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

Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4 Contact

Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by


SAT 19:00 How Earth Made Us (b00r390p)
Human Planet

Professor Iain Stewart explores the most recently established force - humans. It's easy to think of the human impact on the planet as a negative one, but as Iain discovers, this isn't always the case. It is clear that humans have unprecedented control over many of the planet's geological cycles. The question is, how will the human race use this power?

SAT 20:00 The Inca: Masters of the Clouds (b04y4q35)
Clash of Empires

In the concluding part, Dr Jago Cooper argues that it wasn't simply a clash of arms that destroyed the Inca but a clash of worldviews. He travels from Peru to the far north of Inca territory in Ecuador to reveal how the great strengths of the empire suddenly became factors in its rapid demise. The Spanish conquest of the Inca destroyed one of the most remarkable empires in the world, yet the Inca legacy leaves a great deal for modern civilisations to learn from.

SAT 21:00 Trapped (b070nykb)
Series 1

Episode 5

The avalanche has caused a total blackout. Plunged into darkness, the town's inhabitants are anxious and afraid. Meanwhile, the mayor has a surprise visitor.

In Icelandic and English with English subtitles.

SAT 21:50 Trapped (b071chqx)
Series 1

Episode 6

Amid general disquiet, the town's inhabitants gather in the church, where they demand answers. Police chief Andri Olafsson is tasked with speaking to them and he must tell the truth.

In Icelandic and English with English subtitles.

SAT 22:40 The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse (b00x9b7w)
The extraordinary story of comedian Bob Monkhouse's life and career, told through the vast private archive of films, TV shows, letters and memorabilia that he left behind.

SAT 00:10 Neil Sedaka: King of Song (b03v2yxt)
Neil Sedaka is one of the most successful American singer-songwriters of the last century. A classically trained musician, he won a scholarship to the Juilliard School at the age of nine and four years later he embarked on a writing career that would see him create some of the most perfect pop songs of all time. Throughout his career he wrote, recorded and sang a number of instantly recognisable and memorable tunes, as well as delivering a string of hits as a songwriter for other artists.

This documentary portrait film tells the story of Neil Sedaka's life and career, in which he had two distinct periods of success. Between 1958 and 1963 he sold over 25 million records, but then his career nose-dived after the Beatles and the British Invasion hit the USA. Leaving his homeland, he found success in the UK in the early 1970s and relaunched his career before returning to the US and achieving new stardom with songs like Solitaire and Laughter in the Rain.

Neil gives great insight into how he created catchy classics like Calendar Girl, (Is This the Way to) Amarillo, Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen and Stupid Cupid, amongst many others.

SAT 01:10 Neil Sedaka Says: All You Need Is the Music (b00pwstt)
During a career which was originally designed to make him a classical pianist, the musical achievements and statistics of singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka have made him a compelling figure in contemporary music, with 600 songs written and 20 million records sold. The hits from his early rock 'n' roll days to his later, more lyrical age are all included in this special one-man show from the 1980s.

SAT 02:00 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.

SAT 03:00 Top of the Pops (b071gx24)
Mike Read introduces the pop programme, featuring Keith Marshall, Bucks Fizz, Public Image, Eddy Grant, Linx, Saxon, Graham Bonnet, Gillan, The Whispers and Shakin' Stevens, and a dance performance from Legs & Co.


SUN 19:00 Jigs and Wigs: The Extreme World of Irish Dancing (b06ynswh)
Series 2

Dress Wars

Big Fat Gypsy Wedding dressmaker Thelma Madine takes on the world of the feis with a unique range of Irish dance dresses.

SUN 19:30 Northern Ballet: 1984 (b0726fq7)
George Orwell's classic dystopian novel 1984, reimagined through dance by choreographer Jonathan Watkins for Northern Ballet.

SUN 21:00 Storyville (b0726fq9)
Bolshoi Babylon

The Bolshoi is worshipped as Russia's national treasure by its many fans. But in 2013 the theatre hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons - Sergei Filin, director of the ballet company, nearly lost his eyesight when a masked man threw acid in his face. It triggered months of intrigue and scandal, with both performers and managers desperate to repair the damage.

Now, for the first time, film-makers have been granted uncensored access backstage to record an entire season. This film follows performers and managers as they attempt to reclaim their reputation. New director Vladimir Urin vows to resist meddling from the Kremlin, but his antipathy towards Sergei Filin spills out into the open. Away from the backstabbing and political intrigue, it is left to the dancers to keep the prestige and legacy of Russia's most famous theatre intact.

