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.

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SAT 19:00 African Railway (b00s6bgw)
In a moving and often funny documentary, award-winning film-maker Sean Langan is off to east Africa to ride the rails of the Tazara railroad, whose passenger and goods trains travel through spectacular scenery and a game park teeming with wild animals.

The railway was built by the Chinese just after independence to link Zambia's copper belt to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam, and once carried the region's hopes and dreams. But now it is in crisis. Every day there are derailments, trains running out of fuel and mechanical breakdowns.

Langan meets the train crews, controllers and maintenance crews who battle to keep it going - and at Tazara HQ he is on the track of Tazara's elusive Chinese railway advisors to find out why it is in such a parlous state.

SAT 20:00 Wonders of the Solar System (b00rtg5k)
Original Series

Dead or Alive

Professor Brian Cox visits some of the most stunning locations on Earth to describe how the laws of nature have carved natural wonders across the solar system.

The worlds that surround our planet are all made of rock, but there the similarity ends. Some have a beating geological heart, others are frozen in time. Brian travels to the tallest mountain on Earth, the volcano Mauna Kea on Hawaii, to show how something as basic as a planet's size can make the difference between life and death. Even on the summit of this volcano, Brian would stand in the shade of the tallest mountain in the solar system, an extinct volcano on Mars called Olympus Mons, which rises up 27 km.

Yet the fifth wonder in the series isn't on a planet at all. It's on a tiny moon of Jupiter. The discoveries made on Io have been astonishing. This fragment of rock should be cold and dead, yet, with the volcanic landscape of eastern Ethiopia as a backdrop, Brian reveals why Io is home to extraordinary lakes of lava and giant volcanic plumes that erupt 500 km into the sky.

SAT 21:00 Wallander (b00s976f)
Series 2

The Priest

A priest is shot outside a hostel in Ystad in what looks like an attempted murder. Wallander and the Ystad police look for clues and hope that the priest will regain consciousness and be able to identify his assailant.

SAT 22:25 Spanish Flu: The Forgotten Fallen (b00lz31y)
Drama illuminating one doctor's pioneering efforts to protect the people of Manchester from the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic.

Set against the background of the Armistice in November 1918 as millions of exhausted soldiers return home from the Great War, the film tells the little-known story of Dr James Niven, Manchester's medical health officer for thirty years, and his heroic efforts to combat a second wave of fatal influenza as it spreads across the city and the UK.

SAT 23:25 Make 'em Laugh (b00kv0d2)
Slip on a Banana Peel: The Knockabouts

Six-part series chronicling over 100 years of American comedy, introduced by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris.

Physical comedy and slapstick have always found rich soil in America. From the mastery of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton to the computer-generated antics that helped transform Jim Carrey into a human cartoon, slapstick has evolved into a sophisticated art, stretching the boundaries of time and space.

This episode explores the comic genius of teams like Laurel and Hardy, the Three Stooges, Martin and Lewis, the Marx Brothers and Lucille Ball.

SAT 00:20 BBC Young Musician (b00s787c)


Clemency Burton-Hill introduces BBC Young Musician 2010. Over 300 of the UK's best young musicians entered this year's competition and just 25 were chosen to go through to the five category finals - brass, keyboard, strings, woodwind and percussion.

In the keyboard final, five young people aged between 13 and 18 compete at the BBC Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff for the title of category winner and a place in the competition semi-final. Featuring music by Rachmaninoff, Chopin and Messiaen, viewers can expect tension, drama and some exceptional performances.

SAT 01:50 African School (b0074rhb)
Boy Meets Girl

Having a love life in a Ugandan school is not easy. Teenagers face being expelled if they admit to having a boyfriend or a girlfriend, teachers struggle to afford to get married and those that have managed to tie the knot can find themselves posted to schools at opposite ends of the county. But this revealing programme shows how love can flourish despite the challenges.

SAT 02:20 Wonders of the Solar System (b00rtg5k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SAT 03:20 Spanish Flu: The Forgotten Fallen (b00lz31y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:25 today]

SUNDAY 02 MAY 2010

SUN 19:00 The Beauty of Maps (b00s64f4)
Atlas Maps - Thinking Big

Documentary series charting the visual appeal and historical meaning of maps.

The Dutch Golden Age saw map-making reach a fever pitch of creative and commercial ambition. This was the era of the first ever atlases - elaborate, lavish and beautiful. This was the great age of discovery and marked an unprecedented opportunity for mapmakers, who sought to record and categorise the newly acquired knowledge of the world. Rising above the many mapmakers in this period was Gerard Mercator, inventor of the Mercator projection, who changed mapmaking forever when he published his collection of world maps in 1598 and coined the term 'atlas'.

