The BBC has announced that it has a sustainable plan for the future of the BBC Singers, in association with The VOCES8 Foundation.
The threat to reduce the staff of the three English orchestras by 20% has not been lifted, but it is being reconsidered.
See the BBC press release here.

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SAT 19:00 The Secret Life of Elephants (b00h6yk1)
The Secret Life of Elephants

After the drought, the rains have arrived, but has baby elephant Breeze survived?

As hundreds of elephants descend on the reserve for the breeding season, the research team hit their busiest time of year. With the help of new technology, Saba Douglas-Hamilton tracks down the biggest land animals on earth - the mighty bull elephants. But even Saba is keeping her distance when Rommel, a dangerous bull who once flattened a car and tried to kill two of the team's researchers, arrives on the scene.

Outside the reserve, there is a shocking development when Onesmas Kahindi investigates two mysterious deaths - could poachers be targeting the local elephants?

When field researcher David Daballen finds a baby elephant in desperate trouble, he and the team must mount a life-or-death operation to save her.

SAT 20:00 Lost Kingdoms of Central America (b04j8st0)
The People Who Greeted Columbus

The Taino people of the Caribbean were the first people of the Americas to greet Christopher Columbus. But, as Dr Jago Cooper reveals, they had a multicultural society complete with drug-infused rituals, strange skulls and amazing navigation. In deep caverns and turquoise seas, Jago uncovers their hidden history.

SAT 21:00 Hostages (b03zwrxd)
Episode 8

Yonatan has succeeded in escaping, but things do not go smoothly outside the house. Desperate to look after his children as well as win back Yael's trust, Eyal risks everything to save Assaf.

In Hebrew with English subtitles.

SAT 21:30 Hostages (b03zwrxg)
Episode 9

Noa has made it out of the house and manages to contact Yael's secret ally. Alex is becoming increasingly unreliable, causing tension among the kidnappers. As Adam's plans begin to unravel, Yael is on the trail of the kidnappers' accomplice at the hospital.

In Hebrew with English subtitles.

SAT 22:10 Hostages (b03zws5q)
Episode 10

Yael has made enough discoveries about Adam to call his bluff. At the house, Alex has won his power struggle with Adam but gone crazy. Having something on Adam might not be enough for Yael to save her family.

In Hebrew with English subtitles.

SAT 22:55 The Joy of the Bee Gees (b04v8677)
Guilty pleasure or genius, misfits or mavericks, noble or naff - how do we really feel about the Bee Gees? Are the brothers Gibb a cacophony of falsettos or songwriting maestros, the soundtrack to every office party or masters of melancholy and existential rage? Are they comedy or Tragedy? How deep is our love and how deep are the Bee Gees?

With a back catalogue that includes hits like How Do You Mend a Broken Heart, Massachusetts, Islands in the Stream, Stayin' Alive, Chain Reaction, How Deep Is Your Love, Gotta Get a Message to You, Words, To Love Somebody and Night Fever, the Bee Gees are second only to the Beatles in the 20th-century songwriting pantheon, but while their pop success spans several decades, there are different Bee Gees in different eras. Is there a central glue that unites the brothers and their music and, if so, what is it?

The Joy of the Bee Gees features a rare interview with the last remaining Bee Gee brother, Barry Gibb, many of those musicians and industry figures who have worked with them closely over the years, and a surprising cast of Bee Gees aficionados including John Lydon, Ana Matronic, Guy Chambers, Mykaell Riley and Alexis Petridis, who together share their stories and their insights into the band whose music and image moved us in the 60s and defined pop culture in the mid-to-late 1970s.

The film explores how the band were iconoclasts and outsiders, brothers in the family business, who worked best when together but who grew up and played out their fraternal struggles in public. The brothers went from child stars on the Australian variety circuit to competitors with the Beatles in the UK charts in the late 60s, scoring number one hits while still only teenagers.

In the mid-70s, the former 'beat group' reimagined themselves as a close-knit soul boy trio. The Saturday Night Fever album shot them to global superstardom and every radio station played a song written, produced or sung by the Bee Gees. The saturation of their music and their iconic 'medallion man' image would ultimately elbow them out of fashion, even make them figures of fun...

But you can't keep a good band down and in the 80s they became writing guns-for-hire to stars such as Kenny & Dolly, Barbra Streisand and Diana Ross. 1987 saw the band come back yet again and hit the top of the charts. The deaths of Maurice and then Robin brought the Bee Gees' reign to an end, but Barry and their music live on.

Let's enjoy finding out why and how: welcome to The Joy of the Bee Gees.

SAT 23:55 The Bee Gees at the BBC... and Beyond (b04v8679)
Classic Bee Gees studio performances from the BBC and beyond including all the big hits, rare 60s performances from European TV, including a stunning I Started a Joke, a rarely seen Top of the Pops performance of World, the big hits of the 70s and some late performances from the 90s, with the brothers Gibb in perfect harmony.

