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

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Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by


SAT 19:00 Stories from the Dark Earth: Meet the Ancestors Revisited (b01sbvzt)
Families of the Stone Age

Julian Richards returns to the excavation of two burials from the Stone Age - the grave of an entire Neolithic family in Dorset and a tomb on Orkney that is helping to reveal some strange and unexpected burial rites from over 5,000 years ago.

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

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

SAT 21:00 The Young Montalbano (b06w215g)
Series 2

Room Number Two

There is much excitement at Vigata's police station, as Salvo and Livia start to prepare for their wedding. Deputy Inspector Mimi' Auguello is especially eager to be picked as Salvo's wedding witness, but Salvo may well have other plans.

Meanwhile, Montalbano is taking on some new cases. A fire at a local hotel which resulted in a man's death is suspected to have been caused by arson, while police receive an anonymous letter warning of the impending murder of a married woman at the hands of her jealous husband.

In Italian with English subtitles.

SAT 22:45 Blondie: One Way or Another (b0074thn)
The story of New York's finest - the most successful and enduring band fronted by a woman - Debbie Harry and Blondie. From their Bowery beginnings at CBGB's in 1974 to their controversial induction into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in New York. The band crossed pop with punk, reggae and rap and had no 1s in all styles. With exclusive backstage and performance footage from their UK tour plus in-depth interviews with current and ex-band members and friends Iggy Pop, Shirley Manson, Tommy Ramone, and Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads.

SAT 23:55 Glastonbury (b047zjqt)


A look back at the 2014 Friday lunchtime set at the festival by legendary New York group Blondie. Led by Debbie Harry, the band celebrate their official 40th anniversary this year and at Worthy Farm, in between the rain showers, work through a set that includes some of their many classic hits plus a track or two from their most recent album.

SAT 00:50 Top of the Pops (b06v9fdp)
The Story of 1981

The year the teens take over and 80s 'new pop' is born with Depeche Mode, the teen-fronted Human League, Kim Wilde and Duran Duran all debuting, while Ultravox and Visage master the art of pop videos. The show embraces the shift with a new theme tune and titles and, as Legs and Co leave, invite a swathe of club kids and cheerleaders in to create a permanent 80s party atmosphere. Britain is torn between rioting, unemployment and the royal wedding, a mood captured in the Specials' Ghost Town, which the band perform on Top of the Pops, and then promptly split up in their dressing room at Television Centre.

With Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, the Human League, Kim Wilde, Midge Ure, Jerry Dammers (the Specials), Leee John, Freeez, Beggar and Co, Richard Skinner, Mike Read and Carrie Grant.

Narrated by Mel Giedroyc.

SAT 01:50 Top of the Pops (b06vkg5r)
1981 - Big Hits

A bumper crop of hits from the Top of the Pops archive showcasing an exciting year on the pop charts. 1981 embraced disco and ska, new wave punk, the burgeoning New Romantic scene and the rise of synthpop, with some prog quirkiness and good old rock 'n' roll thrown in.

Performances from big-hitter soloists Phil Collins, Shakin' Stevens and Kim Wilde are featured alongside the exuberant chaos of groups like Tenpole Tudor, Adam and the Ants and The Teardrop Explodes. It's party time as Odyssey fill the dancefloor with the infectious Going Back to My Roots and Clare Grogan adopts some unorthodox shapes for Altered Images' Happy Birthday. And The Specials' 2 Tone social-commentary classic Ghost Town vies with Ultravox's Vienna and The Human League's Don't You Want Me for song of the year.

SAT 02:50 Synth Britannia at the BBC (b00n93c6)
A journey through the BBC's synthpop archives from Roxy Music and Tubeway Army to New Order and Sparks. Turn your Moogs up to 11 as we take a trip back into the 70s and 80s!