The programme looks at some of the largest and most elaborate maps ever produced, from the vast maps on the floor of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, to the 24-volume atlas covering just the Netherlands, to the largest atlas in the world, The Klencke Atlas. It was made for Charles II to mark his restoration in 1660. But whilst being one of the British Library's most important items, it is also one of its most fragile, so hardly ever opened. This is a unique opportunity to see inside this enormous and lavish work, and see the world through the eyes of a king.

SUN 19:30 The Beauty of Maps (b00s64hx)
Cartoon Maps - Politics and Satire

The series concludes by delving into the world of satirical maps. How did maps take on a new form, not as geographical tools, but as devices for humour, satire or storytelling?

Graphic artist Fred Rose perfectly captured the public mood in 1880 with his general election maps featuring Gladstone and Disraeli, using the maps to comment upon crucial election issues still familiar to us today. Technology was on the satirist's side, with the advent of high-speed printing allowing for larger runs at lower cost. In 1877, when Rose produced his Serio Comic Map of Europe at War, maps began to take on a new direction and form, reflecting a changing world.

Rose's map exploited these possibilities to the full using a combination of creatures and human figures to represent each European nation. The personification of Russia as a grotesque-looking octopus, extending its tentacles around the surrounding nations, perfectly symbolised the threat the country posed to its neighbours.

SUN 20:00 Lost Kingdoms of Africa (b00pzc1l)
Series 1


Four-part series in which British art historian Dr Gus Casely-Hayford explores the pre-colonial history of some of Africa's most important kingdoms.

The African continent is home to nearly a billion people. It has an incredible diversity of communities and cultures, yet we know less of its history than almost anywhere else on earth.

But that is beginning to change. In the last few decades, researchers and archaeologists have begun to uncover a range of histories as impressive and extraordinary as anywhere else in the world.

The series reveals that Africa's stories are preserved for us in its treasures, statues and ancient buildings - in the culture, art and legends of the people.

When Emperor Haile Selassie was deposed by the Ethiopian military in 1974, an ancient kingdom came to an end. According to tradition, the imperial dynasty stretched back virtually unbroken to 950 BC and its origins had links to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

The legitimacy of Haile Selassie and the foundations of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church rested on this claim, but was it true?

Casely-Hayford searches for the evidence and discovers why faith in the legend has lasted for centuries. He traces Ethiopia's heritage back in time, investigating its astonishing secrets and legends.

SUN 21:00 Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession (b00s96gn)
Mapping the World

In the last of a three-part series about the extraordinary stories behind maps, Professor Jerry Brotton uncovers how maps are snapshots of a moment in history and offer visions of distant lands, tempting explorers to plunder and conquer.

However, adventurers first had to tackle the great challenge of mapping the globe onto a flat surface. There is no perfect solution, but the father of geography, Claudius Ptolemy, had some clever ideas.

Explorers like Christopher Columbus sailed into the unknown in search of riches and discovered a whole new continent that would become the most powerful on earth, while Amerigo Vespucci gave it his name.

Sir Walter Raleigh's treasure map of El Dorado in South America ultimately lost him his head. But the myth of El Dorado lived on, sending hundreds of men to their death in fruitless attempts to find the golden city.

As navigation became easier, maps enabled nations and enterprises like the Dutch East India Company to plunder far-off territories for spices, natural resources and gold. Even today, a project to map the North Pole is the flashpoint for the so-called 'Cold Rush' - the dash to exploit oil, gas and mineral reserves as the Arctic ice melts.

SUN 22:00 The History of Safari with Richard E Grant (b00s6b8q)
Episode 1

For almost 100 years, big game hunters - from Theodore Roosevelt to the British Royal Family - came to British East Africa to bag the 'big five'. Now, luxury 'eco safaris' continue to drive its economy. It has been both East Africa's damnation and its salvation that wildlife is the greatest natural resource it possesses.

Richard E Grant - who grew up in Swaziland - examines the controversial history of the safari. Exploring the world of the big game hunters and the luxury of today's safaris, he goes on a personal journey to experience how the beauty of the bush made Africa the white man's playground.

Plotting the major landmarks in the development of the safari, Grant uncovers a world of danger, glamour and gung-ho. He reveals how the safari was continually reinvented as explorers and ivory hunters were replaced by white settlers, guns gave way to cameras and direct British rule to independence.

He discovers how safari became one of the central constructs through which British rule over East Africa was imposed, provided the social touchstone for the white settlers and was eventually transformed by the glamour of Hollywood, the power of the dollar and the traveller's desire for an 'authentic African experience'.

As someone born and raised in the privileged world of the ex-pats, Grant takes an insider's perspective on the scandals and adventures of the elite class of Brits who ran the show. He meets their descendents and delves into the rich material archives of their family homes, discovering that for the remaining whites in the region this history is still very much alive.

