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 OCTOBER 2020

SAT 19:00 Francesco's Venice (b0078sx5)
Death

Final episode of a documentary series telling the story of Venice, presented by Francesco da Mosto.

Venice may be sinking, it may even be in peril, but da Mosto is in no mood to throw in the towel. The fate of Venice still hangs in the balance, and he puts at least some of the blame at the door of the British. From the moment that Byron put Venice on the tourist map, the city has been caught up in a trail of events that has made life harder and harder for the Venetians.

But this episode is also Francesco's personal story, and he has pledged his belief in the future of Venice by continuing to live and bring up his children there, even though his life has been affected by the dangers the city faces. In the great flood of 1966 that threatened to wash the city away, he was a terrified child of five who watched the waters invade his home and wondered if life could ever continue. Francesco's father, Count da Mosto, reminisces about the 1966 floods with chilling immediacy, and Francesco swims the Grand Canal.

It has not just been the tourists or the rising waters of the lagoon that have threatened the city. Outrageous ideas to bring the city into the modern age have included bridges linking the city with mainland Italy, flattening old churches and even converting the Grand Canal into an eight-lane motorway.


SAT 20:00 Full Circle with Michael Palin (p00wh90y)
Vietnam and the Philippines

Michael Palin visits Hanoi, takes a sampan on the Perfume River, witnesses psychic surgery, travels to the Cu Chi tunnels, judges a beauty contest but fails to see the Banaue rice terraces.


SAT 21:00 DNA (m000nwr8)
Series 1

Episode 1

Rolf Larsen, a respected detective on the Copenhagen police force, investigates the case of a missing child. Then, his life is brutally upended when his own baby daughter goes missing.

Five years after the tragedy, a new lead emerges when a serious flaw is uncovered in the Danish police’s DNA database.

Realising that his daughter may still be alive, Rolf tries to find out what really happened to her by investigating a parallel case linked to an international child trafficking ring. Rolf gets help from Claire, a seasoned French investigator working on a similar case.

In Danish, English, French and Polish with English subtitles.


SAT 21:40 DNA (m000nwrd)
Series 1

Episode 2

A stolen car in Thornby results in Rolf meeting young police assistant Neel. He is reluctantly ordered by their joint boss to test the car thief's DNA with his old colleagues in Copenhagen.

In Danish, English, French and Polish with English subtitles.


SAT 22:20 Top of the Pops (m000nnyl)
Bruno Brookes presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 2 February 1990 and featuring Sybil, Sinead O'Connor and The House of Love.


SAT 22:55 Top of the Pops (m000nnyn)
Gary Davies presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 8 February 1990 and featuring Phil Collins, The Beloved and Beats International.


SAT 23:25 The Bridge (b06kbszc)
Series 3

Episode 5

Saga and Henrik interview the estranged sister of the latest victim, who mentions that he had been cautioned after complaints from some of his pupils. Whilst nursing the hospitalised Hans, Lillian discovers a wound inside his cheek and Saga immediately orders the re-examination of previous victims. Claus attends the gallery opening of works from Freddie Holst's private collection and is alarmed when Anneka arrives and demands admittance.

In Swedish and danish with English subtitles.


SAT 00:25 The Bridge (b06k8014)
Series 3

Episode 6

A sceptical Henrik and Saga are initially unimpressed when a young art curator suggests a connection between the murders of Helle Anker and Lars-Ove Abrahamsson and the brutal attack on Hans, but his theory leads them to interview Freddie Holst, a successful businessman with a substantial art collection. The detectives are called to yet another victim whose mutilation seems to be the work of their serial killer.

In Swedish and Danish with English subtitles.


SAT 01:25 Full Circle with Michael Palin (p00wh90y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SAT 01:15 Francesco's Venice (b0078sx5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]



SUNDAY 25 OCTOBER 2020

SUN 19:00 Mud, Sweat and Tractors: The Story of Agriculture (b00k3685)
Wheat

Documentary series about the history of 20th-century farming in Britain looks at wheat and tells how the country became self-sufficient in producing bread-making wheat after the Second World War.

Told through the working lives and home movie archives of three wheat-farming families from the east of England, it reveals how farmers went from horse power to machine power and how they used science and genetics to transform the size and yield of wheat and the rural landscape, with controversial outcomes for the countryside.


SUN 20:00 Yellowstone (b00jmqk1)
Autumn

Over the summer, Yellowstone has flourished - in late August there are more living things here than at any other time of the year. But winter is around the corner and there are just two months for all Yellowstone's animals to get ready or get out.

An early dusting of snow is a sign for elk to start moving down from the mountains to focus on finding food in the valleys. Although the wolves are waiting for them, the male elk are distracted, their haunting bugle call boasting that they are fired up and ready to fight each other to the death for the right to breed.

