Robin Buss's pick of the week
BBC2 Tuesday, June 1, 1-2.30am
Bitesize Revision this week is all about Spain and its language, starting with a six-part series which encourages you to do just what it says in the title: hablar espa$ol. After that, in quick succession, we get Spain Inside Out, then Jeremy Clarkson Meets the Neighbours, Hotlinks: Barcelona and Sister Wendy looking at pictures in the Prado. Good for holidays as well as exams.
Life Stuff: In Search of the Tartan Turban
C4 Friday, May 28, 10.20-10.45am
Hardeep Singh Kholi, a Scottish Sikh living in London, heads north to do a gig as a stand-up comedian, stopping on the way to see if multicultural Britain can provide material. He meets Asians, West Indians, Irish, an Iraqi asylum seeker and a member of the British National Party (who declines his offer of a curry), all with different ideas of what it means to be British and where they have their roots. Can Hardeep find his kilt and matching turban? This citizenship programme for 14 to 19-year-olds is an easy-going reflection on belonging, rights, responsibilities, prejudices, cultures and badges of identity.
Seven Ages of Britain
Fridays, from May 28, 9-10pm
This seven-parter, fronted by historian Bettany Hughes, tells our island story from around 6000bc to the Industrial Revolution, concentrating on people's everyday lives. Not much is known, however, about the hunter-gatherers who roamed Britain's woodlands in the Stone Age, though they left their footprints on our shores. The second programme, taking us up to the Roman conquest, has more to go on, with hunter-gatherers replaced by farmers - our genes suggest that these travelled here, by slow stages, as immigrants from the Middle East. Fascinating stuff.
Wednesday, June 2, 9-10pm
There will be a lot on for the 60th anniversary of D-Day. This programme tells the story of the Normandy landings effectively, with simple diagrams, archive film and survivors' recollections.
Art of the Garden
BBC2 Friday, May 28, 8-9pm
Timed to coincide with an exhibition at Tate Britain, this three-part series starts with the English landscape gardener Lancelot "Capability" Brown, who owes the nickname to his habit of telling aristocratic customers that their estates had potential, or "capability". This was certainly true of his most famous creation, the gardens of Blenheim Palace. The centrepiece was a vast lake that had to be created without modern earth-moving equipment, starting as a pit that swallowed acres of clay lining, gallons of water and a large chunk of the duke's fortune, including the lead from the palace roof (it was sold and replaced with cheap slates).
More than 200 years later we can see what Brown intended better than the duke ever did. Diarmiud Gavin tells the story through lavish reconstructions and dramatisations.