Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4 Contact

Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by


SAT 19:00 The Art of Russia (b00pdzdp)
Roads to Revolution

Andrew Graham-Dixon explores how Russia changed from a feudal nation of aristocratic excess to a hotbed of revolution at the beginning of the 20th century, and how art moved from being a servant of the state to an agent of its destruction.

From monuments that celebrate the absolutism of the tsars to the epic Russian landscape as inspiration; from the design and construction of gold and glittering palaces to the minutiae of diamond-encrusted Faberge eggs; and eventually to the stark and radical paintings of the avant-garde, the journey through Russian art history is one of extraordinary beauty and surprise.

SAT 20:00 The Poisoner (b00bv9lc)
Episode 2

Drama based on the true story of the Black Widow poisoner in 1940s France. The trial of Marie Besnard continues. Toxicology experts and psychiatrists give their evidence as well as the villagers of Loudun, who have engaged in a witch-hunt against her. Only her lawyers and the young journalist, Simone, believe in her innocence, but as the trial proceeds things change.

SAT 21:30 Wallander (b00phkkw)
Series 1

The Joker

When a woman is shot dead on the beach outside her restaurant, the only witness is her young daughter. Wallander and his team are informed about a restaurant mafia in Malmo run by Jack Hansson, so the Malmo police are called in to help. One of their cops, Frank Borg, knows a little bit too much about Jack's business dealings, and his methods are unconventional.

In Swedish with English subtitles.

SAT 23:00 Crooked House (b00gf5sy)
The Knocker

When schoolteacher Ben unearths an old door knocker in the garden of his new home, the curator suggests it may come from the now-demolished house, reputed to be haunted. Ben prompts the curator to tell him two stories about the house's past.

Back in the present day, commitment-shy Ben begins to discover that, though demolished, Geap Manor casts a long shadow. Having recently left his girlfriend Hannah for a life of excitement over cosy domesticity, he is excited by the curator's stories and screws the ancient door knocker to his new front door. However, he soon finds himself getting more excitement than he bargained for as the past begins to intrude rudely with a loud knock at the door in the night and a terrifying journey into Geap Manor's bloody past.

SAT 23:30 Russian Ark (b0074q0t)
A unique journey through time and Russian history. Filmed entirely in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, it recreates 300 years of history and culture and is the first entirely unedited, single take, full-length feature film.

A contemporary Russian filmmaker magically finds himself in the State Hermitage Museum, where he meets a cynical French diplomat from the 19th century, the Marquis de Custine, and the two men become accomplices in a time-travelling journey through Russia's turbulent past.

Together they encounter life at the Imperial Palace as it was through different ages, from Catherine the Great's backstage love affairs to the last Tsar's ball in 1913 in the Winter Palace.

SAT 01:00 The Roxy Music Story (b00djn0s)
Profile of the 1970s glam band Roxy Music, who reformed after 25 years to make a new album. The film traces the musical development of the group from 1972 up to the present day, as we discover how they influenced a generation of musicians such as Siouxsie and the Banshees, Duran Duran and U2 and why they are still a musical force to be reckoned with today.

Featuring interviews with band members Bryan Ferry, Brian Eno, Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay, Paul Thomson, Eddie Jobson and Gary Tibbs, plus fans including Bono, Siouxsie Sioux, Nile Rodgers of Chic, John Taylor of Duran Duran and Alison Goldfrapp.

SAT 01:55 The Poisoner (b00bv9lc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SAT 03:25 The Art of Russia (b00pdzdp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


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

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

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

SUN 20:00 Games Britannia (b00pf0rr)
Monopolies and Mergers

Three-part series presented by historian Benjamin Woolley about popular games in Britain from the Iron Age to the Information Age, in which he unravels how an apparently trivial pursuit is a rich and entertaining source of cultural and social history.

In part two, Woolley traces the surprising political and social impact that board games have had in Britain over the last 200 years. It was the British who developed the idea of the board game as an instrument of moral instruction and exported it to America. There, it was adapted to promote the American Dream of free enterprise and economic success.

This crusading element in board games is perhaps best exemplified by the best-selling game in history - Monopoly - which celebrated wealth and avarice in the wake of the Great Depression. Ironically, this most capitalist of games was derived from a radical socialist game first published in Britain in 1913.

Woolley goes on to trace the development of board games through their post-war heyday, when together with Cluedo and Scrabble, Monopoly formed a holy trinity of British family favourites that endures to this day.

