Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 27 DECEMBER 2014

SAT 19:00 Happy Holidays with Bing and Frank (b04w80p0)
Two of the biggest musical celebrities of the 20th century come together with Christmas songs old and new in this classic holiday special from 1957, filmed in colour. As Frank Sinatra casually trims his Christmas tree on a very hip, fashionable bachelor apartment stage set, his good friend Bing Crosby drops by, bearing an armful of gifts. They go on to perform their favourite Christmas songs, among them Jingle Bells, Sinatra's version of Mistletoe and Holly and Crosby's famed White Christmas.

Directed by Frank Sinatra himself, this nostalgic half-hour harks back to Victorian Christmases of old. A magical TV moment of swingin' old-school cool.


SAT 19:30 Whisky Galore! (b00ml4yv)
Classic Ealing comedy about a whisky-laden ship that runs aground off the coast of the Outer Hebrides during the Second World War.

The local islanders have depleted their supply of the amber nectar and are overjoyed at the thought of stocking up again. But it is Sunday, and the teetotallers object to making free with the unexpected cargo.


SAT 20:50 Top of the Pops (b01ppl1x)
A Christmas Cracker

A selection of hit Christmas songs from yesteryear.


SAT 21:00 Inspector Montalbano (b01ndgjb)
Paper Moon

A distressed woman arrives at Vigata police station to report the disappearance of her brother. Soon enough, the man is found murdered in what appears to have been a crime of passion. But Montalbano is reluctant to give too much credit to appearances and digs into the victim's past, talking to anyone who might have had an involvement in the case. Meanwhile, a number of high-profile businessmen and politicians die as a result of cocaine overdoses.

In Italian with English subtitles.


SAT 22:50 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.


SAT 23:50 Country Kings at the BBC (p028vxj4)
Classic male country singers from the BBC vaults, journeying from The Everly Brothers and Jerry Lee Lewis to Garth Brooks and Willie Nelson, and featuring classic songs and performances by Glen Campbell, Charley Pride, George Hamilton IV, Kenny Rogers, Clint Black, Johnny Cash, Eric Church and more. This 50 years-plus compilation is a chronological look at country kings as featured on BBC studio shows as varied as In Concert, Wogan, The Late Show and Later with Jools Holland, plus early variety shows presented by the likes of Lulu, Harry Secombe and Shirley Abicair.


SAT 00:50 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.


SAT 01:55 Sounds of the Eighties (b0074sm9)
Episode 5

Flouncy-haired pop merchants and indie stalwarts on The Old Grey Whistle Test and its younger, more colourful sibling, The Whistle Test dominate this trawl through the 80s. Featuring The Teardrop Explodes, Orange Juice, Robert Wyatt, Aztec Camera, Billy Bragg, The Fall, The Pogues, Robyn Hitchcock and the ever-smiling Style Council.


SAT 02:20 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.



SUNDAY 28 DECEMBER 2014

SUN 19:00 The Bermuda Triangle: Beneath the Waves (b007c68n)
Professor Bruce Denardo attempts to prove whether there is any truth behind the legend of the Bermuda Triangle, where many ships and planes have disappeared in mysterious circumstances. New investigation techniques reveal the truth behind the infamous disappearance of Flight 19. Graham Hawkes is also able to reveal, by using a state-of-the-art submarine, how five wrecks mysteriously wound up 730 feet down in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle.


SUN 20:00 Return to Betjemanland (b04gb6nl)
In 1984, Sir John Betjeman died and was buried at St Enodoc Church, close to the village of Tribetherick in north Cornwall.

Writer, critic and biographer of Betjeman, AN Wilson, visits the real and imagined places that shaped his life to reveal the life and work of the poet and broadcaster.

Wilson explores how Betjeman came to speak to, and for, the nation in a remarkable way. As a poet Betjeman was writing popular verse for the many, not the few. With his brilliant documentaries for television, Betjeman entertained millions with infectious enthusiasm as he explained his many passions and bugbears.

As a campaigner to preserve the national heritage, Betjeman was tireless in his devotion to conservation and preservation, fighting the planners, politicians and developers - railing against their abuse of power and money.

Wilson investigates this by visiting locations in London, Oxford, Cornwall, Somerset and Berkshire. He travels through a landscape of beautiful houses and churches, beaches and seaside piers - a place that Wilson calls Betjemanland.

