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 Natural World (b01rl4xr)

Wye - Voices from the Valley

The River Wye runs through some of Britain's most beautiful and varied countryside, from the mountain tops of mid Wales to the wide open spaces of the Severn Estuary. This film is a lyrical portrait of the valley through the eyes of four characters who make their living from the land: a cider maker, a salmon fisherman, a sheep farmer and a beekeeper. It might seem idyllic, but when you live this close to nature a change in the weather can make all the difference between success and failure.

SAT 19:50 Wild (b0078yx9)
2005-06 Shorts

The Rabbits of Skomer

Documentary about the wild rabbits which live on sea cliffs on the Pembrokeshire coast alongside seabirds like puffins and seagulls. They come in many shades, owing to their intriguing history, and each spring the island of Skomer itself is transformed by wild flowers, creating one of Britain's most beautiful natural spectacles. The green and brown island turns blue and pink for a couple of spectacular weeks under a carpet of bluebells and red campion.

SAT 20:00 Carved with Love: The Genius of British Woodwork (b01pyfd2)
The Glorious Grinling Gibbons

Series about great British woodworkers continues by looking at the life and work of Grinling Gibbons. He isn't a household name, but he is the greatest woodcarver the British Isles has ever produced. Working in the aftermath of the Great Fire of London, Gibbons created delightful carved masterpieces for the likes of Charles II and William of Orange. This film explores the genius of the man they called the 'Michelangelo of wood'.

SAT 21:00 The Silence (b01hxmjr)
Media reports of the disappearance and murder of a teenage girl remind Timo of something that he has spent his adult life trying to forget - that he was witness to a similar crime 23 years ago. All this time he has kept his silence, but now, with a wife and family of his own, he must confront the past.

SAT 22:55 Slade at the BBC (b01pdt89)
Don your best platforms and sequinned hat and join Noddy, Jim, Dave and Don aka Slade for a trip down memory lane as we uncover some of Slade's finest appearances from the vaults of the BBC archive, introduced by none other than Noddy Holder himself.

Rock out to the classics of Coz I Luv You, Mama Weer All Crazee Now, Gudbuy T'Jane and C*m On Feel the Noize and see how Slade's all-important look evolves after their first TV appearance on the BBC back in 1969. Most performances come from their 70s heyday and from BBC studio shows like Top of the Pops, Crackerjack, Blue Peter and Cheggers Plays Pop.

Noddy both introduces the compilation and reflects on Slade's glory daze at the BBC.

SAT 23:55 It's Slade (b01pf7kr)
They definitely know "IT'S CHRISTMAAAASSSS!"

Top pop documentary, narrated by Radio One's Mark Radcliffe, about one of Britain's greatest and best-loved bands. Slade scored six number ones in the 70s, a feat rivalled only by Abba. Formed in Wolverhampton and led by Noddy Holder, Slade sold over 50 million records worldwide during a 20-year career which saw them re-invent themselves as skinhead yobs, then mirror-hatted platform-shoe-pioneering glam gods, before finally re-emerging as hard rock heroes.

Their poorly-spelled, self-written selection of terrace anthems included Cum on Feel the Noize, Coz I Luv You, Take Me Bak Ome, Mama Weer All Crazee Now and, unforgettably, Merry Xmas Everybody. Apart from Noddy and his bandmates - Dave Hill, Jim Lea and Don Powell - the cast here also includes Noel Gallagher of Oasis (who covered Cum On Feel the Noize), Status Quo, Toyah Wilcox, Suzi Quatro and Ozzy Osbourne.

Altogether now "Are you hanging up your stocking on the wall..........?".

SAT 00:45 Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top 10 (b01nwfxs)
Documentary chronicling our ever-changing love affair with the British singles chart on the occasion of its sixtieth anniversary. From the first NME chart in 1952, via Pick and Top of the Pops to home-taping the Radio One chart show and beyond, we have measured out our lives to a wonderful churn of pop driven, unbeknownst to us, by a clandestine world of music biz hustle. Featuring contributions by 60 years of BBC chart custodians from David Jacobs to Reggie Yates, chart fans Grace Dent and Pete Paphides and music biz veterans Jon Webster and Rob Dickins.

SAT 02:15 Top of the Pops (b01rfswf)

Peter Powell introduces the weekly pop chart programme featuring performances from Suzi Quatro, Dan Hill, Elvis Costello, the Vibrators, Kate Bush, Earth, Wind & Fire, Gerry Rafferty, Manhattan Transfer and Legs & Co.

