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.

Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4 Contact

Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by


SAT 19:00 Natural World (b01fllvr)

The Real Jungle Book Bear

The Jungle Book's Baloo the bear character is based on the secretive sloth bear who lives in India's wildest places. The real Baloo does chase fancy ants, but his life is a lot tougher than that of his fictional friend.

Narrated by David Attenborough, this is the first film ever made on these shy creatures and it follows a young male called Baloo as he grows up in the harsh Karnataka landscape, fending off foes and finding food. Baloo's mother is also nearby with two new cubs on her back, trying to keep them safe from prowling leopards.

SAT 20:00 Horizon (b02xcvhw)

The Secret Life of the Cat

Horizon discovers what your cat really gets up to when it leaves the cat flap.

In a groundbreaking experiment, 50 cats from a village in Surrey are tagged with GPS collars and their every movement is recorded, day and night, as they hunt in our backyards and patrol the garden fences and hedgerows.

The cats are also fitted with specially developed cat-cams which reveal their unique view of our world.

You may think you understand your pet, but their secret life is more surprising than we thought.

SAT 21:00 The Young Montalbano (b03b3brl)
Series 1

The First Case

Young detective Salvo Montalbano is posted to a remote village in the Sicilian mountains, where he struggles to adapt to the somewhat unwelcoming climate, but a promotion and transfer bring him to the more agreeable seaside town of Vigata. Here he finds himself supervising a team of local policemen, including veteran Carmine Fazio and affable but bumbling agent Catarella. Montalbano's first case in Vigata involves investigating an attempted murder at the hands of a vulnerable young woman whose motives appear unfathomable.

In Italian with English subtitles.

SAT 23:00 Secret Voices of Hollywood (b03bxrxj)
In many of Hollywood's greatest movie musicals the stars did not sing their own songs. This documentary pulls back the curtain to reveal the secret world of the 'ghost singers' who provided the vocals, the screen legends who were dubbed and the classic movies in which the songs were ghosted.

SAT 00:30 ... Sings Musicals (b019jshd)
A delve into the BBC archives for an eclectic mix of performances from musicals from the 60s to the present. Featuring the likes of Ella Fitzgerald singing Mack the Knife from the Threepenny Opera, Captain Sensible performing a classic from South Pacific, Jeff Beck going down the yellow brick road of Oz, Jay Z taking on Annie, and all points in between.

SAT 01:30 Horizon (b02xcvhw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SAT 02:30 Natural World (b01fllvr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SUN 19:00 BBC Proms (b064x4p7)

BBC Proms Sunday Symphony: Elgar's Second

Legendary British conductor Sir Mark Elder gives us a very personal view of a work he describes as the greatest symphony ever written in Britain - Elgar's Second. Edward Elgar himself described it as 'the passionate pilgrimage of a soul' and Sir Mark leads us on this journey, conducting the Halle Orchestra at the BBC Proms. Presented from the Royal Albert Hall by Katie Derham.

SUN 20:10 Proms in the Park (b00gdlhc)

Shan Cothi - I Could Have Danced All Night

Shan Cothi performs I Could Have Danced All Night with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, from the 2006 Proms in the Park concert in Singleton Park, Swansea.

SUN 20:15 Wild (b00jd9yx)

Otters, Puffins and Seals

Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan explores his native Mull and some of the nearby islands, filming otters, deer, puffins, seals and a minke whale.

SUN 20:30 Brushing up on... (b01s0zpm)
Series 1

British Bridges

Danny Baker endeavours to present the definitive guide to Britain's bridges in 30 minutes, armed only with a few VHS tapes and some ham-fisted research. Buckle up!

SUN 21:00 Timeshift (b00xf6xk)
Series 10

The Modern Age of the Coach

Documentary which brings the story of the coach up to date, as it explores the most recent phase of Britain's love affair with group travel on four wheels - from school trips and football away-days to touring with bands and 'magic bus' overland treks to India.