In doing so he also reveals the complexity and contradictions of Betjeman - how Betjeman, the snob with a love of aristocrats and their country houses, is the same person who is thrilled by the more proletarian pleasures of the Great British seaside; how the poetry of Betjeman shows us that he is haunted by childhood memory, has religious faith but also doubt and is in thrall to love and infatuation; and how the man his friends called Betjeman was full of joie de vivre, but also suffered great melancholy and guilt whilst living an agonised double life.


SUN 21:00 The Good Shepherd (b00plfj2)
Spy thriller charting the life of the man charged with heading the CIA's covert operations and uncovering a mole during the Bay of Pigs scandal, revealing how he changed from a once-idealistic student into the untrusting overlord of American espionage.


SUN 23:35 The Kate Bush Story: Running Up That Hill (b04dzswb)
Documentary exploring Kate Bush's career and music, from January 1978's Wuthering Heights to her 2011 album 50 Words for Snow, through the testimony of some of her key collaborators and those she has inspired.

Contributors include the guitarist who discovered her (Pink Floyd's David Gilmour), the choreographer who taught her to dance (Lindsay Kemp) and the musician who she said 'opened her doors' (Peter Gabriel), as well as her engineer and ex-partner (Del Palmer) and several other collaborators (Elton John, Stephen Fry and Nigel Kennedy).

Also exploring their abiding fascination with Kate are fans (John Lydon, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui) and musicians who have been influenced by her (St Vincent's Annie Clark, Natasha Khan (aka Bat for Lashes), Tori Amos, Outkast's Big Boi, Guy Garvey and Tricky), as well as writers and comedians who admire her (Jo Brand, Steve Coogan and Neil Gaiman).


SUN 00:35 Kate Bush at the BBC (b04f86xk)
Between 1978 and 1994, Kate Bush appeared on a variety of BBC programmes, including Saturday Night at the Mill, Ask Aspel, the Leo Sayer Show, Wogan and Top of the Pops. This compilation showcases her performances of hit songs such as Wuthering Heights, Babooshka, Running up That Hill and Hounds of Love, alongside other intriguing and lesser-known material in the BBC studios.


SUN 01:40 Glastonbury (b04d8xv8)
2014

Dolly Parton

From the Glastonbury Festival, the complete set by the undisputed queen of country music Dolly Parton from the Pyramid Stage in the now-traditional legends spot on Sunday afternoon. As the Somerset sunshine shone, and in front of one of the biggest and most enthusiastic crowds that the Pyramid Stage has ever seen, Dolly performed a rousing and crowd-pleasing set including self-penned classics such as Jolene, Coat of Many Colours, 9 to 5, Islands in the Stream and I Will Always Love You. A legendary moment that the Glastonbury crowd and hopefully Dolly Parton will never forget.


SUN 02:50 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 29 DECEMBER 2014

MON 19:00 Pompeii: The Mystery of the People Frozen in Time (b01rn6c2)
The city of Pompeii uniquely captures the public's imagination - in AD79 a legendary volcanic disaster left its citizens preserved in ashes to this very day. Yet no-one has been able to unravel the full story that is at the heart of our fascination - how did those bodies become frozen in time?

For the first time, the BBC has been granted unique access to these strange, ghost-like body casts that populate the ruins and, using the latest forensic technology, the chance to peer beneath the surface of the plaster in order to rebuild the faces of two of the people who were killed in this terrible tragedy.

Margaret Mountford turns detective to tell a new story at the heart of one of history's most iconic moments, as she looks at the unique set of circumstances that led to the remarkable preservation of the people of Pompeii. By applying modern-day forensic analysis to this age-old mystery, Margaret dispels the myths surrounding the events in AD79. She also explores the lives of the individuals who once lived in this vibrant and enigmatic city and recreates the last moments of the people caught up in this tragedy.


MON 20:00 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (b04w84yp)
2014: Sparks Will Fly - How to Hack your Home

The Light Bulb Moment

Professor Danielle George takes three great British inventions - the light bulb, the telephone and the motor - and shows you how to hack, adapt and transform them to do extraordinary things. This is tinkering for the 21st century.

Inspired by Geordie inventor Joseph Swan, Danielle attempts to play a computer game on the windows of a skyscraper using hundreds of light bulbs. Along the way, Danielle will show the next generation how to hack, adapt and transform the technologies found in the home to have fun and make a difference to the world.

This year's Royal Institution Christmas Lectures have been inspired by the great inventors and the thousands of people playing with technology at their kitchen tables or tinkering in their garden sheds. When Joseph Swan demonstrated the first working light bulb in 1878 he could never have dreamed that in 2014 we'd be surrounded by super-bright LED screens and lights that could be controlled using mobile phones.