SUN 22:25 Populaire (b03knqqz)
French romcom. It's 1958 and, like many girls her age, Rose Pamphyle aspires to become a secretary. But she's clumsy and disorganised, meaning she's a disaster in the office. When she starts working for insurance man Louis Echard, her one true talent starts to shine through - Rose can type at lightning speed. A former sportsman, her boss cannot resist his competitive instincts and decides to enter Rose in the speed-typing championships.

In French with English subtitles.

SUN 00:10 Could We Survive a Mega-Tsunami? (b01s0zqv)
Starting off a kilometre high, travelling at the speed of a jet aircraft, and heading for us. It doesn't make for a good outcome. Hollywood-style graphics and real-life archive bring home an imagined near-future scenario, all based on cutting-edge science.

SUN 01:10 Timeshift (b0105r8x)
Series 10

Crime and Punishment - The Story of Capital Punishment

Timeshift digs into the archive to trace the extraordinary story of the ultimate sanction. At the beginning of the 19th century you could still be hanged in Britain for offences such as stealing a sheep or shooting a rabbit. Even children as young as seven were sent to the gallows. The last hanging in this country took place as recently as 1964.

By opting for a dispassionate history rather than staging the usual polarised debate, the programme breaks new ground with its fascinating attention to detail, such as the protocols of the public execution or the 'science' of hanging. With contributions from both sides of the argument, it provides an essential guide to a subject that still divides us.

SUN 02:10 Sounds of the Eighties (b04pw9xd)
Episode 8

Some heavy rhythms, including UB40's Food for Thought, Aswad's African Children, The Beat's Hands Off She's Mine, Run DMC's You Be Illin', Public Enemy's Miuzi Weighs a Ton and Neneh Cherry's Buffalo Stance.

SUN 02:35 Singer-Songwriters at the BBC (b00v9lhx)
Series 1

Episode 3

Compilation which unlocks the BBC vaults to explore the burgeoning singer-songwriter genre that exploded at the dawn of the 1970s and became one of the definining styles of that decade.

Featuring classic songs from Bobbie Gentry, Kris Kristofferson, Buffy Saint-Marie, Janis Ian, Gordon Lightfoot, John Martyn, Randy Newman, Linda Lewis, Joni Mitchell, Don McLean, Ralph McTell, Loudon Wainwright III, Don Williams and Paul Brady.

Programme sources include The Old Grey Whistle Test, Top of the Pops, Sounds for Saturday, The Bobbie Gentry Show and One in Ten.


MON 19:00 World News Today (b072665s)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

MON 19:30 Great Irish Journeys with Martha Kearney (b054c5gv)
Episode 1

Martha Kearney walks in the footsteps of a 19th-century artist and geologist who spent his life charting the landscape, people and buildings of Ireland. She retraces the journey of George Victor Du Noyer, whose 35-year odyssey left a unique record of how Ireland looked during a period of great change.

In this first episode, Martha introduces us to Du Noyer's work. She enjoys his impressions of Glendalough - a place close to the hearts of her own parents. She gets wet at the Bog of Allen. And she marvels at the majesty of the Old Head of Kinsale.

MON 20:00 A Timewatch Guide (b071gx2c)
Series 2

World War Two

Professor Saul David uses the BBC archive to chart the history of the world's most destructive war, by chronicling how the story of the battle has changed. As new information has come to light, and forgotten stories are remembered, the history of World War Two evolves. The BBC has followed that evolution, and this programme examines the most important stories, and how our understanding of them has been re-defined since the war ended over 70 years ago.

MON 21:00 The Renaissance Unchained (b0726fyv)
Silk, Sex and Sin

Waldemar Januszczak focuses on Venice and its extraordinary impact on art history. He celebrates colour, drama and vitality by looking at the delicate colours of Bellini, the mystery of Giorgione, the splendour of Titian, the drama and chaos of Tintoretto and the glorious banquets of Veronese.

MON 22:00 Henry VIII: Patron or Plunderer? (b00lc71z)
Episode 2

In the 1530s, King Henry VIII was at a crossroads. In his desperation for a new wife and an heir he had broken with Rome, divorced Catherine of Aragon and married Anne Boleyn. Isolated and vulnerable, he needed a powerful new image as head of church and state.

In the second of a two-part documentary, architectural historian Jonathan Foyle looks for clues in the king's art to glimpse what was going on inside his head as he faced his darkest days.

