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

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SAT 19:00 Horizon (b02xcvhw)

The Secret Life of the Cat

Horizon discovers what your cat really gets up to when it leaves the cat flap.

In a groundbreaking experiment, 50 cats from a village in Surrey are tagged with GPS collars and their every movement is recorded, day and night, as they hunt in our backyards and patrol the garden fences and hedgerows.

The cats are also fitted with specially developed cat-cams which reveal their unique view of our world.

You may think you understand your pet, but their secret life is more surprising than we thought.

SAT 20:00 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (b03mv59j)
2013: Life Fantastic

Where Do I Come From?

One of the greatest conundrums of life is how we emerge from a single cell into a walking, talking, multi-trillion-celled organism that we call the human body.

In the first of this year's Christmas Lectures, Dr Alison Woollard from the University of Oxford reveals just how this incredible transformation takes place. Using dramatic live experiments she shows how each of those trillions of cells knows what to do, when to do it and how to organise themselves to carry out vital specialist roles in our body.

Following on in the great tradition of Royal Institution Christmas Lectures that date back to 1825 when Michael Faraday lectured in the same theatre, Alison Woollard will continue to inspire wonder in her young audience.

'Life Fantastic' is a theme that recurs across all three lectures as she delights all curious minds with tales of worms, lobsters and naked mole rats.

Live in the lecture theatre, we witness the creation of life, following the 'real-time' embryonic development of a tiny worm on its journey to adulthood. Alison is passionate about what these tiny creatures can tell us about developmental biology. Joining her on this journey is Sir Paul Nurse, who won his Nobel Prize for his work on yeast. Such organisms may seem a long way from us, yet by understanding how cells divide and function, they have helped scientists make significant advances in the treatment of cancers.

SAT 21:00 The Bermuda Triangle: Beneath the Waves (b007c68n)
Professor Bruce Denardo attempts to prove whether there is any truth behind the legend of the Bermuda Triangle, where many ships and planes have disappeared in mysterious circumstances. New investigation techniques reveal the truth behind the infamous disappearance of Flight 19. Graham Hawkes is also able to reveal, by using a state-of-the-art submarine, how five wrecks mysteriously wound up 730 feet down in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle.

SAT 22:00 Endeavour: Everest (b03nh3mz)
By Canoe

In 1976 a British expedition made mountaineering history, becoming the first kayakers to descend the Dudh Kosi river that runs off Mount Everest. High in the Himalayas, and at incredible speed, six Olympic-class canoeists battled with white water over rocks, waterfalls and treacherous whirlpools. As they struggled to negotiate a 30-pound canoe over a river with 30mph waterfalls, the threat of capsizing was ever present. Winner of over 25 international awards, this is a story of teamwork, bravery and individual brilliance.

SAT 22:45 Queen Live In Budapest: Hungarian Rhapsody (b01pp0zp)
In July 1986, as part of the Magic tour which, poignantly, was the last to feature Freddie Mercury, Queen played Hungary for the first time. With three years to go before the fall of the Berlin Wall, this was the largest concert ever staged at the N├ępstadion, Budapest, and the first western rock concert staged in a stadium behind the Iron Curtain.

The concert held such significance to the Hungarian authorities that an unprecedented collaboration of Hungary's top film cameraman and technicians were formed to record it. Aside from depicting Queen's live performance, the film includes montages of highlights of the band's legendary visit and a unique insight into the Hungarian film-making style adapted to western rock music.

Staged for 80,000 ecstatic fans, the concert set includes favourite hits like Bohemian Rhapsody, Crazy Little Thing Called Love and I Want To Break Free.

SAT 00:20 Sounds of the 70s 2 (b01jk1b8)
Soul: Keep On Keeping On

Imported American soul was big news in the UK in the 1970s. Before the Brits developed their own brand of soul, American performers were here demonstrating how it was done and being appreciated by all and sundry. The series continues with classic performances from the kings and queens of soul, including Aretha Franklin, Billy Preston, The Tams, Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, The Stylistics, Gil Scott-Heron and The Jacksons.

SAT 00:50 The High Art of the Low Countries (b01rsfgd)
Dream of Plenty

Andrew Graham-Dixon shows how the art of Renaissance Flanders evolved from the craft of precious tapestries within the Duchy of Burgundy into a leading painting school in its own right. Starting his journey at the magnificent altarpiece of Ghent Cathedral created by the Van Eyck brothers, Andrew explains their groundbreaking innovation in oil painting and marvels at how the colours they obtained can still remain so vibrant today.

