SAT 19:00 All Aboard! The Great Reindeer Migration (m0001rz0)
A BBC Four Slow Christmas treat follows Norway’s Sami reindeer herds as they migrate across the mountainous region of Finnmark, far north of the Arctic Circle. The journey, a little over 160 miles, takes the herd a week, travelling north from the inland winter feeding grounds to their coastal summer pastures. The film travels with the Sara family and their herd around the clock as they cross the Arctic wilderness to reach the coastal island of Kvaloya Fala in time for the calves to be born. It is a journey fraught with hazardous weather conditions.

SAT 21:00 The Sinner (m000c5xw)
Series 2

Episode 5

Ambrose is concerned that he has no memory of checking himself into the Rockford Motel. At Julian's arraignment, Benji enters a plea of not guilty. Vera asks Ambrose to act as a defence witness, causing a rift between him and Detective Novack.

SAT 21:40 The Sinner (m000c5xy)
Series 2

Episode 6

Harry revisits Carmen Bell in the psychiatric institution but discovers that she has been placed in isolation, having had a bad reaction to a phone call the day before. Vera tells Harry that Julian is being medicated at the juvenile detention centre.

SAT 22:25 From Elton John to Gary Barlow: Celebrating 100 Concerts Live at Eden (m000c5y0)
A celebration of the Eden Sessions that looks back at the first 18 years of concerts at the Eden Project in Cornwall, which began in 2001. One hundred live concerts, from Elton John to Gary Barlow, set against the stunning backdrop of the Eden biomes.

Introduced by Nile Rodgers, who headlined the 100th show on 23 June 2019, the programme features performances by a wide variety of artists. They include Pulp, who headlined the first ever Eden Session in July 2002, Duran Duran, Bastille, Muse, Gary Barlow, Van Morrison, Madness, Primal Scream and Lionel Richie.

SAT 23:25 Top of the Pops (m000bypm)
Bruno Brookes and Mike Read present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 1 December 1988 and featuring Rick Astley, Michael Jackson, Pet Shop Boys, George Michael, Angry Anderson, Cliff Richard, Phil Collins, Bros, Robin Beck and Humanoid.

SAT 23:55 Top of the Pops (m000bypp)
Nicky Campbell and Caron Keating present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 8 December 1988 and featuring Status Quo, Angry Anderson, Phil Collins, Petula Clark, New Order, Inner City, Erasure, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, Cliff Richard and Bananarama.

SAT 00:25 Woody Guthrie: Three Chords and the Truth (m00048qp)
Woody Guthrie is one of America’s legendary songwriters. A voice of the people, he wrote hard-hitting lyrics for a hard-hit nation.

His is a tale of survival, creativity and reinvention. He is proof that there is always potential for change and even in 2019, more than fifty years after his death, he is challenging Donald Trump from beyond the grave.

With enormous influence on successive generations of musicians like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez and Billy Bragg, this film proves he has a true place in 21st-century culture.

SAT 01:25 Music Moguls: Masters of Pop (p039x53y)
Melody Makers

Part two of this enlightening series exploring the music business from behind the scenes looks at the music producers. These are the men and women who have created the signature sounds that have defined key periods in rock and pop history. Highlights include Trevor Horn on inventing the 'Sound of the Eighties', Lamont Dozier on Motown, and a TV first with legendary producer Tony Visconti taking us through David Bowie's seminal song Heroes.

Narrated by master producer Nile Rodgers.

SAT 02:25 Nigel Kennedy at the BBC (b04w0fyx)
Compilation of performances and appearances by Nigel Kennedy from the BBC archive, following his music development and career from a seven-year-old child on Town and Around to his virtuoso showstopper Czardas from the Last Night of the Proms 2013.

Featuring interviews with him through the years, and demonstrating a versatility of styles from classical to experimental to a jazz duet with Stephane Grappelli.


SUN 19:00 The Women's Football Show (m000c5xm)


Eilidh Barbour presents highlights of the Women’s Super League from Reading as they face Arsenal.

Also featuring are highlights of Chelsea against Manchester City from Kingsmeadow, plus all the goals from the rest of the WSL.

SUN 19:30 Canals: The Making of a Nation (b06823cv)

Liz McIvor discovers how carving up the landscape in order to build canals helped further our understanding of the earth below. The canal builders struggled with rocks. Without maps or geological surveys, construction often relied on guesswork. The Kennet and Avon had more than its fair share of problems. William Smith, a surveyor working on the connecting Somerset Coal Canal, discovered a way of ordering layers of rocks. He eventually created the first geological map of England and Wales - the so-called 'map that changed the world'.

SUN 20:00 James Galway at the BBC (m000c5xp)
Dazzling entertainment from the Man with the Golden Flute as Sir James Galway reflects on a television career spanning over 40 years. Following an extraordinary journey from the Belfast docks to principal flute of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Galway went on to cross all musical boundaries in the late 1970s to become a BBC TV superstar.

From Val Doonican to Top of the Pops, Wogan to Celebrity Proms, and Parkinson to Songs of Praise, Galway brought the sound of the flute to audiences of millions. With stunning performances of the great classics and iconic TV moments on piccolo, mouth organ and tin whistle, this is a journey full of fun and surprises.

The Chieftains, Cleo Laine and The Cambridge Buskers are just some of the musicians who feature in a wealth of BBC archive paying tribute to one of the best-loved entertainers of his generation on his 80th birthday.

SUN 21:00 Ireland with Simon Reeve (b06qymr8)
Episode 1

Simon begins his journey in the south of Ireland, paramotoring with an Irish explorer. On the west coast, he does a spot of surfing before climbing Croagh Patrick in honour of Ireland's patron saint. This leg of his journey ends in Malin Head, Ireland's most northerly point.

SUN 22:00 The Sky at Night (m000c5xr)
Review of the Year

Looking back on the major stories of the year - from the New Horizons mission to the most distant world we have ever visited to the release of the first-ever picture of a black hole. The team relive the highlights and uncover the latest developments.

