UK TV programmes to watch this week : 30/11/2013

The Lakes: Walking Through History (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Saturday 30th November 2013)

The second series continues, with Tony Robinson embarking on more spectacular walks through some of Britain’s most historic landscapes in search of the richest stories from our past. It was 30 years after the Romans invaded Britain that they were ready to take on the challenge of conquering the Lake District. With the toughest landscape they had encountered in the country, peopled by a rebellious tribe, it was no small task. Two full legions – 11,000 armed men – marched north, led by two top generals. This extraordinary commitment was rewarded, and within a few years, the whole of Lakeland was under Roman control. Tony Robinson tackles the journey, but, as he discovers on this 50-mile walk from Penrith past Ullswater to Ambleside and on to the Irish Sea at Ravenglass, the Romans encountered beauty and danger in equal measure.

Great Continental Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Sunday 1st December 2013)

Following in the footsteps of early 20th century British tourists, Michael Portillo sets off with his 1913 railway guide to sample the delights of the French and Spanish Atlantic coast. Heading first to Bordeaux, he uncovers an historic British connection to the fine clarets of the region and marvels at the ingenuity of the city’s trams. In Biarritz, he discovers how Britain’s ‘railway king’ Edward VII made the region popular and how he amused himself in the fashionable resort. Across the border in San Sebastian, Michael learns how dynastic diplomacy brought Britain and Spain closer together and rides a hair-raising scenic railway. Heading into the Spanish Basque country, in Bilbao, Michael explores the industrial ties between the two nations and learns to cook a traditional Basque dish.

Britain and the Sea (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Sunday 1st December 2013)

Documentary tracing the crucial importance of the sea to Britain’s trade and to individual livelihoods of coastal communities. Joined on this leg of his epic sail by his son Fred, David follows the trade routes of the west coast of Scotland along the monumental channels that cut through the Romantic Highlands and brought wealth and prosperity to the heart of Scotland. The journey starts at Craobh Haven and takes David along the Crinan Canal, around the Isle of Bute and up the River Clyde towards Glasgow.

Tales From Northumberland with Robson Green (itv/HD | 8:00pm to 8:30pm | Monday 2nd December 2013)

Eight-part series in which Robson Green travels across his native county and discovers how it has played a role in shaping contemporary Britain. In episode six, Robson examines how Northumberland’s heritage is being reinvented for a modern age. He visits the medieval fortress of Alnwick Castle, ancestral home of the Percy family and familiar to millions as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films. At Barter Books in the town of Alnwick, he learns about the origins of the Keep Calm and Carry On slogan. Robson’s final stop is the giant land sculpture of Northumberlandia, recently created from the waste rock from an opencast mine.

A Great British Christmas with Sarah Beeny (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Monday 2nd December 2013)

Sarah Beeny and her husband, artist Graham Swift, explore the history of Christmas through the ages in their stately home, Rise Hall. After spending ten years restoring the Yorkshire property, the family investigate how festive celebrations in Britain have changed in the past 200 years as they delve into the history of Georgian, Victorian, wartime and present-day conventions. Sarah, Graham and their four children take on the challenge of harnessing the best bits of Christmas past as they don historical costumes and experience the reality of bygone festive frolics, finding out what the festive season meant both in their house and across the country. While making Georgian garlands and discovering the first ever Christmas card, the show explores some of the oldest festive traditions and their historical contexts.

The Choir: Sing While You Work (BBC 2/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Monday 2nd December 2013)

As the contest to be crowned ‘best workplace choir’ continues, choirmaster Gareth Malone enters the embattled world of high finance, high flyers and rock bottom reputation at one of the biggest investment and trading banks in the world, Citi, in London’s Canary Wharf. With Gareth imagining long lunches and cigars, he finds himself in a lock down during an anti-capitalist protest, learns how many noughts there are in a trillion and creates his most musically accomplished workplace choir yet. When the bankers choose to sing Man In The Mirror could it signal a moment of reflection or will they drive on with technical ambition and ignore Gareth’s attempts to find some heart?

24 Hours in A and E (Channel 4/HD | 9:00pm t0 10:00pm | Wednesday 4th December 2013)

The award-winning series, filmed round the clock at King’s College Hospital in South London, continues with an episode focusing on a busy day in A&E, with over 400 patients treated in just 24 hours. Peggy, who’s 85, arrives at King’s by ambulance with her doting husband Clement. She’s fallen at home and hurt her knee. It’s the second time she’s fallen in two months and medics want to find out if there’s something more serious going on. Peggy suffers from Alzheimer’s, and Clement reminisces about their life together, including how he proposed to her by accident. But he knows her condition is getting worse.

George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm t0 9:00pm | Thursday 5th December 2013)

George catches up with designer Max McMurdo, who converted a shipping container into a garden office. This time Max has gone back to his old middle school in Bedford to create a classroom out of two rusting shipping containers. George also visits a prototype for a mini home named QB2, that includes a living area, bathroom with shower, kitchen, double bed and storage space, and is so small it can be driven on the back of the truck. In Somerset, George meets a couple who have turned a vintage vehicle into a mobile cinema business. And there’s also a garden office and a beauty emporium run from a rare 1947 caravan.
(Subtitles, Part 7 of 9, Audio Described, 2012, 3 Star)

Keeping Britain Safe 24/7 (BBC 1/HD | 8:30pm to 9:30pm | Thursday 5th December 2013)

Series meeting the everyday people who keep Britain safe. In autumn, we witness the teams that keep the country moving in the face of the dreaded leaves on the line. Also we see the work of the fire crews of the Cleveland Fire Brigade on Bonfire Night – their busiest night of the year; and as the national birth rate rockets, the midwives of St Thomas’s Hospital in London face an autumnal baby boom.

Robbie Williams: One Night at the Palladium (BBC 1/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Friday 6th December 2013)

Robbie Williams takes over the London Palladium for an evening of swing classics and new songs. Special guests joining Robbie and his big band on stage are Lily Allen, Rufus Wainwright and Muppets Miss Piggy, Kermit the Frog, and grumpy old men Statler and Waldorf.

Stobart: Trucks, Trains and Planes (Channel 5 | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Friday 6th December 2013)

Observational documentary series about one of the world’s biggest haulage firms. Trucker Tim watches his weight on a mega trip around Scotland, firefighter Darren reveals his scary side at Southend Airport and Adam, the boss’s son, gets to grips with the timber trail.

All TV guide information taken from DigiGuide —

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