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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SAT 19:00 Lost Land of the Tiger (b00ty6b0)
Episode 1

Documentary series following a dramatic expedition searching for tigers hidden in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan.

With tigers heading for extinction, an international team of big-cat experts and wildlife film-makers are given unique access to the jungles and mountains of Bhutan for what could be the last chance to save this magnificent animal.

Explorer Steve Backshall is joined by sniffer dog Bruiser - together, they hunt for tigers through the dense forest undergrowth. High in the mountains, wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan drives himself to exhaustion tracking tigers that seem as elusive as the yeti. And in a jungle base camp, scientist George McGavin organises a firefly disco, while camerawoman Justine Evans is stuck at the top of a tree during a tropical lightning storm.

For the final team member, big-cat biologist Alan Rabinowitz, time to save the tiger is running out, as he has been diagnosed with incurable leukaemia. Alan bugs the forest with remote cameras to capture whatever secretive creatures are lurking there, but ultimately he needs to find tigers if his ambitious plan to protect them across the Himalayas is to succeed.

We follow the expedition every emotional step of the way as they strive to find evidence that could help to bring wild tigers back from the brink of extinction and safeguard their future.

SAT 20:00 A History of Art in Three Colours (b01l4fyl)

For the very first civilisations, the yellow lustre of gold is the most alluring and intoxicating colour of all. From the midst of prehistory to a bunker deep beneath the Bank of England, Fox reveals how golden treasures made across the ages reflect everything that has been held as sacred.

SAT 21:00 Borgen (b01n9wkh)
Series 2

89,000 Children

Birgitte Nyborg has now been prime minister for almost two years - a respected politician, wise in the ways of the political gambit. She is visiting soldiers stationed in Afghanistan when their encampment comes under attack, claiming the lives of several soldiers. The time has come to choose - send the troops home or stage a counter attack. Katrine Fonsmark, now a reporter at Ekspres, approaches the father of one of the fallen soldiers in order to write a story. Kasper Juul divides his time between his job as the PM's spin doctor and his new girlfriend who is a journalist.

In Danish with English subtitles.

SAT 22:00 Borgen (b01px0j8)
Series 2

In Brussels, No-One Can Hear You Scream

Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg is about to appoint a new EU commissioner and her old mentor, Bent Sejro, is an obvious candidate. Nyborg's spin doctor, Kasper, prepares to move into a new designer apartment with his new girlfriend, Lotte. But is he really over Katrine? Katrine and Hanne Holm have become good colleagues at the newspaper, united in their daily battles with their boss about their journalistic principles.

In Danish with English subtitles.

SAT 23:00 The Richest Songs in the World (b01pjrt5)
Mark Radcliffe presents a countdown of the ten songs which have earned the most money of all time - ten classic songs each with an extraordinary story behind them. Radcliffe lifts the lid on how music royalties work and reveals the biggest winners and losers in the history of popular music.

SAT 00:30 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.

SAT 01:30 Sounds of the 70s 2 (b01glwkz)
Arthouse Glam - Get in the Swing

Performances from The Kinks, Roxy Music, Elton John, New York Dolls, Queen, Sparks, Rod Stewart and the rediscovered David Bowie performance of The Jean Genie from January 1973.

Welcome to gender-bending, boys getting in the swing and girls who would be boys and boys who would be girls in this mixed-up, shook-up 70s world.

SAT 02:00 Fifties British War Films: Days of Glory (b01pkj2m)
In the 1950s, Britain looked back on its epic war effort in films such as The Dam Busters, The Cruel Sea and The Colditz Story. However, even at the time these productions were criticised for being class-bound and living in the past.

Journalist and historian Simon Heffer argues that these films have real cinematic merit and a genuine cultural importance, that they tell us something significant not only about the 1950s Britain from which they emerged but also about what it means to be British today.

His case is supported by interviews with stars including Virginia McKenna, Sylvia Syms and Sir Donald Sinden, with further contributions from directors Guy Hamilton (The Colditz Story) and Michael Anderson (The Dam Busters).

SAT 03:00 A History of Art in Three Colours (b01l4fyl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SUN 19:00 Britain on Film (b01nrmwp)
Series 1

A Woman's Place

In 1959 Britain's biggest cinema company, the Rank Organisation, decided to replace its newsreels with a series of short, quirky, topical documentaries that examined all aspects of life in Britain. For the next ten years, Look at Life chronicled - on high-grade 35mm colour film - the changing face of British society, industry and culture.

