Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 26 JULY 2014

SAT 19:00 Human Planet (b00rrd81)
Oceans - Into the Blue

As an air-breathing animal, the human is not built to survive in water. But people have found ways to live an almost aquatic life so they can exploit the sea's riches. From a 'shark-whisperer' in the Pacific to Brazilian fishermen collaborating with dolphins to catch mullet, this journey into the blue reveals astonishing tales of ingenuity and bravery.

Daredevil Galician barnacle-collectors defy death on the rocks for a catch worth £200 per kilo. In Indonesia an epic whale-hunt, using traditional handmade boats and harpoons, brings in a sperm whale. The Bajau 'sea Gypsies' of the Sulu Sea spend so much time on water they get 'land sick' when they set foot on the land!

We dive 40 metres down to the dangerous world of the Pa-aling fishermen, where dozens of young men, breathing air through a tangled web of pipes attached to a diesel engine, capture thousands of fish in a vast net. We see how surfing has its origins in the ancient beliefs of the ocean-loving Polynesians, and we join a Borneo free-diving spear-fisherman on a breath-taking journey 20 metres down in search of supper.


SAT 20:00 Treasures of Ancient Egypt (p01mv1cv)
The Golden Age

On a journey through Ancient Egyptian art, Alastair Sooke picks treasures from its most opulent and glittering moment. Starting with troubling psychological portraits of tyrant king Senwosret III and ending with the golden mask of boy king Tutankhamun, Sooke also explores architectural wonders, exquisite tombs and a lost city - site of the greatest artistic revolution in Egypt's history where a new sinuous style was born under King Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti. Along the way Egyptologists and artists reveal that the golden veneer conceals a touching humanity.


SAT 21:00 Inspector Montalbano (b00g31qt)
Excursion to Tindari

A young Don Juan is found murdered in front of his apartment building and an elderly couple are reported missing after an excursion to the ancient site of Tindari. Inspector Montalbano tries to solve these two seemingly unrelated cases amid the daily complications of life at Vigata police station. But when he discovers that the couple and the murdered young man lived in the same building, his investigation stumbles onto Sicily's brutal 'New Mafia' and leads him down a path more twisted and far-reaching than any he has ever been down before.

In Italian with English subtitles.


SAT 22:55 Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (b01j0yyv)
John Edginton's documentary explores the making of Pink Floyd's ninth studio album, Wish You Were Here, which was released in September 1975 and went on to top the album charts both in the UK and the US.

Featuring new interviews with band members Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason alongside contributions from the likes of sleeve designer Storm Thorgerson and photographer Jill Furmanovsky, the film is a forensic study of the making of the follow-up to 1973's Dark Side of the Moon, which was another conceptual piece driven by Roger Waters.

The album wrestles with the legacy of the band's first leader, Syd Barrett, who had dropped out of the band in 1968 and is eulogised in the album's centrepiece, Shine On You Crazy Diamond. Pink Floyd had become one of the biggest bands in the world, but the 60s were over and the band were struggling both to find their purpose and the old camaraderie.


SAT 23:55 Pink Floyd: A Delicate Sound of Thunder (b03fvfcy)
A spectacular concert film from Pink Floyd's A Momentary Lapse of Reason tour. Filmed at New York's Nassau Coliseum in 1989 using 27 cameras, it sees David Gilmour, Rick Wright and Nick Mason on fine form, performing classic after classic including Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Time, Comfortably Numb and Wish You Were Here.


SAT 01:30 Top of the Pops (b04bdvp7)
Weekly pop chart programme presented by David Jensen, with performances from Secret Affair, Dollar, Nick Lowe, the Gibson Brothers, Gary Numan, Johnny Mathis, the Stranglers and Cliff Richard, and a dance sequence by Legs & Co.


SAT 02:10 Commonwealth on Film (b04bdr52)
Free Time

From India to Jamaica, Nigeria to Hong Kong and beyond, over the decades film-makers have captured the rich diversity of the Commonwealth. This edition looks at free time.


