Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 11 MAY 2013

SAT 19:00 South Pacific (b00l7q55)
Fragile Paradise

The South Pacific is still relatively healthy and teeming with fish, but it is a fragile paradise. International fishing fleets are taking a serious toll on the sharks, albatross and tuna, and there are other insidious threats to these bountiful seas. This episode looks at what is being done to preserve the ocean and its wildlife.


SAT 20:00 Jazz Horns Gold (b01sg8fl)
Jazz Horns Gold blows its own trumpet (and saxophone and nose flute) with a cool array of BBC archive from the jazz vaults.
Legends such as Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Stan Getz and Rahsaan Roland Kirk play boldly alongside new stars who emerged in the 80s like Wynton Marsalis and the young jazz disciples of the 21st century such as Joshua Redman and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. Not forgetting the Brits including Acker Bilk, John Dankworth, Courtney Pine and John Surman and the late, lamented Andy Hamilton. Archive sources include Jazz 625, the Late Show, Later with Jools Holland and Crackerjack.
Blow man blow!


SAT 21:00 Arne Dahl (b01sg8hr)
Series 1

To The Top of the Mountain: Part 2

Nyberg has been helping child abuse investigator Sara Svenhagen chase a paedophile ring and is disturbed by what they find. Chavez takes an instant shine to Nyberg's new colleague and soon finds himself in romantic complications. Meanwhile A Unit's ongoing investigation into a car explosion in Holland has led them to the shady dealings of celebrated restaurateur David Billinger and a Dutch criminal gang. Billinger is secretly on the trail of some money stolen from his restaurant but won't tell anyone what he needs it for. The investigation into the goings-on at the restaurant has life-threatening consequences for the team, and even they are surprised at who becomes implicated as a suspect.

In Swedish with English subtitles.


SAT 22:30 Arena (b00rs3w6)
Frank Sinatra: The Voice of the Century

Arena explores the rise of the legendary crooner Frank Sinatra from his early family background to overwhelming showbusiness success. Interviews with friends, family and associates reveal a star-studded career in music and film alongside a fascinating private life of four marriages, liaison with the Kennedy family, Las Vegas business interests and an alleged association with the mafia.


SAT 00:05 Jazz Horns Gold (b01sg8fl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SAT 01:05 The Sky at Night (b08spgh6)
Stunning Saturn

Saturn is in our evening skies, and in any telescope looks a stunner. Lucie Green and Chris Lintott investigate the storm that is still raging in the planet's atmosphere, with the latest news from Saturn's amazing moons Titan and Enceladus.

Pete Lawrence and Paul Abel illustrate Saturn's 'opposition effect' and look at some globular clusters, whilst Chris North gets a preview of the new eye-in-the-sky camera, soon to be fitted onto the International Space Station, which will image Earth in incredible detail.


SAT 01:35 The Horizon Guide to Mars (b00p1crx)
The intriguing possibility of life on Mars has fuelled man's quest to visit the Red Planet. Drawing on 45 years of Horizon archive, space expert Dr Kevin Fong presents a documentary on Earth's near neighbour.

Man's extraordinary attempts to reach Mars have pushed technological boundaries past their limit and raised the tantalising prospect of establishing human colonies beyond our own planet.

While the moon lies 240,000 miles away, Mars is at a distance of 50 million miles. Reaching the moon takes three days, but to land on Mars would take nearly eight months, and only two thirds of the missions to Mars have made it. The BBC has been analysing the highs and lows throughout - including the ill-fated British attempt, the Beagle.

Horizon has explored how scientists believe the only way to truly understand Mars is to send people there. If and when we do, it will be the most challenging trip humanity has ever undertaken.


SAT 02:35 South Pacific (b00l7q55)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]



SUNDAY 12 MAY 2013

SUN 19:00 She-Wolves: England's Early Queens (b01dc66v)
Isabella and Margaret

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.

In 1308 a 12-year-old girl, Isabella of France, became queen of England when she married the English king. A century later another young French girl, Margaret of Anjou, followed in her footsteps. Both these women were thrust into a violent and dysfunctional England and both felt driven to take control of the kingdom themselves. Isabella would be accused of murder and Margaret of destructive ambition - it was Margaret who Shakespeare named the She Wolf. But as Helen reveals, their self-assertion that would have seemed natural in a man was deemed unnatural, even monstrous in a woman.


