Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

RADIO-LISTS: BBC FOUR
Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by bbc.co.uk/programmes/



SATURDAY 24 APRIL 2010

SAT 19:00 The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu (b00hkb0z)
Aminatta Forna tells the story of legendary Timbuktu and its long-hidden legacy of hundreds of thousands of ancient manuscripts. With its university founded around the same time as Oxford, Timbuktu is proof that the reading and writing of books have long been as important to Africans as they are to Europeans.


SAT 20:00 Wonders of the Solar System (b00rmpqh)
Original Series

The Thin Blue Line

Professor Brian Cox reveals how something as flimsy as an envelope of gas - an atmosphere - can create some of the most wondrous sights in the solar system. He takes a ride in an English Electric Lightning and flies 18 km up to the top of earth's atmosphere, where he sees the darkness of space above and the thin blue line of our atmosphere below. In the Namib desert in south-west Africa, he tells the story of Mercury. This tiny planet was stripped naked of its early atmosphere and is fully exposed to the ferocity of space.

Against the stunning backdrop of the glaciers of Alaska, Brian reveals his fourth wonder: Saturn's moon Titan, shrouded by a murky, thick atmosphere. He reveals that below the clouds lies a magical world. Titan is the only place beyond earth where we've found liquid pooling on the surface in vast lakes, as big as the Caspian Sea, but the lakes of Titan are filled with a mysterious liquid, and are quite unlike anything on earth.


SAT 21:00 Wallander (b00s77mb)
Series 2

The Cellist

A Russian cellist is subject to a bomb attack following a performance in Ystad. It turns out that she is a witness in a murder prosecution against a member of the Russian mafia. The member in question is no less than the son of the big boss Leb Munchin himself.

Wallander and the Ystad police suddenly find themselves in the midst of a war against a powerful international enemy whose methods are merciless.


SAT 22:30 Breaking the Mould: The Story of Penicillin (b00ly0t1)
History books tell us that Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, but that's not the whole story. This drama uncovers the forgotten team involved in the development and manufacture of the drug that transformed medicine.


SAT 23:50 The Guinea Pig Club (b0074q2f)
The Guinea Pig Club is an exclusive drinking club with gruesome initiation rights. You have to have been a WWII pilot, cheated death and have a disfigurement to prove it.

The president of the club was Archibald McIndoe, a plastic surgeon who pioneered experimental surgery in order to rebuild their faces and hands to give them a chance of a normal life.

The Guinea Pig Club's legacy could hold the key to trauma recovery today.


SAT 00:50 BBC Young Musician (b00s3vz9)
2010

Strings

Clemency Burton-Hill introduces BBC Young Musician 2010. Over 300 of the UK's best young musicians entered this year's competition and just 25 were chosen to go through to the five category finals - brass, keyboard, strings, woodwind and percussion.

In the strings final, five young people aged between 13 and 18 compete at the BBC Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff for the title of category winner and an all-important place in the competition semi-final. Expect tension, drama and some exceptional performances, with music by Tchaikovsky, Brahms and Ravel.


SAT 02:20 Wonders of the Solar System (b00rmpqh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SAT 03:20 Breaking the Mould: The Story of Penicillin (b00ly0t1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]



SUNDAY 25 APRIL 2010

SUN 19:00 Beautiful Minds (b00s2xv4)
Series 1

Tim Hunt

The final part of this series looking at three brilliant contemporary scientists features Sir Tim Hunt, awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the mechanism of how cells divide - a discovery fundamental to the life and growth of every single creature on the planet, as well as a vital clue into the mystery of cancer.

Hunt recalls moments in his life that provided inspiration for his career as a scientist, from his father's intent scholarship which shaped his early methods to his mother's battle with cancer and the influence of this on his current position at Cancer Research UK.

In his own words, Hunt recounts the events that informed his discovery, from chance encounters to life-changing conversations and reveals his own opinions on the thought processes, both logical and emotional, that led to his extraordinary discovery.


SUN 20:00 The Beauty of Maps (b00s3v0t)
Medieval Maps - Mapping the Medieval Mind

Documentary series charting the visual appeal and historical meaning of maps.

The Hereford Mappa Mundi is the largest intact Medieval wall map in the world and its ambition is breathtaking - to picture all of human knowledge in a single image. The work of a team of artists, the world it portrays is overflowing with life, featuring Classical and Biblical history, contemporary buildings and events, animals and plants from across the globe, and the infamous 'monstrous races' which were believed to inhabit the remotest corners of the Earth.

The Mappa Mundi, meaning 'cloth of the world', has spent most of its long life at Hereford Cathedral, rarely emerging from behind its glass case. The programme represents a rare opportunity to get close to the map and explore its detail, giving a unique insight into the Medieval mind. This is also the first programme to show the map in its original glory, revealing the results of a remarkable year-long project by the Folio Society to restore it using the latest digital technology.

The map has a chequered history. Since its glory days in the 1300s it has languished forgotten in storerooms, been dismissed as a curious 'monstrosity', and controversially almost sold. Only in the last 20 years have scholars and artists realised its true depth and meaning, with the map exerting an extraordinary power over those who come into contact with it. The programme meets some of these individuals, from scholars and map lovers to Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry, whose own work, the Map of Nowhere, is inspired by the Mappa Mundi.


SUN 20:30 The Beauty of Maps (b00s5p6k)
City Maps - Order out of Chaos

Documentary series charting the visual appeal and historical meaning of maps.

