Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 31 DECEMBER 2011

SAT 19:00 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.


SAT 21:00 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 22:00 Edinburgh Comedy Live (b018l71v)
MC Arthur Smith hosts a bespoke evening of dynamic and intelligent comedy, ably assisted by Alex Horne and his five-piece jazz band, The Horne Section. Filmed earlier in 2011 at the BBC's purpose-built venue at the Edinburgh Fringe, Edinburgh Comedy Live showcases a high energy mix of the best emerging and established comics on the circuit, featuring no fewer than three previous Edinburgh Comedy Award winners in Tim Key, Josie Long and David O'Doherty. Plus Nina Conti, American stars Hannibal Buress and The Pajama Men and Australia's Sam Simmons and Sammy J.


SAT 23:00 Charlie Brooker's 2011 Wipe (b018l74r)
Charlie Brooker takes a comedic look back at the hectic events of 2011 - a mad year of royal weddings, Gypsy Weddings, riots, phone-hacking and Desperate Scousewives. With contributions from Doug Stanhope, Adam Curtis and Brian Limond.


SAT 00:00 Legends (b00fzv3y)
Roy Orbison - The 'Big O' in Britain

Roy Orbison was the best singer in the world. That's what Elvis Presley said, and he should know.

To mark the 20th anniversary of Orbison's death, this programme celebrates the extraordinary talent of 'The Big O' and his relationship with his most loyal and enduring fans, British musicians and the British public. Through a combination of interview and archive, it charts Orbison's career in Britain, from the sell-out tour with the Beatles that sky-rocketed him to international superstardom, right up to the collaboration with lifelong friend George Harrison on the Travelling Wilburys project in the late 1980s. Effortlessly cool, musically sophisticated, Orbison was a rock and roll legend, whose legacy continues to captivate both the listeners and performers of today.


SAT 01:00 Edinburgh Comedy Live (b018l71v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


SAT 02:00 Birmingham Royal Ballet's Cinderella (b00wyltr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]



SUNDAY 01 JANUARY 2012

SUN 19:00 New Year's Day Concert (b0192n6l)
2012 - Highlights

From the Musikverein in Vienna, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra perform the annual celebratory concert of waltzes, polkas and marches, conducted by Mariss Jansons for the second time. Highlights from the complete concert includes works by members of the Strauss family, Tchaikovsky and Joseph Hellmesburger Jr.

To accompany some of the pieces there are performances by the Ballet of the Vienna State Opera and Volksoper and an appearance by the Vienna Boys' Choir. During the concert some of the featured landmarks include the Vienna City Hall, Palais Coburg and the Achensee Steam Railway.

Presented by Petroc Trelawny.


SUN 21:00 Half a Sixpence (b00kyp1d)
Musical comedy in which draper's clerk Arthur Kipps comes into an unexpected inheritance. Moving into high society he temporarily forgets his former associates, but soon finds that money doesn't buy happiness.


SUN 23:20 Come Bell Ringing with Charles Hazlewood (b01803s3)
For over 1,200 years church bells have called the faithful to worship, helping people celebrate triumph and commemorate tragedy. But the fact that they are one of the largest and loudest musical instruments in the world is often overlooked.

This is something musical innovator Charles Hazlewood wants to change - he wants to see if church bells can be used to make original music in their own right.

Choosing Cambridge for his musical experiment, Charles immerses himself in the world of bells and bell ringing. He tries his hand at ringing church bells, handbells and even a carillon - an instrument which resembles an organ made out of bells. He discovers why church bell ringing sounds the way it does and tries out some radical techniques - pushing the boundaries, he re-rigs a whole church tower so it can play a tune.

At the culmination of his investigations Charles devises and performs an extraordinary piece of music which involves three separate church towers and 30 handbell ringers gathered from across the eastern counties.


SUN 00:20 Still Ringing After All These Years: A Short History of Bells (b018ct1c)
The sound of bells ringing is deeply rooted in British culture. Bells provide the grand soundtrack to our historic moments, call out for our celebrations and toll sadly in empathy with our grief. No important event seems complete without their colourful ringing.

But how did bells become so rooted in our culture and entwined with our national identity?

Richard Taylor travels the country to unravel the 1,500 years of history that have made bells such a key British sound. He meets the people who work with bells and those who understand their significance in our past and present. The story he tells is an extraordinary one.