SUN 22:30 Horizon (b01llnb2)

Mission to Mars

Horizon goes behind the scenes at Nasa as they count down to the landing of a 2.5 billion-dollar rover on the surface of Mars. The nuclear-powered vehicle, the size of a car, will be winched down onto the surface of the red planet from a rocket-powered crane. That's if things go according to plan; Mars has become known as the Bermuda Triangle of space because so many missions there have ended in failure. The Curiosity mission is the most audacious, and expensive, attempt to answer the question of whether there is life on Mars.

SUN 23:30 Revolutions: The Ideas that Changed the World (m0007tpj)
Series 1

The Telescope

'The telescope gave us what might be the greatest discovery of all – the universe itself.' - Jim Al-Khalili

Jim Al-Khalili and a team of experts explore the fascinating story of one of our greatest inventions, the telescope, using original notebooks, stylish visualisations and sophisticated computer graphics. It is a tale full of twists and turns, involving a seashore plant, a New York property boom and a spilt bottle of mercury. Thanks to these events, the telescope allowed us to discover not just our place in the cosmos, but our origins too.

Jim travels to eighth-century Baghdad to witness the first experiments in optics. Many regard this as the birth of science itself, culminating in Ibn al-Haytham’s extraordinary book explaining how light can be manipulated.

In 12th-century Venice, a secret process using a seashore plant allows the manufacture of clear glass and with that, the first precision lenses. 250 years later a Dutch optician makes a chance observation: a particular arrangement of lenses magnifies distant objects. Months later, an Italian mathematics teacher, Galileo, constructs his own version and points it into the night sky. It is a revolution not just in astronomy but also in humanity’s perception of itself.

In Paris, an accident with mercury allows Louis Daguerre to make highly sensitive photographic plates. Now cameras are attached to telescopes allowing celestial images to be analysed with mathematical precision. Later, a New York property boom allows a wealthy donor to fund a full-sky survey. Working on this project, Henrietta Leavitt notices that some stars undergo regular changes in brightness, which allows astronomers to measure their distance from the Earth. Edwin Hubble, using Leavitt’s discovery, measures the vast distances of entire galaxies. Hubble also discovers that the universe is expanding, implying that before the Big Bang, it must all have been in the same place.

With the Hubble Space Telescope, we have reached the limits of our vision, but a new generation of telescope is about to be launched. The James Webb Space Telescope will see as far as it is possible to see, revealing new features of the vast universe we call home.

SUN 00:30 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.

SUN 02:00 Music Moguls: Masters of Pop (p039x5f7)
Myth Makers

Part three of this illuminating series exploring the music business from behind the scenes takes a look at PR, the unseen force behind all the biggest musical acts in the world. With unique revelations, unseen footage and unrivalled access, it tells the story of the rise of PR within the music industry through the eyes of the people who lived it. Highlights include the PR campaigns behind superstars Jimi Hendrix, Taylor Swift and David Bowie.

Narrated by PR Alan Edwards.

SUN 03:00 James Galway at the BBC (m000c5xp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


MON 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (m000c5y2)
Series 1


Katty Kay in Washington and Christian Fraser in London report on the events that are shaping the world.

MON 19:30 University Challenge (b0bx6rt8)
Christmas 2018

Brasenose, Oxford v Bristol

It is the opening match of the Christmas quiz for grown-ups, with two teams doing battle for a place in the semi-finals. The Brasenose, Oxford team includes Bargain Hunt expert Kate Bliss and Radio 4's More or Less presenter Tim Harford. The Bristol team includes McMafia author Misha Glenny and documentary presenter Iain Stewart.

Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.

MON 20:00 Vienna: Empire, Dynasty and Dream (b08651j3)
Episode 3

In the final episode, Simon Sebag Montefiore follows the Habsburgs to their dramatic demise. From his struggles with Napoleon III and Bismarck and the suicide of his son Rudolf, to the assassination of his beautiful wife Sisi, Emperor Franz Josef's empire and his family proved impossible to control.

But while the Habsburgs headed for extinction, Vienna blossomed. As the theories of Freud and the sensuality of the secession artists like Klimt and Schiele ushered in the modern age, Hitler and Stalin stalked her streets. It was here that World War I was sparked; it was here where World War II was dreamed.

MON 21:00 Lucy Worsley's Christmas Carol Odyssey (m000c5y4)
In this festive treat featuring the Kingdom Choir and Hampton Court Choir, Lucy Worsley reveals that there’s much more to our best-loved carols than meets the eye. She reveals how their stories add up to a special kind of history of Christmas itself. In the ancient past, the wassail, a pagan fertility ritual, gave us door-to-door carol singing. Wassailing was also an integral part of an older midwinter festival that was adopted by Christianity when it came to Britain, and was rebranded as ‘Christmas’.

Religion, however, soon turned its back on carols. They were far too frivolous for the Puritans, who wanted to ban Christmas altogether. French Catholics on the other hand didn’t mind fun and frolics, and Lucy crosses the channel to learn a French renaissance jig, written by a dancing priest in the 16th century. The tune she dances to went on to become the carol Ding Dong Merrily on High in the 19th century.

In strict Protestant Britain, the carol survived outside the Church and new ones turned up in some surprising places. Lucy visits the British Library, where she discovers an 18th-century children’s book that contains a little memory game called The Twelve Days of Christmas. Christmas carols could also be politically dangerous and subversive. British Catholics were oppressed for generations after the Reformation, but one Catholic scribe, John Francis Wade, hid a coded message of support for a Jacobite rebellion in the carol O Come All Ye Faithful.

Eventually, the Church of England couldn’t resist the power of the carol, and finally opened its doors to all of them, thanks to a chance pairing of words and music in Hark the Herald Angels Sing, performed in the programme by the renowned gospel ensemble, The Kingdom Choir. In the 20th century, Ralph Vaughan Williams’s passion for English folk music took him to the villages of Surrey. Here, Lucy meets a folk singer who tells the tale of an elderly farm labourer, Henry Garman, who sang a tune for Vaughan Williams, which became O Little Town of Bethlehem.

