The BBC has announced that it has a sustainable plan for the future of the BBC Singers, in association with The VOCES8 Foundation.
The threat to reduce the staff of the three English orchestras by 20% has not been lifted, but it is being reconsidered.
See the BBC press release here.

Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4 Contact

Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by


SAT 19:00 John Betjeman Goes by Train (b00fgpzw)
1962 British Transport film in which John Betjeman takes a trip from King's Lynn through Norfolk, visiting the royal station for Sandringham before heading to the coast.

SAT 19:10 Life (b00nxks3)

There are 200 million insects for each of us. They are the most successful animal group ever. Their key is an armoured covering that takes on almost any shape.

Darwin's stag beetle fights in the tree tops with huge curved jaws. The camera flies with millions of monarch butterflies which migrate 2000 miles, navigating by the sun. Super-slow motion shows a bombardier beetle firing boiling liquid at enemies through a rotating nozzle. A honey bee army stings a raiding bear into submission. Grass cutter ants march like a Roman army, harvesting grass they cannot actually eat. They cultivate a fungus that breaks the grass down for them. Their giant colony is the closest thing in nature to the complexity of a human city.

SAT 20:10 Monsoon Railway (b007rtzs)
Part 1

Director Gerry Troyna paints an affectionate portrait of the Indian railway culture.

Indian Railways is a vast organisation, employing 1,500,000 people and catering for every aspect of their lives from cradle to grave. The documentary follows three typical employees as they face the annual battle to keep trains running during the monsoon season.

SAT 21:05 Wallander (b00q0dff)
Series 2

The Man Who Smiled

Detective drama. Kurt Wallander is contacted by an old friend who is certain his father has been murdered. Wallander refuses to get involved as he is suspended from the police, but subsequent events convince him that there is more to the case.

SAT 22:35 The Armstrong and Miller Show (b00nn1cg)
Series 2

Episode 3

Sketch show starring Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller. Dennis Lincoln-Park destroys more priceless artefacts, and a royal correspondent gives his unique view on the Royal Family.

SAT 23:05 The Armstrong and Miller Show (b00nqd88)
Series 2

Episode 4

Sketch show starring Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller. A boxer and trainer struggle to fill the time between rounds, and the RAF pilots mount an escape attempt from a POW camp.

SAT 23:35 Newswipe (b00q9ypy)
Series 2

Episode 1

Charlie Brooker returns to wring more laughs from a hilariously troubled world, looking at some of the scariest news stories ever, and some jokes.

SAT 00:10 Leeds International Piano Competition (b00n5bt5)

Episode 4

Every three years since 1963, Leeds plays host to the cream of young international concert pianists who travel there to take part in the city's International Piano Competition. Past winners have included musical greats like Rada Lupu and Murray Perahia.

Huw Edwards introduces the fourth finalist, Alessandro Taverna from Italy, who plays Chopin's Piano Concerto No 1. There is expert analysis from concert pianists Cristina Ortiz and Lucy Parham, plus behind-the-scenes reports from Clemency Burton-Hill.

SAT 01:10 BBC Proms (b00mgvtv)

Prom 64: Jurowski & London Philharmonic

Charles Hazlewood presents as Vladimir Jurowski, the LPO's principal conductor, brings an intriguing and eclectic programme to the Proms, including Bacchanale by Ibert, Debussy's ballet score Jeux, Mozart's Sonata for Two Pianos played by Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich, and Brahms's First Symphony.

SAT 04:00 Blues Britannia: Can Blue Men Sing the Whites? (b00kc752)
Documentary telling the story of what happened to blues music on its journey from the southern states of America to the heart of British pop and rock culture, providing an in-depth look at what this music really meant to a generation of kids desperate for an antidote to their experiences of living in post-war suburban Britain.

Narrated by Nigel Planer and structured in three parts, the first, Born Under a Bad Sign, focuses on the arrival of American blues in Britain in the late 50s and the first performances here by such legends as Muddy Waters, Sonnie Terry and Brownie McGhee.

Part two, Sittin' on Top of the World, charts the birth of the first British blues boom in the early 60s, spearheaded by the Rolling Stones and groups such as the Yardbirds, Manfred Mann, the Animals and the Pretty Things.

The final section, Crossroads, looks at the next, more hardcore British blues boom of the mid-to-late 60s, with guitarists Eric Clapton and Peter Green and the international dominance of their respective bands, Cream and Fleetwood Mac.