SAT 00:55 Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe (b05530wd)
Series 3


Join Charlie Brooker, who will be reminiscing about some of the best bits of the latest series of Weekly Wipe, as well as surprising us all with quite a lot of new bits too. Just when you think it's a repeat, a new thing will appear. Anything could happen.

SAT 01:25 Top of the Pops (b0555xgt)
Peter Powell presents hits of the week. Guests include Shakin' Stevens, Blondie, the Beat, the Buggles, the Tourists, Fern Kinney, Cliff Richard, the Ramones, Iron Maiden and Kenny Rogers. Also includes a dance Sequence by Legs & Co.

SAT 02:00 The Secret Life of Elephants (b00h6yk1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SAT 03:00 Lost Kingdoms of Central America (b04j8st0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SUN 19:00 The Great War (b0074p90)
For Gawd's Sake Don't Send Me

This episode surveys the British Army of 1916, reinforced by over two million volunteers following Lord Kitchener's famous appeal. In spite of the reservations of General Sir Douglas Haig, the new commander-in-chief, many of these volunteers were sent to the scene of the British Army's greatest endeavour - the Battle of the Somme.

SUN 19:40 London to Brighton Side by Side (b00f2zxt)
In 1953, the BBC made a point-of-view film from the London to Brighton train. In 1983, they did the same again. This is a film made of both runs at once, with every bridge, siding, tunnel and station running side by side in unlikely synchronisation.

SUN 19:45 Secret Knowledge (b01rml7t)
Bolsover Castle

Lucy Worsley tells the story of Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire. Built in the early 17th century, it became the pleasure palace of playboy Cavalier and ambitious courtier William Cavendish.

Guiding us on a tour of the castle and its remarkable collection of artworks, Lucy brings to life the spectacular masque held by Cavendish to win the favour of King Charles I.

And from within the walls of this eccentric architectural gem emerges a colourful tale, capturing the tensions of early 17th-century England that would eventually lead the nation to civil war.

SUN 20:15 The Polio Story: The Vaccine That Changed the World (b05n27mt)
It was 1952, and polio gripped the world in fear. There was no known cause, no cure and no help in sight for parents desperate to protect their children. Across the ocean, eager to beat the potentially fatal condition, polio-afflicted President Roosevelt inspired the American public to send in their dimes to fund research.

In just a few years Joseph Salk, an ambitious 33-year-old scientist working from his basement lab in Pittsburgh, would bring infantile paralysis to its knees and change the course of medical history. Bill Gates is interviewed along with a number of world-renowned experts and survivors to tell the extraordinary story of how Dr Salk and the legendary 'march of dimes' came together to help conquer polio.

SUN 21:00 Nina Conti Clowning Around (b05n27mw)
Award-winning ventriloquist Nina Conti and her much-loved puppet Monkey are a huge hit in comedy clubs around the world and stars of Live at the Apollo. But now she wants to put her skills to a more meaningful end on a much more difficult stage - entertaining children in hospitals.

This film follows Nina as she trains as a giggle doctor with Theodora Children's Charity, beginning with her trying to find her clown persona, who might be Scottish... or might not. Devastated by the discovery that Monkey can only perform in hospitals if he can be boil-washed, Nina tries to go it alone with only a red nose, a few misshapen balloon animals and some slightly disappointing magic tricks. Not to mention her professional snobbery rearing up as she finds herself turning into a baby-voiced children's entertainer. Then there are the difficulties she encounters when faced with clown phobia.

Following her directorial debut with Her Master's Voice which won a Grierson Award and a BAFTA nomination, Nina Conti brings us another frank and intimate documentary about her eventful two-year stint as a hospital clown. Join her to discover whether Nina raised a laugh amongst sick children or whether she cried the tears of a clown.

SUN 22:00 Untouchable (b01pm7y6)
Parisian aristocrat Francois Cluzet, quadriplegic since a paragliding accident, has problems in retaining a reliable carer. At yet another round of interviews, a breath of fresh air arrives in the form of Driss Bassary, who is from the projects and only there for a signature for his benefits claim. Could this be the beginning of a beautiful friendship?

In French with English subtitles.

SUN 23:45 The Irish Rock Story: A Tale of Two Cities (b0555xv8)
Film telling the story of how rock music helped to change Ireland. The 40-year-old story of Irish rock and pop music is grounded in the very different musical traditions of the two main cities of the island, Belfast and Dublin.

This musical celebration charts the lives and careers of some of the biggest selling acts in Irish rock, punk and pop from Van Morrison and Thin Lizzy to The Undertones and U2. From the pioneers of the showbands touring in the late 50s through to the modern day, the film examines their lineage and connections and how the hardcore, rocking sound of Belfast merged with the more melodic, folky Dublin tradition to form what we now recognise as Irish rock and pop.

The film explores where these bands and musicians came from and the influence the political, social and cultural environments of the day had on them and how the music influenced those environments.