As the trophy hunt became an icon of high society, everyone from Ernest Hemingway to British nobility and Hollywood stars were soon clamouring for a piece of the action. And as hunters decimated Africa's wildlife, they also surprisingly introduced the first conservation laws, if only to protect the supply of animals to shoot.

Embarking on safari himself, Grant experiences the beauty and the danger of being up close to the big game animals and accompanies modern hunters on safaris, where animals are still killed and the patrons still argue that hunting equals conservation.

The film is full of frontier colonial characters whose lives, exploits and attitudes describe a very particular time in Britain's relationship to Africa and its wildlife, when the continent was part Wild West, part idyll and part colonial experiment - where life could be lived between the crack of rifles at dawn and the setting of the sun at cocktail hour, largely oblivious to the indigenous Africans themselves.

Through creative use of film and photographic archive, as well as actuality with those involved in big game hunting and luxury safaris today, the documentary evokes the spirit of decadence, exploration and adventure of the safari. Ultimately, it reveals how safari has been and continues to be a barometer of our attitudes to travel, our colonial inheritance and Africa itself.

SUN 23:30 South Africa in Pictures (b00s6bdh)
British fashion photographer Rankin explores South Africa's rich photographic tradition, discovering how its leading photographers have captured this complex, often turbulent, nation through remarkable images and charting the unique role photography has played in documenting the story and people of this fascinating country.

Through encounters with legendary conflict photographers the Bang Bang Club, documentary photographer David Goldblatt and photojournalist Alf Kumalo amongst others, Rankin goes on a compelling and moving photographic journey to see the nation through their gaze.

SUN 00:30 Hugh Masekela: Welcome to South Africa (b00s6bln)
South African musician Hugh Masekela celebrates his 70th birthday and reflects on his career in performance and interview, from first picking up a trumpet in the 50s through the apartheid years, exile and stardom in America, his return to South Africa on Nelson Mandela's release, and concluding with his vision of the future for his country.

The programme also features performances from his 70th birthday concert at the Barbican in London in December 2009, where he was joined by the London Symphony Orchestra, their Community Choir and guest South African singers.

SUN 01:30 Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession (b00s96gn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

SUN 02:30 African School (b0074rhl)
Fred gets to Zed

Fred is the first ever boarding student at Kamurasi Primary school, which is bidding to become the best special needs integrated school in the district. Fred is blind and spends his first term learning the Braille alphabet from A to Z with his friend Miungo.

SUN 03:00 The History of Safari with Richard E Grant (b00s6b8q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

MONDAY 03 MAY 2010

MON 19:00 The Sky at Night (b00s9w76)
Ring World

Saturn is one of the largest planets and the beautiful system of rings surrounding it makes it the most distinctive in the solar system. But how were the rings formed and what effect do Saturn's many moons have upon them? Sir Patrick Moore is joined by Professor Michele Dougherty and Professor Carl Murray, while Pete Lawrence and Paul Abel demonstrate the best way to observe Saturn during May.

MON 19:30 We Dive at Dawn (b007896l)
World War II drama about a mission to hunt and destroy a dangerous German battleship in the Baltic, which goes wrong when the British submarine Sea Tiger runs short on fuel. A crew member with a flair for the German language is forced to disembark on an enemy-occupied Danish island.

MON 21:00 Dive, Dive, Dive! (b00s96m9)
To the sound of pinging sonar, Robert Llewellyn ups periscope to discover why submarine movies have gripped us for over a century. He travels along the River Medway to find a beached Cold War Russian nuclear sub and then on to the abandoned WWII German U-boat pens on the French coast, recalling many of the real events that inspired these films.

From 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to Das Boot and The Hunt for Red October, Llewellyn discovers that fear - and its antithesis, bravery - is the key, and he also reveals the unique role that Walt Disney played in promoting atomic submarines. Interviewees include director John McTiernan (The Hunt For Red October), Sir Christopher Frayling and screenwriter Michael Schiffer (Crimson Tide).

MON 22:00 Crimson Tide (b007cc1b)
Undersea suspense drama following the power struggle between a commander and his executive officer on board a nuclear submarine which endangers the lives of the entire world.

When they are put on alert after a volatile Russian nationalist seizes control of a nuclear missile base and the US stands at the brink of war, the by-the-book captain finds himself at odds with his second-in-command as the potentially catastrophic battle divides the crew.

MON 23:50 Make 'em Laugh (b00l22z5)
When I'm Bad, I'm Better: The Groundbreakers

Six-part series chronicling over 100 years of American comedy, introduced by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris.

