Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 07 JANUARY 2012

SAT 19:00 Unnatural Histories (b011s4k0)
Serengeti

More than anywhere, the Serengeti is synonymous with wilderness and has even come to represent Africa. But the story of the Serengeti is just as much about humans as it is about wildlife. Right from the origin of our species in Africa, humans have been profoundly shaping this unique wilderness - hunters and pastoralists with cattle and fire, ivory traders and big game hunters, conservationists, scientists, film-makers and even tourists have all played a part in shaping the Serengeti.

Probably most powerful of all was a tiny microbe unknowingly brought to Africa by a small Italian expeditionary force - Rinderpest, a deadly virus that swept through the continent decimating cattle and wildlife alike and forever changing the face of the wild. The Serengeti is far from timeless, it is forever changing - and wherever there is change, the influence of Homo sapiens is not far behind.


SAT 20:00 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.


SAT 21:00 Borgen (b019c0dy)
Series 1

Decency in the Middle

The final countdown to election day is full of surprises on all sides as Denmark prepares for parliamentary elections. Birgitte Nyborg, facing her first election as party leader, decides at the last minute to head in her own direction - the question is whether the voters will reward or punish her for this change of course. Likewise, Birgitte's press advisor Kasper Juul and TV journalist Katrine Fonsmark are each thrown off track in their own way in this super-professional, super-competitive race.


SAT 22:00 Borgen (b019chkh)
Series 1

Count to 90

Danish drama series about the fight for political power - and the personal sacrifices and consequences this has for those involved on and behind the political stage.

Birgitte Nyborg is undeniably the winner of the election, doubling her party's seats in parliament. Focus now turns to the negotiation of alliances and the forming of a new coalition government. Turbulence, toil and surprises ensue, and Birgitte's election win begins to look more like a loss. Katrine is going through hell, but continues her dedication to her work. In addition to losing his job, Kasper is losing his grip. And in the middle of all the commotion, Ole Dahl's funeral takes a strange turn.


SAT 23:00 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.


SAT 00:00 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.


SAT 00:35 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.


SAT 01:35 Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity (p00kjq6h)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SAT 02:35 Unnatural Histories (b011s4k0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SAT 03:35 Top of the Pops (b0195klg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 00:00 today]



SUNDAY 08 JANUARY 2012

SUN 19:00 A Little Later (b00rzr77)
The Great American Songbook

Four performances from the Later... with Jools Holland archive featuring songs synonymous with the Great American Songbook. Liza Minelli sings God Bless the Child; Randy Crawford and Joe Sample perform Feeling Good; there's Fine and Mellow from Cleo Laine and John Dankworth; and Eartha Kitt performs Ain't Misbehavin.


SUN 19:15 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.


SUN 20:15 Kiss Me Kate (b00pn5b9)
Musical comedy. Singer Fred Graham is to play the lead in a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew. However, in casting both his ex-wife and his girlfriend in the other leading roles, he makes the production a battlefield onstage and off.

Songs include Wunderbar, From This Moment On, So in Love and Kiss Me Kate.


SUN 22:00 ... Sings the Great American Songbook (b00rs3w4)
Presenting the best and most eclectic performances on the BBC from the world's best-known artists performing their interpretations of classic tracks from The Great American Songbook.

In chronological order, this programme takes us through a myriad of BBC studio performances, from Dame Shirley Bassey in 1966 performing The Lady is A Tramp, to Bryan Ferry in 1974 on Twiggy's BBC primetime show performing Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, to Captain Sensible on Top of the Pops in 1982 with his number one hit version of Happy Talk, through to Kirsty MacColl singing Miss Otis Regrets in 1994 to Jamie Cullum with his version of I Get a Kick Out Of You on Parkinson in 2004 and bang up to date with Brit winner Florence from Florence and the Machine performing My Baby Just Cares for Me with Jools Holland on his Annual Hootenanny at the end of 2009.

The Great American Songbook can best be described as the music and popular songs of the famous and prolific American composers of the 1920s and onwards. Composers such as Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Hoagy Carmichael to name but a few... songwriters who wrote the tunes of Broadway theatre and Hollywood musicals that earned enduring popularity before the dawning of rock 'n' roll.