SUN 20:00 Roundhead or Cavalier: Which One Are You? (b01hr7k9)
In the middle of the 17th century, Britain was devastated by a civil war that divided the nation into two tribes - the Roundheads and the Cavaliers. In this programme, celebrities and historians reveal that modern Britain is still defined by the battle between the two tribes. The Cavaliers represent a Britain of panache, pleasure and individuality. They are confronted by the Roundheads, who stand for modesty, discipline, equality and state intervention.

The ideas which emerged 350 years ago shaped our democracy, civil liberties and constitution. They also create a cultural divide that influences how we live, what we wear and even what we eat and drink. Individuals usually identify with one tribe or the other, but sometimes they need some elements of the enemy's identity - David Cameron seeks a dash of the down-to-earth Roundhead, while Ed Miliband looks for some Cavalier charisma.

Featuring contributions from Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, AS Byatt, Julian Fellowes, Philippa Gregory, Anne Widdecombe and Clarissa Dickson Wright.

Are you a Roundhead or a Cavalier?


SUN 21:00 Wings over the World (b01sjt78)
TV special featuring footage filmed throughout Wings' tour of 1975/1976, following the band in England, Australia and America. It contains live concert performances featuring fifteen of Wings' greatest songs and home movies of Paul McCartney and his family, providing a fascinating profile of the McCartneys' life off-stage.

The tour itself was a major triumph for Wings - the first time the group had appeared in Australia and America, and Paul's first performance in the States for ten years. Three million people saw the shows and a then-world record attendance for an indoor concert of 67,053 was set at the Kingdome, Seattle.

Starting with Paul and Linda in Scotland, the special features the gradual build-up of the band and follows Wings on tour with hit songs such as Jet, Maybe I'm Amazed, Yesterday, Silly Love Songs and Band on the Run. The Wings line-up for the tour was Paul and Linda McCartney, Denny Laine, Jimmy McCulloch and Joe English.


SUN 22:15 Love Me Do: The Beatles '62 (b01nfbt2)
On October 5th 1962 the Beatles released their first single, Love Me Do. It was a moment that changed music history and popular culture forever. It was also an extraordinary year in social and cultural history, not just for Liverpool but for the world, with the Cuban missile crisis, John Glenn in space and beer at a shilling a pint.

Stuart Maconie explores how the Beatles changed from leather and slicked back hair to suits and Beatle mops, and how their fashion set the pace for the sixties to follow. Pop artist Sir Peter Blake, Bob Harris and former Beatles drummer Pete Best join friends to reflect on how the Beatles evolved into John, Paul, George and Ringo - the most famous band in the world.


SUN 23:15 Queens of Jazz: The Joy and Pain of the Jazz Divas (b01sbxqw)
A celebration of some of the greatest female jazz singers of the 20th century. It takes an unflinching and revealing look at what it actually took to be a jazz diva during a turbulent time in America's social history - a time when battle lines were being constantly drawn around issues of race, gender and popular culture.

The documentary tracks the diva's difficult progress as she emerges from the tough, testosterone-fuelled world of the big bands of the 30s and 40s, to fill nightclubs and saloons across the US in the 50s and early 60s as a force in her own right. Looking at the lives and careers of six individual singers (Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone and Annie Ross), the film not only talks to those who knew and worked with these queens of jazz, but also to contemporary singers who sit on the shoulders of these trailblazing talents without having to endure the pain and hardship it took for them to make their highly individual voices heard above the prejudice of mid-century America.

This is a documentary about how these women triumphed - always at some personal cost - to become some of the greatest artists of the 20th century, women who chose singing above life itself because singing was their life.


SUN 00:15 Jazz Divas Gold (b01sbxqy)
BBC Four explores the archives for the sultry sounds and looks of 'Jazz Divas Gold'! Featured Jazz legends include Ella Fitzgerald, Marion Montgomery, Cleo Laine, Blossom Dearie, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone, Peggy Lee, Betty Carter, Amy Winehouse, Eartha Kitt and many more who can be seen from 1965 to 2008 on BBC treasures such as Not So Much a Programme, More a Way of Life, Show of the Week, Not Only...But Also, Birdland, Parkinson, Later..with Jools Holland, Morecambe and Wise and more...so let's hear it for the ladies!


