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TV and radio

Robin Buss's pick of the week


C4, Monday-Friday, November 1-10, 9.30-9.55am

Chancers is an eight-part series about six young British musicians being given an opportunity to kick-start their careers in the US, with the help of gravel-voiced radio host Fatman Scoop. The series, fast-moving and assertively cut, is designed as material for 14 to 19-year-old students of the expressive arts. Most of all, it will give them an insight into the workings of the music industry.

Do Fish Fart?

C4, Friday, November 5, 11.30am-12noon

A jolly quiz show in which two teams compete to answer questions about science. In part one, cabbies compete with nurses to see who knows more about the heat of lightning or the weight of the brain (four cans of lager or a bunch of bananas?). It won't get your pupils through GCSE, but it will give them a laugh and might be worth recording to show them around Christmas; it could even suggest ideas for livening up your own science lessons.

Geography in Animation

BBC2, Thursday, November 4, 2-3.40am

Animated films help to explain key processes in physical geography, including erosion, river hydrology, a woodland ecosystem, climate change and ground-water hydrology. Designed for 13 to 14-year-olds, the film is available on video, with a resource pack, and will be followed on Friday morning by World Physical, a two-hour programme on similar topics for a slightly older age group.

Timewatch: Secrets of the Mary Rose

BBC2, Friday, October 29, 9-9.50pm

This evening's Timewatch is pegged to the effort to save the remaining archaeological evidence on the seabed before a new deep-water channel is excavated in the Solent, at the site where Henry VIII's flagship, the Mary Rose, went down. But most of the film is about the original discovery, and what we can learn about life in the mid-16th-century from the artefacts and human remains preserved inside the hull of the vessel. A few dramatisations suggest what life was like on board, but the evidence itself is actually more evocative - the bones of the seamen who were trapped in the ship and their possessions. It is a find that has proved invaluable for our knowledge of Tudor social life.

First Steps in Drama

Radio 4, Thursdays, November 4-18, 4.30-4.45am

This is a new story for the series of drama resources for seven to nine-year-olds, based on the life of pioneering nurse Mary Seacole against the background of the Crimean War. As well as history, it explores issues of care and discrimination, and introduces listeners to the biography of a remarkable woman.

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