SAT 19:00 Natural World (b043j0fd)

The Pygmy Hippo: A Very Secret Life

The pygmy hippo is one of nature's last great mysteries. Solitary, secretive and extremely hard to find, scientists know almost nothing about this endangered animal in the wild and what it needs to survive. Now, a young Australian ecologist, Wei-Yeen Yap, is taking on what could be 'mission impossible'. In a remote West African rainforest, Wei investigates the secret life of the pygmy hippo, attempting to unravel its mysteries in the hope that with greater knowledge we will be able to save it.

SAT 20:00 How the Wild West Was Won with Ray Mears (b045nz9q)

Ray Mears looks at how the landscapes of America's five great deserts challenged the westward push of the early pioneers.

As Ray travels through the cold high mountain Great Basin desert and the hot Sonoran desert of southern Arizona, he discovers how their hostile geography and rich geology shaped the stories of fortune hunting and lawlessness in the Wild West, and were the setting for the last wars between the US Army and the Apache warrior tribes.

Ray's journey begins in Monument Valley, whose dramatic desert landscape has become synonymous with the Wild West years. He explores how plants and animals survive in this waterless climate and how the Navajo Indian people adapted to the conditions. In Tucson, he meets up with desert coroners Bruce Anderson and Robin Reineke, who show him how the desert still kills people today.

He explores how the Apache adapted their warfare methods to the desert and how the US cavalry struggled in the hot arid landscape. In Tombstone, he gets to grips with the myths around lawmakers and lawlessness and how it flourished in the remote desert regions of the Old West. He discovers how this forbidding landscape was the perfect refuge for bandits and pursues the outlaw trail to Butch Cassidy's hideout at Robber's Roost. His journey ends with the story of Geronimo's surrender which marked the end of the Indian Wars, and of the Old West.

SAT 21:00 State of Happiness (m000jb64)
Series 1

Dirdal Valley

Phillips Petroleum is looking for a place by the coast to build a gigantic tank for oil storage. Dirdal Valley, where Anna’s family’s farm is situated, is one of the areas they are considering. What Anna learns from her work at the mayor’s office has dire consequences.

In Norwegian with English subtitles.

SAT 21:45 State of Happiness (m000jb66)
Series 1

Hope and Fraud

Christian and Martin start their own diving company and are in need of start-up capital. Meanwhile, Ingrid and Fredrik Nyman make a plan to help their son, and an old friend of Toril's returns to town.

In Norwegian with English subtitles

SAT 22:30 Made in Dagenham (b01rcc33)
Comedy drama charting the fight of female factory workers at the Ford Dagenham plant for equal pay. In 1968, one determined factory worker leads her colleagues out on strike in the hope of eradicating unfair working conditions and sexual discrimination.

SAT 00:20 TOTP2 (b01dlvvz)
Pop Stars

A compilation of the nation's favourite pop stars down the decades in performance at the BBC. From squeaky-clean rock and roller Cliff Richard to pop temptress Rihanna, and including Madonna, Marc Bolan, David Cassidy, Justin Bieber and more in between. This is a celebration of the much loved and most wanted popstars that adorned bedroom walls across the country and truly were Top of the Pops.

SAT 01:20 Top of the Pops (m000j44z)
Nicky Campbell and Anthea Turner present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 17 August 1989 and featuring Neneh Cherry, Martika and Fuzzbox.

SAT 01:50 Top of the Pops (m000j455)
Mark Goodier and Jakki Brambles present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 24 August 1989 and featuring Then Jerico, Cliff Richard and Bon Jovi.

SAT 02:20 How the Wild West Was Won with Ray Mears (b045nz9q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SUNDAY 17 MAY 2020

SUN 19:00 BBC Young Musician (m000jb60)

Brass Final Highlights

Two places in the BBC Young Musician 2020 semi-final have already been decided. Now it’s the turn of the brass players to impress as organist and conductor Anna Lapwood presents highlights of the Brass Final. Filmed at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Anna is joined by one of the world’s leading euphonium players, David Childs, to review each performance.

Saxophonist and music evangelist Jess Gillam returns with the next in her series of conversations. In this programme, she meets up with her fellow 2016 BBC Young Musician finalist, French horn player, Ben Goldscheider.

Competing in this closely matched category final are 18-year-old French horn player Joseph Longstaff from Hertfordshire, trombonist Meggie Murphy, who is 19 and from Cardiff, 18-year-old tuba player William Burton from Sheffield, also on French horn, 17-year-old Annemarie Federle from Cambridge, and also aged 17, trombonist Rhydian Tiddy from Ammanford, South Wales. The programme includes profiles of each of the competitors together with highlights of their performances.

An expert panel of judges is tasked with choosing a winner to represent the brass category in the semi-final. They are trombonist Peter Moore, winner of BBC Young Musician in 2008 when he was just 12 years old, Katy Woolley, principal horn with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, and chair of all the category final judging panels, Angela Dixon, chief executive of the award-winning performance venue, Saffron Hall.

The complete brass final can be seen in full on BBC iPlayer, hosted by Josie d’Arby.

SUN 20:00 A Year in the Wild (b01llqrw)
The New Forest

A portrait of the ancient landscapes and spectacular wildlife of the New Forest National Park, seen through the eyes of the people who know it best.