Featuring archive performances and interviews with Keith Richards, Paul Jones, Chris Dreja, Bill Wyman, Phil May, John Mayall, Jack Bruce, Mick Fleetwood, Ian Anderson, Tony McPhee, Mike Vernon, Tom McGuinness, Mick Abrahams, Dick Taylor, Val Wilmer, Chris Barber, Pete Brown, Bob Brunning, Dave Kelly and Phil Ryan.


SUN 19:00 Service for Southend (b00f3nv4)
Short film celebrating the introduction of electrification on the railways, which follows a steam train on its final journey from Liverpool Street station. Part of a collection produced by British Transport Films in the post-war period.

SUN 19:10 Water (b00rjrwz)
The concluding part of Deepa Mehta's 'elemental' trilogy of dramas examines the plight of a group of widows in late 1930s India who are forced into poverty following the deaths of their husbands. Resigned to being ignored by society, one of them breaks ranks as she tries to strike up an unlikely relationship with a follower of Mahatma Gandhi.

SUN 21:00 Geisha Girl (b0074s37)
Documentary following 15-year-old Yukina as she leaves home and moves to Kyoto to embark on the arduous training needed to become a geisha.

The profession has always been shrouded in controversy, with some believing geisha are little more than high-class prostitutes. At such a young age, does Yukina really understand what this ancient profession has in store for her?

SUN 22:00 Mark Lawson Talks To... (b00rjrx1)
Tracey Emin

Mark Lawson talks to the enfant terrible of the British art world, Tracey Emin, famed for her unmade bed and the tent embroidered with the names of everyone she had ever slept with. The 1990s wild child talks in detail about her unconventional childhood and the traumatic adolescent experiences which inspired much of her controversial work.

SUN 23:00 Mad Men (b00rblr3)
Series 3


Drama series which takes an unflinching look at the world of advertising in 1960s New York.

Don and Betty have a weekend in Rome to check out Conrad Hilton's hotel. Pete spends the vacation alone and gets close to his neighbour's German au pair, Gudrun. Joan's secret is revealed. Henry Francis comes to Betty's aid. Don gives Betty a little souvenir, but does she want more?

SUN 23:45 Storyville (b00rbm34)
Race Horses

What might it be like to be a horse? Not just any horse, but a top-end racehorse in Ireland? This is the question Race Horses explores, following three promising, charismatic horses over the course of one rather difficult racing year, bringing us into their world and revealing their distinct individual characters.

Beautiful, unusual, and highly entertaining, the film combines the drama of a sports movie with the exploration of an ancient human obsession, offering a subtle critique of humanity's quirks on the side.

SUN 01:05 Storyville (b00r5wwc)
Rise Up Reggae Star

On an island where reggae is considered the voice of the people and an outlet for survival, Rise Up Reggae Star follows three aspiring artists who seek to 'rise up' from obscurity for their chance at success. This documentary takes the viewer off the beaten path, far from any tourist attractions and sandy beaches; yet it is still able to capture the beauty and magic that the Island has to offer. From the deep countryside to the whirlwind ghettos of Kingston, no matter where you are, the film makes it evident that music is the heartbeat of the culture.

In a society where talent abounds and opportunity is scarce, Rise Up follows the very different lives of three artists struggling in their own unique way for their big break at stardom. Turbulence, the conscious ghetto youth with enough determination to move mountains; Ice, the young faux-gangster dancehall artist from the upper class; and Kemoy, the beautifully innocent country girl who barely realizes her amazing vocal gifts - their stories unfold as the film seamlessly interweaves their lives behind the backdrop of the bustling underground reggae scene of Jamaica. Five years in the making, Rise Up is able to capture the pure artistry and creativity of these three musicians in raw form while at the same time, able to bring the viewer into their personal lives, inside their most private moments, as they struggle to find their voice and discover their ability to overcome life's obstacles.

SUN 02:05 Mad Men (b00rblr3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 today]

SUN 02:55 Mark Lawson Talks To... (b00rjrx1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

SUN 03:55 Blues at the BBC (b00k36m5)
Collection of performances by British and American blues artists on BBC programmes such as The Beat Room, A Whole Scene Going, The Old Grey Whistle Test and The Late Show.

Includes the seminal slide guitar of Son House, the British R&B of The Kinks, the unmistakeable electric sound of BB King and Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton and John Lee Hooker, as well as less familiar material from the likes of Delaney and Bonnie, Freddie King and Long John Baldry.


MON 19:00 World News Today (b00rh87f)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

MON 19:30 Syrian School (b00rblr1)
Marked for Life

Five-part series following a year in the life of four schools in Damascus, a high pressure crossroads in the Middle East.