SAT 02:45 Carved with Love: The Genius of British Woodwork (b01pyfd2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SUN 19:00 Bombay Railway (b007t30p)

Documentary about Bombay's vast suburban rail network, which serves six-and-a-half million commuters every day. As Bombay's population swells by tens of thousands each week, the railway and the people whose lives revolve around it struggle to cope with the pressure and the peaktime 'super-dense crush load'. From the train driver to the illegal hawker and the homeless shoe-shine boy, each has a story to tell about this remarkable railway system, often described as the lifeline of India.

SUN 20:00 Bombay Railway (b007t367)

India is undergoing unprecedented growth and Bombay is its financial powerhouse. The city promotes itself as a positive vision of the future, a place where dreams can come true. Like an extended family, the Bombay railway provides an unfailing lifeline to the city. This series follows the hope and dreams of some the people who work for the railway.

Hans Dev Sharma is a senior operations clerk. He works in the timetabling department, which schedules over 2,000 trains a day - under its cultural quota, Hans was talent-spotted as an exceptional actor and dancer and the railways offered him a job. Hans is living the Bollywood dream, with Bombay Railways as his life and his stage. But will he get his big break?

Jagdish Paul Raj was born in Bombay and is as ambitious as the city he lives in. The son of a railway catering officer, Jagdish, like his father, always had an interest in food but none in the railway. He graduated in politics and economics and became a fully qualified chef. Now 31, he is running a successful catering business on the train to Goa. He is tendered for more trains, but will he be successful?

Mumtaz Kazi is Indian Railways' first fully qualified female train driver and has driven trains all over India. Mumtaz was brought up in a traditional Muslim family - a railway family. Now her father has retired and her immediate family live in Canada - Mumtaz is the only member left in Bombay. It will be Mumtaz's responsibility to find a wife for her brother, to get him married and back to Canada in just eight weeks. Can she do it and still drive the train?

SUN 21:00 Motor Racing at the BBC: That Petrol Emotion (b01rd365)
Episode 1

The glory days of British motor racing are celebrated in this sleek archive series, which buffs up some of the BBC's most memorable coverage from the sport's earliest days. The opening programme concentrates on the 1950s, when British drivers Stirling Moss and Mike Hawthorn took on the dominance of the great Argentinian driver, Fangio - all presided over by the chummy commentating presence of Raymond Baxter, fresh from a fight of his own as a Spitfire pilot in World War II. From track to paddock to a changing Britain beyond, and driven by a powerful period soundtrack, this is Formula One's 'Rock 'n' Roll Years'.

SUN 21:30 A Beautiful Mind (b0074fgs)
Oscar-winning drama based on the true story of prominent mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr, who seemed to be guaranteed a promising future when he won international acclaim as a result of his pioneering work in the field. However, when he is recruited to provide assistance to the military with top-secret code-breaking duties, the high-pressure job takes its toll on him and he begins to develop a mental illness.

SUN 23:40 Madness Live: Goodbye Television Centre (b01rgr1j)
As the BBC makes its exit from the iconic west London site of Television Centre, BBC Four presents a special night of celebration of the building and its 53-year history. To kick start proceedings, the nation's favourite nutty boys and national treasures Madness take to the stage at the front of BBC Television Centre to perform an hour long concert in front of an assembled audience nine days before TV Centre closes its doors. To help launch this celebration of over 50 years of programme making at TVC Madness treat us to new material and classics alike, such as One Step Beyond, I Never Knew Your Name, Baggy Trousers and Our House.

SUN 00:40 BBC Four Sessions (b01rgr1n)
Richard Thompson: Goodbye Television Centre

As part of the Goodbye TV Centre celebrations, guitarist, singer and songwriter Richard Thompson plays a one-off concert filmed in TC8.

Thompson has been performing in BBC TV studios since 1969, starting on Top of the Pops with Fairport Convention and then making frequent appearances on the Old Grey Whistle Test, The Late Show and Later with Jools Holland as a solo artist and bandleader.

Filmed before the opening night of the tour celebrating the Top 20 placing of his album Electric, Thompson leads his current power trio through songs from that album, including Salford Sunday and Stony Ground, alongside classics from his songbook like I Want to See the Bright Lights and Tear Stained Letter. Thompson is joined on a couple of acoustic songs by former Fairport bandmate and master fiddler Dave Swarbrick, frequent collaborator Pete Zorn adds sax to Al Bowlly's In Heaven and his daughter Kami Thompson harmonises on Waltzing for Dreamers.

Filmed before a small studio audience in the bare style of some of the previous BBC music shows on which Thompson has appeared, this concert celebrates Thompson and a tradition of popular music performance from TV Centre.

