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

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Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by


SAT 19:00 Natural World (b00qsxy5)

The Wild Places of Essex

Multi-award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane sets out on a journey to explore the unexpected landscapes and natural history of Essex, revealing that there is far more to the county than the stereotypes of white stilettos and boy racers.

Macfarlane spends a year travelling the county's strange and elemental landscapes of heavy industry, desolate beaches and wild woods. He encounters massive knot flocks over the Thames, peregrine falcons at Tilbury Power Station, water voles within sniffing distance of the municipal dump, deer rutting in earshot of the M25, barn owls, badgers and bluebells in Billericay, as well as a large colony of common seals.

SAT 20:00 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.

SAT 21:00 Storyville (b03j49l6)
Blackfish - The Whale that Killed

Documentary which unravels the story of notorious performing whale Tilikum, who - unlike any orca in the wild - has taken the lives of several people while in captivity. So what exactly went wrong?

Shocking, never-before-seen footage and interviews with trainers and experts manifest the orca's extraordinary nature, the species' cruel treatment in captivity over the last four decades and the growing disillusionment of workers who were misled and endangered by the highly profitable sea-park industry.

This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans have learned from these highly intelligent and enormously sentient fellow mammals.

SAT 22:20 Natural World (b03fq319)

Killer Whales: Beneath the Surface

The killer whale was long feared as a sea monster until, in May 1964, one was brought into captivity for the first time. This spawned a journey of discovery into the killer whale's true nature.

It quickly became clear these were not mindless killers - they were, in fact, highly intelligent social creatures. Today, our understanding is deepening still further and the latest revelations are among the most sensational - not only will these top predators 'adopt' and care for injured and abandoned orphans, but it seems there's no longer just the 'killer whale'.

SAT 23:20 Neil Sedaka: King of Song (b03v2yxt)
Neil Sedaka is one of the most successful American singer-songwriters of the last century. A classically trained musician, he won a scholarship to the Juilliard School at the age of nine and four years later he embarked on a writing career that would see him create some of the most perfect pop songs of all time. Throughout his career he wrote, recorded and sang a number of instantly recognisable and memorable tunes, as well as delivering a string of hits as a songwriter for other artists.

This documentary portrait film tells the story of Neil Sedaka's life and career, in which he had two distinct periods of success. Between 1958 and 1963 he sold over 25 million records, but then his career nose-dived after the Beatles and the British Invasion hit the USA. Leaving his homeland, he found success in the UK in the early 1970s and relaunched his career before returning to the US and achieving new stardom with songs like Solitaire and Laughter in the Rain.

Neil gives great insight into how he created catchy classics like Calendar Girl, (Is This the Way to) Amarillo, Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen and Stupid Cupid, amongst many others.

SAT 00:20 Neil Sedaka Says: All You Need Is the Music (b00pwstt)
During a career which was originally designed to make him a classical pianist, the musical achievements and statistics of singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka have made him a compelling figure in contemporary music, with 600 songs written and 20 million records sold. The hits from his early rock 'n' roll days to his later, more lyrical age are all included in this special one-man show from the 1980s.

SAT 01:05 Top of the Pops (b04268qh)
Mike Read presents another edition of the weekly pop chart show, including performances from Elkie Brooks, Sparks, the Shadows, Eruption, Roxy Music and Gary Moore. With dance sequences by Legs & Co.

SAT 01:40 Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities (b03l7psf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SAT 02:40 Natural World (b00qsxy5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SUNDAY 04 MAY 2014

SUN 19:00 Wild (b0078yx9)
2005-06 Shorts

The Rabbits of Skomer

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

SUN 19:10 In Which We Serve (b0074sgt)
This is the story of a ship - the HMS Torrin - from its construction to its participation at Dunkirk and its final sinking in the Battle of Crete. As the ship goes down, the crew remember their homes and loved ones.

Based on true events as recounted to Noel Coward by Lord Mountbatten.