For 40 years, Syria has been dominated by a single party. There's limited political freedom. But here in Damascus life seems to be slowly changing, especially for the next generation. But there is still an immense hurdle for them to cross: the dreaded Baccalaureate Examination. The whole city seems in a state of panic, from teachers to parents and pupils.

17-year-old twin sisters Farah and Rahaf are facing the exams together - success or failure will determine their futures. But their dreams are wildly different. Farah dreams of studying English and exploring the world - inspired by her Satellite TV heroine Nigella Lawson. Rahaf is more anxious - aiming for a more cautious future in engineering. We follow them from revision to results.

Meanwhile, Iraqi refugee Yusif is struggling with his education, as all his attention is focused on the visa he hopes to get that will take him away from Syria. His family is desperate to move to Canada - but can they make it out of Damascus?

In Damascus, it's exam season. And everyone's future is riding on it.

MON 20:30 Only Connect (b00rjs4c)
Series 3

Neuroscientists vs Strategists

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

In the third of the quarter-finals, three studying for their PhDs at Oxford set out to challenge the brainpower of the strategists, a team unified by their love of sophisticated strategy board games. They compete to draw together the connections between things, which, at first glance, seem utterly random - from maypoles to horse racing to spoken theatre to mince pies.

MON 21:00 Women (b00rjs4f)

Acclaimed filmmaker Vanessa Engle turns her attention to sexual politics in a three-part documentary series about feminism and its impact on women's lives today.

The second part looks at the consequences of feminism for today's mothers. It documents the daily lives of ordinary women with children, interviewing women as well as their partners, to discover whether feminism has had an impact on gender roles in the family and the division of labour in the home.

MON 22:00 The Secret Life of Mrs Beeton (b0074syp)
Feisty costume drama portraying the reality behind one of Britain's most enduring cultural icons. Dead by the age of 27, Mrs Beeton was far from the crinolined matron of her image.

MON 23:25 Mark Lawson Talks To... (b0074sys)
Marguerite Patten

Veteran 'home economist' Marguerite Patten reflects on nine decades of cookery. From learning to cook as a child, to being one of the first celebrity TV chefs to her performances at the Palladium, to writing over 170 books, she explains what has motivated her to keep going and how, in her early 90s, she shows little sign of slowing down.

MON 00:25 100 Years of Girl Guides (b00m6n05)
In September 2009, the Girl Guides celebrated their centenary. With a membership of over 600,000, nearly half the female population of Britain has been involved with the Brownies and Girl Guides at some time during their lives.

Throughout its history, the movement has given girls the opportunity to have fun and form life-long friendships. Narrated by Dominic West (The Wire), 100 Years of the Girl Guides delves into the movement's extraordinary archive and interviews a host of former Girl Guides from veterans to household names such as Kelly Holmes, Clare Short, Kate Silverton and Rhona Cameron.

In 1909, Robert Baden-Powell agreed to let girls have their equivalent of the Boy Scouts. It was a time when women couldn't vote, couldn't work once married, couldn't borrow money or seek contraception.

The Guides have always risen to the challenge in times of national crisis. During the First World War, they worked in munitions factories and in the Second World War, young women in the Guides International Service worked alongside British soldiers to help Jewish inmates liberated from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

The Guides' progressive vision has pioneered the change in attitudes over disability. Their inclusive approach has produced many successful sportswomen including Kelly Holmes and paralympians Barbara Howie and Tanni Grey-Thompson.

The Girl Guides would not be the Girl Guides without their camping adventures. Baden Powell believed the great outdoors was the best way for the youth of the day to stay healthy and sane.

At the heart of the Girl Guides' ethos lies their commitment to helping others and being a good citizen.

MON 01:25 My New Best Friend (b00bfm0m)

Documentary series about the importance and nature of friendship among children. Shot over eight months and told entirely from their perspective, it is an intimate and moving insight into how children think and feel as they journey into a new world.

Four 11-year-old girls leave the familiarity of their prep schools to join one of the most prestigious girls' schools in the country, Cheltenham Ladies' College. For the three new boarders and one day girl, a new school is as daunting as it is exciting.

MON 02:25 Women (b00rjs4f)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

MON 03:25 BBC Four Sessions (b008yw99)
kd lang

Series of unique concerts featuring musicians from around the world at St Luke's in London. Canadian country singer and four-times Grammy award winner kd lang performs together with a 30-strong strings section from the BBC Concert Orchestra. The set features songs from across her 25-year career, including her biggest hit Constant Craving, covers of Neil Young and Leonard Cohen songs, and material from her 2008 album Watershed.

