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 JUNE 2014

SAT 19:00 Amazon Abyss (b00hhf63)
Episode 7

Mike de Gruy and Kate Humble lead an international team of scientists and divers as they search for species new to science in the Amazon River.

It is the climax of the diving expedition as the team explores a 90-metre chasm at the very bottom of the Amazon River. Scientists have no idea what lurks within. The team also explores overgrown jungle streams in search of giant caiman and electric eels - a fish that can stun you with a 600-volt shock.

As the expedition draws to a close, the divers prepare to jump into the depths of the river to confront and film the extraordinary fish that lie in the abyss.


SAT 20:00 The Story of Science: Power, Proof and Passion (b00sbt8d)
What is the World Made Of?

Michael Mosley takes an informative and ambitious journey exploring how the evolution of scientific understanding is intimately interwoven with society's historical path.

In this episode, Michael demonstrates how our society is built on our search to find the answer to what makes up everything in the material world. This is a story that moves from the secret labs of the alchemists and their search for gold to the creation of the world's first synthetic dye - mauve - and onto the invention of the transistor.

This quest may seem abstract and highly theoretical. Yet it has delivered the greatest impact on humanity. By trying to answer this question, scientists have created theories from elements to atoms, and the strange concepts of quantum physics that underpin our modern, technological world.


SAT 21:00 Wallander (b03nny70)
Series 3

The Loss

Kurt Wallander leads the investigation when the dismembered body of a young woman is found buried in a field. All the leads point to the victim being an Eastern European prostitute, but what has led to her death and who is behind her brutal murder?

In Swedish with English subtitles.


SAT 22:25 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.


SAT 23:55 Top of the Pops (b045nz9n)
Mike Read presents another edition of the weekly pop chart show including performances from Match, McFadden and Whitehead, Edwin Starr, Tubeway Army, Janet Kay, Chas and Dave, Squeeze and Anita Ward. With a dance sequence from Legs & Co.


SAT 00:40 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.


SAT 01:40 Amazon Abyss (b00hhf63)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SAT 02:40 The Story of Science: Power, Proof and Passion (b00sbt8d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



SUNDAY 08 JUNE 2014

SUN 19:00 Decisive Weapons (b0077dqn)
Series 1

T34: The Queen of Tanks

The story of the Soviet T34 tank, the manufacture of which heralded the largest industrial migration in history. In 1941, the Soviets faced almost certain defeat by the Germans, until the arrival of the Red Army's ultra-secret new tank, the T-34. In the hands of those who built and then drove it, this was the tank that led the fightback, all the way to Hitler's bunker in 1945.


SUN 19:30 The Science of D-Day (b045gr8m)
In June 1944, one of the greatest amphibious assaults in history was launched from the south coast of England. Within a matter of hours, 7,000 vessels had landed 156,000 troops on the beaches of Normandy. It was a manoeuvre that changed the course of the war and tested innovations in science and engineering for the first time.

In this programme, engineer Rob Bell looks at the nuts and bolts which made such a staggering invasion possible - from giant troop-carrying gliders to tanks that could drive on water - and how necessity really did become the mother of invention. Like all new inventions, not all of them worked and resulted in devastating consequences. We find out why. This is the science of D-Day.


SUN 20:00 We Fought on D-Day (b007cw2f)
From the BBC archives, using rare archive footage and eye-witness interviews, this documentary recounts the previously untold stories of the local men from Northern Ireland who fought for the beaches, towns and villages of Normandy on 6 June 1944.

The Royal Ulster Rifles was the only regiment in the Allied Forces to have two battalions serve on D-Day; one airborne and the other by sea. The film reveals the vital role that Northern Irish servicemen played in D-Day, as they landed on Sword Beach and experienced heavy German resistance as they liberated several villages in their push towards the city of Caen.

Central to the film are interviews with veterans of the Royal Ulster Rifles, such as Bill McConnell who, as a fresh-faced teenager, flew into battle in a glider, and Stanley Burrows, who fought and was badly wounded in the battle for Cambes Woods.


SUN 20:50 Wild (b0078z0j)
2005-06 Shorts

Deer in the City

Short documentary about a pair of roe deer who have made a Scottish cemetery their home. Surrounded on all sides by a sprawling metropolis, these normally shy creatures are a magical addition to the city's urban population.


SUN 21:00 Norman Wisdom: His Story (b00vhmqq)
From street urchin to knight of the realm - the story of Norman Wisdom, who used to be one of the biggest film stars in the UK, portraying a man who rarely stepped out of character in public, and whose highly individual comic style hid the private tragedy of his early life.

