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Robin Buss's pick of the week

Rewriting History

C4, Monday, May 22-Friday, May 26, 11.25-11.30am (Friday: 11-11.05am)

This series from 4Learning consists of five-minute meditations on how history might have changed if, for example, Britain had lost the Falklands War, if there was another Ice Age, or if Guy Fawkes had succeeded in blowing up Parliament. This is not just idle speculation: it leads to a better understanding of events and underlines how narrow the line was between one outcome and the other.


BBC2, Monday, May 22, 1-1.15pm; Tuesday, May 23, 10.30-10.50am; 10.50-11.10am

Three strands of Megamaths, the primary maths series for seven to eight-year-olds, come to an end this week. On Monday, the theme for Problem Solving is money: Maths Man comes down to Earth and tackles currency.

Earlier, he dealt with one-step and two-step problems, measures of length and time, and mass and capacity. On Tuesday, Maths Man has to get his head around compass points and co-ordinates. Then, in the third slot, he comes up against fractions. The Megamaths strands are available on video, with packs, for Pounds 37.99 each from BBC Children's Learning, PO Box 234, Wetherby LS23 7EU.

Tel: 0870 830 8000


BBC Radio 4, Tuesday, May 23, 4.15-4.30am; Friday, 3.15-3.30am

Another maths series heads for its final programmme. This radio mental maths booster is for five and six-year-olds. It starts with counting down from larger numbers, followed by counting in twos and fives. The programmes are available on cassette (pound;4) or DVD (pound;4.50), from the usual supplier.


Discovery Civilisation Sunday, May 21, 8-9pm

Carthage is Ancient City of the Month. Last Sunday, BBC1 had a documentary drama about Hannibal: this programme picks up the story after Hannibal's death in 182 bc. Rome still felt threatened by the north African city-state and senator Marcus Cato would stomp around shouting: "Carthage must be destroyed!" Eventually, in 146 bc, Scipio did the job.

Archaeologist Dr Richard Miles has uncovered evidence that helps understand why the Romans were so determined to get rid of their rival.

Timewatch: The Princess Spy

BBC 2, Friday, May 19, 9-9.50pm

Timewatch tells the story of Noor-un-nisa Inyat Khan, the daughter of an Indian prince and an American woman, who grew up in France before coming to Britain at the outbreak of the Second World War. Having volunteered for special operations, she was sent back to France to join the Resistance, but was captured and died in Dachau concentration camp. She was a remarkable woman.

Full listings can be found at:


* www.channel4.comlearningmainprogrammestv_schedule.htm


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