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Pick of the week

BECKETT ON FILM: Catastrophe. C4, Thursday, June 287.50-8pm

This Thursday marks the start of a major project on Channel 4: the screening of new films from all of Beckett's 19 plays. The first group of six opens with the 10-minute drama Catastrophe, directed by David Mamet and starring Harold Pinter and John Gielgud (his last performance), followed later by Rockaby (11.45-11.55pm). Given Beckett's importance in the history of 20th-century drama, this is a season that teachers will want to watch and use.

ENDGAME IN IRELAND. BBC2, from Sunday, June 24 8-9pm

Twenty years ago, at the moment when this history of the Northern Ireland peace process begins, it would have been hard to imagine such a documentary in which the leading players speak openly about their roles, their negotiating positions and their feelings as the situation developed. Producer Norma Percy has already made an important contribution to the genre, with films on the break-up of Yugoslavia and a history of the Arab-Israeli dispute; this optimistically entitled four-parter begins with the election to Parliament of the hunger striker Bobby Sands. As Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness suggest, this was when the Republican movement started seriously to consider using the ballot box, though it had not given up the bomb. Margaret Thatcher, the Irish Taoiseach, Garret Fitzerald, Unionist James Molyneaux and SDLP leader John Hume are among those recalling their roles. And the series is all the more compelling as the process it describes has not yet ended.

CHILD OF OUR TIME. BBC1, Wednesday, June 27 9.05-10pm

Professor Robert Winston introduces the latest programme in this BBC project following a group of 25 children from birth to 20 years old, in an attempt to find some answers to the old nature-versus-nurture controversy. This week's programme, The Personality Test, distinguishes two main character types - bold and shy - and asks if personality can change between childhood and adult life. The second series in this programme is about gender.


Children of the Enemy. Radio 4, Monday, June 25 11.02-11.30am

The moving story of how more than 60,000 German children were fostered by Dutch families in the years after the Second World War, told to Martha Kearney by the children themselves, by their foster parents and by the organisers of the scheme - a case of humanitarian considerations overcoming the bitterness left behind by the war and the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

Full educational programme schedules can be found online at

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