The actor's life story is told through the people who knew him well - his son and daughter Nick and Jacqui Wisdom, his daughter-in-law Kim, film director Stephen Frears, actors Ricky Tomlinson, Leslie Phillips and Honor Blackman, and singer Dame Vera Lynn.


SUN 22:00 The Sky at Night (b046rn8m)
Impacts

From asteroids crashing into the surface of the moon to galaxies colliding with each other, cosmic impacts have shaped the universe around us. Materials scientist Mark Miodownik investigates the astonishing physics of the moment when a meteorite hits a planet like our own. And the team is asking for viewers' help to spot asteroids that could be on a collision course with Earth.

Maggie Aderin-Pocock discovers how evidence suggests the moon was formed from the biggest impact in Earth's history, an impact so powerful the whole surface of the Earth melted. Chris Lintott explores the creative power of impacts on the biggest scales, when whole galaxies collide. Pete Lawrence takes us on a tour of the moon, revealing the beautiful range of impact craters available for us all to see almost every night.


SUN 22:30 The Horizon Guide to Mars (b00p1crx)
The intriguing possibility of life on Mars has fuelled man's quest to visit the Red Planet. Drawing on 45 years of Horizon archive, space expert Dr Kevin Fong presents a documentary on Earth's near neighbour.

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

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

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


SUN 23:30 You've Got a Friend: The Carole King Story (b0461chb)
Documentary telling, in her own words, the story of Carole King's upbringing in Brooklyn and the subsequent success that she had as half of husband-and-wife songwriting team Goffin and King for Aldon Music on Broadway.

It was during this era in the early 1960s that they created a string of pop hits such as Take Good Care of My Baby for Bobby Vee, The Locomotion for Little Eva and Will You Love Me Tomorrow for the Shirelles, which became the first number one hit by a black American girl group. They also wrote the era-defining Up on the Roof for the Drifters and the magnificent Natural Woman for Aretha Franklin.

By 1970 Carole was divorced from songwriting partner Gerry Goffin and had moved to Los Angeles. It was here that she created her classic solo album Tapestry, packed with delightful tunes but also, for the first time, her own lyrics, very much sung from the heart. The album included It's Too Late, I Feel the Earth Move and You've Got a Friend and held the record for the most weeks at number one by a solo female artist for nearly 20 years. It became a trusted part of everyone's record collection and has sold over 25 million copies to date.

The film features some wonderful unseen material and home movies, and narrates her life as an acclaimed singer-songwriter. To date, more than 400 of her compositions have been recorded by over 1,000 artists, resulting in 100 hit singles.

More recently, in 2013, Carole was the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song by the Library of Congress for her songwriting, whilst in 2014 Broadway production Beautiful, which tells her life story during the Goffin and King era, has received rave reviews.

Nowadays Carole King would see herself as an environmental activist as much as a songwriter, and she is to be found constantly lobbying congress in defence of the wildlife and ecosystems of her beloved Idaho.


SUN 00:30 Singer-Songwriters at the BBC (b015f5c8)
Series 2

Episode 1

The celebration of the singing songwriting troubadours of the 1960s and 70s continues with a further trawl through the BBC archives for timeless and classic performances.

Don McLean performs his huge hit American Pie from 1972 and Tim Buckley provides some sublime sounds with a rendition of his song Happy Time. Also making an appearance is the long-lamented John Martyn, folk queen Sandy Denny and, in a duet with Joe Egan as Stealers Wheel, the late Gerry Rafferty. Stealers Wheel chum and one-time collaborator Rab Noakes also makes a contribution to this compilation.

Leonard Cohen and Julie Felix present a unique collaboration and performance of Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye, and there's an unforgettable performance of Case of You by Joni Mitchell. No celebration of this genre would be complete without contributions from songwriting heavyweights such as Elton John, Paul Simon, Loudon Wainwright III and Yusuf Islam aka Cat Stevens.


SUN 01:30 Norman Wisdom: His Story (b00vhmqq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


SUN 02:30 Decisive Weapons (b0077dqn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SUN 03:00 The Science of D-Day (b045gr8m)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]



MONDAY 09 JUNE 2014

MON 19:00 World News Today (b04653zn)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


MON 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00xxr3w)
Series 2

York to Saltaire

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook. He travels the length and breadth of the country to see how the railways changed us, and what of Bradshaw's Britain remains, as his journey follows some of the earliest railways in the country from Newcastle to Melton Mowbray.

Michael takes a Turkish bath in the famous spa town of Harrogate, explores the exemplary Victorian village of Saltaire, and rubs noses with some friendly alpacas, whose fleeces made fortunes in Bradshaw's day.


MON 20:00 Jigs and Wigs: The Extreme World of Irish Dancing (b03xq4b2)
Series 1

Episode 1

The O'Briens, a traveller family from Wicklow, overcome prejudice and tradition to make their mark in the world of Irish dance.