Britain on Film draws upon the 500 films in this unique archive to offer illuminating and often surprising insights into what became a pivotal decade in modern British history. The opening episode reveals how Look at Life reflected the radical shifts in the position of women in British society, and shows how the country adapted to the new demands and expectations of women at home and in the workplace and at play.

SUN 19:30 Britain on Film (b01nvwqm)
Series 1

Brits at Play

In 1959 Britain's biggest cinema company, the Rank Organisation, decided to replace its newsreels with a series of short, quirky, topical documentaries that examined all aspects of life in Britain. For the next ten years, Look at Life chronicled the changing face of British society, industry and culture, all on high-grade 35mm colour film. Britain on Film draws upon the 500 films in this unique archive to offer illuminating and often surprising insights into what became a pivotal decade in modern British history.

This episode looks at the films that recorded one of the great boom industries of the 1960s, the leisure industry. Having left behind the austerity of the immediate post-war period, Britain's increasingly affluent population took full advantage of the new leisure opportunities that made affordable newly-emerging recreational activities at home - as well as exciting holiday adventures abroad.

SUN 20:00 Timeshift (b00ff170)
How to Write a Mills and Boon

What happens when a literary novelist tries to write popular romantic fiction? To mark 100 years of romance publishers Mills and Boon, literary novelist Stella Duffy takes on the challenge of writing for them.

Romantic fiction is a global phenomenon, and Mills and Boon are among the biggest names in the business. The company welcomes submissions from new authors, but as Duffy soon finds out, writing a Mills and Boon is harder than it looks.

Help is at hand from the publishers themselves, a prolific Mills and Boon author and some avid romance fans, as Duffy's quest to create the perfect romantic novel takes her from London to Italy on a journey that is both an insight into the art of romantic fiction and the joy and frustration of writing itself.

SUN 21:00 Doris Day - Virgin Territory (b0074rwd)
Doris Day has often been dismissed as an actress and overlooked as a singer, despite career highs such as Calamity Jane and Pillow Talk. Covering her early years as a band singer, and her troubled private life, this documentary re-evaluates one of the screen's most enduring legends.

SUN 22:00 I Am Love (b015v5qp)
A Russian woman who married into a family of wealthy Milanese industrialists starts an affair with a cook and suddenly awakens to the fact that her life has been running on autopilot for years.

In Italian with English subtitles.

SUN 23:55 Top of the Pops (b01pkjy6)
The Story of 1978

In 1978, Top of the Pops began to turn the credibility corner. As the only major pop show on television, Top of the Pops had enjoyed a unique position in the nation's hearts since the 1960s - the nation's teenagers who were now fed up with the show's predominantly light entertainment blend still tuned in every week in the hope of seeing one of the new young outfits thrown up by punk, new wave and disco. In 1978 it seemed the kids' time had come again for the first time since glam rock. Yet the biggest-selling singles of 1978 were by the likes of Boney M, John Travolta & Olivia Newton John, Rod Stewart, The Bee Gees and Abba.

Punk never quite fitted in with the mainstream - it had been treated with disdain by Top of the Pops and largely ignored by the show. Britain's teenagers had to endure the all-round family entertainment on offer when all they wanted was teenage kicks. Along came a generation of young post-punk and new wave bands armed with guitar and bass, ready to storm the Top of the Pops stage - from The Undertones, The Buzzcocks, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Skids and Ian Dury and the Blockheads to The Boomtown Rats, Elvis Costello, The Jam and Squeeze - some weeks teenagers would get to see one of their bands, very rarely they got two, but there they were on primetime TV.

With contributions from The Boomtown Rats, Squeeze, Boney M, Sham 69, Brian & Michael, The Barron Knights, Mike Read, Kid Jensen, Kathryn Flett, Richard Jobson, Ian Gittins and Legs & Co.

SUN 00:45 Top of the Pops (b01pmbdy)
1978 - Big Hits

A pick 'n' mix of Top of the Pops classics from 1978, when in-yer-face punk and new wave rebellion co-existed with MOR suburban pop, disco fever, soul balladry, reggae and prog rock, and when two mega-successful movie soundtracks in the shape of Grease and Saturday Night Fever squared up on the dancefloor. Featuring shouty Sham 69, the cool rebellion of Ian Dury, Elvis Costello and Blondie, the media-savvy clowning of The Boomtown Rats, Kate Bush's debut with Wuthering Heights, alongside Brotherhood of Man's perky Figaro, Dan Hill's sentimental Sometimes When We Touch and the high camp of Boney M's Rasputin. Bob Marley shares chart space with 10cc's Dreadlock Holiday, and ELO and Manfred Mann's Earth Band keep on rockin'.

