Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 15 MAY 2021

SAT 19:00 Francesco's Venice (b0078ssj)
Sex

Francesco da Mosto continues his story of Venice with its most outrageous period of partying and licentiousness. This is the age of Casanova, the age of the courtesan - when Venice was the red-light district of Europe, attracting rich and hopeful dandies from across the continent.

Ostensibly the young men would come in search of art - and there was plenty for them, with Vivaldi, Canaletto and Canova at work in the city creating art on a scale never before seen. These were artists who responded directly to their public - Vivaldi churning out score after score as tourist-patrons demanded them, Canaletto painting the most upmarket postcards of the age for the growing number of rich visitors to the city, and Canova taking the human figure in marble to a level of perfection not seen since the time of Michelangelo.

Yet storm clouds were gathering and for the Venetians who saw them coming it could only seem as though the wrath of God was about to descend upon the city. The city had grown decadent and careless of its security. Guaranteed a safe haven for a thousand years by the hidden sandbanks of the lagoon, now new technology gave the enemies of Venice long-distance guns that could hit the city from beyond the shallows.

A new monster was rising in Europe - Napoleon Bonaparte, who saw Venice as rich pickings with which to fund his revolution. He would bring disaster to the city beyond any other it had known in its thousand-year history.


SAT 20:00 Michael Palin's New Europe (b0080765)
Eastern Delight

Michael Palin explores the countries that were for much of his life hidden behind the Iron Curtain but now are part of the new Europe. From Lake Ohrid in Macedonia, Palin takes a trek up the Rila Mountains in Bulgaria where he joins the summer solstice celebrations of the mystical White Brotherhood sect. Crossing into Turkey he admires the great mosques of master architect Sinan in Edirne, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, before witnessing an oil wrestling competition.


SAT 21:00 Blinded: Those Who Kill (p099cpc4)
Series 1

Episode 3

Louise Bergstein and Karina Hørup discover that the serial killer has a claimed a new victim, William Fjeldby, who was kidnapped and abducted in his own car. William's father, multimillionaire Gorm Fjeldby, clings to the hope that his son has been kidnapped for a ransom and is therefore still alive. As the police search for William, Peter Vinge tries to celebrate Johannes's birthday without Masja. It dawns on Johannes that his father is hiding something from him.


SAT 21:45 Blinded: Those Who Kill (p099cq12)
Series 1

Episode 4

Alice Ejbye receives some bad news from the doctor. At the same time, despite two new victims, the police have yet to find the man who killed her son Markus. Desperate, Alice posts a video on social media offering a reward which has consequences for her relationship with Louise. The police are inundated with information from people who are after the reward, and Karina and Louise struggle to determine whether there is anything useful among all the information. Peter takes his frustration out on his next victim.


SAT 22:30 Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story (p02l4pjs)
A Question of Identity

Sherlock has his mind palace, Morse his music - every detective has an edge. For most, it's forensic science. This three-part series provides a rare and fascinating insight into the secret history of catching murderers, charting two centuries of the breakthroughs that have changed the course of justice. Surgeon and writer Gabriel Weston explores this rich history through some of the most absorbing, and often gruesome, stories in the forensic casebook - and looks ahead to how forensics will continue to solve the murders of the future.

The first episode looks at the difficulty of identifying the body in a murder case. The question of identity is a crucial start to the investigation. From charred bones to bodies completely dissolved in acid, with each horrific new case science has had to adapt to identify both the victim and the murderer. Investigating four breakthrough cases, Gabriel reveals the scientific innovations that tipped the scales of justice in favour of the detective - and caught the killers.

Firstly, Gabriel investigates the use of teeth and bite marks to identify a victim or murderer, starting with a problematic case at Harvard Medical School in 1849. Next, she traces the use of entomology (the study of insects) to pinpoint the time of death - a crucial piece of evidence that helped identify both the killer and his victims when a gruesome collection of unidentifiable body parts was discovered in a river in Moffat in 1935.

Gabriel meets Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, the geneticist who pioneered the technique of DNA profiling. Initially used to establish paternity in an immigration dispute, the application of this revolutionary discovery to the field of criminal investigation was soon established. In 1986 it led to a world first - a person caught and convicted solely on the basis of DNA evidence.

Taking us right to the cutting edge of forensics, Gabriel then experiments with a new technique in development - molecular face fitting, which uses only a person's DNA to create an image of their face.