SAT 02:40 Treasures of Ancient Egypt (p01mv1cv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



SUNDAY 27 JULY 2014

SUN 19:00 BBC Proms (b04c2zp7)
2014

The Sunday Prom: China Philharmonic Orchestra

History in the making at the opening concert in a series of Sunday nights at the BBC Proms with the first ever visit from the China Philharmonic Orchestra. Founded in 2000, the orchestra has made its mark in a country where the appetite for classical music keeps growing and growing.

Star soloist Alison Balsom joins the orchestra and conductor Long Yu for a new trumpet concerto by Chinese composer Qigang Chen, alongside music by Elgar and Tchaikovsky. There is also a spectacular piano concerto by Liszt performed by rising young virtuoso Haochen Zhang, all culminating in Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. Presented by Katie Derham.


SUN 21:15 A Hundred Million Musicians: China's Classical Challenge (b04c2zp9)
China is the fastest growing nation in history, an economic superpower, but it has cultural ambitions too and nowhere is this clearer than in its embrace of Western classical music.

Huge sums of government money have been poured into concert halls across the country and millions of young musicians, many of whom were inspired by the success of concert pianist Lang Lang, are now competing to help fill them.

But how does a society that traditionally celebrates discipline and conformity adapt to the individualism and artistic freedom demanded by the music of Beethoven?

Contributors include Lang Lang, Daniel Barenboim, conductor of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Chinese musicians from Shanghai's Symphony Orchestra and Conservatory as well as a new generation of aspiring classical musicians.


SUN 21:45 In Darkness (b03c7jjw)
Polish drama telling the true story of Leopold Socha, who risked his own life to save a dozen people from certain death. Initially only interested in his own good, the thief and burglar hides Jewish refugees for 14 months in the sewers of the Nazi-occupied town of Lviv in Poland.

In Polish with English subtitles.


SUN 00:00 Northern Soul: Living for the Weekend (b04bf1lf)
The northern soul phenomenon was the most exciting underground British club movement of the 70s. At its high point, thousands of disenchanted white working class youths across the north of England danced to obscure, mid-60s Motown-inspired sounds until the sun rose. A dynamic culture of fashions, dance moves, vinyl obsession and much more grew up around this - all fuelled by the love of rare black American soul music with an express-train beat.

Through vivid first-hand accounts and rare archive footage, this film charts northern soul's dramatic rise, fall and rebirth. It reveals the scene's roots in the mod culture of the 60s and how key clubs like Manchester's Twisted Wheel and Sheffield's Mojo helped create the prototype that would blossom in the next decade.

By the early 70s a new generation of youngsters in the north were transforming the old ballrooms and dancehalls of their parents' generation into citadels of the northern soul experience, creating a genuine alternative to mainstream British pop culture. This was decades before the internet, when people had to travel great distances to enjoy the music they felt so passionate about.

Set against a rich cultural and social backdrop, the film shows how the euphoria and release that northern soul gave these clubbers provided an escape from the bleak reality of their daily lives during the turbulent 70s. After thriving in almost total isolation from the rest of the UK, northern soul was commercialised and broke nationwide in the second half of the 70s. But just as this happened, the once-healthy rivalry between the clubs in the north fell apart amidst bitter in-fighting over the direction the scene should go.

Today, northern soul is more popular than ever, but it was back in the 70s that one of the most fascinating and unique British club cultures rose to glory. Contributors include key northern soul DJs like Richard Searling, Ian Levine, Colin Curtis and Kev Roberts alongside Lisa Stansfield, Norman Jay, Pete Waterman, Marc Almond, Peter Stringfellow and others.


SUN 01:00 Motown at the BBC (b00hq4qr)
To mark the 50-year anniversary of Motown in 2009, a compilation of some of the iconic record label's greatest names filmed live in the BBC studios. Visitors from Hitsville USA over the years have included Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops and The Jackson 5.


SUN 02:00 New Power Generation: Black Music Legends of the 1980s (b017sw79)
Lionel Richie: Dancing on the Ceiling

Documentary showing how Lionel Richie achieved his dream of becoming 'as big as The Beatles' and how much of what he learnt from his years with The Commodores prepared him for that success. After 15 years of soaring success with the band, Lionel left the group to go solo in what many considered to be a risky move. His first solo album, Lionel Richie, grabbed the world's attention, whilst the follow-up, Can't Slow Down, turned him into a global superstar. But could he maintain sustained popularity without the group he'd known as brothers behind him?