Finally, in the snowy Austrian Alps, Lucy discovers the simple story of a young parish priest with a poem in search of a tune. When he found one, the result was Silent Night. During the First World War, this simple carol would become a hymn for peace during the famous Christmas truce of 1914. Silent Night also reminds us that carols are, and have always been, ‘popular music’, music for the people, fulfilling an enduring need to celebrate and sing together at Christmas.

MON 22:00 Rome Unpacked (b09l64hq)
Series 1

Episode 1

To really understand Rome, you must understand its people - or the mob, as they were known in ancient times. As Giorgio Locatelli and Andrew Graham-Dixon explore Italy's iconic capital, they are in search of the generations of ordinary Romans who have left their mark on the city's culture and gastronomy.

Giorgio insists that they travel, in true Roman style, by moped. They start their journey at the Trevi fountain, immortalised in Fellini's La Dolce Vita - which itself featured countless locals as extras to capture the real faces of Rome. Giorgio leads Andrew to some of his personal favourite districts, including Garbatella, Italy's first garden suburb, with its vibrant market stalls and village architecture, and introduces him to the simplest Roman food - 'the true food of the people'. He also insists on showing him how spaghetti carbonara should really be made - 'add cream and I'll kill you'.

In turn, Andrew introduces Giorgio to some of the most moving pictures by Caravaggio, 'the painter of the people', in what was once the
city's foremost church for poor pilgrims - and they set out together to enjoy one of the great erotic masterpieces of Baroque painting. La Dolce Vita still exists, you just have to know where to find it.

MON 23:00 The World's Most Beautiful Eggs: The Genius of Carl Faberge (b0336tf3)
Stephen Smith explores the extraordinary life and work of the virtuoso jeweller Carl Faberge. He talks to HRH Prince Michael of Kent about Faberge items in the Royal Collection and to Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, who spent $100 million acquiring nine exquisite Faberge eggs. The bejewelled trinkets Faberge made for the last tsars of Russia in the twilight of their rule have become some of the most sought-after treasures in the world, sometimes worth millions.

Smith follows in Faberge's footsteps, from the legendary Green Vaults in Dresden to the palaces of the tsars and the corridors of the Kremlin museum, as he discovers how this fin-de-siecle genius transformed his father's modest business into the world's most famous supplier of luxury items.

MON 00:00 The Art of Japanese Life (p054mdmy)
Series 1


In the final episode, Dr James Fox explores the art of the Japanese home. The clean minimalism of the Japanese home has been exported around the world, from modernist architecture to lifestyle stores like Muji. But the origins of this ubiquitous aesthetic evolved from a system of spiritual and philosophical values, dating back centuries. James visits one of Japan's last surviving traditional wooden villages, and the 17th-century villa of Rinshunkaku, and reveals how the unique spirit of Japanese craftsmen (shokunin) turned joinery into an artform - creating houses without the need for nails, screws or even glue.

Exploring some of the traditional arts of the Japanese home (where even food and flower arranging have been elevated to the level of art), James also investigates attitudes to domestic culture in modern Japan, meeting photographer Kyoichi Tsuzuki, chronicler of Japan's crowded cities and tiny apartments.

Other highlights include a performance by calligrapher and artist Tomoko Kawao and a visit to the hometown of Terunobu Fujimori, one of the most singular and playful contemporary architects working in Japan today.

MON 01:00 Vienna: Empire, Dynasty and Dream (b08651j3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 02:00 Lucy Worsley's Christmas Carol Odyssey (m000c5y4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

MON 03:00 The World's Most Beautiful Eggs: The Genius of Carl Faberge (b0336tf3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (m000c5xt)
Series 1


Katty Kay in Washington and Christian Fraser in London report on the events that are shaping the world.

TUE 19:30 University Challenge (b0bx6rwm)
Christmas 2018

Westminster University v University of East Anglia

It is the second match of the Christmas quiz with two teams of graduates fighting it out for a place in the semi-finals. Playing on the Westminster team are TV presenter Danny Wallace and Royal Institution Christmas lecturer Sophie Scott. On the University of East Anglia team are comedian Arthur Smith and weather presenter Darren Bett.

Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.

TUE 20:00 Secret Life of Farm Animals (m0001ky3)
Series 1


We all think we know about farm animals - that sheep are stupid, pigs are smart and that cows lie down when it is going to rain. But there's a lot more to them than that. In this series we're bringing together some of the country's best farms to create one sun-dappled ideal where we will test animal intelligence, discover unlikely relationships and uncover a side of farm animals you've never seen before.

It is harvest season. We follow a litter of piglets from birth as they grow up in the Brecon Beacons. We test the theory that every piglet always returns to the same teat to suckle, show that pigs love mud to keep cool because they have practically no sweat glands, and we show how intelligent they are with a series of puzzles. We also reveal that they are masters at the art of deception. Pigs tell porkies! Along the way we meet a pair of kunekune pigs raised as domestic pets in the heart of London. We visit a farm that uses llamas to guard its sheep and meet a pet rabbit with a remarkable identity crisis.

TUE 21:00 Wild Weather with Richard Hammond (b04vr2p4)
Original Series

Temperature: The Driving Force

Richard Hammond investigates the crucial role temperature plays in all weather. Without heat, there would be no weather - no clouds, no rain, no snow, no dust storms, no thunder and lightning.

Richard sets off to find out about hot air and with the help of a quarry and a massive hot plate discovers just why it is so hard to pull a sword out of snow. He discovers, by building his own massive dust storm with the help of a few friends and dust specialist Dr Nigel Tapper, just how sand from the Sahara bounces its way to the UK.

In Canada he creates his own ice storm. He also drops in on Dan Morgan, who creates lightning bolts in his lab, where Richard is able to see thunder and hear lightning with the aid of some special cameras, light bulbs and a few candles.

