Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 28 NOVEMBER 2020

SAT 19:00 Francesco's Italy: Top to Toe (b007920b)
The Heart of Italy

Francesco da Mosto discovers why Rome is the Eternal City and goes head to head with Mussolini. Travelling via the fantastic water gardens of Villa d'Este and the royal seat of the Bourbon dynasty, he arrives in Naples. After an encounter with Italy's most astonishing sculpture - Sanmartino's Veiled Christ - and a lesson in Neapolitan pizza making, Francesco descends deep into the caverns of underground Naples and discovers an eerie cult of the dead.


SAT 20:00 Full Circle with Michael Palin (p00xb8h6)
Peru and Colombia

Michael Palin travels the Pacific Rim, through 18 countries. On this leg, he takes an open canoe trip through the middle of the breathtaking Peruvian rainforest and, in one of the remotest parts of the world, finds that a community of Indians is being touched by outside influences. Next, he visits Bogota, the Colombian capital, and Cartagena, one of the oldest cities in the Americas.


SAT 21:00 The Valhalla Murders (m000pysl)
Series 1

Episode 3

An elderly lady is found murdered at an abandoned boys' home, and her body has similar wounds to those found in the previous two killings. Kata and Arnar are under pressure to identify and capture the killer.

In Icelandic with English subtitles.


SAT 21:45 The Valhalla Murders (m000pysn)
Series 1

Episode 4

Kata, Arnur and the Reykjavik team examine boxes of documents from an inquiry into Icelandic children's homes in an effort to identify both the next possible victim and the killer.

In Icelandic with English subtitles.


SAT 22:35 Operation Iceberg (p00tvcp0)
Series 1

Birth of a 'berg

In the first programme, the team uncover the hidden forces that explain why the Store Glacier of Greenland produces so many icebergs. Naturalist Chris Packham works with scientists on a research yacht in the danger zone at the front of the glacier, whilst ocean specialist Helen Czerski explores the inside of the glacier itself. During the expedition the team witness the creation of an iceberg as a multimillion-ton block of ice bursts forth from the glacier.


SAT 23:35 The Bridge (b0b0b6pp)
Series 4

Episode 5

Having found ex-wife Sofie, Dan Brolund attempts to abduct her from the village but is prevented by a watchful Harriet. Saga and Henrik interview William Ramberg, who confesses to gunrunning and shooting his rival Dimitiri in a desperate effort to find the killer of his beloved daugher Leonora.

In Swedish and Danish with English subtitles.


SAT 00:35 The Bridge (b0b0b75c)
Series 4

Episode 6

Henrik believes that he has found the connection between all the victims - Tommy Petersson, a minor criminal killed four years previously by his gang leader William Ramberg, when his police informing was exposed.

In Swedish and Danish with English subtitles.


SAT 01:35 Full Circle with Michael Palin (p00xb8h6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SAT 02:25 Francesco's Italy: Top to Toe (b007920b)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]



SUNDAY 29 NOVEMBER 2020

SUN 19:00 Crossing England in a Punt: River of Dreams (p00y6r6q)
From the Staffordshire hills to the Humber estuary, spirited explorer Tom Fort embarks on a 170-mile journey down Britain's third-longest river, the Trent. Beginning on foot, he soon transfers to his own custom-built punt, the Trent Otter, and rows many miles downstream. Along the way he encounters the power stations that generate much of the nation's electricity, veterans of the catastrophic floods of 1947, the 19th-century brewers of Burton and a Bronze Age boatman who once made a life along the river.


SUN 20:00 Natural World (b055kldq)
2015-2016

Galapagos: Islands of Change

From enormous tortoises and deep-diving lizards to fish-eating snakes and birds that hunt giant venomous centipedes, the wildlife of the world-famous Galapagos Islands is unique and bizarre. This wilderness once inspired Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, but it is currently undergoing a human revolution, with tourism driving a population boom.

David Attenborough narrates this modern-day story of the Galapagos and reveals whether, in this ever-changing world, its animals can still thrive.


SUN 21:00 Scotland: Rome's Final Frontier (b01p66rv)
Were the ancient Scottish tribes too much for the Roman Empire? Or was Scotland simply not worth conquering? Archaeologist Dr Fraser Hunter looks back on three centuries of contact and conflict with Scotland’s Roman invaders. The first Tay Bridge, the first depiction of tartan and forgotten Roman camps that once held thirty-five thousand men. A story of a superpower pitted against tribesmen and warlords, and one with fascinating modern parallels.


SUN 22:00 Balloon (m000pyt7)
1979, Thuringen, East Germany. Like many of the country’s citizens, the Strelzyk family are desperate to escape to the west.