Andrew describes how, in the early Renaissance, the most urgent preoccupation was not the advancement of learning, humanist or otherwise, but the Last Judgment. People believed they were living in the end of days; a subject popular with preachers and artists and intensely realised in swarming microscopic detail by Hieronymus Bosch.

SAT 01:50 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (b03mv59j)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SAT 02:50 Horizon (b02xcvhw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SUN 19:00 Snow Babies (p0118wxq)
Caroline Quentin narrates this heart-warming tale of a special group of baby animals born in some of the coldest and harshest places on Earth.

Following the ups and downs of impossibly cute yet plucky baby emperor penguins, snow monkeys, polar bears, arctic foxes, reindeer and otters, this programme finds out just what it takes to survive the first year of life in a world of snow and ice, with a little help from family and friends.

SUN 20:00 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (b03nc7sk)
2013: Life Fantastic

Am I a Mutant?

Question: Why is there such stunning diversity on our planet? Answer: evolution by natural selection. Charles Darwin's brilliant theory has been called the best idea anyone ever had. He understood that species adapt and change. But how did they do it? For Darwin this remained a perplexing puzzle.

In the second of this year's Christmas Lectures, Dr Alison Woollard from the University of Oxford unravels this mystery of life. She reveals that the extraordinary diversity has all come about by genetic mutation. Life revolves around the survival of the fittest mutant.

This lecture makes history: Charles Darwin himself appears - for the very first time in the 188-year history of the lectures - in the form of a ghostly apparition. After explaining Darwin's theory, Alison reveals to both him and to the audience, what Darwin never knew.

Alison's guest on this lecture is fellow Oxford biologist, Professor Peter Holland. Together they explore the crucial genes responsible for mapping out an animal's body-plan. We find out what happened when a developing lizard's body eventually ended up as an entirely different animal altogether - a snake.

Following on in the great tradition of Royal Institution Christmas Lectures that date back to 1825, when Faraday lectured in the same theatre, Dr Woollard will continue to inspire wonder in her young audience.

'Life Fantastic' is a theme that recurs across all three lectures as she delights all curious minds with tales of worms, lobsters and naked mole rats.

SUN 21:00 Scott of the Antarctic (b06jf91c)
A documentary-style dramatic depiction of the ill-fated 1911 expedition to the South Pole. Determined to lead the first expedition to reach the South Pole, naval officer Scott assembles a team to try to beat a Norwegian attempt. However, the conditions the men face in the Antarctic prove draining and disastrous.

SUN 22:45 Endeavour: Everest (b03nh545)
Without Oxygen

In 1978, Italian and Austrian mountaineers Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler made mountaineering history, becoming the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest without the use of additional oxygen. Known as the death zone, above 8,000 metres in the Himalayas there is only a fraction of the oxygen at sea-level. Climbers suffer sickness and headaches and risk life-threatening oedemas. As they struggled up the route through the Khumbu icefall into the Western Cwm, then up to the South Col and summit, Messner and Habeler faced all these dangers and more.

Award-winning filmmaker Leo Dickinson followed them through it all and his classic film is the real-life record of their ascent.

SUN 23:35 NASA: Triumph and Tragedy (b00lg2xb)
One Small Step

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 space flight. It is an epic story of heroes and their breathtaking successes as they further humanity's innate desire to explore.

To land a human being on another celestial body is the first step to living beyond our planet. The breathless pace and daring of the Apollo programme sees NASA master previously unimagined tasks in an attempt to achieve the most incredible accomplishment in the history of human endeavour.

From the ashes of tragedy on Apollo 1 emerges a determination that puts Apollo 8 in orbit around the Moon ahead of schedule. Apollo 9 and 10 each break bold new ground and pave the way for something few dared to believe was possible. When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the Moon and return safely to Earth, the whole planet throws them a party.

SUN 00:35 The High Art of the Low Countries (b01rtf47)
Boom and Bust

Andrew Graham-Dixon looks at how the seemingly peaceful countries of Holland and Belgium - famous for their tulips and windmills, mussels and chips - were in fact forged in a crucible of conflict and division. He examines how a period of economic boom driven for the first time by a burgeoning and secular middle class led to the Dutch golden age of the 17th century, creating not only the concept of oil painting itself, but the master painters Rembrandt and Vermeer combining art and commerce together as we would recognise it today.

