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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Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by


SAT 19:00 Nature's Great Events (b00hn4hs)
The Great Melt

The summer melt of Arctic ice, opening up nearly three million square miles of ocean and land, provides opportunities for millions of animals, including beluga whales, families of arctic foxes, vast colonies of seabirds and the fabled arctic unicorn, the narwhal.

For polar bears, however, it is the toughest time of year. Why? How will they survive?

A mother polar bear and her cub make their first journey together onto the sea ice. They are looking for ringed seals, their favourite prey. It is a serious business, but the cub just wants to play. The melting ice makes it harder for them to hunt and threatens their survival.

In a unique aerial sequence, the migration of narwhal with their distinctive unicorn-like tusks is filmed for the first time. The whales' journey is risky as they travel along giant cracks in the ice. If the ice were to close above them, they would drown.

Hundreds of beluga whales gather in the river shallows. They rub themselves on smooth pebbles in one of the most bizarre summer spectacles.

Guillemot chicks take their first flights from precipitous sea cliff nests to the sea 300 metres below. They attempt to glide to safety, but many miss their target. Their loss is a bonus for the hungry arctic fox family waiting below.

As the melt comes to an end, the bears gather, waiting for the sea to freeze again. Two 400kg males square up to each other to spar.

In the final ten-minute diary, Quest for Ice Whales, the crew show how they managed to capture footage of the elusive narwhal on their annual journey through the ice.

SAT 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.

SAT 21:00 The Killing (b00z1yqx)
Series 1

Episode 11

Having located a likely crime scene, Sarah and Jan know who they are looking for, but as the investigation leads again in the direction of Troels Hartmann's Liberal Party, the reactions of their superior officers are puzzling. Troels comes under great pressure both in his private and public life. Pernille becomes estranged from Charlotte and Theis.

SAT 22:00 The Killing (b00z1yqz)
Series 1

Episode 12

Sarah and Jan interrogate mayoral candidate Troels Hartmann. With the weight of the incriminating evidence pointing unequivocally to him, Troels has no choice but to divulge private information to the police and a whole new can of worms is opened as a result. Theis becomes desperate to hold on to wife Pernille, who is drifting further and further away emotionally.

SAT 22:55 Getting On (b00lszq0)
Series 1

Episode 3

The legacy of the Ivy fight has left a problem, with Hilary accusing Kim of making an inappropriate remark during the fight and insisting on disciplinary action. Kim has called in her union rep to defend her, but the meeting does little to sort out the mess. In revenge, Hilary demands the ward be shut down for a deep cleaning, forcing extra work on the staff. Pippa leaves for a health conference abroad, with her stool sample research complete.

SAT 23:25 A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss (b00v9gy5)
Frankenstein Goes to Hollywood

Three-part series in which actor and writer Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen, Doctor Who, Sherlock) celebrates the greatest achievements of horror cinema.

A lifelong fan of the genre, Mark begins by exploring the golden age of Hollywood horror. From the late 1920s until the 1940s, a succession of classic pictures and unforgettable actors defined the horror genre - including The Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney, Dracula with Bela Lugosi, and Frankenstein starring Boris Karloff.

Mark explains just how daring and pioneering these films were, and why they still send a chill down the spine today. He also traces how horror pictures evolved during this period, becoming camp and subversive (The Old Dark House and Bride of Frankenstein, both directed by Englishman James Whale), dark and perverse (films like Freaks, which used disabled performers), before a final flourish with the psychological horror of RKO Pictures' films (Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie), which still influence directors today. However, by the early 1950s the monsters were facing their biggest threat - the rise of science fiction films in the post-war atomic era.

Along the way, Mark steps into some of the great sets from these classic films, hears first-hand accounts from Hollywood horror veterans, discovers Lon Chaney's head in a box and finds out why Bela Lugosi met his match in Golders Green.

SAT 00:25 A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss (b00vffvs)
Home Counties Horror

Three-part series in which actor and writer Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen, Doctor Who, Sherlock) celebrates the greatest achievements of horror cinema.

Mark uncovers stories behind the films of his favourite period - the 1950s and 60s - which fired his lifelong enthusiasm for horror. These mainly British pictures were dominated by the legendary Hammer Films, who rewrote the horror rulebook with a revolutionary infusion of sex and full-colour gore - all shot in the English Home Counties.

Mark meets key Hammer figures to find out why their Frankenstein and Dracula films conquered the world, making international stars of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. He looks at the new boom of horror that followed in Hammer's wake, including the ravishing Italian movie Black Sunday, and talks to the influential American producer Roger Corman about his disturbing and dreamlike Edgar Allan Poe films. He also explores the intriguing cycle of British 'folk horror' films, such as The Wicker Man and Mark's personal favourite, Blood on Satan's Claw.

