Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 06 DECEMBER 2014

SAT 19:00 Ice Age Giants (p018cc8p)
Land of the Cave-Bear

Professor Alice Roberts journeys 40,000 years back in time on the trail of the great beasts of the Ice Age. Drawing on the latest scientific detective work and a dash of graphic wizardry, Alice brings the Ice Age giants back to life.

In this episode, Alice ventures to the parts of the northern hemisphere hit hardest by the cold - Europe and Siberia.

High in the mountains of Transylvania, a cave sealed for thousands of years reveals grisly evidence for a fight to the death between two starving giants, a cave bear and a cave lion. These animals, which would dwarf their modern-day relatives, were probably driven into conflict by the pressure on food supplies as the Ice Age gathered pace.

Yet Alice discovers that, for woolly rhinos and woolly mammoths, the Ice Age created a bounty. The Mammoth Steppe, a vast tract of land which went halfway round the world, provided food all year round for those that liked the cold. It was these mammoths that Europe's most dangerous predators - Neanderthals and our own ancestors - hunted for their survival.


SAT 20:00 Sex and Sensibility: The Allure of Art Nouveau (b01f1959)
British Cities

Britain's art nouveau heritage is excavated as cultural correspondent Stephen Smith unearths the bright, controversial but brief career of Aubrey Beardsley.

On a mission to uncover lesser-known stars of Britain's version of this continental fin-de-siecle style, he explores the stunning work of Mary Watts and the massive influence of department store entrepreneur Arthur Liberty.

In Scotland, he celebrates the innovative art nouveau of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, but looks harder at the extraordinary and influential work of Mackintosh's wife, Margaret MacDonald.


SAT 21:00 Inspector Montalbano (b01n1rry)
August Flame

Inspector Montalbano discovers the existence of a secret underground dwelling beneath Mimi's family home and finds a trunk containing the dead body of a young woman who had disappeared six years earlier. As he begins his investigation, Montalbano makes the acquaintance of the victim's alluring twin sister.

In Italian with English subtitles.


SAT 22:45 Billy Joel: The Bridge to Russia (b043njlg)
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Billy Joel was building a catalogue of timeless songs while enjoying a string of consecutive hit albums and singles. Though selling out concerts around the world, Billy and his music were, like much of western pop culture and rock 'n' roll itself, unheard behind the Iron Curtain, except for black market bootlegs and faint shortwave radio.

By the late 80s, the Cold War between the USSR and the West had begun to thaw in the light of Russian head-of-state Mikhail Gorbachev's policies of Glasnost and Perestroika, designed to bring openness and transparency to the Soviet Union while promoting political reform and cross-cultural exchanges. When the Kremlin invited Billy Joel to perform in the Soviet Union, he jumped at the chance to realise a long-time dream of performing for the Russian people. As America's pop rock musical ambassador, Billy Joel brought the Soviets their first fully-staged high-energy rock show. The tour began with a small acoustic concert in Tbilisi, followed by three electrifying stadium shows in Moscow and three shows in Leningrad.

Joel's historic visit to Russia became a worldwide news event, with journalists and writers covering the tour, its progress and the effect Billy, his band and his family were having on the Russian people. The entire tour was professionally filmed and the concerts were simulcast on radio worldwide. During their stay, Billy and his family, along with musicians, staff, and a huge press entourage spent their days interacting with the Russian people, forging true bonds of friendship wherever they went. The tour has been seen as a major cultural turning point in the course of US and Soviet relations.

Seen and heard now, more than 25 years later, Joel's Russian concert tour performances stand out among the most electrifying and moving of his career and this film bears witness to the timeless revolutionary power of rock 'n' roll.


SAT 00:00 Billy Joel Live in Leningrad (b043njlj)
In August 1987, Billy Joel took his worldwide Bridge tour on an unprecedented leg through the Soviet Union, the first fully-staged rock concert to visit the country. This programme features highlights from his concert at the Lenin Sports and Concert Complex in Leningrad (now St Petersburg). Songs include: Angry Young Man, Goodnight Saigon, An Innocent Man, The Longest Time, A Matter of Trust, Only the Good Die Young, It's Still Rock 'n' Roll to Me, Uptown Girl and Back in the USSR.


SAT 01:20 Top of the Pops (b04t9bxw)
Simon Bates presents another edition of the weekly pop chart including performances from Darts, Dollar, UK Subs, the Three Degrees, the Sugarhill Gang, Storm, Motorhead, Marianne Faithfull and the Police and dance sequences by Legs & Co.


