Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 02 JANUARY 2021

SAT 19:00 Simon King's Shetland Adventure (b00qnw1f)
Episode 1

Simon King, wildlife cameraman and Springwatch presenter, sets off on an adventure to live on the Shetland Islands with his family through the changing seasons. Simon has travelled the world for 30 years, but his boyhood dream was to visit Shetland. Now he has the chance to film some of the remarkable wildlife and experience the beauty and the wild weather of Britain's most northerly isles.

Simon captures footage of killer whales coming in to kill a seal, an Arctic tern colony attacked by a bonxie, and a shy otter family. Simon, his wife Marguerite and two-year-old daughter Savannah settle into a remote cottage, but the winter weather and winds of over 100mph make life tough for them.

To celebrate winter, Simon joins the local Shetlanders in their Viking Up Helly Aa festivals, but there is a surprise for him: he is asked to come in drag, dressed as fellow Springwatch presenter Kate Humble. This doesn't stop him enjoying himself or helping to set light to a Viking boat in a genuine Shetland experience.


SAT 20:00 Sahara with Michael Palin (b0078zpm)
A Line in the Sand

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

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

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

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


SAT 21:00 Spiral (m000qzkp)
Series 8

Episode 1

French crime drama. With Gilou facing the possibility of prison, Laure's team try to recover their reputation by taking on a case that no-one else wants - the murder of an identified minor in a run-down part of town.

In French with English subtitles.


SAT 22:00 Spiral (m000qzks)
Series 8

Episode 2

Now in prison, Gilou makes headway as an informer and gets close to Cisco, a dangerous convict coming to the end of his sentence, who is being monitored by the police. Josephine Karlsson meets Souleymane, the 13-year-old Moroccan boy accused of the murder Laure and Ali are investigating.

In French with English subtitles.


SAT 23:00 Classic Soul at the BBC (b0074pvv)
A collection of some of the greatest soul performances from the BBC's archive, featuring Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Dusty Springfield, Isaac Hayes, Solomon Burke and Percy Sledge.


SAT 00:00 Whitney at the BBC (m000qpll)
A celebration of the hits of one of the greatest and biggest-selling stars of all time that looks back Whitney Houston’s best performances at the BBC.

This selection of songs, wrapped up in one of soul music’s biggest-ever voices, captures how the world sat up and listened when Whitney burst onto the scene in 1985 with Saving all My Love for You. Taking us on a journey, hit by hit, through the 80s, 90s and 00s, this playlist is an absolute must for all her fans, reminding us why audiences fell in love with her time and again, and why her early death in 2012 was such a tragic loss to the world of music.


SAT 00:30 Jools' Annual Hootenanny (m000qsqc)
Best Bits Ever

Join Jools Holland as he takes a look back at some of the many artists who have joined him and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra on that very special night of nights to see in a new year.

Featuring performances by global stars like Adele and Michael Bublé to soul, reggae and jazz legends like Desmond Dekker, Betty Wright and Gregory Porter, plus classic duets from the likes of Amy Winehouse and Paul Weller, as well as Ronnie Wood and Slash!

Dust off the dancing shoes and relive some timeless classics!


SAT 01:30 Sahara with Michael Palin (b0078zpm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SAT 02:30 Simon King's Shetland Adventure (b00qnw1f)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]



SUNDAY 03 JANUARY 2021

SUN 19:00 Aled Jones at 50 (m000qv15)
As Aled Jones turns 50, a special programme marking his remarkable career since he became a child star as a boy soprano back in 1985. Now Aled returns to his home patch of Anglesey and revisits Bangor Cathedral. It was when he was a choirboy there that he was discovered and went on to record the hit Christmas record Walking in the Air. Since then he has released 40 albums, presented numerous TV series including Songs of Praise and has his regular radio shows on Classic FM and Radio Wales.

In the programme, he discovers archive footage of himself as a boy he had no idea existed. He reflects on some of the highlights of his career, singing for Pope John Paul, the Royal family and at the wedding of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates.

As he releases his new album, there are performances of some of his favourite tracks, and he catches up with old friends, including Walking in the Air composer Howard Blake, Gyles Brandreth and Dame Judi Dench.


SUN 20:00 Caribbean with Simon Reeve (p02l5269)
Episode 1

Simon begins his journey around the Caribbean on the island of Hispaniola and its two very different countries - the Dominican Republic, a tourist hotspot, and Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere. He ends this first leg on Puerto Rico, a Caribbean island that is practically America's 51st state.

From flying boats to drug busts, Simon explores both the light and dark sides of the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean's most popular tourist destination. He joins the police anti-narcotics division on the front line in the war against international drug cartels in Santo Domingo before crossing the border to Haiti, where he visits the notorious tented camps of Cite Soleil. These slums remain home to many of the survivors of the worst earthquake to hit the island in two centuries. From voodoo ceremonies to dolphin watching, Simon also discovers a vibrant, colourful and thriving side to life in Haiti borne out of the country's unique history.