Mark also speaks to leading horror ladies Barbara Steele and Barbara Shelley about their most famous roles, makes a pilgrimage to Whitstable, home of Peter Cushing, and finds out why Dracula's bedroom activities got the British censor steamed up.

SAT 01:25 A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss (b00vjm4v)
The American Scream

Three-part series in which League of Gentleman star, Doctor Who and Sherlock writer Mark Gatiss celebrates the greatest achievements of horror cinema.

Mark explores the explosion of American films of the late 1960s and 70s which dragged horror kicking and screaming into the present day. With their contemporary settings and uncompromising content, films like Night of the Living Dead and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre remain controversial. But Mark argues that these films - often regarded as only being for hardcore fans with strong stomachs - have much to offer. Made by pioneering independent filmmakers, they reflected the social upheavals of American society and brought fresh energy and imagination to the genre.

Mark gets the inside story from a roster of leading horror directors, including George A Romero, whose Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead turned zombies into A-list monsters; Tobe Hooper, director of the notorious Texas Chain Saw Massacre; and John Carpenter, whose smash hit Halloween triggered the slasher movie boom.

Mark also celebrates the other great horror trend of the era - a string of satanically-themed Hollywood blockbusters, including Rosemary's Baby, the Exorcist and the Omen. Along the way Mark visits the Bates Motel, gets mobbed by zombies and finds out what happened to Omen star David Warner's decapitated head.

SAT 02:25 Edgar Allan Poe: Love, Death and Women (b00vfhhp)
Crime author Denise Mina investigates the life and work of one of the world's greatest horror writers, Edgar Allan Poe. The relationships between Poe and the women in his life - mother, wife, paramour and muse - were tenuous at best, disastrous at worst, yet they provided inspiration and stimulus for some of the most terrifying and influential short stories of the early 19th century.

Travelling between New York, Virginia and Baltimore, Mina unravels Poe's tortuous and peculiar relationships. Dramatised inserts take us into the minds of Poe and his women through their own letters, journals and published writing.

SAT 03:25 Glamour's Golden Age (b00nqbpz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SUN 19:00 The Story of Science: Power, Proof and Passion (b00sfbdx)
How Did We Get Here?

Michael Mosley takes an informative and ambitious journey exploring how the evolution of scientific understanding is intimately interwoven with society's historical path.

The question of our human origins is one of the most controversial science has wrestled with. This is the story of how scientists came to explain the beauty and diversity of life on earth, and reveal how its evolution is connected to the long and violent history of our planet. Featuring ocean adventurers, eccentric French aristocrats, mountain climbers, a secret Victorian publisher with 12 fingers, a ridiculed German meteorologist, and only a brief hint of Charles Darwin.

SUN 20:00 Romancing the Stone: The Golden Ages of British Sculpture (b00yvsjd)
Children of the Revolution

'Sculpture has changed more in the last hundred years,' says Alastair Sooke, 'than in the previous thirty thousand.' The third and last episode of the series tells the dramatic story of a century of innovation, scandal, shock and creativity.

It begins with the moment at the turn of the 20th century when young sculptors ceased visiting the Elgin Marbles at the British Museum and looked instead at the 'primitive' works of Africa and the Pacific islands. The result was an artistic revolution spearheaded by Eric Gill and Jacob Epstein that would climax in the anti-sculptural gestures of Gilbert & George and Damien Hirst.

Yet for all the provocation and occasional excesses of conceptualism, sculpture has never enjoyed such popularity. From the memorials of World War One to the landmarks of Antony Gormley and Rachel Whiteread, sculpture remains the art form that speaks most directly and powerfully to the nation.

The programme climaxes with a series of encounters between Alastair and leading sculptors Damien Hirst, Rachel Whiteread, Antony Gormley and Anthony Caro.

SUN 21:00 Abraham Lincoln: Saint or Sinner? (b00y5kdx)
To most Americans Abraham Lincoln is the nation's greatest president - a political genius who won the Civil War and ended slavery. Today the cult of Lincoln has become a multi-million dollar industry, with millions of Americans visiting his memorials and thousands of books published that present him as a saint more than a politician.

But does Lincoln really deserve all this adulation? 150 years after the war his reputation is being re-assessed, as historians begin to uncover the dark side of his life and politics. They have revealed that the president who ended slavery secretly planned to deport the freed black people out of America. Others are asking if Lincoln should be remembered as a war hero who saved the nation or as a war criminal who launched attacks on innocent southern civilians.