SUN 01:45 Doris Day - Virgin Territory (b0074rwd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

SUN 02:45 Britain on Film (b01nrmwp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SUN 03:15 Britain on Film (b01nvwqm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


MON 19:00 BBC World News (b01pr8sh)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

MON 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00qbnd5)
Series 1

Yatton to Weston Super Mare

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook. In a series of four epic journeys, he travels the length and breadth of the country to see how the railways changed us, and what of Bradshaw's Britain remains.

His journey takes him along the Brunel's Great Western Railway from Swindon to Penzance. This time, Michael samples local Cheddar strawberries, explores Cheddar Gorge and the famous caves, and visits one of the oldest piers in the country at Weston Super Mare.

MON 20:00 Art Deco Icons (b00nf06g)

The Art Deco movement swept through Britain in the 1930s, bringing a little glamour to everyone's life. In this series, architectural historian David Heathcote explores and enjoys four of the best examples of Art Deco in Britain.

Heathcote checks into Claridge's Hotel in London's Mayfair and explores the Art Deco makeover of the 1930s, which transformed the old Victorian hotel into a fashionable destination for the rich and famous.

He enjoys the glamour of the Deco fumoir which made smoking sexy and glamorous, even for women, and samples the cocktail bar with Guy Oliver, the man whose job it is to renovate and restore the hotel's glamorous 1930s image.

Heathcote then settles into a perfect Art Deco bath complete with glass panels, bubble bath and two bell pulls - one for the maid and the other for the butler.

MON 20:30 Only Connect (b01ps8y9)

Special: Champion of Champions - Analysts vs Scribes

Series 5 champions the Analysts take on Series 6 champions the Scribes in a bid to be named Only Connect Champion of Champions. So join Victoria Coren if you want to know what connects 10-foot gypsum statue, 'plastic wood' head and toy submarine, orangutan jawbone and human skull, and paper cut-outs of fairies.

MON 21:00 Baby Makers: The Fertility Clinic (b01ps8yc)
Britain is in the grip of a fertility crisis, with more and more people seeking treatment to help them get that elusive, dream baby. But what is it like to work on the frontline of fertility treatment?

Award-winning filmmaker Richard Macer spends three months in the Hewitt Fertility Centre in Liverpool, one of the largest fertility clinics in Britain. He meets gynaecologist Professor Charles Kingsland, who believes that not being able to have a child is a disease that blights society. Every day Kingsland and his team harvest women's eggs, whilst the men are sent to the 'masterbatorium'.

In the lab, Macer finds the scientists who perform the profound act of conception every day, bringing together eggs and sperm in tiny plastic petri dishes. The film follows the stories of four couples as they pursue their dream of getting pregnant, but from the perspective of the staff. What is it like for the staff to be involved everyday in the creation of new life? Does anyone come closer to playing God?

MON 22:00 Rosslyn Chapel: A Treasure in Stone (b00v3y5s)
The exquisite Rosslyn Chapel is a masterpiece in stone. It used to be one of Scotland's best-kept secrets, but it became world-famous when it was featured in Dan Brown's the Da Vinci Code.

Art historian Helen Rosslyn, whose husband's ancestor built the chapel over 550 years ago, is the guide on a journey of discovery around this perfect gem of a building. Extraordinary carvings of green men, inverted angels and mysterious masonic marks beg the questions of where these images come from and who the stonemasons that created them were. Helen's search leads her across Scotland and to Normandy in search of the creators of this medieval masterpiece.

MON 23:00 The Viking Sagas (b0110gnv)
Hundreds of years ago in faraway Iceland the Vikings began to write down dozens of stories called sagas - sweeping narratives based on real people and real events. But as Oxford University's Janina Ramirez discovers, these sagas are not just great works of art, they are also priceless historical documents which bring to life the Viking world. Dr Ramirez travels across glaciers and through the lava fields of Iceland to the far north west of the country to find out about one of the most compelling of these stories - the Laxdaela Saga.

MON 00:00 When God Spoke English: The Making of the King James Bible (b00yvs8n)
Documentary telling the unexpected story of how arguably the greatest work of English prose ever written, the King James Bible, came into being.

Author Adam Nicolson reveals why the making of this powerful book shares much in common with his experience of a very different national project - the Millennium Dome. The programme also delves into recently discovered 17th-century manuscripts, from the actual translation process itself, to show in rich detail what makes this Bible so good.

In a turbulent and often violent age, the king hoped this Bible would unite a country torn by religious factions. Today it is dismissed by some as old-fashioned and impenetrable, but the film shows why, in the 21st century, the King James Bible remains so great.

