Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 03 JANUARY 2015

SAT 19:00 Lost Land of the Volcano (b00mq3p1)
Episode 1

Series combining stunning wildlife with high-octane adventure, as a team of scientists and wildlife film-makers from the BBC's Natural History Unit explores one of the last great unspoilt jungle wildernesses on earth.

New Guinea is a rugged tropical island that is home to some of the strangest creatures on the planet. The team is based at the foot of Mount Bosavi, a giant extinct volcano covered in thick and largely unexplored rainforest. With the help of trackers from a remote tribe, they aim to search for the animals that live there - and they make amazing finds.

Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan discovers the nest of the world's smallest parrot, insect expert Dr George McGavin finds a talking beetle, the scientists identify types of frog, gecko and bat that are completely new to science, and adventurer Steve Backshall has to live and sleep underground as he explores a cave system flooded with white water.

The cameras follow the team every sweaty step of the way as they search for the evidence that may help preserve this last great jungle forever.


SAT 20:00 Do We Really Need the Moon? (b00yb5jp)
The moon is such a familiar presence in the sky that most of us take it for granted. But what if it wasn't where it is now? How would that affect life on Earth?

Space scientist and lunar fanatic Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock explores our intimate relationship with the moon. Besides orchestrating the tides, the moon dictates the length of a day, the rhythm of the seasons and the very stability of our planet.

Yet the moon is always on the move. In the past, it was closer to the Earth and in the future it will be farther away. That it is now perfectly placed to sustain life is pure luck, a cosmic coincidence. Using computer graphics to summon up great tides and set the Earth spinning on its side, Aderin-Pocock implores us to look at the Moon afresh: to see it not as an inert rock, but as a key player in the story of our planet, past, present and future.


SAT 21:00 Wallander (b04xr6qs)
The Dogs of Riga

Part 1

The identities of the bodies of two murdered men, found floating in a life raft off the Swedish coast, are determined with the help of Latvian police officer Karlis Liepa, who tells Wallander that they are almost certainly the victims of the Russian mafia. When no further clues can be determined Liepa returns home, but Wallander is shaken by a fax almost as soon as his newly-acquired friend has got back to Riga.

In Swedish with English subtitles.


SAT 21:55 Wallander (b04xtqst)
The Dogs of Riga

Part 2

In Latvia to help with their police enquiries into the death of Major Leipa, Wallander is given a coded message to meet his friend's widow. What he discovers is an underground movement determined to take on the corruption which is rife in Latvian corridors of power.

In Swedish with English subtitles.


SAT 22:55 Sammy Davis Jr: The Kid in the Middle (b04w7wgr)
Sammy Davis Jr was born to entertain. He was a human dynamo who made his debut at the age of five and by the time he was a teenager was wowing audiences across America. A gifted dancer, actor and singer, and a key member of the Rat Pack, Davis is best remembered for his unforgettable rendition of Mr Bojangles and his number one single The Candyman.

However, as a black man, making his way in the entertainment business saw him struggle to overcome racial prejudice, letter bombs and death threats. Davis fought back with his talent and in the 1960s marched alongside Dr Martin Luther King. Despite his reputation as a civil rights campaigner and one of the world's greatest entertainers, Davis remains an enigma. Those closest to him tell of a man never quite comfortable in his own skin, a workaholic and spendaholic who put his career before his family and who died leaving them millions of dollars in debt.

This documentary is Sammy Davis Jr's remarkable life story - his rise and his fall - told by those who knew him best. For the first time his family and friends including Paul Anka, Engelbert Humperdinck, Reverend Jesse Jackson and Ben Vereen share their memories - shedding new light on the legacy of one of the most gifted and loved performers in show business.


SAT 23:55 An Evening with Sammy Davis Jr (b04w7wn5)
A compilation of the very best of Sammy Davis Jr's famous 1960s performances for the BBC, that leaves no doubt as to why at the time he was billed as the world's greatest living entertainer. This show captures Davis as the ultimate swinger, singer and gunslinger, performing classic songs like My Funny Valentine and Once in a Lifetime, showing how he's quick on the draw with a pistol, and demonstrating his incredible impersonations of some of the best-known stars of the era.