With contributions from many of the heavyweights of Irish rock and pop, including U2, Sinead O'Connor and Bob Geldof, it follows their careers as they forged an international presence and looks at how they helped change the island along the way.

SUN 00:45 Darcey Bussell's Looking for Audrey (b04w7mfk)
Behind Audrey Hepburn's dazzling image, Darcey Bussell unravels an epic tale of betrayal, courage, heartache and broken dreams.

For as long as she can remember, Darcey has been fascinated by Audrey Hepburn - style icon, star of Breakfast at Tiffany's and an Oscar winner at 24. Now, Darcey follows in Audrey's footsteps through Holland, London, Rome, Switzerland and Hollywood to find out more. She discovers that Audrey started out as a dancer, risked her life in the Second World War and, although adored the world over, was always looking for love.

SUN 01:45 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.

SUN 02:45 Nina Conti Clowning Around (b05n27mw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


MON 19:00 World News Today (b05mw5km)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

MON 19:30 Great Continental Railway Journeys (b03x129l)
Series 2 - Reversions

Prague to Munich - Part 1

With his 1913 guidebook in hand, Michael Portillo explores the stunning art nouveau architecture of the Czech capital. In a cafe popular with artists of the time, he discovers the dance craze of the day - the tango - and gamely gives it a go. In the spa of kings, Marienbad, now known as Marianske Lazne, Michael samples the sulphurous waters and wallows in peat and mud. At the Skoda factory in Pilsen, he investigates how the machine products of peacetime gave way to the manufacture of armaments for war and test-drives a state-of-the-art passenger train locomotive made there today.

Crossing the border from Bohemia to Bavaria, Michael encounters a fire-breathing dragon in Furth-im-Wald, and in Nuremberg he rides German railway history - made in Britain. Arriving in Munich, he finds a blue horse created at the time of his guidebook and discovers an early 20th-century pioneer who laid the foundations for the city's pre-eminence in science and technology today.

MON 20:00 India's Frontier Railways (b0555xgw)
The Maitree Express

Filmed during the holy month of Ramadan, this is a journey from India into Bangladesh on a train that reunites the region of Bengal. Partitioned in 1947, Bengal was divided in half, creating East Pakistan - a satellite state ruled by Pakistan. It was an unwelcome occupation. In 1971, they fought a war of independence and East Pakistan became the People's Republic of Bangladesh. 37 years later, the first train ran between India and Bangladesh - the Maitree Express. Maitree means friendship.

It takes 12 hours to make the 392km journey from Kolkata to Dhaka, and staffing on the train is almost the same on both sides of the border. They speak the same language, share a history and all love fish.

Amirul, once a freedom fighter in the war of independence, now plays announcements and religious tapes on the Maitree. Aalo supports his family by selling chocolates on the train, but has a problem with the 30-degree heat. Sixteen-year-old Abdullah ran away from home and a madrasa. Now he sells papers on Dhaka's trains and platforms, hoping for a brighter future. Gautam Bannerjee is a guard on the Maitree and a respected astrologer. Can his calculations foretell the future? Urmi Rahman, a writer, was born in Bangladesh, married an Indian and lives in Kolkata, but she is very clear about her identity. Krishendu Basu is happy with his life. Not only a guard, he is also a tabla player, photographer and self-confessed foodie. But music is his passion.

These stories of people who work, travel or depend on the Maitree Express take us on a journey through history, sharing their hopes, needs and desires - on India's frontier railways.

MON 21:00 Fair Cop: A Century of British Policewomen (b0555wj7)
With 2015 marking the 100th anniversary of the first British policewoman being given the power of arrest, this film takes us through the remarkable history of 100 years of Britain's female police force. It explores the individual careers and ambitions of women police officers who, through their bravery and guile, were determined to succeed in a profession that never wanted them. It's a story of class, drive and sheer guts, entwined with a darker side of sexism, snobbery, intimidation and betrayal.

Includes interviews with former policewomen who pushed boundaries in the profession such as Sislin Fay Allen, Britain's first black policewoman, Cressida Dick, Britain's highest-ever-ranking policewoman, Alison Halford, who brought a high-profile sex discrimination charge against the police, and Jackie Malton, who provided the model for Prime Suspect's Jane Tennison. These interviews are combined with fascinating facts and illuminating stories from expert historians and current serving officers who have made their careers in the specialist areas of the mounted police and firearms units.

This is a story about ingenuity and determination as well as law and order. A Fair Cop is a hidden history of our society, depicting a battle of the sexes that masked a battle for power.

MON 22:30 Juliet Bravo (b05n74rn)
Series 1

Shot Gun

Police drama. When a man takes his daughter from home at gunpoint, Inspector Jean Darblay has to deal with the situation and contend with the opposition to her new post.

MON 23:20 Precious (b015b74g)
In Harlem, an illiterate teenager, pregnant for the second time, is invited to enrol in an alternative school in the hope that it will change her life for the better. Award-winning drama based on the novel Push by the author Sapphire.