As temperatures fall further, beavers get busy in a rush to repair dams and stock underwater larders before ice freezes their ponds. Yellowstone's forests - the aspens, cottonwoods and maples - start to shut down for the winter, their colours painting the park a blaze of red and gold. Meanwhile, another tree is coming into its own, the whitebark pine. It offers up a bumper crop of pine nuts which fatten grizzly bears and squirrels alike. But its nuts are meant for another animal - the Clark's nutcracker, a small bird with a colossal memory and one that will reward the tree's efforts well by carrying its seeds far and wide, and even planting them.

As autumn ends, the snow and ice return and many animals now move out from the heart of Yellowstone and away from the protection of the national park. Their fight is not only to survive the cold, but also to find what little wild space remains in the modern world. All around Yellowstone, the human world is encroaching - it is now that the true value of the 'world's first national park' becomes clearer than ever.

Mike Kasic is a local sound recordist who got many of the natural sounds for the series, but in his spare time he dons snorkel and fins and jumps into the raging waters of one of the USA's wildest rivers to explore Yellowstone from the point of view of the unique Yellowstone cut-throat trout. Whilst his exploits might seem strange to the other park users - fly fishermen and bison alike - in becoming a fish, Mike not only uncovers an enchanting hidden Yellowstone, but finds out that things are not what they used to be for the cut-throat trout.


SUN 21:00 Sahara with Michael Palin (b0078zpm)
A Line in the Sand

Series in which Michael Palin explores nine fascinating countries and their cultures during a trek across the Sahara Desert.

It is the size of the United States with the population of Norfolk, but first Michael has to get there. Gibraltar is the launching pad, and with a 21-gun salute in honour of the Queen's birthday ringing in his ears, he crosses the Straits to Tangier in Morocco.

It is only after pausing in Fez and Marrakech, and scaling the High Atlas, that Michael enters real desert. This is hard, hot country, controlled by the Polisario Front who have been in confrontation with the Moroccans for over 25 years. But this inhospitable land is softened by the warmth shown by the Sahawari people, who guide Michael south to the Mauritanian border. Here he climbs aboard the 'longest train in the world', breaking his journey at Chinguetti.

There is just time for Michael to defeat the local champion at a game of desert draughts, played with stalks and camel droppings, before he gets literally taken over by the 24th Paris-Dakar Rally and its sole surviving British entrant, Dave Hammond from Cirencester.


SUN 22:00 Sahara with Michael Palin (b0074p4m)
Destination Timbuktu

Series charting Michael Palin's trek across the Sahara Desert. Leaving the desert behind, Michael briefly savours the delights of cosmopolitan Senegal - jazz clubs, wrestling competitions, dance troupes and the queen of the Senegalese soaps, Marie-Madeleine.

Joining the so-called Bamako Express, he endures two days and nights on the train, but in the process gets to know a schoolmistress who is nothing if not forthright about the disadvantages of polygamy.

In Bamako he finds renowned kora player, Toumani Diabate, and delights in a master class before heading off to Dogon country.

The Dogon people have one of the most distinctive and celebrated cultures of West Africa and they nearly kill him with a combination of excessively complex origin myths, an exploding flintlock and boiling hot millet.

Celebrating the Muslim 'Tabaski' feast in the beautiful city of Djenne with a man called Pygmy and securing a passage on a cargo boat with a Norwegian missionary called Kristin, the rest of the journey down the Niger River to Timbuktu seems plain sailing, until the boat runs aground a day from its destination.


SUN 23:00 Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster (m000nwrj)
In BAC Beatbox Academy’s hit show, six talented performers interpret Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein from their own perspective as young people growing up in 21st-century Britain.

Two hundred years after the 18-year-old Mary Shelley wrote the text, these young artists explore how modern monsters are created in today’s society. This musical film is part performance, part documentary, with the cast’s voices as the only instruments.

Bringing their own interpretation of the Frankenstein story to life with a dazzling array of vocal talents including rap, beatboxing and song, the cast create a breathtaking musical soundscape filled with memorable original tracks.

Originally devised for the stage, the live show Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster was a huge hit at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe


SUN 23:30 The Secret Life of Books (p025zldt)
Series 1

Frankenstein

Some 200 years since it was written, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is now shorthand for the horrors of science run amok. But when author and anatomist Professor Alice Roberts returns to the 18-year-old Mary's manuscripts, she finds someone concerned with the very act of creation itself. She also discovers clues of another writer's influence, someone very close to Mary.

Alice's travels take her to the Villa Diodati in Geneva, where Mary and her partner Percy spent time with Lord Byron and she conceived the idea of Victor Frankenstein's creature. By showing the disastrous results of the obsessive Victor's attempts to create life, Mary is seen to be critiquing the Romantic ideal of the solitary, creative genius, a notion associated with poets Percy Shelley and Byron. Surprisingly, when examining Mary's original manuscript at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, Alice also sees written evidence of Percy's collaborative role in the creation of Victor.