SAT 00:55 Neil Sedaka: King of Song (b03v2yxt)
Neil Sedaka is one of the most successful American singer-songwriters of the last century. A classically trained musician, he won a scholarship to the Juilliard School at the age of nine and four years later he embarked on a writing career that would see him create some of the most perfect pop songs of all time. Throughout his career he wrote, recorded and sang a number of instantly recognisable and memorable tunes, as well as delivering a string of hits as a songwriter for other artists.

This documentary portrait film tells the story of Neil Sedaka's life and career, in which he had two distinct periods of success. Between 1958 and 1963 he sold over 25 million records, but then his career nose-dived after the Beatles and the British Invasion hit the USA. Leaving his homeland, he found success in the UK in the early 1970s and relaunched his career before returning to the US and achieving new stardom with songs like Solitaire and Laughter in the Rain.

Neil gives great insight into how he created catchy classics like Calendar Girl, (Is This the Way to) Amarillo, Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen and Stupid Cupid, amongst many others.


SAT 01:55 Lost Land of the Volcano (b00mq3p1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SAT 02:55 Sammy Davis Jr: The Kid in the Middle (b04w7wgr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:55 today]



SUNDAY 04 JANUARY 2015

SUN 19:00 ... Sings Musicals (b019jshd)
A delve into the BBC archives for an eclectic mix of performances from musicals from the 60s to the present. Featuring the likes of Ella Fitzgerald singing Mack the Knife from the Threepenny Opera, Captain Sensible performing a classic from South Pacific, Jeff Beck going down the yellow brick road of Oz, Jay Z taking on Annie, and all points in between.


SUN 20:00 Mark Lawson Talks To... (b0074s9n)
PD James

Mark Lawson talks to one of Britain's greatest exponents of the detective novel, the late PD James. In this frank discussion she talks about her need to write, the impact that the two world wars have had on her, religion and death.


SUN 21:00 Hermitage Revealed (b04xd53k)
The State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg is one of the largest and most visited museums in the world. Margy Kinmonth's film tells the story of its journey from imperial palace to state museum, investigating remarkable tales of dedication, devotion, ownership and ultimate sacrifice, showing how the collection came about, how it survived tumultuous revolutionary times and what makes the Hermitage unique today.

Holding over three million objects and boasting more curators than any other museum, the Hermitage's story is Russia's history in microcosm and its art has lived to tell the tale. The film brings together the oldest, the rarest, the most precious and the most closely guarded of Russia's greatest treasures, including priceless works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Titian, Da Vinci, Michelangelo and modern masterpieces by Matisse, Gauguin, Van Gogh and Picasso, some of which never leave Russia.

The film accesses the museum's director Professor Mikhail Piotrovsky, expert curators, historical eyewitnesses and rare archive from the Siege of Leningrad to reveal the workings of the Hermitage, going behind the scenes to observe the restorers, artists, archives, trophy art and hidden treasures not on show to the public.

Kinmonth's cameras travel through doorways, galleries and even underground to find the colony of cats which has lived on the heating pipes in the basement since the time of Catherine the Great. The film also brings the Hermitage's story up to date with a visit to the specially built open storage facility which houses objects behind a kilometre of glass corridors, and features contributions from contemporary artists including Antony Gormley and architect Rem Koolhaas.


SUN 22:00 A Royal Affair (b036ts6c)
At the tender age of 15, Caroline Matilda, the youngest sister of George III, is betrothed to her cousin Christian VII, King of Denmark. Almost immediately aware of her young husband's mental illness, she falls under the charismatic spell of Christian's new doctor, Johann Struensee, a German with dangerously liberal views which soon make him enemies at a court unused to having its authority challenged.

In Danish with English subtitles.


SUN 00:10 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.


SUN 01:10 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.


SUN 01:45 ... Sings Musicals (b019jshd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SUN 02:45 Hermitage Revealed (b04xd53k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



MONDAY 05 JANUARY 2015

MON 19:00 World News Today (b04xd2wl)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


MON 19:30 World War I at Home (b04gkn55)
Royal Victoria Hospital

Shocking stories of the World War I Hampshire hospital doctors who faked footage on cures for shellshock. Author Philip Hoare examines the evidence and reveals some other real-life human tragedies at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Netley.


MON 20:00 Hidden Histories: Britain's Oldest Family Businesses (b03q0177)
Balson the Butcher

The first of three documentaries following the bosses of some Britain's oldest family businesses as they go on a journey into their remarkable pasts.

