Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 21 MARCH 2015

SAT 19:00 Chemistry: A Volatile History (b00q2mk5)
Discovering the Elements

The explosive story of chemistry is the story of the building blocks that make up our entire world - the elements. From fiery phosphorous to the pure untarnished lustre of gold and the dazzle of violent, violet potassium, everything is made of elements - the earth we walk on, the air we breathe, even us. Yet for centuries this world was largely unknown, and completely misunderstood.

In this three-part series, professor of theoretical physics Jim Al-Khalili traces the extraordinary story of how the elements were discovered and mapped. He follows in the footsteps of the pioneers who cracked their secrets and created a new science, propelling us into the modern age.

Just 92 elements made up the world, but the belief that there were only four - earth, fire, air and water - persisted until the 19th century. Professor Al-Khalili retraces the footsteps of the alchemists who first began to question the notion of the elements in their search for the secret of everlasting life.

He reveals the red herrings and rivalries which dogged scientific progress, and explores how new approaches to splitting matter brought us both remarkable elements and the new science of chemistry.


SAT 20:00 Lost Kingdoms of Central America (b04jvpqj)
Between Oceans and Empires

Dr Jago Cooper explores the rise and fall of the forgotten civilisations of Central America.

His quest takes him from from the crystal blue seas of the Caribbean to the New World's most impressive pyramids, flying over the smoking volcanoes of Costa Rica and travelling deep underground in the caves of central Mexico.

He travels in the footsteps of these peoples to reveal their secrets and unearth the astonishing cultures that flourished amongst some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world.

In this episode, Jago explores the forgotten people of ancient Costa Rica, who built a series of spectacular settlements amongst the rivers and volcanoes of Central America and whose enigmatic legacy - including hundreds of mysterious, giant stone spheres - is only now being unravelled by archaeologists.


SAT 21:00 Inspector Montalbano (b01nrkwc)
The Potter's Field

As torrential rain pours down on Vigata, a plastic bag containing a body cut into pieces is found in a clay field. All the signs point to an old-fashioned Mafia killing. But why is Montalbano's trusted colleague and friend Mimi Augello suddenly irritable and short-tempered, and why is he insisting that the investigation be assigned to him? Could Mimi somehow be involved in the case?

In Italian with English subtitles.


SAT 22:50 Tales from the Royal Wardrobe with Lucy Worsley (b048wss8)
Today, few people's clothes attract as much attention as the royal family, but this is not a modern-day Hello magazine-inspired obsession. As Dr Lucy Worsley reveals, it has always been this way. Exploring the royal wardrobes of our kings and queens over the last 400 years, Lucy shows this isn't just a public preoccupation but our monarchs' as well.

From Elizabeth I to our present Queen, Lucy believes that the royal wardrobe's significance goes way beyond the cut and colour of the clothing and that royal fashion is, and has always been, regarded as their personal statement to their people. So most monarchs have carefully choreographed every aspect of their wardrobe and, for those who have not, there have sometimes been calamitous consequences.


SAT 23:50 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.


SAT 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.


SAT 01:35 The Rolling Stones at the BBC (b01p1pmf)
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Rolling Stones we delve into the BBC vaults to deliver some timeless Stones archive. From the early days of their career and some unforgettable performances on Top of the Pops with the Last Time, Let's Spend the Night Together and Get Off of My Cloud through the late 60s and early 70s era of prolific song writing when the band were knocking out a classic album every other year and offering up such classics as Honky Tonk Women and Gimme Shelter.

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


SAT 02:20 Secret Knowledge (b03z08mv)
Hogarth - One Man and His Pug

To mark 250 years since William Hogarth's death, ceramics expert and self-confessed Hogarth fanatic Lars Tharp is determined to solve a mystery that has consumed his personal and professional life - the case of Hogarth's lost pug.

In this unique shaggy dog story, Tharp explains Hogarth's obsession with this most characterful of breeds and the pivotal role it played in his life and his work. A canine odyssey that only examines one of his most iconic works of art, but leads us into a world of satire, salaciousness and secrets. From harlots and rakes to the shadowy machinations of the freemasons, Tharp's ultimate goal is to lead an appeal to the nation to help him recover a rare piece of long-lost Hogarth memorabilia - a precious terracotta sculpture of his beloved pet pug.

For Tharp, this is the perfect moment in which to pay tribute to a man whom he regards as our greatest and most influential artist - and what better way to explore a man famed for his wit and humour than on the trail of his most iconic and idiosyncratic four-legged companion.


