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 (b00hq341)
The Great Salmon Run

Every year grizzly bear families in North America depend for their survival on a spectacular natural event: the return of hundreds of millions of salmon from the Pacific Ocean to the mountain streams where they were born. The salmon travel thousands of miles to spawn and then die. The great run not only provides food for bears, but for killer whales, wolves, bald eagles, and even the forest itself. The question is: will the salmon return in time to keep hungry bears alive?

A mother grizzly and her cubs emerge from their den high in snowy Alaskan mountains. Filming from the air, the team capture a TV first, following the bears as they negotiate a near-vertical slope on their journey to the coast where they await the return of the salmon.

Meanwhile, the salmon are making their way to the river mouths where they must swim upstream and against the current. The programme reveals how they tackle the torrents and leap over waterfalls, a feat equivalent to a human jumping over a house.

Dozens of hungry bears eagerly await the salmon that make it up river. In another TV first, underwater cameras record the ingenuity and fancy footwork they use to collect dead salmon from the bottom of deep pools.

In the final ten-minute diary, Close Encounters of a Grizzly Kind, wildlife cameraman Jeff Turner, who has filmed bears for 20 years, reveals how he pioneered techniques to show for the first time how bears caught salmon underwater.

SAT 20:00 The Box That Changed Britain (b00scpzn)
Poet Roger McGough narrates the extraordinary story of how a simple invention - the shipping container - changed the world forever and forced Britain into the modern era of globalisation.

With a blend of archive and modern-day filming, the incredible impact of the box is told through the eyes of dockers, seafarers, ship spotters, factory workers and logisticians. From quayside in huge container ports to onboard ships the size of four football pitches, the documentary explains how the shipping container has transformed our communities, economy and coastline.

SAT 21:00 The Killing (b00z8v1b)
Series 1

Episode 13

The police and media have their spotlight trained on Troels, who might still be holding something back. Meanwhile, there are strange goings-on at the Town Hall. Things come to a head between Pernille and Theis, while Sarah receives some troubling news.

SAT 22:00 The Killing (b00z8v1d)
Series 1

Episode 14

With a major part of the investigation dead in its tracks, the screws are tightened on principal suspect Troels Hartmann, and political opponent Bremer loses no time in taking advantage of the situation. But Sarah and Jan persist with their own line of enquiry. Pernille is increasingly out of touch with the family, while the emotional state of the cast-out Theis takes a nosedive.

SAT 22:55 How TV Ruined Your Life (b00z7p20)

From the moon landings to Blake's 7 to CSI: Miami, Charlie Brooker argues that television has warped our relationship with technology. Warning: this episode contains a computerised Simon Cowell and a lady in a silver catsuit.

SAT 23:25 Motown at the BBC (b00hq4qr)
To mark the 50-year anniversary of Motown in 2009, a compilation of some of the iconic record label's greatest names filmed live in the BBC studios. Visitors from Hitsville USA over the years have included Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops and The Jackson 5.

SAT 00:25 Legends (b00hq4qt)
The Motown Invasion

Documentary revealing what made Motown special in Britain through the lens of two decisive moments in 1965 - the Motown Revue UK tour and the Sounds of Motown Ready Steady Go! television special.

Arriving in London in March 1965, the Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder were bussed across Britain on a tough but crucial tour.

The television special, recorded during the tour, kicked open the door, thrusting Motown's slick routines and magical music into front rooms across the nation.

SAT 01:25 Timeshift (b00v3z0f)
Series 10

When Britain Went Wild

Timeshift explores the untold story of how Britain 'went wild' in the 1960s. It shows how the British people fell in love with animals and how, by the end of the decade, wildlife protection had become an intrinsic part of our culture. Before that time people knew very little about endangered species or the natural world - the very word 'environment' was hardly recognised. But the 1960s saw a sea change.

The film discovers how early television wildlife programmes with David Attenborough, writers such as Gerald Durrell and Gavin Maxwell and pioneers of conservation such as Peter Scott contributed to that transformation.

SAT 02:55 The Box That Changed Britain (b00scpzn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SUN 19:00 The Story of Science: Power, Proof and Passion (b00sj736)
Can We Have Unlimited Power?

