Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 30 MAY 2015

SAT 19:00 Blue Note: A Story of Modern Jazz (b05xgj01)
The story of Blue Note Records, the jazz label that was home to such greats as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins.

In 1939 Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, who had emigrated from Nazi Germany to New York, 'discovered' an American art form which at the time received little serious attention from mainstream America - jazz music. Without money or connections and speaking little English, they began to record practically unknown musicians, following their own taste and judgement. Today the list of artists who recorded for their label reads like a who's who of jazz.

A portrayal of the rise of modern jazz, the film explores a very special friendship in exile and uncompromising artistic excellence. Told by the musicians, friends, associates and fans of the Blue Note recordings from all walks of life, it recreates an era of American cultural history and is widely regarded as one of the best films ever made about jazz.


SAT 20:30 Jazz 625 (b00jh665)
The Dave Brubeck Quartet

Steve Race introduces the legendary Dave Brubeck Quartet in a restored and re-edited 1964 programme, featuring Paul Desmond on saxophone, Gene Wright on bass, Joe Morello on drums and Brubeck on piano. Songs include Take 5, the first jazz record to sell over one million copies.


SAT 21:00 1864 (b05xgj03)
Episode 5

Following the shaming evacuation of Danevirke, the retreating Danish troops are harried by bloodthirsty Prussian hussars. Laust's division is caught in a fierce snowstorm and he is ordered to retrieve an artillery piece from a frozen lake. Expelled by her family, Inge travels south towards Sonderborg to find Laust before their baby is born.

In Danish with English subtitles.


SAT 22:00 1864 (b05xgj05)
Episode 6

Arriving at Dybbol, Inge and Sofia try to find Laust and Peter, but a chance meeting with Didrich dashes their hopes. The Danish forces are bogged down in the town and when the Prussians start a bombardment the senior officers demand a retreat - only to be denied by Copenhagen. Claudia visits her mother and discovers a box filled with family secrets.

In Danish with English subtitles.


SAT 23:00 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.


SAT 00:00 Country Queens at the BBC (p028vwnv)
Classic female country stars in action on a variety of BBC studio shows and featuring Bobbie Gentry, Anne Murray, Emmylou Harris, Tammy Wynette, Billie Jo Spears, Crystal Gayle, Taylor Swift, Lucinda Williams with Mary Chapin Carpenter and more. A chronological celebration of country queens at the BBC whether on Top of the Pops, OGWT, Later with Jools Holland, Parkinson or their own entertainment specials.


SAT 01:00 Top of the Pops (b05x1jkh)
Peter Powell presents chart hits of the week, with performances from the Human League, Prelude, Michael Jackson, Matchbox, Jona Lewie, the Ruts, OMD and Dexys Midnight Runners, and a dance performance from Legs & Co.


SAT 01:40 Timeshift (p0287mq6)
Series 14

Bullseyes and Beer: When Darts Hit Britain

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

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

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


SAT 02:40 Timeshift (b00x7c3z)
Series 10

The Golden Age of Coach Travel

Documentary which takes a glorious journey back to the 1950s, when the coach was king. From its early origins in the charabanc, the coach had always been the people's form of transport. Cheaper and more flexible than the train, it allowed those who had travelled little further than their own villages and towns a first heady taste of exploration and freedom. It was a safe capsule on wheels from which to venture out into a wider world.

The distinctive livery of the different coach companies was part of a now-lost world, when whole communities crammed into coach after coach en route to pleasure spots like Blackpool, Margate and Torquay. With singsongs, toilet stops and the obligatory pub halt, it didn't matter how long it took to get there because the journey was all part of the adventure.



SUNDAY 31 MAY 2015

SUN 19:00 Benjamin Britten on Camera (b03j42wt)
Documentary exploring the dynamic relationship that developed between British composer Benjamin Britten and the BBC as they worked together to broadcast modern classical music further and wider. Through this collaboration, Britten's music reached television audiences, from elaborately staged studio operas, intimate duets featuring his partner Peter Pears, to the massive Proms performance of his War Requiem. The programme features interviews with Britten's collaborators and singers as well as those working behind the scenes including Michael Crawford, David Attenborough, Humphrey Burton and soprano April Cantelo. James Naughtie narrates.


SUN 20:00 Nature's Great Events (b00hn4hs)
The Great Melt

The summer melt of Arctic ice, opening up nearly three million square miles of ocean and land, provides opportunities for millions of animals, including beluga whales, families of arctic foxes, vast colonies of seabirds and the fabled arctic unicorn, the narwhal.

