SAT 19:00 South Pacific (b00l5jl0)
Strange Islands

Flightless parrots, burrowing bats, giant skinks and kangaroos in trees; on the isolated islands of the South Pacific, the wildlife has evolved in extraordinary ways. But island living can carry a high price, for when new species arrive all hell breaks loose. And there lies a puzzle - why do animals perfectly adapted to island life simply give up the ghost? The answer is revealed by the remarkable stories of some unlikely animals that survived on tiny islands off the coast of New Zealand. The human history of the region is further evidence that, however idyllic it may appear, life on a South Pacific island may never be very far from catastrophe.

SAT 20:00 Lost Kingdoms of Africa (b01bgndm)
Series 2

The Kingdom of Asante

We know less about Africa's distant past than almost anywhere else on Earth. But the scarcity of written records doesn't mean that Africa lacks history - it is found instead in the culture, artefacts and traditions of the people. In this series, art historian Dr Gus Casely-Hayford explores some of the richest and most vibrant histories in the world, revealing fascinating stories of four complex and sophisticated civilisations: the Kingdom of Asante, the Zulu Kingdom, the Berber Kingdom of Morocco and the Kingdoms of Bunyoro & Buganda.

In this episode, Dr Casely-Hayford travels to Ghana in West Africa, where a powerful kingdom once dominated the region. Asante was built on gold and slaves, which ensured its important place in an economy that linked three continents. He reveals how this sophisticated kingdom emerged from the unlikely environment of dense tropical forest and how it was held together by a shared sense of tradition and history - one deliberately moulded by the kingdom's rulers.

SAT 21:00 The Bridge (b01hr5s3)
Series 1

Episode 7

The murderer's fifth and final truth is the public's indifference to child labour, with millions of children being exploited daily in order to produce goods as cheaply as possible. Since they are not our own children we don't care, but when a school bus full of children disappears, suddenly we sit up and take notice. To save the children, the murderer demands that five large companies which benefit indirectly from child labour should be set on fire by the general public. Saga increasingly suspects that the perpetrator is one of their own - a police officer.

In Swedish and Danish with English subtitles.

SAT 22:00 The Bridge (b01hr5s5)
Series 1

Episode 8

After many suspicions and one witness statement, Saga and Martin arrest and question a fellow officer. He turns out to have an alibi for all the crimes, but is he really innocent? The murderer is finished now, having succeeded in doing what he set out to do - to open people's eyes to the problems of society. Saga, however, believes that this is not the end of his plan and that there is more to come.

In Swedish and Danish with English subtitles.

SAT 23:00 Parkinson: The Interviews (b01hr5s7)
Series 1

Orson Welles

Michael Parkinson recalls a rare interview with the brilliant film-maker and actor Orson Welles.

SAT 23:40 Do We Really Need the Moon? (b00yb5jp)
The moon is such a familiar presence in the sky that most of us take it for granted. But what if it wasn't where it is now? How would that affect life on Earth?

Space scientist and lunar fanatic Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock explores our intimate relationship with the moon. Besides orchestrating the tides, the moon dictates the length of a day, the rhythm of the seasons and the very stability of our planet.

Yet the moon is always on the move. In the past, it was closer to the Earth and in the future it will be farther away. That it is now perfectly placed to sustain life is pure luck, a cosmic coincidence. Using computer graphics to summon up great tides and set the Earth spinning on its side, Aderin-Pocock implores us to look at the Moon afresh: to see it not as an inert rock, but as a key player in the story of our planet, past, present and future.

SAT 00:40 The Sky at Night (b08slwrh)
Moore Marathon

The Sky at Night celebrates 55 years with the second of its special programmes. Sir Patrick picked out 55 objects in the April sky and asked viewers to take part in his Moore Marathon. He finds out how everyone got on, with help from the team.

SAT 01:10 A Civil Arrangement (b01hddk5)
Alison Steadman stars in a delightful monologue that is funny, fraught and fiery, but not always civil. Isobel evaluates her relationship with her uncompromising husband and her difficult daughter as she helps plan the latter's gay civil ceremony.

SAT 01:40 The Many Faces of... (b00wylqq)
Series 1

Alison Steadman

A documentary in which Alison Steadman talks about her impressive career, featuring archive clips, both treasured and rarely seen, weaved together with sincere testimony from friends and colleagues.

