Katty Kay in Washington and Christian Fraser in London report on the events that are shaping the world.
University Challenge icons and real-life best friends Eric Monkman and Bobby Seagull are on a road trip with a difference. Feeding their insatiable appetite for knowledge, they visit Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales in search of hidden gems of British scientific and technological ingenuity. Along the way, everything they touch turns to knowledge.
This second episode, their 'genius guide' to Wales, has a strong industrial engineering flavour. Monkman and Seagull begin by sailing across the highest navigable aqueduct in the world - Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Designed by Thomas Telford and completed in 1805, this pioneering piece of engineering was built to carry raw materials over a vast ravine into England during the industrial revolution. The tiny village of Hawarden gives the brainy duo the opportunity to stay overnight in the UK's only residential library, surrounded by former Prime Minister William Gladstone's unique collection of books.
Approaching Mount Snowdon, they visit a former quarry hospital in Llanberis, now a museum highlighting its previous life caring for injured slate quarry workers. Here they use their vast knowledge to work out what some of the old medical apparatus was used for. Eric and Bobby also seek some last minute mountaineering inspiration from Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, by visiting the hotel they stayed at while training on Snowdon for their pioneering ascent of Everest. Finally, the two friends make an attempt on the summit of Mount Snowdon itself - via the mountain's iconic rack-and-pinion narrow gauge steam railway train, which has been ferrying tourists to the top of the peak since 1896.
Documentary series. Using the latest 3D scanning technology, Alexander Armstrong and Dr Michael Scott explore the watery wonderland of Venice.
They uncover how a city built in a swamp became one of the most powerful in medieval Europe and dive into its canals to experience how the city remains standing. Plus, they reveal how the city's beauty once masked a ruthless secret state and a world of excess and vice.
Documentary series exploring the Yorkshire Ripper investigation. Following the murder of Josephine Whitaker in April 1979, Peter Sutcliffe’s crimes started to make headlines across the country and the investigation became consumed by a series of letters and a tape that claimed to come from the killer himself.
The letters and tape, addressed directly to George Oldfield, West Yorkshire’s chief constable, were sent by a man calling himself Jack the Ripper. Oldfield was so certain that they came from the killer that other suspects were ruled out on the basis of their handwriting or whether they had a north-east accent like the one on the tape. Director Liza Williams discovers that Oldfield’s character and his hunches have a lot to answer for when it comes to the direction of the investigation and what evidence was ruled in or out.
Survivors and relatives of those who were attacked recount how they were not listened to when their descriptions of the attacker did not match the voice on the tape. Liza also speaks to police officers who tell her about other promising lines of inquiry, tracing clues left behind at murder scenes. The ‘Wearside Jack’ tapes, however, took centre stage.
While the police disregarded evidence and focused on the tapes, terror grew and the killer started to become a kind of cult figure, with Yorkshire Ripper chants at football matches and Thin Lizzy’s Killer on the Loose topping the charts. As Liza discovers, this myth-making provoked anger from women and the police’s failure to catch the killer led to a demonstration on the streets of Leeds.
Ending with the arrest of Peter Sutcliffe, the episode reveals how his name was already in multiple police files. He had been interviewed nine times during the course of the investigation. He did not have a Wearside accent like the voice on the tape, but was born and bred in Yorkshire. Had the police arrested him the first time he was questioned in November 1977, seven women’s lives might have been saved.
There will always be those who think they can commit the perfect murder. In reality it's virtually impossible to leave no evidence at the scene of a crime. Fingerprints, hair, fibres and blood can all lead to the killer. In this second episode, surgeon Gabriel Weston explores the cases that were solved by examining the smallest traces of forensic evidence, from the first murder case solved in the UK based on fingerprint evidence to the patterns of blood in a bedroom which helped overturn an infamous murder conviction.
As well as looking to the past, Gabriel investigates the cutting-edge techniques that are proving vital in catching the killers of today. Amazingly, forensic science can now detect with pinpoint accuracy where someone has walked across an area the size of Scotland, based on nothing more than the soil stuck to the sole of a suspect's shoe.
