SATURDAY 19 DECEMBER 2015
SAT 19:00 Empire of the Seas: How the Navy Forged the Modern World (b00qlmcq)
In the last of this four-part series, historian Dan Snow explores the ups and downs of a climactic century in naval and British history.
Rapacious and ruthless, the 19th-century Navy used 'gunboat diplomacy' to push British interests further afield than ever before. It was control of the sea rather than her land empire that was the key to Britain's growing wealth.
Technological advances saw Britain and France engage in an arms race over battleships. While Britain's navy appeared to be winning, the meritocracy fostered in Nelson's time was slowly being eroded by an entrenched hierarchy which smothered any spark of initiative among its sailors.
When Germany emerged as a new threat, modernising admiral Jackie Fisher was called to reform the Navy. Fisher believed in peace through deterrence and had plans for a huge new battleship - the Dreadnought.
When war finally came, the British and German fleets clashed off Jutland in 1916. But the outcome was not the knock-out blow the British public wanted. Britain emerged from World War I victorious but broke, and no longer able to maintain by far the world's largest fleet. In time, other nations eclipsed her. It was the end of centuries of naval supremacy.
SAT 20:00 The Golden Age of Steam Railways (b01pdsy6)
For more than 100 years steam trains ran Britain, but when steam started to disappear in the 1950s bands of volunteers got together to save some of the tracks and the steam engines that ran on them. Some of these enthusiasts filmed their exploits and the home movies they shot tell the story of how they did it, and how they helped people to reconnect to a world of steam most thought had been lost forever.
SAT 21:00 The Bridge (b06ppkv0)
A captive Jeanette's whereabouts are located by Freddie using a tracking device and, with all resources being utilised to investigate the kidnapping, Saga is brought back from suspension to help Henrik follow a tip on who is behind the abduction.
In Swedish and Danish with English subtitles.
SAT 22:00 The Bridge (b06pq3wf)
Rasmus has discovered Freddie's abandoned helicopter in a disused concrete factory and is told to wait for back-up.
In Swedish and Danish with English subtitles.
SAT 23:00 10 Things You Didn't Know About... (b008s99l)
Iain Stewart looks at some of the world's most dramatic earthquakes and reveals the stories and science behind them. In seconds, these powerful forces of nature which cannot be predicted or prevented can shake a town to destruction and shift the landscape forever. We discover why quakes can last 60 times longer on the moon than on Earth, how one particular earthquake fault line can produce hallucinations, and how 1960s Cold War spying gave scientists a crucial clue to understanding them.
SAT 00:00 10 Things You Didn't Know About... (b008pr87)
Iain Stewart journeys across the oceans to explore the most powerful giant waves in history, with ten remarkable stories about tsunamis.
These massive waves can be taller than the biggest skyscraper, travel at the speed of a jet plane and when they reach land, rear up and turn into a terrifying wall of water that destroys everything in its path. These unstoppable, uncontrollable forces of nature caused the ruin of an entire ancient civilization, may have played a small part in the demise of the dinosaurs, and in World War II were used as a weapon. Yet astonishingly, two men who surfed the tallest wave in history - half a kilometre high - survived.
SAT 01:00 Horizon (b05527mp)
Secrets of the Solar System
New planets are now being discovered outside our solar system on a regular basis, and these strange new worlds are forcing scientists to rewrite the history of our own solar system. Far from a simple story of stable orbits, the creation of our solar system is a tale of hellfire, chaos and planetary pinball.
It's a miracle our Earth is here at all.
SAT 02:00 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?
SAT 03:00 The Golden Age of Steam Railways (b01pdsy6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
SUNDAY 20 DECEMBER 2015
SUN 19:00 Blood and Gold: The Making of Spain with Simon Sebag Montefiore (b06s5x0t)
Simon uncovers the truth about Spain's hero El Cid. He also investigates the horror of the Spanish Inquisition and in the process discovers an unsettling story about one of his own ancestors.
SUN 20:00 Westminster Abbey (b01p694q)
The plumber, the librarian, and the Abbey's press office 'tweeter' offer their insights into the inner workings of the place where royalty are married, crowned and buried.