MON 23:00 The Great War (b0074pb4)
The Iron Thrones are Falling

The penultimate episode recounts the collapse of Germany's Austro-Hungarian and Bulgarian allies. In September 1918 Bulgaria, her forces routed in Serbia, finally capitulated. In Italy, the decisive clash came late in October, when the Austrians were resoundingly defeated at the battle of the Piave. One by one Germany's satellite powers were dropping away, leaving Germany fighting - and facing defeat - alone.

MON 23:40 The Great War (b0074pb8)
And We Were Young

The final episode looks at the last phase of the war and the final peace. At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year 1918, the Armistice came into effect. A wave of incredulous relief spread through the armies on all sides. As the day wore on and the certainty of peace sank in, the populations of the Allied countries were overcome by a frenzy of joy and exultation. The bloodiest conflict in the history of mankind thus far had finally come to an end.

MON 00:20 I Was There: The Great War Interviews - Learning Zone (b040mqfx)
This version of the BBC Two documentary made especially for schools features interviews with nine eyewitnesses of the First World War. The interviews were filmed in the 1960s for the BBC series, The Great War, and include both soldiers and civilians: an infantryman who fraternised with the Germans during the Christmas Truce of 1914, a German Corporal who recalls the moment he killed a French soldier with his bayonet, a woman who lost her beloved husband on the Somme, a fighter pilot, an Australian soldier who fought at Gallipoli, a munitions worker, an infantry officer, a signaller and a tank commander.

MON 01:20 Britain on Film (b01q6pzr)
Series 1

War and Peace

Throughout the 1960s, the Rank Organisation produced hundreds of short, quirky documentaries that examined all aspects of life in Britain. Shot on high-quality colour film stock, they were screened in cinemas, but until now very little of the footage has been shown on television. This series draws on this unique archive to offer illuminating and often surprising insights into a pivotal decade in modern British history.

This episode examines Look at Life's coverage of what was the most important political conflict of the era - the Cold War. With international tensions rising, the series recorded the enormous anti-nuclear protests in London; the experiences of British forces stationed in Berlin; and visited Eastern Europe, to observe everyday life for the people living behind the Iron Curtain.

MON 01:50 Fabric of Britain (b03c2766)
The Wonder of Embroidery

The Reformation in England witnessed the destruction of the most brilliant art of the medieval age. Church paintings and stained glass - even sculpture - were destroyed throughout England in the name of religion. And yet one art survived against the odds - the art of medieval embroidery.

Portable and easily squirrelled away, English embroidery was spirited out of the country in the 16th century and many brilliant examples survive today - if slightly unappreciated and forgotten in Italian churches and museums, even the Vatican. And yet it is an art form that rivalled the very finest in medieval painting or stained glass and for 200 years was the finest embroidery in the western world. Known simply as Opus Anglicanum (English work), the work of English embroiders was desired by kings and popes throughout Christendom.

Dan Jones, Plantagenet expert and medievalist, goes in search of these fragile yet stunning survivors from the great age of embroidery - encountering a world of finery, bejewelled luxury and sacred beauty on an undreamt-of scale.

MON 02:50 The Renaissance Unchained (b0726fyv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 World News Today (b072666b)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

TUE 19:30 Great Irish Journeys with Martha Kearney (b05n8tlg)
Episode 2

Martha Kearney walks in the footsteps of a 19th-century artist and geologist who spent his life charting the landscape, people and buildings of Ireland. She retraces the journey of George Victor Du Noyer, whose 35-year odyssey left a unique record of how Ireland looked during a period of great change.

In this episode, Martha travels north, taking in the extraordinary beauty of Dunluce Castle, and onwards to Mussenden Temple - only a romantic would expect to find a house here and only a lunatic would build it. She marvels at how Belfast was shaped by the Victorians, and visits Kearney Point on the Ards Peninsula to find out what's in a name. And she journeys south to Dunmoe, overlooking the site of the Battle of the Boyne.

TUE 20:00 The River Taff with Will Millard (b06zyl2v)
Series 1

Episode 1

Writer and fisherman Will Millard tells the extraordinary story of how the River Taff came back from the dead. This river, once so polluted by heavy industry that no fish could live there, has now become one of the best salmon and trout rivers in Wales. Will travels from the source high in the stunning Brecon Beacons National Park to Merthyr Tydfil where he discovers that the town's ironworks were once vital to the British Empire. Along the way he trains with a mountain rescue team facing a unique set of challenges, meets a group of conservationists working to protect a magical, hidden valley and fishes for wild brown trout in the most unlikely location.

