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

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SAT 19:00 Survivors: Nature's Indestructible Creatures (b01bs7jq)
Frozen in Time

It is estimated that 99 per cent of species have become extinct and there have been times when life's hold on Earth has been so precarious it seems it hangs on by a thread.

This series focuses on the survivors - the old-timers - whose biographies stretch back millions of years and who show how it is possible to survive a mass extinction event which wipes out nearly all of its neighbours. The Natural History Museum's Professor Richard Fortey discovers what allows the very few to carry on going - perhaps not forever, but certainly far beyond the life expectancy of normal species. What makes a survivor when all around drop like flies? Professor Fortey travels across the globe to find the survivors of the most dramatic of these obstacles - the mass extinction events.

In episode three, Fortey looks at the ice age. 2.8 million years ago - triggered by slight changes in the Earth's orbit around the sun and shifts in its ocean currents - the world began to cool. Within a few thousand years much of the planet was shrouded in a dense cloak of ice that would come and go until only 10,000 years ago. We call this age of ice - the Pleistocene Age - and it transformed the hierarchy of nature. This is the story of how a few specialist species that evolved to live in the biting cold survived into the present day.

SAT 20:00 Wild Arabia (p013mrl8)
Sand, Wind and Stars

Few places on earth evoke more mystery and romance than Arabia. This series enters the forbidding wilderness and reveals a magical cast of characters, from the snow-white oryx that inspired the myth of the unicorn to the long-legged jerboa leaping ten times its own body length through the star-filled Arabian nights. Horned vipers hunt glow-in-the-dark scorpions, while Bedouin nomads race their camels across the largest sand desert in the world.

SAT 21:00 1864 (b04lcwhr)
Episode 1

Denmark 1851. Young brothers Laust and Peter grow up in poor but safe conditions on the local estate in south Funen. As their father returns with other soldiers, victorious from a three-year war with Prussia, Laust and Peter become enamoured with the new estate manager's daughter, the beautiful and fearless Inge.

Political forces consider incorporating Schleswig into the Danish kingdom, contrary to the signed peace treaty. Prime Minister Monrad is inspired to patriotic eloquence by a perfomance of Macbeth, with the enticing Mrs Heiberg acting as his muse as the ruthless and manipulative Lady Macbeth.

In Danish with English subtitles.

SAT 22:00 1864 (b04ld4nf)
Episode 2

As Laust and Peter grow up, they are both in love with Inge, who loves them both in return. Peter dreams of seeing more of the world, his interest piqued by the arrival of a family of travellers on the estate. On the politcal stage, the driven and somewhat unbalanced Monrad succeeds in stirring up a national euphoria in Denmark, a belief that the province of Schleswig has been given to the Danes by God. The Baron, seized by this nationalistic zeal, persuades the brothers of their duty to join the army.

In Danish with English subtitles.

SAT 23:00 Queen - Days of Our Lives (b011pwd9)
Episode 1

In 1971, four university students got together to form a band. Since then, that certain band called Queen has released 26 albums and sold over 300 million records worldwide. The popularity of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon is stronger than ever. Their story is a remarkable one, a narrative that covers early struggles, huge obstacles, success, arguments, breakups, triumph, tragedy and an enduring legacy - all against a backdrop of brilliant music and stunning live performances from every corner of the globe.

In this film, for the first time, it is the band that tells their story. Guiding us through an extensive archive full of hitherto unseen footage, the documentary reveals how four strong-minded individuals, all capable of writing massive hit songs, worked together so successfully for four decades. Queen never did anything by halves - meaning their highs were massive, but their lows catastrophic. It is a compelling story told with intelligence, wit, plenty of humour and painful honesty.

SAT 00:00 Metal at the BBC (b00r600p)
Compilation of memorable heavy metal performances from BBC TV shows, including Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Motorhead.

SAT 00:30 Guitar Heroes at the BBC (b00pjk73)
Part IV

Series featuring legendary guitarists treading the boards and trading licks at the BBC studios.

This edition kicks off with big hits from The Rolling Stones and David Bowie before taking things down a notch with the acoustic picking of Michael Chapman and the Irish mysticism of Horslips.

However, it's not long before the likes of Motorhead, Nazareth and straight-up blues rocker George Thorogood turn the volume right back up to 11. A spot of flamenco from Paco De Lucia and a classic track from Strat master Eric Clapton round off the show.