SUN 01:35 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (b03nc7sk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SUN 02:35 The Bridge (b01hdbtd)
Series 1

Episode 6

Copenhagen is up in arms following a court case in which a group of police officers who beat an immigrant to death are found innocent. One of the accused officers is kidnapped from his home and is found by the dead immigrant's brother, chained up in his basement. Will he forgive or take revenge on his brother's killer? Here, the murderer wants to draw attention to the fourth truth, namely the failure of the state's integration policy. For the first time Saga and the killer are in contact with each other.

In Swedish and Danish with English subtitles.


MON 19:00 The Code of Life: Great Scientists in their Own Words (b03mpdtq)
Documentary telling the story of some of the most important scientific thinkers of the modern age - an epic tale of men and women obsessed by intellectual challenges but dogged by their human failings - of bitter personal rivalries, clashes of ideology and unlikely collaboration. These are the people who discovered the structure of DNA and worked out how our genes work, who changed our view of life forever. The film is an unvarnished account of the scientists who dared to discover the secret of life - told through fascinating and revealing archive - in their own words.

Contributors interviewed include: Sir Paul Nurse - biologist, Nobel laureate and President of the Royal Society, Professor Lisa Jardine - historian of science and daughter of Jacob Bronowski, who hence knew many of the Cambridge scientists involved with the DNA story as a child and an undergraduate, and Professor Steve Jones, a geneticist at UCL.

MON 20:00 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (b03nc9mx)
2013: Life Fantastic

Could I Live Forever?

There's one certainty in life: death. Every living thing - all creatures great and small - eventually die. But why? How do cells know when to stop living? What happens when they age? And are there ways of halting that process? Perhaps it might even be possible to live forever.

In this year's final Christmas Lecture, Dr Alison Woollard from the University of Oxford, tackles a question that has intrigued scientists and natural philosophers for centuries. The cycle of life and death affects all cells, but Alison reveals a shocking truth - that 'cell death' plays an important part in life. It enables the development and survival of most multi-celled organisms from hedgehogs to humans.

Why does a mayfly's life last just a few minutes, whereas an elephant can live for 80 years? Developmental biology and genetics give us new insights into how cells work and how we can use this knowledge to improve or even extend our lives. Some animals, like the naked mole rat, are well on the way.

In this lecture Alison artificially 'ages' the audience using a sophisticated computer program and meets a patient who has had their eyesight restored with cutting-edge stem cell therapy.

Joining Alison to discuss the serious ethical implications of such medical and scientific advances is Lord Winston. They confront the potential dangers of tinkering with evolution. Where do we draw the line in manipulating our own genes?

Having confronted the question of whether we could live forever, another very real issue emerges - even if it was possible to live forever, what kind of life would that be? Would we really want to live forever?

MON 21:00 Krakatoa Revealed (b00791fm)
In 1883, the volcanic island of Krakatoa erupted without warning. Within a day the island had virtually disappeared in the loudest explosion ever recorded. The eruption generated a succession of massive tsunamis that wiped out the Indonesian coastline and killed over 30,000 people. These waves were three times higher than those seen on Boxing Day in 2004. And over 30 miles from the volcano, across open ocean, thousands more were killed by hot ash.

For over a century geologists have been unable to explain how so many people died. But today, through field studies, experiments and analysis of historical records, they think they have finally found the answers. And these answers are hugely important because the volcano is back.

Since 1927, the volcano Anak Krakatoa, the child of Krakatoa, has been growing. It is now over half the size of the original volcano. And geologists are certain that it will erupt again. The only questions that remain are how and when.

MON 21:50 Endeavour: Everest (b03mp9gp)
By Balloon

In 1991, in a field near the Nepalese hamlet of Gokyo, four men climbed into two fragile wicker baskets and poured flame into their hot air balloons. They were to become the first balloonists to fly over Mount Everest.

For Leo Dickinson and Chris Dewhirst, the cameraman and pilot in one of the balloons, the flight was to settle old scores after three previous attempts and several life-threatening crashes. This documentary follows their successful flight over the finest panorama on earth in the oldest of flying machines, before their final crash landing in a remote corner of Tibet. Their voyage remains the only balloon flight over Everest to this day.

