Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 08 NOVEMBER 2014

SAT 19:00 Swarm: Nature's Incredible Invasions (b00gkrm2)
When Worlds Collide

This two-part documentary reveals the awe-inspiring world of animal swarms, discovering what happens when superswarms invade people's lives and, using the latest camera techniques, going to the heart of the swarm to reveal how the creatures therein view our world.

Real-life footage from camcorders and mobile phones captures the amazing impact they can have. Killer bees mount an attack on an international football match in Costa Rica. In the US, the Illinois River boils with leaping silver carp, an alien species that has hijacked the river, smashing into boats and injuring people.

In South Australia, a sea of mice raids farms, consuming and destroying in their millions on a scale that defies belief. The largest swarm on Earth erupts from Lake Victoria - trillions of flies blanket villages, but the locals have learnt to turn the swarm into a highly nutritious fly burger. In Rome, cameras fly alongside ten million starlings, the largest swarm in Europe. Their mesmeric waves stop many residents in their tracks, but as they roost they smother the city in tons of excrement.

One man has learnt to control the ultimate swarm. He has become their 'queen bee' with startling results, learning to control what most people fear and to understand one of the most incredible forces of nature.


SAT 20:00 Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession (b00s96gn)
Mapping the World

In the last of a three-part series about the extraordinary stories behind maps, Professor Jerry Brotton uncovers how maps are snapshots of a moment in history and offer visions of distant lands, tempting explorers to plunder and conquer.

However, adventurers first had to tackle the great challenge of mapping the globe onto a flat surface. There is no perfect solution, but the father of geography, Claudius Ptolemy, had some clever ideas.

Explorers like Christopher Columbus sailed into the unknown in search of riches and discovered a whole new continent that would become the most powerful on earth, while Amerigo Vespucci gave it his name.

Sir Walter Raleigh's treasure map of El Dorado in South America ultimately lost him his head. But the myth of El Dorado lived on, sending hundreds of men to their death in fruitless attempts to find the golden city.

As navigation became easier, maps enabled nations and enterprises like the Dutch East India Company to plunder far-off territories for spices, natural resources and gold. Even today, a project to map the North Pole is the flashpoint for the so-called 'Cold Rush' - the dash to exploit oil, gas and mineral reserves as the Arctic ice melts.


SAT 21:00 Inspector Montalbano (p00x1ngz)
Turning Point

One of Montalbano's most difficult cases begins during one of his habitual morning swims, when he finds a decomposed body floating in the water. The investigation leads him to uncover the unsavoury realities of international child trafficking. In Italian with English subtitles.


SAT 22:40 Top of the Pops (b04nqrq3)
Mike Read presents another edition of the weekly pop chart with performances by Sparks, the Ramblers, Darts, the Jam, Lene Lovich, Thin Lizzy, Suzi Quatro, BA Robertson, Lena Martell and dance sequences by Legs & Co.


SAT 23:10 Timeshift (b044yw1d)
Series 14

Mods, Rockers and Bank Holiday Mayhem

A trip back to the days when 'style wars' were just that - violent confrontations about the clothes you wore. Spring 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the bank holiday 'battles of the beaches', when hundreds of mods and rockers flocked to seaside resorts on scooters and motorbikes in search of thrills and spills.

Timeshift tells the story of how this led to violence, arrests and widespread concern about the state of British youth. But mods and rockers had more in common than was first obvious - they were the first generation of baby boomers to reach their teenage years at a time when greater prosperity and wider freedoms were transforming what it meant to be young.


SAT 00:10 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.


SAT 01:00 Country at the BBC (b08qgkzv)
Grab your partner by the hand - the BBC have raided their archive and brought to light glittering performances by country artists over the last four decades.

Star appearances include Tammy Wynette, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash and, of course, Dolly Parton. All the greats have performed for the BBC at some point - on entertainment shows, in concert and at the BBC studios. Some of the rhinestones revealed are Charley Pride's Crystal Chandeliers from The Lulu Show, Emmylou Harris singing Together Again on The Old Grey Whistle Test and Glen Campbell's Rhinestone Cowboy from The Val Doonican Music Show.

We're brought up to date with modern country hits from Top of the Pops and Later...with Jools Holland.


SAT 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.


SAT 03:00 Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession (b00s96gn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



SUNDAY 09 NOVEMBER 2014

SUN 19:00 The Great War (b0078hw8)
On the Idle Hill of Summer

In 1964 the BBC broadcast one of its most important and ambitious series ever. The Great War was to be the definitive film account of the world-shattering events of 1914-1918. The Great War draws on over one million feet of original film, hundreds of exclusive veteran interviews and contemporary diaries, letters and reports from the war. It is narrated by Sir Michael Redgrave and features the voices of many other leading actors of the day including Sir Ralph Richardson and Marius Goring.