The New Forest is a fragment of the ancient wild wood that once stretched the length and breadth of Europe - it is also one of Britain's newest National Parks. This enchanted forest is like no other. Pigs and ponies roam beneath mighty oaks and beeches, and pockets of heathland shelter some of the rarest creatures in Britain, including dartford warblers, hobbies and sand lizards. People live here too - with a unique lifestyle that has survived since medieval times. This film follows a forest keeper, a coppicer, a storyteller and a farmer as the seasons change, revealing the secrets of an exquisite forest that is as old as England.

SUN 21:00 David Stratton’s Stories of Australian Cinema (m000jb62)
Series 1

Episode 3

Much-loved film critic David Stratton tells the fascinating story of Australian cinema, focusing in on the films that capture this idiosyncratic nation with drama, emotion and humour.

David played a pivotal role supporting film-makers and helping them to find audiences both locally and abroad. He rose to fame co-hosting a movie review show with Margaret Pomeranz, which the nation religiously tuned in to for almost 30 years.

In this episode, all kinds of families are given a voice, including The Castle’s nuclear, if unorthodox family, a family of faith in The Devil’s Playground, Romper Stomper’s frightening neo-Nazis, and crime families such as those depicted in Ned Kelly and Animal Kingdom.

The series takes us on a thrilling journey across Australian cinema's most moving moments and unforgettable scenes and into the heart of the stories portrayed on the big screen that helped shape a nation’s idea of itself.

SUN 22:00 Retreat: Meditations from a Monastery (b09cbcfm)
Series 1

Belmont Abbey

Belmont Abbey is a Benedictine monastery in Herefordshire on the Welsh border. The monastery itself has a warm and inviting feel which is amplified by the colourful, 19th-century decor inside the building. The monks that we follow at Belmont are true craftsmen - one is a renowned iconographer and one of the best in the western world, while the other creates manuscripts and rosaries.

We follow renowned iconographer Father Alex who travels to Belmont from his native Peru every year to teach his skills. He is the superior of Belmont Abbey's sister monastery in Peru. He uses centuries-old techniques - mixing his own egg tempera paints, using pigments made from semi-precious stones and burnishing gold leaf - to create a striking icon of Archangel Michael, the patron saint of Belmont Abbey.

We also meet Brother Bernard who makes rosaries - a devotional string of beads used in prayer. He uses pliers to link the beads, intricately threading them together to form the set of rosary beads which he then uses in private prayer.

Belmont Abbey's abbot, Father Paul, is responsible for the day-to-day running of the monastery. The majority of his duties are pastoral and religious, including running the services which take place throughout the day, leading the silent meals and creating an environment in which the monks can live and work in peace. He's also a dog lover and can often be seen walking his dog Toby through the monastery grounds. 'A wise man is known by the fewness of his words.' (Rule of St Benedict)

Filmed with an eye to the beauty and peace of the ancient surroundings, the film has a painterly quality that creates a feeling of restfulness and quiet contemplation. And by focusing on the natural sounds of nature and the peace of the abbey we have created a meditative soundtrack that adds to this unique experience.

SUN 23:00 Performance Live (p0892kzy)
The Way Out

A surreal, theatrical adventure in which a young person escapes into a seemingly empty building at night and meets a mysterious guide who offers them an alternative way out.

Filmed in Battersea Arts Centre, in one continuous, unbroken shot, this is an immersive journey through a labyrinth of rooms and corridors, propelled by performances by extraordinary artists.

Omid Djalili leads the journey as the enigmatic Guide. The Young Person is played by Bláithín Mac Gabhann, and there are performances by some of the most exciting, diverse artists working in the UK today, including Lucy McCormick, Caleb Femi, Botis Seva, Le Gateau Chocolat, The Cocoa Butter Club, Sanah Ahsan and Too Hot For Candy.

Directed by Suri Krishnamma and produced by Battersea Arts Centre in partnership with Arts Council England and BBC Arts as part of the Performance Live strand.

SUN 23:45 Tom Waits: Tales from a Cracked Jukebox (b08g8hj3)
Tom Waits is one of the most original musicians of the last five decades. Renowned for his gravelly voice and dazzling mix of musical styles, he's also one of modern music's most enigmatic and influential artists.

His songs have been covered by Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart and Norah Jones, among many others. But Waits has always pursued his own creative vision, with little concern for musical fashion.

In a long career of restless reinvention, from the barfly poet of his early albums to the junkyard ringmaster of Swordfishtrombones, his songs chronicle lives from the margins of American society - drifters, dreamers, hobos and hoodlums - and his music draws on a rich mix of influences, including the blues, jazz, Weimar cabaret and film noir.

Using rare archive, audio recordings and interviews, this film is a bewitching after-hours trip through the surreal, moonlit world of Waits' music - a portrait of a pioneering musician and his unique, alternative American songbook.

SUN 00:45 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.

SUN 01:45 BBC Young Musician (m000jb60)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SUN 02:45 A Year in the Wild (b01llqrw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MONDAY 18 MAY 2020

MON 19:00 The Joy of Painting (m000jb6s)
Series 1

Golden Glow

American painter Bob Ross offers soothing words of encouragement to viewers and painting hobbyists in an enormously popular series that has captivated audiences worldwide since 1982. Ross is a cult figure, with nearly two million Facebook followers and 3,000 instructors globally. His soothing, nurturing personality is therapy for the weary, and his respect for nature and wildlife helps heighten environmental awareness.

Across the series, Ross demonstrates his unique painting technique, which eliminates the need for each layer of paint to dry. In real time, he creates tranquil scenes taken from nature, including his trademark ‘happy’ clouds, cascading waterfalls, snow-covered forests, serene lakes and distant mountain summits.

