performances.

Glastonbury: 50 years and counting

Jamiroquai at Glastonbury Festival 1993

A social and musical history of (probably) the world’s greatest music festival, as told by its principal curators, Michael and Emily Eavis, and many of the key artists who’ve appeared there.

Monday 20 June 2022

Sherwood episode (3/6) 8pm BBC1 all available on i- player

As the mourners drink at the Welfare, the Sparrows pay their respects. While at the Jackson house, Scott is about to leave when Ronan knocks at the door.

Victorian Sensations- Decadence and Degeneration (Wells, Wilde, Beardsley) (2/3) 11.30pm BBC4

Actor Paul McGann discovers how fears of moral and imperial decline terrified 1890s Britain – informing the daring plays of Oscar Wilde and the fantastical stories of HG Wells. Previous episode on I-Player.

Tuesday 21 June 2022

Sherwood episode (4/6) 9pm BBC1

With two killers now on the run, Ian is forced to call in the Met to support the manhunt. Meanwhile, the hunt for the mystery spy cop intensifies as a link to Scott is found.

The Whistle-blowers: Inside the United Nations 9pm BBC2

Told by insiders with decades of experience working at the UN, this documentary shares first-hand accounts of what happens to staff when they report allegations of wrongdoing, and shines a light on the culture of silence that reaches the highest levels of the organisation’s hierarchy. Throughout the programme, and at great personal cost, the whistleblowers share their personal experiences of working at the world’s top diplomatic institution, and also allege a wide range of sexual abuse and corruption across many UN agencies.

Wednesday 22 June 2022

Just One Thing – with Michael Mosley: An Apple a Day 9.30am BBC RADIO 4

An apple a day really can keep the doctor away. Michael explores the surprising research into the benefits of apples on your heart, gut and brain.

Thursday 23 June 2022

HMP Wormwood Scrubs: Evil Behind Bars 10pm Channel 5

The history of the famous prison, which has been used to incarcerate everyone from serial killers Ian Brady and Peter Sutcliffe to rock stars Pete Doherty and Keith Richards. The programme examines its use by MI5 in the Second World War, the story of a Soviet spy who escaped, and perhaps the most well-known inmate, the infamous Charles Bronson.

Scouting For Girls: Fashions Darkest Secret Sky Documentaries/Showcase 9pm

For decades, the glamour of the fashion industry has provided cover for sexual predators who target models – some as young as 15 – under the guise of career mentorship.

Friday 24 June 2022

Putin’s Road to War 8pm PBS America

The “inside story” of what led to Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine. The events that shaped the Russian leader, the grievances that drive him, and how a growing conflict with the West exploded into war in Europe.

Dark Corners: Abuse in Public Schools: Eton to Fettes (2/3) 11am BBC RADIO 4

What will be uncovered when a light is shone in the dark corners of Britain’s most elite boarding school? Alex Renton presents a story of class, power and privilege.

See here for other episodes.

Picture attribution: Manfred Werner – Tsui, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Selections by Henry Falconer and Pat Harrington

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Culture Vulture: our guide to the week’s entertainment

Saturday June 11 2022

Putin’s Way PBS America 6.25pm

Tracing the career of Vladmir Putin over the past two years.

Putin’s Road to War PBS America 7.35pm

The “inside story” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ziggy Stardust at 50 BBC RADIO 4 20:00

How David Bowie’s creation of the androgynous Ziggy Stardust had a profound effect on his career and allowed him to emerge as a pop prophet, gay rights champion and cultural icon.

Also Next Friday 12:04

Sunday 12 June 2022

Desert Island Discs: Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC BBC RADIO 4 FM 11.15am

Inspiring union leader Frances O’Grady

Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, shares the eight discs, book and luxury item she would want if cast away on a desert island. With Lauren Laverne.

Picture attribution for Frances O’Grady – Johninnit, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Also Next Friday 09:00

Grenfell Channel 4 10.30pm (1/2)

This is based on the not-for-profit production, entitled Grenfell: Value Engineering, which was on stage in London (at The Tabernacle) and Birmingham (at the Birmingham Rep).

The play – which was called “mesmerising, informative and alarming” in one review – is based on the words of those involved in the inquiry into the 14 June 2017 blaze, which killed 72 people.

Grenfell was created by producer and director Nicolas Kent and the creative team responsible for the dramatisation of The Colour Of Justice: The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, which ran at the Tricycle Theatre and the National Theatre in 1999.