SAT 23:30 The Killing (b00ysnxz)
Series 1

Episode 7

Just as Jan is starting to think that he is now in charge of the case, Sarah returns unexpectedly and decides to launch a search for the father of the victim, Theis, and prime murder suspect Rama, who was Nanna's teacher. Both men have disappeared and Sarah fears for Rama's safety. But her decision to remain in Copenhagen to work on the murder case is exacerbating problems in her private life.

Meanwhile, Troels is stuck between his political advisers and his own sense of morality and comes under further pressure from inside his own party.


SAT 00:30 The Killing (b00ysny1)
Series 1

Episode 8

Aided by the local imam, Sarah and Jan look for the hiding place of Rama's collaborator.

At the town hall, Troels is faced with an ultimatum from within his own party as a result of his handling of the scandal.

Theis and Pernille start to believe that the case might be coming to a close, until the story takes another sharp and unexpected turn.


SAT 01:30 The Killing (b00yvs6s)
Series 1

Episode 9

The police are after Theis, who has disappeared once again with murder suspect Rama and now seems more prepared than ever to take the law into his own hands. The investigation reaches a standstill, with Sarah and Jan being given a 24-hour ultimatum before they are taken off the case. At the Town Hall, the political landscape undergoes some radical changes. Pernille must try to manage on her own, as both the family and family business are left in her hands.


SAT 02:25 The Killing (b00yvs6v)
Series 1

Episode 10

Sarah and Jan pursue a new lead, but are taken aback when their boss intervenes. Sarah's personal life is drastically reconfigured. Troels attempts to establish a new alliance at the Town Hall, but is met with fierce resistance. With Theis still in custody and awaiting release, Pernille comes under pressure from all sides and starts suspecting that someone close to her might be hiding something.



SUNDAY 16 MAY 2021

SUN 19:00 Revolution and Romance: Musical Masters of the 19th Century (b07g9q4w)
Party Like It's 1899

Music was both transformed and transformative in the 19th century. It burst out of court, church and tavern into the world and became a universal soundscape, transcending language and borders. This revolution was made possible by economic and social change, and by a technological revolution.

The 19th century witnessed advances in communication that made the world a smaller place. People could travel by train and steamship with ease across the globe. At the close of the century hundreds of thousands came to the great Paris Exposition of 1889 - the centenary of the French Revolution - to witness the latest inventions and marvel at the strange cultures that came to make music in the temporary halls and theatres on the Champ de Mars.

They heard the music of the Orient, they listened to recording devices, they saw the future. Composers such as Claude Debussy were profoundly influenced by the sounds of the east, in particular the Balinese gamelan. With its non-European harmony and rhythm, such music offered western composers new musical horizons and a way to innovate and escape from the high romanticism of Richard Wagner.

But it was not only the music of the east that inspired the new composers. Developments in manufacturing were changing instruments and creating new ones - exemplified by the saxophone. Suzy witnesses a 'battle of the bands' in which the new and versatile instrument demonstrates its capabilities and - for the luddites - its threatening versatility. And in the spirit of the new age she makes her first recording on a vintage phonograph, one of the earliest recording machines. To our ears they may lack quality, but they were mind-blowing to those who first heard them - and they presaged a new future of recorded music that is still with us today.


SUN 20:00 Sound Waves: The Symphony of Physics (b08h06tq)
Series 1

Making Sound

Dr Helen Czerski investigates the extraordinary science behind the sounds we're familiar with and the sounds that we normally can't hear.

She begins by exploring the simplest of ideas: what is a sound? At the Palace of Westminster, Helen teams up with scientists from the University of Leicester to carry out state-of-the-art measurements using lasers to reveal how the most famous bell in the world - Big Ben - vibrates to create pressure waves in the air at particular frequencies. This is how Big Ben produces its distinct sound. It's the first time that these laser measurements have been done on Big Ben.

With soprano singer Lesley Garrett CBE, Helen explores the science of the singing voice - revealing in intimate detail its inner workings and how it produces sound. Lesley undergoes a laryngoscopy to show the vocal folds of her larynx. At University College London, Lesley sings I Dreamed a Dream inside an MRI scanner to reveal how her vocal tract acts as a 'resonator', amplifying and shaping the sound from her larynx.

Having explored the world of sounds with which we are familiar, Helen discovers the hidden world of sounds that lie beyond the range of human hearing. At the summit of Stromboli, one of Europe's most active volcanoes, Helen and volcanologist Dr Jeffrey Johnson use a special microphone to record the extraordinary deep tone produced by the volcano as it explodes - a frequency far too low for the human ear to detect. Helen reveals how the volcano produces sound in a similar way to a musical instrument - with the volcano vent acting as a 'sound resonator'.

