As the Mini turns 60, buckle up for an incredible journey into the fascinating secret world of the car factory. Every 68 seconds a brand new car drives off the production line at the Mini plant in Oxford. In this repeat of the 2015 series James May, Kate Humble and Ant Anstead go behind the scenes to bring us this modern miracle in real time. Over two nights they reveal the science, engineering and people that keep us all on the road, and see a car built from start to finish in a little over 24 hours. Tonight James makes friends with an army of diligent robots and busts the myth that British manufacturing is dead. Kate heads to Norway to discover why the electric car is King of the Norwegian road and Ant explores the history and heritage of one of the most iconic cars ever built. With access all areas live on the factory floor, the team will see exactly how a car is born - a car that tomorrow will be driven off the line ready for life on the open road.
Lucy Worsley restages the wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Each detail is brought back to life in a spectacular ceremony as Lucy reveals how this event saved the monarchy and invented modern marriage.
Aided by a team of experts, Lucy recreates the most important elements of the ceremony and the celebrations, scouring history books, archives, newspapers and Queen Victoria's diaries for the details. She reveals how every moment was brilliantly stage-managed for maximum effect. Like every good marriage celebration, the film is a heady mix of fine food, fabulous clothes, music, emotion, gossip and intrigue. From the white dress to the massive tiered white cake, from the music sung by the choir to the moment rings were exchanged, each element has been carefully researched and remade for a grand staging of the big day itself.
The experts include food historian Annie Gray, clothing expert Harriet Waterhouse and military historian Jasdeep Singh. Woven into the recreation of the wedding day is the story of Victoria and Albert's courtship and engagement, and its political importance. Lucy unpacks and explores the hidden iconography and symbolism of this hugely significant wedding, and reveals new insights into Victoria and Albert's relationship; both public and private.
The film sheds new light on the wider implications of the wedding and reveals how this one extraordinary event helped to invent modern marriage.
Huge armies of Hamadryas baboons, 400 strong, battle on the plains of Ethiopia to steal females and settle old scores. Japanese macaques in Japan beat the cold by lounging in thermal springs, but only if they come from the right family. An orangutan baby fails in its struggle to make an umbrella out of leaves to keep off the rain. Young capuchins cannot quite get the hang of smashing nuts with a large rock, a technique their parents have perfected. Chimpanzees, humans' closest relatives, have created an entire tool kit to get their food.
The Peaky Blinders are lured by the Italians into a cat-and-mouse chase on the streets of Birmingham, where it becomes clear that Tommy has met his match. Trapped in Small Heath, Tommy tries to console himself with a visit from an old flame but it soon becomes clear that he can't always get what he wants.
As his factory lies idle, Tommy confronts the possibility that the Communists might win and he will be deemed a traitor to his class. Meanwhile, Changretta prepares to spring another trap.
Tommy finds himself engaged in bloody battle with Luca Changretta and his gang. The family gather to find out what happened, but Lizzie has even greater news to break.
Meanwhile, an army colonel has questions for Ada about her past as a communist, and Jessie Eden confirms just how far she is prepared to go in pursuit of her cause. And sensing an opportunity to capitalise on his situation, Luca Changretta makes his way to London to present a plan to Alfie Solomons.
It is the night of the big fight - Bonnie Gold versus Goliath. But as the bell rings and the crowd goes wild, dangers lurk in the shadows for Tommy Shelby and his family.
When Changretta plays his final ace, he sets in motion a series of events that will change the Peaky Blinders forever.
TUESDAY 27 AUGUST 2019
TUE 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (m0007z2w)
The latest news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.
TUE 19:30 Building Cars: Secrets of the Assembly Line (b06kn5d7)
James May, Kate Humble and Ant Anstead are back at one of the biggest and busiest car factories in Britain. Think you knew how a car was born? Think again. Tonight James races against the clock on the production line and embraces the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen. Kate gets to the bottom of how manufacturers test car seats for mass production and Ant heads to Germany to put his faith in a driverless car on the autobahn. Inside the factory the team reveal what it takes to build a thousand different cars a day, and are live as a car that started being built yesterday drives off the production line for the very first time.
TUE 21:00 Revolutions: The Ideas that Changed the World (m0007z2z)
Jim Al-Khalili investigates the fascinating story of the robot, using original documents, reconstructions and sophisticated computer graphics.
