TV & radio: what to tune in to next week (17–23 June 2017)

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

Austentatious 
Radio 4
Sunday 18 June, 7.15pm
 
Marking the bicentenary of Jane Austen’s death, the Austentatious comedy troupe improvises a story in the style of the novelist, based on an audience-suggested title. There’s more history-themed comedy in Paul Sinha’s History Revision (Radio 4, Thursday 22 June, 6.30pm), in which the quizzer and comedian tells the stories of unheralded gay figures from the past.
 
 

Poldark. (Image Credit: Mammoth Screen / BBC)
 
 
Poldark 
BBC One 
Sunday 18 June, 9.00pm
 
Episode two of the new series and George Warleggan is lobbying Sir Francis Basset over the vacant position of magistrate. Meantime, Ross meets the gloriously named Tholly Tregirls, a ne’er-do-well associate of his father, and worries about a missing friend.
 
 
 
Ripper Street 
BBC Two 
Monday 19 June, 9.00pm
 
A period crime drama that’s got better by the season returns for its final series. This time around, there’s a certain familiarity to the plot as Drake, Reid, Jackson and Long Susan once again find themselves moving through East End streets where a serial killer is on the prowl.
 
 
Ripper Street. (Image Credit: BBC/Tiger Aspect Productions Limited & Lookout Point Limited 2016/Bernard Walsh)
 
 
The Art Of Japanese Life 
BBC Four 
Monday 19 June, 9.00pm
 
Dr James Fox continues his exploration of Japanese artistic life with an episode themed around cities. In Kyoto, he learns about The Tale Of Genji, considered to be the first novel ever written, while in Tokyo he meets animator Isao Takahata, one of the founders of the world-famous Studio Ghibli.
 
 
 
The Essay: Minds At War 
Radio 3
Monday 19 June, 10.45pm
 
The highbrow-yet-accessible weekday series turns its attention to 1917 and how artists responded to the conflict. First up, Heather Jones discusses Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain (1917), made from a men’s urinal. On Wednesday 21 June, Voices Of The First World War (Radio 4, 9.30am) returns and the current run of Drama: Tommies (Radio 4, 2.15pm) concludes. 
 
 
 
The Reith Lectures 2017 
Radio 4
Tuesday 20 June, 9.00am
 
In the second of her talks, Dame Hilary Mantel continues to probe history and historical fiction, considering how we construct our pictures of the past. We should not, argues Mantel, romanticise the past, but we shouldn’t see it as a horror show either.
 
 
 
Making History 
Radio 4
Tuesday 20 June, 3.30pm
 
The historical magazine show turns its attention to an issue that’s currently exercising archaeologists, as Helen Castor reports on the potential construction of a tunnel beneath Stonehenge and whether this may damage the wider historical landscape. Plus, how lessons learnt from the garden city movement may help tackle the housing crisis while providing green spaces too.
 
 
 
Heroes Of The Somme 
Yesterday
Thursday 22 June, 8.00pm
 
The battle of the Somme raged through the summer of 1916 and resulted in more than a million casualties. Drawing on archives and personal stories from family members, this one-off documentary tells the story of seven of those who fought and, for their courage, won the Victoria Cross. 
 
 
 

Pick of the week

 
Who Should We Let In? Ian Hislop On The First Great Immigration Row 
BBC Two
Thursday 22 June, 9.00pm
 
The Private Eye editor outlines how Britain came to introduce its first peacetime restrictions on immigration following years when there was an open-door policy, a story of how attitudes changed in the late 19th century. Look out for an extraordinary conversation between Hislop and shock-columnist Katie Hopkins.
 
 
Versailles. (Image Credit: © Tibo & Anouchka, Capa Drama, ZodiakFiction & Docs, Incendo, Canal+)
 
 
Versailles 
BBC Two
Friday 23 June, 9.00pm
 
The second season of the historical drama concludes with the Sun King carrying out a bloody purge to consolidate his hold on power. For Inside Versailles, which follows immediately after, Kate Williams and Greg Jenner discuss l’affaire des poisons, the scandal that inspired many of the events we’ve seen through the series. 
 
 
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