Finally, at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy, Helen meets a scientist who has discovered evidence of sound waves in space, created by a giant black hole. These sounds are one million billion times lower than the limit of human hearing and could be the key in figuring out how galaxy clusters, the largest structures in the universe, grow.


SUN 21:00 Arena (m000w6tr)
Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and the Legendary Tapes

Docudrama that explores the life and creative output of Coventry born-Delia Derbyshire – electronic musician, sound pioneer and female outsider in postwar Britain. From 1962 until 1973, she worked at the BBC’s Radiophonic workshop, where she created the iconic Doctor Who theme tune, which remained uncredited in her lifetime.

Delia Derbyshire introduced avant-garde electronic sound to a whole generation through the medium of a children’s teatime television show. Sound was both a refuge for Delia and a haunting manifestation of something darker. Delia was three years old during the Coventry blitz listening to the electronic sounds of the air-raid sirens against a backdrop of her devastated hometown. Delia describes the sound of the ‘all-clear' and air-raid sirens as her first experience of electronic music.

This is a story where sound encapsulates the pain, violence and potential of modernity and positions Delia as tapping into a heightened realm, where her femininity and creativity are unshackled, amplified and set free. This essence in her music invites aggression and control, often unconsciously, from those around her. Her technical and creative brilliance, intuition and integrity is a threat that speaks to the devastating gender power politics of her age and which still persists today.

Delia’s story is told through two archives: the first, a collection of lost works, 267 reels of quarter-inch magnetic tape recordings of Delia’s work found in her attic after her death, the other, her school books, paintings and keepsakes, discovered in her childhood bedroom.

The combined archive, which now resides at Manchester's John Rylands library, is an incredible resource of unfiltered material. Delia’s poetic collages and atmospheric soundscapes reveal themselves as intriguing expressions of her extraordinary inner life. The drama begins with Delia Derbyshire as a time traveller and imagines a visitation where she brings with her fragments, objects and sounds from her past to bring her struggle and vision to life, finding solace in deeply personal soundscapes.

Her struggle with alcoholism, frustrations at her contribution been downplayed in a predominantly male workplace as well as her intense artistic collaborations and life on the fringes of relationships are all explored in the film - all themes that collapse into sound, texture and harmonies. Delia is portrayed through a mix of observation and imagination. No single perspective would be sufficient to gain a true understanding of Delia. The docudrama replaces biography and a biopic style with something more lyrical.

Its playful, psychedelic mix utilises archival materials, interviews with her collaborators and dramatisations while honouring the BBC Radiophonic Workshops arranger-composer's own questing spirit.

This is a life story told through sound, using both Delia’s own pieces of music alongside a soundtrack constructed from samples chosen with musician and performance artist Cosey Fanni Tutti from Delia’s attic tapes. It explores the fantasy of a collaboration, an exchange of ideas across eras between two fascinating musicians. It celebrates independence and imagination and looks at how, when that energy is evoked by women and creates a spark, the pattern seen throughout history is that it is often dismissed, ridiculed or downplayed. A cinematic exploration of a legendary musical figure, written and directed by Caroline Catz, who also plays Delia.


SUN 22:30 BBC Proms (b0bcmbws)
2018

Pioneers of Sound

Groundbreaking British composer Anna Meredith presents this special Proms tribute to the godmothers of electronica, the pioneers of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The celebration kicks off with music by Delia Derbyshire - most famously remembered for bringing the world the Doctor Who theme in its full electronic glory - and finishes with the premiere of Daphne Oram's revolutionary Still Point, lovingly pieced together from recently discovered archive material and performed by Shiva Feshareki on turntables. Music by artists including Laurie Spiegel, CHAINES and Suzanne Ciani, performed by the London Contemporary Orchestra under conductor Robert Ames, emphasises the power of this legacy.


SUN 23:55 Dawn Chorus: The Sounds of Spring (b05ttkx2)
The birdsong of sunrise in all its uninterrupted glory, free from the voiceover and music of traditional television.

With the first glimmers of sunlight, the birds of Britain's woodland, heathland and parkland burst into song. This is an opportunity to sit back and enjoy a portrait of three very different habitats and the natural splendour of their distinctive chorus.


SUN 00:55 Into the Wind (b08lvxxs)
There is no walking without weather. It marks all experiences of being outdoors - for better or for worse.

For writer, birdwatcher and radio producer Tim Dee, the weather is never an innocent bystander - especially the wind. In any walk that he makes - to watch birds, to record sounds, to reflect on the landscape and the natural world - the wind is an active agent. It carries birds, it buffets microphones, it brings and takes away much of what moves and shapes his life.