MON 04:25 Mark Lawson Talks To... (b0074sys)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:25 today]


TUE 19:00 World News Today (b00rh8q8)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

TUE 19:30 Clarissa and the King's Cookbook (b00b6vl6)
We Brits love our cookbooks - every year we buy millions of them and treat our celebrity chefs like royalty. But where did it all begin? Self-confessed medieval foodie Clarissa Dickson Wright tracks down Britain's oldest known cookbook, The Forme of Cury. This 700-year-old scroll was written during the reign of King Richard II from recipes created by the king's master chefs. How this ancient manuscript influenced the way people eat today? On her culinary journey through medieval history she reawakens recipes that have lain dormant for centuries and discovers dishes that are still prepared now.

TUE 20:00 France on a Plate (b00fvfmf)
Why does food mean so much more to the French than it does to us British? One reason is that from the time of Louis XIV to the present day, French kings, emperors, and presidents have used it as a tool of power and prestige.

In this unusual programme, cultural historian Andrew Hussey takes us on a gastronomic tour through French history - from Versailles, the spiritual centre of French power politics, and the birthplace of French cuisine, via the French Revolution and the creation of the Michelin guide, through to nouvelle cuisine and ethnic fusion food.

For Hussey, France emerges as 'the Republic of Food', a place where the health of both its democracy and its civilisation can at any one time be gauged by how well its people are being fed. Some of France's top chefs, including Paul Bocuse and Pierre Gagnaire are among those he meets on the way.

TUE 21:00 Fat Man in a White Hat (b00rh93g)
Episode 1

Is French cuisine the best in the world or has it lost its magic? Bestselling New Yorker magazine writer Bill Buford dons a white hat and works in a series of French kitchens to investigate whether French food is all it's cracked up to be.

Bill starts in one of the best French restaurants in America before moving, with his family, to Lyon, where he enrols in a cookery school and works on the line for one of the most demanding chefs in France, Matthieu Viannay.

Can Bill survive in a restaurant where one of the signature dishes consists of garlic snails on a bed of crusty veal ears? Is sophisticated French food really worth the effort?

TUE 22:00 Storyville (b00rh93j)
Barbados at the Races

The Jockey's Prayer

Four-part series looking at Barbados today through the lives, at work and at play, of the island's horse racing community. The series is centred on the Barbados Turf Club and follows the stories of a colourful cast of characters, from the big white owners at the top of the tree right down to the poor black exercise riders and grooms. The Club and its racecourse have been based at the former British army garrison on the edge of the island's capital, Bridgetown, for over a hundred years. The quirky and, at times, spiritually-minded series looks at how the culture of Barbados today, its institutions and the mindset of its people, have been shaped by the colonial past and the legacy of slavery.

This part is about the lives of three very different riders and centres on the life of the Bajan jockey - the trials and deprivations of keeping on top of your game, the glory and glamour of success and the temptations and pitfalls that can come hand in hand with financial rewards. All these forces create a tight-knit community united by their mutual competitiveness and their love of the adrenaline-fuelled buzz of the track.

TUE 22:30 Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (b00rh93l)
Episode 2

Continuing the acclaimed dramatisation of Jeanette Winterson's novel. Jess, now 16, meets Melanie and falls in love. The pastor, the congregation and Jess's mother begin to suspect, culminating in a devastating denouement in front of a packed congregation. Pastor Finch demands that they renounce their passion for each other and turn their backs on Satan.

TUE 23:30 Mark Lawson Talks To... (b0074szf)
Claudia Roden

Claudia Roden, the cookery writer who brought us Middle Eastern recipes long before couscous and houmous were on every supermarket shelf, talks to Mark Lawson about her memories of growing up Jewish in Cairo in the 1930s, the true origins of pasta, and going kosher for her award-winning Book of Jewish Food.

TUE 00:30 Storyville (b00rh93j)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

TUE 01:00 France on a Plate (b00fvfmf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

TUE 02:00 Mark Lawson Talks To... (b0074szf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:30 today]

TUE 03:00 Fat Man in a White Hat (b00rh93g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

TUE 04:00 France on a Plate (b00fvfmf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


WED 19:00 World News Today (b00rh9ct)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

WED 19:30 It's Only a Theory (b00ntrk1)
Episode 6

Comedians Andy Hamilton and Reginald D Hunter host a series in which qualified professionals and experts submit their theories about life, the universe and everything for examination by a panel of Hamilton, Hunter and a guest celebrity, who then make a final decision on whether the theory is worth keeping.

The guest celebrity is Vince Cable MP and the experts are Dr David Bainbridge and Marcus Chown.

