Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 10 OCTOBER 2015

SAT 19:00 Three Men (b00xmwl9)
Three Men Go to Scotland

Episode 2

Griff Rhys-Jones, Rory McGrath and Dara O'Briain head to the Hebrides for another adventure on the high seas, sailing around some of the prettiest and most remote seascapes in the British Isles. Since none of the three men in a boat have any particular connection to Scotland, they decide to use the 16th-century travels of dictionary writer Dr Johnson and his biographer James Boswell as inspiration.

In particular Rory is inspired by Boswell's record of everything he drank, and decides to try and visit as many distilleries as possible. Their journey takes them across the Western Isles, to the isles of Jura, Mull, Skye and finally Harris, where they hope to catch the last week of the wild salmon fly fishing season.

They start by catching the ferry from Oban to Mull, where they visit Fingal's Cave, inspiration to so many writers, artists and musicians like Felix Mendelssohn. They leave Mull onboard Mascot, a 1904 Bristol Pilot Cutter, but immediately run into trouble as they get tangled in a lobster pot. They then sail along the coast to the Knoydart Peninsular, where they are shown how to survive, before finding Britain's most remote pub.

Dara offers to give his friend, comedian and mountaineer Ed Byrne, a lift to the Cullins on Skye. He is trying to climb as many Scottish mountains as he can. They sail north, but realise they're running out of time. So they catch a lift with the Scottish Fisheries Protectorate Ship Norna, finally making the last week of the fishing season at Amhuinnsuidhe Castle on Harris, a place that has been described as 'heaven on earth'.


SAT 20:00 Burma, My Father and the Forgotten Army (b036x83s)
Apart from a few fragmentary stories, Griff Rhys Jones's father never talked about his war. Yet as a medical officer to a West African division he travelled 15,000 miles from Wales to Ghana and the jungles of Burma. He and his men were part of an army of a million raised in Africa and Asia to fight the Japanese. To understand their story Griff travels first to Ghana and then, accompanied by 90-year-old veteran Joshua, he goes to jungles of Burma. It is known as the forgotten war, but Griff discovers how it transformed these West Africans from children of the British Empire into masters of their own destiny.


SAT 21:00 Beck (b06hk9yh)
The Hospital Murders

An elderly woman dies in a hospital in Stockholm from what seems to be an incurable disease, but her son refuses to believe that it was the disease that killed her.

In Swedish with English subtitles.


SAT 22:25 Spike Milligan: Love, Light and Peace (b04tt1yj)
A very personal portrait of the truly unique comedy genius of Spike Milligan, as told in his own words and featuring exclusive home movie footage. With contributions from those who worked with him, lived with him and were inspired by him.


SAT 23:55 Top of the Pops (b06gxxkv)
Peter Powell introduces the pop chart programme, including performances from Status Quo, Diana Ross, OMD, Black Slate, the Nolans, Linx, Gilbert O'Sullivan, and the Police. Includes chart rundown and a performance by Legs & Co. Also features a guest apperance from Dennis Waterman & Paul Jones.


SAT 00:30 Music for Misfits: The Story of Indie (b06gxxxk)
The Alternative 80s

Episode two explores a time when the independent labels transformed from cottage industries into real businesses that could compete with the majors. It examines the evolution of 'indie' - a guitar-based genre of music with its own sound, fashion and culture.

Independent record labels provided a platform for some of Britain's most groundbreaking artists at this time, including The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Smiths, who would burst onto the scene in 1983 staging a mainstream intervention and starting a small revolution.

In the midst of shiny 80s sounds and shoulder-padded fashion, indie was anti-image and anti-flamboyance. Through many of the indie bands in this period, everyday life was repackaged in melody and poetic lyrics. It's not hard to see why a generation of youth, disaffected from the times they were living in, sought refuge in the poetic haze of early indie. The bands were accessible too, and aspiring music journalists could meet their favourite indie stars at the small and intimate gigs where they performed.

The programme concludes in the late 80s with the Madchester scene, as alternative music crossed over into the mainstream chart. This breakthrough was inspired by a merging of indie rock and the burgeoning acid house culture, and it was led by a new crop of bands such as The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays.

The series is presented by BBC Radio 6 Music's Mark Radcliffe and this episode features exclusive interviews with performers including James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers, New Order's Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert, Shaun Ryder, Suede's Bernard Butler, The KLF's Bill Drummond, Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian, Cocteau Twins' Simon Raymonde, The Jesus and Mary Chain's Jim Reid, and Talulah Gosh's Amelia Fletcher.

It also includes interviews with a number of influential music industry figures such as former Happy Mondays manager Nathan McGough, Pete Waterman, Factory Records' designer Peter Saville and journalists Alexis Petridis and Sian Pattenden.


SAT 01:30 Indie Classics at the BBC (b06g5jfp)
A look back through the archives at some of the classic tunes from the world of indie music through the 80s and early 90s, including the likes of Joy Division, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, Primal Scream and many more.