SUN 22:00 Three Monkeys (b00z2wtd)
Turkish drama about a family struggling to get through difficult times. Eyup takes the blame for his politician boss, Servet, after a hit and run accident. In return, he accepts a pay-off, believing it will make life for his wife and teenage son more secure. But whilst Eyup is in prison, his son falls into bad company. Wanting to help her son, Eyup's wife Hacer approaches Servet for an advance, but gets more involved with him than she bargained for. When Eyup returns from prison the pressure amongst the four characters reaches its climax.

SUN 23:45 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.

SUN 00:45 Steve Winwood: English Soul (b00srj7k)
From childhood prodigy to veteran master, Birmingham-born Steve Winwood's extraordinary career is like a map of the major changes in British rock 'n' roll and rhythm and blues from the 1960s to the present. This in-depth profile traces that journey and reveals a master musician blending Ray Charles and English hymnody into a unique brand of English soul.

From the blues-boom-meets-beat-group chart hits of the Spencer Davis Group, through the psychedelic pop of early Traffic and into Berkshire as Traffic become the first band to 'get their heads together in a country cottage', then via a brief sojourn in supergroup Blind Faith and back to Traffic as a jam band who conquer the emerging American rock scene, Winwood's first ten years on the boards were extraordinary.

As the 80s dawned he reinvented himself as a solo artist and became a major star in the US with hits like Higher Love and Back in the High Life. These days he's back in arenas, touring with old friend Eric Clapton.

Paul Bernay's film blends extensive interviews with Winwood in his Gloucestershire home and film of Winwood's first return to that Berkshire cottage since 1969 with rare archive footage and contributing interviews with Eric Clapton, Paul Rodgers, Paul Jones, Paul Weller, Muff Winwood, Dave Mason and more.

SUN 01:45 Carole King and James Taylor: Live at the Troubadour (b00sftvw)
Carole King and James Taylor reunited at the intimate Hollywood venue in concert in 2007 to play their era-defining hits, nearly four decades after they first performed at the Troubadour in November 1970, a year before their Tapestry and Sweet Baby James' albums stormed the American charts. King and Taylor are backed by the Section, the same band that propelled those albums into homes around the world.

James Taylor had released his first album on the Beatles' Apple label, Carole King was struggling to forge a new solo career after being one half of Goffin-King, one of the great Brill Building songwriting partnerships of the early 60s. Their musical friendship blossomed with Taylor's support for King and his cover of her song You've Got a Friend. The Troubadour became the centre of a new singer-songwriter culture that also featured the likes of Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and many more.

SUN 02:45 Abraham Lincoln: Saint or Sinner? (b00y5kdx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

SUN 03:45 Romancing the Stone: The Golden Ages of British Sculpture (b00yvsjd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


MON 19:00 World News Today (b00z1z0b)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

MON 19:30 Mark Lawson Talks To... (b00z7cwc)
Anne Robinson

Mark Lawson talks to the renowned broadcaster Anne Robinson about her life in and out of the spotlight.

In this candid interview Robinson reflects on the journey from finishing school to Fleet Street, alcoholism to America, and print journalism to prime-time television. Since rising through the ranks of newspapers in the 1960s Robinson has become television's favourite champion of the public in Points of View and Watchdog.

She established herself as the steely host of The Weakest Link on both sides of the Atlantic, her 'Mrs Nasty' exterior belying a complex personal history. Her latest BBC series My Life in Books combines her lifelong passion for words and people - confessing that her famous 'tongue has earned me a living... but it's been my downfall as well'.

MON 20:30 The Beauty of Books (b00z1z0d)
Paperback Writer

The paperback book democratized reading in the 20th century, and printing directly onto the covers became a way of selling a book in the mass market.

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell was a book written in and for this era, emerging as a paperback in 1954. Its changing cover design reflects each decades approach to selling the book to new readers: from its classic 50s Penguin cover to the latest design from Jon Gray, they are signs of our times.

As an example of how cover design has become art, the iconic 'cog eye' design by David Pelham of Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange has permeated society since the first paperback of 1972.

Bringing the story of the book up to the 21st century, the arrival of electronic readers has sent traditional publishing into a tailspin. The paperback and its cover design has been replaced by the concept of mass storage and electronic pages. As this new technology gains new fans the paper book comes under renewed scrutiny. Whether society accommodates both ways of disseminating knowledge in the future depends on our continued devotion to good writing, editing and design.

MON 21:00 The Story of Variety with Michael Grade (b00z1z0g)
After the War

Fifty years ago every UK town had a variety theatre. Michael Grade tells the story of this lost world.

MON 22:00 Eric and Ernie: Behind the Scenes (b00x9b4n)
Drawing from the BBC film Eric and Ernie, this celebratory documentary narrated by Victoria Wood charts the duo's early years and the hurdles they faced, whilst showing why Eric and Ernie still remain Britain's best loved double act. Featuring specially shot, behind-the-scenes footage from the film, treasured Morecambe and Wise archive and celebrity interviews, the documentary visits important landmarks in their journey and uncovers the hard work and secrets of their phenomenal success.

