SAT 19:00 Nature's Great Events (b00hn4hs)
The Great Melt

The summer melt of Arctic ice, opening up nearly three million square miles of ocean and land, provides opportunities for millions of animals, including beluga whales, families of arctic foxes, vast colonies of seabirds and the fabled arctic unicorn, the narwhal.

For polar bears, however, it is the toughest time of year. Why? How will they survive?

A mother polar bear and her cub make their first journey together onto the sea ice. They are looking for ringed seals, their favourite prey. It is a serious business, but the cub just wants to play. The melting ice makes it harder for them to hunt and threatens their survival.

In a unique aerial sequence, the migration of narwhal with their distinctive unicorn-like tusks is filmed for the first time. The whales' journey is risky as they travel along giant cracks in the ice. If the ice were to close above them, they would drown.

Hundreds of beluga whales gather in the river shallows. They rub themselves on smooth pebbles in one of the most bizarre summer spectacles.

Guillemot chicks take their first flights from precipitous sea cliff nests to the sea 300 metres below. They attempt to glide to safety, but many miss their target. Their loss is a bonus for the hungry arctic fox family waiting below.

As the melt comes to an end, the bears gather, waiting for the sea to freeze again. Two 400kg males square up to each other to spar.

In the final ten-minute diary, Quest for Ice Whales, the crew show how they managed to capture footage of the elusive narwhal on their annual journey through the ice.

SAT 20:00 Natural World (b0078v0h)

Echo of the Elephants: The Final Chapter?

The incredible story of Echo of the Elephants continues in this third film about her life in Kenya's Amboseli National Park. Now 59, she's a wise old matriarch with a large family and several grandchildren to keep safe. Scientist Cynthia Moss thinks she's charting Echo's decline, until she finds out that the venerable old elephant is pregnant.

SAT 20:50 Arena (b00dqv1x)
Philip Hoare's Guide to Whales


Acclaimed author and whale-watcher Philip Hoare takes us into the world of toothed whales, from the plight of the captive killer whale to the fate of the stranded London whale.

In the deep waters off the mysterious islands of the Azores, he encounters common dolphin swimming spectacularly in the clear ocean, and the world's greatest predator, the sperm whale, which once provided man with oil and light.

SAT 21:00 Wallander (b00m0hzx)
Series 1

The African

When a Liberian immigrant is found murdered in a train yard, Wallander and the Ystad team follow the trail to an African dancing class and a cuckolded former white supremacist.

All of this happens against the backdrop of an election and the possibility of Kurt's childhood friend, the democratic candidate, being elected and 'opening the doors' to more immigrants.

In Swedish with English subtitles.

SAT 22:25 Roger and Val Have Just Got In (b00thb1n)
Series 1

The Dining Room Curtains

Real-time sitcom following the lives of a middle-aged couple during their first half-hour home from work. Roger is a botanist at the Winter Gardens and Val is a food technology teacher at a local school. With no children, the couple rely only on each other for distraction.

Val arrives home with the freshly laundered dining room curtains and hears that Roger has had yet another clash with Phil, his non-plant-loving boss. The dining room has just been decorated and Roger and Val must summon up the energy to put the curtains back up - will they manage to do so? We also learn that Roger's father is dying and discover that in this house all is not quite as it seems.

SAT 22:55 Wide Sargasso Sea (b0074sy4)
Dramatisation of Jean Rhys's novel set in 19th-century Jamaica. The tragic story of the first Mrs Rochester from Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre centres on an arranged marriage between a white Creole heiress and a brooding Englishman, who fall in love only to be torn apart by rumours, paranoia and a cultural divide.

SAT 00:20 Treasures of the Anglo Saxons (b00t6xzx)
Art historian Dr Nina Ramirez reveals the codes and messages hidden in Anglo-Saxon art. From the beautiful jewellery that adorned the first violent pagan invaders through to the stunning Christian manuscripts they would become famous for, she explores the beliefs and ideas that shaped Anglo-Saxon art.

Examining many of the greatest Anglo Saxon treasures - such as the Sutton Hoo Treasures, the Staffordshire Hoard, the Franks Casket and the Lindisfarne Gospels - Dr Ramirez charts 600 years of artistic development which was stopped dead in its tracks by the Norman Conquest.