Now in the information age, board games have evolved to include fantasy role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons - an American invention. The British continue to produce niche political games like War on Terror which plays on satire, but mainstream British games designers have joined the computer games revolution.

SUN 21:00 Bennett on Bennett (b00p8lgj)

'Your Dad and me have found an alcoholic drink we really like. Bitter lemon'. Disastrous excursions into leisurewear; failed attempts to entertain the vicar; and embarrassing post-church discussion groups - Alan Bennett's monologue describing the social aspirations of his parents is as touching as it is humorous.

SUN 21:10 Cardigans at Christmas (b0077dwr)
A feast of old chestnuts from the glory days of Christmases past with this look at the rise and demise of the Christmas light-entertainment spectacular. From Christmas Night with the Stars to Val Doonican and Christmas Snowtime special, the programme revisits a world of snow made from soapflakes, chorus lines sweating in winter woolies and recycled sleighs.

SUN 22:00 The Andy Williams Christmas Show (b00phmjh)
It being the season of goodwill and bad jumpers, it is time to relive the best moments from a number of snowy Christmases that came to the NBC Studios in California between 1962 and 1974 for Andy Williams's annual yuletide songfest. With guest appearances from the Osmond Brothers and the Williams Family.

SUN 22:30 Your Date With Val (b0074tnc)
Val Doonican stars in a special 1976 Christmas edition of his music show with guests Nana Mouskouri, James Galway, Tony Blackburn, Pete Murray, Terry Wogan, Janet Brown, Arthur Askey, Henry Cooper, Cliff Michelmore and the Eddie Lester Singers.

SUN 23:20 Queens of British Pop (b00jnjfm)
Episode 1

Queens of British Pop and narrator Liza Tarbuck offer a celebration of six female pop stars, singers and icons that lit us up from the early 60s to the late 70s.

Programme one tells the story of Dusty Springfield, Sandie Shaw, Marianne Faithfull, Suzi Quatro, Siouxsie Sioux and Kate Bush - some of the female artists that emerged alongside some of Britain's defining musical movements, from the swinging sixties through to glam rock and punk.

The programme gives an insight into the lives of these top female artists, offering first-hand or eyewitness accounts of the highs, the lows and the obstacles they had to overcome. The selected artists have pushed boundaries, played around with gender roles and had their private lives overshadow their success, but it is their experiences that have helped change the face of British pop as we know it today.

Includes new interviews with Sandie Shaw, Marianne Faithfull, Suzi Quatro, Siouxsie Sioux and contributions from Tom Jones, Lulu, Burt Bacharach, John Lydon, Martha Reeves, Nancy Sinatra, Mark Radcliffe, Henry Winkler, Marc Almond, Peter Gabriel, Claire Grogan, Jarvis Cocker, Kiki Dee, Nigel Havers, Lily Allen and Adele, to name but a few.

SUN 00:25 Queens of British Pop (b00jt56r)
Episode 2

A celebration of six queens of British pop music, and a look at their impact between 1980 and 2009.

This programme profiles Annie Lennox, Alison Moyet, Kylie Minogue, Geri Halliwell, Amy Winehouse and Leona Lewis. These female stars take us from post-punk to The X Factor, with a slice of girl power along the way.

Narrated by Lisa Tarbuck, with contributors including Annie Lennox, Dawn French, Dave Stewart, Alison Moyet, Pete Waterman, Alexandra Burke, Leona Lewis, Lily Allen, Adele, Marc Almond and more.

SUN 01:25 Cilla (b00k35l5)
Series 2

Episode 8

Edition of Cilla Black's 1960s TV series. Cilla sings Step Inside Love and Pass Me By, and performs duets with Georgie Fame on For Once in My Life and Dusty Springfield on If You're Ever (Friendship). Dusty and Georgie also take the mic for solo numbers.

Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graham Chapman and Graeme Garden do a Top of the Form take-off and a ritual Japanese wrestling act, while comedian Tom Ward does a drunk act.

SUN 02:10 The Sandie Shaw Supplement (b00k7653)

1960s show in which Sandie Shaw performs music on the theme of transport and travel. She is filmed riding a horse on a Welsh beach, in a racing car, on a Marylebone station platform and in the studio, singing Route 66, Do you Know the Way to San Jose, Homeward Bound, By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Girl Don't Come, Got to Go, Planes and Boats and Planes, Day Tripper and Ticket to Ride.

SUN 02:35 Lulu's Back in Town (b00k35lc)
Episode 3

Edition of Lulu's 1960s TV variety show, in which she sings solo numbers and duets with guests Les Dawson and the Everly Brothers.