Richard Balson's family have been butchers for almost 500 years, since Henry VIII was on the throne. He goes back through centuries of butchery to the origin of the British high street. Along the way he discovers how the Balsons have stayed in the butchery business despite scandal and tragedy.


MON 21:00 British Gardens in Time (b04092n6)
Great Dixter

Great Dixter lays claim to being the most innovative, spectacular and provocative garden of the 20th century. Made famous by the much-loved eccentric plantsman and writer Christopher Lloyd, who used the garden as a living laboratory and documented his experiments in a weekly column in Country Life, Great Dixter began life as a Gertrude Jekyll-inspired Arts and Crafts garden surrounding a house designed by Edwin Lutyens.

The Lloyd family created Dixter just before the outbreak of the First World War with the intention of establishing a rural idyll for Christo and his five siblings. Dixter was to be both Christo's horticultural nursery and the setting for his rebellion in late middle age as he finally threw off the shackles of his intense bond with his mother to make the garden and his life his own.


MON 22:00 Agnetha: ABBA and After (b02x9zwc)
In this documentary, the BBC have exclusive access to Agnetha Faltskog, 'The Girl with the Golden Hair' as the song goes, celebrating her extraordinary singing career which began in the mid-60s when she was just 15. Within just two years, she was a singing sensation at the top of the charts in Sweden.

Along came husband Bjorn Ulvaeus and the phenomenal band ABBA that engulfed the world in the 70s, featuring Agnetha's touching voice and striking looks. Agnetha lacked confidence on stage as the global demand for the group grew and grew, while being away from her young children caused her great turmoil.

With special behind-the-scenes access to the making of her comeback album, the film follows this reluctant star - the subject of much tabloid speculation since she retreated from the stage post-ABBA - as she returns to recording aged 63. Included in the film is her first meeting with Gary Barlow, who contributes a duet to the new album.

The programme features interviews with Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Gary Barlow, Tony Blackburn, Sir Tim Rice and record producers Peter Nordahl and Jorgen Elofsson.


MON 23:00 Disco at the BBC (b01cqt74)
A foot-stomping return to the BBC vaults of Top of the Pops, The Old Grey Whistle Test and Later with Jools as the programme spins itself to a time when disco ruled the floor, the airwaves and our minds. The visual floorfillers include classics from luminaries such as Chic, Labelle and Rose Royce to glitter ball surprises by The Village People.


MON 00:00 Lost Land of the Volcano (b00mq3p1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Saturday]


MON 01:00 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.


MON 02:00 Agnetha: ABBA and After (b02x9zwc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


MON 03:00 British Gardens in Time (b04092n6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



TUESDAY 06 JANUARY 2015

TUE 19:00 World News Today (b04xd2ws)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


TUE 19:30 World War I at Home (b045ghmj)
The Killing Factories

How the war was won at home. Kate Adie tells the story of the women and men who produced the millions of shells needed for trench warfare. They worked at factories susceptible to explosions from a single spark, with catastrophic consequences.

Included is unique film footage found in a garden shed and unseen for a century.


TUE 20:00 Harlots, Housewives and Heroines: A 17th Century History for Girls (b01j2fcq)
Act One: At Court

The years after the Civil War and the Restoration of Charles II marked the end of the medieval and the beginning of the modern age. These were exciting times for women and some rose to prominence like never before. Some had remarkably modern attitudes and ambitions and achieved wealth, celebrity and power that still seems outstanding even by 21st century standards. But, at the same time, they faced a world that was still predominantly male, misogynistic and positively medieval in its outlook.

In the first episode, Dr Lucy Worsley investigates the lives of women at the top - the king's mistresses at the royal court. When Charles and his entourage returned from exile, they came back with a host of continental ideas. Some of the women at court gained unprecedented political influence and independence. Amongst a fascinating cast of female characters, the most astonishing were Charles II's own mistresses - the royalist Barbara Villiers, the French spy Louise de Keroualle and the infamous Cockney actress Nell Gwynn.

Lucy examines the lives of these women, discovering how their fortunes were shaped by the Restoration and how their stories reflect the atmosphere of these extraordinary years. Along her journey, Lucy gets the full mistress make-over, takes to the dance floor and treads the corridors of power. As she discovers, these women were key Restoration players, but, as mistresses, were they truly in charge of their own destinies or were they simply part of the world's oldest profession?