Finally, Simon reaches Puerto Rico, an island with close ties to the USA. He visits the tiny, paradisiacal island of Vieques, billed as the Caribbean's next major tourist destination. However, not everything here is as it seems, as Simon examines the impact six decades of bombing and weapons testing by the US Navy and Army has had on the landscape of this tiny island and on the people who live there.


SUN 21:00 Joanna Lumley in the Land of the Northern Lights (b00dhv1n)
An amazing journey in Norway's far North as Joanna Lumley pursues a lifelong dream to track down the elusive, stunningly beautiful Northern Lights - 'the true wonder of the world,' as she puts it.

Joanna grew up in tropical Malaysia, and as a little girl never saw snow or felt cold. Inspired by fairytales and picture books, she always longed to make the journey north. At last she travels north across the Arctic Circle, up through Norway to Svalbard, the most northerly permanently inhabited place on Earth, where she has to cope with temperatures approaching minus 30 degrees centigrade.

With a box of crayons in hand, her journey takes her from train to boat, to husky-sled, to snowmobile, as she is pulled ever northwards by what she calls 'the strongest point of the compass'. She explores the romantic fjords of Lofoten and learns to ride a snowmobile, speeding across endless expanses of Lapland tundra with a Sami herdsman in search of his reindeer. As she reaches the Arctic Ocean, she prepares for bed in a hotel made entirely of ice. Everywhere she goes, she asks about the mysterious Northern Lights.


SUN 22:00 Max Richter's Sleep (m000qzlb)
'My personal lullaby for a frenetic world. A manifesto for a slower pace of existence' - Max Richter.

Max Richter's Sleep is a meditative respite from the rush and chaos of modern life that studies a universal experience.

This documentary film follows acclaimed composer and musician Max Richter and his creative partner, artist and Bafta-winning film-maker Yulia Mahr, as they navigate an ambitious performance of his celebrated eight-hour opus Sleep at an open-air concert in Los Angeles.

Emmy-nominated director Natalie Johns weaves in Mahr’s personal archive and performance footage from Berlin, Sydney and Paris to create a rich portrait of a shared artistic process, along with contributions that illuminate both the science and the story behind the work.


SUN 23:35 Upstream (m0008z3c)
Upstream is a film by writer Robert Macfarlane and director Rob Petit. The film, which was shot entirely from the air, follows the course of the River Dee in Scotland all the way to its source in the Cairngorm mountains, the highest of any river in Britain. With a prose poem written especially for the film by Macfarlane (voiced by Julie Fowlis) and an original score by the Oscar-nominated composer Hauschka, the film takes as it epigraph the words of the Scottish writer Nan Shepherd (1893-1981): 'One cannot know the rivers till one has seen them at their sources,' wrote Shepherd, 'but this journey to sources is not to be undertaken lightly.' (The Living Mountain, 1977).

Eerie, hypnotic and experimental, this groundbreaking polyphonic film weaves together field recordings of the river, and the birds and creatures which live along it, the place names and stories - dark and light - of the Cairngorms, creating a 'songline' that draws the viewer up, against the flow, into wildness, winter and strangeness.


SUN 00:05 Aled Jones at 50 (m000qv15)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SUN 01:05 Caribbean with Simon Reeve (p02l5269)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SUN 02:05 Joanna Lumley in the Land of the Northern Lights (b00dhv1n)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



MONDAY 04 JANUARY 2021

MON 19:00 Winter Walks (m000qfrw)
Series 1

Selina Scott

The sound of the countryside fills the air as broadcaster and author Selina Scott enjoys a gentle walk around Wharfedale in the Yorkshire Dales. Exploring quaint villages, magical waterways and breathtaking landscapes, Selina offers her personal take on this special corner of the Dales.

Filming herself and all that is around her on a 360-degree camera, Selina wanders through the countryside, often deep in thought and stopping only to chat, recite poetry and reflect.

Along the way, she learns of extraordinary philanthropy, meets walkers and a fisherman, and ends her journey drinking local ale in a pub famed for ferret racing.

Filmed in February 2020 before Covid restrictions were introduced.


MON 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000qzm7)
Winter Specials

Snow Birch

Discover a birch tree forest perfectly mirrored in the cold stillness of winter. A unique Bob Ross painting in which you can delight in the effects of white and black gesso.