Filmed in the 1970s for shows including Top of the Pops, Parkinson, Rock Goes to College and the Old Grey Whistle Test, these rocking tracks leave viewers wondering why pianos were ever invented.

SAT 01:30 Wild Arabia (p013mrl8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SAT 02:30 Survivors: Nature's Indestructible Creatures (b01bs7jq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SUNDAY 17 MAY 2015

SUN 19:00 Operation Jericho (b016n2zz)
Actor and aviator Martin Shaw takes to the skies to rediscover one of the most audacious and daring raids of World War II.

On the morning of 18th February 1944, a squadron of RAF Mosquito bombers, flying as low as three metres over occupied France, demolished the walls of Amiens Jail in what became known as Operation Jericho. The reasons behind the controversial raid remain a mystery to this day.

This dramatic documentary investigates the missing pieces of the story, with interviews from survivors and aircrew, and tries to find out why the raid was ordered and by whom.

SUN 20:00 Fighting for King and Empire: Britain's Caribbean Heroes (b05v08b7)
This programme is based on a film entitled Divided By Race - United in War and Peace, produced by

During the Second World War, thousands of men and women from the Caribbean colonies volunteered to come to Britain to join the fight against Hitler. They risked their lives for king and empire, but their contribution has largely been forgotten.

Some of the last surviving Caribbean veterans tell their extraordinary wartime stories - from torpedo attacks by German U-boats and the RAF's blanket-bombing of Germany to the culture shock of Britain's freezing winters and war-torn landscapes. This brave sacrifice confronted the pioneers from the Caribbean with a lifelong challenge - to be treated as equals by the British government and the British people.

In testimony full of wit and charm, the veterans candidly reveal their experiences as some of the only black people in wartime Britain. They remember encounters with a curious British public and confrontation with the prejudices of white American GIs stationed in Britain.

After the war, many veterans returned to the Caribbean where they discovered jobs were scarce. Some came back to Britain to help rebuild its cities. They settled down with jobs and homes, got married and began to integrate their rich heritage into British culture. Now mostly in their 80s and 90s - the oldest is 104 - these pioneers from the Caribbean have helped transform Britain and created an enduring multicultural legacy.

With vivid first-hand testimony, observational documentary and rare archive footage, the programme gives a unique perspective on the Second World War and the history of 20th-century Britain.

SUN 21:00 Burma, My Father and the Forgotten Army (b036x83s)
Apart from a few fragmentary stories, Griff Rhys Jones's father never talked about his war. Yet as a medical officer to a West African division he travelled 15,000 miles from Wales to Ghana and the jungles of Burma. He and his men were part of an army of a million raised in Africa and Asia to fight the Japanese. To understand their story Griff travels first to Ghana and then, accompanied by 90-year-old veteran Joshua, he goes to jungles of Burma. It is known as the forgotten war, but Griff discovers how it transformed these West Africans from children of the British Empire into masters of their own destiny.

SUN 22:00 Easter Island: Mysteries of a Lost World (b03srmm6)
The contrast between the majestic statues of Easter Island and the desolation of their surroundings is stark. For decades Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as the islanders call it, has been seen as a warning from history for the planet as a whole - wilfully expend natural resources and the collapse of civilisation is inevitable.

But archaeologist Dr Jago Cooper believes this is a disastrous misreading of what happened on Easter Island. He believes that its culture was a success story not a failure, and the real reasons for its ultimate demise were far more shocking. Cooper argues that there is an important lesson that the experience of Easter Island can teach the rest of the world, but it doesn't begin by blaming its inhabitants for their own downfall.

This film examines the latest scientific and archaeological evidence to reveal a compelling new narrative, one that sees the famous statues as only part of a complex culture that thrived in isolation. Cooper finds a path between competing theories about what happened to Easter Island to make us see this unique place in a fresh light.

SUN 23:30 Je t'aime: The Story of French Song with Petula Clark (b05vnhz1)
'I want to make people cry even when they don't understand my words.' - Edith Piaf

This unique film explores the story of the lyric-driven French chanson and looks at some of the greatest artists and examples of the form. Award-winning singer and musician Petula Clark, who shot to stardom in France in the late 1950s for her nuanced singing and lyrical exploration, is our guide.