MON 20:30 Only Connect (b0465705)
Series 9

Software Engineers v Heath Family

Two teams who lost their first round return for another chance to make it to the semi-finals. Three software engineers take on a family team, competing to draw together the connections between things which, at first glance, seem utterly random. So join Victoria Coren Mitchell if you want to know what connects: the Beatles, Mr Bean, Gordon Tracy and the Trotters.


MON 21:00 Britain's Whale Hunters: The Untold Story (b046pb27)
The Rise

Writer Adam Nicolson is granted rare access to the ruins of the whaling stations on the remote British island of South Georgia. Amazing rarely seen archive footage and first-hand testimony from the last of Britain's whale hunters reveals what it was really like to have been a whale hunter in Antarctica, providing Europe with essential oils for soap and food. Putting our modern environmental guilt to one side, this provocative series looks at how and why whale populations were so drastically reduced in the 20th century and attempts to see whaling through the eyes of the time.

A few hundred years ago the oceans were home to millions of whales, but then we found that they were incredibly useful for everything from lighting and fashion to soap and food. Adam discovers the remarkable, forgotten tale of Britain as a major whaling nation right up to the 1960s, while exploring the incredible ruins of its largest centre on the remote British island of South Georgia.

Adam starts his journey on the west coast of Scotland, his favourite place to escape to since boyhood. It's his realisation that these waters would have once been home to many whales that has prompted him to find out about whaling. He sails up the coast to Stornoway harbour, where there's a vivid account of a traditional hunt of pilot whales.

He discovers how whaling was commercialised to supply Britain's growing cities with a vast range of products: from corsetry and umbrella stays to street lighting. But the real shift in the scale of the industry comes in the late 19th century with the inventions of Norwegian Svend Foyn. Adam joins the British whalers on a restored whale-catching ship in Norway, where they explain how grenade-tipped harpoons and steam winches revolutionised the type and number of whales that could be hunted.

With whale populations in the north becoming hunted out by the start of the 20th century, the whalers turned their attention to the Antarctic. Adam travels via the Falkland Islands to the remote and spectacular Antarctic island of South Georgia. This uninhabited British outpost very quickly became the centre of the world's whaling industry, with six whaling stations. The biggest, Leith Harbour, belonged to the world's largest whaling company at the time - Christian Salvesen from Edinburgh.

Adam explores this complete whaling town, a time capsule of Brtiain's industrial past, which was abandoned in 1965. He finds huge, asbestos-clad machinery and pieces together how whales were processed, and after hearing about the whalers' illegal hooch, discovers a hidden still in one of the bunkrooms.

The episode ends with the peak of whaling on South Georgia in the mid-1920s - over 8,000 whales were killed and processed in a year. New processes meant that whale oil could now be used to make much-needed soap and edible fats for Europe, and Salvesens were making an annual profit equivalent to £100 million in today's economy. But, thanks to a revolution in ship design, the whaling industry was about to become far bigger still.


MON 22:00 How the Wild West Was Won with Ray Mears (b045nz9q)
Deserts

Ray Mears looks at how the landscapes of America's five great deserts challenged the westward push of the early pioneers.

As Ray travels through the cold high mountain Great Basin desert and the hot Sonoran desert of southern Arizona, he discovers how their hostile geography and rich geology shaped the stories of fortune hunting and lawlessness in the Wild West, and were the setting for the last wars between the US Army and the Apache warrior tribes.

Ray's journey begins in Monument Valley, whose dramatic desert landscape has become synonymous with the Wild West years. He explores how plants and animals survive in this waterless climate and how the Navajo Indian people adapted to the conditions. In Tucson, he meets up with desert coroners Bruce Anderson and Robin Reineke, who show him how the desert still kills people today.

He explores how the Apache adapted their warfare methods to the desert and how the US cavalry struggled in the hot arid landscape. In Tombstone, he gets to grips with the myths around lawmakers and lawlessness and how it flourished in the remote desert regions of the Old West. He discovers how this forbidding landscape was the perfect refuge for bandits and pursues the outlaw trail to Butch Cassidy's hideout at Robber's Roost. His journey ends with the story of Geronimo's surrender which marked the end of the Indian Wars, and of the Old West.


MON 23:00 Amazon Abyss (b00hhf63)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Saturday]


MON 00:00 The Story of Science: Power, Proof and Passion (b00sbt8d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Saturday]


MON 01:00 Only Connect (b0465705)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


MON 01:30 The Perfect Suit (b012cnww)
A witty exploration of the evolution of the gentleman's suit. Alastair Sooke only owns one suit, but he is fascinated by how the matching jacket and trousers has become a uniform for men. Over the last 100 years the suit has evolved from working man's Sunday best to the casual wear of royalty.

