Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2015

SAT 19:00 India's Frontier Railways (b05mp8mt)
The Last Train in Nepal

In 1927 a British civil servant drew a line on a map to define the border between their Indian empire and the kingdom of Nepal. Today, that border line is only marked by a chain of boundary stones and pillars - it's a border that is almost invisible.

This is the story of an international railway line. It runs for 20 miles from the little-known town of Janakpur in Nepal and crosses over the border to Jaynagar junction in India.

But now the last train in Nepal is under threat of closure. Starved of funds from central government, the train and the track are in a dilapidated state. Derailments are common and the engine often breaks down. Yet it's a lifeline both for the community and the railway workers - their little train is held together with determination, invention and love.

Regina is strong, independent Nepali woman, married at 12 and pregnant at 13. Deserted by her husband, she's now a single mother of two teenage boys. She makes a living as a smuggler of small household goods. But it's illegal, so even when the train is running there's always the chance of getting caught.

Aarman is a ticket collector in Janakpur station. Married with three small children, he's the sole breadwinner for an extended family and he hasn't been paid for three months. Already deeply in debt, he wanted to send his kids to school, but if the line closes he's out of job - and no job means no money.

This is the story of the last train in Nepal and the community and railway workers who struggle every day to keep their train and their hopes alive.


SAT 20:00 Natural World (b039w9p0)
2013-2014

Meet the Monkeys

Peanut, Hero and Tarzan are three cheeky monkeys. They live on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi with the rest of their gang of crested black macaques. These very special primates are found nowhere else in the world. Twenty-five years ago, wildlife cameraman Colin Stafford-Johnson visited Sulawesi for the first time and now he has returned. Fascinated by the monkeys, Colin hopes to reveal their sometimes violent, often playful and, just like our own, highly political world. What he discovers leads him on a much bigger journey than he was ever expecting.


SAT 21:00 Beck (b06chkmk)
Buried Alive

When the body of a leading district attorney is found in a shallow grave in a children's playground, the chief suspect is the leader of a notorious motorcycle gang.

However, when his body is found in similar circumstances, Inspector Martin Beck and his team of detectives realise that they are dealing with a serial killer and that Beck himself is amongst the prime targets.

In Swedish with English subtitles.


SAT 22:25 Being James Galway (b0555wj1)
An intimate portrait of Sir James Galway, regarded by many as the finest flautist of his generation.

The programme charts his remarkable rise to the top of the classical music world from humble beginnings with a Belfast flute band, and is given unique access to Galway at home and on tour.

Galway was born in Belfast at the outbreak of the Second World War and established himself performing with the top London orchestras in the 1960s before becoming first flute with the Berlin Philharmonic. In the mid-70s he took the unusual step of leaving to launch a solo career and became a household name with the release of his instrumental version of John Denver's Annie's Song. He has sold more than 30 million albums and at the age of 75 continues to tour the world performing to packed houses and giving masterclasses to the next generation of world-class flute players.

In the programme Galway speaks frankly about his life and career and puts his success down to hard work and daily practice. The documentary captures Galway backstage, in rehearsal and performing, and at his home overlooking Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, with his wife and fellow flautist, Jeanne.

The programme is narrated by Jeremy Irons and contributors include broadcaster Melvyn Bragg, Riverdance composer Bill Whelan and the conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin.


SAT 23:25 Definitely Dusty (b00780bt)
Documentary looking at the life and work of soul and pop diva Dusty Springfield, singer of such classics as You Don't Have to Say You Love Me and Son of a Preacher Man, who was equally famous for her trademark panda eyes and blonde beehive.

Using archive footage and interviews shot in the UK and the US, it charts her progress from plain Catholic schoolgirl to glamorous star and ventures behind the extravagant image to reveal a complex and vulnerable character.

Featuring interviews with fellow musicians from a career spanning four decades, including Elton John, Burt Bacharach, Neil Tennant, Lulu and Martha Reeves.

Dusty's protective inner circle of friends have never spoken about her on camera before. Pat Rhodes, Dusty's personal secretary for her entire solo career, her manager Vicky Wickham, ardent fan-turned-backing singer Simon Bell and others talk about the highs and lows of the woman they knew and loved.


SAT 00:25 The Story of Musicals (b0192pyj)
Episode 1

Three-part series which tells how the British musical became a driving force behind musical theatre around the world - a tale of titanic shows, phenomenal daring, epic rivalries, prodigious talent and gargantuan fortunes, all set in just a single square mile.

