The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.
Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook. In a series of four epic journeys, Portillo travels the length and breadth of the country to see how the railways changed us, and what of Bradshaw's Britain remains.
While travelling coast to coast from Liverpool to Scarborough, Michael visits Manchester to find out more about George Bradshaw himself. He also gets fitted for a trilby in Denton and learns how the railways helped to create a national institution - fish and chips.
Lucy Worsley tells the story of Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire. Built in the early 17th century, it became the pleasure palace of playboy Cavalier and ambitious courtier William Cavendish.
Guiding us on a tour of the castle and its remarkable collection of artworks, Lucy brings to life the spectacular masque held by Cavendish to win the favour of King Charles I.
And from within the walls of this eccentric architectural gem emerges a colourful tale, capturing the tensions of early 17th-century England that would eventually lead the nation to civil war.
Totalling an estimated 10 million species, the insects and their close relatives are the most abundant and diverse group of animals in the world, so what is the secret of their success? Their hard external skeleton provides strength and protection and their small size allows them to exploit many microhabitats. In Yellowstone, Steve Backshall reveals how teamwork allows a colony of bees to scare off a hungry bear, and in Australia this same teamwork allows a colony of ants to beat the rising tide. But to unlock the real secret of their success Steve takes us to the Swiss Alps, where an incredible relationship exists between the ant, the wasp and the butterfly.
Transplant surgery has now reached incredible heights, from achieving full face transplants to growing organs in the lab. This Horizon Guide looks back at the extraordinary odds doctors and patients have had to overcome to achieve these amazing breakthroughs.
What we now take for granted has been a hard won struggle, both for the patients who were willing to gamble their lives and the doctors who faced ethical and medical dilemmas in the name of progress. Michael Mosley looks through the Horizon archive, identifying the key turning points for transplant surgery to explore how far science can go in its bid to prolong life.
Leslie decides to marry two penguins in order to promote the local zoo, but inadvertently causes a debate when both penguins turn out to be male. Meanwhile, Mark asks Ann to go to watch a movie with him.
While sorting out the new community garden, Leslie and Tom find that someone has been growing marijuana. To find those responsible, they decide to have an all-night stakeout of the garden. Meanwhile, Ann asks Leslie's permission to go on a date with Mark.
The second album by Black Sabbath, released in 1970, has long attained classic status. Paranoid not only changed the face of rock music, but also defined the sound and style of heavy metal more than any other record in rock history. The result of a magic chemistry which had been discovered between four English musicians, it put Black Sabbath firmly on the road to world domination.
This programme tells the story behind the writing, recording and success of the album. Despite vilification from the Christian and moral right and all the harsh criticism that the music press could hurl at them, Paranoid catapulted Sabbath into the rock stratosphere.
Using exclusive interviews, musical demonstration, archive footage and a return to the multi-tracks with engineer Tom Allom, the film reveals how Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward created their frighteningly dark, heavy and ear-shatteringly loud sound.
Additional comments from Phil Alexander (MOJO & Kerrang! editor), Geoff Barton (Classic Rock editor), Henry Rollins (writer/musician) and Jim Simpson (original manager) add insight to the creation of this all-time classic.
THURSDAY 28 MARCH 2013
THU 19:00 World News Today (b01rjbg0)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.
THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b01rk27l)
Kid Jensen introduces the weekly pop chart programme featuring performances from Mud, Tina Charles, Richard Myhill, Suzi Quatro, Don Williams, Elvis Costello, Dan Hill, Andy Cameron, Kate Bush, Gerry Rafferty, Tavares and Bob Marley and the Wailers. Plus and Legs & Co.
THU 20:00 The Pre-Raphaelites (b00lglxw)
Three-part series examining the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, who brought notoriety to British art in the 19th century, bursting into the spotlight in 1848 and shocking their peers with a new kind of radical art.
The final part looks at how the Pre-Raphaelites had outgrown the avant-garde in their later years and began to embrace fame and fortune with art designed to please the masses. In so doing, they attained riches and celebrity and became the forefathers of the commercial modern artist.
THU 20:30 Pagans and Pilgrims: Britain's Holiest Places (b01rk2fp)
Presenter and Welsh poet Ifor ap Glyn explores the wealth of Britain's extraordinary holy places on a pilgrimage that spans almost 2,000 years of history. Travelling across the breadth of the UK, Ifor uncovers the stories and rich history behind many of our most famous sites, explaining the myths and legends of some of Britain's most sacred places.
Ifor sets out to understand the appeal of shrines. For those outside the Catholic and Orthodox church there is something vaguely unsettling about shrines. How can venerating the bones of a dead person bring you closer to God?
From the unlikely starting point of Marc Bolan's roadside shrine in Barnes, Ifor embarks upon perhaps his most surprising journey. Along the way he learns that Scotland's largest city only exists because of a shrine and visits the newly-renovated shrine of St David in Wales.