MON 22:45 4,000-Year-Old Cold Case: The Body in the Bog (b03js0gf)
A 4,000-year-old body is found preserved in an Irish peat bog, in Cashel, in Ireland's midlands. To scientists and historians, it could offer brand new clues to solve an ancient mystery - the hundreds of bodies found mummified in the boglands of northern Europe.

An international team of experts assemble to investigate this new find, led by Ned Kelly of the National Museum of Ireland. Ned is a veteran archaeologist, and has previously investigated some of Ireland's most famous bog bodies.

Will 'Cashel Man' help prove his theory these Irish victims were ancient kings? And what clues can the bog bodies of Europe offer to explain our ancestors' most macabre tradition, ritual murder?

Meanwhile, that question could be answered by the bog itself. New science has found clues to suggest these deaths may be explained by prehistoric climate change.

MON 23:45 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.

MON 00:45 The High Art of the Low Countries (b01rxpy1)
Daydreams and Nightmares

Following a brief period of decline, the entrepreneurial and industrious region of the Low Countries rose again to become a cultural leader in the modern age. Despite its small and almost insignificant size it produced important forward-thinking artists like van Gogh, Mondrian, Magritte and Delvaux, who changed the face of art forever.

Andrew's journey takes him to a remote beach in north west Holland that inspired Mondrian's transition to his now-renowned abstract grid paintings. Andrew digs deep into the psychology and social history of the region, exploring how the landscape of the past has informed the culture and identity of the Low Countries today and the impossibility of the Dutch drive to turn the philosophy of Mondrian's geometric order into a way of living.

MON 01:50 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (b03nc9mx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 02:50 The Bridge (b01hr5s3)
Series 1

Episode 7

The murderer's fifth and final truth is the public's indifference to child labour, with millions of children being exploited daily in order to produce goods as cheaply as possible. Since they are not our own children we don't care, but when a school bus full of children disappears, suddenly we sit up and take notice. To save the children, the murderer demands that five large companies which benefit indirectly from child labour should be set on fire by the general public. Saga increasingly suspects that the perpetrator is one of their own - a police officer.

In Swedish and Danish with English subtitles.


TUE 19:00 Sir John Tavener Remembered (b03mv978)
Tom Service presents a tribute to Sir John Tavener, one of Britain's greatest composers, who died in 2013 at the age of 69. Through forty years of BBC television archive, Tom traces the remarkable musical and spiritual odyssey of a man whose music found wide acclaim both inside and beyond the classical world. From his evocative The Protecting Veil and immensely popular setting of William Blake's poem The Lamb, to his Song of Athene sung to overwhelming effect at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. John Tavener's music reflects the life of a man who saw music as a form of prayer, becoming one of the most unique and inspired voices in the music of our time. Interviewees include John Rutter and Patricia Rozario.

TUE 20:00 Kind Hearts and Coronets (b01sjsx1)
Classic Ealing comedy. When his dear mother - the spurned and disinherited heir to the dukedom of Chalfont - dies, poor Louis Mazzini forms a dastardly plot. He will kill all her family, the D'Ascoynes, and rise to fulfil his destiny as the Duke of Chalfont.

TUE 21:45 Rome's Lost Empire (b01pc063)
Dan Snow uses satellite technology to reveal the secrets of the Roman Empire. Together with space archaeologist Sarah Parcak, Dan sets out to identify and then track down lost cities, amphitheatres and forts in an adventure that sees him travel through some of the most spectacular parts of the vast empire. Cutting-edge technology and traditional archaeology help build a better understanding of how Rome held such a large empire together for so long.

TUE 23:15 Some People with Jokes (b037nhbc)
Series 1

Some Scousers with Jokes Part 1

The people of Liverpool tell their favourite jokes. The city has a tradition of comedy and joke telling, but does that mean the man and woman on the street can crack corkers? Good news - yes it does.

TUE 23:45 Some People with Jokes (b0381cf1)
Series 1

Some Scousers with Jokes Part 2

More Liverpudlians, more jokes. There must be something in the Mersey...

TUE 00:15 Some People with Jokes (b037c5yn)
Series 1

Some Boffins with Jokes

Some of the nation's sharpest scientific minds and keenest brains tell their favourite jokes. Do boffins find the same things funny as us regular citizens? Let the nation decide.

