Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 27 FEBRUARY 2021

SAT 19:00 Full Steam Ahead (b07qrsjk)
Episode 6

It is full steam ahead for historians Ruth Goodman, Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn as they bring back to life the golden age of steam and explore how the Victorian railways created modern Britain.

In the final episode, the team find out how the combination of increased leisure time and affordable rail transport brought a new kind of freedom for working-class Victorians. Ruth travels along the beautiful south Devon coast from Paignton to Kingswear, where she helps get a paddle steamer prepared for a journey up the River Dart.

At Swanage, Peter finds out what it was like to work on the excursion trains and the impact mass tourism had on the area. Alex discovers how railways enabled geologists and amateur fossil-hunters to explore Britain's prehistoric past. In the heart of the capital, Ruth visits the landmark hotel built by the Midland Railway at St Pancras Station and finds out how the railways made London a tourist destination, before embarking on a Victorian shopping spree. The steam fair comes to town and Peter helps prepare the gallopers, while Alex takes to the road in a steam car and discovers just how fast they could go.


SAT 20:00 Himalaya with Michael Palin (b0074qrs)
Leaping Tigers, Naked Nagas

Michael Palin continues his Himalayan trek.

Following the Yangtze along Tiger Leaping Gorge into Yunnan in China, Palin reaches the easternmost end of the Himalayas.

He gets a medical check-up before exploring medieval Lijiang with the director of the local orchestra. Heading across Myanmar to Nagaland in India he rides the steam train to Tipong Coalmine.

In Assam he rides an elephant and then stays in a strange monastery.


SAT 21:00 Man in Room 301 (p094c29t)
Series 1

Episode 1

Finnish thriller series. In 2019, 12 years after the tragic death of his grandson Tommi, Risto Kurtti receives a mysterious letter at his home in Helsinki. In Finnish with English subtitles.


SAT 21:45 Man in Room 301 (p094c2b2)
Series 1

Episode 2

In Greece, convinced that Leo is Elias Leppo, Risto panics when he learns that his grandson Kalle has gone climbing with him. Unsure about Risto’s theory, Eeva calls Seppo to try and find out if Elias is still in Finland.

In Finnish with English subtitles.


SAT 22:30 Vikings (b01ms4xm)
Episode 1

Neil Oliver heads for Scandinavia to reveal the truth behind the legend of the Vikings. In the first programme, Neil begins by discovering the mysterious world of the Vikings' prehistoric ancestors. The remains of weapons-filled war boats, long-haired Bronze Age farmers and a Swedish site of a royal palace and gruesome pagan rituals conjure up an ancient past from which the Viking Age was to suddenly erupt.


SAT 23:30 Top of the Pops (m000sl88)
Jakki Brambles presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 6 September 1990 and featuring Adamski, Mariah Carey and The Farm.


SAT 00:00 Top of the Pops (m000sl8b)
Gary Davies presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 13 September 1990 and featuring Sonia, Maria McKee and INXS.


SAT 00:30 Britpop at the BBC (b0409s91)
In the mid-90s, Britpop stamped its presence onto the British music scene and made boys wearing eyeliner cool again. What better reason to raid the BBC archives for a rich treasure trove of the joy and the time that was Britpop?

Featuring the girls (Elastica, Sleeper) and the boys (Suede, Menswear) and many of the other bright young things that contributed to five years of Cool Britannia, Blur v Oasis and Camden being the centre of the universe. Britpop at the BBC reminds us all why we were all so proud to be British again in the 1990s.


SAT 01:30 Himalaya with Michael Palin (b0074qrs)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SAT 02:30 Full Steam Ahead (b07qrsjk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]



SUNDAY 28 FEBRUARY 2021

SUN 19:00 The Many Faces of... (b01pm6lw)
Series 2

Ronnie Barker

Programme telling the story of Ronnie Barker, a quiet, dedicated actor who might have been a bank manager but went on to become one of the country's favourite comedy stars. Ben Elton, Michael Grade, David Renwick and Josephine Tewson are among friends and colleagues who remember his genius. Famed as one half of the Two Ronnies and the likeable convict Fletcher in Porridge, he was also a prolific writer and admired actor in serious roles.


SUN 20:00 Britain's Ancient Capital: Secrets of Orkney (b08bgfpg)
Episode 3

Seven miles off the coast of Scotland and cut off by the tumultuous Pentland Firth, the fastest-flowing tidal race in Europe, Orkney is often viewed as being remote. However it is one of the treasure troves of archaeology in Britain, and recent discoveries there are turning the Stone Age map of Britain upside down. Recent finds suggest an extraordinary theory - that rather than an outpost at the edge of the world, Orkney was the cultural capital of our ancient world and the origin of the stone circle cult which culminated in Stonehenge.