In this 30-minute segment, Bob Ross shows how to make a snow scene in a painting glow. Even a tiny shanty by the pond can be a warm place in the dead of winter.

Many of Bob’s faithful viewers are not painters at all. They are relaxing and unwinding with Bob’s gentle manner and encouraging words, captivated by the magic taking place on the canvas.

MON 19:30 Secrets of Skin (m000cdzl)
Series 1


Skin is an incredible, multi-function organ that science is still learning so much about. It has adapted to allow animals to conquer virtually every habitat on the planet.

In this episode, Professor Ben Garrod reveals some ground-breaking new science and amazing, specialist, factual insight as he discovers how human skin is an ecosystem in its own right, playing host to demodex mites, that might redefine our understanding of human ancestry. He explores the new science that could pave the way for re-engineering human skin on amputations to make it more robust. And he reveals how keratin, a protein that is a key component of skin and that makes up our hair and nails, has been taken to the extreme by some animals including pangolins and horses.

Skin is the body’s largest organ and all vertebrates share the same basic blue print. Adaptations in the three main layers, the epidermis, the dermis and the subcutaneous fat layers have allowed vertebrates to thrive in virtually every habitat on earth.

MON 20:00 Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain (b007lr84)
The Land of Lost Content

The second programme in the series explodes the popular image of the 1950s as a golden age of order and prosperity, and of lost content. A Conservative government is back in power. The economy appears to be improving. New homes are being built, the age of mass car ownership is dawning and people have money in their pockets. But 1950s Britain is not as calm as it looks, or as strong.

Andrew Marr describes a relentless build-up of pressure from frustrated, resentful people who are hungry for change. This is a Britain of growing racial tensions, of working-class teenagers who don't want to know their place any longer, of CND protesters and a new breed of scathing satirists. It's a country which is learning to laugh at its rulers and starting to distrust them. Especially after their prime minister takes them to war in the Middle East on the basis of a lie.

When a working-class girl called Christine Keeler meets the Secretary of State for War John Profumo in a swimming pool one hot summer's evening in 1961, the closed world of the British establishment collides with the cocky new Britain growing up around it. The sixties spirit of change is in the air and Britain will never be governed in the same way again. This is the fascinating story of the perfect political storm.

MON 21:00 Timeshift (b00rm508)
Series 9

Bread: A Loaf Affair

The aptly-named Tom Baker narrates a tale of aspiration, industrialisation and plain old-fashioned snobbery in a documentary which unwraps the story of the rise of the popular loaf and how it has shaped the way we eat.

Historically, to know the colour of one's bread was to know one's place in life. For centuries, ordinary people ate brown bread that was about as easy on the teeth as a brick. Softer, refined white bread was so expensive to make that it became the preserve of the rich. Affordable white bread was the baker's holy grail - but almost as soon as it became possible to achieve, dietary experts began to trumpet the virtues of brown. Not surprisingly, the British public proved reluctant to give up their white loaves, and even a war couldn't change their eating habits.

MON 22:00 Arena (m000jb6v)
The Changin’ Times of Ike White

Ike White was a gifted and critically acclaimed musician whose talent was discovered while he was serving a life sentence for murder. When he was released, he went into hiding under a pseudonym for decades. Masking his dark past, he had an incredible story that he hadn't told a soul.

Director Dan Vernon and producer Vivienne Perry spent 18 months tracking down Ike after hearing a track credited to him on an album of music recorded in prison. By then, he was known as ‘David Maestro’, his final assumed name after a lifetime of false identities. He had made an extraordinary journey from being in jail to industry adulation from the likes of Stevie Wonder. Ike was given the chance to record while he was inside by legendary producer Jerry Goldstein, who heard him play in a prison band. Jerry believed Ike was the next Jimi Hendrix and persuaded the prison governor to allow a recording studio into his jail - they created an album called Changin’ Times, viewed as a lost classic of soul and funk.

A huge campaign led to Ike's release and his life sentence was reduced. But then he disappeared. It was as if he’d been waiting for us to find him,’ says Dan. ‘He wanted to tell us his story.’ After a week filming with him, Ike gave Dan a box of personal archive with the promise of more the next time they met. But weeks after giving Dan the exclusive interview, Ike committed suicide. His widow asked Dan to come and visit, and revealed a wealth of videos, diaries and photographs that Ike had stored to tell his life story since he’d left prison. This incredible personal archive revealed a catalogue of different lives lived, wives and children, disconnected by false names and changed locations. It also revealed the enduring and powerful urge of an artist to create art from their experience.

Ike’s music serves as the only common thread in a narrative of fractured identities and reinventions. In this compelling feature documentary, extraordinary animation combines with Ike’s archive to try to understand and get inside the head of this complex, talented and ultimately damaged man.

MON 23:20 Morocco to Timbuktu: An Arabian Adventure (b08rb175)
Series 1

Episode 2

Alice Morrison takes on the vast Sahara in an epic camel trek over the dunes. At night by the campfire, she hears a shocking story of modern-day slavery from her trekking guide. The next day, her journey across the sands is halted by the closed border between Algeria and Morocco. Undeterred, Alice heads west on another trading route to Guelmim. She stops in Tamegroute, where she finds a hidden library of ancient books, including manuscripts by a 16th-century Malian scholar. It is evidence that the trans-Saharan trade routes transferred knowledge as well as gold and salt.