SAT 02:30 Tales from the Tour Bus: Rock 'n' Roll on the Road (b05rjc9c)
Rock legend and tour bus aficionado Rick Wakeman takes us on a time-travelling trip through the decades in this first-hand account of rockers on the road from the late 1950s to the 80s and beyond.

It's an often bumpy and sometimes sleepless ride down the A roads and motorways of the UK during the golden age of rock 'n' roll touring - a secret history of transport cafes, transit vans, B&Bs, sleepless roadies and of loved ones left at home or, on one occasion, by the roadside. And it's also a secret history of audiences both good and bad, and the gigs themselves - from the early variety package to the head clubs, the stadiums and the pubs.

This is life in the British fast lane as told by Rick and the bands themselves, a film about the very lifeblood of the rock 'n' roll wagon train. With members of Dr Feelgood, Suzi Quatro, The Shadows, The Pretty Things, Fairport Convention, Happy Mondays, Aswad, Girlschool, The Damned and many more.



SUNDAY 11 OCTOBER 2015

SUN 19:00 The Search for Life: The Drake Equation (b00wltbk)
For many years our place in the universe was the subject of theologians and philosophers, not scientists, but in 1960 one man changed all that.

Dr Frank Drake was one of the leading lights in the new science of radio astronomy when he did something that was not only revolutionary, but could have cost him his career. Working at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Greenback in Virginia, he pointed one of their new 25-metre radio telescopes at a star called Tau Ceti twelve light years from earth, hoping for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.

Although project Ozma resulted in silence, it did result in one of the most seminal equations in the history of science - the Drake Equation - which examined seven key elements necessary for extraterrestrial intelligence to exist, from the formation of stars to the likely length a given intelligent civilisation may survive. When Frank and his colleagues entered the figures, the equation suggested there were a staggering 50,000 civilisations capable of communicating across the galaxy.

However, in the 50 years of listening that has followed, not one single bleep has been heard from extraterrestrials. So were Drake and his followers wrong and is there no life form out there capable of communicating? Drake's own calculations suggest that we would have to scan the entire radio spectrum of ten million stars to be sure of contact.

The answers to those questions suggest that, far from being a one-off, life may not only be common in the universe but once started will lead inevitably towards intelligent life.

To find out about the equation's influence, Dallas Campbell goes on a worldwide journey to meet the scientists who have dedicated their lives to focusing on its different aspects.


SUN 20:00 In Conversation (b06hhgxm)
Simon Armitage in Conversation with Tony Harrison

In this special programme recorded in front of a live audience, two of Britain's best-known and most popular poets, Simon Armitage and Tony Harrison, discuss their craft and careers.

Tony Harrison is one of the leading poet-playwrights working in the English language today. Harrison grew up in working-class Leeds and, since exploding into public consciousness in 1987 when his controversial poem 'V' was televised, he has been well-known for his outspoken politics, with his poetry dealing with issues of class, race and power. Throughout his prolific career, he has written for the theatre, opera, film, television and print - but all of it in verse.

Harrison has inspired a generation of younger writers to find their own voice - including fellow Yorkshire poet Simon Armitage, who like Harrison has established himself in other fields such as TV and translation, and whose northern roots and ear for the language of the street has given his work a young, urban appeal.


SUN 21:00 Return to Larkinland (b06hhlyl)
Writer and critic AN Wilson revisits the life and work of one of the greatest English poets of the 20th century, Philip Larkin - a poet soon to be honoured with a place in Poets' Corner at Westminster Abbey.

Wilson traces Larkin's life from his childhood in Coventry, through to his student days at Oxford and then his adult years working in university libraries, whilst writing some of the best-loved and notorious poems in the English language.

Wilson, who knew Larkin in his later life, remembers memorable encounters with the poet and this personal connection helps him to reveal a complex man with a complicated, and at times tortured, private life. As part of this candid exploration into Larkin's life, Wilson confronts the allegations of racism, bigotry and misogyny that emerged following the publication of his Selected Letters and authorised biography, and which have dogged his posthumous reputation.

However, Wilson concludes that it is Larkin's poems, not his faults, that have survived. Featuring readings of his work by Larkin himself, including the greatness of The Whitsun Weddings, Arundel Tomb, Church Going and Aubade, Wilson argues that Larkin spoke for Britain between the 1950s and 1970s perhaps more than any other writer.


SUN 22:00 The Sky at Night (b06jcjp6)
Volcanoes of the Solar System

We think of volcanoes as some of the most powerful natural phenomena on earth - but they are nothing compared to the volcanoes we find elsewhere in the solar system. This month's Sky at Night reveals the weird and wonderful world of volcanism on other planets and moons - from the giant extinct volcanoes of Mars to the tantalising possibility of continuing eruptions on Venus, and from the vast sulphur plumes of Io to the mysterious cryovolcanoes of Enceladus.


