SAT 19:00 This Farming Life (b075lwcl)
Series 1

Episode 12

This final episode features all the farmers from across the year reflecting on what each season means to them.

In autumn the programme revisits sea shepherding with Sandy on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. In the west in Argyll, Sybil and George gather in their sheep from over six square miles of mountainside. As everyone looks forward to mating, or tupping time, in the east of Scotland Mel and Martin head to market to buy rams for their flock, then introduce the lads to the ladies.

As winter descends over Scotland, the farmers reflect on this time of year. It's bitterly cold but this is also a time of new life for the farmers. Martin has a shed full of pregnant cows and dramatically has to save the life of one calf. Lewis is hit by a series of violent storms, one just when the vet is due to arrive to inspect Sandy's highland cattle.

It's a huge relief when spring arrives. Martin collects semen from his prize bull, and Sandy and Ali welcome two new calves to their croft. In the far north, John is in the midst of lambing over 4000 ewes and also has to deal with an emergency caesarean on one of his prize heifers. Mel fights to save the life of one very poorly lamb, number 119.

As summer arrives, the farmers can finally put their cattle out to the fields. Martin's have been indoors for eight months. Further west, Sybil and George welcome home their cattle from their winter sheds on another farm.

SAT 20:00 Pole to Pole (p02j9742)
Plains and Boats and Trains

Michael flies a hot air balloon over one of Kenya’s top game parks before heading on to Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater and taking the world’s oldest ferry to Zambia.

SAT 21:00 Mystery Road (m000n19h)
Series 2


Rid of the human remains, archaeologist Sandra’s dig is disturbed by an intolerant tribal elder, while Jay presses ex-cop Simon on his suspicions.

SAT 21:55 Mystery Road (m000n19k)
Series 2


Jay refuses to accept that the drugs case has been solved. Meanwhile, the forensics on the body in the bag add to Fran's distress.

SAT 22:50 The Beach: Isolation in Paradise (m000n18y)
Series 1

Episode 3

Film-maker Warwick Thornton’s international success has come at a personal cost. He has reached a crossroad in his life and something has to change.

He has chosen to try giving up life in the fast lane for a while to go it alone, on an isolated beach in Western Australia, one of the most beautiful yet brutal environments in the world, to see if the experience can transform and heal his life.

SAT 23:15 The Beach: Isolation in Paradise (m000n190)
Series 1

Episode 4

Film-maker Warwick Thornton’s international success has come at a personal cost. He has reached a crossroad in his life and something has to change.

He has chosen to try giving up life in the fast lane for a while to go it alone, on an isolated beach in Western Australia, one of the most beautiful yet brutal environments in the world, to see if the experience can transform and heal his life.

SAT 23:40 Clive James (m000fj94)
Postcard from Paris

Clive James returns to Paris, the city calls his spiritual home. As a young man he wondered how to meet the women of Paris. This time he does, including writers, models and actresses.

SAT 00:30 Top of the Pops (b06vkg5r)
1981 - Big Hits

A bumper crop of hits from the Top of the Pops archive showcasing an exciting year on the pop charts. 1981 embraced disco and ska, new wave punk, the burgeoning New Romantic scene and the rise of synthpop, with some prog quirkiness and good old rock 'n' roll thrown in.

Performances from big-hitter soloists Phil Collins, Shakin' Stevens and Kim Wilde are featured alongside the exuberant chaos of groups like Tenpole Tudor, Adam and the Ants and The Teardrop Explodes. It's party time as Odyssey fill the dancefloor with the infectious Going Back to My Roots and Clare Grogan adopts some unorthodox shapes for Altered Images' Happy Birthday. And The Specials' 2 Tone social-commentary classic Ghost Town vies with Ultravox's Vienna and The Human League's Don't You Want Me for song of the year.

SAT 01:30 Pole to Pole (p02j9742)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SAT 02:20 This Farming Life (b075lwcl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SUN 19:00 Natural World (b07bgr8v)

Kangaroo Dundee and Other Animals - Part 2

In central Australia, Brolga, the world's most famous kangaroo mum, is learning what it takes to look after his extended animal family. The three emu chicks are beginning to wreak havoc, the camels are rapidly outgrowing their backyard enclosure and Pete, the southern hairy-nosed wombat, is proving to be quite a handful.

To help, Brolga's looking to move some of the animals to his 80-acre sanctuary. But, a clash with his old sparring partner, Roger the alpha male kangaroo, has left Brolga on crutches and put all of his plans, including those for the new wildlife hospital, on hold.

SUN 20:00 Woolly Mammoth: Secrets from the Ice (b01fkcdr)
Professor Alice Roberts reveals the natural history of the most famous of ice age animals - the woolly mammoth. Mammoths have transfixed humans since the depths of the last ice age, when their herds roamed across what is now Europe and Asia. Although these curious members of the elephant family have been extinct for thousands of years, scientists can now paint an incredibly detailed picture of their lives thanks to whole carcasses that have been beautifully preserved in the Siberian permafrost.

Alice meets the scientists who are using the latest genetic, chemical and molecular tests to reveal the adaptations that allowed mammoths to evolve from their origins in the tropics to surviving the extremes of Siberia. And in a dramatic end to the film, she helps unveil a brand new woolly mammoth carcass that may shed new light on our own ancestors' role in their extinction.

