Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

RADIO-LISTS: BBC FOUR
Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by bbc.co.uk/programmes/



SATURDAY 08 OCTOBER 2011

SAT 19:00 Life (b00nxks3)
Insects

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

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


SAT 20:00 Michael Wood's Story of England (b00vjmms)
Victoria to the Present Day

Groundbreaking series in which Michael Wood tells the story of one place throughout the whole of English history. The village is Kibworth in Leicestershire in the heart of England - a place that lived through the Black Death, the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution and was even bombed in World War Two.

In this final episode, helped by today's villagers Michael uncovers the secret history of a Victorian village more colourful than even Dickens could have imagined. Recreating their penny concerts of the 1880s, visiting World War I battlefields with the school and recalling the Home Guard, local land girls and the bombing of the village in 1940, the series finally moves into the brave new world of 'homes for heroes' and the villagers come together to leave a reminder of their world for future generations.


SAT 21:00 Wallander (b00wtv8y)
The Man who Smiled

Thriller based on Henning Mankell's novel. Detective Superintendent Kurt Wallander receives a plea for help from an old friend, who suspects that the death of his father might have involved foul play. But Wallander doesn't believe him until it's too late.

Meanwhile, troubled by the escalation of his relationship with Maja, Wallander manages to walk into more trouble on the personal front, and this in turn escalates into a full blown scandal at work. It is the last thing he needs as he tries to solve a tangle of murders related to the international organ trade.


SAT 23:10 Sandhurst (b015j54t)
Officer Class

With extraordinary and privileged access, Sandhurst is a three-part observational documentary shot at the Royal Military Academy over the course of a year. The series follows the journey of one intake of cadets, both male and female, through the 200-year-old institution - three gruelling terms that turn them from civilians into officers, from followers into the leaders needed for the ongoing war in Afghanistan and beyond.

The final episode sees tensions mount amongst the officer cadets. With the end in sight but the prospect of being 'back termed' ever present, the stakes go up each week. The academy's image as a bastion of old school tie and privilege comes under the spotlight as the unrelenting pace tests each individual's abilities - physical, mental and emotional - against the standards of becoming a British officer in the regiments and corps they have applied to join. For some, keeping up proves impossible - but for others the Sandhurst dream is about to become a reality.


SAT 00:10 Horizon (b00rgg31)
2009-2010

Is Everything We Know About The Universe Wrong?

There's something very odd going on in space - something that shouldn't be possible. It is as though vast swathes of the universe are being hoovered up by a vast and unseen celestial vacuum cleaner.

Sasha Kaslinsky, the scientist who discovered the phenomenon, is understandably nervous: 'It left us quite unsettled and jittery' he says, 'because this is not something we planned to find'. The accidental discovery of what is ominously being called 'dark flow' not only has implications for the destinies of large numbers of galaxies - it also means that large numbers of scientists might have to find a new way of understanding the universe.

Dark flow is the latest in a long line of phenomena that have threatened to rewrite the textbooks. Does it herald a new era of understanding, or does it simply mean that everything we know about the universe is wrong?


SAT 01:10 The Sky at Night (b07pkfwm)
Pegasus and Andromeda

Two of the great autumn constellations of Andromeda and Pegasus will soon be gracing our night skies. The maiden Andromeda, chained to her rock, awaits her fate whilst the winged horse Pegasus gallops across the celestial skies. Full of interesting stars, nebulae and galaxies, these constellations are rich pickings for astronomers.


SAT 01:40 Timeshift (b0074rkj)
Series 5

Star Men

Adam Hart-Davis explores the world of Britain's amateur astronomers. There are more than 40,000 of them, looking at everything from planets to variable stars and supernovae. But while the gentleman hobbyist once had the skies to himself and could make pioneering discoveries, the last century saw amateurs eclipsed by high-tech professionals. Now, increasingly sophisticated home equipment means that the amateur community has entered a new, collaborative relationship with the professionals.

Contributors include bestselling novelist Terry Pratchett, who shows off his prized TARDIS - his own private observatory in Wiltshire; Professor Colin Pillinger of the Beagle 2 project; and the godfather of popular astronomy, Sir Patrick Moore, who reflects on his lifetime's work.