SAT 02:00 Ice Age Giants (p018cc8p)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SAT 03:00 Sex and Sensibility: The Allure of Art Nouveau (b01f1959)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



SUNDAY 07 DECEMBER 2014

SUN 19:00 The Great War (b0074p1v)
So Sleep Easy in Your Beds

The sixth episode in the epic series turns to the battle of the sea. British confidence in the Royal Navy was to be shattered as it suffered defeats - the worst one off Coronel on 1st November, 1914. An astonished world wondered at these spectacular disasters, failing to see beyond them to a time when German shipping would all but disappear from the seas.

This series will continue in February 2015.


SUN 19:40 Wild (b0078zqn)
2005-06 Shorts

Storm Geese

More than 50,000 geese fly out of stormy Atlantic skies to spend winter on the beautiful Scottish island of Islay, making for one of Britain's most impressive and least known winter wildlife spectacles - thousands of handsome barnacle geese and angel-like families of swans set against magnificent mountain and wild ocean backdrops.

Some say the haunting calls of the geese flying at night led to ancient Celtic legends of the hounds of hell yelping as they ran through the skies during very wild storms. The real story is just as remarkable - most of these birds have flown more than 2,000 miles all the way from Greenland.

Why should so many birds gather on one small island for winter? And what impact do they have when they all arrive?


SUN 19:50 Wild (b0078zwm)
2005-06 Shorts

Eider Duck Island

Each year the eider ducklings of Inner Farne undertake a great trek across the island. On their way they pass puffins being mugged by black-headed gulls and terns brooding their fluffy chicks. The eider families gather together in crèches for safety as the predatory gulls wheel overhead. But will they reach their ultimate and rather unlikely destination? Narrated by Simon King.


SUN 20:00 The Day of the Triffids (b0074t53)
Episode 5

A six-part adaptation of John Wyndham's classic sci-fi tale about an invasion of man-eating plants that blind their human prey. Despite spreading disease, Bill continues his search for Jo among the marauding triffids.


SUN 20:30 The Day of the Triffids (b0074t64)
Episode 6

John Wyndham's classic sci-fi tale about an invasion of man-eating plants that blind their human prey. Bill and Jo find themselves trapped in a Sussex farmhouse by growing numbers of triffids.


SUN 21:00 imagine... (b036yl2v)
Summer 2013

Rod Stewart: Can't Stop Me Now

From beatnik to mod, from folkie to disco tart, from glam rocker to, most recently, crooner of American standards, Rod Stewart has had a remarkable musical journey. Alan Yentob visits Rod at his homes in Beverly Hills and Essex and talks to his friends and family, including all eight children aged from two years old to 50.

Featuring rare archival footage of Rod when he was barely out of his teens and living above his parents' north London sweetshop, Imagine examines an entertaining career across five musical decades.


SUN 22:25 Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways (b04tvmxs)
Seattle

Foo Fighters go on a musical tour of America, from the desert to the Midwest and from jazz to punk, visiting the studios and meeting the musicians that have helped shape the country's vast musical wealth. Directed by Dave Grohl, the series taps into the musical heritage and cultural fabric of eight cities where the location is only revealed once each episode is broadcast - Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Seattle and Washington DC.

Along the way they record their eighth studio album, one song in each city at a legendary recording studio integral to its history. Every track features local legends and each episode delves into the identity of each city - showing how the region shaped the members of the Foo Fighters in their formative years and, in turn, how they impacted the cultural fabric of their hometowns. Sonic Highways is, in Grohl's words, 'a love letter to the history of American music.'

Following the opening double-bill of programmes one and two, subsequent episodes will be available on consecutive weeks on BBC iPlayer, then returning to BBC Four for episodes seven and eight in December.


SUN 23:25 Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways (b04v2dtm)
New York

Foo Fighters go on a musical tour of America, from the desert to the Midwest and from jazz to punk, visiting the studios and meeting the musicians that have helped shape the country's vast musical wealth. Directed by Dave Grohl, the series taps into the musical heritage and cultural fabric of eight cities where the location is only revealed once each episode is broadcast - Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Seattle and Washington DC.

Along the way they record their eighth studio album, one song in each city at a legendary recording studio integral to its history. Every track features local legends and each episode delves into the identity of each city - showing how the region shaped the members of the Foo Fighters in their formative years and, in turn, how they impacted the cultural fabric of their hometowns. Sonic Highways is, in Grohl's words, 'a love letter to the history of American music.'

Following the opening double-bill of programmes one and two, subsequent episodes will be available on consecutive weeks on BBC iPlayer, then returning to BBC Four for episodes seven and eight in December.