SUN 19:00 India's Frontier Railways (b0555xgw)
The Maitree Express

Filmed during the holy month of Ramadan, this is a journey from India into Bangladesh on a train that reunites the region of Bengal. Partitioned in 1947, Bengal was divided in half, creating East Pakistan - a satellite state ruled by Pakistan. It was an unwelcome occupation. In 1971, they fought a war of independence and East Pakistan became the People's Republic of Bangladesh. 37 years later, the first train ran between India and Bangladesh - the Maitree Express. Maitree means friendship.

It takes 12 hours to make the 392km journey from Kolkata to Dhaka, and staffing on the train is almost the same on both sides of the border. They speak the same language, share a history and all love fish.

Amirul, once a freedom fighter in the war of independence, now plays announcements and religious tapes on the Maitree. Aalo supports his family by selling chocolates on the train, but has a problem with the 30-degree heat. Sixteen-year-old Abdullah ran away from home and a madrasa. Now he sells papers on Dhaka's trains and platforms, hoping for a brighter future. Gautam Bannerjee is a guard on the Maitree and a respected astrologer. Can his calculations foretell the future? Urmi Rahman, a writer, was born in Bangladesh, married an Indian and lives in Kolkata, but she is very clear about her identity. Krishendu Basu is happy with his life. Not only a guard, he is also a tabla player, photographer and self-confessed foodie. But music is his passion.

These stories of people who work, travel or depend on the Maitree Express take us on a journey through history, sharing their hopes, needs and desires - on India's frontier railways.

SUN 20:00 Empire of the Tsars: Romanov Russia with Lucy Worsley (b06vm9qp)
Reinventing Russia

Lucy Worsley travels to Russia to tell the extraordinary story of the dynasty that ruled the country for more than three centuries. It's an epic tale that includes giant figures such as Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, the devastating struggle against Napoleon in 1812, and the political murders of Nicholas II and his family in 1918 which brought the dynasty to a brutal end.

In this first episode, Lucy investigates the beginning of the Romanovs' 300-year reign in Russia. In 1613, when Russia was leaderless, 16-year-old Mikhail Romanov was plucked from obscurity and offered the crown of Russia. Mikhail was granted absolute power and began the reign of the Romanovs as the most influential dynasty in modern European history.

Lucy also charts the story of Peter the Great, the ruthless and ambitious tsar who was determined to modernise Russia at the end of the 17th century. Lucy traces Peter's accession to the throne as a nine-year-old, when he witnessed a revolt led by royal guards and the slaughter of his uncles and close advisors. Sixteen years later, Peter would vengefully execute a thousand rebellious guards. Throughout his reign, Peter would demonstrate an unwavering commitment to establishing Russia as a naval power - Lucy explores the lengths to which Peter would go to ensure this became a reality, including the creation of a new maritime capital, St Petersburg.

Lucy shows how the Romanovs embraced and sponsored the arts on an astonishing scale - from building spectacular palaces to commissioning grand artworks - that all still dazzle today.

As well as studying this unique royal family, Lucy also considers the impact the Romanovs had on the lives of ordinary Russians, who were often little better than slaves to the elite.

SUN 21:00 Darcey Bussell's Looking for Audrey (b04w7mfk)
Behind Audrey Hepburn's dazzling image, Darcey Bussell unravels an epic tale of betrayal, courage, heartache and broken dreams.

For as long as she can remember, Darcey has been fascinated by Audrey Hepburn - style icon, star of Breakfast at Tiffany's and an Oscar winner at 24. Now, Darcey follows in Audrey's footsteps through Holland, London, Rome, Switzerland and Hollywood to find out more. She discovers that Audrey started out as a dancer, risked her life in the Second World War and, although adored the world over, was always looking for love.

SUN 22:00 Goya Exposed with Jake Chapman (b06s1w08)
Throughout their artistic career, Jake and Dinos Chapman have returned again and again to a single artwork by the great Spanish artist Francisco de Goya. The Disasters of War are a set of 83 etchings that offer a harrowing account of the atrocities of the Peninsular War (1807-14), but for Jake Chapman they are much more than a matter of historical record. They have provided the inspiration for countless Chapman Brothers artworks across more than two decades, from model recreations and 'rectified' prints to shop mannequins and full-scale sculptures in bronze, some of which were nominated for the Turner Prize.