TUE 20:30 The Brecon Beacons with Iolo Williams (b06wkqyn)
Series 1


Iolo Williams explores the magic of the Brecon Beacons over the seasons in this stunning new series. He braves a blizzard on the high peaks, yet the lowlands can still be sunny. On the snowy slopes, foxes look for food, while a great grey shrike, a ruthless hunter from Scandinavia, looks for animals to eat. Cormorants congregate to fish on reservoirs, some birds are already breeding on the River Usk and red deer hide away in secluded gullies in one of the wildest locations in the Beacons. It's a magnificent diverse landscape with huge caves, stunning waterfalls, ancient woodland and canals.

TUE 21:00 The Last Seabird Summer? (b072rpwn)
Living with the Birds

In episode one, Adam Nicolson follows the story of the seabirds on the Shiant Isles in the Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland, one of the most important bird places of Europe. As the puffins, guillemots and razorbills arrive from far out in the north Atlantic, Adam traces our long history of dependence on seabirds - thousands of years of collecting eggs and hunting the birds for meat, oil and feathers.

But there is crisis in our seabird population - in the last 15 years in Scotland alone, 40 per cent have been lost. And although in Britain our relationship is now one of conservation, there are countries who still hunt the seabird. To understand how this tradition continues today, Adam travels to Iceland, home to over half the world's puffins, and meets those for whom the puffin hunt is still part of everyday life.

TUE 22:00 Life of a Mountain (b04y4gd7)
A Year on Scafell Pike

A beautifully cinematic documentary following a year in the life of England's highest mountain, Scafell Pike, through the eyes of the farmers who work the valleys and fells, those who climb the mountain for pleasure and those who try to protect its slopes.

Filmed over a twelve-month period, it follows the seasons on the mountain from spring lambs through to winter snows. The contributions of the British Mountaineering Council and National Trust volunteers make clear the crucial importance of maintaining the landscape quality of England's highest peak for future generations.

TUE 23:00 The Prosecutors (b071gvs3)
Real Crime and Punishment

The Charge

The Crown Prosecution Service is often under scrutiny for its decision-making. Now for the first time the CPS has allowed cameras in. Filmed over 18 months with prosecutors in Merseyside, Cheshire and the South East, including the director of public prosecutions, Alison Saunders, this groundbreaking series goes behind the scenes to reveal how our criminal justice system really works and what it takes to secure a conviction. Each episode focuses on a different part of the process, following prosecutions and those involved in the case from start to finish.

In the first episode the prosecutors must decide how to charge a driver after a child is killed in a collision, with no evidence that he was drunk or speeding or on his phone. Nicky, the mother of the child killed, cannot understand why the driver is not admitting his guilt since his car was on her side of the road. Her reaction as the prosecution develops is unexpected and humbling.

In every serious criminal case, the CPS must decide who to charge and what to charge them with. These crucial decisions lie at the heart of our criminal justice system. A charge must not be unfair to the defendant, but must reflect the gravity of the offence for the victim. If at the end of the process someone is convicted of an offence, the judge sentences within guidelines set according to the charge made by the CPS.

After a series of attacks on banks where an organised criminal gang has been blowing up cash machines to steal money, the prosecutors face the challenge of selecting the right charge for a new type of crime. A more conventional bank robbery might be charged as 'burglary commercial premises', but that only carries a ten-year maximum term of imprisonment and the prosecutors feel it does not reflect how the gang is endangering the public.

At a scrutiny panel with the director of public prosecutions, community members challenge a CPS charging decision in a hate crime where a man had posted abusive messages on an extremist website. He was arrested under Section 19 of the Public Order Act, but the CPS charged him with a lesser offence of displaying threatening, abusive or insulting writing, provoking criticism from the panel.

TUE 00:00 The Last Seabird Summer? (b072rpwn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

TUE 01:00 Every Breath We Take: Understanding Our Atmosphere (b04bdqsz)
The air around us is not just empty space; it is an integral part of the chemistry of life. Plants are made from carbon dioxide, nitrogen nourishes the soil and oxygen gives us the energy we need to keep our hearts pumping and our brains alive. But how did we come to understand what air is made of? How did we come to know that this invisible stuff around us contains anything at all?

Gabrielle Walker tells the remarkable story of the quest to understand the air. It's a tale of heroes and underdogs, chance encounters and sheer blind luck that spans the entire history of science. It began as a simple desire to further our knowledge of the natural world, but it ended up uncovering raw materials that have shaped our modern world, unravelling the secrets of our own physiology and revealing why we are here at all.