SUN 00:25 The Story of Funk: One Nation Under a Groove (b04t6nm5)
In the 1970s, America was one nation under a groove as an irresistible new style of music took hold of the country - funk. The music burst out of the black community at a time of self-discovery, struggle and social change. Funk reflected all of that. It has produced some of the most famous, eccentric and best-loved acts in the world - James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone, George Clinton's Funkadelic and Parliament, Kool & the Gang and Earth, Wind & Fire.

During the 1970s this fun, futuristic and freaky music changed the streets of America with its outrageous fashion, space-age vision and streetwise slang. But more than that, funk was a celebration of being black, providing a platform for a new philosophy, belief system and lifestyle that was able to unite young black Americans into taking pride in who they were.

Today, like blues and jazz, it is looked on as one of the great American musical cultures, its rhythms and hooks reverberating throughout popular music. Without it hip-hop wouldn't have happened. Dance music would have no groove. This documentary tells that story, exploring the music and artists who created a positive soundtrack at a negative time for African-Americans.

Includes interviews with George Clinton, Sly & the Family Stone, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool & the Gang, War, Cameo, Ray Parker Jnr and trombonist Fred Wesley.


SUN 01:25 The Genius of Funk (b04t9cjz)
A selection of some of funk's best artists from the BBC archives and beyond, beginning in the 1970s. Includes performances from acts such as Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool & the Gang, Average White Band and Herbie Hancock.


SUN 02:25 imagine... (b036yl2v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



MONDAY 08 DECEMBER 2014

MON 19:00 World News Today (b04tr693)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


MON 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00y47wd)
Series 2

Hythe to Hastings

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 of Bradshaw's Britain remains, as his journey goes through Kent, from London Bridge around the scenic south coast to Hastings.

Michael discovers a hardy breed of sheep on the atmospheric Romney Marsh, explores Kent's sparkling wine industry and finds out why the Victorians went mad for ferns in Hastings.


MON 20:00 London: A Tale of Two Cities with Dan Cruickshank (p00r36lv)
Dan Cruickshank follows in the footsteps of John Stow and John Strype, two of London's greatest chroniclers, to explore one of the most dramatic centuries in the history of London.

The 17th century saw London plunged into a series of devastating disasters. The Civil War, a murderous plague and the destruction that was the great fire should have seen the small medieval city all but destroyed. Yet somehow, London not only survived but emerged as one of the wealthiest and most influential cities in Europe.

Using two remarkable surveys written at either end of this momentous century, Dan discovers how a unique combination of innovation, ambition and sheer spirit of enterprise saw Londoners thrive. His journey reveals the twists and turns of a century that laid the foundations of one of the most important cities on the planet.


MON 21:00 Timewatch (b00jcgpm)
2008-2009

Captain Cook: The Man Behind the Legend

In the late 18th century, Captain James Cook led three great voyages of discovery which pushed the borders of the British Empire to the ends of the earth. In just over a decade, his ability as a navigator and chartmaker would add one-third to the map of the known world. For many he was the greatest explorer in history, but for others he was a ruthless conqueror.

While the exploits of Captain Cook are well documented, much less is known about James Cook the man. Presenter Vanessa Collingridge sets out on her own voyage of discovery - travelling in his footsteps to uncover the forces that drove him to success, and ultimately to his own death.


MON 22:00 Castles: Britain's Fortified History (b04t6n19)
Instruments of Invasion

Sam Willis looks at the history of the castle from its first appearance with the Normans in 1066 to the longest siege on English soil at Kenilworth Castle 200 years later. The castle arrived as an instrument of invasion but soon became a weapon with which unruly barons challenged the Crown. Tintagel Castle, the place where King Arthur is said to have been conceived, is also on the itinerary. It remains one of the most evocative of castles to this day, drawing visitors from around the world with its tales of myth and legend.


MON 23:00 Tales from the Royal Bedchamber (b0386lxs)
Lucy Worsley gets into bed with our past monarchs to uncover the tales from the royal bedchamber. She reveals that our obsession with royal bedrooms, births and succession is nothing new. In fact, the rise and fall of their magnificent beds reflects the changing fortunes of the monarchy itself.


MON 00:00 Sounds of the 70s 2 (b01jv6sd)
Disco - Ain't No Stopping Us Now

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


MON 00:30 Puppy Love (b04t6n1c)
Episode 4

It's a big day for Naomi. Jepherson Denomer, a trustee from the charity she works for, Future'Z, is coming on a fact-finding visit. He arrives in his vintage Daimler with his elderly dog Tuggy, and Naomi shows him what's been achieved in the local area. When Jep arrives to watch Eron's football demonstration, his car gets stuck in Nana V's muddy yard. Due at Future'Z's Scottish branch, Jep is forced to leave by train, leaving Naomi to care for Tuggy.

