TV and radio

Robin Buss

Robin Buss's pick of the week

Space Files: The Universe Unveiled

BBC2, Thursday, November 24, 2-5am

Science is the theme of the week on BBC2, including this new series of three one-hour programmes which use computer graphics and animations, time-lapse photography and simulations to give a portrait of our Solar System - Earth, Sun, Moon and planets, which ought to create a sense of wonder in its target audience of 11 to 16-year-old inhabitants of Earth.

Life in the Undergrowth

BBC1, to be scheduled

David Attenborough's latest series takes us down to the world of the invertebrates, descendants of the earliest creatures to emerge on to dry land some 400 million years ago. As well as observing the sometimes unusual behaviour of these little beings, the series examines the place of invertebrates in the ecosystem. This is less spectacular than some of Attenborough's previous series, but often more surprising; dealing a lot with slime and ooze, it has a high yuck factor that should rapidly turn into a wow!

Adventures in Poetry

BBC Radio 4, Sundays, from November 20, 4.30-5pm

A new series in which Peggy Reynolds examines the resonance of a well-known poem, starting with Shelley's "Ozymandias". She discusses the inspiration of the work, its background in the poet's life and thought and the language of the poem. "Ozymandias" has been seen as a warning to tyrants, so the war correspondent Rageh Omaar is contributing, with recollections of the destruction of Sadam Hussein's statue. Poems by Robert Frost, Ted Hughes and Thomas Hardy come along later in the series.

Day Trip Designer

Discovery Real Time, from Wednesday, November 24, 10-10.30pm

Tim Hitchens sets out to track down some 20th-century design classics in various European cities. His first target is a Charles Eames chair from the 1960s, a leather lounger that is made for relaxing with a vodka martini, shaken not stirred. He heads for Barcelona where he looks at attractions such as the medieval streets near the port to the street market and a restaurant where all the food is round. Hitchens' srelaxed style makes it as inviting as an Eames chair. In future weeks, he will be going to Amsterdam, Prague, Paris, Berlin and Antwerp. Students of art, design and travel and tourism will find the series interesting.

Koran and Country: Inside a Muslim School

BBC Radio 4, Tuesday, November 24, 8-8.30pm

Jenny Cuffe visits Al-Islah, a private school for girls in Blackburn, and examines the role of Islam in the curriculum, discussing whether the students are receiving a broad education and one that fits them for life in modern Britain - sensitive questions, which need asking.

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Robin Buss

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