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SAT 19:00 Hop, Skip and Jump: The Story of Children's Play (b00pf049)
Moving Indoors

Two-part series which tells the story of children's outdoor games in 20th-century Britain.

The mid to late 1950s are generally considered to be the highpoint of children's outdoor play. The benefits of the welfare state, better health care for children and an improving standard of living all helped create a final heyday of the singing street. All the traditional outdoor games - and new ones - were thriving in the cities and the countryside.

However, outdoor play was to dramatically change from the late 1950s onwards. Mass car ownership and the advent of 'stranger danger' made the streets more perilous, while the coming of mass television provided a rival attraction - one that was favoured by all parents, as it was safe.

Television's influence inspired a new generation of children's games that were grafted onto the old. Popular songs, fashions, adventure programmes and news stories such as the conquest of space were all turned into a myriad of games and rhymes that reflected the modern world.

Even in the multilingual playgrounds of today, traditional games are still played, some of them with origins stretching back centuries. But they are complemented and enriched by Afro-Caribbean hip-hop raps, role plays that have been adapted from modern TV shows and dance steps from the latest music fashions.

SAT 20:00 A Century of Fatherhood (b00szwgg)
The New Father

Three-part series which tells the story of the revolution in modern fatherhood in Britain during the last hundred years. Using intimate testimony, rare archive and the latest historical research it reveals the very important, and often misunderstood, role played by fathers.

The final episode reveals how the experience of being a father was transformed between the 1960s and the present day and looks at the lives of a fascinating cross-section of fathers from all walks of life over the past fifty years.

The modern hands-on father has a more intimate relationship with his children than the past, but the sexual revolution and feminism has also made fathers more insecure than ever before. Modern divorce laws have excluded fathers from family life and from the access they want to their children. The anguish felt by many dads was expressed in the Fathers 4 Justice protest movement.

SAT 21:00 The Weather (b00jw9z6)

Documentary series about the weather. This episode looks at snow, that most fleeting and beautiful of elements which endlessly fascinates us.

Using rare footage, we journey into the microscopically small world of the snow crystal, finding out how a snowflake forms and why it is always six-sided.

The science of snow tests British Rail's claim that the snow that crippled their rolling stock in 1991 really was the 'wrong type of snow', and explains how, thanks to a scientific discovery, a British company became the world's leading producer of snow.

SAT 22:00 36 (b00fvgqb)
French thriller in which two policemen become embroiled in an increasingly bitter race to secure promotion. The detectives are trying to track down a violent gang of bank robbers in Paris, but their personal ambitions begin to cloud their judgement as each conspires against the other.

SAT 23:45 Consuming Passion: 100 Years of Mills and Boon (b00fcwn0)
Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the popular romance publishing phenomenon Mills and Boon, a colourful and camp drama which charts the witty and moving stories of three very different women affected by the brand's success: co-founder Charles Boon's wife Mary, daydreaming 1970s writer Janet and modern-day literature lecturer Kirstie.

SAT 01:10 Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives (b008d2zj)
Documentary which tells the story of a rock star and a quantum mechanic. Mark Oliver Everett, better known as E, is the lead singer of cult US band the Eels. What most of his fans don't know is that Mark's father, Hugh Everett III, was one of America's top quantum physicists. In 1957, Hugh Everett came up with a revolutionary theory that predicts the existence of parallel universes. The idea quickly seeped into popular culture but only recently has it been accepted by mainstream physicists.

However, Mark was estranged from his father - Hugh died when Mark was just 19 - and knows little about his father's early life and virtually nothing about his controversial theory. With a soundtrack by the Eels, the film follows the wry and charismatic Mark as he travels across America to learn about the father he never knew. It is only by entering the paradoxical world of quantum mechanics that Mark can hope to understand why he was such a stranger to his own father.

SAT 02:10 A Century of Fatherhood (b00szwgg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SAT 03:10 The Weather (b00jw9z6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


SUN 19:00 The Department Store (b00fm5vx)

Filmmaker Richard Macer visits the independent high street department stores that are fighting back against the big brands.

He spends six months at a family-run store in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, where the owner is preparing to retire after forty years. David Milner is handing the business over to his daughter Leoni and her husband Keith, but will he go quietly?

SUN 20:00 Inside John Lewis (b00rgk5g)
Episode 1

In a television first, the BBC goes behind the scenes of John Lewis - one of Britain's biggest and best known department stores - as it tackles changing tastes, tougher competition and the worst recession for 80 years.