SUN 03:00 Games Britannia (b00pf0rr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


MON 19:00 Private Life of a Masterpiece (b00794kc)
Private Life of a Christmas Masterpiece

The Annunciation

The first moment in the Christmas story is the arrival of the Archangel Gabriel to tell Mary that she has been chosen to give birth to the son of God. Many painters have depicted this event, none better than the great Flemish painter Jan van Eyck. As befits a man who seemed to mix espionage with painting for his patron, van Eyck's picture is full of symbols and half-concealed messages. It has an extraordinary afterlife, having been sold by the Soviets against the wishes of the Hermitage Museum and bought by a secretive American millionaire who hid it away in a cellar.

MON 19:50 Bennett on Bennett (b00pd8xz)

'Our Alan's like us', Mam would say, 'Shy'. And so it was that this inherited 'condition' would haunt Alan Bennett for a large chunk of his adult life. In his customary understated, humorous yet honest manner, Alan Bennett explores the crippling burden of shyness.

MON 20:00 Sacred Music: The Story of Allegri's Miserere (b00g81g7)
Simon Russell Beale tells the story behind Allegri's Miserere, one of the most popular pieces of sacred music ever written. The programme features a full performance of the piece by the award-winning choir the Sixteen, conducted by Harry Christophers.

MON 20:30 Only Connect (b00pjjzm)
Crossworders v Rugby Boys: The Champion of Champions

Quiz show presented by Victoria Coren in which knowledge will only take you so far, as patience and lateral thinking are also vital.

The Crossworders, champions of series one, return to challenge the kings of series two, the Rugby Boys, drawing together the connections between things which, at first glance, seem utterly random.

So what is the connection between Sir George Booth, Yassin Omar, Mr Toad and Bonnie Prince Charlie?

MON 21:00 Games Britannia (b00phmrs)
Joystick Generation

Three-part series presented by historian Benjamin Woolley about popular games in Britain from the Iron Age to the Information Age, in which he unravels how an apparently trivial pursuit is a rich and entertaining source of cultural and social history.

In the final part, Woolley explores the journey games have taken from the board to the screen, reflecting the rapidly changing history of modern Britain.

In the 1980s, the power of our imagination was harnessed in early video games like Elite, putting the audience at the heart of a space adventure they could influence. The British boom years of the 90s introduced characters like Lara Croft to a world beyond video games and players were propelled into the internet age.

Woolley's investigation leads to the present day, where he finds our morality tested in the world of Grand Theft Auto and our identity becoming transported to the digital domain with virtual realms like Runescape and World of Warcraft.

MON 22:00 Timeshift (b00p8lhp)
Series 9

How to Win at Chess

Many people know the basic rules of chess, but few can play really well. This programme offers some essential tips on how to raise our game.

British grandmasters Dan King and Ray Keene go through a special demonstration game from opening gambit to checkmate, revealing the key moves that can lead to victory. They explain the opening, middle and end games, and how to outwit an opponent with techniques such as forks, pins and skewers.

Along the way the colourful and diverse world of British chess playing is celebrated, including speed chess and chess boxing, and useful advice is offered on how not to be humiliated by a child prodigy.

Also taking part are novelist Martin Amis, writer Dominic Lawson, Britain's youngest grandmaster David Howell and under-16 champion Sheila Dines.

MON 23:00 Jackie Stewart: The Flying Scot (b00jw9gn)
Sir Jackie Stewart is one of Britain's all time great sporting personalities - winner of three Formula 1 world championships and 27 grand prix, and ranked as one of the ten greatest racing drivers of all time.

With his black cap and sideburns, he became an unmistakable icon in the glorious era of style, glamour and speed of the 1960s and 70s.

Venturing beyond the world of motor sport, this documentary is an insight into the triumphs and tragedies of Stewart's eventful life, and includes contributions from friends and colleagues such as Niki Lauda, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sean Connery, Murray Walker and Edsel Ford, as well as the last ever interview with the late Ken Tyrrell, without whom Stewart's career might have taken a very different turn.

Produced by Stewart's youngest son Mark, the film is enriched with family photographs, home movies and scrapbooks kept by Lady Helen Stewart that document her husband's career.

MON 00:30 Graham Hill: Driven (b00bv14q)
Emotive documentary portrait of a sporting legend who lived and died during a time when sex was safe and motor racing was dangerous!