SUN 21:00 Easter Island: Mysteries of a Lost World (b03srmm6)
The contrast between the majestic statues of Easter Island and the desolation of their surroundings is stark. For decades Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as the islanders call it, has been seen as a warning from history for the planet as a whole - wilfully expend natural resources and the collapse of civilisation is inevitable.

But archaeologist Dr Jago Cooper believes this is a disastrous misreading of what happened on Easter Island. He believes that its culture was a success story not a failure, and the real reasons for its ultimate demise were far more shocking. Cooper argues that there is an important lesson that the experience of Easter Island can teach the rest of the world, but it doesn't begin by blaming its inhabitants for their own downfall.

This film examines the latest scientific and archaeological evidence to reveal a compelling new narrative, one that sees the famous statues as only part of a complex culture that thrived in isolation. Cooper finds a path between competing theories about what happened to Easter Island to make us see this unique place in a fresh light.

SUN 22:30 The Wonder of Bees with Martha Kearney (p01t6pgg)
Episode 3

Spring has well and truly sprung and the hives are going from strength to strength, but that brings with it a problem of its own - the swarm. As the colonies become overcrowded, the bees become likely to depart in a swarm with the queen, leaving just a few behind to rear a new queen. It's a natural process, but for the beekeeper it can be a disaster, leaving the hive all but empty with little prospect of a harvest of honey.

Martha discovers methods to control the swarms, including clipping the wings of the queen, but she also meets a natural beekeeper for whom wing clipping is horrifying. When one of her hives swarms, Martha's neighbours leap to the rescue and she harvests the first honey of the year.

SUN 23:00 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.

SUN 00:35 ... Sings the Great American Songbook (b00rs3w4)
Presenting the best and most eclectic performances on the BBC from the world's best-known artists performing their interpretations of classic tracks from The Great American Songbook.

In chronological order, this programme takes us through a myriad of BBC studio performances, from Dame Shirley Bassey in 1966 performing The Lady is A Tramp, to Bryan Ferry in 1974 on Twiggy's BBC primetime show performing Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, to Captain Sensible on Top of the Pops in 1982 with his number one hit version of Happy Talk, through to Kirsty MacColl singing Miss Otis Regrets in 1994 to Jamie Cullum with his version of I Get a Kick Out Of You on Parkinson in 2004 and bang up to date with Brit winner Florence from Florence and the Machine performing My Baby Just Cares for Me with Jools Holland on his Annual Hootenanny at the end of 2009.

The Great American Songbook can best be described as the music and popular songs of the famous and prolific American composers of the 1920s and onwards. Composers such as Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Hoagy Carmichael to name but a few... songwriters who wrote the tunes of Broadway theatre and Hollywood musicals that earned enduring popularity before the dawning of rock 'n' roll.

These famous songwriters have penned songs which have entered the general consciousness and which are now best described as standards - tunes which every musician and singer aspires to include in their repertoire.

SUN 01:35 Top of the Pops (b01pkjy6)
The Story of 1978

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

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

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

SUN 02:25 Easter Island: Mysteries of a Lost World (b03srmm6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

MONDAY 05 MAY 2014

MON 19:00 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 20:00 The Wonder of Bees with Martha Kearney (p01t6pjf)
Episode 4

Martha enjoys the English countryside at its best, offers her honey to the public at a village fair and finally succeeds in harvesting the true wildflower honey she set out to achieve.

At the height of summer the owners of the meadow have invited the public to an open day to celebrate this unique bit of countryside. The pressure is on Martha to get the honey ready in time. With such a late spring the meadow flowers are late opening and the bees are still foraging on a neighbouring farmer's crops when the day arrives.

Martha visits Cornwall's Tregothnan Estate to discover the secret of the highly-prized manuka honey and returns to Suffolk with plans for a final harvest of wildflower honey. By now the meadow is in its prime. When Martha sends her honey to be tested it is proved to be true wildflower honey. It only remains to prepare the bees for the winter and reflect on a rewarding and fascinating season of beekeeping.