These famous songwriters have penned songs which have entered the general consciousness and which are now best described as standards - tunes which every musician and singer aspires to include in their repertoire.


SUN 23:00 The Story of Musicals (b0192pyj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:15 today]


SUN 00:00 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.


SUN 01:00 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.


SUN 02:00 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.


SUN 03:00 ... Sings the Great American Songbook (b00rs3w4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]



MONDAY 09 JANUARY 2012

MON 19:00 World News Today (b0192sjb)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


MON 19:30 Indian Hill Railways (b00qzzlm)
The Nilgiri Mountain 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 Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a romantic line, popular with honeymooners and driven by love and devotion as well as steam. It chugs through the south Indian jungle up to a hill station, once known as Snooty Ooty.

The current guard is Ivan. Married for twenty years, he is concerned about his friend Jenni, the ticket inspector, because he's still a bachelor - but Jenni has a secret.

In the engine shed, Shivani, the railway's first female diesel engineer, is working on a steam loco. She has to make it look its best, as in the year of filming, 1999, the railway celebrated its centenary. The high point is the Black Beauty competition to pick the best engine on the line, but rains and landslides threaten the proceedings and the tourist business. Will love win out in the end?


MON 20:30 Only Connect (b019c6s6)
Specials

Only Connect vs Mastermind Special - Crossworders vs Masterminders

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.

A trio of Mastermind series winners take on Only Connect champions the Crossworders. They compete to draw together the connections between things which, at first glance, seem utterly random, from adder to possum to orange to Nottingham.


MON 21:00 Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings (b0192nrg)
Ruling by the Book

Dr Janina Ramirez unlocks the secrets of illuminated manuscripts that were custom-made for kings and explores the medieval world they reveal. She begins her journey with the first Anglo-Saxon rulers to create a united England, encountering books in the British Library's Royal manuscripts collection which are over a thousand years old and a royal family tree which is five metres long.

Janina finds out about a king who had a reputation for chasing nuns and reads a book created as a wedding gift for a ten-year-old prince. She roams from Westminster Abbey to other ancient English spiritual sites such as Winchester, St Albans and Malmesbury, and sees for herself how animal skins can be transformed into the finest vellum.


MON 22:00 Storyville (b0192npf)
Survivors

Survivors: Despicable Dick

Enigmatic rascal and recovering addict Dick Kuchera has offended many people in his time. As part of Storyville's Survivors season, Despicable Dick follows him on a life-changing road trip to track down former loved ones in an attempt to right the wrongs of his chequered past. A surprising and moving tragicomedy of change, family and forgiveness.


MON 23:20 Timeshift (b019327k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 on Saturday]


MON 00:20 Only Connect (b019c6s6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


MON 00:50 Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings (b0192nrg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


MON 01:50 Indian Hill Railways (b00qzzlm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


MON 02:50 Only Connect (b019c6s6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


MON 03:20 Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings (b0192nrg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



TUESDAY 10 JANUARY 2012

TUE 19:00 World News Today (b019c6s4)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


TUE 19:30 Climbing Great Buildings (b00tr7gl)
New College, Oxford

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.

Jonathan's journey takes him to New College in Oxford. Built in 1379, this college set the blueprint for universities all over the world for the next 600 years.

Jonathan climbs the dreaming spires to investigate how the devastation of the Black Death led to an architectural innovation. He tests his newly-acquired climbing skills by scaling almost 100 feet to reveal how the enduring symbol of university life - the quadrangle - originated here. On his climbs, he discovers the bishop whose vision it was and sees how he literally left his mark all over the college in a medieval PR stunt; discovers carvings of English folk tales in the chapel; and traverses a sheer drop of 80 feet to explore how a new glazing technique, known as 'yellow stain', allowed New College to create some of the most magnificent medieval stained glass in the country.


TUE 20:00 Timeshift (b00nnm7k)
Series 9

The Men Who Built the Liners

Many of the most famous passenger liners in history were built in the British Isles, several in the shipyards along the banks of the Clyde. Timeshift combines personal accounts and archive footage to evoke a vivid picture of the unique culture that grew up in the Clyde shipyards. Despite some of the harshest working conditions in industrial history and dire industrial relations, it was here that the Queen Mary, the Queen Elizabeth and the QE2 were built. Such was the Clyde shipbuilders' pride in their work, and the strength of public support, that in 1971 they were able to defy a government attempt to close them down and win the right to carry on shipbuilding.