TUE 21:00 Operation Mincemeat (b00wllmb)
For more than 60 years, the real story behind Operation Mincemeat has been shrouded in secrecy. Now, Ben Macintyre reveals the extraordinary truth in a documentary based on his best-selling book.

In 1943, British intelligence hatched a daring plan. As the Allies prepared to invade Sicily, their purpose was to convince the Germans that Greece was the real target. The plot to fool the Fuhrer was the brainchild of Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond.

British agents procured the body of a tramp and reinvented his entire identity. He was given a new name, an officer rank and a briefcase containing plans for a fake invasion of Greece. The body was floated off the Spanish coast where Nazi spies would find it.

The deception was an astonishing success. Hitler fell for it totally, ordering his armies to Greece to await an invasion that never happened. Meanwhile, the Allies landed in Sicily with minimal resistance. The island fell in a month. The war turned in the Allies' favour.

Together with original witnesses, Macintyre recreates the remarkable story of how one brilliant team, and one dead tramp, pulled off a deception which changed the course of history.


TUE 22:00 Smiley's People (b0074tpb)
Episode 1

Madame Ostrakova was desperate to believe the sweating Russian who promised the return of her daughter. Then there was the Paris letter which rang old bells for General Vladimir. These two events summoned master spy George Smiley from retirement.


TUE 23:00 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.


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

Episode 2

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

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

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


TUE 01:00 Killing Me Softly: The Roberta Flack Story (b046psxl)
Roberta Flack's Grammy award-winning song The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face was America's biggest selling single of 1972. The following year her gentle, pure voice charmed middle America once again when Killing Me Softly with His Song reached the top of the charts and ran off with another Grammy for single of the year. In the early 70s Roberta Flack was one of the most successful pop stars in the world.

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

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

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


TUE 02:00 Timeshift (p0287mq6)
Series 14

Bullseyes and Beer: When Darts Hit Britain

Timeshift tells the story of how a traditional working-class pub game became a national obsession during the 1970s and 80s, and looks at the key role television played in elevating its larger-than-life players into household names.

Siobhan Finneran narrates a documentary which charts the game's surprising history, its cross-class and cross-gender appeal, and the star players that, for two decades, transformed a pub pastime into a sporting spectacle like no other.

Featuring legendary names such as Alan Evans and Jocky Wilson and including contributions from Eric Bristow, Bobby George, John Lowe and Phil Taylor.


TUE 03:00 Operation Mincemeat (b00wllmb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 07 JANUARY 2015

WED 19:00 World News Today (b04xd2xf)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


WED 19:30 World War I at Home (b045gj40)
Despatches from Tyneside

Chris Jackson follows a community project creating a unique picture of the impact of conflict on those living and working on Tyneside with rarely seen footage. Chris hears that Tyneside bore not just physical but deep emotional scars from World War I.


WED 20:00 Death Comes to Pemberley (p01mqlhz)
Episode 1

It's the eve of the Darcys' annual Lady Anne ball at their magnificent Pemberley home. Darcy and Elizabeth are relaxing with their guests after supper when the festivities are brought to an abrupt halt by an unexpected visitor and news of a murder in Pemberley Woods.


WED 21:00 The History Boys (b01shmjd)
Alan Bennett's adaptation of his acclaimed, long-running play set in 1980s Yorkshire.

A class of likely lads, caught in a clash of educational styles as they prepare to apply to Oxford or Cambridge, find their loyalties as well as their intellects tested.


WED 22:50 Mark Lawson Talks To... (b04xdjpb)
Frances de la Tour

From the long-suffering Miss Jones in Rising Damp to headmistress Madame Maxime in Harry Potter, Tony and triple Olivier award-winning actress Frances de la Tour has a career spanning five decades. The star of stage, screen and television started out at the Royal Shakespeare Company in the 1960s and is currently thrilling audiences as the giant in Hollywood blockbuster Into the Woods. Mark Lawson talks to her about her life and career.


WED 23:50 Doris Day - Virgin Territory (b0074rwd)
Doris Day has often been dismissed as an actress and overlooked as a singer, despite career highs such as Calamity Jane and Pillow Talk. Covering her early years as a band singer, and her troubled private life, this documentary re-evaluates one of the screen's most enduring legends.