It would take Lord Byron's daughter, three brothers in ancient Baghdad and a mission to Mars to give us the technology that could transform the world. In ancient Greece, Homer writes of Hephaestus, god of fire and metalworking, who forges two mechanical handmaidens to help him. The idea of artificial people is born.
Then in 8th-century Baghdad, three brothers make the world's first programmable machine, a self-playing trumpet. But how to build a proper robot? Victorian inventor Charles Babbage checks navigation tables for ships for a living. The tables are riddled with mistakes. He wonders if a machine could do the work mistake-free and designs a mechanical computer.
Then Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, realises that the machine could solve nearly any problem and writes the first computer programs. In 1936, postgraduate Alan Turing wonders if, as Lovelace suggested, a machine could compute any calculation. He describes a general-purpose computer. After World War II come the first electronic computers, but they are far from Turing's vision. In a long-lost radio broadcast, Turing imagines a machine perfectly mimicking a human. Who's to say the computer is not having thoughts?
Next, scientist William Walter is convinced the secret to a brain is how it's wired. He creates a robot called a tortoise. We see a replica react to obstacles. It is the beginning of machine autonomy. We now have robots on Mars, but bringing them into our daily lives requires a new revolution. Enter the amazing TORO robot, which can walk, manipulate things and interact with people. Then we meet the remarkable iCub, that learns like a child and can share its expertise with others.
One day robots will be embedded in our lives. But will we ever consider them to have independence or rights - and will they take over the world?
TUE 22:00 Franco Building with Jonathan Meades (m0007z31)
Writer and broadcaster Jonathan Meades has in his time made films about the architecture of the infamous European dictators of the 20th century - Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini. He's now completing the set by turning his gaze onto Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. Franco, unlike the other three, died peacefully in his bed having been in power for 36 years, and his architectural legacy, Meades argues, was more enduring and surprising than any of the others.
In his search for how Franco shaped Spain, Meades doesn’t look in the obvious places. For him Franco's legacy isn’t to be found in the dull and pompous government buildings put up in the 1940s and 50s after the Spanish Civil War but in the riotous clash of building styles of the 1960s and 70s that grew up along Spain's coasts, particularly the proliferation of skyscrapers in resorts such as Benidorm. It’s here that a new type of city was created that has influenced urban development all over the world.
The theme of tourism runs through Meades's excursion into the world of Franco's Spain. Apart from giving the go-ahead to the development of Mediterranean beach resorts to encourage mass tourism, Franco also actively encouraged the revival of the medieval pilgrimage trail to Santiago de Compostela, the north western city named after St James.
Franco cleverly exploited religious belief and myths to bolster his autocratic regime. Central to this was the elevation of the position of St James - the patron saint of Spain. St James the apostle was martyred by King Herod in AD 44. Before that, according to myth, he had brought Christianity to northern Spain, and Santiago de Compostela became the end point of a pilgrim trail in the Middle Ages. Franco revived the pilgrimage. Paradors (luxury hotels sited in ancient monuments), hotels and hostels were built along the various routes to cater for every pocket. Meades shows how St James and Santiago de Compostela became crucial pillars propping up the Franco regime.
Away from the obvious tourist sites, Meades looks at the dark side of Franco's legacy. He uncovers the sinister history of Franco's mausoleum - the Valley of the Fallen - built by republican prisoners of war in the 1940s and 50s. Meades describes it as 'the biggest slave labour project in Europe since World War II'. The building is currently the site of a massive controversy in Spain. The socialist government wants to exhume Franco's body and detoxify the site, while Franco's family strenuously reject any attempt to remove him. The issue remains unresolved to date.
As with all Jonathan Meades's television essays, Franco Building turns conventional wisdom on its head, providing new insights into Spanish history, architecture and landscape.
TUE 23:25 Jerusalem: The Making of a Holy City (b0186b56)
Invasion, Invasion, Invasion
Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world. For the Jewish faith, it is the site of the western wall, the last remnant of the second Jewish temple. For Christians, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the site of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For Muslims, the Al-Aqsa mosque is the third holiest sanctuary of Islam.
In episode two, Simon discovers the impact on the holy city of a new faith - Islam. He explores Muhammad's relationship with Jerusalem, the construction of one of Islam's holiest shrines - the Dome of the Rock - and the crusaders' attempts to win it back for Christianity.