In this lecture, Danielle explains how these technologies work and show how they can be adapted to help you realise your own light bulb moments. She shows how to send wireless messages using a barbecue, control a firework display with your laptop and use a torch to browse the internet.


MON 21:00 Al Murray's Great British Spy Movies (b04w85jj)
Comedian and history buff Al Murray is joined by former director of MI5 Dame Stella Rimington, political comedian Matt Forde and film expert Matthew Sweet for a fresh look at the great British spy movie. This round-table discussion looks at the films themselves - not to mention the spies that star in them - and uses them as a lens on the British people, our fear of the world and our changing views of espionage over the decades.

As well as discussing the inevitable moral ambiguity, the limited female roles and general distrust of the intelligence community, we also find out what Dame Stella Rimington, the real M, actually thinks about James Bond, what you really say at a party when someone inevitably asks what you do, the spy gadget she'd really like to get her hands on, and the film that was genuinely used as a training movie when she first joined the service.


MON 22:00 The Ipcress File (b0074sv0)
Spy thriller in which intelligence agent Harry Palmer is plunged into the shabby and treacherous world of counter-espionage as he uncovers a bizarre brain drain among scientists. Based on the novel by Len Deighton.


MON 23:45 The Joy of the Guitar Riff (b049mtxw)
The guitar riff is the DNA of rock 'n' roll, a double helix of repetitive simplicity and fiendish complexity on which its history has been built. From Chuck Berry through to The White Stripes, this documentary traces the ebb and flow of the guitar riff over the last 60 years of popular music. With riffs and stories from an all-star cast including Brian May, Dave Davies, Hank Marvin, Joan Jett, Nile Rodgers, Tony Iommi, Robert Fripp, Johnny Marr, Nancy Wilson, Kevin Shields, Ryan Jarman, Tom Morello and many more. Narrated by Lauren Laverne.


MON 00:45 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.


MON 01:45 Glen Campbell: The Rhinestone Cowboy (b01pwxs8)
In 2011, Glen Campbell announced he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and that he would be bowing out with a final album and farewell tour across Britain and America. This documentary tells Campbell's remarkable life story, from impoverished childhood in Arkansas to huge success, first as a guitarist and then as a singer, with great records like Wichita Lineman and Rhinestone Cowboy. With comments from friends and colleagues, including songwriter Jimmy Webb and Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees, it is a moving story of success, disgrace and redemption as rich as any of the storylines in Campbell's most famous songs.

The peak of Glen Campbell's career was in 1975, when he topped the charts around the world with Rhinestone Cowboy, but his musical journey to that point is fascinating. A self-taught teenage prodigy on the guitar, by his mid-twenties Campbell was one of the top session guitarists in LA, a key member of the band of session players now known as The Wrecking Crew. He played on hundreds of tracks while working for producers like Phil Spector and Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, including Daydream Believer by The Monkees, You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling by The Righteous Brothers, Strangers in the Night by Frank Sinatra and Viva Las Vegas by Elvis Presley.

But Campbell always wanted to make it under his own name. A string of records failed to chart until, in 1967, he finally found his distinctive country pop sound with hits like Gentle on My Mind and By the Time I Get to Phoenix. The latter was written by Jimmy Webb, and together the two created a string of great records like Wichita Lineman and Galveston. Campbell pioneered country crossover and opened the way for artists like Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.

By the end of the 1960s, Campbell was the fastest rising star in American pop with his own television show and a starring role in the original version of True Grit. Over the following ten years, he had more success with Rhinestone Cowboy and Southern Nights, but his private life was in turmoil. Divorce, drink and drugs saw this clean-cut all-American hero fall from grace and a tempestuous relationship with country star Tanya Tucker was front-page news.

Despite a relapse in 2003, when he was arrested for drunk driving and his police mug shot was shown around the world, the last two decades have been more settled. He remarried, started a new family and renewed his Christian faith, and was musically rediscovered by a new generation. Like his friend Johnny Cash, he released acclaimed new albums with young musicians, covering songs by contemporary artists like U2 and The Foo Fighters. Therefore the diagnosis with Alzheimer's was all the more poignant, but his dignified farewell has made him the public face of the disease in the USA.

The film includes contributions by many of Campbell's friends and colleagues, including his family in Arkansas, fellow session musicians Carol Kaye and Leon Russell, long-time friend and collaborator Jimmy Webb, former Monkee Mickey Dolenz, broadcaster Bob Harris, lyricist Don Black and country music writer Robert Oermann.


