Wednesday 24 Sep 2014
Pam and Mick are in deep in discussions about the new conservatory, as the third and final series of Bafta-winning comedy Gavin & Stacey continues.
Meanwhile, Bryn is in his element as he awaits the arrival of his house guests; all the Essex boys are coming down for a big night out in Cardiff and having a sleepover at his place. Smithy gets in a state about seeing Nessa after their most recent embarrassing meeting, and Stacey makes a worrying discovery and can't decide whether to tell Gavin.
Pam is played by Alison Steadman, Mick by Larry Lamb, Bryn by Rob Brydon, Smithy by James Corden, Nessa by Ruth Jones, Stacey by Joanna Page and Gavin by Mathew Horne.
It's semi-final week in The Restaurant and Raymond Blanc has really turned up the pressure in order to choose the two couples to go into next week's final.
First, the three remaining couples must stage a cookery masterclass in their restaurants. This doesn't go well for one couple though who don't get a single student.
Then they deliver what they think is their final service ... in front of Raymond.
Just when they think it's time for the result, Raymond delivers one final challenge – one which ends in tears and the closure of another restaurant.
Observational documentary series Wonderland concludes this week with another film seeking out the people and places that offer a glimpse of today's Britain that is usually hidden from view.
Ted's wife Hilda doesn't know who he is any more – she has lost the ability to recognise even those closest to her. Ted, a devoted husband of 50 years, calls her his "lovely little stranger". But there's one thing she has not forgotten – the tune to Que Sera, Sera.
Ted and Hilda are members of the Alzheimer's Society's Singing For The Brain, a group of singers in Bristol made up entirely of people with Alzheimer's and other types of dementia and their carers. Music is the last thing that ties many of these couples together and, as the group begins to sing, lyrics learnt long ago spring instantly back to life, and the singers are transported to a world of clarity, joy and even love.
Alzheimer's: The Musical is a film about love, time and the astonishing ability of music to give us back people we thought we had lost.
For the last seven weeks Russell Howard has been offering his unique perspective on the big stories dominating the media across TV, online and print, as well as picking up on those sometimes overlooked things that make him smile.
Tonight there's a chance to see some of the best bits from the series, as well as some previously unseen material.
Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch looks at how Christianity has fared in the face of the West's peculiar tendency to doubt, and asks what the future holds for the faith as he concludes his series A History Of Christianity.
Professor MacCulloch traces the origins of scepticism to 17th-century Amsterdam and a young Jewish philosopher, Baruch de Spinoza. While Spinoza believed in God, he refused to see "Him" as a supernatural divine being who intervened in the world. His English contemporary, Isaac Newton, quietly pursued a similar approach while maintaining his religious beliefs.
The French Philosophes then questioned the Catholic Church's authority. In Paris, the programme visits the Panthéon to document the influence of Voltaire, the leading prophet of doubt among 18th-century French philosophers, and his hatred for dogmatism, authoritarianism and the notion of a "just" God.
It was a hatred that fanned the flames of the French Revolution, which in turn degenerated into the decimation of thousands of Catholic churches and priests. It was a dark period for Christianity but, not for the last time, the religion showed remarkable resilience and, thanks to Napoleon, it made a triumphant return in France.
The West's obsession with doubt then struck at the heart of Protestant Christian authority – the Bible. In Tubingen, Germany, Professor MacCulloch looks at the impact of an audacious book by a Christian theologian, David Friedrich Strauss, which stripped Jesus of all his divinity.
But the greatest damage was inflicted in the 20th century when Christianity's entanglement in two world wars undermined its moral credibility. Professor MacCulloch shows how, in the First World War, God was employed as a divine recruiting officer, and how in the Second World War the Church was fatally implicated in the Holocaust.
In St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, Professor MacCulloch discovers how since the Fifties, despite apathy and indifference, parts of the Western Church adapted to crisis and found a new moral voice that shaped much of Western humanist sensibilities.
Finally, he contemplates the future of Christianity, both in the West and around the world, and asks if the enduring truths it rediscovers in moments of crisis may even be clues to its long-term survival.
A History Of Christianity is a co-production with the Open University. Further information can be found at open2.net
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