Richard explores the magical qualities of bells and how they came to be synonymous with Christian worship. He discovers how they diversified to impact on every aspect of medieval life - and how some of the practices which originated then still hold sway in our modern lives. He gets to the bottom of what bell ringing is and how this 'sport' came to represent the sound of England, and he reveals how bells embodied the hopes of the nation in her darkest hours.

We have heard the sound of bells so many times that we can take them for granted - it is time to prick up our ears and listen to their incredible story.


SUN 01:20 The Rattigan Enigma by Benedict Cumberbatch (b012tnt0)
Benedict Cumberbatch, one of the country's leading actors, explores the life and work of enigmatic playwright Terence Rattigan.

Rattigan was the master of the 'well crafted play' of upper class manners and repressed sexuality and he dominated the West End theatre scene throughout the 40s and early 50s. But then, in the mid fifties 'the angry young men arrived'; a wave of young playwrights and directors who introduced a new, radical style of theatre. Rattigan's work faced a critical onslaught and he fell completely out of fashion. But now, in his centenary year his plays are enjoying a huge revival.

But Rattigan himself remains an enigmatic figure - a troubled homosexual whose polite, restrained dramas confronted the very issues - sexual frustration, failed relationships, adultery and even suicide - that he found so difficult to deal with in his own life. He had a gift for commercial theatre but yearned to be taken seriously as a playwright.

In this film Benedict re-visits his old school Harrow where Rattigan was also educated and was first inspired to write plays. He takes a trip down memory lane with one of Rattigan's closest friends (Princess Jean Galizine) and he talks to playwrights, critics and directors about what it is about Rattigan's work which we find so appealing today.


SUN 02:20 New Year's Day Concert (b0192n6l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]



MONDAY 02 JANUARY 2012

MON 19:00 Railway Walks with Julia Bradbury (b00dtp4b)
The Peak Express

Julia Bradbury has her backpack on to explore the great outdoors. Julia's walks follow the old tracks, overgrown cuttings and ancient viaducts of Britain's lost rail empire, visiting disused lines across England, Scotland and Wales. Through stunning landscapes and urban backstreets, each contrasting walk has a unique story to tell, offering Julia a window into industrial Britain and how the rise and fall of the railways has altered lives and localities across the country.

Julia begins her exploration of Britain's lost rail empire in Derbyshire, the heart of the Peak District, with a walk along the popular Monsal Trail. Limestone cliffs and gorges abound, not to mention the tunnels and soaring viaducts of the Midland Railway - one of the most dramatic and unlikely main lines ever built.


MON 19:30 Indian Hill Railways (b00qvk99)
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

From the Himalayas in the north to the Nilgiris in the south - for a hundred years these little trains have climbed through the clouds and into the wonderful world of Indian hill railways.

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a line so close to the people that it flows like a river through their lives. The relationship between the train and the people is changing, however, as a new generation of Gurkhas populates these hills, demanding an independent state and fighting for a new identity as they journey into the modern Indian world.


MON 20:30 Only Connect (b01930xb)
Specials

Champion of Champions: Crossworders vs Epicureans

Victoria Coren hosts a special edition of the quiz where, as in life itself, knowledge will only take you so far and where patience and lateral thinking are also vital.

Series 3 & 4 champions the Epicureans take on Series 1 & 2 champions the Crossworders in a bid to be named Only Connect Champion of Champions. They compete to draw together the connections between things which, at first glance, seem utterly random, from volleyball to basketball to Toastmasters International to Father's Day.


MON 21:00 Mad and Bad: 60 Years of Science on TV (b00wltfx)
From Raymond Baxter live on Tomorrow's World testing a new-fangled bulletproof vest on a nervous inventor to Doctor Who's contemporary spin on the War on Terror, British television and the Great British public have been fascinated with the brave new world offered up by science on TV.

Narrated by Robert Webb, this documentary takes a fantastic, incisive and funny voyage through the rich heritage of science TV in the UK, from real science programmes (including The Sky At Night, Horizon, Tomorrow's World, The Ascent of Man) to science-fiction (such as The Quatermass Experiment, Doctor Who, Doomwatch, Blake's 7, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), to find out what it tells us about Britain over the last 60 years.

Important figures in science and TV science, including Sir David Attenborough, Robert Winston, Dr Tim Hunt, Professor Colin Blakemore, Tony Robinson, Sir Patrick Moore and Johnny Ball, comment on growing up with TV science and on how it has reflected - or led - our collective image of science and the scientist.