MON 01:05 Architects of the Divine: The First Gothic Age (b04mq9x6)
Medieval historian Dr Janina Ramirez looks back to a time when British craftsmen and their patrons created a new form of architecture. The art and architecture of France would dominate England for much of the medieval age. Yet British stonemasons and builders would make Gothic architecture their own, inventing a national style for the first time - Perpendicular Gothic - and giving Britain a patriotic backdrop to suit its new ambitions of chivalry and power. From a grand debut at Gloucester Cathedral to commemorate a murdered king to its final glorious flowering at King's College Chapel in Cambridge, the Perpendicular age was Britain's finest.

MON 02:05 Fair Cop: A Century of British Policewomen (b0555wj7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 World News Today (b05mw5nc)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

TUE 19:30 Great Continental Railway Journeys (b03x12j1)
Series 2 - Reversions

Prague to Munich - Part 2

With his 1913 guidebook in hand, Michael Portillo explores the stunning art nouveau architecture of the Czech capital. In a cafe popular with artists of the time, he discovers the dance craze of the day - the tango - and gamely gives it a go. In the spa of kings, Marienbad, now known as Marianske Lazne, Michael samples the sulphurous waters and wallows in peat and mud. At the Skoda factory in Pilsen, he investigates how the machine products of peacetime gave way to the manufacture of armaments for war and test-drives a state-of-the-art passenger train locomotive made there today.

Crossing the border from Bohemia to Bavaria, Michael encounters a fire-breathing dragon in Furth-im-Wald, and in Nuremberg he rides German railway history - made in Britain. Arriving in Munich, he finds a blue horse created at the time of his guidebook and discovers an early 20th-century pioneer who laid the foundations for the city's pre-eminence in science and technology today.

TUE 20:00 Terry Wogan's Ireland (b00y44j4)
Episode 1

It is over 40 years since Sir Terry Wogan decided to leave Ireland and seek his fortune across the water in England. In that time, Ireland has changed beyond all recognition - and so has Terry. Now, in the wake of his retirement from BBC Radio 2, Terry's going 'home'.

In the autobiographical journey of a lifetime he travels back to Dublin, the city he left behind as a teenager, and all the way back to Limerick, where he was born, taking in the length and breadth of the heart-stoppingly beautiful Irish coast en route.

For Sir Terry, this is an opportunity to cherish the old, and to seek out and celebrate the new face of Ireland. But this Ireland is a very different country to the one he left behind over 40 years ago - the nation now finds itself in the midst of an economic crisis. But as Terry reminds us, Ireland has survived 500 years of oppression, colonisation, religious discrimination, starvation and emigration. The Irish may be down, he concludes, but don't ever count them out.

Terry was born into an enterprising family of shopkeepers. They lived in Dublin and Limerick, the start and end points of the first leg of this journey. By retracing his story, Terry reveals the bigger picture of post-war Ireland - the result is a uniquely personal take on the history of this beautiful but divided land. Terry has rarely talked about his Irish Catholic origins and so, for many, this series will be a revelation.

In a land that invented the gift of the gab, Terry is in his element as he heads out west in the company of his lugubrious driver Dave. En route to the house he grew up in, he discovers a 'moving' statue of the Virgin Mary, suffers bad weather on the Ring of Kerry, and in Tralee he recalls Ireland's Loveliest Ladies competition, as he asks himself what it means to be Irish today.

TUE 21:00 The Lady Who Flew Africa: The Aviatrix (b05n29m7)
In 1928, Lady Heath became the first person to fly solo from Cape Town to London. Eighty-five years later, Tracey Curtis-Taylor sets out in a vintage biplane to retrace her flight.

Her extraordinary eight-and-a-half-week journey from Cape Town to Goodwood is nearly 10,000 miles long and takes her through 15 African countries. From the beauty of the wilderness to the challenge of flying through war-torn nations, Tracey faces many of the same challenges as her aviatrix predecessor.

With aviation fuel scarce and with a top speed of only 95 miles per hour, her progress is slow and at times frightening. Tracey will need the same courage and single-minded determination of Lady Heath if she is to make her lifelong dream come true.

TUE 22:00 Inside Claridge's (b01pc3gk)
Episode 2

Opened in 1854, Claridge's is famed for its art deco interiors and traditional service. Many staff, such as Roman the doorman, have worked there for over 30 years, giving guests continuity and the sense they might be living in a different century.

The Crown Prince of Yugoslavia is a regular guest, and he returns to stay in the suite where he was born in 1945. Joan Collins, Stephen Fry and the Emperor of Japan also come to visit, as well as 85-year-old Gerry Parker, an ex-East End bookmaker who has breakfasted at Claridge's for the last 40 years.

Given this weight of tradition and expectation, general manager Thomas Kochs takes any change very seriously, and no decision - from new alarm clocks to a £10 million renovation plan - escapes his obsessive attention to detail.

