The arresting sight of Sister Wendy Beckett, all teeth and glasses, burst on to our screens in the 1990s. An instant star, she travelled the world in her habit telling us the story of Christian art and painting but revealing little of her own extraordinary story. Arena goes in search of the 'real' Wendy, who, at 82, talks frankly, humorously, and profoundly about her life and spirituality for the first time.
Wendy's story, inseparable from that of the Gospel, is told alongside her selection of paintings by the greatest old masters, revealing the emotional insights they have given her. In this film, we hear for the first time of Wendy's personal journey to God, her insights on prayer and suffering, and her reflections on the contemporary world. Above all, she connects us to the art that has helped her to know herself and her faith.
Carlos Acosta presents his first work for The Royal Ballet - an entertaining new dance adaptation of the classic novel by Miguel de Cervantes. Carlos brings to life the adventures of the bumbling knight Don Quixote and his ever-faithful squire Sancho Panza with help of leading West End designers and Ludwig Minkus's score is re-imagined with on-stage flamenco guitars and castanets. Introduced by a look behind the scenes with The Royal Ballet Company, this production establishes Carlos as an exciting choreographic talent.
Bob and Thelma are determined to enjoy the Christmas festivities to the full. Terry passes his driving test and drives Bob and Thelma to a Christmas party as their minicab driver, and waits for them outside. Inevitably, Terry creates a problem or two for Bob which starts the season off on quite the wrong foot.
Noel Edmonds and David 'Kid' Jensen present the festive pop charts from 1977 with performances from Showaddywaddy, Deniece Williams, Hot Chocolate, Baccara, Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band, Leo Sayer, Manhattan Transfer, David Soul, ABBA, Space, Johnny Mathis, Kenny Rogers and Wings.
The homeless man's survival becomes a race against time and depends completely on the four landlords' willingness to pay what the murderer demands. Saga and Martin have understood that they are dealing with someone who has really thought through his crimes, planning them down to the smallest detail. They wonder if they can catch the murderer off balance by doing something he doesn't expect.
THURSDAY 26 DECEMBER 2013
THU 19:00 Norman Wisdom: His Story (b00vhmqq)
From street urchin to knight of the realm - the story of Norman Wisdom, who used to be one of the biggest film stars in the UK, portraying a man who rarely stepped out of character in public, and whose highly individual comic style hid the private tragedy of his early life.
The actor's life story is told through the people who knew him well - his son and daughter Nick and Jacqui Wisdom, his daughter-in-law Kim, film director Stephen Frears, actors Ricky Tomlinson, Leslie Phillips and Honor Blackman, and singer Dame Vera Lynn.
THU 20:00 Polar Bear: Spy on the Ice (b00wylng)
Shot mainly using spy cameras, this film gets closer than ever before to the world's greatest land predator.
Icebergcam, Blizzardcam and Snowballcam are a new generation of covert devices on a mission to explore the Arctic islands of Svalbard in Norway. Backed up by Snowcam and Driftcam, these state-of-the-art camouflaged cameras reveal the extraordinary curiosity and intelligence of the polar bear.
The cameras are just a breath away when two sets of cubs emerge from winter maternity dens. They also capture the moment when the sea ice breaks away from the island in the spring. As one set of mother and cubs journey across the drifting ice in search of seals, the other is marooned on the island with very little food. How they cope with their different fates is captured in revelatory close-up detail.
The cameras also follow the bears as they hunt seals, raid bird colonies, dive for kelp and indulge in entertaining courtship rituals. Icebergcam even discovers their little-known social nature as seven bears share a washed-up whale carcass.
Often just a paw's swipe from the play-fighting and squabbling bears, the spy cameras face their most challenging subject yet. When their curious subjects discover the cameras, they are subjected to some comical-but-destructive encounters.
As the film captures its intimate portrait of polar bears' lives, it reveals how their intelligence and curiosity help them cope in a world of shrinking ice.
THU 21:00 Great American Rock Anthems: Turn it up to 11 (b03n2w37)
It's the sound of the heartland, of the midwest and the industrial cities, born in the early 70s by kids who had grown up in the 60s and were now ready to make their own noise, to come of age in the bars, arenas and stadiums of the US of A. Out of blues and prog and glam and early metal, a distinct American rock hybrid started to emerge across the country courtesy of Alice Cooper, Grand Funk Railroad et al, and at its very heart is The Great American Rock Anthem.
At the dawn of the 70s American rock stopped looking for a revolution and started looking for a good time; enter the classic American rock anthem - big drums, a soaring guitar, a huge chorus and screaming solos. This film celebrates the evolution of the American rock anthem during its glory years between 1970 and 1990 as it became a staple of the emerging stadium rock and AOR radio and then MTV.
From School's Out and Don't Fear the Reaper to Livin' on a Prayer and Smells Like Teen Spirit, these are the songs that were the soundtrack to teenage lives in the US and around the world, anthems that had people singing out loud with arms and lighters aloft.
Huey Morgan narrates the story of some of the greatest American rock anthems and tracks the emergence of this distinct American rock of the 70s and 80s. Anthems explored include School's Out, We're an American Band, Don't Fear the Reaper, Paradise by the Dashboard Light, I Love Rock 'n' Roll, Eye of the Tiger, I Want to Know What Love Is, Livin' on a Prayer and Smells Like Teen Spirit.
Contributors include: Alice Cooper, Dave Grohl, Butch Vig, Meat Loaf, Todd Rundgren, Richie Sambora, Blue Oyster Cult, Survivor, Toto and Foreigner.
