The BBC has announced that it has a sustainable plan for the future of the BBC Singers, in association with The VOCES8 Foundation.
The threat to reduce the staff of the three English orchestras by 20% has not been lifted, but it is being reconsidered.
See the BBC press release here.

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Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by


SAT 19:00 The Blue Planet (b0074mn1)

David Attenborough narrates a natural history of the oceans, examining the use animals from in and around the sea make of the constantly changing areas where land meets water.

From the open oceans, millions of sea birds are forced to come into land to breed. Sea eagles steal kittiwake chicks from their nesting ledges. Turtles lay their eggs in the sand and marine mammals haul themselves out to fight on the beaches. Sea lions emerge from the kelp to give birth, while killer whales come crashing in on the surf to snatch the sea lion's young.

SAT 20:00 10 Things You Didn't Know About... (b008vrwk)

Iain Stewart travels across mountain ranges and glaciers to reveal ten remarkable stories about avalanches.

Over a million avalanches happen throughout the world each year, and yet we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the chaotic turbulence inside an avalanche. Scientists have had to put themselves right inside a raging avalanche to find out more.

Stewart shows how the deadliest avalanche in history killed 18,000 people in three minutes; how Hannibal's army was devastated by avalanches as he crossed the Alps to fight Rome; why an avalanche was key to one of the greatest aviation mysteries of all time; and how global warming may increase the rate of ice avalanches in the future.

SAT 21:00 Wallander (b01ln99p)

Part 2

A Kurt Wallander mystery told from the perspectives of police and criminal. As the confusing murders continue, it seems Wallander's daughter could be in danger.

In Swedish with English subtitles.

SAT 22:15 Julia Bradbury's Icelandic Walk (b0110grr)
Julia Bradbury heads for Iceland to embark on the toughest walk of her life. Her challenge is to walk the 60 kilometres of Iceland's most famous hiking route, a trail that just happens to end at the unpronounceable volcano that brought air traffic across Europe to a standstill in 2010. With the help of Icelandic mountain guide Hanna, Julia faces daunting mountain climbs, red hot lava fields, freezing river crossings, deadly clouds of sulphuric gas, swirling ash deserts and sinister Nordic ghost stories as she attempts to reach the huge volcanic crater at the centre of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier.

SAT 23:15 Top of the Pops (b01lllgs)

Tony Blackburn looks at the weekly pop chart from 1977 and introduces Smokie, Brotherhood of Man, Barry Biggs, Hot Chocolate, Rah Band, Olivia Newton-John, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Andy Gibb, Alessi, Boney M and a Legs & Co dance sequence.

SAT 23:50 Pavlopetri - The City Beneath the Waves (b015yh6f)
Just off the southern coast of mainland Greece lies the oldest submerged city in the world. It thrived for 2,000 years during the time that saw the birth of western civilisation.

An international team of experts uses cutting-edge technology to prise age-old secrets from the complex of streets and stone buildings that lie less than five metres below the surface of the ocean. State-of-the-art CGI helps to raise the city from the seabed, revealing for the first time in 3,500 years how Pavlopetri would once have looked and operated.

Underwater archaeologist Dr Jon Henderson leads the project in collaboration with Nic Flemming, the man whose hunch led to the discovery of Pavlopetri in 1967, and a team from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. Working alongside the archaeologists are a team from the Australian Centre for Field Robotics.

The teams scour the ocean floor, looking for artefacts. The site is littered with thousands of fragments, each providing valuable clues about the everyday lives of the people of Pavlopetri. From the buildings to the trade goods to the everyday tableware, each artefact provides a window into a forgotten world.

Together these precious relics provide us with a window to a time when Pavlopetri would have been at its height, showing us what life was like in this distant age and revealing how this city marks the start of western civilisation.

SAT 00:50 The Two-Thousand-Year-Old Computer (b01hlkcq)
In 1901, a group of divers excavating an ancient Roman shipwreck near the island of Antikythera, off the southern coast of Greece, found a mysterious object - a lump of calcified stone that contained within it several gearwheels welded together after years under the sea. The 2,000-year-old object, no bigger than a modern laptop, is now regarded as the world's oldest computer, devised to predict solar eclipses and, according to recent findings, calculate the timing of the ancient Olympics. Following the efforts of an international team of scientists, the mysteries of the Antikythera Mechanism are uncovered, revealing surprising and awe-inspiring details of the object that continues to mystify.

