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TV and radio

Pick of the week. Counterblast: the Road to Hell. BBC2, Wednesday, June 20 7.30-8pm.

Perhaps the key issue in the election was the number of issues that were not being raised, because there was a consensus among the main parties either on policy, or on the dangers of actually stating a policy. Michael Palin is quietly outraged by the refusal of politicians to discuss the problem of road transport. He confronts them with the facts; yet no government has been courageous enough to confront the motoring lobby.

Best of the rest. Jazz. BBC2, Monday, June 18 to Thursday, June 21. 11.20pm-midnight.

Ken Burns's documentary series proved a huge, if sometimes controversial, success when first shown in the US. This week, we move into the years of Depression and swing, those of Duke Ellington, Count Basie and the great saxophonists, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins and Charlie Parker. By Thursday, we are finding out about be-bop.

Best for schools Stories in Stone Channel 4, Tuesday, June 19 5.20-6am An overnight repeat for this attractive two-part History in Action programme for 11 to 14-year-olds, looking at the more than 1,000 medieval roof carvings in Norwich Cathedral. The programme shows the carvings in conjunction with the relevant biblical texts and examines what they tell us about life nd belief in the later Middle Ages.

Best on radio. On the Ropes. Radio 4, Tuesday, June 19 9-9.30am (rpt 9.30-10pm).

John Humphrys returns with this new series of stories about people facing difficulties in their professional lives. He starts with headteacher Marjorie Evans, who two years ago was accused of hitting one of her pupils. She has been reinstated, but only after an 18-month suspension, during which she was convicted and the verdict then reversed on appeal. She discusses the effect on her life and what she considers to be serious shortcomings in the school disciplinary system.

File on Four. Radio 4, Tuesday, June 19 8-8.40pm.

This week's File on Four is devoted to the funding of higher education. This year's graduates will be the first whose living costs at university have been funded by student loans; 60 per cent of students believe that the system has affected their academic performance. The programme considers drop-out rates, part-time jobs and some of the wider effects on society. And, are these policies undermining the Government's goal of expansion in higher education?

Full educational programme schedules can be found online at

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