For many 'the suit' is synonymous with all that is dull. But tailor Charlie Allen, Top Man chief designer Gordon Richardson and Sir Paul Smith show Alastair that the suit can be a cutting-edge fashion item and 'armour' to face the world.


MON 02:30 Britain on Film (b02w63mx)
Series 2

Island Nation

In 1959 Britain's biggest cinema company, the Rank Organisation, decided to replace its newsreels with a series of short, quirky, topical documentaries that examined all aspects of life in Britain. During the 1960s - a decade that witnessed profound shifts across Britain's political, economic and cultural landscapes - many felt anxiety about the dizzying pace of change.

Look at Life reflected the increasing social and moral unease in films that tackled subjects ranging from contraception to immigration; from increasing stress at work to the preservation of the Sabbath; and from the environmental implications of waste management to the threat of nuclear weapons. Through these films, we can glimpse many of the seismic societal transformations of the Sixties developments that polarised the nation and changed life in Britain forever.

This episode focuses on the films that examine the implications of Britain's identity as an island nation, a geographical reality that has influenced not just our coastal landscape but our national psyche too. Featuring footage from well-known offshore isles like Wight and Man to the more isolated, culturally-distinctive and splendidly-idiosyncratic places like Harris and Cromer, which was inhabited year-round by just a single family of four.


MON 03:00 Britain's Whale Hunters: The Untold Story (b046pb27)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



TUESDAY 10 JUNE 2014

TUE 19:00 World News Today (b04653zt)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


TUE 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00xxr4n)
Series 2

Batley to Sheffield

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook. He travels the length and breadth of the country to see how the railways changed us, and what of Bradshaw's Britain remains, as his journey follows some of the earliest railways in the country from Newcastle to Melton Mowbray.

Michael finds out about shoddy, a successful 19th-century recycling industry in the textile town of Batley, discovers how the railways boosted Yorkshire's forced rhubarb trade and meets the great-great-granddaughter of George Bradshaw himself.


TUE 20:00 Nigel Slater's Great British Biscuit (b03lyy33)
Nigel Slater takes us on a nostalgic, funny and heart-warming journey back in time - through the biscuit tins of mum and dad, the doilies and saucers of aunties and grannies, the lunch boxes of friends and siblings. Nigel charts the origins of the humble biscuit, from its vital contribution to Britain's nautical dominance of the globe, through to the biscuit tin becoming that most ubiquitous of household items. He explores the history of our most famous brands, uncovering the Georgian and Quaker origins of the biscuits we love and eat today, meeting eccentric biscuit anoraks who have dedicated their lives to a love of these simple baked treats and meeting scientists who squash, dunk and ignite biscuits for research purposes.

Nigel recalls the biscuits he found in his lunch box, the ones he cherished and the ones that would shape his formative years.

He asks why it is, that of all the treats we indulge in on a regular basis, the biscuit has become such a dependable culinary companion. What makes Britain a nation of ardent biscuit eaters like no other in the world, with a £2.3 billion industry to match?


TUE 21:00 The Other Pompeii: Life and Death in Herculaneum (b01rrld8)
Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill presents a documentary following the scientific investigation that shows what life was like in the small Roman town of Herculaneum, moments before it was destroyed by a volcanic eruption.

Just 10 miles from Pompeii, 12 vaults tell a new story about what life was like before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. They contain the skeletons of 340 people, 10 per cent of the local population, killed by the volcano. Amongst them are the first new skeletons to be found in the area for 30 years which are now the subject of a ground-breaking scientific investigation. The finds included a toddler holding his dog, a two-year-old girl with silver earrings and a boy embracing his mother.

Those found inside the vaults were nearly all women and children. Those found outside on the shoreline were nearly all men. Why?

It is revealed that the local population went to their deaths not as in often portrayed in Pompeii's popular myth, but more like the passengers of the Titanic, where women and children were put first.

Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill takes us to meet the scientists leading the forensic project - Luca Bondioli and Luciano Fattore - and then on a tour of the town. He uncovers houses, wooden furniture (including their beds and the only surviving baby's cradle from the Roman world), and food and human waste, preserved by a layer of ash up to five times deeper than Pompeii, as well as perfectly preserved court transcripts scratched on wooden tablets telling of slaves challenging their status in the town's courts. New scientific analysis has enabled us to unearth not just what they ate, but how they ate it, it seems they had a penchant for eating fish whole including their heads, a tradition, that has survived in Herculaneum to this day.


TUE 22:00 Amber (b03skl1g)
Episode 2

Reporter Maeve Flynn gets a call from a prison and a man who says he knows what happened to Amber - can he be trusted?


