This week's TV and radio: into the vaults, below stairs and across Empire

By Matt Elton, 7 March 2012 - 3:13pm

This week's
TV & radio
7 – 14 March

Pick of the week
Who Do You Think You Are?
Various times throughout the week

As Claire, our deputy editor, writes in her blog this week, the producers of Who Do You Think You Are? have recently revealed which celebrities will be tracing their roots in this year's upcoming series. We're still a way off yet, though, so here's some classic instalments from both sides of the Atlantic to keep you going...

Matthew Broderick | Wednesday 7 March | 11.55pm BBC One (Northern Ireland only)
John Hurt | Thursday 8 March | 9pm Yesterday
Sarah Jessica Parker | Thursday 8 March | 1.50am Watch
Susan Sarandon | Tuesday 13 March | 11.20pm BBC One (England only)

The Country House Revealed
Sunday 11 March, 7pm BBC HD
Such is the plethora of property and period-property programmes currently on TV that it can be difficult to remember which one is which. Is this the one in which Penelope Keith and a man in pink trousers reconstruct a manor house? Or the one where renovation maven Sarah Beeny attempts to render a rural pile inhabitable? Actually, it's neither: this sees architectural historian Dan Cruickshank explore the stories behind some of the UK's finest manor houses, in this case Easton Neston in Northamptonshire. It's full of intriguing social history gems.
Upstairs, Downstairs
Sunday 11 March, 9pm BBC One
It may not have scored 100% in historical accuracy stakes - eagle-eyed viewers were quick to spot the Second World War airships flying, uncharacteristically, upside down - but as fast-paced turn-the-page period fiction, this is  defiantly entertaining.
Monday 12 March, 9pm BBC One
Michael Palin shows up in this week's third instalment to discuss the central role that the concept of the gentleman adventurer played in the making of the British Empire, something the comedian satirised to great effect in his Ripping Yarns series. There are also detours  - laced, no doubt, with Paxman's characteristically sardonic delivery - to explore the worlds of cricket and horse racing.


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