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 2nd February to Thursday 8th February.
Highlights of the week – TV
Soul Britannia. Friday 2nd. BBC 4. 9.00pm. (Repeated Thursday 11.55pm)
This new 3 part series charting the dynamic impact of black American and Caribbean sounds on British music and society looks absolutely essential viewing.
"With soul as its guiding light, the first film tracks the extraordinary musical changes that post-war Britain experienced. After the staid, uptight 1950s, the UK blossomed into an all-night, neon-lit soul-athon. From groovy Soho basements to "Ready Steady Go" TV specials, the music rocked the nation through the 1960s…"
Featuring contributions from Georgie Fame, Eric Burdon, Van Morrison, Geno Washington, Jimmy James, Sam Moore and Julie Driscoll, set the video/Sky+/DVD recorder NOW!
More info on the series
Alchemists of Sound. Thursday 8th. BBC 2. 11.20pm.
Doctor Who and The Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy were among the shows owing a musical debt to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. This is the story of the pioneers who created the futuristic sounds: Delia Derbyshire, David Cain and John Baker.
Highlights of the week – Radio
Soul Self Satisfaction: the Story of Northern Soul. BBC Radio 4. Tuesday 6th. 11.30am
The strange world of Northern Soul music is explored by writer and cultural historian C P Lee. This movement emerged in the early 1960s for teenagers who previously had nowhere to go, and was driven by a love of black American artists who had failed to make a success in the USA. Followers of the Northern Soul fraternity include designer Wayne Hemingway, music producer Ian Levine, DJ Jo Wallace, and soul boy Stuart Cosgrave, who describe their passion and experiences.
Holloway Dreams – The Joe Meek Story (1/3) Tuesday 6th. BBC Radio 2. 9.30pm
Tom Robinson presents a special tribute to Joe Meek, Britain’s most prized independent record producer of the pre-swinging 1960s era. A studio pioneer and an eccentric, Meek manufactured uniquely futuristic sounds, often from homemade devices and heightened by echo and reverb. His most famous work remains the Tornados’ 1962 transatlantic number one instrumental Telstar. Other beneficiaries of the Meek touch include Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages, Billy Fury, Gene Vincent, the Honeycombs, Petula Clark, Jess Conrad and Sounds Incorporated.
Friday 2nd February
Film: The Satan Bug (1965) – More4. 4.05pm – 6.05pm
Mission: Impossible – Five US. 8.00pm – 9.00pm
The IMF captures mass murderer Imry Rogosh and stages a mock trial in an attempt to learn the details of his political plot.
Soul Britannia – I Feel Good (1/3) – BBC 4. 9.00pm – 10.00pm
Tales of the Unexpected – ITV 3. 9.00pm – 10.05pm
Double bill of the classic series. In the first, an employee defrauds his company. In the second, a couple inherit a fortune.
Film: The Birds (1963) – ITV 3. 10.05pm – 12.25am
Hitchcock’s classic chiller staring Tippi Hedren. Forces of nature are unleashed on Bodega Bay in an unexpected and terrifying way.
Film: The Hustler (1961) – Film4. 10.50pm – 1.25am
Oscar-winning drama in which Paul Newman gives one of his finest screen performances as genius of the pool table "Fast" Eddie Felson.
Live from Abbey Road – More4. 11.10pm – 12.10am
Performances from, among others, Dr John.
The Avengers – BBC 4. 11.30pm – 12.20am
The duo investigate an assassination plot.
Film: Electra Glide in Blue (1973) – Film4. 1.25am – 3.20am (Sat am)
Robert Blake plays a diminutive motorcycle cop in one of the great cult movies.
Saturday 3rd February
Mission: Impossible – Five US. 4.00pm – 5.00pm
The team pose as circus performers.
TOTP2 – BBC 2. 5.05pm – 5.40pm
Archive performances from Alice Cooper, the Three Degrees, Blondie and Randy Crawford plus new music from the Kaiser Chiefs.
The Culture Show – BBC 2. 7.20pm – 8.10pm
Comedians Stewart Lee, Phil Jupitus and Robin Ince pay tribute to 1980s comic Ted Chippington.
GBH (1/7) – More4. 11.05pm – 12.45am
Alan Bleasdale’s acclaimed drama about an ambitious politician who clashes with an idealistic headmaster. Starring Robert Lindsay.
Film: Viva Maria! (1965) – BBC 2. 1.05am – 3.00am (Sun am)
Art house comedy, something of a blockbuster in it’s day, starring sex symbols Brigitte Bardot and Jean Moreau playing singers who tussle with a typically disorganised Mexican revolution.