SAT 02:50 Lost Kingdoms of Central America (b04jvpqj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



SUNDAY 22 MARCH 2015

SUN 19:00 The Great War (b0074p91)
The Devil Is Coming

This episode looks at the Battle of the Somme, which began on 1 July, 1916. By the end of the first day of fighting the British had lost over 57,000 men. Although 11 days later one of the primary objectives was achieved - to relieve the pressure on the French army at Verdun - the battle continued unofficially into February 1917. By then an irreparable blow had been struck at the German Army, but left behind was a muddy grave to 415,000 British troops.


SUN 19:40 The Great War (p00gzz49)
All This It Is Our Duty to Bear

This episode takes stock of the events of 1916. Both sides made heroic efforts to achieve victory, yet both sides had nothing to show but staggering losses at the year's end. The alternative to bloody and futile deadlock was a compromise peace. Towards the end of the year such a peace was considered, but rejected. Instead of peace, Europe appointed new leaders - ruthless men like Lundendorff and Lloyd George. Victory it was to be - at any cost. The war went on.


SUN 20:20 Pop Go the Sixties (b008d00q)
Series 1

Tony Bennett

A colourful nugget of pop mined from the BBC's archive.


SUN 20:25 Pop Go the Sixties (b0088xv2)
Series 1

Helen Shapiro

A colourful nugget of pop mined from the BBC's archive, as Helen Shapiro performs Walking Back to Happiness.


SUN 20:30 Secret Knowledge (b0376h9w)
Stradivarius and Me

The name of 17th-century violin maker Antonio Stradivari - or Stradivarius as he is usually known - is one that sends shivers down the spine of music lovers the world over. During his lifetime Stradivari made over 1,000 instruments, about 650 of which still survive. Their sound is legendary and for any violinist the opportunity to play one is a great privilege.

Clemency Burton-Hill indulges in her lifelong passion for the instrument as she explores the mysterious life and lasting influence of Stradivari - through four special violins on display at this summer's Stradivarius exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. She is joined by 2002 Young Musician of the Year winner Jennifer Pike to put some of the violins in the exhibition through their paces.


SUN 21:00 Lost Cities of the Ancients (b00792tn)
The Vanished Capital of the Pharoah

This episode looks at the legendary lost city of Piramesse. This magnificent ancient capital was built 3,000 years ago by the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses the Great, but long ago the whole city disappeared. When it was rediscovered by early archaeologists, it opened up a bizarre puzzle - when Piramesse was finally found it was in the wrong place, somewhere Ramesses the Great could not possibly have built it.

Recreating the stories of both the early archaeologists and the ancient Egyptians, the film enters a lost world, recounting the strange tale of the quest for Piramesse and following the intriguing detective work of modern archaeologists Manfred Bietak and Edgar Pusch as they solve the baffling mystery of how this great lost city could vanish, only to reappear thousands of years later in the wrong place.


SUN 22:00 Sleep Tight (b01pykjq)
Apartment concierge Cesar is a miserable person who believes he was born without the ability to be happy. His self-appointed task is to make life hell for everyone around him, a mission in which he has great success. But young tenant Clara proves to be a greater challenge. Cesar is prepared to go to extremes to break her, but their relationship is complicated when her boyfriend Marcos shows up.

In Spanish with English subtitles.


SUN 23:35 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.


SUN 00:35 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.


SUN 01:35 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.


SUN 02:35 Lost Cities of the Ancients (b00792tn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



MONDAY 23 MARCH 2015

MON 19:00 World News Today (b05ndndv)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


MON 19:30 Great Continental Railway Journeys (b05nx8vr)
Series 3 - Reversions

Tula to St Petersburg - Part 2

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.


MON 20:00 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.


MON 21:00 Storyville (b05nyyd9)
Masterspy of Moscow - George Blake

He said he was doing God's work on earth, but betrayed his colleagues to the KGB. Sentenced to 42 years in jail, George Blake escaped from Wormwood Scrubs five years later and fled to the Soviet Union. George Carey's film follows the strange life of this enigmatic traitor, tracking down people who knew him, and ending with an unexpected encounter in the woods outside Moscow.


MON 22:30 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.


MON 23:30 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 00:30 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.


MON 01:00 Born to be Wild: The Golden Age of American Rock (b03p7p6s)
Riders on the Storm

During the era of flower power, Vietnam and LSD, bands such as the Doors, Jefferson Airplane and MC5 not only sang about the revolution, they were the revolution. This episode explores the artists that made the soundtrack to the peace and love generation. The culmination of this era was when half a million people descended on a field in the small hamlet of Woodstock. At that moment rock music seemed a beacon of hope for those who believed in the ideals of equality and freedom. But instead of inspiring a new generation of artists to lead the revolution through political songs the festival proved to be a watershed moment for rock music's reactionary era. The marketing men lined up ready to sign and keen to turn this music from protest into profit.

