TV choices of the week: Michael Cockerell considers four figureheads of the past


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The Independent Culture

TV pick of the week

The Lost World of the Seventies

Sunday 10pm BBC2

Dominic Sandbrook's series The 70s ends on Monday, but while Sandbrook had only just started primary school at the end of that troublesome decade, and could hardly be described as an eyewitness, Michael Cockerell was a working journalist, interviewing movers and shakers, including these "four controversial and colourful characters who shed light on the tragi-comedy of public life in the 1970s": Sir Jimmy Goldsmith, the police chief Sir Robert Mark, the anti-pornographer Lord Longford and the would-be right-wing coup leader General Sir Walter Walker, who had a walk-on role in Sandbrook's series. Walker's son, Anthony, contributes, and we learn how Lord Mountbatten offered himself up as a figurehead for this counter-revolution.

Parkinson: The Orson Welles Interview

Saturday 11pm BBC4

These repackaged Michael Parkinson interviews not only find the young "Parky" at the top of his game, but offer unguarded insights into some of the screen's most iconic individuals. That "recent" Richard Burton session – and I use the word advisedly – was a corker, and this week it's Citizen Kane director Orson Welles, chatting in 1973.

56 Up

Monday 9pm ITV1

The original "reality TV" series, and surely the most fascinating television experiment ever conducted, nears its half century, as the film-maker Michael Apted is reunited with the subjects that he first interviewed as seven-year-olds. It was unavailable to preview, but it will be fascinating to see how taking part in the programme has affected the now 56-year-olds' perceptions of their lives.


Tuesday 9pm BBC1

The former barrister Peter Moffat's legal drama returns for a well-deserved second run, with Martha Costello (Maxine Peake) now a fully fledged Queen's Council, as Clive (Rupert Penry-Jones) swallows his disappointment at being passed over. Frances Barber joins the cast, enjoying herself as a prosecuting QC known in legal circles as "Lady Macbeth".

Felicity Kendal's Indian Shakespeare Quest

Wednesday 9pm BBC2

Kendal's parents spent 30 years touring Shakespeare across the sub-continent, with a young Felicity in tow, a situation dramatised in the 1965 James Ivory film Shakespeare-Wallah. The actress now returns to examine India's long love affair with the Bard – Shakespeare's epic scale well suited to the needs of modern Bollywood.

Tales of Television Centre

Thursday 9pm BBC4

A valedictory salute to the soon-to-be de-commissioned BBC Television Centre in Shepherd's Bush, London, which opened in 1960 and went on to become the home of Top of the Pops, Blue Peter, Newsnight, Tomorrow's World et al. David Attenborough, Terry Wogan, Angela Rippon, David Frost, Joan Bakewell and Esther Rantzen are among those paying their respects.

Unreported World

Friday 7.30pm Channel 4

The voice sounds familiar, but it belongs not to Louis Theroux, but his brother Marcel, who delves beneath the streets of Kiev in the Ukraine – one of the venues for this year's European Football Championships – to meet the street children living there in their tens of thousands. Sniffing glue and defecating on the floor, they are runaways from homes broken by alcohol and despair.