WED 00:50 ... Sings Musicals (b019jshd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Sunday]


WED 01:50 Hermitage Revealed (b04xd53k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Sunday]


WED 02:50 Mark Lawson Talks To... (b04xdjpb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:50 today]



THURSDAY 08 JANUARY 2015

THU 19:00 World News Today (b04xd2ym)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b04xkkbb)
Peter Powell presents chart hits of the week. Guests include Billy Preston & Syreeta, Kurtis Blow, Madness, the Pretenders, Dr Hook, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd and David Bowie. Also featuring a dance sequence by Legs & Co.


THU 20:00 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.


THU 21:00 The Inca: Masters of the Clouds (b04xdpjy)
Foundations

Dr Jago Cooper reassesses the achievements of the Inca Empire. He begins in Peru, where evidence is still being uncovered that challenges preconceptions about its origins and significance. Venturing from the coast to the clouds, he reveals how the Inca transformed one of the most challenging landscapes in the world to ward off the worst effects of the climate, and created sophisticated systems of communication. He shows how one of many independent societies became a commanding empire - not through force, but by using subtle methods of persuasion.


THU 22:00 Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession (b00s2wvh)
Windows on the World

In a series about the extraordinary stories behind maps, Professor Jerry Brotton uncovers how maps aren't simply about getting from A to B, but are revealing snapshots of defining moments in history and tools of political power and persuasion.

Visiting the world's first known map, etched into the rocks of a remote alpine hillside 3,000 years ago, Brotton explores how each culture develops its own unique, often surprising way of mapping. As Henry VIII's stunning maps of the British coastline from a bird's-eye view show, they were also used to exert control over the world.

During the Enlightenment, the great French Cassini dynasty pioneered the western quest to map the world with greater scientific accuracy, leading also to the British Ordnance Survey. But these new scientific methods were challenged by cultures with alternative ways of mapping, such as in a Polynesian navigator's map which has no use for north, south and east.

As scientifically accurate map-making became a powerful tool of European expansion, the British carved the state of Iraq out of the Middle East. When the British drew up Iraq's boundaries, they had devastating consequences for the nomadic tribes of Mesopotamia.


THU 23:00 Robert Plant: By Myself (b00vy78w)
Documentary in which Robert Plant discusses his musical journey from Stourbridge, the British blues boom, superstardom with Led Zeppelin in the 70s to 2010's Band of Joy album. He also looks at his work with the Honeydrippers and North African musicians, his reunion with Jimmy Page and his pairing with Alison Krauss.


THU 00:00 Top of the Pops (b04w0fyz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


THU 01:00 Top of the Pops (b04xkkbb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


THU 01:40 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.


THU 02:40 The Inca: Masters of the Clouds (b04xdpjy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



FRIDAY 09 JANUARY 2015

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b04xd2ys)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 Sounds of the Sixties (b0074q9l)
Original Series

The First Steps

The rock and pop series kicks off with the very birth of the decade, when pop was consigned to Crackerjack and rebellious singers still wore cardigans. But then Beatlemania came along.

Features the fabulous Freddie and the Dreamers on Blue Peter and Pinky & Perky doing the Twist.


FRI 20:00 Placido Domingo at the BBC (b04xdrr8)
A celebration of Placido Domingo, the world's most famous tenor, through four decades of performance highlights from the BBC film archives. Featuring great arias from Aida, Die Walkure, Simon Boccanegra and Pagliacci, as well as appearances on Wogan and Parkinson, including an unforgettable Moon River with Henry Mancini at the piano.


FRI 21:00 Meat Loaf: In and out of Hell (b04xdrrb)
Since the release of the Bat Out of Hell album, Meat Loaf has possessed the kind of international status that few artists obtain. His larger-than-life persona and performances are fuelled by a passion for theatre and storytelling. This candid profile reveals the man and his music through his own testimony and from the accounts of those closest to him.

Meat Loaf's life story is one of epic proportions - he survived a childhood of domestic violence only to face years of record company rejection before eventually finding global fame. Along the way he experienced bankruptcy, health scares, bust-ups and one of the greatest comebacks of all time. All this and more is explored in the film, which features behind-the-scenes footage of his Las Vegas residency, plus plans for a new album featuring songs by Jim Steinman.

The film also revisits the Dallas of Meat Loaf's early years and includes insights from his high school friends, who reveal how Meat really got his famous moniker.

