Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 28 MARCH 2015

SAT 19:00 Lost Kingdoms of Central America (b04kzrg0)
The Place Where Time Began

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

His quest takes him 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 the final episode, Jago explores the ancient civilisation of Teotihuacan that exploded into a position of dominance in the ancient Americas almost 2,000 years ago. For hundreds of years this great city state was the biggest in the New World. Its rulers built monumental pyramids and temples and then went on to build a vast empire that was maintained through force. Yet the identity of the people who led this civilisation remains a mystery.


SAT 20:00 Chemistry: A Volatile History (b00qck1t)
The Order of the Elements

The explosive story of chemistry is the story of the building blocks that make up our entire world - the elements. From fiery phosphorus 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.

In part two, Professor Al-Khalili looks at the 19th-century chemists who struggled to impose an order on the apparently random world of the elements. From working out how many there were to discovering their unique relationships with each other, the early scientists' bid to decode the hidden order of the elements was driven by false starts and bitter disputes. But ultimately the quest would lead to one of chemistry's most beautiful intellectual creations - the periodic table.


SAT 21:00 Inspector Montalbano (b01nmslk)
The Gull's Dance

Fazio is missing. He's not at home, his mobile is switched off and his father is worried. Believing that the young officer had been working a secret investigation on his own, Montalbano fears that Fazio may be in serious trouble and a frantic search is mounted in an effort to find him alive.

In Italian with English subtitles.


SAT 22:55 Arena (b00rs3w6)
Frank Sinatra: The Voice of the Century

Arena explores the rise of the legendary crooner Frank Sinatra from his early family background to overwhelming showbusiness success. Interviews with friends, family and associates reveal a star-studded career in music and film alongside a fascinating private life of four marriages, liaison with the Kennedy family, Las Vegas business interests and an alleged association with the mafia.


SAT 00:25 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.


SAT 02:10 Great Guitar Riffs at the BBC (b049mtxy)
Compilation of BBC performances featuring some of the best axe men and women in rock 'n' roll, from Hendrix to The Kinks, Cream to AC/DC, The Smiths to Rage Against the Machine and Radiohead to Foo Fighters. Whether it is The Shadows playing FBI on Crackerjack, Jeff Beck with The Yardbirds, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream's Sunshine of Your Love from their final gig, Pixies on the Late Show, AC/DC on Top of the Pops or Fools Gold from The Stone Roses, this compilation is a celebration of rock 'n' roll guitar complete with riffs, fingerstylin', wah-wah pedals and Marshall amps.


SAT 03:10 Lost Kingdoms of Central America (b04kzrg0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SAT 04:10 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.



SUNDAY 29 MARCH 2015

SUN 19:00 Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams (b0229pbp)
Documentary presented by Professor Simon Schaffer which charts the amazing and untold story of automata - extraordinary clockwork machines designed hundreds of years ago to mimic and recreate life.

The film brings the past to life in vivid detail as we see how and why these masterpieces were built. Travelling around Europe, Simon uncovers the history of these machines and shows us some of the most spectacular examples, from an entire working automaton city to a small boy who can be programmed to write and even a device that can play chess. All the machines Simon visits show a level of technical sophistication and ambition that still amazes today.

As well as the automata, Simon explains in great detail the world in which they were made - the hardship of the workers who built them, their role in global trade and the industrial revolution and the eccentric designers who dreamt them up. Finally, Simon reveals that these long-forgotten marriages of art and engineering are actually the ancestors of many of our most-loved modern technologies, from recorded music to the cinema and much of the digital world.


SUN 20:00 Twin Sisters: A World Apart (b053pxdt)
Documentary telling the poignant true story of twin sisters from China, found as babies in a cardboard box in 2003 and adopted by two separate sets of parents - one from California, the other from a remote fishing village in Norway.

In the US, Mia is raised a typical all-American girl, with a bustling life filled with violin lessons, girl scouts and soccer, while Alexandra grows up in the quietude of the breathtakingly beautiful but isolated village of Fresvik, Norway.

Neither of the adoptive parents were told their daughters were twins, but a chance sighting at the orphanage enabled them to keep in touch, until a DNA test proved their hunch had been right. Both girls grew up knowing they had an identical twin living on the other side of the world.