The British Library is home to a staggering 4.5 million maps, most of which remain hidden away in its colossal basement, and the programme delves behind the scenes to explore some amazing treasures in more detail. This is the story of three maps, three 'visions' of London over three centuries; visions of beauty that celebrate but also distort the truth. It's the story of how urban maps try to impose order on chaos.

On Sunday 2 September 1660, the Great Fire of London began reducing most of the city to ashes, and among the huge losses were many maps of the city itself. The Morgan Map of 1682 was the first to show the whole of the City of London after the fire. Consisting of sixteen separate sheets, measuring eight feet by five feet, it took six years to complete. Morgan's beautiful map symbolised the hoped-for ideal city.

In 1746 John Rocque produced what was at the time the most detailed map ever made of London. Like Morgan's, Rocque's map is all neo-Classical beauty and clinical precision, but the London it represented had become the opposite. In engravings of the time, such as Night, the artist William Hogarth shows a city boiling with vice and corruption. Stephen Walter's contemporary image, The Island, plays with notions of cartographic order and respectability. His extraordinary London map looks at first glance to be just as precise and ordered as his hero Rocque's but, looking closer, it includes 21st-century markings, such as 'favourite kebab vans' and sites of 'personal heartbreak'.


SUN 21:00 Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession (b00s77pc)
Spirit of the Age

In a series about the extraordinary stories behind maps, Professor Jerry Brotton shows how maps can reveal the fears, obsessions and prejudices of their age.

Religious passion inspires beautiful medieval maps of the world, showing the way to heaven, the pilgrims' route to Jerusalem and monstrous children who eat their parents. But by the Victorian era society is obsessed with race, poverty and disease. Royal cartographer James Wyld's world map awards each country a mark from one to five, depending on how 'civilised' he deems each nation to be. And a map made to help Jewish immigrants in the East End inadvertently fuels anti-semitism.

'Map wars' break out in the 1970s when left-wing journalist Arno Peters claims that the world map shown in most atlases was a lie that short-changed the developing world. In Zurich, Brotton talks to Google Earth about the cutting edge of cartography and at Worldmapper he sees how social problems such as infant mortality and HIV are strikingly portrayed on computer-generated maps that bend the world out of shape and reflect the spirit of our age.


SUN 22:00 The Tutu Talks (b00s6b1d)
Is Africa about to Become Rich?

Archbishop Desmond Tutu brings together Africa's leading contemporary thinkers in a series of discussions exploring major issues and changes affecting the future of the continent.

Here, the Archbishop and his guests examine the growing relationship between China and Africa. China obtains a huge proportion of its fuel and raw materials from Africa and is a major investor in African economies. But its 'no-strings' approach has been criticised for ignoring democracy and human rights issues.

What kind of role is China going to play in Africa - partner or exploiter? Will the needs of ordinary citizens be properly represented? Could Africa actually become the next economic global power?

Archbishop Tutu is joined by Prince Cedza Dlamini, Xolela Mancu, Hannah Edinger and William Gumede.


SUN 22:30 Goldsmiths: But Is It Art? (b00s2x95)
Episode 2

Goldsmiths is renowned for producing a generation of well-known contemporary artists, including the likes of Damien Hirst and five other Turner prize winners. What is behind its unrivalled reputation for producing the art stars of the future?

The second in a two-part documentary starts at the final Masters show for the Goldsmiths students, following them in the vital months after graduation as they take the first faltering steps as professional artists. A lucky few get picked up by galleries but the rest are left to rely on their ingenuity to be noticed. Who will make a living from this most precarious of careers?


SUN 23:20 Oil City Confidential: Dr Feelgood (b00s2y91)
Director Julien Temple's film celebrates Canvey Island's Dr Feelgood, the Essex R 'n' B band that exploded out of the UK in the prog era of the early Seventies, delivering shows and albums that helped pave the way for pub rock and punk.

Temple examines Canvey Island culture as a 'Thames delta' for British rhythm and blues, with a central performance from the Feelgood's guitarist and songwriter Wilko Johnson. A British original, his dynamic stage presence and relationship with lead singer Lee Brilleaux drove the band through their early performances, characterising their three albums between 1975 and 1976, Down by the Jetty, Malpractice and the number one live album, Stupidity.

Wilko left the band in 1977, bassist John B Sparks and drummer The Big Figure both left in 1982, and Lee Brilleaux died in 1994. This is an imaginative, filmic and moving study of the place, times and characters that created the heyday of a seminal British band, and the personal forces that pulled them apart.


SUN 01:10 African School (b0074rfh)
Show me the Money

Mrs Mukasa, the new headmistress at Masindi Secondary State School, finds herself in dire financial straits - three quarters of the students have failed to pay their school fees and the teachers have gone without full pay for three months.

She is determined that all children should be forced to pay and instigates a tough new gate policy that is supposed to catch the defaulters. But her students are desperate to get into school. Eddie, an orphan, tries to scrape the school fees money together through odd jobs and support from his brother. Justice, a skilled dodger, crawls under the fence and tricks his teachers with a borrowed payment card to get into class.


SUN 01:40 The Tutu Talks (b00s6b1d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


SUN 02:10 Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession (b00s77pc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


SUN 03:10 The African Rock 'n' Roll Years (b0074py7)
West Africa: Praise Singers and Superstars

Today, much of Africa's best known music comes from the West African states of Senegal and Mali, thanks to such best-selling artists as Youssou N'Dour, Baaba Maal and Salif Keita.

