Robin Buss's pick of the week

Robin Buss


BBC2, Thursday-Sunday, November 1-4, 2-4am

Blast is the BBC's creative initiative, encouraging 13 to 19-year-olds to become involved in projects involving art, film-making, music and writing.

This year, the age range is being extended to include films from non-professionals up to the age of 24, who will get advice and training from programme-makers at the BBC.

Talking Rubbish

BBC2, Mondays, November 28 to December 12, 11-11.15am

Three programmes on environmental studies for five to seven-year-olds.

First, with the help of the Happy Gang, we decide what rubbish is and where to dump it. Then we learn to distinguish between good and bad rubbish.

Teachers' notes are online. (

Around Scotland: Transport in Scotland

BBC2, Mondays, November 28 to December 12, 10.40-11am

This three-part study of transport for 10 to 11-year-olds is concerned with Scotland, but can be applied to any area. It pays attention to reconciling individual needs with the drive to limit congestion.

The Story of Tracy Beaker

CBBC, Mondays from November 28, 5.30-6pm

The BBC has taken Jacqueline Wilson's popular heroine and made her its own.

This is the fifth series of adaptations from stories about Tracy Beaker (played by Dani Harmer), who lives in a care home. Tracy's appeal is that she is naughty without being bad, and she puts a brave face on her misfortunes.


BBC1, Sunday, November 27, 10.15-11pm

The future of the EU is considered as Britain's presidency comes to an end.

The model offered by Britain (free-market, minimal political ties) is compared with France and Germany, where the emphasis is on social welfare and protectionism. But is there a third way? In some of the new members, there is a new dynamic, while Scandanavia may offer an alternative approach to welfare. This report could be a starting-point for older students to engage with some of the most important issues of our time.

Smile: The Genius of Charlie Chaplin

BBC Radio 2, Tuesdays, November 29 and December 8, 8.30-9.30pm

Robert Downey Jr recalls playing Charlie Chaplin in David Attenborough's biographical film and narrates this two-part investigation of the actor's life, drawing extensively on the Chaplin family archives.

Oliver Twist

BBC Radio 2, Fridays, from December 2, 9.15-9.30pm

A six-part abridgement of Charles Dickens's novel, read by David Warner, and offering, perhaps, a stepping stone between the Roman Polanski film and the printed text.

Full listings can be found at:


* www.channel4.comlearningmainprogrammestv_schedule.htm

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