SUN 22:30 Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster (b055kpfm)
Sophie Lancaster was kicked to death in a Lancashire park in 2007 because of her appearance. Sylvia Lancaster remembers her daughter and the tragic events after the attack as Sophie tells her own story through a sequence of poems written by poet Simon Armitage.


SUN 23:15 Twin Sisters: A World Apart (b053pxdt)
Documentary telling the poignant true story of twin sisters from China, found as babies in a cardboard box in 2003 and adopted by two separate sets of parents - one from California, the other from a remote fishing village in Norway.

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

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

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

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


SUN 00:15 Storyville (b020tlrw)
Buck: The Real Horse Whisperer

Storyville: Documentary following horse whisperer Buck Brannaman from a painful childhood to his inspiring work as a trainer. It may be the stuff of Hollywood legend, but the cowboy who inspired the novel and film is very real. Buck - master horseman, raconteur and philosopher - is a no-excuses cowboy who travels the world sharing a hard-won wisdom that is often more about human relationships than about horses.

As Buck says, 'Often instead of helping people with horse problems, I'm helping horses with people problems.' He possesses near magical abilities as he dramatically transforms horses - and people - with his deep understanding, compassion and respect.


SUN 01:40 In Conversation (b06hhgxm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SUN 02:40 Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster (b055kpfm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]



MONDAY 12 OCTOBER 2015

MON 19:00 World News Today (b06hbmqg)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


MON 19:30 Canal Walks with Julia Bradbury (b011g6dw)
The Llangollen Canal

Seasoned stomper Julia Bradbury dons her walking boots once again to explore her own British backyard, travelling along the country's network of canals and their accompanying towpath trails. This sees her navigating Highland glens, rolling countryside and river valleys, as well as our industrial heartlands, following these magical waterways as they cut a sedate path through some of the country's finest scenery.

Julia's final walk takes her to north Wales, where 200 years ago the great engineer Thomas Telford had to overcome seemingly impossible challenges in order to access the valuable slate industries of Snowdonia. In doing so, he created a masterpiece of 19th-century engineering - an aqueduct 126 feet high and spanning 1,000 feet across the Vale of Llangollen. To find out why it has become a world heritage site, Julia follows the cut of the Llangollen Canal, starting at the picturesque Horseshoe Falls. Her six-mile walk takes her along the winding Dee Valley, ending on the aqueduct that Telford described as 'a stream through the skies'.


MON 20:00 The Secret Life of Ice (b016fpyy)
Ice is one of the strangest, most beguiling and mesmerising substances in the world. Full of contradictions, it is transparent, yet it can glow with colour, it is powerful enough to shatter rock, but it can melt in the blink of an eye. It takes many shapes, from the fleeting beauty of a snowflake to the multimillion-tonne vastness of a glacier and the eeriness of the ice fountains of far-flung moons.

Science writer Dr Gabrielle Walker has been obsessed with ice ever since she first set foot on Arctic sea ice. In this programme, she searches out some of the secrets hidden deep within the ice crystal to try to discover how something so ephemeral has the power to sculpt landscapes, to preserve our past and inform our future.


MON 21:00 The Great British Year (p01dfksf)
Original Series

Spring

Spring marks the start of an epic race for life where timing is everything; trees explode with blossom and mornings fill with the magical chorus of birdsong. Long-tailed tits frantically build nests whilst, in our oceans, seahorses sway to a graceful courtship dance.

As we celebrate Easter, a stoat mother hunts the young rabbits to feed her own playful young. As spring becomes summer, guillemot chicks leap from their cliffs to begin life at sea, and this year's young prepare for life alone.


MON 22:00 Rhymes, Rock and Revolution: The Story of Performance Poetry (b06hhgxs)
Is poetry the new rock 'n' roll - or is rock 'n' roll the new poetry? This documentary explores how the edges between performance poetry and popular music have become blurred - a radical cross-pollination that began 50 years ago when Allen Ginsberg stormed the stage of the Royal Albert Hall. In the year when the Beats met The Beatles, the event turned a young generation on to verse - a revolution that shows no sign of slowing down in today's urban music and slam poetry scenes.


MON 23:00 Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs (b01n3fkf)
Knowing Your Place

Dr Pamela Cox looks at the grand houses of the Victorian ruling elite - large country estates dependent on an army of staff toiling away below stairs.

The Victorians ushered in a new ideal of servitude - where loyal, selfless servants were depersonalised stereotypes with standardised uniforms, hairstyles and even generic names denoting position. In the immaculately preserved rooms of Erddig in North Wales, portraits of servants like loyal housekeeper Mrs Webster hint at an affectionate relationship between family and servants, but the reality for most was quite different.

In other stately homes, hidden passages kept servants separate from the family. Anonymity, invisibility and segregation were a crucial part of their gruelling job - and the strict servant hierarchy even kept them segregated from each other.