When John Spedan Lewis gave his shops to his employees, he pioneered the commercial co-operative, making every staff member a partner and handing out a share of the profits. The series explores whether a business model developed in the twenties can really survive the commercial turmoil of the 21st century.

The first episode looks at how the worst recession in the history of John Lewis takes its toll on the business. The half-yearly results send shock waves throughout the company.

SUN 21:00 Baroque! - From St Peter's to St Paul's (b00j8bwk)
Episode 2

Three-part series exploring the Baroque tradition in many of its key locations. Starting in Italy and following the spread of the wildfire across Europe and beyond, art critic Waldemar Januszczak takes us on a tour of the best examples of Baroque to be found, and tells the best stories behind those works.

He follows Baroque to its dark heart in Spain, focusing on the route of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and featuring star painters Velasquez, Caravaggio and Zurburan. He then carries on through Belgium and Holland to discover such celebrities as Rubens and Vermeer.

SUN 22:00 The Counterfeiters (b00t25z9)
Oscar-winning film based on the true story of Salomon Sorowitsch, an artist and expert forger who was arrested by the Nazis and sent to a concentration camp. Along with other forgers, printers and banking experts, he was forced to help the Nazis in an organised counterfeit operation set up to help finance their war effort. It remains the largest counterfeiting operation of all time.

SUN 23:35 Classic Albums (b00szzlw)
John Lennon: Plastic Ono Band

Series looking at the creation of classic albums documents the making of John Lennon's 1970 first post-Beatles solo album. Regarded as a classic, it is a fierce, raw, emotionally painful yet beautiful album. It contains some of the most personal and cathartic songs John ever wrote including Mother, Love, Working Class Hero , Isolation and God.

Drawing from his painful and difficult early life, the songs address the basic issues of death, isolation, anger, religion, class, fear and love. Most of them were written while John and Yoko were undergoing primal therapy with Dr Arthur Janov at his centre in California to deal with the root causes of their pain and neuroses.

SUN 00:30 ... Sings The Beatles (b00ml7p5)
Recorded for the 40th anniversary of Abbey Road, The Beatles' final album, a journey through the classic and curious covers in the BBC archives.

Featuring Sandie Shaw singing a sassy Day Tripper, Shirley Bassey belting out Something, a close-harmony Carpenters cover of Help!, Joe Cocker's chart-topping With a Little Help from My Friends, Oasis reinventing the Walrus and a little Lady Madonna from Macca himself.

Plus a few 'magical' moments from Candy Flip, The Korean Kittens and Su Pollard.

SUN 01:30 Baroque! - From St Peter's to St Paul's (b00j8bwk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

SUN 02:30 The Department Store (b00fm5vx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SUN 03:30 Singing for Life (b00szydm)
Opera in Cape Town is a vibrant affair, giving some of its poorest inhabitants hope for a better life. This documentary tells the story of a year in the lives of three courageous black singers from the townships. All grew up surrounded by poverty, crime and despair, but thanks to their terrific voices they can create a new future for themselves.

16-year-old Mandelaki, born and raised in the townships, is so poor that she is forced to sleep in shifts in the one family bed. A member of her school choir, the girl neighbours call Carmen dreams of a better life by becoming an opera star. 18-year-old Thami lives in a modest tin hut, struggling to support his family. A successful opera audition could be the solution he has been searching for. And lucky Fikile, a young man brought up in poverty, is already on his way to the New York Met.

Opera is not a tradition amongst the black people of South Africa, yet these singers, once an untapped talent, are now poised to escape their disadvantaged roots and realise their dreams.


MON 19:00 World News Today (b00t26zc)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

MON 19:30 Only Connect (b00pws9c)
Series 3

Polymaths v Strategists

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

The Polymaths pool their disparate skills in chicken husbandry, musical theatre and urban geography 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, including Cakes and Ale, The Dogs of War, Brave New World and The Darling Buds of May.

MON 20:00 To Kill a Mockingbird at 50 (b00szxxk)
Marking the 50th anniversary of the influential novel To Kill a Mockingbird, writer Andrew Smith visits Monroeville in Alabama, the setting of the book, to see how life there has changed in half a century.

