Spending Some Time In England

I’ve had England on my mind this past week.  Not sure why, maybe because I just recently vacationed in Williamsburg, Va.  and of course celebrating Independence Day usually brings up the whole England colony thing.   Then again, it could be all the shows celebrating England and the Queen we’re airing this week.   I guess you have to give it to the English this summer.   The opening ceremony for the Olympics in London is only three weeks away and I’m sure the excitement is building across the pond.

To help PBS viewers get in the spirit we’ve got a sampling of programs this week that will emerge you in all things English.   “Monarchy The Royal Family At Work” goes inside the family business.  For the queen to handle 4,000 state visits, balls, school dedications, nursing home visits and charity events, she has to depend on her husband, her children, cousins and her grandchildren. Each member of the family has their own unique royal style.   There are some great interviews as the queen’s children talk frankly about the roles they were born into and the challenges of royal life.

“Michael Woods: Story of England” continues its look a the village of  Kibworth.  Reform is the word of the time.  Some villagers join in a rebellion against King Henry V, while others rise to become middle-class merchants. Kibworth experiences the dramatic events of Henry VIII’s Protestant Reformation and the battles of the English Civil War. Woods comes across amazing finds in the school archive that help trace peasant education back to the 14th century, when the people themselves set up the first school for their children.

One of my favorite Agatha Christie detectives is back with a real thriller, “Masterpiece Mystery: Poirot, Murder on the Orient Express”.  Whether he’s on holiday abroad, taking a countryside break or simply going about his business near his central London home, Poirot finds himself exercising his “little grey cells” by helping police investigate crimes and murders, whether they ask for his help or not.  In this story, Poirot secures a last-minute ticket on the Orient Express from Istanbul to London.  When the train becomes caught in a snowdrift and a passenger is found brutally murdered mid-voyage, the famous Belgian detective is called upon to investigate the crime and find the culprit.

Finally for a real tour of London “Globe Trekker: London City Guide 1″ is your ticket.  Begin your exploration of London with a double-decker bus tour of the city’s famous sites, including the Tower, St. James’s Palace and the British Museum. Jonathan, our host, takes a  stroll through Hyde Park,  pays a whirlwind visit to trendy Camden Market, shops at the world-renowned Harrods in exclusive Knightsbridge and pays tribute to the Beatles at Abbey Road Studios. He then takes a boat trip down the Thames to the Cockney heartland of the East End and samples a good old East End snack.  It’s a week in England that’s worth the trip!

Be sure to check the WOSU TV and WOSU PLUS broadcast schedule page for the dates and air times of all the shows listed above.