TUE 23:00 Storyville (b05n756x)
The Lost Gold of the Highlands

Twenty years ago, Garnet Frost escaped London and headed into the desolate Scottish wilderness, where, not having a map, he got lost. Trapped between a mountain and the mysterious Loch Arkaig, cold and alone, he resigned himself to dying.

But Garnet didn't die. By sheer chance, he was saved by a lone fisherman.

For the past two decades, Garnet has been haunted by a memento from his doomed trip. He believes an unusual wooden staff he found while waiting to die is actually a marker for one of history's most famous lost treasures - a spectacular fortune once owned by Bonnie Prince Charlie and lost since 1746. Now, two decades after the trip which almost killed him, Garnet is ready to return to the mysterious loch in his quest to find the gold.

What Garnet finds up there, amidst the towering landscape, changes his life forever.

The film is more than a fascinating historical insight into a lost treasure. It is a journey into the mind of a man searching for meaning, a search with which we can all empathise. This is a film about dreams, inspiration and the resonating power of hope. This is a film about all of us.

TUE 00:15 Irish Rock at the BBC (b0556qc9)
A whistle-stop tour of rock from over the water, taking in some of the finest Irish rock offerings from the early 70s to the present day, as captured on a variety of BBC shows from The Old Grey Whistle Test and Top of the Pops to Later... with Jools Holland.

Kicking off with Thin Lizzy's 1973 debut hit Whiskey in the Jar, the programme traces Irish rock's unfolding lineage. Performances from guitar maestro Rory Gallagher, Celtic rock godfathers Horslips and John Peel favourites The Undertones feature alongside rivals Stiff Little Fingers, with their Top of the Pops performance of Nobody's Hero, followed by post-punk U2's 1981 debut UK performance of I Will Follow from The Old Grey Whistle Test.

Then there is Sinead O'Connor's debut single performance of Mandinka, and The Pogues play the Ewan MacColl classic Dirty Old Town from 1986. Into the 90s, there is The Frank and Walters and Therapy? on Top of the Pops, along with early performances on Later... with Jools Holland from Ash and The Divine Comedy.

There is rockabilly with Imelda May's debut hit Johnny Got a Boom Boom, and then more recently Cavan's The Strypes and Hozier, whose Take Me to Church completes this hit-driven tour through Irish rock.

TUE 01:15 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.

TUE 02:45 Terry Wogan's Ireland (b00y44j4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


WED 19:00 World News Today (b05mw5s2)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

WED 19:30 Great Continental Railway Journeys (b05n8f3n)
Series 3 - Reversions

Tula to St Petersburg - Part 1

With Bradshaw's 1913 Continental Railway Guide in hand, Michael Portillo penetrates the eastern extreme of Europe to journey through the vast country of Russia.

Among the golden onion domes and icons of Tula, Michael is moved by the sound of a Russian Orthodox choir. He visits the beautiful country estate of Yasnaya Polyana, where Tolstoy wrote his masterpieces, and learns how the author's life and works were inextricably entwined with the railways.

Striking north, Michael boards the long distance train which runs from the Caspian Sea to the capital. He learns from the buffet car cooks how to prepare a supper of meat-filled dumplings - Dagestani specialities called pylmeni.

At Belorussky Station in Moscow, Michael hears how thousands of Russians journeyed to the capital in 1913 to mark the Romanov royal family's tercentenary year. At the Bolshoi Theatre, Michael performs an important role in one of Russia's most dramatic operas. A relaxing soak at the famous Sanduny Baths, however, proves anything but...

Aboard the high-speed Sapsan to St Petersburg, Michael discovers the history behind the line, once the longest double-tracked railway in the world. From the Grand Hotel, Europe, advertised in his Bradshaw's, Michael explores the beauty and history of St Petersburg, from the great Nevsky Prospekt to the magnificent Winter Palace with its Hermitage Museum, then rides the first railway ever built in Russia between the city and the Tsar's village - Tsarskoye Selo.

Back in the city again, Michael meets former Russia correspondent Martin Sixsmith to discover how the strikes, mutinies and massacres, which took place shortly before Bradshaw's 1913 guidebook was published, were to unfold and the part the railways were to play in those tumultuous events.

WED 20:00 Terry Wogan's Ireland (b00ycvqy)
Episode 2

Terry Wogan reaches the halfway mark in the odyssey around his homeland. He has travelled the southern half of the Republic, from Dublin round to Limerick, where he grew up. Now it's the turn of the north, much of which is quite literally a different country. After sharing memories of his buttoned-up childhood holidays in Galway and witnessing a seismic shift in Catholic prudery when 180 Irish ladies throw off all their clothes and take a 'Dip in the Nip' for charity, Terry heads for the border.