SUN 01:40 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.

SUN 03:10 Motor Racing at the BBC: That Petrol Emotion (b01rd365)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


MON 19:00 World News Today (b01rjbfj)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

MON 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00yd34b)
Series 2

Lochailort to Skye

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook. Portillo travels the length and breadth of the country to see how the railways changed the people of Britain and what remains of Bradshaw's experiences today.

As he journeys up the west coast of Scotland from Ayr to Skye, Michael discovers how the railways helped train the first generation of commandos at Lochailort in World War II, finds out why langoustines have replaced herrings as the top catch in the fishing port of Mallaig and sails across the sea to Skye to explore the history of the highland crofters.

MON 20:00 What Do Artists Do All Day? (b01rjr2k)
Polly Morgan

Taxidermist Polly Morgan, described by Banksy as 'Britain's hottest bird stuffer', is one of Britain's most high profile young artists.

Her macabre and unsettling works, including a coffin bursting with open-mouthed chicks and a rat asleep in a champagne glass, have won her celebrity fans including Kate Moss and considerable media coverage.

In the second of this series of artist profiles, this film offers an intimate peek at the strange and wonderful art of Polly Morgan and asks what her reputation reveals about the relationship between art and celebrity.

MON 20:30 Motor Racing at the BBC: That Petrol Emotion (b01rjr2m)
Episode 2

Formula One's archive series continues by charting how the oily rag pioneers of British motor racing emerged from the garages of rural England to take on the slick, Italian marques. A mixture of inspiration and perspiration led teams like Vanwall, Cooper and Lotus to dominate the sport for over a decade from the late 1950s onwards. Former mechanics Jack Brabham and Graham Hill became world champion drivers, John Cooper revolutionised the sport by moving the engine from front to back, and Colin Chapman, the genius of Lotus, created the aerodynamic racing shape we know today. All powered by a treat of a period soundtrack and some alarmingly pukka BBC voices.

MON 21:00 Wodehouse in Exile (b01rlwy8)
An intimate film featuring an all-star cast about how the author PG Wodehouse came to face a charge of treason during the Second World War and how this quintessential Englishman, creator of Jeeves and Wooster, became an exile from his own country and never set foot on English soil again.

MON 22:25 John Portman: A Life of Building (b01rd35v)
Film about the architect John Portman, capturing his approach in an intimate portrait that, by turn, assesses and appreciates his work, using dramatic time-lapse footage to show off his buildings at their best. Once a maverick who was nearly run out of the American Institute of Architects, Portman is now recognized as one of the most innovative and imitated architects ever. Over 45 years, his iconic urban statements and eye-popping interiors have risen in 60 cities on four continents to redefine cityscapes in America and skylines in China and the rest of Asia.

MON 23:20 Whaam! Roy Lichtenstein at Tate Modern (b01qyv6z)
Alastair Sooke takes us on an exclusive personal tour of the Roy Lichtenstein Retrospective at Tate Modern.

Together with fans, critics, artists and those who knew Lichtenstein, Alastair leads an entertaining and provocative discussion about the work and legacy of one of the most celebrated and instantly recognisable artists of the 20th century.
Renowned for his works based on comic strips and advertising imagery, Lichtenstein's chisel-jawed action men and love-lorn women made him the hero of the Pop Art movement.

When the pictures first appeared in the 1960s they caused a sensation - but also outrage and controversy, with many questioning whether his re-workings of other people's images could really be called art. As the exhibition reveals, however, there was more to Lichtenstein than simply the famous comic book images and also on display are many of his less familiar works - nudes, landscapes, sculpture and his own take on the work of modern art masters such as Picasso and Matisse.

Offering an in-depth look at one of the year's most talked about exhibitions, Alastair and guests explore the enduring appeal of Lichtenstein's imagery, debate the controversies around his work and his influence on today's generation of artists and tackle the big question - was Lichtenstein a Pop Art genius and one of the defining image-makers of the 20th century, or a one-trick wonder whose big idea was so powerful he could never let it go?

MON 00:20 Classic Albums (b0074sf2)
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon

Series looking at the creation of some classic rock albums. This edition looks at the legendary Pink Floyd album Dark Side of the Moon with interviews with Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason.

MON 01:10 Motor Racing at the BBC: That Petrol Emotion (b01rjr2m)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

MON 01:40 What Do Artists Do All Day? (b01rjr2k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 02:10 Wodehouse in Exile (b01rlwy8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 World News Today (b01rjbfp)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

TUE 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00psx88)
Series 1

Liverpool to Eccles

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

His journey takes him coast to coast, from Liverpool to Scarborough, beginning on the world's first passenger railway line. On the first leg, Michael learns to speak Scouse in Liverpool, finds out about the first railway fatality and explores the origins of the Eccles cake.