Guelmim was home of Africa's largest camel market centuries ago, supplying the merchants for their caravans across the desert. There is still a bustling lifestock market, but the salesmen tells Alice that now camels are mainly sold for food. Border disputes over Western Sahara bring Alice's journey along the salt roads to a complete halt. She has to fly across Africa to the capital of Mali, Bamako. Here, she gets to the source of Timbuktu's legendary wealth with a visit to a gold mine, and she rolls up her sleeves to try to unearth her own gold nugget. Flying the last leg into Timbuktu itself involves begging a seat on a UN flight. This ancient city has turned into one of the most dangerous places in the world after an incursion by Islamic extremists in 2012. It lasted a year, and now UN soldiers keep a fragile peace in the city, having pushed the insurgents just a few miles back into the desert.

When she finally reaches the City of Gold, Alice relives its glorious past with a visit to its world-famous mosques, the last surviving treasures of a bygone era. In the oldest of them, the Djinguereber mosque, she hears the tale of Mansa Musa, Mali's greatest king and the richest man in history.

MON 00:20 Elegance and Decadence: The Age of the Regency (b014jbyr)
The Many and the Few - A Divided Decade

In this final programme, Lucy Worsley examines the backlash against the excesses of the Prince Regent and the elite world he represented, as George finds himself in a Britain on the brink of revolution in the closing years of his Regency. This was a moment when the power of the word - in radical writings and speeches - briefly challenged the power of the sword. Percy Bysshe Shelley, and future wife Mary, openly supported revolutionary ideas and Mary's famous novel Frankenstein can be seen as a vehicle for the fears surrounding the creation of an uncontrollable new industrial world.

Lucy reveals that even Lord Byron was not always the snake-hipped seducer of legend. He and fellow writers and poets were active supporters of the grass roots movement for reform. Byron made an impassioned speech in Parliament in defence of Luddite machine-breakers. New industrial cities such as Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester were being established yet, under the archaic electoral system of the day, not one returned an MP. The vote was in fact limited to a small land-owning class. The demands for democratic change were to end in tragedy in Manchester with a bloody massacre of unarmed men, women and children at St Peter's Fields - an event dubbed, with bitter reference to the triumph of Waterloo, as 'Peterloo'.

Lucy also describes the technological changes that transformed the Regency landscape and experiences - she enjoys the thrills of a mail coach ride, complete with armed guard; learns how to operate the world's oldest steam engine; and partakes in the Regency craze of balloon flight.

The programme ends with the Prince Regent finally being crowned as George IV at Westminster Abbey in 1821 while his estranged wife Caroline batters the main doors demanding entry. A colourful ending to a decade of elegance and extravagance.

MON 01:20 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 02:20 The Joy of Painting (m000jb6s)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MON 02:50 Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain (b007lr84)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


TUE 19:00 The Joy of Painting (m000jb7m)
Series 1

Roadside Barn

American painter Bob Ross offers soothing words of encouragement to viewers and painting hobbyists in an enormously popular series that has captivated audiences worldwide since 1982. Ross is a cult figure, with nearly two million Facebook followers and 3,000 instructors globally. His soothing, nurturing personality is therapy for the weary, and his respect for nature and wildlife helps heighten environmental awareness.

Across the series, Ross demonstrates his unique painting technique, which eliminates the need for each layer of paint to dry. In real time, he creates tranquil scenes taken from nature, including his trademark ‘happy’ clouds, cascading waterfalls, snow-covered forests, serene lakes and distant mountain summits.

In this programme, viewers can follow Bob Ross on an escape to a new destination as he paints an old dirt road leading up to a quaint country barn nestled in nature’s greenery.

Many of Bob’s faithful viewers are not painters at all. They are relaxing and unwinding with Bob’s gentle manner and encouraging words, captivated by the magic taking place on the canvas.

TUE 19:30 Secrets of Skin (m000cdzr)
Series 1


What makes sharks built for speed? How do snakes move without limbs? How do sugar gliders fly without feathers? The answer all lies in their skin.

Professor Ben Garrod uncovers the secrets of how skin has evolved to enable animals to solve some of the most remarkable challenges on earth. To do this, Ben heads to the specialist flight centre at the Royal Veterinary College to analyse the way a sugar glider uses its skin flaps to stay aloft. He goes diving with sharks at the Blue Planet Aquarium and discovers that, far from being smooth, sharkskin is incredibly rough. It is covered with thousands of tiny teeth that make a shark hydrodynamic. Ben also finds out how the keratinised scales on snakes' bellies are the perfect configuration to allow them to move over virtually any surface they encounter. Amongst many other wonders of how skin has had an impact on nature.

TUE 20:00 Chemistry: A Volatile History (b00q2mk5)
Discovering the Elements

The explosive story of chemistry is the story of the building blocks that make up our entire world - the elements. From fiery phosphorous to the pure untarnished lustre of gold and the dazzle of violent, violet potassium, everything is made of elements - the earth we walk on, the air we breathe, even us. Yet for centuries this world was largely unknown, and completely misunderstood.

In this three-part series, professor of theoretical physics Jim Al-Khalili traces the extraordinary story of how the elements were discovered and mapped. He follows in the footsteps of the pioneers who cracked their secrets and created a new science, propelling us into the modern age.

Just 92 elements made up the world, but the belief that there were only four - earth, fire, air and water - persisted until the 19th century. Professor Al-Khalili retraces the footsteps of the alchemists who first began to question the notion of the elements in their search for the secret of everlasting life.