Nana V is concerned that something's wrong with her dog No Name. She takes her to the local vet Lilli Kusiak, who can't find anything amiss. Nana V becomes convinced that No Name's odd behaviour is because she herself has cancer, which the dog can smell.

But then Naomi calls to say Tuggy is unwell. She needs Nana V's help urgently. Lilli Kusiak is consulted once again - and this time it's serious.


MON 01:00 Rod Stewart at the BBC (b03m81n5)
Compilation of Rod Stewart's finest performances at the BBC. We revisit the early 70s with The Faces performing Stay with Me and Three Button Hand Me Down on Sounds for Saturday. The BBC charted Rod's solo success over the years and there are classic performances and interviews that will make you dance, sing and pull on your heartstrings. Songs include Sailing, You're in My Heart, I Don't Want to Talk about It and Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?

We also have Rod's performance from Glastonbury 2002 of the classic Handbags and Gladrags, and we dip into the Great American Songbook with his version of the Dorothy Fields classic I'm in the Mood for Love. Finally, rounding off over five decades in music is a performance from Rod's Radio 2 concert from May 2013.


MON 02:00 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.


MON 03:00 Synth Britannia at the BBC (b00n93c6)
A journey through the BBC's synthpop archives from Roxy Music and Tubeway Army to New Order and Sparks. Turn your Moogs up to 11 as we take a trip back into the 70s and 80s!



TUESDAY 09 DECEMBER 2014

TUE 19:00 World News Today (b04tr69d)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


TUE 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00yd1bv)
Series 2

Ayr to Paisley

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 of Bradshaw's Britain remains, as he journeys up the west coast of Scotland from Ayr to Skye.

Michael visits the hometown of Robbie Burns and finds out how to make haggis, discovers how the railways transformed the game of golf in Prestwick, and uncovers the story of the great Victorian tartan hoax in Paisley.


TUE 20:00 10 Things You Didn't Know About... (b008s99l)
Earthquakes

Iain Stewart looks at some of the world's most dramatic earthquakes and reveals the stories and science behind them. In seconds, these powerful forces of nature which cannot be predicted or prevented can shake a town to destruction and shift the landscape forever. We discover why quakes can last 60 times longer on the moon than on Earth, how one particular earthquake fault line can produce hallucinations, and how 1960s Cold War spying gave scientists a crucial clue to understanding them.


TUE 21:00 The Secrets of Quantum Physics (b04tr9x9)
Einstein's Nightmare

Professor Jim Al-Khalili traces the story of arguably the most important, accurate and yet perplexing scientific theory ever - quantum physics.

The story starts at the beginning of the 20th century with scientists trying to better understand how light bulbs work. This simple question led them deep into the hidden workings of matter, into the sub-atomic building blocks of the world around us. Here they discovered phenomena unlike any encountered before - a realm where things can be in many places at once, where chance and probability call the shots and where reality appears to only truly exist when we observe it.

Albert Einstein hated the idea that nature, at its most fundamental level, is governed by chance. Jim reveals how, in the 1930s, Einstein thought he had found a fatal flaw in quantum physics, because it implies that sub-atomic particles can communicate faster than light in defiance of the theory of relativity.

For 30 years, his ideas were ignored. Then, in the 1960s, a brilliant scientist from Northern Ireland called John Bell showed there was a way to test if Einstein was right and quantum mechanics was actually mistaken. In a laboratory in Oxford, Jim repeats this critical experiment. Does reality really exist or do we conjure it into existence by the act of observation?

The results are shocking!


TUE 22:00 James May at the Edge of Space (b00lc5ph)
James May always wanted to be an astronaut. Now, 40 years after the first Apollo landings, he gets a chance to fly to the edge of space in a U2 spy plane. But first he has to undergo three gruelling days of training with the US Air Force and learn to use a space suit to stay alive in air so thin it can kill in an instant. He discovers that during the flight there are only two people higher than him, and they are both real astronauts on the International Space Station.


TUE 22:30 The Rolling Stones Return to Hyde Park: Sweet Summer Sun (b03dwq8g)
Hyde Park 2013 came almost 44 years to the day after the Rolling Stones first invited 200,000 fans to listen to them for free in a legendary concert at the central London park on 5 July 1969, only two days after the tragic death of founder member Brian Jones - a landmark event, now widely acknowledged as one of the most significant moments in modern music history.