The first in a series of six about African pop music traces the roots of West African music to the ancient Mande empire that once controlled this part of Africa and which was handed down from generation to generation through the hereditary praise singers, the griots.

The musicians themselves guide us through the story of how the griots lost their musical monopoly and how state intervention and a craze for Cuban music helped to create one of the most exciting popular music scenes in the world today. Ali Farka Toure, Baaba Maal and Daara J support the theory that this region of Africa was the birthplace of major musical styles like the blues, reggae and hip hop.


SUN 04:10 Beautiful Minds (b00s2xv4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]



MONDAY 26 APRIL 2010

MON 19:00 World News Today (b00s6b6j)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


MON 19:30 The Great Rift: Africa's Wild Heart (b00qmf71)
Water

Visible from space, Africa's Great Rift Valley runs three thousand miles from the Red Sea to the mouth of the Zambezi. It's a diverse terrain of erupting volcanoes, forest-clad mountains, spectacular valleys, rolling grasslands, huge lakes and mighty rivers, and is home to crocodiles, hippos, lions, elephants, flocks of flamingos and a diversity of indigenous peoples.

Using state-of-the-art high definition filming techniques, this series investigates the geological forces which shaped east Africa's Great Rift and which make it one of the world's most wildlife-rich landscapes.

The Great Rift Valley channels a huge diversity of waterways - rivers, lakes, waterfalls, caustic springs and coral seas - from Egypt to Mozambique. Some lake and ocean deeps harbour previously unseen life-forms, while caustic waters challenge life to the extreme. But where volcanic minerals enrich the Great Rift's waterways, they provide the most spectacular concentrations of birds, mammals and fish in all Africa.


MON 20:30 South Africa Walks (b00s6b6l)
The Garden Route

Having tackled treks across the UK, Julia Bradbury embarks on a grand adventure in South Africa, setting out on four different walks that explore its claim to be 'a world in one country'.

Julia is a regular visitor to the Rainbow Nation, but this is her chance to go beyond the normal tourist destinations to a series of increasingly remote locations. However, these are walks that any reasonably adventurous walker could embark on, and they offer a fresh and personal perspective on a friendly and fascinating country that is often misunderstood.

The southern coastline of Africa is home to the sun-drenched Garden Route. With fabulous beaches and immense flora and fauna, this is an increasingly popular holiday spot, but Julia's walk reveals secrets of the history of the Rainbow Nation. She even encounters research suggesting that this abundant spot gave rise to the modern human race.

With her Xhosa guide Willie bringing every feature to life, Julia finds her first walk an absolute delight. Here is proof of South Africa's warm and friendly welcome and of the constant surprises it has to offer.


MON 21:00 The History of Safari with Richard E Grant (b00s6b8q)
Episode 1

For almost 100 years, big game hunters - from Theodore Roosevelt to the British Royal Family - came to British East Africa to bag the 'big five'. Now, luxury 'eco safaris' continue to drive its economy. It has been both East Africa's damnation and its salvation that wildlife is the greatest natural resource it possesses.

Richard E Grant - who grew up in Swaziland - examines the controversial history of the safari. Exploring the world of the big game hunters and the luxury of today's safaris, he goes on a personal journey to experience how the beauty of the bush made Africa the white man's playground.

Plotting the major landmarks in the development of the safari, Grant uncovers a world of danger, glamour and gung-ho. He reveals how the safari was continually reinvented as explorers and ivory hunters were replaced by white settlers, guns gave way to cameras and direct British rule to independence.

He discovers how safari became one of the central constructs through which British rule over East Africa was imposed, provided the social touchstone for the white settlers and was eventually transformed by the glamour of Hollywood, the power of the dollar and the traveller's desire for an 'authentic African experience'.

As someone born and raised in the privileged world of the ex-pats, Grant takes an insider's perspective on the scandals and adventures of the elite class of Brits who ran the show. He meets their descendents and delves into the rich material archives of their family homes, discovering that for the remaining whites in the region this history is still very much alive.

As the trophy hunt became an icon of high society, everyone from Ernest Hemingway to British nobility and Hollywood stars were soon clamouring for a piece of the action. And as hunters decimated Africa's wildlife, they also surprisingly introduced the first conservation laws, if only to protect the supply of animals to shoot.

Embarking on safari himself, Grant experiences the beauty and the danger of being up close to the big game animals and accompanies modern hunters on safaris, where animals are still killed and the patrons still argue that hunting equals conservation.

The film is full of frontier colonial characters whose lives, exploits and attitudes describe a very particular time in Britain's relationship to Africa and its wildlife, when the continent was part Wild West, part idyll and part colonial experiment - where life could be lived between the crack of rifles at dawn and the setting of the sun at cocktail hour, largely oblivious to the indigenous Africans themselves.

Through creative use of film and photographic archive, as well as actuality with those involved in big game hunting and luxury safaris today, the documentary evokes the spirit of decadence, exploration and adventure of the safari. Ultimately, it reveals how safari has been and continues to be a barometer of our attitudes to travel, our colonial inheritance and Africa itself.


MON 22:30 The Ghost and the Darkness (b008hs1n)
Adventure drama about the confrontation between two Europeans and a pair of lions that are obstructing the progress of a railway line in East Africa during the 1890s. When the labourers become so frightened by recurring lion attacks at their campsite that they are reluctant to continue to work, an engineer and a big-game hunter join forces in an attempt to outwit the predators.