He also brings to life lesser-known characters, whose impact still resonates - Al Hakim's destructive delusions of grandeur and Queen Melisende's embellishment of crusader Jerusalem, as well as the notorious stand-off between Saladin and Richard the Lionheart.
The episode ends in the 13th century with King Frederick II, whose groundbreaking power-sharing deal prefigures the tortuous peace negotiations of our own times. Then, as now, peace did not last.
TUE 00:25 Art of America (b017755r)
Looking for Paradise
In the first episode of a series exploring the history of American art, Andrew Graham-Dixon embarks on an epic journey from east to west, following in the footsteps of the pioneers who built the foundations of modern America.
During his journey, he travels to Massachusetts to see the earliest portraits in America depicting the Puritan settlers and visits Pennsylvania to uncover the dark truth behind Benjamin West's most famous painting, the spectacular Treaty of Penn with the Indians. In Philadelphia, he turns the pages of one of the world's most expensive books - John James Audubon's exquisite Birds of America, and explores the wilderness that inspired America's greatest landscape painter, Thomas Cole.
He also uncovers the paradox at the heart of America: that progress and innovation have come at a tragic price, the destruction of the unique cultural heritage of Native Americans by European settlers.
Andrew's journey takes us to the end of the 19th century and the announcement that the era of westward expansion was officially over.
TUE 01:25 Bauhaus Rules with Vic Reeves (m0007tqs)
Presented by Jim Moir, aka Vic Reeves, Bauhaus Rules brings the radical principles of the Bauhaus to a new generation, to discover if the school’s groundbreaking approach to training artists still holds its power 100 years on.
Over the course of a week, six Central St Martins graduates - across fine art, fashion, graphic design and architecture - are challenged each day to create a new work of art, design or performance, sticking strictly to rules inspired by the artists who taught at the Bauhaus.
TUE 02:25 Revolutions: The Ideas that Changed the World (m0007z2z)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
WEDNESDAY 28 AUGUST 2019
WED 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (m0007z5j)
The latest news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.
WED 19:30 History of the Future: Cars (b00j4dfw)
Phill Jupitus looks at how we thought the car of the future was going to turn out and finds out why it didn't happen that way, focusing on the classic era of the 50s and 60s, a time when they hadn't quite yet worked out how to make cars fly and instead just made them look like they could.
In his quest to trace the dream car of his childhood, Phill visits the places where the future of motoring seemed to have arrived and learns about the visionaries who let their imaginations rove in the heroic days before marketing and 'sustainability' domesticated the car into the homogenous transports we see today.
The documentary is shot on location in Detroit's Henry Ford Museum and GM Heritage Centre, and the Science Museum in London, and has interviews with Jonathan Glancey and Sir Clive Sinclair.
WED 20:00 A History of Scotland (b00ftjqx)
Language is Power
At one time, Gaelic Scotland - the people and the language - was central to the collective identity of Scots.
But as Neil Oliver reveals, Scotland's infamous Highland/Lowland divide was the result of a family struggle that divided the kingdom.
This is the story of how the centralising policies of the Stewart royal family in the 15th century led to the Gaels being perceived as rebels and outsiders.
WED 21:00 The Secret Life of Landfill: A Rubbish History (b0bgpc2f)
In a unique science experiment, Dr George McGavin and Dr Zoe Laughlin chronicle the history of rubbish and explore how what we throw away tells us about the way we live our lives. With unprecedented access to one of the UK's largest landfill sites, the team of experts spend three days carrying out tests all over the site, revealing the secret world of rubbish. They also carry out three other 'archaeological' digs into historic landfills to chart the evolution of our throwaway society. Ultimately, their quest is to discover whether the items we throw away today have any value for tomorrow's world.
WED 22:30 Susan Calman's Fringe Benefits (m0007w2d)
Susan Calman gets the comedy inside story from a range of seasoned performers. Among the line-up is Janet Ellis, who has been appearing at the book festival, acting legends Arabella Weir and Cora Bissett, and comedians Nish Kumar and Mark Nelson.
WED 23:15 The Friday Documentary (p041yqmt)
The Mini Is 30
The world's most famous small car celebrates its 30th birthday. Mini enthusiasts around the world, including Spike Milligan and Tony Benn, explain the little car's unique character. (1989)
WED 23:45 Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors (b08sqxk1)
Lucy Worsley explores the different houses in which Jane Austen lived and stayed, to discover just how much they shaped Jane's life and novels.
