Television Choices: Goold aims to strike gold with Bard's masterpiece

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The Independent Culture

The Hollow Crown: Richard II

Saturday 9pm BBC2

This filmic new series of Shakespeare adaptations is part of the BBC's contribution to the Cultural Olympiad and follows the Bard's sequential history cycle of Richard II, Henry IV parts I & 2 and Henry V, Ben Whishaw opening as a splendid Richard II – effete, capricious but also in touch with his leonine inner Peter O'Toole when the chips are down against the rebellious Bollingbroke (Rory Kinnear). The RSC's Rupert Goold, making his second foray into film-directing, provides the striking – occasionally too showy – visuals, but Ben Power's crisp, clear script is an unalloyed triumph in the cinematic adaptation of Shakespeare. Patrick Stewart, David Morrissey and Clémence Poésy (Birdsong) co-star.

Euro 2012 Final

Sunday 7pm BBC1 & ITV1

It's Adrian Chiles vs Gary Lineker, as this year's thrilling 14th European Championship comes to a climax in the Ukraine with competing live coverage on the main channels – and as we went to press, it was shaping up to be a repeat of four years ago, when eventual champions Spain faced Germany in Vienna (which probably means it's Italy v Portugal instead).

7/7: One Day in London

Monday 9pm BBC2

Seven years to the week after the London bombings, and as the eyes of the world prepare to turn on the capital again, the testimony of people directly affected – from commuters to emergency services workers and victims' families (many of whom tell their stories on camera for the first time) – is woven into a deeply moving tapestry of heroism, trauma and grief.


Tuesday 10.35pm BBC1

On the 25th anniversary of his controversial album Graceland, recorded in South Africa during the Apartheid era, Paul Simon flies to Johannesburg to be reunited with the black musicians he worked with in 1987. Quincy Jones acts as interlocutor, asking whether art can ever be divorced from politics, while Oprah Winfrey and David Byrne also add their pennyworth.

When I Get Older

Wednesday 9pm BBC1

A quartet of celebrities descend on four of "the UK's forgotten people", at which words we cut to the actress Lesley Joseph (hopefully not a case of mischievous editing). Joseph visits the 74-year-old carer Pat, while BBC News big beast John Simpson settles down to watch the wrestling with isolated Suffolk pensioner Peggy. Gloria Hunniford and Tony Robinson are also involved.

Storyville: Hitler, Stalin and Mr Jones

Thursday 9pm & 2.40AM BBC4

The Welsh journalist Gareth Jones made himself deeply unpopular in the Soviet Union when he revealed how Stalin's policies caused millions of deaths in Thirties Ukraine – the so-called Holodomor. This investigates Jones's mysterious death in 1935 China, and how he once hitched a lift in Hitler's private aeroplane.


Friday 8.30pm & 9pm Sky1

From Bridget Jones to Miranda, every casting director's favourite 'best friend' the supporting actress, Sally Phillips, gets a long overdue leading role – as Jenny, a newly unemployed high-flyer forced to boomerang back into her parents' home, her husband and two children in tow. Tom Conti plays Jenny's father, in what is an engaging multi-generational comedy.