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 How Earth Made Us (b00qbvyc)
Deep Earth

Iain Stewart tells the epic story of how the planet has shaped our history. With spectacular images, surprising stories and a compelling narrative, the series discovers the central role played in human history by four different planetary forces.

In this first episode, Iain explores the relationship between the deep Earth and the development of human civilisation. He visits an extraordinary crystal cave in Mexico, drops down a hole in the Iranian desert and crawls through 7,000-year-old tunnels in Israel.

His exploration reveals that throughout history, our ancestors were strangely drawn to fault lines, areas which connect the surface with the deep interior of the planet. These fault lines gave access to important resources, but also brought with them great danger.

SAT 20:00 Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History (b03l7kj8)
A World Turned Upside Down

Shipwrecks are the nightmare we have forgotten - the price Britain paid for ruling the waves from an island surrounded by treacherous rocks. The result is a coastline that is home to the world's highest concentration of sunken ships. But shipwrecks also changed the course of British history, helped shape our national character and drove innovations in seafaring technology, as well as gripping our imagination.

Mutiny, murder and mayhem on the high seas as Sam Willis takes the story of shipwrecks into the Georgian age when Britain first began to rule the waves. But with maritime trade driving the whole enterprise, disasters at sea imperilled all this. As key colonies were established and new territories conquered, the great sailing ships became symbols of the power of the Georgian state - and the shipwreck was to be its Achilles' heel. By literally turning this world upside down, mutinous sailors, rebellious slaves and murderous wreckers threatened to undermine Britain's ambitions and jeopardise its imperial venture.

SAT 21:00 The Young Montalbano (b06zdgfg)
Series 2

The Honest Thief

Salvo requests a transfer to Genoa so that he can be closer to Livia, but it's clear that the prospect of leaving his beloved Sicily is a tough one. Meanwhile, a Milanese barmaid who had been living in Vigata goes missing, and the investigation must navigate the many speculations about the young woman's promiscuous sex life. Montalbano divides his time between trying to find the missing girl and investigating a bout of unusual burglaries, in which the victims report the theft of bafflingly small amounts of money.

In Italian with English subtitles.

SAT 22:45 Music Moguls: Masters of Pop (p039x5f7)
Myth Makers

Part three of this illuminating series exploring the music business from behind the scenes takes a look at PR, the unseen force behind all the biggest musical acts in the world. With unique revelations, unseen footage and unrivalled access, it tells the story of the rise of PR within the music industry through the eyes of the people who lived it. Highlights include the PR campaigns behind superstars Jimi Hendrix, Taylor Swift and David Bowie.

Narrated by PR Alan Edwards.

SAT 23:45 It's Only Rock 'n' Roll: Rock 'n' Roll at the BBC (b063m6wy)
A celebration of rock 'n' roll in the shape of a compilation of classic artists and songs, featuring the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Dion and Dick Dale who all featured in the Rock 'n' Roll America series, alongside songs that celebrate rock 'n roll itself from artists such as Tom Petty (Anything That's Rock 'n' Roll), Joan Jett (I Love Rock 'n' Roll) and Oasis (Rock 'n' Roll Star).

SAT 00:45 Danny Baker's Great Album Showdown (b01qlcss)
File under: R&B

What is the essence of a great R&B album? Danny Baker celebrates the golden age of the analogue, vinyl LP with soul singer Mica Paris, actor and soul aficionado Martin Freeman and DJ Trevor Nelson. Opinionated and impassioned, Baker and his guests select their favourite soul and funk albums and discuss how the great R&B LPs of the 60s and 70s were a product of their times - and often rapturously received by their audience.

SAT 01:45 Top of the Pops (b06yrm6x)
Richard Skinner introduces the pop programme, featuring The Pretenders, Barbara Jones, Kelly Marie, Freeez, Beggar and Co, Coast to Coast, Slade and John Lennon, and a dance performance from Legs & Co.

SAT 02:25 Top of the Pops (b06yrs1d)
Peter Powell introduces the pop programme, featuring Status Quo, Kim Wilde, Madness, Kiki Dee, Coast to Coast, The Passions, Roxy Music and Joe Dolce, and a dance performance from Legs & Co.

SAT 03:05 Sounds of the Eighties (b0074sll)
Episode 4

Another in the series of 1980s pop archive shows highlights those bands that swayed on the spot, compulsory for the synthesiser bands that dominated the decade. Doing the standing still are Depeche Mode (featuring Vince Clarke), The Human League, Yazoo (featuring Vince Clarke), Soft Cell, New Order, Bronski Beat, Pet Shop Boys and Erasure (featuring Vince Clarke).