TUE 22:00 Rome Unpacked (b09m6bmp)
Series 1

Episode 2

Andrew Graham-Dixon and Giorgio Locatelli continue their exploration of Rome off the beaten track. In search of its Papal, Renaissance and Baroque history, they discover that it is visible all around them. In Rome, everything has been kept, from broken cooking pots from the time of the empire that piled up to form one of the city's hills to the gastronomy, art and architecture created not just by successive popes and Caesars but by ordinary Romans.

As well as marvelling at the mosaics in the 12th-century Basilica di San Clemente, Andrew takes Giorgio to its deepest basement and an ancient Roman schoolteacher's classroom. Then it is on to a true architectural and civic wonder - the vast Testaccio Slaughterhouse, where workers were once paid in offal which they took home and used as the basis of delicious dishes that are still sold in Rome today. Giorgio takes Andrew to his favourite Trippa stall to sample some of the best. Travelling to the Palazzo Colonna, Andrew in turn wants to show Giorgio just one painting - the Beaneater by Carracci, a Baroque masterpiece that makes an everyday subject extraordinary. Finally, together they discover Rome's Fascist architecture, which might have been destroyed anywhere else, but here remains standing in a city that houses all of its history. To understand the truth about the past, they argue, you have to taste all its layers - just like one of Giorgio's lasagnes.

TUE 23:00 Looking for Rembrandt (m000474y)
Series 1

Episode 2

As Rembrandt paints his most iconic work, The Night Watch, his wife Saskia lies dying. Her death begins a ten-year decline in Rembrandt’s output as he pours himself into etching instead. Many etchings are erotically charged, perhaps a result of an affair he has begun with his infant son’s nursemaid. However, that relationship ends with her being committed to a house of correction – a punishment Rembrandt himself apparently played a role in. These moral and sexual ambiguities bleed into other works. Although he finds new love and happiness with a new housemaid, he finds that he has become Amsterdam’s most notorious marital embarrassment.

Further shame comes for Rembrandt in 1656 as his debts become unmanageable. No longer able to make enough money from his paintings now that he is starting to fall out of favour and fashion, Rembrandt declares bankruptcy. It is an act that will come to define him even in the centuries after his death.

TUE 00:00 Oceans Apart: Art and the Pacific with James Fox (b0bjj2r6)
Series 1


James Fox tells the story of Australia's indigenous culture, the oldest continuous culture anywhere in the world, and the disaster of its contact with the West.

He traces how Aboriginal peoples were almost destroyed by the impact of European colonization, but held on to their art to survive, to flourish and ultimately, to share their culture with the world.

James Fox begins by exploring the ancient rock art of Arnhem Land, Northern Australia, depicting fish and animals in an 'x-ray' style developed over 8000 years. The arrival of Captain Cook in Botany Bay, he argues, changed everything. Over the following centuries Aboriginal peoples were destroyed or marginalized as the new nation of Australia developed. Yet, in the 20th century, through works such as the watercolour landscapes of Albert Namatjira or the dot painting style of the Western desert, art has enabled Aboriginal people to re-imagine an Australia of their own.

Australia might long have been colonised but now, James Fox argues, Aboriginal people are recolonising it with their imaginations.

TUE 01:00 The Road to Palmyra (b0b2gjpl)
Documentary which follows historian Dan Cruickshank and photographer Don McCullin into the heart of war-torn Syria, on a dangerous mission to document the cultural destruction wrought by so-called Islamic State, and understand what it means to the people of the nation.

Their final destination is the ancient city of Palmyra, to find out what remains of the ruins. For Dan and Don, these stones represent the very soul of Syria, and for Syrians and the world, the debate about what to do with them is about to begin. For both men, it is a return journey to a place with which they have long been obsessed. But to get there, they have to travel through a country that is still in the grip of war.

TUE 02:00 Revolution and Romance: Musical Masters of the 19th Century (b07g9q4w)
Party Like It's 1899

Music was both transformed and transformative in the 19th century. It burst out of court, church and tavern into the world and became a universal soundscape, transcending language and borders. This revolution was made possible by economic and social change, and by a technological revolution.

The 19th century witnessed advances in communication that made the world a smaller place. People could travel by train and steamship with ease across the globe. At the close of the century hundreds of thousands came to the great Paris Exposition of 1889 - the centenary of the French Revolution - to witness the latest inventions and marvel at the strange cultures that came to make music in the temporary halls and theatres on the Champ de Mars.

They heard the music of the Orient, they listened to recording devices, they saw the future. Composers such as Claude Debussy were profoundly influenced by the sounds of the east, in particular the Balinese gamelan. With its non-European harmony and rhythm, such music offered western composers new musical horizons and a way to innovate and escape from the high romanticism of Richard Wagner.

But it was not only the music of the east that inspired the new composers. Developments in manufacturing were changing instruments and creating new ones - exemplified by the saxophone. Suzy witnesses a 'battle of the bands' in which the new and versatile instrument demonstrates its capabilities and - for the luddites - its threatening versatility. And in the spirit of the new age she makes her first recording on a vintage phonograph, one of the earliest recording machines. To our ears they may lack quality, but they were mind-blowing to those who first heard them - and they presaged a new future of recorded music that is still with us today.

TUE 03:00 Secret Life of Farm Animals (m0001ky3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


WED 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (m000c5yh)
Series 1


Katty Kay in Washington and Christian Fraser in London report on the events that are shaping the world.

WED 19:30 University Challenge (b0bx6tgh)
Christmas 2018

Pembroke College, Cambridge v King's London

In the third match of the Christmas series for university alumni is the team from the Pembroke College, Cambridge, with host of TV's Impossible Rick Edwards and former Olympic rower Cath Bishop. They fight it out for a place in the semis with King's College, London, whose team includes Any Answers? presenter Anita Anand and Radio 4 The Kitchen Cabinet panellist Zoe Laughlin.

Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.