The film tells the remarkable story of their parallel journey, punctuated by only the odd visit, videos and photographs - until they meet for a longer visit in Norway when they are eight years old. Despite living completely different lives and speaking different languages, they are mirrors of each other - the magical bond between them is extraordinary.

This is the story of our notions of family - the genetic ones we inherit and the ones we create.


SUN 21:00 Lost Cities of the Ancients (b00792v2)
The Cursed Valley of the Pyramids

In the Lambeyeque valley in northern Peru lies a strange lost world - the forgotten ruins of 250 mysterious pyramids, including some of the biggest on the planet, colossal structures made out of mud bricks. Long ago, the Lambeyeque people were haunted by a terrible fear and believed that building pyramids was essential to their survival. Their obsession reached its height at a city called Tucume, an eerie place of 26 pyramids standing side by side, the last pyramids this civilisation created before they vanished forever.

What was the fear that drove these people to build so many pyramids, what were they for and why did the whole civilisation suddenly vanish? This film captures the moments when archaeologists at the site uncovered a mass of bodies of human sacrifice victims, following a trail of clues into the dark story of Tucume. It recreates the strange rituals of the people of the valley, revealing a civilisation whose obsession to build pyramids eventually turned to horror, until Tucume finally vanished in a bloody frenzy of human sacrifice.


SUN 22:05 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?


SUN 23:00 Milk (b016066z)
Gus Van Sant's film of the story of iconic political hero Harvey Milk, American gay rights activist and the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the US, winning the seat of San Francisco district supervisor in 1978 before being assassinated by a disturbed fellow politician.


SUN 01:00 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.


SUN 02:00 ... 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.


SUN 03:00 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.



MONDAY 30 MARCH 2015

MON 19:00 World News Today (b05p6w5y)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


MON 19:30 Great Continental Railway Journeys (b05pl716)
Series 3 - Reversions

Warsaw to Krakow - Part 1

With his 1913 Bradshaw's in hand, Michael Portillo journeys deep into central Europe to explore a country where east meets west: Poland.

Beginning in Warsaw, Michael is puzzled by how a city famously razed to the ground after the Second World War can appear so beautifully preserved. He hitches a ride in a 1913 carriage to discover one of the secrets of its restoration. Inspired by the music and story of Poland's national icon Frederic Chopin, Michael takes to the floor to dance the polonaise with high school students rehearsing for their leavers' ball.

Heading south west from Warsaw, Michael's fellow passengers come to his rescue with a crash course in Polish pronunciation. Arriving in Lodz, he discovers how the former industrial heartland - the Manchester of Poland - supplied the vast Russian Empire of the early 20th century and marvels at how the region today has been transformed into a breathtaking version of 'Hollywoodzh'. Michael makes his movie debut.

In Poznan, at the heart of former German Poland, Michael takes in the view from the kaiser's balcony before climbing aboard what is possibly the last steam-powered commuter train. Michael is in his element, stoking the boiler on the footplate of the enormous locomotive.

Arriving in Wroclaw, Michael heads for a giant train factory, where they continue to manufacture car bodies for locomotives today. A spot of on-the-job training as a welder is a salutary lesson to stick with the day job.

From Wroclaw it's on to the ancient capital of Poland, Krakow, where Michael lunches in a milk bar and takes a tour in an iconic vehicle of the communist era.


MON 20:00 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.


MON 21:00 Drills, Dentures and Dentistry: An Oral History (b05p7194)
Professor Joanna Bourke charts how, over the past five centuries, dentistry has been transformed from a backstreet horror show into a gleaming modern science.

During her journey into dentistry's past, Joanna uncovers how a trip to the dentist's in medieval England could mean much more than a haircut, reveals how a First World War general's toothache would transform British oral surgery, and discovers the strange story of how the teeth of soldiers killed at Waterloo ended up in the mouths of London's rich.


MON 22:00 Storyville (b05psdvz)
My Mother the Secret Baby

In this funny and moving documentary, acclaimed film-maker Daisy Asquith tells the very personal story of her mother's conception after a dance in the 1940s on the remote west coast of Ireland.