We meet singers and artists who propelled chanson into the limelight, including Charles Aznavour (a protege of Edith Piaf), Juliette Greco (whom Jean-Paul Sartre described as having 'a million poems in her voice'), Anna Karina (muse of Jean-Luc Godard and darling of the French cinema's new wave), actress and singer Jane Birkin, who had a global hit (along with Serge Gainsbourg) with the controversial Je t'aime (Moi non plus), and Marc Almond, who has received great acclaim with his recordings of Jacques Brel songs.

In exploring the famous chanson tradition and the prodigious singers who made the songs their own, we continue the story into contemporary French composition, looking at new lyrical forms exemplified by current artists such as Stromae, Zaz, Tetes Raides and Etienne Daho, who also give exclusive interviews.

The film shines a spotlight onto a musical form about which the British are largely unfamiliar, illuminating a history that is tender, funny, revealing and absorbing.

SUN 00:30 Shirley Bassey at the BBC (b01psct4)
Forever sequinned, stylish and sassy, Dame Shirley Bassey, one of Britain's all-time great voices, turned 76 in January 2013.

She began her rise to fame as a 16-year-old singer in 1953 and 60 years on she is still going as strong as ever. Join us as we celebrate Dame Shirley's birthday and her remarkable career, taking a trip down memory lane to uncover some of her finest performances from the vaults of the BBC.

From early BBC appearances on Show of the Week, The Shirley Bassey Show, via the Royal Albert Hall, Glastonbury 2007 and right up to her recent jaw dropping show at the Electric Proms. This is a compilation of some of Dame Shirley's classic performances, taking in iconic songs such as The Performance of My Life, Goldfinger, Big Spender and Diamonds Are Forever.

Producer: Sam Bridger

SUN 01:30 imagine... (b00p36t8)
Winter 2009

Dame Shirley Bassey - The Girl from Tiger Bay

Alan Yentob gains an insight into the creative world of Dame Shirley Bassey in a programme first shown in 2009. After a triumphant Glastonbury appearance and a major illness at the age of 72, Dame Shirley tentatively re-enters the ring to confront her life in song.

Some of the best contemporary songwriters, including Gary Barlow, the Pet Shop Boys, Manic Street Preachers, Rufus Wainwright, Richard Hawley and KT Tunstall, along with James Bond composer John Barry and lyricist Don Black, have interpreted her life through song for an album produced by David Arnold.

The songs frame and explore the myth of Shirley Bassey, the girl from Tiger Bay, and the voice and the desire are not found wanting. A backstory profiling Shirley, complete with archive of her greatest performances, tells the story of what makes her the living legend that she is today.

SUN 02:30 Operation Jericho (b016n2zz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MONDAY 18 MAY 2015

MON 19:00 World News Today (b05vnq97)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

MON 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b01pw98y)
Series 4

High Wycombe to Stratford-Upon-Avon

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with his copy of Bradshaw's Victorian railway guidebook, travelling the length and breadth of the British Isles to see what of Bradshaw's World remains.

The first of a series of journeys along the tracks that helped fuel the Industrial Revolution begins in the rolling Chiltern Hills. Michael meets the remarkable craftsmen behind the Victorian furniture trade, discovers how George Bradshaw helped save Britain's canal heritage and sees Shakespeare through the eyes of a 19th-century railway tourist.

MON 20:00 Inside the Medieval Mind (b009s80l)

Leading authority on the Middle Ages, Professor Robert Bartlett, presents a series which examines the way we thought during medieval times.

To our medieval forebears the world could appear mysterious, even enchanted. Sightings of green men, dog heads and alien beings were commonplace. The world itself was a book written by God. But as the Middle Ages grew to a close, it became a place to be mastered, even exploited.

MON 21:00 Storyville (b03td9sc)
K2: The Killer Summit

In August 2008, 25 climbers from several international expeditions converged on high camp of K2, the final stop before the summit of the most dangerous mountain on earth. Just 48 hours later, 11 had been killed or simply vanished, making it the deadliest day in mountaineering history.

In a century of assaults on K2, only about 300 people have ever seen the view from the planet's second highest peak. More than a quarter of those who made it didn't live long enough to share the glory.