TUE 02:00 Fonteyn '59: Sleeping Beauty (p01s6vn9)
Darcey Bussell introduces edited highlights of Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty, created especially for television by producer/director Margaret Dale in 1959 and featuring the then stars of the Royal Ballet, Margot Fonteyn and Michael Somes. This rarely seen film gives viewers a glimpse of an authentic 1950s style of ballet, transporting them back to the living rooms of post-war Britain. The performance features footage previously feared lost, but now able to be seen for the first time since the original broadcast over 50 years ago. This recently rediscovered archive includes the 'lost kiss' - the awakening of Sleeping Beauty by a kiss from her handsome prince.

TUE 03:00 A Timewatch Guide (b071gx2c)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Monday]


WED 19:00 World News Today (b072668d)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

WED 19:30 Great Irish Journeys with Martha Kearney (b05nyhq4)
Episode 3

Martha Kearney walks in the footsteps of a 19th-century artist and geologist who spent his life charting the landscape, people and buildings of Ireland. She retraces the journey of George Victor Du Noyer whose 35-year odyssey left a unique record of how Ireland looked during a period of great change.

In this episode, Martha examines places of power in Ireland as seen through Du Noyer's eyes. She traces the movement of power from Newgrange, through the Rock of Cashel, sees the magnificent Waterford Charter Roll, and ends up at the sumptuous Castletown House.

WED 20:00 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 21:00 The Prosecutors (b0726h15)
Real Crime and Punishment

The Proof

The Crown Prosecution Service is often under scrutiny for its decision-making. Now for the first time the CPS has allowed cameras in. Filmed over 18 months with prosecutors in Merseyside, Cheshire and the south east, including the director of public prosecutions, Alison Saunders, this groundbreaking series goes behind the scenes to reveal how our criminal justice system really works and what it takes to secure a conviction. Each episode focuses on a different part of the process, following prosecutions and those involved in the case from start to finish.

In this episode the prosecutors deal with two violent domestic murders and the victim of an assault who is unhappy that her attacker has not been prosecuted.

In 2014 the police brought prosecutors over 100,000 cases of violence against women to consider. In a quarter of the cases, the CPS decided a prosecution could not go ahead.

Viv Driver-Hart can't remember the details of the assault against her, but a huge chunk of her hair had been ripped out and she'd been knocked unconscious. Now she's written to the CPS to appeal their decision not to prosecute under a new initiative, the Victims' Right to Review.

Chief crown prosecutor Claire Lindley oversees all prosecutions in the Mersey-Cheshire area. The decision not to prosecute Viv's attacker can only be overturned with her approval. But every decision, however difficult, must be based on the evidence.

Proving that the defendant committed the offence they are charged with is essential to secure a conviction. A jury must be convinced that the prosecution team has produced evidence and presented the case so as to leave them in no doubt of guilt.

Prosecutor Richard Riley deals with two murder cases of women who have been killed by someone they know. In both cases there appears to be overwhelming evidence against the defendants. Police find Paul Fox attempting suicide, with his mother dead downstairs, and a note he's written, 'Warning Dead Bodies'. A witness sees David Hoyle leaving the scene with a knife, where his girlfriend has been stabbed. As the cases develop, it becomes clear that securing a conviction is never straightforward.

WED 22:00 The Lady Who Flew Africa: The Aviatrix (b05n29m7)
In 1928, Lady Heath became the first person to fly solo from Cape Town to London. Eighty-five years later, Tracey Curtis-Taylor sets out in a vintage biplane to retrace her flight.

Her extraordinary eight-and-a-half-week journey from Cape Town to Goodwood is nearly 10,000 miles long and takes her through 15 African countries. From the beauty of the wilderness to the challenge of flying through war-torn nations, Tracey faces many of the same challenges as her aviatrix predecessor.

With aviation fuel scarce and with a top speed of only 95 miles per hour, her progress is slow and at times frightening. Tracey will need the same courage and single-minded determination of Lady Heath if she is to make her lifelong dream come true.

WED 23:00 Life of a Mountain (b04y4gd7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Tuesday]

WED 00:00 Ultimate Swarms (p01dn81f)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 01:00 The Lady Who Flew Africa: The Aviatrix (b05n29m7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

WED 02:00 Timeshift (b0105r8x)
[Repeat of broadcast at 01:10 on Sunday]

WED 03:00 The Prosecutors (b0726h15)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 World News Today (b0726690)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b071gy17)
Peter Powell introduces the pop programme, featuring Bad Manners, Girlschool, Department S, The Beat, The Cure, The Nolans, UK Subs, The Jacksons, Whitesnake, Spandau Ballet, Sugar Minott, Bucks Fizz and Ennio Morricone, and a dance performance from Legs & Co.