Contributors include: Billboard Magazine editor Adam White, Motown songwriter and producer Gloria Jones, Kenny Rogers, video director Bob Giraldi, songwriter and producer David Foster, general manager at Motown in 1978 Keith Harris, UK soul singer Lemar and Pearly Gates of The Flirtations.


SUN 03:00 New Power Generation: Black Music Legends of the 1980s (b0177bjb)
Prince: A Purple Reign

Film which explores how Prince - showman, artist, enigma - revolutionised the perception of black music in the 1980s with worldwide hits such as 1999, Kiss, Raspberry Beret and Alphabet Street. He became a global sensation with the release of the Oscar-winning, semi-autobiographical movie Purple Rain in 1984, embarking on an incredible journey of musical self-discovery that continued right up to his passing in April 2016, aged 57.

From the psychedelic Around the World in a Day to his masterpiece album Sign O' the Times and experiments with hip-hop and jazz, Prince was one of most ambitious and prolific songwriters of his generation. He tested the boundaries of taste and decency with explicit sexual lyrics and stage shows during his early career, and in the 1990s fought for ownership of his name and control of his music, played out in a public battle with his former label, Warner. Highly regarded as one of the most flamboyant live performers ever, Prince was a controversial and famously elusive creative force.

Contributors include Revolution guitarist Dez Dickerson, Paisley Park label president Alan Leeds, hip-hop legend Chuck D and Prince 'Mastermind' and UK soul star Beverley Knight.



MONDAY 28 JULY 2014

MON 19:00 World News Today (b04c0fl8)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


MON 19:30 Pagans and Pilgrims: Britain's Holiest Places (b01rsl66)
Caves

Presenter and Welsh poet Ifor ap Glyn explores the wealth of Britain's extraordinary holy places on a pilgrimage that spans almost 2,000 years of history. Travelling across the breadth of the UK, Ifor uncovers the stories and rich history behind many of our most famous sites, explaining the myths and legends of some of Britain's most sacred places.

Ifor sets out to understand what happens when our religious urges drive us underground. His first stop is Lud's Church in Derbyshire, one of the most dramatic and eerie holy places in the land, once described as 'the place for the Devil to say matins'.

Ifor then heads back 14,000 years to find evidence of perhaps the oldest holy place in Britain. He follows the path of St Cuthbert's body as it was shifted between caves in the north of England to escape the attentions of Viking raiders and visits the cave of St Govan where a hermit was miraculously enveloped in rock to evade local gangs of wreckers.

He meets a nun in Norwich who tells him about a young woman who was bricked up alive for over 40 years in an act of almost unbelievable devotion and finally heads to a crypt of Ripon Cathedral to discover one of the most dramatic pieces of religious theatre in Britain.


MON 20:00 Wild Weather (b0074c97)
Cold

From the North Pole, Donal MacIntyre takes a journey south with winter as it brings death and destruction into our world. He is buried alive, frozen solid and plunged into the lethal white heart of winter. After a refreshing dip under the ice in the frozen Arctic he beds down alone in a snowhole in the remotest part of Greenland, and is tested to the limit in a freezer to see how much cold his body can take.

Donal meets those that have survived the deadliest winter weather, from avalanches to ice storms, and visits Mount Washington, known as the home of the world's worst weather. He discovers why more people die of cold in London than any other city in Europe, before climbing cold's most incredible monument, a glacier.


MON 21:00 Timeshift (b04c36md)
Series 14

Killer Storms and Cruel Winters - The History of Extreme Weather

If you think Britain has recently been on the end of some of the worst floods and storms ever experienced, think again. So says solar scientist Dr Lucie Green, as she takes a journey back through our most turbulent and dramatic weather history.

She finds an 18th-century storm surge that killed over a thousand people working in open Somerset fields, a hurricane that drowned a fifth of the British Navy and winters so bitter that the country came close to total shutdown. But she also explores how our reactions to killer storms and cruel winters helped forge a weather science that today allows us to predict - and protect ourselves from - the worst extremes.


