Radio Times 9-15th October 2021

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51 Numéros

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2 min
take two dames…

YOU CAN PICK your friends but, as we all know, you can’t choose your family. And that applies to both the living and the dead. Which, perhaps, is part of what makes tracing your ancestors so alluring – but also potentially dangerous. The further back in time you dig, who knows what skeletons you might uncover? The return of Who Do You Think You Are? on BBC1 this week brings us another batch of secret family histories that are as intriguing and surprising as they are poignant and – looked at through today’s lens – spookily prescient if not downright prophetic. None more so than the hidden history of Judi Dench’s family, whether it’s following her father’s footsteps to the First World War or travelling to Copenhagen to uncover her maternal…

1 min
this week 9—15 october 2021

WHAT I’M WATCHING… WILL.I.AM ‘I’m watching the first season of the comedy Ted Lasso on Apple TV+,” says the musician. “It’s about an American who comes to the UK, so I can connect to the story. It’s really well done. It’s fricking dope.’ Exploring the black experience in Britain — page 20 SABRINA BARTLETT ‘I loved Vigil,” says the star of The Larkins. “I loved the relationship between the characters played by Suranne Jones and Rose Leslie. It was so tense that I was on the edge of my seat. And I didn’t predict the traitor.’ Meet the Larkins — page 14 JIMMY CARR ‘I’ve just watched The White Lotus, which I really enjoyed: great performances and such an interesting idea,” says the comedian. “I love a documentary, so – even though I’m not a huge football guy…

3 min
time to challenge anti-vaxxers

WHEN COVID-19 BURST upon us we knew very little about the disease, but over the last year our knowledge has improved so much that we can now monitor infection, understand better how it spreads – and roll out effective vaccines. We know all this because of science. Without the knowledge generated by science, many more of us would have died and the disruption to our society would have been much greater. It is a wake-up call for us all. The way science works and develops needs to be taught at our schools, so citizens and political leaders are better prepared to be engaged with scientific issues and the application of science. It is not enough for politicians to simply say they are “following the science”; they need to know what science they are…

1 min
from the rt archive… 10–16 october 1992

WHAT WE WATCHED Have I Got News for You was two years old and BBC2’s highest-rated show, so RT wanted to discover what made Angus Deayton, Paul Merton and Ian Hislop such a winning team. “Ian is the conscience, Angus is the brain and I am the spleen,” explained Merton. There was also another secret weapon: rehearsals. Despite looking off the cuff, the quiz was revealed to be highly structured, with scripts worked on by Deayton and producer Harry Thompson for days before filming. It was a formula that remained in place until 2002, when revelations about Deayton’s private life saw him removed from the host’s chair. WHAT YOU SAID Poor production values on BBC2’s The Travel Show earnt the ire of JR Ostrowski of Newcastle upon Tyne. “The camerawork was atrocious —…

6 min
dane judi

Who Do You Think You Are? Tuesday 9.00pm BBC1 JUDI DENCH WAS in a rainforest in Borneo, climbing one of the tallest tropical trees in the world and naming a snake James Bond, when the cameraman floated an idea. It was 2019, she was 84 and the series she was filming was called, aptly enough, Judi Dench’s Wild Borneo Adventure. The cameraman wanted to know if she’d ever consider doing Who Do You Think You Are?. Dench thought about it. The idea appealed: she knew very little about her mother’s side of the family, or how her father sustained a knee injury that plagued him his entire adult life. She decided she was game. Harvey Lilley, who directed Dench both in Wild Borneo Adventure and the 2017 documentary Judi Dench: My Passion…

3 min
this is my story…

THIS WEEK’S EPISODE Josh Widdicombe Comedian and current Strictly star Josh Widdicombe says that Who Do You Think You Are? was “the easiest thing I’ve ever done on television”. “Normally you’re trying to be funny,” adds the co-presenter of Channel 4’s The Last Leg and regular comedy show panellist, “you’re trying to tell a joke and make people laugh and that’s how you judge how you’ve done. It was freeing to do a show where all you had to do was be interested and react. Because it was interesting, it was something you couldn’t help but react to.” Finding royal connections has become a bit of a staple for the show, but Widdicombe’s episode goes the extra mile, uncovering an Elizabethan love triangle and an ancestor at the court of Charles I with…