Featuring contributions from the people who knew Eric and Ernie best: their family, peers, greatest fans and fellow comics of stage and screen, including Cilla Black, Michael Grade, Eddie Braben, Joan and Gary Morecambe, Doreen Wise, Miranda Hart, Lee Mack, Reece Shearsmith, Penelope Keith and Andrew Marr.

MON 23:00 The Art of Tommy Cooper (b007hzl2)
Tommy Cooper was a national comedy institution whose catchphrases still remain in the language today. This bumbling giant with outsized feet and hands, whose mere entrance on stage had audiences erupting with uncontrollable laughter, was born in Caerphilly in 1921, where a statue is now erected in his honour - unveiled by Sir Anthony Hopkins.

This programme looks at the life and art of the man in the fez, whose clumsy, fumbling stage magic tricks hid a real talent as a magician. His private life was complicated and often difficult, but as far as his audiences were concerned, he was first and foremost a clown whose confusion with the mechanisms of everyday life made for hilarious viewing.

MON 23:30 More Dawn French's Boys Who Do: Comedy (b008h4bt)
Ken Dodd

Dawn French interviews the tattyfilarious Ken Dodd about his life in comedy.

MON 00:00 Sidekick Stories (b00rbl44)
A celebration of the TV sidekick.

Narrated by Catherine Tate (Donna Noble to David Tennant's Dr Who), Sidekick Stories looks at the role of the assistant/companion on television, from drama to sitcom, and light entertainment to children's programmes.

What are the literary antecedents of the TV sidekick - and who's the greatest of them all? What's the dramatic function of the game show hostess? Did the That's Life reporters feel emasculated? How do you create a memorable robot? And what's it like playing straight man to a puppet?

We examine the role of the companion in Dr Who (the man with the most sidekicks in TV history) and reveal the hidden talents of the magician's assistant. There's Edward Hardwicke on how to play Dr Watson; Andrew Sachs on the enduring appeal of Manuel, and Isla St Clair on life as 'principal boy' to Larry Grayson's 'dame'.

The show also features Ian Carmichael (Lord Peter Wimsey; Jeeves and Wooster) in his last ever television interview.

MON 01:00 The Story of Variety with Michael Grade (b00z1z0g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

MON 02:00 Mark Lawson Talks To... (b00z7cwc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

MON 03:00 The Beauty of Books (b00z1z0d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

MON 03:30 The Story of Variety with Michael Grade (b00z1z0g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 World News Today (b00z1z3z)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

TUE 19:30 Timothy Spall: Somewhere at Sea (b00sfsqy)
Race Against the Tide

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.

In the concluding leg, having navigated the Princess Matilda around the dangerous waters of Land's End and into the relative calm of the port of St Ives, Tim is still troubled. He now has to negotiate some of the most extreme tides in Britain as he plans his route through the Bristol Channel. Not only that, but it occurs to him that his anchor is faulty as he and Shane discover the delights of nearby Padstow, which attracts a million visitors a year for its seafood and other local attractions.

From Padstow, Timothy and Shane moor overnight at Watchet in Somerset, but first have to navigate its notoriously difficult approach, and as they are behind schedule they have to cope with this in the dark. They eventually complete this task with only a few bumps and bruises and then make it over to the Cardiff Barrage and nearby Penarth Marina for the winter.

TUE 20:00 Britain by Bike (b00tjr3z)
The Scottish Highlands

Clare Balding's two-wheeled odyssey to re-discover Britain by bicycle hits the Scottish Highlands, uncovering a series of vivid human stories connected to this stunning landscape.

Clare is following the wheeltracks of compulsive cyclist and author Harold Briercliffe, whose evocative guide books of the late 1940s painted a picture of by-passed Britain - a world of unspoiled villages, cycle touring clubs and sunny B-roads.

Carrying a set of Harold's Cycling Touring Guides for company and riding his very own bicycle, Clare goes in search of the world he described and charts how a series of incomers have changed our view of the Highlands - a diverse group which includes Dr Johnson, an English army of occupation, a North American spruce tree and author Gavin Maxwell, plus otter.

And for those wondering whatever happened to TV naturalist Terry Nutkins, the answer is revealed.

TUE 20:30 Justice (b00z1z41)
The Good Citizen

The sixth of Michael Sandel's famous lectures on the philosophy of justice looks at the Greek philosopher Aristotle and the rules of golf.

Aristotle believed that the purpose of politics was to promote and cultivate the virtue of a country's citizenry. He argued that those citizens who contribute most to the purpose of the community are the ones who should be most rewarded. But how do we really know the purpose of a community, or a practice?