The establishment of the National Coach Company may have standardised the livery and the experience of mainstream coach travel in the 1970s, but a multitude of alternative offerings meant the coach retained its hold on the public imagination, with even striking miners and New Age travellers getting in on a very British act.

SUN 22:00 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.

SUN 23:00 Sound of Song (b04y4qpt)
The Recording Revolution

Songs are the soundtrack of our lives and it takes a kind of genius to create a true pop masterpiece. But, as Neil Brand argues, there is more to consider in the story of what makes a great song. Neil looks at every moment in the life cycle of a song - how they are written, performed, recorded and the changing ways we have listened to them. He reveals how it is the wonderful alchemy of all of these elements that makes songs so special to us.

To open the series, Neil investigates how songs were recorded for the first time, the listening revolution in the home that followed and the birth of a new style of singing that came with the arrival of the microphone - crooning. He also looks at the songwriting genius of Irving Berlin and the interpretative power of singers Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby.

SUN 00:00 Sound of Song (b04z23vl)
Reeling and Rocking

Musician Neil Brand explores the magical elements that come together to create great songs by recreating some of the most memorable and innovative recording sessions in music history - from Elvis's slapback echo in Memphis and The Beatles' tape loops at Abbey Road to Phil Spector's Wall of Sound and The Beach Boys' pop symphonies.

He shows that all this was made possible by the discovery of magnetic tape by an American soldier in the ruins of WWII Germany, the invention that, more than any other, drove the emergence of the music studio as a compositional tool and the rise of the producer as a new creative force shaping the sound of song.

SUN 01:00 Sound of Song (b050rbz8)
Mix It Up and Start Again

Composer and musician Neil Brand's series exploring the alchemy that creates great songs reaches the modern era, when a revolution in how they were made took place. From the synthesisers of symphonic rock to the mixes of disco and the samplings of hip hop, music was transformed by the arrival of digital technology and the computer, which gave some songwriters more power but others much less. Along the way Neil talks synths with Rick Wakeman from Yes, samples with Public Enemy's Hank Shocklee, uncovers the surprising lo-fi origins of Bruce Springsteen's stadium-busting Born in the USA, and finds out how Cher changed the sound of her voice on the smash hit Believe.

SUN 02:00 Secret Voices of Hollywood (b03bxrxj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 on Saturday]


MON 19:00 World News Today (b064ffy7)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

MON 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b03sgrgp)
Series 5

Winchfield to Crowthorne

Michael Portillo continues his journey from the Hampshire coast to the West Midlands in a distinctly military vein.

At Winchfield, he discovers the vast carriage which carried the Duke of Wellington's coffin to his state funeral at St Paul's Cathedral in 1852 and hears how the duke's chestnut stallion also received full military honours when he was buried at the duke's seat, Stratfield Saye. Michael then heads for Farnborough and the army camp at Aldershot, where, after the Crimean War, greater physical fitness among rank and file Victorian soldiers became a priority. Private Portillo joins the regulars to be put through his paces under military instruction.

Sanctuary is not far away in Farnborough North at the Benedictine Monastery of St Michael, where Michael visits the tomb of the French emperor Napoleon III and his family. He ends this second leg of his journey in Crowthorne, where, in the year his Bradshaw's was published, there opened a notorious new institution, England's first Asylum for the Criminally Insane, Broadmoor.

MON 20:00 A Very British Renaissance (b03yzjy6)
The Renaissance Arrives

We think of the Renaissance as something that happened only in Italy, or in continental Europe. Art historian Dr James Fox believes otherwise - that Britain had its own Renaissance - one that easily measures up to the explosion of art and ideas that happened on the continent.

He tells the story of the painters, sculptors, poets, playwrights, composers, inventors, explorers, craftsmen and scientists who revolutionised the way we saw the world.

In the first episode, he traces the story of how the arrival of a handful of foreign artists in the 16th century sparked a cultural revolution in Britain.

MON 21:00 Horizon (b04b763n)

What's Wrong with Our Weather?

Over the last few years, our weather in Britain has become more extreme.

The winter of 2013/14 was the wettest ever recorded, as deadly storms battered the country for weeks on end. But previous winters have seen bitter lows of -22, as Britain was plunged into a deep freeze.