TUE 20:00 The Man who Discovered Egypt (b01f13f4)
Documentary about English Egyptologist Flinders Petrie, the pioneer of systematic methodology in archaeology. Ancient Egypt was vandalised by tomb raiders and treasure hunters until this Victorian adventurer took them on. Most people have never heard of him, but this maverick undertook a scientific survey of the pyramids, discovered the oldest portraits in the world, unearthed Egypt's prehistoric roots - and in the process invented modern field archaeology, giving meaning to a whole civilisation.

TUE 21:00 Timeshift (b01rjr2y)
Series 12

How To Be A Lady: An Elegant History

Journalist Rachel Johnson goes in search of what seems an almost vanished social type - the lady. With a handful of vintage etiquette books to guide her and a generous helping of film archive, she wants to find out how the idea of the lady changed over time - and what it might mean to be one now. Along the way she tries out etiquette classes and side-saddle lessons, as well as discovering that debutante balls have been revived for export.

TUE 22:00 I, Claudius (b0074srq)
Waiting in the Wings

Jack Pullman's adaptation of Robert Graves' novels continues and introduces Claudius as a stumbling , stuttering child, marked out for greatness by a falling wolf cub. Livia, wife of Emperor Augustus plots against his daughter Julia and manages to convince him to bring her son Tiberius back from exile.

TUE 22:50 Parks and Recreation (p01504x2)
Series 1

The Banquet

When Leslie's mother is given a banquet in her honour, she makes quite an impression. Mark and Tom try to meet some ladies.

TUE 23:15 Parks and Recreation (b01rh4rw)
Series 1

Rock Show

Leslie's mum sets her up on a date but pretends it's a business meeting. Ann kicks Andy out of the house after she learns he kept his casts on longer than necessary. Leslie has the opportunity to hook up with Mark again but turns him down.

TUE 23:35 Frost on Satire (b00srhgn)
Sir David Frost presents an investigation into the power of political satire with the help of some of the funniest TV moments of the last 50 years.

Beginning with the 1960s and That Was the Week That Was, he charts the development of television satire in Britain and the United States and is joined by the leading satirists from both sides of the Atlantic. From the UK, Rory Bremner, Ian Hislop and John Lloyd discuss their individual contributions, while from the US, Jon Stewart analyses the appeal of The Daily Show, Tina Fey and Will Ferrell talk about their respective portrayals of Sarah Palin and George W Bush, and Chevy Chase remembers how Saturday Night Live turned them into huge stars.

All of them tackle the key question of whether satire really can alter the course of political events.

TUE 00:35 Heritage! The Battle for Britain's Past (b01rd37j)
Broken Propylaeums

The final episode follows the changing fortunes of a heritage movement floored by the after-effects of World War II and looks at how people like Sir John Betjeman and Dan Cruickshank gave families access to heritage and architecture on television from the comfort of their living rooms. It looks at the preservation of sometimes ugly, certainly unpleasant parts of our built past such as workhouses and underground mineshafts, and contemplates what the future may hold for heritage in Britain - a nation faced with economic uncertainty, depleting resources and increasing challenges of sustainability.

TUE 01:35 Classic Albums (b0078tqv)
Motorhead: Ace of Spades

Series looking at the creation of some classic rock albums. Motorhead reached the pinnacle of their artistic and commercial success with Ace of Spades. Interviews with band members Lemmy, Phil Taylor and Eddie Clarke give a taste of what life was like in the first metal band to harness punk energy. The programme has archive footage and interviews with some of the biggest names in rock, including Lars Ulrich of Metallica and Slash.

TUE 02:25 Sounds of the 70s 2 (b01h7pzm)
Troubadours – Peaceful Easy Feeling

In the early 70s as the UK got to grips with the new coinage and decimalisation and braced itself for strike after strike, a group of young troubadours were hanging out in Laurel Canyon and the environs of California USA having a ball and creating music that would define a generation. It's time to kick back and relax and enjoy performances from Crosby and Nash, Neil Young, America, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Carole King, The Eagles, and Seals and Crofts.

TUE 02:55 Timeshift (b01rjr2y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 World News Today (b01rjbfv)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

WED 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00psyq3)
Series 1

Manchester to Bury

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

While travelling coast to coast from Liverpool to Scarborough, Michael visits Manchester to find out more about George Bradshaw himself. He also gets fitted for a trilby in Denton and learns how the railways helped to create a national institution - fish and chips.

