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Radio Times

Radio Times 25-31st July 2020

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51 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
our bafta heroes

IT WILL BE a Bafta Awards like no other. No red carpet, no crowds, no serried ranks of stars sitting in the stalls determinedly grinning whether they win or not. But what there will be, among all the strangeness, is a reminder of some truly memorable television. The pandemic has done a thorough job of wiping out memories of life before coronavirus. But it’s good to be reminded of all that came before the world stopped turning on its axis, so bring on the British Academy Television Awards this Friday on BBC1. Inside we meet some of this year’s nominees. There are stars from drama and comedy, as you’d expect, but among the stars we interview are Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis and her editor, Esme Wren. Because in a year when current affairs…

1 min.
this week 25—31 july 2020

WHAT I’M WATCHING… KATIE DERHAM ‘I’ve really enjoyed the Norweigan series State of Happiness,” says the broadcaster and this week’s columnist. “Who knew that a drama about a rainy corner of Norway in the early 70s and life and love on oil rigs could be so gripping?’ Hooked on classics — page 7 MICHAEL PORTILLO ‘I have watched an unusual amount of TV recently,” says the presenter, “but one thing has really stuck in my mind is Benedict Cumberbatch’s extraordinary performance in Patrick Melrose, which is based on the novels by Edward St Aubyn. It’s not new, but I’ve used lockdown to find it.’ In the footsteps of my father — page 136 SIR PATRICK STEWART ‘Happy Valley is brilliant!” says the actor. “I’m four or five years behind everybody else who has seen it, but…

3 min.
catch them young!

IT WAS FRIDAY 13 March when I last found myself in the same room as an orchestra. Portentous? Perhaps. We were broadcasting live on Radio 3 and Radio 5 Live for Sport Relief, as hundreds of athletes tried to run 5k in less than the time it took the BBC Phil to play Beethoven’s Fifth. It was a joyful day with glorious music, but the news from Italy and Spain was grim. Most of us already had “sanitiser hands” from constant cleansing and didn’t hug old friends and colleagues in the orchestra. We were right… just ten days later we’d all be locked down, and I wondered then when we’d hear live orchestral music again. I’m still wondering. Despite welcome Government bailouts, we don’t yet know when audiences in any numbers…

1 min.
from the rt archive… 24—30 july 1982

WHAT WE WATCHED Russell Harty at the Seaside (BBC1) saw the chat-show host sending back reports from coastal resorts, beginning with Blackpool. “The moment you arrive, you are already in a frame, a kind of theatrical or dramatic frame. Therefore you wear a costume or a funny hat,” he said. “The fact that I happen to be who I am does not make any difference to the role I play, which is one of pleasant, mildly offensive vulgarity. That’s why I like it.” Even as a student at Oxford, he’d made pilgrimages there: “I used to come up on a coach trip with Alan Bennett and Gillian Reynolds and people of that nature to see Hylda Baker at the Central Pier.” WHAT YOU SAID World Cup coverage was proving divisive. David Blakeman of…

19 min.
my unsung hero

STYLING STYLIST: CLARE LAZARO; ASSISTANT: TARA HAKIN MAKE-UP MAKE-UP WAS PROVIDED BY KIKO MILANO, OFFICIAL PARTNER OF THE BRITISH ACADEMY TELEVISION AWARDS HAIR HAIR STYLIST: CHARLEY MCEWEN; ASSISTANT: ZOE KRAMERI The British Academy Television Awards Friday 7.00pm BBC1 EMILY MAITLIS & ESME WREN NEWSNIGHT BBC2 HOST + EDITOR I realised within minutes of sitting down that it was going to be explosive,” says Emily Maitlis, as she recalls the interview last November with Prince Andrew that has earned Newsnight a nomination in the News coverage category at this year’s Bafta Television Awards. “First, he was tackling the subject matter head on. Secondly, the lack of apology or any real expression of regret told me that the prince still believed that his actions had broadly been the right ones. And thirdly, the level of detail was unlike anything…

7 min.
a suitable drama

A Suitable Boy Sunday 9.00pm BBC1 Where did your inspiration for the novel come from? This fat book came out of a very tiny seed. It was a bit of conversation that I heard on a bus in India – a mother telling her daughter: “You’ve got to marry someone chosen by me.” And in fact, the first sentence of A Suitable Boy is: “‘You too will marry a boy I choose,’ said Mrs Rupa Mehra firmly to her younger daughter.” And, of course, this led to the idea that it should begin with a wedding, and at a wedding there are lots of wedding guests and I got interested in all their lives. That’s how it began. But I didn’t think that it would take such a long time to write, or…