In the third of this three-part series, Neil Oliver, Chris Packham, Andy Torbet and Dr Shini Somara join hundreds of archaeologists from around the world who have gathered there to investigate at one of Europe's biggest digs. Andy dives below the waves in search of the inspiration for the first stone circle, Chris and Neil spend the night on an abandoned island as they hunt for clues as to why cultures change, Shini tests the technology behind a Bronze-Age sauna, and the archaeologists uncover a remarkable find.


SUN 21:00 Ireland to Sydney By Any Means (b00f2f40)
Episode 6

Tension fills the air as the team's waterlogged cargo boat begins to sink; they are on their way to Borneo to help with a Unicef vaccination project. With the boat out of action they have to find another way.

Three hundred miles of lush rainforest later, Charley and the Unicef team arrive with the vaccines in a village up the Pawan River, deep in the heart of Kalimantan on Borneo. Having missed the one ferry that would take them to Bali, the team have no choice but to double back and fly to their destination.

From Bali, Charley embarks upon a series of boat journeys navigating his way across the Indonesian archipelago. From speedboats to hand built traditional phinisi boats and hugely overcrowded ferries, he makes his way to Kupang.

After a turbulent five-day crossing from Kupang on board a handmade boat, Charley and the team are delighted to finally hit the shores of Australia - the end of the journey is in sight!

Despite being on the right continent, there is a huge distance to cover across the outback. The team decide to take the most direct route to Sydney over the Snowy Mountains, but are thwarted by bad weather. Charley tests out all sorts of weird and wonderful forms of transport from campervans to camels and road graders to road trains. On the last leg into Sydney, Charley leads an epic biker convoy over the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. The trip that started life on the back of a boarding pass, that charted a journey from Ireland to Sydney using over a 100 means of transport in 102 days, is complete.


SUN 22:00 Sorry Angel (m000st1b)
In Paris, in 1993, during a screening of The Piano, playwright Jacques picks up Arthur, but life quickly becomes more complicated, with Arthur slipping away from his girlfriend and Jacques receiving some devastating health news. In French with English subtitles.


SUN 00:05 Bute: The Scot Who Spent a Welsh Fortune (b08y60r0)
John Patrick Crichton Stuart, the 3rd Marquess of Bute, was one of the richest men in the British Empire in the late 19th century. With an annual income in excess of £150,000 - around £15 million in contemporary currency - he pursued his passion for architecture with a vengeance. Narrated by Suzanne Packer, The Scot Who Spent a Welsh Fortune delves into the extraordinary world of Lord Bute and reveals what connects the small Scottish island of Bute to modern Cardiff.

Bute was one of the most unconventional mavericks of the Victorian age, passionate about the past but also far ahead of his time - a blue-blooded aristocrat, who supported women's rights and striking miners, a Welsh-speaking intellectual Catholic who was also a ghost hunter. Above all, Bute was a fabulously rich and visionary creator of great architecture including the Gothic fantasy of Cardiff Castle, and Castell Coch - the fairy-tale castle.

The 3rd Marquess got his hands on his fortune at the age of 21, but already when he was 18, he met the outrageous and eccentric Gothic designer William Burges. It was the start of a lifetime's collaboration with artists and architects which would pour Bute's original mind into fabulous buildings in an astonishing variety of styles.

William Burges transformed Bute's medieval Cardiff Castle into a Welsh Camelot. Within fantasy towers, he created lavish interiors, rich with murals, stained glass, marble, gilding and elaborate wood carvings. Then Bute gave Burges the dream commission - to restore the 14th-century Welsh ruins of Castell Coch near Cardiff as a summer party house for the family. He recreated, from a heap of rubble, a fairy-tale castle. The interiors were elaborately decorated, with specially designed furniture. It even had its own vineyard - the first in Britain.

Bute's next target was the family ancestral seat Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute, where he was born. When it was destroyed in a fire, Bute embarked on a huge new Gothic palace, driven by his own taste and design skills.

The footprint of the Bute family still looms large in Cardiff. The Bute obsession with Gothic style entered the architectural DNA of Cardiff's domestic buildings. The green lung at the city's heart - Bute Park - was the family's back garden, and Cathays Park, one of the finest civic centres in Britain, was sold to the city by Lord Bute on condition it would be used for cultural, civic and educational purposes. The Bute family names are everywhere - Bute Street, Mount Stuart Square, after the family estate in Scotland, and the now demolished Ninian Park Football Ground, after the 3rd Marquess's second son, who became MP for Cardiff and died in the First World War.

Bute died in 1900 aged only 53 after a protracted illness and was buried in a small atmospheric mausoleum in the family graveyard on the shores of the Isle of Bute. His heart was buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. But his greatest memorials are his Welsh and Scottish grand designs.