SUN 21:00 Black Classical Music: The Forgotten History (m000n18w)
Broadcasters Lenny Henry and Suzy Klein celebrate black classical composers and musicians across the centuries whose stories and music have been forgotten in a 90-minute special.

SUN 22:30 Nicky and Wynton: The Making of a Concerto (b080k4hq)
Documentary exploring a unique musical collaboration between American jazz legend Wynton Marsalis and Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti.

The film follows the two musicians as they embark on a journey that culminates in the creation and performance of a violin concerto written by Marsalis especially for Benedetti. The composition, which draws inspiration from the violin concerto's first formation in the Baroque era to the 21st century and African-American spiritual music, explores Nicola and Wynton's own musical heritage in Scottish folk and American jazz music respectively.

The film follows Wynton and Nicola during the process of composition, rehearsals and performance, from the pair batting ideas and drafts back and forth across the Atlantic to rehearsals together in the UK and US, and the world premiere of the violin concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican.

SUN 23:30 Nana Mouskouri at the BBC (b00fvhg4)
A vintage collection of Nana Mouskouri's performances from the BBC archive, including her entry in the 1963 Eurovision Song Contest and musical collaborations with Michel Legrand, Charles Aznavour and Cliff Richard.

SUN 00:30 EastEnders 2008 (b00cgq9c)
Peggy reveals Roxy's hiding-place to Ronnie - but does she have a hidden agenda? Phil takes on a special errand for Max. Billy and Honey step up when their family needs them.

SUN 01:00 EastEnders 2008 (b00cgqm7)
Peggy's secret from Ronnie is revealed - but has she made a huge mistake? Meanwhile, Roxy is having the time of her life and Phil's errand doesn't go as planned.

SUN 01:30 EastEnders 2008 (b00cgrcj)
Ronnie struggles to get through to her sister. Archie and Peggy get reacquainted. Back in Walford, Phil gets more than he bargained for from Suzy.

SUN 02:00 EastEnders 2008 (b00cgsnl)
Tensions run high as Ronnie and Archie open old wounds. Sean attempts to win over Roxy. Peggy makes a big decision.

SUN 02:30 Earth's Great Rivers (b0bx73pk)
Series 1


This episode is a pioneering exploration of the latest discoveries concerning the Amazon - by far the greatest river on Earth. It is the river of superlatives, flowing more than 4,000 miles from the Andes to the Atlantic. Its 1,100 tributaries drain the greatest river basin on the planet and along its incredible journey it collects and transports one-fifth of the world's fresh water. Its outflow into the Atlantic Ocean per second is greater than the next six rivers combined. It truly lives up to its mighty reputation.

Due to its enormous size, it still hides secrets - it truly is the mysterious river of myth and legend, and it really does have monsters living in it, like giant electric eels and botos - the world's largest species of river dolphin. For most of its length, it is impossible to see into its murky waters. However, there are a few secret springs, bubbling with water as clear as gin, providing an unparalleled window into the Amazon's rich and spectacular underwater world.

One exclusive location is the Blue Lagoon, home to an anxious young couple - a newly discovered species of cichlid. These fish take their babies out for a swim in this natural aquarium bounded by an ominous underwater curtain of dark river water. Camera traps reveal some of the infamous predators lurking within, like freshwater stingrays and Amazon barracuda. Prowling nearby are giant electric eels capable of generating more than 500 volts, who give the cameraman a run for his money.

The team scoured the entire river system for its most beautiful locations. The rocky terraces of the Cristalino River were the perfect setting to try out float cams which enabled the team to join a family of giant river otters on a fishing foray. In Peru, there is a newly mapped Amazon tributary which boils! Scientists believe it is the longest stretch of thermal river in the world, creating a snake of steam over the canopy at dawn. The show joins shaman Juan Flores as he prays to the water spirits and makes medicine from the river's sacred waters and medicinal plants he collects from the jungle nearby.

Every year the Amazon floods on an almost unbelievable scale. Stretches of the river can rise by ten metres and the weight of so much water temporarily sinks the earth's crust by three inches! GPS drone technology reveals this gigantic transformation as never before, transporting viewers through the many vistas and atmospheres of the great river, capturing swathes of rainforest steaming in the dawn, and revealing the incredible expanse of the immense river which, in some places, stretches far beyond the horizon. It creates the Amazon's legendary flooded forests, home to the hoatzin, or stinkbird, so named for its particular and pungent smell - they feed on a diet of leaves and are basically flying compost heaps.

On the shores of the river town of Alter do Chao are some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in Brazil. Known as the Caribbean of the Amazon, it hosts a dolphin-themed carnival complete with hundreds of sequined dancers, spectacular floats and colourful processions. When all this water finally reaches the sea, it creates the last and newest secret world of the giant river, the Amazon reef. Spectacular drone footage captures the spectacle of the Amazon's fresh water floating over the surface of the ocean as a vast green cloud (which can cover more than a million square kilometres).