MON 00:00 A Renaissance Education: The Schooling of Thomas More's Daughter (b0135mv0)
The intellectual forces at work in the Tudor era ensured it was a pivotal period for children's education. Historian Dr Helen Castor reveals how the life and education of Margaret More, daughter of Thomas More, tell a story of the transforming power of knowledge. As a child in Tudor England, and educated to an exceptionally high level, Margaret embodies the intellectual spirit of the age - an era which embraced humanism, the birth of the Church of England and the English Renaissance. This film reveals what a revolutionary intellectual spirit Margaret More was and how the ideas that shaped her education helped change the cultural life of England forever.


MON 01:00 Timeshift (b03pzsd9)
Series 13

How to Be Sherlock Holmes: The Many Faces of a Master Detective

For over 100 years, more than 80 actors have put a varying face to the world's greatest consulting detective - Sherlock Holmes. And many of them incorporated details - such as the curved pipe and the immortal line 'Elementary, my dear Watson' - that never featured in Conan Doyle's original stories. In charting the evolution of Sherlock on screen, from early silent movies to the latest film and television versions, Timeshift shows how our notion of Holmes today is as much a creation of these various screen portrayals as of the stories themselves.

With contributions from Sherlocks past and present, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Christopher Lee, Tim Pigott-Smith and Mark Gatiss. Narrated by Peter Wyngarde.


MON 02:00 Timeshift (b012zmy7)
Series 11

All the Fun of the Fair

Timeshift explores rarely seen images from the University of Sheffield's National Fairground Archive to ride back to the origins of the fairground. From the sideshows, the freak shows and early hand-powered rides to the arrival of steam and electricity, the story of fairs is the tale of one of our first forms of popular entertainment.

The film shows how fairgrounds often provided the only entertainment to rapidly expanding industrial towns. It looks at how, from the 50s, the fairground was the site of youth rebellion, and why we are still entranced by these travelling carnivals that arrive overnight and then vanish just as mysteriously.


MON 03:00 The Secret Life of Ice (b016fpyy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



TUESDAY 13 OCTOBER 2015

TUE 19:00 World News Today (b06hbmqp)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


TUE 19:30 The Wonder of Bees with Martha Kearney (p01t6p8s)
Episode 1

Martha Kearney's year gets off to a bad start when unseasonal snow in spring threatens to kill the bee colonies she keeps in her garden in Suffolk. With help from a master beekeeper Martha feeds her bees and takes one of the hives to a wildflower meadow at a neighbour's house along with two brand new hives.

She discovers the intricate hierarchy within the bee colony and learns how the organisation of the hive has become a metaphor for human society. At a London school she learns the secrets of urban bees' success even while bees in the country as a whole are in decline. The episode ends with three new hives established on a wildflower meadow, ready to start producing classic British wildflower honey.


TUE 20:00 The Wonder of Bees with Martha Kearney (p01t6p94)
Episode 2

Martha discovers a bee with deformed wing virus in one of the hives she has set up on a Suffolk wildflower meadow. With the help of a master beekeeper, she treats the hive for verroa mite. Britain's leading bee scientist explains the role of verroa in the decline of bees throughout the country.

As spring arrives, Martha witnesses the growth of the colony and watches as bee larvae hatch out. She investigates the science behind the decline of the honey bee and examines evidence that pesticides may be to blame. Back at her cottage, she tackles a colony of angry bees by replacing their queen with a more mild-mannered individual ordered online and delivered through the post, and she meets the Archbishop of Canterbury to talk about his family's love of beekeeping and why he told the bees about his girlfriends.


TUE 20:30 The Secret Life of Books (b06j76l4)
Series 2

The Faerie Queene

Dr Janina Ramirez unravels Edmund Spenser's Elizabethan epic The Faerie Queene to reveal how this fantasy world of elves, nymphs and questing knights was written in the midst of the brutal Tudor occupation of Ireland, and how the writer's growing disillusionment with the conflict was coded into the poem's restless verse.


TUE 21:00 Dam Busters Declassified (b00trb2g)
Martin Shaw takes a fresh look at one of the most famous war stories of them all. The actor, himself a pilot, takes to the skies to retrace the route of the 1943 raid by 617 Squadron which used bouncing bombs to destroy German dams. He sheds new light on the story as he separates the fact from the myth behind this tale of courage and ingenuity.

Using the 1955 movie The Dam Busters as a vehicle to deconstruct the raid, he tries to piece together a picture of perhaps the most daring attack in the history of aviation warfare.

Along the way, Shaw hears from the last RAF veteran of the raid, as well as a German survivor of the tsunami which resulted from the Moehne dam's destruction.


TUE 22:00 Close to the Edge (b06j0gqt)
Series 1

Episode 3

Scripted documentary series following a group of friends in their 60s, 70s and 80s based in Bournemouth.

Mixing elements of storytelling techniques from drama and documentary in a bold new form, the series explores the full range of issues faced by people over 65. With the cast devising and improvising many of the scenes themselves, the series captures the romance and real-life drama of their everyday lives - the business entrepreneur, a comedian dating again for the first time in 40 years, and a political activist are just some of the real-life characters living their life to the full.