The programme contains footage and stills from programmes such as Gavin and Stacey, Abigail's Party, Newshounds, Nuts in May and her early appearances in Frost's Weekly. It progresses from her earliest appearances on screen to what drove her choices, for good or ill, and their consequences.

SAT 02:40 Lost Kingdoms of Africa (b01bgndm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SAT 03:40 South Pacific (b00l5jl0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SUNDAY 13 MAY 2012

SUN 19:00 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (b00x1yny)

Why Mountains Are So Small

Why is the tallest building on earth less than half a mile high? Why don't we have mountains as tall as those on Mars?

In his final Christmas lecture, Dr Mark Miodownik investigates the world of the very big and very tall. He reveals that, at this scale, everything is governed by a battle with one of the strangest forces in the universe - gravity. With help from acrobats, levitation devices, spiders, birthday cake candles and even some sticky goo, Mark discovers how gravity can make solid rock behave like a liquid and investigates whether one day it might be possible to build a structure from Earth into space, taking us beyond the reach of gravity without the use of a rocket.

SUN 20:00 Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity (p00kjqcv)
Revelations and Revolutions

Professor Jim Al-Khalili tells the electrifying story of our quest to master nature's most mysterious force - electricity. Until fairly recently, electricity was seen as a magical power, but it is now the lifeblood of the modern world and underpins every aspect of our technological advancements.

Without electricity, we would be lost. This series tells of dazzling leaps of imagination and extraordinary experiments - a story of maverick geniuses who used electricity to light our cities, to communicate across the seas and through the air, to create modern industry and to give us the digital revolution.

Electricity is not just something that creates heat and light, it connects the world through networks and broadcasting. After centuries of man's experiments with electricity, the final episode tells the story of how a new age of real understanding dawned - how we discovered electric fields and electromagnetic waves. Today we can hardly imagine life without electricity - it defines our era. As our understanding of it has increased so has our reliance upon it, and today we are on the brink of a new breakthrough, because if we can understand the secret of electrical superconductivity, we could once again transform the world.

SUN 21:00 Grand Prix: The Killer Years (b00z8v18)
In the 60s and early 70s it was common for Grand Prix drivers to be killed while racing, often televised for millions to see. Mechanical failure, lethal track design, fire and incompetence snuffed out dozens of young drivers. They had become almost expendable as eager young wannabes queued up at the top teams' gates waiting to take their place.

This is the story of when Grand Prix was out of control.

Featuring many famous drivers, including three-time world champion Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, twice world champion Emerson Fittipaldi and John Surtees OBE, this exciting but shocking film explores how Grand Prix drivers grew sick of their closest friends being killed and finally took control of their destiny.

After much waste of life, the prestigious Belgian and German Grands Prix would be boycotted, with drivers insisting that safety be put first. But it would be a long and painful time before anything would change, and a lot of talented young men would be cut down in their prime.

This is their story.

'Something was terribly wrong. I loved the sport, but it was wrong. I prayed to God whether or not to continue.' - Emerson Fittipaldi

'It made me angry. The sport was way wrong.' - Sir Jackie Stewart OBE.

SUN 22:00 Apocalypto (b00qmf1w)
Epic historical adventure tale set against the backdrop of a Mayan civilisation falling into a decline.

A young tribesman hides his pregnant wife and son in an underground cavern when his people are attacked by marauders from a Mayan city. Unable to withstand the assault, he and his fellow tribesmen are escorted to the city, where the ruler is intent on appeasing the sun god Kukulkan by sacrificing them in a bloody ritual.

SUN 00:05 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (b00x1yny)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SUN 01:05 Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity (p00kjqcv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SUN 02:05 Grand Prix: The Killer Years (b00z8v18)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

SUN 03:05 Guitar Heroes at the BBC (b00plj0l)
Part VI

In this sixth and final show to round out the Guitar Heroes series, axe fans get classic riffs from Pete Townshend as The Who play Won't Get Fooled Again, Rod and Ronnie with The Faces doing Miss Judy's Farm at the old BBC TV Theatre, some weird yodel-rock from Dutch prog rockers Focus, folky acoustic numbers from Davey Graham and Ralph McTell, and some flamboyant fretwork from Americans Nils Lofgren and Ted Nugent.

Filmed in the 1970s for shows including Top of the Pops and The Old Grey Whistle Test, these tracks pay tribute to a golden era in rock and to the last of the 70s Guitar Heroes.

