Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 05 DECEMBER 2020

SAT 19:00 Francesco's Italy: Top to Toe (b0079238)
The Land of My Mother

Francesco da Mosto visits the south and Sicily, home of his mother's family for more than 500 years. Easter celebrations in the south involve the streets running red with celebrants' blood and the locals indulging in frantic dances to ward off the threat of the tarantula.

On Sicily, the brooding majesty of Etna terrifies Francesco as he stares into the volcano, but there's beauty and art at the Villa Bagheria and an explosion of baroque decadence at Noto. Finally for Francesco, there's an emotional reunion with his family, who have come down from Venice.


SAT 20:00 Full Circle with Michael Palin (p00xb8jw)
Mexico, USA, Canada and Alaska

Michael Palin travels from Mexico City to the Diomede Islands where his trek began. He meets up with illegal immigrants in Mexico, cruises San Francisco's gay scene and visits Alcatraz.


SAT 21:00 The Valhalla Murders (m000q5kx)
Series 1

Episode 5

The team make advances in identifying a suspect with the help of a fingerprint lifted from Thor's photograph and CCTV footage from the shopping mall, but their success is jeopardised by a leak to social media that risks putting further lives in danger.

In Icelandic with English subtitles.


SAT 21:45 The Valhalla Murders (m000q5kz)
Series 1

Episode 6

Kata is suspended from duty for losing her gun. Arnur questions the hospitalised Steinthor, who fervently denies killing his friend Tomas. Meanwhile, Kata gets an intriguing phone call from Hakon, who has discovered something in the basement at Valhalla.

In Icelandic with English subtitles.


SAT 22:30 Operation Iceberg (b01nqc90)
Series 1

Life and Death of a 'Berg

In the second part of this Arctic adventure series, Chris Packham, Helen Czerski and a team of explorers and scientists investigate an iceberg floating out at sea. Their aim is to discover the forces that gradually destroy an iceberg by looking at a massive tabular 'berg 50 kilometres from the Canadian coast.

During the expedition, the team confronts a large number of polar bears - the largest land predator on earth. And while they are working on the iceberg, a large chunk of it actually breaks off beneath their feet. Despite these dangers, the team succeeds in revealing the mysteries of these stunning natural phenomena.


SAT 23:30 The Bridge (b0b0b75f)
Series 4

Episode 7

Danish-Swedish crime series. Christoffer remains in peril after being imprisoned. Saga is intrigued when she discovers that Frank has a secret.

In Swedish and Danish with English subtitles.


SAT 00:30 The Bridge (b0b2j32l)
Series 4

Episode 8

As Henrik and Astrid attempt to bond after so many years apart, Saga gets a breakthrough in the case, and an arrest is made.

In Danish and Swedish with English subtitles.


SAT 01:30 Full Circle with Michael Palin (p00xb8jw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SAT 02:20 Francesco's Italy: Top to Toe (b0079238)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]



SUNDAY 06 DECEMBER 2020

SUN 19:00 Wild (b0078yps)
2005-06 Shorts

West Coast Otters

A charming portrait of two otters, a mother and daughter who are inseparable, living on the idyllic west coast of Scotland. With the young cub never more than a few feet from her mum, a very special relationship is intimately observed as the cub grows up, learning how to fish and fend for herself. As the cub faces the dangers of her first Scottish winter, Mum has to work hard to make sure that both survive.


SUN 19:10 Addicted to Sheep (b070jj99)
Set in the North Pennines, an intimate portrait of a year in the life of tenant hill farmers Tom and Kay Hutchinson as they try to breed the perfect sheep.

Through the sun, rain, sleet and snow, we watch the Hutchinsons toil away against the stark, stunning landscapes of north east England and witness the hard work it takes just to survive. Their three young children are growing up close to the land, attending the local primary school entirely comprised of farmers' children, all thoroughly immersed in their remote rural world. While the odds often seem stacked against them, the film conveys the importance of a balanced family life and the good humour that binds this tight-knit community together.

An entertaining and subtle reminder of how important farming is to the economy and the social fabric of our communities. Following your passion does have its rewards, although not always financial.

Beautifully observed, this heartwarming film provides an insight into the past, present and future of a way of life far removed from the high-tech hustle and bustle of modern life.


SUN 20:10 All Creatures Great and Small (p031d2mc)
Christmas Special 1990

When Tristan discovers that the attractive new schoolmistress is part of the bell-ringing team, he decides to try his hand at campanology. Meanwhile, the brothers fall out over the treatment of an enormous wolfhound.


SUN 21:40 The Cult of... (b008x368)
Sunday Night

All Creatures Great and Small

The Cult of..., a series that unearths the history and anecdotes behind our cult Sunday night dramas, looks at All Creatures Great and Small. With its mix of stunning countryside, eccentric characters and romance, the show formed a template for Sunday night television. Interviewees including Christopher Timothy, Peter Davison, Robert Hardy, Carol Drinkwater, Lynda Bellingham, John McGlynn, producer Bill Sellars and writer Johnny Byrne reveal the struggles behind the success.