For polar bears, however, it is the toughest time of year. Why? How will they survive?

A mother polar bear and her cub make their first journey together onto the sea ice. They are looking for ringed seals, their favourite prey. It is a serious business, but the cub just wants to play. The melting ice makes it harder for them to hunt and threatens their survival.

In a unique aerial sequence, the migration of narwhal with their distinctive unicorn-like tusks is filmed for the first time. The whales' journey is risky as they travel along giant cracks in the ice. If the ice were to close above them, they would drown.

Hundreds of beluga whales gather in the river shallows. They rub themselves on smooth pebbles in one of the most bizarre summer spectacles.

Guillemot chicks take their first flights from precipitous sea cliff nests to the sea 300 metres below. They attempt to glide to safety, but many miss their target. Their loss is a bonus for the hungry arctic fox family waiting below.

As the melt comes to an end, the bears gather, waiting for the sea to freeze again. Two 400kg males square up to each other to spar.

In the final ten-minute diary, Quest for Ice Whales, the crew show how they managed to capture footage of the elusive narwhal on their annual journey through the ice.


SUN 21:00 Nature's Great Events (b00j4c6b)
The Great Flood

The great flood in the Okavango turns 4,000 square miles of arid plains into a beautiful wetland. Elephant mothers guide their families on an epic trek across the harsh Kalahari Desert towards it, siphoning fresh water from stagnant pools and facing hungry lions. Hippos battle for territory, as the magical water draws in thousands of buffalo and birds, and vast clouds of dragonflies. Will the young elephant calves survive to reach this grassland paradise?

The experienced mother elephants time their arrival at the delta to coincide with the lush grass produced by the great flood. In a TV first, the programme shows the way they use their trunks to siphon clean water from the surface layers of a stagnant pool, while avoiding stirring up the muddy sediment on the bottom with their feet.

Bull hippos also converge on prime territories formed by the rising floodwater. Two big bulls do bloody battle, at times being lifted out of the water by their rival.

Lechwe swamp deer, zebras, giraffes, crocodiles and numerous fish and thousands of birds arrive in the delta. And, in a phenomenon never before filmed in the Okavango, thousands of dragonflies appear - seemingly from nowhere - within minutes of the flood arrival, mating and laying eggs.

As the flood finally reaches its peak, elephants and buffalo, near the end of their epic trek across the desert, face the final gauntlet of a hungry pride of lions.

In a heartrending sequence, a baby elephant is brought down by a lion in broad daylight.

The diary section - Mission Impassible - shows how the versatility and persistence of cameraman Mike Holding results is some amazing sequences of the flood advancing.


SUN 22:00 Metamorphosis: The Science of Change (p00zv0wk)
Metamorphosis seems like the ultimate evolutionary magic trick, the amazing transformation of one creature into a totally different being: one life, two bodies.

From Ovid and Kafka to X-Men, tales of metamorphosis richly permeate human culture. The myth of transformation is so common that it seems almost preprogrammed into our imagination. But is the scientific fact of metamorphosis just as strange as fiction or... even stranger?

Film-maker David Malone explores the science behind metamorphosis. How does it happen and why? And might it even, in some way, happen to us?


SUN 23:00 BB King: The Life of Riley (b03vsp7r)
BB King opens his heart and tells the story of how an oppressed and orphaned young man came to influence and earn the unmitigated praise of the music industry and its following to carry the title of king of the blues.

Filmed on location all over America, as well as in the UK, this picture brings to life the heat- and gin-soaked plantations where it all began, with full cooperation of the BB King museum, owners of vaults and archives so precious and immense that several trips had to be made to revisit the collection and partake of its many gems. Prejudice and segregation has stained the lives of countless black persons and BB 'Riley' King made sure that through his music, he never allowed it to mar his spirit.

This is the essence of the story that makes a beautiful film, both informative and visually captivating.


SUN 00:40 When Pop Ruled My Life: The Fans' Story (b05wn8hf)
Journalist Kate Mossman explores the unique relationship between artist and fan, from The Beatles to One Direction, and her own evolving fascination with Queen.


SUN 01:40 Pop Life (b01cytgk)
I'm in a Boy Band

An exploration of these musical band of brothers from the inside out. How do boy bands work and what is it like to be in one? And what is the secret of their popularity?

A star-packed, cross-generational cast - from pioneering Motown legends like the Four Tops and the Jackson 5 to 21st-century boys like One Direction and JLS - speak frankly about what it is really like to follow the boy band dream.


