Forty is the only number in the English language where the letters all appear in alphabetical order. (Apart from the number hijk, but few people can count that high).
The number 40 is of significance in all the major monotheistic religions. People are always pottering about in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights, thinking about god or fasting or what have you.
There are 40 weeks in a standard pregnancy, unless you’re my son, who seemed to think he was an elephant and had to be dragged out at 42 weeks after a 48-hour labour (I was exhausted, and I think my wife was quite fatigued as well). After which I needed 40 winks.
Here are the highlights for week 40…
JJ Abram’s sci-fi adventure sequel starring Chris Pine, Eric Bana, Simon Pegg and Winona Ryder. Network Premiere.
Fighting on the Frontline 2/3
With unprecedented access to Britain’s Armed Forces, this brand new documentary series continues, allowing troops to reveal the inside story of what it’s really like fighting on a tour of duty in Afghanistan today.
British artist Sam Taylor-Wood’s directorial debut is this Film4-funded exploration of John Lennon’s early life. Starring David Threlfall, Anne-Marie Duff, David Morrisey, Aaron Johnson and Kristin Scott Thomas. Network Premiere.
Can You Trust Your Doctor?: Dispatches
GPs are among the most trusted and respected of all professions. They are our first port of call for most NHS treatment with 800,000 people visiting surgeries every day. But Dispatches reveals that failing doctors routinely slip through the system. Reporter Jon Snow reveals that, six years after The Shipman Inquiry called for increased scrutiny of doctors, GPs who’ve been sanctioned by the authorities in the past are not regularly checked to make sure they are safe to practice.
Random Acts is a brand new short-form arts strand airing five nights a week on Channel 4. Over the course of a year it will showcase 260 specially commissioned three-minute films chosen for their bold and original expressions of creativity.
Mary Queen of Frocks 1/3
For the first time ever Mary Portas, the shop critic and retail consultant, wants to launch her own store. She’s spent years trying to raise retailer’s standards with her outspoken reviews, but now she’s joining the High Street and opening her own shop to give grown-up women an alternative to the teenage fashion or frump currently on the high street.
Grand Designs 4/11
Artists Freddie Robins and Ben Coode-Adams are leaving their modest urban flat to convert a huge Grade II-listed timber-framed barn in Essex into a live/ work space for themselves and their daughter Willa. But at seven times the size of an average three bedroom house, turning this 500 year old building into any kind of home is a challenge. Can a cavernous barn like this ever make a cosy and comfortable home?
Educating Essex 3/4
The school is dealing with a good kid heading in the wrong direction. Charming but cheeky Vinni was a model student when he started at the school. But since the recent break-up of Vinni’s parents’ marriage his behaviour has deteriorated. So much so that head teacher Mr Goddard worries whether Vinni will make it to the end of Year 11. When Vinni’s home situation dramatically changes, it has a huge impact on his school life and leads Mr Goddard to one of the most heartbreaking moments in his career.
Unreported World 1/10: South Africa: Trouble in the Townships
Channel 4’s award winning foreign current affairs series returns with a new reporter, Channel 4 News’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy. He introduces each programme and reports for this first edition from South Africa, where he finds the country’s ambition to lead the continent as a prosperous democracy hangs in the balance.
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