Graham Hill was an eccentric, charismatic Englishman from a bygone era of sporting endeavour. With great determination he won the Formula 1 World Championship, the Indy 500 and the Le Mans 24 hours race, thereby achieving the 'triple crown' of motor racing - a unique feat that remains unmatched to this day. Graham also won the glamorous Monaco Grand Prix five times during an era when drivers routinely met violent death. Away from the circuit, he was a raconteur of hilarious proportions, a dashing figure with a keen eye for the ladies. He was an irrepressible free spirit who simply didn't know when to quit.

Ultimately, it was to be his undoing.

Graham's illustrious racing career spanned three decades, which at its height saw him routinely slugging it out with fellow F1 champions Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart. Close friends yet intense rivals on the track, they were the 'Three Musketeers' during a golden era of motor racing. But what was the truth behind Graham's popular public image? 30 years on from his death, his family, close friends and former colleagues paint an intimate, revealing and entertaining portrait of a sporting hero tragically killed in a plane crash in 1975.

MON 01:30 Jim Clark: The Quiet Champion (b00jw9cw)
A comprehensive, entertaining and moving portrait of Jim Clark, one of the most talented and intriguing characters of the 1960s. From unlikely beginnings on a farm in Scotland, the introverted and media-shy Clark emerged to become the most successful racing driver of his time, and forged a reputation as one of the all-time great heroes of motor sport.

Using previously unseen archive footage, testimonials from friends, family and former colleagues, the film tells the extraordinary but tragic story of an enigmatic racing legend.

MON 02:30 Games Britannia (b00phmrs)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

MON 03:30 Timeshift (b00p8lhp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Private Life of a Masterpiece (b00794kx)
Private Life of a Christmas Masterpiece

Census at Bethlehem

Art history series. This episode looks at Census at Bethlehem by Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

Arguably the painting that invented the snowy Christmas card scene, it depicts the arrival of Mary and Joseph at Bethlehem. It also portrays a Netherlands village in the grip of a cruel winter and under the hammer of a foreign army.

The painting teems with human life as the best Bruegels do, but it also speaks to the 21st century in an extraordinary way.

TUE 19:50 Bennett on Bennett (b00pd945)

'Yet another fruitless morning at the typewriter.' Most writers - Philip Larkin, Graham Greene among them - became far more famous when they weren't doing it than when they were. And when a writer does manage to squeeze out a piece of work, can he or she be identified lurking in the prose?

In this amusing and revealing monologue, Alan Bennett examines the delicate balance between writing and staring out of the window.

TUE 20:00 Timeshift (b00pht5q)
Series 9

Oliver Postgate: A Life in Small Films

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a man whose name was Oliver Postgate. He had a shed where he made things.

With his friend Peter Firmin, Oliver created entire worlds for characters including Bagpuss, The Clangers and Ivor the Engine. These stories fired the imaginations of generations of children, and his lullaby voice became a universal reminder of childhood.

Time Shift celebrates Oliver Postgate's life and work through a treasury of clips from well-known and rarely seen films, alongside film and photos from the family archive. Fans including Lauren Child (Charlie and Lola) and Andrew Davenport (In the Night Garden) are on hand to heap praise on the man who is such an inspiration for their work.

Postgate's family help delve deep into his history and discover the inventions, such as Oliver's old camera adapted with Meccano, that powered his imagined worlds. Co-creator Firmin reveals the story behind his most celebrated characters and introduces his daughter Emily, familiar to millions as the owner of Bagpuss.

The documentary also reveals how, as the grandson of Labour leader George Lansbury, Postgate's life was shaped by radical politics. His deeply held beliefs influenced his classic creations, and campaigning became his focus until his death in December 2008.

TUE 21:00 Timeshift (b00pht5s)
Series 9

Clement Freud: In His Own Words

When Clement Freud died in April 2009, Britain lost not only one of its best-loved broadcasters but also one of its last great polymaths - a man whose long and varied career encompassed being a Liberal MP, cookery expert, newspaper columnist and author.

Freud's lugubrious expression and distinctive voice launched him as a TV personality in the 1960s with a series of dog food commercials, but his early life was just as colourful - the grandson of Sigmund Freud, he was a commis chef at the Dorchester Hotel and a liaison officer at the Nuremberg war crimes trials of 1946.

This documentary draws together interviews with Freud from across four decades, including previously unaired material, to allow him to tell the story of his remarkable life in his own inimitable way.

TUE 22:00 We Need Answers (b00pht5v)
Series 2


Anarchic comedy game show in which celebrity guests answer questions set by the public.