MON 21:00 Rich Hall's 'The Dirty South' (b00t26zf)
Rich Hall sets his keen eye and acerbic wit on his homeland once again as he sifts truth from fiction in Hollywood's version of the southern states of the USA. Using specially shot interviews and featuring archive footage from classic movies such as Gone With the Wind, A Streetcar Named Desire and Deliverance, Rich discovers a South that is about so much more than just rednecks, racism and hillbillies.

MON 22:30 In the Heat of the Night (b0077qg6)
Oscar-winning thriller about the bigoted sheriff in a small Mississippi cotton town who finds himself forced into collaboration with a black homicide expert from Philadelphia.

Sparta, Mississippi is a small, quiet town broiling on a steamy September night. At the train station Virgil Tibbs, a solitary black man from out of town, is arrested for the murder of a rich northern industrialist. Police chief Gillespie has no experience of a murder inquiry and subjects Tibbs to a bigoted, insolent interrogation. But when Tibbs reveals himself to be a top city homicide cop, his is just the assistance Gillespie can do without.

MON 00:15 Arena (b0074qfn)
Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus

First transmitted in 2004, this is a stunningly-photographed, thought-provoking road trip into the heart of the poor white American South. Singer Jim White takes his 1970 Chevy Impala through a gritty terrain of churches, prisons, truckstops, biker bars and coalmines.

Along the way are roadside encounters with present-day musical mavericks the Handsome Family, David Johansen, David Eugene Edwards of 16 Horsepower and old-time banjo player Lee Sexton, and grisly stories from the cult Southern novelist Harry Crews.

MON 01:40 To Kill a Mockingbird at 50 (b00szxxk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 02:40 Rich Hall's 'The Dirty South' (b00t26zf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 World News Today (b00t27pg)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

TUE 19:30 Only Connect (b00q0hpx)
Series 3

Choir Boys v Brasenose Postgrads

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

Three members of the Brighton and Hove (Actually) Gay Men's Chorus square up to a trio of postgraduates of Brasenose College, Oxford.

They compete to draw together the connections between things which, at first glance, seem utterly random.

TUE 20:00 Last Chance to See (b00mqd2n)
Series 1

Amazonian Manatee

Stephen Fry and zoologist Mark Carwardine head to the ends of the Earth in search of animals on the edge of extinction, following the route Mark took 20 years ago with the author Douglas Adams.

They set out to discover how the lugubrious Amazonian manatee, a freshwater mammal, has survived the last two decades, but Stephen breaks his arm deep in the Amazon rainforest.

TUE 21:00 John Sergeant on Tracks of Empire (b00t3dbd)
Unite and Divide

John Sergeant embarks on a unique 3,000 mile journey through the history of the greatest legacy the British left to India - its rail network. The biggest in Asia, it runs on 40,000 miles of track and reaches every corner of the subcontinent. Proposed in 1853 by Governor General Lord Dalhousie, it would become the biggest engineering project of its time and instrumental in every chapter of India's history.

Starting in Kolkata, Sergeant traverses India from east to west, travels through turbulent Bihar state, visits the Victorian railway town of Jamalpur, and discovers why the construction of the Dufferin Bridge at Varanasi resulted in Victorian technology and ingenuity clashing with ancient religion, before ending his journey at the border with Pakistan.

Even though Mahatma Gandhi denounced the railways as evil, Sergeant reveals how it became a civil engineering triumph that united the country and played a crucial role when India became independent in 1947.

TUE 22:00 Live Aid (b0078x3n)
Against All Odds

Documentary which traces the story of Live Aid from its humble beginnings, a pop tune cobbled together in the back seat of a taxi, to the eve of the biggest televised event ever staged on both sides of the Atlantic.

Against the background of Thatcher's Britain, one scruffy, fading rock star - Bob Geldof - recalls how he and his motley band of pop idols, rock and roll Del Boys and unpaid do-gooders tried to pull off the impossible - a global televised concert, never before attempted, to save the lives of the starving millions in Africa and force the Establishment to sit up and take the problem seriously.

With only weeks to go before the big day, Geldof had no stars on board, no line-up, no broadcaster and no venues - all he had was a date in the diary. The film tells the story of the race against time to put together the biggest event in pop history. Geldof remembers how he blagged, bluffed and lied to coerce the biggest stars of the day, while they - Elton John, Queen, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, U2 and others - recall how they finally buckled under the pressure.