SUN 22:10 The Workshop (m000q5gq)
La Ciotat in the south of France. Antoine is one of small group of young people at a summer creative-writing workshop. Their task is to pen a crime thriller with the help of famous novelist Olivia Dejazet. The group, as a whole, draw their inspiration from the area’s industrial heritage, a nostalgic past that Antoine feels alienated from. More concerned with the fears of the modern world, the young man soon clashes with the group and Olivia, who seems both alarmed and captivated by Antoine's violence.

In French with English subtitles.


SUN 00:00 Andrew Davies: Rewriting the Classics (m0001v0q)
Controversial, witty, irreverent – Britain’s best-known screenwriter, Andrew Davies, has created some of the most iconic small-screen dramas of the past 50 years.

At the age of 82 he is following his smash hit adaptation of War and Peace with another global epic, Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables.

As he watches the production come to life during 2018, he looks back at the influence of his childhood in Cardiff. And he explores how he boils down and spices up his dramas – transforming our best-loved novels into prime-time television. Contributors include Sarah Waters, Helen Fielding and Dominic West.


SUN 01:00 Sheila Hancock Brushes Up: The Art of Watercolours (b00yzgtn)
Watercolours have always been the poor relation of oil painting. And yet the immediacy and freedom of painting in watercolours have made them the art of adventure and action - even war. It has been an art form the British have pioneered, at first celebrating the greatest landscapes of Europe and then recording the exotic beauty of the British Empire.

Sheila Hancock - an ardent fan of watercolours since her childhood, and whose father was an amateur watercolourist - sets out on a journey - from the glories of the Alps and the city of Venice to deepest India - as she traces the extraordinary story of professional and amateur watercolourists, and reveals some of the most beautiful and yet little-known pictures.


SUN 02:00 The Cult of... (b008x368)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:40 today]


SUN 02:30 Addicted to Sheep (b070jj99)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:10 today]



MONDAY 07 DECEMBER 2020

MON 19:00 Bob Ross: The Happy Painter (m000l41j)
Documentary that takes a behind-the-scenes look at American painter Bob Ross’s journey from humble beginnings to pop culture icon, charting how one local TV commercial evolved into a viral phenomenon that continues to inspire millions around the world.

The film reveals the public and private sides of Bob Ross through accounts from close friends and family, childhood photographs and rare archive footage. Interviewees recount his gentle, mild-mannered demeanour and unwavering dedication to wildlife, as well as disclosing little-known facts about such things as his hair, which was naturally straight, and his fascination with fast cars.


MON 20:00 University Challenge (m000crh9)
Christmas 2019

Leeds University v Clare College, Cambridge

In the opening match of the Christmas quiz for grown-ups, two teams do battle for a place in the semi-finals. The Leeds team includes the Reverend Richard Coles and Human Planet photographer Tim Allen. Their opponents are from Clare College, Cambridge, including writer and broadcaster Marcel Theroux and soprano Elin Manahan Thomas.

Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.


MON 20:30 The Art Mysteries with Waldemar Januszczak (m000gg29)
Series 1

Van Gogh's Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear

Painted soon after he cut off his ear with a razor, Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear is one of his most celebrated works. But how much do we really know about it?

In a far-ranging investigation, Waldemar Januszczak delves into the clues hidden in the painting. The result is a tale of geishas, brothels, bullfights, love affairs, suffering and a fiery relationship with Gauguin. Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear has a powerful secret message, if you know what to look for.


MON 21:00 Mary Beard’s Shock of the Nude (m000f8r3)
Series 1

Episode 2

Mary Beard takes on one of the foundation stones of western art - the nude.

Mary gives a deeply personal take on how artists have depicted the naked body, from the ancient Greeks to the taboo-busting painters and sculptors of today. Just why are artists so interested in nudity? And what can art reveal about our own attitudes to the body? Art critics over the centuries have often made lofty claims about the nude – playing down or refusing to acknowledge the erotic and even pornographic nature of some of the great works of western art. Mary argues we must not forget the edgy and dangerous nature of the nude – ultimately the reason it remains a magnetic subject for artists and viewers alike.

In this episode, Mary looks at how artists have challenged the idea of the body beautiful, artistic nudes that provoke viewers to think about the most fundamental questions about being human.

Mary begins with the sculpture Alison Lapper Pregnant. When this figure of a disabled artist by Marc Quinn was installed in Trafalgar Square, it caused a sensation - challenging public expectations about what a nude sculpture in a classical style should be. Mary then examines a nude she argues is rarely seen for what it is – the naked (or nearly naked) body of Jesus Christ, in the company of former British Museum director Neil MacGregor. Together, they look at one of the most surprising images of Jesus you have probably ever seen.

In the Royal Academy, Mary discusses a disturbing trio of work and tells the dark and chilling tale behind their execution. These are casts of flayed bodies of criminals designed as study aids for artists in the 18th century, but to 21st-century eyes they are morbidly gruesome – and Mary discusses how for her they stand somewhere between art, science and sadism.

In Bologna, Italy, Mary sees a female counterpart to these flayed men – the Anatomical Venus. This was a wax model of a young woman, posed to look like a Sleeping Beauty, but whose middle section could be opened up to reveal her exquisitely detailed innards. Mary argues we should see this Venus as anticipating contemporary works by artists such as Damien Hirst and Marc Quinn, who challenge us to think about the relationship between the body’s interior and its exterior.