The first episode looks at how, from unpromising beginnings in the period after the Second World War, British musicals went on to reclaim the West End from American domination. Highlights include the quintessentially British show The Boyfriend and its failure to conquer Broadway, the riches-to-rags story of Lionel Bart and his masterpiece Oliver, and the extraordinary partnership of Sir Tim Rice and Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, from the moment they burst onto the scene with Jesus Christ Superstar until their final collaboration of the 1970s, Evita.

Featuring first-hand accounts from the great and the good of musical theatre including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Sir Tim Rice, Elaine Paige, Ron Moody, Bill Kenwright, Sheila Hancock, Harold Prince, Robert Stigwood, Tommy Steele, Paul Nicholas and Willy Russell.


SAT 01:25 The Story of Musicals (b019c7pz)
Episode 2

This episode charts how British musical talent in the 1980s stormed the West End with hits like Cats, Les Miserables, Blood Brothers and Phantom of the Opera. There are first-hand accounts from the extraordinary individuals whose tenacity and creativity ensured these shows became mega-hits despite often precarious beginnings. And it reveals how the titantic shows of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh became global phenomena, securing Britain's reputation as the powerhouse of musical theatre.

With contributions from Lord Lloyd Webber, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Sir Tim Rice, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Stephen Fry, Trevor Nunn, Sir Cliff Richard, Elaine Paige, Gillian Lyne, Paul Nicholas, Bonnie Langford, Richard Stilgoe, John Caird, John Napier, Bill Kenwright, Willy Russell, Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schonberg, Anthony Pye-Jeary, Arlene Phillips, Charles Hart, Don Black, Harold Prince and Michael Ball.


SAT 02:25 The Story of Musicals (b019jshb)
Episode 3

The final episode brings the story up to the 90s and beyond.

We see the rise of the jukebox musical as Bjorn Ulvaeus and Judy Craymer tell the story of the creation of Mamma Mia! Ben Elton and Brian May reveal how We Will Rock You defied the critics to become a smash hit. And as pop culture invaded musical theatre with celebrities like Jason Donovan taking leading roles, the Jerry Springer Opera proved a step too far for the moral majority.

Billy Elliot took inspiration from the doyenne of British musical theatre, Joan Littlewood, as the hit movie was recreated for the stage, while Andrew Lloyd Webber embraced the medium of television to find new stars.



SUNDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2015

SUN 19:00 Darcey's Ballerina Heroines (b03xhbn8)
As courtesans, fashion icons, political pawns and international celebrities, the great ballerinas have played a multitude of roles both on and off the stage. They have moved from the courts of kings to stages around the globe, from the highs of public adoration to the lows of injury and scandal. But few people know the full story.

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

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

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


SUN 20:00 The King Who Invented Ballet: Louis XIV and the Noble Art of Dance (b06bbj77)
September 2015 marks the 300th anniversary of the death of King Louis XIV of France and this documentary looks at how Louis XIV not only had a personal passion and talent for dance, but supported and promoted key innovations, like the invention of dance notation and the founding of the world's first ballet school, that would lay the foundations for classical ballet to develop.

Presented by David Bintley, choreographer and director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the documentary charts how Louis encouraged the early evolution of ballet - from a male-dominated performance exclusive to the royal court to a professional artform for the public featuring the first female star ballerinas. The film also looks at the social context of dance during Louis XIV's reign, where ballets were used as propaganda and to be able to dance was an essential skill that anyone noble had to have.

As well as specially shot baroque dance sequences and groundbreaking recreations of 17th-century music, it also follows Bintley as he creates an exciting new one-act ballet inspired by Louis XIV. Danced by 15 members of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, The King Dances features an original score by composer Stephen Montague, designs by Katrina Lindsay and lighting by Peter Mumford and receives its world premiere on television directly after the documentary.


SUN 21:40 Planet Earth (b07hnq07)
Deserts - Short Version

David Attenborough takes a look at deserts, which cover a third of the Earth's land surface. From space they appear lifeless but a closer look reveals a different picture.

Deserts, in fact, are surprisingly varied; from Mongolia's Gobi desert where wild Bactrian camels have to eat snow in lieu of water, to the Atacama in Chile where guanacos survive by licking the dew off cactus spines.

Changes are rare in deserts but they play a crucial part in their story; from Saharan sandstorms nearly a mile high to desert rivers that run for a single day; from the brief blooming of Death Valley in the USA, to a plague of desert locusts 40 miles wide and 100 miles long - two events that might occur once in 30 years.

The highlight of the programme is a unique aerial voyage over the dunes and rocky escarpments of a Namibian desert. From this lofty viewpoint, we follow elephants on a desperate trek for food and - most amazingly of all - desert lions searching the wilderness for wandering bands of oryx.

The programme unravels the secrets behind desert survival - and reveals the ephemeral nature of this stunning environment.