MON 22:00 Could We Survive a Mega-Tsunami? (b01s0zqv)
Starting off a kilometre high, travelling at the speed of a jet aircraft, and heading for us. It doesn't make for a good outcome. Hollywood-style graphics and real-life archive bring home an imagined near-future scenario, all based on cutting-edge science.


MON 23:00 Edge of Darkness (p00v5gw9)
Northmoor

Craven and Jedburgh follow the fateful route of the original GAIA expedition, led by Emma Craven, into Northmoor, the secret nuclear facility. But somebody knows what they are up to, and, as Emma and the GAIA team found out, drastic deterrents await unwanted visitors to prevent them reaching the Hot Cell.


MON 23:50 Treasures of Ancient Egypt (p01mv1cv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Saturday]


MON 00:50 Timeshift (b03p7jh9)
Series 13

Hurricanes and Heatwaves: The Highs and Lows of British Weather

A glorious national obsession is explored in this archive-rich look at the evolution of the weather forecast from print via radio to TV and beyond - and at the changing weather itself. It shows how the Met Office and the BBC have always used the latest technology to bring the holy grail of accurate forecasting that much closer - even if the odd messenger like TV weatherman Michael Fish has been shot along the way.

Yet as hand-drawn maps have been replaced by weather apps, the bigger drama of global warming has been playing itself out as if to prove that we were right all along to obsess about the weather. Featuring a very special rendition of the shipping forecast by a Cornish fishermen's choir.


MON 01:50 Wild Weather (b0074c97)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


MON 02:50 Timeshift (b04c36md)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



TUESDAY 29 JULY 2014

TUE 19:00 World News Today (b04c0flf)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


TUE 19:30 A Garden in Snowdonia (b00kn777)
Bodnant Rising

The story of a year in the life of Bodnant Garden in north Wales. With visitor numbers in decline, those who live and work at the National Trust property are on a mission to transform this spectacular garden. Head gardener Troy Scott Smith and his manager Michael McLaren are spending two million pounds on a revamp, with the aim of creating one of the top ten gardens in the world.


TUE 20:00 Timeshift (b03fv7sl)
Series 13

Full Throttle: The Glory Days of British Motorbikes

Timeshift returns with an exploration of the British love of fast, daring and sometimes reckless motorbike riding during a period when home-grown machines were the envy of the world. From TE Lawrence in the 1920 to the 'ton-up boys' and rockers of the 1950s, motorbikes represented unparalleled style and excitement, as British riders indulged their passion for brands like Brough Superior, Norton and Triumph.

But it wasn't all thrills and spills - the motorbike played a key role during World War II and it was army surplus bikes that introduced many to the joy and freedom of motorcycling in the 50s, a period now regarded as a golden age. With its obsession with speed and the rocker lifestyle, it attracted more than its fair share of social disapproval and conflict.

Narrated by John Hannah.


TUE 21:00 Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years War (b01qsqd2)
Breaking the Bonds 1360-1415

England, wracked by plague and revolt, loses the upper hand until Henry V, determined to prove his right to be king, turns the tide at the battle of Agincourt.


TUE 22:00 Timewatch (b00785y5)
2008-2009

The Real Bonnie and Clyde

Hollywood portrayed them as the most glamorous outlaws in American history, but the reality of life on the run for Bonnie and Clyde was one of violence, hardship and danger.

With unprecedented access to gang members' memoirs, family archives and recently released police records, Timewatch takes an epic road trip through the heart of Depression-era America, in search of the true story of Bonnie and Clyde.


TUE 23:00 Human Planet (b00rrd81)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Saturday]


TUE 00:00 A History of Britain by Simon Schama (b0074l34)
Series 1

The Body of the Queen

Queen Elizabeth I was one of the country's most intelligent monarchs, ruling a Protestant rogue state in a Catholic world. But it was her long, tangled relationship with her cousin Mary Queen of Scots that would test her the most.

Elizabeth never married. Mary married twice but it ruined her. A magnet for conspiracy and intrigue, Mary tormented Elizabeth until finally executed for treason. But it was Mary not Elizabeth who gave birth to an heir. Simon Schama asks if it was the politican Elizabeth, or the mother Mary, who won in the end.


