Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 10 SEPTEMBER 2016

SAT 19:00 The Genius of Turner: Painting the Industrial Revolution (b01s50kn)
A film that looks at the genius of JMW Turner in a new light. There is more to Turner than his sublime landscapes - he also painted machines, science, technology and industry. Turner's life spans the Industrial Revolution, he witnessed it as it unfolded, and he painted it. In the process he created a whole new kind of art. The programme examines nine key Turner paintings and shows how we should rethink them in the light of the scientific and Industrial Revolution. Includes interviews with historian Simon Schama and artist Tracey Emin.


SAT 20:00 Clydebuilt: The Ships that Made the Commonwealth (p01n8f5d)
CS Mackay-Bennett

David Hayman explores the stories of four ships, built on the river Clyde, that helped forge links with countries throughout the Commonwealth of Nations.

Here, David tells the story of CS Mackay-Bennett, a cable repair ship launched on the Clyde in 1884. She kept information flowing along a network of underwater cables that connected Britain with her empire and the world - the Victorian internet of its day. It's also a story of a date with disaster, as the ship and her crew recovered the bodies of those who died when the Titanic sank. David travels to Halifax in Canada to find some facts about the ship and to unravel a DNA mystery that's taken over a century to solve.


SAT 21:00 Beck (b07vvsjn)
Gunvald

An investigative journalist is found murdered in his home, along with the fingerprints of a notorious criminal debt collector. The journalist had been threatened by right-wing extremists, but it is the victim's work with a book about 'society's dark side' that captures the interest of Beck and his team. The case takes an unexpected and terrible turn, and suddenly there is much more at stake than finding the journalist's killer. Beck and his colleagues have never had to protect the balance of their professional and private lives with the same tenacity as they do now.

In Swedish with English subtitles.


SAT 22:30 The Andy Williams Show (b00n5bt9)
Duets

Compilation of the best duets selected from crooner Andy Williams's private archive of his weekly 1960s variety show on NBC. The show attracted the cream of the crop from the world of showbiz, from Bing Crosby and Ray Charles to Johnny Mathis and Ella Fitzgerald, who were more than happy to share the microphone with the king of easy listening.

Including Over the Rainbow with Judy Garland, and Andy at the piano with Ray Charles for What'd I Say.


SAT 23:30 Burt Bacharach: A Life in Song (b06qnnbz)
A unique concert staged at the Royal Festival Hall celebrating the music of the legendary songwriter and performer Burt Bacharach.

Some of Burt's most famous songs are performed by a stellar line-up of artists including Alfie Boe, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Shaun Escoffery, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Hayward, Michael Kiwanuka, Laura Mvula and Joss Stone. Burt himself also performs accompanied by his band. During the concert Burt chats to Michael Grade about the art of songwriting and shares the stories behind some of his best-loved hits.


SAT 01:00 Easy Listening Hits at the BBC (b011g943)
Compilation of easy listening tracks that offers the perfect soundtrack for your cocktail party. There's music to please every lounge lizard, with unique performances from the greatest easy listening artists of the 60s and 70s, including Burt Bacharach, Andy Williams, Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66, The Carpenters and many more.


SAT 02:00 Top of the Pops (b07tq0fc)
Simon Bates presents the weekly chart show, first broadcast on 8 April 1982. Includes appearances from Haircut 100, Chas & Dave, Boomtown Rats, Elton John, Stevie Wonder & Paul McCartney, Foster & Allen, Goombay Dance Band and Pigbag.


SAT 02:35 The Andy Williams Show (b00n5bt9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]



SUNDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2016

SUN 19:00 From Andy Pandy to Zebedee: The Golden Age of Children's Television (b06t3mhm)
Nigel Planer narrates the story of the struggle to make programmes for children in the days before everything went digital.


SUN 20:00 Madness on Wheels: Rallying's Craziest Years (b01fcncc)
In the 1980s rallying was more popular than Formula 1. 'Group B' machines had taken the world by storm. Deregulation opened the way for the most exciting cars ever to hit the motorsport scene. Nothing like it has ever happened since. 'This is the fastest rallying there has ever been' - Peter Foubister.