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

We are the most power-hungry generation that has ever lived. This film tells the story of how that power has been harnessed - from wind, steam and from inside the atom. In the early years the drive for new sources of power was led by practical men who wanted to make money. Their inventions and ideas created fortunes and changed the course of history, but it took centuries for science to catch up, to explain what power is, rather than simply what it does. This search revealed fundamental laws of nature which apply across the universe, including the most famous equation in all of science, e=mc2.

SUN 20:00 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.

SUN 21:00 Electric Dreams (b00n1j8n)

A family and their home are stripped of all their modern technology to live a life of decades past.

The family must live through the digital wilderness of the 1970s at a rate of a year per day, starting in 1970. They have their very own technical support team to source and supply them with the vintage technology that would have been available to British households during the decade.

By modern standards the 1970s are decidedly low-tech and the family face many challenges. They endure a spell without central heating and get to grips with the suburban favourite, the teasmade. They see the effects of 70s industrial unrest on their home when they experience a power cut and home entertainment becomes even more limited when their newly-arrived colour television breaks down.

But it's not all grim - the arrival of chopper bikes, the first video game and a mix-tape expert who shows them how to create the soundtrack for their very own slide show all help to prove that life in the 1970s had its upside too.

SUN 22:00 La Zona (b00z9t8w)
Thriller. When thieves break into an exclusive gated community in Mexico City, the robbery goes wrong and the wealthy residents decide to take matters into their own hands.

SUN 23:30 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.

SUN 01:00 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.

SUN 02:10 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.

SUN 03:15 Electric Dreams (b00n1j8n)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


MON 19:00 World News Today (b00z8rd4)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

MON 19:30 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.

MON 20:30 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.

MON 21:00 The Story of Variety with Michael Grade (b00z8rd6)
Onto the Box

What happened to the variety stars once the theatres closed and the cameras beckoned? Michael Grade tells the ups and downs of the variety stars on television.

MON 22:00 Story of Light Entertainment (b00792f0)
All Round Entertainers

Straight from the Victorian music halls with their traditional mix of song, dance and comic skit came the tradition of the all round entertainer - an artiste who could 'do it all'. But despite this incredible mix of skills and after ruling the world of light entertainment for years, their chief mode of employment was to become hosts of variety shows, game shows, quizzes and competitions. And whilst an obvious waste of their talents, it did provide huge fame and money, as game shows quickly became the biggest hits on TV.

But the all round entertainers are the masters of reinvention - from Bruce Forsyth to Michael Barrymore and Bob Monkhouse to Cilla Black, they adapted their skills to keep their place at the top of the slippery showbiz ladder, even as reality TV took hold of the schedules and fame rather than talent became a passport to TV stardom.

But becoming a jack of all trades brings its own problems, and unappreciated talents, fragile egos and a craving for attention have forever blighted the world of the all rounder.

Stars featured include Bruce Forsyth, Jimmy Tarbuck, Cilla Black, Brian Conley, Joe Pasquale, Lionel Blair, Una Stubbs, Michael Grade and many more.

MON 23:30 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.

MON 00:30 The Story of Variety with Michael Grade (b00z8rd6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

MON 01:30 On Show (b007hz94)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

MON 02:00 Story of Light Entertainment (b00792f0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

MON 03:30 The Story of Variety with Michael Grade (b00z8rd6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 World News Today (b00z8tp4)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

TUE 19:30 The Sky at Night (b080z2s1)
700 Not Out

Sir Patrick Moore celebrates the 700th episode of The Sky at Night at his home in Sussex, with the help of special guests Professor Brian Cox, impressionist and amateur astronomer Jon Culshaw and Lord Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal. A stellar panel of astronomers gathers to answer vexing questions from the viewers, while Sir Patrick has a close encounter with his younger self.

TUE 20:30 Justice (b00z8tp6)
Freedom vs Fit

The seventh of Harvard professor Michael Sandel's famous lectures on the philosophy of justice looks at the issue of individual rights and the freedom to choose. If our place in society is determined by where we best fit, doesn't that eliminate personal choice? What if I am best suited to do one kind of work, but I want to do another?