Kent said: “In the heart of one of the richest boroughs in Europe 72 people died in the horrific circumstances of the Grenfell Tower fire, and this play looks at the causes, failures and those responsible for this tragedy, and how we can try to ensure that it never happens again.

“When last autumn we produced the play close to the Grenfell site the production was welcomed by the four main Grenfell support organisations.

“We were regularly told by residents that they hoped it would have a future life as they believed it’s important that people kept talking about the systemic failures which led to the fire.”

Monday 13 June 2022

The People Vs J Edgar Hoover BBC RADIO 4 (1/8) 1.45pm

Emily Maitlis tells how Hoover built and ran the FBI and helped create today’s fears of a “deep state”

Listen to the teaser here

Grenfell Channel 4 11.05pm

The conclusion of the stage play based on evidence from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Sherwood BBC1 9pm (1/6)

A divided police force, a relentless manhunt and a killer tormenting an already fractured Nottinghamshire community. In Episode 1 DCS Ian St Clair is called to investigate a tragic and unexpected murder in an ex-mining town as news of the crime threatens to inflame historic tensions. Powerful drama starring Joanne Froggatt and David Morrissey.

Tuesday 14 June 2022

The People Vs J Edgar Hoover continues on BBC RADIO 4 continues (see Monday).

Wednesday 15 June 2022

The People Vs J Edgar Hoover continues on BBC RADIO 4 continues (see Monday).

Thursday 16 June 2022

The People Vs J Edgar Hoover continues on BBC RADIO 4 continues (see Monday).

The Real Derry: Jamie-Lee O’Donnell Channel 4 10pm

Best known as the gutsy Michelle Mallon, now the Derry Girls star Jamie-Lee O’Donnell is bringing the real city to our screens. Channel 4’s The Real Derry: Jamie-Lee O’Donnell explores the Troubles and how they shaped the Northern Irish city we know today, especially for younger generations “who still live with the impact of the Troubles”. The actress will look back at her Catholic upbringing in the ‘90s during the 45-minute documentary special, while students from her former high school will speak on today’s Derry.

Friday 17 June 2022

The People Vs J Edgar Hoover concludes on BBC RADIO 4 continues (see Monday).

Look Away Sky Documentaries 9pm

As the documentary’s synopsis explains: “Look Away confronts the darker side of rock and a subject the music industry has glossed over for years: statutory rape and abuse against women.

For the first time, women – coerced, groomed or mistreated; many in their teens – offer an unfiltered account of their experiences as they share some of the abuses and harassment that were tolerated in the music industry in the 70s and 80s. These women share their encounters with powerful music names like front men Steven Tyler and Axl Rose, and Kim Fowley, manager of fledgling teen group The Runaways.”

“Look Away addresses how the music industry fostered a culture where relationships with underage girls were normalised and aggressive sexual behaviour was ignored.”

Selections from Henry Falconer and Pat Harrington

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Culture Vulture: our guide to the week’s entertainment

Saturday June 4 2022

Depp Vs. Heard: The Winners and the Losers Channel 5 9pm

A look at the defamation trial in Virginia in which Johnny Depp is making a claim for damages against his ex-wife Amber Heard over an op-ed the Washington Post written in 2018. The pair have spent the last six weeks locked in court, with accusations of adultery, drink and drug abuse, and allegations of domestic and sexual abuse from both parties.

Sunday June 5 2022

Radioactive (2019) BBC2 9.30pm

The incredible true story of Marie Sklodowska-Curie and her Nobel Prize-winning work that changed the world.

Monday June 6 2022

The Untold: The Suing Seafarer BBC RADIO 4 FM 11am

When P&O Ferries suddenly fired its staff on the spot on 17th March, there was an outcry from politicians, unions and the press with widespread scathing condemnation of the company.

P&O claimed it had made huge losses during the pandemic and that its current business model was unsustainable.

It offered severance packages but the nearly 800 staff who accepted them also needed to agree not to make any legal claims against P&O or talk to the media.

Sous chef John Lansdown was the only staff member to reject the redundancy offer and to fight P&O, and their Dubai-based parent company DP World, in the courts for ‘Unfair Dismissal’.

As the only person speaking out, John was quickly thrown into the media spotlight for a rollercoaster ride he wasn’t prepared for. He’s also been navigating his legal options and coming to terms with the abrupt end of a relationship with P&O – which he joined as a 16 year old an apprentice chef – and a crew which was his second family.