TUE 01:00 Timeshift (b03fv7sl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


TUE 02:00 Timewatch (b00785y5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


TUE 02:55 Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years War (b01qsqd2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 30 JULY 2014

WED 19:00 World News Today (b04c0fll)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


WED 19:30 A Garden in Snowdonia (b00kt718)
Bodnant Blooming

A year in the life of the spectacular Bodnant Garden in north Wales. Head Gardener Troy Scott Smith and his team give Bodnant a facelift. Supervisor Adam Salvin brings a beautiful Italianate terrace back to its former glory, Dave Larter shares his passion for giant lilies and the world famous Laburnum Arch is in full bloom.


WED 20:00 Indian Hill Railways (b00r5wk7)
The Kalka-Shimla Railway

From the Himalayas in the north to the Nilgiris in the south - for a hundred years these little trains have climbed through the clouds and into the wonderful world of Indian hill railways.

Shimla was once the summer capital of the Raj. They built churches, schools, a town hall and the railway and left behind their symbols of empire and an ethos of duty, loyalty and ambition - but they also left a divided subcontinent.

Characters featured include Maqsood, a refugee and a porter from Kashmir, and John Whitmarsh-Knight, a teacher looking for a home. Sanjay the stationmaster is hoping for promotion, and his boss Bataljit is waiting for a transfer, but everybody is waiting for the snow.


WED 21:00 Art of China (b04c3cmw)
Episode 1

Andrew Graham-Dixon pieces together the spectacular recent discoveries of ancient art that are redefining China's understanding of its origins. He comes face to face with an extraordinary collection of sophisticated alien-like bronze masks created nearly four millennia ago and travels to the Yellow River to explore the tomb of a warrior empress where he discovers the origins of calligraphy.

Always seeking to understand art in its historical context, Andrew visits the tomb of the first emperor and comes face to face with the Terracotta Army. He ends his journey in western China, looking at the impact of the arrival of Buddhism from India on the wondrous paintings and sculptures of the Dunhuang caves.


WED 22:00 Wild China (b00bf5b0)
Heart of the Dragon

The fairy-tale hills of Guilin and the cormorant fishermen of the Li River form the heart of this exploration of the colourful rice-growing cultures and strange creatures of southern China - a land of endless hills, mysterious caverns, spectacular rock pinnacles and traditional cultures with a taste for wildlife.


WED 23:00 Wild Weather (b0074c97)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Monday]


WED 00:00 Madness on Wheels: Rallying's Craziest Years (b01fcncc)
In the 1980s rallying was more popular than Formula 1. 'Group B' machines had taken the world by storm. Deregulation opened the way for the most exciting cars ever to hit the motorsport scene. Nothing like it has ever happened since. 'This is the fastest rallying there has ever been' - Peter Foubister.

For four wild and crazy years manufacturers scrambled to build ever more powerful cars to be driven by fearless mavericks who could handle the extreme power. The sport was heading out of control and the unregulated mayhem ended abruptly in 1986 after a series of horrific tragedies. This is the story of when fans, ambition, politics and cars collided.

'The fans were crazy. As the cars sped by the spectators ran into the road!' - Ari Vatanen. 'They were playing with their lives'.

'To go rallying is madness. This was refined madness' - John Davenport

Featuring world champaions Ari Vatanen, Walter Rohrl, Stig Blomqvist, plus Michel Mouton, Cesar Fiorio, Jean Todt and many many more.

From the producer of Grand Prix: The Killer Years and the Grierson-nominated Deadliest Crash: The 1955 Le Mans Disaster.


WED 01:00 Indian Hill Railways (b00r5wk7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


WED 02:00 Wild China (b00bf5b0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


WED 03:00 Art of China (b04c3cmw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



THURSDAY 31 JULY 2014

THU 19:00 World News Today (b04c0flr)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


THU 19:30 BBC Proms (b04c959x)
2014

BBC Proms Masterworks: Bach's St John Passion

Tom Service explores masterworks from the 2014 BBC Proms, beginning with the epic drama of Bach's St John Passion. Much loved British conductor Sir Roger Norrington conducts the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and Zürcher Sing-Akademie, with tenor James Gilchrist singing the part of the Evangelist.


