Barry Murphy once more trawls the TV and radio guides (so you don’t have to) to find anything worth tuning into this week. All listings are for UK terrestrial TV, Freeview and national radio, with the shows running from Friday 22nd September to Thursday 28th September.
Highlight of the Week
Nothing worth highlighting this week.
Friday 22nd September
In Concert: Oscar Peterson – BBC 4. 8.30pm – 9.00pm
The pianist and his trio at Ronnie Scott’s in 1974. Songs include I Should Care and A Time for Love.
The 60s: the Beatles Decade – UKTV History. 9.00pm – 10.00pm
The overhaul of Britain’s education system at the end of the 1960s and the 11-plus exam.
Johnny Cash: the Last Great American – BBC 4. 9.00pm – 10.00pm
A look back at the life and times of the man who became a huge country star and was to find a new audience in the 1990s.
Tales of the Unexpected – ITV 3. 9.00pm – 10.05pm
Another double bill of the classic series. In the first, a swindler gets less than he bargained for. In the second, a scorned wife seeks revenge on his immoral wife and her lover.
Jonathan Ross’s Japanorama (3/6) – BBC 3. 11.35pm – 12.00am
The country’s urban tribes – including girl bikers and goths.
The Fall: The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E Smith – BBC 2. 11.35pm – 12.35am
Led by belligerent poet Mark E Smith, the Fall are one of the most idiosyncratic and chaotic bands of the last 30 years. Their story is told with contributions from Paul Morley, Tony Wilson, Alan Wise and Franz Ferdinand. Plus footage of a classic Peel session.
1966 and All That (3/4) – BBC Radio 2. 11.30am -12.00pm
Craig Brown’s satirical history of Britain reaches the 1960s. Albert Einstein discovers the Beatles, while for the first time, the nation discovers sex. We take a look at the era of "Flour Power", the World Cup is won by a team of men all called Bobby, and the Royal Family attempts to stay with-it by barbecuing. With Joss Ackland, Eleanor Bron, Rory Bremner, John Humphrys, Ewan Bailey and Margaret Cabourn-Smith. Written by Craig Brown.
Jazz Legends: John Coltrane – BBC Radio 3. 4.00pm – 5.00pm
Julian Joseph celebrates what would have been John Coltrane’s 80th birthday with a selection of his classic recordings, along with appreciation and comments from British saxophonist Steve Williamson.
Stop the World – it’s Anthony Newley (3/4) – BBC Radio 2. 7.00pm – 7.30pm
Jonathan Ross recalls the complex life and career of talent-heavy singer, songwriter and stage and screen star Anthony Newley, who died in 1999, aged 67. The series looks at Newley’s formidable accomplishments and how his fame and fortune offered him inadequate personal satisfaction. Contributors include songwriting partner Leslie Bricusse, Petula Clark, David Bowie, Elaine Paige, Julian Fellowes, former wife Joan Collins, son Sacha Newley and many others. This edition recalls his work in films, from his teenage appearance in Oliver Twist (1948) to his 1969 directorial effort, Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?
The Funk & Soul Show with Eddie Piller – BBC Radio 6. 7.00pm – 10.00pm
3 hours of the best funk, soul and blues. Essential.
Great Lives: Nina Simone (7/8) – BBC Radio 4. 11.00pm – 11.30pm
The chantese, pianist, composer and civil rights activist Nina Simone is the choice of concert pianist Joanna MacGregor. Presented by Matthew Parris.
Saturday 23rd September
Saturday Night Fever (1977) – Channel 4. 10.20pm – 12.35am
Seminal 1970s musical drama starring John Travolta. Young Tony Manero works all week in a dull job at a paint store, but on Saturday nights he becomes the glittering disco king at his local nightclub, Odyssey 2001, much to the disapproval of his highly religious family.
Sounds of the 60s – BBC Radio 2. 8.00am – 10.00am
Johnnie Walker stands in for Brian Matthew. Two hours of hits, B-sides and album tracks.
The Funk & Soul Show with Eddie Piller – BBC Radio 6. 6.00pm – 9.00pm
3 hours of funk, soul and blues.
Sunday 24th September
Croupier (1998) – More4. 10.10pm – 11.55pm
Thriller in which dodgy dealings are afoot in a London Casino. Starring Clive Owen, Kate Hardie and Alex Kingston. Directed by Mike ‘Get Carter’ Hodges.
Monday 25th September
Mastermind – BBC 2. 8.00pm – 8.30pm
Amongst the specialist subjects tonight is the life and work of Ian Dury.
Mark Lamarr’s Alternative Sixties – BBC Radio 2. 9.30pm – 10.30pm
Mark showcases obscure 1960s records that have eluded the general public from rock, pop and psychedelia to folk, soul, R&B and garage.
Tuesday 26th September
There’s Only One George Best – UKTV History. 9.00pm – 10.00pm
The mercurial Manchester United football legend in profile, with contributions from Bobby Charlton and Michael Parkinson.
Wednesday 27th September
The Saint – ITV 4. 7.00pm – 8.00pm
A girl’s brother goes missing.
Supreme Girl Power (1/3) – BBC Radio 2. 10.00pm – 10.30pm
A celebration of the Supremes, the Motown hits machine that emerged from the girl-group era to dominate the American pop charts like no other act during the 1960s. Nutured and packaged for white and black audiences by Motown king Berry Gordy and fronted by Diana Ross until a personnel shift in 1969, the sequined trio enjoyed a run of hit singles – unique in their polished perfection – that included 12 US number ones. This first part recalls the pre-fame days, with input from Supreme Mary Wilson, plus archive interviews with Diana Ross and ex-Supreme Florence Ballard, who died in 1976.
Thursday 28th September
The Champions – ITV 4. 6.00pm – 7.00pm
Three agents of Nemesis are granted miraculous powers by a mysterious stranger after they crash-land in Tibet. The trio investigate a murder.
Sinatra: Dark Star (1/2) – UKTV History. 9.00pm – 10.00pm
He was the first pop idol, but Frank Sinatra was dogged by rumours of Mafia links, which he took great care to silence. This film explores these claims. Concludes tomorrow.
Jonathan Ross’s Japanorama (4/6) – BBC 3. 11.00pm – 11.30pm
Bizarre Japanese humour, from comedy extremists to rib-tickling robots.
Paul Jones – BBC Radio 2. 8.00pm – 9.00pm
Classic r&b and blues. This weeks guest is British singer and guitarist Sean Webster.