Sandel addresses one of the most glaring objections to Aristotle's views on freedom, his defence of slavery as a fitting social role for certain human beings. Students discuss other objections to Aristotle's theories and debate whether his philosophy overly restricts the freedom of individuals.

TUE 21:00 Agony & Ecstasy: A Year with English National Ballet (b00z8tp8)
Episode 1

Exclusive behind-the-scenes series which follows English National ballet on their 60th anniversary and reveals the complexities of staging world class ballet.

The ballet world is traditionally one of poise, serenity and calm, but this raw and enlightening series follows the company over one of its toughest and most dramatic years to date - from the extravagant production of Swan Lake and the battles of Romeo and Juliet to the turbulent creation of a brand new Christmas Nutcracker. Every production must be an artistic and commercial success and the dancers and staff are under increasing pressure to deliver in the present financial climate.

Told through the eyes of the very people who make this physically challenging art form beautiful, this is the revealing truth of the dancers' lives - from injury and exhaustion to accolades and elation. All in the pursuit of perfection.

From the rehearsal room to the boardroom to the magical big night performances - the fruition of months of hard work that make it all worthwhile - it follows the main players within English National Ballet over an industry-defining year. From the dancers to the artistic director via the choreographers and the management behind the scenes, it goes deep inside a modern arts institution.

In the first episode, we follow the production of Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall and its enormous cast of new and experienced dancers longing for recognition. When choreographer Derek Deane puts his reputation on the line by casting a talented but inexperienced young dancer with a world-class guest ballerina, the challenge is on. Derek demands absolute perfection, and all the dancers are under pressure to meet his high standards.

TUE 22:00 Birmingham Royal Ballet's Cinderella (b00wyltr)
The world premiere of Birmingham Royal Ballet's production of Prokofiev's Cinderella, created by the company's director and choreographer David Bintley and designer John Macfarlane. With stunning costumes and dazzling sets, Cinderella is a sumptuous and sparkling family entertainment for Christmas.

TUE 00:00 The Sky at Night (b080z2s1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

TUE 01:00 In Their Own Words: British Novelists (b00tlvtj)
Nothing Sacred (1970-1990)

Series looking at the story of the British novel in the 20th century, told by those who know it best - the authors themselves.

The third and final part explores the 1970s and 80s - a period in which, as Angela Carter put it, there was 'nothing sacred' as the mores of the time were incessantly called into question. Novelists were at the forefront of a new revolution as British fiction was suddenly thrust into the limelight. Acting as agents of provocation, these disparate British writers indelibly changed the literary climate.

TUE 02:00 The Search for Life: The Drake Equation (b00wltbk)
For many years our place in the universe was the subject of theologians and philosophers, not scientists, but in 1960 one man changed all that.

Dr Frank Drake was one of the leading lights in the new science of radio astronomy when he did something that was not only revolutionary, but could have cost him his career. Working at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Greenback in Virginia, he pointed one of their new 25-metre radio telescopes at a star called Tau Ceti twelve light years from earth, hoping for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.

Although project Ozma resulted in silence, it did result in one of the most seminal equations in the history of science - the Drake Equation - which examined seven key elements necessary for extraterrestrial intelligence to exist, from the formation of stars to the likely length a given intelligent civilisation may survive. When Frank and his colleagues entered the figures, the equation suggested there were a staggering 50,000 civilisations capable of communicating across the galaxy.

However, in the 50 years of listening that has followed, not one single bleep has been heard from extraterrestrials. So were Drake and his followers wrong and is there no life form out there capable of communicating? Drake's own calculations suggest that we would have to scan the entire radio spectrum of ten million stars to be sure of contact.

The answers to those questions suggest that, far from being a one-off, life may not only be common in the universe but once started will lead inevitably towards intelligent life.

To find out about the equation's influence, Dallas Campbell goes on a worldwide journey to meet the scientists who have dedicated their lives to focusing on its different aspects.

TUE 03:00 Justice (b00z8tp6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

TUE 03:30 Agony & Ecstasy: A Year with English National Ballet (b00z8tp8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 World News Today (b00z8v16)
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 (b00k3685)

Documentary series about the history of 20th-century farming in Britain looks at wheat and tells how the country became self-sufficient in producing bread-making wheat after the Second World War.