Everyone wants to know why our weather is getting more extreme, whether we can expect to see more of it in the future, and if it has got anything to do with climate change.

Physicist Dr Helen Czerski and meteorologist John Hammond make sense of Britain's recent extreme weather and discover that there is one thing that connects all our recent extreme winters - the jet stream, an invisible river of air that powers along 10km above us. What's worrying is that recently it has been behaving rather strangely.

Scientists are now trying to understand what is behind these changes in the jet stream. Helen and John find out if extreme winters are something we may all have to get used to in the future.

MON 22:00 Storyville (b05t2h9x)
Himmler: The Decent One

Through previously undiscovered private letters, photos and diaries that were found in the Himmler family house in 1945, this documentary exposes a unique and at times uncomfortable access to the life and mind of the merciless 'architect of the Final Solution', Heinrich Himmler. Himmler writes, 'In life one must always be decent, courageous and kind-hearted'. How can a man be a hero in his own eyes and a mass murderer in the eyes of the world?

The text of the film consists exclusively of original documents from Himmler's lifetime, combined with news and personal archive from sources ranging from the descendants of top Nazis to working-class individuals. It forms a unique portrait of one the most prominent figures of the Third Reich, the SS commander Heinrich Himmler.

MON 23:30 Operation Mincemeat (b00wllmb)
For more than 60 years, the real story behind Operation Mincemeat has been shrouded in secrecy. Now, Ben Macintyre reveals the extraordinary truth in a documentary based on his best-selling book.

In 1943, British intelligence hatched a daring plan. As the Allies prepared to invade Sicily, their purpose was to convince the Germans that Greece was the real target. The plot to fool the Fuhrer was the brainchild of Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond.

British agents procured the body of a tramp and reinvented his entire identity. He was given a new name, an officer rank and a briefcase containing plans for a fake invasion of Greece. The body was floated off the Spanish coast where Nazi spies would find it.

The deception was an astonishing success. Hitler fell for it totally, ordering his armies to Greece to await an invasion that never happened. Meanwhile, the Allies landed in Sicily with minimal resistance. The island fell in a month. The war turned in the Allies' favour.

Together with original witnesses, Macintyre recreates the remarkable story of how one brilliant team, and one dead tramp, pulled off a deception which changed the course of history.

MON 00:30 Infested! Living with Parasites (b03vrwj8)
Dr Michael Mosley explores the bizarre and fascinating world of parasites by turning his body into a living laboratory and deliberately infesting himself with them. He travels to Kenya to give himself a tapeworm - a parasite that can grow to many metres inside the human gut. He also encounters lice, leeches and the deadly malaria parasite, before swallowing a pill-camera to reveal what is growing within him. By the end of his infestation Michael learns a new-found respect for these extraordinary creatures, which can live off and even take control of their hosts for their own survival.

MON 01:30 Dissected (p01mv2rj)
The Incredible Human Foot

In a purpose-built dissection lab, Dr George McGavin is joined by leading anatomy experts to dissect a real foot, taking it apart layer by layer to reveal what makes it unique in the animal kingdom. We discover the incredible natural engineering that is key to our greatest physical achievements, from a baby's first steps to a ballerina on pointe.

MON 02:30 Storyville (b05t2h9x)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


TUE 19:00 World News Today (b064ffyg)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

TUE 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b03sgs9y)
Series 5

Wokingham to Bradford-on-Avon

Steered by his Victorian guidebook, Michael Portillo heads north from the south coast towards the West Midlands.

The third leg begins in Wokingham, where Bradshaw's reports the proprietor of The Times newspaper resided and where he was a great benefactor. Michael finds out how demand from a growing number of rail commuters fuelled the development of the modern printing press and learns how to print on an iron press. He then heads to Newbury, where he encounters a Tudor captain of industry, who manufactured cloth in enormous volumes.