At the heart of this documentary lies a mystery about one extraordinary Irishman, Ger McDonnell. At the very limit of his physical resources, he faced a heartbreaking dilemma. Through recreations, archive and home movie footage, and interviews with survivors and families, the film creates a forensic, vivid version of events that is emotive, engrossing and, at times, deeply shocking.

MON 22:20 The Last Explorers (b017sp66)
William Speirs Bruce

Neil Oliver retraces the expeditions of four Scottish explorers who planted ideas rather than flags - ideas that shaped the modern world we know today.

Following in the footsteps of a scientific explorer who has become all but lost to history, Neil charts the remarkable story of William Speirs Bruce, one of Britain's greatest, but least-known, explorers. Bruce set out to conquer Antarctica, not for imperial glory, but to advance scientific knowledge in an era when exploration had become harnessed to national prestige.

MON 23:20 Ray Mears Goes Walkabout (b00c4wwj)
Rock Art

Rock art is incredibly important to the indigenous Australian way of life and the Kimberley area in north western Australia is full of it. Ray travels with an Indigenous Australian artist to learn more about the significance of the art of the area and even has a go at painting in the Indigenous style himself.

MON 00:25 London: A Tale of Two Cities with Dan Cruickshank (p00r36lv)
Dan Cruickshank follows in the footsteps of John Stow and John Strype, two of London's greatest chroniclers, to explore one of the most dramatic centuries in the history of London.

The 17th century saw London plunged into a series of devastating disasters. The Civil War, a murderous plague and the destruction that was the great fire should have seen the small medieval city all but destroyed. Yet somehow, London not only survived but emerged as one of the wealthiest and most influential cities in Europe.

Using two remarkable surveys written at either end of this momentous century, Dan discovers how a unique combination of innovation, ambition and sheer spirit of enterprise saw Londoners thrive. His journey reveals the twists and turns of a century that laid the foundations of one of the most important cities on the planet.

MON 01:25 Inside the Medieval Mind (b009s80l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 02:25 Storyville (b03td9sc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 World News Today (b05vnq9g)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

TUE 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b01pw9tj)
Series 4

Birmingham to Stafford

Armed with his copy of Bradshaw's Victorian railway guidebook, Michael Portillo continues his series of journeys along the tracks that helped fuel the Industrial Revolution by travelling to the manufacturing centres of the Midlands, before turning west to experience the stunning Severn Valley railway en route to Wales and the Victorian seaside resort of Aberystwyth.

He learns how the railways helped to make Birmingham the pen-making capital of the world, hears the chilling tale of one of 19th-century Britain's most notorious murderers and samples the delicacies concocted in a Victorian kitchen at Shugborough Hall.

TUE 20:00 The Secret History of Our Streets (b01kcpfh)
Series 1

Portland Road

In 1886 Charles Booth embarked on an ambitious plan to visit every one of London's streets to record the social conditions of residents. His project took him 17 years.

Once he had finished he had constructed a groundbreaking series of maps which recorded the social class and standing of inhabitants. These maps transformed the way Victorians felt about their capital city.

This series takes six archetypal London streets as they are now, discovering how they have fared since Booth's day.

Booth colour-coded each street, from yellow for the 'servant keeping classes', down to black for the 'vicious and semi-criminal'. With the aid of maps the series explores why certain streets have been transformed from desperate slums to become some of the most desirable and valuable property in the UK, whilst others have barely changed.

This landmark series features residents past and present, exploring how what happened on the street in the last 125 years continues to shape the lives of those who live there now.

This episode features Portland Road in Notting Hill, the archetypal London banker street, dominated by homes worth as much as £6,000,000. Yet when Booth visited in 1899, it was the worst slum in London and, even today, the bottom five per cent by income in Britain are living on the same street as the top one per cent.

Told through the personal stories of Portland Road's diverse range of residents both past and present, including lords, bankers and slum dwellers, this film tells the story of one of the most divided streets in Britain.

TUE 21:00 The Other Boleyn Girl (b00wyg0b)
A passionate story of love, rivalry and a family torn apart by ambition, based on Philippa Gregory's novel.

Against the epic backdrop of a defining period in English history, this is an intimate study of a relationship between a man and two sisters: the youngest replaces her sister in the man's affections, starting a chain of events that lead ultimately to her death. The man is Henry VIII, king of England, and the two sisters Mary and Anne Boleyn. Mary is the first to catch the king's eye, but she is cast aside in favour of the dazzling Anne, whose passionate nature and relentless pursuit of the crown propel her towards her doom.