SAT 01:20 Dan Snow's Norman Walks (b00t6yc2)
Sussex: The Invasion Walk

As part of the BBC's Norman season, historian Dan Snow puts his walking boots on and sets off to see what the British landscape can teach us about our Norman predecessors. From their violent arrival on these shores to their most sustaining legacies, Dan's three walks follow an evolutionary path through the Normans' era, from invasion to conquest, to successful rule and colonization.

On the Sussex coast, along the Welsh border and on the edge of the North York Moors, Dan explores the landscape and whatever evidence might remain; earth mounds, changing coastlines, viewpoints, and of course the giant stone castles and buildings that were the great symbol of Norman rule. All these elements offer clues as to how the Norman elite were ultimately able to dominate and rule our Anglo-Saxon kingdom.

As Dan discovers, there are a great many unknowns about events in 1066 and thereafter. But one thing is clear - wherever they went, the varied British landscape and its diverse people offered a fresh challenge to the Normans.

The exploration begins on the Sussex coastline, on the cliffs overlooking the Channel, where William the Conqueror and his army first encountered British soil in the run-up to Hastings. But whilst the end result of William's invasion is in no doubt, how much do we really know about events leading up to the battle?

From Hastings to the town of Battle, Dan's first walk traces events in the two-week period between the Norman landings and the battle itself. By exploring the coastline and investigating what the opposing armies did for two weeks, Dan begins to satisfy his curiosity about why the battle took place when and where it did.

SAT 01:50 Michael Wood on Beowulf (b00kpv23)
Historian Michael Wood returns to his first great love, the Anglo-Saxon world, to reveal the origins of our literary heritage. Focusing on Beowulf and drawing on other Anglo-Saxon classics, he traces the birth of English poetry back to the Dark Ages.

Travelling across the British Isles from East Anglia to Scotland and with the help of Nobel prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney, actor Julian Glover, local historians and enthusiasts, he brings the story and language of this iconic poem to life.

SAT 02:50 The Making of King Arthur (b00tg2q2)
Poet Simon Armitage traces the evolution of the Arthurian legend through the literature of the medieval age and reveals that King Arthur is not the great national hero he is usually considered to be. He's a fickle and transitory character who was appropriated by the Normans to justify their conquest, he was cuckolded when French writers began adapting the story, and it took Thomas Malory's masterpiece of English literature, Le Mort d'Arthur, to restore his dignity and reclaim him as the national hero we know today.


SUN 19:00 In Search of the Perfect Loaf (b00rm55q)
Documentary which follows award-winning artisan baker Tom Herbert in his search to bake a loaf that will win him first prize at the National Organic Food Awards.

Tom Herbert's family have been baking bread in the Cotswolds for five generations. Tom started baking with his father and grandfather and at 16 began his formal apprenticeship. Fresh out of college, he won Young Baker of the Year and now, at 32, Tom continues to win awards for the family firm, Hobbs House Bakery.

Tom is passionate about handmade bread and critical of what he describes as the 'plastic-wrapped pap' of the mass-produced bread market. However, given that sales of handmade bread only account for 2 per cent of the market, Tom has his work cut out if he is to convert more people to the joys of handmade bread.

Tom's quest to make the perfect loaf takes him to Cornwall to meet archaeologist Jacquie Wood, to learn how our ancestors might have baked bread. At the medieval water mill at Stanway House in Gloucestershire he meets Professor Brian Reuben, a leading authority on the history of bread, and he visits Brackman's Jewish bakery in Salford run by third generation baker, Andrew Adelman. Here, Tom learns how to make the specialist Jewish bread challah and meets the rabbi who, on his daily inspection of the baking methods and ingredients, ensures that they conform to Jewish religious law.

Tom's journey helps him to come up with what he hopes will be a competition-winning loaf for the National Organic Food Awards - a huge two-kilo, white, spelt, sourdough loaf made using his family's 40-year-old sourdough, organic spelt from Somerset, Cornish sea salt and Cotswold water from a local spring. Tom names it 'The Shepherd's Loaf'. But while it's his perfect loaf, will the judges agree?

SUN 20:00 English Heritage (b00kjky2)
Full Steam Ahead

The restoration of London's King's Cross, its station and the adjacent goods yard is the biggest infrastructure project in Europe - King's Cross is a Grade I listed building of lasting historical importance. So nothing can be done at King's Cross without the say-so of one woman, case officer Clare Brady, English Heritage's sole representative to the huge teams of architects and engineers marshalled by Network Rail and developer Argent.