Under the watchful eye of the Stasi and the fearsome lieutenant colonel Seidel, they pursue a plan so crazy that most of their neighbours would not believe it if they saw it. With the help of their friends the Wetzels, they try to cross the border in a homemade hot air balloon.

In German with English subtitles.


SUN 00:05 Top of the Pops (m000pr1x)
Mark Goodier presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 12 April 1990 and featuring The Cure, Bizz Nizz and Jesus Jones.


SUN 00:35 Top of the Pops (m000pr1z)
Jakki Brambles presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 19 April 1990 and featuring Sonia, Faith No More and Adamski.


SUN 01:05 Secret Knowledge (b036qfcy)
Walter Scott's Castle

Novelist, poet and all-round cultural impresario Sir Walter Scott is renowned for inventing many of the myths of Scotland that still dominate how the country is imagined. His home in the Scottish Borders, Abbotsford House, brilliantly brings to life his romantic views of Scotland.

In the run-up to the reopening of Abbotsford House Scott-fan Stuart Kelly gets exclusive behind-the-scenes access as over 13,000 treasures are moved back into the strange and wonderful building. Exploring some newly discovered secret corners Stuart finds out just how controversial the bizarre building and the man who built it remain.


SUN 01:40 Scotland: Rome's Final Frontier (b01p66rv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


SUN 02:35 Natural World (b055kldq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



MONDAY 30 NOVEMBER 2020

MON 19:00 Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam (b0078l4s)
Driving the Wheels of Industry

Fred looks at the key role that was played by steam power in the extraordinary expansion of industrial Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries, and at the continued use of huge stationary steam engines in mills, collieries and steel works until well into the 20th century.


MON 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000jb7r)
Series 1

Golden Knoll

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

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

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

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


MON 20:00 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (b097xrbq)
Series 2

Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire County Museum is a slice of history in itself. The building that houses it has been in continuous use since the 13th century. Once a bishop's palace, it was where the Bible was first translated into Welsh. But could it also be home to some mysterious cases of mistaken identity and two lost paintings from the time of Charles II?

Dr Bendor Grosvenor and Emma Dabiri travel to Carmarthenshire to investigate two intriguing portraits of a local nobleman and his wife, the Earl and Countess of Carbery, possibly painted by the great Sir Peter Lely in the 17th century.

Yet all is not as it seems - Bendor has a hunch that one of the portraits is by another hand. Could the portrait of the countess be a lost work by Mary Beale, Britain's first commercially successful female artist?

While Bendor gets to grips with the badly damaged portrait of the earl, Emma traces the story of how he survived the Civil War, how Mary Beale was written out of the history books, and discovers how the cross-dressing men of the Rebecca Riots stormed Carmarthen.


MON 21:00 Mary Beard’s Shock of the Nude (m000f1t2)
Series 1

Episode 1

In the first programme her provocative two-part essay, classicist and broadcaster Mary Beard takes on the nude. As she says ‘There are an awful lot of naked bodies in western art, and they are often causing trouble even now.’

From the ancient Greeks to the taboo-busting painters and sculptors of today, Mary gives a deeply personal take on naked bodies in art. Just why are artists so interested in nudity? What can art reveal about our own attitudes to the body? For Mary, the nude stands on some of the deepest fault lines running through society, speaking to issues of men, women, gender and sex gender, sex and moral transgression.

Art critics over the centuries have made lofty claims about the nude and the ennobling effects of art – playing down the erotic, even sometimes pornographic, nature of some great works of art. Mary argues we mustn’t forget the edgy and dangerous nature of the nude – which is why it remains such a magnetic subject for artists and viewers alike – exploring in her words ‘ how for so long men got away with it'.

Mary starts by exploring the very first full-size nude sculpture in western art: an Aphrodite by Praxiteles, depicting the goddess as if she has been accidentally interrupted as she bathed. Mary argues it’s a clever 'alibi' to avoid accusations of lewdness from viewers, which set the tone for nude female artworks, from the ancient world to the Renaissance and beyond.

At Florence’s Uffizi gallery, the Venus de Medici became a 'must-see' artwork during the 18th-century Grand Tour. Young men flocked to see this statue of a beautiful woman - but was this because it was 'art' or did it also appeal to baser instincts? Mary also looks at one of the very first reclining nudes in Western Art, Titian’s Venus of Urbino. One of the most revered artworks ever – it’s no coincidence it’s an illustration of a male sexual fantasy. Mary asks how a woman like her should respond to the artwork.

Mary then considers the challenge of depicting the female nude for a woman artist, looking at one of the greatest 17th-century painters, Artemisia Gentileschi. In the Biblical story of Susanna and the Elders, the virtuous Susanna is blackmailed by two lecherous old men who surprise her as she bathes, threatening to accuse her of adultery if she doesn’t have sex with them. Mary reveals it’s a fascinating work that takes on a wholly deeper resonance when you know Gentileschi had herself been raped. She also looks at Gentileschi’s choice of subject as an artist having to earn her living.