The dean explains the Abbey's spiritual mission. He and his colleagues are also the guardians of a thousand-year-old World Heritage Site. The new man in charge of upkeep, architect Ptolemy Dean, attends an ancient initiation ceremony in which he promises to preserve the building and its treasures.
The 30 boy choristers who sing in the Abbey's world-famous choir go from competing to sing a high solo in the Ash Wednesday service to being asked to sing in Downing Street. International stars and singers including Rufus Wainwright and Hugh Masekela make guest appearances in the commonwealth service, attended by the Queen. On Easter Sunday, the people in the Abbey, a local community and a national institution, come together for a joyous celebration.
SUN 21:00 Nat King Cole: Afraid of the Dark (b0446mwz)
Nat King Cole was the only black television star in Hollywood at a time when America groaned under the weight of racial segregation and prejudice. Yet he possessed a natural talent so great that these issues were seemingly swept to one side to allow him to become one of the greatest jazz icons of all time. However, behind closed doors those around him were trying to think of a way to package him as something he was not: bi-white.
This candid account of what really happened in and around his 'fairytale' life is taken from his private journals, interviews with his widow Maria and contributions from other family members, Tony Bennett, Buddy Greco, Harry Belafonte, Nancy Wilson, Sir Bruce Forsyth, George Benson, Aaron Neville, Johnny Mathis and many more.
Featuring archive never seen before, it reveals Nat King Cole's feelings behind his ultimate calling as a 'beacon of hope' to the legions of the oppressed.
SUN 22:30 Secret Knowledge (b05wps6k)
Nina Simone & Me with Laura Mvula
Over half a century since she first performed her songs, Nina Simone is more popular than ever. From Sinnerman to Mississippi Goddam, Feeling Good to My Baby Just Cares for Me, she is an artist with an extraordinary songbook that mixes jazz, blues, soul and even classical.
British soul singer Laura Mvula travels to New York to celebrate the Nina songs that mean most to her and explore their musical roots. Performing with a Harlem gospel choir, uncovering the influence of Nina's classical training and meeting Simone's long-time guitarist Al Shackman, Laura presents a personal tribute to the genius of her musical hero.
SUN 23:00 Bruce Springsteen: The Ties That Bind (b06s71sv)
Before Bruce Springsteen became a global superstar in the 80s with Born in the USA, he and the E Street Band released the 1980 double album The River and then began a tour that celebrated its combination of haunted ballads and joyous rock'n'roll to great acclaim.
In this film Springsteen gives a first-hand account of the events and aesthetic behind the writing of The River, performing a number of the key songs on acoustic guitar. A unique account of one of the great rock 'n' roll statements, in which Springsteen explores his working-class roots and the ties that bind.
SUN 23:55 Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band: Live from the River Tour 1980 (b06t3kpx)
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in concert delivering a raucous celebration of rock 'n' roll on The River tour of 1980. Filmed on November 5 at the former ASU Activity Center (now Wells Fargo Arena) in Tempe, part of metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, in front of an enthusiastic 10,000-strong audience. Starting with the album's meditative title track, the concert opens up into a celebratory stomp culminating in that E Street Band staple Jungleland, and taking in rock 'n' roll anthems from The River including Hungry Heart, Cadillac Ranch and You Can Look (But You'd Better Not Touch).
SUN 00:55 Westminster Abbey (b01p694q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
SUN 01:55 Tales of Winter: The Art of Snow and Ice (b01q6qj6)
Winter was not always beautiful. Until Pieter Bruegel painted Hunters in the Snow, the long bitter months had never been transformed into a thing of beauty. This documentary charts how mankind's ever changing struggle with winter has been reflected in western art throughout the ages, resulting in images that are now amongst the greatest paintings of all time. With contributions from Grayson Perry, Will Self, Don McCullin and many others, the film takes an eclectic group of people from all walks of life out into the cold to reflect on the paintings that have come to define the art of snow and ice.