WED 20:00 Growing Babies (b00fzty0)

Laverne Antrobus delves into the extraordinary world of foetal and infant neuropsychology as she tries to explain the curiosities of baby cognition. Babies just hours old can make complex inferences about people and objects, music and language, and even the principles of geometry and geography.

Antrobus asks how babies perceive the world around them, what they know and how they learn to process knowledge. She debates whether babies learn everything from experience or whether knowledge can be hardwired into their brilliant brains, an idea first postulated by psychologist Elisabeth Spelke when she unveiled theories about core knowledge.

Antrobus traces infant psychology back to some of the earliest theories and she meets researchers at Birkbeck College's Babylab who use hi-tech brain scanning equipment to delve deep inside the minds of babies. The theories here are slightly different. Denis Mareschal believes biased learning - babies' remarkable abilities to home in on key sources of information - is the key to intelligence.

The invention of the revolutionary 3D ultrasound has led to an unprecedented glut of revelations about foetal behaviour. Soon after the nervous system forms, the foetus begins ferociously practising for life after birth. Stimuli like sound and taste permeate the sanctity of the womb, shaping the character and personality of the growing foetus.

Dr Heidi Als's studies with premature babies reveal how vital the third trimester of pregnancy is for neurological development. While the brain is still learning to filter out unnecessary sensory stimulation, it relies on the womb to prevent it becoming overloaded. Premature babies don't have this luxury and their brains can often shut down when confronted by too many sensory stimuli.

WED 21:00 The Man Who Ate Everything (b00rh9cw)
Andrew Graham-Dixon presents a personal profile of the legendary food writer Alan Davidson, one of the unsung heroes of the culinary world.

Davidson's greatest work, The Oxford Companion to Food, took him 20 years to write. It's an encyclopaedia of everything a human being can eat, from aardvark to zucchini, all catalogued in 2,650 separate entries. But it is much more than just a food reference book; it is a portrait of the whole human race, its many cultures, customs and histories, all revealed through the stories of what we eat. If you want to understand why the Genoese enjoy dolphin, how to cook a warthog, why the French call dandelions 'piss-en-lit' or who invented Spam, then 'The Companion', as it is known by aficionados, is the place to look.

Alan Davidson died in 2003, just four years after his magnum opus was published. He had already achieved guru status among foodies and professional chefs but, in fact, he became a writer almost by accident. His first career had been as a British diplomat, serving in various overseas offices. A visit by his wife to a Tunisian fish market first piqued his interest in writing about seafood, and a later posting to Laos convinced him to resign from the Foreign Service and become a full-time writer.

Through interviews with Davidson's colleagues, admirers, family and friends, Graham-Dixon creates a portrait of a remarkable man who not only compiled a unique record of humanity's eating habits, but also helped turn the study of food into a serious academic discipline by instigating an annual symposium at Oxford University where visitors can learn about, amongst other things, the role of vegetables in the conquest of space and how to make a musical carrot.

WED 22:00 Mad Men (b00rh64w)
Series 3

Wee Small Hours

Drama series set in 1960s New York. Sal suffers when he refuses the advances of a client. Betty finds herself drawn towards Henry, while Don begins another affair.

WED 22:45 Women (b00rjs4f)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]

WED 23:45 The Man Who Ate Everything (b00rh9cw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

WED 00:45 The Man Who Shot the 60s (b00pwsns)
A tribute to Brian Duffy, who passed away in May 2010. Duffy was one of the greatest photographers of his generation. Along with David Bailey and Terence Donovan he defined the image of the 1960s and was as famous as the stars he photographed. In the 1970s he suddenly disappeared from view and burned all his negatives. Filmed on the eve of the first-ever exhibition of his work, Duffy agrees to talk about his life, his work and why he made it all go up in flames.

WED 01:45 It's Only a Theory (b00ntrk1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

WED 02:15 The Man Who Ate Everything (b00rh9cw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

WED 03:15 Women (b00rjs4f)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]

WED 04:15 Sacred Music (b00rbmmz)
Series 2

Brahms and Bruckner

Documentary series in which Simon Russell Beale explores the flowering of Western sacred music.

He travels to Germany and Austria to explore the work of two musical giants, Brahms and Bruckner. With Harry Christophers and his choir The Sixteen, Simon discovers how Bruckner approached his sacred music as a devout Catholic, while Brahms found himself unable to believe in anything but his music.


THU 19:00 World News Today (b00rhbcs)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

THU 19:30 Only Connect (b00rjs4c)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 on Monday]

THU 20:00 Chemistry: A Volatile History (b00qjnqc)
The Power of the Elements

The explosive story of chemistry is the story of the building blocks that make up our entire world - the elements. From fiery phosphorous to the pure untarnished lustre of gold and the dazzle of violent, violet potassium, everything is made of elements - the earth we walk on, the air we breathe, even us. Yet for centuries this world was largely unknown, and completely misunderstood.