In a life-drawing class, Mary joins a hen party as they draw a naked male. It’s a lot of fun - but for centuries would have been impossible, as women were forbidden to study a naked man in this way. Of course, the most famous nude male sculpture in Western Art is Michelangelo’s David. Mary reveals how, for centuries, his private parts were covered with a fig leaf. It was one way prudish censors have dealt with the 'shock of the nude', but these days that’s changing. Mary finds out at Cork’s Crawford Art Gallery as she rolls up her sleeve to remove a plaster fig leaf, and discovers what lies beneath...

The nude in art can often have a deep sexual allure - even when the subject is highly religious. The Christian martyr Sebastian was tortured with arrows - but depictions of this horrific scene has seen the figure transformed into an erotic gay icon. Mary looks at how the nude has always brushed up against eroticism and asks what is the line between the alluring and the pornographic? This is especially true of one painting Mary sees at Paris’ Musée D’Orsay. Gustave Courbet’s The Origin of the World is still shocking, a stark image of a woman's genitalia and pubic hair, devoid of any identifying features.

Our cultural attachment to the nude is deep-rooted. At Manchester Art Gallery Mary meets artist Sonia Boyce who, in an art intervention, removed (temporarily) J. Waterhouse’s much-loved painting Hylas and the Nymphs. It caused a national furore amidst accusations of censorship, extreme political correctness, even links to book-burning. Why did feelings run so high? The Western nude Mary argues is a peculiar creation – and this is exposed even further if you take a global perspective. Dr Gus Casely-Hayford, an expert in African art, shows Mary the centrepiece of a vast Yoruba headdress: a naked woman but one that meant something very different to the culture she came from, and it was all about community not sex.

Finally, Mary talks to artist Jemima Stehli – about her photographic work Strip, in which a woman takes her clothes off in front of a succession of men, challenges viewers to think again about the relationship between the naked body and the artist. It is a deeply modern take on an age-old subject – one that continues to make us ask tricky questions about ourselves and that questions how the naked images of others makes us feel.


MON 22:00 Storyville (m000pz1w)
Locked In: Breaking the Silence

An intimate, personal and surprisingly life-affirming story with a rare illness, Guillain-Barré syndrome, at its heart.

Director Xavier Alford is finally confronting an illness he has been hiding from family, close friends and even himself. Locked In: Breaking the Silence follows him trying to make sense of the mysterious illness that has taken over his life in the only way he knows how - by making a film about it. What is it like to get a diagnosis of an incredibly rare condition that turns your whole world upside down? No-one can tell you why or how you got it, not even doctors. No-one knows how to beat it and there is no cure.

To grasp what it means for his body, his career and his family, Xavier meets other people who have Guillain-Barré syndrome, each shining an unfiltered light on the disability caused by the disease. He’s confronted with the seriousness of the condition when some of the patients he meets are on the edge of life, locked in their own bodies, completely paralysed and unable to move a single muscle, while their brains remain unaffected.

In a time when much of the world is experiencing lockdown, Locked In offers, with unflinching positivity, a fresh perspective on coping mechanisms and the recovery from virus-related diseases.


MON 23:15 Robert Burns: The People's Poet (b00h6s23)
Writer Andrew O'Hagan asks what made Robert Burns one of the world's favourite poets, as Scotland celebrates the 250th anniversary of the birth of one of its most famous sons. He travels through the landscape of modern Scotland in a poetic journey to the places that inspired Burns and to discover the story of his wild and dramatic life.


MON 00:45 The Joy of Painting (m000jb7r)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


MON 01:15 Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam (b0078l4s)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


MON 01:45 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (b097xrbq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


MON 02:45 Storyville (m000pz1w)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]



TUESDAY 01 DECEMBER 2020

TUE 19:00 Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam (b0078l7l)
Steaming Down the Road

Fred traces the development of steam power. He looks at early experiments in its use for road transport, and at the development of the traction engine.


TUE 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000jb9c)
Series 1

Secluded Mountain

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

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

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

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


TUE 20:00 The 80s with Dominic Sandbrook (b07p0f9y)
Under Pressure

The second episode sees mid-1980s Britain wrestling with two contradictory impulses - the rise of a strong nationalist sentiment and the emergence of an increasingly globalised world.

By the middle of the decade, Britain felt like an embattled nation, facing threats from enemies within as well as out - a nation struggling to establish an identity on the global stage, and also trying to re-establish what it means to be British. This was the period that forever marked the 80s as a decade of conflict and division. But not all those conflicts were obvious. Some were fought with bullets, others with money, some were fought in our homes, others in our heads.