MONDAY 21 DECEMBER 2015
MON 19:00 Children Talking (b06tq9s5)
A captivating insight into British life straight from the mouths of school children from the '60s and '70s. Their refreshing, uncomplicated universal observations are as valid now as they were back in the day. And their jumpers are really terrific.
MON 19:30 London to Brighton Side by Side (b00f2zxt)
In 1953, the BBC made a point-of-view film from the London to Brighton train. In 1983, they did the same again. This is a film made of both runs at once, with every bridge, siding, tunnel and station running side by side in unlikely synchronisation.
MON 19:35 Play School (b06t3mhg)
A chance to see an episode of the classic children's programme, presented by Carol Leader and Lionel Morton. Featuring the story of the Ugly Duckling and the poem of the week by Robert Graves called Henry Was a Worthy King.
MON 20:00 John Craven's Newsround (b06t3mhj)
Originally broadcast in December 1973, this is another opportunity to catch the pioneering children's news programme. Presented by John Craven, items include North Sea oil, plane spotters in Yugoslavia, dangerous craft kits, and Scottish farmers learning to lasso.
MON 20:10 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.
MON 20:35 Grange Hill (b06th2c8)
A memorable episode of the children's drama looking at life in a London comprehensive school. Zammo tries to borrow money from Roly at the arcade. Julia and Laura's attempts to attend the all-night party end in disaster. Originally broadcast in 1986, this is the episode that started the Just Say No campaign.
MON 21:00 From Andy Pandy to Zebedee: The Golden Age of Children's Television (b06t3mhm)
Nigel Planer narrates the story of the struggle to make programmes for children in the days before everything went digital.
MON 22:00 Top of the Pops (b04wh10g)
David Jensen and Peter Powell present the Christmas special focusing on 1979's best chart hits. Includes performances from Lena Martell, Janet Kay, BA Robertson, Cliff Richard, Boney M, Gary Numan and Tubeway Army, Squeeze, Buggles, Ian Dury, Blondie, Racey, Elvis Costello, Roxy Music and Dr Hook. With a dance sequence by Legs & Co.
MON 23:00 Mumbai High: The Musical (p02z82jn)
A dizzying and unique musical extravaganza. Set in a school in Dharavi, Mumbai - the biggest slum in Asia - it combines observational footage of the children's daily lives, with songs reflecting their hopes and dreams.
Fourteen-year-old Mary lives with her parents and two sisters on the pavement of a busy road. They have a rudimentary shelter and they all sleep on the floor, sometimes with rats running over them. Mary and the other characters have their dreams and ambitions and believe they can achieve them through education. They are clever, bright, motivated and they sing!
This is no ordinary documentary, this is the very first Bollywood-style documentary musical. Mixed in with the traditional observational footage of the school are specially composed and choreographed song and dance numbers which the children (and teachers!) perform with incredible skill and charm.
No film has ever been made like this, it's a perfect way to capture the unbreakable optimism and exuberance of youth. But this is not a depressing examination of extreme poverty, it's an uplifting celebration of human spirit and endeavour, and it sets out to tell a wider tale of India.
MON 00:00 Cilla at the BBC (b067543w)
Much-mourned national treasure Cilla Black commenced her eminent career as a TV host in 1968 on the BBC. Her career as perhaps the nation's favourite female pop singer of the decade had already been established after landing her first Number 1 with Anyone Who Had a Heart, the biggest-selling hit by a female singer in the 1960s.
This tribute compilation celebrates the BBC's coverage of Cilla's 60s pop star years on programmes like Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's Not Only...But Also, The Ken Dodd Show, Top of the Pops and The Royal Variety Performance, before selecting just some of the golden moments from the long-running self-titled series she hosted for the BBC between 1968 and 1976 including the Paul McCartney-penned theme song Step Inside Love and that 1973 famous duet with Marc Bolan on Life's A Gas.