In 1914, Germany had recently emerged as a major world power, second only to the Americans in industrial might. The French and British, worried by the increase in German militarism, entered into the Entente Cordiale, a mutual defence pact which drew in France's traditional ally Russia. Germany saw itself surrounded and turned to the crumbling Austro-Hungarian Empire for support. As the two deeply suspicious and fearful military alliances faced off against one another across Europe, it would take just two pistol shots to ignite the entire powder keg.


SUN 19:50 The Great War (b0074nxh)
For Such a Stupid Reason, Too

Classic BBC documentary series, first broadcast in 1964, narrated by Sir Michael Redgrave and featuring the voices of Sir Ralph Richardson and Marius Goring.

This episode looks at the breakdown in international diplomacy following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, on 28 June 1914. A deadly sequence of events was to flow forward, ending ultimately in war.


SUN 20:30 Sounds of the 70s 2 (b01kcq0k)
New Wave - Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick

By the end of the 70s the world had changed and so had music. In America, it was all about memorable melodies, great guitar rhythms, a little bit of post-punk angst and looking really cool. In the UK it was about Brit style cheekiness, social commentary, a melody and a hook, a lot of attitude - and looking really cool. This episode goes beyond punk and looks into the dawning of a new decade and the phenomenon of New Wave, including performances from Elvis Costello, the Police, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Squeeze, Blondie, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Cars, Patti Smith and Iggy Pop.


SUN 21:00 Brian Cox: Space, Time & Videotape (b04kzmmk)
Professor Brian Cox is joined by two of his heroes, the actor Brian Blessed and Professor Alice Roberts. On the agenda are his TV idols from both science fiction and science fact, as well as a whole universe of other stuff.


SUN 22:00 Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (b04l61j3)
The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean

Award-winning series from 1980, which inspired a generation of scientists, Brian Cox amongst them.

Astronomer Carl Sagan leads us on an engaging guided tour of the universe, bringing such topics as Einstein's theory of relativity and Darwin's theory of evolution down to a layman's level of understanding. The first episode opens with a description of the cosmos and introduces the iconic 'Spaceship of the Imagination'. What, in 1980, were groundbreaking special effects allow Sagan to seemingly walk through environments that were actually models rather than full-sized sets.

The series is still regarded as a watershed moment for science-themed television programming.


SUN 22:50 The Day after Tomorrow: Into Infinity (b04l61j5)
1975 sci-fi classic, a favourite of Brian Cox.

On a future Earth, pollution and environmental damage, combined with the depletion of the planet's natural resources, results in an increased probability of human extinction. The crew of the lightship Altares are on a mission to discover a new home for mankind but lose control of the craft after it is damaged by a meteor shower.


SUN 23:40 The Day the Universe Changed (b04l6rnk)
Worlds without End: Changing Knowledge, Changing Reality

The final programme in Brian Cox's selection offers another chance to see the last episode in the 1985 classic series The Day the Universe Changed.

Written and presented by James Burke, it reviews the entirety of this classic series, looking at the many theories which have been disproved thanks to the discovery of new knowledge. The programme closes by posing a philosophical question: what is knowledge? Is it only what we make it? Is all discovery merely invention?


SUN 00:30 The Heart of Country: How Nashville Became Music City USA (b04ndxlr)
This historical biography of the city that is the glittering hub of country music reveals the dynamic relationship between commerce and art, music and the market, that has defined Nashville since 1925. It explores the conflicts and demons that have confronted Nashville's artists and music industry down the years, such as the creative pressures of the 'Nashville Sound', the devastating impact of Elvis and then Bob Dylan, the rise and fall of the urban cowboys and the struggle of several Nashville legends to confront their inner demons.

The story unfolds through the testimony of musicians, producers, broadcasters and rare archive of the country legends. These include Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Earle, Kris Kristofferson and several hit-making contemporary stars - Kasey Musgraves, Brad Paisley and Jason Aldean. This cast reveal the unique power of country music to hold up a mirror to its fans and create a music that has - for decades - touched the hearts of the south and of working people. Kristofferson calls it the 'white man's soul music'.

Also featured are extensive musical performances by Nashville's greatest, from Johnny Cash to Loretta Lynn and George Jones to Garth Brooks. Several of Nashville's younger stars describe their ongoing journey from their hometowns in the south to the streets of this city, from the first studio demos and the sawdust of the Broadway bars to the stadiums and promo videos that now define country stardom.