Complete line-up:

The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again
The Faces - Miss Judy's Farm
Focus - Hocus Pocus
Man - Day and Night
Chris Spedding - Motor Bikin'
Nils Lofgren - Back It Up
The Cate Brothers - In One Eye and Out the Other
Ralph McTell - Dry Bone Rag
The Runaways - Wasted
The Motors - Dancing the Night Away
Ted Nugent - Free For All
The Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love
Gary Moore - Back on the Streets
Judas Priest - Take on the World
Davey Graham - City and Suburban Blues
ZZ Top - Cheap Sunglasses.

MONDAY 14 MAY 2012

MON 19:00 World News Today (b01hr61d)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

MON 19:30 Canal Walks with Julia Bradbury (b010v7kx)
The Caledonian Canal

Seasoned stomper Julia Bradbury dons her walking boots once again and this time she is exploring her own British backyard, travelling along the country's network of canals and their accompanying towpath trails. This sees her navigating Highland glens, rolling countryside and river valleys, as well as our industrial heartlands, following these magical waterways as they cut a sedate path through some of the country's finest scenery.

Julia kicks off her tour with a visit to the Scottish Highlands. Against the stunning backdrop of Ben Nevis, her walk starts near Fort William where she embarks on her eight-mile trip along the Caledonian Canal, the majestic waterway that cuts through beautiful mountain country and is regarded as one of the most ambitious canals of its time. Julia's journey tells the story of one of the greatest canal engineers, Thomas Telford, whose ambition was to create not only an engineering marvel, but also badly needed jobs and wealth for the Highlands. Two hundred years on, it is now one of the most popular walking trails in the country.

MON 20:00 The First World War from Above (b00vyrzh)
Fergal Keane tells the story of the World War One from a unique new aerial perspective. Featuring two remarkable historical finds, including a piece of archive footage filmed from an airship in summer 1919, capturing the trenches and battlefields in a way that has rarely been seen before. It also features aerial photographs taken by First World War pilots - developed for the first time in over 90 years - that show not only the devastation inflicted during the fighting, but also quirks and human stories visible only from above.

MON 21:00 Birdsong (b01bclv2)
Episode 1

Sebastian Faulks' epic love story set against the First World War is adapted for the screen for the first time.

As Stephen Wraysford fights in the terrifying death-filled trenches of northern France, he is haunted by memories of Isabelle Azaire, the woman with whom he had an illicit and all-consuming affair during a summer in France before the war.

MON 22:25 The Two-Thousand-Year-Old Computer (b01hlkcq)
In 1901, a group of divers excavating an ancient Roman shipwreck near the island of Antikythera, off the southern coast of Greece, found a mysterious object - a lump of calcified stone that contained within it several gearwheels welded together after years under the sea. The 2,000-year-old object, no bigger than a modern laptop, is now regarded as the world's oldest computer, devised to predict solar eclipses and, according to recent findings, calculate the timing of the ancient Olympics. Following the efforts of an international team of scientists, the mysteries of the Antikythera Mechanism are uncovered, revealing surprising and awe-inspiring details of the object that continues to mystify.

MON 23:25 The Bridge (b01hr5s3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday]

MON 00:25 Canal Walks with Julia Bradbury (b010v7kx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

MON 00:55 The First World War from Above (b00vyrzh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 01:55 The Two-Thousand-Year-Old Computer (b01hlkcq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:25 today]

MON 02:55 Birdsong (b01bclv2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 World News Today (b01hplqg)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

TUE 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00xbll7)
Series 2

Enfield to Cambridge

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook. In a series of five epic journeys, Portillo travels the length and breadth of the country to see how the railways changed us, and what remains of Bradshaw's Britain.

On a journey taking him coast to coast from Brighton to Cromer, Michael visits the government arms factory at Enfield (the largest machine shop in Europe in Bradshaw's day), discovers how the trains transformed Newmarket's races and finds out why Cambridge could be considered the birthplace of modern football.

TUE 20:00 The Story of British Pathé (b0141mmz)
Entertaining Britain

While the company was famous for its pioneering news reports, it also produced immensely popular 'cinemagazines', which entertained cinemagoers for decades. Initially made to boost the nation's morale after the First World War, entertaining strands such as Pathe Pictorial and Eve's Film Review were designed to appeal to women who were interested in fashion, celebrities and movie stars - and offered plenty of handy hints for those running the home. In the 1930s, the arrival of synchronised sound increased the popularity of cinemagazines, and the company launched Pathetone Weekly - a strand that featured what Pathe believed were the 'novel, amusing and strange' dimensions of our national life.

