Preview RECOMMENDED VIEWING THIS WEEKEND

Is This Your Life? Sat 9.30pm C4 African Sanctus Revisited Sat 11pm BBC2 Geiger Sweet Geiger Sour Sun 8.20pm BBC2 Red White and True Sun 10.40pm BBC1

You know the way some people gorge themselves on multi-vitamins (or isotonic drinks, or steroids) as short cuts to vitality? Back in the 1920s, radioactive water was all the rage, and one health fanatic downed upwards of 14,000 phials of the stuff - making somebody rich, and his own upper and lower jaw drop off. X-rays were widely promoted as a cure- all, even for that old chestnut - removing excess hair. It did that all right.

It's now 100 years since Wilhelm Roentgen deduced the existence of X- rays - and 50 years since the inhabitants of Hiroshima and Nagasaki deduced the existence of the atom bomb. Geiger Sweet Geiger Sour (Sun BBC2) marks both anniversaries with an anthology of radiation's relationship with mankind (the title refers to US Army slang for that which is non-radioactive, compared with that which is about to eat your chromosomes alive). Many of the stages of this particular cross have already been well documented by television in recent years - the women who painted radium on the dials of luminous watches, thoughtlessly licking their paintbrushes as they worked; the Manhattan Project and all its offspring; The Cold War, Chernobyl and after. A victim of nuclear pollution from the Huntington plutonium plant in Washington State (a story that was told by Radio 4 earlier this year) drives past one of those kitsch reminders of the bomb-crazy 1950s - a diner calling itself the "Atomic Cafe". "What we didn't know at the time," she says ruefully, "was that the food in there really was atomic."

More anniversaries. Somewhat older than man's discovery of radiation is the British Red Cross, whose 125th birthday is celebrated in Red White and True (Sun BBC1), and those of you who are pub-quizzers might like to know that the International Red Cross was founded in 1860 by a Swiss businessman (hence the inverted Swiss flag), after he witnessed the Battle of Solferino, in which 40,000 soldiers on both sides were left to die of their wounds. The British branch was started in 1870 by Crimean War veteran Robert Lloyd Lindsay.

With heavyweight narration by Dirk Bogarde, this is strictly glossy-brochure territory, but in an undeniably good cause. We're marched through the organisation's roll of honour - from the Great War's "angels of mercy", through the Second World War's food parcels for PoWs, to arranging hostage releases in the Gulf War. The Red Cross are currently busy in the so-called safe havens of Bosnia and - not so many people know this - in the so-called no-go housing estates in Britain. Send your cheques today.

What, as the French philosopher might ask, is Jeremy Beadle? His encounter with Andrew Neil in Is This Your Life? (Sat C4) reveals the sort of "regular guy" you might meet at the office Christmas party, a practical joker inflated by his colossal viewing figures and the close attention of the tabloid press. It's all as one might expect, the most intriguing revelation being Beadle the social reformer, hating "injustice in every form". If Beadle's About ever took its final bow, he claims, he'd like to produce a show that provoked revolutionary thoughts in young people. I'm not so sure he doesn't already.

At one point during African Sanctus Revisted (Sat BBC2), composer David Fanshawe expresses the wish that instead of running around Africa tracking down hitherto unrecorded folk tunes, and then blending them into Western Christian choral works, he could be like other people. One easy move, David - get rid of that old school cap. It makes you look like Terry Scott extolling the delights of Curly Wurlys.

Arts and Entertainment
Just folk: The Unthanks

music
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne with his Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor

film
Arts and Entertainment
Rowan Atkinson is bringing out Mr Bean for Comic Relief

TV
Arts and Entertainment

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment
V&A museum in London

Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Arts and Entertainment

Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated

Arts and Entertainment
Damian Lewis shooting a scene as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall
TV

Arts and Entertainment
A history of violence: ‘Angry, White and Proud’ looked at the rise of far-right groups

tv

An expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle

Arts and Entertainment

art

Lee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Keaton in the 1998 Beetlejuice original

film

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Kitchen plays Christopher Foyle in ITV's 'Foyle's War'

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt will be starring in Dominic Savage's new BBC drama The Secrets

Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film
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.

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project