In the ongoing war against hypocrisy, conservatism, sentimentality, liberalism, extremism and complacency, it was always the comedian who led the first wave of attack. Rather than using risque jokes and four-letter words simply to get a rise out of an audience, the most audacious comedians - from pioneers like Mae West and Moms Mabley to 1960s and 70s bad boys like Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor and George Carlin - invoked what the First Amendment of the American Constitution calls 'freedom of speech' to bring the biggest and most dangerous laughs to the American public.

MON 00:45 Voyages of Discovery (b0074t2w)

Explorer Paul Rose reveals the real story behind the first ever circumnavigation of the world.

Ferdinand Magellan set out 500 years ago to find the westward route to the riches of the Spice Islands. But, contrary to popular perception, he never reached them. Rose explains the dramatic sequence of events that led his scurvy-riddled crew to continue around the world without him. The incredible expedition was laced with bloody mutiny and murder, but its achievement was to fundamentally change the lives of the generations that followed, influencing life even today.

MON 01:45 The Sky at Night (b00s9w76)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MON 02:15 Dive, Dive, Dive! (b00s96m9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

MON 03:15 Make 'em Laugh (b00l22z5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:50 today]


TUE 19:00 World News Today (b00s96rr)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

TUE 19:30 Empire of the Seas: How the Navy Forged the Modern World (b00q2ly2)
Series 1

Heart of Oak

Historian Dan Snow charts the defining role the Royal Navy played in Britain's struggle for modernity - a grand tale of the twists and turns which thrust the people of the British Isles into an indelible relationship with the sea and ships.

Heart of Oak opens with a dramatic retelling of 16th- and 17th-century history. Victory over the Armada proved a turning point in the nation's story as tiny, impoverished England was transformed into a seafaring nation, one whose future wealth and power lay on the oceans. The ruthless exploits of Elizabethan seafaring heroes like Francis Drake created a potent new sense of national identity that combined patriotism and Protestantism with private profiteering.

At sea and on land, Snow shows how the navy became an indispensable tool of state, weaving the stories of characters like Drake, God's republican warrior at sea Robert Blake, and Samuel Pepys, administrator par excellence, who laid the foundations for Britain's modern civil service.

With access to the modern navy and reconstructed ships of the time, Snow recounts the navy's metamorphosis from a rabble of West Country freebooters to possibly the most complex industrial enterprise on earth.

TUE 20:30 The Boats That Built Britain (b00s96rt)
The Matthew

No ship has ever made a more important discovery than the Matthew. In 1497, explorer John Cabot left Bristol on this little boat and 3,000 miles later landed in what we now know is North America. His discovery would change Britain and the world forever.

Sailor and writer Tom Cunliffe sails the Matthew for himself and finds out just how this incredible little boat made a journey into the unknown and came back to tell the story.

TUE 21:00 Sea Fever (b00s96rw)
For Those in Peril

Over the centuries people have been drawn to the sea for different reasons - for pleasure, for fishing and for trade. The unpredictable power of the sea has a nasty habit of catching them out, necessitating the resources of the rescue services and lifeboat volunteers.

Occasionally, home movie makers managed to capture some of the exploits of these rescue services. Their recollections tell the story of how they used increasingly elaborate technology and risked their lives to save the lives of others, and why, in spite of all this, the sea continued to claim so many lives.

Lighthouses were there at the beginning, but automation saw the end of the people who kept them going. One keeper who filmed them before they disappeared at the end of the 20th century was Peter Halil. Peter realised that no one was recording the passing of a way of life, so set about doing it himself. He enlisted the help of fellow keeper Gerry Douglas Sherwood and the programme features the eloquent video he shot, together with recollections of both of them.

Peter's films captured the end of a way of life, while others filmed the inherent dangers to life itself. Amazing film of the work of the volunteer coastguard in St Ives and the crisis to the naval minesweeper HMS Wave in 1951, the RNLI lifeboat in Dover coping with the Texaco Caribbean disaster in 1971, and the work of the combined rescue services called out in August 1979 to the aid of yachts in trouble in the Fastnet race shape the tone of the programme. Maritime historian Richard Woodman provides a historical and technological context for the eyewitnesses and home movie enthusiasts who tell the stories behind the images in each of these rescues.

Perhaps the most compelling is that of Eric Smith, an RAF winchman. Dramatic home movie images filmed from the Cornish coast reveal the daring and ultimately successful operation to rescue two men trapped in a ship sinking off Land's End. The drama and tension are portrayed, as is the skill and bravery of Eric Smith, qualities that brought him the George Medal.

TUE 22:00 Flight of the Conchords (b00kssp5)
Series 2

The Tough Brets

When Bret disses some rappers in a gang he becomes terrified they are going to kill him, so he forms the Tough Brets gang to protect himself.

All the guys from the Australian Consulate start bullying Murray, while Mel paints some 'fan art' for Jemaine.