SUN 02:40 Jazz Divas Gold (b01sbxqy)
BBC Four explores the archives for the sultry sounds and looks of 'Jazz Divas Gold'! Featured Jazz legends include Ella Fitzgerald, Marion Montgomery, Cleo Laine, Blossom Dearie, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone, Peggy Lee, Betty Carter, Amy Winehouse, Eartha Kitt and many more who can be seen from 1965 to 2008 on BBC treasures such as Not So Much a Programme, More a Way of Life, Show of the Week, Not Only...But Also, Birdland, Parkinson, Later..with Jools Holland, Morecambe and Wise and more...so let's hear it for the ladies!



MONDAY 01 JUNE 2015

MON 19:00 World News Today (b05xd5f7)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


MON 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b01q05km)
Series 4

Woking to Clapham Junction

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with his copy of Bradshaw's Handbook, he travels the length and breadth of the British Isles to see what of Bradshaw's world remains. Michael is travelling port to port, from the centuries-old naval hub of Portsmouth to the historic Grimsby docks. He gets close to some precious Victorian botany at Kew Gardens, tries his hand at croquet and discovers a very surprising 19th-century place of worship.


MON 20:00 Inside the Medieval Mind (b00b413s)
Belief

Leading authority on the Middle Ages, Professor Robert Bartlett, presents a series which examines the way we thought during medieval times. Our forebears believed they shared the world with the dead and that angels and demons battled for control of human souls. As the church's grip on our beliefs increased, men and women were dragged before religious courts and multitudes were killed in the name of God.


MON 21:00 The Last Journey of the Magna Carta King (b052hrdd)
Ben Robinson retraces the dramatic last days of King John, England's most disastrous monarch, and uncovers the legend of his lost treasure.

John is famous for accepting Magna Carta, which inspired our modern democracy. But ten days him from ruler of an empire to sudden death and left the kingdom in ruins.

Ben follows in the footsteps of the king's epic last journey, from the treacherous marshes of East Anglia, through Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, to his final resting place in Worcester. He is joined by medieval historian professor Stephen Church.

Together they examine the truth behind the legend that has lived on for 800 years. Did the crown jewels really end up in the mud of the Wash? Was the king poisoned? Does he deserve his reputation as our most disastrous monarch?

Thanks to unique documents, we can tell this epic tale in the king's own words. Not only can we get into the mind of the Magna Carta king, we can reveal in fantastic detail how and where he travelled.

Ben reveals what happened when treasure seekers attempted to find the king's lost jewels with the help of a diviner. And using the latest technology reveals how we can actually see back in time to reveal the landscape as it would have looked when King John made his last journey 800 years ago.


MON 22:00 Timeshift (b053pxdr)
Series 14

The Nation's Railway: The Golden Age of British Rail

Timeshift revisits Britain's railways during the era of public ownership. For all its bad reputation today, the old British Rail boldly transformed a decayed, war-torn Victorian transport network into a system fit for the 20th century. With an eye firmly on the future, steam made way for diesel and electric, new modern stations like Euston were built, and Britain's first high-speed trains introduced.

Made with unique access to the British Transport Films archive, this is a warm corrective to the myth of the bad old days of rail, but even it can't hide from the horror that was a British Rail sandwich.


MON 23:00 The Last Explorers (b018c57k)
Thomas Blake Glover

Neil Oliver travels to Japan to uncover the extraordinary story of Thomas Blake Glover. Blending adventure with commerce, Glover was a rogue trader who helped rebel samurai clans overthrow the shogun and lay the foundations for one of the most aggressive and powerful economies in the world.


MON 00:00 Pompeii: Life and Death in a Roman Town (b00wqfcx)
Pompeii: one of the most famous volcanic eruptions in history. We know how its victims died, but this film sets out to answer another question - how did they live? Gleaning evidence from an extraordinary find, Cambridge professor and Pompeii expert Mary Beard provides new insight into the lives of the people who lived in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius before its cataclysmic eruption.

In a dark cellar in Oplontis, just three miles from the centre of Pompeii, 54 skeletons who didn't succumb to the torrent of volcanic ash are about to be put under the microscope. The remains will be submitted to a barrage of tests that will unlock one of the most comprehensive scientific snapshots of Pompeiian life ever produced - and there are some big surprises in store.

Using the latest forensic techniques it is now possible to determine what those who perished in the disaster ate and drank, where they came from, what diseases they suffered, how rich they were and, perhaps even more astonishingly, the details of their sex lives.