SUN 19:00 Pierre Boulez at the BBC: Master and Maverick (b06z66l8)
Tom Service presents 40 years of great BBC archive featuring the French composer, conductor and musical icon Pierre Boulez, who died on 5th January 2016 at the age of 90. Opinionated and challenging, Boulez transformed the way that musicians and audiences all over the world think about contemporary music. With orchestras including the BBC Symphony, he rehearses and performs Debussy, Stravinsky and Bartok, as well as a selection of his own extraordinary compositions. Boulez's relationship with the BBC began in the 1960s and blossomed during his years as chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra - leaving a vivid legacy in the BBC's TV archive.

SUN 20:00 Russia's Lost Princesses (b04fljyk)
The Gilded Cage

Interviews with leading historians, archive footage and dramatic reconstruction reveal the childhoods of Tsar Nicholas II's four daughters - Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia - and the truth behind the fairy-tale images. The sisters were the most photographed princesses of their day, attracting the same frenzied press attention as Princess Diana later would, but their public profile masked the reality of their strange and very isolated upbringing.

The sisters' lives changed forever after the birth of their little brother Alexei, whose life-threatening haemophilia meant that he became the main focus of their mother Alexandra's love and attention. Alexandra was obsessed with keeping Alexei's illness an absolute secret, so the family lived in a gilded cage - the girls seldom left the confines of their palace, had few friends and knew almost nothing of the outside world. One of the few outsiders to whom the four sisters became genuinely close was their parents' controversial spiritual advisor Rasputin, the only person who seemed able to alleviate Alexei's suffering.

As adolescents, the girls grew even closer to Rasputin. Because their mother was often unwell, frequently locked herself away and refused to see her daughters, they turned instead to Rasputin for advice on all their teenage problems. Rasputin was notorious for his debauchery, so his relationship with Alexandra and the sisters was cause for mounting concern amongst the extended Romanov family, and it wasn't long before shocking rumours started to circulate about what exactly was going on amidst the seclusion of the Alexander Palace.

SUN 21:00 Tales from the Royal Bedchamber (b0386lxs)
Lucy Worsley gets into bed with our past monarchs to uncover the tales from the royal bedchamber. She reveals that our obsession with royal bedrooms, births and succession is nothing new. In fact, the rise and fall of their magnificent beds reflects the changing fortunes of the monarchy itself.

SUN 22:00 Storyville (b06zdjn0)
A Death Row Tale: The Fear of 13

After more than 20 years on death row, a convicted murderer petitions the court asking to be executed. But as he tells his story, it gradually becomes clear that nothing is quite what it seems.

This film is a stylistically daring experiment in storytelling, in effect a one-man play constructed from a four-day interview. In a monologue that is part confessional and part performance, Nick, the sole protagonist, tells a tale with all the twists and turns of classic crime drama. But as the story unfolds it reveals itself as something much deeper, an emotionally powerful meditation on the redemptive power of love and literature. A final shocking twist casts everything in a new light.

SUN 23:30 Horizon (b00xxgbn)

What Is Reality?

There is a strange and mysterious world that surrounds us, a world largely hidden from our senses. The quest to explain the true nature of reality is one of the great scientific detective stories.

Clues have been pieced together from deep within the atom, from the event horizon of black holes, and from the far reaches of the cosmos. It may be that that we are part of a cosmic hologram, projected from the edge of the universe. Or that we exist in an infinity of parallel worlds. Your reality may never look quite the same again.

SUN 00:30 The Brain with David Eagleman (b06yrqzh)
What Makes Me?

Series in which Dr David Eagleman takes viewers on an extraordinary journey that explores how the brain, locked in silence and darkness without direct access to the world, conjures up the rich and beautiful world we all take for granted.

This episode explores the question of how the brain gives rise to our thoughts, emotions, memories and personality. We see how the process of becoming 'you' starts at birth. The brain of a newborn baby is not yet fully developed, instead it grows and shapes itself around life experience.

Wiring up begins immediately, and rapidly, as the child's brain starts to adapt to whatever situation - culture, habitat, language - it's born into. This allows humans to flourish in any stimulating environment, but as the story of three Romanian orphans reveals, a lack of social contact and stimulation can result in permanent brain damage as the brain fails to make vital connections in those critical early years.

Tracing the development of the brain - the 'making of you' - through a lifetime, Dr Eagleman tests the social stress levels of teenagers as their brains go through profound changes, meets London cabbies whose intense training to memorise street maps physically alters the shape of their hippocampus, and joins a group of elderly nuns who are defying the symptoms of Alzheimer's by keeping their brains active and building up 'cognitive reserve'.