In this film, Jake explores why Goya's famous etching series is so central to his art. He re-examines his relationship to the Spanish artist by visiting Goya's hometown Zaragoza for the first time, and by spending time at the Prado in Madrid where some of Goya's greatest works hang on the walls.

As Jake works on a new Disasters of War model in his London studio, he explains why for him there is a fundamental conflict at the heart of Goya's art - in their gruesome detail his images seem to celebrate violence rather than protest against it. Jake explores this contradiction that art history has chosen to ignore, and explains how it tells us something profound about the way we see ourselves and our past.

SUN 22:30 Flamenco: Gypsy Soul (p01dy1fk)
Writer Elizabeth Kinder embarks on a journey through Andalusia from Malaga to Cadiz to find the soul of flamenco, the beguiling mix of guitar, song and dance strongly associated with southern Spain's gypsies.

Featuring performances from gypsy blacksmiths to goat herders, the documentary reveals a glimpse of a timeless way of life as it has been preserved down the centuries. The history of this mysterious music and its relationship to Spain is explored in chocolate box locations including Moron de la Frontera, Granada, Seville and Jerez and the programme also features rare archive of notable artists such as Camaron de la Isla and Diego Del Gastor.

SUN 23:30 Queen of Versailles (b01qbz9m)
First shown on BBC Storyville in January 2013, Jackie and David Siegel, a former beauty queen and her billionaire husband, are triumphantly building their dream home in Florida. Once finished, it will be the largest house in America - a 90,000 square-foot super-mansion modelled on the Palace of Versailles, replete with 30 bathrooms, 10 kitchens, sushi bar, bowling alley, skating rink, baseball park and ballroom.

But when the economic crisis hits, the rarefied world of a truly unique family is turned upside down. In the face of the worst economic crisis in decades, this rags-to-riches tale takes a tumble as Jackie, David, their eight children, maids, dogs, employees and business associates struggle to keep David's time-share business afloat and finish their dream home.

With the epic dimensions of a Shakespearean tragedy, this is the story of a couple who dared to dream big but lose, in a film that exposes the virtues and flaws of the American Dream.

SUN 01:00 Genesis: Together and Apart (b04l3phb)
A feature-length documentary about one of the most successful British bands in rock music, reuniting Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett to tell their story. The film recounts their extraordinary musical story, exploring the songwriting and the emotional highs and lows. It features previously unseen archive material and rare footage from across their entire career.

SUN 02:30 The Good Old Days (b06s5zw2)
A celebration of music hall favourites from the famous City Varieties Theatre, Leeds. Featuring chairman Leonard Sachs and a host of special guests, this Christmas special was originally broadcast in 1983.


MON 19:00 World News Today (b06vsq8y)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

MON 19:30 Sorry! (b03wt7w9)
Series 1

Bachelor Seeks Anywhere

1980s sitcom about a middle-aged man still living with his parents. Timothy makes a determined effort to find himself a flat.

MON 20:00 Horizon (b04b763n)

What's Wrong with Our Weather?

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

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

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

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

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

MON 21:00 To Boldly Go (b019x6qr)

We think of ourselves as a global species, but in fact we can only comfortably survive on less than a quarter of the earth's surface.

In To Boldly Go, doctor of extreme medicine Kevin Fong sets out to discover how we are able to conquer the other 75 per cent. In an eye-popping series of experiments, Dr Fong uses his own body to demonstrate how unsuited our biology is to much of the planet - and how we have had to develop the technology to let us survive there.

In the second programme of the series, Dr Fong finds out how the body responds to altitude. The short answer to that question is: badly - as Dr Fong finds out, climbing one of the tallest mountains in the Alps, and subjecting himself to a sudden depressurisation to 25,000 feet. But although we struggle to deal with altitude, the defining story of 20th-century technology was our quest to leave the surface of the earth behind and travel up through the atmosphere and into space.