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

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

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


TUE 23:45 The Rolling Stones at the BBC (b01p1pmf)
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Rolling Stones we delve into the BBC vaults to deliver some timeless Stones archive. From the early days of their career and some unforgettable performances on Top of the Pops with the Last Time, Let's Spend the Night Together and Get Off of My Cloud through the late 60s and early 70s era of prolific song writing when the band were knocking out a classic album every other year and offering up such classics as Honky Tonk Women and Gimme Shelter.

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


TUE 00:30 Neil Diamond: Solitary Man (b00vzzst)
A 60-minute documentary including an interview and exclusive location filming with Neil Diamond in New York and Los Angeles. Robbie Robertson, Jeff Barry, Mickey Dolenz and other contributors track Neil from his childhood in Brooklyn to his early days in the Brill Building, his nascent solo career and superstardom in the early 70s, the lean years of the 80s, his career reboot via Rick Rubin in the noughties and his Glastonbury success.


TUE 01:30 Sounds of the 70s 2 (b01jzy37)
Rock 'n' Roll Revisited - Get It On

A love of 50s rock 'n' roll runs through the pop of the 70s like a stripe through a stick of rock. This episode celebrates the rock 'n' roll revivalism and 50s retro leanings that characterise the decade from glam to AOR and all points in between. Revisiting the theatrical performances and fashions you'd be talking about in the playground the next day, from the likes of E.L.O, T-Rex, 10cc, Alvin Stardust, Mott the Hoople and Meatloaf's epic 1978 performance of Paradise by the Dashboard Light.


TUE 02:00 Sex and Sensibility: The Allure of Art Nouveau (b01f1959)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Saturday]


TUE 03:00 The Secrets of Quantum Physics (b04tr9x9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 10 DECEMBER 2014

WED 19:00 World News Today (b04tr69k)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


WED 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b00yd1pb)
Series 2

Dumbarton to Tyndrum

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 of Bradshaw's Britain remains, as he journeys up the west coast of Scotland from Ayr to Skye.

Michael explores the historic Dumbarton shipyards that built the Cutty Sark, visits one of Queen Victoria's favourite haunts, Loch Lomond, and goes hunting for gold in Scotland's mountains.


WED 20:00 Natural World (b00xxf9f)
2010-2011

Miracle in the Marshes of Iraq

It's the largest and most ambitious habitat recreation project ever known - to bring back to life one of the world's greatest marshlands. And it's happening in Iraq.

Considered to be the original Garden of Eden, the marshes were once Iraq's wildlife jewel, where man and nature thrived for 5,000 years. But in the 1990s, Saddam Hussein drained these gigantic wetlands and turned them into a desert, destroying a home to thousands of people and millions of birds.

Donning his body armour, film-maker David Johnson travels to the Mesopotamian marshes to follow the work of Azzam Alwash, the visionary Iraqi engineer at the centre of this extraordinary scheme to reflood hundreds of miles of desert and bring back life to the sands. This is a view of Iraq the world never sees, a world of huge reed beds and vast flocks of birds that fill the sky.


WED 21:00 Spike Milligan: Love, Light and Peace (b04tt1yj)
A very personal portrait of the truly unique comedy genius of Spike Milligan, as told in his own words and featuring exclusive home movie footage. With contributions from those who worked with him, lived with him and were inspired by him.


WED 22:30 Spike Milligan: Assorted Q (b04v644f)
Episode 1

A compilation of sketches from Spike Milligan's pioneering sketch shows - surreal, influential, controversial and sublime.


WED 23:00 Frost on Satire (b00srhgn)
Sir David Frost presents an investigation into the power of political satire with the help of some of the funniest TV moments of the last 50 years.

Beginning with the 1960s and That Was the Week That Was, he charts the development of television satire in Britain and the United States and is joined by the leading satirists from both sides of the Atlantic. From the UK, Rory Bremner, Ian Hislop and John Lloyd discuss their individual contributions, while from the US, Jon Stewart analyses the appeal of The Daily Show, Tina Fey and Will Ferrell talk about their respective portrayals of Sarah Palin and George W Bush, and Chevy Chase remembers how Saturday Night Live turned them into huge stars.

All of them tackle the key question of whether satire really can alter the course of political events.


WED 00:00 TOTP2 (b007v15w)
Boogie Fever: A TOTP2 Disco Special

Get your dancing shoes on for a show of disco mania as Steve Wright and the TOTP2 team take you back to the dancefloor for some boogie fever. The Bee Gees are here in all their glory, along with Gloria Gaynor, Liquid Gold, Sylvester, The Village People, The Weather Girls and The Three Degrees.