The way the remains were found in the cellar already provides an invaluable clue about the lives of the people they belonged to. On one side of the room were individuals buried with one of the most stunning hauls of gold, jewellery and coins ever found in Pompeii. On the other were people buried with nothing. It looked like the stark dividing line of a polarised ancient society - a room partitioned between super-rich and abject poor. But on closer examination the skeletons reveal some surprises about life in Pompeii, of a place where slaves could eat a diet as rich and healthy as their masters, where colour was not a barrier to privilege or success and where even the poor could enjoy a standard of healthcare not realised again for another 18 centuries.

Mary takes us on journey from the cellar to a small ancient town which nevertheless boasted more than 50 fast food joints, dozens of rowdy bars, a 200-foot-long swimming pool and even its own brothel. The film opens the lid on this most famous of ancient towns to reveal Pompeii as it's never been seen before.


MON 01:00 Timeshift (b053pxdr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


MON 02:00 Inside the Medieval Mind (b00b413s)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


MON 02:55 Beautiful Thing: A Passion for Porcelain (p0192fqp)
Documentary in which Ros Savill, former director and curator at the Wallace Collection, tells the story of some incredible and misunderstood objects - the opulent, intricate, gold-crested and often much-maligned Sevres porcelain of the 18th century.

Ros brings us up close to a personal choice of Sevres masterpieces in the Wallace Collection, viewing them in intricate and intimate detail. She engages us with the beauty and brilliance in the designs, revelling in what is now often viewed as unfashionably pretty or ostentatious. These objects represent the unbelievable skills of 18th-century France, as well as the desires and demands of an autocratic regime that was heading for revolution.

As valuable now as they were when first produced, Sevres' intricacies and opulence speak of wealth, sophistication and prestige and have always been sought after by collectors eager to associate themselves with Sevres' power. Often the whims and capricious demands of monumentally rich patrons were the catalysts for these beautiful and incredible artistic innovations.

The film explores the stories of some of history's most outrageous patrons - Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV, Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, as well as their foreign counterparts like Catherine the Great, who willingly copied the French court's capricious ways. Ros tells how the French Revolutionaries actually preserved and adapted the Sevres tradition to their new order, and how the English aristocracy collected these huge dinner services out of nostalgia for the ancient regime. In fact, they are still used by the British royal family today.

Like the iPads of their day, these objects, ostentatious to modernist eyes, were the product of art and science coming together and creating something beautiful yet functional. Ros reconnects us with the fascinating lives and stories of the artists, artisans, painters and sculptors whose ingenuity, innovation and creativity went into making some of the most incredible and incredibly expensive ice cream coolers, vases and teapots of their day. We also see inside the factory, still open today, and witness the alchemic creation process for ourselves.

Taking us behind the museum glass and into some incredible private collections, the film reveals stories that are as louche, extravagant and over the top as some of the objects themselves. They might be unfashionable or even unpalatable to minimalist modernist tastes right now, but in this documentary we are taken back to a time when these objects were universally loved and adored, when they were the newest and most incredible things that had ever been created.



TUESDAY 02 JUNE 2015

TUE 19:00 World News Today (b05xd5fd)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


TUE 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b01q05lp)
Series 4

London Victoria to Abbey Wood

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with his copy of Bradshaw's Handbook, he travels the length and breadth of the British Isles to see what of Bradshaw's World remains. Michael is travelling port to port, from the centuries old naval hub of Portsmouth to the historic Grimsby docks. He learns how volunteer Victorian fire fighters liked a tipple, discovers how even 19th-century sewage pumps were a celebration of design and puts in a shift at the oldest fish market in Britain.


TUE 20:00 The Secret History of Our Streets (b01kvkw6)
Series 1

Arnold Circus

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.

Charles Booth's vast 1886 Survey of London ranks each one of London streets according to the class

The sixth episode features Arnold Circus in the East End and the story of a Victorian social experiment that changed Britain. Arnold Circus is home to the first council estate, which opened in 1896. The planning of the estate, from its lack of pubs to the pattern of the brickwork, was deliberate in order to make its residents respectable, as previously the land had played host to a notorious crime-ridden slum.

Featuring compelling accounts from residents both past and present, this is the story of how Arnold Circus made the difficult journey from feared underclass to a self-respecting community; of how it became and still is a haven in heart of the City.


TUE 21:00 Egypt's Lost Queens (b04gnhv5)
Professor Joann Fletcher explores what it was like to be a woman of power in ancient Egypt. Through a wealth of spectacular buildings, personal artefacts and amazing tombs, Joann brings to life four of ancient Egypt's most powerful female rulers and discovers the remarkable influence wielded by women, whose power and freedom was unique in the ancient world.

