Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 07 DECEMBER 2013

SAT 19:00 Frozen Planet (b00zj39x)
The Last Frontier

The documentary series reveals the extraordinary riches and wonders of the polar regions that have kept people visiting them for thousands of years. Today, their survival relies on a combination of ancient wisdom and cutting-edge science.

Most Arctic people live in Siberia, either in cities like Norilsk - the coldest city on earth - or out on the tundra, where tribes like the Dogan survive by herding reindeer, using them to drag their homes behind them. On the coast, traditional people still hunt walrus from open boats - it is dangerous work, but one big walrus will feed a family for weeks. Settlers are drawn to the Arctic by its abundant minerals: the Danish Armed Forces maintain their claim to Greenland's mineral wealth with an epic dog-sled patrol, covering 2,000 miles through the winter. Above, the spectacular northern lights can disrupt power supplies so scientists monitor it constantly, firing rockets into it to release a cloud of glowing smoke 100 kilometres high.

In contrast, Antarctica is so remote and cold that it was only a century ago that the first people explored the continent. Captain Scott's hut still stands as a memorial to these men. Science is now the only significant human activity allowed - robot submarines are sent deep beneath the ice in search of new life forms, which may also be found in a labyrinth of ice caves high up on an active volcano. Above, colossal balloons are launched into the purest air on earth to detect cosmic rays.

At the South Pole there is a research base designed to withstand the world's most extreme winters. Cut off from the outside world for six months, the base is totally self-sufficient, even boasting a greenhouse.


SAT 20:00 Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History (b03knrvm)
Home Waters to High Seas

Shipwrecks are the nightmare we have forgotten - the price Britain paid for ruling the waves from an island surrounded by treacherous rocks. The result is a coastline that is home to the world's highest concentration of sunken ships. But shipwrecks also changed the course of British history, helped shape our national character and drove innovations in seafaring technology, as well as gripping our imagination.

In this three-part series, maritime historian Dr Sam Willis looks at how and why the shipwreck came to loom so large. He begins with the embarrassing story of the top-heavy Mary Rose, the freak wrecking of the Spanish Armada and the terrifying real-life disasters at sea that inspired two of the greatest of all castaway tales - Shakespeare's The Tempest and Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.


SAT 21:00 Borgen (b01r99rg)
Series 3

The Fall

When prime minister Lars Hesselboe calls a general election, he takes everyone by surprise. TV1 swing into action, as do the political parties. However, with Birgitte undergoing daily radiation treatment, she is already struggling to keep up with work. How long can she keep making excuses and keep her illness a secret?

In Danish with English subtitles.


SAT 22:00 Borgen (b01rbqhc)
Series 3

If You Never Change Your Mind

As election day nears, Birgitte comes clean to her party about her recent performance. Meanwhile, unable to make their mark with the opposition's policies, the New Democrats try to highlight the differences between their party and the Moderates. But when Jacob Kruse steals a key policy, a mole is suspected within the party.

In Danish with English subtitles.


SAT 23:00 Glen Campbell: The Rhinestone Cowboy (b01pwxs8)
In 2011, Glen Campbell announced he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and that he would be bowing out with a final album and farewell tour across Britain and America. This documentary tells Campbell's remarkable life story, from impoverished childhood in Arkansas to huge success, first as a guitarist and then as a singer, with great records like Wichita Lineman and Rhinestone Cowboy. With comments from friends and colleagues, including songwriter Jimmy Webb and Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees, it is a moving story of success, disgrace and redemption as rich as any of the storylines in Campbell's most famous songs.

The peak of Glen Campbell's career was in 1975, when he topped the charts around the world with Rhinestone Cowboy, but his musical journey to that point is fascinating. A self-taught teenage prodigy on the guitar, by his mid-twenties Campbell was one of the top session guitarists in LA, a key member of the band of session players now known as The Wrecking Crew. He played on hundreds of tracks while working for producers like Phil Spector and Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, including Daydream Believer by The Monkees, You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling by The Righteous Brothers, Strangers in the Night by Frank Sinatra and Viva Las Vegas by Elvis Presley.