SUN 02:00 Country Queens at the BBC (p028vwnv)
Classic female country stars in action on a variety of BBC studio shows and featuring Bobbie Gentry, Anne Murray, Emmylou Harris, Tammy Wynette, Billie Jo Spears, Crystal Gayle, Taylor Swift, Lucinda Williams with Mary Chapin Carpenter and more. A chronological celebration of country queens at the BBC whether on Top of the Pops, OGWT, Later with Jools Holland, Parkinson or their own entertainment specials.


SUN 03:00 John Denver: Country Boy (b03j4cz2)
Documentary exploring the private life and public legacy of John Denver, America's original country boy. With exclusive accounts from those closest to him, the man behind the music is revealed in an intimate profile in his 70th birthday anniversary year.



MONDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2014

MON 19:00 World News Today (b04nzk9s)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


MON 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00xbmlv)
Series 2

Dereham to Cromer

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook. In a series of five epic journeys, Portillo travels the length and breadth of the country to see how the railways changed us and what of Bradshaw's Britain remains.

On a journey taking him coast to coast from Brighton to Cromer, Michael gets the rare chance to drive a heritage diesel train, finds out why Norfolk black turkeys appeared on the Christmas menu in Bradshaw's day and samples some classic Cromer crab.


MON 20:00 Horizon (b013pnv4)
2011-2012

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.


MON 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.


MON 22:00 Hidden Histories: WW1's Forgotten Photographs (b03xsrvv)
Documentary telling the extraordinary untold story of soldiers' photography in the First World War. The British and German soldiers marched off to war with secret 'vest pocket' cameras, determined to record what they thought would be a great adventure, but few were prepared for the horrors they were about to witness and photograph. Their photos - many never seen before in public - provide a deeply moving document of their lives in the trenches and their rapid loss of innocence.

With no soldier photographer alive to tell the tale, we join their close relatives on emotional journeys of discovery as they go in search of the secrets hidden within their ancestors' photographs.

This is the war viewed from a new and surprising perspective - through the eyes of the men who fought in it.


MON 23:00 Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top 10 (b01nwfxs)
Documentary chronicling our ever-changing love affair with the British singles chart on the occasion of its sixtieth anniversary. From the first NME chart in 1952, via Pick and Top of the Pops to home-taping the Radio One chart show and beyond, we have measured out our lives to a wonderful churn of pop driven, unbeknownst to us, by a clandestine world of music biz hustle. Featuring contributions by 60 years of BBC chart custodians from David Jacobs to Reggie Yates, chart fans Grace Dent and Pete Paphides and music biz veterans Jon Webster and Rob Dickins.


MON 00:30 Ultimate Number Ones (b01nwfxv)
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the UK chart, from the vaults of the BBC archive comes a selection of hits that attained the toppermost of the poppermost prize and made it to number one in the hit parade. From across the decades, we applaud the most coveted of all chart positions with smash hits and classics from The Bee Gees, T. Rex, Donna Summer, John Lennon, Culture Club, The Spice Girls, James Blunt, Rihanna, Adele and many more.


MON 01:30 Detectorists (b04nqrq5)
Series 1

Episode 6

A huge hole has been excavated and police are looking into it. Meanwhile, Larry Bishop's invisible dogs have disappeared without trace, and Andy and Lance now have one last chance to discover their hearts' true desire.


MON 02:00 China in Six Easy Pieces (b036r5cx)
For centuries the west has been enthralled by flamboyant blue-and-white ceramics from China but unaware that all the time the Chinese were making porcelains for themselves that were completely different - subtle monochromes for the Imperial court, beautiful objects for the scholar's table and delicate domestic wares.

Ceramics expert Lars Tharp, Antiques Roadshow resident and presenter of Treasures of Chinese Porcelain, has picked his six favourite pieces representing Chinese taste. He goes on a journey through a thousand years of Chinese history, travelling from the ancient capital of Huangzhou in the south to Beijing's Forbidden City in the north, to uncover what these six pieces tell us about Chinese emperors, scholars, workers, merchants and artists.

To him, they are China in ceramic form. But can they help us to understand China today?


MON 03:00 Speeches that Shook the World (b03f3v3w)
Speech-making is the art of persuasion. Well-honed rhetoric appeals not just to the mind, but to the heart and, deeper down, in the guts. Examining the speeches that provoked radical change, surprised pundits or shocked listeners, poet Simon Armitage dissects what makes a perfect speech.

Simon gets the inside story behind some of the famous speeches of the modern age, talking to Tony Blair's speechwriter, to Earl Spencer on his controversial address at his sister's funeral and the woman who challenged the rioters in Hackney. We hear how Peter Tatchell confronted the BNP, Paul Boateng on how Enoch Powell's divisive speech personally affected him as a child, and Colonel Tim Collins, whose charge was to motivate his troops on the eve of the Iraq war. Simon discusses the nuts and bolts of speech writing with Vincent Franklin, aka the blue-sky thinking guru Stuart Pearson from The Thick of It, and gets tips on powerful delivery from actor Charles Dance.