Dan Cruickshank explores our love affair with the terrace - the home that more Britons live in than any other. We love it because it has proved brilliantly adaptable, encompassing the Victorian parlour and modern open-plan living with equal ease.
Dan is in Toxteth, Liverpool 8. Famous for the riots that ripped it apart in the 1980s, Toxteth has a far richer and more varied history than that one tragic episode. Liverpool was the ultimate Victorian boom town, turned by trade and industry from provincial powerhouse into the second city of empire. 100,000 terraced houses were built to accommodate its vast workforce, with huge numbers in Toxteth. From a high of Victorian industry and immigration to a low of postwar decline, Toxteth's terraces have seen it all - even the 2015 Turner Prize, awarded for their remarkable 21st-century regeneration.
Alastair Sooke reveals the astonishing range of our medieval sculpture, from the imposing masterpieces of our Gothic cathedrals to the playful misericords underneath church stalls.
He shows how the sculpture of the era casts a new light on medieval Britain, a far more sophisticated, fun-loving and maverick place than we in the modern world commonly believe. But despite the technical and emotional power of these works, the notion of a 'sculptor' did not even exist; most carving of the time was done by teams of itinerant masons and artisans working for the Church. The names of some, like William Berkeley, are known but most are lost to history.
This first golden age came to an end with Henry VIII's Reformation of the Church, unleashing a wave of destruction from which it would take centuries to recover.
This episode is set in the American metropolis - the soaring new cities of the East Coast with their futuristic skylines and lofty skyscrapers. But instead of looking up at the futuristic towers, Waldemar Januszczak explores the squalid boxing rings painted by George Bellows, Reginald Mash's decadent awaydays on Coney Island and the crazy escape into theosophy and abstraction mounted by Thomas Wilfred. The film culminates in the harsh immigrant experience of Ellis Island and the profound impact that rootlessness had on the art of Mark Rothko.
It is one of the greatest and bloodiest mysteries in art: what happened on the December night in 1888 when Vincent van Gogh took a blade to his own ear?
Jeremy Paxman joins art sleuth Bernadette Murphy on her amazing quest to discover the truth - what exactly did the artist do, why did he do it and who was the unknown girl he is said to have handed his severed ear to, her real identity kept secret by her family for over a century? It is an event that defines van Gogh, who created his greatest masterpieces including the Sunflowers at the same moment as suffering mental torture, but what are the real facts?
This revealing detective story travels from Vincent's home in the south of France to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and uncovers key evidence hidden in a Californian library that has created an art-world sensation, as we finally solve the mystery of Van Gogh's ear.
WEDNESDAY 15 JANUARY 2020
WED 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (m000dfwf)
Katty Kay in Washington and Christian Fraser in London report on the events that are shaping the world.
WED 19:30 James May: The Reassembler (b0888hqh)
As James May spends most of his spare time in his workshop tinkering around with old motorbikes, we thought we'd film it.
James is faced with reassembling a 1970s Honda Z50A Mini Trail Motorcycle from all its 303 component parts. This exciting and portable mini motorcycle was fun for all the family and got a whole generation of kids hooked on motorcycles for the rest of their lives.
This is an object James can't wait to reassemble, but along the way he faces a very real and very hostile battle with some springs, ponders over correct workshop etiquette and contemplates the lifelong debate - what's the difference between a bolt and a screw?
WED 20:00 Earth's Great Rivers (b0bwqng8)
For a river that conjures up images of pyramids and pharaohs, the Nile turns out to be a truly surprising river that changes at every twist and turn of its journey. As its flows into increasingly arid latitudes on its journey north it becomes an evermore vital lifeline for animals and people, but only if they can conquer the challenges that this ever-changing river throws at them. The Nile's story begins in a spectacular, tropical mountain range - the Rwenzoris. Streams plunge from these snowy peaks creating wetlands on the plains below. Here they create a mobile water garden of papyrus reeds, home to one of the world's strangest birds- a shoebill stork. Though beautiful, clumps of reeds break up and float around creating a challenging environment for would-be fishermen. A stork's best way of finding prey is to form a rather strange alliance - wily shoebills follow hippos whose great bulk opens up fishing channels for them.