MON 00:10 The History of Safari with Richard E Grant (b00s6b8q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


MON 01:40 South Africa Walks (b00s6b6l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


MON 02:10 African School (b0074rfk)
The Candidate

Each year Masindi Secondary School runs prefect elections, but this year is going to be different. A change in the rules allows girls to run for head prefect for the first time ever.

Susan, a remarkable and strong-willed girl, takes up the challenge and competes for a job that all the boys in the school think can only be done by one of them. Nelson fights against her. 21st century feminism takes centre stage and male pride, female emancipation and girl power are all at stake as Susan and Nelson take to the hustings to fight for the top spot.


MON 02:40 The African Rock 'n' Roll Years (b0074rgk)
The High Life Zone

This edition of the series about African popular music explores the effect of Caribbean mento music and calypso on the palm wine styles that developed in Sierra Leone and tells how that music affected the popular highlife dance styles of Ghana and influenced juju music in Nigeria and the Makossa dance scene in Cameroon.

Much of the great music from the region comes from Nigeria, from the juju big band styles of King Sunny Ade, the first West African musician to be heavily promoted in the west, through to the Afrobeat fusion of the wild and legendary Fela Kuti.

Featured artists include Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Osibisa, Alpha Blondy, Angelique Kidjo and Manu Dibango.


MON 03:40 The History of Safari with Richard E Grant (b00s6b8q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



TUESDAY 27 APRIL 2010

TUE 19:00 World News Today (b00s6bbt)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


TUE 19:30 Lost Kingdoms of Africa (b00pq946)
Series 1

Nubia

Four-part series in which British art historian Dr Gus Casely-Hayford explores the pre-colonial history of some of Africa's most important kingdoms.

The African continent is home to nearly a billion people. It has an incredible diversity of communities and cultures, yet we know less of its history than almost anywhere else on earth.

But that is beginning to change. In the last few decades, researchers and archaeologists have begun to uncover a range of histories as impressive and extraordinary as anywhere else in the world.

The series reveals that Africa's stories are preserved for us in its treasures, statues and ancient buildings - in the culture, art and legends of the people.

The first episode looks at Nubia, in what is now northern Sudan, a kingdom that dominated a vast area of the eastern Sahara for thousands of years. Its people were described as barbarians and mercenaries, and yet Nubia has left us with some of the most spectacular monuments in the world.

Casely-Hayford traces the origins of this fascinating kingdom back to 10,000 BC. He explores how it developed and what happened to it and its people, discovering that its kings once ruled Ancient Egypt and that it was defeated not by its rivals but by its environment.


TUE 20:30 South Africa Walks (b00s8fxz)
The Drakensberg

Having tackled treks across the UK, Julia Bradbury embarks on a grand adventure in South Africa, setting out on four different walks that explore its claim to be 'a world in one country'.

Julia is a regular visitor to the Rainbow Nation, but this is her chance to go far beyond the normal tourist destinations to a series of increasingly remote locations. However, these are walks that any reasonably adventurous walker could embark on and they offer a fresh and personal perspective on a friendly and fascinating country that is often misunderstood.

Julia moves to the interior for her second walk and the grandest mountain range in southern Africa, the Drakensberg. The 3,000m Cathedral Peak is the ambition for Julia and her Zulu guide Zee. As she quickly discovers, even the fittest and most experienced walkers need luck on their side when it comes to the dramatic weather of these mountains. With Zulus, Brits and Boers to provide the history, this is an outing filled with drama and fascination, set against a backdrop sometimes described as the most beautiful on Earth.


TUE 21:00 South Africa in Pictures (b00s6bdh)
British fashion photographer Rankin explores South Africa's rich photographic tradition, discovering how its leading photographers have captured this complex, often turbulent, nation through remarkable images and charting the unique role photography has played in documenting the story and people of this fascinating country.

Through encounters with legendary conflict photographers the Bang Bang Club, documentary photographer David Goldblatt and photojournalist Alf Kumalo amongst others, Rankin goes on a compelling and moving photographic journey to see the nation through their gaze.


TUE 22:00 The Tutu Talks (b00s8lp8)
Are Women Strong Enough to Lead Africa?

Archbishop Desmond Tutu brings together Africa's leading contemporary thinkers in a series of discussions exploring major issues and changes affecting the future of the continent.

Tutu asks his guests - Patricia De Lille, Pregs Govender, Mbuyiselo Botha, and Nomboniso Gasa - why women in Africa, despite years of struggle and hardship, still do not possess the same freedoms and rights as men.

Are arguments about cultural difference and tradition allowing brutal acts of oppression against women to be ignored or excused? Do men in Africa fear their identities or power will be eroded if women have greater equality? What does the political victory of Ellen-Johnson Sirleaf in Liberia tell us about the possibilities for real change?


TUE 22:30 Flight of the Conchords (b00kld6c)
Series 2

A New Cup

After Bret spends $2.79 on a new cup the boys can't pay any of their bills and, having sold their guitars, Jemaine turns to prostitution to try and make ends meet.


TUE 23:00 Building Africa: Architecture of a Continent (b0074rfc)
The acclaimed architect David Adjaye travels through Africa to unravel the secrets of the continent's surprising architectural history.

In a journey that takes him from the eerily beautiful mud buildings of Mali to Mussolini's experiment in architectural modernism in Eritrea, Adjaye untangles the cultural and imperial influences which have shaped African architecture. After visiting Rwanda - a country still rebuilding itself after the genocide of the 1990s, and Ghana - the country of his own roots, Adjaye concludes his odyssey in South Africa, where a new High Court building is being constructed out of bricks reclaimed from an old prison dating back to the apartheid era.