SAT 01:50 10 Things You Didn't Know About... (b008vrwk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SAT 02:45 The Blue Planet (b0074mn1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SUN 19:00 Himalaya with Michael Palin (b0074qx6)
A Passage to India

Michael Palin continues his Himalayan trek by travelling from K2 in Pakistan to Ladakh in India - a short distance as the crow flies but, due to politics, a huge loop. He passes through the Sikh city of Amritsar, with its Golden Temple, and through Shimla with its Vice Regal Lodge, Gaiety Theatre and cosy half-timbered teahouses. He then meets the 14th Dalai Lama in Dharamsala where the Tibetan government is in exile.

SUN 20:00 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.

SUN 21:00 The Road to Coronation Street (b00ttj2r)
6.53pm, December 9th 1960, Granada Studios, Manchester. With minutes to go until the live transmission of episode one, creator Tony Warren is being sick in the toilets, actress Pat Phoenix is missing and so is the cat from the opening shot.

This is the epic story of one man's struggle to make a programme that no-one wanted. Granada's formidable bosses Sidney Bernstein and his brother Cecil are not enthusiastic, but together with producer Harry Elton and director Derek Bennett, Tony takes up the battle. He wants cobbles, a pub, seven houses and a shop, but above all he wants Northern actors. Led by casting director Margaret Morris and her young assistant Josie Scott, the hunt begins for the legendary cast - Doris Speed, Pat Phoenix, Violet Carson and William Roache. With a last-minute change of title, Coronation Street is born.

SUN 22:20 Timeshift (b018jp1v)
Series 11

Epic: A Cast of Thousands!

Timeshift reveals the ten commandments of big cinema as it goes behind the scenes of the biggest film genre of them all - the epic. See the biggest sets ever known! Hear the sound of Ancient Rome! Count the spiralling costs as budgets soared!

From Ben-Hur to The Ten Commandments, from El Cid to Cleopatra, these were films that set a new standard in BIG. In the days before computers they recreated ancient worlds on a vast scale, and they did it for real. Epic cinema hired armies, defied the seasons and changed cinema. Even the screen wasn't big enough for the epic, so Hollywood made it bigger - and some cinemagoers experienced vertigo watching these vast productions.

Today, the epic lives on in the Oscar-laden Gladiator and the spectacular sweep of Avatar. As this documentary reveals, the stories behind the films are as spectacular as the films themselves.

SUN 23:20 Shakespeare from Kabul (b01lddqf)
This is the story of a group of Afghan actors bringing a production of Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors to an international festival at London's Globe theatre.

Over 30 years of war have virtually destroyed Afghan theatre. Women can be harassed for performing on stage. Yet in just a few months the actors are expected to perform in front of an audience of thousands at one of the most prestigious theatres in the world.

The film starts with challenging auditions in the Afghan capital, caught in the grip of one of the worst winters of recent years. It follows the actors to rural India for rehearsals - safe from the security threats of Kabul but away from their friends and families. It ends with their triumphant and moving performance at the Globe. Facing an uncertain welcome on their return, the film gives real insight into the struggles and bravery of the actors determined to show the world a very different side to Afghanistan.

SUN 00:05 Legends (b01lcz64)
Iron Maiden: Behind the Beast

A fascinating, high-quality 'home movie', produced entirely in-house by Iron Maiden's own crew led by Andy Matthews, it reveals how to put on an Iron Maiden tour and what goes on behind the scenes at a show. It describes the extraordinary story of one of the most acclaimed and ambitious touring shows in the world, illustrating the day-to-day life and complex tasks of the crew and the other characters behind the scenes.

As well as interviews with the Iron Maiden crew, it interweaves anecdotes from the band and their fans, and includes footage of the live show in this comprehensive guide to the intricacies of staging massive, live stadium shows around the world out of the belly of a Boeing 757.

Starting in Moscow and performing across the globe from Asia to Australia to South America and finishing up in Florida, the band travel over 60,000 miles with lead singer Bruce Dickinson once again at the wheel of their customised Boeing 757- Ed Force One.