After his mother died, Meat Loaf fled Texas for the bright lights of LA. He sang in itinerant rock bands, but no-one would give him a recording contract. By 1969 he was broke and disillusioned. His break would take the form of a musical. He was offered a part in Hair, having been invited to audition whilst working as a parking attendant outside the theatre. Shortly afterwards he met Jim Steinman and the road to success really began. Yet the Hair gig was the beginning of an enduring love affair with theatre that is reflected in his singing persona today.

His first album, the now legendary Bat Out of Hell, was initially rejected by scores of record companies, yet went on to spend a staggering 485 weeks in the UK charts. The whole album is a masterwork of storytelling that Meat Loaf and Steinman worked on for four years and then battled to get heard. Meat Loaf and those who worked on the album - from Todd Rundgren to Ellen Foley - reflect on the songs, and celebrate the alchemy that resulted in such a blistering back catalogue.

When Bat Out Of Hell II was finally released 15 years after the first album, it defied industry expectations, with I'd Do Anything for Love reaching number one in 28 countries. It is considered one of the greatest comebacks in music history. More albums and hits were to follow across the '90s and '00s, alongside a varied and successful acting career. Mark Kermode examines some of the roles Meat Loaf made his own, in films as diverse as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Fight Club.

Having traversed the peaks and troughs of a career spanning the best part of 50 years, this consummate performer finally reveals what spurs him on, in this, the inside story of a bat out of hell who continues to blaze a trail into the hearts and minds of millions.


FRI 22:00 Metal Britannia (b00r600m)
Nigel Planer narrates a documentary which traces the origins and development of British heavy metal from its humble beginnings in the industrialised Midlands to its proud international triumph.

In the late 60s a number of British bands were forging a new kind of sound. Known as hard rock, it was loud, tough, energetic and sometimes dark in outlook. They didn't know it, but Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and, most significantly, Black Sabbath were defining what first became heavy rock and then eventually heavy metal.

Inspired by blues rock, progressive rock, classical music and high energy American rock, they synthesised the sound that would inspire bands like Judas Priest to take metal even further during the 70s.

By the 80s its originators had fallen foul of punk rock, creative stasis or drug and alcohol abuse. But a new wave of British heavy metal was ready to take up the crusade. With the success of bands like Iron Maiden, it went global.

Contributors include Lemmy from Motorhead, Sabbath's Tony Iommi, Ian Gillan from Deep Purple, Judas Priest singer Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden and Saxon's Biff Byford.


FRI 23:30 Metal at the BBC (b00r600p)
Compilation of memorable heavy metal performances from BBC TV shows, including Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Motorhead.


FRI 00:00 Legends (b00xln7l)
Thin Lizzy: Bad Reputation

Affectionate but honest portrait of Thin Lizzy, arguably the best hard rock band to come out of Ireland.

Starting with the remix of the classic album Jailbreak by Scott Gorham and Brian Downey, the film takes us through the rollercoaster ride that is the story of Thin Lizzy. From early footage of singer Phil Lynott in Ireland in his pre-Lizzy bands the Black Eagles and Orphanage, it follows his progress as he, guitarist Eric Bell and drummer Brian Downey form the basic three-piece that was to become Thin Lizzy - a name taken from the Beano.

Using original interviews with Bell, Downey, the man who signed them and their first manager, it traces the early years leading to the recruitment of guitarists Brian 'Robbo' Robertson and Scott Gorham - the classic line-up. The film uses a number of stills, some seen on TV for the first time, archive from contemporary TV shows and a range of tracks both well known and not so famous.

There are hilarious self-deprecating anecdotes, from the stories behind the making of the Boys are Back in Town to the hiring of Midge Ure. We hear about the 'revolving door' as guitarist after guitarist was fired and hired, and the recording of Bad Reputation and Live and Dangerous - where producer Tony Visconti pulls no punches in talking about how he recorded the latter - putting the controversy to bed for the final time. Except that Downey and Robertson still disagree with him.

Finally, we hear how drugs and alcohol impacted on the band and how the music suffered, how one member later substituted golf for heroin and how addiction and the related lifestyle led to the death of Phil Lynott.

Contributors include Brian Downey, Scott Gorham, Eric Bell, Brian Robertson, Midge Ure, Bob Geldof, Tony Visconti, Joe Elliot and many others.