MON 20:00 Secrets of the Museum (m000f1xp)
Series 1

Episode 1

Inside every museum is a hidden world, and now, cameras have been allowed behind the scenes at the world-famous Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Only a small part of the two million wonders in the collection are on display to the public. But in this new series we go behind closed doors to explore all the treasures of art, design and performance the museum has to offer.
We follow experts and conservators at work in this treasure trove of the nation’s favourite objects, as they breathe new life into fragile marvels, uncover hidden stories, and battle to keep the past alive.
In this week’s episode we follow the charming story of a hand-made children’s toy - Pumpie the elephant. Pumpie was made a hundred years ago by the Cattley family in west London. The children whose beloved stuffed toy he was made special outfits for him, painted his portrait, and took him with them on holiday. But Pumpie has suffered major moth damage over the years, and now needs urgent restoration.
Curator Will takes the treasured toy to head textile conservator Jo, who dyes new felt to patch up Pumpie’s moth-eaten trunk, darns his miniature admiral’s outfit and restores his original brass buttons so that he’s shipshape to go out on loan for a special exhibition.
But before Pumpie packs his trunk, a relative of the family who once owned him is invited into the conservation workshop to meet him for the first time.
Meanwhile curator Charlotte is on the case of a missing woman. The face of a beautiful 18th-century aristocrat has been meticulously painted in enamel on an ornate gold and enamel snuffbox. But nobody knows for certain who this mysterious woman might be.
Charlotte is determined to get to the bottom of this question with a visit to historic Ham House. She compares large-scale portraits and other miniatures with the snuffbox to establish the identity of Lady Frances Carteret.
Behind the scenes of the spectacular Christian Dior exhibition, we uncover the expert skill involved in creating bespoke mannequins to display the gowns. Each mannequin is sculpted by textile conservators Lillia and Lara to exactly fit the dimensions of each dress’s original owners. Pamela Mann, the original owner of a spectacular raspberry-pink cocktail dress, comes in to the Museum to see the results of the team’s labours, and tells us the story of how her husband - a former physician to the Royal Household - bought Pamela the dress from Harrods in the 1950s.
In the performance galleries, rock and pop curator Vicky and conservator Susana take us inside Kylie Minogue’s dressing room, which is on display as a time capsule of the star’s 2007 tour. As they check the condition of the dresses, shoes and make-up, we discover the significance of the objects from this moment in Kylie’s life - after her treatment for breast cancer.
Finally, paper conservator Anne gets to grips with a colourful Victorian curiosity called a paper peep-show. This folding paper marvel was made as a souvenir of the Great Exhibition in 1851, and is made up of a series of hand-painted cardboard plates that magically open like an accordion.
But the 170-year-old paper object is so delicate that it’s in danger of falling apart. We follow the careful surgery required, using tiny pieces of Japanese paper and wheat starch to restore the beautiful piece so that visitors will be able to take a peep into the past and see the Great Exhibition for themselves.


MON 21:00 Ian Hislop's Fake News: A True History (m00095hv)
Fake news is never out of today's headlines. But in his latest documentary taking the long view of a hot-button issue, Ian Hislop discovers fake news raking in cash or wreaking havoc long before our own confused, uncertain times. Ian mines history to identify what motivates fake news - from profit, power and politics to prejudice, paranoia and propaganda – as well as to try to figure out what to do about it. In America and back home, Ian meets, amongst others, someone whose fake news stories have reached millions and a victim of fakery alleged to be a mastermind of the spurious paedophile ring ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy. Viewers also get to see Ian doing something that has never been captured on film before – as he gets a taste of what it is like to be 'deepfaked'.

In 1835, New Yorkers were fooled by one of the most entertaining and successful fake news scoops of all time - a tale of flying man-bats spied on the moon through the world’s most powerful telescope. The moon hoax story ran in a cheap, new tabloid - The Sun. Within decades, a circulation war waged between two pioneering press barons - Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst - was seen by many as causing a real war, between America and Spain. Meanwhile, another American conflict, the Civil War of the 1860s, had proved that photography, which initially promised new standards of accuracy, also brought new ways of lying. Ian looks at the battlefield images of pioneering photojournalist Alexander Gardner, who achieved ends by means that would be judged unethical today. He also encounters the spooky 'spirit photography' of William Mumler.

Ian digs into one of the most pernicious conspiracy theories of all time - the protocols of the Elders of Zion. He is disturbed to find this virulently anti-Semitic tract available with one click and rave reviews on Amazon, despite comprehensive factual debunking a century ago. Ian also ponders the consequences of official British fake news-mongering. During WWI, lurid stories were spread about German factories manufacturing soap from corpses. But a consequence of such black propaganda was to undermine the currency of trust in government - rather like, Ian notes, the absence of WMDs in Iraq has more recently.

To understand more about the current crisis, Ian meets James Alefantis, owner of the Washington DC pizzeria who fell victim to the ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy. He also quizzes ex-construction worker Christopher Blair, a controversial figure sometimes dubbed 'the godfather of fake news'. He discusses how frightened we should be about fake news, and what can be done about it, with Damian Collins MP who chaired the parliamentary inquiry into fake news.

Collins argues that today's tech giants – Facebook in particular - should be taking even more active steps to take down disinformation. But that path also has its perils, as Ian finds out when he resurrects the extraordinary story of Victoria Woodhull, a woman who sued the British Museum for libel in the 1890s. This pioneering American feminist - the first woman who ran to be president - was an early victim of what today would be termed 'slut-shaming'. But does combatting lies give anyone the right to censor the historical record and limit free speech?