He reveals the red herrings and rivalries which dogged scientific progress, and explores how new approaches to splitting matter brought us both remarkable elements and the new science of chemistry.

TUE 21:00 The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain (p01wq65t)
Episode 1

In 1714, to prevent the crown falling into the hands of a Catholic, Britain shipped in a ready-made royal family from the small German state of Hanover. To understand this risky experiment, presenter Dr Lucy Worsley has been given access to treasures from the Royal Collection as they are prepared for a new exhibition at the Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace - providing a rare and personal insight into George I and his feuding dynasty.

The Hanoverians arrived at a moment when Britain was changing fast. Satirists were free to mock the powerful, including the new royals. The Hanoverians themselves were busy early adopters of Neo-Palladian architecture, defining the whole look of the Georgian era. When the French philosopher Voltaire visited, he found a 'land of liberty' unlike anything in Europe - Britain was embracing freedom of speech and modern cabinet government.

TUE 22:00 Television's Opening Night: How the Box Was Born (b0817s4g)
In a unique experiment, Dallas Campbell, Professor Danielle George and Dr Hugh Hunt join forces in an attempt to restage the very first official broadcast on British television, exactly 80 years after it made history.

The very first official broadcast came from Alexandra Palace on 2 November 1936 - but there are no surviving recordings. To find out just what went on, this 21st-century team attempts to piece back together and recreate every aspect of the show from scratch - from the variety acts to the cameras - using the original technology and filming techniques to capture the excitement of the day.

It's not going to be easy. At the dawn of TV, two rival camera technologies competed live on air to take control of the fledgling industry. The system that went first on opening night was a seven-foot tall mechanical monster built by John Logie Baird's company. It was called the 'Flying Spot' and at its heart was a huge steel disc spinning almost at the speed of sound - meaning mechanical engineer Hugh had better be careful as he attempts to resurrect it. Meanwhile, Danielle finds out how the rival and highly experimental, all-electronic camera system had problems of its own.

The team uncovers the mixed influences of high-minded radio and bawdy variety shows on early TV, at a time when it was still a science experiment and not a mass medium. They seek advice from pre-war television pioneers, including Logie Baird's former assistant, now aged 104 but still full of handy tips about how to build a mechanical camera.

Dallas learns just how much harder his job would have been 80 years ago, when the very first television announcer Leslie Mitchell was plastered in bizarre make-up and given a cue for 'action' that bordered on physical assault! Dallas also meets one of the performers in front of the camera on the original night - now in her nineties - to find out what it was like to be part of television history.

As they prepare for broadcast, the team discovers a story of cogs and gears, electron beams and dancing girls - and one mad night that, for better or worse, helped invent television as we know it.

TUE 23:30 Tomorrow's Worlds: The Unearthly History of Science Fiction (p01yqkdq)

Series in which historian Dominic Sandbrook explores the most innovative and imaginative of all genres - science fiction. He is joined by leading writers and film-makers, who tell the inside story of their best-known works.

In this first episode, Dominic looks at science fiction's enduring fascination with outer space, from Jules Verne's pioneering 19th-century vision of a voyage to the moon to the galaxy far, far away of Star Wars.

Along the way we learn what Star Trek has in common with the British navy, the deep sea inspiration for Avatar, how Ursula K Le Guin captured the 1960s sexual revolution in her acclaimed novel The Left Hand of Darkness, how Stanley Kubrick made 2001: A Space Odyssey seem so believable, and why a man in a dressing gown became one of science fiction's best-loved heroes in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Among the interviewees are William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek), Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker (Star Wars), Zoe Saldana (Avatar) and author Neil Gaiman.

TUE 00:30 Arena (m000jb6v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Monday]

TUE 01:50 The Joy of Painting (m000jb7m)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

TUE 02:20 The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain (p01wq65t)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 The Joy of Painting (m000jb7r)
Series 1

Golden Knoll

American painter Bob Ross offers soothing words of encouragement to viewers and painting hobbyists in an enormously popular series that has captivated audiences worldwide since 1982. Ross is a cult figure, with nearly two million Facebook followers and 3,000 instructors globally. His soothing, nurturing personality is therapy for the weary, and his respect for nature and wildlife helps heighten environmental awareness.

Ross demonstrates his unique painting technique, which eliminates the need for each layer of paint to dry. In real time, he creates tranquil scenes taken from nature, including his trademark ‘happy’ clouds, cascading waterfalls, snow-covered forests, serene lakes and distant mountain summits.

In another episode from the series, Bob Ross paints a beautiful monochromatic scene with delicate leafless trees and a rich grassy meadow cuddling a sweet cottage.

Many of Bob’s faithful viewers are not painters at all. They are relaxing and unwinding with Bob’s gentle manner and encouraging words, captivated by the magic taking place on the canvas.

WED 19:30 Secrets of Skin (m000cdz8)
Series 1


How does a giraffe stay cool? What are different porcupine quills teaching us about medicine? What makes some people more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes than others? All the answers and more lie in the secrets of how skin protects us from a hostile world. When it comes to protecting our delicate insides, skin is like an external suit of armour. Animals have adapted ways of protecting themselves from everything a hostile planet has to throw at them.

Hippos produce their own sunscreen to protect themselves against the dangers of UV rays from the sun. Only recently discovered by science, is the truth behind a giraffe’s spots, a network of blood vessels that they use to cool themselves down in the blazing heat of the African savannah.