As we make new memories, learn new skills and have life experiences, the brain is constantly and dynamically rewiring itself. It never stops. Nor do we - the human brain is always changing, and therefore so are we. From cradle to grave, we are works in progress.

SUN 01:30 Rock 'n' Roll America (b0615nmw)
Sweet Little Sixteen

In Cold War mid-1950s America, as the new suburbia was spreading fast in a country driven by racial segregation, rock 'n' roll took the country by surprise. Out of the Deep South came a rhythm-driven fusion of blues, boogie woogie and vocal harmony played by young black pioneers like Fats Domino and Little Richard that seduced young white teens and, pre-civil rights, got black and white kids reeling and rocking together.

This fledgling sound was nurtured by small independent labels and travelled up from the Mississippi corridor spawning new artists. In Memphis, Elvis began his career as a local singer with a country twang who rocked up a blues song and sounded so black he confused his white listeners. And in St Louis, black blues guitarist Chuck Berry took a country song and turned it into his first rock 'n' roll hit, Maybellene.

Movies had a big role to play thanks to 'social problem' films exploring the teenager as misfit and delinquent - The Wild One showed teens a rebellious image and a look, and Blackboard Jungle gave them a soundtrack, with the film's theme tune Rock Around the Clock becoming the first rock 'n' roll Number 1 in 1955.

Featuring Jerry Lee Lewis, Don Everly, Little Richard, Tom Jones, Wanda Jackson, Pat Boone, The Spaniels, PF Sloan, Joe Boyd, Jerry Phillips, Marshall Chess, JM Van Eaton (Jerry Lee Lewis's drummer), Charles Connor (Little Richard's drummer) and Dick Richards (Bill Haley's drummer).

SUN 02:30 Sounds of the Eighties (b0074sll)
[Repeat of broadcast at 03:05 on Saturday]

SUN 02:55 Danny Baker's Great Album Showdown (b01qlcss)
[Repeat of broadcast at 00:45 on Saturday]


MON 19:00 World News Today (b06zd99y)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

MON 19:30 Grand Tours of Scotland (b016qxjs)
Series 2

Crossing the Border

Presenter Paul Murton returns with a second series of Grand Tours of Scotland to explore the most fascinating parts of the country that have charmed visitors for more than 200 years.

In the Victorian era, tourists poured across the border to explore Scotland's unique blend of stunning scenery, romantic ruins, myths and legends. This first episode sees Paul board a traditional gypsy caravan to travel through the Borders and up to Glasgow.

MON 20:00 Attenborough and the Giant Egg (b00z6dsg)
David Attenborough returns to the island of Madagascar on a very personal quest.

In 1960, he visited the island to film one of his first ever wildlife series - Zoo Quest. Whilst he was there, he acquired a giant egg belonging to an extinct bird known as the 'elephant bird' - the largest bird that ever lived. It has been one of his most treasured possessions ever since.

Fifty years older, he now returns to the island to find out more about this amazing creature and to see how the island has changed. Could the elephant bird's fate provide lessons that may help protect Madagascar's remaining wildlife?

Using Zoo Quest archive and specially shot location footage, this film follows David as he revisits scenes from his youth and meets people at the front line of wildlife protection. On his return, scientists at Oxford University are able to reveal for the first time how old David's egg actually is, and what that might tell us about the legendary elephant bird.

MON 21:00 Nature's Wonderlands: Islands of Evolution (b06zdkds)
Madeira: Island Ark

In the final episode, Richard Fortey travels to Madeira to examine what happens to a volcanic island as it nears the end of its life cycle and starts sinking back into the sea. Here, in the island's laurisilva forest, he examines the remains of an ancient forest that once carpeted all of Europe, finds island lizards that live to be four times older than their mainland counterparts, and meets a huge wolf spider. With the help of local divers, he also discovers an unexpectedly rich marine habitat populated by whales, dolphins and unusual deep-sea species that have much to tell us about the changing nature of our seas.

MON 22:00 The London Markets (b01jbb99)
The Meat Market: Inside Smithfield

The night-time market at Smithfield was once the sole supplier of meat and poultry to London and could play by its own rules.

But now the modern world of political correctness and customer service is proving a challenge for some in this closed, traditional man's world.

Smithfield has been supplying the capital with meat since the 12th century, but what does the future hold for the men of the meat market?