MON 02:45 Al Murray's Great British Spy Movies (b04w85jj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



TUESDAY 30 DECEMBER 2014

TUE 19:00 Genghis Khan (b007930p)
He was a man who combined the savagery of a real-life Conan the Barbarian with the sheer tactical genius of Napoleon, a man from the outermost reaches of Asia whose armies ultimately stood poised to conquer Europe. His name was Genghis Khan.

Today the name of Genghis Khan is synonymous with dark evil yet in his lifetime he was a heroic figure, a supreme strategist capable of eliciting total devotion from his warriors.

He grew up in poverty on the harsh unforgiving steppe of Mongolia. From the murder of his father, the kidnap of his wife and the execution of his closest friend, he learned the lessons of life the hard way.

So how did this outcast come to conquer an empire larger than the Roman Empire? And was Genghis Khan the brutal monster who ruthlessly slaughtered millions in his quest for power, or was he a brilliant visionary who transformed a rabble of warring tribes into a nation capable of world domination?

Filmed entirely on location in Mongolia, the film tells the truth behind the legend that is Genghis Khan.


TUE 20:00 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (b04wlv8r)
2014: Sparks Will Fly - How to Hack your Home

Making Contact

Professor Danielle George takes three great British inventions - the light bulb, the telephone and the motor - and shows you how to hack, adapt and transform them to do extraordinary things. This is tinkering for the 21st century.

Inspired by Alexander Graham Bell, Danielle attempts to beam a special guest into the theatre via hologram using the technology found in a mobile phone. Along the way, Danielle shows the next generation how to hack, adapt and transform the electronics found in the home to have fun and make a difference to the world.

This year's Royal Institution Christmas Lectures have been inspired by the great inventors and the thousands of people playing with technology at their kitchen tables or tinkering in their garden sheds. When Scottish inventor Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated the first telephone in 1876, he could never have dreamed that in 2014 we'd all be carrying wire-free phones in our pockets and be able to video chat in crystal clear HD across the world.

In this lecture, Danielle explains how these technologies work and shows how they can be adapted to help keep you connected to the people around you. She shows how to control paintball guns with a webcam and turn your smartphone into a microscope, whilst also investigating a device that allows you to feel invisible objects in mid-air.


TUE 21:00 Narnia's Lost Poet: The Secret Lives and Loves of CS Lewis (b03jrw5j)
CS Lewis's biographer AN Wilson goes in search of the man behind Narnia - best-selling children's author and famous Christian writer, but an under-appreciated Oxford academic and an aspiring poet who never achieved the same success in writing verse as he did prose.

Although his public life was spent in the all-male world of Oxford colleges, his private life was marked by secrecy and even his best friend JRR Tolkien didn't know of his marriage to an American divorcee late in life. Lewis died on the same day as the assassination of John F Kennedy and few were at his burial - his alcoholic brother was too drunk to tell people the time of the funeral. Fifty years on, his life as a writer is now being remembered alongside other national literary heroes in Westminster Abbey's Poets' Corner.

In this personal and insightful film, Wilson paints a psychological portrait of a man who experienced fame in the public arena, but whose personal life was marked by the loss of the three women he most loved.


TUE 22:00 The 39 Steps (b0074t6w)
Classic Hitchcock mystery based on John Buchan's novel. A man is pursued by the police for a murder he did not commit and by an international spy ring for information he does not possess. He finds himself fleeing across the desolate Scottish moors - handcuffed to a beautiful blonde.


TUE 23:25 Kenny Rogers: Cards on the Table (b04pl3kw)
Examining the life and career of the artist who 'knows when to hold 'em and knows when to fold 'em', this documentary chronicles Kenny Rogers's remarkable rise to the top of his game and the golden era of country music he ushered in.

With an exclusive, candid interview from Rogers himself and performance footage gathered on his recent Through the Years tour, this honest and eye-opening film provides a backstage pass to a remarkable 50-year career of performing and recording.

Associates and luminaries provide personal insight into how the poor, music-obsessed boy from Houston, Texas went on to become a superstar with over 120 million albums sold worldwide. Singer, songwriter and producer Kim Carnes recalls how the New Christy Minstrels folk group - of which she and Kenny were members in the late 1960s - was like a 'school on the road' that provided them both with a springboard from which to explore other musical ambitions. Actor and musician Mickey Jones recounts his time with Kenny in the band The First Edition, whose hit single Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) made Kenny an unlikely poster boy for the psychedelic generation. Longtime friend Lionel Richie reveals how a trip to the bathroom played a crucial role in the recording session for Lady, one of Kenny's biggest hits.