FRI 01:00 Meat Loaf: In and out of Hell (b04xdrrb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 02:00 Metal Britannia (b00r600m)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


FRI 03:30 Metal at the BBC (b00r600p)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:30 today]




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

... Sings Musicals 19:00 SUN (b019jshd)

... Sings Musicals 01:45 SUN (b019jshd)

... Sings Musicals 00:50 WED (b019jshd)

A Royal Affair 22:00 SUN (b036ts6c)

Agnetha: ABBA and After 22:00 MON (b02x9zwc)

Agnetha: ABBA and After 02:00 MON (b02x9zwc)

Al Murray's Great British Spy Movies 23:00 TUE (b04w85jj)

An Evening with Sammy Davis Jr 23:55 SAT (b04w7wn5)

British Gardens in Time 21:00 MON (b04092n6)

British Gardens in Time 03:00 MON (b04092n6)

Coldplay in Concert 2014 01:40 THU (b04w0fz3)

Death Comes to Pemberley 20:00 WED (p01mqlhz)

Disco at the BBC 23:00 MON (b01cqt74)

Do We Really Need the Moon? 20:00 SAT (b00yb5jp)

Doris Day - Virgin Territory 23:50 WED (b0074rwd)

Harlots, Housewives and Heroines: A 17th Century History for Girls 20:00 TUE (b01j2fcq)

Hermitage Revealed 21:00 SUN (b04xd53k)

Hermitage Revealed 02:45 SUN (b04xd53k)

Hermitage Revealed 01:50 WED (b04xd53k)

Hidden Histories: Britain's Oldest Family Businesses 20:00 MON (b03q0177)

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

Legends 00:00 FRI (b00xln7l)

Lost Land of the Volcano 19:00 SAT (b00mq3p1)

Lost Land of the Volcano 01:55 SAT (b00mq3p1)

Lost Land of the Volcano 00:00 MON (b00mq3p1)

Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession 22:00 THU (b00s2wvh)

Mark Lawson Talks To... 20:00 SUN (b0074s9n)

Mark Lawson Talks To... 22:50 WED (b04xdjpb)

Mark Lawson Talks To... 02:50 WED (b04xdjpb)

Meat Loaf: In and out of Hell 21:00 FRI (b04xdrrb)

Meat Loaf: In and out of Hell 01:00 FRI (b04xdrrb)

Metal Britannia 22:00 FRI (b00r600m)

Metal Britannia 02:00 FRI (b00r600m)

Metal at the BBC 23:30 FRI (b00r600p)

Metal at the BBC 03:30 FRI (b00r600p)

Narnia's Lost Poet: The Secret Lives and Loves of CS Lewis 01:00 MON (b03jrw5j)

Neil Sedaka: King of Song 00:55 SAT (b03v2yxt)

Operation Mincemeat 21:00 TUE (b00wllmb)

Operation Mincemeat 03:00 TUE (b00wllmb)

Placido Domingo at the BBC 20:00 FRI (b04xdrr8)

Robert Plant: By Myself 23:00 THU (b00vy78w)

Sammy Davis Jr: The Kid in the Middle 22:55 SAT (b04w7wgr)

Sammy Davis Jr: The Kid in the Middle 02:55 SAT (b04w7wgr)

Singer-Songwriters at the BBC 00:00 TUE (b015j8g7)

Smiley's People 22:00 TUE (b0074tpb)

Sounds of the Sixties 19:30 FRI (b0074q9l)

The Carpenters at the BBC 01:10 SUN (b00cgxtq)

The History Boys 21:00 WED (b01shmjd)

The Inca: Masters of the Clouds 21:00 THU (b04xdpjy)

The Inca: Masters of the Clouds 02:40 THU (b04xdpjy)

Timeshift 02:00 TUE (p0287mq6)

Top of the Pops 00:10 SUN (b04w0fz1)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b04xkkbb)

Top of the Pops 20:00 THU (b04w0fyz)

Top of the Pops 00:00 THU (b04w0fyz)

Top of the Pops 01:00 THU (b04xkkbb)

Wallander 21:00 SAT (b04xr6qs)

Wallander 21:55 SAT (b04xtqst)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b04xd2wl)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b04xd2ws)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b04xd2xf)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b04xd2ym)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b04xd2ys)

World War I at Home 19:30 MON (b04gkn55)

World War I at Home 19:30 TUE (b045ghmj)

World War I at Home 19:30 WED (b045gj40)