MON 23:00 The Great War (b0074p9b)
Surely We Have Perished

This episode turns to the Western Front in 1917. The centrepiece of this gloomy year was the third battle of Ypres - known as the battle of Passchendale. The British fought alone through three and half long months of one of the wettest summers Flanders had ever seen. The battle has aroused much controversy, but one truth emerges - the terrible effect the ordeal inflicted upon the human spirit.

MON 23:40 The Great War (b0074p9d)
Fat Rodzyanko Has Sent me Some Nonsense

This episode turns to Russia and its short-lived democracy, brought about by mass strikes and demonstrations. The tsar was blamed for all evils and forced to abdicate. The new enthusiasm in Russia heartened the Allies and alarmed the Germans, who had calculated that a Russian revolution would put an end to war on the Eastern Front.

MON 00:20 Attenborough and the Giant Egg (b00z6dsg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 01:20 Donald Campbell: Speed King (b01rrk63)
Donald Campbell is world famous for his speed records on land and water and, of course, that fatal crash in Bluebird on Lake Coniston in 1967. His story as one of the last of the great British boffins, his place in the making of modern Britain and his daredevil feats made him a household name. However, the behind-the-scenes story of a man driven by fear of failure, by a desire to keep both himself and his country at the top of their game, has never been told. Until now.

For the first time ever this film goes behind the carefully orchestrated public image Campbell created to reveal a very different man. Backed by exclusive access to extensive new colour archive that covers his whole life (from private and public collections), Campbell's close family and friends describe his quest for success and ultimate transformation from a man at the top to someone struggling for recognition, to myth after the tragic events of 1967.

MON 02:20 Britain on Film (b03c26xf)
Series 2

This Sporting Life

Series in which high-quality 1960s colour footage from the vaults of the Rank Organisation is brought together to offer compelling insights into British life during that seminal decade.

This episode salutes the Rank filmmakers' attempts to reflect our near-obsessive national preoccupation with a range of competitive sports, ranging from golf and cycling to skiing and stock car racing. Featuring vintage prose praising the idiosyncratic appeal of cricket by the incomparable commentator Richie Benaud, as well as rare colour footage of the England football team in training shortly before their greatest-ever triumph in the 1966 World Cup.

MON 02:50 Nature's Wonderlands: Islands of Evolution (b06zdkds)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 World News Today (b06zd9b3)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

TUE 19:30 Grand Tours of Scotland (b0171n40)
Series 2

Elemental Beauty

Paul Murton travels from the shores of beautiful Loch Maree, into the wilds of Assynt and on to the northern most part of mainland Scotland. Paul is braving the weather and making this journey on foot in order to experience nature in all its elemental glory - which sometimes means four seasons in one day.

TUE 20:00 Crossing England in a Punt: River of Dreams (p00y6r6q)
From the Staffordshire hills to the Humber estuary, spirited explorer Tom Fort embarks on a 170-mile journey down Britain's third-longest river, the Trent. Beginning on foot, he soon transfers to his own custom-built punt, the Trent Otter, and rows many miles downstream. Along the way he encounters the power stations that generate much of the nation's electricity, veterans of the catastrophic floods of 1947, the 19th-century brewers of Burton and a Bronze Age boatman who once made a life along the river.

TUE 21:00 Russia's Lost Princesses (b04fljyk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Sunday]

TUE 22:00 Tutankhamun: The Truth Uncovered (b04n6scp)
What killed King Tutankhamun? Ever since his spectacular tomb was discovered, the boy king has been the most famous pharaoh of all ancient Egypt. But his mysterious death, at just 19 years old, has never been explained.

Dallas Campbell reports on new scientific research being carried out on his fragile remains in an attempt to get to the truth. Using CT scan data, the programme creates the first scientifically accurate image of the king's corpse. DNA analysis uncovers a secret about Tutankhamun's family background, and the genetic trail of clues leads to a new theory to explain his death.

This is an epic detective story that uncovers the extraordinary truth of the boy behind the golden mask.

TUE 23:00 Nature's Wonderlands: Islands of Evolution (b06zdkds)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]

TUE 00:00 How Earth Made Us (b00qhqr8)

Professor Iain Stewart continues his epic exploration of how the planet has shaped human history.

This time he explores our complex relationship with water. Visiting spectacular locations in Iceland, the Middle East and India, Iain shows how control over water has been central to human existence.

He takes a precarious flight in a motorised paraglider to experience the cycle of freshwater that we depend on, discovers how villagers in the foothills of the Himalayas have built a living bridge to cope with the monsoon, and visits Egypt to reveal the secret of the pharaohs' success.