SUN 01:15 Wings over the World (b01sjt78)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


SUN 02:30 Love Me Do: The Beatles '62 (b01nfbt2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:15 today]


SUN 03:30 Britain on Film (b01qbz9f)
Series 1

This Sceptered Isle

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.

This episode examines Look at Life's quirky films that documented unusual or eccentric British customs, rituals and traditions. In an era where many Britons embraced change as never before, these revealing and highly entertaining films show that people were determined to preserve the idiosyncratic aspects of our national life.



MONDAY 13 MAY 2013

MON 19:00 World News Today (b01sg8vg)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


MON 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00qgzdd)
Series 1

Coventry to Watford

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 remains of Bradshaw's Britain.

His journey takes him from Buxton along one of the first railway routes south to the capital, London. This time, Michael relives the Coventry Blitz, meets the last farmer with pure-breed Aylesbury ducks in Buckinghamshire and finds out how the trains helped to evacuate millions of children during World War II.


MON 20:00 The Flying Archaeologist (b01s1llz)
Hadrian's Wall: Life on the Frontier

Archaeologist Ben Robinson flies over Hadrian's Wall to reveal a new view of its history. The first full aerial survey of Hadrian's Wall has helped uncover new evidence about the people who once lived there. Carried out over the last few years by English Heritage, it is allowing archaeologists to reinterpret the wall. Across the whole landscape hundreds of sites of human occupation have been discovered, showing that people were living here in considerable numbers. Their discoveries are suggesting that far from being a barren military landscape, the whole area was richly populated before during and after the wall was built. There is also exciting new evidence that the Romans were here earlier than previously thought.


MON 20:30 Only Connect (b01sg935)
Series 7

Corpuscles v Cat Lovers

Three graduates of Corpus Christi College, Oxford pit their wits against a trio of cat lovers, competing to draw together the connections between things which, at first glance, seem utterly random. So join Victoria Coren Mitchell if you want to know what connects the Green Knight, electric toothbrush, Kryten and Worzel Gummidge.


MON 21:00 Frost on Sketch Shows (b01sg96h)
Many of Britain's biggest comedy stars cut their teeth on sketch shows and many of our most-loved comedy series began as sketches.

Sir David Frost traces the development of the sketch show over the last 50 years - from the variety theatre to peak-time television, from Arthur Haynes to Morecambe and Wise and The Two Ronnies, from Monty Python to Not the Nine o'Clock News and Catherine Tate.

He is joined by TV comedy greats including Ronnie Corbett, Stephen Fry and Michael Palin as they look back on the highs and lows of their own sketch show experiences. And together with comedy veterans Michael Grade and Richard Curtis, they ask if, in an age dominated by stand-up and sitcoms, the sketch show can continue to flourish and survive.


MON 22:00 The Many Faces of... (b01pvb9q)
Series 2

Stanley Baxter

Celebrating the extraordinary career of entertainer Stanley Baxter, whose shows captivated huge audiences for twenty years before the cost of his epics priced him off our screens. Tracing his origins to Scotland's variety and review stages, his story is told by admiring fans including Michael Grade, Barry Cryer, Bill Oddie and Gregor Fisher.


MON 23:00 Stories from the Dark Earth: Meet the Ancestors Revisited (b01sbvzt)
Families of the Stone Age

Julian Richards returns to the excavation of two burials from the Stone Age - the grave of an entire Neolithic family in Dorset and a tomb on Orkney that is helping to reveal some strange and unexpected burial rites from over 5,000 years ago.


MON 00:00 Great Artists in Their Own Words (b01sfl03)
The Future Is Now (1907-1939)

The first episode of the series unlocks the BBC archives to tell the story of the birth of modern art, in the words of the artists who created a cultural revolution - from the startling innovations of Picasso to the explosion of colour in the paintings of Matisse, to LS Lowry's industrial cityscapes and the often shocking work of surrealists like Max Ernst, Magritte and Dali.


