Britain's green army of wildlife watchers are on the lookout for bugs. Believe it or not, there are many amateur naturalists who just love the little things in life. The great thing about studying creepy crawlies is that they are found everywhere, from back gardens to country lanes. One bug lover finds great delight in 2mm-long snails. Another has turned his whole garden into insect heaven. Yet another risks life and limb by going into a floating bog to find dragonflies. And one stalwart bug man is striving to bring back the bugs that keep our rivers alive.
Inspirational and heart-warming, this programme shows that even the least glamorous animals are essential to a healthy environment. And just taking the time to take a closer look reveals a hidden world of fascination and discovery.
David Attenborough reveals the fascinating lives of snakes, the most misunderstood group of reptiles. A CCTV stakeout of wild rattlesnakes hunting shows, for the first time, what sophisticated predators they truly are. Attenborough is also on the receiving end of a spitting cobra's chemical weapons system, while the surprisingly beautiful and tender side of snakes is displayed in the sinuous courtship of kingsnakes, and the water birth of 15 beautiful yellow anaconda babies.
Documentary series about the brutal, bloody and dangerous history of surgery continues with a look at the development of plastic surgery.
Thought of as a modern phenomenon, it actually started over 400 years ago with a spate of botched nose jobs. Since then, surgeons have been entranced with the idea that not only could they fix the body, but could even fix our sense of self-esteem.
Presenter Michael Mosley undergoes both 16th-century bondage and 21st-century botox in his journey of discovery.
Film drama. The story of Esma, a woman from Sarajevo, and her 12-year-old daughter Sara, following their struggle to survive and make a life in war-torn Bosnia. When Sara wants to go on a school trip, Esma knows a certificate proving Sara's father is a war hero will secure her a discount on the fees.
In the third episode of Medical Mavericks, Michael Mosley charts the extraordinary lengths doctors have gone to to uncover the connections between what we eat and what we die from.
It starts in the 18th century with 28 year-old Dr William Stark. Stark is a little-known hero of nutrition and the first doctor to systematically record the effect of different foods on his health. At the time food was seen simply as a form of fuel, it didn't really matter what you ate. To disprove this, Stark decided to live on nothing but bread and water, then slowly add new foods one at a time. He continued this punishing dietary experiment for nine long months. Tragically, just before adding fruit to his diet, he succumbed to scurvy. Stark died because he didn't know about vitamins and was unable to make the connection between his worsening health and the food he had been consuming. In fact, much of what we know today about which foods contain nutrients essential to our health is knowledge slowly and painfully acquired by self-experimenters.
Men like Dr Joseph Goldberger who, through eating a dying patient's excrement, found the true cause of a dreadful epidemic and changed forever what goes into our food, or like Dr Victor Herbert who proved the health benefits of folic acid by living on thrice-boiled hamburgers, marshmallows and jelly, a diet that almost killed him.
In the programme Michael Mosley also repeats the experiment of Dr Hugh Sinclair, who lived on nothing but seal meat and fish oil for six months to demonstrate its effect on his blood.
Finally, Michael meets Dave who practises Calorie Restriction, a lifelong self-experiment with the goal of extending his lifespan by 50 years. Could diet really hold the secret of a life without the diseases of aging?
Update on the 1980s series about a group of doctors just starting out on their careers. Will Liddell and Ese Stacey found that the life of a GP would change beyond recognition in 20 years. They thought they'd be family doctors, but instead GP practices now run as extremely successful businesses. Ese now works outside the NHS, providing private sports medicine and consultancy. Will runs one of the biggest practices in the UK, trying to prevent his role as a true family doctor from being eroded.
Update on the 1980s series about a group of doctors just starting out on their careers. John was already 28 and had spent more than a decade in the Navy before retraining. His wife Debbie supported him through medical school but they paid a heavy price for his success, with their marriage a casualty of his long hours as a junior doctor. After spells in many different branches of medicine, John has become interested in healthcare management. Could this be the niche he has been searching for?
THURSDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2008
THU 19:00 World News Today (b00dd7ms)
The latest news from around the world.
THU 19:30 Fossil Detectives (b00dd7mv)
Series in which Open University associate lecturer Hermione Cockburn leads a team of fossil experts and geologists around different regions of Britain to search for its best fossil treasures and mysteries.