For four wild and crazy years manufacturers scrambled to build ever more powerful cars to be driven by fearless mavericks who could handle the extreme power. The sport was heading out of control and the unregulated mayhem ended abruptly in 1986 after a series of horrific tragedies. This is the story of when fans, ambition, politics and cars collided.

'The fans were crazy. As the cars sped by the spectators ran into the road!' - Ari Vatanen. 'They were playing with their lives'.

'To go rallying is madness. This was refined madness' - John Davenport

Featuring world champaions Ari Vatanen, Walter Rohrl, Stig Blomqvist, plus Michel Mouton, Cesar Fiorio, Jean Todt and many many more.

From the producer of Grand Prix: The Killer Years and the Grierson-nominated Deadliest Crash: The 1955 Le Mans Disaster.


SUN 21:00 The Comet's Tale (b008d2x7)
Ancient civilisations thought comets were gods. They believed them to be bringers of life or harbingers of doom - strange, magical, mysterious things that moved through the sky, fiery streaks of light that tore across the heavens.

Isaac Newton was the first to make sense of comets and to him they were the key to unlocking the secrets of gravity - nothing to do with an apple. Hundreds of years later, a new breed of space missions are visiting comets, travelling millions of miles to touch down on these tiny balls of rock flying through space at 20,000 mph. The spectacular images we now have are showing us what comets are really made of, where they come from, and their often surprising influence on events on Earth.

What they reveal is that our ancestors may have been right all along and that comets and meteors really are like gods, or at least they can exert tremendous influence over our world. They have brought terrible destruction to the Earth and may one day do so again. But they also may have brought life itself to the planet.


SUN 22:00 The Sky at Night (b07vxfqp)
Interstellar: The Journey to Proxima b

Interstellar travel has always seemed impossible - the realm of science fiction rather than reality. But that view is now changing. On this month's Sky at Night the team are joined by Jim al-Khalili to investigate if it will be possible to travel to the sun's nearest neighbouring star - Proxima Centauri - within our lifetimes.

Recently, a discovery was made that suddenly gave us a powerful reason to want to travel to Proxima Centauri. An Earth-like planet was discovered in orbit around the star.

That followed the announcement in April of Breakthrough Starshot - a project to develop the technology that could send a spacecraft to the nearest stars in just 20 years.

Chris Lintott meets Guillem Anglade-Escude - the scientist behind the discovery of Proxima b - to reveal the astonishing observations that revealed the existence of the planet (using an incredibly precise spectrograph mounted on a telescope in Chile the astronomers were able to detect the tiny gravitational effect the planet had on Proxima Centauri. They were able to dectec the star moving towards the planet at a rate of just t 1m/s. That's walking pace).

Maggie Aderin-Pocock goes to meet Dr Jo Barstow, an expert on planetary atmospheres to discover what we think conditions may be like on the planet.

And Jim al-Khalili investigates Breakthough Starshot and the remarkable technology that may soon allow a spaceship to travel at 20 per cent of the speed of light.


SUN 22:30 Horizon (b01mgllj)
2012-2013

How Big Is the Universe?

It is one of the most baffling questions that scientists can ask: how big is the universe that we live in?

Horizon follows the cosmologists who are creating the most ambitious map in history, a map of everything in existence. And it is stranger than anyone had imagined, a universe without end that stretches far beyond what the eye can ever see.

And, if the latest research proves true, our universe may just be the start of something even bigger. Much bigger.


SUN 23:30 Metamorphosis: The Science of Change (p00zv0wk)
Metamorphosis seems like the ultimate evolutionary magic trick, the amazing transformation of one creature into a totally different being: one life, two bodies.

From Ovid and Kafka to X-Men, tales of metamorphosis richly permeate human culture. The myth of transformation is so common that it seems almost preprogrammed into our imagination. But is the scientific fact of metamorphosis just as strange as fiction or... even stranger?

Film-maker David Malone explores the science behind metamorphosis. How does it happen and why? And might it even, in some way, happen to us?


SUN 00:30 Operation Crossbow (b011cr8f)
The heroic tales of World War II are legendary, but Operation Crossbow is a little-known story that deserves to join the hall of fame: how the Allies used 3D photos to thwart the Nazis' weapons of mass destruction before they could obliterate Britain.