Professor Ben Garrod discovers how. He tests the limitations of human skin by plunging himself into a deep freezer to demonstrate how human skin just isn’t well insulated enough to cope with extreme cold. He discovers how human skin is an entire ecosystem for bugs and bacteria as he comes face to face with what is growing on his skin. And he gets bitten by mosquitoes and stable flies as he learns that disease-carrying insects have evolved to pierce everything from human skin to horse hide.

WED 20:00 Michael Wood's Story of England (b00vfgtg)
Henry VIII to the Industrial Revolution

Groundbreaking series in which Michael Wood tells the story of one place throughout the whole of English history. The village is Kibworth in Leicestershire in the heart of England - a place that lived through the Black Death, the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution and was even bombed in World War Two.

The tale reaches the dramatic events of Henry VIII's Reformation and the battles of the English Civil War. We track Kibworth's 17th century dissenters, travel on the Grand Union Canal and meet an 18th century feminist writer from Kibworth who was a pioneer of children's books.

The story of a young highwayman transported to Australia comes alive as his living descendents come back to the village to uncover their roots. Lastly, the Industrial Revolution comes to the village with framework knitting factories, changing the village and its people forever.

WED 21:00 Climbing Blind (m000jb7t)
The incredible story of Jesse Dufton as he attempts to be the first blind person to lead a climb of the Old Man of Hoy, a sea stack with sheer cliff faces rising out of the sea, in Orkney, Scotland

Jesse was born with 20% central vision. At four years of age, Jesse was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare genetic disease that breaks down the retina’s cells. When he was 20, Jesse could no longer read. By the time he was 30, he could only detect light, with around a one to two per cent field of view. As a lifelong climber, what Jesse has achieved flies in the face of adversity, training for world cup events and leading traditional rock climbs with his sight guide and fiancée Molly.

As his sight degenerates, his climbing continues to make remarkable progress. His attempt on the Old Man of Hoy is testimony to his ambition to take on new and greater challenges, despite his devastating condition.

This engrossing documentary will make you laugh and cry as it delivers not just a truly gripping climbing story but an inspiring tale of human endeavour and attitude.

WED 22:00 Invasion! with Sam Willis (b09j2vwt)
Series 1

Episode 2

Dr Sam Willis tells the story of the Barbary Corsaire pirates, who made their HQ on Lundy Island, and brings together the evidence of the little-known tale of King Louis the Lion. This French king invaded Britain in the 13th century after being invited to do so by plotting nobles. He was even crowned at St Paul's, but politely retreated when asked. Sam also looks at one day in 1687 when a huge Dutch task force sped up the River Medway, and plots the progress of perhaps one of the most audacious attempted invasions ever - by the imposter Perkin Warbeck.

WED 23:00 The Quest For Bannockburn (b046rjhw)
Original Series

Day Two

Neil Oliver and Tony Pollard set out to solve one of the biggest puzzles in battlefield archaeology. 700 years ago, Robert the Bruce's overwhelming victory over the English at the Battle of Bannockburn helped seal Scotland's future as an independent kingdom.

However, the actual location remains a mystery. With the help of leading battlefield archaeologists, stuntmen, computer-generated graphics and a good old-fashioned spade - Neil and Tony go in search of both the real and imagined Battle of Bannockburn.

WED 00:00 A Timewatch Guide (b051h0gy)
Series 1

The Mary Rose

Historian Dan Snow explores the greatest maritime archaeology project in British history - the Mary Rose. Using 40 years of BBC archive footage Dan charts how the Mary Rose was discovered, excavated and eventually raised, and what the latest research has revealed about this iconic ship and her crew. Dan also investigates how the Mary Rose project helped create modern underwater archaeology, examining the techniques, challenges and triumphs of the divers and archaeologists involved.

WED 01:00 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.

WED 02:00 The Joy of Painting (m000jb7r)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

WED 02:30 David Stratton’s Stories of Australian Cinema (m000jb62)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Sunday]


THU 19:00 The Joy of Painting (m000jb9c)
Series 1

Secluded Mountain

American painter Bob Ross offers soothing words of encouragement to viewers and painting hobbyists in an enormously popular series that has captivated audiences worldwide since 1982. Ross is a cult figure, with nearly two million Facebook followers and 3,000 instructors globally. His soothing, nurturing personality is therapy for the weary, and his respect for nature and wildlife helps heighten environmental awareness.

Across the series, Ross demonstrates his unique painting technique, which eliminates the need for each layer of paint to dry. In real time, he creates tranquil scenes taken from nature, including his trademark ‘happy’ clouds, cascading waterfalls, snow-covered forests, serene lakes and distant mountain summits.

In this episode, viewers can spend a relaxing half hour with Bob Ross as he paints a mountain scene with soft, sloping grass cover, a crystal lake and rocky banks.

Many of Bob’s faithful viewers are not painters at all. They are relaxing and unwinding with Bob’s gentle manner and encouraging words, captivated by the magic taking place on the canvas.

THU 19:30 Secrets of Skin (m000cf0y)
Series 1


Why are male mandrill faces (big bold primates from West Africa) red and blue? How are birds' feathers so colourful? What do ringtail lemurs do to talk to one another? Their skin holds the key. As Professor Ben Garrod explores how animals communicate with one another, he uncovers a myriad more wonderful ways.