TUE 23:30 Forever Young: How Rock 'n' Roll Grew Up (b00sxjls)
Documentary which looks at how rock 'n' roll has had to deal with the unthinkable - namely growing up and growing old, from its roots in the 50s as music made by young people for young people to the 21st-century phenomena of the revival and the comeback.

Despite the mantra of 'live fast, die young', Britain's first rock 'n' roll generations are now enjoying old age. What was once about youth and taking risks is now about longevity, survival, nostalgia and refusing to grow up, give up or shut up. But what happens when the music refuses to die and its performers refuse to leave the stage? What happens when rock's youthful rebelliousness is delivered wrapped in wrinkles?

Featuring Lemmy, Iggy Pop, Peter Noone, Rick Wakeman, Paul Jones, Richard Thompson, Suggs, Eric Burdon, Bruce Welch, Robert Wyatt, Gary Brooker, Joe Brown, Chris Dreja of The Yardbirds, Alison Moyet, Robyn Hitchcock, writers Rosie Boycott and Nick Kent and producer Joe Boyd.

TUE 00:30 Classic Albums (b00szzlw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:35 on Sunday]

TUE 01:25 John Sergeant on Tracks of Empire (b00t3dbd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

TUE 02:25 Last Chance to See (b00mqd2n)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

TUE 03:25 John Sergeant on Tracks of Empire (b00t3dbd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 World News Today (b00t2c2m)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

WED 19:30 Only Connect (b00qbyhl)
Series 3

Philosophers v Hitchhikers

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

Three philosophy students pit their wisdom against a trio of Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy fans.

They compete to draw together the connections between things which, at first glance, seem utterly random.

WED 20:00 Timeshift (b00nrtj6)
Series 9

The Last Days of the Liners

Documentary which tells the story of how, in the years following the Second World War, countries competed to launch the most magnificent passenger ships on the great ocean routes.

National pride and prestige were at stake. The Americans had the United States, the fastest liner of all; the Dutch had the elegant Rotterdam; the Italians had the sleek Michelangelo; the French had the France as their supreme symbol of national culture and cuisine; and Britain had the Queens Mary and Elizabeth.

The coming of the jetliner and the 1960s' assault on class and privilege might have swept this world away, but as the film explains, the giant vessels sailed on. Today, more people than ever travel on big ships - liners that have a modern take on glamour and romance.

WED 21:00 John Sergeant on Tracks of Empire (b00t3tj6)
Power and Privilege

John Sergeant continues his 3,000-mile journey along India's rail tracks, travelling north to south to discover how the railways not only shaped its history but also its future.

Starting in New Delhi, John reveals how the railways' extraordinary construction story began with locomotives and track being shipped from British shipyards. He visits Gwalior to discover the extent of collusion between the privileged maharajahs and the British Empire, and at Victoria Terminus he reveals the politics and the power behind its grand design.

But it is at Bhore Ghat - just outside Mumbai - where John discovers the 19th-century British engineers' crowning construction achievement and the extraordinary human cost that made it all possible. He concludes that today it is India's railways that continue to change the lives of its one billion people in ways that would have delighted its colonial architects.

WED 22:00 Live Aid (b0078x3p)
Rockin' All Over The World

Documentary telling the story of the day that music rocked the world. Bob Geldof recalls how, after 12 weeks of manic preparation, the big day finally arrived. But would it work, would the punters watch, and more importantly would they part with their cash?

Bob Geldof and his team recall their fear of how the whole thing might fall apart at any minute. Stars from the day itself - Elton John, Queen, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, U2 and a whole host of others - remember walking out to face a crowd of 72,000 and a global audience of billions. And those who watched it at home, including Tony Blair, JK Rowling and Helen Fielding, recall how they didn't miss a minute of this extraordinary event.

WED 23:30 Rich Hall's 'The Dirty South' (b00t26zf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]

WED 01:00 God's Little Acre (b0077c4t)
Drama about a Georgia farmer, convinced that there is buried treasure somewhere on his ranch, but hampered in his search by an acre of land designated for tithing. By dint of some careful manoeuvering, the borders become flexible but the price of greed is the disintegration of family unity.

WED 02:50 Timeshift (b00nrtj6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 03:50 John Sergeant on Tracks of Empire (b00t3tj6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 World News Today (b00t2cdz)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

THU 19:30 Only Connect (b00qjnjl)
Series 3

Neuroscientists v Rugby Fans

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

Three neuroscientists hailing from Australia, South Africa and Canada scrum down against the intellectual brawn of three rugby fans, as they compete to draw together the connections between many disparate elements that, at first glance, seem utterly bereft of associations.