TUE 00:00 South Africa in Pictures (b00s6bdh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 01:00 South Africa Walks (b00s8fxz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


TUE 01:30 African School (b0074rfy)
Football Fever

The school's pride is at stake, as well as the reputation of its coaching staff and a golden opportunity to promote itself as a beacon of sport and learning. This is the fast moving story of of the school's progress in the highly competitive Coca Cola Cup - it's a chance to experience the dreams of players like Shem wanting to put their skills before talent scouts and support their families with dreamed-of riches. A pitch invasion and a full scale riot unfold as football fever grips the school.


TUE 02:00 The Tutu Talks (b00s8lp8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


TUE 02:30 The African Rock 'n' Roll Years (b0074rhc)
Central Africa: Congo Jive

Battered by years of Belgian colonial rule and by dictatorship and civil war since independence, the Congo (or Zaire as it was known in the Mobutu era) has for decades been one of Africa's problem states.

But from Kinshasa, on the Congo river, came some of the most joyful, infectious dance music in Africa as guitarists and bandleaders from the great Franco through to Papa Wemba mixed local and Cuban influences to create the rumba and soukous styles that shook up dance floors across Africa and beyond.

Politics inevitably had its effect, as Mobutu introduced his campaign for 'authenticity' in music, and the chaos in Kinshasa forced musicians to move to Europe to find new audiences for a style of music that had already spread across East Africa.

Featured artists include Franco, Tabu Ley Rochereau, Ray Lema, Pepe Kalle, newcomers Kokono No 1 and Rwandan-born Corneille.


TUE 03:30 South Africa in Pictures (b00s6bdh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 28 APRIL 2010

WED 19:00 World News Today (b00s6bgk)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


WED 19:30 Soweto Strings (b008pr86)
An immensely moving and inspiring account of a British music teacher's adventure in the black township of Soweto, enabling kids to transcend the constraints of their environment, and find hope through creative involvement in music.

Under the heavily polluted shadow of one of the giant gold-mining slag heaps near Diepfloof, Soweto, in a township still dominated by violence, AIDS, and poverty, children of all ages play Bach, Mozart and Bartok with a verve and flair unique in the world. They play not because of some neo-missionary do-gooder's devotion, but because they feel drawn to music that is at once exotic and deeply familiar.

The Buskaid Music School in Soweto was founded by a distinguished British viola player Rosemary Nalden, who originally came to South Africa at the invitation of a local music teacher. She was so inspired by what she found there that she stayed, and eventually set up her own school, which struggles to keep going on little funding, but which has established itself as an unusual centre of excellence. The Buskaid String Orchestra has toured Europe and the USA several times and received unanimous praise. The Orchestra was invited to play at the 2007 Proms, where the young Sowetans received standing ovations.


WED 20:30 South Africa Walks (b00s8fy1)
The Kruger

Having tackled treks across the UK, Julia Bradbury embarks on a grand adventure in South Africa, setting out on four very different walks that explore its claim to be 'a world in one country'.

Julia is a regular visitor to the Rainbow Nation, but this is her chance to go far beyond the normal tourist destinations to a series of increasingly remote locations. However, these are all walks that any reasonably adventurous walker could embark on, and they offer a fresh and personal perspective on a friendly and fascinating country that is so often misunderstood.

Having progressed from South African coast to mountains, Julia ups the ante as she prepares to head out on foot in one of the world's most famous game reserves. Call it exhilarating or foolhardy, this is a walking adventure amongst the biggest and most dangerous beasts in Africa. But Julia is well looked after by Jaco, an expert game ranger who proves that the Kruger is far more than just big cats and elephants. This is a unique opportunity to roam freely in one of the world's true wildernesses.


WED 21:00 African Railway (b00s6bgw)
In a moving and often funny documentary, award-winning film-maker Sean Langan is off to east Africa to ride the rails of the Tazara railroad, whose passenger and goods trains travel through spectacular scenery and a game park teeming with wild animals.

The railway was built by the Chinese just after independence to link Zambia's copper belt to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam, and once carried the region's hopes and dreams. But now it is in crisis. Every day there are derailments, trains running out of fuel and mechanical breakdowns.

Langan meets the train crews, controllers and maintenance crews who battle to keep it going - and at Tazara HQ he is on the track of Tazara's elusive Chinese railway advisors to find out why it is in such a parlous state.


WED 22:00 The Tutu Talks (b00s8lsc)
Is Africa Better off Without Help from the West?

Archbishop Desmond Tutu brings together Africa's leading contemporary thinkers in a series of discussions exploring major issues and changes affecting the future of the continent.

The Archbishop and his guests - Unity Dow, Jonathan Clayton, Mohau Pheko and Mark Gevisser - explore whether aid from the west is actually doing more harm than good in Africa. Does the aid relationship between the west and Africa sustain the idea of Africans as powerless to change things themselves? Is foreign aid propping up corrupt or failing governments by making them unaccountable to their people? And are there alternative models of assistance that could actually be of more benefit?


WED 22:30 Outnumbered (b00s5wnn)
Series 3

Episode 3

Karen recreates Britain's Got Talent, Ben takes a close interest in Dad's medical tests and Mum thinks Jake's healthy interest in girls is becoming unhealthy.

Meanwhile, the ghost of John McEnroe hovers over Dad's Saturday morning game of tennis. Karen decides to sort things out.