Interviewees include John Densmore and Ray Manzarek of the Doors, Creedence Clearwater Revival's Doug Clifford, Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane, Alice Cooper, Tom Petty, MC5's Wayne Kramer and Steppenwolf's John Kay.


MON 02:00 You've Got a Friend: The Carole King Story (b0461chb)
Documentary telling, in her own words, the story of Carole King's upbringing in Brooklyn and the subsequent success that she had as half of husband-and-wife songwriting team Goffin and King for Aldon Music on Broadway.

It was during this era in the early 1960s that they created a string of pop hits such as Take Good Care of My Baby for Bobby Vee, The Locomotion for Little Eva and Will You Love Me Tomorrow for the Shirelles, which became the first number one hit by a black American girl group. They also wrote the era-defining Up on the Roof for the Drifters and the magnificent Natural Woman for Aretha Franklin.

By 1970 Carole was divorced from songwriting partner Gerry Goffin and had moved to Los Angeles. It was here that she created her classic solo album Tapestry, packed with delightful tunes but also, for the first time, her own lyrics, very much sung from the heart. The album included It's Too Late, I Feel the Earth Move and You've Got a Friend and held the record for the most weeks at number one by a solo female artist for nearly 20 years. It became a trusted part of everyone's record collection and has sold over 25 million copies to date.

The film features some wonderful unseen material and home movies, and narrates her life as an acclaimed singer-songwriter. To date, more than 400 of her compositions have been recorded by over 1,000 artists, resulting in 100 hit singles.

More recently, in 2013, Carole was the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song by the Library of Congress for her songwriting, whilst in 2014 Broadway production Beautiful, which tells her life story during the Goffin and King era, has received rave reviews.

Nowadays Carole King would see herself as an environmental activist as much as a songwriter, and she is to be found constantly lobbying congress in defence of the wildlife and ecosystems of her beloved Idaho.


MON 03:00 The Bermuda Triangle: Beneath the Waves (b007c68n)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]



TUESDAY 24 MARCH 2015

TUE 19:00 World News Today (b05ndnf1)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


TUE 19:30 Great Continental Railway Journeys (b05nxcrf)
Series 3 - Reversions

Rome to Taormina - Part 1

Michael Portillo takes the train down the spine of Italy from Rome to Sicily.

Braving the traffic, Michael begins his Roman holiday by weaving among the capital city's magnificent landmarks on the back of a 1950s Vespa. Following in the footsteps of early 20th-century British tourists, he pays homage to the romantic poets at the foot of the Spanish Steps before boarding the train south.

Arriving in Naples, Michael savours spectacular views across the bay. He finds out about the first railway to be built in the country, from Naples to Portici, around the base of Vesuvius and then plucks up his courage to venture into the mighty volcano's crater.

From Naples, pausing only to pick up a pizza, Michael boards a ferry to travel to the beautiful island of Capri, a magnet for the writers and artists of Europe at the time of his guidebook.

Heading south again on the long journey to Reggio Calabria, Michael shares lunch on board with fellow British travellers before their train is loaded onto a ferry for the short sail to Sicily.

On the island, Michael finds out about apocalyptic scenes at Messina only five years prior to the publication of his guidebook and marvels at the survival - and beauty - of the ancient hilltop town of Taormina, in the shadow of Mount Etna.


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

The Himalayas

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

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


TUE 21:00 The Normans (b00tcgkl)
Men from the North

In the first episode of a three-part series, Professor Robert Bartlett explores how the Normans developed from a band of marauding Vikings into the formidable warriors who conquered England in 1066. He tells how the Normans established their new province of Normandy -'land of the northmen' - in northern France. They went on to build some of the finest churches in Europe and turned into an unstoppable force of Christian knights and warriors, whose legacy is all around us to this day. Under the leadership of Duke William, the Normans expanded into the neighbouring provinces of northern France. But William's greatest achievement was the conquest of England in 1066. The Battle of Hastings marked the end of the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy and monarchy. The culture and politics of England would now be transformed by the Normans.


TUE 22:00 Inside Claridge's (b01phq2c)
Episode 3

It is mid-summer madness at Claridge's, and it appears the whole world is coming through its doors.