In this three-part series, professor of theoretical physics Jim Al-Khalili traces the extraordinary story of how the elements were discovered and mapped. He follows in the footsteps of the pioneers who cracked their secrets and created a new science, propelling us into the modern age.

In the final part, Professor Al-Khalili uncovers tales of success and heartache in the story of chemists' battle to control and combine the elements, and build our modern world. He reveals the dramatic breakthroughs which harnessed their might to release almost unimaginable power, and he journeys to the centre of modern day alchemy, where scientists are attempting to command the extreme forces of nature and create brand new elements.

THU 21:00 Storyville (b00rhbcv)
Kings of Pastry

Imagine a scene never before witnessed - 16 French pastry chefs gathered in Lyon for three intense days of mixing, piping and sculpting everything from delicate chocolates to six-foot sugar sculptures in hope of being declared one of the best by the country's President.

This is the prestigious Meilleurs Ouvriers de France competition (Best Craftsmen in France). The blue, white and red striped collar worn on the jackets of the winners is more than the ultimate recognition for every pastry chef - it is a dream and an obsession. The finalists, France's culinary elite, risk their reputations as well as sacrifice family and finances in pursuit of this lifelong distinction of excellence. Similar to the Olympics, the three-day contest takes place every four years and it requires that the chefs not only have extraordinary skill and nerves of steel but also a lot of luck.

Filmmakers DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus secured exclusive access to shoot this epic, never-before-filmed test of France's finest artisans. The film follows chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of Chicago's French Pastry School, as he journeys back to his childhood home of Alsace to practice for the contest.

Two other finalists are profiled in the documentary - Regis Lazard, who was competing for the second time (he dropped his sugar sculpture the first time), and Philippe Rigollot from Maison Pic, France's only three-star restaurant owned by a woman.

During the gruelling final competition, chefs work under constant scrutiny by master judges and the critical palates of some of the world's most renowned chefs evaluate their elaborate pastries. Finally, these pastry marathoners racing the clock must hand-carry all their creations including their fragile sugar sculptures through a series of rooms to a final buffet area without shattering them.

The film captures the high-stakes drama of the competition - passion, sacrifice, disappointment and joy - all in the quest to become one of the Kings of Pastry.

THU 22:25 Fear of Fanny (b0074sz9)
Dramatisation of Fanny Cradock's career, scripted by Brian Fillis based on interviews with her friends and family, reveals the private vulnerability behind her tart public persona. Not only a moving and insightful portrait of this enduring culinary icon, it's a black comedy about family, food and heavily-applied foundation.

THU 23:45 Mark Lawson Talks To... (b00p50nr)
Imelda Staunton

Imelda Staunton began her stage career playing the likes of St Joan and Piaf in repertory theatre. More recently she has starred as Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, busy-body Miss Pole in Cranford, and the eponymous back street abortionist in Mike Leigh's Vera Drake.

She talks to Mark Lawson about her life and career, from her early ambitions to become an actress to her recent role on the West End stage in Entertaining Mr Sloane, as well as various experiences along the way: working on a Steven Seagal film; auditioning for Cats at Andrew Lloyd Webber's house and her Oscars experience when she was nominated for Best Actress for Vera Drake.

THU 00:45 Art of Eternity (b0074t92)
Painting Paradise

How should art depict the relationship between man and God? How can art best express eternal values? Can you, and should you, portray the face of Christ? For over a thousand years these were some of the questions which taxed the minds of the greatest artists of the early West. In this three-part series, art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon sets out to unravel the mysteries of the art of the pre-perspective era. Why has this world been so frequently misunderstood and underrated? His journey takes him from the mysterious catacombs of ancient Rome to Coptic Egypt, to the Orthodox Christian world of Istanbul and then onwards to medieval Italy and France.

In the first episode, Andrew Graham-Dixon traces the beginnings of Christian art in the declining Roman Empire, Egypt and medieval France, and reveals the ideas which lay behind the transition from classical art to the first icons.

THU 01:45 Art of Eternity (b0074t9w)
The Glory of Byzantium

How should art depict the relationship between man and God? How can art best express eternal values? Can you, and should you, portray the face of Christ? For over a thousand years these were some of the questions which taxed the minds of the greatest artists of the early West. In this three-part series, art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon sets out to unravel the mysteries of the art of the pre-perspective era. Why has this world been so frequently misunderstood and underrated? His journey takes him from the mysterious catacombs of ancient Rome to Coptic Egypt, to the Orthodox Christian world of Istanbul and then onwards to medieval Italy and France.