SUN 01:05 The Many Faces of... (b01pm6lw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SUN 02:05 Ireland to Sydney By Any Means (b00f2f40)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



MONDAY 01 MARCH 2021

MON 19:00 The Secret Life of Books (p025zl2q)
Series 1

The Mabinogion

Cerys Matthews tells the extraordinary story of one of the great literary treasures of the medieval world - the Mabinogion. Its ancient tales, once recited aloud by storytellers, were later translated from Welsh by a Victorian enthusiast, Lady Charlotte Guest, bringing them to an international audience. Their influence can still be detected in works such as JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones.

'When I was growing up I had a Mabinogion poster, the illustrations were almost psychedelic', says Matthews, who was enchanted. 'I'd fallen in love with the unpredictable plots, the beautiful language and the larger than life characters'.

Here were unforgettable creations - a king who could stride across the Irish Sea, a woman made entirely of flowers, goats that mysteriously changed into wild boars and the first ever appearance of King Arthur. As Matthews delves deeper into these strange tales, she examines some of the original, ancient manuscripts and visits some of the locations in Wales which first inspired many of the stories.

Produced in partnership with the Open University.


MON 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000kjnr)
Series 2

Barn at Sunset

Bob Ross paints an expansive barn, half covered in a snowy setting of frostbitten foliage and sun-kissed sky.


MON 20:00 Coast (b07xs2r9)
The Great Guide

Southern Wales

Tessa Dunlop and Neil Oliver present an insider guide to southern Wales - from the Severn Bridge to St Davids - as they unearth the stories that give this coast its wild appeal.

Building on the best of ten years of Coast stories from these shores, Tessa takes to the seas to seek out new stories and extreme experiences for the guide. She tries her hand at coastal rowing, braves the high seas to explore why Gower was made Britain's first area of outstanding natural beauty, gets close to nature in a kayak at Worm's Head and tries her hand at a local tradition - cockle picking - at Penclawdd.


MON 21:00 The Story of Welsh Art (m000st2g)
Series 1

Episode 1

Huw Stephens explores what has long been a missing piece in the cultural story of Britain and indeed Wales itself – the story of Welsh art.

Huw starts his journey on the island of Anglesey where he steps inside a prehistoric burial chamber to witness Welsh art in its earliest form. He sees an exquisite example of Bronze Age artistry in the form of a gold cape, found by chance in a field in North Wales and now one of the prize exhibits in the British Museum.

Religious art delivers some of the most powerful and physically impressive pieces, from towering Celtic crosses standing sentinel in churchyards, to the sleeping figure of Jesse, hewn out of a single piece of oak but also delicately depicted in a rare surviving example of Welsh medieval stained glass.

As artists moved their gaze beyond religion, the rise of portraiture began, with Hans Memling delivering the first known oil painting of a named Welsh person, John Donne, in the 15th century.


MON 22:00 Storyville (m000st2l)
The Hunt for Gaddafi's Billions

This investigative Storyville documentary takes us inside the dark and mysterious world of spies, special forces and political insiders as they race to find Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s billions in a dangerous treasure hunt.

In life, the Libyan leader ruled with an iron fist for 42 years and treated Libya’s wealth as his own. He died the richest man on the planet with a fortune of $150 billion. A dictatorial leader in life, the spell of Gaddafi’s money remained in place after his death, triggering a ruthless race to find his missing billions.

Two journalists pick up the trail of a mysterious $12.5 billion in cash, flown out of Libya in the dead of night just months before Gaddafi’s demise. In South Africa, they discover an eyewitness who seems to know all about the money. His testimony changes everything, but before he can provide them with proof the story takes a sinister twist, the first of many.

The journalists gain access to two rival teams hunting the money and chasing a huge payday. They criss-cross the world, following the rival hunters and seeking out the truth about the Gaddafi billions. There are deaths, a kidnapping and a major falling-out, not only between the teams but within the teams. The stakes are high for all the players in this secretive world.

As they gather more evidence, the two journalists realise that by delving into the African National Congress’s recent history, they may find a crucial lead to Gaddafi’s money. Will anyone get their hands on the cash and will it ever be returned to its rightful owners – the Libyan people? Or will they all destroy each other and themselves along the way?


MON 23:30 St David's Day at the BBC (m000sl8d)
To celebrate St David’s Day, this trip through the BBC’s music archives features a selection of tracks from some of the most important and innovative Welsh artists of the past few decades.

The programme includes performances by Manic Street Preachers, Catatonia, Super Furry Animals, Marina and the Diamonds, Stereophonics, Feeder, Shakin’ Stevens, Bonnie Tyler, Dame Shirley Bassey and Sir Tom Jones.