MON 01:00 Only Connect (b01ps8y9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

MON 01:30 Art Deco Icons (b00nf06g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 02:00 Rosslyn Chapel: A Treasure in Stone (b00v3y5s)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

MON 03:00 Baby Makers: The Fertility Clinic (b01ps8yc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 BBC World News (b01pr8sn)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

TUE 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00qbng0)
Series 1

Torquay to Totnes

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook. In a series of four epic journeys, he travels the length and breadth of the country to see how the railways changed us, and what of Bradshaw's Britain remains.

His journey takes him along the Brunel's Great Western Railway from Swindon to Penzance. This time, Michael finds out about Torquay's microclimate, goes salmon fishing on the Dart estuary and spends some of Totnes's new local currency.

TUE 20:00 Elegance and Decadence: The Age of the Regency (b0140vb9)
Warts and All - Portrait of a Prince

Colourful series marking the 200th anniversary of one of the most explosive and creative decades in British history. It presents a vivid portrait of an age of elegance presided over by a prince of decadence - the infamous Prince Regent himself, a man with legendary appetites for women, food and self-indulgence. Yet this was the same man who would rebuild London, carving out the great thoroughfare of Regent Street and help establish the Regency look as the epitome of British style through his extravagant patronage of art and design.

In this first episode, historian Dr Lucy Worsley chronicles the Regency's early years, which culminated in victory over Napoleon in 1815, and explores the complicated character of the Prince Regent, a man with legendary appetites for women, food, art and self-indulgence.

For Lucy, the Regency was an age of contradictions and extremes that were embodied in the person of the Prince Regent himself. She uncovers Prince George's modest childhood; bright and talented, the young George was beaten with a whip by his tutors and it was small wonder that he would later rebel, eventually embracing a scandal-ridden lifestyle that included illegal marriages and discarded mistresses.

So how did this overweight popinjay preside over an age in which art and culture mattered? A tour of his treasures in the Royal Collection shows Lucy that George was a genuine connoisseur, buying up Rembrandts and French furnishings while his excesses were at the same time inspiring satirical caricatures that mocked him as the 'Prince of Whales'. And she investigates George's collaboration with portrait painter Sir Thomas Lawrence, who left the definitive images of Regency society and became George's flatterer-in-chief; Regency wags laughed at how his paintings magically transformed an overweight bald fifty-something into a 'well-fleshed Adonis'.

Meanwhile, the long war with France was having a huge impact on the British psyche; travel and trade with Europe were impossibly restricted. Lucy follows in the footsteps of painter JMW Turner who, unable to travel to the continent, toured the south coast in 1811 and captured startling images of a country at war.

George liked to think of himself as a man of fashion, and Lucy takes us through surviving accounts from his tailors that reveal his shopaholic ways. These were the years in which the Prince's sometime friend Beau Brummell, the famous dandy, ruled fashionable London like a dictator, and Lucy samples a bit of butch Regency style by trying on some of the fashions he popularised, as well as joining Brummell biographer Ian Kelly on a tour of London's fashionable Regency haunts. She also discovers Brummell's spectacular fall from favour, after loudly referring to the Regent as someone's 'fat friend'.

Lucy visits the battlefield of Waterloo and discovers that the site became a prototype of battlefield tourism - Turner, Byron and many others all visited in the years after the battle and Lucy handles some grisly memorabilia purchased by Lord Byron.

The episode concludes with the most spectacular royal art commission of them all - Lawrence's series of paintings in the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle, paid for by George to memorialise his victory over Napoleon. Never mind that George wasn't at any of the battles - this was an age in which appearance and reality fused together to create monumental art.

TUE 21:00 The Riviera: A History in Pictures (b01ps9jr)
Painting Paradise

Two-part sun-filled series in which Richard E Grant follows in the footsteps of artists who have lived, loved and painted on France's glorious Cote d'Azur.

Revealing the intertwined relationship between modern art and the development of the French Riviera as an international tourist haven, Grant explores how impressionist painters Cezanne, Monet and Renoir first discovered the region in the 19th century when the newly built railway arrived there.

Captivated by the light and colour of this undiscovered landscape, the painters immortalised its shores on canvas and in doing so advertised the savage beauty of the region. For neo-impressionists Paul Signac and Henri-Edmond Cross, the region provided a vision of utopia, while for Henri Matisse the vivid colours of the area inspired him to adopt a new palette and in doing so set modern art en route to abstraction.

With visits to L'Estaque, St Tropez and Nice, Grant maps the progress of the region from cultural backwater to bohemian hotspot.

