What’s On TV

Select arts programmes in the following week to whet your cultural appetite… (from 24th June)

The life and career of Steve McQueen will be discussed in Discovering:  Steve McQueen at 5am.

Sunday, 24th June:-

Sky Arts…

5am – Discovering:  Steve McQueen –   Film critics discuss the life and career of the American actor, who starred in films including The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, Bullit and The Getaway.

6.25am – Classic Quadrophenia – From London’s Royal Albert Hall, Pete Townshend, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Robert Ziegler and a host of guests, including Alfie Boe, put a classical spin on the Who’s 1973 album Quadrophenia.

8am – Mystery of the Lost Caravaggio – The experts attempt to re-create Caravaggio’s 17th-century masterpiece The Adoration, stolen from the Oratory of San Lorenzo in Palermo, Italy, in 1969.  Series 1 (8/8).

10am – Master of Photography – Seven Deadly Sins – The seven remaining photographers travel to Munich during carnival season, where they must each capture a shot representing one of the seven deadly sins.  Series 3 (4/8).

9pm – Isle of Wight Festival 2018 – Sets by Sigrid, Manic Street Preachers, Travis and The Killers presented by Edith Bowman, Vick Hope and Joel Dommett.


10pm – Tutankhamun:  The Truth Uncovered – What killed Tutankhamun? Ever since the tomb of the boy king was discovered in 1922, he has become arguably the most famous pharaoh of all ancient Egypt. But his mysterious death at just 19 years of age has never been explained. Now, Dallas Campbell reveals new scientific research aimed at getting to the truth. A CT scan of the pharaoh’s mummified body creates a full-size image of the real Tutankhamun, while DNA analysis uncovers a shocking secret about his family background – and the genetic trail leads to a revolutionary new theory about his sudden and unexpected death.

The National Trust’s Castle Drogo will be toured in detail in National Trust:  National Treasures at 10.30am.

Monday, 25th June:-

Sky Arts…

10.30am – National Trust:  National Treasures – Castle Drogo – A tour of Castle Drogo in Devon, designed by architect Edwin Lutyens and built between 1911 and 1931 on behalf of millionaire Julius Drewe. Narrated by Nigel Havers.

7.30pm – Auction – Rockerfeller Special – The extraordinary art collection of David and Peggy Rockefeller goes up for sale at Christie’s in New York.  Series 10 (11/11).

Tuesday, 26th June:-


7.55pm – Grand Designs – Kevin McCloud follows the progress of Mimi and Andre d’Costa, who have moved to the Kent countryside to bring up their two children. They have a large plot of land and want to build a house that will be functional enough to serve their young family, but will also blend in with the beautiful landscape. They turn to architect Nick Eldridge, who designs a simple modular home using state-of-the-art materials and technologies.  Series 9, Episode 7.

Rolling Stone magazine featuring Britney Spears is covered in Rolling Stone:  Stories from the Edge at 1am.

Wednesday, 27th June:-

Sky Arts…

1am – Rolling Stone:  Stories from the Edge – A look at the magazine’s explosive 1993 interview with Bill Clinton, its embracing of hip-hop, and the 2008 cover story Britney Spears: Inside an American Tragedy.

7pm – Master of Photography – Gender Identity – The remaining contestants head to Italy where they are asked to take a series of pictures representing an individual’s gender identity.  (Series 3 (5/8).

10pm – Sex and the Silver Screen – Going All The Way – Raquel Welch narrates the story of how film-makers pushed the boundaries of decency in cinema with the dawn of the sexual revolution.  Season 1 (6/6).

PBS America…

9.05am – The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance  – Power v Truth – The rise of Cosimo de’ Medici who, aided by his marriage to a Spanish princess, managed to extend his power over the whole of Tuscany. However, a disagreement about the family’s sponsorship of Galileo, the greatest scientist of the age, threatened to destroy everything they had achieved, and the era of the Renaissance seemed to have run its course.  Series 1, Episode 4.