This frank, funny and warm series follows the diverse group of friends grappling with the issues that face us all - finding love, restarting your career, friendships and rivalries - as well as frankly exploring the challenges of getting older - coping with illness, feelings of loneliness and preparing for the end that will eventually greet us all.

Babs's dislike of Vanessa leads to her meeting the UKIP candidate for Bournemouth to complain. This in turn leads to an ugly confrontation between Babs and Vanessa at John's comedy gig. Simon surprises Monty at a life drawing class.


TUE 22:30 Timeshift (b01q9vhy)
Series 12

The Joy of (Train) Sets

The Model Railway Story: From Hornby to Triang and beyond, this documentary explores how the British have been in love with model railways for more than a century. What began as an adult obsession with building fully engineered replicas became the iconic toy of 50s and 60s childhood. With unique archive and contributions from modellers such as Pete Waterman, this is a celebration of the joys of miniaturisation. Just don't call them toy trains!


TUE 23:30 Immortal? A Horizon Guide to Ageing (b01kxxys)
Is there any way to slow or even prevent the ravages of time? Veteran presenter Johnny Ball looks back over the 45 years that Horizon, and he, have been on air to find out what science has learned about how and why we grow old. Charting developments from macabre early claims of rejuvenation to the latest cutting-edge breakthroughs, Johnny discovers the sense of a personal mission that drives many scientists and asks whether we are really any closer to achieving the dream of immortality.


TUE 00:30 Twin Sisters: A World Apart (b053pxdt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:15 on Sunday]


TUE 01:30 Return to Betjemanland (b04gb6nl)
In 1984, Sir John Betjeman died and was buried at St Enodoc Church, close to the village of Tribetherick in north Cornwall.

Writer, critic and biographer of Betjeman, AN Wilson, visits the real and imagined places that shaped his life to reveal the life and work of the poet and broadcaster.

Wilson explores how Betjeman came to speak to, and for, the nation in a remarkable way. As a poet Betjeman was writing popular verse for the many, not the few. With his brilliant documentaries for television, Betjeman entertained millions with infectious enthusiasm as he explained his many passions and bugbears.

As a campaigner to preserve the national heritage, Betjeman was tireless in his devotion to conservation and preservation, fighting the planners, politicians and developers - railing against their abuse of power and money.

Wilson investigates this by visiting locations in London, Oxford, Cornwall, Somerset and Berkshire. He travels through a landscape of beautiful houses and churches, beaches and seaside piers - a place that Wilson calls Betjemanland.

In doing so he also reveals the complexity and contradictions of Betjeman - how Betjeman, the snob with a love of aristocrats and their country houses, is the same person who is thrilled by the more proletarian pleasures of the Great British seaside; how the poetry of Betjeman shows us that he is haunted by childhood memory, has religious faith but also doubt and is in thrall to love and infatuation; and how the man his friends called Betjeman was full of joie de vivre, but also suffered great melancholy and guilt whilst living an agonised double life.


TUE 02:30 The Secret Life of Books (b06j76l4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


TUE 03:00 Return to Larkinland (b06hhlyl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Sunday]



WEDNESDAY 14 OCTOBER 2015

WED 19:00 World News Today (b06hbmr2)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


WED 19:30 The Wonder of Bees with Martha Kearney (p01t6pgg)
Episode 3

Spring has well and truly sprung and the hives are going from strength to strength, but that brings with it a problem of its own - the swarm. As the colonies become overcrowded, the bees become likely to depart in a swarm with the queen, leaving just a few behind to rear a new queen. It's a natural process, but for the beekeeper it can be a disaster, leaving the hive all but empty with little prospect of a harvest of honey.

Martha discovers methods to control the swarms, including clipping the wings of the queen, but she also meets a natural beekeeper for whom wing clipping is horrifying. When one of her hives swarms, Martha's neighbours leap to the rescue and she harvests the first honey of the year.


WED 20:00 The Search for Life: The Drake Equation (b00wltbk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Sunday]


WED 21:00 Planet Oil: The Treasure That Conquered the World (b053gf85)
Episode 2

By the early 1950s, a holy trinity of oil, plastics and fertilisers had transformed the planet. But as Professor Iain Stewart reveals, when the oil-producing countries demanded a greater share in profits from the western energy companies, the oil and gas fields of the Middle East became a focus for coup d'etats and military conflict.

In the North Sea, Prof Stewart recalls the race against time to find alternative supplies in the shallow, but turbulent waters both here and in America's Gulf coast.

The offshore discoveries in the 1970s proved to be a game changer. It marked an engineering revolution, the moment when 'difficult' oil and gas (previously unviable sources) could be commercially produced from the ocean depths. It was the moment when Western Europe and the US finally unshackled themselves from their 20th-century energy security nightmare.