TUE 21:00 Roundhead or Cavalier: Which One Are You? (b01hr7k9)
In the middle of the 17th century, Britain was devastated by a civil war that divided the nation into two tribes - the Roundheads and the Cavaliers. In this programme, celebrities and historians reveal that modern Britain is still defined by the battle between the two tribes. The Cavaliers represent a Britain of panache, pleasure and individuality. They are confronted by the Roundheads, who stand for modesty, discipline, equality and state intervention.

The ideas which emerged 350 years ago shaped our democracy, civil liberties and constitution. They also create a cultural divide that influences how we live, what we wear and even what we eat and drink. Individuals usually identify with one tribe or the other, but sometimes they need some elements of the enemy's identity - David Cameron seeks a dash of the down-to-earth Roundhead, while Ed Miliband looks for some Cavalier charisma.

Featuring contributions from Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, AS Byatt, Julian Fellowes, Philippa Gregory, Anne Widdecombe and Clarissa Dickson Wright.

Are you a Roundhead or a Cavalier?

TUE 22:00 The Man who Discovered Egypt (b01f13f4)
Documentary about English Egyptologist Flinders Petrie, the pioneer of systematic methodology in archaeology. Ancient Egypt was vandalised by tomb raiders and treasure hunters until this Victorian adventurer took them on. Most people have never heard of him, but this maverick undertook a scientific survey of the pyramids, discovered the oldest portraits in the world, unearthed Egypt's prehistoric roots - and in the process invented modern field archaeology, giving meaning to a whole civilisation.

TUE 23:00 The Bridge (b01hr5s5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Saturday]

TUE 00:00 The Story of British Pathé (b0141mmz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

TUE 01:00 Roundhead or Cavalier: Which One Are You? (b01hr7k9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

TUE 02:00 The Man who Discovered Egypt (b01f13f4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

TUE 03:00 Great British Railway Journeys (b00xbll7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

TUE 03:30 Roundhead or Cavalier: Which One Are You? (b01hr7k9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 World News Today (b01hplqp)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

WED 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00xblnw)
Series 2

Ely to King's Lynn

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook. In a series of five epic journeys, Portillo travels the length and breadth of the country to see how the railways changed us and what remains of Bradshaw's Britain.

On a journey taking him coast to coast from Brighton to Cromer, Michael goes fishing with the last eel trapper on the Fens at Ely and visits one of the great triumphs of 19th-century engineering, the Denver Sluice. He ends his journey in King's Lynn, where he uncovers an ambitious plan to reclaim the Wash in Bradshaw's day.

WED 20:00 Henry VIII: Patron or Plunderer? (b00l7qdh)
Episode 1

King Henry VIII had a fascinating and enlightening relationship with art. He came to the throne as the Renaissance swept across Europe, yet England's new king never lost sight of the medieval chivalry of his forefathers. In the first of a two-part documentary, architectural historian Jonathan Foyle looks at the palaces, tapestries, music and paintings created in Henry's name and questions whether the art he commissioned compensates for the religious treasures he would come to destroy.

WED 21:00 Metalworks! (b01hr877)
The Blacksmith's Tale

In a story where progress meets creative invention, this film looks at how the blacksmith created items in wrought and cast iron that both served and embellished society. From the earliest ornate hinges and doors to magnificent baroque gates and mass-produced street furniture, it reveals the mastery of metalworkers such as Jean Tijou, Robert Bakewell and John Tresilian, the designs of Robert Adam and George Gilbert Scott, and the mass marketers of the Victorian age such as the Saracen foundry.

Treasures are drawn from all corners of the UK in a celebration of the best of British decorative ironwork.

WED 22:00 Parkinson: The Interviews (b01hr5s7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 on Saturday]

WED 22:40 Apocalypto (b00qmf1w)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday]

WED 00:50 Henry VIII: Patron or Plunderer? (b00l7qdh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 01:50 The First World War from Above (b00vyrzh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Monday]

WED 02:50 Great British Railway Journeys (b00xblnw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

WED 03:20 Metalworks! (b01hr877)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 World News Today (b01hplqv)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b01hr9rw)

Dave Lee Travis looks at the weekly pop chart from 1977 and introduces Contempt, Detroit Spinners, Rags, Kiki Dee, Uriah Heep, Billy Ocean, Barry Biggs, Joe Tex, Barbra Streisand, 10cc and Abba, with a dance sequence from Legs & Co.