SAT 02:20 Michael Wood's Story of England (b00vjmms)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SAT 03:20 Life (b00nxks3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]



SUNDAY 09 OCTOBER 2011

SUN 19:00 The Department Store (b00fqpn0)
Peters

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

He spends six months at a family-run shop which has just come out of administration. David and Caroline Whittle lost control of Peters when it couldn't compete with a new shopping centre, but now a private backer has given them one last chance to turn the store around. Things are going well until problems arise with the staff in the shop's cafe.


SUN 20:00 Welly Telly: The Countryside on Television (b011m8wt)
Kate Humble, Bill Oddie, Bill Bryson, John Craven and Clarissa Dickson Wright discuss television's changing relationship - and recent obsession - with the countryside. What explains the huge appeal of shows like Countryfile and Lambing Live to an urban audience? Is television helping to bring town and country together, or is the gap getting larger?

The programme remembers the pioneers of Welly Telly, like Phil Drabble, Jack Hargreaves and Hannah Hauxwell, and features archive from The Good Life, All Creatures Great and Small and Last of the Summer Wine.


SUN 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.


SUN 22:30 My Brother Is an Only Child (b0160176)
In the 1960s, Accio and Manrico are two brothers from a working class family living in the provincial town of Latina, outside Rome. Elder brother Manrico is a communist but adolescent Accio - the runt of a dispairing family - falls under the influence of right-wing local stallholder Mario, who takes the young man under his wing and introduces him to fascism.


SUN 00:05 Singer-Songwriters at the BBC (b015j8g7)
Series 2

Episode 2

The celebration of the singing songwriting troubadours of the 1960s and 70s continues with a further trawl through the BBC archives for timeless and classic performances.

Tom Paxton starts proceedings with a rare black and white performance of his classic song The Last Thing on My Mind filmed in 1964. Also making an appearance is the 'fifth Beatle', Harry Nilsson, with a performance from his BBC concert in 1972. Other gems from this year include Canadian Gordon Lightfoot, songwriting duo Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan as Stealers Wheel and the most popular acoustic act of the 1970s, the gentle, bespectacled John Denver.

From the Basil Brush Show in 1973, Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance make a surprise appearance. Californian Beach Boy Bruce Johnston offers a sublime version of Disney Girls, and Joan Armatrading injects a bit of brio on the Old Grey Whistle Test. Rounding it all off is six-time Grammy winner Billy Joel.


SUN 01:05 Songwriters' Circle (b015j8g9)
Series 2

Leon Russell, Nick Lowe, Paul Brady

Three songwriters share the stage at west London's beautiful Porchester Hall and treat the audience to self-penned songs from their illustrious careers.

Perched at the piano like a benign ringmaster in shades and flowing white beard, Leon Russell is the great American songwriter responsible for such mega-classics as the Carpenters' Song for You and This Masquerade and Rita Coolidge's Delta Lady.

Punk and pub rock pioneer Nick Lowe is an affable presence as he croons his fabulous songs - ranging from the hit Cruel to Be Kind to (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding (familiar to many via The Bodyguard film) and the darkly intense The Beast In Me, written for Johnny Cash and used in hit film Hangover 2.

Irish singer-songwriter Paul Brady exudes passion with his fiery voice and energetic finger-picking guitar. Admired by the likes of Bob Dylan and Tina Turner, his songs straddle folk and pop, from the rousing The World Is What You Make It to the tender Smile.


SUN 02:05 Welly Telly: The Countryside on Television (b011m8wt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SUN 03:05 Rich Hall's 'The Dirty South' (b00t26zf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



MONDAY 10 OCTOBER 2011

MON 19:00 World News Today (b015ssdy)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


MON 19:30 Apples: British to the Core (b011wz53)
Horticulturalist Chris Beardshaw uncovers the British contribution to the history of our most iconic fruit. He reveals the 'golden age', when the passion and dedication of Victorian gardeners gave us more varieties than anywhere else in the world. Chris also finds out how the remarkable ingenuity of a small group of 20th-century British scientists helped create the modern mass-market apple.


MON 20:30 Only Connect (b015ssf0)
Series 5

Social Networkers vs Antiquarians

Three online pals take on a trio of history buffs in the first of the quarter-finals. They compete to draw together the connections between things which, at first glance, seem utterly random, from elephant to hippopotamus to Mississippi to one thousand.