WED 22:00 Ultimate Swarms (p01dn81f)
Zoologist and explorer George McGavin goes in search of some of the world's most impressive swarms. By getting right to the heart of these natural spectacles, he finds out why swarms are the ultimate solution to surviving against all odds and discovers how unlocking the secrets to how animals swarm could be crucial to understanding our own increasingly crowded lives.


WED 23:00 The Great British Year (p01dfksf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]


WED 00:00 The Magic of Mushrooms (b041m6fh)
Professor Richard Fortey delves into the fascinating and normally hidden kingdom of fungi. From their spectacular birth, through their secretive underground life to their final explosive death, Richard reveals a remarkable world that few of us understand or even realise exists - yet all life on earth depends on it.

In a specially built mushroom lab, with the help of mycologist Dr Patrick Hickey and some state-of-the-art technology, Richard brings to life the secret world of mushrooms as never seen before and reveals the spectacular abilities of fungi to break down waste and sustain new plant life, keeping our planet alive.

Beyond the lab, Richard travels across Britain and beyond to show us the biggest, fastest and most deadly organisms on the planet - all of them fungi. He reveals their almost magical powers that have world-changing potential - opening up new frontiers in science, medicine and technology.


WED 01:00 The Search for Life: The Drake Equation (b00wltbk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Sunday]


WED 02:00 Ultimate Swarms (p01dn81f)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


WED 03:00 Planet Oil: The Treasure That Conquered the World (b053gf85)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



THURSDAY 15 OCTOBER 2015

THU 19:00 World News Today (b06hbmr7)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


THU 19:30 The Sky at Night (b06jcjp6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday]


THU 20:00 Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years War (b01qsqd2)
Breaking the Bonds 1360-1415

England, wracked by plague and revolt, loses the upper hand until Henry V, determined to prove his right to be king, turns the tide at the battle of Agincourt.


THU 21:00 A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley (b06hht8v)
Episode 2

Lucy Worsley journeys into the Victorian way of love in the second part of her series on the changing face of British romance. She discovers how medieval chivalry shaped Victorian courtship, and explores the influence of valentine's cards and flowers on romantic lives.

Lucy uncovers the way that literary passions - in novels by writers such as Charlotte Bronte, Mrs Henry Wood and HG Wells - translated into real-life desires, changing the way the British felt. This is a new view of the Victorians in love, which takes us from romance on the factory floor to the curious erotic possibilities of the seance.


THU 22:00 Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs (b01n7rl1)
Class War

Dr Pamela Cox explores what happened when servants directly challenged their masters and mistresses, causing havoc in the golden age of Edwardian society.

It is the story of wayward laundry maids, butlers selling their stories to the press, and even suffragette maids. Above all, it is the story of how the Victorian 'ideal' of service came to be questioned - not by employers, but by the servants themselves.

The middle classes had an insatiable need for servants in their heavily furnished townhouses, but at the same time the number of people in the so-called 'servant class' dropped, as young workers were lured into shops and factories. To plug the gap, a new source of servants was found - shockingly, among the urban poor - mopping up orphans, waifs and strays from slums, workhouses and reforms schools and training them for careers in domestic service. As the clouds of war gathered, the whole notion of service was in crisis.


THU 23:00 Nigel Slater: Life Is Sweets (p00y4hd1)
Chocolate limes, buttered brazils, sherbert dib-dabs and marshmallows. Food writer Nigel Slater charts the origins of British sweets and chocolates from medicinal, medieval boiled sweets to the chocolate bars that line the supermarket shelves today.

With adverts of the sweets everyone remembers and loves, this nostalgic, emotional and heartwarming journey transports Nigel back to his childhood by the powerful resonance of the sweets he used to buy with his pocket money. Nigel recalls the curiously small toffee that inspired him to write his memoir, the marshmallow, which he associates with his mother, and the travel sweet, which conjures up memories of his father. He marvels at the power of something as incidental as a sweet to reveal emotions, character and the past.


THU 00:00 Three Men (b00xmwl9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Saturday]


THU 01:00 Timeshift (b01q9vhy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 on Tuesday]


THU 02:00 Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years War (b01qsqd2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


THU 03:00 A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley (b06hht8v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



FRIDAY 16 OCTOBER 2015

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b06hbms9)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 BBC Proms (b03p7p6n)
Chamber Music

Vilde Frang and Michail Lifits

Petroc Trelawny introduces highlights from the first in a series of BBC Proms chamber music concerts from Cadogan Hall in London. The young Norwegian violinist Vilde Frang, accompanied by the German pianist Michael Lifits, plays Mozart's Violin Sonata in G, the 'Blues' movement from Ravel's second Violin Sonata and Estrellita by the Mexican composer Manuel Ponce.


FRI 20:00 Leonard Bernstein at the BBC (b06j7wjh)
It is a quarter of a century since the death of Leonard Bernstein, composer, conductor and icon of 20th-century music. This programme features 50 years of great archive performances and interviews, some unseen since their original broadcast, including music from West Side Story, Elgar's Enigma and Beethoven.