Told through the working lives and home movie archives of three wheat-farming families from the east of England, it reveals how farmers went from horse power to machine power and how they used science and genetics to transform the size and yield of wheat and the rural landscape, with controversial outcomes for the countryside.

WED 20:30 Time to Remember (b00v3yry)
Casualties of War

Lesley Sharp is the modern-day narrator linking together the best of the newsreel footage from the 1950s Time to Remember series illustrating the scale of the sacrifice made by ordinary people during the 20th century's two world wars.

Includes footage of recruitment and training for the Great War; soldiers going over the top in the trenches; celebrations at the end of World War One; the evacuation of 300,000 men from Dunkirk in 1940; and Hurricanes taking off during the Battle of Britain.

WED 21:00 Treasures of the Anglo Saxons (b00t6xzx)
Art historian Dr Nina Ramirez reveals the codes and messages hidden in Anglo-Saxon art. From the beautiful jewellery that adorned the first violent pagan invaders through to the stunning Christian manuscripts they would become famous for, she explores the beliefs and ideas that shaped Anglo-Saxon art.

Examining many of the greatest Anglo Saxon treasures - such as the Sutton Hoo Treasures, the Staffordshire Hoard, the Franks Casket and the Lindisfarne Gospels - Dr Ramirez charts 600 years of artistic development which was stopped dead in its tracks by the Norman Conquest.

WED 22:00 The Pharaoh Who Conquered the Sea (b00pq9gs)
Over 3,000 years ago legend has it that Queen Hatshepsut, Egypt's first female pharaoh, sent a fleet of ships to the wonderful, distant land of Punt. A bas-relief in the temple where she is entombed in Luxor shows them bringing back extraordinary treasures. But did this expedition really happen? And if it did, where exactly is the land of Punt?

Drawing upon recent finds, archaeologist Cheryl Ward sets out to recreate the voyage in a full-size replica of one of these ancient ships, sailing it in the wake of Hatshepsut's fleet in search of the mythical land of Punt. A human adventure as well as a scientific challenge, the expedition proves that, contrary to popular belief, the ancient Egyptians had the necessary tools, science and techniques to sail the seas.

WED 23:00 The Killing (b00z8v1b)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday]

WED 23:55 The Killing (b00z8v1d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Saturday]

WED 00:55 Treasures of the Anglo Saxons (b00t6xzx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

WED 01:55 The Pharaoh Who Conquered the Sea (b00pq9gs)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

WED 02:55 Mud, Sweat and Tractors: The Story of Agriculture (b00k3685)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


THU 19:00 World News Today (b00z8v3b)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

THU 19:30 On Hannibal's Trail (b00t6yby)
Barca! Barca! Barca!

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

The Wood brothers continue to cycle north along the east coast of Spain, calling in at Barcelona's famous Camp Nou stadium to watch a football match before visiting the ancient Greek ruins of Ampurias.

Chef Adam Melonas cooks the brothers a Carthaginian banquet on the beaches of the Costa Brava. Fully fuelled, the Woods are ready to take on the mountains, cycling across the Pyrenees into southern France.

THU 20:00 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.

THU 21:00 Paul Merton's Palladium Story (b00z1z0j)
Act One: The Variety Years

First of two programmes in which Paul Merton tells the story of the famous London theatre. As well as onscreen contributions from those who worked in the Palladium, there are also archive clips from acts including The Crazy Gang, Judy Garland, Danny Kaye, Larry Grayson, Tommy Cooper, Max Miller, Jack Benny, Jimmy Durante, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Laurel and Hardy, Spike Milligan and Frankie Howerd.

THU 22:00 Paul Merton's Palladium Story (b00z7gys)
Act Two: The Television Years

Concluding the story of the Palladium theatre, focusing on the TV era and Sunday Night at the London Palladium. Featuring archive clips, interviews with performers and a recreation of the classic gameshow Beat the Clock, plus footage of Julie Andrews, Bruce Forsyth, Bob Hope and Morecambe and Wise.