As he crosses into Northern Ireland he recalls the watchtowers and armed security. Now all that gives the border away is a subtle change in the texture of the road surface. More than a decade after the Peace Agreement, Terry finds reasons to be cheerful here, with football replacing fighting in the notorious Creggan housing estate, a Peace Bridge hoping to bring Protestants and Catholics together in Derry and a London Docklands-style transformation of the famous shipyards in Belfast where the Titanic was built.

Back in Dublin, Terry remembers the intermission act in the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest - the now global Riverdance phenomenon. 1994 also marked the beginning of the Celtic Tiger, an unprecedented economic boom which the Irish thought would never end. Instead, the world-wide economic collapse has dealt Ireland a body blow.

WED 21:00 Life of a Mountain (b04y4gd7)
A Year on Scafell Pike

A beautifully cinematic documentary following a year in the life of England's highest mountain, Scafell Pike, through the eyes of the farmers who work the valleys and fells, those who climb the mountain for pleasure and those who try to protect its slopes.

Filmed over a twelve-month period, it follows the seasons on the mountain from spring lambs through to winter snows. The contributions of the British Mountaineering Council and National Trust volunteers make clear the crucial importance of maintaining the landscape quality of England's highest peak for future generations.

WED 22:00 In and Out of the Kitchen (b05mp847)
Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day in the Trench household is marked by it being the one day of the year when cookery writer Damien Trenchis not allowed in the kitchen, so that his partner Anthony can prepare a romantic meal in private.

Problem is, despite Damien's best intentions he simply cannot stop himself trying to get into the kitchen to see what Anthony is cooking. What's more, he really should be getting on with other things - he has an entire script to write for a forthcoming documentary series about the culinary habits of the nation's great poets, called 'Poets and their Palates'.

But when plans for the series are thrown into doubt, and Damien is thrown out of the kitchen - and out of the house - he is forced to accompany his builder Mr Mullaney into a brave new world, and discovers that the answer to one's problems can lie in the most unlikely of places.

WED 22:30 Top of the Pops (b03mpphw)
The Story of 1979

1979 was a unique year for Top of the Pops, which saw the show record its highest audience of 19 million viewers and in which physical format singles sales hit an all-time high of 79 million. 1979 is maybe the most diverse year ever for acts on Top of the Pops with disco at its peak, new wave, 2 Tone, reggae, rock, folk and electro records all making the top five.

Original interviews with Gary Numan, Nile Rodgers, Woody from Madness, Jah Wobble, Chas and Dave, Janet Kay, Linda Nolan, Jim Dooley, Secret Affair, the Ruts, Legs and Co and many others tell the story of an exceptional year.

In the year that the 'winter of discontent' saw continuing strikes black out ITV and TOTP reduced during a technicians strike to a narrator introducing videos, the show also found itself the site of conflict backstage. TOTP's old guard of 70s MOR acts had their feathers continually ruffled by new wave bands, as the Skids spat at the Nolan Sisters backstage and Generation X urinated off the roof onto the Dooleys.

Elsewhere in the corridors of TV Centre, in preparation for playing their single Death Disco, Public Image Ltd demanded their teeth were blacked out in make-up to appear ugly, while Gary Numan remembers the overbearing union presence which prevented TOTP artists moving their own microphones without a union technician and the Musicians Union trying to ban him from the show for his use of synthesizers.

The most popular musical styles of 1979 were 2 Tone, reggae and disco. The latter saw Nile Rodgers, the man of the year, score four hits with Chic as well as writing and producing a further four hits with Sister Sledge, Sheila B Devotion and Sugarhill Gang, who appeared with what would prove to be the first ever rap hit.

Jamaican and UK reggae artists scored continual hits through the year and then watched as the Police notched up three hits with white reggae and the label 2 Tone revived the 60s reggae style known as ska. In November, in what is remembered as the 2 Tone edition, all three of the label's new acts - Madness, Specials and Selecter - appeared on one historic night and took the show by storm, with Madness capping off their performance of One Step Beyond by leading a 'nutty train' conga through the studio.

WED 23:30 Bob Harris: My Nashville (p0293k6w)
'Whispering' Bob Harris journeys to America's country music capital to reveal why Nashville became Music City USA. From the beginnings of the Grand Ole Opry on commercial radio, through the threatening onset of rock 'n' roll in the 50s, right up to the modern mainstream hits of Music Row, this is the story of how music has shaped Nashville and why today it's a place of pilgrimage for musicians from all over the world.

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

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

WED 00:30 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.

WED 01:30 Sounds of the Sixties (b0074qcm)
Original Series

Hip to the Trip

Ten-part series featuring rock, pop and R&B performances from the BBC archives.

This edition features psychedelia and counter-culture, with performances by The Who, Pink Floyd, Joe Cocker and the Greaseband, The Nice and The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

WED 02:00 Terry Wogan's Ireland (b00ycvqy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 03:00 Life of a Mountain (b04y4gd7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 World News Today (b05mw60c)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b05mw61g)
David 'Kid' Jensen presents pop hits of the week, with performances from Elvis Costello, Marti Webb, the Vapors, Liquid Gold, the Gibson Brothers, Stiff Little Fingers, Dave Edmunds, the Police, the Shadows and Blondie, and a dance sequence by Legs & Co.