This episode examines everything from the invasion of the Falkland Islands to the invasion of the home computer and the moral panic surrounding 'video nasties', from the Americanisation of our popular culture to the picket line skirmishes playing out nightly on our televisions, and from the spectre of Aids and the threat of the IRA to immigration and identity politics.


TUE 21:00 Thatcher: A Very British Revolution (m0005pt1)
Series 1

Enemies

The third episode sees Mrs Thatcher plunged into dramatic conflicts with determined enemies that will define her premiership and her legacy.

Against a backdrop of economic downturn Mrs Thatcher is struggling in the opinion polls and is labelled the “least popular prime minister since polling began” but her public image is transformed by a totally unexpected turn of events in the South Atlantic. When Argentine forces occupy the British Falkland Islands Mrs Thatcher finds herself a war leader. She wins the respect of the public by remaining resolute in her belief that the islands should be recovered. She wins respect in cabinet and the military by remaining calm and clear through the short conflict in the Falklands despite the serious political jeopardy she faces and the emotional toll of sending men into war. The triumph of the British forces transforms Mrs Thatcher’s reputation in the country and in the world.

Following her victory in the 1983 general election Mrs Thatcher begins to assert herself in global politics, beginning an engagement with Mikhail Gorbachev, a rising star of the Soviet Communist party. At home she faces another challenge to her leadership from the left-wing leadership of the National Union of Miners.

The controversial decision to call a national strike puts Mrs Thatcher into a conflict she had long anticipated. Having watched the miners destabilise the Conservative government of Edward Heath in the 1970s Mrs Thatcher has prepared for this dispute. In the background, she plays a role in a strategy that will eventually force the miners into a return to work and allow the government to claim a historic and transformative victory. The price is a sense of nation divided by class, region and economic fortunes.

The jeopardy of the Falklands and miners is surpassed by the threat of another enemy. At the 1984 Conservative Party conference the IRA bomb her hotel in an attempt to kill her and her most senior colleagues. She has a narrow escape as close friends die or suffer terrible injuries.

This episode includes interviews with defence secretary John Nott, press secretary Bernard Ingham and cabinet members Norman Tebbit, Michael Heseltine and Malcolm Rifkind, senior civil servants Robin Butler, John Coles and Andrew Turnbull, personal assistant Cynthia Crawford, Downing Street administrator Janice Richards, Falklands commander Sir Julian Thompson, opposition leader Neil Kinnock and striking miner Chris Kitchen.


TUE 22:00 The Falklands Play (b0074mv0)
Ian Curteis's once-controversial dramatisation of how the Thatcher government went to war against Argentina to regain the Falkland Islands. It charts the backroom manoeuvrings between Thatcher's government and the military, between the British and the Americans, and the Americans and the Argentineans that led to a breakdown in diplomacy, to war and to Britain's eventual victory.


TUE 23:30 The Valhalla Murders (m000pysl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday]


TUE 00:20 The Valhalla Murders (m000pysn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:45 on Saturday]


TUE 01:05 The Joy of Painting (m000jb9c)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


TUE 01:35 Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam (b0078l7l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


TUE 02:05 Thatcher: A Very British Revolution (m0005pt1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 02 DECEMBER 2020

WED 19:00 Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam (b0078lbl)
Steam on the Water

A look at how steam power revolutionised shipping, from the earliest paddle steamers with screw propellers to more modern vessels like the Royal Yacht Britannia.


WED 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000jjh5)
Series 1

Bright Autumn Trees

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

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

In this episode - one of his audience's favourites - Bob Ross shows how you can capture the exciting colours of autumn in a painting, with trees galore!

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


WED 20:00 Winterwatch (b01q9d86)
1963 - The Big Freeze

Chris Packham introduces a classic documentary from the BBC's archive, which takes a look at the worst winter of the 20th century in 1963. He also explores what we now know about how this big freeze affected Britain's wildlife, and how it would cope if we experienced another equally bad winter.


WED 21:00 Great Barrier Reef (b019hd78)
Reef to Rainforest

Three-part series exploring Australia's Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural wonders of the world and the largest living structure on our planet.

Monty Halls explores its full 2,000-kilometre length, from the wild outer reefs of the Coral Sea to the tangled mangrove and steaming rainforest on the shoreline; from large mountainous islands to tiny coral cays barely above sea level; from the dark depths of the abyss beyond the reef to colourful coral gardens of the shallows.

Along the way, he experiences the reef at its most dangerous and its most intriguing, and visits areas that have rarely been filmed, from the greatest wildlife shipwreck on earth to the mysterious seafloor of the lagoon, where freakish animals lurk under every rock.