Looking at both contemporary speeches and the classics - Churchill, Martin Luther King, Emmeline Pankhurst - Simon explores whether it is carefully wrought rhetoric, a well-argued stance or a bombastic delivery that wins over an audience.



TUESDAY 11 NOVEMBER 2014

TUE 19:00 World News Today (b04nzkb1)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


TUE 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00xhxrv)
Series 2

Ledbury to Shrewsbury

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook. Portillo travels the length and breadth of the country to see how the railways changed us and what remains of Bradshaw's Britain, as he follows the route of the Irish mail from Ledbury to Holyhead.

Michael tastes the Victorian drink perry, a kind of pear cider, gets up close and personal with a pedigree Hereford bull and visits the grandfather of all skyscrapers, the world's first iron-framed building in Shrewsbury.


TUE 20:00 Great British Railway Journeys (b00xhxxf)
Series 2

Telford to Wrexham

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook. Portillo travels the length and breadth of the country to see how the railways changed us, and what remains of Bradshaw's Britain, as his journey follows the route of the Irish Mail from Ledbury to Holyhead.

Michael visits the world's first iron bridge at Coalbrookdale, explores the historic Chirk Castle and has a go at making traditional Cheshire cheese.


TUE 20:30 National Treasures of Wales (b04nz0mn)
Series 1

Plas Newydd

Griff Rhys Jones discovers how the National Trust, which was started in Wales, deals with the complexities and conflicts involved in looking after some of Wales's best-loved national treasures.

In this programme, he visits Plas Newydd on the island of Anglesey in north west Wales, which the Trust acquired in the 1970s. Once it was the family home of the Marquis of Anglesey, and now property manager Nerys Jones has to think of new ways to attract visitors to this remote location.

Griff investigates how this great stately home is run - and how it survives in these financially straitened times.


TUE 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.


TUE 22:20 The Life and Loves of a She-Devil (b04p2vnp)
Episode 4

Mary Fisher's life is in ruins - she has lost almost everything and in despair turns to her priest for comfort. But how can she hope to win against the She-Devil, whose triumph seems inevitable?


TUE 23:20 Rosslyn Chapel: A Treasure in Stone (b00v3y5s)
The exquisite Rosslyn Chapel is a masterpiece in stone. It used to be one of Scotland's best-kept secrets, but it became world-famous when it was featured in Dan Brown's the Da Vinci Code.

Art historian Helen Rosslyn, whose husband's ancestor built the chapel over 550 years ago, is the guide on a journey of discovery around this perfect gem of a building. Extraordinary carvings of green men, inverted angels and mysterious masonic marks beg the questions of where these images come from and who the stonemasons that created them were. Helen's search leads her across Scotland and to Normandy in search of the creators of this medieval masterpiece.


TUE 00:20 Tom Jones at the BBC (b00vz5ml)
An archive celebration of Tom Jones's performances at the BBC from the start of his pop career in the mid-60s to Later...with Jools Holland in 2010 and all points in between, including Top of the Pops and The Dusty Springfield Show. A chronological celebration of Sir Tom through the years that is also a history of music TV at the BBC over most of the past 50 years.


TUE 01:20 imagine... (b00t15v1)
Summer 2010

Tom Jones - What Good Am I?

As he prepares to celebrate his 70th birthday, singing legend Sir Tom Jones is still recording, performing and collaborating with some of the biggest names in pop. In this episode of Imagine, Alan Yentob examines the extraordinary story of one of Britain's most recognisable pop icons.

In a frank and revealing interview, Sir Tom describes the dizzying ascent from his humble beginnings as a miner's son in south Wales to becoming a headline act in Las Vegas and recalls many of his most cherished moments from a career that enabled him to sing alongside Elvis, establish himself as a hairy-chested sex symbol and make one of the most successful comebacks in pop history.


TUE 02:20 National Treasures of Wales (b04nz0mn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


TUE 02:50 Colouring Light: Brian Clarke - An Artist Apart (b0162yc0)
Brian Clarke is one of Britain's hidden treasures. A painter of striking large canvases and the designer of some of the most exciting stained glass in the world today, he is better known abroad - especially in Germany and Switzerland - than in his own country and more widely recognised among critics, collectors and gallery owners than he is by the general public.

In this visually striking documentary portrait made by award-winning film-maker Mark Kidel, Clarke returns to Lancashire where he grew up as a prodigy in a working class family and charts his meteoric rise during the punk years and eventual success as a stained glass artist working with some of the world's great architects, including Norman Foster and Arata Isozaki - and producing spectacular work in Japan, Brazil, the USA and Europe.