In considering the influence of Mary's parents - her father was the radical philosopher William Godwin and her mother Mary was the author of A Vindication of the Rights of Women - Alice further shows that the ideas informing Frankenstein make the novel much more than a simple horror story. Mary's account does deal in death, but ultimately it provokes us to ask questions about how we live.

Produced in partnership with the Open University.


SUN 00:00 EastEnders 2008 (b00cwdm9)
Peggy takes drastic action when conflict in the Mitchell household threatens to shake the fragile peace. Will Dot discover the real Clare?


SUN 00:30 EastEnders 2008 (b00cwds0)
Everyone is shocked when Phil takes his feelings out on Ben, Suzy has something to hide, and Ian makes a discovery about Peter.


SUN 01:00 EastEnders 2008 (b00cwf8r)
Archie becomes the hero of the day, but is everyone happy? Meanwhile Sean learns about Tracey's curse of the Vic. Ronnie discovers Max's dark side, Dot receives bad news about Clare and Ian turns the heat up on Masood.


SUN 02:00 EastEnders 2008 (b00cwfvq)
Dot is adamant that she cannot face Jim coming home for his birthday. Chaos returns to Pat's house as Bianca and family come back from their holiday and the Masoods have a creative way of dealing with Ian's bribe.


SUN 02:30 Mud, Sweat and Tractors: The Story of Agriculture (b00k3685)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]



MONDAY 26 OCTOBER 2020

MON 19:00 Fred Dibnah's Industrial Age (b0074mbm)
Railways

Fred Dibnah visits the North East, which is rich in railway history.

At Bowes Railway he sees an early engineering project by George Stephenson, which was a stationary engine that pulled coal wagons uphill with a rope. At Darlington Railway Museum he admires Stephenson's original Locomotive No 1, the first to run from Darlington to Stockton. At the National Railway Museum, York, he rides on a replica of the Rocket, made by Stephenson's son Robert and at Ffestiniog Railway, he sees how a new locomotive is designed with computer aids and rides on the footplate and stokes the boiler of a Black Five at Llangollen Railway.


MON 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000nwrn)
Series 3

Cabin Hideaway

Follow Bob Ross’s easy painting method to recreate the splendour of a little farm home in a winter wonderland, complete with soft hills bedecked in purple.

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? (b07m7xnv)
Series 5

Delaroche

The Fake or Fortune team have been called in to investigate a mysterious painting in Castle of Park, a grand house in Aberdeenshire now run as a bed and breakfast by Becky Wilson.

The painting once belonged to Becky's late husband Neil, an art dealer, and although it was unsigned he always believed it was something special - a lost masterpiece by celebrated 19th-century French artist Paul Delaroche, whose work graces some of Britain's finest collections.

A bargain at just £500, Neil had tried to convince experts that the exquisitely detailed painting of a royal lady and her attendants was an important missing work and was about to conduct further research when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He passed away in 2014.

Becky contacted the Fake or Fortune team to say she and her children would love to know if Neil was right about the painting he passionately believed was genuine. If it is by Delaroche, then it is worth an estimated £50,000.

The team set out to finish the work Neil started. The stakes are raised when evidence in the British Museum suggests Neil's painting might be a lost royal treasure which was once owned by the last King and Queen of the French, Louis Philippe and Marie Amelie.

The search for clues leads Fiona to the glorious Chateau d'Eu in Normandy on the trail of a stained-glass window created in the image of Delaroche's lost painting for the queen's private chapel.

Yet the deeper the team dig, the more they discover about a growing number of copies of the same image. Concerns about the condition of Becky's painting prompt Philip to carry out detailed scientific research into the pigments the artist used, while Fiona tries to find out if the painting could have made its way to England with Queen Marie Amelie when she fled France during the 1848 revolution.

Have the team been dealing with a clever copy, or was Neil Wilson's hunch correct, and a long-lost masterpiece has finally been rediscovered?


MON 21:00 Michael Palin's Quest for Artemisia (b06t3w73)
Curious about a powerful but violent painting that caught his eye, Michael Palin sets off on a quest to discover the astonishing story of the forgotten female artist who painted it over 400 years ago. Travelling to Italy in search of Artemisia Gentileschi's tale, Michael encounters her work in Florence, Rome and Naples.

Michael unearths not only her paintings but a complex life which included her rape as a teenager and the ensuing indignity of a full trial, her life as a working mother and her ultimate success against all odds as one of the greatest painters of the Baroque age who transformed the way women were depicted in art and who was sought after in many courts across 17th-century Europe.


MON 22:00 Storyville (m000nwrq)
Pepe the Frog: Feels Good Man

Pepe the Frog started life in 2005 as a cute cartoon character in Boy’s Club, an American indie comic on Myspace. Today, he is known as an international hate symbol after being hijacked by the alt-right. Pepe the Frog: Feels Good Man follows Pepe’s creator, artist Matt Furie, as he fights to bring back his lovable comic-book character from the dark forces who stole him.