The Great Barrier Reef as a whole covers an area larger than Great Britain, but amazingly only seven per cent of it is coral reef. The rest is a variety of interconnected habitats including the world's oldest jungle, hundreds of islands, mangrove swamps, mysterious deep-water gardens, vast sand flats and meadows of sea grass - all full of amazing wildlife. A giant deep-water lagoon connects all of these, and many of the creatures that live in it are almost impossibly weird - from giant hammerhead sharks to the bizarre 'pearl fish' that lives its life up a sea cucumber's bottom.

Marine life here also exists in spectacular profusion, as on the 100-year-old shipwreck of the SS Yongala, considered to be the greatest wildlife wreck on earth. The connections between all these environments mean that not only do they depend on each other, but without them the coral reef itself would not survive.


WED 22:00 Inside Cinema (m000pz0r)
Series 1

Guilt-Free Pleasures

What’s your favourite cinematic guilty pleasure? And why the guilt? Film critic Catherine Bray hosts a celebration of trashy films spanning Showgirls to Love Actually to Cats, with narration from comedian Mae Martin.

The programme attempts to figure out why these films are so much fun to watch but also why they end up labelled ‘guilty pleasures’. We look back at the cult films so badly made that they are a total delight to watch, from godfather of bad movies Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space to Tommy Wiseau’s infamous ‘disasterpiece’ The Room to Tom Hooper’s recent adaptation of Cats. We take a trip to the midnight movie circuit to be dazzled once more by the likes of Showgirls, The Man Who Saved the World - or Turkish Star Wars as it’s often known - and cult favourite 1990: The Bronx Warriors. We question whether a film is still a true cult film if it was made with the intention of becoming a cult film, for example, the Sharknado franchise, or whether it is more authentic when a film is accidentally awful, the direct comparison being Jaws: The Revenge.

We also look at slicker, mainstream movies - rom-coms like Sleepless in Seattle and action films like the Fast and Furious franchise. Sometimes whole genres are dismissed as guilty pleasures - slasher movies, cheesy erotic dramas and gross-out comedies, for example - but if a director adds a little social commentary to the mix, then horror, comedy and eroticism become respectable, elevated even. Is that fair? Should we have to pay for our entertainment if we are being educated at the same time? Surely, there are better ways for the idea of guilt to influence our film-viewing pleasure.

As some older films start to feel outdated in their attitudes to a range of issues, including race and gender, we look at whether guilt has a more useful role to play. And in the wake of the Me Too movement, perhaps we are experiencing a kind of collective cultural guilt about just how many of the films we enjoy are the work of reprehensible people. When set against these more serious manifestations of guilt colliding with pleasure, maybe we will find that it is time to retire the concept of the traditional guilty pleasure. Maybe we can just allow ourselves to enjoy the innocently goofy films that we like, be they rom-coms, action movie or cult treasures, without placing them in a special category that suggests that we are embarrassed by our embrace of pleasure.

After all, hasn’t cinema always been a mixture of carnival sideshow entertainment and high art? People have always enjoyed sex, horror and comedy on screen, and cinema has always been able to offer both education and entertainment at the same time - that’s one of its greatest talents and why we love it, guilt-free.


WED 23:00 Some People with Jokes (b040y927)
Series 2

Some Dog Owners with Jokes

Dog owners from around Britain tell their favourite jokes. We take the ruff with the smooth as these canine cackle merchants prove it's not just the dogs that are barking. It's the Crufts of comedy with these wags and there are plenty of shaggy dog stories.


WED 23:30 MAKE! Craft Britain (b09whc5t)
Series 1

Episode 1

The first episode follows two groups of novice crafters as they master the art of hooky rugmaking and traditional letterpress. Meanwhile, origami artist Sam Tsang teaches how to make something beautiful from a single sheet of paper, folding an origami lily which can then be made into LED fairy lights.

On the north east coast in Bamburgh village, world-renowned rugmaker Heather Ritchie welcomes six amateur crafters to her two-day workshop in the local cricket pavilion. She teaches them how to 'hook' their own personalised seat cushions, inspired by their favourite places.

Heather has been hooking rugs for over 30 years. She discovered rugmaking in the early 70s after moving into a cold, flagstoned cottage in the Yorkshire Dales. The hooking technique allowed her to use recycled fabrics to produce rugs that insulated her home. After getting 'hooked' on the basic technique, her functional household rugs soon developed into intricate works of art, each one capturing a memory from her past.

The workshop is attended by married couple Adam and Tracy, dentist Indra, A&E doctor Lucy and local farmers Mary and John, who bring some sheep fleece along to use in their work.