Contributors include his close friend and architect Zaha Hadid, architect Peter Cook and art historian Martin Harrison.



WEDNESDAY 12 NOVEMBER 2014

WED 19:00 World News Today (b04nzkb6)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


WED 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00xhxys)
Series 2

Chester to Conwy

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook. Portillo travels the length and breadth of the country to see how the railways changed us, and what remains of Bradshaw's Britain, as his journey follows the route of the Irish Mail from Ledbury to Holyhead.

Michael takes a tour of Chester's Roman remains and discovers a secret World War II chemical weapons plant at Rhydmwyn. After spending the night in Llandudno, he goes mussel fishing on the beautiful Conwy estuary.


WED 20:00 Natural World (b00tj7j4)
2010-2011

The Himalayas

Documentary looking at the wildlife of the most stunning mountain range in the world, home to snow leopards, Himalayan wolves and Tibetan bears.

Snow leopards stalk their prey among the highest peaks. Concealed by snowfall, the chase is watched by golden eagles circling above. On the harsh plains of the Tibetan plateau live extraordinary bears and square-faced foxes hunting small rodents to survive. In the alpine forests, dancing pheasants have even influenced rival border guards in their ritualistic displays. Valleys carved by glacial waters lead to hillsides covered by paddy fields containing the lifeline to the east, rice. In this world of extremes, the Himalayas reveal not only snow-capped mountains and fascinating animals but also a vital lifeline for humanity.


WED 21:00 Miss Potter (b00cyjjj)
Biopic of one of the literary phenomena of the 20th century.

London, 1902. At a time when most young women of her class only aspired to a good marriage, Beatrix Potter became an iconic figure. She created a series of children's books and characters that are still admired today and have never been out of print. She swam against the mores of her day and found true love.


WED 22:30 Treasures of the Anglo Saxons (b00t6xzx)
Art historian Dr Nina Ramirez reveals the codes and messages hidden in Anglo-Saxon art. From the beautiful jewellery that adorned the first violent pagan invaders through to the stunning Christian manuscripts they would become famous for, she explores the beliefs and ideas that shaped Anglo-Saxon art.

Examining many of the greatest Anglo Saxon treasures - such as the Sutton Hoo Treasures, the Staffordshire Hoard, the Franks Casket and the Lindisfarne Gospels - Dr Ramirez charts 600 years of artistic development which was stopped dead in its tracks by the Norman Conquest.


WED 23:30 The Joy of Easy Listening (b011g614)
In-depth documentary investigation into the story of a popular music genre that is often said to be made to be heard but not listened to. The film looks at easy listening's architects and practitioners, its dangers and delights, and the mark it has left on modern life.

From its emergence in the 50s to its heyday in the 60s, through its survival in the 70s and 80s and its revival in the 90s and beyond, the film traces the hidden history of a music that has reflected society every bit as much as pop and rock - just in a more relaxed way.

Invented at the dawn of rock 'n' roll, easy listening has shadowed pop music and the emerging teenage market since the mid-50s. It is a genre that equally soundtracks our modern age, but perhaps for a rather more 'mature' generation and therefore with its own distinct purpose and aesthetic.

Contributors include Richard Carpenter, Herb Alpert, Richard Clayderman, Engelbert Humperdinck, Jimmy Webb, Mike Flowers, James Last and others.


WED 01:00 Easy Listening Hits at the BBC (b011g943)
Compilation of easy listening tracks that offers the perfect soundtrack for your cocktail party. There's music to please every lounge lizard, with unique performances from the greatest easy listening artists of the 60s and 70s, including Burt Bacharach, Andy Williams, Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66, The Carpenters and many more.


WED 02:00 Elvis Costello: Mystery Dance (b03gq719)
Elvis Costello is one of the uncontested geniuses of the rock world. 33 albums and dozens of hit songs have established him as one of the most versatile and intelligent songwriters and performers of his generation. This film provides a definitive account of one of Britain's greatest living songwriters - the first portrait of its kind - directed by Mark Kidel, who was won numerous awards for his music documentaries, including portraits of Rod Stewart, Boy George, Tricky, Alfred Brendel, Ravi Shankar, John Adams and Robert Wyatt.

Elvis is a master of melody, but what distinguishes him above all is an almost uncanny way with words, from the playful use of the well-worn cliche to daring poetic associations, whether he is writing about the sorrow of love or the burning fire of desire, the power play of the bedroom or the world of politics.