WED 20:00 Hidden Killers (b07chyly)
The Post-War Home

Dr Suzannah Lipscomb explores the time when British people embraced modern design for the first time after years of austerity and self-denial. The look and feel of the postwar 1950s home - a 'modern' world of moulded plywood furniture, fibreglass, plastics and polyester - had its roots in the innovative materials discovered during World War II. In fact, no other war before or since has had such a profound effect on the technologies of our current life. This bright new era encompassed a host of social changes including higher living standards and improved technologies, but - as Suzannah discovers - there were also unexpected dangers lurking throughout the changing home.

WED 21:00 Digging for Britain (m000c5yk)
Series 8

WWII Special

The team are on an archaeological hunt of our more recent past as they follow the search for artefacts from World War II. They join marine archaeologists in the Solent as they raise the once-in-a-lifetime find of a Fairey Barracuda dive bomber. More than 2500 Barracudas were in service during the war, but not a single complete plane survives today. Naoíse Mac Sweeney joins the post-excavation to reveal how the find could help bring this rare aircraft back to life.

Also featured, a dig in the Lake District that tells the moving story of the Windermere Boys and the role the area played in rehabilitating these children liberated from the Nazi concentration camps after World War II.

In Aldbourne, Wiltshire, the search is on for the most famous American unit of the US army, 'Easy Company', whose paratroopers were stationed there in 1943 and 1944. Archaeologists are particularly looking for any personal items of this renowned regiment to gain insight into the lives of its soldiers in the months and days leading up to the D-Day invasion.

And off a beautiful beach in Devon, divers plumb the depths to discover more about a secret wartime military exercise that may have remained buried from view if it hadn't been for the curiosity of a local amateur archaeologist.

WED 22:00 Vic & Bob's Big Night Out (m000c5ym)
Series 2

Episode 3

Vic presents Bob with a striking new wig, Vic reveals his secret to beatboxing, and the Man with the Stick returns. Sketches include the Free Runners and Frank Roddam's latest inventions.

WED 22:30 Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing (b0bc2jht)
Series 1

Episode 5

Paul fishes at the famous Bridge Pool near Christchurch in Dorset, hoping to catch sea trout. Bob arrives late but redeems himself by hooking the first fish of the day. After a glorious morning, Paul persuades Bob to charter a boat out to sea in search of sea bass. Bob has a history of sea sickness and is not keen, but eventually they venture out to the Needles, where Paul makes an incredible catch. The fish is too big for Bob to handle, so they head off to a local restaurant to prepare it. Bob performs a small cameo as an irritating waiter.

WED 23:00 Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing (b0bcv0cz)
Series 1

Episode 6

In this final episode, Paul and Bob decide to try and catch a legendary pike, which is perhaps not the best idea for two men of a certain age with heart problems.

In the cosy cottage where they are staying, they invite a consultant cardiologist for dinner to talk about their medical past and their future, gaining tips on how to live the most healthy life possible. Facing the future, they write a eulogy for each other as the sun sets on their final fishing expedition.

WED 23:30 Thailand: Earth's Tropical Paradise (b088pcls)
The Central Heartland

In central Thailand's forests, fertile plains and even city streets, nature finds a way of living alongside people. Spirituality can be found in human and animal relationships, both likely and unlikely. This bustling region is known as the nation's rice bowl - but even here, there are magical places to be found.

WED 00:30 Oceans Apart: Art and the Pacific with James Fox (b0bkytn4)
Series 1


Continuing his exploration of the collision of the West and Pacific culture, James Fox explores how, ever since Captain Cook's voyages 250 years ago, the West has created a myth of Polynesia as paradise and, in doing so, destroyed the riches of indigenous culture.

He travels across the Pacific to uncover the sites and masterpieces of pre-contact Polynesian art, from the religious complex Taputapuatea on the island of Raiatea to the feathered 'Ku' heads from Hawaii, testament to the rich and sophisticated societies that once lived there. Yet, when Europeans encountered these cultures, waves of explorers, missionaries and colonisers destroyed what they didn't understand and appropriated what was left.

James Fox shows how, from Captain Cook's time onward, these islands were re-imagined as a paradise with women available to be exploited. It's an idea he traces from the Arcadian landscapes depicted by Cook's on-board artist, William Hodges, through the art of Paul Gauguin and on to the tacky holiday idyll of modern Hawaii. And yet, James Fox finds, some indigenous artists are fighting back, reviving the traditional cultures of Polynesia and using art to protest against the objectification of its women.

WED 01:30 The High Art of the Low Countries (b01rtf47)
Boom and Bust

Andrew Graham-Dixon looks at how the seemingly peaceful countries of Holland and Belgium - famous for their tulips and windmills, mussels and chips - were in fact forged in a crucible of conflict and division. He examines how a period of economic boom driven for the first time by a burgeoning and secular middle class led to the Dutch golden age of the 17th century, creating not only the concept of oil painting itself, but the master painters Rembrandt and Vermeer combining art and commerce together as we would recognise it today.

WED 02:30 Digging for Britain (m000c5yk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (m000c5yy)
Series 1


Katty Kay in Washington and Christian Fraser in London report on the events that are shaping the world.

THU 19:30 University Challenge (b0bx6v9p)
Christmas 2018

Exeter University v Birmingham University

It is match five of the special Christmas series for distinguished alumni. In the Exeter team are producer of The Generation Game and Red Dwarf Paul Jackson and news correspondent Jon Kay. They are fighting it out for a place in the semis against Birmingham University, featuring comedian Chris Addison and actor Nigel Lindsay.

Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.

THU 20:00 Wonders of the Solar System (b00rz5ys)
Original Series


Professor Brian Cox visits some of the most stunning locations on earth to describe how the laws of nature have carved natural wonders across the solar system.

Brian descends to the bottom of the Pacific in a submarine to witness the extraordinary life forms that survive in the cold, black waters. All life on Earth needs water so the search for aliens in the solar system has followed the search for water.

Soaring above the dramatic Scablands of the United States, Brian discovers how the same landscape has been found on Mars. And it was all carved out in a geological heartbeat by a monumental flood.