So what connects cream, quotation marks, tennis matches and yellow lines?

THU 20:00 Glamour's Golden Age (b00nqbpz)
Hooked on Hollywood

Documentary which explores how the American movie industry changed British culture in the 1920s and 30s. The movies, the film stars and the cinemas themselves combined to offer British audiences a glimpse of a glamorous lifestyle and the suggestion that they might achieve it.

Selling a succession of rags-to-riches fairy tales featuring go-getting women like Clara Bow, Jean Harlow and Katharine Hepburn, American movies also fuelled demand for cosmetics, cigarettes and dieting. It was an era in which Hollywood changed what Britons watched, what Britons wore and what Britons wanted.

THU 21:00 Storyville (b00t2cf1)
Shanghai Tales

First Period: The War of Growing Up

On the first day of spring term, directors Guo Jing and Ke Dingding began to film the lives of three 11-year-olds and their class in Shanghai Experimental Primary School. Focusing on the challenges of growing up, the film captures the flirting, fighting, showing off and anguish of children on the cusp of adolescence, and gives an insight into the formation of a new generation of Chinese children.

THU 22:00 Storyville (b00cjn33)
The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World


Documentary which looks at what it takes to run a successful restaurant business in China. Owner Qin Linzi and her staff keep everything running smoothly, while the chefs' skills are put to the test in a competition. The restaurant prepares for a 70th birthday banquet. Qin Linzi discusses her difficult childhood and introduces her daughter, who has led a more privileged life. There's a banquet for a newborn baby and an anniversary show organised by the restaurant to celebrate its third year.

THU 23:00 Storyville (b00kld49)
The Baby and the Buddha

Nati Baratz's documentary chronicles a former disciple's search for his reincarnated Tibetan master.

After 26 years of isolated meditation in a mountain cave, Lama Konchog became one of the greatest Tibetan masters of our time. When he passed away in 2001 at 84, the Dalai Lama instructed his shy, devoted disciple Tenzin Zopa to search for his master's reincarnation. This 'unmistaken child' must be found within four years, before it becomes too difficult to remove him from his parents' care.

Tenzin entered the service of Lama Konchog at the age of seven, at his own request, and was with his master continuously for 21 years. The loss of his teacher leaves Tenzin bereft and he is further unsettled by the unexpected responsibility of carrying out the highly secretive search for his spiritual father, who is now expected to be embodied in a little boy and may be anywhere in the world.

His search crosses countries, passing through mountains and villages that appear to have remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Assisted by astrology, signs from dreams and the whispers of villagers, Tenzin travels by helicopter, mule and foot. When he comes upon an apparent contender, the documentary accompanies Tenzin and his young charge through the mysterious procedures that may confirm the reincarnation.

While the film brings to light a rarely seen aspect of the Buddhist faith, the true revelation is Tenzin's journey as a man. We come to know him as modest and shy, but with an impish sense of humour. He appears to be of another time and place, yet lives profoundly in the present. Alone on his quest, he is only able to share his thoughts and feelings with filmmaker Baratz. Tenzin's simple honesty and unselfconsciousness make the viewer a privileged partner in his passage.

THU 00:30 Storyville (b00t2cf1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

THU 01:30 John Sergeant on Tracks of Empire (b00t3dbd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]

THU 02:30 John Sergeant on Tracks of Empire (b00t3tj6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Wednesday]

THU 03:30 Glamour's Golden Age (b00nqbpz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


FRI 19:00 World News Today (b00t2cw6)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 Only Connect (b00qpk0b)
Series 3

Exeter Alumni v Gourmands

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

Three former flatmates and graduates of Exeter University pit their wits against a news producer, a civil servant and an IT consultant who share a passion for fine food. Who will win the battle as they compete to draw together the connections between things, which, at first glance, seem utterly random?

FRI 20:00 The Birth of British Music (b00l2k57)
Mendelssohn - The Prophet

Conductor Charles Hazlewood explores the lives, times and music of great composers. In the final programme in the series, he looks at Mendelssohn, whose music embodies the sound of the Victorian age. A friend of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Mendelssohn made ten visits to Britain and his work appealed strongly to British tastes.