THU 20:00 Indian Hill Railways (b00qvk99)
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

From the Himalayas in the north to the Nilgiris in the south - for a hundred years these little trains have climbed through the clouds and into the wonderful world of Indian hill railways.

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a line so close to the people that it flows like a river through their lives. The relationship between the train and the people is changing, however, as a new generation of Gurkhas populates these hills, demanding an independent state and fighting for a new identity as they journey into the modern Indian world.

THU 21:00 Do We Really Need the Moon? (b00yb5jp)
The moon is such a familiar presence in the sky that most of us take it for granted. But what if it wasn't where it is now? How would that affect life on Earth?

Space scientist and lunar fanatic Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock explores our intimate relationship with the moon. Besides orchestrating the tides, the moon dictates the length of a day, the rhythm of the seasons and the very stability of our planet.

Yet the moon is always on the move. In the past, it was closer to the Earth and in the future it will be farther away. That it is now perfectly placed to sustain life is pure luck, a cosmic coincidence. Using computer graphics to summon up great tides and set the Earth spinning on its side, Aderin-Pocock implores us to look at the Moon afresh: to see it not as an inert rock, but as a key player in the story of our planet, past, present and future.

THU 22:00 Ancient Egypt - Life and Death in the Valley of the Kings (p01538p0)
Original Series


Egypt captivates us like few other ancient civilizations - but what was it like to actually live there as an ordinary person 3,500 years ago? Egyptologist Dr Joann Fletcher goes on a fascinating journey in search of people like us, not the great pharaohs, but the ordinary people who built and populated this incredible ancient civilization, creating a remarkable way of life and an extraordinary way of death.

These questions are explored through the histories of Kha and Meryt, an architect and his wife who lived just outside the Valley of the Kings. They left behind a treasure trove of information in their extraordinary tomb, full of objects from their lives and death - everything from make-up to death masks, loaves of bread to life-like figurines, even the tools Kha used at work in the royal tombs. Joann uses this trove to travel into the remarkable world of these ancient Egyptians, both in life and the afterlife.

In the first part of the series, Joann explores how people lived during this time, from the tightly-packed houses and villages of the common people, to the clothes they wore and the food they ate. She discovers the ordinary Egyptians' love of poetry and their enthusiasm for interior design, as well as what it was like working in the most famous cemetery on Earth.

THU 23:00 The Golden Age of Canals (b01173hf)
Most people thought that when the working traffic on canals faded away after the war, it would be the end of their story. But they were wrong. A few diehard enthusiasts and boat owners campaigned, lobbied and dug, sometimes with their bare hands, to keep the network of narrow canals open.

Some of these enthusiasts filmed their campaigns and their home movies tell the story of how, in the teeth of much political opposition, they saved the inland waterways for the nation and, more than 200 years after they were first built, created a second golden age of the canals.

Stan Offley, an IWA activist from Ellesmere Port, filmed his boating trips around the wide canals in the 40s, 50s and 60s in 16mm colour. But equally charming is the film made by Ed Frangleton, with help from Harry Arnold, of a hostel boat holiday on the Llangollen Canal in 1961. There are the films shot by ex-working boatman Ike Argent from his home in Nottinghamshire and looked after by his son Barry.

There is astonishing film of the last days of working boats, some shot by John Pyper when he spent time with the Beecheys in the 60s, film taken by Keith Christie of the last days of the cut around the BCN, and the films made by Keith and his mate Tony Gregory of their attempts to keep working the canals through their carrying company, Midland Canal Transport.

There is film of key restorations, the Stourbridge 16 being talked about with great wit and affection by one of the leading activists in that watershed of restorations in the mid-60s, David Tomlinson, and John Maynard's beautiful films of the restoration of the Huddersfield, 'the impossible restoration', shot over two decades.

All these and more are in the programme alongside the people who made the films and some of the stars of them. Together they tell the story of how, in the years after 1945, a few people fought the government like David fought Goliath to keep canals open and restore ones that had become defunct, and won against all the odds.