MON 20:30 Only Connect (b042tsj6)
Series 9

Erstwhile Athletes v Record Collectors

Three former athletes square up to a trio of record collectors, 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: Saint Didacus of Alcala, holy sacrament, the Angels and Saint Francis.

MON 21:00 Hinterland (b040d9wf)
Series 1 (full length)

Episode 2

At a remote farmhouse, 69-year-old Idris Williams is discovered bludgeoned to death and the investigation into his murder reveals the mountain's bloody past.

MON 22:35 The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain (p01wq65t)
Episode 1

In 1714, to prevent the crown falling into the hands of a Catholic, Britain shipped in a ready-made royal family from the small German state of Hanover. To understand this risky experiment, presenter Dr Lucy Worsley has been given access to treasures from the Royal Collection as they are prepared for a new exhibition at the Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace - providing a rare and personal insight into George I and his feuding dynasty.

The Hanoverians arrived at a moment when Britain was changing fast. Satirists were free to mock the powerful, including the new royals. The Hanoverians themselves were busy early adopters of Neo-Palladian architecture, defining the whole look of the Georgian era. When the French philosopher Voltaire visited, he found a 'land of liberty' unlike anything in Europe - Britain was embracing freedom of speech and modern cabinet government.

MON 23:35 Timewatch (b00dtjy4)


An investigation into a radical theory that Stonehenge, far from being a place of burial as is commonly assumed, was in fact a place of healing - a Bronze Age Lourdes. The investigation takes in forensic testing of bones excavated over the past decades and hard-won permission for the first dig in 50 years at the Henge, watched live online by millions of viewers around the world. Does the theory of the healing stones bear up to modern-day forensic science?

MON 00:30 Only Connect (b042tsj6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

MON 01:00 The Wonder of Bees with Martha Kearney (p01t6pjf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 01:30 Britain by Bike (b00td4sg)
West Yorkshire

Clare Balding sets out on a two-wheel odyssey to re-discover Britain from the saddle of a touring cycle.

In a six-part series, Clare follows the wheeltracks of compulsive cyclist and author Harold Briercliffe whose evocative guide books of the late 1940s lovingly describe by-passed Britain - a world of unspoiled villages, cycle touring clubs and sunny B roads. Carrying a set of Harold's Cycling Touring Guides for company and riding his very own Dawes Super Galaxy bicycle, she goes in search of the world he described with such affection.

As she cycles through Bronte Country on the Yorkshire/Lancashire border, Clare uncovers a unique photographic collection depicting the hidden daily life of a Yorkshire mill town, a string of truly remarkable women and a secret club for henpecked husbands.

MON 02:00 Hinterland (b040d9wf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 World News Today (b042rq7c)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

TUE 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b01qmd8k)
Series 4

Goes to Ireland - Newbridge to Roscrea

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks once again using his Bradshaw's 'Handbook for Tourists in Great Britain and Ireland' from the Victorian era. Portillo is on a railway journey through the Republic of Ireland travelling from the rugged beauty of County Kerry, across the rural Irish Midlands to end in the city of Galway on the Atlantic coast.

In this episode, Michael visits the Irish National Stud, discovers how harsh life was for the Irish poor and uncovers an astronomical feat of Victorian engineering.

TUE 20:00 Horizon (b013pnv4)

Seeing Stars

Around the world, a new generation of astronomers are hunting for the most mysterious objects in the universe. Young stars, black holes, even other forms of life.

They have created a dazzling new set of supertelescopes that promise to rewrite the story of the heavens.

This film follows the men and women who are pushing the limits of science and engineering in some of the most extreme environments on earth. But most strikingly of all, no-one really knows what they will find out there.

TUE 21:00 The French Revolution: Tearing up History (b042ttxl)
A journey through the dramatic and destructive years of the French Revolution, telling its history in a way not seen before - through the extraordinary story of its art. Our guide through this turbulent decade is the constantly surprising Dr Richard Clay, an art historian who has spent his life decoding the symbols of power and authority.