Skin has evolved in some remarkable ways to enable animals to communicate with each other, from vibrant displays of colour to skin pouches to amplify sound. Ben shows how animals have evolved to use skin to make themselves heard loud and clear. Birds are notable for their use of coloured feathers to attract mates, show status and as displays of aggression. But, as Ben discovers, long before birds evolved their unrivalled use of colour, it is now believed that their ancestors, the dinosaurs, could well have been using colour to communicate. Ben also uncovers how one species of fish communicates using electricity, and a common British bird has been secretly communicating for years, without us ever knowing.

THU 20:00 Pride and Prejudice (b0074rnx)
Episode 3

Elizabeth receives an astounding piece of news and Jane's sweet nature is put to the test when she hears that Bingley and his sisters have left Netherfield Park. All Mrs Bennet's hopes seem dashed. Elizabeth is forced to visit her cousin, Mr Collins, and his new wife in Kent, where she is finally introduced to the formidable Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

THU 21:00 Earth from Space (p072n7v7)
Series 1

Patterned Planet

Cameras in space tell stories of life on our planet from a brand new perspective. Earth’s surface is covered in weird and wonderful patterns. The Australian outback is covered in pale spots, the work of wombats; a clearing in the endless green canopy of the Congo rainforest has been created by an incredible elephant gathering; and the twists and turns of the Amazon make a home for rehabilitated manatees. This is our home, as we’ve never seen it before.

THU 22:00 Chasing the Moon (m0006vrv)
Series 1

A Place Beyond the Sky (Part Two)

Under von Braun’s leadership, America’s technology finally seemed to be catching up with the Soviet Union’s. On 5 May 1961, von Braun’s Redstone rocket successfully launched American navy test pilot Alan Shepard 116 vertical miles up into space. The American space programme grew rapidly.

On 20 February 1962, a marine colonel named John Glenn successfully orbited the Earth. Nasa and Wernher von Braun were at last delivering real results. Sputnik’s challenge and Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s groundbreaking feat had been equalled. But the young president would never live to see man walk on the moon. On 22 November 1963 in Dallas, Texas, Kennedy was assassinated and Cape Canaveral, home to US space exploration, was quickly renamed Cape Kennedy, in honour of the fallen visionary.

A film By Robert Stone.

A Robert Stone Production for American Experience WGBH/PBS in association with Arte France.

THU 22:50 Science and Islam (b00gvg7w)
The Power of Doubt

Physicist Jim Al-Khalili tells the story of the great leap in scientific knowledge that took place in the Islamic world between the 8th and 14th centuries.

Al-Khalili turns detective, hunting for clues that show how the scientific revolution that took place in the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe had its roots in the earlier world of medieval Islam. He travels across Iran, Syria and Egypt to discover the huge astronomical advances made by Islamic scholars through their obsession with accurate measurement and coherent and rigorous mathematics.

He then visits Italy to see how those Islamic ideas permeated into the west and ultimately helped shape the works of the great European astronomer Copernicus, and investigates why science in the Islamic world appeared to go into decline after the 16th and 17th centuries, only for it to re-emerge in the present day.

Al-Khalili ends his journey in the Royan Institute in the Iranian capital Tehran, looking at how science is now regarded in the Islamic world.

THU 23:50 The Art of Gothic: Britain's Midnight Hour (b04mgxxx)
Liberty, Diversity, Depravity

In the middle of the 18th century - in England - an entirely surprising thing happened. Out of the Age of Enlightenment and Reason a monster was born - a Gothic obsession with monsters, ghouls, ghosts and things that go bump in the night. From restrained aristocratic beginnings to pornographic excesses, the Gothic revival came to influence popular art, architecture and literature.

THU 00:50 Sleuths, Spies & Sorcerers: Andrew Marr's Paperback Heroes (p040pw15)

What is it about stories of magic, epic adventure, and imaginary worlds that has turned fantasy fiction into one of the world's most popular forms of storytelling, regularly filling the bestseller lists and entrancing adults and children alike?

In the second episode of his series that deconstructs the books we (really) read, Andrew Marr argues that these stories are filled with big ideas. Yes, there may be wizards with pointy hats as well as the odd dragon, but what fantasy novels are really good at is allowing us to see our own world in a surprising way, albeit through a twisted gothic filter.

The current leading exponent of fantasy fiction is a bearded Texan, George RR Martin, whose A Game of Thrones began a bookshelf-buckling series of novels, and spawned a vast TV empire. But Andrew reminds us that this is a genre whose origins are British, and at its heart is still a quest to reconnect readers with the ancient ideas and folk beliefs of the world before the Enlightenment.

Andrew breaks down fantasy books into a set of conventions that govern the modern genre - he looks at the intricacy with which imaginary worlds are built (as seen in George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series), the use of portals that are able to bridge this world and another (most famously, the wardrobe in CS Lewis's Narnia books), as well the concept of 'thinning' - these novels are typically set in a world in decline. In fantasy fiction, winter is always coming.

To help him understand these books, Andrew meets bestselling fantasy writers and the programme includes interviews with Neil Gaiman, Alan Garner and Frances Hardinge.

As well as profiling key figures such as CS Lewis and Sir Terry Pratchett, Andrew considers the spell that medieval Oxford has cast on generations of authors from Lewis Carroll to Philip Pullman. And he gets to grips with the legacy of JRR Tolkien, a figure so important that his influence pops up everywhere 'like Mount Fuji in Japanese prints', according to Pratchett. Tolkien's predominance would not go unchallenged, and Andrew shows how writers like Ursula K Le Guin confronted Tolkien's rather European notions of what an imaginary world should be.