SUN 01:00 Legends (b01lcz66)
Iron Maiden: En Vivo

Iron Maiden concert filmed on 10 April 2011 in front of over 50,000 ecstatic fans at the Estadio Nacional, Santiago during the Round the World in 66 Days leg of the Final Frontier World Tour, capturing a magnificent performance by the band, ardently embraced by the legendary Latino passion and energy of their Chilean fans. With spectacular stage backdrops, dynamic musicianship and a jaw-dropping appearance by Eddie, this live show encapsulates the heart and soul of Iron Maiden 2011. The set features Final Frontier, El Dorado, Dance of Death, Trooper, Blood Brothers, Where the Wild Wind Blows, Fear of the Dark and Iron Maiden.

SUN 02:00 The Santana Story: Angels and Demons (b011s5k1)
Carlos Santana, the legendary Mexican-American guitarist and songwriter, reveals his turbulent life story with astonishing intimacy, accompanied by previously unseen archive performances of many of his best-known tunes. These range from Evil Ways and Black Magic Woman to the massive hits from his later Supernatural album. Santana recounts to director Jeremy Marre the abuse and struggle of his early years, the invention of Latin rock in San Francisco, his triumph at Woodstock, his involvement with jealous guru Sri Chinmoy and guitarist John McLaughlin, and the rollercoaster years that followed.

This frank and very personal depiction of a remarkable forty-year career, fuelled by his 'angels and demons', is illustrated with behind-the-scenes footage uncovered for the first time, interviews with former members of the band, producers and musicians, and many performances from the early 70s that depict his unmistakable guitar style.

Contributors include members of the Santana band, music industry executive Clive Davis, producer David Rubinson, guitarist John McLaughlin, Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead, Santana family members and other musical collaborators.

SUN 03:15 The Road to Coronation Street (b00ttj2r)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


MON 19:00 World News Today (b01ln43x)
BBC World News London Live

The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

MON 19:30 Wilderness Explored (b00dwf7q)

Two hundred years ago, the Arctic was largely a great blank on the map for would-be explorers. It captured their imagination as a place of sublime beauty and yet also as a desolate frozen landscape, home to the deadly polar bear. It was a place where heroes attempted to find the North-West passage and where whole expeditions disappeared without trace.

In the last century, the polar sea has become a region of vital strategic significance where the great powers built secret bases, transforming the lifestyle of the Inuit. Now, as the Arctic ice melts, the polar bear has become an emblem for the fragility of our planet.

MON 20:30 Nature's Microworlds (b01lndd2)
Monterey Bay

Monterey Bay on California's coast is one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world, its giant kelp forest bursting with life, from microscopic plankton to visiting ocean giants. The secret key to success in such a busy microworld is balance. Steve Backshall guides us through the unique geography of the bay and introduces some of its key characters in a quest to find the one species that keeps life in the kelp forest in check.

MON 21:00 Wild Swimming (b00t9r28)
Alice Roberts embarks on a quest to discover what lies behind the passion for wild swimming, now becoming popular in Britain. She follows in the wake of Waterlog, the classic swimming text by journalist and author Roger Deakin.

Her journey takes in cavernous plunge pools, languid rivers and unfathomable underground lakes, as well as a skinny dip in a moorland pool. Along the way Alice becomes aware that she is not alone on her watery journey.

MON 22:00 After Life: The Strange Science of Decay (b012w66t)
Ever wondered what would happen in your own home if you were taken away, and everything inside was left to rot? The answer is revealed in this fascinating programme, which explores the strange and surprising science of decay.

For two months in summer 2011, a glass box containing a typical kitchen and garden was left to rot in full public view within Edinburgh Zoo. In this resulting documentary, presenter Dr George McGavin and his team use time-lapse cameras and specialist photography to capture the extraordinary way in which moulds, microbes and insects are able to break down our everyday things and allow new life to emerge from old.

Decay is something that many of us are repulsed by. But as the programme shows, it's a process that's vital in nature. And seen in close-up, it has an unexpected and sometimes mesmerising beauty.