The Nile's headwaters create huge lakes in the equatorial heart of Africa - everything here is on a vast scale, especially Lake Victoria which is the size of Ireland. Here vast swarms of lakeflies sweep across its waters on a biblical scale, providing an unexpected feast for local people who trap the insects to make 'fly burgers'. It is not just Lake Victoria's immense size which makes it so dramatic. The vast lake has only a single exit channel of ferocious white water - the aptly named White Nile. People come from around the globe to tackle the rapids here which are some of the most powerful and infamous in the world. A local heroine, Amina Tayona (a mum from a nearby village) is brave enough to ride them. Amina has learnt to kayak on these treacherous rapids - and now competes against international athletes.
The next stage of the Nile's great journey are the wild Savannah lands of Uganda and the awesome spectacle of one the world's most powerful waterfalls, Murchison Falls. Here, valiant crocodile mothers try to defend their nest against hungry predators. Even though they are such fearsome predators - crocodiles have a weakness which other animals exploit. Watch as cunning Nile monitor lizards try to outwit an increasingly desperate Nile crocodile mother who faces a terrible dilemma. Further downstream is the setting for one of the episode's most surprising stories. Filmed for the first time using the latest camera-trap technology, cameras reveal strange goings-on at the abandoned country home of infamous and exiled dictator, Idi Amin. Its ruins are attracting new, wild guests. Many of Africa's big predators make their home here today.
In South Sudan, the Nile river slows and spreads out transforming into a huge wetland - the Sudd (Arabic for barrier). Half of its water is lost due to evaporation here and this is before the river embarks on its epic crossing of the Sahara - a desert the size of China. Every year, the dwindling Nile receives a massive, timely injection of water far to the east. In the Ethiopian highlands, the Nile's greatest tributary - the Blue Nile - is swelled by the wet season creating some of the most turbulent and dramatic seasonal waterfalls on Earth and forming a spectacular gorge which is nearly as deep as the Grand Canyon.
The Blue Nile is a river revered and used in a variety of incredible ways - from mass baptism ceremonies in the ancient Ethiopian city of Gondar to colonies of cheeky weaver birds who use the riverbank's reeds to build intricate nests. The Blue Nile replenishes the main Nile channel at the Sudanese capital city of Khartoum, the two become one and embark on the epic crossing of the Sahara. The miracle of the Nile is that it has allowed great civilisations to thrive in a desolate and arid region - today and throughout history. From the exotic city of Cairo, to the glories of ancient Egypt, breathtaking photography reveals the extent of the Nile's power to transport water from one part of world and deliver it to another, building and supporting life.
WED 21:00 The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story (m0003m0l)
Documentary series exploring the Yorkshire Ripper investigation. In this final episode, Liza Williams charts the arrest of Peter Sutcliffe in January 1981, his subsequent trial and conviction, and the legacy for the relatives of his victims and the survivors of his attacks.
Speaking to one of Sutcliffe’s defence team, as well as a leading barrister from the prosecution and journalists who covered the trial, Liza traces the story from the moment of arrest. Witnesses were offered money for exclusives, potentially jeopardising the trial, and once it began long queues formed for the public gallery and front row seats in court were given to VIPs.
Peter Sutcliffe pleaded not guilty to murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility because of his mental state. The prosecution, however, argued that he should be found guilty of murder. Sutcliffe had confessed to all 13 murders and seven attacks, so there was no doubt who was to blame. However, looking back at court transcripts, Liza discovers that the women Sutcliffe attacked were once more classed as either prostitutes or ‘innocent’ victims. Meeting a woman who led a demonstration outside the Old Bailey, Liza finds out about the outrage they felt when the humanity of the murdered women was ignored.