High-tech submarines allow cameras to reveal the wonders of the Amazon algal reef, not just packed with technicolour fish but also home to 'gardens' of giant sponges, many a thousand years old and a metre across. The sponges feed on the nutrients that the Amazon has collected on it's incredible journey. No other river shapes the landscape, and even the ocean, in the way the Amazon can, and what is so fantastic is that it is still one of the few remaining healthy great rivers on Earth.


MON 19:00 Timothy Spall: Back at Sea (b0135m57)
The Luck of the Irish Sea

Untrained mariner Timothy Spall has spent a fortune on technology for his new challenge - the unpredictable Irish Sea - as he and his wife continue their mini-odyssey around Britain. From Cardiff they head west to Milford Haven at the end of the River Severn and all seems well. However, Captain Spall bungles his departure to Fishguard and ends up going nowhere at full speed due to the turning tides.

Shattered and in the dark of night, they eventually find Fishguard. They also visit Aberystwyth, a return home for his wife Shane, and then the 'discovery' of the trip so far, Porthdinllaen. Here they find the most beautiful cove they have ever seen, a beach pub and a ride in a lifeboat to see the stunning Welsh coastline in its full glory.

'Mr and Mrs Vasco de Gama' are back on their travels in this seductive and heartwarming series.

MON 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000n1b9)
Series 3

Quiet Pond

Go on a journey with Bob Ross and discover the beauty of a shimmering pool gently cradled by a soft, beautiful, bright forest.

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.

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 20:00 Fake or Fortune? (b062vmg1)
Series 4


Nicky Philipps, a portrait artist renowned for her pictures of the royal family, has asked the Fake or Fortune team to investigate a painting which hangs on the walls of Picton Castle, once the Philipps family seat. The work was bought in the 1930s by Nicky's great-grandfather, Sir Laurence Philipps, who believed it to be by celebrated impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir. But the painting has been dogged by doubt for half a century, and two art world authorities can't agree whether it's genuine or fake.

Nicky's late Aunt Gwen used to tell a tantalising story that the painting came from Claude Monet's house in Giverny and was a gift to the artist from Renoir at a time when they painted together. But a family anecdote isn't enough to convince the art world's toughest judges - the team must find hard evidence.

The trail takes Philip to Argenteuil, a suburb of Paris which was once an impressionist playground. During the 1870s, Renoir and Monet worked here together, often painting the same views side by side. But can Philip find any evidence that Nicky's picture was painted here?

Fiona picks up the provenance trail at Monet's house in Giverny, where she tries to find proof that the painting once hung in his personal art collection. To find out, she must access some closely guarded archives in Paris.

Philip travels to Berlin to see if cutting-edge technology can determine whether the pigments in Nicky's painting match up to those listed by Renoir himself. Can a special camera see through the canvas to reveal clues hidden from view?

Along the way, Fiona discovers that the picture is caught between two rival art world authorities - the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery and the Wildenstein Institute, who both believe their word is the last word when it comes to Renoir.

MON 21:00 The Secret History of Writing (m000n18t)
Series 1

Words on a Page

In 1448, in Mainz, Germany, a goldsmith named Johannes Gutenberg was experimenting with a lead alloy and a hand-held mould. His aim was to speed up the process of putting ink on paper. But what he did was speed up history. Gutenberg’s printing press spelled the end of the Middle Ages and ushered in the modern world of science and industry. Every innovation since has been built on this foundation.

Yet behind Gutenberg’s invention lay centuries of development and change in the way words were written, without which he could never have succeeded. In this film, presenter Lydia Wilson and calligrapher Brody Neuenschwander set out to explore history’s most important technology - the technology of putting words on a page.

Writing itself is 5,000 years old, and for most of that time words were written by hand using a variety of tools. As a calligrapher, Brody can still use those tools in a form of experimental historical research. The insights gained in this way reveal how the changing methods people used to create written texts helped to change the course of history.

Arguably, the history of writing begins in Egypt. The ancient Egyptians created the world’s first nation state, and they ran it with the help of one of the very earliest writing systems: hieroglyphs. Today, hieroglyphs can still be read in monumental inscriptions carved in stone. But, the Egyptians also had a portable, everyday medium on which to write: papyrus.

Papyrus is a type of sedge that grows all along the banks of the Nile. Readily available and easily harvested, this unassuming plant was turned by the Egyptians into one of the foundations of civilisation: the papyrus scroll. And as civilisation spread from Egypt across the Mediterranean world, so did papyrus. The Romans were able to run an empire thanks to documents written on papyrus, and when they conquered Egypt in 30 BC, one of the biggest prizes of conquest was domination of the Mediterranean papyrus trade.

Brody’s experiments with a reed pen and a papyrus scroll reveal just what an efficient combination they are for the rapid production of written text. That meant that scroll books could be made quite cheaply, and Roman bookshops could sell one for as little as one denarius, a soldier’s daily wage. As a result, ancient Rome had a thriving literary culture.

But, by the end of the third century, Rome’s control over the Mediterranean had begun to slip. Papyrus became more and more difficult to obtain, and Roman book production plummeted. Europeans were forced to turn to a much more expensive surface on which to write: parchment. From being a relatively affordable and available commodity, books would become rare and costly. The fall of the Roman Empire and the onset of the European Middle Ages coincides with this shift from papyrus to parchment.