MON 23:30 A History of Art in Three Colours (b01lcz2s)

Dr James Fox explores how, in the hands of artists, the colours gold, blue and white have stirred emotions, changed behaviour and even altered the course of history.

When, in the Middle Ages, the precious blue stone lapis lazuli arrived in Europe from the east, blue became the most exotic and mysterious of colours. And it was artists who used it to offer us tantalising glimpses of other worlds beyond our own.

MON 00:30 Nature's Microworlds (b01lndd2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

MON 01:00 Wilderness Explored (b00dwf7q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

MON 02:00 After Life: The Strange Science of Decay (b012w66t)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

MON 03:30 Wild Swimming (b00t9r28)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 World News Today (b01ln442)
BBC World News London Live

The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

TUE 19:30 Talking Landscapes (b0074m2b)
The Cairngorms

Looking for the ancient Caledonian forest, Aubrey Manning uncovers a landscape that's now disappeared and the Victorian secret at the heart of the highlands.

TUE 20:00 Venice 24/7 (b01fd4tm)
When the Boats Come In

For one day the canals are closed and fleets of row boats take to the water. As temperatures soar, Venetians and visitors turn out in their thousands to celebrate the ancient tradition of rowing. At the same time, the police try to rein in speeding motor boats while, on the city's outskirts, an enormous anti-flood system is being built. As the team prepares to lower millions of pounds of technology weighing over 20 tons into the Venice lagoon, nerves are mounting. Without it, Venice is at risk of disappearing under the water.

TUE 20:30 Venice 24/7 (b01fq2l6)
The Grand Finale

The city comes together to celebrate a 500-year-old religious festival... with a rave. The waterways and canal banks are packed as Venetians eat, drink and get merry. There are drunken party-goers at risk of falling in the water, an unconscious patient that paramedics struggle to reach, argumentative revellers, and a giant firework display to end the series with a bang.

TUE 21:00 The Secret Life of the Motorway (b007xmdn)
The End of the Affair

When the first motorways opened they did so to national celebration. But after the first 1,000 miles had been built, their impact on both town and country was becoming apparent and people started to protest.

Middle England rose up and disrupted public inquiries to voice their frustration at motorway building, but it continued and over time the frustration gave way to concerns about saving the planet. In the early 1990s that meant young people willing to risk everything to stop the motorways being built. The programme shows how people began to question the promises made by the motorway, and along the way found their voice of protest.

TUE 22:00 Mud, Sweat and Tractors: The Story of Agriculture (b00jzjs4)
Fruit and Veg

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

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

TUE 23:00 Dive, Dive, Dive! (b00s96m9)
To the sound of pinging sonar, Robert Llewellyn ups periscope to discover why submarine movies have gripped us for over a century. He travels along the River Medway to find a beached Cold War Russian nuclear sub and then on to the abandoned WWII German U-boat pens on the French coast, recalling many of the real events that inspired these films.

From 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to Das Boot and The Hunt for Red October, Llewellyn discovers that fear - and its antithesis, bravery - is the key, and he also reveals the unique role that Walt Disney played in promoting atomic submarines. Interviewees include director John McTiernan (The Hunt For Red October), Sir Christopher Frayling and screenwriter Michael Schiffer (Crimson Tide).

TUE 00:00 Wallander (b01ln99p)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday]

TUE 01:15 Venice 24/7 (b01fd4tm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

TUE 01:45 Venice 24/7 (b01fq2l6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

TUE 02:15 Talking Landscapes (b0074m2b)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

TUE 02:45 The Secret Life of the Motorway (b007xmdn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 World News Today (b01ln447)
BBC World News London Live

The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

WED 19:30 Top of the Pops (b01lv6wc)

David 'Kid' Jensen looks at the weekly pop chart from 1977 and introduces the Real Thing, the Saints, Jigsaw, Cilla Black, Dave Edmunds, Hot Chocolate, the Sex Pistols and a Legs & Co dance sequence.

WED 20:00 Ian Hislop Goes off the Rails (b00drtpj)
Ian Hislop brings his customary humour, analysis and wit to the notorious Beeching Report of 1963, which led to the closure of a third of the nation's railway lines and stations and forced tens of thousands of people into the car and onto the road.