TUE 22:00 Delphi: The Bellybutton of the Ancient World (b00w4jtx)
What really went on at the ancient Greek oracle at Delphi, how did it get its awesome reputation and why is it still influential today?

Michael Scott of Cambridge University uncovers the secrets of the most famous oracle in the ancient world. A vital force in ancient history for a thousand years, it is now one of Greece's most beautiful tourist sites, but in its time it has been a gateway into the supernatural, a cockpit of political conflict, and a beacon for internationalism. And at its heart was the famous inscription which still inspires visitors today - 'Know Thyself'.

TUE 23:00 Borgen (b01n9wkh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday]

TUE 00:00 Borgen (b01px0j8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Saturday]

TUE 00:55 Elegance and Decadence: The Age of the Regency (b0140vb9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

TUE 01:55 Moominland Tales: The Life of Tove Jansson (b01pgrk2)
Moomintroll and the Moomin family are characters loved by children and parents worldwide who have grown up listening to Finnish writer Tove Jansson's delightful stories about a group of philosophical trolls who face a range of adventures in Moominland.

This documentary reveals the strong autobiographical slant in the Moomins series as it traces the author's own extraordinary story from living the bohemian life of an artist in war-torn Helsinki to becoming a recluse on a remote island in the Gulf of Finland.

Enjoying unprecedented access to Jansson's personal archive, the film reveals an unconventional, brave and compelling woman whose creative genius extended beyond Moominland to satire, fine art and masterful adult fiction - not least her highly regarded The Summer Book. With home movie footage shot by her long-term female lover and companion, it offers a unique glimpse of an uncompromising fun-loving woman who developed love as the central theme of her work.

TUE 02:55 The Riviera: A History in Pictures (b01ps9jr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 BBC World News (b01pr8st)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

WED 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00qbngz)
Series 1

Bugle to Mevagissey

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook. In a series of four epic journeys, he travels the length and breadth of the country to see how the railways changed us, and what of Bradshaw's Britain remains.

His journey takes him along the Brunel's Great Western Railway from Swindon to Penzance. This time, Michael visits the largest clay mine in the world near St Austell, goes pilchard fishing in Mevagissey and finds out how the estate of Heligan shaped British gardens.

WED 20:00 Timeshift (b01nj3xx)
Series 12

The British Army of the Rhine

The affectionate story of British servicemen and their families who had to make Germany a home from home in the decades after the Second World War. For nearly 70 years, generations would grow up on bases with special schools, shops, housing and even their own radio station, as parts of the Rhineland became little bubbles of Britishness.

Featuring a nostalgic soundtrack of German language versions of period pop hits and contributions from military historians such as Max Hastings and former BBC sports commentator Barry Davies - himself a former British Army of the Rhine soldier - as well as those of military wives and children.

Once the front line in the Cold War, the BAOR is now being called home as the Ministry of Defence begins preparations to finally pull British forces out.

WED 21:00 Spies of Warsaw (b01psbj3)
Episode 1

Classic tale of spying, intrigue and romance, based on the novels of Alan Furst.

A German engineer arrives in Warsaw. Tonight he will be with his Polish mistress, tomorrow at a workers' bar in the city's factory district to meet with Colonel Mercier in a backstreet cafe. Information is exchanged for money.

Mercier loathes the niceties of ambassadorial lunches, cocktail parties and banquets of a world not yet at war, but one in which the drums of war can be heard ever more insistently in the background. However, they take on an altogether more interesting dimension when he meets the enigmatic and beautiful Anna Skarbek.

While secretly observing panzer exercises in the Black Forest, Mercier sees a simple trick performed with a length of pipe strapped across a car and draws his own conclusions about exactly what it is the Germans are planning.

When the Nazis find out what he's been doing, his own life becomes their target.

WED 22:30 World War Two: 1941 and the Man of Steel (b011wh1g)
Marking the 70th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, historian Professor David Reynolds reassesses Stalin's role in the life and death struggle between Germany and Russia in World War Two, which, he argues, was ultimately more critical for British survival than 'Our Finest Hour' in the Battle of Britain itself.

The name Stalin means 'man of steel', but Reynolds's penetrating account reveals how the reality of Stalin's war in 1941 did not live up to that name. Travelling to Russian battlefield locations, he charts how Russia was almost annihilated within a few months as Stalin lurched from crisis to crisis, coming close to a nervous breakdown.