TUE 22:50 Fossil Wonderlands: Nature's Hidden Treasures (b03xsfrq)
Weird Wonders

Professor Richard Fortey journeys high in the Rocky Mountains to explore a 520 million-year-old fossilised seabed containing bizarre and experimental life forms that have revolutionised our understanding about the beginnings of complex life. Among the amazing finds he uncovers are marine creatures with five eyes and a proboscis, filter-feeders shaped like tulips, worm-like scavengers covered in spikes but with no identifiable head or anus, and a metre-long predator resembling a giant shrimp.


TUE 23:50 The Horizon Guide to Mars (b00p1crx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 on Sunday]


TUE 00:50 Nigel Slater's Great British Biscuit (b03lyy33)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


TUE 01:50 The Other Pompeii: Life and Death in Herculaneum (b01rrld8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 02:50 Amber (b03skl1g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 11 JUNE 2014

WED 19:00 World News Today (b04653zz)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


WED 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00xy9vl)
Series 2

Langley Mill to Melton Mowbray

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook. He travels the length and breadth of the country to see how the railways changed us, and what of Bradshaw's Britain remains, as his journey follows some of the earliest railways in the country from Newcastle to Melton Mowbray.

Michael learns the secrets of stilton cheese, finds out how trains transformed the traditional British sport of fox hunting and attempts to make an authentic Melton Mowbray pork pie.


WED 20:00 Medieval Lives: Birth, Marriage, Death (b03f4l0j)
A Good Death

Most of the time we try not to think about death, but the people of the Middle Ages didn't have that luxury. Death was always close at hand, for young and old, rich and poor - even before the horrors of the Black Death, which killed millions in a few short months.

However, for the people of the Middle Ages death wasn't an end but a doorway to everlasting life. The Church taught that an eternity spent in heaven or hell was much more important than this life's fleeting achievements and there was much you could do to prepare for the next life in this one.

As historian Helen Castor reveals, how to be remembered - and remembering your loved ones - shaped not only the worship of the people of the Middle Ages but the very buildings and funding of the medieval Church itself.


WED 21:00 Notes on a Scandal (b00ttbjz)
Self-styled 'old battleaxe' Barbara befriends new fellow teacher, Sheba, but with ulterior motives, and feels betrayed when the younger woman risks marriage and career by having an affair with underage pupil Steven.


WED 22:25 Faster Than the Speed of Light? (b016bys2)
In September 2011, an international group of scientists has made an astonishing claim - they have detected particles that seemed to travel faster than the speed of light. It was a claim that contradicted more than a hundred years of scientific orthodoxy. Suddenly there was talk of all kinds of bizarre concepts, from time travel to parallel universes.

So what is going on? Has Einstein's famous theory of relativity finally met its match? Will we one day be able to travel into the past or even into another universe?

In this film, Professor Marcus du Sautoy explores one of the most dramatic scientific announcements for a generation. In clear, simple language he tells the story of the science we thought we knew, how it is being challenged, and why it matters.


WED 23:25 Norman Wisdom: His Story (b00vhmqq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Sunday]


WED 00:25 Parks and Recreation (b01s8p7l)
Series 2

Tom's Divorce

Ron assigns Leslie to the DMV for a day and ends up seeing Tom and Wendy at divorce court. To cheer up him up, Leslie rounds up everyone in the department and has them take him out for a night on the town.


WED 00:50 Parks and Recreation (b01s8p7n)
Series 2

Christmas Scandal

Leslie gets to design the Pawnee Winter Wonderland Festival, but is forced to keep it hidden from the press when she finds herself in the middle of a sex scandal. Ron covers for Leslie for a day and finds out how much work she actually does.


WED 01:10 Decisive Weapons (b0077gm0)
Series 1

The Bayonet - Cold Steel

Series chronicling the impact of technology on war focuses on the bayonet, which remained an enduring symbol of British military grit for over 300 years - on home soil, across the Empire and in two world wars. Used by the English against the Scots at Culloden in 1746 with dramatic results, and as recently as the Falklands conflict in 1982, the bayonet has remained a mainstay in the British military arsenal. This bloodiest of weapons is still wielded as part of infantry training and serves as a reminder of the extent to which war boils down to hand-to-hand fighting.