By exploring the repercussions of this act, Daisy and her mother embark on a fascinating and emotional adventure in social and sexual morality. Her grandmother, compelled to run away to have her baby in secret, handed the child over to 'the nuns'. Daisy's mum was eventually adopted by English Catholics from Stoke-on-Trent. Her grandmother returned to Ireland and told no-one. The father remained a mystery for another 60 years, until Daisy and her mum decided it was time to find out who he was.

Their attempts to find the truth make raw the fear and shame that Catholicism has wrought on the Irish psyche for centuries. It leads Daisy and her mum to connect with a brand new family living an extraordinarily different life.


MON 23:15 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.


MON 00:15 The Many Faces of... (b018nvwc)
Series 1

Les Dawson

Les Dawson was one of Britain's all time great comedy talents, best known as a comedian but also a talented musician, writer and actor. This programme traces his career, with familiar favourite TV clips and some rare gems from the archives. Together with interviews from friends, relatives and colleagues, the programme unpicks the secrets of his enduring legacy nearly 20 years after his untimely death.

After 'discovery' on the Opportunity Knocks talent show in the 60s, he quickly became a regular face on TV, hosting comedy-led variety shows like Sez Les and The Les Dawson Show. His trademarks were short, pithy jokes, usually targeting his wife or mother in law, long verbose monologues and, perhaps most famously, piano recitals that went hilariously off key.

His reputation attracted guest appearances from some unexpected fans like John Cleese and Shirley Bassey, and he created an overweight dance troupe, The Roly Polys.

The programme shows how his career unfolded and illustrates the different facets of his comedy genius. John Cleese remembers their unlikely friendship, modern comedy stars Robert Webb and Russell Kane talk about his inspiration and Dawson's widow Tracy recalls their marriage and his joy at being a father late in life.


MON 01:15 Good Swan, Bad Swan: Dancing Swan Lake (p01s4wy9)
Tamara Rojo, world-famous ballerina and artistic director of English National Ballet, takes us backstage as she prepares for one of classical ballet's biggest challenges - the dual lead in Swan Lake. It is the ultimate role for any dancer, requiring her to play the completely contrasting characters - Odette the White Swan and Odile the Black Swan.

With unprecedented access, the disarmingly candid Rojo reveals her insights on the role's physical and psychological challenges. Through demonstration and masterclass, she reveals how to read the choreography of some of Swan Lake's most famous scenes.

Along the way Rojo gives us a glimpse of Swan Lake's history - its genesis through to 21st-century incarnations. She looks back at some of the greats that inspired her and leads the way forward, coaching the next generation of rising stars.

This film celebrates Swan Lake as an evolving and living work of art - the ultimate classic.


MON 02:15 Apples, Pears and Paint: How to Make a Still Life Painting (b03ny8wk)
A richly detailed journey through the epic history of still-life painting, featuring a range of delights from the earliest existing Xenia mural paintings discovered at Pompeii to the cubist masterpieces of Picasso.

Awash with rich imagery of fruit, flowers and humble domestic objects, this lively take on the story of still life encompasses the work of some of the genre's greatest artists from Caravaggio to Chardin and Cezanne. But it also captures the surprising contributions of the less well-known, including asparagus enthusiast Adriaen Coorte and female flower painter in the court of Louis XVI, Anne Vallayer-Coster.

With contributions from historians Bettany Hughes and Janina Ramirez, art historians Andrew Graham Dixon and Norman Bryson, and philosopher Alain de Botton amongst others, it opens up the huge social histories that lie behind the paintings and the fascinating lives of the people who made them.



TUESDAY 31 MARCH 2015

TUE 19:00 World News Today (b05p6w63)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


TUE 19:30 Great Continental Railway Journeys (b05pl75r)
Series 3 - Reversions

Warsaw to Krakow - Part 2

With his 1913 Bradshaw's in hand, Michael Portillo journeys deep into central Europe to explore a country where east meets west: Poland.