But Campbell always wanted to make it under his own name. A string of records failed to chart until, in 1967, he finally found his distinctive country pop sound with hits like Gentle on My Mind and By the Time I Get to Phoenix. The latter was written by Jimmy Webb, and together the two created a string of great records like Wichita Lineman and Galveston. Campbell pioneered country crossover and opened the way for artists like Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.

By the end of the 1960s, Campbell was the fastest rising star in American pop with his own television show and a starring role in the original version of True Grit. Over the following ten years, he had more success with Rhinestone Cowboy and Southern Nights, but his private life was in turmoil. Divorce, drink and drugs saw this clean-cut all-American hero fall from grace and a tempestuous relationship with country star Tanya Tucker was front-page news.

Despite a relapse in 2003, when he was arrested for drunk driving and his police mug shot was shown around the world, the last two decades have been more settled. He remarried, started a new family and renewed his Christian faith, and was musically rediscovered by a new generation. Like his friend Johnny Cash, he released acclaimed new albums with young musicians, covering songs by contemporary artists like U2 and The Foo Fighters. Therefore the diagnosis with Alzheimer's was all the more poignant, but his dignified farewell has made him the public face of the disease in the USA.

The film includes contributions by many of Campbell's friends and colleagues, including his family in Arkansas, fellow session musicians Carol Kaye and Leon Russell, long-time friend and collaborator Jimmy Webb, former Monkee Mickey Dolenz, broadcaster Bob Harris, lyricist Don Black and country music writer Robert Oermann.


SAT 00:00 An Evening with Glen Campbell (b01pyfht)
A special concert recorded at the Royal Festival Hall in 1977, where 80 musicians played new arrangements of Glen Campbell's hit songs.


SAT 01:20 The Sky at Night (b08sldrx)
Comet Chasing

Astronomers always get excited about comets and in December they are looking forward to something rather special. The snappily-named Comet C/2012 S1 ISON has travelled from the very edges of our solar system on a one way ticket around the sun. As it heats up there is intense speculation about whether it will develop a beautiful tail or just break apart. On the Canary island of La Palma the team use both the Liverpool and Isaac Newton telescopes to go comet chasing.


SAT 01:50 Frozen Planet (b00zj39x)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SAT 02:50 Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History (b03knrvm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



SUNDAY 08 DECEMBER 2013

SUN 19:00 The Bridges That Built London with Dan Cruickshank (b01jv5nr)
Dan Cruickshank explores the mysteries and secrets of the bridges that have made London what it is. He uncovers stories of Bronze-Age relics emerging from the Vauxhall shore, of why London Bridge was falling down, of midnight corpses splashing beneath Waterloo Bridge, and above all, of the sublime ambition of London's bridge builders themselves.


SUN 20:00 The Review Show (b03lbsfd)
Martha Kearney and her guests look ahead to two of 2014's major film releases - Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, which stars Idris Elba as one of the 20th century's most important political icons, and Inside Llewyn Davis, the new film from the uncategorisable Coen Brothers, an homage to the New York folk scene of the early 1960s. They also review the National Theatre's adaptation of Erich Kastner's classic children's book Emil and the Detectives and the Serpentine Gallery's survey of the work of the provocative artistic siblings Jake and Dinos Chapman.


SUN 21:00 Les Mis at 25: Matt Lucas Dreams the Dream (b00wyn0c)
Les Miserables is the world's best-loved musical. It has been seen by 57 million people and in 2010 celebrated its 25th anniversary with its two largest ever productions at London's O2 Arena. Matt Lucas, a lifelong fan of 'Les Mis', was invited to fulfil his dream of performing in these shows alongside more than 300 stalwarts from previous productions.

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


SUN 22:00 Romantics Anonymous (b0191rky)
A bittersweet French romcom set in a chocolate factory that chronicles the awkward romance between two painfully shy people, both suffering from 'hyper-emotionalism'.


SUN 23:15 The Bridges That Built London with Dan Cruickshank (b01jv5nr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SUN 00:15 Blues America (b03kk1j7)
Bright Lights, Big City

After 1945, artists like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker rooted the blues firmly in the city, where it contributed to the musical desegregation of America by spawning rock 'n' roll. As the blues conquered the world and the music moved from black to white audiences, arguments developed about what was the real authentic blues. Robert Johnson returned from the dead to sell more records than any other blues artist. By the 21st century, the blues not only retained the earthiness of its roots but was also being celebrated in the White House. With contributions from Keith Richards, Bonnie Raitt, Seasick Steve and Buddy Guy.