Throughout history, success has depended on our ability to adapt to and control constantly shifting sources of water.

TUE 01:00 How the Celts Saved Britain (b00kps7h)
A New Civilisation

Dan Snow blows the lid off the traditional, Anglo-centric view of history and reveals how the Irish saved Britain from cultural oblivion during the Dark Ages, in this provocative, two-part documentary.

Travelling back in time to some of the remotest corners of the British Isles, Dan unravels the mystery of the lost years of 400-800 AD, when the collapse of the Roman Empire left Britain in tatters.

In the first episode, Dan shows how in the 5th century AD Roman 'Britannia' was plunged into chaos by the arrival of Anglo-Saxon invaders. As Roman civilisation disappeared from Britain, a new civilisation emerged in one of the most unlikely places - Ireland. Within a few generations, Christianity transformed a backward, barbarian country into the cultural powerhouse of early medieval Europe.

This is a visually and intellectually stimulating journey through one of the least known chapters of British history.

TUE 02:00 Guilty Pleasures: Luxury in... (b012cnkx)
The Middle Ages

Luxury isn't just a question of expensive and the beautiful objects for the rich and the powerful. It has always been much more important than that, especially in the ancient and medieval worlds.

This second episode follows the clash between luxury and Christianity which convulsed medieval Europe. Luxury was a roadblock on the road to heaven, so the church was quick to condemn the jewellery, gorgeous weapons and pattern-welded swords of the early medieval world. Yet the church also had its own form of luxury, in the form of spectacular manuscripts designed to do the work of God through astonishment and display. And to some extent it worked, as by 1200 medieval boys' toys like warhorses and tournaments came to be suffused with Christian ideas of chivalry and gentility.

But by that time the growth of trade had brought new luxuries to Europe, condemned in turn by the church, like exotic spices from the East. Spicy food led to spicy conduct, said the preachers, and to the sin of lechery. But soon the Black Death paradoxically liberated luxury from the church by initiating a new world of relative luxury and consumerism - the luxury world we inhabit today.

TUE 03:00 Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History (b03l7kj8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Saturday]


WED 19:00 World News Today (b06zd9b9)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

WED 19:30 Grand Tours of Scotland (b01783jf)
Series 2

Islands of the Clyde

For generations, the Firth of Clyde was a favourite holiday destination for millions of Scots, both rich and poor. In this Grand Tour of Scotland, presenter Paul Murton explores the delights of this famous stretch of water. Here you could enjoy healthy sea breezes - take a dunk in the briny, mess about in boats, enjoy a glass or two of your favourite tipple - or, if you had the money, all of the above at the same time!

WED 20:00 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.

WED 21:00 A Timewatch Guide (b06zw45j)
Series 2

The Crusades

Historian Dr Thomas Asbridge explores the BBC's archive to reveal how television's telling of the Crusades has changed over the last 60 years. Using footage from Crusade documentaries shot during the Vietnam era, the Palestinian Crisis, the First Gulf War and the more recent War on Terror, he reveals how our interpretation of this medieval story has been influenced by modern political and social change. Thomas highlights the alternative Arabic perspectives on the Crusades, and asks whether this 1,000-year-old story really does cast its long shadow over the modern world, as so many have claimed.

With contributions from Monty Python star and medievalist Terry Jones, Washington economist JK Galbraith, and historians Simon Sebag Montefiore, Dr Peter Frankopan, Prof Konrad Hirschler and Dr Fozia Bora.

WED 22:00 Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History (b03l7kj8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Saturday]

WED 23:00 Tales from the Royal Bedchamber (b0386lxs)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Sunday]

WED 00:00 Russia's Lost Princesses (b04fljyk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Sunday]

WED 01:00 Timeshift (b01n3vq9)
Series 12

Health before the NHS: A Medical Revolution

The Robert Winston-narrated mini-series concludes with the story of hospitals. At the beginning of the 20th century these were forbidding places very much to be avoided - a last resort for the destitute rather than places you would go to get better. Using unique archive footage from an era when infectious disease was virtually untreatable and powerful first-hand accounts from patients, doctors and nurses, the programme explores the extraordinary transformation of the hospital from Victorian workhouse to modern centre of medicine.

WED 02:00 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.

WED 03:00 A Timewatch Guide (b06zw45j)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 World News Today (b06zd9bj)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b06zdnkk)
Mike Read introduces the pop programme, featuring Duran Duran, Shakin Stevens, Phil Collins, The Who, Adam and the Ants, Toyah, Motorhead & Girlschool, Joe Dolce, Talking Heads and The Teardrop Explodes, and a dance performance from Legs & Co.