The film tells the story of Elvis Costello - a childhood under the influence of his father Ross McManus, the singer with Joe Loss's popular dance band; a Catholic education which has clearly marked him deeply; his overnight success with The Attractions and subsequent disenchantment with the formatted pressures of the music business; a disillusionment which led him to reinvent himself a number of times; and writing and recording songs in various styles, including country, jazz, soul and classical.

The film focuses in particular on his collaborations with Paul McCartney and Allen Toussaint, who both contribute. It also features exclusive access to unreleased demos of songs written by McCartney and Costello. Elvis was interviewed in Liverpool, London and New York, revisiting the places in which he grew up. The main interview, shot over two days at the famed Avatar Studios in NYC, is characterised by unusual intimacy. Elvis talks for the first time at great length about his career, songwriting and music, and often breaks into song with relevant examples from his repertoire.


WED 03:00 Treasures of the Anglo Saxons (b00t6xzx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]



THURSDAY 13 NOVEMBER 2014

THU 19:00 World News Today (b04nzkbc)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


THU 19:30 Sounds of the 70s 2 (b01kcq0k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 on Sunday]


THU 20:00 Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years War (p00yjy5r)
Trouble in the Family: 1337-1360

Dr Janina Ramirez explores the fallout of the longest and bloodiest divorce in history, when little England dared to take on the superpower France.

Edward III rips up the medieval rule book and crushes the flower of French knighthood at the Battle of Crecy with his low-born archers. His son, the Black Prince, conducts a campaign of terror, helping to bring France to her knees.


THU 21:00 Queen Victoria's Letters: A Monarch Unveiled (b04p1vx1)
Episode 1

Examining the first half of Queen Victoria's life, biographer AN Wilson goes in search of a monarch too often misunderstood as the solid black-clad matron and reveals a woman who was passionately romantic and who spent her years as a child and young queen fighting the control of domineering men.

Queen Victoria was one of the 19th century's most prolific diarists, sometimes writing up to 2,500 words a day. From state affairs to family gossip, she poured out her emotions onto paper. Those close to her were afraid her more alarming opinions might escape in written form, causing havoc. In fact much of her writing was destroyed after her death and her personal journals edited by her daughter. But what survives frequently reveals a woman quite different to the one we think we know. AN Wilson reads her personal journals and unpublished letters and discovers the factors that shaped the queen's personality. From the tortured relationship with her mother, to the dominant men she clung to in search of a father figure and the powerful struggle that made her marriage to Prince Albert a battleground, Queen Victoria was always a woman in search of intimate relationships. As a daughter, a wife, a mother and the queen of a growing empire, as friends and family came and went, her pen remained her constant companion and friend.

Queen Victoria's journals and letters are read by Anna Chancellor throughout.


THU 22:00 Puppy Love (b04p1vx3)
Episode 1

When dog trainer Nana V is called out to rescue a dangerous dog in a residential area, she gains the attention of local man Alexander Moss, who's having an embarrassing problem with his dog Toffee. Meanwhile, new puppy owner and Future'Z charity worker Naomi visits Nana V to begin the proceedings of administering a grant to Eron, her imprisoned daughter's son. But they soon find themselves at odds when Naomi also bumps into the friendly Alexander and they become rivals for his attention. Meanwhile, Naomi and husband Ravi are surprised to find that daughter Jasmine has had a secret boyfriend who she's just broken up with.


THU 22:30 Horizon (b00pssgh)
2009-2010

The Secret Life of the Dog

We have an extraordinary relationship with dogs - closer than with any other animal on the planet. But what makes the bond between us so special?

Research into dogs is gaining momentum and scientists are investigating them like never before. From the latest fossil evidence, to the sequencing of the canine genome and cognitive experiments, dogs are fast turning into the new chimps as a window into understanding ourselves.

Where does this relationship come from? In Siberia, a unique breeding experiment reveals the astonishing secret of how dogs evolved from wolves. Swedish scientists demonstrate how the human/dog bond is controlled by a powerful hormone also responsible for bonding mothers to their babies.

Why are dogs so good at reading our emotions? Horizon meets Betsy, reputedly the world's most intelligent dog, and compares her incredible abilities to those of children. Man's best friend has recently gone one step further - helping us identify genes responsible for causing human diseases.


THU 23:30 Dolly Parton: Platinum Blonde (b0074pt7)
Dolly Parton is one of the world's great superstars, feted for her figure as much as for her music. Platinum Blonde goes inside her world to discover the woman under the wigs as she returned to the concert stage in the UK in 2002 after an absence of 20 years. Born into grinding poverty in rural Tennessee, Dolly has risen to the top of her tree in music, films and as a businesswoman who owns her own theme park.

Friends, family and colleagues - including Lily Tomlin, Kenny Rogers, Billy Connolly, Dabney Coleman and Alison Krauss - help tell her story, along with the full and frank views of Dolly herself. With cameo appearances from Sinead O'Connor, Norah Jones, Jonathan Ross and Terry Wogan.