THU 23:00 O, Fortuna! (b00z8v3d)
A portrait of Carl Orff, who composed one of the most recorded works ever, Carmina Burana. But what is the true story of how this extraordinary work came about, and in particular the twisted and agonised life of its creator?

At his death in 1982, very little was known or understood about his association with the Nazi Party in Germany, for instance. Although Bavarian and living only a stone's throw from Hitler's Munich apartment, it was clear that Orff had never been an active member of the Nazi Party. But he had been arrested after the war, and although cleared by a de-Nazification tribunal the suspicion remained that he had been manoeuvring himself to become Reichsminister for Music after the 'final victory'.

The film uncovers for the first time the tragedy that befell Orff and the nightmare he endured by way of expiation. Drawing extensively on Orff's personal reminiscences and correspondence, plus exclusive interviews with three of his wives and his only daughter, a tale of almost unbelievable sadness emerges. Except that it is true.

Filmed in Germany, China, Japan, South Africa, Austria, Greece and England, the film paints a deeply moving portrait of a tormented soul wracked by guilt, whose music nonetheless shines through with undeniable sexual power.

THU 00:30 Beautiful Minds (b00s2xv4)
Series 1

Tim Hunt

The final part of this series looking at three brilliant contemporary scientists features Sir Tim Hunt, awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the mechanism of how cells divide - a discovery fundamental to the life and growth of every single creature on the planet, as well as a vital clue into the mystery of cancer.

Hunt recalls moments in his life that provided inspiration for his career as a scientist, from his father's intent scholarship which shaped his early methods to his mother's battle with cancer and the influence of this on his current position at Cancer Research UK.

In his own words, Hunt recounts the events that informed his discovery, from chance encounters to life-changing conversations and reveals his own opinions on the thought processes, both logical and emotional, that led to his extraordinary discovery.

THU 01:30 The Story of Variety with Michael Grade (b00z8rd6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]

THU 02:30 Paul Merton's Palladium Story (b00z1z0j)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

THU 03:30 Paul Merton's Palladium Story (b00z7gys)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


FRI 19:00 World News Today (b00z8vc5)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 The Kindness of Strangers (b00z8vc7)
The life of composer, conductor, pianist and Oscar-winner Andre Previn, filmed during a year which culminated in the world premiere of his first opera, A Streetcar Named Desire, in San Francisco.

Wherever he went, the camera followed. To Tokyo for a concert with Kiri Te Kanawa. To Philadelphia for a teaching session in the Curtis Institute. To Tanglewood for an incredible jazz improvisation recording of Gershwin Variations. To New York to play with the Ray Brown Trio at the Blue Note Club. To Vienna with the Vienna Philharmonic. To Washington DC for a concert with the Emerson Quartet. To Boston for a conductor's masterclass with, among others, Daniel Harding. And, of course, the rehearsals and first performance of Streetcar with the incomparable Renee Fleming and director Colin Graham.

FRI 21:00 Blues Britannia: Can Blue Men Sing the Whites? (b00kc752)
Documentary telling the story of what happened to blues music on its journey from the southern states of America to the heart of British pop and rock culture, providing an in-depth look at what this music really meant to a generation of kids desperate for an antidote to their experiences of living in post-war suburban Britain.

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

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

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

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

FRI 22:30 Later... with Jools Holland (b00k99g6)

Compilation of performances from many of the great blues artists who have featured on Later... and the Hootenanny since 1992, including BB King, Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Seasick Steve, ZZ Top and many more.

FRI 23:30 Blues at the BBC (b00k36m5)
Collection of performances by British and American blues artists on BBC programmes such as The Beat Room, A Whole Scene Going, The Old Grey Whistle Test and The Late Show.