Nudes in the western canon are traditionally white and living - but not all of them: Theodore Gericault’s masterpiece Raft of the Medusa is an image of torment and misery, with its sweep of dead and dying figures - and it also contains the figure of a black man, very much alive, waving heroically to a distant ship. With the help of Dr Denise Murrell, Mary reveals the importance of this image in the context of so many racially stereotyped images of the black body and discusses how the black nude was reimagined in the 20th century.

The naked body can also represent the inner state of mind - as seen in the works of the extraordinary early 20th-century Viennese artist Egon Schiele. Mary also looks at Lucian Freud, who reinvented the nude in the mid-20th century with his intimate, fleshy portraits of men and women. He has been described by one former model as predatory, and Mary speaks with another, Cozette McCreery, on how she felt about being the subject of his legendary scrutiny.

Mary then enters unsettling territory considering the issues that surround the depiction of the naked bodies of children. She explores the profoundly disturbing work of Eric Gill, who made engravings of his teenage daughter Petra at the same time he was sexually abusing her. Together with artist Cathie Pilkington, who recently co-curated a show of Gill’s work, Mary ponders whether these works can or should still be appreciated, when you know the history behind them.

Finally, Mary looks at what society’s increased awareness that gender is not a binary matter of male or female but a much more fluid concept means for the nude in art. She looks back to classical times, to the ancient hermaphrodite, reminding us that this is by no means a new discovery, before talking with a trans life model about the potential of art to affirm a positive body image. Mary speaks to artist Ajamu, whose work features in the groundbreaking Kiss My Genders exhibition – a glorious celebration of sexual and gender diversity in which the naked body proved without doubt that it still has a central role to play in art.


MON 22:00 Storyville (m000q5hp)
Red Penguins: Murder, Money and Ice Hockey

A tale of capitalism and opportunism run amok - complete with gangsters, strippers and live bears serving beer on a hockey rink in Moscow. Shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the famed Red Army hockey team formed a joint venture that showed that anything was possible in the new Russia.

Eccentric marketing whiz Steve Warshaw is sent to Russia and tasked with transforming the team into the greatest show in Moscow. He takes the viewer on a bizarre journey, highlighting a pivotal moment in US-Russia relations in a lawless era when oligarchs made their fortunes and multiple murders went unsolved.


MON 23:15 Timeshift (b008by9l)
Series 7

Watching the Russians

Beginning with the rise of Russophobia in Victorian Britain, former MI5 director general Stella Rimington explores our love-hate relationship with Russia over the past 150 years. The journey takes her to the East End of London on the trail of Russian revolutionaries and to the former mining town of Chopwell, once dubbed Little Moscow. She talks to former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky and shares recollections of the bugged British embassy in Moscow with former ambassador Rodric Braithwaite.


MON 00:15 Russia 1917: Countdown to Revolution (b098pgf1)
The Russian Revolution of 1917 is one of the most controversial events of the 20th century. Three men - Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin - emerged from obscurity to forge an entirely new political system. In the space of six months, they turned the largest country on earth into the first Communist state. Was this a triumph of people power or a political coup d'etat that led to blood-soaked totalitarianism? A hundred years later, the Revolution still sparks ferocious debate. This film dramatizes the 245 days that brought these men to supreme power. As the history unfolds, a stellar cast of writers and historians, including Martin Amis, Orlando Figes, Helen Rappaport, Simon Sebag-Montefiore and China Mieville, battle over the meaning of the Russian Revolution and explore how it shaped the world we live in today.


MON 01:15 Bob Ross: The Happy Painter (m000l41j)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


MON 02:20 Mary Beard’s Shock of the Nude (m000f8r3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



TUESDAY 08 DECEMBER 2020

TUE 19:00 University Challenge (m000crj4)
Christmas 2019

Birmingham City University v Wadham College, Oxford

It is the second match of the Christmas quiz with two teams of graduates fighting it out for a place in the semi-finals.

Playing for the Birmingham City team are Carole Boyd, who plays Linda Snell in the Archers, and gardener and broadcaster Bunny Guinness. Their opponents on the Wadham, Oxford, team include journalists and broadcasters Anne McElvoy and Jonathan Freedland.

Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.


TUE 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000jjjl)
Series 1

Steep Mountains

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 30-minute masterclass, Bob Ross paints a statuesque ridge of peaks overlooking a little country home by the cove.

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 (b07pr1b5)
World in Motion

The third and final programme charts the final years of the decade, looking at a society transformed by an accelerated change. Dominic argues that this change brought opportunities and anxieties that we continue to wrestle with to this day, from significant technological advances and the privatisation of national companies, to the deregulation of the stock market and the growing polarisation of rich and poor.

The late 80s saw Britain transformed beyond measure, from the economic 'Big Bang' in the City of London and the rise of the yuppie to more tangible, everyday signs of household change, such as the impact of Europe on British shopping habits - from German cars to French wine, Italian fashion and Scandinavian interior design. But alongside this transformation was a growing disconnection from the political elite, signified by the rise of rave culture and the poll tax riots. Margaret Thatcher - widely seen as the architect of so much of this change - would ultimately become its biggest victim.