Away from music, the programme reveals how Kenny's drive and ambition - what he describes as his 'impulsive-obsessive' nature - led to success in other fields: according to the renowned photographer John Sexton, the country music legend was determined to master the art of photography (Kenny was recently awarded an honorary Master of Photography degree by the Professional Photographers Association).

For over half a century, Kenny has kept us entertained with some of the best-known and best-loved music ever recorded. With a career spanning everything from jazz to folk, 60s psychedelia to R&B, perhaps his real legacy lies in the fact that he introduced a trailblazing pop sensibility to country music.


TUE 00:25 Country Kings at the BBC (p028vxj4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:50 on Saturday]


TUE 01:25 Synth Britannia (b00n93c4)
Documentary following a generation of post-punk musicians who took the synthesiser from the experimental fringes to the centre of the pop stage.

In the late 1970s, small pockets of electronic artists including The Human League, Daniel Miller and Cabaret Voltaire were inspired by Kraftwerk and JG Ballard, and they dreamt of the sound of the future against the backdrop of bleak, high-rise Britain.

The crossover moment came in 1979 when Gary Numan's appearance on Top of the Pops with Tubeway Army's Are 'Friends' Electric? heralded the arrival of synthpop. Four lads from Basildon known as Depeche Mode would come to own the new sound, whilst post-punk bands like Ultravox, Soft Cell, OMD and Yazoo took the synth out of the pages of NME and onto the front page of Smash Hits.

By 1983, acts like Pet Shop Boys and New Order were showing that the future of electronic music would lie in dance music.

Contributors include Philip Oakey, Vince Clarke, Martin Gore, Bernard Sumner, Gary Numan and Neil Tennant.


TUE 02:55 Narnia's Lost Poet: The Secret Lives and Loves of CS Lewis (b03jrw5j)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 31 DECEMBER 2014

WED 19:00 Danny Boy - The Ballad That Bewitched the World (b03hdsbk)
How did an obscure Irish melody become one of the greatest songs of all time, recorded by music's biggest names? One hundred years after 'Danny Boy' was first published, the true story of its astonishing past is uncovered, while contributors including Gabriel Byrne, Rosanne Cash, Brian Kennedy and Barry McGuigan explain its enduring appeal and what it has come to symbolise.


WED 20:00 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (b04wlw2r)
2014: Sparks Will Fly - How to Hack your Home

A New Revolution

Professor Danielle George takes three great British inventions - the light bulb, the telephone and the motor - and shows you how to hack, adapt and transform them to do extraordinary things. This is tinkering for the 21st century.

Inspired by the Royal Institution's very own Michael Faraday, Danielle attempts to use simple motors to construct the world's greatest robot orchestra. Along the way, Danielle shows the next generation how to hack, adapt and transform the electronics found in the home to have fun and make a difference to the world.

This year's Royal Institution Christmas Lectures have been inspired by the great inventors and the thousands of people playing with technology at their kitchen tables or tinkering in their garden sheds. When Michael Faraday demonstrated the first electric motor in 1822, he could never have dreamed that in 2014 we'd be surrounded by mechanical devices capable of performing nearly every human task.

In this lecture, Danielle explains how these robotic and motor-driven appliances work and shows how they can adapted to help you kick-start a technological revolution. She shows how to turn a washing machine into a wind turbine, how Lego can solve a Rubik's Cube and how the next Mars rover will traverse an alien world.


WED 21:00 The Joy of ABBA (b03lyzpp)
Between 1974 and 1982 ABBA plundered the Anglo-Saxon charts but divided critical opinion. This documentary explores how they raised the bar for pop music as a form and made us fall in love with the sound of Swedish melancholy. A saga about the soul of pop.


WED 22:00 ABBA at the BBC (b03lyzpr)
If you fancy an hour's worth of irresistible guilty pleasures from Anni-Frid, Benny, Bjorn and Agnetha, this is the programme for you. ABBA stormed the 1974 Eurovision song contest with their winning entry Waterloo, and this programme charts the meteoric rise of the band with some of their greatest performances at the BBC.

It begins in 1974 with their first Top of the Pops appearance, and we even get to see the band entertaining holidaymakers in Torbay in a 1975 Seaside Special. There are many classic ABBA tunes from the 1979 BBC special ABBA in Switzerland, plus their final BBC appearance on the Late Late Breakfast show in 1982.