Was author Dr Richard Beeching little more than Genghis Khan with a slide rule, ruthlessly hacking away at Britain's rail network in a misguided quest for profitability, or was he the fall guy for short-sighted government policies that favoured the car over the train?

Ian also investigates the fallout of Beeching's plan, discovering what was lost to the British landscape, communities and ways of life when the railway map shrank, and recalls the halcyon days of train travel, celebrated by John Betjeman.

Ian travels from Cornwall to the Scottish borders, meeting those responsible and those affected and questioning whether such brutal measures could be justified. Knowing what we know now, with trains far more energy efficient and environmentally sound than cars, perhaps Beeching's plan was the biggest folly of the 1960s?

WED 21:00 A History of Art in Three Colours (b01lng0m)

In the Age of Reason, it was the rediscovery of the white columns and marbles of antiquity that made white the most virtuous of colours. For flamboyant JJ Wickelmann and British genius Josiah Wedgwood, white embodied all the Enlightenment's values of justice, equality and reason.

WED 22:00 Arena (b0074ryh)
Routemasters! The Double Decker Bus Conductors

Documentary celebrating one of London's great characters, the bus conductor. The film tells the stories of five extraordinary conductors from five decades of London's history, rich with period music and archive.

WED 22:55 Lost Cities of the Ancients (b00792tn)
The Vanished Capital of the Pharoah

This episode looks at the legendary lost city of Piramesse. This magnificent ancient capital was built 3,000 years ago by the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses the Great, but long ago the whole city disappeared. When it was rediscovered by early archaeologists, it opened up a bizarre puzzle - when Piramesse was finally found it was in the wrong place, somewhere Ramesses the Great could not possibly have built it.

Recreating the stories of both the early archaeologists and the ancient Egyptians, the film enters a lost world, recounting the strange tale of the quest for Piramesse and following the intriguing detective work of modern archaeologists Manfred Bietak and Edgar Pusch as they solve the baffling mystery of how this great lost city could vanish, only to reappear thousands of years later in the wrong place.

WED 23:55 Borgen (b01bs3t9)
Series 1

Divide and Rule

Though Birgitte is surprised at the defence minister's choice of new fighter jets, she allows him to make public the decision on the government's behalf. When unpleasant surprises surface in the wake of the big plane purchase, the media launch an offensive against members of parliament. Meanwhile, Birgitte becomes more and more controlling both at work and at home, costing her dearly. Katrine is really on her toes but runs into problems with her boss when she acts too arbitrarily.

WED 00:55 Top of the Pops (b01lv6wc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

WED 01:30 Ian Hislop Goes off the Rails (b00drtpj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 02:30 A History of Art in Three Colours (b01lng0m)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 World News Today (b01ln44d)
BBC World News London Live

The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

THU 19:30 BBC Proms (b01lv88b)

A Fantasia of English Music

Samira Ahmed presents from the Royal Albert Hall, as Tadaaki Otaka conducts a celebration of British music performed by the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, the BBC Symphony Chorus and London Brass. Vaughan Williams's much-loved Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis is followed by the beautiful but rarely-performed These Things Shall Be by John Ireland with baritone soloist Jonathan Lemalu. Delius's The Walk to the Paradise Garden marks the 150th anniversary of the composer's birth before all the forces combine for Walton's iconic Belshazzar's Feast.

THU 21:10 The Story of Musicals (b019jshb)
Episode 3

The final episode brings the story up to the 90s and beyond.

We see the rise of the jukebox musical as Bjorn Ulvaeus and Judy Craymer tell the story of the creation of Mamma Mia! Ben Elton and Brian May reveal how We Will Rock You defied the critics to become a smash hit. And as pop culture invaded musical theatre with celebrities like Jason Donovan taking leading roles, the Jerry Springer Opera proved a step too far for the moral majority.

Billy Elliot took inspiration from the doyenne of British musical theatre, Joan Littlewood, as the hit movie was recreated for the stage, while Andrew Lloyd Webber embraced the medium of television to find new stars.

THU 22:10 Sinatra Sings (b0192r0w)
Ol' Blue Eyes in concert in his 1960s, 70s and 80s prime from a variety of US TV specials and in the recording studio. Sinatra the great swinger, saloon singer and balladeer sings classics like That's Life, Moonlight in Vermont, Fly Me to the Moon, Young at Heart and Theme from New York, with some reminiscences from Frank's third child, Tina.