THU 20:00 A Timewatch Guide (b06zw45j)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Wednesday]

THU 21:00 The Brain with David Eagleman (b06zdnkm)
Who Is in Control?

Series in which Dr David Eagleman takes viewers on an extraordinary journey that explores how the brain, locked in silence and darkness without direct access to the world, conjures up the rich and beautiful world we all take for granted.

This episode explores the great deception that greets us each morning when we wake up - it feels as though we are in conscious control of our lives, but in fact almost every action we take, every decision we make, every belief that we hold is driven by parts of the brain that we have no access to.

Dr Eagleman reveals the electrical storm of unconscious neural activity that accompanies even the simplest of actions. We meet a patient who has lost the ability to walk without consciously controlling every movement. If he's distracted for even a moment he will fall.

To demonstrate the proficiency of the unconscious brain, Dr Eagleman competes with a ten-year-old world champion in the sport of cup stacking. Wearing EEG caps to record their brain activity reveals that although the champion is performing at much greater speed and precision, his brain is almost at rest. When a skill sinks below the level of conscious, controlling this allows for much greater speed and efficiency.

Dr Eagleman reveals that everything from who we find attractive to how we describe the relationship we have with our mother can be influenced by factors that we have no conscious control over. But the unconscious has a dark side, as the story of Ken Parks - who killed his mother-in-law in his sleep - demonstrates. Our consciousness is needed to arbitrate between competing systems in the brain that, left to their own devices, are liable to run amok.

Dr Eagleman ends with a brief journey through free will, and the deep question of whether we have any conscious control over our lives. Although there is tantalising evidence that we can feel as though we are consciously in control when we are not, the experimental jury is still out on whether or not free will is an illusion. However, free will or no free will, the human brain's extraordinary complexity guarantees that life will never feel predictable.

THU 22:00 Spider House (b04mqc4z)
Ever wondered what spiders really get up to in your home? In this Halloween special Alice Roberts overcomes her arachnophobia to enter a spider-filled house where an astonishing drama unfolds within its walls.

Inside she meets entomologist Tim Cockerill, who loves spiders and quickly immerses Alice in the wonders of web-building, the secrets of fly-catching and the dangerous spider-eat-spider world they inhabit.

Tim wants us to welcome spiders into our homes. He takes Alice on a macro mystery tour of the rooms of the Spider House, revealing what goes on in the cracks and crannies of our homes.

Why do we always find spiders in the bathroom? And what happens if we flush them down the plughole? Using powerful macrophotography, Tim and Alice find out.

In the dining room, they uncover the complex engineering behind the most beautifully constructed 'dinner plate' in the home - a spider's web. In the kitchen Alice witnesses the extraordinary hunting ability of the keen-eyed jumping spider, while Tim finds out how spiders kill their prey using venom.

In the bedroom, the secrets of spider courtship are revealed. For spiders, mating is a high-stakes life-or-death game, where males risk being eaten by females. In the nursery, we enter an enchanting cocoon where tiny spiderlings struggle out of their exoskeletons - the first of many moults on the road to becoming adult spiders. Meanwhile, down in the cellar, we meet an unexpectedly voracious killer - the daddy longlegs.

Many of us have a love-hate relationship with spiders. The rational side of Alice Roberts understands their benefits, but can she overcome her irrational fears? She faces the ultimate challenge: to spend the night alone... with the spiders... in Spider House.

THU 23:30 Top of the Pops (b06zdnkk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 00:10 The London Markets (b01jbb99)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Monday]

THU 01:10 Horizon (b00xxgbn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:30 on Sunday]

THU 02:10 The Brain with David Eagleman (b06zdnkm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

THU 03:10 Britain on Film (b03b8s51)
Series 2

The Home Front

Archive-based series on British life in the 1960s continues with an episode devoted to some of the most monumental challenges of the post-war period - how to tackle desperate housing shortages, rebuild shattered cities and meet the rising expectations of an increasingly affluent and consumerist nation. As these films show, 1960s Britain embraced ambitious solutions by building high-rise homes in our cities and New Towns in the country.


FRI 19:00 World News Today (b06zd9bt)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (b06zdpkm)
Tommy Vance introduces the pop programme, featuring The Teardrop Explodes, Kim Wilde, Linx, Status Quo, Kelly Marie, Freeez, Beggar & Co, Landscape, Talking Heads, Kiki Dee, Coast to Coast and Roxy Music, and a dance performance from Legs & Co.