TUE 00:45 Some People with Jokes (p00w07vc)
Series 1

Some Vicars with Jokes Part 1

Sing hosanna! Clergy folk from around the UK swap the good book for the joke book and share their favourite gags. Old, new, clean, not so clean, these vicars are hell bent on getting us laughing - and that's gospel!

TUE 01:15 Some People with Jokes (p00w080m)
Series 1

Some Vicars with Jokes Part 2

More laughs from the pulpit, as vicars from around the UK crack their favourite jokes. Old, new, clean and blue, it's a side-splitting sermon for saints and sinners alike. Hallelujah!

TUE 01:45 John Denver at Wembley Arena (b03jgq83)
Country singer-songwriter John Denver performs in concert at Wembley Arena in 1979, featuring hits including Rocky Mountain High and Take Me Home, Country Roads.

TUE 02:25 Sounds of the 70s 2 (b01jv6sd)
Disco - Ain't No Stopping Us Now

Disco was all pervasive in the mid and early 70s. And while towards the end of the decade punk stole the headlines, disco still had the high street. Everyone was into it and getting down on it at the local discotheque. Join us in a celebration of all things disco including performances by The Jacksons, Thelma Houston, Sylvester, Carl Douglas, George McCrae, Sister Sledge, McFadden and Whitehead, Eruption and Gloria Gaynor.

TUE 02:55 The Bridge (b01hr5s5)
Series 1

Episode 8

After many suspicions and one witness statement, Saga and Martin arrest and question a fellow officer. He turns out to have an alibi for all the crimes, but is he really innocent? The murderer is finished now, having succeeded in doing what he set out to do - to open people's eyes to the problems of society. Saga, however, believes that this is not the end of his plan and that there is more to come.

In Swedish and Danish with English subtitles.


WED 19:00 New Year's Day Concert (b03mpjmf)
2014 - Highlights

Highlights from the traditional New Year's Day concert, performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Daniel Barenboim.

Alongside waltzes, polkas and marches from the Strauss family, there is music by Richard Strauss and specially filmed performances from the Vienna State Ballet, choreographed by Ashley Page and with costumes designed by Vivienne Westwood.

WED 21:00 Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood (b037k3nl)
Feature-length documentary recounting the making of Cleopatra, which starred Liz Taylor and Richard Burton. Twentieth Century Fox's 1963 epic film has been called the most expensive film of all time, the biggest-ever flop and the film that nearly bankrupted a Hollywood studio, while the scandal of the on-set romance between its two stars caused a media storm. Featuring rare footage, the film's original uncut trailer and interviews with those involved.

WED 23:00 Arena (b0074prh)
Ken Dodd's Happiness

A tribute to Liverpudlian comic Ken Dodd, in which he discusses his career and the influences of his comedy style.

Features film clips of his early performances and footage of him on tour in more recent times.

WED 00:00 Krakatoa Revealed (b00791fm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]

WED 00:50 The Joy of ABBA (b03lyzpp)
Between 1974 and 1982 ABBA plundered the Anglo-Saxon charts but divided critical opinion. This documentary explores how they raised the bar for pop music as a form and made us fall in love with the sound of Swedish melancholy. A saga about the soul of pop.

WED 01:50 ABBA at the BBC (b03lyzpr)
If you fancy an hour's worth of irresistible guilty pleasures from Anni-Frid, Benny, Bjorn and Agnetha, this is the programme for you. ABBA stormed the 1974 Eurovision song contest with their winning entry Waterloo, and this programme charts the meteoric rise of the band with some of their greatest performances at the BBC.

It begins in 1974 with their first Top of the Pops appearance, and we even get to see the band entertaining holidaymakers in Torbay in a 1975 Seaside Special. There are many classic ABBA tunes from the 1979 BBC special ABBA in Switzerland, plus their final BBC appearance on the Late Late Breakfast show in 1982.

This compilation is a must for all fans and includes great archive interviews, promos and performances of some of ABBA's classics including Waterloo, Dancing Queen, Does Your Mother Know, Thank You for the Music, SOS, Fernando, Chiquitita and many more.

WED 02:50 The Bridge (b01j0nkg)
Series 1

Episode 9

Gradually all the pieces to the complicated puzzle are put in place. The clues and evidence in the investigation have led the police to a man who could be the murderer. Now they wait tensely for his next move.

In Swedish and Danish with English subtitles.