The team get a rare view of a new fossil discovery on the North East coast. Hermione abseils the cliffs of Yorkshire to find evidence of the ancient monsters that once lived there. John Lennon's link to fossils is investigated, and the truth behind the Victorians' favourite fossil in Whitby is revealed.
Fossil Detectives would like to thank:
Dr Wendy Simkiss
World Museum Liverpool
Board of Trustees, National Museums Liverpool
Dr Joe Crossley
Dr Hilary Davies
Christ Church, Higher Bebington
John Lennon photographs courtesy of Harry Goodwin
John Lennon statue courtesy of Tom Murphy
Executive Producer for The Open University: Mark Jacobs
Academic Consultant for The Open University: Dr Peter Sheldon
Learning Consultant for The Open University: Dr Janet Sumner
Production Co-ordinator: Anne Bamber
Production Manager: Sue Loder
Colourist: Tim Bolt
Post Production Sound: Ken Barton, Neil Hipkiss & Pete Howell
Online: Fred Tay
Sound Recordist: Andy Hawley
Graphics: Jelly Television
Composer: David Lowe
Aerial Photography: Flying TV
Photography: Toby Strong
Editing: Judith Robson
Executive Producer: Fiona Pitcher
Assistant Producers: Amanda Kear & Gavin Boyland
Series Producer: Kerensa Jennings.
THU 20:00 Silbury: the Heart of the Hill (b0084l01)
Documentary following the final archaeological exploration of the interior of the largest man-made mound in Europe - Silbury Hill, one of our most mysterious prehistoric landmarks. It also tells the story of the people who built Silbury, people whose beliefs drove them to sculpt the landscape of the Avebury area, leaving a legacy of great structures.
Major discoveries help us to understand the monument, revealing that it was built when prehistoric Britain was on the brink of great change.
THU 21:00 Casualty 1907 (b009r25c)
Drama that uses case notes, ward reports, autopsy records and diaries from 1907 to bring doctors, nurses and patients at the Royal London Hospital back to life. Nurse Ada has to decide whether or not to take the job of Ward Sister, as it threatens to spoil her engagement to Dr James. The hospital is using a radical new technique, ultra-violet light, to treat skin disease caused by unsanitary living conditions in the East End. Queen Alexandra visits to see it.
THU 22:00 Blood and Guts: A History of Surgery (b00dd18c)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Wednesday
THU 23:00 Maestro (b00dqfmp)
Clive Anderson presents the live grand final. The three remaining student conductors must conduct a concerto with world renowned soloists - violonist Tasmin Little, cellist Natalie Clein and pianist Nikolai Demidenko - as well as a piece of orchestral music of their own choosing. The judges - Sir Roger Norrington, Dominic Seldis, Zoe Martlew and guest judge international violin virtuso Maxim Vengerov - rate their performances before the BBC Concert Orchestra votes one student out. The remaining two contestants both must conduct the 1st movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony.
THU 00:30 BBC Four Sessions (b00dh70d)
Kronos String Quartet In Concert
Concert performance from an ensemble synonymous with musical innovation, San Franciso's Kronos Quartet. They perform works from their 2002 recording, Nuevo, a project based entirely around Mexican composers, musical traditions and influences spanning nearly 100 years. Tracks featured include Mini Skirt by the late Juan Garcia Esquivel, whose early experimentation with stereo caused him to be dubbed the king of space-age bachelor pad music, Chavosuite, which features music from three wildly popular Mexican TV programmes and an explosive Prutsman arrangement of Silvestre Revueltas' Sensemaya. Playing with a fascinating array of samples and backing tracks which culminates in an encore of a drum-backed version of Misirlou, as featured in Pulp Fiction, this is a truly unique performance by a classically trained quartet absolutely committed to playing new music in new ways. Since its inception in 1973, Kronos has been known for its unique artistic vision and fearless dedication to experimentation. In nearly 30 years, they have assembled a body of work unparalleled in its range and scope of expression and, in the process, have captured the attention of audiences worldwide.