FRI 20:00 The Good Old Days (b06yrv6l)
Leonard Sachs presents an edition of the old-time music hall programme, from the stage of the City Varieties Theatre, Leeds. With Ronnie Corbett, Kenneth McKeller, Rosemary Squires, the Looneys and members of the Players Theatre, London.

FRI 20:45 Sounds of the Sixties (b008pfhf)

1964-6 The Beat Room

Featuring vintage performances from Tom Jones, the Kinks and the Moody Blues.

FRI 20:55 Sounds of the Seventies (b00c1cx3)

The Faces

Vintage rock, pop and soul performances from the BBC archives. The Faces perform Stay with Me in 1972.

FRI 21:00 Totally British: 70s Rock 'n' Roll (b01r3pm9)

Trawled from the depths of the BBC Archive and classic BBC shows of the day - Old Grey Whistle Test, Top of the Pops and Full House - a collection of performance gems from a totally rock 'n' roll early 1970s.

This was a golden era for British rock 'n' roll as everyone moved on from the whimsical 60s and looked around for something with a bit more oomph! In a pre-heavy metal world bands were experimenting with influences that dated back to 50s rock 'n' roll, whilst taking their groove from old-school rhythm and blues. It was also a time when men grew their hair long!

In a celebration of this era, we kick off with an early 1970s Badfinger number direct from the BBC library and continue the groove from the BBC vaults with classic rock 'n' roll heroes like Free, Status Quo, the Faces, Humble Pie and Mott the Hoople. Plus from deep within the BBC archives we dig out some rarities from the likes of Babe Ruth, Stone the Crows, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Man, Heavy Metal Kids and original rockers Thin Lizzy... to name but a few.

Sit back and enjoy a 60-minute non-stop ride of unadulterated Totally British 70s Rock 'n' Roll!

FRI 22:00 The Most Dangerous Band in the World: The Story of Guns N' Roses (b06zdpkr)
It was 1985. Guns N' Roses were soon to be known as the last mammoth rock entity to come out of LA after selling over 100 million albums. Jon Brewer brings alive never-before-seen video footage of Guns N' Roses in their earliest days as a fledgling band, filmed and meticulously archived over the years by their close friend. They became known as 'the most dangerous band in the world' and retained the title for reasons this film portrays, via interviews with band members and those who were there on, and off, tour. Venture down seedy Sunset Strip to the Whiskey, the Rainbow and the Roxy, all known as 'the Jungle'.

FRI 23:30 Rock 'n' Roll America (b061fdr7)
Whole Lotta Shakin'

As rock 'n' roll took off with teens in 1955 it quickly increased record sales by 300 per cent in America. Big business and the burgeoning world of TV moved in. Elvis made a big-money move to major label RCA instigated by Colonel Tom Parker, an illegal immigrant from Holland who had made his name at country fairs with a set of dancing chickens. Elvis made his national TV debut with Heartbreak Hotel and followed it with a gyrating version of Hound Dog that shocked America. PTAs, church groups and local councils were outraged. Rock 'n' roll was banned by the mayor of Jersey City and removed from jukeboxes in Alabama. Now Ed Sullivan would only shoot Elvis from the waist up.

The conservative media needed a cleaned-up version and the young, married-with-kids Christian singer Pat Boone shot up the chart, rivalling Elvis for sales. Not that this stopped rock 'n' roll. Jerry Lee Lewis again scandalised the nation with his gyrating finger in Whole Lotta Shakin' and the Everlys shocked with Wake Up Little Susie, both 45s being banned in parts of America.

It took bespectacled geek Buddy Holly to calm things down as a suburban down-home boy who, with his school friends The Crickets, turned plain looks into chart success. But by the end of 1958 the music was in real trouble. Elvis was conscripted into the army, Jerry Lee was thrown out of Britain and into obscurity for marrying his 13-year-old cousin and Little Richard went into the church.

Featuring Jerry Lee Lewis, Don Everly, Tom Jones, Wanda Jackson, Pat Boone, DJ Fontana, Eric Burdon, James Burton, Jerry Allison (The Crickets' drummer), Mike Stoller, PF Sloan, Joe Boyd, Jerry Phillips, Marshall Chess and JM Van Eaton (Jerry Lee Lewis's drummer).