SUN 01:15 Later... with Jools Holland (b00k99g6)
Blues

Compilation of performances from many of the great blues artists who have featured on Later... and the Hootenanny since 1992, including BB King, Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Seasick Steve, ZZ Top and many more.


SUN 02:15 The Godmother of Rock & Roll: Sister Rosetta Tharpe (b00xf8k7)
During the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Sister Rosetta Tharpe played a highly significant role in the creation of rock & roll, inspiring musicians like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Little Richard and Chuck Berry. She may not be a household name, but this flamboyant African-American gospel singing superstar, with her spectacular virtuosity on the newly-electrified guitar, was one of the most influential popular musicians of the 20th century.

Tharpe was born in 1915, close to the Mississippi in Cotton Plant, Arkansas. At the age of six she was taken by her evangelist mother Katie Bell to Chicago to join Roberts Temple, Church of God in Christ, where she developed her distinctive style of singing and guitar playing. At the age of 23 she left the church and went to New York to join the world of show business, signing with Decca Records. For the following 30 years she performed extensively to packed houses in the USA and subsequently Europe, before her death in 1973.

In 2008 the state governor of Pennsylvania declared that henceforth January 11th will be Sister Rosetta Tharpe Day in recognition of her remarkable musical legacy.


SUN 03:15 Seasick Steve: Bringing It All Back Home (b00gvk8x)
Documentary which joins former hobo and festival favourite bluesman Seasick Steve on a trip back to his old stomping grounds in America's Deep South. Filmed in Mississippi and Tennessee, the programme follows the musician into his natural habitat of run-down juke joints, roadside diners and freight-train yards, as he reflects on his past life and recent rise to fame.

In addition to Steve's raw, stomping tunes, the soundtrack features Mississippi Fred McDowell, Robert Johnson, RL Burnside and BB King.



MONDAY 09 DECEMBER 2013

MON 19:00 World News Today (b03l7g10)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


MON 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b01bfdcv)
Series 3

Kirkby-in-Furness to Lancaster

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 us, and what of Bradshaw's Britain remains.

All this week he travels through some of northern England's most dramatic scenery, from Berwick-upon-Tweed, crossing the Pennines to the Lake District before completing the journey on the beautiful and unique Isle of Man.

This time, Michael finds out the secrets behind Kirkby's famous blue slate, submerges himself into a secret world of nuclear submarines in Barrow, and sees why the executions at Lancaster Castle drew the Victorians in their droves.


MON 20:00 Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? (b00779b8)
Series 2

Between Ourselves

Classic comedy series. Thelma has left Bob and is still with her mother, leaving Terry to soothe Bob's furrowed brow. Bob is anxious in case people talk.


MON 20:30 Only Connect (b03l7kj6)
Series 8

Oenophiles v Board Gamers

Three wine lovers take on three board gamers in the first of the semi-finals, 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: H1N1; leeloo, the fifth element; LSD; and Frankenstein's monster.


MON 21:00 Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History (b03l7kj8)
A World Turned Upside Down

Shipwrecks are the nightmare we have forgotten - the price Britain paid for ruling the waves from an island surrounded by treacherous rocks. The result is a coastline that is home to the world's highest concentration of sunken ships. But shipwrecks also changed the course of British history, helped shape our national character and drove innovations in seafaring technology, as well as gripping our imagination.

Mutiny, murder and mayhem on the high seas as Sam Willis takes the story of shipwrecks into the Georgian age when Britain first began to rule the waves. But with maritime trade driving the whole enterprise, disasters at sea imperilled all this. As key colonies were established and new territories conquered, the great sailing ships became symbols of the power of the Georgian state - and the shipwreck was to be its Achilles' heel. By literally turning this world upside down, mutinous sailors, rebellious slaves and murderous wreckers threatened to undermine Britain's ambitions and jeopardise its imperial venture.