WED 01:40 Medieval Lives: Birth, Marriage, Death (b03f4l0j)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


WED 02:40 Faster Than the Speed of Light? (b016bys2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:25 today]



THURSDAY 12 JUNE 2014

THU 19:00 World News Today (b0465404)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


THU 19:30 The Sky at Night (b046rn8m)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday]


THU 20:00 Clydebuilt: The Ships that Made the Commonwealth (p01n8jf6)
Robert E Lee

The story of the Robert E Lee, one of the most famous Clydebuilt blockade-running paddle steamers. During the American Civil War, Glasgow shipbuilders and captains made a fortune running the supplies of war to the Confederate South and bringing out valuable cotton. To run the blockade of Union warships these paddle steamers had to be fast and their crews fearless. Glasgow provided both but Britain was neutral and these ships shouldn't have been anywhere near someone else's war.


THU 21:00 A History of Britain by Simon Schama (b0074kwx)
Series 1

Beginnings

Simon Schama begins his history of Britain with a visit to the miraculously preserved Stone Age cottages of Skara Brae in Orkney and then moves all the way to the world of Anglo-Saxon England, newly converted to Christinanity, and plagued by Vikings. He describes how a nation was conceived by war, trade, migrations of peoples, religion, and an infatuation with Rome.


THU 22:00 Britain's Whale Hunters: The Untold Story (b046pb27)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]


THU 23:00 Battlefield Britain (b0078rp6)
Hastings

Peter and Dan Snow tell the story of the turbulent events of 1066. Peter gives a blow-by-blow account of how the Saxons led by King Harold were pitted against the Norman army, led by their duke, William. Dan tells the soldiers' stories, faces a cavalry charge head-on and joins the Metropolitan Police Public Order Unit to experience the crush of a shield wall, the Saxons' favoured tactic.


THU 00:00 The Sky at Night (b046rn8m)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday]


THU 00:30 Amber (b03skl1g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Tuesday]


THU 01:20 Britain on Film (b01qbz9f)
Series 1

This Sceptered Isle

In 1959, Britain's biggest cinema company, the Rank Organisation, decided to replace its newsreels with a series of short, quirky, topical documentaries that examined all aspects of life in Britain. For the next ten years, Look at Life chronicled - on high-grade 35mm colour film - the changing face of British society, industry and culture. Britain on Film draws upon the 500 films in this unique archive to offer illuminating and often surprising insights into what became a pivotal decade.

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


THU 01:50 Clydebuilt: The Ships that Made the Commonwealth (p01n8jf6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


THU 02:50 A History of Britain by Simon Schama (b0074kwx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



FRIDAY 13 JUNE 2014

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b0465409)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 Concerto at the BBC Proms (b01k763t)
Mozart Clarinet

Another chance to hear a live performance from the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A major, considered by some to be his finest work, recorded at the BBC Proms in 2006.

Gifted English clarinet soloist Julian Bliss, at the time only 17 years old, performs with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of conductor Jirí Behlohlávek.


FRI 20:00 The Story of a Child Prodigy: I am Not a Rock Star (b046psxj)
Over eight extraordinary years, this award-winning documentary follows the daily life of a twelve-year-old child prodigy as she and her father work towards her goal of becoming an internationally-renowned classical pianist.

Under the watchful eye of her father Pierre, a Juilliard-trained violinist devoted to her flourishing career, Canadian pianist Marika Bournaki grows up and matures before our eyes as she searches for her own identity. Labelled a child prodigy, she is catapulted into a world of concerts, competitions and media attention at a very young age. From backstage tears, adolescent rebellion and burnout to her parents' unexpected divorce and finding her first love, the film reveals a rare and candid look inside the world of classical music - a world that demands an elusive alchemy of sacrifice, talent and serendipity.

Shot in concert halls, hotels and airports around the world - and featuring stunning piano performances - the film amounts to a front row seat in the unfolding of a life and the forming of a personality. As Marika seeks her place and identity in the world, we witness her evolution from child to adult and experience the numerous conflicts she overcomes to finally make it on her own. It's a story that says as much about families, growing up and the complex relationships between parents and their children as it does about the world of classical music.


FRI 21:00 Killing Me Softly: The Roberta Flack Story (b046psxl)
Roberta Flack's Grammy award-winning song The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face was America's biggest selling single of 1972. The following year her gentle, pure voice charmed middle America once again when Killing Me Softly with His Song reached the top of the charts and ran off with another Grammy for single of the year. In the early 70s Roberta Flack was one of the most successful pop stars in the world.

But Flack was no overnight sensation. She didn't have a hit single till she was 35 years of age. Nor was her success a traditional African-American rags-to-riches story. She came from the black middle class that had been born out of the self-contained hub of segregated America. She studied classical music at Howard University, America's top black university, and probably would have pursued a classical career had that door been open to her in 50s America. Instead, she taught music in Washington's public school system for 10 years while she struggled for her break.