TUE 21:00 Thatcher: A Very British Revolution (m0005wyb)
Series 1

That Bloody Woman

In episode four of the series Mrs Thatcher and her government seek to transform the British economy with far reaching consequences.

Tensions surface amongst her closest allies as she seeks to improve her public image and events reveal that the Iron Lady has emotional vulnerabilities in relation to her family.

Mrs Thatcher’s reputation amongst some sections of the public is poor. Her forthright style, such as telling the press not to be “moaning minnies” about unemployment when visiting north east England, has led to her being viewed as domineering and unsympathetic. In an embarrassing TV interview she is told that this issue is referred to within her own party as the TBW factor (“that bloody woman”). When colleagues attempt to discuss this problem she becomes angry at the Conservative central office team who bring her the news.

In an attempt to present a softer image Mrs Thatcher opens the doors of Downing Street to cameras and interviewers. Quizzed by Miriam Stoppard about her family, Mrs Thatcher offers insights into her modest upbringing in Grantham and in a startling moment is moved to tears when discussing her father and his departure from his senior position on the local council. The interview also raises questions about her own role as a mother and how she has balanced this with her political career. Her vulnerabilities around family are further exposed when the press ask questions about whether business deals her son is involved in create conflicts of interest.

Meanwhile, her government embarks on a radical transformation of the British economy. Mrs Thatcher is determined that Britain will embrace the free market and entrepreneurship. A programme of privatisation is underway that takes major nationalised industries into the private sector and offers millions of people the opportunity to own shares. It is a hallmark policy that will define the Thatcher years. Additionally, Mrs Thatcher greenlights a transformation of the operations of the City of London. Trading restrictions are lifted and regulation relaxed in the “Big Bang” that will bring a flood of new money into the City and a new generation of young, ambitious financiers. Many find the explosion of wealth and extravagance distasteful and damaging.

As the 1987 election approaches there are serious tensions inside the Conservative Party. Disagreements about strategy and personal differences between some of Mrs Thatcher’s closest advisors have been building. Mrs Thatcher is becoming suspicious of her party colleagues and closer to her inner circle of civil servants and specially appointed advisors. These tensions break out during the 1987 election campaign when polls seem to suggest that Labour are closing on the Conservatives and threatening to deny Mrs Thatcher a third victory. After explosive rows Mrs Thatcher asserts her authority and leads the campaign. When the results come in she has won another landslide victory but relationships with some of her closest allies are damaged forever.

This episode features interviews with Conservative party officials Norman Tebbit and Michael Dobbs, press secretary Bernard Ingham, political secretary Stephen Sherbourne, personal assistant Cynthia Crawford, cabinet member Lord Young, MPs Matthew Parris and Jonathan Aitken and senior civil servants Robin Butler, Charles Powell and Tim Lankester, as well as opposition leader Neil Kinnock and journalist Miriam Stoppard.


TUE 22:00 The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story (m0003m05)
Series 1

Episode 1

Documentary series opening, in 1975, with the first three years of the investigation into finding the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe. The location of the first two murders in Chapeltown - then well known as Leeds’s main red light district - leads the police to decide that prostitution is the connection between the attacks, but also to them coming up with a neat theory about the killer’s motivation. After the second murder in January 1976, the police announce that they are hunting a ‘prostitute killer’, which had significant implications for how the investigation proceeded.

Speaking to the children of some of the very first murder victims and to police officers who worked on the investigation, as well as to journalists who covered the murders, Liza Williams explores the difference between the way the women were characterised by the investigation and how they are remembered by those who knew and loved them. Meeting a survivor of one of Sutcliffe’s earlier attacks, as well as the daughter of another, Liza finds out how their vital eyewitness evidence was ignored because neither were prostitutes and did not, as a result, fit the victim profile the police had decided upon.

While the police ploughed on with their theory of that the murderer was targeting prostitutes, the killer remained at large. Between February 1977 and May 1978 Peter Sutcliffe murdered seven more women.


TUE 23:00 The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story (m0003m04)
Series 1

Episode 2

Documentary series exploring the Yorkshire Ripper investigation. Following the murder of Josephine Whitaker in April 1979, Peter Sutcliffe’s crimes started to make headlines across the country and the investigation became consumed by a series of letters and a tape that claimed to come from the killer himself.

The letters and tape, addressed directly to George Oldfield, West Yorkshire’s chief constable, were sent by a man calling himself Jack the Ripper. Oldfield was so certain that they came from the killer that other suspects were ruled out on the basis of their handwriting or whether they had a north-east accent like the one on the tape. Director Liza Williams discovers that Oldfield’s character and his hunches have a lot to answer for when it comes to the direction of the investigation and what evidence was ruled in or out.

Survivors and relatives of those who were attacked recount how they were not listened to when their descriptions of the attacker did not match the voice on the tape. Liza also speaks to police officers who tell her about other promising lines of inquiry, tracing clues left behind at murder scenes. The ‘Wearside Jack’ tapes, however, took centre stage.