Beginning in Warsaw, Michael is puzzled by how a city famously razed to the ground after the Second World War can appear so beautifully preserved. He hitches a ride in a 1913 carriage to discover one of the secrets of its restoration. Inspired by the music and story of Poland's national icon Frederic Chopin, Michael takes to the floor to dance the polonaise with high school students rehearsing for their leavers' ball.

Heading south west from Warsaw, Michael's fellow passengers come to his rescue with a crash course in Polish pronunciation. Arriving in Lodz, he discovers how the former industrial heartland - the Manchester of Poland - supplied the vast Russian Empire of the early 20th century and marvels at how the region today has been transformed into a breathtaking version of 'Hollywoodzh'. Michael makes his movie debut.

In Poznan, at the heart of former German Poland, Michael takes in the view from the kaiser's balcony before climbing aboard what is possibly the last steam-powered commuter train. Michael is in his element, stoking the boiler on the footplate of the enormous locomotive.

Arriving in Wroclaw, Michael heads for a giant train factory, where they continue to manufacture car bodies for locomotives today. A spot of on-the-job training as a welder is a salutary lesson to stick with the day job.

From Wroclaw it's on to the ancient capital of Poland, Krakow, where Michael lunches in a milk bar and takes a tour in an iconic vehicle of the communist era.


TUE 20:00 Visions of the Valleys (b05p706x)
Kim Howells celebrates 250 years of art in the Welsh valleys, looking at how the place became a magnet for artists drawn by its natural splendour and the spectacle of the industries that grew up there. The former MP and Labour arts minister looks at how the south Wales valleys have been portrayed by artists from the end of the 18th century to the present day.

He begins with JMW Turner, who visited the Vale of Neath in the 1790s to paint the spectacular waterfalls, but soon discovers that it was the drama of industry that attracted the next generation of painters. By the 20th century, artists became more concerned with social issues, showing the despair brought on by the Great Depression. But after the Second World War the mood changed and painters reflected the postwar optimism.

Finally, Kim looks at the current generation of artists, including Valerie Ganz and David Carpanini, who portray the after-effects of industry and the natural beauty that's returned to the valleys.


TUE 21:00 The Normans (b00tfdsk)
Conquest

In the second of this three-part series, Professor Robert Bartlett explores the impact of the Norman conquest of Britain and Ireland. Bartlett shows how William the Conqueror imposed a new aristocracy, savagely cut down opposition and built scores of castles and cathedrals to intimidate and control. He also commissioned the Domesday Book, the greatest national survey of England that had ever been attempted.

England adapted to its new masters and both the language and culture were transformed as the Normans and the English intermarried. Bartlett shows how the political and cultural landscape of Scotland, Wales and Ireland were also forged by the Normans and argues that the Normans created the blueprint for colonialism in the modern world.


TUE 22:00 10 Rillington Place (b00fkx03)
Stark drama based on the notorious Christie serial killer case. After subletting his upstairs London flat to a young man and his pregnant wife, John Christie announces that he is an accomplished abortionist and agrees to perform the illegal operation. This leads to a chain of events that results in one of Britain's greatest injustices.


TUE 23:45 Timeshift (b03fv7sl)
Series 13

Full Throttle: The Glory Days of British Motorbikes

Timeshift returns with an exploration of the British love of fast, daring and sometimes reckless motorbike riding during a period when home-grown machines were the envy of the world. From TE Lawrence in the 1920 to the 'ton-up boys' and rockers of the 1950s, motorbikes represented unparalleled style and excitement, as British riders indulged their passion for brands like Brough Superior, Norton and Triumph.

But it wasn't all thrills and spills - the motorbike played a key role during World War II and it was army surplus bikes that introduced many to the joy and freedom of motorcycling in the 50s, a period now regarded as a golden age. With its obsession with speed and the rocker lifestyle, it attracted more than its fair share of social disapproval and conflict.

Narrated by John Hannah.


TUE 00:45 Dancing in the Blitz: How World War II Made British Ballet (p01s4z2h)
David Bintley, director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, explores how the Second World War was the making of British ballet and how fundamental the years of hardship and adversity were in getting the British public to embrace ballet. Bintley shows how the then Sadler's Wells Ballet Company, led by Ninette de Valois and featuring a star-studded generation of British dancers and choreographers including Margot Fonteyn and Frederick Ashton, was forged during the Second World War.