Dr Clay has always been fascinated by vandalism and iconoclasm, and believes much of the untold story of the French Revolution can be discovered through the stories of great moments of destruction. Who were the stone masons in the crowd outside Notre Dame that pulled down the statues of kings? Why do the churches of Paris still carry all the coded signs of anti-Christian state legislation? What does it mean, and who was carrying this out?

Telling the story of the French Revolution - from the Storming of the Bastille to the rise of Napoleon - as the significant modern outbreak of iconoclasm, Clay argues that it reveals the destructive and constructive roles of iconoclasts and how this led directly to the birth of the modern Europe.

TUE 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.

TUE 23:00 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.

TUE 00:00 Natural World (b00qsxy5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Saturday]

TUE 01:00 Natural World (b03fq319)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:20 on Saturday]

TUE 02:00 Horizon (b013pnv4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

TUE 03:00 The French Revolution: Tearing up History (b042ttxl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 World News Today (b042rq7j)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

WED 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b01qmd9l)
Series 4

Goes to Ireland - Athlone to Galway

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks once again using his Bradshaw's 'Handbook for Tourists in Great Britain and Ireland' from the Victorian era. Portillo is on a railway journey through the Republic of Ireland travelling from the rugged beauty of County Kerry, across the rural Irish Midlands to end in the city of Galway on the Atlantic coast.

In this episode, Michael is on the final leg of his Irish journey and discovers historic jewellery with royal connections in Galway, meets a people's king and finds his voice with a traditional Irish singing group.

WED 20:00 Lost Cities of the Ancients (b00792tn)
The Vanished Capital of the Pharoah

This episode looks at the legendary lost city of Piramesse. This magnificent ancient capital was built 3,000 years ago by the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses the Great, but long ago the whole city disappeared. When it was rediscovered by early archaeologists, it opened up a bizarre puzzle - when Piramesse was finally found it was in the wrong place, somewhere Ramesses the Great could not possibly have built it.

Recreating the stories of both the early archaeologists and the ancient Egyptians, the film enters a lost world, recounting the strange tale of the quest for Piramesse and following the intriguing detective work of modern archaeologists Manfred Bietak and Edgar Pusch as they solve the baffling mystery of how this great lost city could vanish, only to reappear thousands of years later in the wrong place.

WED 21:00 Burton and Taylor (p01c8jm8)
Drama telling the story of Hollywood's most glamorous couple, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, who acted together for the last time in Noel Coward's Private Lives in 1983.

When Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton met on the set of Cleopatra, the attraction was immediate. The public were enthralled by their illicit romance, two tempestuous marriages, frequent break-ups and extravagant reunions. They were the original fabulous stars, conspicuous in their consumption of clothes, houses, yachts, diamonds, and, more damagingly, alcohol.

In 1976 Richard and Elizabeth divorced for the second time. They both married other people and it seemed that the romance of the century might truly be over. Then, in 1982, they both separated and were free again. In 1983, Richard and Elizabeth had one final reunion on the stage when they spent seven months touring with Noel Coward's Private Lives. During the tour public speculation grew about the possibility of another marriage, but in private old frictions played out once again. Speculation about another reunion ended when Richard Burton married his fiancée Sally Hay halfway through the run.

This is the story of the first celebrity 'it' couple. Beyond alcohol, pills and the trappings of fame, was love the ultimate crutch that allowed them to escape the realities of their extraordinary lives? Funny, glamorous, tempestuous and dripping with diamonds, this is the last battle of the Burtons.

WED 22:25 The Richard Burton Diaries (b01nw4wn)
Richard Burton's talent, presence and unforgettable voice made him a superstar of stage and screen. The Welsh actor was equally famous for his hellraising, womanising private life and his two marriages to Elizabeth Taylor. Private diaries he wrote at the height of his fame have been published in their entirety for the first time and present a unique opportunity to reassess the man behind the myth.

