TV and radio

13th July 2001 at 01:00
Pick of the week. Eurovision Young Dancers, BBC2, Sunday, July 147.20-9pm

Behind the scenes at the Royal Opera House, Deborah Bull looks at how contestants prepare for the Eurovision Young Dancers competition, while Wayne McGregor assesses their performances; then Bull and McGregor dance for us while the judges decide.

More than 20 dancers, aged from 14 to 19, take part over two rounds using a variety of genres from classical ballet to contemporary dance. Britain is represented by 18-year-old Jamie Bond who performs a solo from Swan Lake and a new work, "Chase Case". Skill, the diversity of styles and expert analysis add up to an interesting show, even for ballet phobics. Last year's BBC Young Musician, Guy Johnson, will debut in the Elgar cello concerto on BBC2, July 20.

Arena: Masters of the Canvas BBC Knowledge, Friday, July 20 8-9pm

A nice tease, this documentary was originally shown in 1992 and is getting a welcome repeat on BBC Knowledge. Producer Paul Yates sets out to bring together pop artist Peter Blake and masked wrestler Kendo Nagasaki so that Blake can realise an ambition to paint Kendo's portrait.

This is not as easy as it might sound. Kendo Nagasaki, who claims to be inhabited by the spirit of a medieval samurai warrior when he is in costume, communicates with the outside world only through his agent, Lloyd Ryan: he will not give interviews and refuses to take off his mask, and the ultra-protective Ryan refuses even to say whether Kendo has an accent (or, indeed, if he can talk at all).

Eventually, Kendo agrees to sit for the portrait, in silence, and we follow the progress of the work while negotiations continue for an interview. The result is an intriguing film about personality, fame, image, identity - and the masks behind masks.

Best on radio. A Tale of Two Teachers. Radio 4, Monday, July 168-8.30pm

Two years ago, Radio 4 watched the progress of a group of student teachers through their postgraduate training at Manchester Metropolitan University. This follow-up tells us how two of them are getting on. English teacher Sally Harrison has to cope with her own family of eight children, as well as her pupils at Hattersley high school, some of whom are not among the country's brightest or best-behaved.

The pressures on her are rather different from those on maths teacher Saul Moss, whose class has to live up to the high expectations at Kingsway, a school described as "outstanding" by former education secretary David Blunkett. And, as I remember, the second year in teaching can be the toughest

Coming up. Trading Places. BBC1, from Thursday, July 26

This is a simple formula which works very effectively. Children's BBC invites groups of children to swap lives for a week. In the first programme, three youngsters from a stage school in London go to a film and television workshop in Los Angeles, while their Angeleno counterparts get a chance to perform with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The second swap involves gymnasts from Southampton and Moscow, who find that training methods in the two countries are very different; and in the final programme the members of the pop band D2M change places with producers from Youth FM. So, it's a holiday from the daily grind, but not always easy-going.

See you next term.

Full educational programme schedules can be found online at Buss's television and radio column returns on September 7

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