MON 00:30 The Joy of Painting (m000kjnr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


MON 01:00 The Secret Life of Books (p025zl2q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


MON 01:30 Coast (b07xs2r9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


MON 02:30 The Story of Welsh Art (m000st2g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



TUESDAY 02 MARCH 2021

TUE 19:00 The Secret Life of Books (p025zldt)
Series 1

Frankenstein

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

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

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

Produced in partnership with the Open University.


TUE 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000kjmg)
Series 2

Mountain Glory

Layers and layers of mountains as far as the eye can see. American painter Bob Ross reveals the secret behind creating a larger-than-life landscape.


TUE 20:00 Yes, Minister (b007831f)
Series 1

The Official Visit

Sitcom about a British government minister and the advisers who surround him. When Hacker recognises a visiting head of an African nation as someone he knew from his student days, he does his best to offload some British-made oil rigging gear on him.


TUE 20:30 The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (p00x9qnr)
Series 1

Episode 2

Reggie Perrin needs a month's holiday, but all he gets is an afternoon in a safari park with his wife, daughter, son-in-law and their two 'tiny adults'.


TUE 21:00 Hattie (b00xllyq)
Ruth Jones takes on the role of the larger-than-life Carry On actress Hattie Jacques, revealing how her home life was blown apart by a secret sexual liaison with her handsome young driver while she was married to Dad's Army star John Le Mesurier.


TUE 22:25 Mark Lawson Talks To... (b01rd378)
Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais

Mark Lawson talks to prolific writing duo Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais about their careers, spanning the breakthrough comedy The Likely Lads and Porridge to their latest foray into drama, Spies of Warsaw. They also speak about their reputation for rescuing foundering Hollywood scripts and the day-to-day joys of their working 'marriage'.

Clement and La Frenais began writing together in a London pub in the 1960s. With their trademark combination of dramatic plot lines and sharp naturalistic dialogue, they have created classic British comedy, from The Likely Lads to Porridge and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

Among the first scriptwriters to get regional dialects and working-class situation comedy onto the small screen, Clement and La Frenais had a passion for the movies. Now LA residents, their film work, including scripts for The Commitments (1991), Still Crazy (1998) and The Bank Job (2008) has ensured they are busier than ever, more than forty years after their first comedies aired on the BBC.


TUE 23:25 Britain and the Sea (b03lbv22)
Trade and Romance

This third episode traces the crucial importance of the sea to Britain's trade and to individual livelihoods of coastal communities. Joined on this leg of his epic sail by his son Fred, David follows the trade routes of the west coast of Scotland along the monumental channels that cut through the romantic Highlands and brought wealth and prosperity to the heart of Scotland. The journey starts at Craobh Haven and takes David along the Crinan Canal, around the Isle of Bute and up the River Clyde towards Glasgow.


TUE 00:25 Man in Room 301 (p094c29t)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday]


TUE 01:10 Man in Room 301 (p094c2b2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:45 on Saturday]


TUE 01:55 The Joy of Painting (m000kjmg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


TUE 02:25 The Secret Life of Books (p025zldt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


TUE 02:55 Coast (b07xs2r9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Monday]



WEDNESDAY 03 MARCH 2021

WED 19:00 The Secret Life of Books (p025zl7d)
Series 1

Jane Eyre

Journalist and novelist Bidisha was fascinated by Bronte's Jane Eyre as a teenager, but re-reading the story as an adult left her feeling uncomfortable. What Bronte had to say about sex and race was darker and more disturbing than she remembered.

For the young Bidisha, Jane Eyre's perilous, but ultimately liberating, passage into adulthood showed that a young woman could find happiness without compromising her principles. Jane got to have it all. Or did she?

Revisiting this classic Victorian novel 17 years on, Bidisha sees her erstwhile role model, and the society which spawned her, through very different eyes. Is Jane Eyre really the spirited, independent woman Bidisha admired as a young reader? Is the supposedly dashing Mr Rochester little more than a bully and an abuser? What does the characterisation of Bertha, the mad creole woman in Rochester's attic tell us about Bronte's colonial attitudes?

To better understand her sometime heroine and to search for clues, Bidisha travels to the Bronte's family home in Yorkshire and visits the British Library to examine Bronte's original manuscript and uncover intimate letters written by Charlotte Bronte to a married professor, believed by many to be the man who inspired the character of the abusive Rochester.

Bringing a fresh and critical eye to this classic work, Bidisha reassesses one of literature's most memorable heroines.


WED 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000kqq0)
Series 2

Dock Scene

Join Bob Ross as he paints a water scene offset by an abandoned shipping boat hugging a pier and some charming old dockside storage sheds.