All this leads to a contemporary debate about golf and the case of Casey Martin, a disabled golfer who sued the PGA after it declined his request to use a golf cart on the PGA Tour.

What really is the purpose of golf and is a player's ability to walk the course essential to the game?

TUE 21:00 Paul Merton and Nicholas Parsons: Me & Arthur Haynes (b00z1z43)
In the late 50s and early 60s Arthur Haynes was ITV's highest paid comic, as popular as Tony Hancock. Paul Merton and Nicholas Parsons rediscover the genius of this forgotten comedy great.

TUE 22:00 Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than Me (b009s7gv)
Candid and poignant drama about the comedian Frankie Howerd and the relationship with his long-term, long-suffering manager, and gay partner, Dennis Heymer. Despite his overtly camp persona, Howerd kept his companionship with Heymer under wraps for 35 years, until his death in 1992. Yet through career disaster, social stigma, illegality, numerous infidelities and Howerd's own deep-seated issues about his homosexuality, their love endured.

TUE 23:00 Romancing the Stone: The Golden Ages of British Sculpture (b00yvsjd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Sunday]

TUE 00:00 Paul Merton and Nicholas Parsons: Me & Arthur Haynes (b00z1z43)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

TUE 01:00 Timothy Spall: Somewhere at Sea (b00sfsqy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

TUE 01:30 Three Monkeys (b00z2wtd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday]

TUE 03:15 Paul Merton and Nicholas Parsons: Me & Arthur Haynes (b00z1z43)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

TUE 04:15 Justice (b00z1z41)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


WED 19:00 World News Today (b00z2lsn)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

WED 19:30 Mud, Sweat and Tractors: The Story of Agriculture (b00jzjs4)
Fruit and Veg

A look at the changes in the way fruit and veg was grown, picked and sold, told through three of the staples in the British landscape - apples, strawberries and tomatoes.

Home movies and archive footage reveal the extent of the revolution in how the fruit was picked and the impact supermarkets had on the fortunes of the small- and medium-sized growers.

WED 20:30 Time to Remember (b00tzlzz)
Stage and Screen

In the 1950s, the newsreel company Pathe mined their archive to produce a series of programmes for television called Time to Remember. Made by the producer Peter Baylis, they chronicled the political, social and cultural changes that occurred during the first half of the 20th century.

Each episode was narrated by a prominent actor such as Ralph Richardson, Michael Redgrave, Anthony Quayle, Edith Evans, Basil Rathbone and Joyce Grenfell, all reading scripts recalling historic, evocative or significant moments from an intriguing past.

In 2010, the material from the original Time to Remember has been collected together thematically to create a new 12-part series under the same title that offers a rewarding perspective on the events, people and innovations from history that continue to shape and influence the world around us.

Archive footage from the theatres, music halls and cinemas of the 1920s and 30s combines with characterful voiceover to give a glimpse of the entertainment industries in their early 20th century golden age. It includes footage of Charles Laughton applying his own stage make-up, chorus line auditions and rehearsals in the West End, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks visiting Europe, and Alfred Hitchcock's first talkie, 1929's Blackmail.

WED 21:00 Storyville (b00xyzjy)
Sex, Death and the Gods

The devadasi are Hindus who are married to a deity in childhood, and at puberty sold for sex. In this fascinating film by acclaimed director Beeban Kidron, we go on an intimate journey into the twilight world of the devadasi and meet the girls of Karnataka, southern India, who are forced to live in this ancient tradition despite it having been declared illegal for more than 60 years.

The documentary investigates the surprising history of this little-understood community, reveals their rich and privileged past as concubines to the princes and priests of India's ruling class, and explores their heritage as dancers and entertainers.

WED 22:15 When God Spoke English: The Making of the King James Bible (b00yvs8n)
Documentary telling the unexpected story of how arguably the greatest work of English prose ever written, the King James Bible, came into being.

Author Adam Nicolson reveals why the making of this powerful book shares much in common with his experience of a very different national project - the Millennium Dome. The programme also delves into recently discovered 17th-century manuscripts, from the actual translation process itself, to show in rich detail what makes this Bible so good.

In a turbulent and often violent age, the king hoped this Bible would unite a country torn by religious factions. Today it is dismissed by some as old-fashioned and impenetrable, but the film shows why, in the 21st century, the King James Bible remains so great.

WED 23:15 The Killing (b00z1yqx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday]

WED 00:15 The Killing (b00z1yqz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Saturday]

WED 01:10 The Great Offices of State (b00qplfp)
The Dark Department

Three-part series in which award-winning reporter Michael Cockerell uncovers the secret world of Whitehall, showing what the trio of great offices - Home, Foreign and Treasury - are really like.