In this poetic, mesmeric film, documentary film-maker Richard Alwyn follows Tim Dee on a walk along the vast open marshland of the Lincolnshire Wash, as he embarks on an idiosyncratic mission to capture the elusive sound of 'pure' wind. On the way, under extraordinary skies and dramatic light, Dee reflects on landscape and walking, on birds and writing, and on the 'wild track' of life - wind, bringer of birds into his world and with that, joy and inspiration about the business of being alive.

The problem, of course, is that recording the sound of wind is a quixotic quest because 'in some ways, it doesn't exist as a sound. What we think of as the wind is the sound that the wind is making as it rubs over the surface of the world,' says Dee. Undaunted, Dee walks to the lone high spot on the terminally flat Wash, there to raise his boom in an attempt to capture the wind as it arrives fresh out of the north, pure and untouched, new and exciting. 'I'm probably the first thing this wind has hit for about 1,000 miles or so - and it's telling me so.'


SUN 01:25 Sound Waves: The Symphony of Physics (b08h06tq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SUN 02:25 Revolution and Romance: Musical Masters of the 19th Century (b07g9q4w)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]



MONDAY 17 MAY 2021

MON 19:00 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bk6x)
Series 1

Shardlow to Stoke-on-Trent

Life on board a narrowboat with Robbie Cumming. Robbie tackles a propeller problem and tricky locks on the Trent and Mersey Canal in Derbyshire.


MON 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000w6sr)
Series 4

Country Creek

Team up with Bob Ross, travel back to days of swimming in a lovely secluded bend of a river, and bring back memories of a forgotten time.


MON 20:00 Fake or Fortune? (m00077rs)
Series 8

Cosway or Lawrence?

In this episode, we’re investigating an 18th-century family portrait of a young man at the prime of his life. Could a chance sighting by Philip have revealed an undiscovered work by the giant of Regency portraiture Sir Thomas Lawrence?

This painting has been passed down the generations of the Cecil family as the work of the pioneering female artist, Maria Cosway, but Philip believes it may be a case of mistaken identity. And the difference in value is enormous – as a work by Maria Cosway it is worth about £8,000; if it turns out to be by Thomas Lawrence, it could be valued at around £500,000.

The painting belongs to Hugh and Mirabel Cecil. Philip happened to catch sight of it when visiting their home and immediately complimented them on what he believed was a beautiful painting by one of his favourite artists, Thomas Lawrence. The Cecils put him right - as far as they were concerned this is a portrait of Hugh’s distant ancestor Peniston Lamb by the little-known but fascinating artist Maria Cosway. It’s now time for Philip’s hunch to be put to the test.

This investigation takes us to some of the grandest houses in the country. Peniston Lamb was part of the Melbourne family. They were right at the heart of high society, connected to royalty, and one brother, Lord Melbourne, even became prime minister. Fiona traces the provenance from family pile to family pile, charting its path down through the generations.

Along the way we learn about the pioneering artist and musician Maria Cosway. Born in Florence to English parents, Maria came to London as a teenager. She was soon noticed and taken under the wing of the influential female artist Angelica Kauffman, who encouraged Maria's artistic talents. She also had the patronage of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and the team visits Chatsworth House to see a stunning portrait of her by Cosway. Can the same hand be seen in the Cecil’s portrait of Peniston Lamb?

Meanwhile Philip needs evidence to back his case for Lawrence. He visits the V&A costume department to see if he can more accurately date the painting and find out what Lawrence was up to at this time. Lawrence was a precocious talent, painting the Queen herself at the age of 17, and he certainly moved in the same circles as Peniston’s family and painted some of his siblings. But so did Maria Cosway...

If Philip’s hunch is right, generations of attribution to Maria Cosway will turn out to be wrong and an undiscovered Lawrence will be declared – but which way will the evidence stack up?


MON 21:00 Classic British Cars: Made in Coventry (m000w6sp)
To celebrate the award of UK City of Culture 2021 to Coventry, local boy Mark Evans tells the full history of the classic cars made in Coventry,

This passionate retrospective runs from the industry's beginnings in 1897 through to the present day and includes interviews and archive footage detailing the stories behind the creation of classic marques such as the Daimler, the Triumph, the Riley and the Jaguar and the companies and people behind them.


MON 22:00 imagine... (m000l4kr)
2020

Lemn Sissay: The Memory of Me

Lemn Sissay's writings are a source of inspiration to huge numbers of people around the world. From poems on the walls and buildings of Manchester and beyond to the contemplative dawn verses published each morning on social media, his words bring solace and light to readers everywhere.