MON 01:00 Bright Lights, Brilliant Minds: A Tale of Three Cities (b04f83xq)
Dr James Fox tells the story of Vienna in 1908, a city of amazing creativity and dangerous tension. This was the year Gustav Klimt painted his masterpiece The Kiss, Sigmund Freud revealed the Oedipus complex, Egon Schiele produced startling pictures of humanity stripped to the bare essentials, and both music and architecture took a bold step in a radical new direction. But it was also the year a struggling young artist named Adolf Hitler arrived in the city, a year that would put Vienna and Europe on the road to destruction.
MON 02:00 The Fisherman's Apprentice with Monty Halls (b01fnhv9)
Monty's time as a traditional inshore fisherman in Cornwall is coming to an end. Before he leaves, Monty wants to see if an idea from the USA could help the fishermen by selling fresh, seasonal produce direct to local consumers. Monty will have to convince the skippers to work in a new way - and the local people to try new species of fish. With Christmas just around the corner, the whole project is thrown into jeopardy when a massive winter storm rolls in off the Atlantic, preventing the fishermen and Monty from getting out to sea.
MON 03:00 From Andy Pandy to Zebedee: The Golden Age of Children's Television (b06t3mhm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
TUESDAY 22 DECEMBER 2015
TUE 19:00 Children Talking (b06tqbky)
More views of Britain from the children of the '60s and '70s. Their refreshing, uncomplicated universal observations are as valid now as they were back in the day. And their jumpers are really terrific.
TUE 19:30 The Fir Tree (b03mv09c)
Inspired by Hans Christian Anderson's fairytale, this remarkable Danish film tells the story of a Christmas tree from a most unusual angle - through the 'voice' of the tree itself. The tree has big ambitions, doing everything it can to grow so tall that it reaches the sky. Featuring extraordinary photography, the film follows the adventures of its life from sapling to maturity, culminating in a triumphal Christmas Day. Along the way, viewers experience the natural - and human - world from a strangely moving perspective.
TUE 20:00 Swarm: Nature's Incredible Invasions (b00gq43y)
One Million Heads, One Beautiful Mind
Extraordinary photography reveals the incredible swarm intelligence that lies behind animal invasions.
Millions of free-tailed bats form a living tornado in which complex information is exchanged. Huge shape-shifting shoals of herring use swarm intelligence to detect predators. Billions of alkali flies form a rolling wave to evade the gaping mouths of gulls. Vast numbers of shore birds synchronise their migration with swarming horseshoe crabs, a feat of timing unparalleled in the animal world.
Fire ants invade and destroy computer equipment and, when their nest is flooded, create living rafts with their bodies. Inside a driver ants' nest we discover the inner workings of a brain made from thousands of individuals. One swarm is even helping to save the planet from the greenhouse effect.
Incredible images show the true complexity of the swarm and how their intelligence impacts on our world.
TUE 21:00 Blood and Gold: The Making of Spain with Simon Sebag Montefiore (b06ssjfk)
Simon explores Spain's golden age under Philip II through to the Spanish Civil War and dictatorship under Franco, from which Spain has emerged as a modern democratic monarchy.
TUE 22:00 10 Things You Didn't Know About... (b008vrwk)
Iain Stewart travels across mountain ranges and glaciers to reveal ten remarkable stories about avalanches.
Over a million avalanches happen throughout the world each year, and yet we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the chaotic turbulence inside an avalanche. Scientists have had to put themselves right inside a raging avalanche to find out more.
Stewart shows how the deadliest avalanche in history killed 18,000 people in three minutes; how Hannibal's army was devastated by avalanches as he crossed the Alps to fight Rome; why an avalanche was key to one of the greatest aviation mysteries of all time; and how global warming may increase the rate of ice avalanches in the future.
TUE 23:00 The Third Man (b0074qmr)
Classic film noir about an American writer who visits postwar Vienna to see an old friend, but is told that his friend is dead. Incredulous at the suggestion his friend was a criminal, the writer attempts to clear the dead man's name, but soon finds events taking a strange turn - his friend is very much alive, dealing drugs on the black market.