THU 23:10 Frost on Interviews (b01dc5ft)
Television interviews seem to have been around forever - but that's not the case. They evolved in confidence and diversity as television gradually came of age. So how did it all begin? With the help of some of its greatest exponents, Sir David Frost looks back over nearly 60 years of the television interview.

He looks at political interviews, from the earliest examples in the postwar period to the forensic questioning that we now take for granted, and celebrity interviews, from the birth of the chat show in the United States with Jack Paar and Johnny Carson to the emergence of our own peak-time British performers like Sir Michael Parkinson and Sir David himself.

Melvyn Bragg, Joan Bakewell, Tony Benn, Clive Anderson, Ruby Wax, Andrew Neil, Stephen Fry, AA Gill, Alastair Campbell and Michael Parkinson all help trace the development of the television interview. What is its enduring appeal and where does the balance of power actually lie - with the interviewer or the interviewee?

THU 00:10 Nature's Microworlds (b01lndd2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 on Monday]

THU 00:40 Lost Cities of the Ancients (b00792tn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:55 on Wednesday]

THU 01:40 Sinatra Sings (b0192r0w)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:10 today]

THU 02:40 The Story of Musicals (b019jshb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:10 today]


FRI 19:00 World News Today (b01ln44k)
BBC World News London Live

The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 BBC Proms (b01lv8kh)

Bruckner's 6th Symphony

Samira Ahmed presents from the Royal Albert Hall, as Juanjo Mena conducts the BBC Philharmonic in Bruckner's richly-expressive 6th Symphony and Wagner's highly-charged Prelude to Act I of Tristan and Isolde. The Manchester Chamber Choir, Northern Sinfonia Chorus and Rushley Singers join them for the world premiere of James MacMillan's powerful and deeply spiritual Credo.

FRI 21:20 The Joy of Disco (b01cqt72)
Documentary about how a much-derided music actually changed the world. Between 1969 and 1979 disco soundtracked gay liberation, foregrounded female desire in the age of feminism and led to the birth of modern club culture as we know it today, before taking the world by storm. With contributions from Nile Rodgers, Robin Gibb, Kathy Sledge and Ian Schrager.

FRI 22:20 Disco at the BBC (b01cqt74)
A foot-stomping return to the BBC vaults of Top of the Pops, The Old Grey Whistle Test and Later with Jools as the programme spins itself to a time when disco ruled the floor, the airwaves and our minds. The visual floorfillers include classics from luminaries such as Chic, Labelle and Rose Royce to glitter ball surprises by The Village People.

FRI 23:20 Top of the Pops (b00zwrn7)
The Story of 1976

The nation grew up with Top of the Pops and it was always a talking point, but 35 years ago a particular kind of Top of the Pops programme and tone held sway. This documentary explores Top of the Pops in 1976 - as a barometer of the state of pop and light entertainment TV.

It celebrates the power of the programme and observes British society of the mid 70s, British TV and the British pop scene. In 1976, glam was over and nothing had replaced it - the charts belonged to Showaddywaddy, Brotherhood of Man and the Wurzels, all to be found on Top of the Pops hosted by the Radio 1 DJs. If you wanted rock you looked to the Old Grey Whistle Test, while outside the charts a new scene was rumbling.

Contributors include Tony Blackburn, David 'Diddy' Hamilton, Paul Morley, Toyah Willcox, Showaddywaddy, Brotherhood of Man, the Wurzels and Dave Haslam.

FRI 00:10 Lionel Richie at the BBC (b017sw7c)
A selection of Lionel Richie's greatest moments from the BBC archives, from his first Top of the Pops appearance with The Commodores in 1979 to highlights from his 2009 concert at the BBC's Maida Vale studios.