MON 22:00 Murder 24/7 (m000frh7)
Series 1

Episode 1

Episode one follows the investigation into the murder of 36-year-old Courtney Valentine-Brown, who was found stabbed in a flat in Southend-on-Sea. The episode spans the critical first two days of the investigation as a team of detectives and specialists work around the clock to catch the killers.

The episode opens with senior investigating officer Stuart on his way to the crime scene. Inside, forensics get to work piecing together what may have happened and who was involved based on the extensive blood spatter in the flat.

In a briefing at HQ, the team are given a variety of tasks before they scatter in the quest to find evidence. As the murder happened behind closed doors, there are no eyewitnesses and no CCTV, so they start from scratch trying to unlock clues and uncover leads. The first breakthrough emerges when a witness comes forward saying she saw four people enter the flat just before the murder. She identifies two of them as Kelly King (the flat owner), Ian Slater (her boyfriend), but did not recognise the other two men.

With two suspect names, the investigation gathers pace. Operational Support are called in to lead the search for King and Slater. They eventually track King down and arrest her, but Slater is nowhere to be found.

The manhunt steps up a gear with Steve Robson, a manhunt specialist from the Serious and Organised Crime Unit, deployed. Steve works proactively to hunt Slater down. He visits a range of Slater’s associates, operating on the basis that if you rattle enough family and friends, then the suspect will eventually appear.


MON 23:00 Timeshift (b0074sh1)
Series 6

The Da Vinci Code - The Greatest Story Ever Sold

After Dan Brown's publishing phenomenon The Da Vinci Code was cleared of plagiarism charges, this documentary explores the climate which has permitted a fictional story to make such an effective challenge to conventional history that it has forced a counter-attack from the Church, the art world and academics. Has Brown cracked the most difficult code of all our 21st-century cultural DNA?

Contributors include Richard Leigh, author of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, art critic Brian Sewell, novelist Sarah Dunant, columnist David Aaronovitch and Opus Dei director Jack Valero.


MON 00:00 ArtWorks Scotland (b0140v4c)
Gerry Rafferty: Right Down the Line

Gerry Rafferty, who died in January 2011, was one of Scotland's best loved singer/songwriters, famous around the world for hits such as Baker Street and Stuck in the Middle With You.

This ArtWorks Scotland film, narrated by David Tennant, tells the story of Rafferty's life through his often autobiographical songs and includes contributions from Gerry's daughter Martha and brother Jim, friends and colleagues including Billy Connolly, John Byrne and Joe Egan, admirers such as Tom Robinson and La Roux, and words and music from Rafferty himself.


MON 01:00 Ian Hislop's Fake News: A True History (m00095hv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


MON 02:00 The Joy of Painting (m000qzm7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


MON 02:30 Winter Walks (m000qfrw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


MON 03:00 Secrets of the Museum (m000f1xp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



TUESDAY 05 JANUARY 2021

TUE 19:00 Winter Walks (m000qftx)
Series 1

Lemn Sissay

The picture-perfect setting of Cumbria’s Dentdale is the location for Lemn Sissay’s breathtaking journey into a world of snow-capped hills, blue skies and birdsong.

Starting high on the moorlands above Dent village, and carrying a 360-degree camera, Lemn walks along ancient drovers’ roads and the old postman’s path, with breathtaking winter views in every direction. Meeting locals, including a farmer who collects vintage tractors and a lone bagpiper, Lemn is inspired by the landscape and reflects on the power of being immersed in nature.

After a challenging climb to England’s highest mainline train station, Dent, Lemn reflects that he must find time to walk and explore the countryside more.

Filmed in March 2020 before Covid restrictions were introduced.


TUE 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000qzlq)
Winter Specials

Rustic Winter Woods

Go on a hike with Bob Ross into the midst of a snow-covered forest and enjoy the beauty of leafless trees in slumber, with a texture you can almost feel.


TUE 20:00 Inside Obama's White House (b07470xw)
100 Days

A month after his victory, Barack Obama discovered America was on the verge of a great depression. He puts his plans for change on hold to pass the largest stimulus in history.

Obama promises to close Guantanamo within a year - and it is still open. His attorney general admits that evidence against many of the prisoners could not be used to prosecute because they had been tortured.

And at the Copenhagen summit, the president crashed a meeting between three fellow heads of government in his desperation to do something about climate change.


TUE 21:00 Tutankhamun in Colour (m000k48q)
A century after the world’s most exciting archaeological find - the tomb of Tutankhamun - we can witness the dramatic scenes of its discovery and marvel at its extraordinary treasures exactly as they were first seen - in colour.

Oxford University Egyptologist, Elizabeth Frood, is our guide to the discovery of the tomb on 4 November 1922 by British Egyptologist Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon. It provided much-needed good news, following the Great War and the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1919, and we have been transfixed ever since.