MON 21:00 Ceramics: A Fragile History (b015ssf2)
The Story of Clay

Ceramics are where art meets function - one of our oldest and most fundamental art forms, that sits at the centre of our homes. The first film in this three-part series looks at a history of domestic pottery in Britain from Tudor times onwards, tracing the evolution of its different techniques and styles, and examining what our pots can tell us in intimate detail how preceeding generations lived and saw themselves.

Whether it's for celebrating birth, marriage and death (our own or royal), eating and drinking or showing the world our social status, ceramics contain more than just our tea or coffee - they contain something of our lives, our social DNA, and reveal a lot about our taste and habits as a nation. They become, in effect, snapshots in clay.

Contributors include David Attenborough, Edmund de Waal, Grayson Perry, Lucy Worsley, Mary Wondrausch and Elspeth Owen.


MON 22:00 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 23:00 Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity (p00kjq6h)
Spark

Professor Jim Al-Khalili tells the electrifying story of our quest to master nature's most mysterious force - electricity. Until fairly recently, electricity was seen as a magical power, but it is now the lifeblood of the modern world and underpins every aspect of our technological advancements.

Without electricity, we would be lost. This series tells of dazzling leaps of imagination and extraordinary experiments - a story of maverick geniuses who used electricity to light our cities, to communicate across the seas and through the air, to create modern industry and to give us the digital revolution.

Episode one tells the story of the very first 'natural philosophers' who started to unlock the mysteries of electricity. They studied its curious link to life, built strange and powerful instruments to create it and even tamed lightning itself. It was these men who truly laid the foundations of the modern world. Electricity was without doubt a fantastical wonder. This is the story about what happened when the first real concerted effort was made to understand electricity - how we learned to create and store it, before finally creating something that enabled us to make it at will - the battery.


MON 00:00 The Gene Code (b010j64w)
The Book of Life

Dr Adam Rutherford takes the viewer on a rollercoaster ride as he explores the consequences of one of the biggest scientific projects of all time - the decoding of the entire human genome in 2000. Adam discovers that every human carries the entire story of life on earth hidden in his or her DNA and sees how we are all linked directly to the origins of life and to the first creatures with backbones. He also investigates the implications of the fact that for much of its existence, the human race was an endangered species.


MON 01:00 Only Connect (b015ssf0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


MON 01:30 Apples: British to the Core (b011wz53)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


MON 02:30 To Kill a Mockingbird at 50 (b00szxxk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


MON 03:30 Ceramics: A Fragile History (b015ssf2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



TUESDAY 11 OCTOBER 2011

TUE 19:00 World News Today (b015sttg)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


TUE 19:30 Return to Pembrokeshire Farm (b00mwx9d)
Return to Pembrokeshire Farm

Griff Rhys Jones embarks on phase two of the restoration of his farm in Pembrokeshire. Having restored the main farmhouse, Griff now turns his attention to two outbuildings - the water mill and the miller's cottage. Both were built at the same time as the farmhouse - around 1820 - and both will be turned into accommodation.

The miller's cottage was used in later years as a cattle shed and is now little more than a derelict ruin. But converting the water mill into a cottage will be much more complicated and will require a planning permission. The person Griff has appointed to design the two buildings is his son George, who is training to be an architect.


TUE 20:00 Britain's Best Drives (b00j4dfr)
Lake District

Actor Richard Wilson takes a journey into the past, following routes raved about in motoring guides of 50 years ago.

Richard drives a sporty, convertible Triumph TR3A around some of the Lake District's most famous roads. He gets the lowdown on the area from author and resident Hunter Davies, takes on a notorious road, celebrates his birthday at one of Britain's highest pubs, and learns how climate change is affecting this delicate landscape.


TUE 20:30 Regimental Stories (b015sl3d)
The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards was formed 300 years ago to crush Scottish rebellion against the monarchy. It went on to play a decisive role at Waterloo. Now a modern tank force, the regiment is still shaped and inspired by the daring charges of its cavalry past.


TUE 21:00 Treasures of Chinese Porcelain (b015sttj)
In November 2010, a Chinese vase unearthed in a suburban semi in Pinner sold at auction for £43 million - a new record for a Chinese work of art. Why are Chinese vases so famous and so expensive? The answer lies in the European obsession with Chinese porcelain that began in the 16th century.