As the internet exploded, memes of the benign and chill frog-dude started sweeping the internet with lightning speed. Once his image found its way into controversial online community 4chan – the anonymous, anything-goes forum rife with misogyny and racism - there was no turning back. Pepe re-emerged from the darkest corner of the internet decorated with swastikas and spewing racist slurs. He was even caught up in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Exactly how that happened is a wild journey into the heart of online life today and an exploration of how a character meant to bring joy and fun slowly morphed into something else. Maybe, just maybe, he can change again.


MON 23:30 How to Go Viral: The Art of the Meme with Richard Clay (m0003g0q)
Art historian Professor Richard Clay immerses us in the febrile world of viral media, exploring the popularity and meaning of internet memes, from LOL cats to emoji, pratfall videos to ‘dank’ alt-right satire. Playfully fusing the conventions of a BBC Four authored documentary with a throwaway YouTube video style, the film examines the rise and rise of this new visual language and asks what makes a few memes cut through and spread so intensely, while the vast majority fall quietly by the wayside.

To explore this question, Richard Clay experiments with devising and releasing his own memes, applying what he finds out in interviews with meme creators and influencers. These include Tom Walker, the comedian who plays YouTube sensation Jonathan Pie; Amanda Brennan, meme ‘librarian’ at Tumblr; Richard Dawkins, the biologist who coined the word ‘meme’; Christopher Blair, a self-proclaimed liberal troll; and Sam Oakley from LADBible, a video creator company that reaches a billion people a month.


MON 00:30 Fake or Fortune? (b07m7xnv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


MON 01:30 The Joy of Painting (m000nwrn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


MON 02:00 Fred Dibnah's Industrial Age (b0074mbm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


MON 02:30 Michael Palin's Quest for Artemisia (b06t3w73)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



TUESDAY 27 OCTOBER 2020

TUE 19:00 Fred Dibnah's Industrial Age (b0074mbg)
Ships and Engineering

Fred Dibnah examines the skill of the shipbuilders and machine engineers who turned Britain into a great manufacturing nation.

In Bristol, Fred visits the SS Great Britain and pays tribute to the designer and his hero, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Fred also travels to Scotland to take a voyage on the paddle steamer Waverley. Back in England, he visits the Windermere Steamboat Museum, the Long Shop Museum in Leiston, Suffolk, and the Kew Bridge Steam Museum.

Plus, Fred drives his pride and joy, the Aveling & Porter steam roller, talking about its history and recalling one rather dramatic crash he had while driving it.


TUE 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000nwr4)
Series 3

Oval Essence

Bob Ross’s dramatic use of blue tones results in an emotional depiction of crashing night-time waves – all tucked inside an oval.

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 Vikings (b01mxt26)
Episode 2

Neil Oliver heads out from the Scandinavian homelands to Russia, Turkey and Ireland to trace the beginnings of a vast trading empire that handled Chinese silks as adeptly as Pictish slaves. Neil discovers a world of 'starry-eyed maidens' and Buddhist statues that are a world away from our British experience of axe-wielding warriors, although it turns out that there were quite a few of those as well.


TUE 21:00 Blood of the Clans (m000lykv)
Series 1

The Highland Rogue

Neil Oliver turns his attention to a true Scottish legend - a certain Rob Roy MacGregor. For centuries, Rob has been celebrated as a colourful Highland maverick, as a well-intentioned rogue - Scotland’s answer to Robin Hood. But what is the true story? How did a humble cattle trader, born to an impoverished and disgraced clan, come to be despised by the most powerful noblemen in the land? How did Rob Roy become Britain’s most wanted man?


TUE 22:00 Play For Today (p032kjg0)
Series 10

Just a Boys' Game

Jake is brought up trying to emulate his grandfather whom he sees as a living legend, a 'hard man'. As the old man dies, he destroys the legend, and the boy ironically ends up proving himself to be the hard man.


TUE 23:10 ArtWorks Scotland (b02vkjpm)
Spinning a Yarn: The Dubious History of Scottish Tartan

Queen Victoria was mad for it and Harry Lauder was clad in it. It's inextricably woven into the history of Scotland, from Bonnie Prince Charlie to the Tartan Army, and has been used to advertise many political and cultural affinities. Tartan is a fabric that tells tales, but not all of them are true.

Moray Hunter narrates the story of tartan's murky past and colourful present, taking in the Englishmen who forged a guide to clan tartans, Walter Scott's tartan pageant of 1822 and the 21st-century Scottish Register of Tartans.


TUE 00:10 DNA (m000nwr8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday]


TUE 00:50 DNA (m000nwrd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:40 on Saturday]


TUE 01:30 The Joy of Painting (m000nwr4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


TUE 02:00 Fred Dibnah's Industrial Age (b0074mbg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


TUE 02:30 Blood of the Clans (m000lykv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 28 OCTOBER 2020

WED 19:00 Fred Dibnah's Magnificent Monuments (b0074mbx)
Forts and Castles

Another chance to join Fred Dibnah as he celebrates Britain's great building and engineering feats, from prehistoric stone circles to the Humber Bridge. Fred travels around Britain to discover how some of our great buildings were constructed. Along the way, he meets the craftsmen who are preserving these buildings for future generations.