This film brings together the heroic Spitfire pilots who took the photographs and the brilliant minds of RAF Medmenham that made sense of the jigsaw of clues hidden in the photos. Hitler was pumping a fortune into his new-fangled V weapons in the hope they could win him the war. But Medmenham had a secret weapon of its own, a simple stereoscope which brought to life every contour of the enemy landscape in perfect 3D.

The devil was truly in the detail. Together with extraordinary personal testimonies, the film uses modern computer graphics on the original wartime photographs to show just how the photo interpreters were able to uncover Hitler's nastiest secrets.


SUN 01:30 The Beginning and End of the Universe (b075dxsq)
The End

Professor Jim Al-Khalili carries us into the distant future to try to discover how the universe will end - with a bang or a whimper? He reveals a universe far stranger than anyone imagined and, at the frontier of our understanding, encounters a mysterious and enigmatic force that promises to change physics forever.


SUN 02:30 Horizon (b01mgllj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]



MONDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2016

MON 19:00 World News Today (b07v81pq)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


MON 19:30 The Boats That Built Britain (b00scqsj)
The Reaper

The Reaper is the biggest sailing lugger ever to fish the seas. Seventy feet long and capable of pulling in ten tonnes of herring in a single haul, the Reaper was an awesome beast that fed Britain at a time when she needed it most.

Sailor and writer Tom Cunliffe sails her for himself and finds out just how this giant of the seas came about.


MON 20:00 Life Story (p026vhmr)
Series 1

Power

Animals must try to gain a position of
power in their worlds. The most powerful have best access to food and water,
and they are also the most attractive to the opposite sex. An orphaned,
friendless, young chimp leaves his playful youth behind as he attempts to
climb the social ladder. His troop is ruled by big, aggressive males. His
first attempt to join them ends in a beating, but making his first friend
changes his life. Together, they hunt for small mammals using spears, and
share the spoils. It's an act that changes them from friends to allies. In
meerkat society, knowledge is power, and knowing how to deal with a venomous
snake is essential for any youngster who wants to be a player in its world.
Few young male kangaroos will ever get to occupy the top spot in their
world. The only way is to fight and beat the eight-foot tall ruling male in
a brutal boxing match.


MON 21:00 British Sitcom: 60 Years of Laughing at Ourselves (b07vxlnl)
Documentary celebrating the British sitcom and taking a look at the social and political context from which our favourite sitcoms grew. We enjoy a trip through the comedy archive in the company of the people who made some of the very best British sitcoms. From The Likely Lads to I'm Alan Partridge, we find out the inspiration behind some of the most-loved characters and how they reflect the times they were living in.

Narrated by Rebecca Front, with commentary and insider knowledge from Steve Coogan, Richard Curtis, Beryl Vertue, James Corden, Jack Dee and top writing team Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais.


MON 22:00 Timeshift (b03fv7sl)
Series 13

Full Throttle: The Glory Days of British Motorbikes

Timeshift returns with an exploration of the British love of fast, daring and sometimes reckless motorbike riding during a period when home-grown machines were the envy of the world. From TE Lawrence in the 1920 to the 'ton-up boys' and rockers of the 1950s, motorbikes represented unparalleled style and excitement, as British riders indulged their passion for brands like Brough Superior, Norton and Triumph.

But it wasn't all thrills and spills - the motorbike played a key role during World War II and it was army surplus bikes that introduced many to the joy and freedom of motorcycling in the 50s, a period now regarded as a golden age. With its obsession with speed and the rocker lifestyle, it attracted more than its fair share of social disapproval and conflict.

Narrated by John Hannah.


MON 23:00 The Genius of Turner: Painting the Industrial Revolution (b01s50kn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Saturday]


MON 00:00 Sound of Cinema: The Music That Made the Movies (b03bm2fy)
New Frontiers

In the last of three programmes in which composer Neil Brand celebrates the art of cinema music, Neil explores how changing technology has taken soundtracks in bold new directions and even altered our very idea of how a film should sound.