The programme chronicles the battle of wills between Clare and the two men driving their respective developments forward: property magnate Roger Madelin, chief executive of Argent, and Network Rail's architect John McAslan. But this is about more than a battle of wills, it is also about Britain's national identity, and whether to side with history, as Clare tries to preserve some fragments of the place's historic past, or to plump for progress, as both men passionately argue for sleek modernity.

At the station, John McAslan's design causes conflict - English Heritage want to expose some 19th-century cast-iron brackets, McAlsan disagrees. For a year, English Heritage block the redesign of the booking hall, and reject McAslan's sleek iron bridge.

At the goods yard, things start well as Argent persuade English Heritage to allow them to knock down a Victorian apartment block. But then the arguments start - turntables that English Heritage want preserved, vast LED screens that they reject.

Eventually, faced with punishing deadlines, both Argent and Network Rail relent, and English Heritage win the day.

SUN 21:00 Paul Merton's Weird and Wonderful World of Early Cinema (b00rs132)
Paul Merton goes in search of the origins of screen comedy in the forgotten world of silent cinema - not in Hollywood, but closer to home in pre-1914 Britain and France.

Revealing the unknown stars and lost masterpieces, he brings to life the pioneering techniques and optical inventiveness of the virtuosos who mastered a new art form. With a playful eye and comic sense of timing, Merton combines the role of presenter and director to recreate the weird and wonderful world that is early European cinema in a series of cinematic experiments of his own.

SUN 22:00 Wonderful Town (b00tjp64)
Award-winning film about a rural Thai community following the aftermath of the tsunami which destroyed the tourist industry. Local girl Na runs a small hotel where every day is more of less the same until Ta arrives one day. Ta is an architect from the city who has come to oversee the building of a new development and very slowly the two build a friendship that develops into something more romantic.

SUN 23:25 T in the Park (b00thqt6)


A show by Madness when they headlined one of the stages at Scotland's biggest music festival, T in the Park in July 2010. The band give fantastic performances of their classic hits, showing why they have become stars of the festival circuit. They also perform some great new tracks and there is exclusive backstage footage and interviews in which the band talk about the stories behind some of their favourite numbers, their careers and what keeps them together over 30 years after starting out.

SUN 00:25 Young Guns Go for It (b007gt6c)
Series 2


United by a love of ska music and skinhead style, seven mates from London's Camden Town became the 1980s most distinctively English pop band - Madness. Members of the band reflect on brushes with National Front, hits, splits and their reunion concert.

SUN 01:05 Scotland on Screen (b00mqm0y)
Scottish movie star Alan Cumming returns to his homeland to take a tour of the locations of some classic Scottish movies. He celebrates some of the weird and wonderful movies inspired by Scotland, such as The Wicker Man, which was filmed in Dumfries and Galloway.

Film experts and actors, including Peter Mullen and David Hayman, compare the blockbusters Braveheart and Rob Roy, while Edinburgh's contribution to Scottish cinema is celebrated by the contrasting films The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Trainspotting.

Director Bill Forsyth meets Cumming in Cumbernauld - the setting of Forsyth's film Gregory's Girl - and explains why the new town was such a fitting location for his enduringly popular film.

SUN 02:05 Paul Merton's Weird and Wonderful World of Early Cinema (b00rs132)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

SUN 03:05 On Hannibal's Trail (b00tg2jh)
Hannibal the Great

History and travel series in which three Australian brothers - Danny, Ben and Sam Wood - set out cycling on the trail of Hannibal, the Carthaginian warrior who marched from Spain to Rome at the head of an invading army accompanied by elephants.

With the Alps behind them, the brothers cycle through northern Italy from the fertile Valley of Trebbia, where Hannibal first defeated the Romans on their home turf, to the rolling hills of Tuscany. They continue on through thick marshes before arriving at Cannae, site of the bloodiest battle in ancient history. On the way, the Woods meet a winemaker called Hannibal, attempt to make a pizza in Naples and have a close shave in Trani.

SUN 03:35 Britain by Bike (b00tg2q0)
The Cotswolds

Clare Balding tests the limits of pedal power again with a cycle trip through an area considered one of the prettiest in Britain, the Cotswolds.