Colourisation provides a fantastic insight into the artefacts themselves and the context that they were found in. Many photos were taken using glass plate negatives, which have fantastic resolution and which, with colourisation, reveal detail not seen for a century.

Liz’s story begins in 1891, with an old black and white family photo of the young Carter. Colourisation brings him to life as he arrived in Egypt as a 17-year-old artist. Carter met two people who would change his life: British Egyptologist Flinders Petrie, who inspired him to be an archaeologist, and Lord Carnarvon, a keen amateur Egyptologist who hired Carter to help him.

Liz travels to Highclere Castle to meet the current Countess of Carnarvon. Carnarvon and Carter both yearned to find what nobody had ever discovered before, a pharaoh’s tomb with its treasures still intact. Carter became convinced that Tutankhamun’s tomb lay undiscovered in an ancient royal burial ground known as The Valley of the Kings, and in 1914 Carnarvon was granted a concession to start excavating there.

But the First World War intervened. Colourisation reveals a changing Egypt. Egyptians were soon pushing for independence from Britain, which claimed Egypt as a protectorate. The politics of the time were to have a profound effect on Carter and Carnarvon.

In December 1917, the meticulous Carter divided the valley up into a grid and began excavating each sector, right down to the bedrock. Colourisation reveals the astonishing scale of the operation that was required.

On 4 November 1922, a water-boy in Carter’s team, Hussein Abdul Rasoul, discovered a flight of steps descending into the bedrock. Carter broke into the tomb to discover first a rubble-filled passageway, then another sealed entrance. As Carter peered in, he declared, ‘It is wonderful.’ The extraordinary collection of objects he saw, including gilded couches, chariots, jewels, statues, and even ancient lunchboxes containing food for the afterlife, were captured in black and white by expert photographer Harry Burton. Using colourisation, we are now able to experience the scene that met their eyes, in incredible detail, almost as though it’s right in front of us.

On 16 February 1923, Carter and Carnarvon broke through into Tutankhamun’s burial chamber. A large blue and gilt shrine filled the room. Opening its doors, Carter discovered sealed doors to another three shrines, one within the next. Within these was a sarcophagus made from yellow quartzite and, within this, a nest of three coffins, also one within the next. For the first time in a century, we reveal each stage in amazing coloured detail. The outermost coffin was gilt, adorned with a garland of flowers. The middle one was inlaid with gold and coloured glass and the innermost was - incredibly - crafted from solid gold.

Finally, within this, was Tutankhamun’s mummy wearing the famous solid gold mask. Colourisation of the rather messy-looking black and white photograph reveals that his wrapped body was actually festooned with colourful jewellery.
The discovery of Tutankhamun’s body also revealed that he died very young, aged 19. This changed the way Tutankhamun was seen around the world. In Europe, the death of a young man hit a chord with so many who had lost their sons in the First World War. In his own country, Tutankhamun became a young and vibrant symbol of a powerful and independent Egypt.


TUE 22:00 Murder 24/7 (m000frld)
Series 1

Episode 2

This episode follows the continuing investigation into the murder of 36-year-old Courtney Valentine-Brown.

Over days three to six of the investigation, detectives, forensics and specialists track down those responsible for Courtney’s death. On arrest and interview, one suspect, Ian Slater, names another, Alex Stephens, who he claims is responsible for the killing. A manhunt ensues for Stephens, and in a race against the clock, the team must gather enough evidence to charge or release.


TUE 23:00 Light and Dark (p01k4yt6)
Light

Two-part series in which Professor Jim Al-Khalili shows how, by uncovering its secrets, scientists have used light to reveal almost everything we know about the universe. But in the last 30 years we have discovered that far from seeing everything, we have seen virtually nothing. Our best estimate is that more than 99 per cent of the universe is actually hidden in the dark.

The story of how we used light to reveal the cosmos begins in the 3rd century BC when, by trying to understand the tricks of perspective, the Greek mathematician Euclid discovered that light travels in straight lines, a discovery that meant that if we could change its path we could change how we see the world. In Renaissance Italy 2,000 years later, Galileo Galilei did just that by using the lenses of his simple telescope to reveal our true place in the cosmos.

With each new insight into the nature of light came a fresh understanding of the cosmos. It has allowed us to peer deep into space and even revealed the composition and lifecycles of the stars.

In the 1670s, the Danish astronomer Ole Roemer discovered that light travelled at a finite speed, a discovery that had a profound implication. It meant the further one looks out into the universe, the further one looks back in time. And in 1964, by detecting the cosmic microwave background, the afterglow of the big bang, we captured the oldest light in the universe and saw as far back as it is possible to see with light.