TUE 00:40 Swarm: Nature's Incredible Invasions (b00gq43y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
TUE 01:40 Bright Lights, Brilliant Minds: A Tale of Three Cities (b04fmg8j)
Dr James Fox tells the story of Paris in 1928. It was a city that attracted people dreaming of a better world after World War I. This was the year when the surrealists Magritte, Dali and Bunuel brought their bizarre new vision to the people, and when emigre writers and musicians such as Ernest Hemingway and George Gershwin came looking for inspiration.
Paris in 1928 was where black musicians and dancers like Josephine Baker found adulation, where Cole Porter took time off from partying to write Let's Do It, and where radical architect Le Corbusier planned a modernist utopia that involved pulling down much of Paris itself.
TUE 02:40 Blood and Gold: The Making of Spain with Simon Sebag Montefiore (b06ssjfk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
WEDNESDAY 23 DECEMBER 2015
WED 19:00 Children Talking (b06tqd7l)
Another instalment of this snapshot of life seen through the eyes of children. Originally broadcast in the late '60s, the themes, fear, joys and reflections are as valid now as they were then.
WED 19:30 The Lady Vanishes (b0078kyh)
One moment Miss Froy was sitting there, on the train, London-bound from Tyrol. The next she had vanished. Some passengers claim she was never there, but Iris is certain she saw her. Was it her imagination?
WED 21:00 Rome's Invisible City (b05xxl4t)
With the help of a team of experts and the latest in 3D scanning technology, Alexander Armstrong, along with Dr Michael Scott, explores the hidden underground treasures that made Rome the powerhouse of the ancient world. In his favourite city, he uncovers a lost subterranean world that helped build and run the world's first metropolis and its empire.
From the secret underground world of the Colosseum to the aqueducts and sewers that supplied and cleansed it, and from the mysterious cults that sustained it spiritually to the final resting places of Rome's dead, Xander discovers the underground networks that serviced the remarkable world above.
WED 22:00 Detectorists (b06tdq5d)
2015 Christmas Special
Special seasonal episode of the award-winning comedy about metal detectorists Andy and Lance. With his Anglo-Saxon treasure on display at the museum and the reward money finally on its way, Lance hasn't even found so much as a ring-pull in months. Russell thinks he knows why - it's the Curse of the Gold.
WED 22:30 Queen: From Rags to Rhapsody (b06s76l4)
To mark the 40th anniversary of Bohemian Rhapsody, this documentary digs deep into archive to tell the story of Queen as it follows their journey from a struggling band gigging at pubs and colleges to the moment they captured the UK's hearts and minds with what was to become one of - if not the - greatest song of all time.
Queen's formative years have never been explored in such detail. With a wealth of unseen interviews, recently unearthed rushes of Queen's first ever video and outtakes from the recording sessions of Bohemian Rhapsody itself, this is the unique story of early Queen, told by the band themselves.
This documentary completes the final part of the trilogy alongside Days of Our Lives and Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender.
It's simple. It's real. It's raw. It's what happened.
WED 23:30 BBC: The Secret Files (b06455ch)
Penelope Keith uncovers the secrets behind some of the BBC's greatest artists and programmes as she delves into the corporation's written archives.
WED 00:30 Bright Lights, Brilliant Minds: A Tale of Three Cities (b04gbdww)
New York 1951
Dr James Fox tells the story of New York in 1951, where the world we know today was born. This was the year when Jackson Pollock brought a new dynamism to American painting, when the dazzling jazz style known as bebop hit its stride and when Jack Kerouac defined the Beat Generation with his book On the Road. It was where a young Marlon Brando took cinema by storm, a dapper Brit named David Ogilvy reinvented advertising and modern television arrived with the triumphant debut of a show called I Love Lucy.
WED 01:30 50s Britannia (b01sgbw2)
Rock 'n' Roll Britannia
Long before the Beatles there was British rock 'n' roll. Between 1956 and 1960 British youth created a unique copy of a distant and scarce American original whilst most parents, professional jazz men and even the BBC did their level best to snuff it out.
From its first faltering steps as a facsimile of Bill Haley's swing style to the sophistication of self-penned landmarks such as Shakin' All Over and The Sound of Fury, this is the story of how the likes of Lord Rockingham's XI, Vince Taylor and Cliff Richard and The Shadows laid the foundations for an enduring 50-year culture of rock 'n' roll.