SUN 22:00 The Sky at Night (b06cbmpr)
Playing With a Clockwork Universe

The team looks at the dynamic nature of the universe, winding its timeline backwards and forwards to reveal how the night sky changes over time. We see how different the night sky looked in the past and how it will be transformed billions of years into the future as the stars migrate and galaxies collide. Broadcast from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the team explores the latest theories on solar system evolution - how the familiar layout of today's solar system was created by a gravitational dance between the giant planets that left scars we can still see today.


SUN 22:30 The Horizon Guide to Space Shuttles (b0109cc7)
In 2011, after more than 30 years of service, America's space shuttle took to the skies for the last time. Its story has been characterised by incredible triumphs, but blighted by devastating tragedies - and the BBC and Horizon have chronicled every step of its career. This unique and poignant Horizon Guide brings together coverage from three decades of programmes to present a biography of the shuttle and to ask what its legacy will be. Will it be remembered as an impressive chapter in human space exploration, or as a fatally flawed white elephant?


SUN 23:30 Space Shuttle: The Final Mission (b012x69w)
In the last month of the space shuttle programme, Kevin Fong is granted extraordinary access to the astronauts and ground crew as they prepare for their final mission. He is in mission control as the astronauts go through their final launch simulation, and he flies with the last shuttle commander as he undertakes his last practice landing flight. Kevin also gains privileged access to the shuttle itself, visiting the launchpad in the company of the astronaut who will guide the final flight from mission control.

Kevin's journey takes him to the heart of Nasa when, after 30 years of shuttle missions, they finally draw the curtain. As well as meeting the final astronauts, Kevin follows the specialist teams of men and women whose job it is to make sure the shuttle and its crew are as safe as they can possibly be.

After experiencing the launch and being in mission control during the final mission, Kevin will be there on the tarmac at the Kennedy Space Centre when Atlantis returns from space for the last time, marking the end of an era in manned space flight.


SUN 00:30 Timeshift (b06b36q3)
Series 15

A Very British Map: The Ordnance Survey Story

For over 200 years, Ordnance Survey has mapped every square mile of the British Isles, capturing not just the contours and geography of our nation, but of our lives. Originally intended for military use, OS maps were used during wartime to help locate enemy positions. In peacetime, they helped people discover and explore the countryside.

Today, the large fold-out paper maps, used by generations of ramblers, scouts and weekend adventurers, represent just a small part of the OS output. As Ordnance Survey adjusts to the digital age, Timeshift looks back to tell the story of a quintessentially British institution.


SUN 01:30 Len Goodman's Dance Band Days (b03n2sck)
Len Goodman takes a step back in time to the heyday of British dance bands, a golden age of music that laid the foundations for 20th-century pop. In the years between the wars, band leaders such as Bert Ambrose and Jack Hylton were household names and the country danced its socks off. It was a time of radio and records, when Britain absorbed black American music and gave it a unique twist.

Many of the bands played in the posh society hotels of London's West End. Some were making big money and enjoying the high life. They were also keen to broadcast to the nation via the new BBC. Len discovers that 'Auntie' had a tricky relationship with the bands - though they formed a key part of the corporation's entertainment output, during the 1920s and 1930s there were concerns about the influence of American culture, song-plugging and commercialisation.

Crooning was also developed as a new style of singing, thanks in part to the development of better microphones. But this new 'intimate' form of singing did not impress everyone at the corporation. Despite the BBC's concerns the vocalists continued to enjoy huge success and fame, as did the bands. Len follows the story of vocalist Al Bowlly, a man of huge talent who attracted great public adoration. Al was killed in London's blitz and buried in a mass grave - a sad and symbolic moment in the history of dance bands.

Len discovers how we went dance band crazy and asks why, within just two decades, our love affair with this music began to fall flat.


SUN 02:30 Darcey's Ballerina Heroines (b03xhbn8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]



MONDAY 14 SEPTEMBER 2015

MON 19:00 World News Today (b06bbhng)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


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

Rome to Taormina - Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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


MON 20:00 Saints and Sinners: Britain's Millennium of Monasteries (b052zxhm)
Episode 1

Dr Janina Ramirez explores how monasteries evolved from a cult of extreme isolation and self-deprivation into powerhouses of Anglo-Saxon art, industry and learning.

Janina begins her journey on the desolate rock of Skellig St Michael off the east coast of Ireland, home to the oldest surviving monastery in the British Isles. She investigates the harsh lives led by these early monks, and tells the story of the arrival of hermetic Irish monasticism in Anglo-Saxon Northumberland. Monasteries such as Lindisfarne and Whitby became beacons of civilisation and literature in the barbaric Anglo-Saxon world, creating wondrous works of art including the Lindisfarne Gospels and St Cuthbert's pectoral cross.