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 Eel Pie Island Hotel – BBC Radio 4. 3.30pm – 4.00pm.
Paul Jones, Radio 2 DJ and singer with Manfred Mann, looks back at the colourful history of the Eel Pie Island Hotel, which became a regular haunt in the 60s for many musicians, including Rod Stewart, the Rolling Stones and the Who. The hotel burnt down in 1971, but its history is preserved in stories and poems, as well as accounts from musicians George Melly, Ian McLagan and Ronnie Wood.
The Funk and Soul Show – BBC Radio 6. 6.00pm – 9.00pm
3 hours of funk, soul and blues.
Sunday 4th February
Mission: Impossible – ITV 4. 7.00pm – 8.00pm
Rollin avoids the guards following the failure of the original plan.
Film: Bless This House (1972) – Film4. 7.20pm – 9.00pm
Big-screen version of the 1970s comedy starring Sid James, Terry Scott, Peter Butterworth and the lovely Sally Geeson.
Film: Bless This House (1972) – ITV 3. 9.00pm – 11.15pm
Film: Klute (1971) – Atmospheric thriller starring Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland. In New York, detective John Klute investigates the disappearance of a research scientist and becomes involved with high-class prostitute Bree Daniels, who may hold the key to the mystery.
Film: The Beast in the Cellar (1970) – BBC 2. 2.00am – 3.25am (Mon am)
Horror starring Beryl Reid and Flora Robson. In the dark cellar of their house, two spinster sisters conceal a terrible family secret.
Monday 5th February
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) – ITV 3. 6.00pm – 7.00pm
Jeff loses the ability to see Marty.
Life on Mars – (7/8) – BBC 4. 10.30pm – 11.30pm
A drug dealer dies in police custody. Someone buys a can of Top Deck shandy.
Live from Abbey Road – Channel 4. 12.05am – 1.10am (Tues am)
Performances from, among others, Dr John.
Mark Lamarr’s Alternative 60s – BBC Radio 2. 9.30pm – 10.30pm
Radio 2’s resident rock ‘n’ roll enthusiast Mark Lamarr plays more psychedelia, soul, R&B and garage.
Tuesday 6th February
The Persuaders – ITV 4. 6.00pm – 7.00pm
Brett and Danny try to smuggle an American out of Italy. Joan Collins guest-stars (living in a great pop art flat if I recall).
Life on Mars – (8/8) – BBC 4. 10.30pm – 11.30pm
Sam encounters his father.
BBC 4. 11.30pm – 11.50pm
Creating Life on Mars – Andrew Collins speaks to the creators of the hit drama.
The Cult of …Survivors – BBC 4. 11.50pm – 12.20am
The history of the science-fiction drama Survivors.
Soul Self Satisfaction: the Story of Northern Soul – BBC Radio 4. 11.30am – 12.00pm
Theme Time Radio Hour with Bob Dylan – BBC Radio 2. 8.30pm – 9.30pm
Radio 2 presents Bob Dylan’s US radio show, which premiered here in December. An hour-long mix of eclectic music, special guests, music and topical commentary, the weekly show debuted in March on American satellite radio station XM, with Dylan given carte Blanche. This edition showcases music linked to American cities and towns.
Holloway Dreams – The Joe Meek Story (1/3) – BBC Radio 2. 9.30pm – 10.00pm
Wednesday 7th February
The Saint – ITV 4. 6.00pm – 7.00pm
Guest-starring Ronnie Barker.
The Reggae Show – BBC Radio 2. 9.00pm – 10.00pm
Reggae enthusiast Mark Lamarr returns with another series showcasing choice examples of the Jamaican music genre.
Rockit – the Herbie Hancock Story (2/3) – BBC Radio 2. 10.00pm – 10.30pm
Little turd Jamie Cullum celebrates the influential works of jazz pianist, composer and electronic-music pioneer Herbie Hancock. The story concludes with Hancock’s work since 1983, when he cracked the UK top ten with the innovative industrial and hip-hop/funk/jazz single Rockit.
Thursday 8th February
Sounds of the 60s – BBC 4. 7.00pm – 7.10pm
More hits from the decade.
The Avengers – BBC 4. 7.10pm – 8.00pm
A number of astronomers are slain.
Soul Britannia on Later… – BBC 4. 9.00pm – 10.00pm
Seminal soul acts of the last 15 years as featured on Later with Jools Holland.
Alchemists of Sound – BBC 2. 11.20pm -12.20am
Soul Britannia (1/3) – Repeat – BBC 4. 11.55pm – 12.55am
Paul Jones – BBC Radio 2. 8.00pm – 9.00pm
Classic r&b and blues with an extended interview with influential New Orleans producer Allen Toussaint.