Categories / Film and TV

Retro TV W/C 23rd November 2007

Barry Murphy
returns once more trawl 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 23rd November to Thursday 29th November.

Highlight of the week

BBC4 launches it’s Brazil, Brazil season on Friday 23rd November with the start of a three part series which explores the evolution of Brazilian music. The series starts in the days of slavery, when an estimated 4 million Africans were forcibly moved to Brazil, and traces the development of samba from the poor black areas of Salvador and Rio, where it was initially banned, to its fusion with European styles and its move to the mainstream.

The first programme, titled Samba to Bossa, follows the career of samba’s most successful and glamorous international star, Carmen Miranda, and the growth of the samba schools that dominate the Rio carnival. It traces the fight-back by musicians from the poor Northeast, who used a rival style, forro, to sing about the harsh realities of their lives, and shows how politics helped the development of a sophisticated new samba-jazz fusion, bossanova, from the Fifties, that was to bring international success to Joao Gilberto and Tom Jobim. The programme ends with the military coup that ended the optimistic, easy-going bossa era.

Friday 23rd November


Film: Porridge (1979) – Film4. 7.15pm – 9.00pm
Small-scale comedy based on the popular BBC comedy starring Ronnie Barker and Richard Beckinsale.

Brazil, Brazil (1/3) – BBC 4. 9.00pm – 10.00pm
A review of Brazilian music and history from the days of slavery and the birth of samba to the contemporary hip-hop and baile funk scenes. (See Highlight).

Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe – BBC 4. 11.00pm – 11.35pm

A tongue-in-cheek take on the TV industry, including reviews of that week’s viewing highlights.

Batman – BBC 4. 11.35pm – 12.25am

Double bill of the Dynamic duo. The caped crusader is lured into Catwoman’s lair.

Film: Blow Out (1981) – Film4. 11.35pm – 1.40am

Murky thriller starring John Travolta. Movie sound man Jack Terry records a car accident while working on a horror film. When his recording reveals the unmistakable sound of a gunshot, Jack begins to suspect that the crash was no accident.

Tales of the Unexpected – ITV 4. 11.50pm – 12.55am
Double bill of the classic series. In the first, a man has an unexpected shock when he learns his recently-deceased father owed a large amount of money. In the second, a near-bankrupt hotel owner goes to great lengths to get her hands on an inheritance from a rich aunt.

Flight of the Conchords (9/12) – BBC 4. 12.25am – 12.50am
Murray organises for the band to go on tour.

Saturday 24th November


TOTP2 – Dave. 10.00am – 12Noon
Triple bill of classic pop clips.

The Culture Show – BBC 2. 7.10pm – 8.00pm

Music from Ray Davies of the Kinks.

The Sweeney – ITV 4. 9.15pm – 10.15pm
Regan goes undercover as a lorry driver to catch a gang of hijackers.

The Company (1/3) – BBC 2. 9.40pm – 11.15pm

Powerful Cold War thriller based on Robert Littell’s best-selling novel charting CIA activity. West Berlin 1954: operative Harvey Torriti and his assistant Jack McAuiliffe offer to help a man and his family defect from East Germany in return for the name of a KGB mole in MI6.

Brazil, Brazil (1/3) – BBC 4. 10.00pm – 11.00pm

A review of Brazilian music and history from the days of slavery and the birth of samba to the contemporary hip-hop and baile funk scenes. (See Highlight).

Frost and Pegg’s Perfect Night In – Channel 4. 10.55pm – 1.00am

Comedians Nick Frost and Simon Pegg select the movie and TV moments that would make an ideal night’s viewing for them, including clips from The Incredible Hulk, Doctor Who, Monkey and Blake’s 7.


Sounds of the 60s – BBC Radio 2. 8.00am – 10.00am
Brian Matthew spins two hours of hits, B -sides and album tracks.

The Nun Who Nurtured Reggae – BBC Radio 4. 10.30am – 11.00am

Reggae music might never have flourished without the influence of a Catholic nun in Jamaica. BBC correspondent and reggae fanatic Jonathan Charles tells the story of Sister Mary Ignatius Davies, who ran the music programme at the Alpha cottage School for wayward boys in Kingston, Jamaica.       

The Funk and Soul Show – BBC Radio 6. 6.00pm – 9.00pm

3 hours of funk, soul and blues.

Days in the Life: Pink Floyd at 40 (2/2) – BBC Radio 2. 8.00pm – 9.00pm
This second part of Radio 2’s celebration of 40 years of Pink Floyd looks at the band’s inventive studio and stage work and its various conflicts.

Sunday 25th November


TOTP2 – Dave. (Freeview Ch. 19). 8.00am – 11.00am
More classic performances from the archives.

The Unforgettable Frankie Howerd – ITV 1. 6.00pm – 6.25pm

Tittersome titbits and tragic tales from the life of the much-loved comedian.

Film: Help! (1965) – BBC 4. 7.00pm – 8.30pm

Musical comedy starring the Beatles. The Fab Four are pursued by a high priest who is determined to get hold of a ring that is stuck on Ringo’s finger.

Minder – ITV 4. 9.00pm – 10.00pm
Arthur’s mini cab firm is besieged by violent assaults.

The Mighty Boosh (2/6) – BBC 3. 10.30pm – 11.00pm
Series three. In a bid to impress his new punk mates, Vince rebelliously bites Howard’s rare jazz record.