In the programme, Fred considers the development of castles from early Iron Age Forts to secret underground tunnels used during the Second World War. At Hadrian's Wall, he marvels at the design of Roman toilets, while in Warwick he joins a band of medieval knights to test the castle's defences.


WED 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000hjkv)
Series 1

Mountain Path

No programme information found


WED 20:00 The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II with Dan Cruickshank (b036f9vc)
Ludwig II of Bavaria, more commonly known by his nicknames the Swan King or the Dream King, is a legendary figure - the handsome boy-king, loved by his people, betrayed by his cabinet and found dead in tragic and mysterious circumstances. He spent his life in pursuit of the ideal of beauty, an ideal that found expression in three of the most extraordinary, ornate architectural schemes imaginable - the castle of Neuschwanstein and the palaces of Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee. Today, these three buildings are among Germany's biggest tourist attractions.

In this documentary, Dan Cruickshank explores the rich aesthetic of Ludwig II - from the mock-medievalism of Neuschwanstein, the iconic fairytale castle that became the inspiration for the one in Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty, to the rich Baroque splendour of Herrenchiemsee, Ludwig's answer to Versailles. Dan argues that Ludwig's castles are more than flamboyant kitsch and are, in fact, the key to unravelling the eternal enigma of Ludwig II.


WED 21:00 The Fall of the Berlin Wall with John Simpson (m000b1h2)
It’s said that journalists write the first draft of history. To mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989, John Simpson, the BBC’s world affairs editor and longest-serving correspondent, goes back to his reports on what he believes is the most important story he ever covered – the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

Back in 1989, John thought this event would change the world for the better, forever. But history has not turned out quite the way he expected. Russia is yet again an enemy of the West, and the Cold War battle that built the Berlin Wall has been replaced with other destabilising global power struggles - even more dangerous and much harder to understand.

Three decades on, John wonders if he was wrong to have been so optimistic. Using the anniversary as an opportunity to re-examine how he told the story, John watches the BBC’s extensive archive and talks with historians and other experts to try and understand just how accurate his reporting was.

At the heart of the documentary is an intense and personal interview with John. He begins by describing how he grew up in the shadow of the Cold War battle between the capitalist West and the communist East, and how he - like everyone else - believed that this global stand-off would continue for many more decades, ending sooner or later in nuclear war.

On 9 November 1989, John, like the rest of the world, in shock at reports that the Berlin Wall’s checkpoints had been opened up, rushed to Berlin to cover the incredible story. With great emotion, John recalls his happiness as he reported from in front of the Wall as Berlin’s people tore it down, until his broadcast was cut off midway by technical failure – giving him by far the most humiliating moment of his long career.

After the technical meltdown, John describes how he walked into the crowd feeling utterly depressed. But, surrounded by the thousands of people who had streamed through the checkpoints from East Berlin, untouched by the once trigger-happy border guards and greeted with delight by West Berliners, he could barely believe his own eyes and found himself overwhelmed with joy.

So, why has the legacy of the Wall not turned out the way John hoped and expected? He examines why he did not predict that the pace of change across Europe would lead to the terrible war in Yugoslavia, nor that Russia, with Vladimir Putin – a former KGB agent – as its president, would find a new guise in which to become a bitter enemy of the West.

John also reflects on the terrifying uncertainty of global politics today, which has left him with a certain nostalgia for the decades of the Cold War – a period that was certainly frightening, but arguably less so than the uncertainty and complexity of global politics that we live with today.


WED 22:00 The Secret Life of the Berlin Wall (b00nx0y6)
Berlin is a place that is indispensable to the imagination, a city where history ticks all the boxes. The longest of all the helter-skelter rides that Berliners have taken through the playground of history ended in 1989 when the Berlin Wall shattered into a million souvenirs.

The Berlin Wall was the ugly, concrete obstacle that for more than a generation (from 1961 to 1989) split the city and divided its families. Hundreds of people, mainly young, were killed there trying to escape to the West.

The people who built the Wall thought they were building a brave new socialist world. But their dream turned into a nightmare as over time the Wall poisoned, corrupted and brutalized the little world it encircled.

In The Secret Life of the Berlin Wall, the dreams and nightmares come dramatically back to life as the spies, informers, double agents and interrogators of Cold War Berlin weave their nervy spells of double lives and double dealing.

Walls divide the world into two and this is a film with two faces - flawed heroes and heroic villains, traitors, compromised victories and sad defeats. A world of good intentions heading in bad directions. A world where nothing is what it seems to be.