MON 01:00 Only Connect (b01sg935)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


MON 01:30 The Flying Archaeologist (b01s1llz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


MON 02:00 Brushing up on... (b01sbwcz)
Series 1

British Factories

Danny Baker ponders the British factory - the products, the people, the bosses and what happens when the hooter sounds and the tools are downed.


MON 02:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00qgzdd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


MON 03:00 Frost on Sketch Shows (b01sg96h)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



TUESDAY 14 MAY 2013

TUE 19:00 World News Today (b01sg7w6)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


TUE 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00qgzr9)
Series 1

St Pancras to Westminster

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 remains of Bradshaw's Britain.

His journey takes him from Buxton along one of the first railway routes south to the capital, London. This time, Michael explores one of the grandest railway stations and hotels in the country - St Pancras. He rides the world's first tube line to Smithfield market and climbs up the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament to hear Big Ben chime.


TUE 20:00 NASA: Triumph and Tragedy (b00lk0jq)
One Giant Leap

In 2009, NASA celebrates the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing. This documentary series offers audiences a unique chance to glimpse an astronaut's view of spaceflight. It is an epic story of heroes and their breathtaking successes as they further humanity's innate desire to explore.

The white-knuckle suspense thriller of Apollo 13's famous near-disaster was only a prelude to darker moments ahead. The launch of the space shuttle programme promised routine trips to earth orbit for many new astronauts, but, just when that promise seemed fulfilled, routine shuttle launches began to bore the public. NASA responded by training a school teacher to fly, in order to teach children lessons from space, but Christa McAuliffe's life was tragically cut short as she and the rest of the crew perished aboard the shuttle Challenger, leading to all missions being halted. Eventually the shuttle returned to orbit, but, after 15 years of successful missions, disaster struck again with the shocking loss of Columbia. It marked the beginning of the end for the space shuttle.


TUE 21:00 Archaeology: A Secret History (p0109k4g)
The Power of the Past

Archaeologist Richard Miles presents a series charting the history of the breakthroughs and watersheds in our long quest to understand our ancient past. He shows how 20th-century attention turned from civilisation and kings to the search for the common man against a background of science and competing political ideologies.


TUE 22:00 I, Claudius (b0074ssf)
Hail Who?

Caligula's erratic behaviour continues, as he makes his horse a senator and turns the palace into a brothel. Many in the Praetorian Guard grow to realise that their ruler is insane and, fearing the collapse of Rome itself, believe that something needs to be done.


TUE 22:55 Treasures of Ancient Rome (b01msf6r)
The Empire Strikes Back

In the third and final part of the series, Alastair Sooke charts the decline and fall of the Roman Empire through some of its hidden and most magical artistic treasures. He travels to Leptis Magna in Libya shortly after the overthrow of Gaddafi and finds one of the best preserved Roman cities in the world and the cradle of later Roman art. Sooke discovers glorious mosaics which have never been filmed before, but also finds evidence of shocking neglect of Libya's Roman heritage by the Gaddafi regime.

His artistic tour takes him to Egypt and the northern frontiers of the empire where he encounters stunning mummy paintings and exquisite silver and glassware. As Rome careered from one crisis to another, official art became more hard boiled and militaristic and an obscure cult called Christianity rose up to seize the mantle of Western art for centuries to come.


TUE 23:55 Britain on Film (b01qhl0b)
Series 1

Animal Magic

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.

This episode examines Britain's ambiguous relationships with animals. Look at Life's coverage - which ranges from the fur trade, fox hunting and animal-based entertainments in circuses to our passion for pets - shows just how far attitudes to other species have shifted since the 1960s.


TUE 00:25 Parks and Recreation (b01sbvzw)
Series 2

The Set Up

Ann sets Leslie up on a blind date with one of her co-workers. However, the date does not go as Leslie had hoped. Meanwhile, Mark begins to feel insecure when he meets one of Ann's old friends.


TUE 00:45 Parks and Recreation (b01sbvzy)
Series 2

Sweetums

The parks department forms a partnership with a local company to sell energy bars at the parks in Pawnee, but Leslie tries to stop the deal when she discovers how unhealthy the snacks are. Mark reluctantly agrees to help Tom move out of his house.