Film: A Night at the Opera (1935) – 12.00am – 1.50am
Classic comedy with the Marx Brothers. Otis B Driftwood must get multimillionaire Mrs Claypool to invest her cash in an opera, so she can break into high society. Stowaways on a liner, false beards and hotel bed-switching lead to an opening night to beat all others.

Monday 26th November


Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) – ITV 4. 6.00pm – 7.00pm
Marty becomes suspicious after detecting a smile underneath a funeral mourner’s veil.

Minder – ITV 4. 9.00pm – 10.00pm

Terry encounters the seedier side of the entertainment industry during a night’s work in a disco.

Film: The Long Good Friday (1979) – Film4. 11.10pm – 1.20am

Menacing crime drama starring Bob Hoskins. East End gangster Harold Shand is setting up a massive property deal. When his plans are knocked off course by the violent intervention of an unknown rival, Harold seeks revenge.


6 Music Plays It Again: Punky Reggae Party (1/3) – BBC 6 Music. 9.30pm – 10.00pm
Tom Robinson explores the links between punk and reggae.

Tuesday 27th November


Pop Goes the 60s – BBC 4. 7.30pm – 7.35pm
A mindbendingly colourful nugget of pop mined from the archive. Featuring the Who.

Batman – BBC4. 7.35pm – 8.00pm

The Penguin goes straight.

Flight of the Conchords (10/12) – BBC 4. 9.30pm – 10.00pm

A gig at a club means the band’s fanbase triples overnight, but Mel becomes jealous of the other two members.

Film: The Kid Stays in the Picture (2001) – More4. 10.10pm – 12Midnight

Producer Robert Evans narrates this fascinating documentary chronicling the ups and downs of his extraordinary life, during which he orchestrated the making of some of Hollywood’s greatest films.

Film: Play Misty for Me (1971) – ITV 4. 11.05pm – 1.05pm

Chilling thriller starring Clint Eastwood. A DJ gains a persistent fan who repeatedly calls him up to play the song Misty. After they spend the night together, she begins to behave more and more strangely.

Peepshow (2/6) – E4. 11.25pm – 12Midnight
Series four. Mark is offered a promotion on condition that he delivers a presentation to the board.


6 Music Plays It Again: Punky Reggae Party (2/3) – BBC 6 Music. 9.30pm – 10.00pm
Tom Robinson explores the links between punk and reggae.

The Funk Factory – BBC Radio 2. 11.30pm – 12.30am
Influential soul/funk DJ Norman Jay returns with more classic, forgotten and modern funk recordings from 1960s onwards.

Wednesday 28th November

Film: The Fiction Makers (1968) – ITV 4. 6.00pm – 8.00pm
Feature-length spin-off from the TV series The Saint starring Roger Moore as author Leslie Charteris’s crime-fighting creation, Simon Templar.

Pop Goes the 60s – BBC 4. 7.30pm – 7.35pm

A mindbendingly colourful nugget of pop mined from the archive from the Tremeloes.

Batman – BBC 4. 7.35pm – 8.00pm
The Penguin pulls off his most ambitious robbery yet – stealing the Batmobile. Burgess Meredith guests.

The Professionals – ITV 4. 9.00pm – 10.00pm

Bodie and Doyle are assigned to frame an Arab cultural attache, who also works as an assassin, in order to force him out of the country.

The White Stripes: Video Exclusive – Channel 4. 12.10am – 12.15am
Showcasing the rocking duo’s new song Conquest.


Mind Changers: The Stanford Prison Experiment (1/3) – BBC Radio 4. 11.00pm – 11.30pm
Claudia Hammond looks at three psychological experiments that changed understandings of the human mind. She begins with Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment of 1971, in which he set up a mock cell, with his students assuming the roles of prisoners and guards. The resulting behaviour was so extreme that the experiment had to be called off. Because of the experience he was able to testify in defence of one of the US soldiers accused of abuse at Abu Ghraib.

6 Music Plays It Again: Punky Reggae Party (3/3) – BBC 6 Music. 9.30pm – 10.00pm

Tom Robinson explores the links between punk and reggae.

Hep to the Jive – the Cab Calloway Story (3/4) – BBC Radio 2. 11.00pm – 11.30pm

A chance to hear the 2006 series in which Clarke Peters pays tribute to charismatic showman, jazz band leader, singer and stage star Cab Calloway, who would have been 100 on Christmas Day. This edition recalls the tremendous popularity of the Cab Calloway Orchestra, whose starry line-up included Dizzy Gillespie and Ben Webster.

Thursday 29th November


The Champions – ITV 4. 6.00pm – 7.00pm
Nemesis agents are programmed to kill their colleagues, and two of the champions come to blows.

The Mighty Boosh (3/6) – BBC 3. 10.30pm – 11.00pm
Series three. Vince and Howard are outraged to learn rival group the Flighty Zeus have stolen their ideas.

Sex in the 70s: the King of Soho – More4. 11.05pm – 12.10am

How Paul Raymond greased the wheels of the sexual revolution to become the king of the flesh trade, not just in London but right across Britain.

The Cult of… Adam Adamant Lives! – BBC 2. 12.05am – 12.35am

The history of the 1960s drama following the escapades of an adventurer who was frozen by his archenemy in 1902, only to be discovered preserved in 1966.