The natural home of our species is at sea level. Even today more than three-quarters of the world's population live at altitudes below 500m. And there is a very good reason for that - the higher we go, the less oxygen there is in the air and the harder we find it to survive.

MON 22:00 Natural World (b0377t15)

Giant Squid: Filming the Impossible - Natural World Special

The giant squid is a creature of legend and myth which, even in the 21st century, has never been seen alive. But now, an international team of scientists thinks it has finally found its lair, 1,000 metres down, off the coast of Japan. This is the culmination of decades of research. The team deploys underwater robots and state-of-the-art submersible vessels for a world first - to find and film the impossible.

MON 22:45 Blondie: One Way or Another (b0074thn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:45 on Saturday]

MON 23:55 Darcey Bussell's Looking for Audrey (b04w7mfk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Sunday]

MON 00:55 Secret Voices of Hollywood (b03bxrxj)
In many of Hollywood's greatest movie musicals the stars did not sing their own songs. This documentary pulls back the curtain to reveal the secret world of the 'ghost singers' who provided the vocals, the screen legends who were dubbed and the classic movies in which the songs were ghosted.

MON 02:25 To Boldly Go (b019x6qr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

MON 03:25 Britain on Film (b03blvqm)
Series 2

Worlds Apart

Throughout the 1960s, the Rank Organisation's series of cinema documentaries Look at Life captured on colour film myriad aspects of social and cultural life in Britain. Their film-makers also travelled abroad, visiting countries like Australia that were of special interest to British audiences, or to places in the news, including Chile during a state visit by the Queen, or to places of increasing relevance to Britain like Brussels, which was establishing itself as the centre of Europe's new Common Market.

Britain on Film features some of the best of the footage captured by Rank's film-makers during their foreign excursions, including rare colour images of the reindeer herders of Lapland and film of the young Dalai Lama living in India following his exile from his native Tibet.


TUE 19:00 World News Today (b06vsq93)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

TUE 19:30 Sorry! (b03wt7wl)
Series 1

Does Your Mother Know You're Out?

Sitcom about a middle-aged man living with his parents. Timothy wants to go to the cinema, but his mother wants him to spend his evenings painting.

TUE 20:00 Natural World (b0147dw3)

The Woman Who Swims with Killer Whales

The killer whale is one of the most feared predators in the ocean and most would consider it madness to enter the water with one. But New Zealander Dr Ingrid Visser thinks differently - and by swimming with her beloved whales she has come to know almost all of them by sight. But there's been an unusual number of deaths recently and Ingrid is on a mission to find out what is going on. Her findings reveal disturbing new information about the health of our oceans.

TUE 21:00 The Queen's Castle (b00792r7)
Four Seasons

Three-part documentary series which goes behind the scenes at the Queen's favourite home, Windsor Castle, highlighting not only the ceremonies and occasions that take place annually, but following a wide variety of the key staff as they go about their business. This part covers Easter and the Royal Family's stay at Windsor. It also takes a look at the Queen's horses, both those she rides and those used for ceremonial purposes.

TUE 22:00 The Crusades (b01bbrcc)
Clash of the Titans

In the second episode of this three-part series, Dr Thomas Asbridge offers a piercing examination of the Third Crusade and the two renowned figures who have come to embody Crusader war: Richard the Lionheart, king of England, and the mighty Muslim sultan Saladin, unifier of Islam. Drawing on fascinating eyewitness accounts and contemporary records, Dr Asbridge constructs an insightful and nuanced picture of these men and their fiercely fought struggle for the Holy Land.

Almost perfectly matched as adversaries, these two titans of holy war clashed during a year-long campaign that raged across Palestine. Both were willing to commit appalling atrocities in pursuit of victory. Each brought the full force of his military genius, guile and cunning to bear, all in pursuit of the ultimate prize: Jerusalem. Dr Asbridge reveals how this shattering conflict brought Saladin and Richard to their knees, even as it served to forge their legends.