MON 22:30 Beautiful Equations (b00wltbm)
Artist and writer Matt Collings takes the plunge into an alien world of equations. He asks top scientists to help him understand five of the most famous equations in science, talks to Stephen Hawking about his equation for black holes and comes face to face with a particle of anti-matter.

Along the way he discovers why Newton was right about those falling apples and how to make sense of E=mc2. As he gets to grips with these equations he wonders whether the concept of artistic beauty has any relevance to the world of physics.


MON 23:30 Indian Hill Railways (b00qvk99)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


MON 00:30 Only Connect (b01930xb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


MON 01:00 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.


MON 02:00 Mad and Bad: 60 Years of Science on TV (b00wltfx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


MON 03:30 Railway Walks with Julia Bradbury (b00dtp4b)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]



TUESDAY 03 JANUARY 2012

TUE 19:00 World News Today (b019h9vx)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


TUE 19:30 Climbing Great Buildings (b00tr6g1)
Durham Cathedral

Dr Jonathan Foyle, architectural historian and novice climber, scales Britain's most iconic structures, from the Normans to the present day, to reveal the buildings' secrets and tell the story of how our architecture and construction have developed over 1000 years.

Jonathan's journey begins in the North East of England at Durham Cathedral, one of the finest surviving examples of Norman architecture in the UK.

Jonathan, who has never climbed before, is aided by Lucy Creamer, one of Britain's top climbers, as he conquers his fears to scale over 140 feet to the top of Durham Cathedral to investigate how the Normans revolutionised building in this country. On his climbs, he comes face to face with the crumbling 1000-year-old stone with oyster shells hiding in the mortar, discovers carved stone arches influenced by the art of the Middle East and he braves a tightrope nearly 100 feet above the nave, to get a closer look at the revolutionary and beautiful stone ceiling.


TUE 20:00 Timeshift (b00nf0nl)
Series 9

The Golden Age of Liners

Paul Atterbury embarks on an alluring journey into the golden age of ocean liners, finding out how these great ships made such a mark on the popular imagination and why they continue to enchant to this day.

Paul's voyage takes him around Britain and reveals a story of design, politics, propaganda, Hollywood glamour and tragedy. Along the way, he uncovers some amazing survivals from the liners of the past - a cinema in Scotland built from the interiors of the SS Homeric, a house in Poole in which cabins from the Mauretania are lovingly preserved - as well as the design inspiration behind the first great liners.


TUE 21:00 The Story of Musicals (b0192pyj)
Episode 1

Three-part series which tells how the British musical became a driving force behind musical theatre around the world - a tale of titanic shows, phenomenal daring, epic rivalries, prodigious talent and gargantuan fortunes, all set in just a single square mile.

The first episode looks at how, from unpromising beginnings in the period after the Second World War, British musicals went on to reclaim the West End from American domination. Highlights include the quintessentially British show The Boyfriend and its failure to conquer Broadway, the riches-to-rags story of Lionel Bart and his masterpiece Oliver, and the extraordinary partnership of Sir Tim Rice and Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, from the moment they burst onto the scene with Jesus Christ Superstar until their final collaboration of the 1970s, Evita.

Featuring first-hand accounts from the great and the good of musical theatre including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Sir Tim Rice, Elaine Paige, Ron Moody, Bill Kenwright, Sheila Hancock, Harold Prince, Robert Stigwood, Tommy Steele, Paul Nicholas and Willy Russell.


TUE 22:00 100 Years of the Palladium (b00wyn7s)
Cliff Richard, Bruce Forsyth, Michael Crawford and Andrew Lloyd Webber are among the stars sharing the gossip, glamour and behind-the-scenes shenanigans of the world's most famous theatre as it celebrates its 100th birthday.


TUE 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.


TUE 23:30 The Many Faces of... (b018nvwc)
Series 1

Les Dawson

Les Dawson was one of Britain's all time great comedy talents, best known as a comedian but also a talented musician, writer and actor. This programme traces his career, with familiar favourite TV clips and some rare gems from the archives. Together with interviews from friends, relatives and colleagues, the programme unpicks the secrets of his enduring legacy nearly 20 years after his untimely death.

