The Race for Everest
BBC2, Sunday, May 25, 9-10pm
The anniversary of the 1953 conquest is not going to pass unnoticed. As well as this account, BBC4 has an evening of programmes on May 29, and Radio 4 presents a selection of clips from the radio archive (May 24, 8-9pm) and a programme on Mountains That Changed the World (May 28, 9-9.30pm); and Sir Edmund Hillary's High Adventure is Radio 4's Book of the Week. For a long time, the British had a monopoly on the mountain, approaching it through Tibet. After the Second World War, a Swiss team attempted a climb from Nepal and almost reached the summit. An international race began, with the Swiss odds-on to win. Surviving members of the British expedition recall their climb, with excellent archive film.