Armed with a gas mask, Brian enters a cave in Mexico where bacteria breathe toxic gas and leak concentrated acid. Yet relatives of these creatures could be surviving in newly discovered caves on Mars.

But Brian's sixth wonder isn't a planet at all. Jupiter's moon Europa is a dazzling ball of ice etched with strange cracks. The patterns in the ice reveal that, far below, there is an ocean with more potentially life-giving water than all the oceans on Earth.

Of all the wonders of the solar system forged by the laws of nature, there is one that stands out. In the final episode of this series, Brian reveals the greatest wonder of them all.

THU 21:00 Timeshift (b01q9vhy)
Series 12

The Joy of (Train) Sets

The Model Railway Story: From Hornby to Triang and beyond, this documentary explores how the British have been in love with model railways for more than a century. What began as an adult obsession with building fully engineered replicas became the iconic toy of 50s and 60s childhood. With unique archive and contributions from modellers such as Pete Waterman, this is a celebration of the joys of miniaturisation. Just don't call them toy trains!

THU 22:00 The Secret Story of Stuff: Materials of the Modern Age (b0bqjrpt)
Welcome to the magical world of materials, where designer, materials engineer and enthusiast Zoe Laughlin explores the stuff that shapes the world around us. Everything, from the cars we drive to the clothes we wear is manufactured from something. From her workshop at the Institute of Making, Zoe travels the country to discover the alchemy behind the latest developments in the science of those materials. Everlasting dental crowns are being 3D printed in Loughborough. In Chester, vets are repairing broken bones with porous metals. New textiles with thread 8 times stronger than cotton is the latest revolution in fashion and in London, fungus is being used to make a self extinguishing insulation that could revolutionise the construction industry. Bringing these wondrous material innovations back to her workshop Zoe puts them through their paces and in the process reveals why now is the most exciting time to be exploring this Stuff.

THU 23:00 Wild West - America's Great Frontier (b07zvr81)
The High Country

America's high country is the land of grizzly bears and giant trees, of frigid winters and scorching summers, of tough ranchers and gold-rush fever. From the Rockies to the Sierra Nevada, survival demands endurance and know-how. From parasitic plants to thieving black bears, tenacious pikas and battling bison, it's in the high country that the west gets really wild.

THU 00:00 Oceans Apart: Art and the Pacific with James Fox (b0blhn4t)
Series 1

New Zealand

Concluding the series on the clash between the West and Pacific peoples and cultures, James Fox explores how New Zealand's indigenous Maori people resisted colonisation and marginalisation and maintained their distinctive culture, so much so that it is now an integral part of modern New Zealand.

He encounters some of the greatest works of Maori carving, from the exquisitely painted paddles given to Captain Cook, to works by one of the great masters of Maori art, Tene Waitere, and shows how, from the beginning of their encounters with Europeans, the Maori adapted outside influences, whether it was modern firearms or the new religion of Christianity and produced fascinating hybrid work that ranges from elaborately carved rifle butts to a Madonna and child statue adorned with the Ta Moko, the sacred Maori facial tattoo.

Today, James Fox finds Maori culture in the midst of a full-scale Renaissance, embraced not only by the Maori themselves but all New Zealanders.

THU 01:00 Handmade in the Pacific (b0blhnjs)
Series 1


Maori master carver Logan Okiwi Shipgood crafts a beautiful 6ft tall 'pou' statue from native New Zealand timber. With chainsaws, adzes, and around 30 chisels, Logan gradually reveals the figure of Hene Te Akiri, a Maori warrior princess, as he lovingly chips away at the wood. Inlaid with sacred shells and given a powerful facial tattoo to denote her social rank, the finished statue is finally revealed to the public.

Logan explores the deep spiritual connection between Maori carvers and the objects they create, and the significance of his home - Rotorua - in the revival of Maori art and culture in the 20th century. For Maori today, carving remains a key way of telling stories and honouring ancestors, and Logan - an internationally famous sculptor and carver - is proud to be doing his bit to keep these traditions alive.

THU 01:30 Handmade in the Pacific (b0bm6pjv)
Series 1


Indigenous Hawaiian artist Dalani Tanahy spends weeks painstakingly beating tree bark into a sheets of cloth-like fabric. This ancient Hawaiian artform known as 'kapa' was once the staple material of the islands. But after Captain Cook introduced cotton, and the Americans overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy, kapa-making completely disappeared.

Dalani is one of a handful of dedicated practitioners who has spent her life bringing this artform back. Why? Because kapa-making has become integral to the nascent Hawaiian cultural nationalism that is taking hold in indigenous communities of Hawaii. Kapa-making has become a powerful source of pride and identity, but it's a lot of work. Trees have to be planted and tended, cut, stripped, and the bark beaten and fermented. Then sheets of bark are joined together to make a single sheet. Natural dyes and paints are printed on. And only then is the kapa ready to be worn.

Dalani takes us through the process of making a piece of kapa from start to finish, and delivers her kapa to a dancer, who plans to use this kapa as a traditional 'hula' skirt.

The film ends with an emotional performance at the Royal Palace in Honululu, Hawaii. A traditional 'hula' dance is performed, to honour Hawaii's last monarch, Queen Lilo'uokalani. Like the kapa itself, the Queen, rudely overthrown by Americans, has become a symbol of reborn Hawaiian identity.

THU 02:00 Ovid: The Poet and the Emperor (b09g0l2q)
Michael Wood explores the life, works and influence of one of the world's greatest storytellers who died 2,000 years ago. When an Elizabethan literary critic said that the witty soul of Ovid lived on in 'honey tongued Shakespeare', they were just stating the obvious. Ovid, everyone knew, was simply the most clever, sexy and funny poet in the western tradition. His Metamorphoses, it has often been said, is the most influential secular book in European literature.