Narrated by Mali Harries, with extract readings by Josh Richards.

WED 22:55 Parks and Recreation (b01rly15)
Series 2

Pawnee Zoo

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

WED 23:15 Parks and Recreation (b01rly17)
Series 2

The Stakeout

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

WED 23:35 Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities (b03l7psf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Saturday]

WED 00:35 Lost Cities of the Ancients (b00792tn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 01:35 Britain by Bike (b00tg2q0)
The Cotswolds

Clare Balding tests the limits of pedal power again with a cycle trip through an area considered one of the prettiest in Britain, the Cotswolds.

Following the wheel tracks of cycling author Harold Briercliffe, whose guide books of the late 1940s paint an evocative portrait of Britain on B-Roads, she encounters not only beautiful countryside but one or two surprises.

Briercliffe had controversial views about this handsomely-preserved landscape. Carrying a set of Harold's Cycling Touring Guides for company and riding his very own bicycle, Clare goes in search of the world he described.

Along the way, she explores why the countryside looks the way it does, examines how post-war social change opened the doors of great private houses like Blenheim to a paying public and reveals how two men - both called William Morris - helped change the face of heritage tourism.

WED 02:05 The Richard Burton Diaries (b01nw4wn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:25 today]

WED 02:35 Burton and Taylor (p01c8jm8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 World News Today (b042rq7p)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b042twvn)
Peter Powell presents another edition of the weekly pop chart show, including performances from the Tubes, Earth Wind & Fire, the Emotions, the Police, Abba, Linda Clifford, Donna Summer, Blondie, Peaches & Herb, XTC, the Undertones, Judas Priest, Max Webster and Roxy Music. With dance sequences by Legs & Co.

THU 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.

THU 21:00 The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain (b042twvq)
Episode 2

Lucy Worsley's inside story of Britain's imported German dynasty, made with extensive access to the Royal Collection, reaches the reign of George II. She shows how he had to adapt to a growing 'middling rank' in society no longer content with being downtrodden subjects. Affairs of state were being openly discussed in coffee houses, while the king and his ministers were mocked in satirical prints and theatres.

George II was an easy target - grumpy, and frequently absent in Hanover. To his British subjects he became The King Who Wasn't There. But his wife, the enlightened Caroline, popularized a medical breakthrough against smallpox. However, it was their son, Frederick Prince of Wales, who really understood this new world - he had the popular touch monarchy would need to survive into the modern era.

THU 22:00 Ripping Yarns (b0074s84)
Series 1

The Curse of the Claw

The story of a man who dabbled in the dark mysteries of the Orient, and lived to tell the tale. Or did he? An unexpected visit by the Bhutan-bound Captain Merson and his band of native bearers to the Maidenhead home of recently bereaved Kevin causes him to relive a ripping story of fear, tragedy and terror. It is the story of a claw. A claw with a curse.

THU 22:35 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.

THU 23:05 The French Revolution: Tearing up History (b042ttxl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]

THU 00:05 Hinterland (b040d9wf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]

THU 01:40 Top of the Pops (b042twvn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 02:20 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 02:50 The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain (b042twvq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRIDAY 09 MAY 2014

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b042rq7v)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 BBC Young Musician (b042tx86)

Keyboard Final

The search for the next BBC Young Musician continues. With the winners of the strings, percussion and woodwind categories already decided, the spotlight now turns to the piano. Featuring music by Ravel, Bach, Chopin and Scarlatti, five talented young performers take to the stage to compete in the keyboard category final.

Presented by Alison Balsom and Milos, the competitors will showcase their talent and hope to prove to a panel of distinguished judges that they are the best young keyboard player in the country. For 18-year-old Hayley Parkes, 15-year-old Julian Trevelyan, 17-year-old Isata Kanneh-Mason, 17-year-old Martin James Bartlett and 18-year-old Ning Hui See, it is time to put in the performance of their lives. Only one will make it through to the semi-final and move a step closer to claiming the coveted title of BBC Young Musician 2014.