In his look at the Home Office - the ministry of law and order, immigration, MI5 and counter-terrorism - Cockerell blends fresh access filming with formerly unseen and rare archive, and interviews with present and past home secretaries and their senior officials.

Cameras follow Alan Johnson from the moment he became the sixth home secretary in twelve years, after the resignation of Jacqui Smith. Johnson is briefed by the Home Office spin doctor about what to say to story-hungry journalists waiting for him. 'The Home Office's job is to confront human evil', says one mandarin, 'but every person in the pub has his own view of how to do it and is his or her own home secretary'.

WED 02:10 The Great Offices of State (b00qvlw1)
Palace of Dreams

Three-part series in which award-winning reporter Michael Cockerell uncovers the secret world of Whitehall, showing what the trio of great offices - Home, Foreign and Treasury - are really like.

The Foreign Office is the grandest of the three, built in Victorian times to impress foreigners when the British lion still strutted the globe. How the Foreign Office has sought over the years to come to terms with Britain's reduced status in the world makes an often tragicomic tale.

Cockerell blends fresh access filming, rare and previously unseen archive and interviews with past and present foreign secretaries and their normally camera-shy senior officials. The film tells of the many behind-the-scenes battles in the FO between its mandarins and ministers and against 10 Downing Street.

Successive prime ministers have regarded the Foreign Office as temperamentally inclined to kow-tow to foreigners and have sought to be their own foreign secretaries - often with disastrous consequences. The film also explores the always-uneasy relationship between the FO and its offshoot, Britain's spy agency, MI6.

WED 03:10 The Great Offices of State (b00r0sf5)
The Secret Treasury

Three-part series in which award-winning reporter Michael Cockerell uncovers the secret world of Whitehall, showing what the trio of great offices - Home, Foreign and Treasury - are really like.

The Treasury is the oldest and most secretive of the three. Cockerell's film recounts the many battles Chancellors have fought over the years with their top officials and it shows how often the Treasury has been locked in conflict with Number 10.

He blends fresh filming with rare and unseen archive, and features candid interviews with former Chancellor Alastair Darling, many of his predecessors and their normally camera-shy mandarins.

The programme shows how Treasury officials see themselves as the Whitehall elite, brighter and quicker than other civil servants, whereas critics claim they are congenitally cautious and nerdy. Successive prime ministers have sought to combat what they call 'the dead hand of the Treasury', but a senior mandarin claims that over the years the Treasury has discovered a hundred different ways of saying no.


THU 19:00 World News Today (b00z2lzj)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

THU 19:30 On Hannibal's Trail (b00t4kh3)
Hitting the Road

History and travel documentary series in which three Australian brothers - Danny, Ben and Sam Wood - set out cycling on the trail of Hannibal, the ancient warrior who marched from Spain to Rome at the head of an invading army accompanied by elephants.

The brothers hit the road, cycling up the east coast of Spain, passing through the palms of Elche, the beaches of Benidorm and Valencia's zoo before arriving at Sagunto, where Hannibal's war against the Romans truly began. On the way, they meet Australian cycling champion Matthew Lloyd and they talk to the elephants - and their keepers.

THU 20:00 Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession (b00s77pc)
Spirit of the Age

In a series about the extraordinary stories behind maps, Professor Jerry Brotton shows how maps can reveal the fears, obsessions and prejudices of their age.

Religious passion inspires beautiful medieval maps of the world, showing the way to heaven, the pilgrims' route to Jerusalem and monstrous children who eat their parents. But by the Victorian era society is obsessed with race, poverty and disease. Royal cartographer James Wyld's world map awards each country a mark from one to five, depending on how 'civilised' he deems each nation to be. And a map made to help Jewish immigrants in the East End inadvertently fuels anti-semitism.

'Map wars' break out in the 1970s when left-wing journalist Arno Peters claims that the world map shown in most atlases was a lie that short-changed the developing world. In Zurich, Brotton talks to Google Earth about the cutting edge of cartography and at Worldmapper he sees how social problems such as infant mortality and HIV are strikingly portrayed on computer-generated maps that bend the world out of shape and reflect the spirit of our age.

THU 21:00 The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse (b00x9b7w)
The extraordinary story of comedian Bob Monkhouse's life and career, told through the vast private archive of films, TV shows, letters and memorabilia that he left behind.

THU 22:30 On Show (b007hz94)
Two Ton Tessie!

Although she styled herself Two Ton Tessie from Tennessee and affected a Lancashire accent, the exuberant Teresa O'Shea was born in Riverside, Cardiff just before the First World War began, and by the end of it had already made her stage debut.

She was part of a generation of variety performers who built their popularity the hard way, slogging their way through endless summer seasons and tours. Some were lucky enough to branch out into radio, film and eventually television, and Tessie did all of that and more, acquiring an Oscar nomination and a Tony Award along the way.