Mark Watson hosts, Tim Key is in the questionmaster's chair and Alex Horne provides expert analysis from a booth as two celebrities battle it out to be crowned the winner and avoid the shame of donning 'The Clogs of Defeat'.

In a Christmas-themed episode, writer, comic and performer Neil Innes competes against TV presenter Kirsten O'Brien, with question master Alex dressed as Father Christmas.

The rules are simple - contestants must match their answer to the one given by a text answering service. Questions can range from 'How many gerbils would have to be stacked on top of each other to reach the moon?' to 'Is gravy a condiment?'.

In the cunning physical challenge which pits the contestants against each other, Neil takes on Kirsten in a Christmas present-wrapping contest.

TUE 22:30 Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe (b00pjj4s)
Review of the Year

Caustic comic and writer Charlie Brooker returns in a doomed bid to summarise 2009's TV output without vomiting. From the unpleasant spectacle of Britain's Got Talent to the downright worrying The Execution of Gary Glitter, and everything in-between, this is the only television programme you need watch this year, or indeed ever again. Contains weeping and screaming and words.

TUE 23:10 John Mortimer: A Life in Words (b00gvfzp)
Documentary examining the thoughts and observations of writer, raconteur and national treasure, Sir John Mortimer.

He enjoyed a successful career as a QC before becoming a full-time writer, a staunch defender of civil liberties who was involved in the Oz magazine obscenity trial in the 1960s and the man who won the Sex Pistols the right to put the word 'bollocks' in the title of their infamous album.

Opinionated and unconventional, Mortimer persists in speaking out against the ludicrous ways in which politicians try to curtail our liberties and, very often, our fun. This characteristic outspokenness is delivered with such gentlemanly charm and wit that he continues to be admired and adored by all.

TUE 00:10 The Orson Welles Sketchbook (b00pk5y2)
Episode 2

Series of talks by Orson Welles, illustrated by his own sketches.

TUE 00:25 Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe (b00pjj4s)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]

TUE 01:05 The Story of the Open University (b00lz2p5)
In 1969 change was in the air. Man stepped on the moon and Britain launched a revolutionary new kind of university, one where the lectures were televised and the students could study at home. It was greeted with scepticism, both by politicians and academics, but went on to become a much-loved, and often spoofed, British institution.

Lenny Henry tells the story of the Open University and reveals how it changed his own life. Featuring contributions from Sir David Attenborough, Myleene Klass and Anna Ford.

TUE 02:05 We Need Answers (b00pht5v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

TUE 02:35 Timeshift (b00pht5q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

TUE 03:35 Timeshift (b00pht5s)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 Private Life of a Masterpiece (b00794ld)
Private Life of a Christmas Masterpiece

God's Child

Art history series looks at God's Child by Paul Gauguin. This painting is a nativity and, since it is by Gauguin, it is modern and fresh like few recent nativities. The painting is intensely personal: the Madonna is Gauguin's young Polynesian mistress, who was pregnant with his child. It is a brilliant departure in other ways from traditional nativities and has a relevance for our contemporary world.

WED 19:50 Bennett on Bennett (b00pd958)
Star Gazing

John Gielgud, Alec Guinness, Noel Coward ... and Alan Titchmarsh. Few escape the beady observations of Alan Bennett and eventual immortalisation in his diaries. In this compilation from the late 1990s and early 2000s, Bennett turns his gaze onto the showbiz world and the results are as moving as they are amusing.

WED 20:00 Russia: A Journey with Jonathan Dimbleby (b00c3sdc)
Far from Moscow

Jonathan Dimbleby explores ten thousand miles of one of the world's most awe-inspiring countries. Jonathan follows one of the Red Cross teams struggling to manage the AIDS epidemic in Irkutsk and visits Birobidzhan, arguably one of the strangest places in Russia - a Jewish homeland created by Stalin at the furthest end of his empire. Not many Jews have survived there, but the people - Jewish or not - are proud of their unusual heritage. Jonathan finds Hanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, being jointly celebrated by the rabbi and the mayor.

Finally he comes to his last stop: Vladivostok. Jonathan meets some students in a café. This far from Moscow, will they feel any different from the chic young people he met in St Petersburg some ten thousand miles ago? Not really. They want a strong Russia before they want a democratic one. As he looks out over the Pacific, Jonathan reflects on how charming and how different the Russians are from us.

WED 21:00 The Art of Russia (b00phtcz)
Smashing the Mould

Series in which art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon tells the incredible story of Russian art - its mystery and magnificence - until now untold on British television.