FRI 21:00 The Joy of the Single (b01nzchs)
Do you remember buying your first single? Where you bought it? What it was? The thrill of playing it for the first time? What it sounded like? How it maybe changed your life? Lots of us do. Lots of us still have that single somewhere in a dusty box in the attic, along with other treasured memorabilia of an adolescence lost in music and romance. The attic of our youth.

The Joy of the Single is a documentary packed with startling memories, vivid images and penetrating insights into the power of pop and rock's first and most abiding artefact - the seven-inch, vinyl 45-rpm record, a small, perfectly formed object that seems to miraculously contain the hopes, fears, sounds and experiences of our different generations - all within the spiralling groove etched on its shiny black surface, labelled and gift-wrapped by an industry also in its thrall.

In the confident hands of a star-studded cast, the film spins a tale of obsession, addiction, dedication and desire. The viewer is invited on a journey of celebration from the 1950s rock 'n' roll generation to the download kids of today, taking in classic singles from all manner of artists in each decade - from the smell of vinyl to the delights of the record label, from the importance of the record shop to the bittersweet brevity of the song itself, from stacking singles on a Dansette spindle to dropping the needle and thrilling to the intro.

Featuring contributions from Noddy Holder, Jack White, Richard Hawley, Suzi Quatro, Holly Johnson, Jimmy Webb, Pete Waterman, Norah Jones, Mike Batt, Graham Gouldman, Miranda Sawyer, Norman Cook, Trevor Horn, Neil Sedaka, Paul Morley, Rob Davies, Lavinia Greenlaw, Brian Wilson and Mike Love.


FRI 22:00 Music for Misfits: The Story of Indie (b06hhxr7)
Into the Mainstream

The story of British indie over three musically diverse episodes. Much more than a genre of music, it is a spirit, an attitude and an ethos.

It's 1989 and a new grassroots music craze is sweeping across Britain. Despite the authorities railing against 'the zombification of a nation', acid house and its bed partner ecstasy are influencing a wave of indie bands. On the eve of a new decade while original independent labels struggle in the wake of acid, young indie labels Heavenly and Creation are thriving, signing both Manic Street Preachers and Primal Scream respectively.

By the mid 90s, in a bid to break the stranglehold of American grunge bands, the music press construct Britpop and push two bands, Oasis and Blur, to the top of the pile. The key thing that separates Britpop bands from the previous generation is the mindset. These bands, who grew up in the Thatcher era, want to sell (and make) a million. Bands with an old indie ethos, such as Suede, are still breaking through but will switch from independent labels to majors, thus guaranteeing international recognition.

Indie truly goes mainstream when Noel Gallagher shakes hands with Tony Blair and Oasis fill Knebworth. The spirit of the DIY boom had all but gone and indie becomes a genre rather than an alternative approach to making and releasing music. The late 90s are dark days for indie, but as Rough Trade rises from the ashes with two fresh signings - The Strokes and The Libertines - it feels like a new dawn.

More new completely independent labels emerge. They've learnt from the mistakes of old and are excellent at artist development - labels such Domino, who manage the Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand. We hear why these two bands - who had the majors tripping over themselves to sign them - choose Domino instead.

These bands also heralded a new way in which music was being discovered. It's the fans at a grassroots level, sharing their favourite band via clips on social media, who would be the new A&R - alerting the record labels to new talent.

We finally come full circle to discover just what constitutes indie music now, if there still a need for independent labels and, finally, whether the spirit of rebellion that inspired the DIY movement of the 1970s still exists today.

The series is presented by BBC Radio 6 Music's Mark Radcliffe and this episode features exclusive interviews with performers including Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, Shaun Ryder of Happy Mondays, The Libertines' Carl Barat, Stuart Murdoch from Belle & Sebastian and Bob Stanley of Saint Etienne. It also includes interviews with a number of influential music industry figures such as James Endeacott, formerly of Rough Trade Records and founder of Sony BMG subsidiary record label 1965 Records, Heavenly Recordings' Jeff Barrett, Creation Records' Alan McGee and indie music author Richard King.


FRI 23:00 Britpop at the BBC (b0409s91)
In the mid-90s, Britpop stamped its presence onto the British music scene and made boys wearing eyeliner cool again. What better reason to raid the BBC archives for a rich treasure trove of the joy and the time that was Britpop?

Featuring the girls (Elastica, Sleeper) and the boys (Suede, Menswear) and many of the other bright young things that contributed to five years of Cool Britannia, Blur v Oasis and Camden being the centre of the universe. Britpop at the BBC reminds us all why we were all so proud to be British again in the 1990s.


FRI 00:00 Guitar Heroes at the BBC (b00dzzv2)
Part I

Concentrating on the 1970s (1969 to 1981 to be exact) and ransacking a host of BBC shows from The Old Grey Whistle Test to Sight & Sound, this compilation is designed to release the air guitarist in everyone, combining great electric guitarists like Carlos Santana, Mark Knopfler, The Edge and Peter Green with acoustic masters like John Martyn, Pentangle and Paco Pena.