Thirty delegations from around the world are arriving for the Olympics. The red carpet is rolled out five times a day for heads of state, and Noma - ranked the world's number one restaurant - is setting up as a pop-up in the ballroom. With the kitchen stuffed with hay and wood sorrel, Claridge's chefs are faced with turning their back on the traditional fare to provide Nordic foraged food to thousands of guests who have paid £195 per head to sample - among other delights - live ants.

Bill and Laura fly in from Atlanta for the wedding of their dreams, and Stephen the butler prepares a suite for one of the hotel's most regular guests by bringing his furniture, hat boxes and 20 suits out of storage, all for one night's stay.


TUE 23:00 Mark Lawson Talks To... (b05534ny)
Jonathan Pryce

From princes to professors and cardinals to comedians, star of stage and screen Jonathan Pryce is one of Britain's most versatile actors. Here he talks to Mark Lawson about his life and extensive career.


TUE 00:00 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.


TUE 01:00 Born to be Wild: The Golden Age of American Rock (b03q050x)
School's Out

This second part tells the story of the 1970s, when rock stars became multi-millionaires and the music they made was the soundtrack for middle America.

After the rage and protest of the previous decade, rock music of the early 70s was gentle and sweet - the songs of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and the Doobie Brothers. Although the USA was riven by political disasters - the end of the Vietnam War, Watergate and the gasoline crisis - rock music seldom commented on them, although Alice Cooper's Nixon satire Elected was a rare exception. But in the middle of the decade new voices started to emerge, such as Bruce Springsteen's songs of working class glory or Tom Petty's tight, 1960s-inspired sound.

The massive success of stadium shows exemplified how big American rock had become and, in 1976 and 1977, the genre soared with a string of multi-platinum albums by Fleetwood Mac, Boston, the Eagles and Meat Loaf. Unlike in the UK, American punk barely diverted the rock gods, but disco did make an impact. Rock became smoother and more saccharine and in the corporate offices of record labels the drive was for ever larger profits.

With interviews with many of the decade's leading rock musicians, the programme also features studio and concert footage including Alice Cooper, Bruce Springsteen and the Eagles.

Interviews include: Tom Petty, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, Tom Scholz (Boston), Todd Rundgren, Don Felder (the Eagles), Tom Johnston (the Doobie Brothers), Chuck D (Public Enemy), Peter Frampton, Bill Payne (Little Feat), Pamela des Barres, FM DJ Jim Ladd, film director Penelope Spheeris, manager Peter Mensch, journalists Sylvie Simmons and Rolling Stone magazine's David Fricke.


TUE 02:00 Elvis: That's Alright Mama 60 Years On (b04c3l7g)
Actor and musician Sam Palladio hosts a musical tribute to Elvis Presley, 60 years to the day from when he recorded his first single, That's All Right, at Sun Studio in Memphis on 5 July 1954. Sam traces Elvis's story from childhood poverty in Mississippi, where he had to make do with a broom for a guitar, to the moment when, by accident, he ended up recording the song that changed the history of popular music. There are performances of the finest Elvis tracks from the likes of soul legend Candi Staton, LA duo The Pierces and country star Laura Bell Bundy.


TUE 03:00 The Normans (b00tcgkl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 25 MARCH 2015

WED 19:00 World News Today (b05ndnf6)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


WED 19:30 Great Continental Railway Journeys (b05nxctg)
Series 3 - Reversions

Rome to Taormina - Part 2

Michael Portillo takes the train down the spine of Italy from Rome to Sicily.

Braving the traffic, Michael begins his Roman holiday by weaving among the capital city's magnificent landmarks on the back of a 1950s Vespa. Following in the footsteps of early 20th-century British tourists, he pays homage to the romantic poets at the foot of the Spanish Steps before boarding the train south.

Arriving in Naples, Michael savours spectacular views across the bay. He finds out about the first railway to be built in the country, from Naples to Portici, around the base of Vesuvius and then plucks up his courage to venture into the mighty volcano's crater.

From Naples, pausing only to pick up a pizza, Michael boards a ferry to travel to the beautiful island of Capri, a magnet for the writers and artists of Europe at the time of his guidebook.

Heading south again on the long journey to Reggio Calabria, Michael shares lunch on board with fellow British travellers before their train is loaded onto a ferry for the short sail to Sicily.

On the island, Michael finds out about apocalyptic scenes at Messina only five years prior to publication of his guidebook and marvels at the survival - and beauty - of the ancient hilltop town of Taormina, in the shadow of Mount Etna.


WED 20:00 Great Irish Journeys with Martha Kearney (b054c5gv)
Episode 1

Martha Kearney walks in the footsteps of a 19th-century artist and geologist who spent his life charting the landscape, people and buildings of Ireland. She retraces the journey of George Victor Du Noyer, whose 35-year odyssey left a unique record of how Ireland looked during a period of great change.