This compilation is a must for all fans and includes great archive interviews, promos and performances of some of ABBA's classics including Waterloo, Dancing Queen, Does Your Mother Know, Thank You for the Music, SOS, Fernando, Chiquitita and many more.


WED 23:00 Kind Hearts and Coronets (b01sjsx1)
Classic Ealing comedy. When his dear mother - the spurned and disinherited heir to the dukedom of Chalfont - dies, poor Louis Mazzini forms a dastardly plot. He will kill all her family, the D'Ascoynes, and rise to fulfil his destiny as the Duke of Chalfont.


WED 00:45 Rich Hall's California Stars (b04bbfzw)
Rich Hall continues his cultural critique of American people and places.

California has always been an empty sales pitch. Its first settlements were borne of missionary zeal. It promised a haven from marauders, banditos and mercenaries. Since then it has wiled us with unlimited gold, boundless harvests, silver-screen stardom, dotcom salvation and hi-tech silicon marvels. It has always been a place that promises a good chance of success - if you're youthful or white. And if you're Mexican, it at least promises a decent chance of survival.

The California dream has always eclipsed its facts or its history. Most other US states are named after geographical place names or Indian tribes or British royalty - New York, Nebraska, Maryland. California was named for Calafia, a mythical Spanish queen, a kind of Spanish Snow White. At the California History Attraction in Anaheim she is portrayed in a 20-minute film narrated by Whoopi Goldberg.

And that's California in a nutshell - a place that instantly forgets its past so it can reinvent it for tourists and dreamers. True reality has never been good enough for Californians. They are always vaguely dissatisfied with themselves, their bodies, their spirituality, their government and their present car. Yet they still believe they shape both American culture and American character. And to a large degree, they have.

In his unique and sardonic way, Rich takes the viewer on a skewed but keenly eyed journey to the place built on a tectonic faultline that still deigns to call itself the Land of Dreams.


WED 02:15 The Joy of ABBA (b03lyzpp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 03:15 The Carpenters at the BBC (b00cgxtq)
The Carpenters' debut BBC concert, recorded on their first British tour in September 1971. They perform hits including Close to You, Superstar and We've Only Just Begun, together with the odd Beatles' tune and a Bacharach/David medley. Karen's drumming and Richard's keyboards get instrumental support from their five-piece touring band and a 26-piece orchestra conducted by Johnny Pearson.



THURSDAY 01 JANUARY 2015

THU 19:00 New Year's Day Concert (b04w08p4)
2015 - Highlights

Petroc Trelawny presents highlights from the concert in which internationally renowned conductor Zubin Mehta joined the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra to conduct, for the fifth time, their traditional start to the new year from the Musikverein in the heart of Vienna.

The Vienna State Ballet dances to music by Johann Strauss and the orchestra plays the Strauss family's traditional and hugely popular waltzes, polkas and marches, culminating in those perennial favourites By the Beautiful Blue Danube and the rousing Radetzky March.


THU 21:00 Wallander (b04wrr6l)
Faceless Killers

Part 3

At the Lovgrens' funeral, the snooper in the barn is recognised as Mrs Lovgren's brother. When he is called in for questioning, he admits that he was looking for Lovgren's money, but denies having anything to do with the murder and tells the police that Lovgren has an illegitimate child. Kurt is suspicious of an ex-policeman who has reported that his distinctive car, the same model as heard at the scene of the murder of the Somali, has been stolen.

In Swedish with English subtitles.


THU 21:55 Wallander (b04wrr6n)
Faceless Killers

Part 4

It is now summer and, as Kurt muses on the lack of success in finding the Lovgrens' killers, he suddenly has an impulse to ask further questions at the bank, which provide the much needed breakthough in the case.

In Swedish with English subtitles.


THU 22:45 The Clash: New Year's Day '77 (b04w08p6)
Built around the earliest, until now unseen, footage of The Clash in concert, filmed by Julien Temple as they opened the infamous Roxy club in a dilapidated Covent Garden on 1 January 1977, this show takes us on a time-travelling trip back to that strange planet that was Great Britain in the late 1970s and the moment when punk emerged into the mainstream consciousness.

Featuring the voices of Joe Strummer and The Clash from the time, and intercutting the raw and visceral footage of this iconic show with telling moments from the BBC's New Year's Eve, Hogmanay and New Year's Day schedules of nearly 40 years ago, it celebrates that great enduring British custom of getting together, en masse and often substantially the worse for wear, to usher in the new year.

