TV and Radio highlights: 2 – 8 December 2016

By Deputy Editor, 1 December 2016 - 10:52pm

Liz Bonnin investigates her Caribbean heritage in Who Do You Think You Are?, while Lucy Worlsey tells the story of Catherine of Aragon in brand-new series Six Wives

Liz Bonnin investigates her Caribbean heritage in the next episode of Who Do You Think You Are? on Thursday 8 December

Pick of the week

Who Do You Think You Are?
Thursday 8 December, 8pm, BBC One

If you enjoyed Amanda Holden’s genealogical romp in France last week in the second episode in this series of Who Do You Think You Are?, you’ll be fascinated by Liz Bonnin’s journey back into the past in search of her forebears. Join the science and wildlife presenter as she traces her origins in Trinidad where her mother grew up, and is inspired by an ancestor who arrived on the island aged eight to start a new life. She also travels to Martinique and discovers the truth about stories of slavery in her family.

Also this week

Black and British: A Forgotten History
Saturday 3 December, 10pm, BBC Two Scotland

This excellent series examines the relationship between people with African origins and Britain and is fronted by historian David Olusoga. It concludes this week with The Homecoming, which focuses on race riots in Liverpool, three African kings who took a stand against the Empire, the crooner with an ‘irresistable’ voice, plus an examination of how black British identity has changed over the course of the 20th century.

Ian Hislop Goes Off the Rails
Tuesday 6 December, 8pm, BBC Four

Another chance to see Ian Hislop’s nostalgic trip back to the era of the Beeching Report. He considers the misjudged decisions that led to the closing of a third of Britain’s railways and the long-lasting damage that was done to our social, economical and cultural heritage.

The Secret History of Our Streets
Tuesday 6 December, 10pm, BBC Four

The final outing in the current series of this immensely enjoyable investigation of the clues to the past around us. This week we follow the fortunes of Arnold Circus in Shoreditch, London, the country’s first council estate. It was built in 1896 on the site of what had been a crime-ridden slum, according to Charles Booth’s poverty maps. The rules were tough in what was essentially a Victorian social experiment, but the residents found it a friendly place to live..

Six Wives With Lucy Worsley
Wednesday 7 December, 9pm, BBC One

Lucy Worsley’s new three-part series combines dramatisations and her own take on the contemporary historical evidence to paint an intimate portrait of the women in Henry VIII’s life. This week Lucy focuses her attention on Catherine of Aragon and her desperate attempts to provide Henry with the male heir he needed to continue his dynasty.

Dan Snow on Lloyd George
Wednesday 7 December, 9pm, BBC One Wales

Historian Dan Snow profiles his great great grandfather David Lloyd George, Prime Minister during the First World War, in this not-to-be-missed documentary. Though financial scandals and a ‘convoluted’ personal life meant Lloyd George suffered from a mixed reputation, his achievements were many including holding the country together following the huge loses at the Somme and Passchendaele. Dan also looks at the role of his illustrious ancestor in WW1 in the BBC Radio Wales series Lloyd George’s War (episode 1 repeated on Saturday 3 December at 7.03am).

Secrets From the Asylum
Thursday 8 December, 1.05am, ITV3

Found ancestors who spent time in Victorian lunatic asylums? Then you’ll enjoy the reshowing of this riveting two-parter that takes celebrities including Ray Winstone, Claire Sweeney and Al Murray on a journey to discover the experiences of their unfortunate forebears who had found themselves incarcerated in these institutions.

Words: Claire Vaughan

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