There's classic dance fodder from Chic, George McCrae, Hi-Tension, Heatwave, The JALN Band, Earth Wind and Fire, Tina Charles, The Gibson Brothers and Edwin Starr, disco pop from Blondie, Yazz, Boney M and Linx, while Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Infernal bring the story up to date.

And then there's the Disco Duck. Sorry...


WED 01:30 The Joy of Disco (b01cqt72)
Documentary about how a much-derided music actually changed the world. Between 1969 and 1979 disco soundtracked gay liberation, foregrounded female desire in the age of feminism and led to the birth of modern club culture as we know it today, before taking the world by storm. With contributions from Nile Rodgers, Robin Gibb, Kathy Sledge and Ian Schrager.


WED 02:30 Spike Milligan: Love, Light and Peace (b04tt1yj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



THURSDAY 11 DECEMBER 2014

THU 19:00 World News Today (b04tr69y)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b04v33x9)
Mike Read presents another edition of the weekly pop chart including performances from Fiddler's Dram, Paul McCartney, the Tourists, Abba, the Beat, the Pretenders and Pink Floyd, and dance sequences by Legs & Co.


THU 20:00 Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey (b01djm9b)
Episode 2

Right now you're hurtling around the sun at 64,000 miles an hour (100,000 kms an hour). In the next year you'll travel 584 million miles, to end up back where you started.

Presenters Kate Humble and Dr Helen Czerski follow the Earth's voyage around the sun for one complete orbit, to witness the astonishing consequences this journey has for us all.

In this second episode we travel from January to the March equinox. Kate Humble gets closer to the sun than she has ever been before, whilst Helen Czerski visits a place that gets some of the biggest and fastest snowstorms on Earth.


THU 21:00 Castles: Britain's Fortified History (b04tt2f9)
Kingdom of Conquest

Sam Willis tells the story of the English ruler who left the most indelible mark on the castle - the great Plantagenet king, Edward I, who turned it into an instrument of colonisation. Edward spent vast sums to subdue Wales with a ring of iron comprised of some of the most fearsome fortresses ever built. Castles like Caernarfon and Beaumaris were used to impose England's will on the Welsh. But when Edward turned his attention to Scotland, laying siege to castles with great catapults, things didn't go so well for him.


THU 22:00 Puppy Love (b04tt2fc)
Episode 5

Nana V has arranged some potholing work for her long-lost brother Fatdraic. Having not seen his family for years, he arrives at her yard with a present in tow for Eron - a tiny pony, but he fails to realise Eron's now far too grown-up for such a gift.

With husband Ravi away and their marriage under strain, Naomi finds herself unexpectedly drawn to Fatdraic with embarrassing consequences. Eron and Jasmine are due to visit Eron's mum in prison, with Jasmine keen to impress her prospective new mother-in-law. But when they try to smuggle in some homemade cakes, Fatdraic reveals that he has laced them with drugs, and both Naomi and Nana V are forced to make a quick decision to get them all out of trouble.


THU 22:30 Spike Milligan: Assorted Q (b04tt1yl)
Episode 2

A further selection of sketches from the legendary Spike Milligan's irreverent sketch shows. Alternative comedy before alternative comedy.


THU 23:00 10 Things You Didn't Know About... (b008s99l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Tuesday]


THU 00:00 The Secrets of Quantum Physics (b04tr9x9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]


THU 01:00 Top of the Pops (b04v33x9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


THU 01:35 Sounds of the 70s 2 (b01k68gc)
Punk - Anarchy on the BBC

The late 70s had parents from all over the UK fearing one particular four letter word... punk. With anarchy spreading across the nation, the BBC managed to capture and sometimes contain some of the chaotic energy of these iconic moments in its studios. This episode provides another chance to jump up and down on the couch and pogo to performances from the Stranglers, the Damned, the Sex Pistols, the Jam, Undertones, the Rezillos, Buzzcocks, the Clash, X-Ray Spex and Joy Division.


THU 02:05 Puppy Love (b04tt2fc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


THU 02:35 Castles: Britain's Fortified History (b04tt2f9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



FRIDAY 12 DECEMBER 2014

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b04tr6b3)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 Choir of the Year (b04tt2h2)
2014

Inspirational choirmaster Gareth Malone is host for the grand final of Choir of the Year as it celebrates its 30th anniversary. Six of the best amateur choirs battle it out for the UK's most coveted choral accolade.