Medieval handwritten books, with their sumptuous illuminations, represent a pinnacle of medieval art, but since a large book could cost as much as a house, they also represent a limitation on literacy and scholarship.

No such limitations were felt in China, where paper had been invented in the second century. Paper was the foundation of Chinese culture and power, and for centuries how to make it was kept secret. But, in 751 AD, the westward expansion of the Tang Dynasty was checked by Arab forces at the River Talas. It was a defeat which ensured that, to this day, central Asia would be part of the Muslim world. And in the captured baggage train of the Chinese army there were paper-makers. The secret was out, and paper mills soon sprang up across central Asia.

The result was an intellectual flourishing known as the Islamic Golden Age. Muslim scholars made discoveries in biology, geology, astronomy and especially mathematics. By contrast, Europe was an intellectual backwater.

That changed with Gutenberg’s development of movable type printing. The secret of Gutenberg’s printing press was his ability to mass-produce multiple copies in metal of each individual letter. And in this he had a hidden advantage: the letters of the Latin alphabet are very simple block-like shapes, which made it relatively simple to turn them into type pieces.

On the other hand, when printers tried to use movable type to print Arabic texts, they found themselves hampered by the cursive nature of Arabic writing, where the letters of a word often join together to form one single flowing shape. It was more than two hundred years before the first Arabic print shop was established in the Muslim world, in 1727 in Istanbul.

The success of movable type printing in Europe led to a thousand-fold increase in the availability of information, an explosion of ideas that led directly to the European Scientific Revolution and the Industrial Revolution that followed. That these developments began in Europe is one of the most important facts that shapes the world we live in today, and it is down in part to the simple accident of the shape of the Latin alphabet.

MON 22:00 Charles I: Killing a King (m000cdzd)
Series 1

Episode 1

December, 1648.

The Puritan government has banned all celebrations and King Charles I is imprisoned in Windsor Castle. During Christmastide, the monarch would ordinarily feast and celebrate but instead he spends Christmas Day alone, in anticipation of what his future holds as king of England.

Parliament has been purged of all moderate MPs who are willing to compromise with the king. What is left is a contingent of MPs who are ready to remove Charles from power by whatever means possible. They are supported by the New Model Army, a powerful, professional fighting force, led by the religious zealot, powerful orator and talented solider, Oliver Cromwell. They spend Christmas Day urgently debating what to do with their king.

On Christmas night, there is a final attempt to reason with Charles when the Earl of Denbigh visits him at Windsor with terms. The king is convinced of his divine right to rule and refuses to see him. Three days later, new legislation is drawn up to put the Charles on trial for treason. Oliver Cromwell too stands by divine providence but believes his victory in the English Civil War is evidence that God is on his side and that the king must be brought to justice for the bloodshed he has wrought on the country.

The next day, their belief in bringing Charles to trial is cemented when a prophetess, Elizabeth Poole, stands before the Commons, claiming that the army will heal the wounds of the country, which is sick and ravaged by war. But there is still deliberation in Parliament, for this is dangerous ground. If the king is redeemed after the trial, those who sought to persecute him will be hunted down as traitors.

The instability of Charles’s position is not news to the people. On New Year’s Eve, a play is secretly held at Salisbury Court, where comically a king is crowned and then uncrowned. This might be comedy, but the undercurrent is deeply engrained with the truth. On New Year’s Day, the Commons overcome the first hurdle and pass an act to try the king. However, it is rejected by the Lords. Three days later, in an extraordinary, bold move, the Commons claim sovereignty over the country, ahead of the king and the Lords. On the 6 January 1649, the act to try the king is passed. Charles I will face trial as a tyrant, murderer and public enemy.

MON 23:00 Handmade: By Royal Appointment (b07fky64)

Film which follows the making of a Wedgwood vase. The culmination of over 250 years of expertise and heritage, the panther vase is handcrafted by artisan potters using the same techniques pioneered by Josiah Wedgwood in the 18th century. But the Wedgwood factory in Stoke is now a very different place. Under new, foreign ownership, it's a gleaming, modern operation, and as we follow the vase slowly taking shape, the film also takes a gentle look at how this quintessentially British company is reinventing itself for the 21st century.

MON 23:30 Sold! Inside the World's Biggest Auction House (b084kqsg)
Episode 2

In part two of the series following a year in the life of the world's largest auction house Christie's, global president Jussi Pilkannien and his team chart the highs and lows of auctions in London, Hong Kong and Shanghai. It is a story full of drama as we find out if Brexit spooked the art market and if Christie's' big push into Asia is paying off.

With rare access to some of the richest collectors in the world, we find out how and why they buy at Christie's and where they put some of the world's most expensive artworks. We meet the auction experts who find treasure in unexpected places - an umbrella stand that turns out to be worth millions and an exceptional Rubens which has not been seen in public for 150 years. But in a year of turmoil, will such works sell well? What are Christie's doing to make sure the 250th anniversary sale, on which they have staked their reputation, is a success? And what is happening in China that makes Jussi so convinced that it is the future?

MON 00:30 Fake or Fortune? (b062vmg1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 01:30 The Joy of Painting (m000n1b9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

MON 01:55 Timothy Spall: Back at Sea (b0135m57)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MON 02:25 The Secret History of Writing (m000n18t)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Timothy Spall: Back at Sea (b013fj45)
Mad about the Buoys

Untrained mariner Timothy Spall has spent a fortune on technology for his new challenge - the unpredictable Irish Sea - as he and his wife continue their mini-odyssey around Britain.