A rival form of regimented, communal monasticism was imported into southern Britain from Rome, and Janina reveals the holy struggle that ensued between these two opposing monastic ideals. The victors would transform the culture and landscape of England, until they too were destroyed by a new wave of barbarian invaders.


MON 21:00 Treasures of the Indus (b06bblwb)
Of Gods and Men

In a journey across the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Sona Datta traces the development of the Hindu religion from its origins as an amalgamation of local faith traditions to its dominant position today. She uncovers this fascinating tale by looking at the buildings in which the faith evolved, moving from the caves and rock temples on the shores of the Bay of Bengal at Mahabalipurem, through the monolithic stone temple at Tanjavur to the vast complex of ornately carved towers, tanks and courtyards at Madurai, where every evening the god Shiva processes around the precincts to visit the bedchamber of his partner Parvati.


MON 22:00 Mumbai High: The Musical (p02z82jn)
A dizzying and unique musical extravaganza. Set in a school in Dharavi, Mumbai - the biggest slum in Asia - it combines observational footage of the children's daily lives, with songs reflecting their hopes and dreams.

Fourteen-year-old Mary lives with her parents and two sisters on the pavement of a busy road. They have a rudimentary shelter and they all sleep on the floor, sometimes with rats running over them. Mary and the other characters have their dreams and ambitions and believe they can achieve them through education. They are clever, bright, motivated and they sing!

This is no ordinary documentary, this is the very first Bollywood-style documentary musical. Mixed in with the traditional observational footage of the school are specially composed and choreographed song and dance numbers which the children (and teachers!) perform with incredible skill and charm.

No film has ever been made like this, it's a perfect way to capture the unbreakable optimism and exuberance of youth. But this is not a depressing examination of extreme poverty, it's an uplifting celebration of human spirit and endeavour, and it sets out to tell a wider tale of India.


MON 23:00 Archaeology: A Secret History (p0109k28)
The Search for Civilisation

Archaeologist Richard Miles shows how discoveries in the 18th and 19th centuries overturned ideas of when and where civilisation began as empires competed to literally 'own' the past.


MON 00:00 This World (b01pfvns)
Cuba with Simon Reeve

Adventurer and journalist Simon Reeve heads to Cuba to find a communist country in the middle of a capitalist revolution. Two years ago Cuba announced the most sweeping and radical economic reforms the country has seen in decades. From ending state rationing to cutting one million public-sector jobs, one of the last communist bastions in the world has begun rolling back the state on an unprecedented scale. Simon Reeve meets ordinary Cubans whose lives are being transformed, from the owners of fledgling businesses to the newly rich estate agents selling properties worth up to £750,000.

In this documentary for the BBC's award-winning This World strand, Simon gets under the skin of a colourful and vibrant country famous for its hospitality and humour and asks if this new economic openness could lead to political liberalisation in a totalitarian country with a poor human rights record. Will Cuba be able to maintain the positive aspects of its long isolation under socialism - low crime, top-notch education and one of the best health systems in the world - while embracing what certainly looks like capitalism? Is this the last chance to see Cuba before it becomes just like any other country?


MON 01:00 The Horizon Guide to Space Shuttles (b0109cc7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 on Sunday]


MON 02:00 Saints and Sinners: Britain's Millennium of Monasteries (b052zxhm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


MON 03:00 Treasures of the Indus (b06bblwb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



TUESDAY 15 SEPTEMBER 2015

TUE 19:00 World News Today (b06bbhnm)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


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

Warsaw to Krakow - Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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


TUE 20:00 Canals: The Making of a Nation (b06828hz)
Capitalism

Liz McIvor tells the story of 'canal mania' - a boom period of frenzied activity that helped develop Britain's modern financial economy, now centred in London. The canal capitalists made money by investing and speculating in the new inland waterways used to carry fuel and goods around the country. Many of the investors were part of an emerging middle class. The Grand Junction Canal - built to improve the connection between London and the Midlands - was one of the new routes, and eventually proved to be a good investment for shareholders. However, not all canals were profitable. The new investors discovered that investment capitalism was a system that created winners and losers.


TUE 20:30 Hive Minds (b06bfk8j)
Series 1

Mendelians 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.

Mendelians play Mavericks for a last chance to secure a place in the semi-finals.


TUE 21:00 Lucy Worsley's Reins of Power: The Art of Horse Dancing (b06ccpzz)
Strictly Come Prancing: Lucy Worsley learns to ride - in fact, she learns how to dance on horseback before putting on a show for the paying public!