TUE 00:00 Spiral (m000qzkp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday]


TUE 01:00 Spiral (m000qzks)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Saturday]


TUE 02:00 The Joy of Painting (m000qzlq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


TUE 02:25 Winter Walks (m000qftx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


TUE 02:55 Murder 24/7 (m000frh7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Monday]



WEDNESDAY 06 JANUARY 2021

WED 19:00 Winter Walks (m000qd6r)
Series 1

Simon Armitage

A coastal walk is the setting for Poet Laureate Simon Armitage's ramble along Yorkshire’s enchanting and historic frontier with the North Sea.

Starting in Ravenscar, Simon Armitage takes the old Cinder Track - a disused railway line. Carrying a 360-degree camera, he passes former quarries and brickworks before taking a beach walk from Boggle Hole to the picture-perfect Robin Hood’s Bay.

Simon witnesses at first hand the impact of coastal erosion and meets farmers and locals living and working by the sea. He ends his journey with a seaside pint of local ale.

Filmed in January 2020 before Covid restrictions were introduced.


WED 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000qzn7)
Winter Specials

Winter at the Farm

Venture into Americana with Bob Ross and discover the serenity of a snow-covered farmhouse and barn on a cold day in January.


WED 20:00 Queen Victoria's Children (b01pp965)
The Best Laid Plans...

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert shared a passionate marriage. Behind closed doors, royal domestic life often seemed like a battlefield.

In a 60-year family saga this new three-part series explores the reign of Victoria through her personal relationships with her husband and her nine children. It is a story of manipulation, conflict, intimidation, emotional blackmail, and fevered attempts by her children to escape the clutches of their domineering and needy mother.

The series uses a wealth of written material and photos left by Victoria, Albert and their children, including letters, diaries, memoirs and journals, to bring the subject and characters to life.

This first episode focuses on Victoria's tempestuous relationship with Prince Albert, their attempts to engineer the upbringing of their children and to save the monarchy by projecting a modern image of the royal family.


WED 21:00 Lucy Worsley's Royal Palace Secrets (m000qznd)
Historian Lucy Worsley takes us behind closed doors at three treasure-filled royal palaces to uncover how each building has shaped a monarchy and a nation.

With exclusive access to the palaces’ most secret places, she uncovers the dramatic events that changed the course of British history, from might and intimidation at the Tower of London and the rise and fall of absolute monarchy at Hampton Court to the modern face of royalty at Kensington Palace.


WED 22:00 Murder 24/7 (m000frl1)
Series 1

Episode 3

The investigation into the murder of Courtney Valentine-Brown concludes.

With one suspect outstanding, one on bail and one in custody, can the team of detectives and specialists secure enough evidence to charge them with murder?

This episode also follows the investigation into the killing of June Knight, an elderly lady with dementia, whose son is arrested on suspicion of her murder.


WED 23:00 Seven Ages of Starlight (p00yb434)
This is the epic story of the stars, and how discovering their tale has transformed our own understanding of the universe.

Once we thought the sun and stars were gods and giants. Now we know, in a way, our instincts were right. The stars do all have their own characters, histories and role in the cosmos. Not least, they played a vital part in creating us.

There are old, bloated red giants, capable of gobbling up planets in their orbit, explosive deaths - supernovae - that forge the building blocks of life and black holes, the most mysterious stellar tombstones. And, of course, stars in their prime, like our own sun.

Leading astronomers reveal how the grandest drama on tonight is the one playing above our heads.


WED 00:30 The Joy of Painting (m000qzn7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


WED 01:00 Lucy Worsley's Royal Palace Secrets (m000qznd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 01:55 Winter Walks (m000qd6r)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


WED 02:25 Murder 24/7 (m000frld)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Tuesday]



THURSDAY 07 JANUARY 2021

THU 19:00 Winter Walks (m000qzmy)
Series 1

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi

Accompanied by the gentle soundscape of the great outdoors, Yorkshire peer Baroness Sayeeda Warsi takes time out from her political life to seek peace and calm in the Dales.

On her ramble through Wharfedale, the former government minister meets villagers in Kettlewell, a farmer preparing for lambing and a long-distance fell runner.

Sayeeda discovers an other-worldly hidden landscape. Filming herself and everything around her on a 360-degree camera, she wanders through beautiful countryside and finds inspiration along the way.


THU 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000qzn0)
Winter Specials

Daybreak

Join television artist Bob Ross and take a peek through the fog of a snowy morning as the sun awakens, announcing the start of a new day.


THU 20:00 Tea with Mussolini (m000qspy)
Florence 1935. A circle of English ladies settled in the cultured city take an orphan boy, Luca, under their wing. But even a propaganda encounter with Il Duce cannot protect them when war comes, and it falls to Luca and two brash American women they barely tolerate to ease their existence.

Semi-autobiographical drama from Franco Zeffirelli.


THU 21:50 Nothing Like a Dame (b0b5y3xn)
Together, they are 342 years old. They are in their seventh decade of cutting-edge, epoch-defining performances on stage and on screen. Funny, smart, sharp, competitive, tearful, hilarious, savage, clever, caustic, cool, gorgeous, poignant, irreverent, iconic, old... and unbelievably young.