Following the publication of his new memoir My Name Is Why, he tells Alan Yentob what it was like to grow up as the only black child in a sleepy market town outside Wigan in the 1970s. Before being catapulted into the broken care system at the dawn of the 1980s, he was separated from his foster family at the tender age of twelve and left to fend for himself. His journey since has been one of discovery: learning not just that his name was Lemn, but that his parents were Ethiopian, a country he returns to for this film to find out more about his roots.

Featuring contributions from some of the well-known names Lemn has shared the stage with, such as Steve Coogan, Benjamin Zephaniah, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Julie Hesmondhalgh, as well as his close network of friends and supporters from his years in care, this is the story of the boy whose name meant Why.


MON 23:10 Rhymes, Rock and Revolution: The Story of Performance Poetry (b06hhgxs)
Is poetry the new rock 'n' roll - or is rock 'n' roll the new poetry? This documentary explores how the edges between performance poetry and popular music have become blurred - a radical cross-pollination that began 50 years ago when Allen Ginsberg stormed the stage of the Royal Albert Hall. In the year when the Beats met The Beatles, the event turned a young generation on to verse - a revolution that shows no sign of slowing down in today's urban music and slam poetry scenes.


MON 00:10 The Joy of Painting (m000w6sr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


MON 00:40 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bk6x)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


MON 01:10 Fake or Fortune? (m00077rs)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


MON 02:10 Classic British Cars: Made in Coventry (m000w6sp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



TUESDAY 18 MAY 2021

TUE 19:00 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bk5m)
Series 1

Froghall to Bugsworth Basin

Life on England's waterways with Robbie Cumming. A low canal tunnel in Staffordshire proves a problem, and Robbie helps out a stranded boater.


TUE 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000w6s0)
Series 4

Frosty Winter Morn

Soft, serene and almost silent, this Bob Ross painting is simple and elegant – just a lone cabin nestled comfortably into pillows of snow.


TUE 20:00 Eurovision Song Contest (m000w6s2)
2021

Semi-Final 1

Scott Mills, Rylan Clark-Neal and Chelcee Grimes are live in London, commentating on the first semi-final of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, held this year in Rotterdam. Sixteen acts battle it out for a place in the grand final.


TUE 22:05 Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer (m000w6s5)
Series 1

Vaccines

The story of how the smallpox vaccine was developed, from the groundbreaking practice of variolation and Edward Jenner’s famous experiments, to US president Thomas Jefferson’s clinical trials, the opposition of early 19th-century anti-vaxxers and the eventual global eradication of the disease through the World Health Organisation.

The tale exemplifies our astonishing ability to combat serious illnesses, a historic precedent for how the accumulation and sharing of scientific knowledge has enabled us to move at incredible speed in the search for vaccines to combat Covid-19.

Science and medical innovation have conquered some of the world’s deadliest diseases and doubled life expectancies for many across the globe in less than a century. Set in the context of today’s Covid-19 crisis, this series explores the lessons learned from previous global pandemics, including smallpox, cholera and the Spanish flu, and reveals how scientists, doctors, self-experimenters and activists launched a public health revolution, saving millions of lives.

Best-selling science writer Steven Johnson and historian David Olusoga embark on an investigative journey through 300 years of scientific breakthroughs and go behind the scenes of modern medicine to meet the unsung heroes tackling Covid-19 and other public health threats today. Together, they expose the normally hidden world of public health and reveal how collective efforts across the globe can lead to extraordinary outcomes.

Each episode explores one aspect of public health that has played a central role in extending life expectancy, from the history of vaccination, to how we have developed safe and effective medicines, the use of data gathering and analysis in preventing epidemics, and how our own behaviour can affect the progress of disease.

Featuring leading public health authorities and scientists on the front lines of the current pandemic, each documentary reveals how the pioneering approaches and triumphs of the past can provide a blueprint for our future in the battle to live longer.


TUE 23:00 Horizon (b0bprdcn)
2018

Vitamin Pills: Miracle or Myth?

Nearly half of us take a vitamin or mineral supplement every day, but what are these pills sold on every high street actually doing? Digging deeper than the eye-catching words on the packaging, Dr Giles Yeo investigates who really needs a supplement by putting our diets to the test.