Following the wheel tracks of cycling author Harold Briercliffe, whose guide books of the late 1940s paint an evocative portrait of Britain on B-Roads, she encounters not only beautiful countryside but one or two surprises.

Briercliffe had controversial views about this handsomely-preserved landscape. Carrying a set of Harold's Cycling Touring Guides for company and riding his very own bicycle, Clare goes in search of the world he described.

Along the way, she explores why the countryside looks the way it does, examines how post-war social change opened the doors of great private houses like Blenheim to a paying public and reveals how two men - both called William Morris - helped change the face of heritage tourism.


MON 19:00 World News Today (b00tjq7s)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

MON 19:30 Visions of the Future (b008bsy9)
The Quantum Revolution

Theoretical physicist and futurist Michio Kaku shows how quantum physics is giving mankind the almost godlike power to manipulate the fundamental building blocks of matter. Science fiction ideas like the space elevator, teleportation, invisibility cloaks, or nanosized molecular machines might soon become a reality. But will we use our unprecedented scientific mastery wisely?

MON 20:30 On Hannibal's Trail (b00tjqgy)
Hannibal at the Gates

History and travel series in which three Australian brothers - Danny, Ben and Sam Wood - set out cycling on the trail of Hannibal, the Carthaginian warrior who marched from Spain to Rome at the head of an invading army accompanied by elephants.

As they come towards the end of their epic journey, the Wood brothers make a sacrifice to the gods at Lake Averno, come face to face with Hannibal in Rome and cross the Mediterranean Sea to Tunisia, once the centre of the Carthaginian Empire, where they visit the site where the fate of an entire civilisation was decided in one final battle. On the way, they meet a Roman centurion and discuss Hannibal's legacy with the souk merchants of Tunis.

MON 21:00 In Their Own Words: British Novelists (b00tjqh0)
The Age of Anxiety (1945-1969)

Series looking at the story of the British novel in the 20th century, told by those who know it best, the authors themselves.

This second part marks the end of the Second World War and the beginning of the atomic age, with humanity now having the power of world destruction. What WH Auden coined the Age of Anxiety had begun. The holocaust and the nuclear cloud dominated the sensibility of the period and as political tensions worsened, the mood of anxiety, horror and fear of possible armageddon intensified. A new generation of novelists were on hand to confront and articulate this age; the period that reaffirmed realism was also the period of its dissolution.

MON 22:00 The Day of the Triffids (b0074rrk)
Classic sci-fi fantasy adventure, based on John Wyndham's novel, about the invasion of the planet by deadly plants. A meteor shower blinds the most of the Earth's population and covers the planet with strange seeds, which grow into huge plant-like creatures that embark on a seemingly unstoppable cycle of destruction. But a small band of people, unaffected by the meteors, decide to fight back.

MON 23:35 Selling the Sixties (b009364s)
Documentary about Madison Avenue, home of the American advertising business, a semi-mythical place where the dreams of a new, affluent society were spun in the early 1960s. These were the 'days of heaven', when the country felt to many like a land of plenty and a land of hope - politics was reinvigorated thanks to a product known as new, improved JFK, consumerism was on the up and the challenges of Vietnam, feminism and the counter-culture still lay in the future.

Includes contributions from advertising legend George Lois and writer Gay Talese.

MON 00:35 The Man Who Shot the 60s (b00pwsns)
A tribute to Brian Duffy, who passed away in May 2010. Duffy was one of the greatest photographers of his generation. Along with David Bailey and Terence Donovan he defined the image of the 1960s and was as famous as the stars he photographed. In the 1970s he suddenly disappeared from view and burned all his negatives. Filmed on the eve of the first-ever exhibition of his work, Duffy agrees to talk about his life, his work and why he made it all go up in flames.

MON 01:35 On Hannibal's Trail (b00tjqgy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

MON 02:05 Selling the Sixties (b009364s)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:35 today]

MON 03:05 In Their Own Words: British Novelists (b00tjqh0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 World News Today (b00tjr3x)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

TUE 19:30 Only Connect (b00rjs4c)
Series 3

Neuroscientists vs Strategists

Quiz show presented by Victoria Coren in which knowledge will only take you so far, as patience and lateral thinking are also vital.

In the third of the quarter-finals, three studying for their PhDs at Oxford set out to challenge the brainpower of the strategists, a team unified by their love of sophisticated strategy board games. They compete to draw together the connections between things, which, at first glance, seem utterly random - from maypoles to horse racing to spoken theatre to mince pies.