TUE 22:50 The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II with Dan Cruickshank (b036f9vc)
Ludwig II of Bavaria, more commonly known by his nicknames the Swan King or the Dream King, is a legendary figure - the handsome boy-king, loved by his people, betrayed by his cabinet and found dead in tragic and mysterious circumstances. He spent his life in pursuit of the ideal of beauty, an ideal that found expression in three of the most extraordinary, ornate architectural schemes imaginable - the castle of Neuschwanstein and the palaces of Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee. Today, these three buildings are among Germany's biggest tourist attractions.

In this documentary, Dan Cruickshank explores the rich aesthetic of Ludwig II - from the mock-medievalism of Neuschwanstein, the iconic fairytale castle that became the inspiration for the one in Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty, to the rich Baroque splendour of Herrenchiemsee, Ludwig's answer to Versailles. Dan argues that Ludwig's castles are more than flamboyant kitsch and are, in fact, the key to unravelling the eternal enigma of Ludwig II.

TUE 23:50 World War II: 1945 and the Wheelchair President (b05vlzsn)
David Reynolds re-examines the war leadership of American president Franklin Roosevelt.

At the height of war, Roosevelt inspired millions with stirring visions of a new and better postwar world, but it was a world he probably knew he would never see. He was commander-in-chief of the greatest military power the world had known, and yet his paralysis from polio made him powerless to accomplish even the most minor physical tasks. Few Americans knew the extent of his disability.

In this intimate biography set against the epic of World War II, Reynolds reveals how Roosevelt was burdened by secrets about his failing health and strained marriage that, if exposed, could have destroyed his presidency. Enigmatic, secretive and with a complicated love life, America's wheelchair president was racing to shape the future before the past caught up with him.

Weaving together the conduct of the war in Europe and the Pacific, the high politics of Roosevelt's diplomacy with Stalin and Churchill, and the entangled stories of the women who sustained the president in his last year, Reynolds explores the impact of Roosevelt's growing frailty on the war's endgame and the tainted peace that followed.

TUE 01:20 The Secret History of Our Streets (b01kcpfh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

TUE 02:20 The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II with Dan Cruickshank (b036f9vc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:50 today]


WED 19:00 World News Today (b05vnq9m)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

WED 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b01pwb55)
Series 4

Stoke-on-Trent to Winsford

Michael Portillo explores one of the greatest locomotive factories in railway history, discovers the dark side of the Industrial Revolution and learns how, in Victorian times, the potteries brought their products to the masses.

WED 20:00 Secrets of Bones (b03xsgwh)
Sensing the World

Ben Garrod delves into the surprising ways in which bone has evolved to help vertebrates sense the world around them. He reveals why predators like the wolf have eyes at the front of their skull whereas prey animals such as sheep usually have eye sockets on the sides of their heads. He finds out how the skull of the great grey owl has helped it develop such extraordinary hearing and uncovers the secret behind one bizarre creature's uniquely flexible nose.

WED 20:30 Our World (b05px5h1)
Saving Gaza's Grand Piano

For years it has been hidden in the dusty corner of an abandoned theatre, a magnificent instrument allowed to moulder away in an Islamist-ruled territory where many consider music 'haram' - religiously prohibited. It miraculously survived the war between Israel and Hamas, when the theatre itself was half-destroyed around it.

Now, the only concert grand piano in Gaza has been rediscovered. Badly out of tune, it has been brought lovingly back to life by an expert flown in from Paris, to be the centrepiece of a project that's bringing music back to the children of Gaza.

Our World was given exclusive access to film the restoration of the piano and its first celebratory playing by some of Gaza's budding young musicians.

WED 21:00 The Real White Queen and Her Rivals (b0377vl5)
Episode 1

Philippa Gregory reveals the true stories of three remarkable women who lived through the treason and bloodshed of the dynastic conflict we call the Wars of the Roses. Gregory argues that it is impossible to understand this volatile and pivotal moment in English history without understanding the women at the heart of the family feuds that tore the nobility apart. They are as vital as any of the kings and nobles that conventional history concentrates upon. This was a battle between kin not countries, and the loyalties, rebellions, plots and betrayals of these women were decisive in shaping the history of England.