WED 23:00 Flight of the Conchords (b00kssp5)
Series 2

The Tough Brets

When Bret disses some rappers in a gang he becomes terrified they are going to kill him, so he forms the Tough Brets gang to protect himself.

All the guys from the Australian Consulate start bullying Murray, while Mel paints some 'fan art' for Jemaine.


WED 23:30 Only Connect (b00s01xk)
Series 3

Gamblers v Strategists

Quiz show presented by Victoria Coren in which knowledge will only take you so far, as patience and lateral thinking are also vital.

In the series final, cunning and tactics combine with logic, recall and tangential inspiration, as three committed Gamblers resist the temptation to take too many risks and the Strategists fight the impulse to err on the side of caution. Whose approach will win out in this battle of the giants?

They'll compete to draw together the connections between elements which at first glance seem utterly random, from Captain Scarlet to Reg Cox to Marty Hopkirk to Arnold J Rimmer.


WED 00:00 African Railway (b00s6bgw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 01:00 South Africa Walks (b00s8fy1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


WED 01:30 African School (b0074rg3)
Sex Education

This powerful film shows how early pregnancy forces 6,000 girls out of the school system in Uganda every year. When he took up the post of headmaster at Kamurasi Primary School, Mr Ntairaho introduced a system of surprise pregnancy testing, believing that it protects the girls from prostitution and 'defilement' and reduces the drop out rate. We follow Christine, a final year student who fears she is pregnant, as she is put in for the test.


WED 02:00 The Tutu Talks (b00s8lsc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


WED 02:30 The African Rock 'n' Roll Years (b0074rk3)
Lusophone

The Portuguese colonisers who ruled over Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde, left behind them a group of countries cut off from neighbouring states for the simple reason that their common language was Portuguese and not French or English. They have developed their distinctive styles, from the high-energy music of Angola to the sad-edged blues and European-influenced morna ballads of the Cape Verde islands, which have made Cesaria Evora an international diva.

Despite the scars left by the wars fought to rid themselves of their former colonial masters, some musicians look to Lisbon for inspiration, with Guinea Bissau's guitarist Manecas Costa working with the fado star Mariza.

Featuring Cesaria Evora, Manecas Costa, Mariza, Bonga (from Angola) and Mabulu (from Mozambique).


WED 03:30 Soweto Strings (b008pr86)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


WED 04:30 Flight of the Conchords (b00kssp5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 today]



THURSDAY 29 APRIL 2010

THU 19:00 World News Today (b00s6bkr)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


THU 19:30 The Great Rift: Africa's Wild Heart (b00qr4xv)
Grass

Visible from space, Africa's Great Rift Valley runs three thousand miles from the Red Sea to the mouth of the Zambezi. It's a diverse terrain of erupting volcanoes, forest-clad mountains, spectacular valleys, rolling grasslands, huge lakes and mighty rivers, and is home to crocodiles, hippos, lions, elephants, flocks of flamingos and a diversity of indigenous peoples.

Using state-of-the-art high definition filming techniques, this series investigates the geological forces which shaped east Africa's Great Rift and which make it one of the world's most wildlife-rich landscapes.

The Great Rift Valley provides the stage for an epic battle between trees and grass - its course influenced by volcanic eruptions, landscape and rainfall. On its outcome rests the fate of Africa's great game herds. In the rift's savannas, grazers and their predators struggle to outwit each other, forcing one group of primates to develop a social system that paved the way for the evolution of mankind.


THU 20:30 South Africa Walks (b00s8g03)
The Green Kalahari

Having tackled treks across the UK, Julia Bradbury embarks on a grand adventure in South Africa, setting out on four very different walks that explore its claim to be 'a world-in-one country'.

Julia is a regular visitor to the Rainbow Nation, but this is her chance to go beyond the normal tourist destinations to a series of increasingly remote locations. However, these are all walks that any reasonably adventurous walker could embark on, offering a fresh and personal perspective on a friendly and fascinating country that is so often misunderstood.

Julia's final walk takes her to the remote north-west corner of South Africa. This is the edge of the Kalahari Desert and the setting for Julia's most adventurous undertaking yet. Far away from the major tourist draws of the country, it is an insight into a true African world. Set against the stunning red geology of Augrabies Falls National Park, it's a stark but beautiful walk, encountering simple rural lives and remarkable agriculture, utterly reliant on the broad waters of the Orange River.


THU 21:00 Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession (b00s77pc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Sunday]


THU 22:00 The Tutu Talks (b00s8lzy)
Is God a Help or a Hindrance to Africa?

Archbishop Desmond Tutu brings together Africa's leading contemporary thinkers in a series of discussions exploring major issues and changes affecting the future of the continent.

The Archbishop and his guests - Bishop Kevin Dowling, Tauriq Moosa, Ronnie Kasrils and Farid Esack - explore why Africa is so religious. Is it a way to cope with the hardships associated with underdevelopment? Or is Africa more underdeveloped because of religion? Should religion be such a factor in political and social decision making, given the difficulties Africa is facing such as HIV and AIDS?


THU 22:30 Wallander (b00s77mb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday]


THU 00:00 Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession (b00s77pc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Sunday]


THU 01:00 South Africa Walks (b00s8g03)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


THU 01:30 African School (b0074rgj)
The Womaniser and the Evangelist

16-year-old Dickson is a schoolboy womaniser in a puritanical country. He risks seven years imprisonment for having sex under the age of 18 and the evangelical Christians ram home the message that sex before marriage is bad.

