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To renew a subscription please first. National Portrait Gallery, London. In recent years Channel Four has produced some very good programming on seventeenth-century British history, including a fine series on the Great Fire of London and the Plague of


I feel protective about anyone who is 5ft 4in, on the stumpy side and rubbish at gym.

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I always hoped that some day, when I sat down, my feet would reach the floor. They never did. I am, it turns out, characteristically Neanderthal. The skull was French, the limbs German and the rest Israeli. It took a year.

I have not seen any other programme on the subject go to so much trouble. This chap was 5ft 4in tall with - how your heart goes out to him - no waist, a poor sense of balance and an unexpectedly high voice.

Professor Franciscus of Iowa whom God preserve studied his vocal tract: "The shortness of the tube is akin to what we see in recent human females. When they do, it's often by accident. On the credit side, Neanderthal's strength was as the strength of 10 because his heart was pure. That and his magnificent musculature. Physically he was built for field not track events. The accepted theory is that his brighter brother wiped him out. It now appears Homo sapiens is innocent and I expect an apology from the prime minister any day now.

Blood on our hands: the english civil war

According to Horizon, the killer was climate change. Neanderthals stalked their prey in the forest, spearing them at close quarters. Homo sapiens ran them down in the open, using a throwing spear. Forests declined and were replaced by open country.

Shot of poor old Faroque Khan, cast for his eerie resemblance to a Neanderthal, roaring his pain while assorted, stringy extras bounded lithely about the plain. It makes you wonder only a little and not for long about the sasquatch of Canada. And did it in under half an hour and, from the look of it, under a fiver. Johnny Vegas cannot act much and it doesn't matter at all. Dave Spikey can write and should be encouraged with a bit more money and a better slot.

They say no civil war ever ends and, at times, that is what it felt like.

Meet the ancestors

Exceptionally faithful to fact, it was entirely based on contemporary s. Before the battle of Edgehill, Sergeant Wharton wrote home, "I have gathered a little money together and today have made a soldier's suit for winter, edged in gold and silver lace. It is a great pride to me. I hope I will never stain it unless in the blood of a cavalier.

No one is improved by putting on a uniform and for eight years a peaceful people behaved in ways you would rather not remember. Lady Brilliana Harley wrote regularly to her eldest son at university: "My sweet Ned, I cannot help but tell you how I miss you. I have taken a very great cold.

Newspapers emerged in the civil war. They were highly inflammatory.

When I waswe would hold a paper to a sulky fire to make it blaze more fiercely. Sometimes the whole chimney caught fire. That is what the propaganda news sheets of the Civil war did. Clarence House could take notes.

There were white carnations, flutes of fine champagne, royal icing and, as Walter Matthau roared in Plaza Suite, as a cripplingly expensive wedding breakfast went to waste, "Voirious soits of hoi d'oivres. Chrissie wore over-the-top, off-the-shoulder, down-to-the-ground, shot-silver lace. Rather like Queen Mary who used to look as if she had rotated slowly while people threw jewellery at her.

Though Queen Mary was not, as far as we know, planning to take King George for every penny with his head on it. Television industry. This article is more than 16 years old.

Nancy Banks-Smith. Topics Television industry Television comment. Reuse this content.