TUE 21:00 The Story of Musicals (b019c7pz)
Episode 2

This episode charts how British musical talent in the 1980s stormed the West End with hits like Cats, Les Miserables, Blood Brothers and Phantom of the Opera. There are first-hand accounts from the extraordinary individuals whose tenacity and creativity ensured these shows became mega-hits despite often precarious beginnings. And it reveals how the titantic shows of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh became global phenomena, securing Britain's reputation as the powerhouse of musical theatre.

With contributions from Lord Lloyd Webber, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Sir Tim Rice, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Stephen Fry, Trevor Nunn, Sir Cliff Richard, Elaine Paige, Gillian Lyne, Paul Nicholas, Bonnie Langford, Richard Stilgoe, John Caird, John Napier, Bill Kenwright, Willy Russell, Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schonberg, Anthony Pye-Jeary, Arlene Phillips, Charles Hart, Don Black, Harold Prince and Michael Ball.


TUE 22:00 Arena (b019c7q1)
Dickens on Film

From the magical films of the silent era to the celebrated work of director David Lean and high definition television, this documentary revisits films and interviews from the archive to answer the question of why Dickens's novels have inspired so many hundreds of adaptations on screen.

This co-production with Dickens 2012 not only encapsulates the history of Dickens's time, but also of the 100 years in which his work has survived most acutely on screen. It is not only the stories, themes and characters of Dickens's writing that translate so well onto screen - Sergei Eisenstein argued that there is something essentially filmic in his unique prose style; that Dickens's rapid 'cutting' within scenes and from scene to scene coupled with his seamless mixture of the bizarrely comic with the terrifyingly profound was itself proto-cinematic.

Dickens wrote the way a camera saw before film had been invented and he remains to this day the most cinematic of writers.


TUE 23:00 Les Mis at 25: Matt Lucas Dreams the Dream (b00wyn0c)
Les Miserables is the world's best-loved musical. It has been seen by 57 million people and in 2010 celebrated its 25th anniversary with its two largest ever productions at London's O2 Arena. Matt Lucas, a lifelong fan of 'Les Mis', was invited to fulfil his dream of performing in these shows alongside more than 300 stalwarts from previous productions.

This documentary tells the story of a musical that many thought would fail, but which became a worldwide phenomenon with unforgettable songs like I Dreamed A Dream. We follow Matt as he prepares for the performance of a lifetime, we hear from those involved with the show's creation, including Cameron Mackintosh and Michael Ball, and of course we enjoy wonderful moments from the show itself.


TUE 00:00 ... Sings the Great American Songbook (b00rs3w4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday]


TUE 01:00 The Story of Musicals (b019c7pz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 02:00 Arena (b019c7q1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


TUE 03:00 Climbing Great Buildings (b00tr7gl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


TUE 03:30 The Story of Musicals (b019c7pz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 11 JANUARY 2012

WED 19:00 World News Today (b019c7px)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


WED 19:30 Climbing Great Buildings (b00tr8nd)
Layer Marney Tower

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 in Jonathan's journey takes him to Layer Marney Tower, a Tudor skyscraper nestled in the countryside near Colchester in Essex.

With unprecedented access to Layer Marney, Jonathan, aided by top climber Lucy Creamer, scales the building to reveal the innovations of the Tudor builders and craftsmen. On his adventure, Jonathan scales the highest and most majestic Tudor gatehouse in Britain to investigate why brick, an art form that died out with the Roman Empire, suddenly became the must-have building material for Tudor nobles. As he climbs all over the building, he walks a tightrope between the beams of a 500-year-old roof to investigate how Layer Marney's history is literally carved into the building; exposes the cunning Tudor tricks of the trade that make the house appear even more opulent than it actually is; and reveals the connection between parmesan cheese and the beautifully ornate terracotta carvings that adorn the building.