TUE 01:05 Arne Dahl (b01sg8hr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday]


TUE 02:35 Archaeology: A Secret History (p0109k4g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 15 MAY 2013

WED 19:00 World News Today (b01sg7wc)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


WED 19:30 Britain's Best Drives (b00hq4fb)
North Yorkshire Moors

Actor Richard Wilson takes a journey into the past, following routes raved about in motoring guides of mid-20th century.

In a classic Morris Minor Traveller, he drives from Scarborough to Whitby via the Yorkshire moors. On the way, he learns about the rise and fall of the British seaside resorts, takes a toll road through the Dalby Forest and checks out the mythical roadside wonder that is the Hole of Horecum.

He finds out how the village of Goathland now lives a double life, and ends up with a carload of goths on their way to visit Whitby Abbey.


WED 20:00 Stories from the Dark Earth: Meet the Ancestors Revisited (b01sgx9m)
Sacred Women of the Iron Age

Archaeologist Julian Richards returns to some of his most important digs to discover how science, conservation, and brand new finds have changed our understanding of entire eras of ancient history. Julian goes back to the excavation of two very different Iron Age woman - the possible sacrifice of a teenage girl from the Cotswolds, and the extraordinary chariot queen whose well preserved possessions are leading to some astonishing new conclusions about Iron Age belief, all because of a mirror and its otter-fur bag.


WED 21:00 Great Artists in Their Own Words (b01sg9ls)
Out of the Darkness (1939-1966)

Second in a series unlocking the BBC archives to tell the story of modern art in the words of the artists themselves - from the tortured images of Francis Bacon born of the horror of the Second World War to the joyous, sometimes ironical celebration of consumer affluence in the pop art of Richard Hamilton, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol to the hedonistic freedom of the paintings of David Hockney.


WED 22:00 Parks and Recreation (b01sg9sk)
Series 2

Leslie's House

Comedy series set in an Indiana town. After an amazing date with Justin in Indianapolis, Leslie tries to impress him further with a dinner party at her house.


WED 22:20 Parks and Recreation (b01sg9sm)
Series 2

Galentine's Day

Comedy series set in the parks department of a fictional Indiana town. Leslie and Justin reunite her mom with an old flame on Valentine's Day.


WED 22:45 Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? (b0077j8v)
Series 1

Moving On

Classic sitcom. Appalled by the changes in Newcastle, Terry considers leaving to get a job in Berwick. Meanwhile, his friend's wanderlust sets Bob thinking.


WED 23:15 Frost on Sketch Shows (b01sg96h)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]


WED 00:15 The Many Faces of... (b01pvb9q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Monday]


WED 01:15 Britain's Best Drives (b00hq4fb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


WED 01:45 Stories from the Dark Earth: Meet the Ancestors Revisited (b01sgx9m)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


WED 02:45 Great Artists in Their Own Words (b01sg9ls)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



THURSDAY 16 MAY 2013

THU 19:00 World News Today (b01sg7wj)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b01sbwcx)
Peter Powell introduces the weekly pop charts featuring performances from Plastic Bertrand, Guy Marks, Brotherhood of Man, Elkie Brooks, Darts, Boney M, Smokie, X-Ray Spex and dance troupe Legs & Co.


THU 20:00 Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? (b0077jfw)
Series 1

I'll Never Forget Whatshername

Classic 70s sitcom. Terry tries to track down some of his old flames, but probing into the past produces embarrassing results.


THU 20:30 The Best of Kenny Everett's Television Shows (b01n7m2m)
Episode 1

Classic moments from the five series which Kenny Everett made for the BBC. Stand by for laughs from unforgettable characters Cupid Stunt, Sid Snot, Gizzard Puke and others.


THU 21:00 The Damned United (b00t61gx)
The story of Brian Clough's 44-day stint as manager of Leeds United FC in 1974. When Don Revie quit Leeds to become the England boss, the outspoken Clough took charge. Determined to impose his own style upon Revie's tough-tackling team, Clough soon alienated his players and the board.

Based on the book by David Peace.