The final part examines political revolution and how art was at the forefront of throwing out 1,000 years of royal rule, from its earliest revolutionary days of enthusiasm and optimism when painting died, the poster was king and the machine-made triumphed over the handmade to the dead hand of Socialist Realism.

Andrew roots out great portraits of Stalin now hidden in museum storerooms and never on public view, looks at the transformation of the Moscow metro into a great public art gallery and visits the most stunning creation of post-war Communist rule, the Space Monument.

Finally, he comes to the confusion and chaos of Russia today and how it is producing some of the world's strangest art - from heroic sculptures of Russian leader Vladimir Putin to the insides of a giant erotic apple; from the recreation of the Imperial royal family facing the firing squad to sculpture in liquid oil; from Russia's embrace of the commercial art market to a return to Socialist Realism. Russia seems to stand on another brink of revolution.

WED 22:00 Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe (b00pjj4s)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 on Tuesday]

WED 22:40 We Need Answers (b00pht5v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Tuesday]

WED 23:10 Wallander (b00phkkw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:30 on Saturday]

WED 00:40 The Art of Russia (b00phtcz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

WED 01:40 We Need Answers (b00pht5v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Tuesday]

WED 02:10 Timeshift (b00p8lhp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Monday]

WED 03:10 The Art of Russia (b00phtcz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

WED 04:10 Only Connect (b00pjjzm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 on Monday]


THU 19:00 The Orson Welles Sketchbook (b00pl8gy)
Episode 3

Series of talks by Orson Welles, illustrated by his own sketches.

THU 19:15 A Child's Christmases in Wales (b00pgr8x)
One-off period comedy, peeping into the lives of a south Wales family's Christmases across the 1980s, written by comedian Mark Watson and inspired by a Dylan Thomas short story. Christmas in this household may be a less than poetic affair, but it is just as eventful. So much changes across a decade in any family, and yet so much manages to remain the same.

THU 20:15 Swan Lake (b00pkzmf)
The Kirov Ballet, under conductor Valery Gergiev from the Maryinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, present a complete performance of Swan Lake, their most enduringly popular classical ballet and much loved for its lush romantic score and heartbreaking love story. Prima ballerina Ulyana Lopatkina is outstanding in the challenging dual role of Odette, the white swan and Odile, her black swan rival. Presented by Darcey Bussell.

Part of the BBC Christmas 2009 season.

THU 22:30 The Christmas Session (b00pcnsp)
BBC Four celebrates merry midwinter in unique style, with an exhilarating blend of folk tradition and burlesque fun. Energetic 11-piece Bellowhead and Mercury-nominated alternative folkies The Unthanks get together with the impressive young singers Thea Gilmore and Lisa Knapp, plus other special guests.

Steered by genial host Paul Sartin, the assembled artists perform seasonal songs of their own alongside yuletide favourites, ranging from folk ballads and carols to parlour songs and carousing dance numbers, with everyone coming together for a final knees-up.

Filmed at the atmospheric Shoreditch Town Hall, the setting evokes an old music hall combined with a festive Victorian family parlour, bedecked with garlands, period lamps and fireplace. Even the audience are dressed up in old-fashioned finery and prove themselves ready to kick up their heels.

THU 23:30 Michael Wood on Beowulf (b00kpv23)
Historian Michael Wood returns to his first great love, the Anglo-Saxon world, to reveal the origins of our literary heritage. Focusing on Beowulf and drawing on other Anglo-Saxon classics, he traces the birth of English poetry back to the Dark Ages.

Travelling across the British Isles from East Anglia to Scotland and with the help of Nobel prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney, actor Julian Glover, local historians and enthusiasts, he brings the story and language of this iconic poem to life.

THU 00:30 Only Connect (b00pjjzm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 on Monday]

THU 01:00 Ten Best Sacred Christmas Classics (b00gd0q9)
From Bach's Christmas Oratorio and Handel's Messiah to much-loved carols, ten memorable performances from the archives are introduced by a starry line-up of musicians and music lovers, including Katherine Jenkins, Billy Bragg, Michael Portillo and David Soul.

THU 02:00 Ghosts in the Machine (b00nk9yw)
Documentary charting the history of the supernatural on British television, and how ghosts have been portrayed on the small screen. From Hamlet to Most Haunted, the apparitions have abandoned their traditional haunts of drama and comedy and crossed over into factual and reality TV.

Ghosts in the Machine celebrates classic ghost stories like The Stone Tape, and Whistle and I'll Come to You. It revisits controversial shows like Derren Brown's Seance and 1992's Ghostwatch, which convinced thousands of viewers that Michael Parkinson was possessed by a poltergeist.