TUE 00:00 Pain, Pus and Poison: The Search for Modern Medicines (p01f51z4)
Pain

Pain has a profound effect on our bodies - when we are experiencing it, millions of nerve cells deep within our brains are firing, telling us 'it hurts' - and for centuries the challenge has been to find something that will lessen or even switch off these sensations to bring us relief. Dr Michael Mosley discovers just what pain is, why we want to control it and how we ultimately did it when the discovery of morphine, the world's first pharmaceutical, at the beginning of the 19th century led to a 200-year journey of scientific breakthrough, discovery and self-experimentation.


TUE 01:00 The Beauty of Anatomy (b04dq8kl)
Galen and Leonardo

Adam Rutherford begins his series investigating the close relationship between discoveries in anatomy and the works of art that illustrate them by looking at the work of the 2nd-century Roman anatomist Claudius Galen and the artist and part-time dissector Leonardo da Vinci.


TUE 01:30 The Joy of Painting (m000w6s0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


TUE 02:00 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bk5m)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


TUE 02:30 Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer (m000w6s5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:05 today]



WEDNESDAY 19 MAY 2021

WED 19:00 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bjyw)
Series 1

Marple to Huddersfield

The reality of life afloat with Robbie Cumming. A fallen tree and a leaking lock pound hamper Robbie's journey across the Pennines.


WED 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000w6sm)
Series 4

Forest Edge

Bob Ross transforms a zany-looking canvas into a gorgeous, soft, wooded scene, with a radiant sun glowing over opulent trees and bushes.


WED 20:00 Skies Above Britain (b07qrd9t)
Conquering the Skies

Skies Above Britain continues with stories of the extraordinary challenges of the skies, both at NATS - the UK's air traffic nerve centre -and up in the air. At NATS, air traffic controllers guide a passenger jet with a major technical fault safely back to the ground and respond to an unidentified flying object detected on the radar screens.

The biggest air race in the world is taking place at Ascot and British Airways captain Paul Bonhomme, who is also one of Britain's fastest race pilots, is out to win the title for a second time before retiring. The aerial slalom course is high risk, with pilots flying at speeds of up to 230mph, metres above the ground.

Stefan is a YouTube video blogger with a new camera-drone, which he has bought to make his videos stand out. After an ill-advised flight in central London, he discovers to avoid arrest he must undertake special training.

Lynne is terrified of flying and hasn't boarded a plane in 17 years. Now she must overcome her fear and brave a flight to Australia to honour her late mother's wishes to have her ashes scattered there.

Ross was told he could never become a pilot because he has restricted growth but now, at 31, he is setting out to prove the doubters wrong by learning to fly.


WED 21:00 Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain (b09hcts2)
Series 1

Episode 2

During the Blitz over 450,000 bombs dropped on Britain, and every bomb has its own story. This second episode explores the ramifications of a bomb that fell on 6th Avenue in the port city of Hull, flattening two houses and changing the lives of two families. The Taylors lost baby Peter and 14 year-old Vera was very badly burned. Her sisters Doreen and Tina remember that terrible night and it is the first time they have talked about the trauma they endured.

Next door Mrs Owens had put three of her children under the stairs for safety but they sadly didn't survive. Their sister Janet who was born after the war didn't know about their existence until she was in her twenties. Her father was so traumatised that he refused to discuss anything to do with the Blitz. It means she has a lot of unanswered questions, which are finally answered when Janet meets Doreen and Tina, and she learns that her siblings were buried with baby Peter.

It is the beginning of a poignant journey of discovery for Janet and she finds out that the bomb that fell on her parents' house is recorded as bomb 31 on Hull's bomb map. Its impact is also described in a unique collection of essays that were written by Hull's children in 1941, giving a unique insight into children's experience of the Blitz, tragic and shocking in equal measure. These essays were actually part of a survey conducted by a government scientist Professor Solly Zuckerman. In the film his son Paul learns that his father was collating data regarding the psychological effects of bombing on civilians, which included interviews with adults.

Case number one records the trauma of dock master Albert Eastwood who lost two children to another of the Luftwaffe's bombs, moving his grandson Phillip to tears.

Despite Zuckerman finding no evidence of a breakdown in morale in Hull's citizens, his work was ultimately used to lend a powerful stamp of scientific approval to the decision by the British government to area bomb German cities. Janet knows only too well what bomb 31 cost her family and the thought of the effects of this British bombing campaign on innocent children in Germany is horrifying.


WED 22:00 Cold War, Hot Jets (b03h8r3y)
Episode 1

Britain emerged from the Second World War in financial crisis, but one technological innovation provided hope for the future - a world-leading jet aviation industry. During the Cold War, the jet engine became a lucrative export and a powerful piece of military hardware, but selling to the wrong buyer could alter the balance of power.