Unique among ancient poets, Ovid left us an autobiography, full of riveting intimacy, as well as ironical and slippery self-justification. Using Ovid's own words, brought to life by one of Britain's leading actors, Simon Russell Beale, the film tells the story of the poet's fame, and his fateful falling out with the most powerful man in the world, the Roman emperor Augustus.

Born in Sulmona in central Italy, Ovid moved to Rome to study law but, seduced by 'the muse of poetry', he soon abandoned that career path. Part of Rome's postwar, young generation, Ovid rose to spectacular fame with his poems about sex - Love Affairs (Amores) and The Art of Love (Ars Amatoria) - an amoral guide to seduction and adultery. Today some of his poems are seen as problematic and even carry a health warning when studied in US universities. But he is difficult to pigeonhole as he also took the female side in a powerful series of fictional letters by women heroes.

By his twenties he was a literary superstar and a thorn in the emperor's side, his poetry of sex and seduction falling foul of the emperor's new puritanism, which had even outlawed adultery. In the midst of a sensational sex scandal involving his daughter, the Emperor Augustus banished Ovid to the farthest edge of the empire - the wilds of the Black Sea coast and the marshes of the Danube delta. It's a tale full of sex, drama and scandal, but his banishment is still a mystery- as he put it, 'my downfall was all because of a poem - and a mistake- and on the latter my lips are sealed forever'.

Exile in Romania was unbelievably harsh and dangerous, but worse for Ovid was a sense of separation and loss. His poetry from the Black Sea has inspired the European literature of exile for millennia, from Dante and Petrarch to Mandelstam and Seamus Heaney. The poems, the mystery, and Ovid's immense legacy in world literature and art, are discussed with leading experts, who trace his influence on, among others, Titian, Turner and even Bob Dylan, whose Modern Times album quarries Ovid's exile poetry. His greatest and most influential work Metamorphoses, a compendium of the great tales of Greek myth, became one of the core texts of Western culture. Artistic director of the RSC, Greg Doran looks at Ovid's influence on Shakespeare and the myths in the Metamorphoses that pervade our art, music, and literature. Professor Alessandro Schiesaro discusses Ovid and the postmodern imagination; Professor Roy Gibson untangles his relations with Augustus; while Dr Jennifer Ingleheart, author of a new study on Roman sexual politics, looks at Ovid's ambition, psychology and influence. Lisa Dwan -the leading interpreter of the drama of Samuel Beckett, another exile and Ovid fan, explores the poet's use of the female voice and his poetry of exile, which has influenced western writers and artists for the last two millennia.

Following in Ovid's footsteps, Michael Wood travels from the poet's birthplace in the beautiful town of Sulmona, to the bright lights of the capital, Rome. Here we visit the Houses of Augustus and Livia, recently opened after 25 years of excavation and conservation. Inside the emperor's private rooms glow with the colour of their newly restored frescoes. Wood then follows Ovid into exile in Constanta in today's Romania, and on to the Danube delta, where dramatic footage shows the Danube and the Black Sea frozen over in winter just as Ovid described in his letters.

Throughout the film Ovid's own words reveal an engaging personality: a voice of startling modernity. 'He is funny, irreverent, focused on pleasure and obsessed with sex' says Prof Roy Gibson. But, says Greg Doran, he is also a poet of cruelty and violence, which especially fascinated Shakespeare. Ovid raises very modern questions about the fluidity of identity and gender, and the mutability of nature. He also explores the relationship between writers and power and the experience of exile, themes especially relevant in our time when, as Lisa Dwan observes, exile has become part of the human condition. But above all, says Michael Wood, Ovid is the Poet of Love, and 2,000 years after his death he is back in focus as one of the world's greatest poets: ironical, profound, and relevant.

THU 03:00 Wonders of the Solar System (b00rz5ys)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


FRI 19:00 Sounds of the 70s 2 (b01jv6sd)
Disco - Ain't No Stopping Us Now

Disco was all pervasive in the mid and early 70s. And while towards the end of the decade punk stole the headlines, disco still had the high street. Everyone was into it and getting down on it at the local discotheque. Join us in a celebration of all things disco including performances by The Jacksons, Thelma Houston, Sylvester, Carl Douglas, George McCrae, Sister Sledge, McFadden and Whitehead, Eruption and Gloria Gaynor.

FRI 19:30 University Challenge (b0bx6tpy)
Christmas 2018

St Catherine's, Oxford v Peterhouse, Cambridge

In the fourth match of the Christmas series for grown-ups, St Catherine's College, Oxford, with Guardian drama critic Michael Billington and novelist Susie Boyt, fights it out against the Peterhouse, Cambridge team, with politician Lord Michael Howard and Coast's Mark Horton. Both teams are playing for a place in the semi-finals.

Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.

FRI 20:00 Barbra Streisand: Becoming an Icon 1942-1984 (b0bt8x6z)
Barbra Streisand grew up in working-class Brooklyn, dreaming of escape from her tough childhood. A stellar student, she resisted the pressure to go to college as her sights were firmly set on Broadway. She was determined to become an actress and landed her first role aged 16, but it was two years later, when she started to sing, that her career took off.

Subverting stereotypes and breaking glass ceilings, this programme looks at her rise to stardom and the remarkable achievements of her early career.

FRI 21:00 Top of the Pops (m000c5y9)
Gary Davies and Mark Goodier present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 15 December 1988 and featuring Bon Jovi, Petula Clark, U2, New Order, The Four Tops, Kim Wilde, Londonbeat, Erasure, Inner City, Cliff Richard and a-ha.

FRI 21:30 Country Music by Ken Burns (m000c5yc)
Series 1

Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way? (1973-1983)

The 1970s and early 1980s saw country music entering a vibrant era of new voices and attitudes. Dolly Parton made the crossover to mainstream success and became the most famous woman in country music. In 1980 she achieved an entirely new level of national stardom when she joined Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the hit Hollywood movie Nine to Five.