In the second of this three-part series, Andrew Graham-Dixon travels to Istanbul to immerse himself in the tumultuous world of the Byzantine Empire. He reveals the art that emerged, decodes the iconography and explains its continuing relevance to everyday people.

THU 02:45 Art of Eternity (b0074tbk)
When East Meets West

How should art depict the relationship between man and God? How can art best express eternal values? Can you, and should you, portray the face of Christ? For over a thousand years these were some of the questions which taxed the minds of the greatest artists of the early West. In this three-part series, art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon sets out to unravel the mysteries of the art of the pre-perspective era. Why has this world been so frequently misunderstood and underrated? His journey takes him from the mysterious catacombs of ancient Rome to Coptic Egypt, to the Orthodox Christian world of Istanbul and then onwards to medieval Italy and France.

In the final part of this series Andrew Graham-Dixon examines early Christian art and the reasons for its evolution during the Renaissance. He also reveals just how far modern artists have been influenced by the pre-perspective view of the world.

THU 03:45 Only Connect (b00rjs4c)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 on Monday]

THU 04:15 Mark Lawson Talks To... (b00p50nr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:45 today]


FRI 19:00 World News Today (b00rhbh4)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 Sacred Music (b00rjsc4)
Series 2

Faure and Poulenc

Simon Russell Beale travels through the urban and rural landscapes of France to explore the story behind Faure's Requiem, one of the best-loved pieces of sacred music ever written.

With Harry Christophers and The Sixteen, he goes on to discover how this work laid the foundations for a distinctively French style, a tradition continued by the compelling music of the outrageously fashionable Francis Poulenc, working in the heart of jazz-age Paris.

FRI 20:30 Storyville (b00rh93j)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Tuesday]

FRI 21:00 Prog Rock Britannia: An Observation in Three Movements (b00g8tfv)
Documentary about progressive music and the generation of bands that were involved, from the international success stories of Yes, Genesis, ELP, King Crimson and Jethro Tull to the trials and tribulations of lesser-known bands such as Caravan and Egg.

The film is structured in three parts, charting the birth, rise and decline of a movement famed for complex musical structures, weird time signatures, technical virtuosity and strange, and quintessentially English, literary influences.

It looks at the psychedelic pop scene that gave birth to progressive rock in the late 1960s, the golden age of progressive music in the early 1970s, complete with drum solos and gatefold record sleeves, and the over-ambition, commercialisation and eventual fall from grace of this rarefied musical experiment at the hands of punk in 1977.

Contributors include Robert Wyatt, Mike Oldfield, Pete Sinfield, Rick Wakeman, Phil Collins, Arthur Brown, Carl Palmer and Ian Anderson.

FRI 22:30 Prog at the BBC (b00g8tfx)
Compilation of some of the greatest names and British bands in what they still dare to call prog rock, filmed live in the BBC studios in the early 1970s. Expect to see stadium names like Yes, Genesis and Emerson, Lake and Palmer alongside much-loved bands of the era including Caravan, Family, Atomic Rooster and more.

FRI 23:30 Newswipe (b00qbyth)
Series 2

Episode 2

It's the second episode of the second series and there's the usual mix of contributors, reviews and jokes as the news channels continue to provide enough rubbish to make a show out of.

FRI 00:00 Paws, Claws and Videotape (b00r0rds)
Hugh Dennis reveals a host of artists from the animal kingdom who found fame on TV and in the cinema. While their human co-stars may have passed into obscurity, it is Flipper, Skippy, Lassie, Beauty, Hammy and Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion who live on. As the humans reveal the off screen gossip, this is the ultimate guide to being a thespian top dog, top dolphin or even top hamster.

FRI 01:00 Prog Rock Britannia: An Observation in Three Movements (b00g8tfv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 02:30 Prog at the BBC (b00g8tfx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]

FRI 03:30 Mark Lawson Talks To... (b00g8hfg)
Phil Collins

Phil Collins made his name as the drummer and then the lead singer of Genesis, before embarking on a successful solo career with hits including In the Air Tonight. In the 1980s he took on the role of one of the great train robbers in the film Buster and has recently had success with scoring for films such as Disney's Tarzan. Collins talks frankly to Mark Lawson about his three marriages and the various myths that surround him, including that he divorced his second wife by fax.