At St Albans Cathedral, he learns that shrines are slowly but surely starting to creep back into the Anglican mainstream and that rather than meeting resistance, they are being actively embraced. After viewing a genuinely shocking relic in Westminster Cathedral, Ifor meets with the Catholic archbishop Vincent Nichols, who has a radical theory about how the return of shrines represents the final chapter of the Reformation, and that is all down to Princess Diana.
Finally, after seeing some of the finest cathedrals in the land, Ifor ends his journey at a tiny church on the fringe of Snowdonia, one which is home to a shrine that many people consider the holiest place in Britain.
THU 21:00 Ian Hislop Goes off the Rails (b00drtpj)
Ian Hislop brings his customary humour, analysis and wit to the notorious Beeching Report of 1963, which led to the closure of a third of the nation's railway lines and stations and forced tens of thousands of people into the car and onto the road.
Was author Dr Richard Beeching little more than Genghis Khan with a slide rule, ruthlessly hacking away at Britain's rail network in a misguided quest for profitability, or was he the fall guy for short-sighted government policies that favoured the car over the train?
Ian also investigates the fallout of Beeching's plan, discovering what was lost to the British landscape, communities and ways of life when the railway map shrank, and recalls the halcyon days of train travel, celebrated by John Betjeman.
Ian travels from Cornwall to the Scottish borders, meeting those responsible and those affected and questioning whether such brutal measures could be justified. Knowing what we know now, with trains far more energy efficient and environmentally sound than cars, perhaps Beeching's plan was the biggest folly of the 1960s?
THU 22:00 Doubt (b01bbv34)
Powerful drama. Sister Beauvier, the stern headmistress of a Catholic school in 1960s New York, suspects popular pastor Father Flynn of an inappropriate relationship with a young black pupil. Flynn is outraged at the suggestion, but cannot prove her wrong, while Sister Beauvier is determined to keep pressing for the truth.
THU 23:40 Timeshift (b01rjr2y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday
THU 00:40 Michael Grade's History of the Pantomime Dame (b01pdt40)
Michael Grade explores the rich history of the very British pantomime dame. From the extravagant productions in Drury Lane in the 19th century to the vintage performances by Terry Scott and Arthur Askey, the dame has always been anarchic, witty, vulgar, affectionate and good box office.
Berwick Kaler, who has played the panto dame for 30 years at York's Theatre Royal, and The Good Life star Richard Briers, offer their insights into why the role has remained such a favourite.
Presenter and TV mogul Grade bravely tries on the full make-up and frock to explore what it is that has made the pantomime dame such an enduring feature of British life.
THU 01:40 Secret Knowledge (b01rml7t)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Wednesday
THU 02:10 Top of the Pops (b01rk27l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
THU 02:40 Turner's Thames (b01jv255)
In this documentary, the presenter and art critic Matthew Collings explores how Turner, the artist of light, makes light the vehicle of feeling in his work, and how he found inspiration for that feeling in the waters of the River Thames.
JMW Turner is the most famous of English landscape painters. Throughout a lifetime of travel, he returned time and again to paint and draw scenes of the Thames, the lifeblood of London. This documentary reveals the Thames in all its diverse glory, from its beauty in west London, to its heartland in the City of London and its former docks, out to the vast emptiness and drama of the Thames estuary near Margate.
Turner was among the first to pioneer painting directly from nature, turning a boat into a floating studio from which he sketched the Thames. The river and his unique relationship with it had a powerful impact upon his use of materials, as he sought to find an equivalent in paint for the visual surprise and delight he found in the reality of its waters.
By pursuing this ever-changing tale of light, Turner also documented and reflected upon key moments in British history in the early 19th century; the Napoleonic wars, social unrest and the onset of the industrial revolution. His paintings of the river Thames communicate the fears and exultations of the time.
Turner's greatness as a painter is often attributed to his modern use of colour. Many of his paintings are loved by the British public and regularly celebrated as the nation's greatest art. This film reveals for the first time on television a key inspiration for that modernity and celebrity; a stretch of water of immense importance to the nation in the early 19th century but which today is often taken for granted - the River Thames.
FRIDAY 29 MARCH 2013
FRI 19:00 Walton at the Proms (b01bpl8r)
Two highlights of William Walton's music performed at the BBC Proms. Marking the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 is Walton's Anniversary Fanfare and the march Orb and Sceptre, played by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin. From 2007, in a Prom celebrating music from great British films, comes the score Battle in the Air from the film Battle of Britain, performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra under the baton of John Wilson.
FRI 19:15 Mahler's 1st Symphony with Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic (b01174dh)
The world famous Berlin Philharmonic, under the baton of their Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Sir Simon Rattle perform Mahler's 1st Symphony.
This concert was recorded in November 2010 at the Esplenade Concert Hall in Singapore, renowned for its state-of-the-art acoustics.
Sir Simon Rattle is considered one of the world's leading Mahler interpreters and this performance is part of a complete cycle of Mahler's symphonies which Sir Simon and the Berlin Philharmonic are undertaking over a period of eighteen months.