While George Jones and Tammy Wynette seemed to live out their songs’ tragic lyrics, Hank Williams Jr emerged from his father’s shadow. He performed Hank Williams Sr’s music when he was just eight years old, debuted on the Opry at the age of 11 singing Lovesick Blues and recorded an album of his father’s hits at 14. But as soon as he turned 18, he dropped his mother as a manager.

FRI 22:20 Country Music by Ken Burns (m000c5yf)
Series 1

Music Will Get Through (1973-1983)

Though no longer heard on country radio for much of the 1970s and early 1980s, bluegrass still had a strong core of avid fans. Marty Stuart toured with Lester Flatt and sometimes with the ‘father of bluegrass’, Bill Monroe.

Back in his home state of Texas, Willie Nelson discovered a new music scene in Austin, where a mixture of hippies and rednecks seemed to get along and welcomed offbeat artists like Nelson, whose music became a hit.

Ricky Skaggs had deep bluegrass credentials, but his time with Emmylou Harris’s Hot Band inspired him to experiment with a sound combining the acoustic instruments of a string band with something more electric. Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings launched the ‘Outlaw’ movement, and Emmylou Harris bridged folk and rock with country music in a way that influenced a new generation of artists.

FRI 23:15 Sisters in Country: Dolly, Linda and Emmylou (b081sx50)
Documentary which explores how Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris's careers took off in the 1970s with very distinct takes on country before they ended up uniting as close harmony singers and eventually collaborated on 1987's four-million-selling debut album, Trio.

In the 60s country music was viewed by most of America as blue collar, and Dolly was country through and through. Linda Ronstadt's take on classic country helped make her the biggest female star in mid-70s America. Folkie Emmylou learned about country from mentor Gram Parsons and, after his death in 1973, she became a bandleader in her own right. It was Emmylou and Linda - the two west coast folk rockers - who voiced their mutual appreciation of Dolly, the mountain girl singer from Tennessee, when they became early students of her work.

The artists talk about uniting as harmony singers and eventually collaborating on their debut album, Trio. The album helped launch the mountain music revival that would peak with the soundtrack to O Brother Where Art Thou. In 2012 Linda Ronstadt was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, which left her unable to sing, but 2016 saw unreleased songs from their sessions compiled to create a third Trio album. This is the story of how their alliance made them pioneers in bringing different music worlds together and raising the game for women in the country tradition.

Contributors: Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Rodney Crowell, George Lucas, Peter Asher, Chris Hillman, Laura Cantrell, Robert K Oermann, John Boylan, Phil Kaufman, David Lindley, Albert Lee, Herb Pedersen, George Massenberg and Applewood Road.

FRI 00:15 Ultimate Cover Versions at the BBC (b06ns4gf)
Smash hits from 60 years of great cover versions in performance from the BBC TV archive. Reinterpretations, tributes and acts of subversion from the British invasion to noughties X Factor finalist Alexandra Burke. Artists as varied as The Moody Blues, Soft Cell, Mariah Carey and UB40 with their 'retake' on someone else's song - ultimate chart hits that are, in some cases, perhaps even better than the original.

Arguably The Beatles, alongside Bob Dylan and The Beach Boys, introduced the notion of 'originality' and self-generating artists writing their songs into the pop lexicon in the 60s. One of the most fascinating consequences of this has been the 'original' cover version, a reinterpretation of someone else's song that has transformed it into pop gold with a shift of rhythm, intent and context. The pop cover has proved a remarkably imaginative and durable form and this compilation tracks this pop alchemy at its finest and most intriguing.

FRI 01:15 Bros: After the Screaming Stops (m0001qyv)
A film charting Matt and Luke Goss's reunion 28 years on from when they were one of the biggest bands in the world. The Goss twins have hardly spoken and not played together since their split. With an incredibly fractured relationship and only three weeks to go until sell-out gigs at the O2 London, will they be able to put their history aside and come together as brothers to play the show of their lives?

FRI 02:45 Tunes for Tyrants: Music and Power with Suzy Klein (b099229f)
Series 1

World War

Suzy explores the use, abuse and manipulation of music in the Second World War - from swinging jazz to film soundtracks and from mushy ballads to madcap ballets. The war, she demonstrates, wasn't just a military fight but an ideological battle where both sides used music as a weapon to secure their vision for civilisation.

Suzy reveals how the forces' sweetheart Vera Lynn was taken off air by the BBC's 'Dance Music Policy Committee' for fear her sentimental songs undermined the British war effort. But in Nazi Germany, screen siren Zarah Leander had a hit with a song remarkably like Vera's We'll Meet Again. Meanwhile Nazi band Charlie and his Orchestra reworked Cole Porter classics by adding anti-British lyrics to weaken her morale. Though the Nazis banned jazz at home as 'degenerate', Suzy also explores Occupied Paris's incredible jazz scene. And the film revisits concerts given under extraordinary conditions - not least the performance of Wagner's Gotterdammerung' (Twilight of the Gods), which in April 1945 brought the curtain down on the Third Reich.

Despite Hitler's taunt that Britain was 'Das Land ohne Musik' ('The Land without Music'), Suzy reveals the war work of two great British composers. William Walton's Spitfire Prelude became the archetype for a particularly British form of patriotic music. By contrast Michael Tippett was sent to prison for being a conscientious objector, but his anti-war oratorio A Child of Our Time was showcased at the Royal Albert Hall. The right of people to freely express themselves was, after all, what we were fighting for.

For some, music was a way of transcending desperate circumstances. Suzy examines Olivier Messiaen's haunting Quartet for the End of Time, written amid the desolation of a POW camp. But at Auschwitz, Suzy reveals how music was co-opted to serve the Nazis' evil purposes. Cellist Anita Lasker-Wallfisch explains how musical ability saved her from the gas chambers. Drafted into the Auschwitz Women's Orchestra, she had to play marches to drive prisoners to and from work and to give a private performance of Schumann's exquisitely innocent Traumerei to the infamous Dr Mengele.

The events of the 20th century show, Suzy concludes, that though we should continue to love and celebrate music, we should also be wary of its seductive power.