This film looks at the colourful career of the music hall star with contributors Stan Stennett and Wyn Calvin.

THU 23:00 Beautiful Minds (b00s04qp)
Series 1

James Lovelock

Great minds don't think alike. In fact, offbeat thinking has led to some of the greatest scientific discoveries of our age.

In the second of a three-part series uncovering the minds behind some of the greatest scientific discoveries of our age, James Lovelock explains how his maverick way of thinking led him not only to technical breakthroughs in atmospheric detection systems on Earth and Mars, but also to Gaia - a new way of thinking about the Earth as a holistic, self-regulating system.

He tells of his struggle against the scientific consensus of the day, the ridicule of his peers and his passionate belief that the mainstream scientific establishment stifles intellectual creativity.

THU 00:00 Paul Merton and Nicholas Parsons: Me & Arthur Haynes (b00z1z43)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]

THU 01:00 The Story of Variety with Michael Grade (b00z1z0g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]

THU 02:00 The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse (b00x9b7w)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

THU 03:30 On Show (b007hz94)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]


FRI 19:00 World News Today (b00z2m27)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 Callas (b00z2nbw)
This film, made at the request of Maria Callas herself, was started in 1973, but wasn't finished until 12 years later. It includes eye-witness accounts by Franco Zeffirelli, Tito Gobbi, Luchino Visconti, Carlo Maria Giulini, Giuseppe Di Stefano and many others who knew her well.

It tells a story that was previously unknown, about a great singer who had been brought low by love, and whose career was unbelievably short when considered against her extraordinary worldwide reputation.

We witness on stage a broken woman who sings nakedly from her heart, about herself and her life, who acts with such incredible power and unashamed truth that we stagger back before what we know, in our hearts, is all of her. There's no artifice here; no vulgar posturings to which her absurd imitators - and there are many - aspire.

Maria - just a woman, who often spoke of Callas in the third person, in trouble, asking, begging sometimes, for our understanding and our love. She deserves it, because there was no greater singing actress in our time. And she was only 53 when she died.

The film has been hugely imitated, even copied, since it was first shown, by feature film and documentary makers. It remains the definitive study of a great singer and very special woman.

FRI 21:00 Ron Sexsmith: Love Shines (b00z2nby)
47-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith is a songwriter's songwriter admired by Elvis Costello, Steve Earle, Feist, Daniel Lanois, all of whom contribute tellingly to this intimate portrait of a writer approaching middle-age and still striving for his commercial breakthrough.

Although his songs have been covered by artists as diverse as Michael Buble and Rod Stewart, Sexsmith has never found mainstream fame. In Douglas Arrowsmith's touching full-length film, some eight years in the making, we trace Sexsmith's life and career and join him in the studio as he enlists big-league producer Bob Rock (Metallica etc) and together they struggle with Sexsmith's diffidence and ambition to record an album that can help him move forward in his career and even 'cross over'.

This is the story of a wonderfully gifted songwriter and singer and his long and often painful struggle not only for recognition but also to make some proper money.

FRI 22:30 Songwriters' Circle (b00z2rc1)
Fran Healy, Ron Sexsmith and Graham Gouldman

Continuing the unique series of shows celebrating classic songwriters and their songs held at West London's Bush Hall.

This show features three very different songwriters playing and talking about their songs that have been loved by many generations of music fans.

Fran Healy is best known as frontman of the best-selling British band Travis. He runs through many of their classics such as Driftwood and Writing to Reach You, along with a track from his recent solo album.

Canada's Ron Sexsmith, who is regarded by many as the songwriters' songwriter, reminds us of some of the songs he has written that other people have gone onto record, such as Whatever It Takes, which Michael Buble covered on his best-selling album, and Secret Heart, which has been covered by the likes of Rod Stewart, Feist and Nick Lowe.

Salford's Graham Gouldman, long time member of British band 10cc runs through songs he has co-written for them plus others for the likes of The Yardbirds and The Hollies.

FRI 23:40 In Concert (b00z2nc2)
Gordon Lightfoot

A classic concert by Gordon Lightfoot from 1972, accompanied by Red Shea and Richard Haynes. They perform songs including Summer Side of Life, Saturday Clothes, That's What You Get For Loving Me, Affair on 8th Avenue, If I Could Read Your Mind, Steel Rail Blues, Ten Degrees and Getting Colder, Early Morning Rain, Me and Bobby McGee, Minstrel of the Dawn and Canadian Pacific Trilogy.