Entering Liverpool means navigating their first big city since leaving London, but reaching dry land can be daunting in a small boat when dodging tankers and ferries. It's even more difficult when the coastguard sends him round in circles because he's on the wrong side of the marker buoys.

On his way to Glasson Dock in Lancashire, Tim is tricked again by another buoy. Misunderstanding his sea chart results in an unplanned dropped anchor in the middle of the Irish Sea, where they have to wait all night before he can enter the port.

Their next destination finds them in the company of royalty - Piel Island near Barrow-in-Furness has the unusual honour of having its own king and queen, a tradition which goes back centuries.

TUE 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000n1b3)
Series 3

Bubbling Brook

Bob Ross paints a fast-flowing little waterfall happily running through lush, green, meadow grass in the evening light.

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.

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 20:00 Earth's Great Rivers (b0bwqng8)
Series 1


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.

TUE 21:00 Australia with Simon Reeve (b021ncc4)
Episode 2

Simon travels from Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory, or Top End, across to the remote Cape York Peninsula and on to the Great Barrier Reef.

Simon sets off from Kakadu, the largest national park in the world, where the wildlife is under threat from the march of millions of poisonous cane toads. He joins a team of toad-busters catching the amphibian invaders - originally introduced to the country to kill pests.

In Robertson barracks, Simon meets Australia's best - and only - tank regiment. They will soon host 6,000 American marines - evidence of Australia's strategic importance in the Asia Pacific region.

Simon also heads out on patrol with Norforce, a unique military unit who use ancient aboriginal knowledge to help them survive in the bush. It's a case of green ant tea before bed.

On Cape York Peninsula, Simon joins scientists catching deadly box jellyfish, whose venom could prove to have great medicinal value. And on the Great Barrier Reef he dives in search of the starfish destroying coral, before flying 100 miles out into the ocean to watch as a huge tanker is expertly guided through the fragile reef.

TUE 22:00 Charles I: Killing a King (m000cf12)
Series 1

Episode 2

January, 1649.

On Tuesday 9 January 1649, crowds gather in Cheapside, London as a proclamation is read out. King Charles I will be put on public trial at Westminster Hall in ten days’ time. It sends shockwaves through the city.

The next day, commissioners - senior judges from around the country - gather to prepare for the unprecedented trial of the king. Their meeting is recorded in surviving transcripts. Words like ‘wicked’, ‘tyrannical’ and ‘cruel’ are all used to describe the monarch. Although the consensus is that Charles is a tyrant, only half of the commissioners appointed actually attend the meetings at Westminster Palace, in fear of being indicted as traitors. Support is on thin ice and many parliamentarians are uneasy about the process of a treason trial, for the outcome is plain for all to see. Lord Fairfax, the lord general of the New Model Army, is representative of the view of many parliamentarians. He believes a compromise should be made and declares he will have no part in the King’s trial. However, Fairfax’s counterpart - Oliver Cromwell is going full steam ahead. He allegedly states, ‘We will cut off his head with the crown upon it!’

Up and down the country, printing presses are in overdrive. A wave of pamphleteering discusses the topic of the day - Crown verses Parliament. However, one printed text has not been cleared for circulation. On 14 January, the first edition of Eikon Basilike (Royal Portrait), a spiritual autobiography of the king, is destroyed before it can leave the print house.

Parliament cannot risk the release of powerful royalist propaganda as they struggle to build a case against the king. They are already hamstrung by the existing law, which has been written by the monarchy. In less than a week they need to create a watertight charge that will see Charles brought to justice for his crimes against a devastated country. The trial will essentially accuse the king of war crimes.

On 20 January, the first day of the trial, Westminster Hall is packed. People hang off balconies to watch as the king is made to answer to the common man. The charge is delivered - ‘tyrant, traitor, murderer' - but no-one could have predicted what was to happen next. Charles will not acknowledge the court, a court he deems illegitimate. If the king will not plead guilty, or not guilty, there is little trial to be had.

Over the next three days, the king and the lord president, John Bradshaw, become embroiled in a battle of wills. Is it Charles’s arrogance that leads him to refuse to accept the authority of the court, or is it a cunning and politically astute method to defend his crown and his life? With only days left to try the king, Parliament have to move fast. Otherwise, they will end up on the scaffold.

TUE 23:00 Handmade: By Royal Appointment (b07g9q28)
John Lobb Shoes

In the shadow of St James's Palace is the workshop of shoemakers John Lobb. Since the mid-19th century, they have handcrafted shoes for gentlemen and boast royal warrants from both the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales. It's a rare heritage company still run by the original family and this film follows a day in the life of the shoemakers, who use methods that have barely changed since the company was founded. From pencilled outlines on brown paper to the cutting and stitching of leather, heels hammered on soles to the final polishing, the film follows the meticulous craft process and hears from the shoemakers themselves, many of whom have spent decades working for the company.