THU 00:30 Barry Manilow at the BBC (b01hrb2y)
A mixture of songs, interviews and rarely seen documentary footage offers a glimpse as to how American crooner Barry Manilow's career has evolved on screen for more than forty years. Classics such as Mandy, Copacabana and Could It Be Magic were played to millions of viewers first time around and are revisited in clips from Top of the Pops, Parkinson and various filmed shows including his pivotal open-air concert at Blenheim Palace in 1983 - it's a miracle!


THU 01:30 Arena (b01pjlhv)
Screen Goddesses

Documentary about the early female movie stars: Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe - immortal goddesses made by Hollywood to reign over the silver screen.

With the beginnings of Hollywood, the star system was born with an archetypal bad girl - the vampish Theda Bara - and the good girl - the blazingly sincere Lillian Gish. From the 1920s, vivacious Clara Bow and seductive siren Louise Brooks are most remembered, but none made the impact of Marlene Dietrich, an icon of mystery, or Greta Garbo, with her perfect features and gloomy introspection.

From the power of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis to the seductiveness of Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner, Hollywood studios produced their own brand of beautiful, sassy and confident women. But it wasn't to last. The era drew to a close with the supreme fame of Elizabeth Taylor and the tragic death of Marilyn Monroe.

Narrated by Elizabeth McGovern.


THU 02:30 Puppy Love (b04p1vx3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


THU 03:00 Queen Victoria's Letters: A Monarch Unveiled (b04p1vx1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



FRIDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2014

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b04nzkbj)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 Darcey Bussell Dances Hollywood (b018nwbx)
Darcey Bussell steps into the shoes of her Hollywood heroes to celebrate the enduring legacy of classic dance musicals.

In the age of Strictly Come Dancing and Streetdance 3D, Darcey, one of Britain's greatest living dancers and Hollywood musical superfan, discovers that the key to understanding where this dance-mad culture comes from lies in classic movie musicals. She takes famous dance routines from her favourite Hollywood musicals and reveals how they cast their spell, paying tribute to the legends of the art form and discovering the legacy they left.

Darcey pays homage to Fred Astaire in an interpretation of Puttin' on the Ritz, plays Ginger Rogers in a rendition of Cheek to Cheek, pays tribute to the exuberant Good Morning from Singin' in the Rain, and stars in a new routine inspired by Girl Hunt Ballet from The Band Wagon.

Darcey works with leading choreographer Kim Gavin and expert conductor John Wilson, who has painstakingly reconstructed the original scores, as she discovers how dance in the movies reached a pinnacle of perfection and reveals how the legacy of the golden age lives on.


FRI 21:00 Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music (p0295qy9)
A rare chance to see Robert Elfstrom's 1969 classic film that captures the Man in Black at his peak, the first of many in a looming rollercoaster career. Fresh on the heels of his Folsom Prison album, Cash reveals the dark intensity and raw talent that made him a country music star and cultural icon.

Elfstrom got closer than any other film-maker to Cash, who is seen performing with his new bride June Carter Cash, in a rare duet with Bob Dylan and behind the scenes with friends, family and aspiring young musicians - painting an unforgettable portrait that endures beyond the singer's death in 2003.


FRI 22:00 Bob Harris: My Nashville (p0293k6w)
'Whispering' Bob Harris journeys to America's country music capital to reveal why Nashville became Music City USA. From the beginnings of the Grand Ole Opry on commercial radio, through the threatening onset of rock 'n' roll in the 50s, right up to the modern mainstream hits of Music Row, this is the story of how music has shaped Nashville and why today it's a place of pilgrimage for musicians from all over the world.

As well as iconic venues on Lower Broadway and the historic hit factories of 16th Avenue, Bob also explores the east Nashville music scene and discovers a rebellious flipside to the country coin. With exclusive performances from the city's top talent, Bob explains why country music owes its enduring success to Nashville's unique nurturing community of songwriters.

Includes interviews with Emmylou Harris, Duane Eddy, Dave Stewart and Rosanne Cash.


FRI 23:00 Brad Paisley and Friends (p0295r5g)
A unique performance recorded in front of a live audience at the BBC's Radio Theatre in central London in which country superstar Brad Paisley performs stripped-back acoustic versions of his hits with the songwriters who worked on them with him. Brad tells the stories behind the songs, reflects on what makes a great country songwriter and unveils the worst English accent since Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.

Paisley is one of contemporary country music's biggest stars with over 13 million albums sold worldwide and a record ten consecutive number one singles in the US country charts. He is also one of the world's most accomplished guitarists, with fans including Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler.