WED 23:30 Blood of the Clans (m000lykv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]


WED 00:30 The Joy of Painting (m000hjkv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


WED 01:00 Fred Dibnah's Magnificent Monuments (b0074mbx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


WED 01:30 The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II with Dan Cruickshank (b036f9vc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


WED 02:30 The Secret Life of the Berlin Wall (b00nx0y6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]



THURSDAY 29 OCTOBER 2020

THU 19:00 Fred Dibnah's Magnificent Monuments (b0074mc3)
Houses and Palaces

Steeplejack Fred Dibnah tours Britain's engineering marvels. In this programme, he visits Hampton Court Palace and Cragside, one of the first homes to have electric lighting. He also examines restoration work on a 15th-century manor house.


THU 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000hjky)
Series 1

Nature's Paradise

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.

In this 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.

In this programme, Bob creates a fantastic American south western mountain scene, with spectacular red peaks looming over a lazy, tree-lined stream.


THU 20:00 A Star Is Born (b0078zpn)
Musical drama in which a famous actor with a drink problem decides to help a budding young singer after hearing her perform. He signs her up with a film studio, where she lands the lead role in a big musical. The two become close and later marry, but while her career continues to blossom, his takes a downward turn.


THU 22:45 Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema (b0bfp4h7)
Series 1

Horror

Mark Kermode continues his fresh and very personal look at the art of cinema by examining the techniques and conventions behind classic film genres, uncovering the ingredients that keep audiences coming back for more.

Mark turns to horror and shows how film-makers have devilishly deployed a range of cinematic tricks to exploit our deepest, darkest and most elemental fears. He explores the recurring elements of horror, including the journey, the jump scare, the scary place, the monster and the chase. He reveals how they have been refined and reinvented in films as diverse as the silent classic The Phantom of the Opera, low-budget cult shockers The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Evil Dead, and Oscar-winners The Silence of the Lambs and Get Out. Mark analyses the importance of archetypal figures such as the clown, the savant and the 'final girl'. And of course, he celebrates his beloved Exorcist films by examining two unforgettable but very different shock moments in The Exorcist and The Exorcist III.

Ultimately, Mark argues, horror is the most cinematic of genres, because no other kind of film deploys images and sound to such powerful and primal effect.


THU 23:45 Big Sky, Big Dreams, Big Art: Made in the USA (b0b618m6)
Series 1

Episode 3

This episode looks at America's most controversial cultural territory - the interstitial America of small towns and trailer parks. As his road trip takes him from Iowa to Tennessee, Waldemar Januszczak discovers how this much maligned territory had an immensely beneficial impact on American art. From the small town brilliance of Grant Wood, to the small town alienation of Edward Hopper, to the spooky Dust Bowl symbolism of Alexandre Hogue, interstitial America inspired much that was great. The film culminates in the brilliant assemblages of David Smith, the leading sculptor of abstract expressionism.


THU 00:45 The Joy of Painting (m000hjky)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


THU 01:15 Fred Dibnah's Magnificent Monuments (b0074mc3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


THU 01:45 Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema (b0bfp4h7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:45 today]


THU 02:45 Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster (m000nwrj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 on Sunday]


THU 03:15 The Secret Life of Books (p025zldt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:30 on Sunday]



FRIDAY 30 OCTOBER 2020

FRI 19:00 The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand (m0001kz4)
Episode 2

In the second episode of the series, Neil Brand looks at how the movie musical entered a second golden age in the aftermath of World War II.

He starts by examining one of the most striking films of that era: 1942’s Die Grosse Liebe. This was made at the height of the conflict, and was a Hollywood-style musical with a distinctly German propaganda bent. Starring Hitler’s favourite chanteuse, Zarah Leander, it sent a patriotic and pro-war message through its songs, and became the highest-grossing film ever in the time of the Third Reich.

Once war had ceased, the American musical once again began to thrive with a colour (literally) and exuberance more pronounced than before. Central to its success, Brand argues, was the emergence of Gene Kelly as the superstar of this new age of Hollywood. Talking with Kelly’s widow, Patricia Ward Kelly, he looks at how this star brought the musical film into the streets of America, most famously with Singin' in the Rain, long believed to be one of the greatest films ever made in any genre.

While musicals lit up the idea of the American Dream, they were also a crucial part of national identity in other countries. In newly independent India, the musical became both a popular form and also a tool for reinforcing cultural identity. Brand takes an in-depth look at two of the most significant movies of this period: Guru Dutt’s Pyassa, and Mother India, long held as perhaps the most defining work of post-war Hindi film.

But it wasn’t just in India that the musical had taken hold of, and reinvigorated, what films could achieve. In China, the Shaw Brothers studios had leapt on the idea of music being a box office draw, and with two remarkable films, The Love Eterne and Hong Kong Nocturne - the latter a remarkable ‘swinging 60s’ romp - taken the country’s cinema to a whole new, Hollywood-inspired level.