TUE 23:30 Mystery Road (m000n19h)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday]

TUE 00:25 Mystery Road (m000n19k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:55 on Saturday]

TUE 01:20 The Joy of Painting (m000n1b3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

TUE 01:50 Timothy Spall: Back at Sea (b013fj45)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

TUE 02:20 Australia with Simon Reeve (b021ncc4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 Women's FA Cup (m000n18q)


Semi-final action from the Women's FA Cup.

WED 21:30 True North (m0006wf4)
Series 13

Dame Kelly: The Power of Parkrun - Our Lives

In this uplifting True North documentary, Dame Kelly Holmes explores the rise of parkrun and the mental health benefits of running, in the build-up to the launch of a new run in Northern Ireland.

Over the last 14 years, the parkrun phenomenon has transformed Saturday mornings around the world. What started out in London as a simple idea to get mates together for a time trial and a coffee has turned into something much, much bigger. Today, parkrun is one of the largest running events on the planet, pulling in more than 235,000 participants around the globe every weekend. Although it started out as a runners’ event, these days it is about improving health and well-being, inspiring people to take exercise, meet neighbours and volunteer. The organisation is now actively targeting areas of social deprivation in the UK, with its focus shifting toward how running can help transform our mental well-being.

This film follows the launch of a new event in one of those areas – Strabane in Northern Ireland - and is presented by one of the UK’s most successful athletes, two-time Olympic gold winner Dame Kelly Holmes, whose passion for parkrun sees her make unannounced appearances at runs all over the UK. Dame Kelly reveals that away from the track she has struggled with mental health issues from a young age, including self-harm, anxiety and depression following the death of her mother two years ago. She uses her own personal experiences to help inspire and coach two people using the new run to kick-start their fitness journey. With five weeks to prepare for the event, will they join the running revolution?

WED 22:00 Charles I: Killing a King (m000cf0z)
Series 1

Episode 3

On 23 January 1649, the third day of the king’s trial, Charles continues to publicly dispute the High Court’s legitimacy. There is no choice other than to move forward and enforce the charge against him. After two days of hearing witness testimonies concerning the king’s presence in battle, the evidence against him is overwhelming.

On 27 January, the king walks into the courtroom for the final time. He has come prepared to compromise, but it is too late for that now. John Bradshaw delivers an epic oration. He draws on constitutional history, including Magna Carta, and accuses the king of breaking his oath. Bradshaw states that the king was appointed by the people and it is the people who can remove him from power. ‘Farewell, sovereignty.'

Sentence is passed - Charles will be executed. Utterly beguiled, the king is removed from the courtroom, and over the next three days he prepares for death. Although the verdict has been delivered, Parliament’s cause is still fragile. Charles’s son, Prince Charles, is in The Hague mustering support for the crown. Invasion plans are already underway, and the clock is ticking, Parliament must get the king to the scaffold and put an end to the monarchy they believe has torn the country apart.

Despite the king’s strength, determination and vigour in the courtroom, he begins to accept his fate and spends most of his time in prayer. He says an emotional goodbye to his two children who remain in England, Elizabeth and Henry. Their likeness from this time is captured in an exquisite portrait miniature. Princess Elizabeth never recovered from the trauma of parting with her father. She records an account of their last, devastating moments together.

As the king gathers his affairs and his state of mind, the death warrant is hurriedly drawn up and signatories - some say under duress from Cromwell - are gathered. Cromwell’s determination comes from his belief that he is enacting God’s will and delivering justice for the people who suffered at the hands of the feckless King. His mind is set. The execution must be carried out.

On a freezing morning on Saturday 30 January 1649, Charles I wakes up at 5am and puts on two thick shirts to offer him some protection from the blistering cold. Determined not to appear afraid, he must not shiver. As the king prepares for death, Parliament are appalled to discover there is no act that prevents succession. In haste they pass the act as a legal emergency.

Finally, shortly before 2pm, the king is led through Banqueting House. He may have looked up at the Rubens ceiling that depicts his father ascending to the side of God as is his divine right. He makes his way through a window and onto the scaffold to deliver his final speech to the people, now inked into the pages of history. Lying down at the low block, he says ‘Wait for the sign’ before he stretches his arms aside and his head is struck off.

People flock to the scaffold to dip their rags and kerchiefs in the blood of the king. Hair is cut from his severed head, to be preserved as relics, and the little pearl earring that delicately hung from his ear is carefully removed and remains preserved to this day.

On a freezing, bleak January day, King Charles I was killed and a republic was born. But did he die as a murderer or as a martyr?

WED 23:00 Handmade: By Royal Appointment (b07gys9d)
House of Benney

In a small workshop in a country house in Wiltshire, silversmith Simon Benney makes distinctive jewellery and exquisite household objects for the royal family and private clients. Simon is following in the footsteps of his father Gerald Benney, who revolutionised the design of British silverware in the postwar era. This film follows the making of an engraved gold and diamond pendant, featuring Simon's trademark enamel finish, using techniques his father learnt from Faberge.

WED 23:30 Handmade: By Royal Appointment (b07ht061)

Travelling between the factory in Hamburg, where Steinway pianos are still made largely by hand, and Steinway Hall in London, where a team of technicians maintain and restore the pianos, this film offers a portrait of the craftsmen behind the famous instrument.