He has already seen his father and over 20 of his uncles, aunts and cousins die of 'that disease', as he calls it. This remarkable film gives insight into why God is so big in Africa. The local evangelical church, the Miracle Centre, promises Dickson spiritual salvation and possibly a cure from AIDS if he'll become born again. He is spurred on by the outspoken schoolgirl evangelist Prosse and a touching friendship emerges. It's a personal journey in which he confronts himself and God whilst facing the consequences of an HIV test.


THU 02:00 The Tutu Talks (b00s8lzy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


THU 02:30 The African Rock 'n' Roll Years (b0074rkr)
North Africa: Rai Rebels and Desert Blues

Tinariwen, the robed guitar slingers from the Sahara, became successful in the first decade of the 21st century thanks to their slinky desert-blues riffs. The music of the desert has had a fascination for Western musicians, with Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones travelling to Morocco to record the extraordinary traditional drummers and pipe players of Joujouka, and more recently Robert Plant and Jimmy Page collaborating with North African musicians on their reunion album No Quarter - Unledded.

Meanwhile, Rai musicians from Algeria moved to France to shake up the French music scene. The programme follows the careers of Rai stars like Khaled and the Arab rocker Rachid Taha, and also the great female singers who have emerged from Islamic North Africa and from further east in Christian Ethiopia.

Featuring Tinariwen, Khaled, Rachid Taha, Emmanuel Jal (Sudan), Souad Massi (Algeria), Maryam Mursal (Somalia), Amina (Tunisia), and Gigi and Aster Aweke from Ethiopia.


THU 03:30 Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession (b00s77pc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Sunday]



FRIDAY 30 APRIL 2010

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b00s6bll)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 BBC Young Musician (b00s787c)
2010

Keyboards

Clemency Burton-Hill introduces BBC Young Musician 2010. Over 300 of the UK's best young musicians entered this year's competition and just 25 were chosen to go through to the five category finals - brass, keyboard, strings, woodwind and percussion.

In the keyboard final, five young people aged between 13 and 18 compete at the BBC Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff for the title of category winner and a place in the competition semi-final. Featuring music by Rachmaninoff, Chopin and Messiaen, viewers can expect tension, drama and some exceptional performances.


FRI 21:00 Hugh Masekela: Welcome to South Africa (b00s6bln)
South African musician Hugh Masekela celebrates his 70th birthday and reflects on his career in performance and interview, from first picking up a trumpet in the 50s through the apartheid years, exile and stardom in America, his return to South Africa on Nelson Mandela's release, and concluding with his vision of the future for his country.

The programme also features performances from his 70th birthday concert at the Barbican in London in December 2009, where he was joined by the London Symphony Orchestra, their Community Choir and guest South African singers.


FRI 22:00 The African Rock 'n' Roll Years (b0074rfz)
South Africa: Songs of Freedom

This edition illustrates how South Africa's vibrant music scene developed in the apartheid era when songs were used as a way of hitting back against repression, just as they were in the fight against white rule in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

Back in the late 1950s and 60s, Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela were the first African artists to find success in the west, thanks to their blend of American jazz styles and mbaqanga - South Africa's rousing homegrown pop. More recently, a new generation of singers and hip-hop artists have been trying to repeat their success and create their own new styles, mixing local influences with their continuing fascination with black American music. Featured artists include Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Abdullah Ibrahim, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Thomas Mapfumo and newcomers Thandiswa and Simphiwe Dana.


FRI 23:00 Make 'em Laugh (b00kmt5h)
Would You Hit a Guy with Glasses?: Nerds, Jerks and Oddballs

Six-part series chronicling over 100 years of American comedy, introduced by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris.

While America, a country of immigrants, has always championed the idea of inclusiveness, the outsider has been a source of constant amusement. Perhaps best epitomised today by characters in such blockbuster Judd Apatow comedies as The Forty Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Superbad, this edition also looks back at the bespectacled wannabe (Harold Lloyd) and the vain coward (Bob Hope) as the outsiders of their day.

Along with pioneering women in comedy like Phyllis Diller and truly zany characters who seem to have arrived from another planet (Jonathan Winters, Andy Kaufman, Robin Williams), the great social upheaval of the 1960s and 70s introduced counter-culture favourites Cheech and Chong, as well as superstar nerds like Woody Allen and 'jerks' like Steve Martin, who ultimately became so popular that the idea of the outsider had to be re-cast.


FRI 00:00 Make 'em Laugh (b00kq4lv)
Honey, I'm Home!: Breadwinners and Homemakers

Six-part series chronicling over 100 years of American comedy, introduced by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris.

The domestic comedy may be the most American of comedy concepts. The moment that Burns and Allen admitted to their radio audience that they were a married couple, a tradition of laughter on the home front began.

Groundbreaking television sitcoms like the Goldbergs, I Love Lucy, the Honeymooners, the Dick van Dyke Show, All in the Family, the Cosby Show, Roseanne, Seinfeld and the Simpsons reflect the ongoing changes at home and in the workplace. Sitcoms continue to be a consistently humorous barometer of American gender roles and attitudes toward racism and politics.


FRI 00:55 African School (b0074rgp)
Running For Your Life

Primary school head Mr Ntairaho is taking part in a survey of displaced children in the Masindi district. The area is full of people who have fled the gruesome fighting further north where the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) is taking on the Ugandan government and terrorising the local population. But ordinary life goes on too.