TUE 22:30 The Cult of... (b00934wz)
Sunday Night

The Onedin Line

The series which unearths the history and anecdotes behind cult British Sunday night dramas looks at the 1970s seafaring saga The Onedin Line, which followed the fortunes of James Onedin and his flagship, the Charlotte Rhodes.

Its theme music, Khachaturian's Spartacus, became forever associated with the sea, and Peter Gilmore's sideburns became objects of desire. But if it wasn't for German viewers The Onedin Line would have run aground after a single series. A massive 60,000 pounds over budget, producer Peter Graham Scott was being shunned in the BBC canteen before the sale of the series to Germany wiped out the overspend.

The programme reveals the reasons behind Philip Bond's premature departure from the series; tells exactly how the storm-at-sea sequences were filmed; uncovers the impact of Peter Gilmore's struggle to remember his lines; and shows how The Onedin Line was directly responsible for Jane Seymour being cast as Solitaire in the Bond film Live and Let Die.

TUE 23:00 Dive, Dive, Dive! (b00s96m9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]

TUE 00:00 Voyages of Discovery (b0074t3q)
The Making of Captain Cook

Explorer Paul Rose tells the story of one of the greatest ever sea adventures, which transformed Captain James Cook into a national hero and dramatically changed the course of history. Two and a half centuries later, Captain Cook is still a household name, but his achievements are often misunderstood, contrary to popular perception, he did not discover New Zealand and Australia. Intrepid Rose follows his journey down under and uncovers the real story of Captain Cook.

TUE 01:00 Sea Fever (b00s96rw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

TUE 02:00 The Boats That Built Britain (b00s96rt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

TUE 02:30 Dive, Dive, Dive! (b00s96m9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]

TUE 03:30 Sea Fever (b00s96rw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 World News Today (b00s96xx)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

WED 19:30 Empire of the Seas: How the Navy Forged the Modern World (b00qbvqw)
Series 1

The Golden Ocean

Historian and sailor Dan Snow presents the second episode in this four-part series examining the remarkable story of how the country's greatest institution - her navy - has shaped her history. In The Golden Ocean, Snow charts the period from 1690 to 1759 and reveals how England - soon to be Britain - and her navy rose from the depths of military and economic disaster to achieve global supremacy.

In 1690, France ruled the waves and the Royal Navy was in tatters. King William III had taken England into a disastrous war against the most powerful country in Europe. If England was to survive, it needed a new navy, one capable of carrying the fight to its enemies anywhere in the world.

To achieve this would require a national effort unlike anything that had been seen before. King William III's determination to achieve mastery of the seas unleashed a chain reaction of revolutions in finance, industry and agriculture which reshaped the landscape and created the country's first great credit boom. Fifty years before the Industrial Revolution, the Royal Navy became the engine of global change, propelling Britain into the modern world.

It had the desired effect at sea. By 1759, French forces around the world were capitulating to Britain's superior Navy. For the first time in her history, Britannia really did rule the waves.

WED 20:30 The Boats That Built Britain (b00sbp0t)
The Pickle

HMS Pickle is the unsung hero of the British navy. In 1805 Britain had just won the most significant sea battle in history, Trafalgar. But how to get the message home to an expectant nation? Enter the Pickle, the smallest ship in the fleet, a little boat with a revolutionary new design that beat her bigger rivals back to Britain to deliver the news. Sailor and writer Tom Cunliffe sets out in the Pickle and tells the story of a boat that, against all the odds, delivered the most important news in Britain's maritime history.

WED 21:00 Art of the Sea (b00s9kf5)
In Pictures

As an island nation the sea has exerted a powerful influence on some of Britain's best known artists. It has led to some of the finest British paintings from the likes of Constable and Turner and continues to be fertile territory for prominent artists today.

Poet and author Owen Sheers examines our changing relationship to the sea over the last four centuries and how this is reflected in the work of artists who have tried to capture its ever-changing essence in the stillness of a canvas, sculpture or photograph.

WED 22:00 Timothy Spall: Somewhere at Sea (b00s96y1)
The Call of the Sea

Three-part documentary series featuring one of Britain's best loved actors, Timothy Spall, as he and his wife sail from to Cornwall to south Wales in a Dutch barge.

The first programme sees Timothy and Shane set off in the Princess Matilda from Fowey in Cornwall, heading towards Land's End.

By his own admission, Timothy is an unqualified and slightly nervous mariner, but Shane has every confidence in his sea-faring abilities. The intrepid crew encounter a battleship on what could be a firing range, before getting holed up in the Helford river due to bad weather, which gives them an excuse to meet the locals and witness a lively festival.

But all the time Timothy is fretting over the next leg of his journey, which sees the Princess Matilda circumnavigate the infamous Lizard Point, known as the graveyard of ships with its dangerous rocks stretching four miles out to sea.