After 'discovery' on the Opportunity Knocks talent show in the 60s, he quickly became a regular face on TV, hosting comedy-led variety shows like Sez Les and The Les Dawson Show. His trademarks were short, pithy jokes, usually targeting his wife or mother in law, long verbose monologues and, perhaps most famously, piano recitals that went hilariously off key.

His reputation attracted guest appearances from some unexpected fans like John Cleese and Shirley Bassey, and he created an overweight dance troupe, The Roly Polys.

The programme shows how his career unfolded and illustrates the different facets of his comedy genius. John Cleese remembers their unlikely friendship, modern comedy stars Robert Webb and Russell Kane talk about his inspiration and Dawson's widow Tracy recalls their marriage and his joy at being a father late in life.


TUE 00:30 The Story of Musicals (b0192pyj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 01:30 Timeshift (b00nf0nl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


TUE 02:30 Climbing Great Buildings (b00tr6g1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


TUE 03:00 The Story of Musicals (b0192pyj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 04 JANUARY 2012

WED 19:00 World News Today (b0192pyg)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


WED 19:30 Climbing Great Buildings (b00tr6k2)
Lincoln Cathedral

Dr Jonathan Foyle, architectural historian and novice climber, scales Britain's most iconic structures, from the Normans to the present day, to reveal the buildings' secrets and tell the story of how our architecture and construction has developed over 1000 years.

The next step of Jonathan's journey takes him to Lincoln Cathedral, built in 1183. Once the tallest building in Britain, Lincoln Cathedral is one of the finest examples of gothic architecture in Britain.

With unprecedented access, Jonathan - aided by top climber Lucy Creamer - scales the cathedral to reveal the skill and innovation of the medieval gothic builders and craftsmen. On his climbs, Jonathan is suspended 100ft above the nave to get a unique cinematic view of the immense Dean's Eye stained glass window; meets an evil imp and a riot of monsters; and faces his biggest climbing challenge yet as he scales the exterior walls of the cathedral's central tower - all 272 feet of it.


WED 20:00 The Great British Outdoors (b00t4kh5)
Mud, midges, barbed wire - just why do us Brits love the great outdoors?

In this nostalgic look at life for campers, twitchers, ramblers and metal detectors, Mark Benton examines the history of the British fresh air freak.


WED 21:00 Timeshift (b019327k)
Series 11

The Smoking Years

Timeshift reveals the story of the creature that is 'the smoker'. How did this species arrive on our shores? Why did it become so sexy - and so dominant in our lives? Was there really a time when everywhere people could be found shrouded in a thick blue cloud?

Enlisting the help of Barry Cryer, Stuart Maconie and others, The Smoking Years tells the unnatural history of a quite remarkable - and now threatened - creature. Warning: smoke-filled nostalgia may damage your health.


WED 22:00 Twenty Twelve (b00zhzqw)
Series 1

Episode 1

Comedy series following the personal and professional challenges faced by those responsible for delivering the biggest show on earth, as the Olympic Deliverance team try to get through to the end of the day, the end of the week and the end of the year without all the wheels falling off at once.

With time ticking inexorably downwards, the marketing team come up with a major public event to mark the '1000 days to go' milestone. A huge clock designed by a modern British artist will be installed outside Tate Modern on the banks of the Thames in a ceremony performed by both Seb Coe and Boris Johnson and will count down towards the start of the Olympic Games. The only problem is that the clock has a potentially disastrous design flaw which no-one seems to have noticed until it is too late.

Meanwhile the process of deciding which public figures should be approached to carry the Olympic Torch on its journey around Britain has begun.


WED 22:30 Outnumbered (b0147jll)
Series 4

Episode 1

Sitcom. The Brockman family have some tough decisions to make about work, video games, and who to take to a family funeral. They leave the vicar wishing none of them had gone.


WED 23:00 Edinburgh Comedy Live (b018l71v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Saturday]


WED 00:00 Frank Skinner on George Formby (b016fpz0)
George Formby was a huge star of stage and film. In his heyday he was as big as The Beatles, earning vast sums of money on stage and starring in films which broke box office records. Formby's trademark ukulele still inspires millions of dedicated fans, including comedian and performer Frank Skinner, who believes Formby was the greatest entertainer of his time.

Playing the ukulele and performing the songs that keep the Formby legend alive today, Skinner follows the music hall star's extraordinary rise to fame and fortune, explores his worldwide popularity and reveals the ruthless exploitation that surrounded his sudden and tragic death.


