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ERA’s Top TV Picks 27th July – 2nd August 2019

Welcome back to our TV Picks of the Week! Geographers and mathematicians will be especially pleased with this week’s selection, but there’s plenty for everyone, so fear not!

Saturday 27th July

  • Madame Tussaud: a Legend in Wax
    BBC4, 8pm – Recommended for… History and Business Studies
    The chances are that you’ve been to Madame Tussaud’s at some point in your life – but did you know about the woman behind the huge tourist attraction? Well, if you didn’t, then this spotlight on the single mother who traveled from France to England to make her fortune might intrigue you.
  • A Fresh Florence with Fab 5 Freddy 
    BBC2, 9pm – Recommended for… Geography, History, and Sociology
    Think Renaissance Italy and you’ll probably think Da Vinci or Michelangelo – but there was so much else going on, as Fred Brathwaite uncovers here. He talks about its thriving diverse society that has often been pushed to the sidelines of history.

Sunday 28th July

  • The Secrets of Coca-Cola: Top of the Pops 
    Channel 5, 7:30pm – Recommended for… Business Studies
    It’s a household name in our modern day, but did you know that Coca-Cola was once intended as a medicine and contained cocaine? Surprising as it may be, this was the start of a global brand – but how did it get from these questionable origins to the product enjoyed my millions? That’s what this programme is here to explore.
  • Nazi Megastructures 
    More4, 8pm – Recommended for… History and Media Studies
    This episode of the series displays the importance of propaganda and how the media helped Hitler and Goebbels influence the public.
  • The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan 
    BBC2, 9pm – Recommended for… Geography Economics, and Politics
    The comedian is back, this time travelling to Zimbabwe to explore its beauty and find out more about whether tourists should be more encouraged to visit the country now that Robert Mugabe’s rule has ended.

Monday 29th July

  • Life 
    BBC4, 8pm – Recommended for… Biology, Zoology, and Geography
    Attenborough’s documentary is being re-shown here, with this episode focusing specifically on insects and how some of them hibernate, how others eat in a specific way, and how all of them well… live. If you’re looking for a fresh way to use Attenbrough’s documentary (or any nature documentary) in teaching, then take a look at this article written for us by Dr Ian Turner of the University of Derby.
  • The Joy of Winning
    BBC4, 10:30pm – Mathematics
    Yes, a maths resource – it’s a miracle! Dr Hannah Fry is back here to show how maths can help out in many aspects of life, no just in the classroom. Topics of discussion include nuclear annihilation, stroppy kids, and expensive food, so there’s bound to be something here that piques your interest.

Tuesday 30th July

  • Counting Tigers: a Survival Special 
    ITV, 9pm – Recommended for… ITV, 9pm – Zoology and Geography
    Martin Hughes-Games travels to India to meet with scientists who are using cutting-edge technology and techniques to track tigers – and they estimate that there are less than 4,000 left living in the wild. This should be a real eye-opening look at the plight faced by the big cats.

Wednesday 31st July

  • George Clarke’s Council House Scandal 
    Channel 4, 9pm – PSHE, Sociology
    George Clarke visits a number of council houses in the UK (including the one he grew up in) to expose the terrible lack of social housing and less-than-ideal upkeep of the existing ones. He also visits Vienna, where social housing is well looked-after and not associated with the same negative connotations as in the UK.
  • The Georgians: the German Kings Who Made Britain 
    BBC4, 9pm – Recommended for… History
    The end of the Hanonver dynasty and the installation of Georg Ludwig (AKA George I) on the British throne is the focus of this programme. In this first episode, Lucy Worsley considers why it is that George I is not that well-recorded in the history books before moving on to the reign of George II.
  • Size Matters: Big Trouble 
    BBC4, 11pm – Recommended for… Mathematics and Physics
    Hannah Fry returns for a second time this week, this time pondering questions of size – for example, what would it be like if humans would be like if we were 15m tall? The second part about shrinking objects will be airing at the same time tomorrow.

Thursday 1st August

  • Ross Kemp: Living With Young Carers 
    ITV, 7:30pm – Recommended for… PSHE
    In this second episode of this new series, Kemp visits a handful of young carers from across the country, from the ages of five to fifteen, to find out more about what they do and how this affects their lives.
  • The Secret Life of Rockpools 
    BBC4, 9pm – Recommended for… Geology and Biology
    Professor Richard Fortey meets with marine biologists from Plymouth’s National Marine Aquarium to explore the various species that live in rockpools.

Fri 2nd August

  • Everybody in the Place: an Incomplete History of Britain 1984-1992 
    BBC4, 11:35 – History, Sociology, and Music
    This documentary tunes in as Jeremy Deller gives a group of sixth form students a lecture about the cultural impact of rave music and acid house. There’s footage from various clubs from across the decades to be seen here, and the amount of historical context behind it is quite astonishing.
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