On a journey that takes her across England, Lucy visits properties that still exist, from grand stately homes to seaside holiday apartments, and brings to life those that have disappeared. The result is a revealing insight into one of the world's best-loved authors.
WED 00:45 Art of America (b017j25v)
In the second part of his fascinating journey exploring American art, Andrew Graham-Dixon gets under the skin of the modern American metropolis. Starting his journey at the foot of the Statue of Liberty, which he describes as a pioneering early skyscraper, Andrew discovers how the ambitions of visionary artists and architects helped America remove itself from the shadow of Europe and become the most advanced civilisation on earth.
Andrew travels to downtown Manhattan to explore the grimy world of early 20th-century painters John Sloan and George Bellows, and visits Stockbridge in Massachusetts to find out how the world of Norman Rockwell is not as sentimental as it first seems. In Chicago, he explores the visionary mind of architect Louis Sullivan and travels to the decaying outskirts of the city to see the underside of the American dream.
He uncovers the impact the Great Depression had on artists such as Edward Hopper and Arshile Gorky, and finds out how this struggle inspired America's first internationally acclaimed art movement - Abstract Expressionism. He pays a pilgrimage to Jackson Pollock's perfectly preserved studio in Long Island to discover the secrets of his unique drip technique, before flying across America to take in one of modern art's most moving experiences, Mark Rothko's chapel in Houston, Texas.
WED 01:45 ... Sings Bacharach and David! (b01gxl5w)
The BBC have raided their remarkable archive once more to reveal evocative performances from Burt Bacharach and Hal David's astonishing songbook. Love songs from the famous songwriting duo were a familiar feature of 60s and 70s BBC entertainment programmes such as Dusty, Cilla and The Cliff Richard Show, but there are some surprises unearthed here too.
Highlights include Sandie Shaw singing Always Something There to Remind Me, Aretha Franklin performing I Say a Little Prayer, Dusty Springfield's Wishin' and Hopin', The Stranglers' rendition of Walk on By on Top of the Pops, The Carpenters in concert performing (They Long to Be) Close to You and Burt Bacharach revisiting his classic Kentucky Bluebird with Rufus Wainwright on Later...with Jools Holland.
WED 02:45 A History of Scotland (b00ftjqx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
THURSDAY 29 AUGUST 2019
THU 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (m0007zd1)
The latest news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.
THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (m0007zd3)
Steve Wright and Mark Goodier present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 26 May 1988 and featuring Debbie Gibson, LA Mix, Ofra Haza, Climie Fisher, Aswad, The Style Council, Hothouse Flowers, Mica Paris, Scritti Politti, Wet Wet Wet and Heart.
THU 20:00 Skies Above Britain (b07w196d)
The job with the highest pressure at NATS is keeping everyone safe entering or leaving London's airspace, one of the busiest patches of sky in the world. Up to four thousand people can be in the hands of just one controller at any one time. Tom and Tim, two of the thousands who aspire to be the next generation of air traffic controllers, are beginning the rigorous three-year course.
Captain Fegus Rak is a pilot for Norwegian Air who must get his plane rapidly turned around and airborne for his twice-daily round trips to Europe. Amateur pilot Lizzie dreams of becoming a commercial pilot and at Elstree airfield, she prepares for her first solo flight.
But for some, the growth in air traffic is too much. Martin Barraud, resident of a once-quiet village in Kent, is leading a campaign to stop the narrowing of flight paths and increased noise overhead. Activist Sheila and protest group Plane Stupid use direct action to raise awareness of the environmental cost of flying but face a possible jail sentence for taking part in a sit in on Heathrow's runway.
THU 21:00 World War Speed: The Drugs that Won WWII (m0007zd5)
It’s long been known that German soldiers used a methamphetamine, called Pervitin, during WWII. But have tales of Nazis on speed obscured the massive use of stimulants by British and American troops?
Did total war unleash the world’s first pharmacological arms race? And in the face of industrial slaughter, what role did drugs play in combat? Historian James Holland is on a quest to dig deeper and unearth the truth behind World War Speed.
THU 22:00 Operation Crossbow (b011cr8f)
The heroic tales of World War II are legendary, but Operation Crossbow is a little-known story that deserves to join the hall of fame: how the Allies used 3D photos to thwart the Nazis' weapons of mass destruction before they could obliterate Britain.