WED 01:00 The Great British Outdoors (b00t4kh5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


WED 02:00 Twenty Twelve (b00zhzqw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


WED 02:30 Outnumbered (b0147jll)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]


WED 03:00 Timeshift (b019327k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



THURSDAY 05 JANUARY 2012

THU 19:00 World News Today (b0192q6t)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


THU 19:30 Climbing Great Buildings (b00tr6sr)
Caernarfon Castle

Dr Jonathan Foyle, architectural historian and novice climber, scales Britain's most iconic structures, from the Normans to the present day, to reveal the buildings' secrets and tell the story of how our architecture and construction have developed over 1000 years.

The next step of Jonathan's journey takes him to Caernarfon Castle, built in 1283 and one of the most magnificent examples of medieval castle building in Britain.

Jonathan, aided by top British climber Lucy Creamer, tests his climbing skills to reveal the secrets of this monster of a castle's construction and what it would have been like for anyone foolhardy enough to attack it. On his climbs, he scales over 100 feet up the majestic Eagle Tower to investigate how the architect behind Caernarfon revolutionised castle building in Britain; he discovers how the castle's design and decoration were inspired by the ancient Roman town of Constantinople; and he tests the limits of his courage zip-wiring high above the castle before abseiling down the King's Gate to investigate the fortified main entrance, which housed an innovation so lethal that it's been dubbed a medieval machine-gun.


THU 20:00 The Search for Life: The Drake Equation (b00wltbk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 01:00 on Monday]


THU 21:00 The Grammar School: A Secret History (b0192q6y)
Episode 1

The British grammar schools provided five consecutive prime ministers as well as many high fliers in industry, science and the arts. Yet at the height of their success they were phased out.

Featuring David Attenborough and Joan Bakewell amongst many others, this two-part series uses personal stories and rare archive footage to reveal the secret history of some of Britain's most successful schools, whose aim was to give the very best education to talented children - whatever their background.


THU 22:00 A Renaissance Education: The Schooling of Thomas More's Daughter (b0135mv0)
The intellectual forces at work in the Tudor era ensured it was a pivotal period for children's education. Historian Dr Helen Castor reveals how the life and education of Margaret More, daughter of Thomas More, tell a story of the transforming power of knowledge. As a child in Tudor England, and educated to an exceptionally high level, Margaret embodies the intellectual spirit of the age - an era which embraced humanism, the birth of the Church of England and the English Renaissance. This film reveals what a revolutionary intellectual spirit Margaret More was and how the ideas that shaped her education helped change the cultural life of England forever.


THU 23:00 The Story of Musicals (b0192pyj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]


THU 00:00 Too Much, Too Young: Children of the Middle Ages (b013rknh)
Medievalist Dr Stephen Baxter takes a fresh look at the Middle Ages through the eyes of children. At a time when half the population was under eighteen he argues that, although they had to grow up quickly and take on adult responsibility early, the experience of childhood could also be richly rewarding. Focusing on the three pillars of medieval society - religion, war and work - Baxter reveals how children played a vital role in creating the medieval world.


THU 01:00 The Search for Life: The Drake Equation (b00wltbk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 01:00 on Monday]


THU 02:00 A Renaissance Education: The Schooling of Thomas More's Daughter (b0135mv0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


THU 03:00 The Grammar School: A Secret History (b0192q6y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



FRIDAY 06 JANUARY 2012

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b0192r9b)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 Gershwin at the Proms (b01933t2)
Charles Hazlewood conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra in memorable performances of works by George Gershwin at the Proms. From 2006 comes the ever popular Rhapsody in Blue with pianist Kevin Cole, and from 2008, Strike Up the Band and a new arrangement of My Man's Gone Now from the opera Porgy and Bess.


FRI 20:00 Gershwin's Summertime: The Song that Conquered the World (b017nf05)
An intriguing investigation into the extraordinary life of Gershwin's classic composition, Summertime. One of the most covered songs in the world, it has been recorded in almost every style of music - from jazz to opera, rock to reggae, soul to samba. Its musical adaptability is breathtaking, but Summertime also resonates on a deep emotional level. This visually and sonically engaging film explores the composition's magical properties, examining how this song has, with stealth, captured the imagination of the world.