THU 22:30 Archaeology: A Secret History (p0109k4g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]


THU 23:30 Roundhead or Cavalier: Which One Are You? (b01hr7k9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Sunday]


THU 00:30 NASA: Triumph and Tragedy (b00lk0jq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Tuesday]


THU 01:30 Top of the Pops (b01sbwcx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


THU 02:15 The Best of Kenny Everett's Television Shows (b01n7m2m)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


THU 02:45 Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? (b0077jfw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


THU 03:15 Britain on Film (b01qnnqp)
Series 1

Country Living

The series looking at the culture, economics and society of 1960s Britain turns its attention to one of our great national treasures - the countryside. Drawing on the archive of high-quality colour films produced by the country's biggest cinema company, the Rank Organisation, this film shows how new technologies and production methods were changing the face of agriculture and records how country life was adapting to the new economic and moral realities of a fast-changing nation.



FRIDAY 17 MAY 2013

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b01sg7wp)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 Pappano's Essential Ring Cycle (b01sgbtl)
To celebrate the bicentenary of Wagner's birth, Sir Antonio Pappano, the charismatic music director of the Royal Opera House, guides us through the epic composition which changed opera and the theatre for ever - the Ring of the Nibelungen.

Pappano shares his insights into Wagner's music and the mythical world the composer created, visiting the extraordinary theatre at Bayreuth which was created for its performance. He also explores the life of Richard Wagner the man - the political, cultural and social forces that influenced him - and shows how the composer's personal convictions and experiences can be seen within the Ring Cycle.

Filmed in Germany and London, it features expert comment from artists who took part in the recent production of the Ring at the Royal Opera House directed by Keith Warner, including Bryn Terfel, Sir John Tomlinson, Susan Bullock and Sarah Connolly.


FRI 21:00 50s Britannia (b01sgbw2)
Rock 'n' Roll Britannia

Long before the Beatles there was British rock 'n' roll. Between 1956 and 1960 British youth created a unique copy of a distant and scarce American original whilst most parents, professional jazz men and even the BBC did their level best to snuff it out.

From its first faltering steps as a facsimile of Bill Haley's swing style to the sophistication of self-penned landmarks such as Shakin' All Over and The Sound of Fury, this is the story of how the likes of Lord Rockingham's XI, Vince Taylor and Cliff Richard and The Shadows laid the foundations for an enduring 50-year culture of rock 'n' roll.

Now well into their seventies, the flame still burns strong in the hearts of the original young ones. Featuring Sir Cliff Richard, Marty Wilde, Joe Brown, Bruce Welch, Cherry Wainer and The Quarrymen.


FRI 22:00 Kings of Rock and Roll (b007c95q)
A journey back to the 1950s for a look at the wildest pop music of all time in a film that tells the stories of Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly, giants from an era when pop music really was mad, bad and dangerous to know.

The programme features the artists themselves, alongside people like Bill Haley's original Comets, The Crickets, Buddy Holly's widow Maria Elena, Jerry Lee Lewis's former wife Myra Gail and his sister, Chuck Berry's son and many more, including June Juanico, Elvis's first serious girlfriend.

Other contributors include Tom Jones, Jamie Callum, Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard, Joe Brown, Marty Wilde, Green Day, Minnie Driver, Jack White of The White Stripes, The Mavericks, Jools Holland, Hank Marvin, Fontella Bass, John Waters and more.

Elvis's pelvis was just the start. Who had to change the lyrics to their biggest hit because the originals were too obscene? Who married their 13-year-old cousin? Who used lard to get their hair just right? And what happened on the day the music died?


FRI 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.


FRI 00:30 50s Britannia (b01sgbw2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 01:30 Kings of Rock and Roll (b007c95q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


FRI 02:30 Pappano's Essential Ring Cycle (b01sgbtl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]




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

50s Britannia 21:00 FRI (b01sgbw2)

50s Britannia 00:30 FRI (b01sgbw2)

Archaeology: A Secret History 21:00 TUE (p0109k4g)

Archaeology: A Secret History 02:35 TUE (p0109k4g)

Archaeology: A Secret History 22:30 THU (p0109k4g)

Arena 22:30 SAT (b00rs3w6)

Arne Dahl 21:00 SAT (b01sg8hr)

