TV and Radio picks: Tankies, Queen Victoria's Children and more...

By Jon Bauckham, 2 January 2013 - 10:56pm

This week's
TV & Radio
3 – 9 January 2013

Pick of the week
Tankies: Tank Heroes of WWII
Sunday 6 January, 9pm, BBC Two
In the first of this two-part series, BBC Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban recounts the story of the Fifth Royal Tank Regiment during the Second World War. As a former army officer himself, Urban is able to empathise and offer his own insight into the tumultuous lives of six ‘tankies’. Taking viewers from the shores Dunkirk to the desert sands of El Alamein, this documentary is nothing short of captivating.
Also this week Queen Victoria's Children
Thursday 3 January, 8pm, BBC Two
As the nation celebrated Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897, the monarch herself was certainly not at ease. In the years following Prince Albert’s death, Victoria’s relationship with her sons became increasingly strained, to the extent that she blamed Bertie (the future King Edward VII) for her husband’s demise. The programme also examines the Queen’s relationship with Leopold, the youngest of the brood, who desperately tried to wrestle free of his mother’s control. If you missed the first two episodes in the series, don't forget that you can catch up on the BBC iPlayer.
Who Do You Think You Are?
Sunday 6 December, 8pm, Watch
With a slew of reality TV shows to her name, Davina McCall is certainly no stranger to sensationalism. In this 2009 episode, the Big Brother presenter uncovers an interesting parallel with her maternal great-grandfather, who became embroiled in one of the biggest scandals in French political history. Over on her paternal side, Davina also investigates rumours that one of her father's forebears was an illegitimate son of George IV. Click here for our full episode guide and exclusive unseen footage (contains spoilers).
Heir Hunters
Monday 7 January, 7pm, BBC Two
First shown last summer, the sixth series of Heir Hunters finally gets to enjoy a more comfortable, primetime viewing slot. This opening instalment sees teams of probate researchers battle against the clock to find an heir to the estate of Eileen Nearne, who died in 2004. Although people who came across her in later life would have regarded her as nothing but a quiet, elderly lady from Torquay, Nearne had in fact been an undercover agent in Nazi-occupied France. Her story is also the subject of a recent book by Bernard O’Connor.
The Battle for Malta
Monday 7 January, 8.30pm, BBC Two
Despite being just a fraction of the size, more bombs fell on Malta between 1940-42 than Britain during the Blitz. Military historian James Holland looks at the offensive position of the tiny Mediterranean island, a factor largely undervalued in previous analyses. The programme also takes time to consider how the lives of its people were affected, having had to endure brutal attacks from German and Italian bombers on an almost daily basis. In recognition of Maltese resilience during the siege, King George VI famously awarded the George Cross to the entire island in 1942.
A Tale of Two Villages
Tuesday 8 January, 8pm, Radio Four
Although the pits may have closed in 1993, the Yorkshire village of Grimethorpe is now thriving after a successful regeneration project. Not so long ago, this would have been hard to believe – the levels of deprivation which followed in the immediate post-coal years led Grimethrope to be labelled one of the poorest villages in Europe. But despite its progress, not every former mining community has made such a recovery. This documentary focuses on the factors behind this, while drawing upon the north of England's unique mining heritage.
Words | Jon Bauckham


Thousands of British Army records go online
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Thousands of British Army records go online
previous news Article
RAF Museum to digitise WW1 records
next news Article
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