Neil tells the story of how the 1956 science fiction film Forbidden Planet ended up with a groundbreaking electronic score that blurred the line between music and sound effects, and explains why Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds has one of the most effective soundtracks of any of his films - despite having no music. He shows how electronic music crossed over from pop into cinema with Midnight Express and Chariots of Fire, while films like Apocalypse Now pioneered the concept of sound design - that sound effects could be used for storytelling and emotional impact.

Neil tracks down some of the key composers behind these innovations to talk about their work, such as Vangelis (Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner), Carter Burwell (Twilight, No Country for Old Men) and Clint Mansell (Requiem for a Dream, Moon).


MON 01:00 The Rules of Abstraction with Matthew Collings (b04gv5kl)
Documentary in which painter and critic Matthew Collings charts the rise of abstract art over the last 100 years, whilst trying to answer a set of basic questions that many people have about this often-baffling art form. How do we respond to abstract art when we see it? Is it supposed to be hard or easy? When abstract artists chuck paint about with abandon, what does it mean? Does abstract art stand for something or is it supposed to be understood as just itself?

These might be thought of as unanswerable questions, but by looking at key historical figures and exploring the private world of abstract artists today, Collings shows that there are, in fact, answers.

Living artists in the programme create art in front of the camera using techniques that seem outrageously free, but through his friendly-yet-probing interview style Collings immediately establishes that the work always has a firm rationale. When Collings visits 92-year-old Bert Irvin in his studio in Stepney, east London, he finds that the colourful works continue experiments in perceptual ideas about colour and space first established by abstract art pioneers such as Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky in the 1910s.

Other historic artists featured in the programme include the notorious Jackson Pollock, the maker of drip paintings, and Mark Rothko, whose abstractions often consist of nothing but large expanses of red. Collings explains the inner structure of such works. It turns out there are hidden rules to abstraction that viewers of this intriguing, groundbreaking programme may never have expected.


MON 02:30 British Sitcom: 60 Years of Laughing at Ourselves (b07vxlnl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



TUESDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2016

TUE 19:00 World News Today (b07v81pw)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


TUE 19:30 Brushing up on... (b01s1c4y)
Series 1

British Tunnels

Danny Baker considers some tunnel-based archive footage and endeavours to give a quick brush up on these mysterious, subterranean realms.


TUE 20:00 The Brecon Beacons with Iolo Williams (b076vhs7)
Series 1 - Reversions

Episode 1

In this episode, it's the winter and spring. During the coldest months, there are often blizzards on the high peaks while the lowlands are 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 like to congregate near water reservoirs while red deer hide away in secluded gullies in one of the wildest locations in the Beacons.

During spring, the nesting season is in full swing. Hundreds of dotterel rest on the Black Mountain during their journey from Africa to their breeding sites in Scotland, peregrines nest in an old quarry in the Central Beacons.

Next to the largest natural lake in south Wales, water voles are managing their ditches. Iolo discovers a magnificent diverse landscape with huge caves, stunning waterfalls, ancient woodland and canals.

He visits the most crooked church in Britain and an old gunpowder works and meets Kate Mobbs-Morgan who uses a horse to lead timber from an ancient oak woodland, National Park warden Judith Harvey who takes Iolo to one of the best views in the Beacons, and Trefor Prothero who teaches Iolo the art of traditional hedge laying. On the uplands near Llandeilo, Stuart Fry is repairing a 300-year-old stone wall.


TUE 21:00 All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge (b07vxf66)
Episode 3

The orchestras take on another difficult musical form - the concerto, an orchestral piece featuring a virtuoso soloist. A daunting project for any orchestra, but this time the soloist will be chosen from the orchestras' own ranks. Can they elevate one of their own and mould them into a virtuoso performer in a few short weeks?

It's not just the soloists who will have to up their game. The whole orchestra will have to support and lift them to greater heights. And if that wasn't enough, the orchestras will also showcase their work at a concert that they will plan and produce themselves on their home turf.

Each of the three remaining orchestras get extra tuition and help from the series' judge, renowned conductor Paul Daniel. And the series mentor Chi-chi Nwanoku selects three world-class musicians to give our soloists individual mentoring sessions.

We follow the orchestras as they rehearse and plan the concerts, and we follow the soloists as they attempt to grow into the role of virtuoso performers.