It's the story of how de Valois and her small company of dancers took what was essentially a foreign art form and made it British despite the falling bombs, the rationing and the call-up. Plus it is the story of how Britain, as a nation, fell in love with ballet.

Using rare and previously unseen footage and interviews with dance icons such as Dame Gillian Lynne and Dame Beryl Grey, Bintley shows how the Sadler's Wells Ballet company survived an encounter with Nazi forces in Holland, dancing whilst the bombs were falling in the Blitz, rationing and a punishing touring schedule to bring ballet to the British people as an antidote to the austerity the country faced to emerge, postwar, as the Royal Ballet.


TUE 01:50 Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams (b0229pbp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Sunday]


TUE 02:50 The Normans (b00tfdsk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 01 APRIL 2015

WED 19:00 World News Today (b05p6w68)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


WED 19:30 Great Continental Railway Journeys (b05pvb44)
Series 3 - Reversions

La Coruna to Lisbon

Armed with his 1913 Bradshaw's, Michael Portillo explores a very different Spain from the one he knows best and ventures across its border with Britain's oldest ally, Portugal.

In Galicia, Michael discovers the city of La Coruna, a fashionable destination for Edwardian Britons, for whom the principal attraction was the tomb of a British military hero. Michael uncovers the Celtic roots of the people and tries to master the bagpipes.

On the pilgrims' trail to Santiago de Compostela, Michael meets walkers from all over the world heading for the cathedral, and he is led into the archive to see one of the world's first guidebooks, dating from the 12th century.

Aboard the West Galician Railway, Michael hears how a 19th-century British railwayman sought his fortune in Galicia and ended up running the company. A visit to a sardine cannery has Michael scrubbing octopus tentacles, and setting sail with local fishermen to see if he can trap one.

Arriving at the ornately tiled Sao Bento station in Porto, he finds out about the birth of Britain's long alliance with the Portuguese. A glass of 1953 port awaits him at the city's Factory House, before he embarks on the Linha da Douro along the spectacular Douro Valley.

At Coimbra, Michael is moved by the mournful strains of the fado sung by university students, then boards the high-speed train to Lisbon.

Following in the footsteps of King Edward VII, who visited his cousin King Carlos in 1903, Michael explores the city from the Santa Justa lift to the harbour at Belem. An attempt to make Portugal's national sweetmeat proves challenging, but help is at hand.

At the Palace Square, Michael hears how turbulent events at the time of his guide saw the Portuguese royal family almost wiped out.


WED 20:00 Great Irish Journeys with Martha Kearney (b05n8tlg)
Episode 2

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 episode, Martha travels north, taking in the extraordinary beauty of Dunluce Castle, and onwards to Mussenden Temple - only a romantic would expect to find a house here and only a lunatic would build it. She marvels at how Belfast was shaped by the Victorians, and visits Kearney Point on the Ards Peninsula to find out what's in a name. And she journeys south to Dunmoe, overlooking the site of the Battle of the Boyne.


WED 20:30 The Quizeum (b05p74n0)
Series 1

Episode 2

At the Great Gallery of Hertford House, home to the Wallace Collection, one of the most significant collections of European fine and decorative arts in the world, the experts being put to the test by Griff Rhys Jones are medieval art historian Dr Janina Ramirez, ceramics specialist historian Lars Tharp, art critic and historian Andrew Graham-Dixon, and historian and director of the Landmark Trust, Anna Keay. The two teams pit their knowledgeable wits against each other in a series of rounds informed by this extraordinary collection.


WED 21:00 The Kite Runner (b01f6c48)
Drama telling the story of two childhood friends, Amir and Hassan, who grew up together in 1970s Kabul. Many years later, Amir, now a writer living in America, returns to his native Afghanistan.


WED 23:00 Genghis Khan (b007930p)
He was a man who combined the savagery of a real-life Conan the Barbarian with the sheer tactical genius of Napoleon, a man from the outermost reaches of Asia whose armies ultimately stood poised to conquer Europe. His name was Genghis Khan.

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

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

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

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


WED 00:00 Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams (b0229pbp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Sunday]


WED 01:00 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.


