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Television: pick of the week

What's This Channel 4?

C4 Fridays, November 14-28, 10.35-11am

Channel Four has decided that it might be an education in itself: hence this three-parter for 14 to 19-year-olds in English and media studies, taking us through a typical day in the life of C4, then going back upstream to see how programmes are commissioned, scheduled and budgeted. The programme offers an insight into how decisions are made on content, finance and broadcasting, and looks at the wider questions of regulation, competition and advertising.

The Boy Who Would Be King BBC1 Monday, November 17, 10.35-11.35am

This documentary supplies historical facts about King Charles II to complement the BBC's concurrent costume drama in which Rufus Sewell does the romping and Emma Pierson sells the oranges. Even here there are dramatised scenes, but the likes of Lady Antonia Fraser, military historian Richard Holmes and professors Ronald Hutton and John Morrell give weight to the enterprise. We even have Michael Palin, revealing that one of his ancestors helped the young prince to escape to France at the end of the Civil War.

Natural Hazards C4 Wednesdays, to November 26, 10.10-10.25pm

This new four-part series for geography for KS2-4 shows the effects of volcanoes, hurricanes, avalanches and earthquakes on human populations.

Using a few simple graphics to explain the processes involved and dramatic newsreel footage of the events, the films talk to local inhabitants in Kobe, Montserrat and Louisiana. The result is a number of exciting human stories as well as well-explained natural science.

Beginners' Theme Night BBC2 Wednesday, November 19, 2-4am

"Culture and Music" is the theme of these eight films, three from "Hallo aus Berlin", three from "Quinze Minutes Plus" and two from "Revista" to give 11 to 14-year-olds a taste of the cultural life of Germany, France and Spain. Designed for overnight recording, they are also available on video from BBC Educational Publishing, PO Box 234, Wetherby, LS23 7EU.

Full listings:;NIPgt; shtmlwww.channel4.comlearningmainprogrammestv_schedule.htm

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