This film is also the story of Opio, an orphan who came to Masindi after his parents were killed in the LRA fighting. Opio is a skilled athlete whose father ran at national level and Opio is striving to run in his footsteps.


FRI 01:25 Hugh Masekela: Welcome to South Africa (b00s6bln)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 02:25 The African Rock 'n' Roll Years (b0074rfz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


FRI 03:25 BBC Young Musician (b00s787c)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]




LIST OF THIS WEEK'S PROGRAMMES
(Note: the times link back to the details; the pids link to the BBC page, including iPlayer)

African Railway 21:00 WED (b00s6bgw)

African Railway 00:00 WED (b00s6bgw)

African School 01:10 SUN (b0074rfh)

African School 02:10 MON (b0074rfk)

African School 01:30 TUE (b0074rfy)

African School 01:30 WED (b0074rg3)

African School 01:30 THU (b0074rgj)

African School 00:55 FRI (b0074rgp)

BBC Young Musician 00:50 SAT (b00s3vz9)

BBC Young Musician 19:30 FRI (b00s787c)

BBC Young Musician 03:25 FRI (b00s787c)

Beautiful Minds 19:00 SUN (b00s2xv4)

Beautiful Minds 04:10 SUN (b00s2xv4)

Breaking the Mould: The Story of Penicillin 22:30 SAT (b00ly0t1)

Breaking the Mould: The Story of Penicillin 03:20 SAT (b00ly0t1)

Building Africa: Architecture of a Continent 23:00 TUE (b0074rfc)

Flight of the Conchords 22:30 TUE (b00kld6c)

Flight of the Conchords 23:00 WED (b00kssp5)

Flight of the Conchords 04:30 WED (b00kssp5)

Goldsmiths: But Is It Art? 22:30 SUN (b00s2x95)

Hugh Masekela: Welcome to South Africa 21:00 FRI (b00s6bln)

Hugh Masekela: Welcome to South Africa 01:25 FRI (b00s6bln)

Lost Kingdoms of Africa 19:30 TUE (b00pq946)

Make 'em Laugh 23:00 FRI (b00kmt5h)

Make 'em Laugh 00:00 FRI (b00kq4lv)

Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession 21:00 SUN (b00s77pc)

Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession 02:10 SUN (b00s77pc)

Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession 21:00 THU (b00s77pc)

Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession 00:00 THU (b00s77pc)

Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession 03:30 THU (b00s77pc)

Oil City Confidential: Dr Feelgood 23:20 SUN (b00s2y91)

Only Connect 23:30 WED (b00s01xk)

Outnumbered 22:30 WED (b00s5wnn)

South Africa Walks 20:30 MON (b00s6b6l)

South Africa Walks 01:40 MON (b00s6b6l)

South Africa Walks 20:30 TUE (b00s8fxz)

South Africa Walks 01:00 TUE (b00s8fxz)

South Africa Walks 20:30 WED (b00s8fy1)

South Africa Walks 01:00 WED (b00s8fy1)

South Africa Walks 20:30 THU (b00s8g03)

South Africa Walks 01:00 THU (b00s8g03)

South Africa in Pictures 21:00 TUE (b00s6bdh)

South Africa in Pictures 00:00 TUE (b00s6bdh)

South Africa in Pictures 03:30 TUE (b00s6bdh)

Soweto Strings 19:30 WED (b008pr86)

Soweto Strings 03:30 WED (b008pr86)

The African Rock 'n' Roll Years 03:10 SUN (b0074py7)

The African Rock 'n' Roll Years 02:40 MON (b0074rgk)

The African Rock 'n' Roll Years 02:30 TUE (b0074rhc)

The African Rock 'n' Roll Years 02:30 WED (b0074rk3)

The African Rock 'n' Roll Years 02:30 THU (b0074rkr)

The African Rock 'n' Roll Years 22:00 FRI (b0074rfz)

The African Rock 'n' Roll Years 02:25 FRI (b0074rfz)

The Beauty of Maps 20:00 SUN (b00s3v0t)

The Beauty of Maps 20:30 SUN (b00s5p6k)

The Ghost and the Darkness 22:30 MON (b008hs1n)

The Great Rift: Africa's Wild Heart 19:30 MON (b00qmf71)

The Great Rift: Africa's Wild Heart 19:30 THU (b00qr4xv)

The Guinea Pig Club 23:50 SAT (b0074q2f)

The History of Safari with Richard E Grant 21:00 MON (b00s6b8q)

The History of Safari with Richard E Grant 00:10 MON (b00s6b8q)

The History of Safari with Richard E Grant 03:40 MON (b00s6b8q)

The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu 19:00 SAT (b00hkb0z)

The Tutu Talks 22:00 SUN (b00s6b1d)

The Tutu Talks 01:40 SUN (b00s6b1d)

The Tutu Talks 22:00 TUE (b00s8lp8)

The Tutu Talks 02:00 TUE (b00s8lp8)

The Tutu Talks 22:00 WED (b00s8lsc)

The Tutu Talks 02:00 WED (b00s8lsc)

The Tutu Talks 22:00 THU (b00s8lzy)

The Tutu Talks 02:00 THU (b00s8lzy)

Wallander 21:00 SAT (b00s77mb)

Wallander 22:30 THU (b00s77mb)

Wonders of the Solar System 20:00 SAT (b00rmpqh)

Wonders of the Solar System 02:20 SAT (b00rmpqh)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b00s6b6j)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b00s6bbt)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b00s6bgk)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b00s6bkr)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b00s6bll)