WED 20:00 Secret Knowledge (b01rml7t)
Bolsover Castle

Lucy Worsley tells the story of Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire. Built in the early 17th century, it became the pleasure palace of playboy Cavalier and ambitious courtier William Cavendish.

Guiding us on a tour of the castle and its remarkable collection of artworks, Lucy brings to life the spectacular masque held by Cavendish to win the favour of King Charles I.

And from within the walls of this eccentric architectural gem emerges a colourful tale, capturing the tensions of early 17th-century England that would eventually lead the nation to civil war.

WED 20:30 Insect Worlds (b01rk1x9)
Insect Worlds

Totalling an estimated 10 million species, the insects and their close relatives are the most abundant and diverse group of animals in the world, so what is the secret of their success? Their hard external skeleton provides strength and protection and their small size allows them to exploit many microhabitats. In Yellowstone, Steve Backshall reveals how teamwork allows a colony of bees to scare off a hungry bear, and in Australia this same teamwork allows a colony of ants to beat the rising tide. But to unlock the real secret of their success Steve takes us to the Swiss Alps, where an incredible relationship exists between the ant, the wasp and the butterfly.

WED 21:00 Horizon (b01rk1xc)
Mend Me: A Horizon Guide to Transplants

Transplant surgery has now reached incredible heights, from achieving full face transplants to growing organs in the lab. This Horizon Guide looks back at the extraordinary odds doctors and patients have had to overcome to achieve these amazing breakthroughs.

What we now take for granted has been a hard won struggle, both for the patients who were willing to gamble their lives and the doctors who faced ethical and medical dilemmas in the name of progress. Michael Mosley looks through the Horizon archive, identifying the key turning points for transplant surgery to explore how far science can go in its bid to prolong life.

WED 22:00 Parks and Recreation (b01rly15)
Series 2

Pawnee Zoo

Leslie decides to marry two penguins in order to promote the local zoo, but inadvertently causes a debate when both penguins turn out to be male. Meanwhile, Mark asks Ann to go to watch a movie with him.

WED 22:20 Parks and Recreation (b01rly17)
Series 2

The Stakeout

While sorting out the new community garden, Leslie and Tom find that someone has been growing marijuana. To find those responsible, they decide to have an all-night stakeout of the garden. Meanwhile, Ann asks Leslie's permission to go on a date with Mark.

WED 22:45 Carved with Love: The Genius of British Woodwork (b01pyfd2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Saturday]

WED 23:45 Wodehouse in Exile (b01rlwy8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]

WED 01:10 Classic Albums (b00vlq0y)
Black Sabbath: Paranoid

The second album by Black Sabbath, released in 1970, has long attained classic status. Paranoid not only changed the face of rock music, but also defined the sound and style of heavy metal more than any other record in rock history. The result of a magic chemistry which had been discovered between four English musicians, it put Black Sabbath firmly on the road to world domination.

This programme tells the story behind the writing, recording and success of the album. Despite vilification from the Christian and moral right and all the harsh criticism that the music press could hurl at them, Paranoid catapulted Sabbath into the rock stratosphere.

Using exclusive interviews, musical demonstration, archive footage and a return to the multi-tracks with engineer Tom Allom, the film reveals how Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward created their frighteningly dark, heavy and ear-shatteringly loud sound.

Additional comments from Phil Alexander (MOJO & Kerrang! editor), Geoff Barton (Classic Rock editor), Henry Rollins (writer/musician) and Jim Simpson (original manager) add insight to the creation of this all-time classic.

WED 02:05 What Do Artists Do All Day? (b01rjr2k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Monday]

WED 02:35 Horizon (b01rk1xc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 World News Today (b01rjbg0)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b01rk27l)
Kid Jensen introduces the weekly pop chart programme featuring performances from Mud, Tina Charles, Richard Myhill, Suzi Quatro, Don Williams, Elvis Costello, Dan Hill, Andy Cameron, Kate Bush, Gerry Rafferty, Tavares and Bob Marley and the Wailers. Plus and Legs & Co.

THU 20:00 The Pre-Raphaelites (b00lglxw)
Episode 3

Three-part series examining the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, who brought notoriety to British art in the 19th century, bursting into the spotlight in 1848 and shocking their peers with a new kind of radical art.

The final part looks at how the Pre-Raphaelites had outgrown the avant-garde in their later years and began to embrace fame and fortune with art designed to please the masses. In so doing, they attained riches and celebrity and became the forefathers of the commercial modern artist.