WED 23:00 Classic British Cars: Made in Coventry (m000w6sp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]


WED 00:00 Blinded: Those Who Kill (p099cpc4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday]


WED 00:45 Blinded: Those Who Kill (p099cq12)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:45 on Saturday]


WED 01:30 The Joy of Painting (m000w6sm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


WED 02:00 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bjyw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


WED 02:30 Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain (b09hcts2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



THURSDAY 20 MAY 2021

THU 19:00 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bk2g)
Series 1

Sowerby Bridge to Manchester

The real side of boat life with Robbie Cumming. Robbie runs aground on the Rochdale Canal - will he make it to Manchester?


THU 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000w6th)
Series 4

Mountain Ridge Lake

Bob Ross creates one of his masterpieces – powerful mountains, grassy meadows and little evergreens framing a shiny mere.


THU 20:00 Eurovision Song Contest (m000w6tm)
2021

Semi-Final 2

Scott Mills, Rylan Clark-Neal and Chelcee Grimes are live in London, commentating on the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest, held this year in Rotterdam. Seventeen acts battle it out for a place in the grand final, and UK viewers have the opportunity to vote for their favourite. The UK entry, James Newman, joins the action from the Netherlands.


THU 22:05 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 00:00 Arena (m000w6tr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Sunday]


THU 01:30 The Joy of Painting (m000w6th)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


THU 02:00 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bk2g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


THU 02:30 Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer (m000w6s5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:05 on Tuesday]



FRIDAY 21 MAY 2021

FRI 19:00 ... Sings Bacharach and David! (b01gxl5w)
The BBC have raided their remarkable archive once more to reveal evocative performances from Burt Bacharach and Hal David's astonishing songbook. Love songs from the famous songwriting duo were a familiar feature of 60s and 70s BBC entertainment programmes such as Dusty, Cilla and The Cliff Richard Show, but there are some surprises unearthed here too.

Highlights include Sandie Shaw singing Always Something There to Remind Me, Aretha Franklin performing I Say a Little Prayer, Dusty Springfield's Wishin' and Hopin', The Stranglers' rendition of Walk on By on Top of the Pops, The Carpenters in concert performing (They Long to Be) Close to You and Burt Bacharach revisiting his classic Kentucky Bluebird with Rufus Wainwright on Later...with Jools Holland.


FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m000w6t7)
Gary Davies presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 3 January 1991 and featuring Betty Boo, Seal and Iron Maiden.


FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m000w6t9)
Jakki Brambles presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 10 January 1991 and featuring Bananarama, Pop Will Eat Itself and Robert Palmer.


FRI 21:00 Eurovision Song Contest (m000jbbk)
2020

The A-Z of Eurovision

Rylan Clark-Neal, commentator of the BBC’s Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals coverage and lifelong fan of the global singing competition, narrates a guide to all things Eurovision in this compilation of highlights.

Rylan takes a lighthearted yet affectionate, sideways look at the greatest singing competition on the planet. Moving through the alphabet, Rylan serves up some of the most memorable classic moments from the show’s 64-year history.

This comprehensive A-Z relives some of the more outrageous performances and looks back at the most comical voting gaffes. Rylan also celebrates the greatest interval acts and reminisces on the funniest moments of commentary from Sir Terry Wogan and Graham Norton.

If C is for costume changes and F is for famous faces, can you guess what Rylan has chosen for the letters X and Z? The A-Z of Eurovision features dancing gorillas, Polish butter churners, fainting backing singers and Celine Dion on a tractor!


FRI 22:00 Eurovision at 60 (b05vsm0d)
Hosts and competitors tell the behind-the-scenes story of 60 years of Eurovision, the greatest and maddest song contest on earth.


FRI 23:30 ABBA at the BBC (b03lyzpr)
If you fancy an hour's worth of irresistible guilty pleasures from Anni-Frid, Benny, Bjorn and Agnetha, this is the programme for you. ABBA stormed the 1974 Eurovision song contest with their winning entry Waterloo, and this programme charts the meteoric rise of the band with some of their greatest performances at the BBC.

It begins in 1974 with their first Top of the Pops appearance, and we even get to see the band entertaining holidaymakers in Torbay in a 1975 Seaside Special. There are many classic ABBA tunes from the 1979 BBC special ABBA in Switzerland, plus their final BBC appearance on the Late Late Breakfast show in 1982.