THU 21:25 Wild (b00jd9yx)
Scotland

Otters, Puffins and Seals

Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan explores his native Mull and some of the nearby islands, filming otters, deer, puffins, seals and a minke whale.


THU 21:45 A History of Britain by Simon Schama (b0074lqp)
Series 2

The British Wars

Simon Schama looks beyond the romantic stories of Cavaliers and Roundheads to the real story of the English Civil War, in which hundreds of thousands died, countless families were torn apart and the nation was divided. Two events unique within British history resulted: the public execution of the monarch, Charles I, and the creation of a republic.


THU 22:45 Timeshift (b04c36md)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]


THU 23:45 Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years War (b01qsqd2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]


THU 00:45 100 Seconds to Beat the World: The David Rudisha Story (b04bdr54)
Documentary telling the story of Kenyan athlete David Rudisha, the greatest 800m runner the world has ever seen, and his highly unusual coach, the Irish Catholic missionary Brother Colm O'Connell.

Shot over ten years, the film begins in 2005 when we first meet David as a shy 16-year-old arriving at a training camp with nothing but a dream of emulating his father's 1968 Olympic silver medal. The camp is run by the unlikeliest of coaches, missionary and amateur athletics trainer Brother Colm, who quickly spots his talent. Together they embark on a journey through injury, disappointment and terror when violence sweeps through the country in the aftermath of the 2008 election, all the way to the 2012 Olympics and the greatest 800m race the world has ever seen.

With unprecedented access and featuring interviews with Seb Coe and Steve Cram, this is an epic, magical and uplifting tale that reaches far beyond sport.


THU 01:45 The Fantastical World of Hormones with Professor John Wass (b03wctdg)
Hormones shape each and every one of us, affecting almost every aspect of our lives - our height, our weight, our appetites, how we grow and reproduce, and even how we behave and feel.

This documentary tells the wonderful and often weird story of how hormones were discovered.

Presenter John Wass, one the country's leading experts on hormones, relates some amazing stories - how as recently as the 19th century boys were castrated to keep their pure soprano voice, how juices were extracted from testicles in the hope they would rejuvenate old men and how true medical heroes like Frederick Banting discovered a way to make insulin, thus saving the lives of countless diabetes sufferers.

And hormones remain at the cutting edge of medicine as we try and deal with modern scourges like obesity.


THU 02:45 A History of Britain by Simon Schama (b0074lqp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:45 today]



FRIDAY 01 AUGUST 2014

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b04c0flx)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 BBC Proms (b04c98l1)
2014

Friday Night at the Proms: Mozart's A Major Piano Concerto

Samira Ahmed and pianist Nicholas McCarthy present a concert of contrasts, with Mozart's intimate and elegant Piano Concerto no 23 paired with Ravel's sumptuously orchestrated ballet Daphnis and Chloe, originally commissioned by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. The soloist is Argentinian Ingrid Fliter and the BBC Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Spaniard Josep Pons.


FRI 21:10 Elvis: That's Alright Mama 60 Years On (b04c3l7g)
Actor and musician Sam Palladio hosts a musical tribute to Elvis Presley, 60 years to the day from when he recorded his first single, That's All Right, at Sun Studio in Memphis on 5 July 1954. Sam traces Elvis's story from childhood poverty in Mississippi, where he had to make do with a broom for a guitar, to the moment when, by accident, he ended up recording the song that changed the history of popular music. There are performances of the finest Elvis tracks from the likes of soul legend Candi Staton, LA duo The Pierces and country star Laura Bell Bundy.


FRI 22:10 Kings of Rock and Roll (b007c95q)
A journey back to the 1950s for a look at the wildest pop music of all time in a film that tells the stories of Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly, giants from an era when pop music really was mad, bad and dangerous to know.