WED 20:00 Armada: 12 Days to Save England (p02pkxkm)
Series 1

Episode 1

In the first part of a major three-part drama documentary series, Anita Dobson stars as Elizabeth I, and Dan Snow takes to the sea to tell the story of how England came within a whisker of disaster in summer 1588. Newly discovered documents take us right inside the Spanish Armada for the very first time and reveal a missed opportunity that could have spelled the end of Tudor England.


WED 21:00 Elizabeth R (p036g8c1)
Shadow in the Sun

Elizabeth meets an interesting suitor, the Duke of Anjou, much to the Puritans' disapproval. Now Elizabeth must decide whether to follow her head or her heart.


WED 22:30 Lucy Worsley: Elizabeth I's Battle for God's Music (b0992l4j)
Lucy Worsley investigates the story of the most remarkable creation from the tumultuous and violent era known as the Reformation - choral evensong.

Henry VIII loved religious music, but he loved power more - when he instigated his English Reformation he dramatically split from the ancient Catholic church that controlled much of his country. But in doing so set into motion changes that would fundamentally transform the religious music he loved.

Following Elizabeth I's personal story, Lucy recounts how she and her two siblings were shaped by the changes their father instigated. Elizabeth witnessed both her radically puritan brother Edward bring church music to the very brink of destruction and the terrifying reversals made by her sister Mary - which saw her thrown in the Tower of London forced to beg for her life.

When Elizabeth finally took power she was determined to find a religious compromise - she resurrected the Protestant religion of her brother, but kept the music of her beloved father - music that she too adored. And it was in the evocative service of choral evensong that her ideas about religious music found their ultimate expression.


WED 23:30 The Story of Welsh Art (m000st2g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]


WED 00:30 Storyville (m000st2l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Monday]


WED 02:00 The Joy of Painting (m000kqq0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


WED 02:30 The Secret Life of Books (p025zl7d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


WED 03:00 Armada: 12 Days to Save England (p02pkxkm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



THURSDAY 04 MARCH 2021

THU 19:00 Coast (b08gpbhx)
Series 8 Reversions

Episode 4

We find Britain's only colony of scorpions and Nick Crane finds out why the sea is salty.


THU 19:10 The Secret Life of Books (b04gkqk7)
Series 1

Great Expectations

Tony Jordan, chief scriptwriter on EastEnders for 15 years and creator of Life on Mars and Hustle, brings his writer's insight to a popular classic - Charles Dickens's Great Expectations.

Dickens serialised his novels and, says Jordan, his brilliant characterisation and cliffhangers make him a godfather to contemporary television writers: 'He's a populist, through and through. He wrote for a mass audience - and they adored him for it'.

Jordan investigates why Dickens decided to change the ending of Great Expectations and what this decision reveals about the writer and the man.

By examining original texts and manuscripts to piece together Dickens's troubled life at the time, Jordan discovers how the author's own personal story may have influenced whether his hero Pip would have a future with Estella.

Produced in partnership with the Open University.


THU 19:40 The Joy of Painting (m000kqrd)
Series 2

Misty Rolling Hills

Bob Ross paints a group of tall trees that almost seem to be floating in the hazy foothills of a distant, blue-grey mountain set against a soft purple sky.


THU 20:10 All Creatures Great and Small (p031d2n2)
Series 1

Out of Practice

The practice in Darrowby goes from strength to strength - unlike James's private life. Tristan decides to remedy matters and arranges a double blind date.


THU 21:00 A United Kingdom (m0003mrb)
On the eve of his return from his studies in London to Bechuanaland where he is to become king, Prince Seretse Khama falls in love and marries Ruth Williams, a white woman from south London. Bringing Ruth home causes a major international outcry, not least with the British Protectorate, who are concerned not to upset the neighbouring country of South Africa, who are about to implement apartheid, but with his uncle - the regent who is horrified by the break in his countries tradition. Facing obstacles from all sides, the couple find comfort in the love they share for each other. Based on a true story.


THU 22:45 Life Cinematic (m000st4p)
Series 1

Amma Asante

British Ghanaian director Amma Asante talks to Edith Bowman about the films that have helped shape her life and career. Her selection ranges from epic classics like Goodfellas and The Color Purple to intimate, emotional greats like Damage and Hidden.

Amma also discusses her international breakthrough film Belle and the process she adopts when choosing and making the film projects she is renowned for.


THU 23:45 Around the World in 80 Treasures (b0090b89)
Series 1

Japan to China

The ancient and the modern clash deliciously in Japan while the Terracotta army and the Great Wall of China boast the brilliance of ancient imperial China – Dan Cruickshank embarks on the fourth leg of his journey round the world to map man's greatest creations in history.