In this first episode, Martha introduces us to Du Noyer's work. She enjoys his impressions of Glendalough - a place close to the hearts of her own parents. She gets wet at the Bog of Allen. And she marvels at the majesty of the Old Head of Kinsale.


WED 20:30 The Quizeum (b05nvb70)
Series 1

Episode 1

Quiz show in which Griff Rhys Jones visits museums around the UK with two teams of expert panellists made up of historians, scientists and cultural scholars.

At Britain's oldest public museum, the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology in Oxford, being put to the test by Griff are Lars Tharp, Professor Kate Williams, Dr Janina Ramirez and Dr Michael Scott. The two teams pit their knowledgeable wits against each other in a series of rounds informed by the amazing contents of the museum.


WED 21:00 The Wonderful World of Blood - with Michael Mosley (b05nyyhf)
Of all the wonders of the human body, there's one more mysterious than any other. Blood: five precious litres that keep us alive. Yet how much do we really know about this sticky red substance and its mysterious, life-giving force?

Michael Mosley gives up a fifth of his own blood to perform six bold experiments. From starving it of oxygen to injecting it with snake venom, Michael reveals the extraordinary abilities of blood to adapt and keep us alive. Using specialist photography, the programme reveals the beauty in a single drop. Michael even discovers how it tastes when, in a television first, he prepares a black pudding with his own blood.

Down the ages, our understanding of blood has been as much myth as science, but Michael reveals there might be truth in the old vampire legends, as he meets one of the scientists behind the latest research that shows young blood might be able to reverse the ageing process - the holy grail of modern medicine.


WED 22:00 In and Out of the Kitchen (b05nhhpf)
The Lodger

Cookery writer Damien Trench believes life should be simple, like one of his recipes. All he wants to do today, for example, is get the washing done.

The problem is that his partner Anthony will not stop badgering him about getting a lodger, something Damien is keen to resist for the simple fact that he wants to keep the spare room as it should be, namely spare.

When his literary agent Iain Frobisher asks Damien to write a restaurant review, something he is also keen to resist, Damien soon realises that sadly there is no simple recipe for life.


WED 22:30 Top of the Pops (b00zwrn5)
1964 to 1975 - Big Hits

1964 saw the birth of a very British institution. Spanning over four decades, Top of the Pops has produced many classic moments in pop culture.

Digging deep within the darkest depths of the BBC's archive, this compilation offers some memorable performances from 1964 through to 1975 from the likes of The Rolling Stones, Tom Jones, Status Quo, Procol Harum, Stevie Wonder, Queen and The Kinks, and opens the vintage vaults to rare performances from Stealers Wheel, Julie Driscoll, Peter Sarstedt and The Seekers.

So sit back and witness once again where music met television.


WED 00:00 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 01:00 Born to be Wild: The Golden Age of American Rock (b03qlqr0)
Welcome to the Jungle

The final part explores the 1980s and the eventual demise of the golden era of American rock.

The beginning of the decade saw the meteoric rise of MTV which completely changed the landscape of rock music. From Los Angeles, a new rock scene emerged of party-anthem pop-metal, tailor-made for the visual medium of TV. Bands like Van Halen, Motley Crue and Poison sported heavy make-up, flashy clothes and huge hair while singing songs of sex, partying, drinking and drugs.

The other side of American mainstream rock attempted to tackle the social and political issues of the time. John Mellencamp, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen all produced a stadium rock that appealed to the nation's blue-collar workers. Their music filled arenas, but was anybody really listening to the message?

As the decade moved on, MTV exposure directly translated to commercial profit and soon the hugely popular pop-metal - dubbed Hair Metal by its critics - was saturating the market. Power ballads, big choruses and even bigger hair were the order of the day, with the highly marketable Bon Jovi leading the pack. Guns N' Roses saw themselves as the antithesis to what they considered fake rebellion, soft-rock drivel. But, as we discover, even they became neutralised by the commercialisation of the rock industry.

The documentary ends in the early 90s with the emergence of Nirvana and grunge, which wiped away the narcissistic, sexist and pompous music form American rock had grown into. However, it was ultimately another genre of pop music that really replaced the golden age of rock, producing the big personalities the rock scene could no longer provide.


WED 02:00 The Quizeum (b05nvb70)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


WED 02:30 The Wonderful World of Blood - with Michael Mosley (b05nyyhf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



THURSDAY 26 MARCH 2015

THU 19:00 World News Today (b05ndnfc)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b05nx9zh)
Steve Wright presents pop hits of the week, with performances from the Dooleys, the Police, the Detroit Spinners, Secret Affair, the Vapors, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Gibson Brothers, Peter Gabriel, Genesis and Fern Kinney, and a dance sequence by Legs & Co.