WED 22:30 The Cult of... (b0091tc4)
Sunday Night

Howard's Way

Series which unearths the history and anecdotes behind cult British Sunday night drama series looks at Howards' Way.

It was nearly called The Boatbuilders, which didn't really communicate creator Gerard Glaister's desire for a British serial drama with all the glamour of the American soaps of the day. But borrowing from Dallas and Dynasty proved to be inspired and the re-named Howard's Way became a Sunday night must-see for millions, as well as giving Marti Webb an appearance on Top of the Pops.

Unashamedly aspirational and said to capture the ethos of the eighties, it outlasted Margaret Thatcher's term as prime minister by a mere three days. So how does it look from a 21st century vantage point? And could it possibly be true that many of us aspired to dress like Ken Masters and Jan Howard?

WED 23:00 Flight of the Conchords (b00kps9v)
Series 2

Murray Takes It to the Next Level

When Murray decides to move Bret and Jemaine up from the level of 'colleagues' to 'friends', they meet Murray's best friend Jim and accidentally insult him.

WED 23:30 Make 'em Laugh (b00l7qq2)
Never Give a Sucker an Even Break: The Wiseguys

Six-part series chronicling over 100 years of American comedy, introduced by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris.

America loves the wiseguy who defies convention by speaking the truth, no matter the consequences. Whether in the form of the curmudgeonly WC Fields of the 1930s or Larry David today, the wiseguy (or gal) always gets the last, and funniest, word.

Along with classic smart-alecks like Groucho Marx and conmen like Phil Silvers, other legendary names in this episode's 'Wiseguy Hall of Fame' include Jack Benny, Paul Lynde, Joan Rivers, Redd Foxx, Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock.

WED 00:25 Voyages of Discovery (b0074t4k)
Ice King

Explorer Paul Rose tells the story of his hero Fridjtof Nansen who, in 1892, announced a daring plan to be first to the North Pole, an idea considered so off-the-wall that no scientist would volunteer to join him on a venture they believed was nothing short of suicide.

He allowed his ship to become stuck in the crushing pack ice, hoping it would drift to the Pole, and then set off on foot across the frozen wastes. Nansen became the forefather of polar exploration, inventing practical techniques that today allow people to survive, travel and work in the most hostile and forbidding places on our planet.

WED 01:25 Art of the Sea (b00s9kf5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

WED 02:25 The Boats That Built Britain (b00sbp0t)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

WED 02:55 Timothy Spall: Somewhere at Sea (b00s96y1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

WED 03:25 Art of the Sea (b00s9kf5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

WED 04:25 Flight of the Conchords (b00kps9v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 today]


THU 19:00 World News Today (b00s976c)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

THU 19:30 South Africa Walks (b00s6b6l)
The Garden Route

Having tackled treks across the UK, Julia Bradbury embarks on a grand adventure in South Africa, setting out on four different walks that explore its claim to be 'a world in one country'.

Julia is a regular visitor to the Rainbow Nation, but this is her chance to go beyond the normal tourist destinations to a series of increasingly remote locations. However, these are walks that any reasonably adventurous walker could embark on, and they offer a fresh and personal perspective on a friendly and fascinating country that is often misunderstood.

The southern coastline of Africa is home to the sun-drenched Garden Route. With fabulous beaches and immense flora and fauna, this is an increasingly popular holiday spot, but Julia's walk reveals secrets of the history of the Rainbow Nation. She even encounters research suggesting that this abundant spot gave rise to the modern human race.

With her Xhosa guide Willie bringing every feature to life, Julia finds her first walk an absolute delight. Here is proof of South Africa's warm and friendly welcome and of the constant surprises it has to offer.

THU 20:00 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 21:00 Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession (b00s96gn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Sunday]

THU 22:00 Wallander (b00s976f)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday]

THU 23:25 Make 'em Laugh (b00lc6xg)
Sock it to Me?: Satire and Parody

Six-part series chronicling over 100 years of American comedy, introduced by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris.

Americans have always loved to make fun of the world around them using the slings and arrows of parody and satire. Whether it was Will Rogers, Johnny Carson, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert poking a finger in the eye of the government, or Sid Caesar, Mel Brooks and the Saturday Night Live gang lampooning the latest blockbuster, generations have revelled in the anarchic tradition of mocking American life, politics and pre-occupations.

THU 00:20 Voyages of Discovery (b0074t5l)
The Figure of the Earth

Explorer Paul Rose tells the story of three Frenchmen who couldnt stand each other, yet set off on an eight-year scientific mission in one of the most hostile places on the planet. Their plan, to settle an international row by measuring the shape of the planet, took them to the disease-ridden rainforests and oxygen-starved peaks of the Ecuadorian Andes.