Now, if this sounds mad, horse ballet or manege was once the noblest of pursuits practised by everyone from courtier to king in the first half of the 17th century. Having become fascinated by this horsey hobby whilst writing her PhD, Lucy is on a quest to find out why this peculiar skill was once so de rigeur - learning the lost art from its modern masters, visiting the Spanish Riding School in Vienna to witness spectacular equestrian shows, exploring its military origins through donning Henry VIII-style jousting armour, and discovering horse ballet's legacies in competitive dressage and, more surprisingly, in the performances of the Royal Horse Artillery, the King's Troop today.


TUE 22:00 The Most Dangerous Man in Tudor England (p0185y5g)
Melvyn Bragg explores the dramatic story of William Tyndale and his mission to translate the Bible into English. Melvyn reveals the story of a man whose life and legacy have been hidden from history, but whose impact on Christianity in Britain and on the English language endures today. His radical translation of the Bible into English made him a profound threat to the authority of the church and state, and set him on a fateful collision course with Henry VIII's heretic hunters and those of the pope.


TUE 23:00 Natural World (b039w9p0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Saturday]


TUE 00:00 Natural World (b03799xd)
2013-2014

The Mating Game

David Attenborough narrates the charming and fascinating story of some real-life animal romantics. There are show-offs and singers, dancers and fighters, stories of undercover affairs and heart-warming devotion. A male polar bear plays hard to get, a lemur's odour bags him a mate, and a lizard proves tender and faithful to the very end. It reveals that animals can be loving, complex, funny and inventive - it's all part of the Mating Game.


TUE 01:00 Canals: The Making of a Nation (b06828hz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


TUE 01:30 Hive Minds (b06bfk8j)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


TUE 02:00 The Secret Life of Rubbish (b01p48tt)
Episode 1

With tales from old binmen and film archive that has never been broadcast before, this two-part series offers an original view of the history of modern Britain - from the back end where the rubbish comes out.

The first programme deals with the decades immediately after the Second World War. Ninety-year-old Ernie Sharp started on the bins when he was demobbed from the army in 1947, and household rubbish in those days was mostly ash raked out of the fire-grate. That's why men like Ernie were called 'dust' men.

But the rubbish soon changed. The Clean Air Act got rid of coal fires so there was less ash. Then supermarkets arrived, with displays of packaged goods. And all that packaging went in the bin.

In the 1960s consumerism emerged. Shopping for new things became a national enthusiasm. It gave people the sense that their lives were improving and kept the economy going. And as the binmen recall, the waste stream became a flood.

As the programme sifts through the rubbish of the mid-20th century, we discover how the Britain of 'make do and mend' became a consumer society.


TUE 03:00 Lucy Worsley's Reins of Power: The Art of Horse Dancing (b06ccpzz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 16 SEPTEMBER 2015

WED 19:00 World News Today (b06bbhns)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


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

Warsaw to Krakow - Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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


WED 20:00 Brick by Brick: Rebuilding Our Past (b01g7tkp)
Episode 2

Dan Cruickshank and Charlie Luxton uncover the incredible hidden stories behind historic buildings as they are dismantled brick by brick, and meticulously resurrected in new locations.

Every year thousands of ordinary buildings are demolished, smashed down to make way for the new, but some are so special they are snatched from the bulldozers and carefully dismantled. When a new home can be found for them, they are lovingly and painstakingly rebuilt. These are not grand edifices, but everyday buildings that give an extraordinary insight into the lives of the people who lived and worked in them. Deep within their fabric are preserved astonishing stories about how we lived and worked.

Architectural designer Charlie Luxton explores how these vast and hugely complex jigsaw puzzles are pieced back together, trying his hand at the array of ancient crafts required. Meanwhile, architectural historian Dan Cruickshank investigates the building's history, proving that even seemingly humble buildings have incredible stories to tell.

This episode follows the construction of a fully working coal-fired Edwardian fish and chip shop at Beamish Museum. Charlie helps with the refurbishment of one of the world's oldest surviving frying ranges, and gets a horse-drawn fish and chip cart back on the road. Meanwhile, Dan discovers the surprising origins of our national dish and explores its rise from squalid back-street outlets to grand fish and chip palaces.


WED 21:00 Timeshift (b016pwgw)
Series 11

Of Ice and Men

Timeshift reveals the history of the frozen continent, finding out why the most inhospitable place on the planet has exerted such a powerful hold on the imagination of explorers, scientists, writers and photographers.

Antarctica is the coldest, driest and windiest place on the globe. Only a handful of people have experienced its desolate beauty, with the first explorers setting foot here barely a hundred years ago.

