Alebrijes are brightly coloured, fantastical creatures, carved from copal wood and decorated in extremely detailed paintwork. Different animals and their characteristics are associated with different birth dates, and the patterns are full of symbols and meaning. Consequently, the sculpture contains often complex and personal narratives.
American painter Bob Ross unveils a secret little loft, hidden in the woods, surrounded by evergreens and ruffled green bushes and grass.
Professor Jim Al-Khalili tells the electrifying story of our quest to master nature's most mysterious force - electricity. Until fairly recently, electricity was seen as a magical power, but it is now the lifeblood of the modern world and underpins every aspect of our technological advancements.
Without electricity, we would be lost. This series tells of dazzling leaps of imagination and extraordinary experiments - a story of maverick geniuses who used electricity to light our cities, to communicate across the seas and through the air, to create modern industry and to give us the digital revolution.
Electricity is not just something that creates heat and light, it connects the world through networks and broadcasting. After centuries of man's experiments with electricity, the final episode tells the story of how a new age of real understanding dawned - how we discovered electric fields and electromagnetic waves. Today we can hardly imagine life without electricity - it defines our era. As our understanding of it has increased so has our reliance upon it, and today we are on the brink of a new breakthrough, because if we can understand the secret of electrical superconductivity, we could once again transform the world.
Stirling is locked away in Hitler's most secure prison - Colditz. Leadership of the SAS passes to Paddy Mayne, a man who has built his reputation on the battlefield as a warrior of the first rank, but has no interest in charming high command. In 1943, the SAS leaves the desert for Europe to enter a darker and far more complex theatre of war, led by a man who is often drunk and disorderly and prone to acts of savagery. They will face the terror of execution and the trauma of civilian casualties. And they will be the first to witness the nightmare of Belsen concentration camp.
Simon uncovers the truth about Spain's hero El Cid. He also investigates the horror of the Spanish Inquisition and in the process discovers an unsettling story about one of his own ancestors.
Following a brief period of decline, the entrepreneurial and industrious region of the Low Countries rose again to become a cultural leader in the modern age. Despite its small and almost insignificant size it produced important forward-thinking artists like van Gogh, Mondrian, Magritte and Delvaux, who changed the face of art forever.
Andrew's journey takes him to a remote beach in north west Holland that inspired Mondrian's transition to his now-renowned abstract grid paintings. Andrew digs deep into the psychology and social history of the region, exploring how the landscape of the past has informed the culture and identity of the Low Countries today and the impossibility of the Dutch drive to turn the philosophy of Mondrian's geometric order into a way of living.
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.
THURSDAY 18 JUNE 2020
THU 19:00 The Sky at Night (m000k48l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Sunday
THU 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000k48n)
In this masterclass, American painter Bob Ross takes us home to the farm, a big red barn and long, rickety, wooden fence, capturing vivid childhood memories.
THU 20:00 Tess of the D'Urbervilles (b00dlpcj)
Four-part drama series based on the novel by Thomas Hardy.
On a fine May afternoon, the beautiful and innocent Tess Durbeyfield spies a handsome young stranger at a village dance, but he ignores her.
Forced by family hardship to seek support from her 'relatives' the D'Urbervilles, apparently an ancient lineage, she falls under the spell of her manipulative 'cousin' Alec - with shocking and lasting consequences.
THU 21:00 Tutankhamun in Colour (m000k48q)
A century after the world’s most exciting archaeological find - the tomb of Tutankhamun - we can witness the dramatic scenes of its discovery and marvel at its extraordinary treasures exactly as they were first seen - in colour.
Oxford University Egyptologist, Elizabeth Frood, is our guide to the discovery of the tomb on 4 November 1922 by British Egyptologist Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon. It provided much-needed good news, following the Great War and the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1919, and we have been transfixed ever since.
Colourisation provides a fantastic insight into the artefacts themselves and the context that they were found in. Many photos were taken using glass plate negatives, which have fantastic resolution and which, with colourisation, reveal detail not seen for a century.
Liz’s story begins in 1891, with an old black and white family photo of the young Carter. Colourisation brings him to life as he arrived in Egypt as a 17-year-old artist. Carter met two people who would change his life: British Egyptologist Flinders Petrie, who inspired him to be an archaeologist, and Lord Carnarvon, a keen amateur Egyptologist who hired Carter to help him.
Liz travels to Highclere Castle to meet the current Countess of Carnarvon. Carnarvon and Carter both yearned to find what nobody had ever discovered before, a pharaoh’s tomb with its treasures still intact. Carter became convinced that Tutankhamun’s tomb lay undiscovered in an ancient royal burial ground known as The Valley of the Kings, and in 1914 Carnarvon was granted a concession to start excavating there.