Rose follows in the footsteps of the 18th-century explorers who were complete innocents abroad and had no idea of the horrors they were letting themselves in for. Despite disease, death and some highly disastrous sexual liaisons, the men made discoveries that fundamentally changed all our lives.

THU 01:20 Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession (b00s96gn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Sunday]

THU 02:20 Sacred Music (b00rbmmz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

THU 03:20 South Africa Walks (b00s6b6l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 03:50 Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession (b00s96gn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Sunday]

FRIDAY 07 MAY 2010

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b00s97bw)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 BBC Young Musician (b00s97by)


Clemency Burton-Hill introduces BBC Young Musician 2010. Over 300 of the UK's best young musicians entered this year's competition and just 25 were chosen to go through to the five category finals - brass, keyboard, strings, woodwind and percussion.

In the woodwind final, five young hopefuls from Somerset, Perth, Letchworth, Rochdale and Milton Keynes battle it out for the title of category winner and a place in the competition semi-final. Featuring music by Vivaldi, Bach and Brahms, viewers can expect tension, drama and some exceptional performances.

FRI 21:00 Shanties and Sea Songs with Gareth Malone (b00s97c0)
The story of Britain's maritime past has a hidden history of shanties and sea songs, and choirmaster Gareth Malone has been travelling Britain's coast to explore this unique heritage. From dedicated traditionalists to groundbreaking recording artists, Gareth meets a variety of sea-singers from across the country.

His journey begins in Portsmouth where he meets a devoted shanty singer, before continuing on to Tyneside and the Yorkshire coast, where the Filey Fisherman's Choir, with an average age of 70, are determined to keep the tradition alive.

Gareth gets a fascinating insight into the songs of the Herring Girls when he visits Gardenstown in Scotland. In Whitby, he meets Kimber's Men, a local group who have dedicated themselves to writing and singing songs celebrating heroes of the sea, such as a rescue of 1881 when the sea was so rough the people of Whitby had to carry their 2-tonne lifeboat some six miles overland on a wooden trailer and in heavy snow to the bay where a ship had hit the rocks. Despite the exhaustion, they still managed to rescue the shipwrecked crew and passengers.

Gareth's journey ends in Port Isaac in Cornwall, where a group of local fishermen sing shanties and sea songs alongside their day job. Calling themselves the Fishermen's Friends, they have been so successful that they have landed a lucrative record deal.

FRI 22:00 imagine... (b00p36t8)
Winter 2009

Dame Shirley Bassey - The Girl from Tiger Bay

Alan Yentob gains an insight into the creative world of Dame Shirley Bassey in a programme first shown in 2009. After a triumphant Glastonbury appearance and a major illness at the age of 72, Dame Shirley tentatively re-enters the ring to confront her life in song.

Some of the best contemporary songwriters, including Gary Barlow, the Pet Shop Boys, Manic Street Preachers, Rufus Wainwright, Richard Hawley and KT Tunstall, along with James Bond composer John Barry and lyricist Don Black, have interpreted her life through song for an album produced by David Arnold.

The songs frame and explore the myth of Shirley Bassey, the girl from Tiger Bay, and the voice and the desire are not found wanting. A backstory profiling Shirley, complete with archive of her greatest performances, tells the story of what makes her the living legend that she is today.

FRI 23:00 The Shirley Bassey Show (b00s97c2)
Series 1

Episode 6

An edition of Shirley Bassey's variety show from 1976, with guests Bobby Goldsboro and Rod McKuen, plus the Shirley Bassey Dancers and backing singers Three's a Crowd.

FRI 23:45 Electric Proms (b00nn7vx)

Dame Shirley Bassey

Trevor Nelson and Edith Bowman present highlights of Dame Shirley Bassey's special performance for the BBC Electric Proms from London's Roundhouse.

The British icon performs a set packed with classic tracks like Big Spender and Goldfinger and the premieres of songs from her album The Performance, produced by Bond composer David Arnold.

In her first major show after Glastonbury 2007, and her only live show in 2009, Dame Shirley is joined on stage by the BBC Concert Orchestra, with guest appearances by album collaborators David Arnold, James Dean Bradfield from Manic Street Preachers, singer-songwriter Tom Baxter and Sheffield crooner Richard Hawley.

FRI 00:45 Voyages of Discovery (b0074t6g)
Hanging by a Thread

Explorer Paul Rose tells the story of the USS Squalus submarine which became stranded on the bottom of the Atlantic in 1937. No one had ever been saved from a stricken sub beneath the ocean before, but maverick designer Charles Momsen, who had been ignored by the navy top brass, was suddenly called into action to bring up the crew.

Rose meets the last living survivor from the sub and one of the men, now 103, who helped save him. The rescue kick-started a whole new era of technology, laying the foundation for modern deep-sea diving.