This compilation is a must for all fans and includes great archive interviews, promos and performances of some of ABBA's classics including Waterloo, Dancing Queen, Does Your Mother Know, Thank You for the Music, SOS, Fernando, Chiquitita and many more.


FRI 00:30 ... Sings Bacharach and David! (b01gxl5w)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


FRI 01:30 Eurovision Song Contest (m000jbbk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 02:30 Top of the Pops (m000w6t7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


FRI 03:00 Top of the Pops (m000w6t9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]




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

... Sings Bacharach and David! 19:00 FRI (b01gxl5w)

... Sings Bacharach and David! 00:30 FRI (b01gxl5w)

ABBA at the BBC 23:30 FRI (b03lyzpr)

Arena 21:00 SUN (m000w6tr)

Arena 00:00 THU (m000w6tr)

BBC Proms 22:30 SUN (b0bcmbws)

Blinded: Those Who Kill 21:00 SAT (p099cpc4)

Blinded: Those Who Kill 21:45 SAT (p099cq12)

Blinded: Those Who Kill 00:00 WED (p099cpc4)

Blinded: Those Who Kill 00:45 WED (p099cq12)

Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain 21:00 WED (b09hcts2)

Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain 02:30 WED (b09hcts2)

Canal Boat Diaries 19:00 MON (m000bk6x)

Canal Boat Diaries 00:40 MON (m000bk6x)

Canal Boat Diaries 19:00 TUE (m000bk5m)

Canal Boat Diaries 02:00 TUE (m000bk5m)

Canal Boat Diaries 19:00 WED (m000bjyw)

Canal Boat Diaries 02:00 WED (m000bjyw)

Canal Boat Diaries 19:00 THU (m000bk2g)

Canal Boat Diaries 02:00 THU (m000bk2g)

Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story 22:30 SAT (p02l4pjs)

Classic British Cars: Made in Coventry 21:00 MON (m000w6sp)

Classic British Cars: Made in Coventry 02:10 MON (m000w6sp)

Classic British Cars: Made in Coventry 23:00 WED (m000w6sp)

Cold War, Hot Jets 22:00 WED (b03h8r3y)

Dawn Chorus: The Sounds of Spring 23:55 SUN (b05ttkx2)

Eurovision Song Contest 20:00 TUE (m000w6s2)

Eurovision Song Contest 20:00 THU (m000w6tm)

Eurovision Song Contest 21:00 FRI (m000jbbk)

Eurovision Song Contest 01:30 FRI (m000jbbk)

Eurovision at 60 22:00 FRI (b05vsm0d)

Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer 22:05 TUE (m000w6s5)

Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer 02:30 TUE (m000w6s5)

Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer 02:30 THU (m000w6s5)

Fake or Fortune? 20:00 MON (m00077rs)

Fake or Fortune? 01:10 MON (m00077rs)

Francesco's Venice 19:00 SAT (b0078ssj)

Horizon 23:00 TUE (b0bprdcn)

Into the Wind 00:55 SUN (b08lvxxs)

Michael Palin's New Europe 20:00 SAT (b0080765)

Pain, Pus and Poison: The Search for Modern Medicines 00:00 TUE (p01f51z4)

Revolution and Romance: Musical Masters of the 19th Century 19:00 SUN (b07g9q4w)

Revolution and Romance: Musical Masters of the 19th Century 02:25 SUN (b07g9q4w)

Rhymes, Rock and Revolution: The Story of Performance Poetry 23:10 MON (b06hhgxs)

Skies Above Britain 20:00 WED (b07qrd9t)

Sound Waves: The Symphony of Physics 20:00 SUN (b08h06tq)

Sound Waves: The Symphony of Physics 01:25 SUN (b08h06tq)

Tea with Mussolini 22:05 THU (m000qspy)

The Beauty of Anatomy 01:00 TUE (b04dq8kl)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 MON (m000w6sr)

The Joy of Painting 00:10 MON (m000w6sr)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 TUE (m000w6s0)

The Joy of Painting 01:30 TUE (m000w6s0)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 WED (m000w6sm)

The Joy of Painting 01:30 WED (m000w6sm)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 THU (m000w6th)

The Joy of Painting 01:30 THU (m000w6th)

The Killing 23:30 SAT (b00ysnxz)

The Killing 00:30 SAT (b00ysny1)

The Killing 01:30 SAT (b00yvs6s)

The Killing 02:25 SAT (b00yvs6v)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m000w6t7)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m000w6t9)

Top of the Pops 02:30 FRI (m000w6t7)

Top of the Pops 03:00 FRI (m000w6t9)

imagine... 22:00 MON (m000l4kr)