Special friends, special women and special dames - and this special film is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hang out with them all, at the same table, at the same time, and enjoy sparkling and unguarded conversation spliced with a raft of astonishing archive.

Atkins, Dench, Smith, Plowright. The dream dame team. Don't miss it.


THU 23:10 Dames of Classic Drama at the BBC (b06nxrv3)
Today, they are at the centre of British cultural life and among our greatest exports - the acting dames, an exclusive club of stage and screen greats who were honoured for their services to drama. But, lurking in the BBC archives - from long before their talents were recognised by royal decree - we find the early work and some career defining moments of Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Diana Rigg and Helen Mirren. David Tennant narrates the story of our dames of classic drama, from a golden age of British television drama.


THU 00:10 The Joy of Painting (m000qzn0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


THU 00:35 Max Richter's Sleep (m000qzlb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday]


THU 02:15 Winter Walks (m000qzmy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


THU 02:45 Murder 24/7 (m000frl1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Wednesday]



FRIDAY 08 JANUARY 2021

FRI 19:00 Winter Walks (m000qfw1)
Series 1

Reverend Richard Coles

The North York Moors provide a picturesque setting for Reverend Richard Coles on a winter walk through this historic landscape. Departing from the iconic Sutton Bank with its panoramic views, Richard takes the viewer across countryside shaped by centuries of change marked by conflict, mining and religion.

Armed with his handheld 360-degree camera, Richard finds inspiration in the sights and sounds of his walk. Along the way, he shares his
personal reflections.

Finishing at Rievaulx Abbey, Richard guides the viewer around the ruins with thoughtful comment. This was once the site of one of England’s most powerful Cistercian monasteries. Richard ends his journey talking of the need for silent contemplation.

Filmed in February 2020 before Covid restrictions were introduced.


FRI 19:30 Sounds of the 70s 2 (b01glwkz)
Arthouse Glam - Get in the Swing

Performances from The Kinks, Roxy Music, Elton John, New York Dolls, Queen, Sparks, Rod Stewart and the rediscovered David Bowie performance of The Jean Genie from January 1973.

Welcome to gender-bending, boys getting in the swing and girls who would be boys and boys who would be girls in this mixed-up, shook-up 70s world.


FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m000qzmj)
Mark Goodier presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 7 June 1990 and featuring Pop Will Eat Itself, Don Pablo's Animals and Elton John.


FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m000qzml)
Bruno Brookes presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 14 June 1990 and featuring Maureen, Guru Josh and Maxi Priest.


FRI 21:00 David Bowie: The Last Five Years (b088ktm6)
There was nothing predictable about David Bowie. Everything was designed to intrigue, to challenge, to defy all expectations. But perhaps no period in David Bowie's extraordinary career raised more fascination, more surprise, and more questions than the last five years. This is an intimate portrait of one of the defining artists of the 20th and early 21st centuries, told by the people who knew him best - his friends and artistic collaborators.

This film takes a detailed look at Bowie's last albums, The Next Day and Blackstar, and his play Lazarus. In his final five years, Bowie not only began producing music again, but returned to the core and defining themes of his career. This film explores how Bowie was a far more consistent artist than many interpretations of his career would have us believe. It traces the core themes from his final works and relates them to his incredible back catalogue. His urge to communicate feelings of spirituality, alienation and fame underpin his greatest works from the 1960s to 2016. This is what lies at the heart of his success and appeal - music that deals with what it means to be human in a way that goes far beyond the normal palette of a rock star.

The film is not a comprehensive overview of his entire career, but an in-depth exploration of pivotal moments that show how the themes, the narrative and the approach is consistent - it is simply the palette that changes. The film includes every key member of the Next Day band, the Blackstar band and those who worked with him on the stage play Lazarus. In addition, old friends and colleagues are on hand to explore how the work of the last five years relates to Bowie's back catalogue. And, as in David Bowie: Five Years, there is a wealth of unseen and rare archive footage.


FRI 22:30 TOTP2 (m000k4c0)
David Bowie

Special episode celebrating David Bowie.


FRI 23:00 Bowie at the BBC (b0888f7r)
A chronology of clips from the BBC archive giving an overview of David Bowie's extraordinary career from 1964 to 2016. Blending interviews and performances from music programmes, documentaries, news outlets and chat shows, this portrait of Bowie both at his most thoughtful and his most opportunistically promotional is a series of snapshots into a rapidly evolving career across music, films and the theatre.

From a 17-year-old David Jones interviewed by Cliff Michelmore in 1964, on to 1973 when in Ziggy mode Bowie, Ronson and co gave their seminal Top of the Pops performance of Starman, and then to 2000 when Bowie reimagined himself as the cover of Hunky Dory to storm Glastonbury, this is a journey through many Bowies.

The programme includes other classic Top of the Pops, The Old Grey Whistle Test and Later... with Jools' performances and looks at Bowie the actor with interviews about his roles in The Elephant Man, Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence and Labyrinth.

