Categories / Film and TV

Retro TV W/C 24th July 2009


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 24th July to Thursday 30th July 2009.
Highlight of the week 

BBC 2 this week screen a documentary tribute to the original gonzo journalist, gun nut, Nixon critic and druggie, Hunter S Thompson in Gonzo: the Life and Work of Dr Hunter S Thompson (Sunday 26th, BBC 2. 10.30pm).
Fueled by a raging libido, Wild Turkey, and superhuman doses of drugs, Thompson was a true "free lance, " goring sacred cows with impunity, hilarity, and a steel-eyed conviction for writing wrongs. Focusing on the good doctor's heyday, 1965 to 1975, the film includes clips of never-before-seen (nor heard) home movies, audiotapes, and passages from unpublished manuscripts.

Friday 24th July


On the Buses – ITV 3. 6.55pm – 8.00pm
A double bill of the 1970s comedy.

Film: Sleuth (1972) – ITV 3. 10.00pm – 12.45am

Classic mystery adapted from his own play by Anthony Shaffer, starring Lawrence Olivier and Michael Caine.

Madeleine Peyroux: Somethin' Grand – BBC 4. 10.30pm – 11.20pm
New. Absorbing documentary tracing the life of the French-American singer, whose musical style harks back to artists such as Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf. She spent her early years in Brooklyn before moving to Paris with her mother. Now, at 35, she has recorded four solo albums including 2004's million-selling Careless Love.

Madeleine Peyroux: Live in Los Angeles – BBC 4. 11.20pm – 12.40am

New. Performance of tracks from the Bare Bones album, recorded in a California club in January 2009 with a small band. Featuring self-penned songs being debuted that night and covers of classics by stars including Leonard Cohen, Edith Piaf, Serge Gainsbourg and Bob Dylan.

Neil Young – Don't be Denied – BBC 2. 11.35pm – 12.35am
Tracing the musical journey of the legendary singer/songwriter through interviews and unseen performance footage.


The Film Programme – BBC Radio 4. 4.30pm – 5.00pm
League of Gentlemen star Mark Gatiss presents the first part of his alternative guide to British cinema.

Saturday 25th July


Film: Five Easy Pieces (1970) – Five USA. 12.30pm – 2.30pm
Directed by Bob Rafelson and starring Jack Nicholson in his prime in this accomplished and poignant drama. Bobby Dupea is emotionally repressed and unable to adjust to the two worlds he inhabits among blue-collar oil riggers and his commune-like family home. Likely to be cut version being broadcast at this time of day.

Destination Moon (1950) – Film4. 2.40pm – 4.35pm
1950's space adventure.

Film: Carry on Dick (1974) – Film4. 4.35pm – 6.20pm
Saucy comedy starring Sid James. In Georgian England all travellers are fair game to highwayman Dick Turpin. The Bow Street runners are at their wits end: little do they know that Dick has the most ingenious of disguises.


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

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

3 hours of funk, soul and blues presented by Craig Charles.

Sunday 26th July


Film: Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) – BBC 2. 1.35pm – 4.00pm
Drama based on a true story, starring Burt Lancaster and Karl Malden. Convicted murderer Robert Stroud escapes execution when he kills a prison guard. Placed in solitary confinement, Stroud's life is changed when a sick bird flies into his cell.

Film: Gonzo: the Life and Work of Dr Hunter S Thompson (2008) – BBC 2. 10.30pm – 12.00am

Documentary about the life and work of controversial journalist Hunter S Thompson, narrated by Johnny Depp, featuring previously unseen home-movie footage and readings from unpublished manuscripts. Contributors include Sonny Barger, Tom Wolfe, Sondi Wright, Pat Buchanan, George McGovern and Ralph Steadman.

Monday 27th July


The Saint – ITV 4. 6.00pm – 7.00pm
Templar is asked to rescue a Russian spy who has been caught by the British.


The Thing About Syd (1/2) – BBC 6 Music. 12Midnight – 12.30am
Profile of Syd Barrett (1946 – 2006).

Tuesday 28th July


It's Time to Go Nationwide – BBC 4. 9.00pm – 10.00pm
A look back at Nationwide, the country's first regional news programme, which dominated early evening TV for almost 15 years. With contributions from Sue Lawley, Michael Barratt and Frank Bough.

Film: Harper (1966) – BBC 1. 11.25pm – 1.35am

Detective thriller starring Paul Newman and Lauren Bacall. Hired by the glamorous Mrs Sampson to track down her missing millionaire husband, private eye Lew Harper is soon embroiled in theft, kidnap and murder.


Marc Riley's Musical Time Machine – BBC Radio 2. 11.30pm – 12Midnight
Riley continues his trawl through the BBC archives with a segment from Radio 1's 1973 series The Story of Pop, in which Alan Freeman talks to the Who's Pete Townshend just prior to the release of album Quadrophenia. Townshend discusses the music industry, Woodstock, The Kinks and mods. 

The Thing About Syd (2/2) – BBC 6 Music. 12Midnight – 12.30am
Profile of Syd Barrett (1946 – 2006).

Wednesday 29th July


Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (1939) – Film4. 12.40pm – 2.25pm
Sports murder mystery starring Leslie Banks. When a footballer is murdered, his former mistress and team mates are questioned.

Film: V for Vendetta (2005) – BBC 3. 9.00pm – 11.05pm

Futuristic thriller, based on Alan Moore's graphic novel, starring Natalie Portman. When TV researcher Evey Hammond is set upon by brutal state enforcers, she is rescued by a man wearing 17th-century costume and a Guy Fawkes mask. He is V, an enigmatic freedom fighter who is determined to overthrow the government.


Louie and the G-Men (1/2) – BBC 6 Music. 12Midnight – 12.30am
Steven Van Zandt tells the story of the song Louie Louie, made famous by the Kingsmen. 

Thursday 30th July


Psychoville (7/7) – BBC 2. 10.00pm – 10.30pm
As the macabre comedy reaches its climax, each and every character is drawn inexorably back to the scene of their crime, but who has summoned them and for what purpose? Meanwhile, Kerry takes Robert from the theatre into the deep, dark woods.


Louie and the G-Men (2/2) – BBC 6 Music. 12Midnight – 12.30am
Steven Van Zandt tells the story of the song Louie Louie, made famous by the Kingsmen. 

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