From the logbooks of Captain Cook to the diaries of Scott and Shackleton, from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner to HP Lovecraft, it is a film about real and imaginary tales of adventure, romance and tragedy that have played out against a stark white backdrop.

We relive the race to the Pole and the 'Heroic Age' of Antarctic exploration, and find out what it takes to survive the cold and the perils of 'polar madness'. We see how Herbert Ponting's photographs of the Scott expedition helped define our image of the continent and find out why the continent witnessed a remarkable thaw in Russian and American relations at the height of the Cold War.

We also look at the intriguing story of who actually owns Antarctica and how science is helping us reimagine a frozen wasteland as something far more precious.

Interviewees include Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Francis Spufford, Huw Lewis-Jones, Sara Wheeler, Henry Worsley, Prof David Walton and Martin Hartley.


WED 22:00 India's Frontier Railways (b05nhjht)
The Samjhauta Express

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

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

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

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

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


WED 23:00 Treasures of the Indus (b06bblwb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]


WED 00:00 Brick by Brick: Rebuilding Our Past (b01g7tkp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


WED 01:00 Timewatch (b00fg9hw)
2008-2009

The Last Day of World War One

Michael Palin tells the story of how the First World War ended on 11th November 1918 and reveals the shocking truth that soldiers continued to be killed in battle for many hours after the armistice had been signed. Recounting the events of the days and hours leading up to that last morning, Palin tells the personal stories of the last soldiers to die as the minutes and seconds ticked away to the 11 o'clock ceasefire.


WED 02:00 The King Who Invented Ballet: Louis XIV and the Noble Art of Dance (b06cn8ys)
September 2015 marks the 300th anniversary of the death of King Louis XIV of France and this documentary looks at how Louis XIV not only had a personal passion and talent for dance, but supported and promoted key innovations, like the invention of dance notation and the founding of the world's first ballet school, that would lay the foundations for classical ballet to develop.

Presented by David Bintley, choreographer and director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the documentary charts how Louis encouraged the early evolution of ballet - from a male-dominated performance exclusive to the royal court to a professional artform for the public featuring the first female star ballerinas. The film also looks at the social context of dance during Louis XIV's reign, where ballets were used as propaganda and to be able to dance was an essential skill that anyone noble had to have.

As well as specially-shot baroque dance sequences and groundbreaking recreations of 17th-century music, it also follows Bintley as he creates an exciting new one-act ballet inspired by Louis XIV.


WED 03:00 The Most Dangerous Man in Tudor England (p0185y5g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Tuesday]



THURSDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 2015

THU 19:00 World News Today (b06bbhny)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


THU 19:30 The Sky at Night (b06cbmpr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday]


THU 20:00 Ian Hislop's Age of the Do-Gooders (b00wh73v)
Britain's Moral Makeover

Ian Hislop rescues the reputation of the maverick 'Do-Gooders' who he believes fixed the 19th century's version of 'broken Britain' in this history series. Irresistibly easy to mock, these busybodies are highly unfashionable today. But they are heroes to Ian - extraordinary men and women who precipitated the most remarkable period of social change in British history and, Ian argues, left us with a nation worth living in. And yet unlike notable Victorian royals, inventors, politicians and generals, many of them have been all but forgotten.

Ian calls William Wilberforce 'the godfather of the Do-Gooders'. Hedonistic man-about-town turned crusader, Wilberforce kick-started a multi-faceted moral revolution which reverberated throughout the 19th century, of which his successful campaign to abolish slavery was just one element.

In this first programme, Ian also tells the story of Robert Owen and his model mill town at New Lanark in Scotland; Thomas Wakley, founder of The Lancet, who exposed the fatal consequences of cronyism in the surgical profession; and George Dawson, inventor of the civic gospel which inspired a generation of Brummies to take responsibility for their city.

Ian also looks back on the impact of Charles Trevelyan, who battled to make the civil service a meritocracy, and Octavia Hill, a pioneer of social housing despite her opposition to cash hand-outs or anything that might create a dependency culture.

Contributors to the film include Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, author AN Wilson, head of the civil service Sir Gus O'Donnell, and Lancet editor Dr Richard Horton.


THU 21:00 Calculating Ada: The Countess of Computing (p030s5bx)
Ada Lovelace was a most unlikely computer pioneer. In this film, Dr Hannah Fry tells the story of Ada's remarkable life. Born in the early 19th century, Ada was a countess of the realm, a scandalous socialite and an 'enchantress of numbers'. The film is an enthralling tale of how a life infused with brilliance, but blighted by illness and gambling addiction, helped give rise to the modern era of computing.