WED 20:00 Top of the Pops (b018zv8d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 01:00 on Sunday]


WED 21:00 Timeshift (b019c85h)
Series 11

The Rules of Drinking

Timeshift digs into the archive to discover the unwritten rules that have governed the way we drink in Britain.

In the pubs and working men's clubs of the 40s and 50s there were strict customs governing who stood where. To be invited to sup at the bar was a rite of passage for many young men, and it took years for women to be accepted into these bastions of masculinity. As the country prospered and foreign travel became widely available, so new drinking habits were introduced as we discovered wine and, even more exotically, cocktails.

People began to drink at home as well as at work, where journalists typified a tradition of the liquid lunch. Advertising played its part as lager was first sold as a woman's drink and then the drink of choice for young men with a bit of disposable income. The rules changed and changed again, but they were always there - unwritten and unspoken, yet underwriting our complicated relationship with drinking.


WED 22:00 Outnumbered (b014hrv9)
Series 4

Episode 2

Mum has had enough of the boys' attitudes to housework so sets out on a campaign to civilise them. Karen battles with chuggers and buying shoes, while Dad goes to war with a domestic appliance.


WED 22:30 Twenty Twelve (b00zs80d)
Series 1

Episode 2

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.

A visiting group of dignitaries from Rio (Olympic hosts in 2016) is in London for the week. For Head of Deliverance Ian Fletcher and his team the mission is simple. All they have to do is to meet the Brazilian delegation and take them by coach to the Olympic Stadium where they will meet Head of LOCOG, Lord Sebastian Coe. What can possibly go wrong?

As it turns out, just about everything: from language difficulties through satellite navigation issues to burst water mains and phantom punctures. For the team it's a lesson in the importance of staying positive and focused even when you are literally travelling in completely the wrong direction.


WED 23:00 Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings (b0192nrg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]


WED 00:00 Borgen (b019c0dy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday]


WED 01:00 Borgen (b019chkh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Saturday]


WED 02:00 Outnumbered (b014hrv9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


WED 02:30 Twenty Twelve (b00zs80d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]


WED 03:00 Timeshift (b019c85h)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



THURSDAY 12 JANUARY 2012

THU 19:00 World News Today (b019c85f)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


THU 19:30 The Sky at Night (b08spfqw)
Other Solar Systems

We now know there are other solar systems far away in space, but are they like ours and is there life on these strange worlds? Sir Patrick Moore goes on the quest for little green men.


THU 20:00 Horizon (b0148vph)
2011-2012

The Core

For centuries we have dreamt of reaching the centre of the Earth. Now scientists are uncovering a bizarre and alien world that lies 4,000 miles beneath our feet, unlike anything we know on the surface. It is a planet buried within the planet we know, where storms rage within a sea of white-hot metal and a giant forest of crystals make up a metal core the size of the moon.

Horizon follows scientists who are conducting experiments to recreate this core within their own laboratories, with surprising results.


THU 21:00 The Grammar School: A Secret History (b019c88d)
Episode 2

This is the story of the golden age of the grammar schools in the 1950s and 60s and their sudden demise. They gave talented children from modest backgrounds, like Michael Wood, Neil Kinnock and Edwina Currie, the chance to go to the very best schools in the country. This revealing history explains how and why the grammar schools were suddenly phased out by the very people who had benefited from them.


THU 22:00 The Story of Music Hall with Michael Grade (b016fn23)
Michael Grade traces the raucous history of the music hall in a revelatory journey that takes him from venues such as Wilton's Music Hall in London to Glasgow's once-famous Britannia. Talking to enthusiasts and performers, Lord Grade discovers the origins of this uniquely British form of entertainment and revisits some of the great acts and impresarios, from Charles Morton and George Leybourne to Bessie Bellwood and Marie Lloyd.

Featuring Jo Brand and Alexei Sayle, with performances from Barry Cryer and many more, Grade hears about dudes, swells, mashers and serio-comics and hears how, in many a house, no turn was left unstoned.


THU 23:30 The Story of Musicals (b019c7pz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]


THU 00:30 Arena (b019c7q1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Tuesday]


THU 01:30 The Sky at Night (b08spfqw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


THU 02:00 Horizon (b0148vph)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


THU 03:00 The Grammar School: A Secret History (b019c88d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



FRIDAY 13 JANUARY 2012

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b019c88b)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 The Lark Ascending (b019c9t9)
Dame Diana Rigg explores the enduring popularity of The Lark Ascending by the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, which was recently voted Britain's favourite piece of classical music by listeners to Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4.

