I OFTEN dislike drama-documentaries as they sometimes throw all their effort into the sets and costumes at the expense of hard facts and expertise. But here you get the best of both worlds.

Actors play Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky, the three most famous figures of the Russian Revolution. We learn the tense and violent story of October 1917, showing how Russia went from being ruled by Tsars to being the world’s first communist state.

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We follow the dramatic events in the 245 days leading up to the revolution. How did it occur – and was it actually a revolution or a coup d’etat? Historians can’t agree on that point.

Martin Amis, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Helen Rappaport, Tariq Ali, China Mieville and Orlando Figes appear as expert talking heads, with the drama narrated by Juliet Stevenson. It really is a treat.


THE show returns for a special series to raise money for charity, and opens with some mock newsflashes from Evan Davis and Piers Morgan saying: “We’re getting reports that seven celebrities are on the run for Stand Up To Cancer.”

The series asks whether it’s possible to disappear and evade capture in a society filled with CCTV, social media, online transactions and GPS. The celebrities will pack a rucksack and run for it, and a team of hunters will try to locate them.

Anneka Rice is one of the contestants. She says she dropped out of public life because she felt hunted, and hated the thought of anyone chasing her. In this, she will be literally hunted and chased – but all in the name of charity, so good on her!

The other “celebs” are Dom and Steph from Gogglebox, plus other mildly recognisable names such as Jamie Laing and Spencer Matthews.