Reynolds shows how Stalin learnt to compromise in order to win, listening to his generals and downplaying communist ideology to appeal instead to the Russian people's nationalist fighting spirit. He also squares up to the terrible moral dilemma at the heart of World War Two. Using original telegrams and official documents, he looks afresh at Winston Churchill's controversial visit to Moscow in 1942 and re-examines how Britain and America were drawn into alliance with Stalin, a dictator almost as murderous as the Nazi enemy.

WED 00:00 The Making of King Arthur (b00tg2q2)
Poet Simon Armitage traces the evolution of the Arthurian legend through the literature of the medieval age and reveals that King Arthur is not the great national hero he is usually considered to be. He's a fickle and transitory character who was appropriated by the Normans to justify their conquest, he was cuckolded when French writers began adapting the story, and it took Thomas Malory's masterpiece of English literature, Le Mort d'Arthur, to restore his dignity and reclaim him as the national hero we know today.

WED 01:00 Gods and Monsters: Homer's Odyssey (b00vtwnz)
Virginia Woolf said that Homer's epic poem the Odyssey was 'alive to every tremor and gleam of existence'. Following the magical and strange adventures of warrior king Odysseus, inventor of the idea of the Trojan horse, the poem can claim to be the greatest story ever told. Now British poet Simon Armitage goes on his own Greek adventure, following in the footsteps of one of his own personal heroes. Yet Simon ponders the question of whether he even likes the guy.

WED 02:00 Timeshift (b01nj3xx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 03:00 The Making of King Arthur (b00tg2q2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 00:00 today]


THU 19:00 BBC World News (b01pr8sz)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

THU 19:30 The Sky at Night (b08spg0w)
Reaching for the Stars

For more than half a century Sir Patrick Moore encouraged people to look up at the wonders of the night skies. Fittingly in this programme, recorded just before his death, he and his team offer advice to those who are discovering astronomy for the very first time. How should they set up their new telescopes and what should they seek out in the winter skies as they begin to share Sir Patrick's lifelong passion for the stars?

THU 20:00 She-Wolves: England's Early Queens (b01bgpm7)
Matilda and Eleanor

In the medieval and Tudor world there was no question in people's minds about the order of God's creation - men ruled and women didn't. A king was a warrior who literally fought to win power then battled to keep it. Yet despite everything that stood in their way, a handful of extraordinary women did attempt to rule medieval and Tudor England. In this series, historian Dr Helen Castor explores seven queens who challenged male power, the fierce reactions they provoked and whether the term 'she wolves' was deserved.

Eight hundred years ago, Matilda came within a hair's breadth of being the first woman to be crowned queen of England in her own right. Castor explores how Matilda reached this point and why her bid for the throne ultimately failed. Her daughter-in-law Eleanor of Aquitaine was an equally formidable woman. Despite being remembered as the queen of courtly love, in reality during her long life she divorced one king and married another, only to lead a rebellion against him. She only finally achieved the power she craved in her seventies.

THU 21:00 Carved with Love: The Genius of British Woodwork (b01psbwz)
The Extraordinary Thomas Chippendale

Thomas Chippendale is the most famous furniture designer the world has ever produced, but what about the man behind the chairs? This episode shows how Chippendale worked his way up from humble roots to working for the nobility, but also how he was ruined by the very aristocrats he created such wonders for.

THU 22:00 Metroland (b00cyyqw)
An exploration of the English rural idyll with John Betjeman's 1973 meditation on the residential suburbs which grew up alongside the Metropolitan Line, the first steam underground in the world.

THU 22:50 Timeshift (b017zqw8)
Series 11

The Golden Age of Trams: A Streetcar Named Desire

Move along the car! Timeshift takes a nostalgic trip on the tram car and explores how it liberated overcrowded cities and launched the era of the commuter. The film maps the tram's journey from early horse-drawn carriages on rails, through steam, and to electric power.

Overhead wires hung over Britain's towns and cities for nearly 50 years from the beginning of the 20th century until they were phased out everywhere except Blackpool. Manchester, the last city to lose its trams was, however, among the first to reintroduce them as the solution to modern-day traffic problems.

The film includes a specially recorded reading by Alan Bennett of his short story Leeds Trams, and contributions from Ken Dodd and Roy Hattersley.

THU 23:50 The Riviera: A History in Pictures (b01ps9jr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]

THU 00:50 Delphi: The Bellybutton of the Ancient World (b00w4jtx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Tuesday]

THU 01:50 Timeshift (b0126vfd)
Series 11

Hotel Deluxe

Timeshift invites you to make a reservation in the world of hotels for the super rich. The Savoy, the Ritz, the Dorchester - the very names of Britain's grand hotels spell luxury around the world. The film charts how luxury hotels have met the needs of new forms of wealth, from aristocrats to rock stars and beyond, with comfort, innovation and, above all, service.