Composed at a key turning point in world history, The Lark Ascending represents music for all occasions. It is used in rites of passage such as births, deaths and marriages, and is a favourite for film-makers looking to create that quintessential English pastoral feel. Fans of the work include actor Peter Sallis, who wants a copy of The Lark Ascending to be buried with him, top violinist Tasmin Little, who has played the piece as part of the BBC Proms, and music critic Michael Kennedy, who was a personal friend of Vaughan Williams.

The programme includes a beautiful new performance of the work in the same village hall where it was heard for the first time in December 1920. The Lark Ascending is performed by 15-year-old violin prodigy Julia Hwang and pianist Charles Matthews, using the original arrangement for violin and piano.


FRI 20:00 The Passions of Vaughan Williams (b00bfmt4)
Fifty years after his death, this musical and psychological portrait of Ralph Vaughan Williams explores the passions that drove a giant of 20th-century English music. It explores the enormous musical range of an energetic, red-blooded composer whose output extends well beyond the delicate pastoralism of his perhaps most famous piece, The Lark Ascending.

The film tells the story of his long marriage to his increasingly disabled wife Adeline and his long affair with the woman who eventually became his second wife, Ursula. The effect of these complicated relationships on his music is demonstrated in performances of orchestral and choral works, specially filmed at Cadogan Hall, London by the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Richard Hickox and by the singers of Schola Cantorum of Oxford.

Among the contributors is the late Ursula Vaughan Williams, who was interviewed shortly before she died at the age of 96.


FRI 21:30 R.E.M. at the BBC (b019g9vf)
In September 2011 R.E.M., the rock band from Athens, Georgia, decided to call it a day after 31 years. This collection from the BBC archives includes performances of Pretty Persuasion from the Old Grey Whistle Test in 1984, Orange Crush on Top of the Pops in 1989 and special acoustic versions of Losing My Religion and Half a World Away on The Late Show in 1991, along with performances on Later with Jools Holland and Parkinson. Also, vocalist Michael Stipe and bassist Mike Mills reflect on the band ending.


FRI 22:30 Later... with Jools Holland (b019g9vh)
REM

Special edition featuring rock band R.E.M. live in the studio and in conversation with Jools Holland. The band perform songs from their album Up, plus some old favourites.


FRI 23:30 The Last 48 Hours of Kurt Cobain (b00795mc)
The week before Kurt Cobain was found dead from a single gunshot, he went missing. His whereabouts for that week had been a mystery. This programme uses the testimony of people who knew him, of the witnesses who saw him in that last week and of the ordinary people who found themselves written into his story to give a picture of his final hours.


FRI 00:50 Nirvana Live at the Paramount (b016fr66)
2011 marked the 20th anniversary since the Nirvana album Nevermind, their major label debut, elevated Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl from a critically-acclaimed Aberdeen, Washington, cult band to generational spokesmen who had unwittingly created a cultural shift and musical touchstone.

Rising to number 1 the world over by the end of 1991 and ultimately selling over 30 million copies worldwide, Nevermind would come to be much more than one of the most successful and influential albums of its or any era. This Halloween concert, recorded at the Paramount in the band's home town of Seattle in 1991, features a healthy sprinkling of tracks from Nevermind including Lithium, Polly, Breed and Smells Like Teen Spirit, as well as fan favourites Sliver and About a Girl.

As the band that returned unaffected rock 'n' roll integrity and passion to the top of the charts, they proved a singular inspiration to fans and musicians alike over the last two decades, and will undoubtedly do so for generations to come.

The Paramount concert, transferred from 16mm film and multi-track audio, is the only known Nirvana concert to be shot on film.


