Television & Radio: On the box

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The Independent Online
Keith Michell has a longstanding relationship with Henry VIII. He re-acquaints himself with the gargantuan old monarch in BBC1's new adaptation of the classic family serial, The Prince and the Pauper. To be broadcast in the Sunday teatime slot during the autumn, the series marks the third time Michell has donned the padding for the multi-married king He first played the part in the celebrated 1970 BBC series, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, before reprising the role in the 1972 feature film, Henry VIII and His Six Wives, which was based on the television series. Thirteen year-old Philip Sarson takes the role of Tom/Prince Edward, which represented Nicholas Lyndhurst's big break when the BBC last adapted The Prince and the Pauper in 1976. Surprisingly, this version of Mark Twain's novel is the BBC's first major Tudor drama series for 20 years. All those whiskers must have been rotting away for two decades in a drawer somewhere.

To commemorate the 200th anniversary of Robert Burns's death, Maya Angelou (right) offers a tribute to her fellow poet. Angelou on Burns, to be broadcast on BBC2 later this month, films the American on a pilgrimage to meet other Burnsians in Ayrshire. Angelou first came across the Scottish poet as a mute eight-year-old: "He was the first white man I read who seemed to understand that a human being was a human being and that we are more alike than unalike." Active in the American Civil Rights movement of Martin Luther King, she greets Burns - the author of A Man's A Man For A' That - as a kindred spirit.

Geoff Hamilton, who died last weekend, left his programme, Gardeners' World, in blooming shape. In the week ending 14 July, the show he presented from his garden at Barsndale had sprung into third place (behind The X Files and Sunday Grandstand) in the BBC2 ratings with 4.10 million viewers. He will be hard to replace.

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