Michael's next destination is Trowbridge, where Sir Isaac Pitman invented his famous shorthand. He ends this leg of the journey in Bradford on Avon, where he hears from a local manufacturer how his Victorian forebears were the first in Britain to be licensed to vulcanise rubber. They supplied springs, buffers and hoses for the locomotive industry and now make rubber suspensions systems for bicycles.

TUE 20:00 Great British Railway Journeys (b03sgsz6)
Series 5

Chippenham to Gloucester

Michael Portillo continues his journey from Southampton to Wolverhampton beginning in Chippenham, where at Lacock Abbey he discovers how the world's first photographic negative was made and learns how to make a print. He travels on to Bristol to visit the Victorian Clifton Zoo, where he finds tigers and polar bears before him also arrived by train.

Next stop is Severn Tunnel junction in Wales, where he explores an extraordinary piece of Victorian engineering with its own pump house pumping out millions of gallons a day to keep it dry. Michael then heads for Gloucester to find out why the station became infamous for lost luggage. At the city's cathedral, Michael meets a stonemason who bravely invites him to chip away.

TUE 20:30 Hive Minds (b064jf26)
Series 1

Misinformed v Mavericks

Fiona Bruce presents the quiz show where players not only have to know the answers, but have to find them hidden in a hive of letters. It tests players' general knowledge and mental agility, as they battle against one another and race against the clock to find the answers.

The last of the first-round heats features Team Misinformed versus Mavericks.

TUE 21:00 The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain (p01wq65t)
Episode 1

In 1714, to prevent the crown falling into the hands of a Catholic, Britain shipped in a ready-made royal family from the small German state of Hanover. To understand this risky experiment, presenter Dr Lucy Worsley has been given access to treasures from the Royal Collection as they are prepared for a new exhibition at the Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace - providing a rare and personal insight into George I and his feuding dynasty.

The Hanoverians arrived at a moment when Britain was changing fast. Satirists were free to mock the powerful, including the new royals. The Hanoverians themselves were busy early adopters of Neo-Palladian architecture, defining the whole look of the Georgian era. When the French philosopher Voltaire visited, he found a 'land of liberty' unlike anything in Europe - Britain was embracing freedom of speech and modern cabinet government.

TUE 22:00 Climbing Everest with a Mountain on My Back: The Sherpa's Story (b01qchgv)
Every year, over a thousand climbers try to reach the summit of Mount Everest, with the annual record for successful attempts currently standing at 633. But of that number, nearly half were Sherpas - the mountain's unsung heroes. Yet the Sherpa community has remained secretive about their nation, culture and experiences living in the shadow of the world's highest mountain. Now, for the first time, they open the door into their world.

Without the expertise of the Sherpas, only the hardiest and most skilful climbers would succeed. Every day they risk their lives for the safety of others, yet they seek neither glory nor reward, preferring to stay in the background. Following the stories of four such Sherpas - Phurba, Ngima, Ngima Tenji and Gelu - this film reveals the reality of their daily lives, not just up the mountain, but with their families after they return home.

TUE 23:00 Precision: The Measure of All Things (b02xbj6m)
Time and Distance

Professor Marcus du Sautoy tells the story of the metre and the second - how an astonishing journey across revolutionary France gave birth to the metre, and how scientists today are continuing to redefine the measurement of time and length, with extraordinary results.

TUE 00:00 Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities (b03l7psf)
Episode 2

Series in which historian Simon Sebag Montefiore traces the sacred history of Istanbul. Known as the 'city of the world's desire', it's a place that has been the focus of passion for believers of three different faiths - Paganism, Christianity and Islam - and for nearly 3,000 years its streets have been the battleground for some of the fiercest political and religious conflicts in history.

In the second episode he explores modern Istanbul in search of the last desperate centuries of Christian Byzantium, in which the once glorious city was buffeted by enemies from both east and west and yet still produced a golden artistic renaissance. This is story of the Christian crusaders who destroyed the city, and the Ottoman Muslims who restored it to life as an imperial capital after the epic siege of 1453.