Untold producer Neil McCarthy follows John through the ups and downs of these turbulent 8 weeks as he prepares for a lengthy battle.

Tuesday June 7 2022

Prejudice and Pride: The People’s History of LGBTQ Britain (1/2) BBC4 9pm

This is the story of ordinary LGBTQ people and their extraordinary lives, loves and struggles over the last 50 years. Presented by Stephen K Amos and Susan Calman.

Wednesday June 8 2022

Secret State (1/4) ITV 9pm

Secret State explores the relationship between a democratically elected government, big business and the banks.

The Falklands Play (2002) BBC4 10pm

On April 2, 1982, Britain went to war to regain the Falkland Islands after . This movie is a gripping account of how Prime Minister Rt Hon Margaret Thatcher MP’s government handled the biggest crisis in British foreign affairs since the Suez Canal. It tells the story of how Argentina, an ally of the British, fought the Conservative government and invaded the Falklands. This play charts the backroom maneuverings between Thatcher’s government and the military, between the British and the Americans, and the Americans and the Argentinians that led to a breakdown in diplomacy, to war, and to Britain’s eventual victory.

The Falklands Play Row BBC4 11.30pm

In 1987, the BBC commissioned a play to mark the fifth anniversary of the Falklands conflict (see above). But the play was not shown until 2002. This documentary examines the political furore surrounding the decision not to show it and talks to the main players in the drama.

Thursday June 9 2022

The Cannabis Question PBS America 7.45pm

As state-legalised cannabis spreads, NOVA investigates the latest scientific evidence for its potential benefits and risks, and how criminalisation has disproportionately harmed communities of colour.

Judy (2019) BBC4 9pm

Legendary performer Judy Garland arrives in London in the winter of 1968 to perform a series of sold-out concerts.

Friday 10 June 2022

British Planes that won the war: Sopwith Camel (1/4) Channel 5 9pm

During World War One, the Allies and the Germans were battling for superiority in the air, and Herbert Smith, chief engineer at the Sopwith Aviation Company, was challenged to come up with a plane that was fast, agile and could take the fight to the enemy. His so-called Sopwith Camel entered battle in the summer of 1917 and made an immediate impact.

Killing Me Softly: The Roberta Flack Story BBC4 9pm

Documentary profile of Roberta Flack, telling the story of the emergence of a different kind of soul singer, set against the turbulent backdrop of America’s Civil Rights movement.

The Old Grey Whistle Test BBC4 11pm

Performances from Roberta Flack and Mike Absalom

Selections by Pat Harrington

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Culture Vulture: our guide to the week’s entertainment

Saturday 28 May 2022

Just One Thing – with Michael Mosley: Drink Coffee 5:45am BBC Radio 4

I’m a big fan of this programme which give scientifically based simple health advice. In this episode Michael explores how a cup of joe – at the right time! – could boost your sports performance, impact your mood, and even help you burn fat.

Listen to all episodes here.

The Harlem Hellfighters’ Great War PBS America 10:50am

In 1917, the 15th regiment of the NY National Guard, made up exclusively of black soldiers, was sent to fight the Great War in Europe. There, they discovered the horrors of the battlefields, but also a place where there was no racial segregation. The most decorated American soldiers of the First World War, as they fought on the front line for 191 days their hope was that when they returned home they would finally be considered fully-fledged US citizens. That was not the case. Through interviews with their family members, letters and archive film we will discover their story.

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: The Songs of the Mamas and the Papas Sky Arts 7:45pm

Interviews and performance footage tells the remarkable story of 1960s Californian pop group the Mamas and the Papas.

Sunday 29 May 2022

Maxima PBS America 6:30pm

An indigenous woman from the Peruvian Andes, who cannot read or write, stands up to the largest gold producer in the world, US-based Newmont Mining Corporation. Maxima is fearlessly fighting to stop a multi-billion dollar mining project launched by Newmont and partially funded by the World Bank. This project would forever destroy and contaminate critical water and land ecosystems. But without Maxima’s land, the project is not possible. A land dispute quickly turns into a landmark case of human rights abuse. Throughout Maxima’s fight for justice, PBS reveal the mechanics of how a transnational corporation manages to get away with human rights and environmental crimes, the role of the World Bank, and the resilience of one woman who refuses to back down.

Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic BBC2 10pm

This 90-minute special sees Louis Theroux travel to America to investigate the story of a man who has become one of the most controversial and captivating icons of recent times: the gun-toting, self-described ‘gay hillbilly’ and ‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic. A decade on from when he first met Joe for the documentary America’s Most Dangerous Pets, Louis returns to Oklahoma, responding to a direct call from Joe to tell the ‘real story’ and to explore the saga of an animal hoarder turned convicted felon. Joe now resides in a federal prison, having been found guilty of a murder-for-hire plot and multiple animal cruelty charges. But rather than living as a pariah, Joe is now a media phenomenon, the object of international obsession for pundits, celebrities and viewers, with a well-funded campaign team attempting to win him a presidential pardon. Looking back at his original documentary, Louis reflects on hours of unseen footage and sets out to understand who the real Joe Exotic is.

Tuesday 31 May 2022

The Wars of Coco Chanel Sky Arts 2pm

Coco and Winston Churchill

An intimate portrait of one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century, exploring the many battles she endured on her journey from an orphan maid to a world-famous tailor.

Picture attribution: Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday 1 June 2022

The Atom and Us PBS America 10:40am

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.

Thursday 2 June 2022

In Our Time: Shakespeare’s Sonnets BBC Radio 4 9am

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the 154 sonnets collected and printed in 1609 of which some are famous, many are glorious, most are inspiring and several are unsettling

You can find the Top 10 episodes of In Our Time chosen by listeners here.

Friday 3 June 2022

Pride BBC2 22:25

Uplifting comedy drama. In 1984 a group of lesbian and gay activists take on flack from the press and the government, and find unlikely allies in a group of Welsh miners.

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Culture Vulture: our guide to the week’s entertainment

Saturday 14 May 2022

Profile: Michelle O’Neill BBC RADIO 4 19:00

Who is Michelle O’Neill?

The Sinn Féin deputy leader set to become the first nationalist first minister of Northern Ireland. Mark Coles profiles Michelle O’Neill.

This Cultural Life: Jarvis Cocker BBC RADIO 4 19:15

Singer-songwriter and Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker talks to John Wilson about his cultural influences.

Sunday 15 May 2022

File on 4: Locking Up the Sick BBC RADIO 4 17:00

Reporter Annabel Deas discovers that nearly half of all seriously mentally ill prisoners who need hospital treatment are refused the treatment they need.

Monday 16 May 2022

Empire of Pain: A Good Name (1/10) BBC RADIO 4 FM 9:45an
The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe

Patrick Radden Keefe’s investigative book explores how the Sackler family acquired their phenomenal wealth and their role in America’s opioid crisis. Kyle Soller reads.

Elon Musk: Superhero or Supervillian? Channel 4 9pm

Using rare archival footage, the film digs into the South African–born Tesla and SpaceX owner (pictured), whose flamboyant PR stunts, eagerly promulgated visions of techno-futurist utopias and incessant Twitter trolling have made him one of the most omnipresent public figures in the contemporary world.

Tuesday 17 May 2022

Inflation and the cost of living crisis: The Long View BBC RADIO 4 9:00am

Jonanthan Freedland returns with the Long View of Inflation, comparing today’s gathering cost of living pressures with inflation peaks in the 1920s and 1970s.

Wednesday 18 May 2022

HMP Belmarsh: Maximum Security Channel 5 9pm

Sunil Patel: An Idiot’s Guide to Cryptocurrency: How to Get Rich off Crypto Alone BBC RADIO 4 11pm

In a desperate bid to become rich, comedian and broadcaster Sunil Patel attempts to live off cryptocurrency alone.

Thursday 19 May 2022

In Our Time: Comenius BBC RADIO 4 9

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Czech man who tried to use education to build a better understanding between the peoples of Europe who were otherwise divided by religious wars.

Friday 20 May 2022

A Brief History of Progress BBC RADIO 4 12:04

American satirist Joe Queenan follows up his programmes on blame, shame and truth with a question that has troubled many of us in recent years – has progress come to a halt? Beginning with the end of the Neanderthals, Queenan charts the ascent of man with the help of some surprising guests including Emma Garland, Terry Jones, Bertrand Russell and Edith Hall.

Queenan tackles all the major areas of concern, including progress and nature, progress and money, and progress and war.

“I think it’s inevitable that men will gather together and club each other to death,” he says. “I don’t think you can pin that one on women. If women were running Afghanistan things would be great.”

Selected by Pat Harrington

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