MON 22:00 Don't Ever Wipe Tears without Gloves (b03lbsqn)
Episode 2

Having met at Paul's Christmas party and fallen in love, Benjamin and Rasmus quickly move in together. But Benjamin has not told his Jehovah's Witness parents that he is gay, leaving Rasmus feeling hurt. HIV has taken hold in Stockholm and is regularly on the news. Reine has already succumbed to the virus and the gay community begin to say goodbye to their friends while facing daily prejudice at the hands of the media as well.

Rasmus' parents are concerned about him and call repeatedly to make sure he's being careful. But his fiery relationship and frequent arguments with Benjamin see him take a number of different partners.

When HIV tests for some the group begin to come back positive they are forced to confront the awfulness of the situation in different ways.


MON 23:00 Lionel Bart: Reviewing the Situation (b03kw1rv)
Documentary telling the larger-than-life story of Lionel Bart, the composer of Oliver! - one of the greatest musicals of the last fifty years. Drawing on his unseen personal archive and interviews with Barbara Windsor, Roy Hudd, Cameron Mackintosh, Marty Wilde and Ray Davies, it paints a vivid, poignant picture of the rise and fall of one of Britain's favourite songwriters.


MON 00:00 Greek Myths: Tales of Travelling Heroes (b00vzxv9)
Eminent classical historian Robin Lane Fox embarks on a journey in search of the origins of the Greek myths. He firmly believes that these fantastical stories lie at the root of western culture, and yet little is known about where the myths of the Greek gods came from, and how they grew. Now, after 35 years of travelling, excavation and interpretation, he is confident he has uncovered answers.

From the ancient lost city of Hattusas in modern Turkey to the smouldering summit of the Sicilian volcano Mount Etna, the documentary takes the viewer on a dazzling voyage through the Mediterranean world of the 8th century BC, as we follow in the slipstream of an intrepid and mysterious group of merchants and adventurers from the Greek island of Euboea. It's in the experiences of these now forgotten people that Lane Fox is able to pinpoint the stories and encounters, the journeys and the landscapes that provided the source material for key Greek myths.

And along the way, he brings to life these exuberant tales - of castration and baby eating, the birth of human sexual love, and the titanic battles with giants and monsters from which the gods of Greek myth were to emerge victorious.


MON 01:30 Only Connect (b03l7kj6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


MON 02:00 Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? (b00779b8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


MON 02:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b01bfdcv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


MON 03:00 Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History (b03l7kj8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



TUESDAY 10 DECEMBER 2013

TUE 19:00 World News Today (b03l7g15)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


TUE 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b01bfdff)
Series 3

Heysham to Snaefell

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 us, and what of Bradshaw's Britain remains.

All this week he travels through some of northern England's most dramatic scenery, from Berwick-Upon-Tweed, crossing the Pennines to the Lake District before completing the journey on the beautiful and unique Isle of Man.

Here, Michael sets sail from Heysham to the Isle of Man, where he discovers the horse trams of Douglas, the 19th-century secrets of the giant Laxey Wheel, and the Victorian history of the delightful Snaefell mountain railway.


TUE 20:00 Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey (b01djm9b)
Episode 2

Right now you're hurtling around the sun at 64,000 miles an hour (100,000 kms an hour). In the next year you'll travel 584 million miles, to end up back where you started.

Presenters Kate Humble and Dr Helen Czerski follow the Earth's voyage around the sun for one complete orbit, to witness the astonishing consequences this journey has for us all.

In this second episode we travel from January to the March equinox. Kate Humble gets closer to the sun than she has ever been before, whilst Helen Czerski visits a place that gets some of the biggest and fastest snowstorms on Earth.


TUE 21:00 Hidden Killers (b03l7nl8)
New Hidden Killers of the Victorian Home

Suzannah Lipscomb takes us back to the late Victorian era when cities were expanding and mass consumerism took hold. But from the food they ate to the clothes they wore and the new products that thrilled them, the Victorians were surrounding themselves with killers. What made taking a bath and drinking milk potentially so dangerous? And how did the Victorian woman turn herself into a walking fire hazard?

The domestic horrors of home life in the 19th century and the terrible consequences are laid bare, revealing how the Victorian ideal of 'safe as houses' was far from the reality.