Hannah traces Ada's unlikely union with the father of computers, Charles Babbage. Babbage designed the world's first steam-powered computers - most famously the analytical engine - but it was Ada who realised the full potential of these new machines. During her own lifetime, Ada was most famous for being the daughter of romantic poet Lord Byron ('mad, bad and dangerous to know'). It was only with the advent of modern computing that Ada's understanding of their flexibility and power (that they could be far more than mere number crunchers) was recognised as truly visionary. Hannah explores how Ada's unique inheritance - poetic imagination and rational logic - made her the ideal prophet of the digital age.

This moving, intelligent and beautiful film makes you realise we nearly had a Victorian computer revolution.


THU 22:00 Horizon (b00fyl5z)
2008-2009

Do You Know What Time It Is?

Particle physicist Professor Brian Cox asks, 'What time is it?' It's a simple question and it sounds like it has a simple answer. But do we really know what it is that we're asking?

Brian visits the ancient Mayan pyramids in Mexico where the Maya built temples to time. He finds out that a day is never 24 hours and meets Earth's very own director of time. He journeys to the beginning of time, goes beyond within the realms of string theory, and explores the very limit of time. He discovers that we not only travel through time at the speed of light, but the experience we feel as the passing of time could be an illusion.


THU 23:00 Lucy Worsley's Reins of Power: The Art of Horse Dancing (b06ccpzz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]


THU 00:00 Archaeology: A Secret History (p0109k28)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 on Monday]


THU 01:00 The Sky at Night (b06cbmpr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday]


THU 01:30 Horizon (b00fyl5z)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


THU 02:30 Calculating Ada: The Countess of Computing (p030s5bx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



FRIDAY 18 SEPTEMBER 2015

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b06bbhp3)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 Leeds International Piano Competition (b06bfz5t)
2015

Part One

Petroc Trelawny introduces the first of three programmes from the final of the Leeds International Piano competition. Tonight there are full concertos from two of the six finalists, accompanied by Sir Mark Elder and the Halle Orchestra. Joining Petroc are international concert pianists Noriko Ogawa and Artur Pizarro, both former finalists at Leeds - Noriko in 1987 and Artur in 1990 when he was the overall winner. Also in the presenting team is young pianist Nicholas McCarthy, who reports on how the competition runs.


FRI 21:00 Arena (b010t9hz)
Produced by George Martin

Profile of record producer Sir George Martin. He began with Nellie the Elephant, 633 Squadron and Peter Sellers, then came the Beatles and then the golden age of rock. Martin recorded the soundtrack of the second half of the 20th century.

This rich and intimate portrait follows Sir George at 85 with his wife Judy, son Giles, Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Cilla Black, Michael Palin and Bernard Cribbins among the many contributors.


FRI 22:25 Cilla at the BBC (b067543w)
Much-mourned national treasure Cilla Black commenced her eminent career as a TV host in 1968 on the BBC. Her career as perhaps the nation's favourite female pop singer of the decade had already been established after landing her first Number 1 with Anyone Who Had a Heart, the biggest-selling hit by a female singer in the 1960s.

This tribute compilation celebrates the BBC's coverage of Cilla's 60s pop star years on programmes like Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's Not Only...But Also, The Ken Dodd Show, Top of the Pops and The Royal Variety Performance, before selecting just some of the golden moments from the long-running self-titled series she hosted for the BBC between 1968 and 1976 including the Paul McCartney-penned theme song Step Inside Love and that 1973 famous duet with Marc Bolan on Life's A Gas.


FRI 23:25 ... Sings The Beatles (b00ml7p5)
Recorded for the fortieth anniversary of Abbey Road, The Beatles' final album, a journey through the classic and curious covers in the BBC archives.

Featuring Sandie Shaw singing a sassy Day Tripper, Shirley Bassey belting out Something, a close-harmony Carpenters cover of Help!, Joe Cocker's chart-topping With a Little Help from My Friends, Oasis reinventing the Walrus and a little Lady Madonna from Macca himself.

Plus a few 'magical' moments from Candy Flip, The Korean Kittens and Su Pollard.


FRI 00:25 Love Me Do: The Beatles '62 (b01nfbt2)
On October 5th 1962 the Beatles released their first single, Love Me Do. It was a moment that changed music history and popular culture forever. It was also an extraordinary year in social and cultural history, not just for Liverpool but for the world, with the Cuban missile crisis, John Glenn in space and beer at a shilling a pint.

Stuart Maconie explores how the Beatles changed from leather and slicked back hair to suits and Beatle mops, and how their fashion set the pace for the sixties to follow. Pop artist Sir Peter Blake, Bob Harris and former Beatles drummer Pete Best join friends to reflect on how the Beatles evolved into John, Paul, George and Ringo - the most famous band in the world.