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

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

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


FRI 23:15 50s Britannia (b01sgbw2)
Rock 'n' Roll Britannia

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

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

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


FRI 00:15 Elvis: That's Alright Mama 60 Years On (b04c3l7g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:10 today]


FRI 01:15 Kings of Rock and Roll (b007c95q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:10 today]


FRI 02:15 50s Britannia (b01sgbw2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:15 today]




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

100 Seconds to Beat the World: The David Rudisha Story 00:45 THU (b04bdr54)

50s Britannia 23:15 FRI (b01sgbw2)

50s Britannia 02:15 FRI (b01sgbw2)

A Garden in Snowdonia 19:30 TUE (b00kn777)

A Garden in Snowdonia 19:30 WED (b00kt718)

A History of Britain by Simon Schama 00:00 TUE (b0074l34)

A History of Britain by Simon Schama 21:45 THU (b0074lqp)

A History of Britain by Simon Schama 02:45 THU (b0074lqp)

A Hundred Million Musicians: China's Classical Challenge 21:15 SUN (b04c2zp9)

Art of China 21:00 WED (b04c3cmw)

Art of China 03:00 WED (b04c3cmw)

BBC Proms 19:00 SUN (b04c2zp7)

BBC Proms 19:30 THU (b04c959x)

BBC Proms 19:30 FRI (b04c98l1)

Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years War 21:00 TUE (b01qsqd2)

Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years War 02:55 TUE (b01qsqd2)

Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years War 23:45 THU (b01qsqd2)

Commonwealth on Film 02:10 SAT (b04bdr52)

Could We Survive a Mega-Tsunami? 22:00 MON (b01s0zqv)

Edge of Darkness 23:00 MON (p00v5gw9)

Elvis: That's Alright Mama 60 Years On 21:10 FRI (b04c3l7g)

Elvis: That's Alright Mama 60 Years On 00:15 FRI (b04c3l7g)

Human Planet 19:00 SAT (b00rrd81)

Human Planet 23:00 TUE (b00rrd81)

In Darkness 21:45 SUN (b03c7jjw)

Indian Hill Railways 20:00 WED (b00r5wk7)

Indian Hill Railways 01:00 WED (b00r5wk7)

Inspector Montalbano 21:00 SAT (b00g31qt)

Kings of Rock and Roll 22:10 FRI (b007c95q)

Kings of Rock and Roll 01:15 FRI (b007c95q)

Madness on Wheels: Rallying's Craziest Years 00:00 WED (b01fcncc)

Motown at the BBC 01:00 SUN (b00hq4qr)

New Power Generation: Black Music Legends of the 1980s 02:00 SUN (b017sw79)

New Power Generation: Black Music Legends of the 1980s 03:00 SUN (b0177bjb)

Northern Soul: Living for the Weekend 00:00 SUN (b04bf1lf)

Pagans and Pilgrims: Britain's Holiest Places 19:30 MON (b01rsl66)

Pink Floyd: A Delicate Sound of Thunder 23:55 SAT (b03fvfcy)

Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here 22:55 SAT (b01j0yyv)

The Fantastical World of Hormones with Professor John Wass 01:45 THU (b03wctdg)

Timeshift 21:00 MON (b04c36md)

Timeshift 00:50 MON (b03p7jh9)

Timeshift 02:50 MON (b04c36md)

Timeshift 20:00 TUE (b03fv7sl)

Timeshift 01:00 TUE (b03fv7sl)

Timeshift 22:45 THU (b04c36md)

Timewatch 22:00 TUE (b00785y5)

Timewatch 02:00 TUE (b00785y5)

Top of the Pops 01:30 SAT (b04bdvp7)

Treasures of Ancient Egypt 20:00 SAT (p01mv1cv)

Treasures of Ancient Egypt 02:40 SAT (p01mv1cv)

Treasures of Ancient Egypt 23:50 MON (p01mv1cv)

Wild China 22:00 WED (b00bf5b0)

Wild China 02:00 WED (b00bf5b0)

Wild Weather 20:00 MON (b0074c97)

Wild Weather 01:50 MON (b0074c97)

Wild Weather 23:00 WED (b0074c97)

Wild 21:25 THU (b00jd9yx)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b04c0fl8)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b04c0flf)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b04c0fll)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b04c0flr)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b04c0flx)