From its complex birth in 1935 as a lullaby in Gershwin's all-black opera Porgy and Bess, this film traces the hidden history of Summertime, focusing on key recordings, including those by Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, Mahalia Jackson, Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald. It reveals how musicians have projected their own dreams and desires onto the song, reimagining Summertime throughout the 20th century as a civil rights prayer, a hippie lullaby, an ode to seduction and a modern freedom song.

Back in the 1930s, Gershwin never dreamt of the global impact Summertime would have. But as this film shows, it has magically tapped into something deep inside us all - nostalgia and innocence, sadness and joy, and our intrinsic desire for freedom. Full of evocative archive footage as well as a myriad versions of Summertime - from the celebrated to the obscure - the film tells the surprising and illuminating tale behind this world-famous song.


FRI 21:00 Top of the Pops (b01932g9)
The Story of 1977

Following BBC Four's Top of the Pops 1976, the next stop is 1977 - in some ways a year zero for Britain's most iconic music programme. As the country veered between strikes and street parties, pop bastion Top of the Pops was stormed by punk and new wave acts such as the Stranglers and the Jam. Yet Top of the Pops at first seemed unaware of the changes afoot and the way in which the show is made was beset by working practices that are perhaps symptoms of the way in which Britain could be said 'not to be working'.

Jeans were getting tighter, hair shorter and the tunes louder, but it was an incredibly diverse year. Disco was also a dominant force with Donna Summer's I Feel Love, alongside the reggae of Bob Marley and the Wailers, the pub rock of Eddie and the Hot Rods and the plastic pop of Boney M. British pop that year was in a state of flux - unpredictable and exciting.

Appearing on Top of the Pops in 1977 is explored in the documentary by artists such as the Adverts, John Otway, members of Darts, JJ Burnel from the Stranglers and Paul Cook from the Sex Pistols, with insights from the Top of the Pops production team, Nicky Wire from the Manics and journalists Alexis Petridis and Pete Paphides.


FRI 22:00 Top of the Pops (b0195klg)
06/01/77

Kid Jensen looks at first pop chart of 1977 and introduces Sheer Elegance, Tina Charles, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Clodagh Rodgers, Boney M, Smokie, Jethro Tull, the Drifters and Johnny Mathis. Dance sequence comes from Legs & Co.


FRI 22:35 Top of the Pops (b018zv8d)
1977 - Big Hits

The celebration of Top of the Pops 1977 continues with a selection of outstanding complete archive performances from Britain's silver jubilee year. 1977 was dominated by funk and punk, with Heatwave's Boogie Nights and The Stranglers' No More Heroes in the top ten. Classic top of the charts hits included Baccara's Yes Sir, I Can Boogie and Angelo by Brotherhood of Man. Some of the enduring heroes to take to the stage that year were David Bowie, Rod Stewart, Queen and Elvis Costello, with rare studio performances from The Jacksons and Bob Marley & The Wailers.


FRI 23:35 The Old Grey Whistle Test (b014vzy3)
70s Gold

The Old Grey Whistle Test was launched on 21 September 1971 from a tiny studio tucked behind a lift shaft on the fourth floor of BBC Television Centre. From humble beginnings, it has gone on to provide some of the best and most treasured music archive that the BBC has to offer.

This programme takes us on a journey and celebrates the musically mixed-up decade that was the 1970s, and which is reflected in the OGWT archive. There are classic performances from the glam era by Elton John and David Bowie, an early UK TV appearance from Curtis Mayfield, the beginnings of heavy metal with Steppenwolf's iconic Born to Be Wild anthem and the early punk machinations of the 'mock rock' New York Dolls. Archive from the pinnacle year, 1973, features Roxy Music, The Wailers and Vinegar Joe. The programme's finale celebrates the advent of punk and new wave with unforgettable performances from Patti Smith, Blondie, Iggy Pop and The Jam.

Artists featured are Elton John, Lindisfarne, David Bowie, Curtis Mayfield, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Steppenwolf, Vinegar Joe, Brinsley Schwarz, New York Dolls, Argent, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Captain Beefheart, Johnny Winter, Dr Feelgood, Gil Scott Heron, Patti Smith, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Cher & Gregg Allman, Talking Heads, The Jam, Blondie, Iggy Pop and The Specials.