Hollywood itself had been forced to adapt to keep up with the times. Rock and roll was seen as the future of musicals, first with simple B movies like Rock around the Clock, but later with the more sophisticated MGM movies of Elvis Presley, most notably Jailhouse Rock. And the rock musical kick started a renaissance in British film too, as Cliff Richard and The Shadows took to the screen in blockbusters such as The Young Ones and Summer Holiday. Neil meets Shadows guitarist Bruce Welch to get the insider story of how these Brit flicks became huge successes.

As the 1960s motored on, the movie musical hit both a boom and a bust. In France, Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg was a brilliant New Wave reimagining of the musical form as a kind of working-class operetta. Meanwhile, in Hollywood, Robert Wise’s The Sound of Music became a pinnacle of the form, catapulting Julie Andrews to superstardom and becoming one of the most profitable films of all time.

On the other hand, a series of big budget flops suggested the musical had run its course in the world of film. Who could forget Clint Eastwood warbling tunelessly through Paint Your Wagon? What would the future of the Hollywood musical be, if it had one?

The answer was a genius to rival Gene Kelly as a movie musical titan, choreographer-turned-director Bob Fosse. Dropping in on a dance class in New York where Fosse’s highly unique style is still being taught today, Neil Brand shows how with Sweet Charity and Cabaret, Fosse totally revived the fortunes of the musical film.


FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m000nwtc)
Anthea Turner presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 15 February 1990 and featuring Sinead O'Connor, The Wedding Present and Black Box.


FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m000nwtf)
Mark Goodier presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 22 February 1990 and featuring Tina Turner, Beats International and Adam Ant.


FRI 21:00 Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top 10 (b01nwfxs)
Documentary chronicling our ever-changing love affair with the British singles chart on the occasion of its sixtieth anniversary. From the first NME chart in 1952, via Pick and Top of the Pops to home-taping the Radio One chart show and beyond, we have measured out our lives to a wonderful churn of pop driven, unbeknownst to us, by a clandestine world of music biz hustle. Featuring contributions by 60 years of BBC chart custodians from David Jacobs to Reggie Yates, chart fans Grace Dent and Pete Paphides and music biz veterans Jon Webster and Rob Dickins.


FRI 22:30 A Musical History (b0bss4sq)
Stevie Wonder: A Musical History

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

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


FRI 23:30 ... Sings Stevie Wonder (b07jlzkd)
Compilation celebrating over 50 years of covers of Stevie Wonder's classic songbook filmed at BBC studio shows over the years. Featuring Cilla Black, Jimmy Helms, Dionne Warwick, The Osmonds, India Arie, James Morrison and a storming performance of Ed Sheeran with Jools and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra taking on Master Blaster (Jammin') on Hootenanny. Expect a special emphasis on Wonder's bank of classic ballads which include Isn't She Lovely, Love's in Need of Love Today, For Once in My Life, You Are the Sunshine of My Life and many more.


FRI 01:30 Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top 10 (b01nwfxs)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 03:00 The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand (m0001jgs)
Episode 1

In this first episode of a three-part series, presenter and musician Neil Brand argues that the movie musical was the most important form of cinema from the advent of the age of sound. Beginning with the very first film musical, 1929’s Broadway Melody, Brand looks at the huge and lasting impact of the musical and, in his trademark analysis of songs at the piano, takes us through some of the most important numbers in this first golden age.

The remarkable success of Broadway Melody winning one of the first ever Academy Awards meant that film studios were eager to cash in on the possibilities of musical film. But, as Brand reveals, this was not always to guaranteed success. He shows how the first big-budget, all-colour musical, 1930’s King of Jazz, failed to capture the box office. He discusses how its lack of actual African American jazz musicians was one of its problems, by looking at the first dedicated African American musical - King Vidor’s Hallelujah. With the help of a gospel choir from the Mother AME Zion Church in New York, he examines how much Hallelujah actually reflected life in the Deep South in 1920s America.

Continuing the theme, Brand goes on to explain how the Great Depression in 1930s US actually inspired some of the most progressive and memorable examples of the first golden age of movie musicals: MGM’s 42nd Street and Gold Diggers of 1933. These were remarkably socially aware films, and as Neil demonstrates, songs such as We’re in the Money and Remember My Forgotten Man were both beautifully tuneful and lyrically poignant.

In an unexpected turn, the programme shifts focus to the USSR, where a little-known story of musical film is uncovered. From the early 1930s, Joseph Stalin actually commissioned a series of film musicals to promote the ideology of the Soviet Union. Beginning with the slapstick of 1934’s The Jolly Fellows, two years later came Circus, one of the most extraordinary musical films in Russian history. A tale of an exiled American woman with a mixed-race child, Circus was a remarkable piece of propaganda promoting the Soviet Union as a country of racial inclusion, exactly as Stalin began his 'great purge' - to silence any dissenters from his communist plan.

Back in Hollywood, the musical was surging forward with a whole new level of song and dance movie star; most significantly, the incredible partnership of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers. Brand visits the Royal Ballet in London, where principal dancer Steven McRae dances and analyses one of Astaire’s most jaw-dropping numbers, No Strings. Neil also guides us through the music of Top Hat’s iconic song Cheek to Cheek.