TUE 22:00 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (b0074tks)
Series 1

Tinker Tailor

Smiley thinks that the time has come to call on Jim Prideaux, whose assignment to Czechoslovakia went disastrously wrong, with the mole at the heart of the Circus to blame.


TUE 22:45 Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities (b03kp6hg)
Episode 1

Simon Sebag Montefiore traces the sacred history of Istanbul. Known as the 'city of the world's desire', it's a place that has been the focus of passion for believers of three different faiths - Paganism, Christianity and Islam - and for nearly 3,000 years its streets have been the battleground for some of the fiercest political and religious conflicts in history.

Montefiore uncovers the city's ancient Greek roots, maps its transformation into the imperial capital of a Christian empire by Emperor Constantine the Great and reveals how ecclesiastical clashes forced eastern and western churches apart.


TUE 23:45 Dinosaurs, Myths and Monsters (b014lsgb)
From dinosaurs to mammoths, when our ancient ancestors encountered the fossil bones of extinct prehistoric creatures, what did they think they were? Just like us, ancient peoples were fascinated by the giant bones they found in the ground.

In an epic story that takes us from Ancient Greece to the American Wild West, historian Tom Holland goes on a journey of discovery to explore the fascinating ways in which our ancestors sought to explain the remains of dinosaurs and other giant prehistoric creatures, and how bones and fossils have shaped and affected human culture.

In Classical Greece, petrified bones were exhibited in temples as the remains of a long-lost race of colossal heroes. Chinese tales of dragons may well have had their origins in the great fossil beds of the Gobi desert. In the Middle Ages, Christians believed that mysterious bones found in rock were the remains of giants drowned in Noah's Flood.

But far from always being wrong, Tom learns that ancient explanations and myths about large fossilsed bones often contained remarkable paleontological insights long before modern science explained the truth about dinosaurs. Tom encounters a medieval sculpture that is the first known reconstruction of a monster from a fossil, and learns about the Native Americans stories, told for generations, which contained clues that led bone hunters to some of the greatest dinosaur finds of the nineteenth century.

This documentary is an alternative history of dinosaurs - the neglected story of how mythic imagination and scientific inquiry have met over millennia to give meaning to the dry bones of prehistory. Today, as our interest in dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures continues unabated, it turns out we are not so far away from the awe and curiosity of our ancient ancestors.


TUE 00:45 Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey (b01djm9b)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


TUE 01:45 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.


TUE 02:15 Great British Railway Journeys (b01bfdff)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


TUE 02:45 Hidden Killers (b03l7nl8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 11 DECEMBER 2013

WED 19:00 World News Today (b03l7g1b)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


WED 19:30 Britain on Film (b01qnnqp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 01:45 on Tuesday]


WED 20:00 The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II with Dan Cruickshank (b036f9vc)
Ludwig II of Bavaria, more commonly known by his nicknames the Swan King or the Dream King, is a legendary figure - the handsome boy-king, loved by his people, betrayed by his cabinet and found dead in tragic and mysterious circumstances. He spent his life in pursuit of the ideal of beauty, an ideal that found expression in three of the most extraordinary, ornate architectural schemes imaginable - the castle of Neuschwanstein and the palaces of Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee. Today, these three buildings are among Germany's biggest tourist attractions.

In this documentary, Dan Cruickshank explores the rich aesthetic of Ludwig II - from the mock-medievalism of Neuschwanstein, the iconic fairytale castle that became the inspiration for the one in Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty, to the rich Baroque splendour of Herrenchiemsee, Ludwig's answer to Versailles. Dan argues that Ludwig's castles are more than flamboyant kitsch and are, in fact, the key to unravelling the eternal enigma of Ludwig II.


WED 21:00 Patisserie with Michel Roux Jr (b03ltcxq)
Documentary in which Michel Roux Jr goes back to his own beginnings to explore the art, science and eternal attraction of the perfect sweet delicacy. Part history, part gastronomy but completely seductive, the film looks at our love affair with pastry and patisserie. From childhood favourites to incredible gravitydefying greats like wedding croquembouche, and reconstructed historic pieces-montées, strange ancient recipes and incredible modern creations, Michel bears witness to the creation of sweet perfection.