THU 20:00 Blue Peter (b01hz6n0)
A 1974 edition of the children's magazine programme, presented by John Noakes, Peter Purves and Lesley Judd. Items include Petra the dog's twelfth birthday and Bonfire Night in Torrington, Devon.

THU 20:30 Top of the Pops (b01hzglr)

Noel Edmonds looks at the weekly pop chart from 1977 and introduces Bay City Rollers, Delegation, Mac and Katie Kissoon, Joy Sarney, Frankie Valli, Mr Big, Rod Stewart, Leo Sayer, Tavares and Deniece Williams, with a dance sequence from Legs & Co.

THU 21:00 Tales of Television Centre (b01h266w)
Documentary which recalls the heyday of one of Britain's most iconic buildings, BBC Television Centre, through the memories of stars and staff. A rich variety of archive includes moments from studio recordings of classic programmes and vintage behind-the-scenes footage from the home of many of the most celebrated programmes in British TV history.

THU 22:30 Coldplay in the BBC Horseshoe (b00cfsbf)
Coldplay perform an exclusive 45 minute gig at BBC Television Centre, with a set of material from their new album and some old classics.

The performance takes place on a specially-built stage outside the iconic BBC building in front of an audience of 600, and follows similar concerts by Beyonce, Green Day and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

THU 23:20 Top of the Pops (b01hr9rw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 00:00 Top of the Pops (b01hzglr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

THU 00:40 Roundhead or Cavalier: Which One Are You? (b01hr7k9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]

THU 01:40 Birdsong (b01bclv2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]

THU 03:05 Tales of Television Centre (b01h266w)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRIDAY 18 MAY 2012

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b01hplrq)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 Sacred Music: The Story of Allegri's Miserere (b00g81g7)
Simon Russell Beale tells the story behind Allegri's Miserere, one of the most popular pieces of sacred music ever written. The programme features a full performance of the piece by the award-winning choir the Sixteen, conducted by Harry Christophers.

FRI 20:00 Kathleen Ferrier: An Ordinary Diva (b0074qm0)
Profile of the great British contralto Kathleen Ferrier. Contributors include Janet Baker, George Christie, Evelyn Barbirolli and Ian Jack.

FRI 21:00 Barry Manilow at the BBC (b01hrb2y)
A mixture of songs, interviews and rarely seen documentary footage offers a glimpse as to how American crooner Barry Manilow's career has evolved on screen for more than forty years. Classics such as Mandy, Copacabana and Could It Be Magic were played to millions of viewers first time around and are revisited in clips from Top of the Pops, Parkinson and various filmed shows including his pivotal open-air concert at Blenheim Palace in 1983 - it's a miracle!

FRI 22:00 One Night with Barry Manilow (b007c87l)
Over thirty years on from his first TV performances, legendary entertainer Barry Manilow celebrates for one night with a set of renditions of the songs known to generations of popular music lovers, including Mandy, Copacabana, I Write the Songs and Can't Smile Without You. Plus moments of surprise and hilarity, along with testimonials from his fans.

FRI 23:00 Neil Diamond: Solitary Man (b00vzzst)
A 60-minute documentary including an interview and exclusive location filming with Neil Diamond in New York and Los Angeles. Robbie Robertson, Jeff Barry, Mickey Dolenz and other contributors track Neil from his childhood in Brooklyn to his early days in the Brill Building, his nascent solo career and superstardom in the early 70s, the lean years of the 80s, his career reboot via Rick Rubin in the noughties and his Glastonbury success.

FRI 00:00 Electric Proms (b00vzzsw)

Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond in concert from London's Roundhouse with his six-piece band performing tracks from his 2010 album Dreams, which explores the 60s and 70s songs he loves, and reinventing his classics. This is Neil Diamond stripped down with strings in his most intimate performance for years.

FRI 01:05 Barry Manilow at the BBC (b01hrb2y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 02:05 One Night with Barry Manilow (b007c87l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

FRI 03:05 Kathleen Ferrier: An Ordinary Diva (b0074qm0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]