TUE 20:00 James May at the Edge of Space (b00lc5ph)
James May always wanted to be an astronaut. Now, 40 years after the first Apollo landings, he gets a chance to fly to the edge of space in a U2 spy plane. But first he has to undergo three gruelling days of training with the US Air Force and learn to use a space suit to stay alive in air so thin it can kill in an instant. He discovers that during the flight there are only two people higher than him, and they are both real astronauts on the International Space Station.

TUE 20:30 Britain by Bike (b00tjr3z)
The Scottish Highlands

Clare Balding's two-wheeled odyssey to re-discover Britain by bicycle hits the Scottish Highlands, uncovering a series of vivid human stories connected to this stunning landscape.

Clare is following the wheeltracks of compulsive cyclist and author Harold Briercliffe, whose evocative guide books of the late 1940s painted a picture of by-passed Britain - a world of unspoiled villages, cycle touring clubs and sunny B-roads.

Carrying a set of Harold's Cycling Touring Guides for company and riding his very own bicycle, Clare goes in search of the world he described and charts how a series of incomers have changed our view of the Highlands - a diverse group which includes Dr Johnson, an English army of occupation, a North American spruce tree and author Gavin Maxwell, plus otter.

And for those wondering whatever happened to TV naturalist Terry Nutkins, the answer is revealed.

TUE 21:00 Canoe Man (b00rs2kc)
It was the story that gripped a nation.

John Darwin was a real life Reggie Perrin who faked his death to fund a better life, disappearing at sea in a canoe, while his wife, Anne, played the grieving widow. Even the couple's sons were fooled.

This compelling drama documentary has collaboration from the journalist who had exclusive access to Anne Darwin in the vital few days before her arrest and to whom she confessed all.

As the story unraveled in the glare of the media spotlight, Anne Darwin desperately tried to keep the lie intact.

This unique telling of this extraordinary tale uses as its basis the three very different versions of the story Anne Darwin told to try and fool the press and the police.

TUE 22:00 Shanties and Sea Songs with Gareth Malone (b00s97c0)
The story of Britain's maritime past has a hidden history of shanties and sea songs, and choirmaster Gareth Malone has been travelling Britain's coast to explore this unique heritage. From dedicated traditionalists to groundbreaking recording artists, Gareth meets a variety of sea-singers from across the country.

His journey begins in Portsmouth where he meets a devoted shanty singer, before continuing on to Tyneside and the Yorkshire coast, where the Filey Fisherman's Choir, with an average age of 70, are determined to keep the tradition alive.

Gareth gets a fascinating insight into the songs of the Herring Girls when he visits Gardenstown in Scotland. In Whitby, he meets Kimber's Men, a local group who have dedicated themselves to writing and singing songs celebrating heroes of the sea, such as a rescue of 1881 when the sea was so rough the people of Whitby had to carry their 2-tonne lifeboat some six miles overland on a wooden trailer and in heavy snow to the bay where a ship had hit the rocks. Despite the exhaustion, they still managed to rescue the shipwrecked crew and passengers.

Gareth's journey ends in Port Isaac in Cornwall, where a group of local fishermen sing shanties and sea songs alongside their day job. Calling themselves the Fishermen's Friends, they have been so successful that they have landed a lucrative record deal.

TUE 23:00 The Box That Changed Britain (b00scpzn)
Poet Roger McGough narrates the extraordinary story of how a simple invention - the shipping container - changed the world forever and forced Britain into the modern era of globalisation.

With a blend of archive and modern-day filming, the incredible impact of the box is told through the eyes of dockers, seafarers, ship spotters, factory workers and logisticians. From quayside in huge container ports to onboard ships the size of four football pitches, the documentary explains how the shipping container has transformed our communities, economy and coastline.

TUE 00:00 Wonderful Town (b00tjp64)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday]

TUE 01:25 Britain by Bike (b00tjr3z)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

TUE 01:55 Shanties and Sea Songs with Gareth Malone (b00s97c0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

TUE 02:55 Canoe Man (b00rs2kc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 World News Today (b00tjrpb)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

WED 19:30 Only Connect (b00rm4j1)
Series 3

Gamblers vs Bowlers

Quiz show presented by Victoria Coren in which knowledge will only take you so far, as patience and lateral thinking are also vital.