FRI 00:00 Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music (p0295qy9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 01:00 John Denver at Wembley Arena (b03jgq83)
Country singer-songwriter John Denver performs in concert at Wembley Arena in 1979, featuring hits including Rocky Mountain High and Take Me Home, Country Roads.


FRI 01:40 Bob Harris: My Nashville (p0293k6w)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


FRI 02:40 Brad Paisley and Friends (p0295r5g)
[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)

Arena 01:30 THU (b01pjlhv)

Barry Manilow at the BBC 00:30 THU (b01hrb2y)

Bob Harris: My Nashville 22:00 FRI (p0293k6w)

Bob Harris: My Nashville 01:40 FRI (p0293k6w)

Brad Paisley and Friends 23:00 FRI (p0295r5g)

Brad Paisley and Friends 02:40 FRI (p0295r5g)

Brian Cox: Space, Time & Videotape 21:00 SUN (b04kzmmk)

China in Six Easy Pieces 02:00 MON (b036r5cx)

Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years War 20:00 THU (p00yjy5r)

Colouring Light: Brian Clarke - An Artist Apart 02:50 TUE (b0162yc0)

Cosmos: A Personal Voyage 22:00 SUN (b04l61j3)

Country Queens at the BBC 02:00 SUN (p028vwnv)

Country at the BBC 01:00 SAT (b08qgkzv)

Darcey Bussell Dances Hollywood 19:30 FRI (b018nwbx)

Detectorists 01:30 MON (b04nqrq5)

Dolly Parton: Platinum Blonde 23:30 THU (b0074pt7)

Easy Listening Hits at the BBC 01:00 WED (b011g943)

Elvis Costello: Mystery Dance 02:00 WED (b03gq719)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 MON (b00xbmlv)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 TUE (b00xhxrv)

Great British Railway Journeys 20:00 TUE (b00xhxxf)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 WED (b00xhxys)

Hidden Histories: WW1's Forgotten Photographs 22:00 MON (b03xsrvv)

Horizon 20:00 MON (b013pnv4)

Horizon 22:30 THU (b00pssgh)

Inspector Montalbano 21:00 SAT (p00x1ngz)

John Denver at Wembley Arena 01:00 FRI (b03jgq83)

John Denver: Country Boy 03:00 SUN (b03j4cz2)

Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music 21:00 FRI (p0295qy9)

Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music 00:00 FRI (p0295qy9)

Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession 20:00 SAT (b00s96gn)

Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession 03:00 SAT (b00s96gn)

Miss Potter 21:00 WED (b00cyjjj)

National Treasures of Wales 20:30 TUE (b04nz0mn)

National Treasures of Wales 02:20 TUE (b04nz0mn)

Natural World 20:00 WED (b00tj7j4)

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

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

Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top 10 23:00 MON (b01nwfxs)

Puppy Love 22:00 THU (b04p1vx3)

Puppy Love 02:30 THU (b04p1vx3)

Queen Victoria's Letters: A Monarch Unveiled 21:00 THU (b04p1vx1)

Queen Victoria's Letters: A Monarch Unveiled 03:00 THU (b04p1vx1)

Rosslyn Chapel: A Treasure in Stone 23:20 TUE (b00v3y5s)

Sounds of the 70s 2 20:30 SUN (b01kcq0k)

Sounds of the 70s 2 19:30 THU (b01kcq0k)

Speeches that Shook the World 03:00 MON (b03f3v3w)

Storyville 21:00 TUE (b03j49l6)

Swarm: Nature's Incredible Invasions 19:00 SAT (b00gkrm2)

The Day after Tomorrow: Into Infinity 22:50 SUN (b04l61j5)

The Day the Universe Changed 23:40 SUN (b04l6rnk)

The Great War 19:00 SUN (b0078hw8)

The Great War 19:50 SUN (b0074nxh)

The Heart of Country: How Nashville Became Music City USA 00:30 SUN (b04ndxlr)

The Joy of Easy Listening 23:30 WED (b011g614)

The Life and Loves of a She-Devil 22:20 TUE (b04p2vnp)

Timeshift 23:10 SAT (b044yw1d)

Tom Jones at the BBC 00:20 TUE (b00vz5ml)

Top of the Pops 22:40 SAT (b04nqrq3)

Top of the Pops 00:10 SAT (b01pkjy6)

Treasures of the Anglo Saxons 22:30 WED (b00t6xzx)

Treasures of the Anglo Saxons 03:00 WED (b00t6xzx)

Ultimate Number Ones 00:30 MON (b01nwfxv)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b04nzk9s)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b04nzkb1)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b04nzkb6)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b04nzkbc)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b04nzkbj)

imagine... 01:20 TUE (b00t15v1)