Meanwhile, in south London, wordsmith and typographer Kelvyn Smith invites five students into his print studio for a one-day masterclass in letterpress printmaking. The 350-year-old printing process is new to all of Kelvyn's students, so over the course of the day they learn how to use a composing stick, how to set type and build a form, before proofing and printing their own pieces of work.

The workshop is attended by engaged couple Ant and Bianca, gravestone engraver Neil and his carpenter son Otis, and textiles student Lorna.

Lorna initially struggles with the concept of writing 'upside down and left to right', but has a breakthrough when she's given a mirror to hold up against her work. In the end her poster - a written tribute to her dad, a poet - exceeds all hopes. 'It's come out better than I could have expected.'

Back in Bamburgh, the hooky seat cushions are ready to go on chairs, and the students take a stroll to the beach for a celebratory slice of cake and cup of tea to try them out for size.

Sheep farmer John's work really impresses teacher Heather - 'now who'd have thought a sheep farmer could make something as beautiful and artistic as that?'.


WED 00:30 Dan Cruickshank and the Family that Built Gothic Britain (b04m3ljr)
As good as any Dickens novel, this is the triumphant and tragic story of the greatest architectural dynasty of the 19th century. Dan Cruickshank charts the rise of Sir George Gilbert Scott to the very heights of success, the fall of his son George Junior and the rise again of his grandson Giles. It is a story of architects bent on a mission to rebuild Britain. From the Romantic heights of the Midland Hotel at St Pancras station to the modern image of Bankside power station (now Tate Modern), this is the story of a family that shaped the Victorian age and left a giant legacy.


WED 01:30 The Joy of Painting (m000jjh5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


WED 02:00 Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam (b0078lbl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


WED 02:30 Great Barrier Reef (b019hd78)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



THURSDAY 03 DECEMBER 2020

THU 19:00 Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam (b0078lf9)
Steam and the Modern Age

Fred looks at the major advance that was made in the application of steam power with the invention of the steam turbine, and at its continued use today for the generation of electricity in both coal-fired and nuclear power stations. He also looks at the way our steam heritage is preserved in museums and by steam preservation societies.


THU 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000jjgw)
Series 1

Black Seascape

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

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

In this episode, see what can be achieved on a simple black canvas as Bob Ross paints a moonlit setting with crashing waves.

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


THU 20:00 High Society (m000pyh8)
Musical comedy. Time is short if playboy CK Dexter-Haven is to reclaim his former wife before she remarries. Cynical reporter Mike Connor is covering the wedding.


THU 21:45 A Little Later (b00rmzfm)
Legends

Featuring music legends Smokey Robinson, Carole King, Tom Jones and Gladys Knight.


THU 22:00 imagine... (b0bpx05m)
2018

Tracey Emin: Where Do You Draw the Line?

2018 has been an extraordinary year for British artist Tracey Emin. With large-scale commissions catapulting her from London's St Pancras station to the streets of downtown Sydney - only pausing for breath with exhibitions in Hong Kong and Brussels along the way - she has proven yet again that she packs a punch like no other.

But as she turns 55 and enters what she likes to call the 'last stage' of her life, is it time for a more mature, reflective Tracey? Following the death of her mother in 2016, she has decided to return to her home town of Margate and convert a derelict printworks there into a new studio where she can live and make art.

imagine... has spent the past 12 months following Tracey at home and abroad in a bid to chart her creative process at work. She tells Alan Yentob about her life to date, from her troubled early years in Margate to a series of breakthroughs in the 1990s as a leading light of the Young British Artists, featuring career-defining work like My Bed and her embroidered tent Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995.

With contributors including Sir Nicholas Serota, Jay Jopling, Maria Balshaw and David Dawson, this is the definitive account of one of Britain's most infamous artists.


THU 23:20 What a Picture: Mary Whitehouse (m000pz0p)
Morgan Cross talks to Mary Whitehouse, President of the National Viewers and Listeners Association, who shares memories from her photo albums.


THU 23:50 Inside Cinema (m000pz0r)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Wednesday]


THU 00:50 Secret Knowledge (b05z5hc0)
Thomas Chatterton: The Myth of the Doomed Poet

Poet Michael Symmons Roberts explores the mythic afterlife of the 18th-century poet Thomas Chatterton. With access to rare documents and artefacts, and featuring a surprising interview with Queen guitarist Brian May, Michael explains how Chatterton's tragic early death in his London garret aged just 17 was immortalised by a succession of poets and painters and photographers - most notably by the pre-Raphaelite Henry Wallis in his masterpiece known as The Death of Chatterton - and how these successive images of the young Chatterton have saddled poets ever since with the notion of the doomed young artist suffering and ultimately dying in service to the muse.