TUE 23:00 Timeshift (b053pxdr)
Series 14

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

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

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

TUE 00:00 To Boldly Go (b019x6qr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]

TUE 01:00 Stories from the Dark Earth: Meet the Ancestors Revisited (b01sbvzt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Saturday]

TUE 02:00 Gods and Monsters: Homer's Odyssey (b00vtwnz)
Virginia Woolf said that Homer's epic poem the Odyssey was 'alive to every tremor and gleam of existence'. Following the magical and strange adventures of warrior king Odysseus, inventor of the idea of the Trojan horse, the poem can claim to be the greatest story ever told. Now British poet Simon Armitage goes on his own Greek adventure, following in the footsteps of one of his own personal heroes. Yet Simon ponders the question of whether he even likes the guy.

TUE 03:00 Rosslyn Chapel: A Treasure in Stone (b00v3y5s)
The exquisite Rosslyn Chapel is a masterpiece in stone. It used to be one of Scotland's best-kept secrets, but it became world-famous when it was featured in Dan Brown's the Da Vinci Code.

Art historian Helen Rosslyn, whose husband's ancestor built the chapel over 550 years ago, is the guide on a journey of discovery around this perfect gem of a building. Extraordinary carvings of green men, inverted angels and mysterious masonic marks beg the questions of where these images come from and who the stonemasons that created them were. Helen's search leads her across Scotland and to Normandy in search of the creators of this medieval masterpiece.


WED 19:00 World News Today (b06vsq98)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

WED 19:30 Sorry! (b007bkdj)
Series 1

Curse of the Mummy

Sitcom about a middle-aged bachelor living with his parents. Timothy's sister Muriel comes to stay and tries to persuade him to go home with her.

WED 20:00 The Story of Scottish Art (b06jdnnd)
Episode 2

The 18th century heralded the greatest blossoming of Scottish artistry in its history. The most powerful and influential figures in Britain clamoured to have their portraits painted by Allan Ramsey and Henry Raeburn and their houses designed by Robert Adam; they stood in awe at the epic Highland landscapes of Horatio McCulloch and wept at the sensitive genre paintings of David Wilkie.

Scots artist Lachlan Goudie explores how the intellectual revolution of the Enlightenment and the classical influence of the continent gave these artists the confidence and the inspiration to forge a whole new artistic landscape.

From dusty storerooms of Edinburgh to the dazzling antiquities of ancient Rome this is a journey of startling contrasts - between the past and the future, between the forces of reason and romance, between Presbyterian restraint and unfettered emotion. Out of the ashes of the Reformation a new culture identity was beginning to emerge and it was built on art.

WED 21:00 Empire of the Tsars: Romanov Russia with Lucy Worsley (b06w0gn7)
Age of Extremes

Lucy Worsley continues her journey through Russia in the footsteps of the Romanovs, the most powerful royal dynasty in modern European history.

In this episode she examines the extraordinary reign of Catherine the Great, and the traumatic conflict with Napoleonic France that provides the setting for the novel War and Peace.

Lucy begins in the 18th century, when the great palaces of the Romanovs were built. But in Romanov Russia, blood was always intermingled with the gold - these splendid interiors were the backdrop to affairs, coups and murder.

At the magnificent palace of Peterhof near St Petersburg, Lucy charts the meteoric rise of Catherine the Great, who seized the Russian throne from her husband Peter III in 1762 and became the most powerful woman in the world. Catherine was a woman of huge passions - for art, for her adopted country (she was German by birth) and for her many lovers.

Lucy visits the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, once the home of Catherine's vast art collection. Here she explores how, once Catherine had taken the throne, she compensated for her foreign origins by taking careful control of her image, using her portraits and clothes to create a brand that looked authentically Russian yet also modern and sophisticated. Lucy tells how Catherine expanded her empire through military victories overseas, while at home she encouraged education and introduced smallpox inoculation to Russia. But Catherine struggled to introduce deeper reforms, and the institution of serfdom remained largely unchanged. Lucy explains how this injustice fuelled a violent rebellion.