THU 22:00 Christmas '77 with the Sex Pistols (b03ncggy)
Looking back to Christmas 1977 with an irreverent portrait of the times, featuring unseen footage of The Sex Pistols. Director Julien Temple presents a unique insight into the tradition and transgression of Christmas. Featuring interviews and 70s archive, framing The Sex Pistols' last UK concert with Sid Vicious, for the children of striking firemen in Huddersfield on Christmas Day 1977.
THU 23:00 Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top 10 (b01nwfxs)
Documentary chronicling our ever-changing love affair with the British singles chart on the occasion of its sixtieth anniversary. From the first NME chart in 1952, via Pick and Top of the Pops to home-taping the Radio One chart show and beyond, we have measured out our lives to a wonderful churn of pop driven, unbeknownst to us, by a clandestine world of music biz hustle. Featuring contributions by 60 years of BBC chart custodians from David Jacobs to Reggie Yates, chart fans Grace Dent and Pete Paphides and music biz veterans Jon Webster and Rob Dickins.
THU 00:30 Ultimate Number Ones (b01nwfxv)
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the UK chart, from the vaults of the BBC archive comes a selection of hits that attained the toppermost of the poppermost prize and made it to number one in the hit parade. From across the decades, we applaud the most coveted of all chart positions with smash hits and classics from The Bee Gees, T. Rex, Donna Summer, John Lennon, Culture Club, The Spice Girls, James Blunt, Rihanna, Adele and many more.
THU 01:30 Sounds of the 70s 2 (b01jzy37)
Rock 'n' Roll Revisited - Get It On
A love of 50s rock 'n' roll runs through the pop of the 70s like a stripe through a stick of rock. This episode celebrates the rock 'n' roll revivalism and 50s retro leanings that characterise the decade from glam to AOR and all points in between. Revisiting the theatrical performances and fashions you'd be talking about in the playground the next day, from the likes of E.L.O, T-Rex, 10cc, Alvin Stardust, Mott the Hoople and Meatloaf's epic 1978 performance of Paradise by the Dashboard Light.
THU 02:00 Great American Rock Anthems: Turn it up to 11 (b03n2w37)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
THU 03:00 The Bridge (b01hdbtb)
The murderer has groomed a number of schizophrenic people over a long period of time, convincing them to commit carefully synchronised violent crimes in Malmo and Copenhagen on the same day. With the third truth, the murderer wants to highlight the cutbacks within mental health care, which has been reduced to 'a pat on the back and a jar of pills'. Saga and Martin manage to find a break in the case, a teenage girl who has run away from home. Could she be the witness that ultimately leads them to the murderer?
In Swedish and Danish with English subtitles.
FRIDAY 27 DECEMBER 2013
FRI 19:00 The Chopin Etudes (b0074qgh)
Opus 25, No 10
Pianist Freddy Kempf plays Chopin's Etude in B minor, Op 25 no 10.
FRI 19:05 BBC Proms (b03b3hfs)
Proms on Four: The Film Music Prom
Neil Brand presents a special night of music from the movies, with war and science-fiction looming large. Keith Lockhart conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in Walton's largely-rejected original score for Battle of Britain, Bond composer David Arnold's Independence Day end titles, and Richard Strauss and Ligeti as used by Stanley Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Also, possibly the most famous film music ever - John Williams's Star Wars, a world premiere of Giacchino's music for Star Trek: Into Darkness and much more.
FRI 21:00 The Joy of ABBA (b03lyzpp)
Between 1974 and 1982 ABBA plundered the Anglo-Saxon charts but divided critical opinion. This documentary explores how they raised the bar for pop music as a form and made us fall in love with the sound of Swedish melancholy. A saga about the soul of pop.
FRI 22:00 ABBA at the BBC (b03lyzpr)
If you fancy an hour's worth of irresistible guilty pleasures from Anni-Frid, Benny, Bjorn and Agnetha, this is the programme for you. ABBA stormed the 1974 Eurovision song contest with their winning entry Waterloo, and this programme charts the meteoric rise of the band with some of their greatest performances at the BBC.
It begins in 1974 with their first Top of the Pops appearance, and we even get to see the band entertaining holidaymakers in Torbay in a 1975 Seaside Special. There are many classic ABBA tunes from the 1979 BBC special ABBA in Switzerland, plus their final BBC appearance on the Late Late Breakfast show in 1982.
This compilation is a must for all fans and includes great archive interviews, promos and performances of some of ABBA's classics including Waterloo, Dancing Queen, Does Your Mother Know, Thank You for the Music, SOS, Fernando, Chiquitita and many more.
FRI 23:00 Agnetha: ABBA and After (b02x9zwc)
In this documentary, the BBC have exclusive access to Agnetha Faltskog, 'The Girl with the Golden Hair' as the song goes, celebrating her extraordinary singing career which began in the mid-60s when she was just 15. Within just two years, she was a singing sensation at the top of the charts in Sweden.
Along came husband Bjorn Ulvaeus and the phenomenal band ABBA that engulfed the world in the 70s, featuring Agnetha's touching voice and striking looks. Agnetha lacked confidence on stage as the global demand for the group grew and grew, while being away from her young children caused her great turmoil.
With special behind-the-scenes access to the making of her comeback album, the film follows this reluctant star - the subject of much tabloid speculation since she retreated from the stage post-ABBA - as she returns to recording aged 63. Included in the film is her first meeting with Gary Barlow, who contributes a duet to the new album.
The programme features interviews with Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Gary Barlow, Tony Blackburn, Sir Tim Rice and record producers Peter Nordahl and Jorgen Elofsson.
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 ABBA (b03lyzpp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
FRI 02:00 ABBA at the BBC (b03lyzpr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today
FRI 03:00 Agnetha: ABBA and After (b02x9zwc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 today