The film examines the recent explosion of interest in the paranormal. How did ghosts get their own genre, and how did television become the medium of the medium?

Contributors include Derren Brown (Seance), Jane Asher (The Stone Tape), Kenneth Cope (Randall and Hopkirk Deceased), Yvette Fielding (Most Haunted), Mark Gatiss (Crooked House), Sarah Greene (Ghostwatch), Jonathan Miller (Whistle and I'll Come to You) and Bill Paterson (Sea of Souls).

THU 03:00 The Christmas Session (b00pcnsp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]

THU 04:00 Ten Best Sacred Christmas Classics (b00gd0q9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 01:00 today]


FRI 19:00 Citizen Kane (b0074n82)
Frequently voted one of the best films ever made, Orson Welles's masterpiece tells the story of newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane in a series of flashbacks. A reporter is intrigued by the dying Kane's last word - rosebud - and sets out to find a new angle on the life of one of the most powerful men in America. Nine Oscar nominations resulted in only one award for the outspoken Welles - Best Screenplay.

FRI 21:00 Arena (b00plc51)
The Orson Welles Story

The Orson Welles Story - Part 1

First of a two-part film profile of Orson Welles, looking at his life and career in theatre, radio and particularly film. With Jeanne Moreau, John Huston, Peter Bogdanovitch, Robert Wise, Charlton Heston, and a detailed interview with Welles himself. This part deals with his work up to Touch of Evil.

FRI 22:50 Journey into Fear (b0078wrw)
A nightmarish tale of espionage and treachery in Istanbul, as an American munitions expert goes on the run from the Gestapo during the Second World War. Orson Welles, who acts the role of a corrupt chief of the Turkish secret police, wrote the script with co-star Joseph Cotten. Adapted from a novel by Eric Ambler.

FRI 00:00 Cardigans at Christmas (b0077dwr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:10 on Sunday]

FRI 00:50 The Secret Life of the Airport (b00l7q57)
Preparing for Take Off

Travel in time from the heady glamour of Britain's first terminal at Croydon to the signs and squiggles that direct pilots, as well as passengers, in today's airports. This series reveals how rivalry, skulduggery and sheer passion for flight gave birth to our airports, turning muddy airfields into the 24-hour mini-cities we know today. In the process, they've transformed Britain - giving us the freedom to travel anywhere we want and inspiring fear about our borders.

Rare archive, access to airports' hidden corners and contributors ranging from philosopher and author Alain de Botton to the man charged with scaring birds off Manchester's runways, reveal all.

FRI 01:50 The Secret Life of the Airport (b00lc6bn)
Joining the Jet Set

Three-part series charting the development of Britain's airports and how they have transformed the country, in the process creating both freedom and fear.

Relive the heyday of jet travel, when airports held beauty pageants for air hostesses and information films taught us how to pack for flight. This episode celebrates how 'money, tickets, passport' became the mantra of the moving masses. But while we giddily embarked on our foreign holidays, Britain itself was being shaped by the airport - tourism, business and immigration all felt the impact of these gateways to the globe.

Glorious colour archive captures the airport's golden age, while contributions from author Sarfraz Manzoor and airline staff to early immigrants explore how airports changed us.

FRI 02:50 The Secret Life of the Airport (b00lglt6)
The Final Approach

Three-part series charting the development of Britain's airports and how they have transformed the country, in the process creating both freedom and fear.

Once upon a time you could roam freely across airports, but no longer. This final episode reveals how the easily accessible airport of late Sixties turned into one besieged by present-day security procedures and climate protesters. With rare archive and eyewitness accounts, it relates the events that have shaped our contemporary experience of airports - with their x-rays, pat downs and scanners. But although the airport's sheen may be tarnished, we're using them more than ever. Contributors including architect Lord Foster and author Will Self explore why.

FRI 03:50 High Flyers: How Britain Took to the Air (b00nnlz3)
Documentary which tells the story of the golden age of British aviation and of how the original 'jet set' shaped air travel for generations to come. In Britain in the 1920s and '30s a revolution took place that would change forever our perspective on the world. While the country was in the grip of recession, dashing pilots and daring socialites took to the air, pushed back boundaries and forged new links across the globe. The era of commercial air travel was born.