9.05pm – King Alfred and the Anglo-Saxons  – The Lady of the Mercians – Michael Wood explores the role played by Alfred the Great’s daughter Aethelflaed in England’s battles in civil war and against the Vikings. The presenter contemplates how England `may never have happened’ without the young ruler of Mercia, who led armies, built fortresses, was a skilled diplomat in campaigning against the Norse invaders, and became a beloved leader in the British Isles.  Series 1, Episode 2.

Famous Italian opera house – La Scala – will feature in I am La Scala at 6am.

Thursday, 28th June:-

Sky Arts…

6am – I am La Scala – The 200-year-old story of Milan’s illustrious opera house La Scala, home to the great tenor Placido Domingo, conductor Arturo Toscanini and acclaimed soprano Maria Callas.

7pm – Hard Beauty:  Helaine Blumenfeld – A profile of American sculptor Helaine Blumenfeld, shedding light on the latest developments in her remarkable career.

PBS America…

9.05pm – King Alfred and the Anglo-Saxons – Aethelstan – The First King of England – Michael Wood explores the role of Alfred the Great’s grandson Aethelstan in creating a kingdom of all England. The presenter travels to Devon, Cumbria, Scotland and Rome to reveal why he believes the English monarch was one of the greatest, and tells the tale of the ruler’s learning and law-making, including his development of a national coinage and his defeat of the Vikings and Scots in the Anglo-Saxon Great War.  Series 1, Episode 3.

Tune in to Escape to the Chateau‘s Dick and Angel at 9pm.

Friday, 29th June:-


9pm – Escape to the Chateau – Dick celebrates his birthday with a hot air balloon ride over the chateau at sunrise, before setting to work in the kitchen making his own jam and alcohol from the vast quantities of fresh fruit waiting to be harvested in the garden. Angel starts work on a new project of her own – building a geodesic dome on top of a floating platform.  Series 4, Episode 2.


9pm – Ink Master – Marathon to the Finale – The top four shops battle it out in a tattoo marathon for the three spots in the live finale. Hosted by Dave Navarro, with judges Chris Nunez and Oliver Peck.

Slash’s life and times will be explored in Slash:  Raised on Sunset Strip at 12am.

Saturday, 30th June:-

Sky Arts…

12am – Slash:  Raised on Sunset Strip – Documentary exploring the life and music of the Guns N’ Roses guitarist, featuring concert footage and interviews with Dave Grohl, Alice Cooper and Joe Perry.

9pm – Download Festival 2018 – Further highlights from the event held at Donington Park in Leicestershire, where headliners include Avenged Sevenfold, Alexisonfire and Bullet for My Valentine.  Episode 2.


9pm – Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars – Documentary profiling the blues guitarist, narrated by the man himself, as he charts his six decades in the music business, and why his insatiable desire to grow his artistic voice led him to quit a stream of successful bands, from the Yardbirds and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers to short-lived supergroups Cream and Blind Faith. Clapton also talks about his battles with drugs and alcohol, his love for George Harrison’s wife Pattie Boyd and the tragic loss of his son in an accident. Including archive interviews with BB King, George Harrison and Jimi Hendrix.


7pm – Guitar Heroes at the BBC – Archive performances from BBC music shows of the 1970s, including Top of the Pops and The Old Grey Whistle Test, featuring Alice Cooper, New York Dolls, Peter Green, Queen, Robin Trower, John Martyn, Whitesnake, Joan Jett and Black Sabbath.  Series 1, Episode 5.

National Geographic…

8pm – Egypt’s Treasure Guardians – Documentary following a team of archaeologists working to preserve Egypt’s history and encourage people to visit the country in the wake of the recent revolution.


[Credits:  Feature image – detail of Caravaggio’s Adoration of the Shepherds (art.com); imdb.com; bdonline.co.uk; evilbeetgossip.com; listal.com; channel4.com; getreadytorock.com; radiotimes.com; sky.com]


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