The sword of a Samurai warrior is his first and slightly menacing choice, but Dan is captivated by the artistry employed in making this most beautiful instrument of death. By contrast, he finds solace and tranquillity in a Japanese temple and meditation garden.

In China, the tension of war and peace reasserts itself as he walks the Great Wall of China and contemplates the massed ranks of the Terracotta Army – 8,000 soldiers all individually modelled on real people from 2,000 years ago. Again, he finds peace in a unique creation – the empress of China's marble boat – a miraculous and surreal vision on the waters of the Summer Palace lake.

As the smog of modern China descends, Dan finds his attempts to see the ancient porcelain of the Forbidden City challenged before making his escape to the space age world of high-rise Shanghai.


THU 00:45 The Joy of Painting (m000kqrd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:40 today]


THU 01:15 The Secret Life of Books (b04gkqk7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:10 today]


THU 01:45 Hattie (b00xllyq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]



FRIDAY 05 MARCH 2021

FRI 19:00 Classic Albums (b08pg5tq)
Carly Simon: No Secrets

Carly Simon is one of the most influential singer-songwriters of her generation. The classic album that made her a global star was No Secrets, which included the enigmatic song You're So Vain. The album spent five weeks at number one in the US chart.

In this new interview Carly ties together her life and work on No Secrets - she is at her most honest, sometimes defiant, but with a wit and wisdom that comes from her rich and turbulent life. She tells of how the second single from the album, Right Thing to Do, was a refreshingly realistic love song, choosing to ignore her lover's problems. That lover was James Taylor; Carly wrote the lyrics on a plane after looking over at James and thinking 'there's nothing you can do to turn me away.'

The album's title track, We Have No Secrets, struck a chord with a generation trying to reconcile honesty in relationships with the emotional consequences that followed. Carly had a number of highly public affairs in the early 70s and her experience fed into the album's most famous song, the global hit You're So Vain. She performs the missing fourth verse on the piano, the first time she has ever sung it along with the melody.

Carly tells of how her producer made her do the vocal track on 'Vain' over and over, and how Mick Jagger ended up on backing vocals. The film has access to the master tapes and we hear Jagger's vocal track. Her producer reveals Carly was 'so turned on' after singing with Jagger that she recorded the whole vocal again - and that is the one on the album.

Finally, the film includes footage of Taylor Swift and Carly Simon performing You're So Vain together, and extracts from an interview where Swift herself talks about her love for the song.


FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m000st47)
Nicky Campbell presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 20 September 1990 and featuring The Farm, The Charlatans and Snap!


FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m000st49)
Anthea Turner presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 27 September 1990 and featuring The Wedding Present, Maria McKee and Bass-O-Matic.


FRI 21:00 Joan Armatrading: Me Myself I (m0008rm4)
Joan Armatrading is one the most influential singer-songwriters in Britain. A national icon, she is known for her singular vision, both as a writer and as a performer. She has performed around the world to sell-out stadiums, releasing records and touring almost constantly from the early 70s to the present day.

In this documentary Joan talks about her self-belief and her unique ability to craft songs that have spoken to millions. Known for her reclusiveness, Joan has, for the first time, granted access to her life and music. Joan tells her story from Caribbean émigré to becoming one of the most revered songwriters of our generation.

The film covers Joan’s childhood growing up in Birmingham, and how she began writing songs from a young age. Joan met some of the key people in her life when she joined the rock musical Hair in 1968. She left home to go on tour and forged a musical partnership with songwriter Pam Nestor. Their collaboration led to a major record deal and an opportunity to work with Elton John’s producer, Gus Dudgeon. Her album, Whatever’s for Us, received rave reviews and chimed with the burgeoning songwriting movement on the west coast of America. The album signalled a new energy and freedom taking shape in the 70s in Britain among the black population. Joan was propelled into the musical stratosphere, signing with major American label A&M for over ten years. She created her own genre of songwriting, defying stereotypes and breaking barriers, becoming one of the first black singer-songwriters in Britain.

Joan went on to forge an unbeatable dynamic with rock producer Glyn Johns, who had produced seminal albums with the Rolling Stones, the Eagles and the Who. She created one of the most-loved and iconic songs of the 70s when she wrote Love and Affection in 1976. She was 26 years old. It was a song that took simple emotional fragility and made it somehow both sensuous and raunchy.

Joan made three more hit albums in three years with Glyn and her music would become anthemic to the feminist movement gathering pace since the early 70s. Despite her gold records, international status and touring worldwide, Joan had to overcome misogyny in the music studio and fight racism in the music business.

In 1978, Bob Dylan asked her to play at his festival BlackBushe. Joan, the only woman on the bill, played alongside rock gods such as Eric Clapton. Ask her how she felt, being up there, and you will hear Joan’s fearlessness - ‘The Rock Gods don’t scare me!’ - showing the determination and strength that contributed to her success.