The final takes place in Manchester's Bridgewater Hall, with Josie D'Arby on hand to talk to the choirs and get their reactions. But who will walk away with the ultimate choral accolade?

The finalists are: Ysgol Glanaethwy Junior Choir from Bangor, north Wales; Rainbow Connection from Doncaster; Singers Limited from the Royal Grammar School High Wycombe; Durham-based Northern Spirit Singers; CF1 from Cardiff; and the Oxford Gargoyles.


FRI 21:00 Queen - Days of Our Lives (b011pwd9)
Episode 1

In 1971, four university students got together to form a band. Since then, that certain band called Queen has released 26 albums and sold over 300 million records worldwide. The popularity of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon is stronger than ever. Their story is a remarkable one, a narrative that covers early struggles, huge obstacles, success, arguments, breakups, triumph, tragedy and an enduring legacy - all against a backdrop of brilliant music and stunning live performances from every corner of the globe.

In this film, for the first time, it is the band that tells their story. Guiding us through an extensive archive full of hitherto unseen footage, the documentary reveals how four strong-minded individuals, all capable of writing massive hit songs, worked together so successfully for four decades. Queen never did anything by halves - meaning their highs were massive, but their lows catastrophic. It is a compelling story told with intelligence, wit, plenty of humour and painful honesty.


FRI 22:00 Queen - Days of Our Lives (b011r4gs)
Episode 2

The story of British rock band Queen, formed in 1971. The second half of this documentary sees Queen at the peak of their powers. With the ultimate showman in Freddie Mercury and a string of rock anthems to their name, Queen smashed attendance records with a series of stadium shows across South America.

But the band quickly learned that if reaching the top is tough, staying there is the biggest challenge of all. With a loss of focus in the studio, the decline in popularity in North America, increasing internal tension and a desire to pursue solo projects, it seemed as if the band had had its day. Then came the performance from Mercury at Live Aid and their record breaking Magic tour in 1986. Queen were back amongst the very best. They were rejuvenated and once again had the world at their feet, but then tragedy struck and threatened to tear the band apart.

Featuring musical performances, previously unseen and rare footage, and intimate interviews.


FRI 23:00 Great American Rock Anthems: Turn it up to 11 (b03n2w37)
It's the sound of the heartland, of the midwest and the industrial cities, born in the early 70s by kids who had grown up in the 60s and were now ready to make their own noise, to come of age in the bars, arenas and stadiums of the US of A. Out of blues and prog and glam and early metal, a distinct American rock hybrid started to emerge across the country courtesy of Alice Cooper, Grand Funk Railroad et al, and at its very heart is The Great American Rock Anthem.

At the dawn of the 70s American rock stopped looking for a revolution and started looking for a good time; enter the classic American rock anthem - big drums, a soaring guitar, a huge chorus and screaming solos. This film celebrates the evolution of the American rock anthem during its glory years between 1970 and 1990 as it became a staple of the emerging stadium rock and AOR radio and then MTV.

From School's Out and Don't Fear the Reaper to Livin' on a Prayer and Smells Like Teen Spirit, these are the songs that were the soundtrack to teenage lives in the US and around the world, anthems that had people singing out loud with arms and lighters aloft.

Huey Morgan narrates the story of some of the greatest American rock anthems and tracks the emergence of this distinct American rock of the 70s and 80s. Anthems explored include School's Out, We're an American Band, Don't Fear the Reaper, Paradise by the Dashboard Light, I Love Rock 'n' Roll, Eye of the Tiger, I Want to Know What Love Is, Livin' on a Prayer and Smells Like Teen Spirit.

Contributors include: Alice Cooper, Dave Grohl, Butch Vig, Meat Loaf, Todd Rundgren, Richie Sambora, Blue Oyster Cult, Survivor, Toto and Foreigner.


FRI 00:00 Guitar Heroes at the BBC (b00llh2f)
Part III

Compilation of classic archive performances from the guitar gods of the late 60s and 70s. Status Quo appear playing Pictures of Matchstick Men on Top of the Pops in 1968, The Who perform Long Live Rock in the Old Grey Whistle Test studio, Dire Straits play Tunnel of Love and Lynyrd Skynyrd bring a taste of the Deep South with Sweet Home Alabama. The show also features rare performances from George Benson, Leo Kottke, Link Wray and Tom Petty.