THU 19:00 World News Today (b03mpltv)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

THU 19:30 Mary Poppins (b007bs5v)
Musical comedy set in London circa 1910. The wind is in the east and carries with it Mary Poppins, a practically perfect nanny who answers an advertisement to look after the children of a stuffy banker and his suffragette wife. Poppins soon takes the kids on a magical tour, jumping into pavement drawings, dancing on rooftops and levitating towards ceilings, all with the assistance of Bert, a busking chimney sweep.

THU 21:45 Michael Grade's Stars of the Musical Theatre (b03kk0s0)
Michael Grade saw Annie Get Your Gun as a small boy in the 1950s and ever since he has been hooked on musicals - and their stars. He and his family have represented some of the world's greatest musical performers and he knows and understands talent. But one question has always fascinated him - is it the musical which creates the star or the star who makes the musical?

In search of answers, Michael interviews stars and directors on both sides of the Atlantic, including Michael Ball, Elaine Paige, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton, Joel Grey, Chita Rivera, Hal Prince and Trevor Nunn.

In what way are the qualities of a musical star unique? Michael explores the alchemy of the musical by looking at performances from the 1940s onwards in key shows like Oklahoma!, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, Evita and Les Miserables - examining the union of musicals that brilliantly reflect their time with performers who can interpret their magic.

Michael uses all the knowledge, taste and judgement he has built up over decades as he sets out to define what it is that makes the great musical stars great.

THU 22:45 Secret Voices of Hollywood (b03bxrxj)
In many of Hollywood's greatest movie musicals the stars did not sing their own songs. This documentary pulls back the curtain to reveal the secret world of the 'ghost singers' who provided the vocals, the screen legends who were dubbed and the classic movies in which the songs were ghosted.

THU 23:45 Old Jews Telling Jokes (b01777fr)
Episode 1

In the fine tradition of American Jewish humour, a group of pensioners from all walks of life gather together to tell their favourite jokes. Remember, laugh loud - they don't hear so good.

THU 00:15 Old Jews Telling Jokes (b017j5jw)
Episode 2

In the fine tradition of American Jewish humour, a group of pensioners from all walks of life gather together to tell their favourite jokes. Remember, laugh loud. They don't hear so good.

THU 00:45 The Many Faces of... (b018nvwc)
Series 1

Les Dawson

Les Dawson was one of Britain's all time great comedy talents, best known as a comedian but also a talented musician, writer and actor. This programme traces his career, with familiar favourite TV clips and some rare gems from the archives. Together with interviews from friends, relatives and colleagues, the programme unpicks the secrets of his enduring legacy nearly 20 years after his untimely death.

After 'discovery' on the Opportunity Knocks talent show in the 60s, he quickly became a regular face on TV, hosting comedy-led variety shows like Sez Les and The Les Dawson Show. His trademarks were short, pithy jokes, usually targeting his wife or mother in law, long verbose monologues and, perhaps most famously, piano recitals that went hilariously off key.

His reputation attracted guest appearances from some unexpected fans like John Cleese and Shirley Bassey, and he created an overweight dance troupe, The Roly Polys.

The programme shows how his career unfolded and illustrates the different facets of his comedy genius. John Cleese remembers their unlikely friendship, modern comedy stars Robert Webb and Russell Kane talk about his inspiration and Dawson's widow Tracy recalls their marriage and his joy at being a father late in life.

THU 01:45 Michael Grade's Stars of the Musical Theatre (b03kk0s0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:45 today]

THU 02:45 The Bridge (b039s9lc)
Series 1

Episode 10

It now dawns on the police that the final step in the murderer's evil plan has a new direction. Saga does all she can to crack the case and catch the killer - will she succeed before it's too late?

In Swedish and Danish with English subtitles.


FRI 19:00 World News Today (b03mpphr)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 Diamonds are Forever: The Don Black Songbook (b03mppht)
Don Black, the lyricist behind a huge collection of popular hit songs including Diamonds are Forever, Born Free, Ben and Love Changes Everything, shares some fascinating insights into his life's work with Michael Grade, in between live performances of his songs by Brian May, Eliza Doolittle, Frances Ruffelle, Gary Wilmot, Gregory Porter, Katie Melua, Kerry Ellis, Laura Wright, Marc Almond, Maria Friedman, Marti Webb, Michael Ball, Only Men Aloud and Richard Stilgoe. Recorded at the Royal Festival Hall in London.