By the 80s, Joan refused to be pigeonholed into a 70s guitar sound and she would diversify her style, experimenting with synths and finding a new direction to create music without a producer. Joan was also one of the first black British musicians to appear on MTV, creating innovative music videos and capturing the imagination of younger artists in the States who had never seen a British black woman play and sing like her before.

Joan was nominated for a Grammy three times, one of which was for the song How Cruel, a song that articulated the racism that many black British people encountered in the UK at the time. Notably, it highlighted to African-Americans that the same problems with race were happening on both sides of the Atlantic.

Songs like Me Myself I and Drop the Pilot became overnight hits in the 80s, testimony to Joan’s consummate songwriting ability. By the late 80s, Joan was one of the first women to write, arrange and produce all her albums, building a music studio at her home and working with the likes of Elton John, Pino Palladino and Mark Knopfler.

As well as unprecedented access to Joan, watching her play a sold-out tour, the film features exclusive, previously unseen archive and interviews with key collaborators from music producers Glyn Johns and Steve Lillywhite to musician Pino Palladino. The film also features interviews and cover versions of Joan’s songs, from Martha Wainwright singing Me Myself I and Meshell Negeocello covering How Cruel to Shingai Shoniwa from the Noisettes performing Love and Affection.


FRI 22:00 The Kate Bush Story: Running Up That Hill (b04dzswb)
Documentary exploring Kate Bush's career and music, from January 1978's Wuthering Heights to her 2011 album 50 Words for Snow, through the testimony of some of her key collaborators and those she has inspired.

Contributors include the guitarist who discovered her (Pink Floyd's David Gilmour), the choreographer who taught her to dance (Lindsay Kemp) and the musician who she said 'opened her doors' (Peter Gabriel), as well as her engineer and ex-partner (Del Palmer) and several other collaborators (Elton John, Stephen Fry and Nigel Kennedy).

Also exploring their abiding fascination with Kate are fans (John Lydon, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui) and musicians who have been influenced by her (St Vincent's Annie Clark, Natasha Khan (aka Bat for Lashes), Tori Amos, Outkast's Big Boi, Guy Garvey and Tricky), as well as writers and comedians who admire her (Jo Brand, Steve Coogan and Neil Gaiman).


FRI 23:00 Aretha Franklin: Respect (b0bht4g1)
This tribute pays respect to the voice and life of Aretha Franklin who died on Thursday at 76. The daughter of legendary preacher C.L. Franklin who hailed from the same Deep South as many of the blues legends, Aretha was raised in Detroit where her father preached at the New Bethel Baptist Church and where she grew up singing gospel. She had two children in her early teens, signed to Columbia in 1960 and her career ignited when she signed to Atlantic in 1967. Global hits such as I Say A Little Prayer and Respect then quickly established her as The Queen of Soul while her majestic delivery and regal presence made her an iconic figure in the emerging Civil Rights movement. Aretha enjoyed renewed success in the 1980s when collaborating with Luther Vandross, cameoing in The Blues Brothers and then duetting with the likes of Annie Lennox and George Michael. Franklin was the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and has sold over 75 million records. As recently as 2015 she stunned audiences at the with her extraordinary performance of (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman in front of President Barack Obama and its co-writer Carole King at the Kennedy Center.
Contributors include Sir Tom Jones, Beverly Knight, Clarke Peters and Trevor Nelson.


FRI 23:30 TOTP2 (b01d7k4q)
Girl Groups

From the pop-soul vocal groups and all-female rock and roll bands of the 60s, to the 90s ladettes with attitude and doll domination of the noughties - welcome to woman's hour, Top of the Pops style. Celebrating a gaggle of girls in performance at the BBC, from the Spice Girls to The Supremes, Labelle to TLC, and The Pointer Sisters to B*Witched. Stand up and salute Girl Power with the groups of girls who run the pop world.


FRI 00:30 Vocal Giants and Beyond with Beverley Knight and James Morrison (b0brzps6)
Beverley Knight and James Morrison select their all-time favourite vocalists in a playlist packed with some of the world's greatest singers. They celebrate incredible voices and track their influence in an hour of astonishing archive performances.

James picks Tina Turner's epic Proud Mary rendition as one of his all-time greats, and Beverley introduces him to Big Mama Thornton - a woman who taught Elvis a thing a two.

What is it like to sing with your 'idol of idols'? Beverley reveals how she felt when this opportunity presented itself.