Mendelssohn's melodies such as O for the Wings of a Dove and Hark! the Herald Angels Sing became hugely popular and his astonishing overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream perfectly captured the Victorians' fondness for Shakespeare and fairy stories. He portrayed the grandeur of Scotland through a romanticism shared with poets such as Keats and Wordsworth, and captured the public imagination with his pioneering use of a new conductor's tool - the baton.

Charles's journey includes a stormy boat trip to Fingal's Cave and a visit to a chocolate factory, as well as a trip to the recently restored Birmingham Town Hall, where a massed choir comprising choral groups from across the West Midlands is brought together with the BBC Concert Orchestra and soloist Andrew Shore to perform extracts from Mendelssohn's iconic work Elijah.

FRI 21:00 Merle Haggard: Learning to Live with Myself (b00t2cw8)
One of the true originals of American country music, 73-year-old Californian-born Merle Haggard has always felt and expressed America's contradictions in his life and his songs. This is the journey of the former Nixon poster boy of Okie from Muskogee renown to the now outspoken critic of the Bush era, as director Gandulf Hennig explores one of the greatest songbooks in American music.

Growing up in a suburb of Bakersfield, California, Haggard lost his father while aged just nine. He turned to a life of vagrancy and crime before seeing Johnny Cash while a San Quentin prison inmate in 1959 and rebuilding his life as a musician, picker and songwriter. Haggard went on to become one of the greatest singer-songwriters in country music, writing songs from the perspective of the working man and the barstool, mixing prison songs like Sing Me Back Home with songs that reflected his confusion at a changing America, such as his biggest hit, 1969's Okie from Muskogee.

Hennig's film is the fruit of three years spent filming with Haggard on the road and at home, recounting the man they call Hag's life as a man and a musician while getting inside the soul of a person who has created his own unique blend of country, western swing, folk and blues.

Featuring extensive archive footage and interviews with Merle and his family, plus contributions from fellow musicians including Keith Richards, Robert Duvall, Kris Kristofferson, Lucinda Williams and Ray Price.

FRI 22:30 Kings of Country (b0074sf5)
Profile of the six most influential male country stars of the 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s, with the help of a blistering soundtrack and rare archive performances that show these men created a blueprint for songwriting that is as resonant today as it was then.

These are the stories of men who weren't afraid to be cowboys in a rapidly changing world. Hank Williams, who battled with his wife and addictions before dying a superstar at 29; 'Gentleman' Jim Reeves, the crooner in cardigans killed in a plane crash; Willie Nelson, the outlaw who rewrote the country rulebook; George Jones, whose life of heartache and booze is like a classic country song; the fugitive Merle Haggard who swapped his crowbar for a guitar after seeing Johnny Cash at San Quentin prison; and the king of kings himself - Johnny Cash. The surviving kings themselves join family members and close friends in giving rare insights into the rise to fame of these country greats, while admirers such as Billy Connolly, Jack White, LeAnn Rimes, Lauren Laverne and Elvis Costello pay tribute to the men who changed music for good.

FRI 23:30 Johnny Cash: The Story of Folsom Prison (b00p27kc)
Documentary which explores the most important day in the career of the legendary Johnny Cash.

Cash's concert at Folsom State Prison in California in January 1968 touched a raw nerve in the American psyche and made him a national hero at a troubled time in American history.

Using the stark images of rock photographer Jim Marshall, graphic techniques, archive footage and interviews with Merle Haggard, Cash's daughter Rosanne, band members Marshall Grant and WS 'Fluke' Holland, alongside former inmates of the prison, the film documents this explosive concert, the live album that followed and a transformative moment in the lives of Cash, the inmates of Folsom Prison and the American nation in the troubled year of 1968.

FRI 00:30 Arena (b0074sf6)
Hank Williams - Honky Tonk Blues

Hank Williams was the greatest singer-songwriter country music has ever known. He died on a journey half-way across America to a gig he would never make, at the age of just 29.

More than fifty years after his death, Williams ranks among the most powerfully iconic figures in American music. He set the agenda for contemporary country songcraft and sang his songs with such believability that we feel privy to his world, despite the fact that he left no in-depth interviews and just a few letters. His brief life and tragic death have only compounded his appeal.

With his seductive musings on love and ruin, Williams didn't just embody the honky tonk ethos, he practically invented it. Dirt-poor and rail-thin, he blazed out of Alabama in the late 1940s with the go-for-broke fervour of a man whose days were numbered. The emotional clarity of his voice spoke to millions, and by the age of 25 he was country music's first superstar. Four years later, overtaken by his own heart, he was gone - an icon to the world and an enigma to those who thought they knew him best. With the help of his family and closest friends, this film sets out to find the real Hank Williams.