From the stoic German factory workers bending the frames and polishing the veneers, to long-standing British restorer Jeff about to retire from the company, the film lifts the lid on the dedication and skills required to make and maintain a prestige piano.

Holders of a royal warrant since the days of Queen Victoria, Steinway supplies pianos to the royal household as well as many leading performers, and the film also follows renowned pianist Lang Lang preparing for a concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

WED 00:00 The Secret History of Writing (m000n18t)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]

WED 01:00 Black Classical Music: The Forgotten History (m000n18w)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Sunday]

WED 02:30 The Beach: Isolation in Paradise (m000n18y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:50 on Saturday]

WED 03:00 The Beach: Isolation in Paradise (m000n190)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:15 on Saturday]


THU 19:00 Timothy Spall: Back at Sea (b013rknf)
The Bit in the Middle

Sea adventurers Timothy Spall and his wife Shane take their barge to three different countries and the Isle of Man. From Whitehaven, where Spall learns about the pirate John Paul Jones, they steam over to Douglas to visit his son, actor Rafe Spall, who is there to work on BBC Two's The Shadow Line. Next they visit a city Tim loves dearly, Belfast, and a special pub he says is 'the finest drinking establishment in the English-speaking world'. Finally, it's across to Portpatrick and Scotland, as they clock up some serious nautical mileage in their circumnavigation of the British Isles.

THU 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000n18j)
Series 3

Arizona Splendour

In a brilliant scene drawn from the south west of the USA, Bob Ross portrays a unique view of nature, with clear blue skies, dry mountains and a graceful river.

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.

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 20:00 North by Northwest (b025ydrv)
Classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller. When advertising executive Roger Thornhill is mistaken for the mysterious Mr Kaplan by a ruthless espionage ring, he soon faces deadly peril, framed for murder. On the run, Thornhill seeks Kaplan, the one person who can verify his story.

THU 22:10 Talking Pictures (b05v29y7)
Hitchcock's Leading Actors

To this day, Alfred Hitchcock is looked on as one of cinema's best and most influential directors. But how did the stars of his films finding working with the great man? To some he was 'the master', to others 'the manipulator'. Talking Pictures explores the relationship between Hitch and his leading actors, using rarely seen interviews of the man himself and a line-up that includes Kim Novak, Tippi Hedren, Joan Fontaine, Janet Leigh and Sean Connery.

THU 22:45 Churchill and the Movie Mogul (m0008rnl)
Winston Churchill understood the power of films, but the true extent of his use of cinema as a propaganda tool is rarely explored. In 1934, one of Britain's most celebrated film producers, Alexander Korda, signed Churchill up as a screenwriter and historical advisor. It was the start of a unique collaboration. Churchill provided script notes for Korda's productions and penned an epic screenplay.

When war broke out, their collaboration took on national importance. Korda was sent on a mission to Hollywood to help bring America into the war, with positive results.

With access to previously undiscovered documents, this film documentary examines that mission and a friendship that underpinned a unique, creative partnership.

THU 23:45 David Stratton’s Stories of Australian Cinema (m000j45c)
Series 1

Episode 2

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, David looks at how Australian cinema celebrates the endurance of outsiders, whether they are newcomers to a strange new land in films like They’re a Weird Mob and Wake in Fright, or locals out of step with the mainstream in Evil Angels, Muriel’s Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

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.

THU 00:45 Life Cinematic (m000f8xk)
Series 1

Sam Taylor-Johnson

British director Sam Taylor-Johnson reveals the films that have influenced her life and career. Her choices range from classics such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest to modern blockbusters, including The Talented Mr Ripley, Brokeback Mountain and Claire Denis’s French masterpiece, Beau Travail.

Sam also offers insights into the making of her most recent movie, A Million Little Pieces, and reflects on her early introduction to cinema, as well as her experience of moving to Hollywood to live and work.

THU 01:45 The Joy of Painting (m000n18j)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 02:15 Timothy Spall: Back at Sea (b013rknf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

THU 02:45 Churchill and the Movie Mogul (m0008rnl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:45 today]


FRI 19:00 Timothy Spall: Back at Sea (b0140vqb)
Scotch Mist

As summer comes to a close, Timothy Spall's trip around the coast of his beloved Britain reaches the halfway mark. He encounters several Scottish ports and islands, but mostly in the famous Scottish misty drizzle. Before the weather worsens he winds his way through the Scottish western islands and takes his barge Princess Matilda back to her roots by venturing up the Caledonian Canal, a short cut from the west of Scotland to the east which sets up next year's trip down the east coast and back home to London. This year Timothy and his wife Shane have travelled further than in any other of their previous six years at sea. All they need is somewhere to moor up for winter.

FRI 19:30 Sounds of the Eighties (b0074snw)
Episode 7

A new generation of guitar-based bands are showcased on this episode of the pop archive show. A stellar line-up features Michael Stipe of REM when he had angelic hair, plus The Smiths, The Cure, The Bangles, Pixies, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Jesus & Mary Chain and Lone Justice.

FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m000n18l)
1990 - Big Hits

The start of a new decade - and a new era - as hip-hop, dance and indie begin to find a place in the mainstream charts. Top of the Pops continued to present the biggest stars every Thursday to the British public, with lots of dry ice, hand-held cameras and a small but noisy studio audience.

