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The annual Hands on a Hard Body contest in Texas is an extraordinary endurance event. Contestants stand around touching a brand new pick-up truck for hours and hours without sleep. When only one person remains - more than 100 hours later - he or she drives the truck home.
James Maw went to Texas to make a documentary about the razzmatazz of the typically all-American escapade. But this year the contest went badly wrong, and Maw found himself in a tragic scene. Producer Laurence Grissell
Between 1980 and 1990, Lynne Truss was a part-time arts journalist, meeting and interviewing many giants of the theatre, such as Arthur Miller , Tom Stoppard , Simon Gray , Athol Fugard and Anthony Minghella. For 20 years those recordings have been lying in a box in her garage. Now she digs them out and finds out, with horror and humour, what her younger self was like as an interviewer, and what she learnt from meeting these great talents.
Producer Sara Jane Hall Shortened rpt on Mon at 3pm
The Arts Council has just sponsored a tour of towns in Lancashire by the novelists Iris Murdoch and Julian Mitchell , the poet Adrian Henri. and the playwright John McGrath. They have been to libraries, schools, and colleges, and have been holding public meetings to discuss problems and ideas about the job of writing and reading.
RONALD EYRE reports, with recorded illustration, on the activities of this week in the North
Produced by Russell Harty
Indira Michael Robinson reports from Delhi and the Indian
States on the Union's chances of holding together after the assassination of Mrs Gandhi. Producer MAX EASTERMAN Editor BRIAN WALKER BBC Manchester
(Repeated: Wednesday 4.0 pm)
By Akulah Agbami. Mother Somalia is holding a once-in-a-lifetime gathering on her beach. She invites her scattered daughters to celebrate their stories and poems with her. with Peggy Phango. Joy Richardson. Flo Wilson
, Toyin Fani Kayode , Nicola Gardener, Sandra James Young , Ray Emmet Brown and Burt Caesar. Music by Akintayo Akinbode Director Nandita Ghose
comes direct from the 500-acre hill farm of Hubert Gwillim near Talgarth,
Breconshire David Richardson and David BUTLER pay an early-morning visit to this holding 1,000 feet up in the Black Mountains where they keep pedigree Hereford cattle, Welsh and Clun Hatfbred sheep, and grow cereals and seed potatoes.
Produced by Anthony Parkin
Repeated: Wednesday, 12.25 p.m. (Midland and West Home Services)
'... the difficulty is to keep smiling, of course. I always remember at the end of a long shift somebody saying to me, "Smile", you know. and you just feel like saying, "No. you smile - now hold it for eight hours.'"
Part-time waitresses talk about the job and why they do it.
With Pippa Bates. Bernadette Geifer , Anne Koval
Eva Milenska and Sheila Cole who performed the songs Producer ED THOMASON. Stereo
0 HEAR THIS! page 15 and WODDIS ON: page HI
A two-part documentary-style drama by Matthew Solon set in Hong Kong.
Two brothers run two branches of the family business - one in London, the other in Hong Kong. When the brother in Hong Kong dies leaving huge debts, the other brother sends one of his children over to sort it out. Next week's conclusion will be broadcast from Hong Kong on the day of the handover, with real news events built into the action. with Stuart Ong , Choy Ling Man , David Y Cheung , Irene Ng , Matthew Solon, David Tse and Harry Ditson. Producer John Dryden
Black comedy with Steve Pemberton , Reece Shearsmith , MarkGatiss and Jeremy Dyson. Spent is holding a fun run. Producer Sarah Smith
Perrier Award-winners Mark Gatiss ,
Reece Shearsmith , Steve Pemberton and Jeremy Dyson star in a blackly comic sketch show in six parts. 2: The town of Spent is holding a fun run.
Producer Sarah Smith Repeat
As the Routemaster bus reaches its 50th birthday, and is now being phased out in London, Linda Smith hops on board the nation's beloved double decker to celebrate its colourful life and times. Recalling her own fond memories of this very British icon, she talks to conductors, drivers, and enthusiasts, and discovers how the bus has inspired people, starred on screen, travelled the world, symbolised peace, and found many surprising new uses. Producers Emma Wallace and Liz Jaynes
By George Brandt. Benvenuto Cellini 's Perseus Holding the Head of Medusa is one of the masterpieces of Renaissance sculpture. Drawing on Cellini's colourful autobiography, the play reveals the story of its creation. with Nick Moore , Paul B Davies. Sheila Hannon , Andrew Hitton , John Talfer and Professor Marcello Bellini. Director Sara Davies
3/5. Lawrence Pollard gets on his bike and follows in the tyre tracks of Thomas Hiram Holding, the founder of the Cyclists' Touring Club and the man who changed the holiday for ever. For details see Monday
Ed Begley Jr leads an all-American cast in this blackly humorous drama, based on the writings of Thomas Lynch , undertaker and award-winning poet, and adapted by Kate McAII.
When his father dies suddenly on holiday, Tom Lynch gathers together his travelling kit of embalming supplies and catches the next plane. As he begins work on his father's body, he looks back on growing up as the son of an undertaker in the small town of Milford, Michigan.
Director Kate McAII
By Adam Thorpe.
Patrick Malahide and Sylvestra Le Touzel star in this fictionalised event in the lives of the novelist Thomas Hardy and his second wife Florence. It is July 1921 and a production company has descended on Hardy's house to make a film of The Mayor of Casterbridge.
With Emma Woolliams and Scott Brooksbank
Migration - Heading South. A team from the BBC
Natural History Unit and the Wildfowl and Wetlands
Trust went to the northern extremes of Russia to find Bewick's and Whooper swans. Some of these swans were fitted with devices that enabled the team to follow them all the way back to the UK. Presented by Lionel Kelleway. Producer Julian Hector Revised repeat Repeated tomorrow at 11am
The Migration series continues on Wednesday at 9pm
1/5. Rat. A doctor on a geriatric ward is surprised to come face to face with a figure from his past. Candia McWilliam's story, read by Crawford Logan, is the first inspired by the main characters' names in Kenneth Grahame's iconic book, as part of the celebrations marking the centenary of its publication. Producer Gaynor Macfarlane
The return of the series which reflects on great sporting events that were propelled from the back pages of the newspapers to the front.
On Valentine's Day 1984, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean won Olympic gold when they danced across the ice to Ravel's Bolero. Their perfect scores overshadowed all other news, including the leak at Sellafield, cruise missiles and the prologue to the year-long miners' strike.
Simon Barnes, chief sports correspondent of The Times, remembers those four magical minutes with Jayne Torvill, coach Betty Calloway and Lord Steel.
The United Nations Outer Space Treaty of 1967, two years before the moon landing, forbids individual countries from claiming rights to celestial bodies. But the committee that drafted the agreement forgot to include private individuals or firms. Now celestial property speculation is big business, with a million people holding deeds to extraterrestrial acres. Clive Anderson meets the entrepreneurs who have the solar system up for sale.
Adam Hart-Davis on astronomical property prices: p32
Introduced by Sue MacGregor Guest of the Week: Vidal Sassoon
About the House: more points from Parliament
Reading your letters.
Drive-in: GILL PREECE with news and views on motoring topics. JAMES MANUS reads
Holding On by MERVYN JONES (7)