Throughout Egypt's history, women held the title of pharaoh no fewer than 15 times, and many other women played key roles in running the state and shaping every aspect of life. Joann Fletcher puts these influential women back at the heart of our understanding, revealing the other half of ancient Egypt.


TUE 22:00 Hidden Killers (b050d700)
The Tudor Home

Dr Suzannah Lipscomb takes us back to Tudor times in search of the household killers of the era.

It was a great age of exploration and science where adventurers returned from the New World with exotic goods previously unknown in Europe. An era in which the newly emergent middle classes had, for the first time, money for luxuries and early consumer goods, many of which contained hidden dangers.

The period also saw a radical evolution in the very idea of 'home'. For the likes of Tudor merchants, their houses became multi-room structures instead of the single-room habitations that had been the norm (aristocracy excepted). This forced the homebuilders of the day to engineer radical new design solutions and technologies, some of which were lethal.

Suzannah discovers that in Tudor houses the threat of a grisly, unpleasant death was never far away in a world (and a home) still mired in the grime and filth of the medieval period - and she shows how we still live with the legacy of some of these killers today.


TUE 23:00 Horizon (b03wcchn)
2013-2014

The Power of the Placebo

They are the miracle pills that shouldn't really work at all. Placebos come in all shapes and sizes, but they contain no active ingredient. Now they are being shown to help treat pain, depression and even alleviate some of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Horizon explores why they work, and how we could all benefit from the hidden power of the placebo.


TUE 00:00 The Secret History of Our Streets (b01kvkw6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


TUE 01:00 Motown at the BBC (b00hq4qr)
To mark the 50-year anniversary of Motown in 2009, a compilation of some of the iconic record label's greatest names filmed live in the BBC studios. Visitors from Hitsville USA over the years have included Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops and The Jackson 5.


TUE 02:00 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.


TUE 03:00 Timeshift (b03mp53s)
Series 13

The Ladybird Books Story: The Bugs that Got Britain Reading

To millions of people, Ladybird books were as much a part of childhood as battery-powered torches and warm school milk. These now iconic pocket-sized books once informed us on such diverse subjects as how magnets work, what to look for in winter and how to make decorations out of old eggshells. But they also helped to teach many of us to read via a unique literacy scheme known as 'key words'. Ladybird books were also a visual treat - some of the best-known contemporary illustrators were recruited to provide images which today provide a perfect snapshot of the lost world of Ladybirdland: a place that is forever the gloriously ordinary, orderly 1950s.



WEDNESDAY 03 JUNE 2015

WED 19:00 World News Today (b05xd5fm)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


WED 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b01q05nm)
Series 4

London King's Cross to Peterborough

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with his copy of Bradshaw's Handbook, he travels the length and breadth of the British Isles to see what of Bradshaw's world remains. Michael is travelling port to port, from the centuries old naval hub of Portsmouth to the historic Grimsby docks. He discovers how derelict Victorian London is being rejuvenated, puts in a shift at a Cambridgeshire brick factory and meets the immigrant community built from it.


WED 20:00 Great British Railway Journeys (b01q05pz)
Series 4

Spalding to Grimsby

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with his copy of Bradshaw's Handbook, he travels the length and breadth of the British Isles to see what of Bradshaw's World remains. Michael is travelling port to port, from the centuries old naval hub of Portsmouth to the historic Grimsby docks. He sees how Lincolnshire farmers utilised rails to improve their harvests, visits Lincoln's most impressive cathedral and looks to the future of rail freight.


WED 20:30 Our World (b04pkr3v)
Iran's Sex Change Solution

In Iran, the government denies the existence of homosexuality - being gay there can be punishable by death. But the state does offer a solution - a sex change operation paid for by the government. The pressure on gay Iranians to agree to a sex change as a cure for their homosexuality can be overwhelming. Reporter Ali Hamedani has been to Turkey to meet LGBT exiles who have fled Iran in fear of being forced to change sex.


WED 21:00 An Education (b0116h74)
The story of a young girl's choice between Oxford and the university of life. Sixteen and gifted, Jenny is destined for Oxford. Her parents' own dreams of fulfilment are built on Jenny's success. However, her eyes are opened to a world of glamorous possibility beyond the boundaries of suburbia when she meets the considerably older, distinctly urbane, David.