Nevertheless, Catherine left Russia more powerful on the world stage than ever. But all she had achieved looked set to be undone when Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812. Lucy relives the pivotal battle of Borodino, when the Russian army finally confronted the French forces; the traumatic destruction of Moscow; and, under Catherine's grandson Alexander, the eventual victory over the French that provided the Romanov dynasty with its most glorious hour.

WED 22:00 The Queen's Castle (b00792r7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]

WED 23:00 The Secret Horse: Quest for the True Appaloosa (b04z21cc)
Documentary in which a 69-year-old horsewoman from New Zealand sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the truth about the origins of the rare Appaloosa spotted horse. Back in the saddle for the first time in 12 years, she crosses one of the world's highest mountain ranges in search of a lost valley, where she hopes to discover whether the experts have been wrong all along and that the true source of the North American Appaloosa horse is Asia and not Europe, as the history books would have us believe.

An inspirational adventure story inspired by a lifelong passion for horses.

WED 00:00 The Crusades (b01bbrcc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Tuesday]

WED 01:00 How the Devil Got His Horns: A Diabolical Tale (b01nmt3q)
Art historian and critic Alastair Sooke reveals how the Devil's image was created by artists of the Middle Ages. He explores how, in the centuries between the birth of Christ and the Renaissance, visual interpretations of the Devil evolved, with the embodiment of evil appearing in different guises - tempter, tyrant, and rebellious angel. Alastair shows how artists used their imaginations to give form to Satan, whose description is absent from the Bible.

Exploring some of the most remarkable art in Europe, he tells the stories behind that art and examines the religious texts and thinking which inspired and influenced the artists. The result is a rich and unique picture of how art and religion have combined to define images of good and evil.

WED 02:00 The Story of Scottish Art (b06jdnnd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 03:00 Empire of the Tsars: Romanov Russia with Lucy Worsley (b06w0gn7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 World News Today (b06vsq9f)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b06w0s18)
Richard Skinner introduces the pop programme, with performances from The Look, Chas and Dave, The Beat, Matchbox, The Nolans and Racey, and a dance sequence from Legs & Co.

THU 20:00 Majesty and Mortar: Britain's Great Palaces (b047pdzg)
Inventing a National Style

Dan Cruickshank charts the arrival of a new style of palace that borrowed from ancient Rome and beyond, as the kings and queens of Britain demanded that architecture proclaim their right to rule, and even their divinity. From London's Banqueting House to the birth of Buckingham Palace via Kensington, Kew and a new wing at Hampton Court, the palace became like a bejewelled casket to house the monarch. But disaster was around the corner and Britain learned that a palace could transform into a prison overnight.

THU 21:00 Timeshift (b068fvln)
Series 15

The Trains That Time Forgot: Britain's Lost Railway Journeys

Timeshift journeys back to a lost era of rail travel, when trains had names, character and style. Once the pride of the railway companies that ran them, the named train is now largely consigned to railway history.

Writer and presenter Andrew Martin asks why we once named trains and why we don't do so anymore. He embarks on three railway journeys around Britain, following the routes of three of the most famous named trains - the Flying Scotsman, the Cornish Riviera Express and the Brighton Belle. We reflect on travel during the golden age of railways - when the journey itself was as important as reaching your destination - and compare those same journeys with the passenger experience today.

THU 22:00 Brian Pern (b06w6sf5)
Brian Pern: 45 Years of Prog and Roll

Episode 1

After a year out of the public eye following his heart attack, Brian is making a major comeback and has allowed award-winning film maker Rhys Thomas access all areas. Not only is Brian appearing on Desert Island Discs and at the the Isle of Wight Festival, he has a new album, a new look and a new wife who is half his age - Astrid Maddox Pern. Taking her advice, Brian sacks his picky manager John Farrow by fax and lets her take over. She quickly says yes to every offer going, including an appearance at the Thotch Convention Cruise with annoying fan club president, Perry.

THU 22:30 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.