Lars Tharp, the Antiques Roadshow expert and Chinese ceramics specialist, sets out to explore why Chinese porcelain was so valuable then - and still is now. He goes on a journey to parts of China closed to western eyes until relatively recently. Lars travels to the mountainside from which virtually every single Chinese export vase, plate and cup began life in the 18th century - a mountain known as Mount Gaolin, from whose name we get the word kaolin, or china clay. He sees how the china clay was fused with another substance, mica, that would turn it into porcelain.

Carrying his own newly acquired vase, Lars uncovers the secrets of China's porcelain capital, Jingdezhen. He sees how the trade between China and Europe not only changed our idea of what was beautiful - by introducing us to the idea of works of art we could eat off - but also began to affect the whole tradition of Chinese aesthetics too, as the ceramicists of Jingdezhen sought to meet the European demand for porcelain decorated with family coats of arms, battle scenes or even erotica.

The porcelain fever that gripped Britain drove conspicuous consumption and fuelled the Georgian craze for tea parties. Today the new emperors - China's rising millionaire class - are buying back the export wares once shipped to Europe. The vase sold in Pinner shows that the lure of Chinese porcelain is as compelling as ever.


TUE 22:00 Mark Lawson Talks To... (b015v83q)
Michael Frayn

Mark Lawson talks to the distinguished playwright and novelist Michael Frayn about his life and 50-year career. In this reflective interview Frayn discusses the craft of writing farce, fiction and film, the childhood tragedy that has underpinned his life and how his next novel 'will probably be the last nail in my coffin'.

Since his early days as a newspaper reporter Frayn has carved a versatile career in novels, plays, philosophy, memoirs, screenplays, translations, farce, tragedy, verse and drama. He has garnered countless awards for his work applauding the wit of Noises Off, the intellectual agility of Copenhagen and the tenderness of Spies. As he continues to write in his seventies, he remains one of our most prolific and respected writers.


TUE 23:00 Copenhagen (b0074ncq)
Adaptation of Michael Frayn's award-winning drama, based on a pivotal meeting in 1941 between physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, whose work together had paved the way for the building of the atomic bomb but who now found themselves on opposite sides in the war.


TUE 00:30 Regimental Stories (b015sl3d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


TUE 01:00 Treasures of Chinese Porcelain (b015sttj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 02:00 Ceramics: A Fragile History (b015ssf2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]


TUE 03:00 Britain's Best Drives (b00j4dfr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


TUE 03:30 Regimental Stories (b015sl3d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]



WEDNESDAY 12 OCTOBER 2011

WED 19:00 World News Today (b015svfd)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


WED 19:30 Timeshift (b00x7c3z)
Series 10

The Golden Age of Coach Travel

Documentary which takes a glorious journey back to the 1950s, when the coach was king. From its early origins in the charabanc, the coach had always been the people's form of transport. Cheaper and more flexible than the train, it allowed those who had travelled little further than their own villages and towns a first heady taste of exploration and freedom. It was a safe capsule on wheels from which to venture out into a wider world.

The distinctive livery of the different coach companies was part of a now-lost world, when whole communities crammed into coach after coach en route to pleasure spots like Blackpool, Margate and Torquay. With singsongs, toilet stops and the obligatory pub halt, it didn't matter how long it took to get there because the journey was all part of the adventure.


WED 20:30 Timothy Spall: Somewhere at Sea (b00scqsn)
The Bogey Man

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

The voyage continues with Timothy and Shane having to cope with the highly dangerous waters around Lizard Point if he is to complete the journey by winter. Although in a state of some anxiety, Timothy manoeuvres the Princess Matilda around the infamous Lizard before mooring in Newlyn, a focus of the Cornish fishing industry. But tying up for the night is never straightforward.

The Spalls get advice from the eighteen-strong crew of the Penlee Lifeboat on how to tackle Land's End, another tough test lying in wait, and Timothy marvels at their seafaring skills and bravery in tackling the elements in order to save lives at sea.

His own voyage attracts plenty of interest. 'They all think we're mad, but they're not stopping us!' laughs Tim at one point.