FRI 01:45 R.E.M. at the BBC (b019g9vf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:30 today]


FRI 02:45 Later... with Jools Holland (b019g9vh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]


FRI 03:50 The Lark Ascending (b019c9t9)
[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)

... Sings the Great American Songbook 22:00 SUN (b00rs3w4)

... Sings the Great American Songbook 03:00 SUN (b00rs3w4)

... Sings the Great American Songbook 00:00 TUE (b00rs3w4)

A Little Later 19:00 SUN (b00rzr77)

Arena 22:00 TUE (b019c7q1)

Arena 02:00 TUE (b019c7q1)

Arena 00:30 THU (b019c7q1)

Borgen 21:00 SAT (b019c0dy)

Borgen 22:00 SAT (b019chkh)

Borgen 00:00 WED (b019c0dy)

Borgen 01:00 WED (b019chkh)

Climbing Great Buildings 19:30 TUE (b00tr7gl)

Climbing Great Buildings 03:00 TUE (b00tr7gl)

Climbing Great Buildings 19:30 WED (b00tr8nd)

Gershwin's Summertime: The Song that Conquered the World 02:00 SUN (b017nf05)

Horizon 20:00 THU (b0148vph)

Horizon 02:00 THU (b0148vph)

Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings 21:00 MON (b0192nrg)

Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings 00:50 MON (b0192nrg)

Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings 03:20 MON (b0192nrg)

Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings 23:00 WED (b0192nrg)

Indian Hill Railways 19:30 MON (b00qzzlm)

Indian Hill Railways 01:50 MON (b00qzzlm)

Kiss Me Kate 20:15 SUN (b00pn5b9)

Later... with Jools Holland 22:30 FRI (b019g9vh)

Later... with Jools Holland 02:45 FRI (b019g9vh)

Les Mis at 25: Matt Lucas Dreams the Dream 23:00 TUE (b00wyn0c)

Nirvana Live at the Paramount 00:50 FRI (b016fr66)

Only Connect 20:30 MON (b019c6s6)

Only Connect 00:20 MON (b019c6s6)

Only Connect 02:50 MON (b019c6s6)

Outnumbered 22:00 WED (b014hrv9)

Outnumbered 02:00 WED (b014hrv9)

R.E.M. at the BBC 21:30 FRI (b019g9vf)

R.E.M. at the BBC 01:45 FRI (b019g9vf)

Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity 20:00 SAT (p00kjq6h)

Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity 01:35 SAT (p00kjq6h)

Storyville 22:00 MON (b0192npf)

The Grammar School: A Secret History 21:00 THU (b019c88d)

The Grammar School: A Secret History 03:00 THU (b019c88d)

The Lark Ascending 19:30 FRI (b019c9t9)

The Lark Ascending 03:50 FRI (b019c9t9)

The Last 48 Hours of Kurt Cobain 23:30 FRI (b00795mc)

The Passions of Vaughan Williams 20:00 FRI (b00bfmt4)

The Search for Life: The Drake Equation 00:35 SAT (b00wltbk)

The Sky at Night 19:30 THU (b08spfqw)

The Sky at Night 01:30 THU (b08spfqw)

The Story of Music Hall with Michael Grade 22:00 THU (b016fn23)

The Story of Musicals 19:15 SUN (b0192pyj)

The Story of Musicals 23:00 SUN (b0192pyj)

The Story of Musicals 21:00 TUE (b019c7pz)

The Story of Musicals 01:00 TUE (b019c7pz)

The Story of Musicals 03:30 TUE (b019c7pz)

The Story of Musicals 23:30 THU (b019c7pz)

Timeshift 23:00 SAT (b019327k)

Timeshift 23:20 MON (b019327k)

Timeshift 20:00 TUE (b00nnm7k)

Timeshift 21:00 WED (b019c85h)

Timeshift 03:00 WED (b019c85h)

Top of the Pops 00:00 SAT (b0195klg)

Top of the Pops 03:35 SAT (b0195klg)

Top of the Pops 00:00 SUN (b01932g9)

Top of the Pops 01:00 SUN (b018zv8d)

Top of the Pops 20:00 WED (b018zv8d)

Twenty Twelve 22:30 WED (b00zs80d)

Twenty Twelve 02:30 WED (b00zs80d)

Unnatural Histories 19:00 SAT (b011s4k0)

Unnatural Histories 02:35 SAT (b011s4k0)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b0192sjb)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b019c6s4)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b019c7px)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b019c85f)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b019c88b)