But the First World War intervened. Colourisation reveals a changing Egypt. Egyptians were soon pushing for independence from Britain, which claimed Egypt as a protectorate. The politics of the time were to have a profound effect on Carter and Carnarvon.
In December 1917, the meticulous Carter divided the valley up into a grid and began excavating each sector, right down to the bedrock. Colourisation reveals the astonishing scale of the operation that was required.
On 4 November 1922, a water-boy in Carter’s team, Hussein Abdul Rasoul, discovered a flight of steps descending into the bedrock. Carter broke into the tomb to discover first a rubble-filled passageway, then another sealed entrance. As Carter peered in, he declared, ‘It is wonderful.’ The extraordinary collection of objects he saw, including gilded couches, chariots, jewels, statues, and even ancient lunchboxes containing food for the afterlife, were captured in black and white by expert photographer Harry Burton. Using colourisation, we are now able to experience the scene that met their eyes, in incredible detail, almost as though it’s right in front of us.
On 16 February 1923, Carter and Carnarvon broke through into Tutankhamun’s burial chamber. A large blue and gilt shrine filled the room. Opening its doors, Carter discovered sealed doors to another three shrines, one within the next. Within these was a sarcophagus made from yellow quartzite and, within this, a nest of three coffins, also one within the next. For the first time in a century, we reveal each stage in amazing coloured detail. The outermost coffin was gilt, adorned with a garland of flowers. The middle one was inlaid with gold and coloured glass and the innermost was - incredibly - crafted from solid gold.
Finally, within this, was Tutankhamun’s mummy wearing the famous solid gold mask. Colourisation of the rather messy-looking black and white photograph reveals that his wrapped body was actually festooned with colourful jewellery.
The discovery of Tutankhamun’s body also revealed that he died very young, aged 19. This changed the way Tutankhamun was seen around the world. In Europe, the death of a young man hit a chord with so many who had lost their sons in the First World War. In his own country, Tutankhamun became a young and vibrant symbol of a powerful and independent Egypt.
THU 22:00 Ancient Invisible Cities (b0bjj97g)
Dr. Michael Scott uses the latest 3D scanning technology to reveal the historical secrets of Cairo and Ancient Egypt. He explores the first pyramid ever built at Saqqara and finds out how it helped inspire the Great Pyramid of Giza. The 3D scans confirm just how accurately the Great Pyramid was designed and constructed. Michael also investigates the sphinx to try to determine which pharaoh it represents.
But the history of Cairo is not only about the Ancient Egyptians. Michael goes in search of a Roman fortress hidden under a Greek Orthodox church. He also attempts to descend a 90 metre well carved in to solid bedrock beneath the Arabic citadel built by Saladin in the 12th century AD. This remarkable well was built by Crusader prisoners of war, and provided the citadel with water in times of siege.
Along the way Michael discovers that the Ancient Egyptians had built their capital, Memphis, close to where Cairo now stands on the banks of the river Nile. This evolved into a Roman fortress called Babylon. And finally the Arabs founded a city called Cairo. Today, it's the largest city in Africa.
THU 23:00 The Man Who Shot Tutankhamun (b08h99sb)
Margaret Mountford travels to Egypt's Valley of the Kings to discover the story of an unsung hero of British photography - Harry Burton, the man whose images of the Tutankhamun excavation created a global sensation in the 1920s.
As she explores the spectacular locations where Burton worked, including Tutankhamun's tomb, she investigates how his photographs inspired a craze for Egyptian designs and made the archaeologist Howard Carter an international celebrity. She discovers why Burton's images are still studied today by Egyptologists around the world. And she works with a present-day photographer, Harry Cory Wright, to find out how Burton pushed the boundaries of photographic art to create his extraordinary and influential pictures of the world's most famous archaeological discovery.
THU 00:00 Fabric of Britain (b03c2766)
The Wonder of Embroidery
The Reformation in England witnessed the destruction of the most brilliant art of the medieval age. Church paintings and stained glass - even sculpture - were destroyed throughout England in the name of religion. And yet one art survived against the odds - the art of medieval embroidery.
Portable and easily squirrelled away, English embroidery was spirited out of the country in the 16th century and many brilliant examples survive today - if slightly unappreciated and forgotten in Italian churches and museums, even the Vatican. And yet it is an art form that rivalled the very finest in medieval painting or stained glass and for 200 years was the finest embroidery in the western world. Known simply as Opus Anglicanum (English work), the work of English embroiders was desired by kings and popes throughout Christendom.
Dan Jones, Plantagenet expert and medievalist, goes in search of these fragile yet stunning survivors from the great age of embroidery - encountering a world of finery, bejewelled luxury and sacred beauty on an undreamt-of scale.