THU 01:30 Journeys from the Centre of the Earth (b0074qns)
Geologist Dr Iain Stewart presents a series showing how the rocks beneath our feet have shaped the human history of the Mediterranean. His whistle-stop tour takes in familiar tourist destinations in Greece, Italy and Portugal, but provides a unique geologist's insight which can't be found in the guidebooks.
Rocks played a crucial role in determining the beliefs of ancient civilisations, but they are also a major influence on how we understand our planet today. From the spread of Christianity to recent discoveries about the extinction of dinosaurs, geology has played a vital role.
THU 02:30 Fossil Detectives (b00dd7mv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
THU 03:00 Blood and Guts: A History of Surgery (b00dd18c)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Wednesday
FRIDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2008
FRI 19:00 World News Today (b00ddwcw)
The latest news from around the world.
FRI 19:30 The Voice (b008s99k)
David Howard, professor of music technology at the University of York, presents a documentary about the human voice, explaining just how it works and why replicating it is such a challenge. Comedian Jeremy Hardy and impressionist Rory Bremner are amongst the contributors.
FRI 20:30 Cambridge Folk Festival (b00d63yy)
Seth Lakeman plus Noah And The Whale
Mark Radcliffe presents coverage of the Cambridge Folk Festival, featuring the top artists from the world of folk, roots and acoustic music, either live in concert from the main stage or in exclusive backstage performances.
Featuring poster-boy Seth Lakeman and Noah and The Whale, two youthful examples of British folk. Seth is from a family of musicians who began busking for holiday money in France. His brother Sean produced his first album in their kitchen. Though uncompromisingly folk, it went onto sell 100,000 copies.
Former Mercury Prize Nominee Seth and his band are in concert on the main stage at Cambridge Folk Festival, performing his own dynamic brand of contemporary folk including Solomon Browne, Poor Man's Heaven and his hit, Kitty Jay. Woven through the performances are in-depth interviews with Seth and brother Sean and an impromptu acoustic peformance of The Hurlers out amongst the festival crowd.
Noah And The Whale are a four-piece from Twickenham, West London, with infectious folk-based tunes. Their single, Five Years Time, with its whistling, violin, ukulele and dance beats, has been a chirpy summer chart hit. The programme features an exclusive acoustic performance backstage in the festival's session tent, plus an intimate interview with frontman, songwriter, and rising star, Charlie Fink.
FRI 21:00 Legends (b00ddwcy)
A profile of the late jazz musician, band leader and broadcaster Humphrey Lyttelton's 60-year career.
As a jazzman, 'Humph' composed and performed Bad Penny Blues - the first jazz recording to enter the charts - and was feted by no less a figure than Louis Armstrong, who described him as Britain's top trumpeter.
For more than 40 years, he hosted some of the BBC's most successful radio shows, including Radio Two's Best of Jazz and the hugely popular antidote to panel game shows, Radio 4's I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, in which Humph propelled the art of the double entendre to new heights.
His family, friends and colleagues pay tribute to this enormously popular entertainer in a documentary featuring some unseen home movie footage, archive films of his finest performances, and interviews with regular guest panellists Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Barry Cryer, Jeremy Hardy, Rob Brydon and Sandi Toksvig, as well as Humph's son Stephen.
FRI 22:00 Humph's Last Stand (b00ddwd0)
Jazz trumpeter and raconteur Humphrey Lyttelton in a performance at the 2007 HSBC Brecon Jazz Festival, which turned out to be his last ever television recording. With an all star line-up including guest saxophonist Scott Hamilton, it is a set full of sheer wit and superb music.
FRI 22:50 Life on Mars (b0074sfg)
Drama series about a Manchester detective who suffers a near-fatal car crash and wakes up in what seems to be 1973. A hostage situation becomes personal for Sam when the hostage-taker's deadline coincides with the deadline for switching off his life-support machine in 2006.
FRI 23:50 The Avengers (b0074sxw)
The Maneater of Surrey Green
Steed and Emma arm themselves with plant killer for an unusual case.
FRI 00:40 Legends (b00ddwcy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
FRI 01:40 Humph's Last Stand (b00ddwd0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today
FRI 02:30 Cambridge Folk Festival (b00d63yy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today
FRI 03:00 The Voice (b008s99k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today