While the police disregarded evidence and focused on the tapes, terror grew and the killer started to become a kind of cult figure, with Yorkshire Ripper chants at football matches and Thin Lizzy’s Killer on the Loose topping the charts. As Liza discovers, this myth-making provoked anger from women and the police’s failure to catch the killer led to a demonstration on the streets of Leeds.

Ending with the arrest of Peter Sutcliffe, the episode reveals how his name was already in multiple police files. He had been interviewed nine times during the course of the investigation. He did not have a Wearside accent like the voice on the tape, but was born and bred in Yorkshire. Had the police arrested him the first time he was questioned in November 1977, seven women’s lives might have been saved.


TUE 00:00 The Valhalla Murders (m000q5kx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday]


TUE 00:45 The Valhalla Murders (m000q5kz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:45 on Saturday]


TUE 01:35 The Joy of Painting (m000jjj0)
Series 1

Tropical 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, palm trees sway in the warm breeze as Bob Ross shows how to paint a beautiful, sunny and exotic little ocean masterpiece.

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 02:05 Thatcher: A Very British Revolution (m0005wyb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 09 DECEMBER 2020

WED 19:00 University Challenge (m000crhl)
Christmas 2019

Guildhall School of Music and Drama v UCL

In the third match of the Christmas series for university alumni, the team from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama features actors Monica Dolan, from BBC comedy W1A, and Holby City’s Bob Barrett. They fight it out for a place in the semis with the team from UCL, featuring BBC news presenter Maryam Moshiri and Arctic explorer Pen Hadow.

Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.


WED 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000jjj0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 01:35 on Tuesday]


WED 20:00 Tudor Monastery Farm (b03ndb8c)
Christmas

Historian Ruth Goodman and archaeologists Tom Pinfold and Peter Ginn turn the clock back 500 years to rediscover how the farms of Tudor England celebrated the 12 days of Christmas.

Although Christmas was celebrated very differently in Tudor times, if anything the celebrations were even bigger. All work stopped on Christmas Eve for 12 days of revelry and feasting. While Peter and Tom decorate the farmhouse with holly and ivy, Ruth prepares grand banquets for the farm workers. The Christmas Day feast was particularly special and featured a pig's head rather than a turkey as its centrepiece.

Most farmers could not afford to feast every day, but the monasteries held a special mass and banquet on each of the 12 days of Christmas. The fifth day, the Feast of Thomas Becket, was particularly important. Red meat was thought to stimulate virility, so monks ate poultry, such as swan and game. Tom and Ruth learn the art of falconry - the main way of catching game birds. The team also indulge in archery, the most popular sport of the era, whilst Tom learns how to make bagpipes, the most widely played instrument of the day.

The culmination of Christmas was marked by a frenzy of music, food and alcohol. The main treat was twelfth night cake. A dried pea was hidden in the cake - the precursor to the sixpence in a Christmas pudding - and whoever found it would be appointed the Lord of Misrule for the night, leading the celebrations. Tudor life was hierarchical and strictly organised, but at Christmas the rules were relaxed and the roles reversed.

Finally the revellers head out 'wassailing' - an early version of carol singing, which originated many songs still sung today, such as We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Ding Dong Merrily on High.


WED 21:00 Great Barrier Reef (b019xxhh)
Reef and Beyond

The Great Barrier Reef is vitally linked to the rest of the planet in many ways. Creatures travel for thousands of miles to visit in spectacular numbers, including tiger sharks, great whales, sea birds and the largest green turtle gathering on earth.

Alien creatures that are rarely seen, like nautilus, also rise out of the deep to visit the reef's warm waters. Weather systems travelling from across the Pacific also affect the whole reef, including mighty cyclones that bring destruction and chaos to the coral and the creatures that live on it. And it is weather patterns and climate change on a global scale that are likely to shape the future of the Great Barrier Reef and all its wildlife.


WED 22:00 The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story (m0003m0l)
Series 1

Episode 3

Documentary series exploring the Yorkshire Ripper investigation. In this final episode, Liza Williams charts the arrest of Peter Sutcliffe in January 1981, his subsequent trial and conviction, and the legacy for the relatives of his victims and the survivors of his attacks.

Speaking to one of Sutcliffe’s defence team, as well as a leading barrister from the prosecution and journalists who covered the trial, Liza traces the story from the moment of arrest. Witnesses were offered money for exclusives, potentially jeopardising the trial, and once it began long queues formed for the public gallery and front row seats in court were given to VIPs.

Peter Sutcliffe pleaded not guilty to murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility because of his mental state. The prosecution, however, argued that he should be found guilty of murder. Sutcliffe had confessed to all 13 murders and seven attacks, so there was no doubt who was to blame. However, looking back at court transcripts, Liza discovers that the women Sutcliffe attacked were once more classed as either prostitutes or ‘innocent’ victims. Meeting a woman who led a demonstration outside the Old Bailey, Liza finds out about the outrage they felt when the humanity of the murdered women was ignored.

On 22 May 1981, the Yorkshire Ripper trial reached its conclusion. Peter Sutcliffe was found guilty of murder and sentenced to a minimum term of 30 years. But as Liza discovers, that is not the end of the case. After Sutcliffe’s conviction, the failures of the police investigation start to be made public as a wide-ranging government report details mistake after mistake. Liza learns just how many clues and witnesses were ignored. But also, more powerfully, she discovers that the failings all link back to the police’s original theory about a ‘prostitute killer’ that took them in the wrong direction right from the start and led them to disregard vital evidence.