New Year's Day is when we collectively take the time to reflect on the year that has just gone by and ponder what the new one might hold in store for us. Unknown to the unsuspecting British public, 1977 was of course the annus mirabilis of punk. The year in which The Clash themselves took off, catching the imagination of the nation's youth. As their iconic song 1977 counts us down to midnight, we share with them and Joe Strummer, in previously unseen interviews from the time, their hopes and predictions for the 12 months ahead.


THU 00:00 London Songs at the BBC (b01jxzfs)
A collection of performances from the BBC archives, celebrating the sights and sounds and the ups and downs of London through the words and songs through the years - from Petula Clark singing A Foggy Day in London Town in 1965 to Adele performing her love letter to the city in Hometown Glory, filmed in October 2007 on the roof of the BBC car park in Shepherd's Bush. Also featured are the likes of The Jam, Eddy Grant, Tom Paxton and Lily Allen plus many more.


THU 01:00 Nat King Cole: Afraid of the Dark (b0446mwz)
Nat King Cole was the only black television star in Hollywood at a time when America groaned under the weight of racial segregation and prejudice. Yet he possessed a natural talent so great that these issues were seemingly swept to one side to allow him to become one of the greatest jazz icons of all time. However, behind closed doors those around him were trying to think of a way to package him as something he was not: bi-white.

This candid account of what really happened in and around his 'fairytale' life is taken from his private journals, interviews with his widow Maria and contributions from other family members, Tony Bennett, Buddy Greco, Harry Belafonte, Nancy Wilson, Sir Bruce Forsyth, George Benson, Aaron Neville, Johnny Mathis and many more.

Featuring archive never seen before, it reveals Nat King Cole's feelings behind his ultimate calling as a 'beacon of hope' to the legions of the oppressed.


THU 02:30 The Clash: New Year's Day '77 (b04w08p6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:45 today]



FRIDAY 02 JANUARY 2015

FRI 19:00 BBC Proms (b038rp8h)
2013

Nigel Kennedy at the Proms

At the Royal Albert Hall, Clemency Burton-Hill introduces violinist Nigel Kennedy, who returns to the Proms to give his distinctive version of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, the work he recorded to great acclaim 25 years ago. Joined by the Palestine Strings from the Edward Said Music Conservatory, Kennedy also adds improvisation between each concerto with members of his own Orchestra of Life.


FRI 20:00 Nigel Kennedy at the BBC (b04w0fyx)
Compilation of performances and appearances by Nigel Kennedy from the BBC archive, following his music development and career from a seven-year-old child on Town and Around to his virtuoso showstopper Czardas from the Last Night of the Proms 2013.

Featuring interviews with him through the years, and demonstrating a versatility of styles from classical to experimental to a jazz duet with Stephane Grappelli.


FRI 21:00 Top of the Pops (b04w0fyz)
The Story of 1980

1980 was the year that both pop music and TOTP changed. A new generation of British pop arrived with Dexy's, Adam Ant, The Human League and OMD. The show changed as the veteran TOTP orchestra was laid off, the studio audience doubled in size, new sets were built and a range of celebrity co-hosts from Elton John to Kevin Keegan to Russ Abbott arrived.

This documentary explores these dramatic changes in Top of the Pops, British pop and British society with a cast including Adam Ant, The Human League, OMD, Kevin Rowland, Coronation Street actress Sally Lindsay (who appeared with St Winifred's School Choir), Kelly Marie, Ray Dorset, Johnny Logan, The Vapors, The Piranhas and Richard Skinner.


FRI 22:00 Top of the Pops (b04w0fz1)
1980 - Big Hits

British pop and the BBC's flagship chart show said goodbye to the 70s and trembled on the edge of a new era for the show, for British music and for British society. This meant a continuing love for the nutty boys, Madness, who feature in this compilation with My Girl, and the man with the best cheekbones in pop, Adam Ant, gave us Antmusic.

We get to check out The Pretenders' first number one, Brass in Pocket, alongside Dexys Midnight Runners' tribute to soul legend Geno Washington. There are the early stirrings of new romantic with Spandau Ballet, and it's a veritable mod revival with The Piranhas and 2-Tone with The Beat.

Plus Hot Chocolate, OMD, Motorhead and many more top hits proving the 80s were truly beginning.