FRI 04:30 Sacred Music (b00rjsc4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

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

100 Years of Girl Guides 00:25 MON (b00m6n05)

Art of Eternity 00:45 THU (b0074t92)

Art of Eternity 01:45 THU (b0074t9w)

Art of Eternity 02:45 THU (b0074tbk)

BBC Four Sessions 03:25 MON (b008yw99)

BBC Proms 01:10 SAT (b00mgvtv)

Blues Britannia: Can Blue Men Sing the Whites? 04:00 SAT (b00kc752)

Blues at the BBC 03:55 SUN (b00k36m5)

Chemistry: A Volatile History 20:00 THU (b00qjnqc)

Clarissa and the King's Cookbook 19:30 TUE (b00b6vl6)

Fat Man in a White Hat 21:00 TUE (b00rh93g)

Fat Man in a White Hat 03:00 TUE (b00rh93g)

Fear of Fanny 22:25 THU (b0074sz9)

France on a Plate 20:00 TUE (b00fvfmf)

France on a Plate 01:00 TUE (b00fvfmf)

France on a Plate 04:00 TUE (b00fvfmf)

Geisha Girl 21:00 SUN (b0074s37)

Growing Babies 20:00 WED (b00fzty0)

It's Only a Theory 19:30 WED (b00ntrk1)

It's Only a Theory 01:45 WED (b00ntrk1)

John Betjeman Goes by Train 19:00 SAT (b00fgpzw)

Leeds International Piano Competition 00:10 SAT (b00n5bt5)

Life 19:10 SAT (b00nxks3)

Mad Men 23:00 SUN (b00rblr3)

Mad Men 02:05 SUN (b00rblr3)

Mad Men 22:00 WED (b00rh64w)

Mark Lawson Talks To... 22:00 SUN (b00rjrx1)

Mark Lawson Talks To... 02:55 SUN (b00rjrx1)

Mark Lawson Talks To... 23:25 MON (b0074sys)

Mark Lawson Talks To... 04:25 MON (b0074sys)

Mark Lawson Talks To... 23:30 TUE (b0074szf)

Mark Lawson Talks To... 02:00 TUE (b0074szf)

Mark Lawson Talks To... 23:45 THU (b00p50nr)

Mark Lawson Talks To... 04:15 THU (b00p50nr)

Mark Lawson Talks To... 03:30 FRI (b00g8hfg)

Monsoon Railway 20:10 SAT (b007rtzs)

My New Best Friend 01:25 MON (b00bfm0m)

Newswipe 23:35 SAT (b00q9ypy)

Newswipe 23:30 FRI (b00qbyth)

Only Connect 20:30 MON (b00rjs4c)

Only Connect 19:30 THU (b00rjs4c)

Only Connect 03:45 THU (b00rjs4c)

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit 22:30 TUE (b00rh93l)

Paws, Claws and Videotape 00:00 FRI (b00r0rds)

Prog Rock Britannia: An Observation in Three Movements 21:00 FRI (b00g8tfv)

Prog Rock Britannia: An Observation in Three Movements 01:00 FRI (b00g8tfv)

Prog at the BBC 22:30 FRI (b00g8tfx)

Prog at the BBC 02:30 FRI (b00g8tfx)

Sacred Music 04:15 WED (b00rbmmz)

Sacred Music 19:30 FRI (b00rjsc4)

Sacred Music 04:30 FRI (b00rjsc4)

Service for Southend 19:00 SUN (b00f3nv4)

Storyville 23:45 SUN (b00rbm34)

Storyville 01:05 SUN (b00r5wwc)

Storyville 22:00 TUE (b00rh93j)

Storyville 00:30 TUE (b00rh93j)

Storyville 21:00 THU (b00rhbcv)

Storyville 20:30 FRI (b00rh93j)

Syrian School 19:30 MON (b00rblr1)

The Armstrong and Miller Show 22:35 SAT (b00nn1cg)

The Armstrong and Miller Show 23:05 SAT (b00nqd88)

The Man Who Ate Everything 21:00 WED (b00rh9cw)

The Man Who Ate Everything 23:45 WED (b00rh9cw)

The Man Who Ate Everything 02:15 WED (b00rh9cw)

The Man Who Shot the 60s 00:45 WED (b00pwsns)

The Secret Life of Mrs Beeton 22:00 MON (b0074syp)

Wallander 21:05 SAT (b00q0dff)

Water 19:10 SUN (b00rjrwz)

Women 21:00 MON (b00rjs4f)

Women 02:25 MON (b00rjs4f)

Women 22:45 WED (b00rjs4f)

Women 03:15 WED (b00rjs4f)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b00rh87f)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b00rh8q8)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b00rh9ct)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b00rhbcs)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b00rhbh4)