THU 01:00 Palace for the People (m000b8nn)
Documentary that showcases five of Soviet Europe’s most grandiose architectural enterprises. Created to embody the ‘collective good’, the buildings, made with courage and a bit of lunacy, were used to remind the people of the power and brighter future that awaited them.
Each building was designed to be either the tallest or the largest, or to have the biggest clock on earth or the most advanced technology of its time. Now that socialism is over, film-makers Missirkov and Bogdanov revisit five of communism’s most splendid palaces to reveal their hidden secrets through the eyes of the people who designed, built and worked in them. Featuring the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Moscow State University, the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, the Palace of Serbia in Belgrade and the Palace of the Republic in Berlin.
THU 02:15 The Joy of Painting (m000k48n)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
THU 02:45 Tutankhamun in Colour (m000k48q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
FRIDAY 19 JUNE 2020
FRI 19:00 Opera Italia (b00sjdmp)
Three-part series tracing the history of Italian opera presented by Antonio Pappano, world-renowned conductor and music director at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. The series features sumptuous music, stunning Italian locations and some of the biggest names in opera as contributors.
In the first programme, Pappano takes a whistle-stop tour of the beginnings of opera, from Monteverdi to Rossini. He also looks at the works of two non-Italian composers, Handel and Mozart, both of whom were pivotal in the development of the art form. Along the way he enlists the help of some of the world's greatest singers - Juan Diego Florez, Joyce DiDonato, Danielle de Niese, Sarah Connolly and Pietro Spagnoli.
FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m000k48t)
Bruno Brookes presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 26 October 1989 and featuring Chris Rea, Adeva and Living in a Box.
FRI 20:30 Kermode and Mayo’s Home Entertainment Service (m000jy3m)
Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo help viewers navigate the wonderful, yet confusing, world of 21st-century home entertainment.
Alongside reviews of the latest films and series available to watch at home, we’ll also hear what the nation have been watching, and Simon and Mark will round up the best (and worst) of the rest of streaming culture across movies and premium television.
FRI 21:00 Top of the Pops (m000k48w)
Anthea Turner and Andy Crane present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 2 November 1989 and featuring Deborah Harry, Phil Collins and Martika.
FRI 21:30 Sounds of the 70s 2 (b01glwkz)
Arthouse Glam - Get in the Swing
Performances from The Kinks, Roxy Music, Elton John, New York Dolls, Queen, Sparks, Rod Stewart and the rediscovered David Bowie performance of The Jean Genie from January 1973.
Welcome to gender-bending, boys getting in the swing and girls who would be boys and boys who would be girls in this mixed-up, shook-up 70s world.
FRI 22:00 Meat Loaf: In and out of Hell (b04xdrrb)
Since the release of the Bat Out of Hell album, Meat Loaf has possessed the kind of international status that few artists obtain. His larger-than-life persona and performances are fuelled by a passion for theatre and storytelling. This candid profile reveals the man and his music through his own testimony and from the accounts of those closest to him.
Meat Loaf's life story is one of epic proportions - he survived a childhood of domestic violence only to face years of record company rejection before eventually finding global fame. Along the way he experienced bankruptcy, health scares, bust-ups and one of the greatest comebacks of all time. All this and more is explored in the film, which features behind-the-scenes footage of his Las Vegas residency, plus plans for a new album featuring songs by Jim Steinman.
The film also revisits the Dallas of Meat Loaf's early years and includes insights from his high school friends, who reveal how Meat really got his famous moniker.
After his mother died, Meat Loaf fled Texas for the bright lights of LA. He sang in itinerant rock bands, but no-one would give him a recording contract. By 1969 he was broke and disillusioned. His break would take the form of a musical. He was offered a part in Hair, having been invited to audition whilst working as a parking attendant outside the theatre. Shortly afterwards he met Jim Steinman and the road to success really began. Yet the Hair gig was the beginning of an enduring love affair with theatre that is reflected in his singing persona today.
His first album, the now legendary Bat Out of Hell, was initially rejected by scores of record companies, yet went on to spend a staggering 485 weeks in the UK charts. The whole album is a masterwork of storytelling that Meat Loaf and Steinman worked on for four years and then battled to get heard. Meat Loaf and those who worked on the album - from Todd Rundgren to Ellen Foley - reflect on the songs, and celebrate the alchemy that resulted in such a blistering back catalogue.
When Bat Out Of Hell II was finally released 15 years after the first album, it defied industry expectations, with I'd Do Anything for Love reaching number one in 28 countries. It is considered one of the greatest comebacks in music history. More albums and hits were to follow across the '90s and '00s, alongside a varied and successful acting career. Mark Kermode examines some of the roles Meat Loaf made his own, in films as diverse as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Fight Club.