THU 20:00 Timewatch (b00dtjy4)
2008-2009

Stonehenge

An investigation into a radical theory that Stonehenge, far from being a place of burial as is commonly assumed, was in fact a place of healing - a Bronze Age Lourdes. The investigation takes in forensic testing of bones excavated over the past decades and hard-won permission for the first dig in 50 years at the Henge, watched live online by millions of viewers around the world. Does the theory of the healing stones bear up to modern-day forensic science?


THU 21:00 India's Frontier Railways (b05nhjht)
The Samjhauta Express

Freedom came to the subcontinent in August 1947. The British hastily partitioned British India before they left. Independence was attended by a million deaths and 14 million people were displaced.

Yet despite three wars, Pakistan and Indian railways have established a cross-border train, known as the Samjhauta Express - Samjhauta meaning agreement.

Amongst the passengers on the Samjhauta Express from Lahore to Delhi are Bilal and his father Abiz. Seventeen-year-old Bilal was the victim of an accident which damaged his eye. Unable to source the right treatment in Pakistan, father and son trawled the internet and finally found a suitable clinic. But it was in India. They have never stepped outside Pakistan, so they are a little nervous. Will they be successful in getting Bilal's eye treated?

Also on the train is Rahat Khan, the hockey queen. She's a Pakistan international and a railway hockey champion. She is travelling with her Pakistan girls' hockey team to play a match in India. But not everything goes to plan.

For the Sikh community, the Punjab is home. The golden temple of Amritsar is the holy of holies. But each year, on Guru Nanak's birthday, the railway runs special trains across the border to the guru's birthplace in Pakistan, despite the security concerns.


THU 22:00 The Inca: Masters of the Clouds (b04y4q35)
Clash of Empires

In the concluding part, Dr Jago Cooper argues that it wasn't simply a clash of arms that destroyed the Inca but a clash of worldviews. He travels from Peru to the far north of Inca territory in Ecuador to reveal how the great strengths of the empire suddenly became factors in its rapid demise. The Spanish conquest of the Inca destroyed one of the most remarkable empires in the world, yet the Inca legacy leaves a great deal for modern civilisations to learn from.


THU 23:00 The Normans (b00tcgkl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]


THU 00:00 Top of the Pops (b05nx9zh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


THU 00:40 In and Out of the Kitchen (b05nhhpf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Wednesday]


THU 01:10 Timewatch (b00dtjy4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


THU 02:05 Great Irish Journeys with Martha Kearney (b054c5gv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Wednesday]


THU 02:35 The Inca: Masters of the Clouds (b04y4q35)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]



FRIDAY 27 MARCH 2015

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b05ndnfj)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 Sounds of the Sixties (b0074qd9)
Original Series

1968-69: The Progressive Tendency

The BBC's music archive programme reaches the end of the sixties and features Pink Floyd, Donovan, Fleetwood Mac and Joni Mitchell.


FRI 20:00 Mozart in Prague: Rolando Villazon on Don Giovanni (b042m80v)
Don Giovanni had its premiere performance in Prague on October 29, 1787. Mozart's vastly successful opera, based on the stories of legendary libertine Don Juan, delighted the city that had taken him to their hearts. But what brought them all - composer and audience, theatre manager and cast - to this time and place?

Acclaimed tenor Rolando Villazon presents the story of one of the best-known operas of all time. Based in Prague, Rolando explores the run-up to that candle-lit first performance, looking at the music of the opera and the social setting in which it was first performed, before recreating the finale of the opera close to how it would have looked and sounded on that autumn evening.

Rolando visits the Estates Theatre, where Mozart conducted Don Giovanni's premiere. He works with local orchestra Collegium 1704, their conductor Václav Luks and opera singers Svatopluk Sem, Alzbeta Polackova, Fulvio Bettini and Jan Martinik, performing and dissecting the music of the opera. By singing and discussing key passages, Rolando reveals Mozart's genius as a composer and the revolutionary musical techniques he used.

As he explores, we are able to grasp how Don Giovanni not only entertained the audience but terrified them by playing on the deepest fears of the 18th century, how different it would have sounded played on the instruments of the time, and how with this masterpiece Mozart went beyond the musical conventions of the day and created something unique. By talking with a range of experts and drawing on historical sources, Rolando brings to life the setting, costumes and audience, and presents a detailed picture of the world in which the opera was first performed.