WED 01:45 Sounds of the Sixties (b0074qd9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 04:10 on Saturday]


WED 02:15 The Quizeum (b05p74n0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


WED 02:45 Visions of the Valleys (b05p706x)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Tuesday]



THURSDAY 02 APRIL 2015

THU 19:00 World News Today (b05p6w6f)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b05pl7rt)
Mike Read presents pop hits of the week, with performances from the Bodysnatchers, Squeeze, Sad Cafe, the Lambrettas, Barbara Dickson, Shakin' Stevens, Martha and the Muffins, UB40, and the Jam, and a dance sequence by Legs & Co.


THU 20:00 Horizon (b01r6dys)
2012-2013

The Truth About Meteors: A Horizon Special

On a bright, cold morning on 15 February 2013, a meteorite ripped across the skies above the Ural mountains in Russia, disintegrating into three pieces and exploding with the force of 20 Hiroshimas. It was a stark reminder that the Earth's journey through space is fraught with danger. A day later, another much larger 143,000-tonne asteroid passed within just 17,000 miles of the Earth.

Presented by Professor Iain Stewart, this film explores what meteorites and asteroids are, where they come from, the danger they pose and the role they have played in Earth's history.


THU 21:00 Terry Pratchett: Facing Extinction (b01pz9rj)
Best-selling author Sir Terry Pratchett, diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2007, has one last adventure he wants to go on. Eighteen years ago Terry had a life-changing experience in the jungles of Borneo, where he encountered orangutans in the wild for the first time. Now he is going back to find out what the future holds for these endangered species, and discover a new threat to their habitat that could push them to the brink of extinction. His Alzheimer's will make the trip an incredible challenge both physically and mentally, as he contemplates the role of mankind in the eradication of the planet's species, and considers his own inevitable extinction.

Terry is accompanied by his friend and assistant Rob Wilkins, as they investigate an Indonesian street market where endangered species are reportedly on sale, meet the world expert on orangutans, Dr Birute Galdikas, and journey into the rainforest in search of the former king of the orangutans, Kusasi.


THU 22:00 Building Burma's Death Railway: Moving Half the Mountain (b03z09n9)
The brutal use of British prisoners of war by the Japanese to build a railway linking Thailand to Burma in 1943 was one of the worst atrocities of the Second World War. For the first time in 70 years, British POWs and their Japanese captors, many now in their nineties, open their hearts to tell the story of what really happened on the 'Death Railway'. Alongside the extraordinary experiences and stories of survival told by the British, their Japanese guards tell of different horrors of war, some never disclosed before.

Exploring how they have survived the terrible memories, this is an often inspiring story that many of these men have waited a long time to tell. What emerges is a warm and emotional journey through the lives of men from different sides reflecting on a terrible event that still haunts them.


THU 23:00 The Normans (b00tfdsk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]


THU 23:55 Top of the Pops (b05pl7rt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


THU 00:30 Drills, Dentures and Dentistry: An Oral History (b05p7194)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]


THU 01:30 Horizon (b01r6dys)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


THU 02:30 Great Irish Journeys with Martha Kearney (b05n8tlg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Wednesday]


THU 03:00 Terry Pratchett: Facing Extinction (b01pz9rj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



FRIDAY 03 APRIL 2015

FRI 19:00 Messiah at the Foundling Hospital (b041mbw4)
Handel's Messiah is one of the most popular choral pieces in western music. It has been recorded hundreds of times and contains a tune that is as instantly recognisable as any in music. Yet few people know the extraordinary story of how this much-loved piece came to public attention - or how it helped save the lives of tens of thousands of children.

Historian Amanda Vickery and BBC Radio 3 presenter Tom Service present this one-hour drama documentary which recreates the first performance of Messiah at London's Foundling Hospital in 1750 and tells the heartrending story of how this special fundraising concert helped maintain the hospital and heralded a golden age of philanthropy.

Exploring historical documents and artefacts, Amanda examines the plight of women in Georgian London, particularly how the attitudes of the time led mothers to abandon their babies at the hospital. Tom looks at the momentous trials and tribulations faced by Handel in London and discovers how the composer became involved with the Foundling Hospital alongside another philanthropist of the day, the artist William Hogarth.