In the last of the quarter-finals, three committed gamblers take their chances against a team unified by their love of ten-pin bowling. They compete to draw together the connections between things, which, at first glance, seem utterly random - from birdsong to breakout to shotgun to takeover.

WED 20:00 ... Sings The Beatles (b00ml7p5)
Recorded for the 40th anniversary of Abbey Road, The Beatles' final album, a journey through the classic and curious covers in the BBC archives.

Featuring Sandie Shaw singing a sassy Day Tripper, Shirley Bassey belting out Something, a close-harmony Carpenters cover of Help!, Joe Cocker's chart-topping With a Little Help from My Friends, Oasis reinventing the Walrus and a little Lady Madonna from Macca himself.

Plus a few 'magical' moments from Candy Flip, The Korean Kittens and Su Pollard.

WED 21:00 Arena (b007y91g)
The Brian Epstein Story

Documentary examining the turbulent life and career of Brian Epstein, who died in 1967 in mysterious circumstances. When Epstein met the Beatles at the end of 1961, he was a successful retailer in a Jewish family business. In 1963 - his first year in pop music - his acts occupied the No 1 spot in the charts for 37 weeks. With contributions from Paul McCartney, Marianne Faithfull, Billy J Kramer and George Martin.

WED 22:30 Lennon Naked (b00sv451)
Christopher Eccleston is John Lennon in a drama which charts his transition from Beatle John to enduring and enigmatic icon.

Writer Robert Jones articulates the burden of genius, as well as issues of fatherhood and fame, covering a period of wildly fluctuating fortunes for Lennon from 1967-71. When the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein died unexpectedly in 1967 it was a turning point in Lennon's life and the film focuses on the turbulent and intense period of change that followed, and how John was haunted by his troubled childhood.

It also reveals the impact of re-establishing contact with his long-lost father and the events that led Lennon to shed everything both personally and creatively, including calling time on the Beatles. Meeting Yoko Ono was the catalyst for this new era and the film explores the development of their extraordinary relationship, their growing disillusionment with Britain and what caused Lennon to abandon the UK to start a new life in America - a process which ultimately led Lennon to record arguably the most powerful solo work of his career.

WED 23:55 TOTP2 (b00747qb)
John Lennon Special

Steve Wright presents a mixture of pop nostalgia and music, celebrating the late John Lennon.

WED 00:25 ... Sings The Beatles (b00ml7p5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 01:25 Dear Diary (b00pws9f)
Mariella Frostrup

Mariella Frostrup asks what it takes to write a compelling diary. She discovers more about the diaries of Virginia Woolf, Anne Frank and Adrian Mole through meeting Virginia Nicholson, Jacqueline Wilson and Sue Townsend.

In seeking to find out what separates a simply dedicated diarist from a great one Mariella travels to Charleston to meet Virginia Nicholson, the grandniece of her favourite diarist, Virginia Woolf. Despite leading inexorably towards her taking her own life, Woolf's diaries are surprisingly funny, and their immediacy and humanity pulls us into her world.

Teenage is a time when many commit their most intimate thoughts to their diary, though few continue into adulthood. Mariella visits Jacqueline Wilson to talk about the teenage diary - often silly, full of self-obsession and lacking in irony. In fact, the former children's laureate describes her own teenage diary as written by 'such an idiot'. But Jacqueline is in awe of the skilled teenage writers who use their diary as confidante to create something resonant and lasting and admits to a lifelong obsession with Anne Frank. Anne Frank couldn't possibly know the end to her story as she wrote. But is there a reader who comes to her diaries without the added poignancy of the tragic end colouring how they respond to every entry?

The importance of a diary's detail and honesty come to dominate Mariella's trip to Leicester to see Sue Townsend. They discuss whether a fictional diary can possibly be entirely fictional, and Sue confesses that there are more similarities between her and her diary-keeping creation, Adrian Mole, than one might imagine.

Contributors include Eileen Atkins, Hermione Lee, Deborah Bull, Kathy Lette, Gyles Brandreth, Ellie Kendrick, Simon Brett, John Lahr and Simon Garfield.