(Note: the times link back to the details; the pids link to the BBC page, including iPlayer)

A Child's Christmases in Wales 19:15 THU (b00pgr8x)

Arena 21:00 FRI (b00plc51)

Bennett on Bennett 21:00 SUN (b00p8lgj)

Bennett on Bennett 19:50 MON (b00pd8xz)

Bennett on Bennett 19:50 TUE (b00pd945)

Bennett on Bennett 19:50 WED (b00pd958)

Cardigans at Christmas 21:10 SUN (b0077dwr)

Cardigans at Christmas 00:00 FRI (b0077dwr)

Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe 22:30 TUE (b00pjj4s)

Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe 00:25 TUE (b00pjj4s)

Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe 22:00 WED (b00pjj4s)

Cilla 01:25 SUN (b00k35l5)

Citizen Kane 19:00 FRI (b0074n82)

Crooked House 23:00 SAT (b00gf5sy)

Games Britannia 20:00 SUN (b00pf0rr)

Games Britannia 03:00 SUN (b00pf0rr)

Games Britannia 21:00 MON (b00phmrs)

Games Britannia 02:30 MON (b00phmrs)

Ghosts in the Machine 02:00 THU (b00nk9yw)

Graham Hill: Driven 00:30 MON (b00bv14q)

High Flyers: How Britain Took to the Air 03:50 FRI (b00nnlz3)

Jackie Stewart: The Flying Scot 23:00 MON (b00jw9gn)

Jim Clark: The Quiet Champion 01:30 MON (b00jw9cw)

John Mortimer: A Life in Words 23:10 TUE (b00gvfzp)

Journey into Fear 22:50 FRI (b0078wrw)

Lulu's Back in Town 02:35 SUN (b00k35lc)

Michael Wood on Beowulf 23:30 THU (b00kpv23)

Only Connect 20:30 MON (b00pjjzm)

Only Connect 04:10 WED (b00pjjzm)

Only Connect 00:30 THU (b00pjjzm)

Private Life of a Masterpiece 19:00 MON (b00794kc)

Private Life of a Masterpiece 19:00 TUE (b00794kx)

Private Life of a Masterpiece 19:00 WED (b00794ld)

Queens of British Pop 23:20 SUN (b00jnjfm)

Queens of British Pop 00:25 SUN (b00jt56r)

Russia: A Journey with Jonathan Dimbleby 20:00 WED (b00c3sdc)

Russian Ark 23:30 SAT (b0074q0t)

Sacred Music: The Story of Allegri's Miserere 20:00 MON (b00g81g7)

Swan Lake 20:15 THU (b00pkzmf)

Ten Best Sacred Christmas Classics 01:00 THU (b00gd0q9)

Ten Best Sacred Christmas Classics 04:00 THU (b00gd0q9)

The Andy Williams Christmas Show 22:00 SUN (b00phmjh)

The Art of Russia 19:00 SAT (b00pdzdp)

The Art of Russia 03:25 SAT (b00pdzdp)

The Art of Russia 21:00 WED (b00phtcz)

The Art of Russia 00:40 WED (b00phtcz)

The Art of Russia 03:10 WED (b00phtcz)

The Christmas Session 22:30 THU (b00pcnsp)

The Christmas Session 03:00 THU (b00pcnsp)

The Orson Welles Sketchbook 00:10 TUE (b00pk5y2)

The Orson Welles Sketchbook 19:00 THU (b00pl8gy)

The Poisoner 20:00 SAT (b00bv9lc)

The Poisoner 01:55 SAT (b00bv9lc)

The Roxy Music Story 01:00 SAT (b00djn0s)

The Sandie Shaw Supplement 02:10 SUN (b00k7653)

The Secret Life of the Airport 00:50 FRI (b00l7q57)

The Secret Life of the Airport 01:50 FRI (b00lc6bn)

The Secret Life of the Airport 02:50 FRI (b00lglt6)

The Story of the Open University 01:05 TUE (b00lz2p5)

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

Timeshift 22:00 MON (b00p8lhp)

Timeshift 03:30 MON (b00p8lhp)

Timeshift 20:00 TUE (b00pht5q)

Timeshift 21:00 TUE (b00pht5s)

Timeshift 02:35 TUE (b00pht5q)

Timeshift 03:35 TUE (b00pht5s)

Timeshift 02:10 WED (b00p8lhp)

Wallander 21:30 SAT (b00phkkw)

Wallander 23:10 WED (b00phkkw)

We Need Answers 22:00 TUE (b00pht5v)

We Need Answers 02:05 TUE (b00pht5v)

We Need Answers 22:40 WED (b00pht5v)

We Need Answers 01:40 WED (b00pht5v)

Your Date With Val 22:30 SUN (b0074tnc)