THU 20:00 Timewatch (b00jcgpm)

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.

THU 21:00 India's Frontier Railways (b05mp8mt)
The Last Train in Nepal

In 1927 a British civil servant drew a line on a map to define the border between their Indian empire and the kingdom of Nepal. Today, that border line is only marked by a chain of boundary stones and pillars - it's a border that is almost invisible.

This is the story of an international railway line. It runs for 20 miles from the little-known town of Janakpur in Nepal and crosses over the border to Jaynagar junction in India.

But now the last train in Nepal is under threat of closure. Starved of funds from central government, the train and the track are in a dilapidated state. Derailments are common and the engine often breaks down. Yet it's a lifeline both for the community and the railway workers - their little train is held together with determination, invention and love.

Regina is strong, independent Nepali woman, married at 12 and pregnant at 13. Deserted by her husband, she's now a single mother of two teenage boys. She makes a living as a smuggler of small household goods. But it's illegal, so even when the train is running there's always the chance of getting caught.

Aarman is a ticket collector in Janakpur station. Married with three small children, he's the sole breadwinner for an extended family and he hasn't been paid for three months. Already deeply in debt, he wanted to send his kids to school, but if the line closes he's out of job - and no job means no money.

This is the story of the last train in Nepal and the community and railway workers who struggle every day to keep their train and their hopes alive.

THU 22:00 The Inca: Masters of the Clouds (b04xdpjy)

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 23:00 Life of a Mountain (b04y4gd7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Wednesday]

THU 00:00 The Lady Who Flew Africa: The Aviatrix (b05n29m7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]

THU 01:00 Top of the Pops (b05mw61g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 01:40 In and Out of the Kitchen (b05mp847)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Wednesday]

THU 02:10 Secret Knowledge (b01rml7t)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:45 on Sunday]

THU 02:40 The Inca: Masters of the Clouds (b04xdpjy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


FRI 19:00 World News Today (b05mw6gp)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 Sounds of the Sixties (b0074qd8)
Original Series

In Living Colour

More from the BBC archive music programme. 1968 brought colour transmission to the BBC and artists such as The Kinks, The Moody Blues and The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band appear in all their polychrome glory.

FRI 20:00 Written by Mrs Bach (b04t91gf)
Johann Sebastian Bach's majestic Cello Suites are among the world's best-loved pieces of music - but did another Bach write them? Australian musical sleuth Martin Jarvis explosively claims the suites were composed not by Bach, but by his much-loved second wife, Anna Magdalena.

Jarvis's controversial quest for clues takes him from London to Paris to Berlin and beyond. Using advanced techniques of forensic document examination and drawing on his vast experience as a conductor and musician, he sets out to uncover the truth of the Cello Suites and rewrite some musical wrongs.

Narrated by composer Sally Beamish.

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 Dexys: Nowhere Is Home (b05n2bx4)
Directed by BAFTA winner Kieran Evans and Paul Kelly (the first time the pair have collaborated since 2003's Finisterre), this film documents Dexys' celebrated residency at the Duke of York's Theatre in London in spring 2014. It captures songs from those theatrical shows with a striking visual style and a real sensitivity to the performances onstage.

Interspersed throughout the film is an honest, revealing and touching interview with Kevin Rowland and Jim Paterson that details the remarkable story of the band. The film frames the motivation and desire that oversaw the artistic triumph of the band's album One Day I'm Going to Soar and the live performances that subsequently developed from its narrative.

FRI 23:30 Kings of Soul (b05n2bx6)
Celebrating the men whose vocal stylings have carried the torch for soul across six decades. It showcases the rarely seen but infectious Brenton Wood's Gimme Little Sign and offers the velvet voice of Curtis Mayfield singing Keep On Keeping On. There are groundbreaking artists from the '60s to the noughties, with performances from Billy Preston, Bill Withers, Billy Ocean, Alexander O'Neal, Barry White, Bobby Womack and many more.

FRI 00:30 The Godmother of Rock & Roll: Sister Rosetta Tharpe (b00xf8k7)
During the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Sister Rosetta Tharpe played a highly significant role in the creation of rock & roll, inspiring musicians like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Little Richard and Chuck Berry. She may not be a household name, but this flamboyant African-American gospel singing superstar, with her spectacular virtuosity on the newly-electrified guitar, was one of the most influential popular musicians of the 20th century.

Tharpe was born in 1915, close to the Mississippi in Cotton Plant, Arkansas. At the age of six she was taken by her evangelist mother Katie Bell to Chicago to join Roberts Temple, Church of God in Christ, where she developed her distinctive style of singing and guitar playing. At the age of 23 she left the church and went to New York to join the world of show business, signing with Decca Records. For the following 30 years she performed extensively to packed houses in the USA and subsequently Europe, before her death in 1973.