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

FRI 00:30 Blues Britannia: Can Blue Men Sing the Whites? (b00kc752)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 02:00 Later... with Jools Holland (b00k99g6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]

FRI 03:00 Blues at the BBC (b00k36m5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:30 today]

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

Agony & Ecstasy: A Year with English National Ballet 21:00 TUE (b00z8tp8)

Agony & Ecstasy: A Year with English National Ballet 03:30 TUE (b00z8tp8)

Beautiful Minds 00:30 THU (b00s2xv4)

Birmingham Royal Ballet's Cinderella 22:00 TUE (b00wyltr)

Blues Britannia: Can Blue Men Sing the Whites? 21:00 FRI (b00kc752)

Blues Britannia: Can Blue Men Sing the Whites? 00:30 FRI (b00kc752)

Blues at the BBC 23:30 FRI (b00k36m5)

Blues at the BBC 03:00 FRI (b00k36m5)

Electric Dreams 21:00 SUN (b00n1j8n)

Electric Dreams 03:15 SUN (b00n1j8n)

How TV Ruined Your Life 22:55 SAT (b00z7p20)

In Concert 02:10 SUN (b00z2nc2)

In Their Own Words: British Novelists 01:00 TUE (b00tlvtj)

Justice 20:30 TUE (b00z8tp6)

Justice 03:00 TUE (b00z8tp6)

La Zona 22:00 SUN (b00z9t8w)

Later... with Jools Holland 22:30 FRI (b00k99g6)

Later... with Jools Holland 02:00 FRI (b00k99g6)

Legends 00:25 SAT (b00hq4qt)

Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession 20:00 THU (b00s96gn)

Motown at the BBC 23:25 SAT (b00hq4qr)

Mud, Sweat and Tractors: The Story of Agriculture 19:30 WED (b00k3685)

Mud, Sweat and Tractors: The Story of Agriculture 02:55 WED (b00k3685)

Nature's Great Events 19:00 SAT (b00hq341)

O, Fortuna! 23:00 THU (b00z8v3d)

On Hannibal's Trail 19:30 THU (b00t6yby)

On Show 20:30 MON (b007hz94)

On Show 01:30 MON (b007hz94)

Paul Merton and Nicholas Parsons: Me & Arthur Haynes 23:30 MON (b00z1z43)

Paul Merton's Palladium Story 21:00 THU (b00z1z0j)

Paul Merton's Palladium Story 22:00 THU (b00z7gys)

Paul Merton's Palladium Story 02:30 THU (b00z1z0j)

Paul Merton's Palladium Story 03:30 THU (b00z7gys)

Ron Sexsmith: Love Shines 23:30 SUN (b00z2nby)

Songwriters' Circle 01:00 SUN (b00z2rc1)

Story of Light Entertainment 22:00 MON (b00792f0)

Story of Light Entertainment 02:00 MON (b00792f0)

The Box That Changed Britain 20:00 SAT (b00scpzn)

The Box That Changed Britain 02:55 SAT (b00scpzn)

The Killing 21:00 SAT (b00z8v1b)

The Killing 22:00 SAT (b00z8v1d)

The Killing 23:00 WED (b00z8v1b)

The Killing 23:55 WED (b00z8v1d)

The Kindness of Strangers 19:30 FRI (b00z8vc7)

The Pharaoh Who Conquered the Sea 22:00 WED (b00pq9gs)

The Pharaoh Who Conquered the Sea 01:55 WED (b00pq9gs)

The Search for Life: The Drake Equation 02:00 TUE (b00wltbk)

The Sky at Night 19:30 TUE (b080z2s1)

The Sky at Night 00:00 TUE (b080z2s1)

The Story of Science: Power, Proof and Passion 19:00 SUN (b00sj736)

The Story of Variety with Michael Grade 20:00 SUN (b00z1z0g)

The Story of Variety with Michael Grade 21:00 MON (b00z8rd6)

The Story of Variety with Michael Grade 00:30 MON (b00z8rd6)

The Story of Variety with Michael Grade 03:30 MON (b00z8rd6)

The Story of Variety with Michael Grade 01:30 THU (b00z8rd6)

Time to Remember 20:30 WED (b00v3yry)

Timeshift 01:25 SAT (b00v3z0f)

Treasures of the Anglo Saxons 21:00 WED (b00t6xzx)

Treasures of the Anglo Saxons 00:55 WED (b00t6xzx)

When God Spoke English: The Making of the King James Bible 19:30 MON (b00yvs8n)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b00z8rd4)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b00z8tp4)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b00z8v16)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b00z8v3b)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b00z8vc5)