WED 22:35 Timeshift (b053pxdr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Monday]


WED 23:35 The Last Journey of the Magna Carta King (b052hrdd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]


WED 00:35 Inside the Medieval Mind (b00b413s)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Monday]


WED 01:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b01q05pz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


WED 02:00 Our World (b04pkr3v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


WED 02:30 Egypt's Lost Queens (b04gnhv5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]



THURSDAY 04 JUNE 2015

THU 19:00 World News Today (b05xd5fs)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b05xx8c9)
Mike Read presents chart hits of the week, with performances from the Lambrettas, UK Subs, Michael Jackson, Jona Lewie, Karel Fialka, the Specials, Matchbox and Johnny Logan, and a dance routine from Legs & Co.


THU 20:00 Castles: Britain's Fortified History (b04tt2f9)
Kingdom of Conquest

Sam Willis tells the story of the English ruler who left the most indelible mark on the castle - the great Plantagenet king, Edward I, who turned it into an instrument of colonisation. Edward spent vast sums to subdue Wales with a ring of iron comprised of some of the most fearsome fortresses ever built. Castles like Caernarfon and Beaumaris were used to impose England's will on the Welsh. But when Edward turned his attention to Scotland, laying siege to castles with great catapults, things didn't go so well for him.


THU 21:00 Storyville (b04ndsb3)
Exposed: Magicians, Psychics and Frauds

Renowned magician James 'The Amazing' Randi has been wowing audiences with his jaw-dropping illusions, escapes and sleight of hand for over 50 years. When he began seeing his cherished art form co-opted by all manner of con artists, he made it his mission to expose the simple tricks charlatans have borrowed from magicians to swindle the masses.

This entertaining film chronicles Randi's best debunkings of faith healers, fortune tellers and psychics. It documents his rivalry with famed spoon-bender Uri Geller, whom Randi eventually foiled on a high-profile television appearance. Another target was evangelist Peter Popoff, whose tent-show miracles and audience mind-reading were exposed as chicanery when Randi revealed a recording of Popoff's wife feeding him information through a radio-transmitter earpiece.

In telling Randi's strange, funny and fascinating life story, the film shows how we are all vulnerable to deception - even, in a surprising twist, 'The Amazing' Randi himself.

This documentary is part of Louis Theroux: Docs That Made Me, a collection of his favourite documentaries.
As someone who interviewed Uri Geller a number of times and came close to making a film about him, it's easy to see why this Storyville film grabbed Louis Theroux. The themes of 'fakery and quackery' and the charismatic figure of arch skeptic James Randi make this an entertaining look into how we separate fact from fiction.

Exposed: Magicians, Psychics & Frauds is the winner of multiple awards... The Audience Award (AFI Docs Festival, 2014), Jury Award (Dallas Video Festival, 2014), Best Documentary (Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, 2014), Jury Prize (Key West Film Festival, 2014), Jury Award (Napa Valley Film Festival, 2014), Jury Award (Newport Beach Film Festival, 2014).


THU 22:25 Madness on Wheels: Rallying's Craziest Years (b01fcncc)
In the 1980s rallying was more popular than Formula 1. 'Group B' machines had taken the world by storm. Deregulation opened the way for the most exciting cars ever to hit the motorsport scene. Nothing like it has ever happened since. 'This is the fastest rallying there has ever been' - Peter Foubister.

For four wild and crazy years manufacturers scrambled to build ever more powerful cars to be driven by fearless mavericks who could handle the extreme power. The sport was heading out of control and the unregulated mayhem ended abruptly in 1986 after a series of horrific tragedies. This is the story of when fans, ambition, politics and cars collided.

'The fans were crazy. As the cars sped by the spectators ran into the road!' - Ari Vatanen. 'They were playing with their lives'.

'To go rallying is madness. This was refined madness' - John Davenport

Featuring world champaions Ari Vatanen, Walter Rohrl, Stig Blomqvist, plus Michel Mouton, Cesar Fiorio, Jean Todt and many many more.

From the producer of Grand Prix: The Killer Years and the Grierson-nominated Deadliest Crash: The 1955 Le Mans Disaster.


THU 23:25 Top of the Pops (b05xx8c9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


THU 00:05 Art of China (b04dg5q7)
Episode 3

Andrew Graham-Dixon charts the journey from imperial to modern - the glorious rise and calamitous fall of China's last dynasty. Rulers were so entranced by the spell of western art that they failed to notice the rise of western dominance, with disastrous consequences. The subsequent profound identity crisis saw China's artists struggle with outside influence. It was an age of crisis, which ultimately led to bloody revolution and rebirth. After tyrant Mao's Cultural Revolution and Tiananmen Square, does its new art reveal a different side to the modern China we think we know?