TUE 01:00 Hive Minds (b064jf26)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

TUE 01:30 The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain (p01wq65t)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

TUE 02:30 Climbing Everest with a Mountain on My Back: The Sherpa's Story (b01qchgv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


WED 19:00 World News Today (b064ffyn)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

WED 19:30 Great British Railway Journeys (b03sh092)
Series 5

Cheltenham to Wolverhampton

On the final leg of his journey from Southampton to Wolverhampton, Michael Portillo's first destination is the elegant spa town of Cheltenham, where he discovers a very early locomotive carriage which ran not on rails but on the road, and he is lucky enough to get behind the wheel.

His next stop is the medieval town of Tewkesbury, scene of a grisly battle during the Wars of the Roses. Armour-plated and sword at the ready, Michael joins a group of re-enactors for a taste of the action. Mercifully unscathed, he makes tracks for Droitwich to find out about how a lowly boatman became the King of Salt and lived in a beautiful chateau, an unexpected sight in the Midlands countryside.

Michael's journey ends in Wolverhampton, where he hears Queen Victoria made an emotional visit which signalled the end of her exile from public life after mourning her husband, Prince Albert. He learns how the townspeople showed off their talents to the queen, among them the lost art of Japanning, a speciality of Wolverhampton.

WED 20:00 British Gardens in Time (b041m5bq)
Biddulph Grange

Biddulph Grange, the best-surviving Victorian garden in the country, takes the visitor on a whistlestop journey around the world from China to Egypt in a series of gardens connected by tunnels and subterranean passageways.

Biddulph was created at the height of the British Empire by James Bateman, the son of a wealthy industrialist. Bateman was fascinated by botany and the emerging technologies of the Victorian era, filling his garden with rare specimens tracked down by the Victorian plant hunters laid out to designs that purported to come from around the world but were actually inspired by the Great Exhibition and painted plates from the Potteries.

But Bateman's fascination for all things new would come into conflict with his deeply held religious beliefs, leading him into open conflict with Darwin, financial ruin and the eventual loss of his beloved garden.

WED 21:00 Genius of the Ancient World (b064jf28)

Historian Bettany Hughes embarks on an expedition to India, Greece and China on the trail of three giants of ancient philosophy: Buddha, Socrates and Confucius. All three physically travelled great distances philosophising as they went and drawing conclusions from their journeys. With Bettany as our guide, she gets under the skin of these three great minds and shines a light on the overlooked significance of the 5th century BC in shaping modern thought across the world. In this first episode, Bettany investigates the revolutionary ideas of the Buddha.

WED 22:00 Natural World (b01fllvr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Saturday]

WED 23:00 Treasures of Chinese Porcelain (b015sttj)
In November 2010, a Chinese vase unearthed in a suburban semi in Pinner sold at auction for £43 million - a new record for a Chinese work of art. Why are Chinese vases so famous and so expensive? The answer lies in the European obsession with Chinese porcelain that began in the 16th century.

Lars Tharp, the Antiques Roadshow expert and Chinese ceramics specialist, sets out to explore why Chinese porcelain was so valuable then - and still is now. He goes on a journey to parts of China closed to western eyes until relatively recently. Lars travels to the mountainside from which virtually every single Chinese export vase, plate and cup began life in the 18th century - a mountain known as Mount Gaolin, from whose name we get the word kaolin, or china clay. He sees how the china clay was fused with another substance, mica, that would turn it into porcelain.

Carrying his own newly acquired vase, Lars uncovers the secrets of China's porcelain capital, Jingdezhen. He sees how the trade between China and Europe not only changed our idea of what was beautiful - by introducing us to the idea of works of art we could eat off - but also began to affect the whole tradition of Chinese aesthetics too, as the ceramicists of Jingdezhen sought to meet the European demand for porcelain decorated with family coats of arms, battle scenes or even erotica.

The porcelain fever that gripped Britain drove conspicuous consumption and fuelled the Georgian craze for tea parties. Today the new emperors - China's rising millionaire class - are buying back the export wares once shipped to Europe. The vase sold in Pinner shows that the lure of Chinese porcelain is as compelling as ever.