WED 21:00 Britain's Most Fragile Treasure (b0161dgq)
Historian Dr Janina Ramirez unlocks the secrets of a centuries-old masterpiece in glass. At 78 feet in height, the famous Great East Window at York Minster is the largest medieval stained-glass window in the country and the creative vision of a single artist, a mysterious master craftsman called John Thornton, one of the earliest named English artists.

The Great East Window has been called England's Sistine Chapel. Within its 311 stained-glass panels is the entire history of the world, from the first day to the Last Judgment, and yet it was made 100 years before Michelangelo's own masterpiece. The scale of Thornton's achievement is revealed as Dr Ramirez follows the work of a highly skilled conservation team at York Glaziers Trust. They dismantled the entire window as part of a five-year project to repair centuries of damage and restore it to its original glory.

It is a unique opportunity for Dr Ramirez to examine Thornton's greatest work at close quarters, to discover details that would normally be impossible to see and to reveal exactly how medieval artists made images of such delicacy and complexity using the simplest of tools.

The Great East Window of York Minster is far more than a work of artistic genius, it is a window into the medieval world and mind, telling us who we once were and who we still are, all preserved in the most fragile medium of all.


WED 22:00 Brazil (b0079397)
Terry Gilliam's surreal Orwellian fantasy. Sam Lowry is happy in his job at the Ministry of Information, where frequent daydreams transport him from drab reality. Then the worst occurs - a mistake in the system. Before he knows it, Sam meets the girl of his dreams and finds himself in a nightmare world of renegade heating engineers, storm troopers, terrorists and torturers.


WED 00:15 Timeshift (b00x7c3z)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


WED 01:15 My Brother Is an Only Child (b0160176)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 on Sunday]


WED 02:50 Britain's Most Fragile Treasure (b0161dgq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



THURSDAY 13 OCTOBER 2011

THU 19:00 World News Today (b015svmn)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b015zp7k)
30/09/76

Dave Lee Travis introduces Randy Edelman, Sherbet, Tina Charles, Demis Roussos, Can and Jesse Green. Dance sequence by Ruby Flipper.


THU 20:00 For Crying Out Loud (b00ymhqz)
Jo Brand is outraged and appalled by the latest outburst of public crying. It is happening on X Factor, Who Do You Think You Are and even the politicans are at it. It would appear we are awash with tears. Jo is particularly baffled by this outpouring of weepiness as crying is something she rarely does.

In this documentary, Jo decides it's time to get to the bottom of crying: why we do it, who does it and whether we have always done it. And once she discovers crying is in fact good for you, she has no choice but to see if she can actually make a handkerchief soggy too.

To find out more about crying she talks to friends Phill Jupitus, Shappi Khorsandi and Richard E Grant; interviews crying historians, psychologists and biochemists; and, in her quest to discover her own tears, visits Moorfields Eye Hospital to check her tear ducts are in good working order. She subjects herself to joining a class of crying drama students, discovers the world's weirdest crybabies at the Loss Club and finally opens up to Princess Diana's psychotherapist, Susie Orbach.

Having unpicked the watery world of crying, can Jo bring herself to actually shed a tear?


THU 21:00 Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity (p00kjqch)
The Age of Invention

Professor Jim Al-Khalili tells the electrifying story of our quest to master nature's most mysterious force - electricity. Until fairly recently, electricity was seen as a magical power, but it is now the lifeblood of the modern world and underpins every aspect of our technological advancements.

Without electricity, we would be lost. This series tells of dazzling leaps of imagination and extraordinary experiments - a story of maverick geniuses who used electricity to light our cities, to communicate across the seas and through the air, to create modern industry and to give us the digital revolution.

Just under 200 years ago scientists discovered something profound, that electricity is connected to another of nature's most fundamental forces - magnetism. In the second episode, Jim discovers how harnessing the link between magnetism and electricity would completely transform the world, allowing us to generate a seemingly limitless amount of electric power which we could utilise to drive machines, communicate across continents and light our homes. This is the story of how scientists and engineers unlocked the nature of electricity in an extraordinary century of innovation and invention.


THU 22:00 The Secret Life of the National Grid (b00vnfgt)
Switching On

From hoovers to hi-fis, from electric lifts to intensive care units - where would we be if we couldn't plug in to the national electricity grid? The second part of this history of the grid explores how switching on has transformed every part of our lives over the last 60 years.