On 22 May 1981, the Yorkshire Ripper trial reached its conclusion. Peter Sutcliffe was found guilty of murder and sentenced to a minimum term of 30 years. But as Liza discovers, that is not the end of the case. After Sutcliffe’s conviction, the failures of the police investigation start to be made public as a wide-ranging government report details mistake after mistake. Liza learns just how many clues and witnesses were ignored. But also, more powerfully, she discovers that the failings all link back to the police’s original theory about a ‘prostitute killer’ that took them in the wrong direction right from the start and led them to disregard vital evidence.
Going back to the survivors and relatives of Sutcliffe’s victims, at the end of the final episode and the conclusion of the series, Liza explores the legacy left behind by his crimes and what it has been like to live as the child of a Ripper murder victim.
WED 22:00 Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story (p02l4q38)
Instruments of Murder
Sherlock has his mind palace, Morse his music - every detective has an edge. For most, it's forensic science. This three-part series provides a rare and fascinating insight into the secret history of catching murderers, charting two centuries of the breakthroughs that have changed the course of justice. Surgeon and writer Gabriel Weston explores this rich history through some of the most absorbing, and often gruesome, stories in the forensic casebook - and looks ahead to how forensics will continue to solve the murders of the future.
Where there's a murder there's usually a weapon. It's a key piece of evidence that can hold all the clues needed to catch the killer and shine a light into the mind of the murderer. In this final episode, Gabriel investigates the forensic advances that have elevated the murder weapon from its role of mere evidence to that of key witness.
Arsenic, the undetectable weapon of choice in the 19th century, was exposed as the murder weapon with one simple chemical test, and distinctive marks left on a victim's skull led detectives to the murder weapon and the killer.
Gabriel also looks to the future and the latest advances in forensics. Scientists have developed 3D laser scanning that can be used to reconstruct the exact sequence of events at the scene of a gun crime and decipher whether a shooting was murder or self-defence. Gabriel also investigates the pioneering chemistry that can now determine where in the world someone has spent time based on just a few strands of their hair.
WED 23:00 Treasures of Ancient Egypt (p01mv1cv)
The Golden Age
On a journey through Ancient Egyptian art, Alastair Sooke picks treasures from its most opulent and glittering moment. Starting with troubling psychological portraits of tyrant king Senwosret III and ending with the golden mask of boy king Tutankhamun, Sooke also explores architectural wonders, exquisite tombs and a lost city - site of the greatest artistic revolution in Egypt's history where a new sinuous style was born under King Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti. Along the way Egyptologists and artists reveal that the golden veneer conceals a touching humanity.
WED 00:00 Romancing the Stone: The Golden Ages of British Sculpture (b00yml9v)
Mavericks of Empire
By the middle of the 18th century, Britain was in possession of a vast empire. It required a new way of seeing ourselves and so we turned to the statues of ancient Greece and Rome to project the secular power and glory of the British Empire.
The message was clear: Britain was the new Rome, our generals and politicians on a par with the heroes of the ancient world. The flood of funds, both public and private, into sculptural projects unleashed a new golden age, yet it was also a remarkably unorthodox one. The greatest sculptors of the 18th and 19th centuries were those mavericks who bucked prevailing trends - geniuses like John Flaxman, Francis Chantrey and Alfred Gilbert.
Alastair Sooke tells the story of these mavericks and reveals the extraordinary technical breakthroughs behind their key works: carving in marble with a pointer machine and the primal power of the lost-wax technique.
WED 01:00 John Berger: The Art of Looking (b082qynq)
Art, politics and motorcycles - on the occasion of his 90th birthday, this is an intimate portrait of the late writer and art critic whose groundbreaking work on seeing has shaped our understanding of the concept for over five decades. The film explores how paintings become narratives and stories turn into images, and rarely does anybody demonstrate this as poignantly as Berger.
Berger lived and worked for decades in a small mountain village in the French Alps, where the nearness to nature, the world of the peasants and his motorcycle, which for him deals so much with presence, inspired his drawing and writing.
The film introduces Berger's art of looking with theatre wizard Simon McBurney, film director Michael Dibb, visual artist John Christie, cartoonist Selçuk Demiral and photographer Jean Mohr, as well as two of his children - film critic Katya Berger and the painter Yves Berger.