THU 20:30 Pagans and Pilgrims: Britain's Holiest Places (b01rk2fp)

Presenter and Welsh poet Ifor ap Glyn explores the wealth of Britain's extraordinary holy places on a pilgrimage that spans almost 2,000 years of history. Travelling across the breadth of the UK, Ifor uncovers the stories and rich history behind many of our most famous sites, explaining the myths and legends of some of Britain's most sacred places.

Ifor sets out to understand the appeal of shrines. For those outside the Catholic and Orthodox church there is something vaguely unsettling about shrines. How can venerating the bones of a dead person bring you closer to God?

From the unlikely starting point of Marc Bolan's roadside shrine in Barnes, Ifor embarks upon perhaps his most surprising journey. Along the way he learns that Scotland's largest city only exists because of a shrine and visits the newly-renovated shrine of St David in Wales.

At St Albans Cathedral, he learns that shrines are slowly but surely starting to creep back into the Anglican mainstream and that rather than meeting resistance, they are being actively embraced. After viewing a genuinely shocking relic in Westminster Cathedral, Ifor meets with the Catholic archbishop Vincent Nichols, who has a radical theory about how the return of shrines represents the final chapter of the Reformation, and that is all down to Princess Diana.

Finally, after seeing some of the finest cathedrals in the land, Ifor ends his journey at a tiny church on the fringe of Snowdonia, one which is home to a shrine that many people consider the holiest place in Britain.

THU 21:00 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?

THU 22:00 Doubt (b01bbv34)
Powerful drama. Sister Beauvier, the stern headmistress of a Catholic school in 1960s New York, suspects popular pastor Father Flynn of an inappropriate relationship with a young black pupil. Flynn is outraged at the suggestion, but cannot prove her wrong, while Sister Beauvier is determined to keep pressing for the truth.

THU 23:40 Timeshift (b01rjr2y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]

THU 00:40 Michael Grade's History of the Pantomime Dame (b01pdt40)
Michael Grade explores the rich history of the very British pantomime dame. From the extravagant productions in Drury Lane in the 19th century to the vintage performances by Terry Scott and Arthur Askey, the dame has always been anarchic, witty, vulgar, affectionate and good box office.

Berwick Kaler, who has played the panto dame for 30 years at York's Theatre Royal, and The Good Life star Richard Briers, offer their insights into why the role has remained such a favourite.

Presenter and TV mogul Grade bravely tries on the full make-up and frock to explore what it is that has made the pantomime dame such an enduring feature of British life.

THU 01:40 Secret Knowledge (b01rml7t)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Wednesday]

THU 02:10 Top of the Pops (b01rk27l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 02:40 Turner's Thames (b01jv255)
In this documentary, the presenter and art critic Matthew Collings explores how Turner, the artist of light, makes light the vehicle of feeling in his work, and how he found inspiration for that feeling in the waters of the River Thames.

JMW Turner is the most famous of English landscape painters. Throughout a lifetime of travel, he returned time and again to paint and draw scenes of the Thames, the lifeblood of London. This documentary reveals the Thames in all its diverse glory, from its beauty in west London, to its heartland in the City of London and its former docks, out to the vast emptiness and drama of the Thames estuary near Margate.

Turner was among the first to pioneer painting directly from nature, turning a boat into a floating studio from which he sketched the Thames. The river and his unique relationship with it had a powerful impact upon his use of materials, as he sought to find an equivalent in paint for the visual surprise and delight he found in the reality of its waters.

By pursuing this ever-changing tale of light, Turner also documented and reflected upon key moments in British history in the early 19th century; the Napoleonic wars, social unrest and the onset of the industrial revolution. His paintings of the river Thames communicate the fears and exultations of the time.

Turner's greatness as a painter is often attributed to his modern use of colour. Many of his paintings are loved by the British public and regularly celebrated as the nation's greatest art. This film reveals for the first time on television a key inspiration for that modernity and celebrity; a stretch of water of immense importance to the nation in the early 19th century but which today is often taken for granted - the River Thames.


FRI 19:00 Walton at the Proms (b01bpl8r)
Two highlights of William Walton's music performed at the BBC Proms. Marking the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 is Walton's Anniversary Fanfare and the march Orb and Sceptre, played by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin. From 2007, in a Prom celebrating music from great British films, comes the score Battle in the Air from the film Battle of Britain, performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra under the baton of John Wilson.

FRI 19:15 Mahler's 1st Symphony with Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic (b01174dh)
The world famous Berlin Philharmonic, under the baton of their Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Sir Simon Rattle perform Mahler's 1st Symphony.

This concert was recorded in November 2010 at the Esplenade Concert Hall in Singapore, renowned for its state-of-the-art acoustics.