FRI 01:10 The Joy of Disco (b01cqt72)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:20 today]

FRI 02:10 Disco at the BBC (b01cqt74)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:20 today]

FRI 03:10 Top of the Pops (b00zwrn7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:20 today]

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

10 Things You Didn't Know About... 20:00 SAT (b008vrwk)

10 Things You Didn't Know About... 01:50 SAT (b008vrwk)

A History of Art in Three Colours 23:30 MON (b01lcz2s)

A History of Art in Three Colours 21:00 WED (b01lng0m)

A History of Art in Three Colours 02:30 WED (b01lng0m)

After Life: The Strange Science of Decay 22:00 MON (b012w66t)

After Life: The Strange Science of Decay 02:00 MON (b012w66t)

Arena 22:00 WED (b0074ryh)

BBC Proms 19:30 THU (b01lv88b)

BBC Proms 19:30 FRI (b01lv8kh)

Borgen 23:55 WED (b01bs3t9)

Disco at the BBC 22:20 FRI (b01cqt74)

Disco at the BBC 02:10 FRI (b01cqt74)

Dive, Dive, Dive! 23:00 TUE (b00s96m9)

Frank Skinner on George Formby 20:00 SUN (b016fpz0)

Frost on Interviews 23:10 THU (b01dc5ft)

Himalaya with Michael Palin 19:00 SUN (b0074qx6)

Ian Hislop Goes off the Rails 20:00 WED (b00drtpj)

Ian Hislop Goes off the Rails 01:30 WED (b00drtpj)

Julia Bradbury's Icelandic Walk 22:15 SAT (b0110grr)

Legends 00:05 SUN (b01lcz64)

Legends 01:00 SUN (b01lcz66)

Lionel Richie at the BBC 00:10 FRI (b017sw7c)

Lost Cities of the Ancients 22:55 WED (b00792tn)

Lost Cities of the Ancients 00:40 THU (b00792tn)

Mud, Sweat and Tractors: The Story of Agriculture 22:00 TUE (b00jzjs4)

Nature's Microworlds 20:30 MON (b01lndd2)

Nature's Microworlds 00:30 MON (b01lndd2)

Nature's Microworlds 00:10 THU (b01lndd2)

Pavlopetri - The City Beneath the Waves 23:50 SAT (b015yh6f)

Shakespeare from Kabul 23:20 SUN (b01lddqf)

Sinatra Sings 22:10 THU (b0192r0w)

Sinatra Sings 01:40 THU (b0192r0w)

Talking Landscapes 19:30 TUE (b0074m2b)

Talking Landscapes 02:15 TUE (b0074m2b)

The Blue Planet 19:00 SAT (b0074mn1)

The Blue Planet 02:45 SAT (b0074mn1)

The Joy of Disco 21:20 FRI (b01cqt72)

The Joy of Disco 01:10 FRI (b01cqt72)

The Road to Coronation Street 21:00 SUN (b00ttj2r)

The Road to Coronation Street 03:15 SUN (b00ttj2r)

The Santana Story: Angels and Demons 02:00 SUN (b011s5k1)

The Secret Life of the Motorway 21:00 TUE (b007xmdn)

The Secret Life of the Motorway 02:45 TUE (b007xmdn)

The Story of Musicals 21:10 THU (b019jshb)

The Story of Musicals 02:40 THU (b019jshb)

The Two-Thousand-Year-Old Computer 00:50 SAT (b01hlkcq)

Timeshift 22:20 SUN (b018jp1v)

Top of the Pops 23:15 SAT (b01lllgs)

Top of the Pops 19:30 WED (b01lv6wc)

Top of the Pops 00:55 WED (b01lv6wc)

Top of the Pops 23:20 FRI (b00zwrn7)

Top of the Pops 03:10 FRI (b00zwrn7)

Venice 24/7 20:00 TUE (b01fd4tm)

Venice 24/7 20:30 TUE (b01fq2l6)

Venice 24/7 01:15 TUE (b01fd4tm)

Venice 24/7 01:45 TUE (b01fq2l6)

Wallander 21:00 SAT (b01ln99p)

Wallander 00:00 TUE (b01ln99p)

Wild Swimming 21:00 MON (b00t9r28)

Wild Swimming 03:30 MON (b00t9r28)

Wilderness Explored 19:30 MON (b00dwf7q)

Wilderness Explored 01:00 MON (b00dwf7q)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b01ln43x)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b01ln442)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b01ln447)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b01ln44d)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b01ln44k)