TV & radio: what to tune in to next week (9-15 September 2017)

Can't decide which shows to watch or listen to next week? Here are 10 programmes you won't want to miss...

Upstart Crow. (BBC/Colin Hutton)
Upstart Crow. (BBC/Colin Hutton)
 
Punt PI 
Radio 4
Saturday 9 September, 10.30am
 
How did a hoard of gold coins come to be hidden inside a piano? Yet again turning gumshoe detective, comedian Steve Punt considers a case that, we’re promised, touches upon Victorian music circles, the Freemasons, bankruptcy and, curiously, Shredded Wheat packets. 
 
 
 
Archive On 4: Uses Of Literacy Now 
Radio 4
Saturday 9 September, 8.00pm
 
Writer and critic DJ Taylor considers the impact of Richard Hoggart’s The Uses of Literacy. As well as being a critique of the burgeoning mass media, it was a book about being born into poverty and moving, as a scholarship boy, from one class to another. Six decades after its publication, does it have contemporary relevance?
 
 

Fake or Fortune? (Image Credit: BBC/Emilie Sandy)
 
Fake Or Fortune? 
BBC One 
Sunday 10 September, 8.00pm
 
The team explores the provenance of two works that, it’s claimed, may be by Paul Gaugin – a sketch its owner believes is a preparatory work for When Will You Marry? and a still life that depicts a bowl of fruit. Presented by Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould.     
 
 
 
Sunday Feature: The Battle For Henry David Thoreau 
Radio 3
Sunday 10 September, 6.45pm
 
Susan Marling marks the recent 200th anniversary of the birth of transcendentalist philosopher Henry David Thoreau. Seen by Trump supporters as a champion of anti-government thinking but by others as a proto-environmentalist, he’s a figure whose legacy is currently being fought over – and whose fans turn out to include The Eagles’ Don Henley.
 
 
 
Victoria 
ITV
Sunday 10 September, 9.00pm
 
Things aren’t going well at Buckingham Palace. Albert thinks the household is altogether too expensive to run and he’s got a point. Meantime, Victoria decides to splash the cash on a ball as a way to help out hard-pressed silk weavers in Spitalfields, an idea that exposes her political naivety.  
 
 

Pick of the week

The English Fix 
Radio 4
Monday 11 September, 9.00am
 
Over four weekday episodes, Patrick Wright explores questions around English identity. He begins by considering George Orwell’s essay The Lion And The Unicorn, written in reaction to the threat of Nazism, and which called for a kind of left-wing patriotism. The ideas of John Betjeman, Barbara Cartland and Roger Scruton feature in subsequent episodes.
 
 
 
Upstart Crow 
BBC Two 
Monday 11 September, 8.30pm
 
As Ben Elton’s historical comedy returns for a second series, we find William Shakespeare (David Mitchell) trying to befriend an African royal, Prince Otello. Also this week, Quacks (BBC Two, Tuesday 12th September, 10.00pm) continues, with an episode that sees William under pressure to prove he can cure madness.
 
 
 
The Essay: Paradise Lost 
Radio 3
Monday 11 September, 10.45pm
 
Marking 350 years since the publication of Milton’s Paradise Lost, writers and academics reflect on the English poet’s epic work, written at a time of huge political upheaval in Britain. In the first of five weekday episodes, poet Sean O’Brien discusses Milton’s adventurousness. 
 
 
 
World’s Busiest Cities 
BBC Two 
Wednesday 13 September, 8.00pm
 
The team heads for Moscow, now home to 13 million people. In the Russian capital, Dan Snow gets privileged access behind the closed doors of the Kremlin. Plus how does the city reconcile its communist past with its capitalist present?
 
 

World's Busiest Cities. (Image credit: BBC)
 
 
Death Masks: The Undying Face 
Radio 4
Thursday 14 September, 11.30am
 
Sculptor and musician Nick Reynolds first encountered a death mask at Warwick castle, when he saw a likeness of Oliver Cromwell during a school trip. Today, he both collects and makes death masks, and here explains why he sees the death mask as “a kind of time machine” rather than a macabre keepsake.
 
 
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