The prelude and starting point is Berger's mind-boggling experience of restored vision following a successful cataract removal surgery. There, in the cusp of his clouding eyesight, Berger re-discovers the irredeemable wonder of seeing.
Realised as a portrait in works and collaborations, this creative documentary takes a different approach to biography, with Berger leading in his favourite role of the storyteller.
WED 01:55 Arena (b08t14wf)
Out of the Many, the One
A look at the influence of Hawaiian music and more specifically, the steel guitar, which became a central sound to a range of musical styles. When Joseph Kekuku picked up a metal bolt as he wandered down a train track, the bolt hit the strings of his guitar and the sound was born. He perfected his slide to create a new instrument that would travel the world.
The programme continues with an exploration of Cajun music, the blended music of Louisiana that reflects the winding landscape of the bayous. This appealed to the record companies as something set apart from the established genres of country, jazz and blues. Central to the scene were the Breaux family, who talk about continuing their musical heritage today.
Finally we hear the story of Mississippi John Hurt - discovered in the 1920s but soon forgotten, he represents the odyssey of American Epic in microcosm. After travelling to Memphis where his music was recorded, he returned home to Avalon, a tiny spot on the map of Mississippi. With the Depression, recording in the south came virtually to a halt and Hurt simply went back to sharecropping, his music forgotten by all but a few dedicated collectors. 35 years after those first recordings, folklorist Dick Spottswood tracked down Hurt in 1963, sparking a revival of his music. He starred at the Newport Folk Festival and became celebrated all over the world.
WED 03:00 Earth's Great Rivers (b0bwqng8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
THURSDAY 16 JANUARY 2020
THU 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (m000dhpz)
Katty Kay in Washington and Christian Fraser in London report on the events that are shaping the world.
THU 19:30 The Sky at Night (m000db8r)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday
THU 20:00 The Great British Year (p01dfksf)
Spring marks the start of an epic race for life where timing is everything; trees explode with blossom and mornings fill with the magical chorus of birdsong. Long-tailed tits frantically build nests whilst, in our oceans, seahorses sway to a graceful courtship dance.
As we celebrate Easter, a stoat mother hunts the young rabbits to feed her own playful young. As spring becomes summer, guillemot chicks leap from their cliffs to begin life at sea, and this year's young prepare for life alone.
THU 21:00 Einstein's Quantum Riddle (m000db95)
Einstein’s Quantum Riddle tells the remarkable story of perhaps the strangest phenomenon in science – quantum entanglement. It’s a story of mind-bending concepts and brilliant experiments, which lead us to a profound new understanding of reality.
At the start of the 20th century Albert Einstein helped usher in quantum mechanics - a revolutionary description of the behaviour of tiny particles. But he soon became uncomfortable with the counterintuitive ideas at the heart of the theory. He hunted for flaws in the equations and eventually discovered that they predicted a seemingly impossible situation.
Quantum theory suggested you could have two particles, which had interacted in the past, and even if you separated them by millions of miles they would somehow act in unison. If you measured one, forcing it to take on one of many properties, the other would instantly take on a corresponding property. Like rolling two dice, millions of miles apart, and as you look at one to see what number it landed on, the other instantly shows the same number. This bizarre prediction of magically connected particles became known as quantum entanglement. Einstein felt it couldn’t possibly be real – it seemed to break the rules of space and time. In 1935, with two of his colleagues, he published a paper that argued that this bizarre phenomenon implied the equations of quantum theory must be incomplete.
No-one could think of a way to test whether Einstein was right, until in 1964, John Bell, a physicist form Northern Ireland, published an astonishing paper. He’d found a key difference between Einstein’s ideas and those of quantum theory. It all boiled down to entanglement. As Professor David Kaiser puts it: ‘We now know this was one of the most significant articles in the history of physics. Not just the history of 20th-century physics; in the history of the field as a whole.’ In 1972 John Clauser and Stuart Freedman built an experiment based on John Bell’s work and found the first experimental evidence to suggest that quantum entanglement really is a part of the natural world.