The White Queen is Elizabeth Woodville, a beautiful commoner who enchanted a king and became the first truly English woman to sit on the throne. Gregory recounts in extraordinary detail how Woodville saw her family murdered, her children endangered and she was labelled a witch, but survived and thrived in the midst of war and conspiracy. She carried the banner of the House of York through this turbulent era.

Gregory also brings to vivid life the rivals of White Queen. Margaret Beaufort was a stalwart of the House of Lancaster, the child bride who devoted her life to the cause of her son Henry Tudor. She conspired and schemed against anyone who would deny him his destiny. Gregory captures a woman driven by religious piety and power politics who survives terrible hardship.

Anne Neville was the privileged daughter of the most powerful noble in the land, the Earl of Warwick. As a young woman, Anne is sucked into the great power struggles of the period and sees her life transformed from one of gilded luxury into one of terrible danger. Gregory describes how Anne becomes a crucial figure in the dynastic alliances that changed the nation's history.

WED 22:00 Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies (b01m81f5)
Military Marvels

In the heady postwar years of the 1950s and 60s, British flying was at its zenith and its aircraft industry flourished in a dazzling display of ingenuity and design brilliance. Having invented the jet engine, Britain was now set to lead the world into the jet age with a new generation of fighters and bombers. The daring test pilots who flew them were as well known as the football stars of today, while their futuristic-looking aircraft, including the Meteor, Canberra, Valiant, Vulcan and the English Electric Lightning, were the military marvels of the age.

WED 23:00 Inside the Medieval Mind (b009s80l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Monday]

WED 00:00 POP! The Science of Bubbles (b01rtdy6)
Physicist Dr Helen Czerski takes us on an amazing journey into the science of bubbles. Bubbles may seem to be just fun toys, but they are also powerful tools that push back the boundaries of science.

The soap bubble with its delicate, fragile skin tells us about how nature works on scales as large as solar system and as small as a single wavelength of light. Then there are underwater bubbles, which matter because they are part of the how the planet works. Out at sea, breaking waves generate huge plumes of bubbles which help the oceans breathe.

From the way animals behave to the way drinks taste, Dr Czerski shows how bubbles affect our world in all sorts of unexpected ways. Whether it's the future of ship design or innovative new forms of medical treatment, bubbles play a vital role.

WED 01:00 The Secret Life of Rockpools (b01rtdr4)
Paleontologist Professor Richard Fortey embarks on a quest to discover the extraordinary lives of rock pool creatures. To help explore this unusual environment he is joined by some of the UK's leading marine biologists in a dedicated laboratory at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth. Here and on the beach in various locations around the UK, startling behaviour is revealed and new insights are given into how these animals cope with intertidal life. Many popular rock pool species have survived hundreds of millions of years of Earth's history, but humans may be their biggest challenge yet.

WED 02:00 Secrets of Bones (b03xsgwh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 02:30 Our World (b05px5h1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

WED 03:00 Hidden Histories: WW1's Forgotten Photographs (b03xsrvv)
Documentary telling the extraordinary untold story of soldiers' photography in the First World War. The British and German soldiers marched off to war with secret 'vest pocket' cameras, determined to record what they thought would be a great adventure, but few were prepared for the horrors they were about to witness and photograph. Their photos - many never seen before in public - provide a deeply moving document of their lives in the trenches and their rapid loss of innocence.

With no soldier photographer alive to tell the tale, we join their close relatives on emotional journeys of discovery as they go in search of the secrets hidden within their ancestors' photographs.

This is the war viewed from a new and surprising perspective - through the eyes of the men who fought in it.


THU 19:00 World News Today (b05vnq9t)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b05w8dbm)
Tommy Vance presents chart hits of the week, with performances from New Musik, Narada Michael Walden, the Chords, Whitesnake, Jimmy Ruffin, Saxon, the Beat, Kate Bush, Dexys Midnight Runners and Johnny Logan.

THU 20:00 Wild Arabia (p013mrl8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Saturday]

THU 21:00 Britain's Deadliest Rail Disaster: Quintinshill (b05vqx7v)
On 22 May 1915, a collision at the Quintinshill signal box, near Gretna, became Britain's deadliest ever rail crash. Involving a military train filled with troops - most of whom were from Leith - heading for Gallipoli and two passenger trains, the crash claimed an estimated 226 lives and left hundreds more injured.