FRI 01:50 The Birth of British Music (b00l2k57)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRI 02:50 Merle Haggard: Learning to Live with Myself (b00t2cw8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

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

... Sings The Beatles 00:30 SUN (b00ml7p5)

36 22:00 SAT (b00fvgqb)

A Century of Fatherhood 20:00 SAT (b00szwgg)

A Century of Fatherhood 02:10 SAT (b00szwgg)

Arena 00:15 MON (b0074qfn)

Arena 00:30 FRI (b0074sf6)

Baroque! - From St Peter's to St Paul's 21:00 SUN (b00j8bwk)

Baroque! - From St Peter's to St Paul's 01:30 SUN (b00j8bwk)

Classic Albums 23:35 SUN (b00szzlw)

Classic Albums 00:30 TUE (b00szzlw)

Consuming Passion: 100 Years of Mills and Boon 23:45 SAT (b00fcwn0)

Forever Young: How Rock 'n' Roll Grew Up 23:30 TUE (b00sxjls)

Glamour's Golden Age 20:00 THU (b00nqbpz)

Glamour's Golden Age 03:30 THU (b00nqbpz)

God's Little Acre 01:00 WED (b0077c4t)

Hop, Skip and Jump: The Story of Children's Play 19:00 SAT (b00pf049)

In the Heat of the Night 22:30 MON (b0077qg6)

Inside John Lewis 20:00 SUN (b00rgk5g)

John Sergeant on Tracks of Empire 21:00 TUE (b00t3dbd)

John Sergeant on Tracks of Empire 01:25 TUE (b00t3dbd)

John Sergeant on Tracks of Empire 03:25 TUE (b00t3dbd)

John Sergeant on Tracks of Empire 21:00 WED (b00t3tj6)

John Sergeant on Tracks of Empire 03:50 WED (b00t3tj6)

John Sergeant on Tracks of Empire 01:30 THU (b00t3dbd)

John Sergeant on Tracks of Empire 02:30 THU (b00t3tj6)

Johnny Cash: The Story of Folsom Prison 23:30 FRI (b00p27kc)

Kings of Country 22:30 FRI (b0074sf5)

Last Chance to See 20:00 TUE (b00mqd2n)

Last Chance to See 02:25 TUE (b00mqd2n)

Live Aid 22:00 TUE (b0078x3n)

Live Aid 22:00 WED (b0078x3p)

Merle Haggard: Learning to Live with Myself 21:00 FRI (b00t2cw8)

Merle Haggard: Learning to Live with Myself 02:50 FRI (b00t2cw8)

Only Connect 19:30 MON (b00pws9c)

Only Connect 19:30 TUE (b00q0hpx)

Only Connect 19:30 WED (b00qbyhl)

Only Connect 19:30 THU (b00qjnjl)

Only Connect 19:30 FRI (b00qpk0b)

Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives 01:10 SAT (b008d2zj)

Rich Hall's 'The Dirty South' 21:00 MON (b00t26zf)

Rich Hall's 'The Dirty South' 02:40 MON (b00t26zf)

Rich Hall's 'The Dirty South' 23:30 WED (b00t26zf)

Singing for Life 03:30 SUN (b00szydm)

Storyville 21:00 THU (b00t2cf1)

Storyville 22:00 THU (b00cjn33)

Storyville 23:00 THU (b00kld49)

Storyville 00:30 THU (b00t2cf1)

The Birth of British Music 20:00 FRI (b00l2k57)

The Birth of British Music 01:50 FRI (b00l2k57)

The Counterfeiters 22:00 SUN (b00t25z9)

The Department Store 19:00 SUN (b00fm5vx)

The Department Store 02:30 SUN (b00fm5vx)

The Weather 21:00 SAT (b00jw9z6)

The Weather 03:10 SAT (b00jw9z6)

Timeshift 20:00 WED (b00nrtj6)

Timeshift 02:50 WED (b00nrtj6)

To Kill a Mockingbird at 50 20:00 MON (b00szxxk)

To Kill a Mockingbird at 50 01:40 MON (b00szxxk)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b00t26zc)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b00t27pg)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b00t2c2m)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b00t2cdz)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b00t2cw6)