TV & radio: what to tune in to next week (27 May–2 June 2017)

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

Jane Austen Behind Closed Doors. (BBC/Chris Cardwell)
Jane Austen Behind Closed Doors. (BBC/Chris Cardwell)
 
 
Archive On 4: Femmes Fatales  
Radio 4
Saturday 27 May, 8.00pm
 
Actor Kathleen Turner celebrates the history of the femme fatale within film noir. It’s a story that reveals deep cultural anxieties about women’s role within society, especially at times of political tension. Expect discussion of Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice and Body Heat, which starred Turner herself.
 
 

Pick of the week

Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors 
BBC Two
Saturday 27 May, 9.00pm
 
The Austen family was well connected but not well to do. This shaped Jane Austen’s life and writing, argues Lucy Worsley, in a documentary that explores its central idea via the places where Austen lived. Along the way, Worlsey visits Austen’s birthplace in Steventon, Hampshire and the estate her brother inherited, Godmersham Park, Kent, the inspiration for Pemberley.
 
 
Sunday Feature: The Bloomsbury Lighthouse 
Radio 3
Sunday 28 May, 6.45pm
 
During the second world war, British artists and writers were called to work at the Ministry of Information, a highly bureaucratic organisation. Among them were Graham Greene, George Orwell, AL Lloyd and Laurie Lee. This documentary exploring how their experiences affected their subsequent work.
 
 
Arena: American Epic 
BBC Four
Sunday 28 May, 10.00pm
 
The second episode of the series on roots music focuses first on gospel. Elder Burch, who held church gatherings in the South Carolina town of Cheraw, emerges as a central figure for inspiring such musicians as Dizzy Gillespie. Plus, music that grew out of the experience of miners, and Charley Patton’s role in the birth of the blues.
 
 

The Kennedys: Decline And Fall. (Channel 5)
 
 
Book Of The Week: Farewell To The Horse
Radio 4
Monday 29 May, 9.45am
 
For 6,000 years, humankind and horses worked together on a daily basis. Then, in the 20th century, technological advances largely broke the bond. Read by Iain Glen, Ulrich Raulff’s book explores the story of horses through human history. Continues daily until Friday.
 
 
Home Front
Radio 4
Monday 29 May, 12.04pm
 
The weekday drama set exactly a century ago continues with an episode set on the day the national press was allowed to publish news of the Gotha raid against Folkestone. The week’s episodes deal with the raid’s aftermath in the port town and as ever, there’s an omnibus edition on Friday (9.00pm). 
 
 
The Kennedys: Decline And Fall 
Channel 5
Monday 29 May, 9.00pm
 
It’s 1968 and JFK’s brother, Bobby, has been assassinated. This bio-drama, which stars Katie Holmes as Jackie Kennedy and Matthew Perry as Ted Kennedy, explores what happened next. On Thursday 1 June, A Tale Of Two Sisters (Yesterday, 8.00pm) looks at the troubled relationship between Jackie and her sibling, Lee Radziwill.
 
 
Clocking On 
Radio 4
Tuesday 30 May, 4.00pm
 
Once, the working week was far more influenced by the lengths of the days and the agricultural cycle than the time shown on a clock. Professor Emma Griffin explores how industrialisation changed this, along the way outlining how 19th-century factory owners enforced the idea of a regular working week. 
 
 

The Great Fire: London Burns. (Channel 5)
 
 
The Great Fire: London Burns 
Channel 5
Wednesday 31 May, 8.00pm
 
Over three episodes shown on successive nights, Dan Jones, Suzannah Lipscomb and Rob Bell tell the story of the 1666 fire that engulfed London. We begin with how and where the blaze started. Subsequent episodes focus on the buildings that were lost and the rebuilding of the capital.
 
 
Versailles 
BBC Two
Friday 2 June, 9.00pm
 
Louis XIV is no longer a man on the edge – but that’s only because a face from the past brings the Sun King’s mental crisis to a climax. Followed by Inside Versailles, in which Professor Kate Williams and Greg Jenner discuss William of Orange and his rivalry with Louis.
 
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