Going back to the survivors and relatives of Sutcliffe’s victims, at the end of the final episode and the conclusion of the series, Liza explores the legacy left behind by his crimes and what it has been like to live as the child of a Ripper murder victim.


WED 23:00 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 with TV 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.


WED 00:00 MAKE! Craft Britain (b09x5z01)
Series 1

Episode 2

Rookie crafters discover the ancient arts of silver jewellery-making and cross-stitch, but with a distinctly 21st-century twist. Also demonstrating how making things with your hands can give you an enormous sense of pride, origami expert Sam Tsang shows how to make an origami snack box- perfect for popcorn.

In a converted biscuit factory in the Ouse Valley, home to Newcastle's thriving artistic community, silversmith Lisa Cain welcomes six amateur crafters to her two-day workshop in silverclay jewellery. Each of the students will make two pieces of jewellery to take home or give to a loved one.

Silverclay is a new material, discovered by Mitsubishi in the 1990s, and Lisa has been teaching students how to use it for longer than anyone else in the country. She likes it because it's so accessible for first-timers. Comprising the three parts of silverclay particles, water and binder, silverclay starts off looking like putty. It's malleable to work with and takes all kinds of texture - everything from leaves to lace to latticework - very well. As the water and binder are removed, all that's left is the silverclay and this can then be polished - in a process that seems quite magical - to a fine glossy finish.

Jimmy is a patissier and a perfectionist. He wants to mould a rose similar to the kind he makes out of sugar fondant, but this is an ambitious make for even the most experienced of silverclay artists. Meanwhile, his girlfriend Sara plunges straight in to her model of their whippet, Blue. Jimmy thinks she's being hasty but Sara puts him right - 'Oh Jimmy, I'm not a photocopier' - and goes on to surprise everyone with her creation.

Hampton Court Palace is home to the Royal School of Needlework and it is here that our second workshop is held, taught by visiting lecturer and self-proclaimed 'manbroiderer' Jamie Chalmers, aka Mr X Stitch. Jamie has a huge following and is introducing cross-stitch to a new generation of embroiderers through his workshops and lectures.

Across a single day, six cross-stitch novices learn how to embroider their initials onto a t-shirt, and how to convert their own designs into pixelated cross-stitch patterns. Lena, who has ADHD, claims she has no idea how much time has passed as the students fall into a mesmeric state of flow. Gareth the blacksmith, however, sets himself the near impossible task of recreating a white-hot furnace in cross-stitch as a reminder of his teacher Pete's favourite phrase - keep it hot! He needs time to finish it off at home, and in a touching postscript, travels to Shropshire to give his finished work to Pete who is quite overcome by the gift.


WED 01:00 The Joy of Painting (m000jjj0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 01:35 on Tuesday]


WED 01:30 Tudor Monastery Farm (b03ndb8c)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


WED 02:30 Great Barrier Reef (b019xxhh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



THURSDAY 10 DECEMBER 2020

THU 19:00 University Challenge (m000crtq)
Christmas 2019

Liverpool v Hull

In the fourth match of the Christmas series for grown-ups, the Liverpool team, with actor Anna Maxwell Martin and broadcaster Roger Bolton, fight it out against the Hull team, with comedian Lucy Beaumont and novelist Tracy Borman.

Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.


THU 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000jqzz)
Series 1

Mountain at Sunset

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.

Spend half an hour with American painter Bob Ross as he demonstrates the creation of the perfect, brown-toned mountain scene - warm and wonderful!

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 Brooklyn (b06vyf02)
When Eilis is given an opportunity to emigrate to New York, she jumps at the chance for a better life, even if it means leaving her family and home. Desperately homesick at first, Eilis soon finds romance in Brooklyn, but when a family emergency forces her back to Ireland, she finds herself torn between her personal freedom and family responsibilities.


THU 21:40 Coast (b083d820)
Series 8 Reversions

The Secret Life of Sea Cliffs 1

Nick Crane explores some of the most spectacular and scary sea cliffs in Britain.


THU 22:00 Attenborough at 90 (p03qxjzj)
In celebration of his ninetieth birthday, Sir David Attenborough shares extraordinary highlights of his life and career with broadcaster Kirsty Young, including the inspiring people he has met, the extraordinary journeys he has made and the remarkable animal encounters he has had across the globe.

Joined by colleagues and friends, including Michael Palin and Chris Packham, Sir David shares some of the unforgettable moments from his unparalleled career, from capturing unique animal behaviour for the first time to the fast-paced advances in wildlife filming technology, as well as stories of the wonder and fragility of the natural world - stories that Sir David has spent his life exploring and championing.


THU 23:00 Bob Geldof on WB Yeats: A Fanatic Heart (b076qphj)
Musician and advocate Bob Geldof examines the life and work of one of the 20th century's greatest poets, William Butler Yeats. Geldof argues that as a poet and statesman, at the vanguard of a cultural revolution, Yeats brought about immense change in Ireland's struggle for independence, without firing a bullet.