FRI 01:05 Top of the Pops (b01932g9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 02:05 Top of the Pops (b018zv8d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:35 today]


FRI 03:05 Gershwin's Summertime: The Song that Conquered the World (b017nf05)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]




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

100 Years of the Palladium 22:00 TUE (b00wyn7s)

A Renaissance Education: The Schooling of Thomas More's Daughter 22:00 THU (b0135mv0)

A Renaissance Education: The Schooling of Thomas More's Daughter 02:00 THU (b0135mv0)

Beautiful Equations 22:30 MON (b00wltbm)

Birmingham Royal Ballet's Cinderella 19:00 SAT (b00wyltr)

Birmingham Royal Ballet's Cinderella 02:00 SAT (b00wyltr)

Charlie Brooker's 2011 Wipe 23:00 SAT (b018l74r)

Climbing Great Buildings 19:30 TUE (b00tr6g1)

Climbing Great Buildings 02:30 TUE (b00tr6g1)

Climbing Great Buildings 19:30 WED (b00tr6k2)

Climbing Great Buildings 19:30 THU (b00tr6sr)

Come Bell Ringing with Charles Hazlewood 23:20 SUN (b01803s3)

Edinburgh Comedy Live 22:00 SAT (b018l71v)

Edinburgh Comedy Live 01:00 SAT (b018l71v)

Edinburgh Comedy Live 23:00 WED (b018l71v)

Frank Skinner on George Formby 00:00 WED (b016fpz0)

Gershwin at the Proms 19:30 FRI (b01933t2)

Gershwin's Summertime: The Song that Conquered the World 20:00 FRI (b017nf05)

Gershwin's Summertime: The Song that Conquered the World 03:05 FRI (b017nf05)

Half a Sixpence 21:00 SUN (b00kyp1d)

Indian Hill Railways 19:30 MON (b00qvk99)

Indian Hill Railways 23:30 MON (b00qvk99)

Legends 00:00 SAT (b00fzv3y)

Mad and Bad: 60 Years of Science on TV 21:00 MON (b00wltfx)

Mad and Bad: 60 Years of Science on TV 02:00 MON (b00wltfx)

Motown at the BBC 21:00 SAT (b00hq4qr)

New Year's Day Concert 19:00 SUN (b0192n6l)

New Year's Day Concert 02:20 SUN (b0192n6l)

Only Connect 20:30 MON (b01930xb)

Only Connect 00:30 MON (b01930xb)

Outnumbered 22:30 WED (b0147jll)

Outnumbered 02:30 WED (b0147jll)

Railway Walks with Julia Bradbury 19:00 MON (b00dtp4b)

Railway Walks with Julia Bradbury 03:30 MON (b00dtp4b)

Still Ringing After All These Years: A Short History of Bells 00:20 SUN (b018ct1c)

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

The Grammar School: A Secret History 21:00 THU (b0192q6y)

The Grammar School: A Secret History 03:00 THU (b0192q6y)

The Great British Outdoors 20:00 WED (b00t4kh5)

The Great British Outdoors 01:00 WED (b00t4kh5)

The Many Faces of... 23:30 TUE (b018nvwc)

The Old Grey Whistle Test 23:35 FRI (b014vzy3)

The Rattigan Enigma by Benedict Cumberbatch 01:20 SUN (b012tnt0)

The Search for Life: The Drake Equation 01:00 MON (b00wltbk)

The Search for Life: The Drake Equation 20:00 THU (b00wltbk)

The Search for Life: The Drake Equation 01:00 THU (b00wltbk)

The Story of Musicals 21:00 TUE (b0192pyj)

The Story of Musicals 00:30 TUE (b0192pyj)

The Story of Musicals 03:00 TUE (b0192pyj)

The Story of Musicals 23:00 THU (b0192pyj)

Timeshift 20:00 TUE (b00nf0nl)

Timeshift 01:30 TUE (b00nf0nl)

Timeshift 21:00 WED (b019327k)

Timeshift 03:00 WED (b019327k)

Too Much, Too Young: Children of the Middle Ages 00:00 THU (b013rknh)

Top of the Pops 21:00 FRI (b01932g9)

Top of the Pops 22:00 FRI (b0195klg)

Top of the Pops 22:35 FRI (b018zv8d)

Top of the Pops 01:05 FRI (b01932g9)

Top of the Pops 02:05 FRI (b018zv8d)

Twenty Twelve 22:00 WED (b00zhzqw)

Twenty Twelve 02:00 WED (b00zhzqw)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b019h9vx)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b0192pyg)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b0192q6t)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b0192r9b)