Experience the raw stadium-rock vocal of Steve Tyler and the soaring acoustic purity of Eva Cassidy, the intensity of Otis Redding and the passion of Prince. Whitney Houston sings live to an audience of millions and Sir Tom Jones returns to the green grass of Wales to deliver one of his classic hits. Finally, a pitch-perfect George Michael blows the roof off Wembley stadium in this feel-good hour of dazzling show-stoppers.


FRI 01:30 Classic Albums (b08pg5tq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


FRI 02:30 Joan Armatrading: Me Myself I (m0008rm4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]




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

A United Kingdom 21:00 THU (m0003mrb)

All Creatures Great and Small 20:10 THU (p031d2n2)

Aretha Franklin: Respect 23:00 FRI (b0bht4g1)

Armada: 12 Days to Save England 20:00 WED (p02pkxkm)

Armada: 12 Days to Save England 03:00 WED (p02pkxkm)

Around the World in 80 Treasures 23:45 THU (b0090b89)

Britain and the Sea 23:25 TUE (b03lbv22)

Britain's Ancient Capital: Secrets of Orkney 20:00 SUN (b08bgfpg)

Britpop at the BBC 00:30 SAT (b0409s91)

Bute: The Scot Who Spent a Welsh Fortune 00:05 SUN (b08y60r0)

Classic Albums 19:00 FRI (b08pg5tq)

Classic Albums 01:30 FRI (b08pg5tq)

Coast 20:00 MON (b07xs2r9)

Coast 01:30 MON (b07xs2r9)

Coast 02:55 TUE (b07xs2r9)

Coast 19:00 THU (b08gpbhx)

Elizabeth R 21:00 WED (p036g8c1)

Full Steam Ahead 19:00 SAT (b07qrsjk)

Full Steam Ahead 02:30 SAT (b07qrsjk)

Hattie 21:00 TUE (b00xllyq)

Hattie 01:45 THU (b00xllyq)

Himalaya with Michael Palin 20:00 SAT (b0074qrs)

Himalaya with Michael Palin 01:30 SAT (b0074qrs)

Ireland to Sydney By Any Means 21:00 SUN (b00f2f40)

Ireland to Sydney By Any Means 02:05 SUN (b00f2f40)

Joan Armatrading: Me Myself I 21:00 FRI (m0008rm4)

Joan Armatrading: Me Myself I 02:30 FRI (m0008rm4)

Life Cinematic 22:45 THU (m000st4p)

Lucy Worsley: Elizabeth I's Battle for God's Music 22:30 WED (b0992l4j)

Man in Room 301 21:00 SAT (p094c29t)

Man in Room 301 21:45 SAT (p094c2b2)

Man in Room 301 00:25 TUE (p094c29t)

Man in Room 301 01:10 TUE (p094c2b2)

Mark Lawson Talks To... 22:25 TUE (b01rd378)

Sorry Angel 22:00 SUN (m000st1b)

St David's Day at the BBC 23:30 MON (m000sl8d)

Storyville 22:00 MON (m000st2l)

Storyville 00:30 WED (m000st2l)

TOTP2 23:30 FRI (b01d7k4q)

The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin 20:30 TUE (p00x9qnr)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 MON (m000kjnr)

The Joy of Painting 00:30 MON (m000kjnr)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 TUE (m000kjmg)

The Joy of Painting 01:55 TUE (m000kjmg)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 WED (m000kqq0)

The Joy of Painting 02:00 WED (m000kqq0)

The Joy of Painting 19:40 THU (m000kqrd)

The Joy of Painting 00:45 THU (m000kqrd)

The Kate Bush Story: Running Up That Hill 22:00 FRI (b04dzswb)

The Many Faces of... 19:00 SUN (b01pm6lw)

The Many Faces of... 01:05 SUN (b01pm6lw)

The Secret Life of Books 19:00 MON (p025zl2q)

The Secret Life of Books 01:00 MON (p025zl2q)

The Secret Life of Books 19:00 TUE (p025zldt)

The Secret Life of Books 02:25 TUE (p025zldt)

The Secret Life of Books 19:00 WED (p025zl7d)

The Secret Life of Books 02:30 WED (p025zl7d)

The Secret Life of Books 19:10 THU (b04gkqk7)

The Secret Life of Books 01:15 THU (b04gkqk7)

The Story of Welsh Art 21:00 MON (m000st2g)

The Story of Welsh Art 02:30 MON (m000st2g)

The Story of Welsh Art 23:30 WED (m000st2g)

Top of the Pops 23:30 SAT (m000sl88)

Top of the Pops 00:00 SAT (m000sl8b)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m000st47)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m000st49)

Vikings 22:30 SAT (b01ms4xm)

Vocal Giants and Beyond with Beverley Knight and James Morrison 00:30 FRI (b0brzps6)

Yes, Minister 20:00 TUE (b007831f)