In the race conscious times, she also had her detractors. While she was singing duets of black consciousness with soul singer Donnie Hathaway, she was married to her white bass player. Also, they said she sounded too white; the gospel-infused voices of Aretha Franklin and James Brown, which came out of the dominant Baptist church, were what real soul singers sounded like. What those critics didn't understand was that there are many musical traditions within black America and Roberta Flack came from the more restrained Methodist one where they sang hymns rather than gospel.

This is the story of the emergence of different kind of soul singer set against the turbulent backdrop of America's Civil Rights movement. Contributors include: Roberta Flack; Dionne Warwick; Johnny Mathis; Cissy Houston; Imani Perry - Princeton University, professor of African American Studies; Greg Tate - musician and critic; Fredera Hadley - musicologist; and John Akomfrah - filmmaker and critic.


FRI 22:00 Singer-Songwriters at the BBC (b015j8g7)
Series 2

Episode 2

The celebration of the singing songwriting troubadours of the 1960s and 70s continues with a further trawl through the BBC archives for timeless and classic performances.

Tom Paxton starts proceedings with a rare black and white performance of his classic song The Last Thing on My Mind filmed in 1964. Also making an appearance is the 'fifth Beatle', Harry Nilsson, with a performance from his BBC concert in 1972. Other gems from this year include Canadian Gordon Lightfoot, songwriting duo Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan as Stealers Wheel and the most popular acoustic act of the 1970s, the gentle, bespectacled John Denver.

From the Basil Brush Show in 1973, Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance make a surprise appearance. Californian Beach Boy Bruce Johnston offers a sublime version of Disney Girls, and Joan Armatrading injects a bit of brio on the Old Grey Whistle Test. Rounding it all off is six-time Grammy winner Billy Joel.


FRI 23:00 Tubular Bells: The Mike Oldfield Story (b03cw8g0)
In 1973, an album was released that against all odds and expectations went to the top of the UK charts. The fact the album launched a record label that became one of the most recognisable brand names in the world (Virgin), formed the soundtrack to one of the biggest movies of the decade (The Exorcist), became the biggest selling instrumental album of all time, would eventually go on to sell over 16 million copies and was performed almost single-handedly by a 19-year-old makes the story all the more incredible. That album was Tubular Bells, and the young and painfully shy musician was Mike Oldfield.

This documentary features contributions from Sir Richard Branson, Danny Boyle, Mike's family and the original engineers of the Tubular Bells album among others. The spine of the film is an extended interview with Mike himself, where he takes us through the events that led to him writing Tubular Bells - growing up with a mother with severe mental health problems; the refuge he sought in music as a child, with talent that led to him playing in folk clubs aged 12 and signing with his sister's folk group at only 15; his frightening experience of taking LSD at 16; and finally arriving at the Manor Recording Studios as a young session musician where he gave a demo tape to a recording engineer who passed it along to young entrepreneur Richard Branson.

After the album's huge success, Mike retreated to a Hereford hilltop, shunned public life and became a recluse until he took part in a controversial therapy which changed his life.

In 2012 Mike captured the public's imagination once again when he was asked to perform at the London Olympic Opening Ceremony, where Tubular Bells was the soundtrack to 20 minutes of the one-hour ceremony.

Filmed on location at his home recording studio in Nassau, Mike also plays the multiple instruments of Tubular Bells and shows how the groundbreaking piece of music was put together.


FRI 00:00 Weller at the BBC (b01nj61v)
Compilation of performances from the BBC archive spanning 35 years of Paul Weller, from the Jam to the Style Council to his solo career.

From the heady days of mod-punk trio the Jam there's In The City on TOTP, The Eton Rifles on teen pop culture show Something Else and more, up to their final single Beat Surrender.

Jazz-funk-soul collective the Style Council take over with first single Speak Like a Child on Sight & Sound and a storming Walls Come Tumbling Down on the Whistle Test.

Weller's persistently successful solo career is chronicled on Later with Jools Holland - where he's the most frequently featured artist in the show's history - with Sunflower to the Attic (from 2012's Sonik Kicks album), plus an acoustic rendition of the Jam classic That's Entertainment with Noel Gallagher.

Amongst other treats are a rarely-seen performance from the Electric Proms of Etta James's Don't Go to Strangers, where the changingman is joined onstage at the Roundhouse by Amy Winehouse.