Now well into their seventies, the flame still burns strong in the hearts of the original young ones. Featuring Sir Cliff Richard, Marty Wilde, Joe Brown, Bruce Welch, Cherry Wainer and The Quarrymen.
WED 02:30 Detectorists (b06tdq5d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today
WED 03:00 Rome's Invisible City (b05xxl4t)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
THURSDAY 24 DECEMBER 2015
THU 19:00 ... Sings Disney Songs (b018jpk4)
The BBC takes on the Mouse in a brilliant and sometimes baffling medley of styles and eras blending everything from light entertainment to children's TV, celebrating interpretations of Disney tunes over the last 40 years. The Bare Necessities, When You Wish upon a Star and Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah are standout highlights, with more recent pop hits from Celine Dion and Elton John bringing us up to date. Clips come from archive shows including Shirley Bassey, It's Lulu, Top of the Pops, Blue Peter, Brubeck and Louis Armstrong's Show of the Week.
THU 20:00 All Aboard! The Sleigh Ride (b06t3psw)
In a Slow TV Christmas special, BBC Four rigs a traditional reindeer sleigh with a fixed camera for a magical journey across the frozen wilderness of the Arctic. Following the path of an ancient postal route, the ride captures the traditional world of the Sami people who are indigenous to northern Scandinavia and for whom reindeer herding remains a way of life.
Filmed in Karasjok, Norway - 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle - this journey takes us through breathtaking scenery not normally glimpsed by anyone other than the Sami. Deliberately unhurried, the rhythmic pace of the reindeer guides us along an epic two-hour trip that takes us over undulating snowy hills, through birch forests, across a frozen lake and past traditional Sami settlements.
Facts about the reindeer, natural history, Sami culture and the Arctic climate are delivered by graphics and archive stills embedded into the passing landscape. With no commentary, music or presenter - just the crunching of snow and the soft tinkle of a reindeer bell - this hypnotic sleigh ride is an enchanting experience to put everyone in the Christmas spirit.
THU 22:00 Top of the Pops (b008ptfg)
Noel Edmonds presents a special Top of the Pops from 1978, with Darts, Abba, Boney M, Brotherhood of Man, Father Abraham, Bee Gees, Brian and Michael, Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band, Wings, Showaddywaddy, Rose Royce, Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta and Legs and Co.
THU 23:00 Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? (b007894q)
A Special Christmas Edition
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.
THU 23:45 Britain's Most Dangerous Songs: Listen to the Banned (b048wwlk)
From My Little Stick of Blackpool Rock to God Save the Queen, this is the story of ten records from the 1930s to the present day that have been banned by the BBC. The reasons why these songs were censored reveals the changing controversies around youth culture over the last 75 years, with Bing Crosby and the Munchkins among the unlikely names to have met the wrath of the BBC.
With contributions from Carrie Grant, Paul Morley, Stuart Maconie, Glen Matlock, Mike Read and John Robb.
THU 00:45 Top of the Pops (b04wh10g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Monday
THU 01:45 Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? (b007894q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 today
THU 02:35 Carols from King's (b04w80ny)
1954: A Festival of Lessons and Carols
Over 60 years ago, the BBC broadcast the first Carols from King's live from the world-famous chapel of the Cambridge university college. The transmission took place at eight o'clock on the evening of December 23rd, sandwiched between the news and an edition of Sportsview in which Brian Johnston reported on England's ultimately successful Ashes tour.
But the 44-minute recital was also recorded and has now been digitally remastered to offer today's audience a unique glimpse into the beginnings of this Christmas institution. Led by the organist and director of music Boris Ord, the concert opens with the now traditional solo of Once in Royal David's City and includes In Dulce Jubilo and While Shepherds Watched, before the equally familiar closing anthem of O Come All Ye Faithful.
THU 03:20 Some People with Jokes (b04w80p3)
Some Santas with Jokes
Father Christmases from across Britain take time out of their busy schedules to share their favourite jokes and get the whole nation going 'ho-ho-ho!'.
