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BBC Two England

2nd House 2nd Run

The Man They Could Not Hang
In January 1885 John Lee , a young servant, was condemned to death in Exeter for the murder of his employer. For reasons that have remained mysterious to this day he could not be hanged: he was placed three times on the scaffold's trapdoors, but each time the executioner pushed the lever the doors became inexplicably locked. The only recorded failure in the history of the ' drop ' system - it made of Lee, convicted murderer, a popular hero, known all over the country. Melvyn Bragg relates the facts we know about John Lee to the popular versions of the legend.
Songs performed by members of FAIRPORT CONVENTION:
Dave Swailbrick , Simon Nicol Dave Pegg , Jerry Donahue Dave Mattacks
Broadsheet Ballads sung by MARTIN CARTHY
Written and produced by MARK KIDEL Editor BILL MORTON
BBC Two England

2nd House

The Man They Could Not Hang
In January 1885 John Lee, a young servant, was condemned to death in Exeter for the murder of his employer. For reasons that have remained mysterious to this day he could not be hanged: he was placed three times on the scaffold's trapdoors, but each time the executioner pushed the lever the doors became inexplicably locked. The only recorded failure in the history of the ' drop ' system - it made of Lee, convicted murderer, a popular hero, known all over the country. Over the years, John Lee's extraordinary escape from death has led to endless speculation.
Melvyn Bragg relates the hard facts we know about John Lee to the popular versions of the legend: the sensational illustrations of the Victorian Press, Lee's 'autobiography,' a silent feature film made in 1917, a cycle of rock songs, and intriguing stories still circulating in South Devon.
Songs performed by members of FAIRPORT CONVENTION:
Dave Swarbrick , Simon Nicol Dave Pegg , Jerry Donahue
Dave Mattacks , Sandy Denny Broadsheet Ballads sung by MARTIN CARTHY
Written and produced by MARK KIDEL Assistant editor TONY STAVEACRE Editor BILL MORTON
BBC One London

The Hanging Gale

Third of afour-part historical drama. The famine takes hold of Ireland, and the people have no means of paying their rents.
See today's choices.
Written by Allan Cubitt ; Producer
Jonathan Cavendish ; Director Diarmuid Lawrence
BBC One London

A Hundred Years of Humphrey Hastings: Part 1: 1867 - More Steam

A Hundred Years of Humphrey Hastings or Life with a Practical Father
Written by Richard Wade.
Starring Dudley Foster as Humphrey Hastings, Frances Bennett as Emily Hastings
(First shown on BBC-2)

"The series is a collectors' piece in a way, for it carries out a splendid idea with endearing simplicity. They could move the whole thing to children's TV without changing a comma." So wrote Daily Mail critic Peter Black last December.
And about a hundred days after they were first seen on BBC-2 four of the episodes will be shown specially for children.
Humphrey Hastings is not the easiest man to live with. Most of his family would agree that his skill as an inventor and amateur scientist is sometimes overshadowed by his wild enthusiasm.
But what takes place in the Hastings' Twickenham house did happen-or at least could have done so. Most of the machines he uses are real, those which are not have been built from original plans by the BBC's Visual Effects Department. Among them - a nine-foot airship, an ancient telegraph, even a hang-glider.
It makes an intriguing series: and there is a splendid performance from Dudley Foster who plays four generations of Humphrey.
BBC One London

Judge John Deed

Appropriate Response. Deed and his daughter Charlie become a target for a convicted rapist's revenge.
Written and produced by GF Newman
Director Jane Powell (S) (W)
National Programme Daventry

Time to Spare

THE PLIGHT of the unemployed man who has prospects of work at some time or other is bad enough; he hangs on. The clerk hopes for that vacancy, the skilled labourer for an imprbvement in his particular trade. But the plight of the unemployed man, such as the Welsh miner, who may never get work again, is beyond words to describe.
There are many villages in South
Wales where from 70 to 80 per cent. of the men have been out of work for six or seven years. For six or seven years they and their families have been existing on inadequate food. Theirs is an acceptance rather than an acquiescence. They are acclimatised now to poverty, but their surplus energy has gone ; they are without hope, their bodies vitiated, their stamina sapped.
A recent visitor to South Wales went round one of the hospitals and found a silence in the wards. No talk, no animation. She learnt that an average housewife in a typical village had about 8s. a week over to feed a family of four or five, paying rent and so forth. Only those whose men had allotments or gardens could provide green vegetables, for a small cabbage was 4d. in the shops. They could not afford bacon, which was a shilling a pound. In these tiny villages there are only small shops that offer no chance of a bargain.
Sometimes the children look happier and sturdier than the parents, who make perpetual sacrifices for them. Their health is cared for, clinics and schools look after them, clothes are sent. But not boots and shoes. The mothers must ' scrape ' to get these patched and repaired.
Last week listeners heard the point of view of a down-and-out Londoner. The Welsh miner's point of view, given by himself, will be one of the many broadcasts in this series.
BBC Two England

On Thin Ice: 5/5

TV presenter Ben Fogle, Olympian James Cracknell and Dr Ed Coats are recovering at the halfway checkpoint after arriving in second place, just behind race rivals the Norwegians. After resting for 24 hours, the all clear is given. They start out well, racing hard in the face of temperatures that are dropping to -40°C and below, but within days both Ben and James succumb to frostbite. And then, on a particularly hard and cold day, they break down. James is almost at the point of no return and the team are forced to review their situation. They bravely head off again, only to find themselves in a crevasse field. With each step they risk falling through the thin snow bridges that conceal the hidden danger beneath. Their only escape route is to reach the South Pole as fast as possible.
Repeated on Tuesday at 12.20am
Showing in HD on the BBC HD channel tomorrow at 9pm
Moment of the week: page 5






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