Written by Geldof and Roy Foster, this incisive and moving documentary features readings by Bill Nighy, Van Morrison, Richard E Grant, Colin Farrell, Bono, Edna O'Brien, Ardal O'Hanlon, Noel Gallagher and Liam Neeson.


THU 00:40 The Joy of Painting (m000jqzz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


THU 01:10 Female Filmmakers: BBC Introducing Arts (m000fzm7)
Celebrating the next generation of female filmmakers, these short films from BBC Introducing Arts are all made by women. Presented by Janina Ramirez, these talented, emerging artists use comedy, drama and dance to tell stories from a contemporary female perspective.

Photo: Marco Cervi


THU 02:10 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.



FRIDAY 11 DECEMBER 2020

FRI 19:00 University Challenge (m000crt5)
Christmas 2019

Royal Holloway v Sussex

It is match five of this special Christmas series for distinguished alumni.

In the Royal Holloway team are ceramics designer Emma Bridgewater and TV historian Fern Riddell. They are fighting it out for a place in the semis against Sussex, featuring BBC parliamentary correspondent Mark D’Arcy and science fiction writer and critic Kim Newman.

Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.


FRI 19:30 The Lark Ascending (b019c9t9)
Dame Diana Rigg explores the enduring popularity of The Lark Ascending by the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, which was recently voted Britain's favourite piece of classical music by listeners to Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4.

Composed at a key turning point in world history, The Lark Ascending represents music for all occasions. It is used in rites of passage such as births, deaths and marriages, and is a favourite for film-makers looking to create that quintessential English pastoral feel. Fans of the work include actor Peter Sallis, who wants a copy of The Lark Ascending to be buried with him, top violinist Tasmin Little, who has played the piece as part of the BBC Proms, and music critic Michael Kennedy, who was a personal friend of Vaughan Williams.

The programme includes a beautiful new performance of the work in the same village hall where it was heard for the first time in December 1920. The Lark Ascending is performed by 15-year-old violin prodigy Julia Hwang and pianist Charles Matthews, using the original arrangement for violin and piano.


FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m000q5l5)
Gary Davies presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 10 May 1990 and featuring Kylie Minogue, Adamski and Beats International.


FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m000q5l9)
Nicky Campbell presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 18 May 1990 and featuring Hothouse Flowers, The Pasadenas and Paul Young.


FRI 21:00 The Sound of TV with Neil Brand (m000q5lf)
Series 1

Episode 2

Neil Brand looks at the impact of television music, this time not what was composed for the programmes themselves, but the music that surrounds them – jingles, idents and advertising, all of which play a huge part in our television memories.

Neil revisits the earliest days of BBC television, when the first-ever musical ident for Auntie was created in the 1950s, and when the spaces between programmes were filled with musical interludes such as the infamous potter’s wheel and, of course, the test card. Bob Stanley of cult band Saint Etienne explains the significance of this music to generations, surprisingly showing how long-forgotten test card tunes are sampled in huge-selling American hip-hop records.

With the advent of commercial television in the UK, ITV rivalled the BBC for airtime and lured viewers in with the new language of advertisements. But these had not yet reached the impact they had seen in the USA, the home of the TV jingle, where a 30-second tune could make or break a brand, as seen in the competing fortunes of Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

Flying west to Las Vegas, Neil meets the most successful jingle singer of all time, Linda November, the unseen voice behind thousands of TV spots and countless hours of high-rating television. He sees how short musical phrases known as stings evolved to brand an increasing range of TV channels in the more competitive world of multi-platform television. And finally, Neil hits the studio with maverick brand composers Jingle Punks to record a jingle that sums up the very heart of the series - Neil Brand himself.


FRI 22:00 Dionne Warwick at the BBC (m000q5lk)
A retrospective marking the 80th birthday in 2020 of legendary singer Dionne Warwick that looks back at her very best performances over the years at the BBC.

From her collaborations in the 1960s with Burt Bacharach and Hal David on classics like Walk On By and I’ll Never Fall In Love Again through to 80s hits like Heartbreaker, composed by the Bee Gees, this is a collection of songs that remind us of a voice and a talent that made songwriters want to work with Dionne, and audiences fall in love with her, all over the world.


FRI 23:00 Fern Britton Meets... (b01pkhnh)
Series 4

Dionne Warwick

Fern Britton meets Dionne Warwick, who released her first solo single in 1962 and is still performing today, a music legend who can count Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and The Beatles among her fans.

Dionne talks to Fern about her career and life, including her trailblazing battle against racism, the death of her cousin Whitney Houston and her enduring faith. 'I thank God every day,' she says.

Contributors include Barry Manilow, legendary composer Burt Bacharach and Mary Wilson of The Supremes.


FRI 00:00 Sounds of the 70s 2 (b01jk1b8)
Soul: Keep On Keeping On

Imported American soul was big news in the UK in the 1970s. Before the Brits developed their own brand of soul, American performers were here demonstrating how it was done and being appreciated by all and sundry. The series continues with classic performances from the kings and queens of soul, including Aretha Franklin, Billy Preston, The Tams, Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, The Stylistics, Gil Scott-Heron and The Jacksons.