The duty signalmen, George Meakin and James Tinsley, were found responsible for the disaster and were both jailed on the charges of culpable homicide.

Neil Oliver explores the series of mistakes that may have caused the collision, the part played by the train companies and the government, and determines whether the investigation would have come to the same conclusions if it were carried out today. Dramatised reconstructions add to this compelling account of a tragedy which had a profound effect on several communities in Scotland, and remains the deadliest in the annals of Britain's railways.

Britain's Deadliest Rail Disaster: Quintinshill is a Finestripe Productions programme for BBC Scotland.

THU 22:00 Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies (b01m9vjl)
The Shape of Things to Come

In the heady years following World War II, Britain was a nation in love with aviation. Having developed the jet engine in wartime, British engineers were now harnessing its power to propel the world's first passenger jets. By 1960 the UK's passenger airline industry was the largest in the world, with routes stretching to the furthest-flung remnants of Empire.

And the aircraft carrying these New Elizabethans around the globe were also British - the Vickers Viscount, the Bristol Britannia and the world's first pure jet-liner, the sleek, silver De Havilland Comet, which could fly twice as high and twice as fast as its American competitors. It seemed the entire nation was reaching for the skies to create the shape of things to come for air travel worldwide. But would their reach exceed their grasp?

THU 23:00 Timeshift (b01n8hl9)
Series 12

Magnificent Machines: The Golden Age of the British Sports Car

Timeshift sets its rear-view mirror to look back at the golden age of the British sports car. It's the story of how - in the grey austerity of the postwar years - iconic marques like Jaguar, Austin-Healey, MG and Triumph sparked a manufacturing frenzy that helped to democratise speed and glamour.

From the MG Midget, much loved by American GIs, through to the more affordable Austin Healey 'frog-eye' Sprite and the E-Type Jaguar, seen by many as the ultimate sports car, this is a tale of how, for a brief time, Britain was home to two-seater heaven.

THU 00:00 Top of the Pops (b05w8dbm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 00:45 Art of China (b04c3cmw)
Episode 1

Andrew Graham-Dixon pieces together the spectacular recent discoveries of ancient art that are redefining China's understanding of its origins. He comes face to face with an extraordinary collection of sophisticated alien-like bronze masks created nearly four millennia ago and travels to the Yellow River to explore the tomb of a warrior empress where he discovers the origins of calligraphy.

Always seeking to understand art in its historical context, Andrew visits the tomb of the first emperor and comes face to face with the Terracotta Army. He ends his journey in western China, looking at the impact of the arrival of Buddhism from India on the wondrous paintings and sculptures of the Dunhuang caves.

THU 01:45 The Last Explorers (b017sp66)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:20 on Monday]

THU 02:45 Britain's Deadliest Rail Disaster: Quintinshill (b05vqx7v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRIDAY 22 MAY 2015

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b05vnq9z)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 Sounds of the Eighties (b0074snw)
Episode 7

A new generation of guitar-based bands are showcased on this episode of the pop archive show. A stellar line-up features Michael Stipe of REM when he had angelic hair, plus The Smiths, The Cure, The Bangles, Pixies, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Jesus & Mary Chain and Lone Justice.

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

FRI 21:00 Eurovision at 60 (b05vsm0d)
Hosts and competitors tell the behind-the-scenes story of 60 years of Eurovision, the greatest and maddest song contest on earth.

FRI 22:30 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.

FRI 23:30 The Joy of Easy Listening (b011g614)
In-depth documentary investigation into the story of a popular music genre that is often said to be made to be heard but not listened to. The film looks at easy listening's architects and practitioners, its dangers and delights, and the mark it has left on modern life.

From its emergence in the 50s to its heyday in the 60s, through its survival in the 70s and 80s and its revival in the 90s and beyond, the film traces the hidden history of a music that has reflected society every bit as much as pop and rock - just in a more relaxed way.

Invented at the dawn of rock 'n' roll, easy listening has shadowed pop music and the emerging teenage market since the mid-50s. It is a genre that equally soundtracks our modern age, but perhaps for a rather more 'mature' generation and therefore with its own distinct purpose and aesthetic.