THU 02:50 Carved with Love: The Genius of British Woodwork (b01psbwz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 19:00 BBC World News (b01pr8t6)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 Lang Lang Live at the Roundhouse (b01nmx7q)
Chinese pianist Lang Lang's live concert from London's Roundhouse, recorded at the iTunes festival in July 2011. He performs a remarkable Franz Liszt recital as the only classical music artist in a true rock-star surrounding, next to international pop stars like Coldplay, Adele or Linkin Park.

Filmed and directed by Thomas Grube, using dolly, crane and fourteen HD cameras as well as specially-created video projections on large LED screens supplemented by an amazing light show, this concert offers a spectacular and unique audiovisual experience, featuring nine of Liszt's finest solo piano pieces.

Including: Liszt's La Campanella, Hungarian Rhapsody No. 15 'Rakoczy March, Un sospiro, Standchen, Consolation No 2, Hungarian Rhapsody No 6, Widmung, Ave Maria (Schubert) and more.

FRI 20:20 Lang Lang: The Art of Being a Virtuoso (b01nmx7s)
The Chinese pianist Lang Lang is considered the world's top classical music star. This documentary links him and his piano hero, Franz Liszt - two men who made their childhood dreams come true and ascended to the ranks of the greatest musicians the world has seen.

Acclaimed filmmaker Thomas Grube was granted exclusive access in summer 2012 and accompanied Lang Lang through China, the US and Europe. His film offers a revealing inside view into the life and mind of the modern virtuoso and was made over the course of five months in Shanghai, Shenzen, Chicago, Milan, London, New York and Berlin. With contributions from Lang Lang and his family, Christoph Eschenbach, Herbie Hancock and HRH the Prince of Wales.

FRI 21:15 imagine... (b00p36t8)
Winter 2009

Dame Shirley Bassey - The Girl from Tiger Bay

Alan Yentob gains an insight into the creative world of Dame Shirley Bassey in a programme first shown in 2009. After a triumphant Glastonbury appearance and a major illness at the age of 72, Dame Shirley tentatively re-enters the ring to confront her life in song.

Some of the best contemporary songwriters, including Gary Barlow, the Pet Shop Boys, Manic Street Preachers, Rufus Wainwright, Richard Hawley and KT Tunstall, along with James Bond composer John Barry and lyricist Don Black, have interpreted her life through song for an album produced by David Arnold.

The songs frame and explore the myth of Shirley Bassey, the girl from Tiger Bay, and the voice and the desire are not found wanting. A backstory profiling Shirley, complete with archive of her greatest performances, tells the story of what makes her the living legend that she is today.

FRI 22:15 Shirley Bassey at the BBC (b01psct4)
Forever sequinned, stylish and sassy, Dame Shirley Bassey, one of Britain's all-time great voices, turned 76 in January 2013.

She began her rise to fame as a 16-year-old singer in 1953 and 60 years on she is still going as strong as ever. Join us as we celebrate Dame Shirley's birthday and her remarkable career, taking a trip down memory lane to uncover some of her finest performances from the vaults of the BBC.

From early BBC appearances on Show of the Week, The Shirley Bassey Show, via the Royal Albert Hall, Glastonbury 2007 and right up to her recent jaw dropping show at the Electric Proms. This is a compilation of some of Dame Shirley's classic performances, taking in iconic songs such as The Performance of My Life, Goldfinger, Big Spender and Diamonds Are Forever.

Producer: Sam Bridger

FRI 23:15 Legends (b0074t24)
Petula Clark - Blue Lady

A revealing look at the long and remarkable career of Petula Clark, best known for her classic 1960s hit Downtown. This documentary traces her many reinventions - from child star to 50s film star, through to her later starring roles in the West End and Broadway. Arguing that there's more to her than just another 60s beat girl, the film reveals a restlessly creative artist with a tenacious capacity for reinvention, including lost masterpieces such as her unpublished country album Blue Lady.

FRI 00:15 The Sound of Petula (b01pvc6y)
Series 1

Your Kind of Music

Petula Clark presents and stars in her own show from 1973, with backing singers and dancers. Petula sings songs requested by the viewers.