THU 01:20 Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam (b0078lf9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


THU 01:50 The Joy of Painting (m000jjgw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


THU 02:20 Mary Beard’s Shock of the Nude (m000f1t2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]



FRIDAY 04 DECEMBER 2020

FRI 19:00 The Truth about Christmas Carols (b00gbgt3)
There could be nothing more sweet and sentimental than the sound of traditional carols performed by a velvet-voiced choir at Christmas. Or so you would think. Composer Howard Goodall uncovers the surprising and often secret history of the Christmas carol.

Far from being accepted as part of the celebrations of Jesus's birth, over the centuries carols have been banned by both church and state. The carols we sing seem set in stone and yet they can have up to 400 regional variations. Individual carols have caused controversy - While Shepherds Watched had to be cleaned up by the Victorians for being too crude and there's a suspicion that O Come All Ye Faithful was a call to 18th-century Jacobites to rebel.

The documentary celebrates the enduring power of the carol with a variety of performances from folk singer Bella Hardy to the choir of Truro Cathedral.


FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m000pz16)
Bruno Brookes presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 26 April 1990 and featuring Tongue 'n' Cheek, Jesus Jones and Unique 3.


FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m000pz18)
Simon Mayo presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 3 May 1990 and featuring Sinitta, Morrissey and BBG.


FRI 21:00 The Sound of TV with Neil Brand (m000pz1b)
Series 1

Episode 1

In the opening episode, Neil Brand looks at the enduring power of the television theme tune and the way in which it has acted as the ‘nation’s jukebox’ for over 60 years. On the streets of an iconic television landmark, Coronation Street, he encounters a brass band playing the music that has announced the start of each episode of the show since it began.

Following the trail of the soap opera world, he meets composer Simon May, creator of the EastEnders theme tune. Neil shows how our deep connection its music starts in childhood by revisiting some of his own bygone favourites and listening to the folk tunes of Bagpuss composers Sandra Kerr and John Faulkner.

He then travels to the streets of Merseyside to celebrate the endurance of the theme from Z Cars, and traces the cop/detective genre through the music of 60s legend John Astley. We discover the little-known world of library music with obsessive collector Jonny Trunk, seeing how tunes from library records went on to brand long -loved staples such as Mastermind and Grandstand.

Finally, Neil travels to the US to talk with Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, to uncover how its orchestrated theme music is a homage to classic TV of the past. Neil also visits the studio of Ramin Djawadi, the composer behind the epic sound of one of today’s biggest blockbuster series, Game of Thrones.


FRI 22:00 Barbra Streisand: Becoming an Icon 1942-1984 (b0bt8x6z)
Barbra Streisand grew up in working-class Brooklyn, dreaming of escape from her tough childhood. A stellar student, she resisted the pressure to go to college as her sights were firmly set on Broadway. She was determined to become an actress and landed her first role aged 16, but it was two years later, when she started to sing, that her career took off.

Subverting stereotypes and breaking glass ceilings, this programme looks at her rise to stardom and the remarkable achievements of her early career.


FRI 23:00 imagine... (b04pln3f)
Winter 2014

Bette Midler: The Divine Miss M

As she is about to begin a run on Broadway in Hello Dolly, imagine... revisits Miss M in New York in a programme first shown in 2014 when she was about to release her girl band-inspired album.

For five decades the woman they call the Divine Miss M has forged a path which has taken her from a pineapple-canning factory in Honolulu to becoming a Hollywood legend. Alan Yentob joins Bette Midler on a journey through the chorus lines of Broadway and the bathhouses and nightclubs of the 1970s to the very top of the film industry. Her combination of a soulful voice and the raucous wit of Mae West has made her name as an outrageous, but always captivating, all-round entertainer.


FRI 00:15 Girls in Bands at the BBC (b06mxpjc)
Compilation celebrating some guitar band performances at the BBC that feature some of the best female musicians in rock. Beginning with the oft-forgotten American group Fanny performing You're the One, it's a journey along rock's spectrum from the 1970s to now.

The selection includes the powerful vocals of Elkie Brooks on Vinegar Joe's Proud to Be a Honky Woman, the mesmerising poetry of Patti Smith's Horses and the upbeat energy of The Go-Go's on We Got the Beat.

Mighty basslines come courtesy of Tina Weymouth on Psycho Killer and Kim Gordon on Sugar Kane, whilst we trace the line of indie rock from the Au Pairs through Lush, Elastica and Garbage to current band Savages.


FRI 01:15 Kate Bush at the BBC 1979 (b00k35n4)
1979 Christmas special featuring Kate Bush. She performs Gymnopedie No 1, Symphony in Blue, Them Heavy People, Madrigal, December, Wedding List, Egypt, Ran Tan Waltz, Man with the Child in His Eyes and Don't Push Your Foot on the Heartbreak.