It begins with Michel delving into the sweet world of high fashion, discovering how patissiers are positioning themselves as luxury brands, food fashion houses. He talks to Pierre Hermé, dubbed the 'Dior of Desserts', the man behind this marriage of fashion and patisserie and find out how cakes have become haute couture and what it is about the jewel-like macaroons that Paris creates that has so captivated the world.

He visits Hermé's kitchens as well as Philippe Conticini with his 'Pastry Shop of Dreams', where he discovers the precision, personality and brilliance that go into their gourmet triumphs.

Michel traces the history of French patisserie from the first great chef Antoine Carême, who created incredible scale models of Parisian landmarks out of marzipan, spun sugar and pastry, to the magic and myth of the croissant, a single breakfast staple whose origins are shrouded in symbolism and still keenly fought over.

Michel also explores how the innovative pastry chefs in France have been influential in the UK. William Curley is a master patissier and chocolatier. Just like the pastry chefs or Paris, Curley is a true innovator, pushing the boundaries of flavour and texture in his creations. His Japanese wife and collaborator has influenced many of the flavours in his recipes. Most recently Curley created a collection of cakes inspired by designer dresses. Just like in France, patisserie is being seen in terms of style, fashion and art.

And from his journey round the history, culture and science of patisserie, Michel takes what he has learnt back to his own cooking and his own kitchen. He wants his apprentices to learn how to make some of the most incredible feats and feasts of patisserie and makes an enormous croquembouche, which he serves up to sweet-toothed connoisseurs, friends and lucky guests.

Throughout the documentary, a true labour of love for Michel, he tastes, bakes, explores and discovers the power of patisserie. How these sweet delicacies, that are without any discernible utility, are still something that we both desire and need in our lives. Patisserie is unashamedly about pleasure and without it Michel feels that we would only live half a life. Talking about his patisserie passion, Michel is at his most evangelical - after all, it's not for nothing that Proust's masterpiece hangs on the memory of a perfect madeleine.


WED 22:00 Balmoral (b00mqg2c)
Documentary telling the story of Balmoral, the royal family's most private residence. For over 150 years this Scottish castle has been home to royal traditions of picnics, stag hunting and kilts. From prime ministers to Princess Diana, life at this tartan-bound holiday home has not appealed to everyone.

But there is another story of Balmoral, of how the royal family has played a role in shaping modern Scotland and how Scotland has shaped the royal family. Queen Victoria's adoption of Highland symbols, from tartan to bagpipes, helped create a new image for Scotland. Her values, too, helped strengthen the union between Scotland and England. Ever since, Balmoral has been a place that reflects the very essence of the royal family.


WED 23:00 Christina: A Medieval Life (b00b6ksc)
Historian Michael Wood presents a portrait of ordinary people living through extraordinary times, tracing the story of a real-life peasant of 14th-century Hertfordshire.

She wasn't a famous person, or of noble blood, yet Christina's story is important in understanding our own roots. In this time of war, famine, floods, climate change and the Black Death are the beginnings of the end of serfdom, the growth of individual freedom and the start of a market economy.

Wood recounts the history of medieval Britain told not from the top of society, but from the bottom. Through the lives of Christina and her fellow villagers, we see how the most volatile century in British history played a crucial role in shaping the character and destiny of a nation, and its people.


WED 00:00 Frozen Planet (b00zj39x)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Saturday]


WED 01:00 The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II with Dan Cruickshank (b036f9vc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


WED 02:00 Balmoral (b00mqg2c)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


WED 03:00 Patisserie with Michel Roux Jr (b03ltcxq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



THURSDAY 12 DECEMBER 2013

THU 19:00 World News Today (b03l7g1h)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


THU 19:30 Sounds of the 70s 2 (b01j8h0b)
Rock - The Boys Are Back in Town

Sounds of the 70s 2 series continues, and this programme features the boys with their guitars turned all the way up to eleven! It is time to don your double denim, let your hair down and headbang your way through half an hour of rock anthems including performances from Alice Cooper, The Faces, Nazareth, Bad Company, AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake and Black Sabbath.


THU 20:00 Ocean Giants (b013wpxz)
Deep Thinkers

Humans have long wondered if the universe may harbour other intelligent life forms. But perhaps we need look no further than our oceans?