The show culminates in the performances the orchestras put on themselves, after which one orchestra will be eliminated from the contest by Paul Daniel.

Presented by Proms host and last year's Strictly Come Dancing finalist Katie Derham, this series attempts to get under the skin of the real musical and personal challenges that face amateur orchestras from across the UK as they attempt to truly come together and rise to new musical heights.

The five orchestras originally taking part are North Devon Sinfonia, London Gay Symphony Orchestra, The People's Orchestra from Birmingham, Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra and Stirling Orchestra. Can the players master their sheet music while also getting on with their varied day jobs as farmers, supermarket workers, carers and undertakers? Who will rise to the challenge, and who will find themselves dismissed from the contest?


TUE 22:00 Hidden Histories: Britain's Oldest Family Businesses (b03slwfr)
Durtnell the Builder

Alex Durtnell's family have been builders for over 400 years. We follow Alex as he travels back through the centuries and rediscovers the houses his family have built, right back to the reign of Elizabeth I.

Narrated by Margaret Mountford.


TUE 23:00 Egyptian Journeys with Dan Cruickshank (b0078z93)
Pharaoh's Wives

Dan delves into the dark side of the court of Ramesses III, tracing the conspiracy that spread through his harem and may have led to his mysterious death.

At Ramesses III's temple at Medinet Habu, the pharaoh wrote his own legacy in stone - huge wall carvings celebrating the glories and achievements of his reign - an attempt to match his illustrious predecessor, Ramesses the Great. But behind the propaganda, Ramesses III was far from being a strong pharaoh in control of his country; he was not even in control of his own harem. One papyrus bundle has survived to tell us of dark intrigue swirling around this pharaoh in crisis. With Ramesses unable to decide whether to take Isis or Tye for his queen, the harem women took things into their own hands, starting a rebellion that spread through the court and the army and possibly led to his murder.


TUE 23:30 Egyptian Journeys with Dan Cruickshank (b0078zdw)
The Death of Ancient Egypt

On a lonely island in the River Nile, Dan visits the last-known hieroglyphic inscription in Egypt and discovers the surprising truth about those responsible for the final, brutal collapse of this great civilisation, a culture that had lasted more than 3,000 years.

Travelling the length of the country, from Alexandria in the north to the beautiful temples of Dendera and Philae, Dan traces the key dramatic events that marked the decline in the fortunes of the ancient Egyptians and reveals the rich cast of characters - from Alexander the Great to Cleopatra - who all played a part in this powerful drama.


TUE 00:00 Planet Oil: The Treasure That Conquered the World (b0546d5q)
Episode 3

As we entered the 21st century, the world was guzzling oil, coal and gas like never before. Despite fears of 'peak oil', Professor Iain Stewart discovers that while huge technological advances are helping extend the life of existing oilfields, new unconventional oil and gas supplies like shale gas and tar sands are extending the hydrocarbon age well into the 21st century.

Given there's plenty of fossil fuels still in the ground, the spectre of climate change has forced many to ask can we really afford to burn what's left? In this concluding episode, Iain Stewart argues we face a stark choice.

Do we continue feed our addiction - suck Planet Oil dry - and risk catastrophic climate change, or do we go hell for leather for alternative energy sources, such as nuclear and renewables, to make the transition from our fossil fuel past to a low-carbon future. In which case, how do we make that shift?


TUE 01:00 The Brecon Beacons with Iolo Williams (b076vhs7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


TUE 02:00 The Art of Australia (b03d6b1l)
Coming of Age

Edmund Capon explores how Australian art evolved in the first half of the 20th century against the backdrop of two world wars. As modern artists expressed both the dreams and demons of this new nation, they met with decades of disapproval from the old guard, until they finally revolutionised Australian art and heralded its arrival on the world stage.


TUE 03:00 Timeshift (b03fv7sl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Monday]



WEDNESDAY 14 SEPTEMBER 2016

WED 19:00 World News Today (b07v81q1)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


WED 19:30 Brushing up on... (b01s0zpm)
Series 1

British Bridges

Danny Baker endeavours to present the definitive guide to Britain's bridges in 30 minutes, armed only with a few VHS tapes and some ham-fisted research. Buckle up!