FRI 00:45 Ron Sexsmith: Love Shines (b00z2nby)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 02:15 Songwriters' Circle (b00z2rc1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]

FRI 03:25 In Concert (b00z2nc2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:40 today]

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

A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss 23:25 SAT (b00v9gy5)

A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss 00:25 SAT (b00vffvs)

A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss 01:25 SAT (b00vjm4v)

Abraham Lincoln: Saint or Sinner? 21:00 SUN (b00y5kdx)

Abraham Lincoln: Saint or Sinner? 02:45 SUN (b00y5kdx)

Beautiful Minds 23:00 THU (b00s04qp)

Britain by Bike 20:00 TUE (b00tjr3z)

Callas 19:30 FRI (b00z2nbw)

Carole King and James Taylor: Live at the Troubadour 01:45 SUN (b00sftvw)

Edgar Allan Poe: Love, Death and Women 02:25 SAT (b00vfhhp)

Eric and Ernie: Behind the Scenes 22:00 MON (b00x9b4n)

Forever Young: How Rock 'n' Roll Grew Up 23:45 SUN (b00sxjls)

Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than Me 22:00 TUE (b009s7gv)

Getting On 22:55 SAT (b00lszq0)

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

Glamour's Golden Age 03:25 SAT (b00nqbpz)

In Concert 23:40 FRI (b00z2nc2)

In Concert 03:25 FRI (b00z2nc2)

Justice 20:30 TUE (b00z1z41)

Justice 04:15 TUE (b00z1z41)

Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession 20:00 THU (b00s77pc)

Mark Lawson Talks To... 19:30 MON (b00z7cwc)

Mark Lawson Talks To... 02:00 MON (b00z7cwc)

More Dawn French's Boys Who Do: Comedy 23:30 MON (b008h4bt)

Mud, Sweat and Tractors: The Story of Agriculture 19:30 WED (b00jzjs4)

Nature's Great Events 19:00 SAT (b00hn4hs)

On Hannibal's Trail 19:30 THU (b00t4kh3)

On Show 22:30 THU (b007hz94)

On Show 03:30 THU (b007hz94)

Paul Merton and Nicholas Parsons: Me & Arthur Haynes 21:00 TUE (b00z1z43)

Paul Merton and Nicholas Parsons: Me & Arthur Haynes 00:00 TUE (b00z1z43)

Paul Merton and Nicholas Parsons: Me & Arthur Haynes 03:15 TUE (b00z1z43)

Paul Merton and Nicholas Parsons: Me & Arthur Haynes 00:00 THU (b00z1z43)

Romancing the Stone: The Golden Ages of British Sculpture 20:00 SUN (b00yvsjd)

Romancing the Stone: The Golden Ages of British Sculpture 03:45 SUN (b00yvsjd)

Romancing the Stone: The Golden Ages of British Sculpture 23:00 TUE (b00yvsjd)

Ron Sexsmith: Love Shines 21:00 FRI (b00z2nby)

Ron Sexsmith: Love Shines 00:45 FRI (b00z2nby)

Sidekick Stories 00:00 MON (b00rbl44)

Songwriters' Circle 22:30 FRI (b00z2rc1)

Songwriters' Circle 02:15 FRI (b00z2rc1)

Steve Winwood: English Soul 00:45 SUN (b00srj7k)

Storyville 21:00 WED (b00xyzjy)

The Art of Tommy Cooper 23:00 MON (b007hzl2)

The Beauty of Books 20:30 MON (b00z1z0d)

The Beauty of Books 03:00 MON (b00z1z0d)

The Great Offices of State 01:10 WED (b00qplfp)

The Great Offices of State 02:10 WED (b00qvlw1)

The Great Offices of State 03:10 WED (b00r0sf5)

The Killing 21:00 SAT (b00z1yqx)

The Killing 22:00 SAT (b00z1yqz)

The Killing 23:15 WED (b00z1yqx)

The Killing 00:15 WED (b00z1yqz)

The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse 21:00 THU (b00x9b7w)

The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse 02:00 THU (b00x9b7w)

The Story of Science: Power, Proof and Passion 19:00 SUN (b00sfbdx)

The Story of Variety with Michael Grade 21:00 MON (b00z1z0g)

The Story of Variety with Michael Grade 01:00 MON (b00z1z0g)

The Story of Variety with Michael Grade 03:30 MON (b00z1z0g)

The Story of Variety with Michael Grade 01:00 THU (b00z1z0g)

Three Monkeys 22:00 SUN (b00z2wtd)

Three Monkeys 01:30 TUE (b00z2wtd)

Time to Remember 20:30 WED (b00tzlzz)

Timothy Spall: Somewhere at Sea 19:30 TUE (b00sfsqy)

Timothy Spall: Somewhere at Sea 01:00 TUE (b00sfsqy)

When God Spoke English: The Making of the King James Bible 22:15 WED (b00yvs8n)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b00z1z0b)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b00z1z3z)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b00z2lsn)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b00z2lzj)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b00z2m27)