Now considered a remarkable achievement for the then 28-year-old composer, Mahler's 1st Symphony was not well received when first performed in Vienna in 1900.
In contrast, the symphony is partnered with Rachmaninov's last completed work, the 'Symphonic Dances'. Written in the summer of 1940, it is regarded by many as a summation of his musical career.
FRI 21:00 Nile Rodgers: The Hitmaker Remastered (b01rk2tm)
The last two years have seen Nile Rodgers launched back into the limelight following the massive success of Daft Punk's single Get Lucky, his distinctive guitar work helping the French dance music duo to one of their biggest hits.
This 2013 documentary has been brought up to date to tell the story of his work with Daft Punk and how his band Chic has been introduced to a brand new audience.
As the co-founder, songwriter, producer and guitarist of Chic he helped define the sound of the 70s, as disco took the world by storm. But the music that had made Chic would also break them, thanks to the 'Disco Sucks' backlash. What could have been the end for Nile Rodgers would actually be a new beginning as a producer, helping create some of the biggest hits of the '80s for the likes of Diana Ross, David Bowie, Madonna and Duran Duran.
The ever-charismatic Rogers contributes an engaging and often frank interview to tell the tale of how, born to beatnik, heroin-addict parents in New York, he picked up a guitar as a teenager and embarked on a journey to learn his craft as a musician, before becoming one of disco's most successful artists.
In the '70s and '80s he lived the party lifestyle thanks to his success with Chic and as one of the music industry's hottest producers. Drugs and alcohol would become part of everyday life for Nile, contributing in part to the break-up of Chic in the early '80s. The band would reform in the mid '90s, but their return was quickly marked by tragedy with the death of Nile's long-time friend and musical partner Bernard Edwards in 1996.
The film recounts a captivating and moving story of a man who has been making hit music for nearly four decades and has found himself back in the limelight once again.
FRI 22:00 David Bowie and the Story of Ziggy Stardust (b01k0y0n)
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is arguably the most important album in the mind-blowing career of David Bowie. Released in 1972, it's the record that set the mercurial musician on course to becoming one of the best-known pop stars on the planet. In just over a year, Bowie's messianic Martian invaded the minds of the nation's youth with a killer combination of extraterrestrial rock 'n' roll and outrageous sexuality, all delivered in high-heeled boots, multicoloured dresses and extravagant make-up. In Bowie's own words, Ziggy was 'a cross between Nijinsky and Woolworths', but this unlikely culture clash worked - Ziggy turned Bowie into stardust.
This documentary tells the story of how Bowie arrived at one of the most iconic creations in the history of pop music. The songs, the hairstyles, the fashion and the theatrical stage presentation merged together to turn David Bowie into the biggest craze since the Beatles. Ziggy's instant success gave the impression that he was the perfectly planned pop star. But, as the film reveals, it had been a momentous struggle for David Bowie to hit on just the right formula that would take him to the top.
Narrated by fan Jarvis Cocker, it reveals Bowie's mission to the stars through the musicians and colleagues who helped him in his unwavering quest for fame - a musical voyage that led Bowie to doubt his true identity, eventually forcing the sudden demise of his alien alter ego, Ziggy.
Contributors include Trevor Bolder (bass player, Spiders from Mars), Woody Woodmansey (drummer, Spider from Mars), Mike Garson (Spiders' keyboardist), Suzi Ronson (Mick Ronson's widow, who gave Bowie that haircut), Ken Scott (producer), Elton John (contemporary and fan), Lindsay Kemp (Bowie's mime teacher), Leee Black Childers (worked for Mainman, Bowie's production company), Cherry Vanilla (Bowie's PA/press officer), George Underwood (Bowie's friend), Mick Rock (Ziggy's official photographer), Steve Harley, Marc Almond, Holly Johnson, Peter Hook, Jon Savage, Peter Doggett and Dylan Jones.
FRI 23:00 The Genius of David Bowie (b01k0y0q)
A selection of some of David Bowie's best performances from the BBC archives, which also features artists who Bowie helped along the way, such as Mott the Hoople, Lulu, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed.
FRI 00:00 Disco at the BBC (b01cqt74)
A foot-stomping return to the BBC vaults of Top of the Pops, The Old Grey Whistle Test and Later with Jools as the programme spins itself to a time when disco ruled the floor, the airwaves and our minds. The visual floorfillers include classics from luminaries such as Chic, Labelle and Rose Royce to glitter ball surprises by The Village People.
FRI 01:00 The Joy of Disco (b01cqt72)
Documentary about how a much-derided music actually changed the world. Between 1969 and 1979 disco soundtracked gay liberation, foregrounded female desire in the age of feminism and led to the birth of modern club culture as we know it today, before taking the world by storm. With contributions from Nile Rodgers, Robin Gibb, Kathy Sledge and Ian Schrager.
FRI 02:00 Nile Rodgers: The Hitmaker Remastered (b01rk2tm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
FRI 03:00 Disco at the BBC (b01cqt74)
[Repeat of broadcast at 00:00 today