THU 01:50 The Joy of Painting (m000jb9c)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

THU 02:20 Earth from Space (p072n7v7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRIDAY 22 MAY 2020

FRI 19:00 Dazzling Duets at the BBC (b08j8j2l)
Dazzling duets from four decades of BBC entertainment, from Parkinson to the Proms. Whether it's pianos or banjos, violins or voices, kora, erhu or harmonica, this is a journey full of striking partnerships and extraordinary combinations. Oscar Peterson, Larry Adler, Ballake Sissoko, Kiri Te Kanawa, Nigel Kennedy and Bela Fleck are just some of the featured artists bringing us a musical feast, full of fun and surprises.

FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m000jb8f)
Gary Davies presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 31 August 1989 and featuring Damian, Eurythmics and Big Fun.

FRI 20:30 Kermode and Mayo’s Home Entertainment Service (m000jb8h)
Series 1

Episode 2

Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo help viewers navigate the wonderful, yet confusing, world of 21st-century home entertainment.

Up for review this week is The First Team, the brand new BBC football comedy featuring Will Arnett and written by the team behind The Inbetweeners. Mark and Simon also take a look at the new Sky-HBO drama I Know This Much Is True, starring Mark Ruffalo and directed by Derek Cianfrance.

Mark and Simon also reveal what the nation has been watching at home and round up the best (and worst) of the rest of streaming culture across movies and premium television.

FRI 21:00 Top of the Pops (m000jb8k)
Bruno Brookes presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 7 September 1989 and featuring Marillion, Alyson Williams and Jason Donovan.

FRI 21:30 Sounds of the Eighties (b0074sk2)
Episode 3

Musical memories from the BBC archives. This edition concentrates on the soul and funk artists who found success in the British charts of the 1980s, with performances from Kool and the Gang, The Pointer Sisters, Grace Jones, Cameo, Bobby Womack, Sade, Alexander O'Neal and Whitney Houston.

FRI 22:00 A Musical History (b0bss4sq)
Stevie Wonder: A Musical History

Well-known fans celebrate Stevie Wonder and his music by selecting some of his best-loved songs. Wonder is one of the dominant figures in American music, a multi-faceted genius whose music has permeated popular culture, and he is not short of celebrity fans. His musical achievements are lauded in this anthology of his greatest hits.

Contributors include actor Martin Freeman, singers Alexander O'Neal, James Morrison, Beverley Knight and Corinne Bailey Rae, New Order's Gillian Gilbert and Stephen Morris, DJs Ana Matronic, Trevor Nelson and Norman Jay, Heaven's 17's Glenn Gregory and Martyn Ware, journalist Sian Pattenden and presenter Emma Dabiri.

FRI 23:00 ... Sings Stevie Wonder (b07jlzkd)
Compilation celebrating over 50 years of covers of Stevie Wonder's classic songbook filmed at BBC studio shows over the years. Featuring Cilla Black, Jimmy Helms, Dionne Warwick, The Osmonds, India Arie, James Morrison and a storming performance of Ed Sheeran with Jools and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra taking on Master Blaster (Jammin') on Hootenanny. Expect a special emphasis on Wonder's bank of classic ballads which include Isn't She Lovely, Love's in Need of Love Today, For Once in My Life, You Are the Sunshine of My Life and many more.

FRI 00:00 The People's History of Pop (b083dj11)
1986-1996 All Together Now

Lauren Laverne celebrates the decade 1986-1996 when music had the power to unite fans - even sworn rivals - like never before. It's a decade that starts with a turn to the alternative, even among the fans of mega pop bands.

We hear from Depeche Mode fans who were invigorated by the band's darker sounds in Black Celebration - and have saved a lot of memorabilia from the gigs they went to see back then. We also hear from a fan of hip hop who discovered a burgeoning UK hip hop scene when he moved to London and shares footage of his friends MCing and DJing at home.

In 1988, the acid house wave hit and the show meets those who lived through it and loved it. They have saved flyers and photos from the halcyon days of raving that completely changed their lives, including one man who went from football hooligan to raver to club promoter.

Out of the clubs came mega pop bands. The programme meets an avid Take That fan who bought every type of merchandise she could as a teenager - saving pretty much all of it. Another fan takes viewers back to the site of her first ever Blur gig in 1994 and the show finishes by talking to fans of the most successful girl group of all time - The Spice Girls.

Pop treasures uncovered along the way include one of the first Hacienda membership cards, covered with signatures of Hacienda dignitaries, from New Order to Dave Haslam, A Guy Called Gerald, Bez and, of course, Tony Wilson. The programme also meets a club promoter who shares rare footage of one of The Prodigy's early rave-inspired gigs. And Lauren also meets someone with a rare Oasis demo tape from a gig at the Boardwalk in London in January 1992.

FRI 01:00 Country Music by Ken Burns (m000bhfy)
Series 1

Hard Times (1933-1945)

During the Great Depression and World War II, country music thrived and reached bigger audiences. Bob Wills adapted jazz's big band sound to create Texas swing, and Grand Ole Opry singer Roy Acuff became a national star. Despite a divorce between two of its members, the Carter Family carried on, turning out songs that went on to be classics. Nashville slowly became Music City and the centre of the growing country music industry.

FRI 01:50 A Musical History (b0bss4sq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

FRI 02:50 Dazzling Duets at the BBC (b08j8j2l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]