WED 00:00 British Gardens in Time (b041m5bq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 01:00 Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities (b03l7psf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 00:00 on Tuesday]

WED 02:00 Timeshift (b00xf6xk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Sunday]

WED 03:00 Genius of the Ancient World (b064jf28)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 World News Today (b064ffyt)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

THU 19:30 BBC Proms (b064jfty)

Concerto at the BBC Proms: Colin Currie Plays Gruber

Tom Service presents as internationally renowned soloist Colin Currie takes to a Royal Albert Hall stage packed with percussion to perform the world premiere of a new concerto, 'into the open...' by the idiosyncratic Austrian composer HK Gruber. The BBC Philharmonic continue the concert with Stravinsky's unflinching 'Petrushka', conducted by John Storgards.

THU 20:50 Wild (b00793km)
2006-07 Shorts

Ravens Return

The true nature of the much-maligned raven is almost as remarkable as the story of its recent recovery. These surprisingly intelligent birds mate for life, so their choice of partner is all the more important. In a unique forest on the edge of the stunning west coast of Anglesey in north Wales, the ravens gather each year to play the dating game. Newborough forest is home to one of the biggest raven roosts in Europe. Built to stabilise huge shifting sand dunes, this man-made habitat has proved a hit with the ravens. Onshore breezes rise up over the dunes, providing the perfect conditions for aerial acrobatics. The young ravens soon show that there is a fun side to their character as well.

THU 21:00 Doris Day - Virgin Territory (b0074rwd)
Doris Day has often been dismissed as an actress and overlooked as a singer, despite career highs such as Calamity Jane and Pillow Talk. Covering her early years as a band singer, and her troubled private life, this documentary re-evaluates one of the screen's most enduring legends.

THU 22:00 Britain and the Sea (b03m3x1j)
Pleasure and Escape

Having examined the sea as a source of exploration, defence and trade, David Dimbleby explores how it emerged as a source of pleasure, Punch and Judy and sand sculpture.

Starting at Gorleston-on-Sea, David explores the creation of a seaside holiday culture that remains uniquely British to this day.

Sailing down the Suffolk and Essex coasts and into the Thames, David also shows how the sea became an irresistible subject for our most celebrated artists and architects, before finally docking in the very heart of British maritime power - Greenwich.

THU 23:00 Horizon (b04b763n)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]

THU 00:00 Horizon (b00x7cb3)
What Makes Us Clever? A Horizon Guide to Intelligence

Dallas Campbell delves into the Horizon archive to discover how our understanding of intelligence has transformed over the last century. From early caveman thinkers to computers doing the thinking for us, he discovers the best ways of testing how clever we are - and enhancing it.

THU 01:00 A Very British Renaissance (b03yzjy6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Monday]

THU 02:00 Doris Day - Virgin Territory (b0074rwd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

THU 03:00 Nelson's Caribbean Hell-hole: An Eighteenth Century Navy Graveyard Uncovered (b01s6gjx)
Human bones found on an idyllic beach in Antigua trigger an investigation by naval historian Sam Willis into one of the darkest chapters of Britain's imperial past. As archaeologists excavate a mass grave of British sailors, Willis explores Antigua's ruins and discovers how the sugar islands of the Caribbean were a kind of hell in the age of Nelson.

Sun, sea, war, tropical diseases and poisoned rum.


FRI 19:00 World News Today (b064ffz2)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 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 21:00 Sinatra: All or Nothing at All (b064jgws)
Series 1

Episode 1

An up-close and personal examination of the life, music and career of the legendary entertainer. In 1971, Frank Sinatra sang his legendary 'retirement concert' in Los Angeles, featuring music which was said to reflect his own life. Told in his own words from hours of archived interviews, along with commentary from those closest to him, this definitive four-part series weaves the legendary songs he chose with comments from friends and family, as well as never-before-seen footage from home movies and concert performances.

An unprecedented tribute to the beloved showman, with the full participation of the Frank Sinatra Estate, the opening episode takes us from Sinatra's birth to his early years as a roadhouse performer, revealing the influences behind his meteoric rise.