WED 20:00 Rule Britannia! Music, Mischief and Morals in the 18th Century (b041m4rl)
Episode 3

As the century went on, the quest for pleasure began to be replaced by a tougher, noisier, harder-working attitude as Britain embarked on what was to become the Industrial Revolution.

Music also began to take on a different hue - more than just the sonic background to an age of roaring excess, it began to acquire a higher moral purpose. Communal singing, whether in amateur choirs or Handel oratorios, became a means of finding a kind of perfection amid the brutal reality of daily life. Romanticism began to blossom in the search for the sublime. The British folk music that travelled with emigrants to America, the songs of abolitionists that flew in the face of the British slave trade - all were an attempt to use music as a route to more perfect world.

Suzy concludes the series by looking at the crowning achievement of 18th-century music, Haydn's Creation.


WED 21:00 Lost Sitcoms (b07v86cq)
Steptoe and Son

Series which recreates three classic lost British sitcoms with a stellar new cast. In this episode of Steptoe and Son originally broadcast in 1970, Harold wants to go on a skiing holiday but he doesn't want Albert there.


WED 21:30 James May: The Reassembler (b076wgvx)
Series 1

Electric Guitar

James concludes his quest to truly understand everyday objects by putting them back together piece by piece with an electric guitar.

147 pieces must be reassembled carefully and in the correct order, which will entail soldering, extensive use of James's precision Japanese screwdrivers and some fiddly electronics.

The electric guitar transformed the music industry and society itself and, channelling his namesake Brian, James will plug in his reassembled guitar and hope he put all the bits together correctly as he gets ready to perform one of most unexpected guitar solos of all time.


WED 22:00 Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story (p02l4q38)
Instruments of Murder

Sherlock has his mind palace, Morse his music - every detective has an edge. For most, it's forensic science. This three-part series provides a rare and fascinating insight into the secret history of catching murderers, charting two centuries of the breakthroughs that have changed the course of justice. Surgeon and writer Gabriel Weston explores this rich history through some of the most absorbing, and often gruesome, stories in the forensic casebook - and looks ahead to how forensics will continue to solve the murders of the future.

Where there's a murder there's usually a weapon. It's a key piece of evidence that can hold all the clues needed to catch the killer and shine a light into the mind of the murderer. In this final episode, Gabriel investigates the forensic advances that have elevated the murder weapon from its role of mere evidence to that of key witness.

Arsenic, the undetectable weapon of choice in the 19th century, was exposed as the murder weapon with one simple chemical test, and distinctive marks left on a victim's skull led detectives to the murder weapon and the killer.

Gabriel also looks to the future and the latest advances in forensics. Scientists have developed 3D laser scanning that can be used to reconstruct the exact sequence of events at the scene of a gun crime and decipher whether a shooting was murder or self-defence. Gabriel also investigates the pioneering chemistry that can now determine where in the world someone has spent time based on just a few strands of their hair.


WED 23:00 Voyager: To the Final Frontier (b01nj48v)
This is the story of the most extraordinary journey in human exploration, the Voyager space mission. In 1977 two unmanned spacecraft were launched by NASA, heading for distant worlds. It would be the first time any man-made object would ever visit the farthest planets of the solar system - Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus. On the way the Voyagers would be bombarded by space dust, fried by radiation and discover many of the remarkable wonders of the solar system.

Now, at the end of 2012, 35 years and 11 billion miles later, they are leaving the area of the sun's influence. As they journey out into the galaxy beyond they carry a message from Earth, a golden record bolted to the side of each craft describing our civilisation in case of discovery by another. This is the definitive account of the most intrepid explorers in Earth's history.


WED 00:00 Voyages of Discovery (b0074t5l)
The Figure of the Earth

Explorer Paul Rose tells the story of three Frenchmen who couldnt stand each other, yet set off on an eight-year scientific mission in one of the most hostile places on the planet. Their plan, to settle an international row by measuring the shape of the planet, took them to the disease-ridden rainforests and oxygen-starved peaks of the Ecuadorian Andes.