WED 02:25 Arena (b007y91g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 World News Today (b00tjrv3)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

THU 19:30 BBC Proms (b00tjs8y)

Sibelius's Second Symphony

Sibelius's powerful and expansive Second Symphony is performed at the Royal Albert Hall by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under American conductor David Robertson. Israeli-American virtuoso Gil Shaham joins them in Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto, and the evening also includes the world premiere of a new work by leading British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage, entitled Hammered Out.

THU 21:20 Jean Sibelius (b00q9p2y)
The Early Years

In the first of two films exploring the life and music of Jean Sibelius, celebrated filmmaker Christopher Nupen looks at the Finnish composer's development from his beginnings to the time of his third symphony.

At the peak of his career Sibelius was hailed by almost every leading critic and composer in England as the greatest symphonist of the twentieth century. The Americans went even further, with a survey by the New York Philharmonic Society in 1935 showing his music to be more popular with their concert-goers than that of any other composer in the history of music - a degree of recognition in his own lifetime unequalled in Western music.

The film offers an intimate account, using archive footage and Sibelius's music and words, of a great artist's struggle with his medium, with the world and with himself.

THU 22:10 What Makes a Great Tenor? (b00sm1js)
The great tenor Rolando Villazon takes us inside the world of the sexiest and most risky of all operatic voices. It's a journey which includes some of the great names of the past, such as Caruso and Lanza, and some of the brightest stars performing today, like Domingo, Alagna and Florez. We hear how they tackle their most famous roles and what the risks and rewards are.

THU 23:10 Jean Sibelius (b00qbzxq)
Maturity and Silence

In the second of two films exploring the life and music of Jean Sibelius, celebrated filmmaker Christopher Nupen covers the period from the fourth symphony to the unfinished eighth.

At the peak of his career Sibelius was hailed by almost every leading critic and composer in England as the greatest symphonist of the twentieth century. The words are provided almost entirely by Sibelius himself and his wife Aino and the music by Vladimir Ashkenazy, Elisabeth Soderstrom and Boris Belkin with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy.

THU 00:05 Britain by Bike (b00tjr3z)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 on Tuesday]

THU 00:35 On Hannibal's Trail (b00tjqgy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 on Monday]

THU 01:05 What Makes a Great Tenor? (b00sm1js)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:10 today]

THU 02:05 BBC Proms (b00tjs8y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


FRI 19:00 World News Today (b00tjs90)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 BBC Proms (b00tjs92)

Jamie Cullum Night

An evening with the British singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum, as he makes his debut at the Proms. The Heritage Orchestra, one of the most exciting new young orchestras to emerge in the last decade, joins him onstage at the Royal Albert Hall for a wide-ranging programme that promises both new arrangements and some special guests.

FRI 21:00 The Swing Thing (b00g3694)
Documentary telling the story of swing, an obscure form of jazz that became the first worldwide pop phenomenon, inspired the first ever youth culture revolution and became a byword for sexual liberation and teenage excess well before the Swinging Sixties.

In the process, swing threw up some of the greatest names in 20th century music, from Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington to Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra. The film uses archive and contemporary accounts to shed light on why it endures today.

FRI 22:30 I'm in a Rock 'n' Roll Band! (b00sf772)
The Guitarist

What is the DNA of a great rock 'n' roll band?

The series breaks this mythical beast down into its constituent parts - singer, guitarist, drummer as well as the shadowy 'other one', whose face we don't quite know but without whom the magic wouldn't happen.

A no-holds-barred look at the talents and foibles of the eternal hero of rock 'n' roll, the guitarist. Windmilling and kerranging from a huge cast of strummers and twangers including Slash, Jeff Beck, Johnny Marr, Pete Townshend, Mick Jones of the Clash, Status Quo and Matt Bellamy of Muse.

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FRI 23:30 Fleetwood Mac: Don't Stop (b00nq7q9)
Fleetwood Mac are one of the biggest-selling bands of all time and still on the road. Their story, told in their own words, is an epic tale of love and confrontation, of success and loss.

Few bands have undergone such radical musical and personal change. The band evolved from the 60s British blues boom to perfect a US West Coast sound that saw them sell 40 million copies of the album Rumours.

However, behind-the-scenes relationships were turbulent. The band went through multiple line-ups with six different lead guitarists. While working on Rumours, the two couples at the heart of the band separated, yet this heartache inspired the perfect pop record.

FRI 00:30 The Swing Thing (b00g3694)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 02:00 BBC Proms (b00tjs92)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]