FRI 01:00 The Joy of the Single (b01nzchs)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 02:00 Music for Misfits: The Story of Indie (b06hhxr7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


FRI 03:00 Britpop at the BBC (b0409s91)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 today]




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

A Renaissance Education: The Schooling of Thomas More's Daughter 00:00 MON (b0135mv0)

A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley 21:00 THU (b06hht8v)

A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley 03:00 THU (b06hht8v)

BBC Proms 19:30 FRI (b03p7p6n)

Beck 21:00 SAT (b06hk9yh)

Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster 22:30 SUN (b055kpfm)

Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster 02:40 SUN (b055kpfm)

Britpop at the BBC 23:00 FRI (b0409s91)

Britpop at the BBC 03:00 FRI (b0409s91)

Burma, My Father and the Forgotten Army 20:00 SAT (b036x83s)

Canal Walks with Julia Bradbury 19:30 MON (b011g6dw)

Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years War 20:00 THU (b01qsqd2)

Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years War 02:00 THU (b01qsqd2)

Close to the Edge 22:00 TUE (b06j0gqt)

Dam Busters Declassified 21:00 TUE (b00trb2g)

Guitar Heroes at the BBC 00:00 FRI (b00dzzv2)

Immortal? A Horizon Guide to Ageing 23:30 TUE (b01kxxys)

In Conversation 20:00 SUN (b06hhgxm)

In Conversation 01:40 SUN (b06hhgxm)

Indie Classics at the BBC 01:30 SAT (b06g5jfp)

Leonard Bernstein at the BBC 20:00 FRI (b06j7wjh)

Music for Misfits: The Story of Indie 00:30 SAT (b06gxxxk)

Music for Misfits: The Story of Indie 22:00 FRI (b06hhxr7)

Music for Misfits: The Story of Indie 02:00 FRI (b06hhxr7)

Nigel Slater: Life Is Sweets 23:00 THU (p00y4hd1)

Planet Oil: The Treasure That Conquered the World 21:00 WED (b053gf85)

Planet Oil: The Treasure That Conquered the World 03:00 WED (b053gf85)

Return to Betjemanland 01:30 TUE (b04gb6nl)

Return to Larkinland 21:00 SUN (b06hhlyl)

Return to Larkinland 03:00 TUE (b06hhlyl)

Rhymes, Rock and Revolution: The Story of Performance Poetry 22:00 MON (b06hhgxs)

Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs 23:00 MON (b01n3fkf)

Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs 22:00 THU (b01n7rl1)

Spike Milligan: Love, Light and Peace 22:25 SAT (b04tt1yj)

Storyville 00:15 SUN (b020tlrw)

Tales from the Tour Bus: Rock 'n' Roll on the Road 02:30 SAT (b05rjc9c)

The Great British Year 21:00 MON (p01dfksf)

The Great British Year 23:00 WED (p01dfksf)

The Joy of the Single 21:00 FRI (b01nzchs)

The Joy of the Single 01:00 FRI (b01nzchs)

The Magic of Mushrooms 00:00 WED (b041m6fh)

The Search for Life: The Drake Equation 19:00 SUN (b00wltbk)

The Search for Life: The Drake Equation 20:00 WED (b00wltbk)

The Search for Life: The Drake Equation 01:00 WED (b00wltbk)

The Secret Life of Books 20:30 TUE (b06j76l4)

The Secret Life of Books 02:30 TUE (b06j76l4)

The Secret Life of Ice 20:00 MON (b016fpyy)

The Secret Life of Ice 03:00 MON (b016fpyy)

The Sky at Night 22:00 SUN (b06jcjp6)

The Sky at Night 19:30 THU (b06jcjp6)

The Wonder of Bees with Martha Kearney 19:30 TUE (p01t6p8s)

The Wonder of Bees with Martha Kearney 20:00 TUE (p01t6p94)

The Wonder of Bees with Martha Kearney 19:30 WED (p01t6pgg)

Three Men 19:00 SAT (b00xmwl9)

Three Men 00:00 THU (b00xmwl9)

Timeshift 01:00 MON (b03pzsd9)

Timeshift 02:00 MON (b012zmy7)

Timeshift 22:30 TUE (b01q9vhy)

Timeshift 01:00 THU (b01q9vhy)

Top of the Pops 23:55 SAT (b06gxxkv)

Twin Sisters: A World Apart 23:15 SUN (b053pxdt)

Twin Sisters: A World Apart 00:30 TUE (b053pxdt)

Ultimate Swarms 22:00 WED (p01dn81f)

Ultimate Swarms 02:00 WED (p01dn81f)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b06hbmqg)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b06hbmqp)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b06hbmr2)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b06hbmr7)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b06hbms9)