FRI 22:00 Pop Go the Sixties (b00rgd4h)
Series 1

The Kinks, the Shadows, the Tremeloes, the Who

More pop moments from the BBC's 60s archive, featuring the Who, the Kinks, the Shadows and the Tremeloes.

FRI 22:15 BBC Proms (b064jgwv)

Friday Night at the Proms: Seth MacFarlane Sings Sinatra

The Proms welcomes Hollywood royalty to the Albert Hall to celebrate the 100th birthday year of Frank Sinatra. The legendary John Wilson Orchestra is joined on stage by Family Guy and American Dad creator Seth MacFarlane to perform some of Sinatra's most memorable songs. Packed full of favourites like Let's Face the Music and Dance, Come Fly with Me and I've Got You Under My Skin, it's a musical journey through the highlights of Sinatra's Capitol Years 1954-1962.

MacFarlane is joined on stage by actor/singer Jamie Parker and jazz singer Claire Martin for some seriously smooth jammin'. The evening is hosted by The Wire star Clarke Peters and Radio 3's Clemency Burton-Hill.

FRI 23:40 ... Sings the Great American Songbook (b00rs3w4)
Presenting the best and most eclectic performances on the BBC from the world's best-known artists performing their interpretations of classic tracks from The Great American Songbook.

In chronological order, this programme takes us through a myriad of BBC studio performances, from Dame Shirley Bassey in 1966 performing The Lady is A Tramp, to Bryan Ferry in 1974 on Twiggy's BBC primetime show performing Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, to Captain Sensible on Top of the Pops in 1982 with his number one hit version of Happy Talk, through to Kirsty MacColl singing Miss Otis Regrets in 1994 to Jamie Cullum with his version of I Get a Kick Out Of You on Parkinson in 2004 and bang up to date with Brit winner Florence from Florence and the Machine performing My Baby Just Cares for Me with Jools Holland on his Annual Hootenanny at the end of 2009.

The Great American Songbook can best be described as the music and popular songs of the famous and prolific American composers of the 1920s and onwards. Composers such as Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Hoagy Carmichael to name but a few... songwriters who wrote the tunes of Broadway theatre and Hollywood musicals that earned enduring popularity before the dawning of rock 'n' roll.

These famous songwriters have penned songs which have entered the general consciousness and which are now best described as standards - tunes which every musician and singer aspires to include in their repertoire.

FRI 00:40 The Joy of Easy Listening (b011g614)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

FRI 02:10 Sinatra: All or Nothing at All (b064jgws)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 03:10 Top of the Pops (b01pkjy6)
The Story of 1978

In 1978, Top of the Pops began to turn the credibility corner. As the only major pop show on television, Top of the Pops had enjoyed a unique position in the nation's hearts since the 1960s - the nation's teenagers who were now fed up with the show's predominantly light entertainment blend still tuned in every week in the hope of seeing one of the new young outfits thrown up by punk, new wave and disco. In 1978 it seemed the kids' time had come again for the first time since glam rock. Yet the biggest-selling singles of 1978 were by the likes of Boney M, John Travolta & Olivia Newton John, Rod Stewart, The Bee Gees and Abba.

Punk never quite fitted in with the mainstream - it had been treated with disdain by Top of the Pops and largely ignored by the show. Britain's teenagers had to endure the all-round family entertainment on offer when all they wanted was teenage kicks. Along came a generation of young post-punk and new wave bands armed with guitar and bass, ready to storm the Top of the Pops stage - from The Undertones, The Buzzcocks, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Skids and Ian Dury and the Blockheads to The Boomtown Rats, Elvis Costello, The Jam and Squeeze - some weeks teenagers would get to see one of their bands, very rarely they got two, but there they were on primetime TV.

With contributions from The Boomtown Rats, Squeeze, Boney M, Sham 69, Brian & Michael, The Barron Knights, Mike Read, Kid Jensen, Kathryn Flett, Richard Jobson, Ian Gittins and Legs & Co.

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

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