Whales and dolphins, like humans, have large brains, are quick to learn new behaviours and use a wide range of sounds to communicate with others in their society. But how close are their minds to ours? In the Bahamas, Professor Denise Herzing believes she is very close to an answer, theorising that she will be able to hold a conversation with wild dolphins in their own language within five years.

In Western Australia, dolphins rely on their versatile and inventive brains to survive in a marine desert. In Alaska, humpback whales gather into alliances in which individuals pool their specialised talents to increase their hunting success. We discover how young spotted dolphins learn their individual names and the social etiquette of their pod, and how being curious about new objects leads Caribbean bottlenose dolphins to self-awareness and even to self-obsession. Finally, the film shows a remarkable group of Mexican grey whales, who seem able to empathize with humans and may even have a concept of forgiveness.


THU 21:00 Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities (b03l7psf)
Episode 2

Series in which historian Simon Sebag Montefiore traces the sacred history of Istanbul. Known as the 'city of the world's desire', it's a place that has been the focus of passion for believers of three different faiths - Paganism, Christianity and Islam - and for nearly 3,000 years its streets have been the battleground for some of the fiercest political and religious conflicts in history.

In the second episode he explores modern Istanbul in search of the last desperate centuries of Christian Byzantium, in which the once glorious city was buffeted by enemies from both east and west and yet still produced a golden artistic renaissance. This is story of the Christian crusaders who destroyed the city, and the Ottoman Muslims who restored it to life as an imperial capital after the epic siege of 1453.


THU 22:00 Hidden Killers (b03l7nl8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]


THU 23:00 Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History (b03l7kj8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]


THU 00:00 POP! The Science of Bubbles (b01rtdy6)
Physicist Dr Helen Czerski takes us on an amazing journey into the science of bubbles. Bubbles may seem to be just fun toys, but they are also powerful tools that push back the boundaries of science.

The soap bubble with its delicate, fragile skin tells us about how nature works on scales as large as solar system and as small as a single wavelength of light. Then there are underwater bubbles, which matter because they are part of the how the planet works. Out at sea, breaking waves generate huge plumes of bubbles which help the oceans breathe.

From the way animals behave to the way drinks taste, Dr Czerski shows how bubbles affect our world in all sorts of unexpected ways. Whether it's the future of ship design or innovative new forms of medical treatment, bubbles play a vital role.


THU 01:00 Sounds of the 70s 2 (b01j8h0b)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


THU 01:30 Ocean Giants (b013wpxz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


THU 02:30 Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities (b03l7psf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



FRIDAY 13 DECEMBER 2013

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b03l7g1n)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 Placido Domingo's Gala Concert from the Royal Opera House (b01pdt87)
From the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Katie Derham introduces a gala concert in celebration of Plácido Domingo, one of the greatest figures in the world of music. On stage with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House conducted by Antonio Pappano are some of the finest singers of today performing selected gems of the operatic repertory. Opera stars Nina Stemme, Joyce DiDonato, Joseph Calleja, Rolando Villazón perform alongside voices new to Covent Garden - Stefan Pop, Julia Novikova and Sonya Yoncheva.


FRI 21:00 David Bowie: Five Years (b0214tj1)
An intimate portrait of five key years in David Bowie's career. Featuring a wealth of previously unseen archive this film looks at how Bowie continually evolved, from Ziggy Stardust to the soul star of Young Americans and the 'Thin White Duke'. It explores his regeneration in Berlin with the critically acclaimed album Heroes, his triumph with Scary Monsters and his global success with Let's Dance. With interviews with all his closest collaborators, this film investigates how Bowie became an icon of our times.


FRI 22:30 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 23:30 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 00:30 Storyville (b0074nrj)
Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

Classic rock film documenting David Bowie's last public appearance as his androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust. This memorable final concert at the Hammersmith Odeon was filmed by DA Pennebaker, famous for such 1960s rock documentaries as Don't Look Back and Monterey Pop. The 17 songs performed include Changes, Time and Suffragette City.