THU 00:00 Top of the Pops (b071gy17)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 00:40 Neil Sedaka: King of Song (b03v2yxt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 00:10 on Saturday]

THU 01:40 Neil Sedaka Says: All You Need Is the Music (b00pwstt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 01:10 on Saturday]

THU 02:25 Treasures of the Louvre (b01r3n6r)
Paris-based writer Andrew Hussey travels through the glorious art and surprising history of an extraordinary French institution to show that the story of the Louvre is the story of France. As well as exploring the masterpieces of painters such as Veronese, Rubens, David, Chardin, Gericault and Delacroix, he examines the changing face of the Louvre itself through its architecture and design. Medieval fortress, Renaissance palace, luxurious home to kings, emperors and more recently civil servants, today it attracts eight million visitors a year. The documentary also reflects the latest transformation of the Louvre - the museum's recently-opened Islamic Gallery.


FRI 19:00 World News Today (b0726695)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (b072w25g)
Tommy Vance introduces the pop programme. Includes appearances from Thin Lizzy, Department S, Tenpole Tudor, Sheena Easton, Kim Carnes and Adam and the Ants, plus a dance performance by Legs and Co.

FRI 19:50 Sounds of the Sixties (b072w25j)

1964-6 The Beat Room 2

Tom Jones, The Rolling Stones and Manfred Mann star in archive clips from the 60s.

FRI 20:00 Perfect Pianists at the BBC (b0729r6r)
David Owen Norris takes us on a journey through 60 years of BBC archive to showcase some of the greatest names in the history of the piano. From the groundbreaking BBC studio recitals of Benno Moiseiwitsch, Solomon and Myra Hess in the 1950s, through the legendary concerts of Vladimir Horowitz and Arthur Rubinstein, to more recent performances, including Alfred Brendel, Mitsuko Uchida and Stephen Hough, David celebrates some of the greatest players in a pianistic tradition which goes back to Franz Liszt in the 19th century. Filmed at the Cobbe Collection, Hatchlands Park.

FRI 21:00 Country at the BBC (b08qgkzv)
Grab your partner by the hand - the BBC have raided their archive and brought to light glittering performances by country artists over the last four decades.

Star appearances include Tammy Wynette, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash and, of course, Dolly Parton. All the greats have performed for the BBC at some point - on entertainment shows, in concert and at the BBC studios. Some of the rhinestones revealed are Charley Pride's Crystal Chandeliers from The Lulu Show, Emmylou Harris singing Together Again on The Old Grey Whistle Test and Glen Campbell's Rhinestone Cowboy from The Val Doonican Music Show.

We're brought up to date with modern country hits from Top of the Pops and Later...with Jools Holland.

FRI 22:00 The Heart of Country: How Nashville Became Music City USA (b04ndxlr)
This historical biography of the city that is the glittering hub of country music reveals the dynamic relationship between commerce and art, music and the market, that has defined Nashville since 1925. It explores the conflicts and demons that have confronted Nashville's artists and music industry down the years, such as the creative pressures of the 'Nashville Sound', the devastating impact of Elvis and then Bob Dylan, the rise and fall of the urban cowboys and the struggle of several Nashville legends to confront their inner demons.

The story unfolds through the testimony of musicians, producers, broadcasters and rare archive of the country legends. These include Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Earle, Kris Kristofferson and several hit-making contemporary stars - Kasey Musgraves, Brad Paisley and Jason Aldean. This cast reveal the unique power of country music to hold up a mirror to its fans and create a music that has - for decades - touched the hearts of the south and of working people. Kristofferson calls it the 'white man's soul music'.

Also featured are extensive musical performances by Nashville's greatest, from Johnny Cash to Loretta Lynn and George Jones to Garth Brooks. Several of Nashville's younger stars describe their ongoing journey from their hometowns in the south to the streets of this city, from the first studio demos and the sawdust of the Broadway bars to the stadiums and promo videos that now define country stardom.

FRI 23:30 Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music (p0295qy9)
A rare chance to see Robert Elfstrom's 1969 classic film that captures the Man in Black at his peak, the first of many in a looming rollercoaster career. Fresh on the heels of his Folsom Prison album, Cash reveals the dark intensity and raw talent that made him a country music star and cultural icon.

Elfstrom got closer than any other film-maker to Cash, who is seen performing with his new bride June Carter Cash, in a rare duet with Bob Dylan and behind the scenes with friends, family and aspiring young musicians - painting an unforgettable portrait that endures beyond the singer's death in 2003.