FRI 20:00 Darcey's Ballerina Heroines (b03xhbn8)
As courtesans, fashion icons, political pawns and international celebrities, the great ballerinas have played a multitude of roles both on and off the stage. They have moved from the courts of kings to stages around the globe, from the highs of public adoration to the lows of injury and scandal. But few people know the full story.

British prima ballerina Darcey Bussell spent two decades at the top, performing all the great roles in the classical repertoire and becoming one of ballet's most famous faces. She explores the changing role of the ballerina.

Journeying from 18th-century France to 1950s America, she examines the challenges that her predecessors encountered, discovers the women who broke the rules and reveals what it takes to be one of the greats.

A feast for the senses, Darcey's Ballerina Heroines is an authoritative history of the best ballets and the finest ballerinas.


FRI 21:00 Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender - Director's Cut (b01pkbc7)
Film-maker Rhys Thomas's full-length director's cut of his film exploring the solo career and private life of one of British rock and roll's great frontmen, Freddie Mercury.

Renowned as the bravura frontman of one of Britain's greatest rock bands, Freddie Mercury's life outside Queen is rarely celebrated or explored. In a touching portrait, this film explores Mercury's solo projects and interests, including a previously unheard collaboration with Michael Jackson and the triumphant Barcelona project with Dame Montserrat Caballe, as well as the life of a gay man who was not yet publicly out. Rare interviews reveal a shy man in search of love, and a driven artist living behind the protection of his stage persona.


FRI 22:25 Queen: The Legendary 1975 Concert (b00p4hgm)
On Christmas Eve 1975, Queen crowned a glorious year with a special concert at London's Hammersmith Odeon. The show on the final night of their triumphant UK tour was broadcast live on BBC TV and radio, and has become a legendary event in Queen's history.

Featuring stunning renditions of early hits Keep Yourself Alive, Liar and Now I'm Here alongside Brian May's epic guitar showcase Brighton Rock, a rip-roaring version of the then new Bohemian Rhapsody and the crowd-pleasing Rock 'n' Roll Medley, this hour-long concert shows Queen at an early peak and poised to conquer the world.


FRI 23:15 Mr Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO (b01n3yf4)
Documentary which gets to the heart of who Jeff Lynne is and how he has had such a tremendous musical influence on our world. The story is told by the British artist himself and such distinguished collaborators and friends of Jeff as Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Tom Petty, Joe Walsh, Olivia and Dhani Harrison, Barbara Orbison and Eric Idle.

The film reveals that Lynne is a true man of music, for whom the recording studio is his greatest instrument. With access to Lynne in his studio above LA, this is an intimate account of a great British pop classicist who has ploughed a unique furrow since starting out on the Birmingham Beat scene in the early 60s, moving from the Idle Race to the multimillion-selling ELO in the 70s and then, with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and George Harrison, as a key member of the Traveling Wilburys.


FRI 00:15 Jeff Lynne's ELO at Hyde Park (b04ltd74)
On a sunny day in September 2014, Jeff Lynne, head honcho of 70s hit-making band ELO took to the stage in London's Hyde Park and, with the help of his backing band and the strings of the BBC Concert Orchestra, brought to a close Radio 2's Live in Hyde Park annual festival. After an absence from the live stage for 28 years, this headline set by Jeff Lynne's ELO was a much-anticipated and talked-about event, and he did not disappoint.

In front of 50,000 people, Lynne delivered a rousing and crowd-pleasing string of the Electric Light Orchestra's chart-topping hits, including Livin' Thing, Sweet Talkin' Woman, Don't Bring Me Down, Mr Blue Sky, and Roll Over Beethoven. And there was also a special treat, Jeff's touching tribute to his band buddies from the ultimate supergroup of all time, the Traveling Wilburys, with his performance of their 1988 hit Handle With Care.

All in all, a memorable night and a fantastic return to the live arena for Mr Jeff Lynne's ELO!


