Television choices: Carter and West deliver an affair to remember in Burton and Taylor

 

TV pick of the week: Burton and Taylor

Monday 9pm BBC4

Television drama budgets can be used in more interesting ways than on financing biopics, but I'm in the minority on this – as the genre's healthy viewing figures go to prove. William Ivory's biopic about Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor's reunion while touring in a critically panned, but sell-out 1983 revival of Noël Coward's Private Lives is exceptional, however, with clever performances from Dominic West as a newly sober and re-married Burton, and Helena Bonham Carter as an alcoholic Taylor, hoping the play will re-ignite their epic love affair. The irony of playing Coward's fictional divorcees wasn't lost on US theatre audiences in 1983, and it works for Ivory here as well.

David Starkey's Music and Monarchy

Saturday 8.10pm BBC2

David Starkey explores the links between kings, queens and composers in a new series replete with shots of Starkey watching period-music performers. He begins with Henry V and the carols composed to celebrate his victory at Agincourt, before working his way towards his favourite King Henry – the eighth one.

The Secret Life of Uri Geller

Sunday 9pm BBC2

The spoon-bender's secret life as a Mossad and CIA agent is revealed. The showbiz psychic may have been in a joke in some quarters, but not at the ones occupied by intelligence agencies. According to Vikram Jayanti's documentary, Geller's powers were used to disable radar during the 1976 Israeli raid on Entebbe and to erase Soviet floppy discs.

Rachel Bruno: My Dad & Me

Tuesday 9pm BBC3

"Bonkers Bruno Locked Up" was a typically empathetic tabloid headline when ex-boxer Frank Bruno was first sectioned for his debilitating bipolar disorder. Here, his 26-year-old daughter Rachel tries to understand her father's illness, and rebuild their relationship, visiting him at home as he valiantly offers up a pale echo of his famous laugh.

Springwatch Guide to Butterflies

Friday 9pm BBC2

Springwatch as a brand, obviously, and not as a guide to the current season, and now the sun has finally done the business, a timely lepidopterist guide from Martin Hughes-Games, Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan. They look at the life cycles and habitats of the UK's butterflies.

Catching a Killer – Crocodile Tears

Thursday 10pm Channel 4

Mick and Mairead Philpott, who wept during a press conference after their house fire killed six children, were a recent example of "crocodile tears" criminals: where people make seemingly distraught appeals for information while having committed the crime themselves. This documentary explores the phenomenon.

Who Do You Think You Are?

Wednesday 9pm BBC1

A new series of the celeb- genealogy show will feature Gary Lineker and Marianne Faithful, but begins with Till Death Us Do Part/Sherlock actress Una Stubbs, who travels to Yorkshire in search of her mysterious paternal grandparents. And thereby hangs a tale of workhouses and children born out of wedlock, as well as the birth of the Garden city movement.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer, Lord Alan Sugar, Karren Brady are returning for The Apprentice series 10

TV
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder star in 'Girl, Interrupted'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Thomas Pynchon in 1955, left, and Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix in Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of his novel, Inherent Vice

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Nicole Scherzinger will join the cast of Cats

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Fans were left surprised by the death on Sunday night's season 26 premiere

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lady Mary goes hunting with suitor Lord Gillingham

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck, finds himself at the centre of a media storm when his wife is reported missing and assumed dead

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lindsay Lohan made her West End debut earlier this week in 'Speed-the-Plow'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Artist Nathan Sawaya stands with his sculpture 'Yellow' at the Art of Brick Exhibition

art
Arts and Entertainment
'Strictly Come Dancing' attracted 6.53 million viewers on Friday
tv
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant plays Detective Emmett Carver in the US version on Broadchurch

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor goes undercover at Coal Hill School in 'The Caretaker'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ni , Rock of Rah, Vanuatu: The Ni live on one of the smallest islands of Vanuatu; Nelson flew five hours from Sydney to capture the 'isolation forged by their remoteness'
photographyJimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style
Arts and Entertainment
David Byrne
musicDavid Byrne describes how the notorious First Lady's high life dazzled him out of a career low
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

    An app for the amorous

    Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
    She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

    She's having a laugh

    Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    The 10 best bedspreads

    The 10 best bedspreads

    Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
    Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

    Arsenal vs Galatasaray

    Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
    Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?