Arne Dahl 01:05 TUE (b01sg8hr)

Britain on Film 03:30 SUN (b01qbz9f)

Britain on Film 23:55 TUE (b01qhl0b)

Britain on Film 03:15 THU (b01qnnqp)

Britain's Best Drives 19:30 WED (b00hq4fb)

Britain's Best Drives 01:15 WED (b00hq4fb)

Brushing up on... 02:00 MON (b01sbwcz)

Frost on Sketch Shows 21:00 MON (b01sg96h)

Frost on Sketch Shows 03:00 MON (b01sg96h)

Frost on Sketch Shows 23:15 WED (b01sg96h)

Great Artists in Their Own Words 00:00 MON (b01sfl03)

Great Artists in Their Own Words 21:00 WED (b01sg9ls)

Great Artists in Their Own Words 02:45 WED (b01sg9ls)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 MON (b00qgzdd)

Great British Railway Journeys 02:30 MON (b00qgzdd)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 TUE (b00qgzr9)

I, Claudius 22:00 TUE (b0074ssf)

Jazz Divas Gold 00:15 SUN (b01sbxqy)

Jazz Horns Gold 20:00 SAT (b01sg8fl)

Jazz Horns Gold 00:05 SAT (b01sg8fl)

Kings of Rock and Roll 22:00 FRI (b007c95q)

Kings of Rock and Roll 01:30 FRI (b007c95q)

Love Me Do: The Beatles '62 22:15 SUN (b01nfbt2)

Love Me Do: The Beatles '62 02:30 SUN (b01nfbt2)

NASA: Triumph and Tragedy 20:00 TUE (b00lk0jq)

NASA: Triumph and Tragedy 00:30 THU (b00lk0jq)

Only Connect 20:30 MON (b01sg935)

Only Connect 01:00 MON (b01sg935)

Pappano's Essential Ring Cycle 19:30 FRI (b01sgbtl)

Pappano's Essential Ring Cycle 02:30 FRI (b01sgbtl)

Parks and Recreation 00:25 TUE (b01sbvzw)

Parks and Recreation 00:45 TUE (b01sbvzy)

Parks and Recreation 22:00 WED (b01sg9sk)

Parks and Recreation 22:20 WED (b01sg9sm)

Queens of Jazz: The Joy and Pain of the Jazz Divas 23:15 SUN (b01sbxqw)

Roundhead or Cavalier: Which One Are You? 20:00 SUN (b01hr7k9)

Roundhead or Cavalier: Which One Are You? 23:30 THU (b01hr7k9)

She-Wolves: England's Early Queens 19:00 SUN (b01dc66v)

South Pacific 19:00 SAT (b00l7q55)

South Pacific 02:35 SAT (b00l7q55)

Stories from the Dark Earth: Meet the Ancestors Revisited 23:00 MON (b01sbvzt)

Stories from the Dark Earth: Meet the Ancestors Revisited 20:00 WED (b01sgx9m)

Stories from the Dark Earth: Meet the Ancestors Revisited 01:45 WED (b01sgx9m)

The Best of Kenny Everett's Television Shows 20:30 THU (b01n7m2m)

The Best of Kenny Everett's Television Shows 02:15 THU (b01n7m2m)

The Damned United 21:00 THU (b00t61gx)

The Flying Archaeologist 20:00 MON (b01s1llz)

The Flying Archaeologist 01:30 MON (b01s1llz)

The Horizon Guide to Mars 01:35 SAT (b00p1crx)

The Many Faces of... 22:00 MON (b01pvb9q)

The Many Faces of... 00:15 WED (b01pvb9q)

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

The Sky at Night 01:05 SAT (b08spgh6)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b01sbwcx)

Top of the Pops 01:30 THU (b01sbwcx)

Treasures of Ancient Rome 22:55 TUE (b01msf6r)

Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? 22:45 WED (b0077j8v)

Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? 20:00 THU (b0077jfw)

Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? 02:45 THU (b0077jfw)

Wings over the World 21:00 SUN (b01sjt78)

Wings over the World 01:15 SUN (b01sjt78)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b01sg8vg)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b01sg7w6)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b01sg7wc)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b01sg7wj)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b01sg7wp)