This week's TV: final visits to Upstairs Downstairs and Empire

By mattelton, 21 March 2012 - 12:07pm

This week's
TV & radio
22 – 26 March

Pick of the week
Upstairs Downstairs
Sunday 26 March, 9pm BBC One

It's the last episode of the current run of this undemanding series, which I've developed a soft spot for despite its occasional inaccuracies (the latest anachronism, apparently, is Lady Agnes Holland appearing in adverts for 'nylons' before they were commercially available in the UK). This week sees Mr Pritchard departing under a cloud for his uncharacteristic drunkenness, and a familiar face returning to take his place...

Who Do You Think You Are?
Various times throughout the week
A clutch of episodes from the 2010 series await us this week, featuring not one but two Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine cover stars. Dervla Kirwan uncovers the truth behind her Irish connections (Wednesday 21 March, 4pm/9pm Blighty), while Monty Don discovers connections to a marmalade magnate and a forebear who travelled halfway around the world (Thursday 22 March, 11am/4pm/9pm Blighty). Rupert Penry-Jones journeys to India (Friday, 11am/4pm/9pm Blighty) while Alexander Armstrong, currently to be seen helming excellent daytime quiz Pointless, grows increasingly flustered at just how posh he turns out to be (Monday 26 March, 11am/4pm/9pm Blighty).
How God Made the English
Saturday 24 March, 8.20pm BBC Two/BBC HD
Just how tolerant have the English been to other peoples and religions? Oxford University professor Diarmaid MacCulloch embarks on a quest to find out in this week's episode of this new series, stopping off at Somerset House and a Surrey church along the way. Spoller: the answer turns out to be 'not very'.
Monday 26 March, 9pm BBC One
Did the British Empire do any good? That's the massive subject at the heart of this week's final episode, as Jeremy Paxman attempts to weigh the impact of colonial incursions into Africa. The contrasting approaches of David Livingstone and Cecil Rhodes offer some human stories among the big picture.
Words | Matt Elton


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