Today, a technological revolution is under way, with labs around the world harnessing entanglement to create powerful new technologies such as quantum computers. At Google’s quantum computing lab in Santa Barbara, researcher Marissa Giustina describes their latest quantum-processing chip. And in Shanghai, at the University of Science and Technology, Professor Jian-Wei Pan explains that his team is working to send entangled particles from a satellite to a ground station to create totally secure communication links – a major step towards the creation of an unhackable ‘quantum internet’ of the future based on quantum entanglement.
Yet despite this progress, questions still remain about our experimental proof of entanglement. There are possible loopholes that could mean that entanglement may be an illusion and that Einstein was right all along. At the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in the Canary Islands, Professor Anton Zeilinger’s team is attempting a remarkable experiment to rule out the most challenging loophole. Their experiment uses two of Europe’s largest telescopes to collect light from two quasars, billions of light years away, to control intricate measurements of tiny quantum particles and put quantum entanglement to the ultimate test.
THU 22:00 Wonders of the Universe (b00zf9dh)
Having explored the wonders of the solar system, Professor Brian Cox steps boldly on to an even bigger stage - the universe.
Who are we? Where do we come from? For thousands of years humanity has turned to religion and myth for answers to these enduring questions. But in this series, Brian presents a different set of answers - answers provided by science.
In this episode, Brian seeks to understand the nature of time and its role in creating both the universe and ourselves. From an extraordinary calendar built into the landscape of Peru to the beaches of Costa Rica, Brian explores the cycles of time which define our experience of life on Earth. But even the most epic cycles of life can't begin to compare to the vast expanse of cosmic time.
For instance, just as the Earth orbits the Sun, the solar system orbits the entire Milky Way galaxy. This orbit takes a staggering 250 million years to complete.
Ultimately, Brian discovers that time is not characterised by repetition but by irreversible change. From the relentless march of a glacier, to the decay of an old mining town, the ravaging effects of time are all around us. The vast universe is subject to these same laws of change. As we look out to the cosmos, we can see the story of its evolution unfold, from the death of the first stars to the birth of the youngest. This journey from birth to death will ultimately lead to the destruction not just of our planet, but also the entire universe, and with it the end of time itself.
Yet without this inevitable destruction, the universe would be without what is perhaps the greatest wonder of all - the brief moment in time in which life can exist.
THU 23:00 Michael Mosley vs The Superbugs (b08qkz77)
More and more bacterial infections are becoming resistant to antibiotics. Not just MRSA but also TB, pneumonia and e-coli. In Britain, hundreds die of these infections - mainly the very young or the frail and elderly. Health experts warn, unless we crack the problem, that by 2050 we will be facing a pathogenic apocalypse with over 10 million people dying of resistant bacterial infection worldwide every year.
Michael Mosley goes in search of the causes of this crisis and possible solutions to overcome it. At the heart of the film is an unprecedented experiment to create a life-size clone of Michael in agar and then grow bacteria on it taken from all over his body. This is ‘Microbial Michael’, a living bacterial sculpture that offers new insights into what happens when we hit our body - and our bacteria - with a broad spectrum antibiotic.
Michael finds that he has some resistant bacteria. But how has this happened and how do bacteria acquire resistance to antibiotics? In a cave in New Mexico, Michael discovers that it is a natural process, which has been going on for millennia, long before the discovery of penicillin. Our overuse of antibiotics in medicine and farming accelerates the development of resistance among bacteria, but evolution ensures that bacteria will gradually overcome the antibiotics we use to defeat them.
So, we desperately need new antibiotics, or ways to make our existing antibiotics work effectively again. In a trip that goes to the US, to Poland and to research labs around the UK, we meet the ‘resistance hunters’ - scientists who are trying to find new ways of beating resistant bacteria. And in a finale to the ‘Microbial Michael’ experiment, some of Michael’s agar body parts - his face and his hands - are infected with superbugs. Can any of the new treatments get rid of them?