FRI 01:45 Shanties and Sea Songs with Gareth Malone (b00s97c0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 02:45 BBC Young Musician (b00s97by)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

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

African Railway 19:00 SAT (b00s6bgw)

African School 01:50 SAT (b0074rhb)

African School 02:30 SUN (b0074rhl)

Art of the Sea 21:00 WED (b00s9kf5)

Art of the Sea 01:25 WED (b00s9kf5)

Art of the Sea 03:25 WED (b00s9kf5)

BBC Young Musician 00:20 SAT (b00s787c)

BBC Young Musician 19:30 FRI (b00s97by)

BBC Young Musician 02:45 FRI (b00s97by)

Crimson Tide 22:00 MON (b007cc1b)

Dive, Dive, Dive! 21:00 MON (b00s96m9)

Dive, Dive, Dive! 02:15 MON (b00s96m9)

Dive, Dive, Dive! 23:00 TUE (b00s96m9)

Dive, Dive, Dive! 02:30 TUE (b00s96m9)

Electric Proms 23:45 FRI (b00nn7vx)

Empire of the Seas: How the Navy Forged the Modern World 19:30 TUE (b00q2ly2)

Empire of the Seas: How the Navy Forged the Modern World 19:30 WED (b00qbvqw)

Flight of the Conchords 22:00 TUE (b00kssp5)

Flight of the Conchords 23:00 WED (b00kps9v)

Flight of the Conchords 04:25 WED (b00kps9v)

Hugh Masekela: Welcome to South Africa 00:30 SUN (b00s6bln)

Lost Kingdoms of Africa 20:00 SUN (b00pzc1l)

Make 'em Laugh 23:25 SAT (b00kv0d2)

Make 'em Laugh 23:50 MON (b00l22z5)

Make 'em Laugh 03:15 MON (b00l22z5)

Make 'em Laugh 23:30 WED (b00l7qq2)

Make 'em Laugh 23:25 THU (b00lc6xg)

Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession 21:00 SUN (b00s96gn)

Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession 01:30 SUN (b00s96gn)

Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession 21:00 THU (b00s96gn)

Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession 01:20 THU (b00s96gn)

Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession 03:50 THU (b00s96gn)

Sacred Music 20:00 THU (b00rbmmz)

Sacred Music 02:20 THU (b00rbmmz)

Sea Fever 21:00 TUE (b00s96rw)

Sea Fever 01:00 TUE (b00s96rw)

Sea Fever 03:30 TUE (b00s96rw)

Shanties and Sea Songs with Gareth Malone 21:00 FRI (b00s97c0)

Shanties and Sea Songs with Gareth Malone 01:45 FRI (b00s97c0)

South Africa Walks 19:30 THU (b00s6b6l)

South Africa Walks 03:20 THU (b00s6b6l)

South Africa in Pictures 23:30 SUN (b00s6bdh)

Spanish Flu: The Forgotten Fallen 22:25 SAT (b00lz31y)

Spanish Flu: The Forgotten Fallen 03:20 SAT (b00lz31y)

The Beauty of Maps 19:00 SUN (b00s64f4)

The Beauty of Maps 19:30 SUN (b00s64hx)

The Boats That Built Britain 20:30 TUE (b00s96rt)

The Boats That Built Britain 02:00 TUE (b00s96rt)

The Boats That Built Britain 20:30 WED (b00sbp0t)

The Boats That Built Britain 02:25 WED (b00sbp0t)

The Cult of... 22:30 TUE (b00934wz)

The Cult of... 22:30 WED (b0091tc4)

The History of Safari with Richard E Grant 22:00 SUN (b00s6b8q)

The History of Safari with Richard E Grant 03:00 SUN (b00s6b8q)

The Shirley Bassey Show 23:00 FRI (b00s97c2)

The Sky at Night 19:00 MON (b00s9w76)

The Sky at Night 01:45 MON (b00s9w76)

Timothy Spall: Somewhere at Sea 22:00 WED (b00s96y1)

Timothy Spall: Somewhere at Sea 02:55 WED (b00s96y1)

Voyages of Discovery 00:45 MON (b0074t2w)

Voyages of Discovery 00:00 TUE (b0074t3q)

Voyages of Discovery 00:25 WED (b0074t4k)

Voyages of Discovery 00:20 THU (b0074t5l)

Voyages of Discovery 00:45 FRI (b0074t6g)

Wallander 21:00 SAT (b00s976f)

Wallander 22:00 THU (b00s976f)

We Dive at Dawn 19:30 MON (b007896l)

Wonders of the Solar System 20:00 SAT (b00rtg5k)

Wonders of the Solar System 02:20 SAT (b00rtg5k)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b00s96rr)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b00s96xx)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b00s976c)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b00s97bw)

imagine... 22:00 FRI (b00p36t8)