Sir Simon Rattle is considered one of the world's leading Mahler interpreters and this performance is part of a complete cycle of Mahler's symphonies which Sir Simon and the Berlin Philharmonic are undertaking over a period of eighteen months.

Now considered a remarkable achievement for the then 28-year-old composer, Mahler's 1st Symphony was not well received when first performed in Vienna in 1900.

In contrast, the symphony is partnered with Rachmaninov's last completed work, the 'Symphonic Dances'. Written in the summer of 1940, it is regarded by many as a summation of his musical career.

FRI 21:00 Nile Rodgers: The Hitmaker Remastered (b01rk2tm)
The last two years have seen Nile Rodgers launched back into the limelight following the massive success of Daft Punk's single Get Lucky, his distinctive guitar work helping the French dance music duo to one of their biggest hits.

This 2013 documentary has been brought up to date to tell the story of his work with Daft Punk and how his band Chic has been introduced to a brand new audience.

As the co-founder, songwriter, producer and guitarist of Chic he helped define the sound of the 70s, as disco took the world by storm. But the music that had made Chic would also break them, thanks to the 'Disco Sucks' backlash. What could have been the end for Nile Rodgers would actually be a new beginning as a producer, helping create some of the biggest hits of the '80s for the likes of Diana Ross, David Bowie, Madonna and Duran Duran.

The ever-charismatic Rogers contributes an engaging and often frank interview to tell the tale of how, born to beatnik, heroin-addict parents in New York, he picked up a guitar as a teenager and embarked on a journey to learn his craft as a musician, before becoming one of disco's most successful artists.

In the '70s and '80s he lived the party lifestyle thanks to his success with Chic and as one of the music industry's hottest producers. Drugs and alcohol would become part of everyday life for Nile, contributing in part to the break-up of Chic in the early '80s. The band would reform in the mid '90s, but their return was quickly marked by tragedy with the death of Nile's long-time friend and musical partner Bernard Edwards in 1996.

The film recounts a captivating and moving story of a man who has been making hit music for nearly four decades and has found himself back in the limelight once again.

FRI 22:00 David Bowie and the Story of Ziggy Stardust (b01k0y0n)
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is arguably the most important album in the mind-blowing career of David Bowie. Released in 1972, it's the record that set the mercurial musician on course to becoming one of the best-known pop stars on the planet. In just over a year, Bowie's messianic Martian invaded the minds of the nation's youth with a killer combination of extraterrestrial rock 'n' roll and outrageous sexuality, all delivered in high-heeled boots, multicoloured dresses and extravagant make-up. In Bowie's own words, Ziggy was 'a cross between Nijinsky and Woolworths', but this unlikely culture clash worked - Ziggy turned Bowie into stardust.

This documentary tells the story of how Bowie arrived at one of the most iconic creations in the history of pop music. The songs, the hairstyles, the fashion and the theatrical stage presentation merged together to turn David Bowie into the biggest craze since the Beatles. Ziggy's instant success gave the impression that he was the perfectly planned pop star. But, as the film reveals, it had been a momentous struggle for David Bowie to hit on just the right formula that would take him to the top.

Narrated by fan Jarvis Cocker, it reveals Bowie's mission to the stars through the musicians and colleagues who helped him in his unwavering quest for fame - a musical voyage that led Bowie to doubt his true identity, eventually forcing the sudden demise of his alien alter ego, Ziggy.

Contributors include Trevor Bolder (bass player, Spiders from Mars), Woody Woodmansey (drummer, Spider from Mars), Mike Garson (Spiders' keyboardist), Suzi Ronson (Mick Ronson's widow, who gave Bowie that haircut), Ken Scott (producer), Elton John (contemporary and fan), Lindsay Kemp (Bowie's mime teacher), Leee Black Childers (worked for Mainman, Bowie's production company), Cherry Vanilla (Bowie's PA/press officer), George Underwood (Bowie's friend), Mick Rock (Ziggy's official photographer), Steve Harley, Marc Almond, Holly Johnson, Peter Hook, Jon Savage, Peter Doggett and Dylan Jones.

FRI 23:00 The Genius of David Bowie (b01k0y0q)
A selection of some of David Bowie's best performances from the BBC archives, which also features artists who Bowie helped along the way, such as Mott the Hoople, Lulu, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed.