FRI 23:00 Coldplay in Concert 2014 (b04w0fz3)
In December 2014, the BBC's historic Radio Theatre opened its doors to Coldplay, one of the biggest stadium rock bands in the world. The Grammy award-winning group perform a selection of classic tracks from their big-selling catalogue through to their sixth album Ghost Stories. For a band accustomed to playing to many thousands, this intimate gig in front of a few hundred is a must-see event.


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

Episode 1

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

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

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


FRI 01:00 Top of the Pops (b04w0fyz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 02:00 Top of the Pops (b04w0fz1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


FRI 03:00 Coldplay in Concert 2014 (b04w0fz3)
[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)

ABBA at the BBC 22:00 WED (b03lyzpr)

Al Murray's Great British Spy Movies 21:00 MON (b04w85jj)

Al Murray's Great British Spy Movies 02:45 MON (b04w85jj)

BBC Proms 19:00 FRI (b038rp8h)

Coldplay in Concert 2014 23:00 FRI (b04w0fz3)

Coldplay in Concert 2014 03:00 FRI (b04w0fz3)

Country Kings at the BBC 23:50 SAT (p028vxj4)

Country Kings at the BBC 00:25 TUE (p028vxj4)

Country Queens at the BBC 22:50 SAT (p028vwnv)

Danny Boy - The Ballad That Bewitched the World 19:00 WED (b03hdsbk)

Dolly Parton: Platinum Blonde 00:50 SAT (b0074pt7)

Genghis Khan 19:00 TUE (b007930p)

Glastonbury 01:40 SUN (b04d8xv8)

Glen Campbell: The Rhinestone Cowboy 01:45 MON (b01pwxs8)

Happy Holidays with Bing and Frank 19:00 SAT (b04w80p0)

Inspector Montalbano 21:00 SAT (b01ndgjb)

John Denver: Country Boy 02:50 SUN (b03j4cz2)

Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music 00:45 MON (p0295qy9)

Kate Bush at the BBC 00:35 SUN (b04f86xk)

Kenny Rogers: Cards on the Table 23:25 TUE (b04pl3kw)

Kind Hearts and Coronets 23:00 WED (b01sjsx1)

London Songs at the BBC 00:00 THU (b01jxzfs)

Narnia's Lost Poet: The Secret Lives and Loves of CS Lewis 21:00 TUE (b03jrw5j)

Narnia's Lost Poet: The Secret Lives and Loves of CS Lewis 02:55 TUE (b03jrw5j)

Nat King Cole: Afraid of the Dark 01:00 THU (b0446mwz)

New Year's Day Concert 19:00 THU (b04w08p4)

Nigel Kennedy at the BBC 20:00 FRI (b04w0fyx)

Pompeii: The Mystery of the People Frozen in Time 19:00 MON (b01rn6c2)

Return to Betjemanland 20:00 SUN (b04gb6nl)

Rich Hall's California Stars 00:45 WED (b04bbfzw)

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures 20:00 MON (b04w84yp)

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures 20:00 TUE (b04wlv8r)

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures 20:00 WED (b04wlw2r)

Singer-Songwriters at the BBC 00:00 FRI (b015f5c8)

Sounds of the Eighties 01:55 SAT (b0074sm9)

Synth Britannia 01:25 TUE (b00n93c4)

The 39 Steps 22:00 TUE (b0074t6w)

The Bermuda Triangle: Beneath the Waves 19:00 SUN (b007c68n)

The Carpenters at the BBC 03:15 WED (b00cgxtq)

The Clash: New Year's Day '77 22:45 THU (b04w08p6)

The Clash: New Year's Day '77 02:30 THU (b04w08p6)

The Good Shepherd 21:00 SUN (b00plfj2)

The Heart of Country: How Nashville Became Music City USA 02:20 SAT (b04ndxlr)

The Ipcress File 22:00 MON (b0074sv0)

The Joy of ABBA 21:00 WED (b03lyzpp)

The Joy of ABBA 02:15 WED (b03lyzpp)

The Joy of the Guitar Riff 23:45 MON (b049mtxw)

The Kate Bush Story: Running Up That Hill 23:35 SUN (b04dzswb)

Top of the Pops 20:50 SAT (b01ppl1x)

Top of the Pops 21:00 FRI (b04w0fyz)

Top of the Pops 22:00 FRI (b04w0fz1)

Top of the Pops 01:00 FRI (b04w0fyz)

Top of the Pops 02:00 FRI (b04w0fz1)

Wallander 21:00 THU (b04wrr6l)

Wallander 21:55 THU (b04wrr6n)

Whisky Galore! 19:30 SAT (b00ml4yv)