FRI 02:00 David Bowie: Five Years (b0214tj1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]




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

An Evening with Glen Campbell 00:00 SAT (b01pyfht)

Balmoral 22:00 WED (b00mqg2c)

Balmoral 02:00 WED (b00mqg2c)

Blues America 00:15 SUN (b03kk1j7)

Borgen 21:00 SAT (b01r99rg)

Borgen 22:00 SAT (b01rbqhc)

Britain on Film 01:45 TUE (b01qnnqp)

Britain on Film 19:30 WED (b01qnnqp)

Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities 22:45 TUE (b03kp6hg)

Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities 21:00 THU (b03l7psf)

Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities 02:30 THU (b03l7psf)

Christina: A Medieval Life 23:00 WED (b00b6ksc)

David Bowie and the Story of Ziggy Stardust 23:30 FRI (b01k0y0n)

David Bowie: Five Years 21:00 FRI (b0214tj1)

David Bowie: Five Years 02:00 FRI (b0214tj1)

Dinosaurs, Myths and Monsters 23:45 TUE (b014lsgb)

Don't Ever Wipe Tears without Gloves 22:00 MON (b03lbsqn)

Frozen Planet 19:00 SAT (b00zj39x)

Frozen Planet 01:50 SAT (b00zj39x)

Frozen Planet 00:00 WED (b00zj39x)

Glen Campbell: The Rhinestone Cowboy 23:00 SAT (b01pwxs8)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 MON (b01bfdcv)

Great British Railway Journeys 02:30 MON (b01bfdcv)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 TUE (b01bfdff)

Great British Railway Journeys 02:15 TUE (b01bfdff)

Greek Myths: Tales of Travelling Heroes 00:00 MON (b00vzxv9)

Hidden Killers 21:00 TUE (b03l7nl8)

Hidden Killers 02:45 TUE (b03l7nl8)

Hidden Killers 22:00 THU (b03l7nl8)

Later... with Jools Holland 01:15 SUN (b00k99g6)

Les Mis at 25: Matt Lucas Dreams the Dream 21:00 SUN (b00wyn0c)

Lionel Bart: Reviewing the Situation 23:00 MON (b03kw1rv)

Ocean Giants 20:00 THU (b013wpxz)

Ocean Giants 01:30 THU (b013wpxz)

Only Connect 20:30 MON (b03l7kj6)

Only Connect 01:30 MON (b03l7kj6)

Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey 20:00 TUE (b01djm9b)

Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey 00:45 TUE (b01djm9b)

POP! The Science of Bubbles 00:00 THU (b01rtdy6)

Patisserie with Michel Roux Jr 21:00 WED (b03ltcxq)

Patisserie with Michel Roux Jr 03:00 WED (b03ltcxq)

Placido Domingo's Gala Concert from the Royal Opera House 19:30 FRI (b01pdt87)

Romantics Anonymous 22:00 SUN (b0191rky)

Seasick Steve: Bringing It All Back Home 03:15 SUN (b00gvk8x)

Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History 20:00 SAT (b03knrvm)

Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History 02:50 SAT (b03knrvm)

Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History 21:00 MON (b03l7kj8)

Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History 03:00 MON (b03l7kj8)

Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History 23:00 THU (b03l7kj8)

Sounds of the 70s 2 19:30 THU (b01j8h0b)

Sounds of the 70s 2 01:00 THU (b01j8h0b)

Storyville 00:30 FRI (b0074nrj)

The Bridges That Built London with Dan Cruickshank 19:00 SUN (b01jv5nr)

The Bridges That Built London with Dan Cruickshank 23:15 SUN (b01jv5nr)

The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II with Dan Cruickshank 20:00 WED (b036f9vc)

The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II with Dan Cruickshank 01:00 WED (b036f9vc)

The Genius of David Bowie 22:30 FRI (b01k0y0q)

The Godmother of Rock & Roll: Sister Rosetta Tharpe 02:15 SUN (b00xf8k7)

The Review Show 20:00 SUN (b03lbsfd)

The Sky at Night 01:20 SAT (b08sldrx)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 22:00 TUE (b0074tks)

Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? 20:00 MON (b00779b8)

Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? 02:00 MON (b00779b8)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b03l7g10)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b03l7g15)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b03l7g1b)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b03l7g1h)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b03l7g1n)