FRI 00:00 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 01:00 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 02:00 Nile Rodgers: The Hitmaker Remastered (b01rk2tm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 03:00 Disco at the BBC (b01cqt74)
[Repeat of broadcast at 00:00 today]

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

A Beautiful Mind 21:30 SUN (b0074fgs)

BBC Four Sessions 00:40 SUN (b01rgr1n)

Bombay Railway 19:00 SUN (b007t30p)

Bombay Railway 20:00 SUN (b007t367)

Carved with Love: The Genius of British Woodwork 20:00 SAT (b01pyfd2)

Carved with Love: The Genius of British Woodwork 02:45 SAT (b01pyfd2)

Carved with Love: The Genius of British Woodwork 22:45 WED (b01pyfd2)

Classic Albums 00:20 MON (b0074sf2)

Classic Albums 01:35 TUE (b0078tqv)

Classic Albums 01:10 WED (b00vlq0y)

David Bowie and the Story of Ziggy Stardust 22:00 FRI (b01k0y0n)

Disco at the BBC 00:00 FRI (b01cqt74)

Disco at the BBC 03:00 FRI (b01cqt74)

Doubt 22:00 THU (b01bbv34)

Frost on Satire 23:35 TUE (b00srhgn)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 MON (b00yd34b)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 TUE (b00psx88)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 WED (b00psyq3)

Heritage! The Battle for Britain's Past 00:35 TUE (b01rd37j)

Horizon 21:00 WED (b01rk1xc)

Horizon 02:35 WED (b01rk1xc)

I, Claudius 22:00 TUE (b0074srq)

Ian Hislop Goes off the Rails 21:00 THU (b00drtpj)

Insect Worlds 20:30 WED (b01rk1x9)

It's Slade 23:55 SAT (b01pf7kr)

John Portman: A Life of Building 22:25 MON (b01rd35v)

Madness Live: Goodbye Television Centre 23:40 SUN (b01rgr1j)

Mahler's 1st Symphony with Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic 19:15 FRI (b01174dh)

Michael Grade's History of the Pantomime Dame 00:40 THU (b01pdt40)

Motor Racing at the BBC: That Petrol Emotion 21:00 SUN (b01rd365)

Motor Racing at the BBC: That Petrol Emotion 03:10 SUN (b01rd365)

Motor Racing at the BBC: That Petrol Emotion 20:30 MON (b01rjr2m)

Motor Racing at the BBC: That Petrol Emotion 01:10 MON (b01rjr2m)

Natural World 19:00 SAT (b01rl4xr)

Nile Rodgers: The Hitmaker Remastered 21:00 FRI (b01rk2tm)

Nile Rodgers: The Hitmaker Remastered 02:00 FRI (b01rk2tm)

Pagans and Pilgrims: Britain's Holiest Places 20:30 THU (b01rk2fp)

Parks and Recreation 22:50 TUE (p01504x2)

Parks and Recreation 23:15 TUE (b01rh4rw)

Parks and Recreation 22:00 WED (b01rly15)

Parks and Recreation 22:20 WED (b01rly17)

Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top 10 00:45 SAT (b01nwfxs)

Secret Knowledge 20:00 WED (b01rml7t)

Secret Knowledge 01:40 THU (b01rml7t)

Slade at the BBC 22:55 SAT (b01pdt89)

Sounds of the 70s 2 02:25 TUE (b01h7pzm)

The Genius of David Bowie 23:00 FRI (b01k0y0q)

The Joy of Disco 01:00 FRI (b01cqt72)

The Man who Discovered Egypt 20:00 TUE (b01f13f4)

The Pre-Raphaelites 20:00 THU (b00lglxw)

The Richest Songs in the World 01:40 SUN (b01pjrt5)

The Silence 21:00 SAT (b01hxmjr)

Timeshift 21:00 TUE (b01rjr2y)

Timeshift 02:55 TUE (b01rjr2y)

Timeshift 23:40 THU (b01rjr2y)

Top of the Pops 02:15 SAT (b01rfswf)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b01rk27l)

Top of the Pops 02:10 THU (b01rk27l)

Turner's Thames 02:40 THU (b01jv255)

Walton at the Proms 19:00 FRI (b01bpl8r)

Whaam! Roy Lichtenstein at Tate Modern 23:20 MON (b01qyv6z)

What Do Artists Do All Day? 20:00 MON (b01rjr2k)

What Do Artists Do All Day? 01:40 MON (b01rjr2k)

What Do Artists Do All Day? 02:05 WED (b01rjr2k)

Wild 19:50 SAT (b0078yx9)

Wodehouse in Exile 21:00 MON (b01rlwy8)

Wodehouse in Exile 02:10 MON (b01rlwy8)

Wodehouse in Exile 23:45 WED (b01rlwy8)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b01rjbfj)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b01rjbfp)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b01rjbfv)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b01rjbg0)