Contributors include Richard Carpenter, Herb Alpert, Richard Clayderman, Engelbert Humperdinck, Jimmy Webb, Mike Flowers, James Last and others.

FRI 01:00 Eurovision at 60 (b05vsm0d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 02:30 ABBA at the BBC (b03lyzpr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]

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

1864 21:00 SAT (b04lcwhr)

1864 22:00 SAT (b04ld4nf)

ABBA at the BBC 22:30 FRI (b03lyzpr)

ABBA at the BBC 02:30 FRI (b03lyzpr)

Art of China 00:45 THU (b04c3cmw)

Britain's Deadliest Rail Disaster: Quintinshill 21:00 THU (b05vqx7v)

Britain's Deadliest Rail Disaster: Quintinshill 02:45 THU (b05vqx7v)

Burma, My Father and the Forgotten Army 21:00 SUN (b036x83s)

Easter Island: Mysteries of a Lost World 22:00 SUN (b03srmm6)

Eurovision at 60 21:00 FRI (b05vsm0d)

Eurovision at 60 01:00 FRI (b05vsm0d)

Fighting for King and Empire: Britain's Caribbean Heroes 20:00 SUN (b05v08b7)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 MON (b01pw98y)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 TUE (b01pw9tj)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 WED (b01pwb55)

Guitar Heroes at the BBC 00:30 SAT (b00pjk73)

Hidden Histories: WW1's Forgotten Photographs 03:00 WED (b03xsrvv)

Inside the Medieval Mind 20:00 MON (b009s80l)

Inside the Medieval Mind 01:25 MON (b009s80l)

Inside the Medieval Mind 23:00 WED (b009s80l)

Je t'aime: The Story of French Song with Petula Clark 23:30 SUN (b05vnhz1)

Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies 22:00 WED (b01m81f5)

Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies 22:00 THU (b01m9vjl)

London: A Tale of Two Cities with Dan Cruickshank 00:25 MON (p00r36lv)

Metal at the BBC 00:00 SAT (b00r600p)

Operation Jericho 19:00 SUN (b016n2zz)

Operation Jericho 02:30 SUN (b016n2zz)

Our World 20:30 WED (b05px5h1)

Our World 02:30 WED (b05px5h1)

POP! The Science of Bubbles 00:00 WED (b01rtdy6)

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

Queen - Days of Our Lives 23:00 SAT (b011pwd9)

Ray Mears Goes Walkabout 23:20 MON (b00c4wwj)

Secrets of Bones 20:00 WED (b03xsgwh)

Secrets of Bones 02:00 WED (b03xsgwh)

Shirley Bassey at the BBC 00:30 SUN (b01psct4)

Sounds of the Eighties 19:30 FRI (b0074snw)

Storyville 21:00 MON (b03td9sc)

Storyville 02:25 MON (b03td9sc)

Survivors: Nature's Indestructible Creatures 19:00 SAT (b01bs7jq)

Survivors: Nature's Indestructible Creatures 02:30 SAT (b01bs7jq)

The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II with Dan Cruickshank 22:50 TUE (b036f9vc)

The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II with Dan Cruickshank 02:20 TUE (b036f9vc)

The Joy of Easy Listening 23:30 FRI (b011g614)

The Last Explorers 22:20 MON (b017sp66)

The Last Explorers 01:45 THU (b017sp66)

The Other Boleyn Girl 21:00 TUE (b00wyg0b)

The Real White Queen and Her Rivals 21:00 WED (b0377vl5)

The Secret History of Our Streets 20:00 TUE (b01kcpfh)

The Secret History of Our Streets 01:20 TUE (b01kcpfh)

The Secret Life of Rockpools 01:00 WED (b01rtdr4)

Timeshift 23:00 THU (b01n8hl9)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b05w8dbm)

Top of the Pops 00:00 THU (b05w8dbm)

Wild Arabia 20:00 SAT (p013mrl8)

Wild Arabia 01:30 SAT (p013mrl8)

Wild Arabia 20:00 THU (p013mrl8)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b05vnq97)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b05vnq9g)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b05vnq9m)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b05vnq9t)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b05vnq9z)

World War II: 1945 and the Wheelchair President 23:50 TUE (b05vlzsn)

imagine... 01:30 SUN (b00p36t8)