Friday, 24 September 2010

Oxstalls Off-Air Recordings. Week (1) September 25th - October 1st 2010

Please email if you would like any of the following programmes or series recording.*

* This applies to staff members and students at the University of Gloucestershire only. Any recordings made are to be used only for educational and non-commercial purposes under the terms of the ERA Licence.

Monday 27th September

The Classroom Experiment
7:00pm - 8:00pm BBC2 1/2

If you're at all interested in how children learn and how teachers can help them, watch this. It's the sharp end of the BBC's ongoing Schools season, a series where inspired educationalist Dylan Wiliam introduces deceptively simple techniques over one term to one school in Hertfordshire. So, for instance, the students - 12- to 13-year-olds - are picked at random to answer in class rather than putting their hands up, so the bright ones can't dominate and the bored ones can't stay below the radar. Their day starts with an exercise session in the gym - it helps concentration later. And there's a brilliant trick where each student gets a set of red, yellow and green paper cups to show how much they understand what's going on at any stage of a lesson. The results are fascinating.

Horizon: Back from the Dead
9:00pm - 10:00pm BBC2 1/15

A new presenter to Horizon, Dr Kevin Fong, launches a new series with a look at an exciting leap in medicine: hypothermia. Using extreme cooling of the body, doctors are redrawing the line between life and death. In fact, the technique upsets most ideas of what "alive" means. We see a patient undergoing surgery with his body chilled to 20 C. He has no pulse, no blood pressure and no electrical activity in his brain. He is, as Fong says, 'indistinguishable from someone who is dead'. Yet once warmed up, he recovers completely. It's a fascinating story that leads us to mitochondria, xenon and cute babies saved from death.

Unequal Opportunities with John Humphrys
11:50pm - 12:50am BBC2

In July, Education Secretary Michael Gove noted in a parliamentary committee that "Rich, thick kids do better than poor, clever children" in our school system. It wasn't the sort of language educationalists like, but it made the point. John Humphrys examines here how the yawning attainment gap between advantaged and disadvantaged pupils has stubbornly refused to narrow. In a typically thought-provoking film, Humphrys meets teachers who are trying to tackle the disparities and uncovers the battles that persist for the best available education.

Dispatches: What's the Point of the Unions?
8:00pm - 9:00pm Channel 4

As Britain braces itself for the severest cuts in public spending in more than 60 years, reporter Deborah Davies examines the response of the trade unions and what their threats of industrial action mean for the country. By looking at the inner workings of three of Britain's most important unions, she investigates what tactics they could employ and asks if they really represent their members, as well as considering whether they could combine forces to bring about the kind of mass protests staged in Greece and Portugal this summer.

Tuesday 28th September

Inside Sport: Is Professionalism Killing Sport?
11:05pm - 11:35pm BBC1

Former England cricketer Ed Smith examines whether modern day professionalism has made sport less enjoyable, and increased the pressures faced by athletes. Featuring interviews with rugby union World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward, sprint sensation Usain Bolt and Colin Montgomerie, who discusses the enjoyment of competing in the Ryder Cup for pride, rather than money.

The Classroom Experiment
7:00pm - 8:00pm BBC2 2/2

In the conclusion of the two-part documentary, Professor Dylan Wiliam continues to test innovative ideas he believes could improve the quality of children's education. Using a technique called Secret Student, he tries to get the pupils to act more responsibly by monitoring their behaviour, but as the end of term approaches he is conscious that some of the students are not responding well to his methods.

A Time to Remember: Stage and Screen
8:30pm - 9:00pm BBC4 2/12, series 1

Archive footage of theatres, music halls and cinemas from the 1920s and 1930s is combined with narrated reminiscences to shed light on the entertainment industry of the early 20th century. Includes reels of Charles Laughton applying his own stage make-up, chorus line auditions, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks' trip to Europe, and Alfred Hitchcock's 1929 release Blackmail. Narrated by Lesley Sharp.

2:40pm - 5:10pm Film4

Immaculately cast and filmed in part on glorious Maine locations, this is a marvellous screen version of what is arguably Rodgers and Hammerstein's finest Broadway show. Some may find this tale of a reprobate's return to Earth to look out for his daughter arch in the extreme, but it is a tribute to the superb score and sensitive handling of the material that the film is moving. Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones, reunited after Oklahoma!, have the roles of their lives as Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan, with their performance of If I Loved You a highlight, though they're done no favours by Henry King's static direction. However, the spirited June Is Bustin' Out All Over more than compensates.

Wednesday 29th September

Start Your Own School
7:00pm - 8:00pm BBC2

Forthright journalist and author Toby Young leads a group of parents as they attempt to institute Britain's first so-called "free school" in west London. Filmed over nine months, the documentary reveals the group's trials and tribulations as they struggle to meet their ambitious self-imposed deadline in the face of some fierce opposition - not least from those who fear the project will do little more than reinforce old class divisions.

Calamity Jane
2:35am - 4:20am ITV1

The opening sequence of this wonderful musical is pure pleasure, as Doris Day rides the Deadwood stage across the screen and into our hearts. This isn't the real Wild West, of course, but Warner Bros's Technicolored riposte to MGM's Annie Get Your Gun - the studio even poached the same leading man, handsome Howard Keel, who's excellent here as Wild Bill Hickok. The specially commissioned score is a treat, but the strength of the movie is Day, who gives a marvellous musical comedy performance in her finest role, creating a warm, robust yet tender character; just marvel at her timing in Just Blew In from the Windy City, while Secret Love, recorded by Day in just one take, won the best song Oscar and is beautifully staged by choreographer Jack Donohue. This is a true delight that repays many viewings.

Michael Wood's Story of England: Domesday to Magna Carta
9:00pm - 10:00pm BBC4 2/6, series 1

The broadcaster explores how the villagers reacted to occupation by the Normans in 1066 when a castle was constructed in Kibworth. Interweaving local and national narratives, he charts events in the village that led to the people's involvement in the civil war of Simon de Montfort.

Thursday 30th September

Are You Fitter Than a Pensioner? Sun City Arizona
8:00pm - 9:00pm BBC3 2/5, series 1

Lager-swilling 19-year-old Frazer Danbury, 21-year-old student Judy Lockhart, overweight 18-year-old Louise Crossland and 22-year-old computer gamer Ali Yildirim are sent to live with the super-fit over-60s at Sun City Arizona. Over the course of a week they will be forced to adopt an extreme fitness regimen before competing against the retirement community's champion swimming team.

Friday 1st October

Golf: The Ryder Cup Day One
8:30pm - 10:00pm BBC2

Hazel Irvine introduces highlights from day one of the 38th staging of the biennial competition between Europe and the USA, held at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales, and featuring the opening fourballs and foursomes matches. Europe's run of three successive victories was brought to a halt by the American team in Kentucky two years ago and, with respective captains Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin now at the helm, both teams were aiming to gain an advantage heading into the second day. With commentary by Peter Alliss, Ken Brown and Sam Torrance.

* This applies to staff members and students at the University of Gloucestershire only. Any recordings made are to be used only for educational and non-commercial purposes under the terms of the ERA Licence.

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