FRI 00:30 Bros: After the Screaming Stops (m0001qyv)
A film charting Matt and Luke Goss's reunion 28 years on from when they were one of the biggest bands in the world. The Goss twins have hardly spoken and not played together since their split. With an incredibly fractured relationship and only three weeks to go until sell-out gigs at the O2 London, will they be able to put their history aside and come together as brothers to play the show of their lives?


FRI 02:00 TOTP2 (b01cyxhs)
Boybands

Showcasing the boy band, from its origins in 60s beat groups and R&B outfits to the new wave of 80s boy bands and beyond. Defined by their vocal harmonies, synchronised dance steps and groups of men, each with 'their own distinct appeal', this compilation celebrates the best of boy bands down the ages.

From JLS to The Four Tops, The Monkees to Westlife, and Village People to Blazin' Squad, relive your teenage years with the boys that mattered most.


FRI 03:00 The Lark Ascending (b019c9t9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]




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

Addicted to Sheep 19:10 SUN (b070jj99)

Addicted to Sheep 02:30 SUN (b070jj99)

All Creatures Great and Small 20:10 SUN (p031d2mc)

Andrew Davies: Rewriting the Classics 00:00 SUN (m0001v0q)

Attenborough at 90 22:00 THU (p03qxjzj)

Bob Geldof on WB Yeats: A Fanatic Heart 23:00 THU (b076qphj)

Bob Ross: The Happy Painter 19:00 MON (m000l41j)

Bob Ross: The Happy Painter 01:15 MON (m000l41j)

Brooklyn 20:00 THU (b06vyf02)

Bros: After the Screaming Stops 00:30 FRI (m0001qyv)

Coast 21:40 THU (b083d820)

Dionne Warwick at the BBC 22:00 FRI (m000q5lk)

Female Filmmakers: BBC Introducing Arts 01:10 THU (m000fzm7)

Fern Britton Meets... 23:00 FRI (b01pkhnh)

Francesco's Italy: Top to Toe 19:00 SAT (b0079238)

Francesco's Italy: Top to Toe 02:20 SAT (b0079238)

Full Circle with Michael Palin 20:00 SAT (p00xb8jw)

Full Circle with Michael Palin 01:30 SAT (p00xb8jw)

Great Barrier Reef 21:00 WED (b019xxhh)

Great Barrier Reef 02:30 WED (b019xxhh)

MAKE! Craft Britain 00:00 WED (b09x5z01)

Mary Beard’s Shock of the Nude 21:00 MON (m000f8r3)

Mary Beard’s Shock of the Nude 02:20 MON (m000f8r3)

Operation Iceberg 22:30 SAT (b01nqc90)

Russia 1917: Countdown to Revolution 00:15 MON (b098pgf1)

Sheila Hancock Brushes Up: The Art of Watercolours 01:00 SUN (b00yzgtn)

Sounds of the 70s 2 00:00 FRI (b01jk1b8)

Storyville 22:00 MON (m000q5hp)

TOTP2 02:00 FRI (b01cyxhs)

Thatcher: A Very British Revolution 21:00 TUE (m0005wyb)

Thatcher: A Very British Revolution 02:05 TUE (m0005wyb)

The 80s with Dominic Sandbrook 20:00 TUE (b07pr1b5)

The 80s with Dominic Sandbrook 02:10 THU (b07p0f9y)

The Art Mysteries with Waldemar Januszczak 20:30 MON (m000gg29)

The Bridge 23:30 SAT (b0b0b75f)

The Bridge 00:30 SAT (b0b2j32l)

The Cult of... 21:40 SUN (b008x368)

The Cult of... 02:00 SUN (b008x368)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 TUE (m000jjjl)

The Joy of Painting 01:35 TUE (m000jjj0)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 WED (m000jjj0)

The Joy of Painting 01:00 WED (m000jjj0)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 THU (m000jqzz)

The Joy of Painting 00:40 THU (m000jqzz)

The Lark Ascending 19:30 FRI (b019c9t9)

The Lark Ascending 03:00 FRI (b019c9t9)

The Sound of TV with Neil Brand 23:00 WED (m000pz1b)

The Sound of TV with Neil Brand 21:00 FRI (m000q5lf)

The Valhalla Murders 21:00 SAT (m000q5kx)

The Valhalla Murders 21:45 SAT (m000q5kz)

The Valhalla Murders 00:00 TUE (m000q5kx)

The Valhalla Murders 00:45 TUE (m000q5kz)

The Workshop 22:10 SUN (m000q5gq)

The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story 22:00 TUE (m0003m05)

The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story 23:00 TUE (m0003m04)

The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story 22:00 WED (m0003m0l)

Timeshift 23:15 MON (b008by9l)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m000q5l5)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m000q5l9)

Tudor Monastery Farm 20:00 WED (b03ndb8c)

Tudor Monastery Farm 01:30 WED (b03ndb8c)

University Challenge 20:00 MON (m000crh9)

University Challenge 19:00 TUE (m000crj4)

University Challenge 19:00 WED (m000crhl)

University Challenge 19:00 THU (m000crtq)

University Challenge 19:00 FRI (m000crt5)

Wild 19:00 SUN (b0078yps)