In 2008 the state governor of Pennsylvania declared that henceforth January 11th will be Sister Rosetta Tharpe Day in recognition of her remarkable musical legacy.

FRI 01:30 Written by Mrs Bach (b04t91gf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRI 02:30 Dexys: Nowhere Is Home (b05n2bx4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

(Note: the times link back to the details; the pids link to the BBC page, including iPlayer)

Architects of the Divine: The First Gothic Age 01:05 MON (b04mq9x6)

Bob Harris: My Nashville 23:30 WED (p0293k6w)

Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe 00:55 SAT (b05530wd)

Country Queens at the BBC 00:30 WED (p028vwnv)

Darcey Bussell's Looking for Audrey 00:45 SUN (b04w7mfk)

Dexys: Nowhere Is Home 22:00 FRI (b05n2bx4)

Dexys: Nowhere Is Home 02:30 FRI (b05n2bx4)

Fair Cop: A Century of British Policewomen 21:00 MON (b0555wj7)

Fair Cop: A Century of British Policewomen 02:05 MON (b0555wj7)

Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 MON (b03x129l)

Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 TUE (b03x12j1)

Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 WED (b05n8f3n)

Hostages 21:00 SAT (b03zwrxd)

Hostages 21:30 SAT (b03zwrxg)

Hostages 22:10 SAT (b03zws5q)

In and Out of the Kitchen 22:00 WED (b05mp847)

In and Out of the Kitchen 01:40 THU (b05mp847)

India's Frontier Railways 20:00 MON (b0555xgw)

India's Frontier Railways 21:00 THU (b05mp8mt)

Inside Claridge's 22:00 TUE (b01pc3gk)

Irish Rock at the BBC 00:15 TUE (b0556qc9)

Juliet Bravo 22:30 MON (b05n74rn)

Kings of Soul 23:30 FRI (b05n2bx6)

Life of a Mountain 21:00 WED (b04y4gd7)

Life of a Mountain 03:00 WED (b04y4gd7)

Life of a Mountain 23:00 THU (b04y4gd7)

London to Brighton Side by Side 19:40 SUN (b00f2zxt)

Lost Kingdoms of Central America 20:00 SAT (b04j8st0)

Lost Kingdoms of Central America 03:00 SAT (b04j8st0)

Narnia's Lost Poet: The Secret Lives and Loves of CS Lewis 01:45 SUN (b03jrw5j)

Nina Conti Clowning Around 21:00 SUN (b05n27mw)

Nina Conti Clowning Around 02:45 SUN (b05n27mw)

Precious 23:20 MON (b015b74g)

Secret Knowledge 19:45 SUN (b01rml7t)

Secret Knowledge 02:10 THU (b01rml7t)

Sounds of the Sixties 01:30 WED (b0074qcm)

Sounds of the Sixties 19:30 FRI (b0074qd8)

Storyville 23:00 TUE (b05n756x)

Terry Wogan's Ireland 20:00 TUE (b00y44j4)

Terry Wogan's Ireland 02:45 TUE (b00y44j4)

Terry Wogan's Ireland 20:00 WED (b00ycvqy)

Terry Wogan's Ireland 02:00 WED (b00ycvqy)

The Bee Gees at the BBC... and Beyond 23:55 SAT (b04v8679)

The Godmother of Rock & Roll: Sister Rosetta Tharpe 00:30 FRI (b00xf8k7)

The Great War 19:00 SUN (b0074p90)

The Heart of Country: How Nashville Became Music City USA 01:15 TUE (b04ndxlr)

The Inca: Masters of the Clouds 22:00 THU (b04xdpjy)

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

The Irish Rock Story: A Tale of Two Cities 23:45 SUN (b0555xv8)

The Joy of the Bee Gees 22:55 SAT (b04v8677)

The Lady Who Flew Africa: The Aviatrix 21:00 TUE (b05n29m7)

The Lady Who Flew Africa: The Aviatrix 00:00 THU (b05n29m7)

The Polio Story: The Vaccine That Changed the World 20:15 SUN (b05n27mt)

The Secret Life of Elephants 19:00 SAT (b00h6yk1)

The Secret Life of Elephants 02:00 SAT (b00h6yk1)

Timewatch 20:00 THU (b00jcgpm)

Top of the Pops 01:25 SAT (b0555xgt)

Top of the Pops 22:30 WED (b03mpphw)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b05mw61g)

Top of the Pops 01:00 THU (b05mw61g)

Top of the Pops 21:00 FRI (b04w0fyz)

Untouchable 22:00 SUN (b01pm7y6)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b05mw5km)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b05mw5nc)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b05mw5s2)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b05mw60c)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b05mw6gp)

Written by Mrs Bach 20:00 FRI (b04t91gf)

Written by Mrs Bach 01:30 FRI (b04t91gf)