Rose follows in the footsteps of the 18th-century explorers who were complete innocents abroad and had no idea of the horrors they were letting themselves in for. Despite disease, death and some highly disastrous sexual liaisons, the men made discoveries that fundamentally changed all our lives.


WED 01:00 Clydebuilt: The Ships that Made the Commonwealth (p01n8f5d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Saturday]


WED 02:00 Rule Britannia! Music, Mischief and Morals in the 18th Century (b041m4rl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


WED 03:00 Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story (p02l4q38)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]



THURSDAY 15 SEPTEMBER 2016

THU 19:00 World News Today (b07v81q8)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


THU 19:30 The Sky at Night (b07vxfqp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday]


THU 20:00 Tank Men (b07tbzgx)
To mark the 100th anniversary of the first time tanks were used in battle, Rob Bell tells the story of the First World War tank men.


THU 20:30 Hive Minds (b07vxfqr)
Series 2

Prime v Belgae

Fiona Bruce presents the quiz show where players not only have to know the answers, but have to find them hidden in a hive of letters. It tests players' general knowledge and mental agility, as they battle against one another and race against the clock to find the answers.

Prime take on Belgae in this edition.


THU 21:00 Mercury Prize (b07vxmp5)
2016

Album of the Year Live

Lauren Laverne hosts BBC Four's Best Album of the Year 2016 - Mercury Prize Live from the awards ceremony at London's Eventim Apollo.

This year, for the first time, the television programme will feature the announcement of six finalists from the shortlisted 12 albums - one of which has been chosen by public vote and the rest by the panel of judges who selected the shortlist and who will decide the ultimate winner of the Prize tonight. Lauren will introduce performances on stage, and the programme will also reflect back across 25 years of the Mercurys, marking this milestone anniversary of the prestigious Prize, and culminating in the thrilling moment the winner is announced live.

Prior to the BBC Four programme, BBC Red Button will feature an hour-long show from 8-9pm, fronted by BBC Radio 6 Music presenter, Shaun Keaveny, also at the Awards ceremony. It will showcase the music of all 12 of the shortlisted acts, featuring many of them performing on stage earlier in the evening.


THU 22:05 When Albums Ruled the World (b01qhn70)
Between the mid-1960s and the late 1970s, the long-playing record and the albums that graced its grooves changed popular music for ever. For the first time, musicians could escape the confines of the three-minute pop single and express themselves as never before across the expanded artistic canvas of the album. The LP allowed popular music become an art form - from the glorious artwork adorning gatefold sleeves, to the ideas and concepts that bound the songs together, to the unforgettable music itself.

Built on stratospheric sales of albums, these were the years when the music industry exploded to become bigger than Hollywood. From pop to rock, from country to soul, from jazz to punk, all of music embraced what 'the album' could offer. But with the collapse of vinyl sales at the end of the 70s and the arrival of new technologies and formats, the golden era of the album couldn't last forever.

With contributions from Roger Taylor, Ray Manzarek, Noel Gallagher, Guy Garvey, Nile Rodgers, Grace Slick, Mike Oldfield, Slash and a host of others, this is the story of When Albums Ruled the World.


THU 23:35 Duets at the BBC (b01c2xwt)
The BBC delves into its archive for the best romantic duets performed at the BBC over the last 50 years. Whether it is Robbie and Kylie dancing together on Top of the Pops or Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge singing into each other's eyes on the Whistle Test, there is plenty of chemistry. Highlights include Nina and Frederik's Baby It's Cold Outside, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, Sonny and Cher, Shirley Bassey and Neil Diamond, Peaches and Herb, and a rare performance from Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush.


THU 00:35 Life Story (p026vhmr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Monday]


THU 01:35 Natural World (b00qsxy5)
2009-2010

The Wild Places of Essex

Multi-award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane sets out on a journey to explore the unexpected landscapes and natural history of Essex, revealing that there is far more to the county than the stereotypes of white stilettos and boy racers.

Macfarlane spends a year travelling the county's strange and elemental landscapes of heavy industry, desolate beaches and wild woods. He encounters massive knot flocks over the Thames, peregrine falcons at Tilbury Power Station, water voles within sniffing distance of the municipal dump, deer rutting in earshot of the M25, barn owls, badgers and bluebells in Billericay, as well as a large colony of common seals.