This compilation celebrates performances of some of the biggest hits of 1990, including breakout appearances by Adamski featuring Seal, Vanilla Ice, Beats International, EMF, The KLF, Primal Scream and Snap!. Plus plenty of girl power from Betty Boo, Sinead O’Connor, Maria McKee, En Vogue, Kylie and Tina Turner.

FRI 21:00 Top of the Pops (m000n18n)
The Story of 1990

After the global political upheaval of 1989, from the Berlin Wall to Tiananmen Square, the start of the 1990s soon demonstrates that the new pop grammars of hip-hop and dance all too often bewilder the entertainment-focused, old-school institution that is the BBC’s weekly chart show.

Adamski, Orbital, 808 State and Eurodance sensations Snap! struggle to translate their brand of cool beats to the BBC’s need for entertainment, musicianship and random dancers, while the likes of Betty Boo, MC Tunes and Beats International introduce the British take on hip-hop to the studio. In a year in which even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and John Barnes embrace rap, these breakthrough hip-hop artists have to share the Top of the Pops stage with some big balladeers, including Sinead O’Connor and Maria McKee.

As the Milli Vanilli scandal breaks internationally, Top of the Pops begins to question and change its own miming policy. Hip-hop kids and the indie underground start entering the pop mainstream, as Liverpool’s finest football freaks The Farm demonstrate. But despite the new zeitgeist, the battle for the Christmas Number 1 is an almost traditional stand-off between the old guard (Cliff Richard) and the young pretender (Vanilla Ice).

Contributors include Adamski, Seal, Betty Boo, Orbital, Norman Cook, 808 State, MC Tunes, Lindy Layton, Peter Hooton from The Farm and Penny Ford from Snap!

FRI 22:00 Geri's 1990s: My Drive to Freedom (b08jg8nk)
Former Spice Girl Geri Horner looks back on the 1990s and reflects on her own incredible journey from working-class Watford girl to international superstar. She describes it as a decade of hope and opportunity that gave young people the freedom to be themselves and break down barriers.

Set against a backdrop of great political and social change, including the release of Nelson Mandela, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the election of New Labour, the 1990s was also a decade which saw a homegrown cultural revolution. The music and art scenes exploded, and suddenly Britain was the place to be. Britpop and girl power conquered the charts, and Geri herself became the iconic face of Cool Britannia in her famous Union Jack dress.

But fame didn't arrive until the mid-1990s for Geri, and she reflects on the key events that shaped her life before becoming part of one of the most successful girl bands of all time. She talks movingly about her close friendship with her pop idol pin-up George Michael and recalls how supportive he was when she left the Spice Girls and embarked on her solo career.

FRI 23:00 Toots and the Maytals: Reggae Got Soul (b00ymljb)
The untold story of one of the most influential artists ever to come out of Jamaica, Toots Hibbert, featuring intimate new performances and interviews with Toots, rare archive from throughout his career and interviews with contemporaries and admirers including Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jimmy Cliff, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Marcia Griffiths and Paolo Nutini.

From his beginnings as a singer in a Jamaican church to the universally-praised, Grammy award-winning artist of today, the film tells the story of one of the true greats of music.

Toots was the first to use the word reggae on tape in his 1968 song Do the Reggay and his music has defined, popularised and refined it across six decades, with hit after hit including Pressure Drop, Sweet and Dandy, Monkey Man, Funky Kingston, Bam Bam, True Love Is Hard To Find and Reggae Got Soul.

As Island records founder Chris Blackwell says, 'The Maytals were unlike anything else... sensational, raw and dynamic'. Always instantly recognisable is Toots's powerful, soulful voice which seems to speak viscerally to the listener - 'one of the great musical gifts of our time'. His songs are at the same time stories of everyday life in Jamaica and postcards from another world.

FRI 01:00 Smashing Hits! The 80s Pop Map of Britain and Ireland (b0bb2pyf)
Series 1

Episode 2

Two 80s icons explore the distinct sounds that came out of different parts of Britain and Ireland in one of pop's golden decades.

Midge Ure, lead singer of Ultravox and one of the men behind Band Aid, and Kim Appleby, who had a string of hits with her sister Mel in the Stock, Aitken and Waterman-produced band Mel and Kim, go on a journey back in time to the 80s to figure out why certain cities produced their own diverse tunes.

It's a fascinating tale. Emerging from the ashes of punk, British and Irish music ripped up the pop rule book in the 80s and topped the charts worldwide. But there was no definitive 'British' pop sound. Innovative chart-toppers were being produced by artists hailing from all over the UK and Ireland.

In this second episode, Midge and Kim explore the sounds that came from Scotland, Ireland and Wales. They start in Glasgow with the American influences that shaped a substantial part of Scottish music, look at the punk and folk backdrop to Irish music and, finally, delve into the Welsh merger of folk and punk.

The show features evocative archive, superb music and interviews with significant figures, like Bob Geldof, Clare Grogan from Altered Images, Pat Kane from Hue and Cry, Moya Brennan of Clannad and Mike Peters from legendary Welsh band The Alarm.

FRI 02:00 Top of the Pops (m000n18n)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 03:00 Sounds of the Eighties (b0074snw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]