FRI 21:00 The Rolling Stones Return to Hyde Park: Sweet Summer Sun (b03dwq8g)
Hyde Park 2013 came almost 44 years to the day after the Rolling Stones first invited 200,000 fans to listen to them for free in a legendary concert at the central London park on 5 July 1969, only two days after the tragic death of founder member Brian Jones - a landmark event, now widely acknowledged as one of the most significant moments in modern music history.

Featuring their greatest hits from across their career, plus a special appearance by former Stones guitarist Mick Taylor - who made his debut with the band at Hyde Park in 1969 - Hyde Park 2013 takes the huge success of the Rolling Stones' 50 and Counting anniversary celebrations into a second year, and follows an acclaimed Glastonbury appearance - their debut performance at the festival in a career spanning 50 years.

Directed by Paul Dugdale, this 19-camera HD shoot in front of 65,000 fans captures just why the Rolling Stones are still the greatest live rock 'n' roll band after all these years.

Highlights include Gimme Shelter, Jumpin' Jack Flash, You Can't Always Get What You Want and (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction.

FRI 22:10 The Rolling Stones at the BBC (b01p1pmf)
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Rolling Stones we delve into the BBC vaults to deliver some timeless Stones archive. From the early days of their career and some unforgettable performances on Top of the Pops with the Last Time, Let's Spend the Night Together and Get Off of My Cloud through the late 60s and early 70s era of prolific song writing when the band were knocking out a classic album every other year and offering up such classics as Honky Tonk Women and Gimme Shelter.

The late 70s brought a massively successful nod to disco with Miss You and the early 80s a stomping return to form with the rock 'n' roll groove of Start Me Up. Peppered amongst the performances are snippets of wisdom from the two main men - the Glimmer Twins, aka Mick and Keith. Plus as a special treat, some lost footage of the band performing 19th Nervous Breakdown on Top of the Pops in 1966 - recently discovered in a BBC documentary from the 1960s about women with depression.

FRI 22:55 When Rock Goes Acoustic (b0141myx)
The cliche of classic rock guitar is one of riffs, solos and noise. But write a list of great guitarists and their finest moments and a quieter, more intense playing comes to the fore. The acoustic guitar is the secret weapon in the armoury of the guitar hero, when paradoxically they get more attention by playing quietly than being loud.

This documentary takes an insightful and occasionally irreverent look at the love affair between rock and the humble acoustic guitar. Exploring a much less celebrated, yet crucial part of the rock musician's arsenal, contributors including Johnny Marr, Keith Richards, Ray Davies, James Dean Bradfield, Biffy Clyro, Joan Armatrading, Donovan and Roger McGuinn discuss why an instrument favoured by medieval minstrels and singing nuns is as important to rock 'n' roll as the drums, bass and its noisy sister, the electric guitar.

FRI 23:55 Acoustic at the BBC (b0141mz1)
A journey through some of the finest moments of acoustic guitar performances from the BBC archives - from Jimmy Page's television debut in 1958 to Oasis and Biffy Clyro.

Highlights include:

Neil Young - Heart of Gold
David Bowie - Starman
Oasis - Wonderwall
Donovan - Mellow Yellow
Joan Armatrading - Woncha Come on Home
Bert Jansch, Johnny Marr and Bernard Butler - The River Bank
Joni Mitchell - Chelsea Morning
Biffy Clyro - Mountains.