THU 00:00 Romancing the Stone: The Golden Ages of British Sculpture (b00yvsjd)
Children of the Revolution
'Sculpture has changed more in the last hundred years,' says Alastair Sooke, 'than in the previous thirty thousand.' The third and last episode of the series tells the dramatic story of a century of innovation, scandal, shock and creativity.
It begins with the moment at the turn of the 20th century when young sculptors ceased visiting the Elgin Marbles at the British Museum and looked instead at the 'primitive' works of Africa and the Pacific islands. The result was an artistic revolution spearheaded by Eric Gill and Jacob Epstein that would climax in the anti-sculptural gestures of Gilbert & George and Damien Hirst.
Yet for all the provocation and occasional excesses of conceptualism, sculpture has never enjoyed such popularity. From the memorials of World War One to the landmarks of Antony Gormley and Rachel Whiteread, sculpture remains the art form that speaks most directly and powerfully to the nation.
The programme climaxes with a series of encounters between Alastair and leading sculptors Damien Hirst, Rachel Whiteread, Antony Gormley and Anthony Caro.
THU 01:00 Bought with Love: The Secret History of British Art Collections (b037c5gt)
The Golden Age
With Britain's country houses being home to world-class art collections full of priceless old masters and more, this three-part series sees art historian Helen Rosslyn tell the story of how great art has been brought to Britain by passionate collectors and how these same collectors have also turned patron and commissioned work from the cream of their contemporary crop of painters.
In this episode she focuses on the 18th century, the Grand Tour era when aristocrats filled their Palladian villas with masterpieces by 17th-century classical painters. Throwing open the doors of some of our most magnificent stately homes, Rosslyn visits Holkham Hall in Norfolk to view the Grand Tour collection there, before going on to explore the legacy of the Dukes of Richmond at Goodwood House. She also visits Petworth House in Sussex, where the one-time Lord Egremont patronised JMW Turner.
THU 02:00 A History of Art in Three Colours (b01l4fyl)
For the very first civilisations, the yellow lustre of gold is the most alluring and intoxicating colour of all. From the midst of prehistory to a bunker deep beneath the Bank of England, Fox reveals how golden treasures made across the ages reflect everything that has been held as sacred.
THU 03:00 Einstein's Quantum Riddle (m000db95)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
FRIDAY 17 JANUARY 2020
FRI 19:00 World News Today (m000db89)
The news programme for audiences who want more depth to their daily coverage. With a focus on Europe, Middle East and Africa.
FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (m000db8c)
Bruno Brookes and Richard Skinner present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 19 January 1989 and featuring Roachford, Roy Orbison, Robert Howard and Kym Mazelle, Marc Almond and Gene Pitney, Ten City, Mica Paris and Will Downing, New Model Army, Brother Beyond, Natalie Cole, Mike and The Mechanics, Holly Johnson, Fine Young Cannibals, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, and Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock.
FRI 20:00 Sound of Musicals with Neil Brand (b0888r7n)
Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'
Series in which composer Neil Brand explores how musical theatre evolved over the last 100 years to become today's global phenomenon. Neil hears the inside story from leading composers and talent past and present, and recreates classic songs, looking in detail at how these work musically and lyrically to captivate the audience.
In the first episode, Neil finds out how the modern shape of the musical was established through a series of pioneering works, from Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein's Show Boat in the 1920s with its bold take on America's racial divide and innovative use of songs that further the narrative, to Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's My Fair Lady, which made a star of Julie Andrews in the late 1950s. Neil also reveals the songwriting secrets of some much-loved numbers, including Ol' Man River, Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin', and If I Loved You.
FRI 21:00 Top of the Pops (m000db8f)
Gary Davies and Anthea Turner present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 26 January 1989 and featuring Then Jerico, Adeva, Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, Mica Paris and Will Downing, Bobby Brown, Level 42, Sheena Easton, Ten City, Brother Beyond, Marc Almond and Gene Pitney, and Milli Vanilli.