FRI 00:30 Top of the Pops (b06zdpkm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

FRI 01:10 Totally British: 70s Rock 'n' Roll (b01r3pm9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 02:10 The Most Dangerous Band in the World: The Story of Guns N' Roses (b06zdpkr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

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

A Timewatch Guide 21:00 WED (b06zw45j)

A Timewatch Guide 03:00 WED (b06zw45j)

A Timewatch Guide 20:00 THU (b06zw45j)

Attenborough and the Giant Egg 20:00 MON (b00z6dsg)

Attenborough and the Giant Egg 00:20 MON (b00z6dsg)

Britain on Film 02:20 MON (b03c26xf)

Britain on Film 03:10 THU (b03b8s51)

Calculating Ada: The Countess of Computing 20:00 WED (p030s5bx)

Crossing England in a Punt: River of Dreams 20:00 TUE (p00y6r6q)

Danny Baker's Great Album Showdown 00:45 SAT (b01qlcss)

Danny Baker's Great Album Showdown 02:55 SUN (b01qlcss)

Donald Campbell: Speed King 01:20 MON (b01rrk63)

Grand Tours of Scotland 19:30 MON (b016qxjs)

Grand Tours of Scotland 19:30 TUE (b0171n40)

Grand Tours of Scotland 19:30 WED (b01783jf)

Guilty Pleasures: Luxury in... 02:00 TUE (b012cnkx)

Horizon 23:30 SUN (b00xxgbn)

Horizon 01:10 THU (b00xxgbn)

How Earth Made Us 19:00 SAT (b00qbvyc)

How Earth Made Us 00:00 TUE (b00qhqr8)

How the Celts Saved Britain 01:00 TUE (b00kps7h)

It's Only Rock 'n' Roll: Rock 'n' Roll at the BBC 23:45 SAT (b063m6wy)

Music Moguls: Masters of Pop 22:45 SAT (p039x5f7)

Nature's Wonderlands: Islands of Evolution 21:00 MON (b06zdkds)

Nature's Wonderlands: Islands of Evolution 02:50 MON (b06zdkds)

Nature's Wonderlands: Islands of Evolution 23:00 TUE (b06zdkds)

Pierre Boulez at the BBC: Master and Maverick 19:00 SUN (b06z66l8)

Return to Betjemanland 02:00 WED (b04gb6nl)

Rock 'n' Roll America 01:30 SUN (b0615nmw)

Rock 'n' Roll America 23:30 FRI (b061fdr7)

Russia's Lost Princesses 20:00 SUN (b04fljyk)

Russia's Lost Princesses 21:00 TUE (b04fljyk)

Russia's Lost Princesses 00:00 WED (b04fljyk)

Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History 20:00 SAT (b03l7kj8)

Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History 03:00 TUE (b03l7kj8)

Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History 22:00 WED (b03l7kj8)

Sounds of the Eighties 03:05 SAT (b0074sll)

Sounds of the Eighties 02:30 SUN (b0074sll)

Sounds of the Seventies 20:55 FRI (b00c1cx3)

Sounds of the Sixties 20:45 FRI (b008pfhf)

Spider House 22:00 THU (b04mqc4z)

Storyville 22:00 SUN (b06zdjn0)

Tales from the Royal Bedchamber 21:00 SUN (b0386lxs)

Tales from the Royal Bedchamber 23:00 WED (b0386lxs)

The Brain with David Eagleman 00:30 SUN (b06yrqzh)

The Brain with David Eagleman 21:00 THU (b06zdnkm)

The Brain with David Eagleman 02:10 THU (b06zdnkm)

The Good Old Days 20:00 FRI (b06yrv6l)

The Great War 23:00 MON (b0074p9b)

The Great War 23:40 MON (b0074p9d)

The London Markets 22:00 MON (b01jbb99)

The London Markets 00:10 THU (b01jbb99)

The Most Dangerous Band in the World: The Story of Guns N' Roses 22:00 FRI (b06zdpkr)

The Most Dangerous Band in the World: The Story of Guns N' Roses 02:10 FRI (b06zdpkr)

The Young Montalbano 21:00 SAT (b06zdgfg)

Timeshift 01:00 WED (b01n3vq9)

Top of the Pops 01:45 SAT (b06yrm6x)

Top of the Pops 02:25 SAT (b06yrs1d)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b06zdnkk)

Top of the Pops 23:30 THU (b06zdnkk)

Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (b06zdpkm)

Top of the Pops 00:30 FRI (b06zdpkm)

Totally British: 70s Rock 'n' Roll 21:00 FRI (b01r3pm9)

Totally British: 70s Rock 'n' Roll 01:10 FRI (b01r3pm9)

Tutankhamun: The Truth Uncovered 22:00 TUE (b04n6scp)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b06zd99y)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b06zd9b3)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b06zd9b9)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b06zd9bj)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b06zd9bt)