FRI 00:45 imagine... (b00p36t8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:15 today]

FRI 01:40 Shirley Bassey at the BBC (b01psct4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:15 today]

FRI 02:45 Legends (b0074t24)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:15 today]

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

A History of Art in Three Colours 20:00 SAT (b01l4fyl)

A History of Art in Three Colours 03:00 SAT (b01l4fyl)

Art Deco Icons 20:00 MON (b00nf06g)

Art Deco Icons 01:30 MON (b00nf06g)

BBC World News 19:00 MON (b01pr8sh)

BBC World News 19:00 TUE (b01pr8sn)

BBC World News 19:00 WED (b01pr8st)

BBC World News 19:00 THU (b01pr8sz)

BBC World News 19:00 FRI (b01pr8t6)

Baby Makers: The Fertility Clinic 21:00 MON (b01ps8yc)

Baby Makers: The Fertility Clinic 03:00 MON (b01ps8yc)

Borgen 21:00 SAT (b01n9wkh)

Borgen 22:00 SAT (b01px0j8)

Borgen 23:00 TUE (b01n9wkh)

Borgen 00:00 TUE (b01px0j8)

Britain on Film 19:00 SUN (b01nrmwp)

Britain on Film 19:30 SUN (b01nvwqm)

Britain on Film 02:45 SUN (b01nrmwp)

Britain on Film 03:15 SUN (b01nvwqm)

Carved with Love: The Genius of British Woodwork 21:00 THU (b01psbwz)

Carved with Love: The Genius of British Woodwork 02:50 THU (b01psbwz)

Delphi: The Bellybutton of the Ancient World 22:00 TUE (b00w4jtx)

Delphi: The Bellybutton of the Ancient World 00:50 THU (b00w4jtx)

Doris Day - Virgin Territory 21:00 SUN (b0074rwd)

Doris Day - Virgin Territory 01:45 SUN (b0074rwd)

Elegance and Decadence: The Age of the Regency 20:00 TUE (b0140vb9)

Elegance and Decadence: The Age of the Regency 00:55 TUE (b0140vb9)

Fifties British War Films: Days of Glory 02:00 SAT (b01pkj2m)

Gods and Monsters: Homer's Odyssey 01:00 WED (b00vtwnz)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 MON (b00qbnd5)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 TUE (b00qbng0)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 WED (b00qbngz)

I Am Love 22:00 SUN (b015v5qp)

Lang Lang Live at the Roundhouse 19:30 FRI (b01nmx7q)

Lang Lang: The Art of Being a Virtuoso 20:20 FRI (b01nmx7s)

Legends 23:15 FRI (b0074t24)

Legends 02:45 FRI (b0074t24)

Lost Land of the Tiger 19:00 SAT (b00ty6b0)

Metroland 22:00 THU (b00cyyqw)

Moominland Tales: The Life of Tove Jansson 01:55 TUE (b01pgrk2)

Only Connect 20:30 MON (b01ps8y9)

Only Connect 01:00 MON (b01ps8y9)

Rosslyn Chapel: A Treasure in Stone 22:00 MON (b00v3y5s)

Rosslyn Chapel: A Treasure in Stone 02:00 MON (b00v3y5s)

She-Wolves: England's Early Queens 20:00 THU (b01bgpm7)

Shirley Bassey at the BBC 22:15 FRI (b01psct4)

Shirley Bassey at the BBC 01:40 FRI (b01psct4)

Sounds of the 70s 2 01:30 SAT (b01glwkz)

Spies of Warsaw 21:00 WED (b01psbj3)

The Joy of Disco 00:30 SAT (b01cqt72)

The Making of King Arthur 00:00 WED (b00tg2q2)

The Making of King Arthur 03:00 WED (b00tg2q2)

The Richest Songs in the World 23:00 SAT (b01pjrt5)

The Riviera: A History in Pictures 21:00 TUE (b01ps9jr)

The Riviera: A History in Pictures 02:55 TUE (b01ps9jr)

The Riviera: A History in Pictures 23:50 THU (b01ps9jr)

The Sky at Night 19:30 THU (b08spg0w)

The Sound of Petula 00:15 FRI (b01pvc6y)

The Viking Sagas 23:00 MON (b0110gnv)

Timeshift 20:00 SUN (b00ff170)

Timeshift 20:00 WED (b01nj3xx)

Timeshift 02:00 WED (b01nj3xx)

Timeshift 22:50 THU (b017zqw8)

Timeshift 01:50 THU (b0126vfd)

Top of the Pops 23:55 SUN (b01pkjy6)

Top of the Pops 00:45 SUN (b01pmbdy)

When God Spoke English: The Making of the King James Bible 00:00 MON (b00yvs8n)

World War Two: 1941 and the Man of Steel 22:30 WED (b011wh1g)

imagine... 21:15 FRI (b00p36t8)

imagine... 00:45 FRI (b00p36t8)