FRI 21:00 Top of the Pops (b03mpphw)
The Story of 1979

1979 was a unique year for Top of the Pops, which saw the show record its highest audience of 19 million viewers and in which physical format singles sales hit an all-time high of 79 million. 1979 is maybe the most diverse year ever for acts on Top of the Pops with disco at its peak, new wave, 2 Tone, reggae, rock, folk and electro records all making the top five.

Original interviews with Gary Numan, Nile Rodgers, Woody from Madness, Jah Wobble, Chas and Dave, Janet Kay, Linda Nolan, Jim Dooley, Secret Affair, the Ruts, Legs and Co and many others tell the story of an exceptional year.

In the year that the 'winter of discontent' saw continuing strikes black out ITV and TOTP reduced during a technicians strike to a narrator introducing videos, the show also found itself the site of conflict backstage. TOTP's old guard of 70s MOR acts had their feathers continually ruffled by new wave bands, as the Skids spat at the Nolan Sisters backstage and Generation X urinated off the roof onto the Dooleys.

Elsewhere in the corridors of TV Centre, in preparation for playing their single Death Disco, Public Image Ltd demanded their teeth were blacked out in make-up to appear ugly, while Gary Numan remembers the overbearing union presence which prevented TOTP artists moving their own microphones without a union technician and the Musicians Union trying to ban him from the show for his use of synthesizers.

The most popular musical styles of 1979 were 2 Tone, reggae and disco. The latter saw Nile Rodgers, the man of the year, score four hits with Chic as well as writing and producing a further four hits with Sister Sledge, Sheila B Devotion and Sugarhill Gang, who appeared with what would prove to be the first ever rap hit.

Jamaican and UK reggae artists scored continual hits through the year and then watched as the Police notched up three hits with white reggae and the label 2 Tone revived the 60s reggae style known as ska. In November, in what is remembered as the 2 Tone edition, all three of the label's new acts - Madness, Specials and Selecter - appeared on one historic night and took the show by storm, with Madness capping off their performance of One Step Beyond by leading a 'nutty train' conga through the studio.

FRI 22:00 Top of the Pops (b03mpphy)
1979 - Big Hits

1979 Top of the Pops collection, offering 60 minutes of the year's greatest, cheesiest and oddest performances. 1979 was the year music went portable with the launch of the Sony walkman and another year Top of the Pops, the BBC's flagship music show, managed to still draw over 15 million viewers every Thursday night.

The mod revival and 2 Tone was in full stomp, featured here with the Jam, the Specials, Madness and the Selecter. If new wave was your bag there is Elvis Costello, Squeeze and Gary Numan. In 1979 there was little chance of seeing a show on TV featuring Dame Edna's performance of Waltzing Matilda alongside the Ruts with Babylon's Burning, but the British public's eclectic taste predicted the chart and thus saw them together on TOTP in June.

With singles sales at their peak, it was a regular occurrence for groups like Racey and The Nolans to sell over a million copies and their performances may tell us why, or maybe not! Plus new wave pop from Lene Lovich, disco from Chic and a peek at the nation's favourite, Chas & Dave, singing Gertcha.

FRI 23:00 The Old Grey Whistle Test (b014vzy3)
70s Gold

The Old Grey Whistle Test was launched on 21 September 1971 from a tiny studio tucked behind a lift shaft on the fourth floor of BBC Television Centre. From humble beginnings, it has gone on to provide some of the best and most treasured music archive that the BBC has to offer.

This programme takes us on a journey and celebrates the musically mixed-up decade that was the 1970s, and which is reflected in the OGWT archive. There are classic performances from the glam era by Elton John and David Bowie, an early UK TV appearance from Curtis Mayfield, the beginnings of heavy metal with Steppenwolf's iconic Born to Be Wild anthem and the early punk machinations of the 'mock rock' New York Dolls. Archive from the pinnacle year, 1973, features Roxy Music, The Wailers and Vinegar Joe. The programme's finale celebrates the advent of punk and new wave with unforgettable performances from Patti Smith, Blondie, Iggy Pop and The Jam.

Artists featured are Elton John, Lindisfarne, David Bowie, Curtis Mayfield, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Steppenwolf, Vinegar Joe, Brinsley Schwarz, New York Dolls, Argent, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Captain Beefheart, Johnny Winter, Dr Feelgood, Gil Scott Heron, Patti Smith, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Cher & Gregg Allman, Talking Heads, The Jam, Blondie, Iggy Pop and The Specials.