FRI 00:55 The Rolling Stones Return to Hyde Park: Sweet Summer Sun (b03dwq8g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 02:10 The Rolling Stones at the BBC (b01p1pmf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:10 today]

FRI 02:55 When Rock Goes Acoustic (b0141myx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:55 today]

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

... Sings the Great American Songbook 00:35 SUN (b00rs3w4)

Acoustic at the BBC 23:55 FRI (b0141mz1)

Arena 23:00 SUN (b00rs3w6)

BBC Young Musician 19:30 FRI (b042tx86)

Balmoral 22:00 TUE (b00mqg2c)

Britain by Bike 01:30 MON (b00td4sg)

Britain by Bike 01:35 WED (b00tg2q0)

Burton and Taylor 21:00 WED (p01c8jm8)

Burton and Taylor 02:35 WED (p01c8jm8)

Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities 20:00 SAT (b03l7psf)

Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities 01:40 SAT (b03l7psf)

Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities 23:35 WED (b03l7psf)

Easter Island: Mysteries of a Lost World 21:00 SUN (b03srmm6)

Easter Island: Mysteries of a Lost World 02:25 SUN (b03srmm6)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 TUE (b01qmd8k)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 WED (b01qmd9l)

Hinterland 21:00 MON (b040d9wf)

Hinterland 02:00 MON (b040d9wf)

Hinterland 00:05 THU (b040d9wf)

Horizon 20:00 TUE (b013pnv4)

Horizon 02:00 TUE (b013pnv4)

In Which We Serve 19:10 SUN (b0074sgt)

Lionel Bart: Reviewing the Situation 19:00 MON (b03kw1rv)

Lost Cities of the Ancients 20:00 WED (b00792tn)

Lost Cities of the Ancients 00:35 WED (b00792tn)

Natural World 19:00 SAT (b00qsxy5)

Natural World 22:20 SAT (b03fq319)

Natural World 02:40 SAT (b00qsxy5)

Natural World 00:00 TUE (b00qsxy5)

Natural World 01:00 TUE (b03fq319)

Neil Sedaka Says: All You Need Is the Music 00:20 SAT (b00pwstt)

Neil Sedaka: King of Song 23:20 SAT (b03v2yxt)

Only Connect 20:30 MON (b042tsj6)

Only Connect 00:30 MON (b042tsj6)

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

Parks and Recreation 22:55 WED (b01rly15)

Parks and Recreation 23:15 WED (b01rly17)

Ripping Yarns 22:00 THU (b0074s84)

Some People with Jokes 22:35 THU (b037c5yn)

Sounds of the 70s 2 02:20 THU (b01j8h0b)

Storyville 21:00 SAT (b03j49l6)

The Bridges That Built London with Dan Cruickshank 23:00 TUE (b01jv5nr)

The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain 22:35 MON (p01wq65t)

The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain 21:00 THU (b042twvq)

The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain 02:50 THU (b042twvq)

The French Revolution: Tearing up History 21:00 TUE (b042ttxl)

The French Revolution: Tearing up History 03:00 TUE (b042ttxl)

The French Revolution: Tearing up History 23:05 THU (b042ttxl)

The Richard Burton Diaries 22:25 WED (b01nw4wn)

The Richard Burton Diaries 02:05 WED (b01nw4wn)

The Rolling Stones Return to Hyde Park: Sweet Summer Sun 21:00 FRI (b03dwq8g)

The Rolling Stones Return to Hyde Park: Sweet Summer Sun 00:55 FRI (b03dwq8g)

The Rolling Stones at the BBC 22:10 FRI (b01p1pmf)

The Rolling Stones at the BBC 02:10 FRI (b01p1pmf)

The Wonder of Bees with Martha Kearney 22:30 SUN (p01t6pgg)

The Wonder of Bees with Martha Kearney 20:00 MON (p01t6pjf)

The Wonder of Bees with Martha Kearney 01:00 MON (p01t6pjf)

Timewatch 23:35 MON (b00dtjy4)

Top of the Pops 01:05 SAT (b04268qh)

Top of the Pops 01:35 SUN (b01pkjy6)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b042twvn)

Top of the Pops 01:40 THU (b042twvn)

When Rock Goes Acoustic 22:55 FRI (b0141myx)

When Rock Goes Acoustic 02:55 FRI (b0141myx)

Wild 19:00 SUN (b0078yx9)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b042rq7c)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b042rq7j)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b042rq7p)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b042rq7v)