FRI 21:00 Northern Soul: Living for the Weekend (b04bf1lf)
The northern soul phenomenon was the most exciting underground British club movement of the 70s. At its high point, thousands of disenchanted white working class youths across the north of England danced to obscure, mid-60s Motown-inspired sounds until the sun rose. A dynamic culture of fashions, dance moves, vinyl obsession and much more grew up around this - all fuelled by the love of rare black American soul music with an express-train beat.

Through vivid first-hand accounts and rare archive footage, this film charts northern soul's dramatic rise, fall and rebirth. It reveals the scene's roots in the mod culture of the 60s and how key clubs like Manchester's Twisted Wheel and Sheffield's Mojo helped create the prototype that would blossom in the next decade.

By the early 70s a new generation of youngsters in the north were transforming the old ballrooms and dancehalls of their parents' generation into citadels of the northern soul experience, creating a genuine alternative to mainstream British pop culture. This was decades before the internet, when people had to travel great distances to enjoy the music they felt so passionate about.

Set against a rich cultural and social backdrop, the film shows how the euphoria and release that northern soul gave these clubbers provided an escape from the bleak reality of their daily lives during the turbulent 70s. After thriving in almost total isolation from the rest of the UK, northern soul was commercialised and broke nationwide in the second half of the 70s. But just as this happened, the once-healthy rivalry between the clubs in the north fell apart amidst bitter in-fighting over the direction the scene should go.

Today, northern soul is more popular than ever, but it was back in the 70s that one of the most fascinating and unique British club cultures rose to glory. Contributors include key northern soul DJs like Richard Searling, Ian Levine, Colin Curtis and Kev Roberts alongside Lisa Stansfield, Norman Jay, Pete Waterman, Marc Almond, Peter Stringfellow and others.


FRI 22:00 ... Sings Motown (b05nyyv5)
Archive compilation celebrating the incredible body of work by Detroit's finest songwriting teams and artists for perhaps America's greatest ever record label, Motown.

This compilation of Motown covers spans the 1960s to the present day and features: Paul Weller and Amy Winehouse with I Heard It Through the Grapevine on Jools's Hootenanny, Roberta Flack's version of Stevie Wonder's Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer from an early edition of the OGWT, early adopter Dusty Springfield with Nowhere to Run on her 60s BBC TV show and The Flying Lizards with Barrett Strong's Money (That's What I Want) from Top of the Pops in 1979.

Of course, there are quite a few 80s hit covers from the decade that rediscovered Motown as a hitmaking machine, many of them from Top of the Pops including Kim Wilde's You Keep Me Hangin' On and Paul Young's 1983 Number 1 with Marvin Gaye's 1962 B-side, Wherever I Lay My Hat.

Then it's on into the 90s with Mercy Mercy Me from the late lamented Robert Palmer and Mariah Carey's take on The Jackson Five's I'll Be There. Plus of course, Phil Collins but, rightly or wrongly, not with You Can't Hurry Love but with his 21st-century reading of Stevie Wonder's Blame It on the Sun from Later with Jools.


FRI 23:00 Queens of Soul (b05nhjsx)
The sisters are truly doing it for themselves in this celebration of the legendary female singers whose raw emotional vocal styles touched the hearts of followers worldwide. Featuring the effortless sounds of Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack, Gladys Knight, Randy Crawford, Angie Stone, Mary J Blige and Beyonce, to name a few.

The Queens of Soul presents the critically acclaimed and influential female singers who, decade by decade, changed the world one note at a time.


FRI 00:00 New Power Generation: Black Music Legends of the 1980s (b017sw79)
Lionel Richie: Dancing on the Ceiling

Documentary showing how Lionel Richie achieved his dream of becoming 'as big as The Beatles' and how much of what he learnt from his years with The Commodores prepared him for that success. After 15 years of soaring success with the band, Lionel left the group to go solo in what many considered to be a risky move. His first solo album, Lionel Richie, grabbed the world's attention, whilst the follow-up, Can't Slow Down, turned him into a global superstar. But could he maintain sustained popularity without the group he'd known as brothers behind him?

Contributors include: Billboard Magazine editor Adam White, Motown songwriter and producer Gloria Jones, Kenny Rogers, video director Bob Giraldi, songwriter and producer David Foster, general manager at Motown in 1978 Keith Harris, UK soul singer Lemar and Pearly Gates of The Flirtations.