Colour archive reveals a time when having an electric cooker was a status symbol and 'plugged in' music was revolutionary. But the grid didn't just mean gadgets - it has been central to creating a consumer society and shaping the contemporary city.

Contributors include The Shadows' guitarist Bruce Welch, author Will Self and architect Mike Davies, all talking about how electrification has sparked modern Britain into life.


THU 23:00 Only Connect (b015ssf0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 on Monday]


THU 23:30 Regimental Stories (b015sl3d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 on Tuesday]


THU 00:00 Top of the Pops (b015zp7k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


THU 00:30 Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity (p00kjqch)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 01:30 Only Connect (b015ssf0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 on Monday]


THU 02:00 Wallander (b00wtv8y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday]


THU 04:10 Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity (p00kjqch)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



FRIDAY 14 OCTOBER 2011

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b015swyc)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 Terry Gilliam's Faust (b015swyf)
Filmmaker and former Python Terry Gilliam's smash-hit production of Berlioz's Damnation of Faust for English National Opera has been one of the operatic highlights of 2011. Peter Hoare stars as Faust, with Christopher Purves as Mephistopheles, who propels him on a rollercoaster ride through German history, ending with the rise of Hitler and Faust's inevitable damnation. Edward Gardner conducts the ENO Chorus and Orchestra.


FRI 21:40 Songwriters' Circle (b015swyk)
Series 2

Donovan, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Roger Cook

The third show in this stripped-back acoustic series reunites three influential songwriters hailing from the 1960s, and the result suggests their songs will endure for many decades to come.

There's a strong camaraderie and sense of mutual respect between Donovan, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Roger Cook as they share the stage in the impressive surroundings of London's Porchester Hall.

Donovan, with his trademark green guitar and quirky musings, gives confident renditions from his rich back catalogue, with classics like Mellow Yellow, Sunshine Superman and Catch the Wind, and the others join him in a singalong of Colours.

Buffy Sainte-Marie is hypnotic, whether performing Until It's Time for You to Go, covered most notably by Elvis, or protest song Universal Soldier, a hit for Donovan, or indeed the original version of monster power ballad Up Where We Belong, which achieved such fame when sung by Jennifer Warnes and Joe Cocker as the theme for the film An Officer and a Gentleman.

Ukulele-wielding Roger Cook is a revelation. Bristol-bred and Nashville-settled, his name may be unfamiliar to much of the British audience, but he co-wrote such monster hits as I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing, Crystal Gayle's Talking In Your Sleep and Gene Pitney's Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart.

A nostalgic treat.


FRI 22:40 Singer-Songwriters at the BBC (b015swyr)
Series 2

Episode 3

The celebration of the singing-songwriting troubadours of the 1960s and 70s continues with a further trawl through the BBC archives for timeless and classic performances.

Starting proceedings is Scots-born Sunshine Superman, Donovan, with a rare performance from Julie Felix's show in 1968. Buffy Sainte-Marie performs Cripple Creek, and buddies Carole King and James Taylor perform classic Carole King songs.

Songwriting genius Jimmy Webb performs a gem in Didn't We, while a beautiful and sensuous Rod Stewart gives an intense performance of his song about his friend in The Killing of Georgie, from a Boxing Day edition of Top of the Pops in 1976. And from 1977 the inimitable and much-loved John Martyn, with help from Danny Thompson, rounds things off with a classic performance of Couldn't Love You More.


FRI 23:40 John Martyn: Johnny Too Bad (b0074q8g)
BBC FOUR pays tribute to musical maverick John Martyn, who died at the age of 60 on 29th January 2009, with an intimate documentary portrait originally transmitted in 1994. This honest and often blackly hilarious film shows Martyn at home in Ireland, during the lead-up to and aftermath of an operation to have one of his legs amputated below the knee.

Contributors include sometime collaborator and buddy Phil Collins, the late Robert Palmer, Ralph McTell, Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, fellow hellraiser bassist Danny Thompson, John's ex-wife Beverley Martyn and younger generation fan Beth Orton.

We see a man incapable of compromising his creative vision, from his folk club roots in the Sixties, through a career of continuous musical experimentation. Along the way there is a surreal roll-call of accidents and incidents, including a collision with a cow.