THU 23:30 Top of the Pops (b06w0s18)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 00:10 Horizon (b04b763n)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Monday]

THU 01:10 Majesty and Mortar: Britain's Great Palaces (b047pdzg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

THU 02:10 Brian Pern (b06w6sf5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

THU 02:40 Timeshift (b068fvln)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 19:00 World News Today (b06vsq9n)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (b06whnr0)
Peter Powell introduces the pop programme, with performances from The Look, Spandau Ballet, XTC, Adam and the Ants, Bad Manners and Blondie.

FRI 20:00 The Good Old Days (b06wdtbh)
Music hall show, filmed at the Varieties Theatre Leeds in 1976. Includes guests Edward Woodward, Larry Grayson, Frank Carson, Margaret Savage, Sheila Mathews, Ted Durante and Hilda, Peter Gale, and Albert Aldred.

FRI 20:45 Pop Go the Sixties (b00d51qy)
Series 2

The Rolling Stones

Pop moments from the BBC's sixties archive. Performing the opening track to their album Let It Bleed, The Rolling Stones are pure sixties psychedelia singing Gimme Shelter on Pop Goes the Sixties from 1969.

FRI 20:50 Pop Go the Sixties (b00cw0pf)
Series 2

Procol Harum

A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum was one of the 1960s' most popular and most-played songs. It's performed here by the group who first recorded it, on Top of the Pops in 1967.

FRI 20:55 Pop Go the Sixties (b00cyz6x)
Series 2

Julie Felix

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

FRI 21:00 One-Hit Wonders at the BBC (b05r7nxx)
Compilation of some indelible hits by artists we hardly heard from again, at least in a chart sense. Featuring Peter Sarstedt's Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)? - a number one in 1969 and a hit he never really matched, Trio's 1982 smash Da Da Da, Phyllis Nelson's 1985 lovers rock-style classic Move Closer, and The New Radicals' 1999 hit You Get What You Give.

We travel through the years selecting some of your favourite number ones and a few others that came close, revealing what's happened to the one-off hitmakers since and exploring the unwritten laws that help make sense of the one-hit wonder phenomenon.

FRI 22:00 Music Moguls: Masters of Pop (p039w64c)
Money Makers

Three-part series revealing the secret history of pop and rock from the men and women who pull the strings behind the scenes.

Programme one tells the story of the maverick managers who controlled the careers of megastar artists, from Colonel Parker (Elvis) right the way up to Scooter Braun (Justin Bieber). Along the way are rollicking tales of industry legends like Led Zeppelin's Peter Grant, and Don Arden, who managed The Small Faces, Black Sabbath and ELO.

Narrated by Simon Napier-Bell, it also features contributions from Andrew Loog Oldham (The Rolling Stones), Jon Landau (Bruce Springsteen), Bill Curbishley (The Who), Paul McGuinness (U2) and Jonathan Dickins (Adele).

FRI 23:00 Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top 10 (b01nwfxs)
Documentary chronicling our ever-changing love affair with the British singles chart on the occasion of its sixtieth anniversary. From the first NME chart in 1952, via Pick and Top of the Pops to home-taping the Radio One chart show and beyond, we have measured out our lives to a wonderful churn of pop driven, unbeknownst to us, by a clandestine world of music biz hustle. Featuring contributions by 60 years of BBC chart custodians from David Jacobs to Reggie Yates, chart fans Grace Dent and Pete Paphides and music biz veterans Jon Webster and Rob Dickins.

FRI 00:30 Top of the Pops (b06whnr0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

FRI 01:10 Music Moguls: Masters of Pop (p039w64c)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

FRI 02:10 Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top 10 (b01nwfxs)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 today]

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

Blondie: One Way or Another 22:45 SAT (b0074thn)

Blondie: One Way or Another 22:45 MON (b0074thn)

Brian Pern 22:00 THU (b06w6sf5)

Brian Pern 02:10 THU (b06w6sf5)

Britain on Film 03:25 MON (b03blvqm)

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

Darcey Bussell's Looking for Audrey 21:00 SUN (b04w7mfk)

