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The week ahead


Saturday 4 December Extreme Engineering:

Excavator The world's largest open pit iron mine needs something a little special when it comes to digging.

A £5.5M shovel is the answer.

Discovery Channel, 12noon Mark Williams On The Rails Ladies and gentlemen - It's Brunel and the Great Western Railway.

Discovery Channel, 6pm Fred Dibnah Tribute Says farewell to the cloth-capped espouser of mainly Victorian engineering excellence.

BBC2, 7.40pm Sunday Lost Buildings Of Britain Considers the long-gone Millbank Penitentiary.

Discovery Channel, 8pm Monday Neighbourhood Watch Originally brought in to help speed up the delivery of mail, the postcode has become just as useful to marketing companies.

Revealing house prices, insurance premiums and the types of schools in the area, it's just the sort of thing to get marketing types all excited at the prospect of creating a 'profile' of home owners.

Apparently, software now exists which gives a demographic low down on every home in the land.

Sadly for most of us, the end result is wading through loads of junk mail when you open the front door after a day at work and having to answer the phone mid-supper to someone offering insurance on your plumbing.

Neighbourhood Watch discovers just how much they know.

BBC Radio 4, 11am Eastenders Denis regrets showing sympathy to Stacey; Stacey continues to wind up Zoe; Patrick feels let down when Paul doesn't turn up and Freddie starts crying.

And they wonder why people are switching off. Try the Mastermind Grand Final on BBC2 instead.

BBC1, 8pm Inside The Red Cross Visits a village in Kabul to look at the work of the international aid organisation.

BBC World Service, 9.05pm Wednesday Bricking It Brighton University lecturer Dr Phil Ashton is asked to guide 10 young people with no construction experience through the challenge of building an apartment block from the shell of an old 19th century house. First in a series of three programmes.

Channel 4, 9pm Light Fantastic - The Light Of Reason The importance of light to such types as surveyors, sailors and artists in the context of building design, navigation and, er, night and day.

BBC 4, 9pm Thursday One Planet - Parched Lands In 1913 the Los Angeles Department for Water & Power diverted the tributary of Owens Lake into the LA aqueduct, turning the lake into a dustbowl.

On top of destroying the ecosystem, a flooded soda factory later polluted the dust, causing respiratory problems among nearby residents. After years of neglect the water department decided to make amends through a conservation programme and shallow flooding the lake. Natasha Mitchell reports on the results.

BBC World Service, 9.05am

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