FRI 01:00 Northern Soul: Living for the Weekend (b04bf1lf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 02:00 ... Sings Motown (b05nyyv5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


FRI 03:00 Queens of Soul (b05nhjsx)
[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)

... Sings Motown 22:00 FRI (b05nyyv5)

... Sings Motown 02:00 FRI (b05nyyv5)

ABBA at the BBC 00:00 WED (b03lyzpr)

Agnetha: ABBA and After 23:30 MON (b02x9zwc)

Born to be Wild: The Golden Age of American Rock 01:00 MON (b03p7p6s)

Born to be Wild: The Golden Age of American Rock 01:00 TUE (b03q050x)

Born to be Wild: The Golden Age of American Rock 01:00 WED (b03qlqr0)

Chemistry: A Volatile History 19:00 SAT (b00q2mk5)

Elvis: That's Alright Mama 60 Years On 02:00 TUE (b04c3l7g)

Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 MON (b05nx8vr)

Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 TUE (b05nxcrf)

Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 WED (b05nxctg)

Great Irish Journeys with Martha Kearney 20:00 WED (b054c5gv)

Great Irish Journeys with Martha Kearney 02:05 THU (b054c5gv)

In and Out of the Kitchen 22:00 WED (b05nhhpf)

In and Out of the Kitchen 00:40 THU (b05nhhpf)

India's Frontier Railways 20:00 MON (b05mp8mt)

India's Frontier Railways 21:00 THU (b05nhjht)

Inside Claridge's 22:00 TUE (b01phq2c)

Inspector Montalbano 21:00 SAT (b01nrkwc)

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

Kenny Rogers: Cards on the Table 23:35 SUN (b04pl3kw)

Kings of Soul 01:35 SUN (b05n2bx6)

Lost Cities of the Ancients 21:00 SUN (b00792tn)

Lost Cities of the Ancients 02:35 SUN (b00792tn)

Lost Kingdoms of Central America 20:00 SAT (b04jvpqj)

Lost Kingdoms of Central America 02:50 SAT (b04jvpqj)

Mark Lawson Talks To... 23:00 TUE (b05534ny)

Mozart in Prague: Rolando Villazon on Don Giovanni 20:00 FRI (b042m80v)

Natural World 20:00 TUE (b00tj7j4)

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

Northern Soul: Living for the Weekend 21:00 FRI (b04bf1lf)

Northern Soul: Living for the Weekend 01:00 FRI (b04bf1lf)

Pop Go the Sixties 20:20 SUN (b008d00q)

Pop Go the Sixties 20:25 SUN (b0088xv2)

Queens of Soul 23:00 FRI (b05nhjsx)

Queens of Soul 03:00 FRI (b05nhjsx)

Secret Knowledge 02:20 SAT (b03z08mv)

Secret Knowledge 20:30 SUN (b0376h9w)

Sleep Tight 22:00 SUN (b01pykjq)

Sounds of the Sixties 00:30 MON (b0074qd8)

Sounds of the Sixties 19:30 FRI (b0074qd9)

Storyville 21:00 MON (b05nyyd9)

Tales from the Royal Wardrobe with Lucy Worsley 22:50 SAT (b048wss8)

The Bermuda Triangle: Beneath the Waves 22:30 MON (b007c68n)

The Bermuda Triangle: Beneath the Waves 03:00 MON (b007c68n)

The Great War 19:00 SUN (b0074p91)

The Great War 19:40 SUN (p00gzz49)

The Inca: Masters of the Clouds 22:00 THU (b04y4q35)

The Inca: Masters of the Clouds 02:35 THU (b04y4q35)

The Joy of ABBA 00:00 TUE (b03lyzpp)

The Normans 21:00 TUE (b00tcgkl)

The Normans 03:00 TUE (b00tcgkl)

The Normans 23:00 THU (b00tcgkl)

The Quizeum 20:30 WED (b05nvb70)

The Quizeum 02:00 WED (b05nvb70)

The Rolling Stones at the BBC 01:35 SAT (b01p1pmf)

The Wonderful World of Blood - with Michael Mosley 21:00 WED (b05nyyhf)

The Wonderful World of Blood - with Michael Mosley 02:30 WED (b05nyyhf)

Timewatch 20:00 THU (b00dtjy4)

Timewatch 01:10 THU (b00dtjy4)

Top of the Pops 23:50 SAT (b05mw61g)

Top of the Pops 00:35 SUN (b04w0fyz)

Top of the Pops 22:30 WED (b00zwrn5)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b05nx9zh)

Top of the Pops 00:00 THU (b05nx9zh)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b05ndndv)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b05ndnf1)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b05ndnf6)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b05ndnfc)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b05ndnfj)

You've Got a Friend: The Carole King Story 02:00 MON (b0461chb)