FRI 00:40 Songwriters' Circle (b015swyk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:40 today]


FRI 01:40 Singer-Songwriters at the BBC (b015swyr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:40 today]


FRI 02:40 Terry Gilliam's Faust (b015swyf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]




LIST OF THIS WEEK'S PROGRAMMES
(Note: the times link back to the details; the pids link to the BBC page, including iPlayer)

Apples: British to the Core 19:30 MON (b011wz53)

Apples: British to the Core 01:30 MON (b011wz53)

Brazil 22:00 WED (b0079397)

Britain's Best Drives 20:00 TUE (b00j4dfr)

Britain's Best Drives 03:00 TUE (b00j4dfr)

Britain's Most Fragile Treasure 21:00 WED (b0161dgq)

Britain's Most Fragile Treasure 02:50 WED (b0161dgq)

Ceramics: A Fragile History 21:00 MON (b015ssf2)

Ceramics: A Fragile History 03:30 MON (b015ssf2)

Ceramics: A Fragile History 02:00 TUE (b015ssf2)

Copenhagen 23:00 TUE (b0074ncq)

For Crying Out Loud 20:00 THU (b00ymhqz)

Horizon 00:10 SAT (b00rgg31)

John Martyn: Johnny Too Bad 23:40 FRI (b0074q8g)

Life 19:00 SAT (b00nxks3)

Life 03:20 SAT (b00nxks3)

Mark Lawson Talks To... 22:00 TUE (b015v83q)

Michael Wood's Story of England 20:00 SAT (b00vjmms)

Michael Wood's Story of England 02:20 SAT (b00vjmms)

My Brother Is an Only Child 22:30 SUN (b0160176)

My Brother Is an Only Child 01:15 WED (b0160176)

Only Connect 20:30 MON (b015ssf0)

Only Connect 01:00 MON (b015ssf0)

Only Connect 23:00 THU (b015ssf0)

Only Connect 01:30 THU (b015ssf0)

Regimental Stories 20:30 TUE (b015sl3d)

Regimental Stories 00:30 TUE (b015sl3d)

Regimental Stories 03:30 TUE (b015sl3d)

Regimental Stories 23:30 THU (b015sl3d)

Return to Pembrokeshire Farm 19:30 TUE (b00mwx9d)

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

Rich Hall's 'The Dirty South' 03:05 SUN (b00t26zf)

Sandhurst 23:10 SAT (b015j54t)

Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity 23:00 MON (p00kjq6h)

Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity 21:00 THU (p00kjqch)

Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity 00:30 THU (p00kjqch)

Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity 04:10 THU (p00kjqch)

Singer-Songwriters at the BBC 00:05 SUN (b015j8g7)

Singer-Songwriters at the BBC 22:40 FRI (b015swyr)

Singer-Songwriters at the BBC 01:40 FRI (b015swyr)

Songwriters' Circle 01:05 SUN (b015j8g9)

Songwriters' Circle 21:40 FRI (b015swyk)

Songwriters' Circle 00:40 FRI (b015swyk)

Terry Gilliam's Faust 19:30 FRI (b015swyf)

Terry Gilliam's Faust 02:40 FRI (b015swyf)

The Department Store 19:00 SUN (b00fqpn0)

The Gene Code 00:00 MON (b010j64w)

The Secret Life of the National Grid 22:00 THU (b00vnfgt)

The Sky at Night 01:10 SAT (b07pkfwm)

Timeshift 01:40 SAT (b0074rkj)

Timeshift 19:30 WED (b00x7c3z)

Timeshift 00:15 WED (b00x7c3z)

Timothy Spall: Somewhere at Sea 20:30 WED (b00scqsn)

To Kill a Mockingbird at 50 22:00 MON (b00szxxk)

To Kill a Mockingbird at 50 02:30 MON (b00szxxk)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b015zp7k)

Top of the Pops 00:00 THU (b015zp7k)

Treasures of Chinese Porcelain 21:00 TUE (b015sttj)

Treasures of Chinese Porcelain 01:00 TUE (b015sttj)

Wallander 21:00 SAT (b00wtv8y)

Wallander 02:00 THU (b00wtv8y)

Welly Telly: The Countryside on Television 20:00 SUN (b011m8wt)

Welly Telly: The Countryside on Television 02:05 SUN (b011m8wt)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b015ssdy)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b015sttg)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b015svfd)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b015svmn)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b015swyc)