This film brings together the heroic Spitfire pilots who took the photographs and the brilliant minds of RAF Medmenham that made sense of the jigsaw of clues hidden in the photos. Hitler was pumping a fortune into his new-fangled V weapons in the hope they could win him the war. But Medmenham had a secret weapon of its own, a simple stereoscope which brought to life every contour of the enemy landscape in perfect 3D.
The devil was truly in the detail. Together with extraordinary personal testimonies, the film uses modern computer graphics on the original wartime photographs to show just how the photo interpreters were able to uncover Hitler's nastiest secrets.
THU 23:00 Immortal Egypt with Joann Fletcher (b06z8fjn)
In the final episode, Joann discovers how Egypt's enemies exploited a country weakened by internal strife, ultimately leading to its destruction.
Joann leaves Egypt and journeys south to Sudan where she finds the remarkable story of the forgotten Nubian kings. For a century, they ruled Egypt from their southern homeland, even building their own pyramids to bury their kings.
Back in upper Egypt, Joann finds the next group of invaders, the Saites, discovering how they had taken the Egyptian tradition of mummification to new extremes by preserving millions of animals. Finally in Luxor temple, she discovers Egypt's saviour and founder of one of the greatest cities on earth - Alexander the Great.
THU 00:00 Top of the Pops (m0007zd3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
THU 00:30 Art of America (b017sryq)
What Lies Beneath
In the final part of his United States odyssey, Andrew Graham-Dixon feels the pulse of contemporary America. Beginning in Levittown - the first mass-produced suburb - Andrew uncovers the dark side of post-war consumerism and the role artists have played in challenging the status quo.
He visits New York's Metropolitan Museum to see the most subversive artwork of 1950s America, Jasper Johns's White Flag. Pop art defined the 1960s and Andy Warhol was its greatest artist. Andrew examines Warhol's soup can paintings, meets his former lover Billy Name and interviews one of the last great surviving pop artists, James Rosenquist.
He travels west down the open road, exploring its art, arriving in Los Angeles, an artificial dream world that has inspired the graphic style of Ed Ruscha and the city's own unique contribution to 20th century design - Googie architecture.
Back east, Andrew visits the home of one of his favourite 20th century artists, the late Philip Guston, and gets a private view of his work. He drops into the studio of Jeff Koons to learn how the enfant terrible of contemporary art continues to challenge the boundaries of American taste. Finally, he explores the impact 9/11 has had on America and how a new generation of artists, such as Matthew Day Jackson, have made sense of this tragic event.
THU 01:30 Skies Above Britain (b07w196d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
THU 02:30 World War Speed: The Drugs that Won WWII (m0007zd5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
FRIDAY 30 AUGUST 2019
FRI 19:00 World News Today (m0007zfc)
The latest news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.
FRI 19:30 BBC Proms (m0007zff)
Strauss, Sibelius and Prokofiev
Katie Derham presents flavours of Finland, Russia and Germany from three 20th-century favourites. Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra bring you Sibelius's turbulent First Symphony, Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No 2 performed by Gil Shaham, and the orchestral suite from Richard Strauss's blockbuster opera Der Rosenkavalier.
FRI 21:30 Smashing Hits! The 80s Pop Map of Britain and Ireland (b0bb2pyf)
Two 80s icons explore the distinct sounds that came out of different parts of Britain and Ireland in one of pop's golden decades.
Midge Ure, lead singer of Ultravox and one of the men behind Band Aid, and Kim Appleby, who had a string of hits with her sister Mel in the Stock, Aitken and Waterman-produced band Mel and Kim, go on a journey back in time to the 80s to figure out why certain cities produced their own diverse tunes.
It's a fascinating tale. Emerging from the ashes of punk, British and Irish music ripped up the pop rule book in the 80s and topped the charts worldwide. But there was no definitive 'British' pop sound. Innovative chart-toppers were being produced by artists hailing from all over the UK and Ireland.
In this second episode, Midge and Kim explore the sounds that came from Scotland, Ireland and Wales. They start in Glasgow with the American influences that shaped a substantial part of Scottish music, look at the punk and folk backdrop to Irish music and, finally, delve into the Welsh merger of folk and punk.