Finally, we explore how the introduction of fantasy and fairy tale invigorated the movie musical in the latter years of the 1930s. Walt Disney’s Snow White was a gamble that took three years to make but became one of the highest grossing films of all time, followed by MGM’s unforgettable The Wizard of Oz, released to cinemas a mere two weeks before the outbreak of the Second World War.




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

... Sings Stevie Wonder 23:30 FRI (b07jlzkd)

A Musical History 22:30 FRI (b0bss4sq)

A Star Is Born 20:00 THU (b0078zpn)

ArtWorks Scotland 23:10 TUE (b02vkjpm)

Big Sky, Big Dreams, Big Art: Made in the USA 23:45 THU (b0b618m6)

Blood of the Clans 21:00 TUE (m000lykv)

Blood of the Clans 02:30 TUE (m000lykv)

Blood of the Clans 23:30 WED (m000lykv)

DNA 21:00 SAT (m000nwr8)

DNA 21:40 SAT (m000nwrd)

DNA 00:10 TUE (m000nwr8)

DNA 00:50 TUE (m000nwrd)

EastEnders 2008 00:00 SUN (b00cwdm9)

EastEnders 2008 00:30 SUN (b00cwds0)

EastEnders 2008 01:00 SUN (b00cwf8r)

EastEnders 2008 02:00 SUN (b00cwfvq)

Fake or Fortune? 20:00 MON (b07m7xnv)

Fake or Fortune? 00:30 MON (b07m7xnv)

Francesco's Venice 19:00 SAT (b0078sx5)

Francesco's Venice 01:15 SAT (b0078sx5)

Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster 23:00 SUN (m000nwrj)

Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster 02:45 THU (m000nwrj)

Fred Dibnah's Industrial Age 19:00 MON (b0074mbm)

Fred Dibnah's Industrial Age 02:00 MON (b0074mbm)

Fred Dibnah's Industrial Age 19:00 TUE (b0074mbg)

Fred Dibnah's Industrial Age 02:00 TUE (b0074mbg)

Fred Dibnah's Magnificent Monuments 19:00 WED (b0074mbx)

Fred Dibnah's Magnificent Monuments 01:00 WED (b0074mbx)

Fred Dibnah's Magnificent Monuments 19:00 THU (b0074mc3)

Fred Dibnah's Magnificent Monuments 01:15 THU (b0074mc3)

Full Circle with Michael Palin 20:00 SAT (p00wh90y)

Full Circle with Michael Palin 01:25 SAT (p00wh90y)

How to Go Viral: The Art of the Meme with Richard Clay 23:30 MON (m0003g0q)

Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema 22:45 THU (b0bfp4h7)

Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema 01:45 THU (b0bfp4h7)

Michael Palin's Quest for Artemisia 21:00 MON (b06t3w73)

Michael Palin's Quest for Artemisia 02:30 MON (b06t3w73)

Mud, Sweat and Tractors: The Story of Agriculture 19:00 SUN (b00k3685)

Mud, Sweat and Tractors: The Story of Agriculture 02:30 SUN (b00k3685)

Play For Today 22:00 TUE (p032kjg0)

Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top 10 21:00 FRI (b01nwfxs)

Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top 10 01:30 FRI (b01nwfxs)

Sahara with Michael Palin 21:00 SUN (b0078zpm)

Sahara with Michael Palin 22:00 SUN (b0074p4m)

Storyville 22:00 MON (m000nwrq)

The Bridge 23:25 SAT (b06kbszc)

The Bridge 00:25 SAT (b06k8014)

The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II with Dan Cruickshank 20:00 WED (b036f9vc)

The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II with Dan Cruickshank 01:30 WED (b036f9vc)

The Fall of the Berlin Wall with John Simpson 21:00 WED (m000b1h2)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 MON (m000nwrn)

The Joy of Painting 01:30 MON (m000nwrn)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 TUE (m000nwr4)

The Joy of Painting 01:30 TUE (m000nwr4)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 WED (m000hjkv)

The Joy of Painting 00:30 WED (m000hjkv)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 THU (m000hjky)

The Joy of Painting 00:45 THU (m000hjky)

The Secret Life of Books 23:30 SUN (p025zldt)

The Secret Life of Books 03:15 THU (p025zldt)

The Secret Life of the Berlin Wall 22:00 WED (b00nx0y6)

The Secret Life of the Berlin Wall 02:30 WED (b00nx0y6)

The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand 19:00 FRI (m0001kz4)

The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand 03:00 FRI (m0001jgs)

Top of the Pops 22:20 SAT (m000nnyl)

Top of the Pops 22:55 SAT (m000nnyn)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m000nwtc)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m000nwtf)

Vikings 20:00 TUE (b01mxt26)

Yellowstone 20:00 SUN (b00jmqk1)