Having traversed the peaks and troughs of a career spanning the best part of 50 years, this consummate performer finally reveals what spurs him on, in this, the inside story of a bat out of hell who continues to blaze a trail into the hearts and minds of millions.
FRI 23:00 Fathers and Songs: Music for Father's Day (b02yhsb6)
Fatherhood has proved a great subject for a variety of artists - some celebratory, some conflicted, but all inspired by what dad does and doesn't do. Here's a mixture of songs that celebrate and probe the emotional complexities generated by the sometime head of the household. Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Cat Stevens, Emmylou Harris, Paul Simon, Madonna, Peter Gabriel, Mike and the Mechanics, Suggs and the Blockheads, Neil Young, James Brown, Pigbag and even Ozzy Osbourne and his daughter Kelly put in an appearance, making a cracking compilation for Father's Day.
FRI 23:55 When Pop Went Epic: The Crazy World of the Concept Album (b079s0n0)
It's possibly one of the most denigrated inventions in the history of music, the greatest signifier of rock star pomposity. Indeed, in some quarters, the very mention of it is likely to provoke sniggering derision, conjuring up images of quadruple-gatefold album sleeves, songs that go on for weeks and straggly-haired rockers prattling on about mystical lands, unicorns, goblins and dystopian futures. But - back when people actually took the time to sit down and listen to records from beginning to end - for many, nothing delivered a more rewarding experience than the concept album. And for some, it's still a format that provides rock music with its high watermark moments.
This documentary explores the history of a musical format - usually based around a structured narrative, though sometimes tied together by a loose theme - that developed to become the equivalent of rock 'n' roll theatre, often on an operatic scale. The legendary cape-wearing keyboardmeister Rick Wakeman - himself the creator of several of history's most, ahem, 'elaborate' long players - presents this insightful and playful exploration of the greatest examples of the art form.
From social commentary to collected songs of loneliness, heartache and introspection, from tales of intergalactic rock stars to anthems of isolated youth, the film takes us on a journey - examining the roots of the concept album in its various forms, unpacking some of the most ambitious - and ridiculous - projects of the past fifty years, from Woody Guthrie's Dustbowl Ballads to Tales from Topographic Oceans by Yes; the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds to George Clinton's Mothership Connection; The Wall by Pink Floyd to The Flaming Lips' Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
Some of the mavericks who made the maddest and most memorable big ideas happen are here to provide their own perspectives, including Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull); Laura Marling; George Clinton; Wayne Coyne (Flaming Lips); J Willgoose Esq (Public Service Broadcasting); Fish (Marillion); Tony Asher (co-writer of lyrics on Pet Sounds); graphic artists such as Roger Dean (designer of Yes album sleeves) and Aubrey Powell of design partnership Hipgnosis (Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and Animals, and Genesis's The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway).
FRI 00:55 Singer-Songwriters at the BBC (b016300t)
The celebration of the singing songwriting troubadours of the 1960s and 70s concludes with a further trawl through the BBC archives for timeless and classic performances.
Starting things off, a 23-year-old Bob Dylan performing on the BBC's Tonight programme in 1964. On It's Lulu from 1971, 'Bisto Kid' lookalike singer-songwriter Gilbert O'Sullivan, while from a concert in 1970 buddies Graham Nash and David Crosby perform Nash's Marrakesh Express. Londoner Labi Siffre makes an appearance from the archives, as does fellow English songwriter Michael Chapman.
From the Old Grey Whistle Test in 1976, Gil Scott-Heron performs alongside his band and life-long collaborator Brian Jackson, and the musician's musician Roy Harper performs One of Those Days in England with a full band on The Old Grey Whistle Test. Grammy award winner Janis Ian performs Tea and Sympathy and, to round things off, a rare sighting of Kate Bush performing on The Leo Sayer Show in 1978.
FRI 01:55 Country Music by Ken Burns (m000bypt)
Will the Circle Be Unbroken (1968-1972)
As the Vietnam War intensified, America became more and more divided and country music was not immune. Kris Kristofferson, a former Rhodes scholar and army captain, reinvented himself as a writer whose lyricism set a new standard for country songs. And a hippie band from California, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, arrived in Nashville to create a landmark album that bridged the gap between generations.
In 1969, Johnny Cash made a triumphant return to the Ryman Auditorium, a venue that had kicked him out years earlier for breaking the footlights. To celebrate, he brought an eclectic range of guests with him from folk, pop, and jazz as well as country music.
Also profiled, the tormented early lives but uplifting careers of George Jones and Tammy Wynette, later known as 'Mr and Mrs Country Music'.
FRI 02:50 Meat Loaf: In and out of Hell (b04xdrrb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today