FRI 01:00 Queen - Days of Our Lives (b011pwd9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 02:00 Queen - Days of Our Lives (b011r4gs)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


FRI 03:00 Great American Rock Anthems: Turn it up to 11 (b03n2w37)
[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)

10 Things You Didn't Know About... 20:00 TUE (b008s99l)

10 Things You Didn't Know About... 23:00 THU (b008s99l)

Billy Joel Live in Leningrad 00:00 SAT (b043njlj)

Billy Joel: The Bridge to Russia 22:45 SAT (b043njlg)

Castles: Britain's Fortified History 22:00 MON (b04t6n19)

Castles: Britain's Fortified History 21:00 THU (b04tt2f9)

Castles: Britain's Fortified History 02:35 THU (b04tt2f9)

Choir of the Year 19:30 FRI (b04tt2h2)

Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways 22:25 SUN (b04tvmxs)

Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways 23:25 SUN (b04v2dtm)

Frost on Satire 23:00 WED (b00srhgn)

Great American Rock Anthems: Turn it up to 11 23:00 FRI (b03n2w37)

Great American Rock Anthems: Turn it up to 11 03:00 FRI (b03n2w37)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 MON (b00y47wd)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 TUE (b00yd1bv)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 WED (b00yd1pb)

Guitar Heroes at the BBC 00:00 FRI (b00llh2f)

Ice Age Giants 19:00 SAT (p018cc8p)

Ice Age Giants 02:00 SAT (p018cc8p)

Inspector Montalbano 21:00 SAT (b01n1rry)

James May at the Edge of Space 22:00 TUE (b00lc5ph)

London: A Tale of Two Cities with Dan Cruickshank 20:00 MON (p00r36lv)

Natural World 20:00 WED (b00xxf9f)

Neil Diamond: Solitary Man 00:30 TUE (b00vzzst)

New Power Generation: Black Music Legends of the 1980s 02:00 MON (b0177bjb)

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

Puppy Love 00:30 MON (b04t6n1c)

Puppy Love 22:00 THU (b04tt2fc)

Puppy Love 02:05 THU (b04tt2fc)

Queen - Days of Our Lives 21:00 FRI (b011pwd9)

Queen - Days of Our Lives 22:00 FRI (b011r4gs)

Queen - Days of Our Lives 01:00 FRI (b011pwd9)

Queen - Days of Our Lives 02:00 FRI (b011r4gs)

Rod Stewart at the BBC 01:00 MON (b03m81n5)

Sex and Sensibility: The Allure of Art Nouveau 20:00 SAT (b01f1959)

Sex and Sensibility: The Allure of Art Nouveau 03:00 SAT (b01f1959)

Sex and Sensibility: The Allure of Art Nouveau 02:00 TUE (b01f1959)

Sounds of the 70s 2 00:00 MON (b01jv6sd)

Sounds of the 70s 2 01:30 TUE (b01jzy37)

Sounds of the 70s 2 01:35 THU (b01k68gc)

Spike Milligan: Assorted Q 22:30 WED (b04v644f)

Spike Milligan: Assorted Q 22:30 THU (b04tt1yl)

Spike Milligan: Love, Light and Peace 21:00 WED (b04tt1yj)

Spike Milligan: Love, Light and Peace 02:30 WED (b04tt1yj)

Synth Britannia at the BBC 03:00 MON (b00n93c6)

TOTP2 00:00 WED (b007v15w)

Tales from the Royal Bedchamber 23:00 MON (b0386lxs)

The Day of the Triffids 20:00 SUN (b0074t53)

The Day of the Triffids 20:30 SUN (b0074t64)

The Genius of Funk 01:25 SUN (b04t9cjz)

The Great War 19:00 SUN (b0074p1v)

The Joy of Disco 01:30 WED (b01cqt72)

The Rolling Stones Return to Hyde Park: Sweet Summer Sun 22:30 TUE (b03dwq8g)

The Rolling Stones at the BBC 23:45 TUE (b01p1pmf)

The Secrets of Quantum Physics 21:00 TUE (b04tr9x9)

The Secrets of Quantum Physics 03:00 TUE (b04tr9x9)

The Secrets of Quantum Physics 00:00 THU (b04tr9x9)

The Story of Funk: One Nation Under a Groove 00:25 SUN (b04t6nm5)

Timewatch 21:00 MON (b00jcgpm)

Top of the Pops 01:20 SAT (b04t9bxw)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b04v33x9)

Top of the Pops 01:00 THU (b04v33x9)

Wild 19:40 SUN (b0078zqn)

Wild 19:50 SUN (b0078zwm)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b04tr693)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b04tr69d)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b04tr69k)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b04tr69y)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b04tr6b3)

imagine... 21:00 SUN (b036yl2v)

imagine... 02:25 SUN (b036yl2v)