FRI 00:30 Top of the Pops (b072w25g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

FRI 00:50 Country at the BBC (b08qgkzv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 01:50 The Heart of Country: How Nashville Became Music City USA (b04ndxlr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

FRI 03:20 Sounds of the Sixties (b072w25j)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:50 today]

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

A Timewatch Guide 20:00 MON (b071gx2c)

A Timewatch Guide 03:00 TUE (b071gx2c)

Ancient Egypt - Life and Death in the Valley of the Kings 22:00 THU (p01538p0)

Britain on Film 01:20 MON (b01q6pzr)

Could We Survive a Mega-Tsunami? 00:10 SUN (b01s0zqv)

Country at the BBC 21:00 FRI (b08qgkzv)

Country at the BBC 00:50 FRI (b08qgkzv)

Do We Really Need the Moon? 21:00 THU (b00yb5jp)

Every Breath We Take: Understanding Our Atmosphere 01:00 TUE (b04bdqsz)

Fabric of Britain 01:50 MON (b03c2766)

Fonteyn '59: Sleeping Beauty 02:00 TUE (p01s6vn9)

Great Irish Journeys with Martha Kearney 19:30 MON (b054c5gv)

Great Irish Journeys with Martha Kearney 19:30 TUE (b05n8tlg)

Great Irish Journeys with Martha Kearney 19:30 WED (b05nyhq4)

Henry VIII: Patron or Plunderer? 22:00 MON (b00lc71z)

How Earth Made Us 19:00 SAT (b00r390p)

I Was There: The Great War Interviews - Learning Zone 00:20 MON (b040mqfx)

Indian Hill Railways 20:00 THU (b00qvk99)

Jigs and Wigs: The Extreme World of Irish Dancing 19:00 SUN (b06ynswh)

Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music 23:30 FRI (p0295qy9)

Life of a Mountain 22:00 TUE (b04y4gd7)

Life of a Mountain 23:00 WED (b04y4gd7)

Neil Sedaka Says: All You Need Is the Music 01:10 SAT (b00pwstt)

Neil Sedaka Says: All You Need Is the Music 01:40 THU (b00pwstt)

Neil Sedaka: King of Song 00:10 SAT (b03v2yxt)

Neil Sedaka: King of Song 00:40 THU (b03v2yxt)

Northern Ballet: 1984 19:30 SUN (b0726fq7)

Perfect Pianists at the BBC 20:00 FRI (b0729r6r)

Populaire 22:25 SUN (b03knqqz)

Singer-Songwriters at the BBC 02:35 SUN (b00v9lhx)

Sounds of the Eighties 02:10 SUN (b04pw9xd)

Sounds of the Sixties 19:50 FRI (b072w25j)

Sounds of the Sixties 03:20 FRI (b072w25j)

Storyville 21:00 SUN (b0726fq9)

The Brecon Beacons with Iolo Williams 20:30 TUE (b06wkqyn)

The Golden Age of Canals 23:00 THU (b01173hf)

The Great War 23:00 MON (b0074pb4)

The Great War 23:40 MON (b0074pb8)

The Heart of Country: How Nashville Became Music City USA 22:00 FRI (b04ndxlr)

The Heart of Country: How Nashville Became Music City USA 01:50 FRI (b04ndxlr)

The Inca: Masters of the Clouds 20:00 SAT (b04y4q35)

The Joy of the Single 02:00 SAT (b01nzchs)

The Lady Who Flew Africa: The Aviatrix 22:00 WED (b05n29m7)

The Lady Who Flew Africa: The Aviatrix 01:00 WED (b05n29m7)

The Last Seabird Summer? 21:00 TUE (b072rpwn)

The Last Seabird Summer? 00:00 TUE (b072rpwn)

The Prosecutors 23:00 TUE (b071gvs3)

The Prosecutors 21:00 WED (b0726h15)

The Prosecutors 03:00 WED (b0726h15)

The Renaissance Unchained 21:00 MON (b0726fyv)

The Renaissance Unchained 02:50 MON (b0726fyv)

The River Taff with Will Millard 20:00 TUE (b06zyl2v)

The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse 22:40 SAT (b00x9b7w)

Timeshift 01:10 SUN (b0105r8x)

Timeshift 02:00 WED (b0105r8x)

Top of the Pops 03:00 SAT (b071gx24)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b071gy17)

Top of the Pops 00:00 THU (b071gy17)

Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (b072w25g)

Top of the Pops 00:30 FRI (b072w25g)

Trapped 21:00 SAT (b070nykb)

Trapped 21:50 SAT (b071chqx)

Treasures of the Louvre 02:25 THU (b01r3n6r)

Ultimate Swarms 20:00 WED (p01dn81f)

Ultimate Swarms 00:00 WED (p01dn81f)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b072665s)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b072666b)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b072668d)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b0726690)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b0726695)