Guest star Peter Gabriel sings Here Comes the Flood and duets with Kate on Another Day.


FRI 02:00 Top of the Pops (m000pz16)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


FRI 02:30 Top of the Pops (m000pz18)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


FRI 03:00 The Truth about Christmas Carols (b00gbgt3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]




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

A Little Later 21:45 THU (b00rmzfm)

Balloon 22:00 SUN (m000pyt7)

Barbra Streisand: Becoming an Icon 1942-1984 22:00 FRI (b0bt8x6z)

Britain's Lost Masterpieces 20:00 MON (b097xrbq)

Britain's Lost Masterpieces 01:45 MON (b097xrbq)

Crossing England in a Punt: River of Dreams 19:00 SUN (p00y6r6q)

Dan Cruickshank and the Family that Built Gothic Britain 00:30 WED (b04m3ljr)

Francesco's Italy: Top to Toe 19:00 SAT (b007920b)

Francesco's Italy: Top to Toe 02:25 SAT (b007920b)

Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam 19:00 MON (b0078l4s)

Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam 01:15 MON (b0078l4s)

Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam 19:00 TUE (b0078l7l)

Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam 01:35 TUE (b0078l7l)

Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam 19:00 WED (b0078lbl)

Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam 02:00 WED (b0078lbl)

Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam 19:00 THU (b0078lf9)

Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam 01:20 THU (b0078lf9)

Full Circle with Michael Palin 20:00 SAT (p00xb8h6)

Full Circle with Michael Palin 01:35 SAT (p00xb8h6)

Girls in Bands at the BBC 00:15 FRI (b06mxpjc)

Great Barrier Reef 21:00 WED (b019hd78)

Great Barrier Reef 02:30 WED (b019hd78)

High Society 20:00 THU (m000pyh8)

Inside Cinema 22:00 WED (m000pz0r)

Inside Cinema 23:50 THU (m000pz0r)

Kate Bush at the BBC 1979 01:15 FRI (b00k35n4)

MAKE! Craft Britain 23:30 WED (b09whc5t)

Mary Beard’s Shock of the Nude 21:00 MON (m000f1t2)

Mary Beard’s Shock of the Nude 02:20 THU (m000f1t2)

Natural World 20:00 SUN (b055kldq)

Natural World 02:35 SUN (b055kldq)

Operation Iceberg 22:35 SAT (p00tvcp0)

Robert Burns: The People's Poet 23:15 MON (b00h6s23)

Scotland: Rome's Final Frontier 21:00 SUN (b01p66rv)

Scotland: Rome's Final Frontier 01:40 SUN (b01p66rv)

Secret Knowledge 01:05 SUN (b036qfcy)

Secret Knowledge 00:50 THU (b05z5hc0)

Some People with Jokes 23:00 WED (b040y927)

Storyville 22:00 MON (m000pz1w)

Storyville 02:45 MON (m000pz1w)

Thatcher: A Very British Revolution 21:00 TUE (m0005pt1)

Thatcher: A Very British Revolution 02:05 TUE (m0005pt1)

The 80s with Dominic Sandbrook 20:00 TUE (b07p0f9y)

The Bridge 23:35 SAT (b0b0b6pp)

The Bridge 00:35 SAT (b0b0b75c)

The Falklands Play 22:00 TUE (b0074mv0)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 MON (m000jb7r)

The Joy of Painting 00:45 MON (m000jb7r)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 TUE (m000jb9c)

The Joy of Painting 01:05 TUE (m000jb9c)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 WED (m000jjh5)

The Joy of Painting 01:30 WED (m000jjh5)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 THU (m000jjgw)

The Joy of Painting 01:50 THU (m000jjgw)

The Sound of TV with Neil Brand 21:00 FRI (m000pz1b)

The Truth about Christmas Carols 19:00 FRI (b00gbgt3)

The Truth about Christmas Carols 03:00 FRI (b00gbgt3)

The Valhalla Murders 21:00 SAT (m000pysl)

The Valhalla Murders 21:45 SAT (m000pysn)

The Valhalla Murders 23:30 TUE (m000pysl)

The Valhalla Murders 00:20 TUE (m000pysn)

Top of the Pops 00:05 SUN (m000pr1x)

Top of the Pops 00:35 SUN (m000pr1z)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m000pz16)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m000pz18)

Top of the Pops 02:00 FRI (m000pz16)

Top of the Pops 02:30 FRI (m000pz18)

What a Picture: Mary Whitehouse 23:20 THU (m000pz0p)

Winterwatch 20:00 WED (b01q9d86)

imagine... 22:00 THU (b0bpx05m)

imagine... 23:00 FRI (b04pln3f)