Darcey Bussell's Looking for Audrey 23:55 MON (b04w7mfk)

Empire of the Tsars: Romanov Russia with Lucy Worsley 20:00 SUN (b06vm9qp)

Empire of the Tsars: Romanov Russia with Lucy Worsley 21:00 WED (b06w0gn7)

Empire of the Tsars: Romanov Russia with Lucy Worsley 03:00 WED (b06w0gn7)

Flamenco: Gypsy Soul 22:30 SUN (p01dy1fk)

Genesis: Together and Apart 01:00 SUN (b04l3phb)

Glastonbury 23:55 SAT (b047zjqt)

Gods and Monsters: Homer's Odyssey 02:00 TUE (b00vtwnz)

Goya Exposed with Jake Chapman 22:00 SUN (b06s1w08)

Horizon 20:00 MON (b04b763n)

Horizon 00:10 THU (b04b763n)

How the Devil Got His Horns: A Diabolical Tale 01:00 WED (b01nmt3q)

India's Frontier Railways 19:00 SUN (b0555xgw)

India's Frontier Railways 22:30 THU (b05mp8mt)

Majesty and Mortar: Britain's Great Palaces 20:00 THU (b047pdzg)

Majesty and Mortar: Britain's Great Palaces 01:10 THU (b047pdzg)

Music Moguls: Masters of Pop 22:00 FRI (p039w64c)

Music Moguls: Masters of Pop 01:10 FRI (p039w64c)

Natural World 22:00 MON (b0377t15)

Natural World 20:00 TUE (b0147dw3)

One-Hit Wonders at the BBC 21:00 FRI (b05r7nxx)

Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top 10 23:00 FRI (b01nwfxs)

Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top 10 02:10 FRI (b01nwfxs)

Pop Go the Sixties 20:45 FRI (b00d51qy)

Pop Go the Sixties 20:50 FRI (b00cw0pf)

Pop Go the Sixties 20:55 FRI (b00cyz6x)

Queen of Versailles 23:30 SUN (b01qbz9m)

Rosslyn Chapel: A Treasure in Stone 03:00 TUE (b00v3y5s)

Secret Voices of Hollywood 00:55 MON (b03bxrxj)

Sorry! 19:30 MON (b03wt7w9)

Sorry! 19:30 TUE (b03wt7wl)

Sorry! 19:30 WED (b007bkdj)

Stories from the Dark Earth: Meet the Ancestors Revisited 19:00 SAT (b01sbvzt)

Stories from the Dark Earth: Meet the Ancestors Revisited 01:00 TUE (b01sbvzt)

Synth Britannia at the BBC 02:50 SAT (b00n93c6)

The Crusades 22:00 TUE (b01bbrcc)

The Crusades 00:00 WED (b01bbrcc)

The Good Old Days 02:30 SUN (b06s5zw2)

The Good Old Days 20:00 FRI (b06wdtbh)

The Queen's Castle 21:00 TUE (b00792r7)

The Queen's Castle 22:00 WED (b00792r7)

The Secret Horse: Quest for the True Appaloosa 23:00 WED (b04z21cc)

The Story of Scottish Art 20:00 WED (b06jdnnd)

The Story of Scottish Art 02:00 WED (b06jdnnd)

The Young Montalbano 21:00 SAT (b06w215g)

Timeshift 23:00 TUE (b053pxdr)

Timeshift 21:00 THU (b068fvln)

Timeshift 02:40 THU (b068fvln)

To Boldly Go 21:00 MON (b019x6qr)

To Boldly Go 02:25 MON (b019x6qr)

To Boldly Go 00:00 TUE (b019x6qr)

Top of the Pops 00:50 SAT (b06v9fdp)

Top of the Pops 01:50 SAT (b06vkg5r)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b06w0s18)

Top of the Pops 23:30 THU (b06w0s18)

Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (b06whnr0)

Top of the Pops 00:30 FRI (b06whnr0)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b06vsq8y)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b06vsq93)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b06vsq98)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b06vsq9f)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b06vsq9n)