Bowie at the BBC gives an insight into the many ways Bowie chose to present himself at different moments in time, revealing how innovative, funny, surprising and influential he always was.


FRI 00:00 The Genius of David Bowie (b01k0y0q)
A selection of some of David Bowie's best performances from the BBC archives, which also features artists who Bowie helped along the way, such as Mott the Hoople, Lulu, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed.


FRI 01:00 Sounds of the 70s 2 (b01glwkz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


FRI 01:30 David Bowie: The Last Five Years (b088ktm6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 03:00 Winter Walks (m000qfw1)
[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)

Aled Jones at 50 19:00 SUN (m000qv15)

Aled Jones at 50 00:05 SUN (m000qv15)

ArtWorks Scotland 00:00 MON (b0140v4c)

Bowie at the BBC 23:00 FRI (b0888f7r)

Caribbean with Simon Reeve 20:00 SUN (p02l5269)

Caribbean with Simon Reeve 01:05 SUN (p02l5269)

Classic Soul at the BBC 23:00 SAT (b0074pvv)

Dames of Classic Drama at the BBC 23:10 THU (b06nxrv3)

David Bowie: The Last Five Years 21:00 FRI (b088ktm6)

David Bowie: The Last Five Years 01:30 FRI (b088ktm6)

Ian Hislop's Fake News: A True History 21:00 MON (m00095hv)

Ian Hislop's Fake News: A True History 01:00 MON (m00095hv)

Inside Obama's White House 20:00 TUE (b07470xw)

Joanna Lumley in the Land of the Northern Lights 21:00 SUN (b00dhv1n)

Joanna Lumley in the Land of the Northern Lights 02:05 SUN (b00dhv1n)

Jools' Annual Hootenanny 00:30 SAT (m000qsqc)

Light and Dark 23:00 TUE (p01k4yt6)

Lucy Worsley's Royal Palace Secrets 21:00 WED (m000qznd)

Lucy Worsley's Royal Palace Secrets 01:00 WED (m000qznd)

Max Richter's Sleep 22:00 SUN (m000qzlb)

Max Richter's Sleep 00:35 THU (m000qzlb)

Murder 24/7 22:00 MON (m000frh7)

Murder 24/7 22:00 TUE (m000frld)

Murder 24/7 02:55 TUE (m000frh7)

Murder 24/7 22:00 WED (m000frl1)

Murder 24/7 02:25 WED (m000frld)

Murder 24/7 02:45 THU (m000frl1)

Nothing Like a Dame 21:50 THU (b0b5y3xn)

Queen Victoria's Children 20:00 WED (b01pp965)

Sahara with Michael Palin 20:00 SAT (b0078zpm)

Sahara with Michael Palin 01:30 SAT (b0078zpm)

Secrets of the Museum 20:00 MON (m000f1xp)

Secrets of the Museum 03:00 MON (m000f1xp)

Seven Ages of Starlight 23:00 WED (p00yb434)

Simon King's Shetland Adventure 19:00 SAT (b00qnw1f)

Simon King's Shetland Adventure 02:30 SAT (b00qnw1f)

Sounds of the 70s 2 19:30 FRI (b01glwkz)

Sounds of the 70s 2 01:00 FRI (b01glwkz)

Spiral 21:00 SAT (m000qzkp)

Spiral 22:00 SAT (m000qzks)

Spiral 00:00 TUE (m000qzkp)

Spiral 01:00 TUE (m000qzks)

TOTP2 22:30 FRI (m000k4c0)

Tea with Mussolini 20:00 THU (m000qspy)

The Genius of David Bowie 00:00 FRI (b01k0y0q)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 MON (m000qzm7)

The Joy of Painting 02:00 MON (m000qzm7)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 TUE (m000qzlq)

The Joy of Painting 02:00 TUE (m000qzlq)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 WED (m000qzn7)

The Joy of Painting 00:30 WED (m000qzn7)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 THU (m000qzn0)

The Joy of Painting 00:10 THU (m000qzn0)

Timeshift 23:00 MON (b0074sh1)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m000qzmj)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m000qzml)

Tutankhamun in Colour 21:00 TUE (m000k48q)

Upstream 23:35 SUN (m0008z3c)

Whitney at the BBC 00:00 SAT (m000qpll)

Winter Walks 19:00 MON (m000qfrw)

Winter Walks 02:30 MON (m000qfrw)

Winter Walks 19:00 TUE (m000qftx)

Winter Walks 02:25 TUE (m000qftx)

Winter Walks 19:00 WED (m000qd6r)

Winter Walks 01:55 WED (m000qd6r)

Winter Walks 19:00 THU (m000qzmy)

Winter Walks 02:15 THU (m000qzmy)

Winter Walks 19:00 FRI (m000qfw1)

Winter Walks 03:00 FRI (m000qfw1)