FRI 01:25 Arena (b010t9hz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 02:55 Cilla at the BBC (b067543w)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:25 today]




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

... Sings The Beatles 23:25 FRI (b00ml7p5)

Archaeology: A Secret History 23:00 MON (p0109k28)

Archaeology: A Secret History 00:00 THU (p0109k28)

Arena 21:00 FRI (b010t9hz)

Arena 01:25 FRI (b010t9hz)

Beck 21:00 SAT (b06chkmk)

Being James Galway 22:25 SAT (b0555wj1)

Brick by Brick: Rebuilding Our Past 20:00 WED (b01g7tkp)

Brick by Brick: Rebuilding Our Past 00:00 WED (b01g7tkp)

Calculating Ada: The Countess of Computing 21:00 THU (p030s5bx)

Calculating Ada: The Countess of Computing 02:30 THU (p030s5bx)

Canals: The Making of a Nation 20:00 TUE (b06828hz)

Canals: The Making of a Nation 01:00 TUE (b06828hz)

Cilla at the BBC 22:25 FRI (b067543w)

Cilla at the BBC 02:55 FRI (b067543w)

Darcey's Ballerina Heroines 19:00 SUN (b03xhbn8)

Darcey's Ballerina Heroines 02:30 SUN (b03xhbn8)

Definitely Dusty 23:25 SAT (b00780bt)

Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 MON (b05nxctg)

Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 TUE (b05pl716)

Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 WED (b05pl75r)

Hive Minds 20:30 TUE (b06bfk8j)

Hive Minds 01:30 TUE (b06bfk8j)

Horizon 22:00 THU (b00fyl5z)

Horizon 01:30 THU (b00fyl5z)

Ian Hislop's Age of the Do-Gooders 20:00 THU (b00wh73v)

India's Frontier Railways 19:00 SAT (b05mp8mt)

India's Frontier Railways 22:00 WED (b05nhjht)

Leeds International Piano Competition 19:30 FRI (b06bfz5t)

Len Goodman's Dance Band Days 01:30 SUN (b03n2sck)

Love Me Do: The Beatles '62 00:25 FRI (b01nfbt2)

Lucy Worsley's Reins of Power: The Art of Horse Dancing 21:00 TUE (b06ccpzz)

Lucy Worsley's Reins of Power: The Art of Horse Dancing 03:00 TUE (b06ccpzz)

Lucy Worsley's Reins of Power: The Art of Horse Dancing 23:00 THU (b06ccpzz)

Mumbai High: The Musical 22:00 MON (p02z82jn)

Natural World 20:00 SAT (b039w9p0)

Natural World 23:00 TUE (b039w9p0)

Natural World 00:00 TUE (b03799xd)

Planet Earth 21:40 SUN (b07hnq07)

Saints and Sinners: Britain's Millennium of Monasteries 20:00 MON (b052zxhm)

Saints and Sinners: Britain's Millennium of Monasteries 02:00 MON (b052zxhm)

Space Shuttle: The Final Mission 23:30 SUN (b012x69w)

The Horizon Guide to Space Shuttles 22:30 SUN (b0109cc7)

The Horizon Guide to Space Shuttles 01:00 MON (b0109cc7)

The King Who Invented Ballet: Louis XIV and the Noble Art of Dance 20:00 SUN (b06bbj77)

The King Who Invented Ballet: Louis XIV and the Noble Art of Dance 02:00 WED (b06cn8ys)

The Most Dangerous Man in Tudor England 22:00 TUE (p0185y5g)

The Most Dangerous Man in Tudor England 03:00 WED (p0185y5g)

The Secret Life of Rubbish 02:00 TUE (b01p48tt)

The Sky at Night 22:00 SUN (b06cbmpr)

The Sky at Night 19:30 THU (b06cbmpr)

The Sky at Night 01:00 THU (b06cbmpr)

The Story of Musicals 00:25 SAT (b0192pyj)

The Story of Musicals 01:25 SAT (b019c7pz)

The Story of Musicals 02:25 SAT (b019jshb)

This World 00:00 MON (b01pfvns)

Timeshift 00:30 SUN (b06b36q3)

Timeshift 21:00 WED (b016pwgw)

Timewatch 01:00 WED (b00fg9hw)

Treasures of the Indus 21:00 MON (b06bblwb)

Treasures of the Indus 03:00 MON (b06bblwb)

Treasures of the Indus 23:00 WED (b06bblwb)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b06bbhng)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b06bbhnm)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b06bbhns)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b06bbhny)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b06bbhp3)