FRI 21:30 Stewart Copeland's Adventures in Music (m000db8k)
Stewart Copeland explores the power music has to bring people together and to bond them in ways that are fundamental to our evolution and existence.
His travels take him from the southern German cave where a 40,000-year-old bone flute was discovered to the modern-day mass singalong of New York’s Choir! Choir! Choir! Along the way he gets to play with a Memphis marching band, join a song circle led by Bobby McFerrin, deconstruct the sexiness of 'Relax' with its producer Trevor Horn, discuss the art of songwriting with his old colleague Sting and learn how to create dance floor unity with international star DJ Honey Dijon.
FRI 22:30 Duran Duran: There's Something You Should Know (b0b7szrg)
With exclusive access, the band open up about their extraordinary career and talk candidly about the highs and lows they have endured together over four long decades. This is the band at their most relaxed, intimate and honest. We spend time with John at his LA home, Simon pays a visit to his former choir master, Roger goes back to where it all started in Birmingham, and Nick dusts off some of the 10,000 fashion items that the band have meticulously catalogued and collected over the course of their career. Joining the conversation is fellow new romantic and singer Boy George, lifelong fan and record producer Mark Ronson, friend, fan and supermodel Cindy Crawford, and Highlander film director Russell Mulcahy.
Charting their trajectory over four decades, the story is told through seven of their albums. Each record uncovers a compelling chapter in the band’s journey - the fame, the fortune, the melt downs, the hits, the flops, the exotic videos, the tours, the fans, the partying and the supermodels.
FRI 23:30 Smashing Hits! The 80s Pop Map of Britain and Ireland (b0bbyy1w)
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 third and final episode, Midge and Kim visit London and Manchester, the two cities that did battle with each other for musical pre-eminence as 80s music turned towards the new sounds of dance.
Star interviewees include Denise Pearson from Five Star, Soul II Soul's Jazzie B, Mark Moore of S'Express, Shaun Ryder from The Happy Mondays and Peter Hook of New Order.
It's a tale of how studio technology changed music, with British bands putting their own unique spin on dance to produce contrasting northern and southern sounds.
FRI 00:30 I Can Go for That: The Smooth World of Yacht Rock (m00062g8)
Katie Puckrik concludes her voyage through a golden era of Los Angeles studio crafted sounds. In this episode she charts the progress of Yacht Rock through the 1980s, when it became the soundtrack to America in the Reagan era, and when artists like Toto, Hall & Oates and George Benson created a technicolour second wave of a super smooth sound.
In its day, this music was not identified as a genre, but in the 21st century, in a nod to its finely crafted nature, it has come to be known as Yacht Rock. In the MTV 80s, the bearded sensitivity that had defined the Yacht sound in the previous decade was out and, instead, bigger sounds with bombastic videos were in. Hall & Oates stepped up to the challenges of the video age with hits such as I Can’t Go For That and Private Eyes.
The gleaming Yacht sound was, in part, always defined by a group of LA-based session players and composers who worked across a range of Yacht bands, informing their specific tone and level of musicianship. Yacht session supremos Jay Graydon and Steve Porcaro reveal how they worked with George Benson, making a surprising addition to the Yacht cannon with Turn Your Love Around.
Meanwhile, Porcaro joined other LA session players to form Toto whose tracks Rosanna and Africa were two mega-hits of the early 80s. Toto’s Steve Lukather and Steve Porcaro also reveal how they even brought a little Yacht magic to the biggest-selling album in history, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, when the latter wrote the song Human Nature for the album.
Meanwhile, actor and writer JD Ryznar takes credit for inventing the Yacht badge, when he penned a satirical online drama referencing the key protagonists of Yacht. This affectionate spoof contributed to a revival of interest and enthusiasm for these mainstream sounds in the digital era and Katy’s reappraisal puts the brilliance of this group of musicians firmly back in the spotlight. Other contributors include Robbie Dupree and John Oates.
FRI 01:30 Stewart Copeland's Adventures in Music (m000db8k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:30 today
FRI 02:30 Sound of Musicals with Neil Brand (b0888r7n)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today