FRI 01:35 Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender - Director's Cut (b01pkbc7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 03:05 Queen: The Legendary 1975 Concert (b00p4hgm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:25 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 02:00 SUN (b05nyyv5)

10 Rillington Place 22:00 TUE (b00fkx03)

Apples, Pears and Paint: How to Make a Still Life Painting 02:15 MON (b03ny8wk)

Arena 22:55 SAT (b00rs3w6)

Building Burma's Death Railway: Moving Half the Mountain 22:00 THU (b03z09n9)

Chemistry: A Volatile History 20:00 SAT (b00qck1t)

Dancing in the Blitz: How World War II Made British Ballet 00:45 TUE (p01s4z2h)

Darcey's Ballerina Heroines 20:00 FRI (b03xhbn8)

Drills, Dentures and Dentistry: An Oral History 21:00 MON (b05p7194)

Drills, Dentures and Dentistry: An Oral History 00:30 THU (b05p7194)

Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender - Director's Cut 21:00 FRI (b01pkbc7)

Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender - Director's Cut 01:35 FRI (b01pkbc7)

Genghis Khan 23:00 WED (b007930p)

Good Swan, Bad Swan: Dancing Swan Lake 01:15 MON (p01s4wy9)

Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 MON (b05pl716)

Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 TUE (b05pl75r)

Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 WED (b05pvb44)

Great Guitar Riffs at the BBC 02:10 SAT (b049mtxy)

Great Irish Journeys with Martha Kearney 20:00 WED (b05n8tlg)

Great Irish Journeys with Martha Kearney 02:30 THU (b05n8tlg)

Horizon 20:00 THU (b01r6dys)

Horizon 01:30 THU (b01r6dys)

India's Frontier Railways 20:00 MON (b05nhjht)

Inspector Montalbano 21:00 SAT (b01nmslk)

Jeff Lynne's ELO at Hyde Park 00:15 FRI (b04ltd74)

Lost Cities of the Ancients 21:00 SUN (b00792v2)

Lost Kingdoms of Central America 19:00 SAT (b04kzrg0)

Lost Kingdoms of Central America 03:10 SAT (b04kzrg0)

Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams 19:00 SUN (b0229pbp)

Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams 01:50 TUE (b0229pbp)

Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams 00:00 WED (b0229pbp)

Messiah at the Foundling Hospital 19:00 FRI (b041mbw4)

Milk 23:00 SUN (b016066z)

Mr Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO 23:15 FRI (b01n3yf4)

Northern Soul: Living for the Weekend 03:00 SUN (b04bf1lf)

Queen: The Legendary 1975 Concert 22:25 FRI (b00p4hgm)

Queen: The Legendary 1975 Concert 03:05 FRI (b00p4hgm)

Queens of Soul 01:00 SUN (b05nhjsx)

Sounds of the Sixties 04:10 SAT (b0074qd9)

Sounds of the Sixties 01:45 WED (b0074qd9)

Storyville 22:00 MON (b05psdvz)

Terry Pratchett: Facing Extinction 21:00 THU (b01pz9rj)

Terry Pratchett: Facing Extinction 03:00 THU (b01pz9rj)

The Kite Runner 21:00 WED (b01f6c48)

The Many Faces of... 00:15 MON (b018nvwc)

The Normans 21:00 TUE (b00tfdsk)

The Normans 02:50 TUE (b00tfdsk)

The Normans 23:00 THU (b00tfdsk)

The Polio Story: The Vaccine That Changed the World 01:00 WED (b05n27mt)

The Quizeum 20:30 WED (b05p74n0)

The Quizeum 02:15 WED (b05p74n0)

The Wonderful World of Blood - with Michael Mosley 23:15 MON (b05nyyhf)

Timeshift 23:45 TUE (b03fv7sl)

Timewatch 22:05 SUN (b00dtjy4)

Top of the Pops 00:25 SAT (b05nx9zh)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b05pl7rt)

Top of the Pops 23:55 THU (b05pl7rt)

Twin Sisters: A World Apart 20:00 SUN (b053pxdt)

Visions of the Valleys 20:00 TUE (b05p706x)

Visions of the Valleys 02:45 WED (b05p706x)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b05p6w5y)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b05p6w63)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b05p6w68)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b05p6w6f)