The show features evocative archive, superb music and interviews with significant figures, like Bob Geldof, Clare Grogan from Altered Images, Pat Kane from Hue and Cry, Moya Brennan of Clannad and Mike Peters from legendary Welsh band The Alarm.
FRI 22:30 BBC Proms (m0007zfh)
Homage to Nina Simone
Clara Amfo introduces a prom which celebrates the jazz and blues legend Nina Simone. The Metropole Orkest is led by Jules Buckley, and they are joined by Ledisi, Lisa Fischer and other singers in this tribute to the acclaimed singer, songwriter and political activist. The titles include standards such as Feeling Good, My Baby Just Cares for Me and I Put a Spell on You.
FRI 00:20 Hits, Hype & Hustle: An Insider's Guide to the Music Business (b09q04ts)
Revivals and Reunions
Part three of this entertaining, behind-the-scenes series about how the music business works, explores the phenomenon of band reunions.
With unique revelations, rare archive and backstage access to an impressive line-up of old favourites strutting their stuff once more, music PR legend Alan Edwards tells the story of why so many bands are getting back together, what happens when they do - and how it's changing the music business.
Alan Edwards, who has looked after everyone from Prince to The Rolling Stones, from David Bowie to The Spice Girls, is our musical guide. He's been in the business long enough to see countless acts enjoy pop stardom, split up, fall out, only to re-emerge triumphant decades later, to the joy of their fans.
Alan starts by telling the story of the UK's first revival concert which took place over 40 years ago at Wembley Stadium. Featuring some of the biggest acts from the birth of rock 'n' roll - Bill Haley and the Comets, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis - the concert opened the eyes of promoters to the power of yesterday's hitmakers to reach an audience and make serious money.
From there, Alan takes us on a musical journey through some of the biggest reunions of the last thirty years. Highlights include Glen Matlock, ex-bassist in The Sex Pistols who talks candidly about their 1996 reunion. Called the Filthy Lucre tour, Glen reveals how one section of the band had to travel on a separate tour bus just to keep the fragile band reunion on track so they could finish the tour.
Alan also meets the three remaining members of Blondie, who tell him how they've navigated their reunion. Debbie Harry reveals how she didn't want to get back together with the band at first, had to be persuaded to do it, but then teared up when they first played together - 'when we put the band back together for the first time and everybody started playing I sort of teared up because, oh there really is that sound, that really does exist, we do have an identity and that is probably the really successful band is to have a successful uniqueness to it.'
Stewart Copeland, the drummer in The Police, tells us about their reunion tour, one the most successful of all time. In rare archive of the band's rehearsals, Stewart tells us these 'were hell'. Copeland also reveals how the band had therapy during their comeback tour, 'we started to say things that I, we'd never said. I heard things from him (Sting) that just blew my mind, that's what you've been thinking for thirty years.'
Melanie C talks about The Spice Girls' reunion and reveals which of the girls called to ask her to give it another go. Alex James from Blur gives us the inside track on how Blur's revival happened and Shaun Ryder, with typical bluntness, tells us why he decided to take The Happy Mondays back on the road. We also hear from OMD, who for the first time reveal what really happened during their bitter break-up.
Eighties musical phenomenon Musical Youth take us behind the scenes of their rebirth and tell us why they still do it, and one of the biggest bands of the 60s, The Zombies, tell the remarkable story of how good old-fashioned 'word of mouth' played a big part in their rebirth.
The programme also looks at how to stage a reunion when no members of the band want to get involved. Alan Edwards explores how pop music is increasingly popping up in West End musicals and at how bands are staging their own exhibitions as a way to come back without actually having to stage a reunion.
And finally, Alan ponders the ultimate comeback - from beyond the grave - and asks whether technology and the arrival of hologram performances mean that in the future bands will never really break up, they'll just keep on regenerating.
FRI 01:20 Top of the Pops (b0b8rmnx)
The Story of 1986
How did the decline of the young guns of the early 80s, the advent of House, The Big Bang in the money markets and political fatigue on the Left make their mark - or not - on the nation’s most popular music show?
Paul Heaton, Mick Hucknall, Sinitta, The Communards and Swing Out Sister are among the acts that steer us through the changes impacting Britain, the music industry and the BBC’s long-serving pop powerhouse in 1986.
FRI 02:20 Smashing Hits! The 80s Pop Map of Britain and Ireland (b0bb2pyf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:30 today