FRI 01:00 Killing Me Softly: The Roberta Flack Story (b046psxl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 02:00 Singer-Songwriters at the BBC (b015j8g7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


FRI 03:00 Tubular Bells: The Mike Oldfield Story (b03cw8g0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 today]




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

A History of Britain by Simon Schama 21:00 THU (b0074kwx)

A History of Britain by Simon Schama 02:50 THU (b0074kwx)

Amazon Abyss 19:00 SAT (b00hhf63)

Amazon Abyss 01:40 SAT (b00hhf63)

Amazon Abyss 23:00 MON (b00hhf63)

Amber 22:00 TUE (b03skl1g)

Amber 02:50 TUE (b03skl1g)

Amber 00:30 THU (b03skl1g)

Battlefield Britain 23:00 THU (b0078rp6)

Britain on Film 02:30 MON (b02w63mx)

Britain on Film 01:20 THU (b01qbz9f)

Britain's Whale Hunters: The Untold Story 21:00 MON (b046pb27)

Britain's Whale Hunters: The Untold Story 03:00 MON (b046pb27)

Britain's Whale Hunters: The Untold Story 22:00 THU (b046pb27)

Clydebuilt: The Ships that Made the Commonwealth 20:00 THU (p01n8jf6)

Clydebuilt: The Ships that Made the Commonwealth 01:50 THU (p01n8jf6)

Concerto at the BBC Proms 19:30 FRI (b01k763t)

Decisive Weapons 19:00 SUN (b0077dqn)

Decisive Weapons 02:30 SUN (b0077dqn)

Decisive Weapons 01:10 WED (b0077gm0)

Faster Than the Speed of Light? 22:25 WED (b016bys2)

Faster Than the Speed of Light? 02:40 WED (b016bys2)

Fossil Wonderlands: Nature's Hidden Treasures 22:50 TUE (b03xsfrq)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 MON (b00xxr3w)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 TUE (b00xxr4n)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 WED (b00xy9vl)

How the Wild West Was Won with Ray Mears 22:00 MON (b045nz9q)

Jigs and Wigs: The Extreme World of Irish Dancing 20:00 MON (b03xq4b2)

Killing Me Softly: The Roberta Flack Story 21:00 FRI (b046psxl)

Killing Me Softly: The Roberta Flack Story 01:00 FRI (b046psxl)

Medieval Lives: Birth, Marriage, Death 20:00 WED (b03f4l0j)

Medieval Lives: Birth, Marriage, Death 01:40 WED (b03f4l0j)

Nigel Slater's Great British Biscuit 20:00 TUE (b03lyy33)

Nigel Slater's Great British Biscuit 00:50 TUE (b03lyy33)

Norman Wisdom: His Story 21:00 SUN (b00vhmqq)

Norman Wisdom: His Story 01:30 SUN (b00vhmqq)

Norman Wisdom: His Story 23:25 WED (b00vhmqq)

Notes on a Scandal 21:00 WED (b00ttbjz)

Only Connect 20:30 MON (b0465705)

Only Connect 01:00 MON (b0465705)

Parks and Recreation 00:25 WED (b01s8p7l)

Parks and Recreation 00:50 WED (b01s8p7n)

Rome's Lost Empire 22:25 SAT (b01pc063)

Singer-Songwriters at the BBC 00:30 SUN (b015f5c8)

Singer-Songwriters at the BBC 22:00 FRI (b015j8g7)

Singer-Songwriters at the BBC 02:00 FRI (b015j8g7)

The Genius of David Bowie 00:40 SAT (b01k0y0q)

The Horizon Guide to Mars 22:30 SUN (b00p1crx)

The Horizon Guide to Mars 23:50 TUE (b00p1crx)

The Other Pompeii: Life and Death in Herculaneum 21:00 TUE (b01rrld8)

The Other Pompeii: Life and Death in Herculaneum 01:50 TUE (b01rrld8)

The Perfect Suit 01:30 MON (b012cnww)

The Science of D-Day 19:30 SUN (b045gr8m)

The Science of D-Day 03:00 SUN (b045gr8m)

The Sky at Night 22:00 SUN (b046rn8m)

The Sky at Night 19:30 THU (b046rn8m)

The Sky at Night 00:00 THU (b046rn8m)

The Story of Science: Power, Proof and Passion 20:00 SAT (b00sbt8d)

The Story of Science: Power, Proof and Passion 02:40 SAT (b00sbt8d)

The Story of Science: Power, Proof and Passion 00:00 MON (b00sbt8d)

The Story of a Child Prodigy: I am Not a Rock Star 20:00 FRI (b046psxj)

Top of the Pops 23:55 SAT (b045nz9n)

Tubular Bells: The Mike Oldfield Story 23:00 FRI (b03cw8g0)

Tubular Bells: The Mike Oldfield Story 03:00 FRI (b03cw8g0)

Wallander 21:00 SAT (b03nny70)

We Fought on D-Day 20:00 SUN (b007cw2f)

Weller at the BBC 00:00 FRI (b01nj61v)

Wild 20:50 SUN (b0078z0j)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b04653zn)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b04653zt)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b04653zz)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b0465404)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b0465409)

You've Got a Friend: The Carole King Story 23:30 SUN (b0461chb)