THU 01:05 The Last Explorers (b018c57k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 on Monday]


THU 02:05 Castles: Britain's Fortified History (b04tt2f9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



FRIDAY 05 JUNE 2015

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b05xd5fy)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 Pop Go the Sixties (b00cyz6x)
Series 2

Julie Felix

Pop moments from the BBC's sixties archive. A 1966 performance from the singing star of The Frost Report. Going to the Zoo calls for audience participation and the audience wind themselves up into a near-monochrome frenzy as they sway slightly in their seats and softly join in.


FRI 19:35 Sounds of the Eighties (b04pw9xd)
Episode 8

Some heavy rhythms, including UB40's Food for Thought, Aswad's African Children, The Beat's Hands Off She's Mine, Run DMC's You Be Illin', Public Enemy's Miuzi Weighs a Ton and Neneh Cherry's Buffalo Stance.


FRI 20:00 Gershwin's Summertime: The Song that Conquered the World (b017nf05)
An intriguing investigation into the extraordinary life of Gershwin's classic composition, Summertime. One of the most covered songs in the world, it has been recorded in almost every style of music - from jazz to opera, rock to reggae, soul to samba. Its musical adaptability is breathtaking, but Summertime also resonates on a deep emotional level. This visually and sonically engaging film explores the composition's magical properties, examining how this song has, with stealth, captured the imagination of the world.

From its complex birth in 1935 as a lullaby in Gershwin's all-black opera Porgy and Bess, this film traces the hidden history of Summertime, focusing on key recordings, including those by Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, Mahalia Jackson, Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald. It reveals how musicians have projected their own dreams and desires onto the song, reimagining Summertime throughout the 20th century as a civil rights prayer, a hippie lullaby, an ode to seduction and a modern freedom song.

Back in the 1930s, Gershwin never dreamt of the global impact Summertime would have. But as this film shows, it has magically tapped into something deep inside us all - nostalgia and innocence, sadness and joy, and our intrinsic desire for freedom. Full of evocative archive footage as well as a myriad versions of Summertime - from the celebrated to the obscure - the film tells the surprising and illuminating tale behind this world-famous song.


FRI 21:00 The Old Grey Whistle Test (b014vzy3)
70s Gold

The Old Grey Whistle Test was launched on 21 September 1971 from a tiny studio tucked behind a lift shaft on the fourth floor of BBC Television Centre. From humble beginnings, it has gone on to provide some of the best and most treasured music archive that the BBC has to offer.

This programme takes us on a journey and celebrates the musically mixed-up decade that was the 1970s, and which is reflected in the OGWT archive. There are classic performances from the glam era by Elton John and David Bowie, an early UK TV appearance from Curtis Mayfield, the beginnings of heavy metal with Steppenwolf's iconic Born to Be Wild anthem and the early punk machinations of the 'mock rock' New York Dolls. Archive from the pinnacle year, 1973, features Roxy Music, The Wailers and Vinegar Joe. The programme's finale celebrates the advent of punk and new wave with unforgettable performances from Patti Smith, Blondie, Iggy Pop and The Jam.

Artists featured are Elton John, Lindisfarne, David Bowie, Curtis Mayfield, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Steppenwolf, Vinegar Joe, Brinsley Schwarz, New York Dolls, Argent, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Captain Beefheart, Johnny Winter, Dr Feelgood, Gil Scott Heron, Patti Smith, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Cher & Gregg Allman, Talking Heads, The Jam, Blondie, Iggy Pop and The Specials.


FRI 22:30 Pop Life (b01dlph3)
I'm a Pop Star!

The final part of the series is all about the solo artists as we delve into the psyche of the men and women who go it alone. What drives them into pop single combat, braving the baying hordes armed with just a microphone, some songs and an unquenchable belief that what they have got to say is worth hearing? From pioneers like Sir Cliff Richard to pop's Prince Charming Adam Ant to contemporary leading lights like Will Young and Kelly Clarkson, this is the pop life from the inside looking out.


FRI 23:30 Top of the Pops (b04w0fz1)
1980 - Big Hits

British pop and the BBC's flagship chart show said goodbye to the 70s and trembled on the edge of a new era for the show, for British music and for British society. This meant a continuing love for the nutty boys, Madness, who feature in this compilation with My Girl, and the man with the best cheekbones in pop, Adam Ant, gave us Antmusic.

We get to check out The Pretenders' first number one, Brass in Pocket, alongside Dexys Midnight Runners' tribute to soul legend Geno Washington. There are the early stirrings of new romantic with Spandau Ballet, and it's a veritable mod revival with The Piranhas and 2-Tone with The Beat.