FRI 00:30 Top of the Pops (b03mpphw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 01:30 Top of the Pops (b03mpphy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

FRI 02:30 Diamonds are Forever: The Don Black Songbook (b03mppht)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

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

4,000-Year-Old Cold Case: The Body in the Bog 22:45 MON (b03js0gf)

ABBA at the BBC 01:50 WED (b03lyzpr)

Arena 23:00 WED (b0074prh)

Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood 21:00 WED (b037k3nl)

Diamonds are Forever: The Don Black Songbook 19:30 FRI (b03mppht)

Diamonds are Forever: The Don Black Songbook 02:30 FRI (b03mppht)

Endeavour: Everest 22:00 SAT (b03nh3mz)

Endeavour: Everest 22:45 SUN (b03nh545)

Endeavour: Everest 21:50 MON (b03mp9gp)

Horizon 19:00 SAT (b02xcvhw)

Horizon 02:50 SAT (b02xcvhw)

John Denver at Wembley Arena 01:45 TUE (b03jgq83)

Kind Hearts and Coronets 20:00 TUE (b01sjsx1)

Krakatoa Revealed 21:00 MON (b00791fm)

Krakatoa Revealed 00:00 WED (b00791fm)

Mary Poppins 19:30 THU (b007bs5v)

Michael Grade's Stars of the Musical Theatre 21:45 THU (b03kk0s0)

Michael Grade's Stars of the Musical Theatre 01:45 THU (b03kk0s0)

NASA: Triumph and Tragedy 23:35 SUN (b00lg2xb)

NASA: Triumph and Tragedy 23:45 MON (b00lk0jq)

New Year's Day Concert 19:00 WED (b03mpjmf)

Old Jews Telling Jokes 23:45 THU (b01777fr)

Old Jews Telling Jokes 00:15 THU (b017j5jw)

Queen Live In Budapest: Hungarian Rhapsody 22:45 SAT (b01pp0zp)

Rome's Lost Empire 21:45 TUE (b01pc063)

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures 20:00 SAT (b03mv59j)

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures 01:50 SAT (b03mv59j)

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures 20:00 SUN (b03nc7sk)

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures 01:35 SUN (b03nc7sk)

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures 20:00 MON (b03nc9mx)

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures 01:50 MON (b03nc9mx)

Scott of the Antarctic 21:00 SUN (b06jf91c)

Secret Voices of Hollywood 22:45 THU (b03bxrxj)

Sir John Tavener Remembered 19:00 TUE (b03mv978)

Snow Babies 19:00 SUN (p0118wxq)

Some People with Jokes 23:15 TUE (b037nhbc)

Some People with Jokes 23:45 TUE (b0381cf1)

Some People with Jokes 00:15 TUE (b037c5yn)

Some People with Jokes 00:45 TUE (p00w07vc)

Some People with Jokes 01:15 TUE (p00w080m)

Sounds of the 70s 2 00:20 SAT (b01jk1b8)

Sounds of the 70s 2 02:25 TUE (b01jv6sd)

The Bermuda Triangle: Beneath the Waves 21:00 SAT (b007c68n)

The Bridge 02:35 SUN (b01hdbtd)

The Bridge 02:50 MON (b01hr5s3)

The Bridge 02:55 TUE (b01hr5s5)

The Bridge 02:50 WED (b01j0nkg)

The Bridge 02:45 THU (b039s9lc)

The Code of Life: Great Scientists in their Own Words 19:00 MON (b03mpdtq)

The High Art of the Low Countries 00:50 SAT (b01rsfgd)

The High Art of the Low Countries 00:35 SUN (b01rtf47)

The High Art of the Low Countries 00:45 MON (b01rxpy1)

The Joy of ABBA 00:50 WED (b03lyzpp)

The Many Faces of... 00:45 THU (b018nvwc)

The Old Grey Whistle Test 23:00 FRI (b014vzy3)

Top of the Pops 21:00 FRI (b03mpphw)

Top of the Pops 22:00 FRI (b03mpphy)

Top of the Pops 00:30 FRI (b03mpphw)

Top of the Pops 01:30 FRI (b03mpphy)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b03mpltv)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b03mpphr)