FRIDAY 25 DECEMBER 2015
FRI 19:00 The Quizeum (b06ssj6l)
The final episode in this series has a suitably festive theme. Griff Rhys Jones and his teams of experts - historians Janina Ramirez, Kate Williams and Hallie Rubenhold and ceramics expert Lars Tharp - visit the V&A Museum of Childhood. Originally founded as a museum for the East End area of London, today it houses the largest collection of childhood objects in the UK and will provide a seasonal challenge for Griff and his guests.
FRI 19:30 Carlos Acosta's Carmen: The Farewell Performance (b06t3qkz)
The Royal Ballet's new production of Carmen from the legendary dancer Carlos Acosta, as he makes his retirement from classical dance.
Based on Bizet's much-loved opera, the ballet tells the tale of the sultry Carmen and her seduction of the soldier Don José, whom she eventually betrays in the arms of the handsome toreador Escamillo.
It is a night to remember - after almost 20 years with the company, Acosta is making his final performance on the main stage at Covent Garden.
Presented from the Royal Opera House by Darcey Bussell.
FRI 20:45 The Titfield Thunderbolt (b03mv97b)
Ealing comedy about a group of villagers and their battle to preserve the local railway line by running it themselves, an enterprise that goes well until they are sabotaged in a midnight raid by the rival bus company. Undaunted, they wheel out the Thunderbolt, an ancient exhibit in the village museum. Now all that remains is to put on a satisfactory run for the stickler of a government inspector.
FRI 22:05 Top of the Pops (b06t3ql3)
Tony Blackburn and Noel Edmonds present the Christmas pop charts, originally broadcast in 1975. Featuring performances from Pilot, Ralph McTell, Mud, 10cc, David Essex, Johnny Nash, Guys & Dolls, the Tymes, Tammy Wynette, the Bay City Rollers, Telly Savalas, Art Garfunkel, the Stylistics and CCS, plus a dance performance from Pan's People.
FRI 22:55 Top of the Pops (b04wh10g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Monday
FRI 00:00 Detectorists (b06tdq5d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Wednesday
FRI 00:30 The Joy of the Single (b01nzchs)
Do you remember buying your first single? Where you bought it? What it was? The thrill of playing it for the first time? What it sounded like? How it maybe changed your life? Lots of us do. Lots of us still have that single somewhere in a dusty box in the attic, along with other treasured memorabilia of an adolescence lost in music and romance. The attic of our youth.
The Joy of the Single is a documentary packed with startling memories, vivid images and penetrating insights into the power of pop and rock's first and most abiding artefact - the seven-inch, vinyl 45-rpm record, a small, perfectly formed object that seems to miraculously contain the hopes, fears, sounds and experiences of our different generations - all within the spiralling groove etched on its shiny black surface, labelled and gift-wrapped by an industry also in its thrall.
In the confident hands of a star-studded cast, the film spins a tale of obsession, addiction, dedication and desire. The viewer is invited on a journey of celebration from the 1950s rock 'n' roll generation to the download kids of today, taking in classic singles from all manner of artists in each decade - from the smell of vinyl to the delights of the record label, from the importance of the record shop to the bittersweet brevity of the song itself, from stacking singles on a Dansette spindle to dropping the needle and thrilling to the intro.
Featuring contributions from Noddy Holder, Jack White, Richard Hawley, Suzi Quatro, Holly Johnson, Jimmy Webb, Pete Waterman, Norah Jones, Mike Batt, Graham Gouldman, Miranda Sawyer, Norman Cook, Trevor Horn, Neil Sedaka, Paul Morley, Rob Davies, Lavinia Greenlaw, Brian Wilson and Mike Love.
FRI 01:30 Top of the Pops (b01ppl1x)
A Christmas Cracker
A selection of hit Christmas songs from yesteryear.
FRI 01:40 Top of the Pops (b06t3ql3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:05 today
FRI 02:30 Carlos Acosta's Carmen: The Farewell Performance (b06t3qkz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today