Plus Hot Chocolate, OMD, Motorhead and many more top hits proving the 80s were truly beginning.


FRI 00:30 The Old Grey Whistle Test (b014vzy3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 02:00 Top of the Pops (b04w0fz1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:30 today]


FRI 03:00 Sounds of the Eighties (b04pw9xd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:35 today]




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

1864 21:00 SAT (b05xgj03)

1864 22:00 SAT (b05xgj05)

An Education 21:00 WED (b0116h74)

Art of China 00:05 THU (b04dg5q7)

BB King: The Life of Riley 23:00 SUN (b03vsp7r)

Beautiful Thing: A Passion for Porcelain 02:55 MON (p0192fqp)

Benjamin Britten on Camera 19:00 SUN (b03j42wt)

Blue Note: A Story of Modern Jazz 19:00 SAT (b05xgj01)

Castles: Britain's Fortified History 20:00 THU (b04tt2f9)

Castles: Britain's Fortified History 02:05 THU (b04tt2f9)

Country Queens at the BBC 00:00 SAT (p028vwnv)

Egypt's Lost Queens 21:00 TUE (b04gnhv5)

Egypt's Lost Queens 02:30 WED (b04gnhv5)

Gershwin's Summertime: The Song that Conquered the World 20:00 FRI (b017nf05)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 MON (b01q05km)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 TUE (b01q05lp)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:30 WED (b01q05nm)

Great British Railway Journeys 20:00 WED (b01q05pz)

Great British Railway Journeys 01:30 WED (b01q05pz)

Hidden Killers 22:00 TUE (b050d700)

Horizon 23:00 TUE (b03wcchn)

Inside the Medieval Mind 20:00 MON (b00b413s)

Inside the Medieval Mind 02:00 MON (b00b413s)

Inside the Medieval Mind 00:35 WED (b00b413s)

Jazz 625 20:30 SAT (b00jh665)

Jazz Divas Gold 02:40 SUN (b01sbxqy)

Kenny Rogers: Cards on the Table 23:00 SAT (b04pl3kw)

Madness on Wheels: Rallying's Craziest Years 22:25 THU (b01fcncc)

Metamorphosis: The Science of Change 22:00 SUN (p00zv0wk)

Motown at the BBC 01:00 TUE (b00hq4qr)

Nature's Great Events 20:00 SUN (b00hn4hs)

Nature's Great Events 21:00 SUN (b00j4c6b)

Northern Soul: Living for the Weekend 02:00 TUE (b04bf1lf)

Our World 20:30 WED (b04pkr3v)

Our World 02:00 WED (b04pkr3v)

Pompeii: Life and Death in a Roman Town 00:00 MON (b00wqfcx)

Pop Go the Sixties 19:30 FRI (b00cyz6x)

Pop Life 01:40 SUN (b01cytgk)

Pop Life 22:30 FRI (b01dlph3)

Sounds of the Eighties 19:35 FRI (b04pw9xd)

Sounds of the Eighties 03:00 FRI (b04pw9xd)

Storyville 21:00 THU (b04ndsb3)

The Last Explorers 23:00 MON (b018c57k)

The Last Explorers 01:05 THU (b018c57k)

The Last Journey of the Magna Carta King 21:00 MON (b052hrdd)

The Last Journey of the Magna Carta King 23:35 WED (b052hrdd)

The Old Grey Whistle Test 21:00 FRI (b014vzy3)

The Old Grey Whistle Test 00:30 FRI (b014vzy3)

The Secret History of Our Streets 20:00 TUE (b01kvkw6)

The Secret History of Our Streets 00:00 TUE (b01kvkw6)

Timeshift 01:40 SAT (p0287mq6)

Timeshift 02:40 SAT (b00x7c3z)

Timeshift 22:00 MON (b053pxdr)

Timeshift 01:00 MON (b053pxdr)

Timeshift 03:00 TUE (b03mp53s)

Timeshift 22:35 WED (b053pxdr)

Top of the Pops 01:00 SAT (b05x1jkh)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b05xx8c9)

Top of the Pops 23:25 THU (b05xx8c9)

Top of the Pops 23:30 FRI (b04w0fz1)

Top of the Pops 02:00 FRI (b04w0fz1)

When Pop Ruled My Life: The Fans' Story 00:40 SUN (b05wn8hf)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b05xd5f7)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b05xd5fd)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b05xd5fm)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b05xd5fs)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b05xd5fy)