The BBC world affairs editor
John Simpson has been travelling to Afghanistan for nearly 30 years. He's seen Soviet occupation, Soviet withdrawal, civil war and the Taliban takeover. Now he reports from a country still at war eight years after the American-led intervention in 2001, and asks how and why things went so wrong. Producer Tim Mansel Repeated at 9.30pm
5/5. Conclusion. Writer Kenan Malik examines the effect TV news and documentaries may have had on the treatment of Muslim detainees, and the responsibilities programme-makers and artists face when dealing with Islamic issues. Producers Peregrine Andrews and Arlen Harris
4/5. Golding fails miserably in his attempts to research the future Booker Prize-winning novel Rites of Passage. Written and abridged by John Carey and read by Christian Rodska. For details see Monday Repeated at 12.30am
9/9. Egypt. After nearly 30 years in power, the Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak , who is now 81, has no obvious successor, giving rise to fears of a succession crisis. Magdi Abdelhadi explores what kind of society Mubarak will leave behind and finds that, nearly 60 years after the military seized power, Egyptians still look to the army for a saviour. Producer Michael Gallagher
Repeated on Monday at 8.30pm
Mark Radcliffe explores the life of actress Violet Carson, who played Ena Sharples in Coronation Street for 20 years until 1980. A classical pianist and established radio star, Carson was playing Shakespearean roles when Granada asked her to play the hatchet-faced harridan in a hairnet. With contributions by Tony Warren, Geoffrey Wheeler, Melvyn Bragg and Adele Rose.
Ena 11.30am Radio 4
As hair-netted battleaxe Ena Sharples (above), actress Violet Carson set the template for all future Coronation Street matriarchs. For 20 years she was the moral conscience of the cobbles, taking on flighty Elsie Tanner and uppity Annie Walker with rapid-fire putdowns that were as zesty and as much of a mouthful as a bag of sherbet lemons. In this affectionate tribute, Mark Radcliffe looks at Ena's best confrontations, including her High Noon-style showdown with Elsie over the authorship of some poison-pen letters, and also explores Carson's pre-Corrie career on the BBC Home Service's Children's Hour. Fascinatingly, it was at this time that she first met a 14-year-old child actor called Tony Warren, who went on to create the world of Weatherfield and give Carson the iconic role for which she'll always be remembered. (David Brown)
2/9 Best before Waste. We throw away more than five million tons of food every year because of confusion over "display until",
"best before" and "use-by" dates. Tom Heap investigates where these dates came from. Repeated from Monday at 9pm
1959- the Common Cold Unit. Medical researchers are certain a cure for the cold is just around the corner, but they haven't foreseen a revolution within their own walls. Comedy drama by Tony Bagley. Barry Paul Reynolds
Producer Sally Avens
Junior doctor/Wandering man:
3/3. Readings from Johnson's Preface to the Plays of William Shakespeare and one of the final instalments of biography and literary criticism examining the life and work of the poet Alexander Pope. For details see Tuesday
4/5. Science writer Gabrielle Walker goes punting on the River Cam to discover whether Aristotle's treatise on meteorology stands up under modern scrutiny. Aristotle likened earthquakes to bodily ructions but, remarkably, knew that "where there is dry land there will one day be sea". For details see Monday
Quentin Cooper reports on the progress being made to re-open the Large Hadron Collider. In September 2008, the giant atom-smasher was switched on in Switzerland in a blaze of publicity but, before the month was out, the experiment was suspended after a major electrical failure.
4/6. The paper hires a reality star as a columnist and Maddox must find a way of rewriting her copy without upsetting her. Satire on the newspaper world by Alistair Beaton with additional material by Tom Mitchelson.
Producer Sally Avens
8/9. Student Start-Ups. With Britain's universities alive with student societies bringing would-be entrepreneurs together with backers and mentors, Peter Day reports on some of the business start-up ideas on show in Cambridge. Producer Richard Berenger RptdSun930pm
2/13. Geoff Watts reports from the British Science Association's Festival in Guildford, where he discusses how animals and people communicate emotions and recognise faces, and the role of brain function in stimulating creative expression. Producer Martin Redfern
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