THU 02:30 When Albums Ruled the World (b01qhn70)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:05 today]



FRIDAY 16 SEPTEMBER 2016

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b07v81qf)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (b07vxmxr)
David Jensen presents the weekly pop chart show, first broadcast on 15 April 1982. Includes appearances from Spandau Ballet, Simple Minds, Bucks Fizz, Dollar, Shakatak, Bardo and Roxy Music. Also includes a dance performance from Zoo.


FRI 20:00 The Good Old Days (b07vxfv1)
Leonard Sachs presents an edition of the old-time music hall programme from the stage of the City Varieties Theatre, Leeds, first broadcast on 14 February 1975. Guests include Roy Castle, Ray Allen, Sue Longhurst, Joyce Blackham, Kathy Jones, Eva & Karlos, and Albert Aldred.


FRI 20:45 Sounds of the Sixties (b07179dp)
Reversions

The Folk Revival 2

Tim Buckley and Richie Havens are the folk stars in this 1960s archive show.


FRI 20:55 Pop Go the Sixties (b0084cjh)
Series 1

The Who

A colourful nugget of pop by The Who, mined from the BBC's archive.


FRI 21:00 The Everly Brothers: Harmonies from Heaven (b077x1fh)
Documentary which celebrates, over the period covering the end of the 1950s and the beginning of the 60s, the phenomenon of The Everly Brothers, arguably the greatest harmony duo the world has witnessed, who directly influenced the greatest and most successful bands of the 60s and 70s - The Beatles, The Stones, The Beach Boys and Simon & Garfunkel to name but a few.

Don and Phil Everly's love of music began as children, encouraged by their father Ike. Little Donnie and Baby Boy Phil sang on Ike's early morning radio shows in Iowa.

After leaving school, the brothers moved to Nashville where, under the wing of Ike Everly's friend, the highly talented musician Chet Atkins, Don and Phil signed with Cadence Records. They exploded onto the music scene in 1957 with Bye Bye Love, written by Boudleaux and Felice Bryant.

After Bye Bye Love came other hits, notably Wake Up Little Susie, followed by the worldwide smash hit All I Have to Do Is Dream and a long string of other great songs which also became hits.

By 1960, however, the brothers were lured away from Cadence to Warner Bros with a $1,000,000 contract. Their biggest hit followed, the self-penned Cathy's Clown, which sold 8 million copies. Remaining at Warner Bros for most of the 60s, they had further success with Walk Right Back, So Sad and the King/Greenfield-penned track Crying in the Rain.


FRI 22:00 Billy Fury: The Sound of Fury (b077x1fk)
Documentary which recounts the story of Billy Fury and the birth of British pop music. His first album, The Sound of Fury (released in 1960), has become a landmark record in British rock 'n' roll history.

Born in Liverpool during the Second World War, Ronnie Wycherley became an overnight sensation in 1958 when he was asked to go on stage and sing a couple of his self-penned songs by showbiz impresario Larry Parnes. Ronnie's knees shook with nerves, but over 2,000 screaming girls welcomed the new star of British rock 'n' roll and the headline in the local newspaper the following day was 'Dingle boy with a hot guitar'.

With more Top 40 hits than The Beatles during the 60s, Billy Fury's major hits included Halfway to Paradise, Wondrous Place, Jealousy, Last Night Was Made For Love and many more.

Aged just 42, Billy died of heart failure after a recording session. But his fans have never forgotten him, and every year on the anniversary of his death they gather to pay their tributes at Mill Hill cemetery. Lord Puttnam sums up Fury's contribution to modern music in the programme by saying that, 'without Billy Fury, I honestly don't think The Beatles would have happened'.


FRI 23:30 50s Britannia (b01sgbw2)
Rock 'n' Roll Britannia

Long before the Beatles there was British rock 'n' roll. Between 1956 and 1960 British youth created a unique copy of a distant and scarce American original whilst most parents, professional jazz men and even the BBC did their level best to snuff it out.

From its first faltering steps as a facsimile of Bill Haley's swing style to the sophistication of self-penned landmarks such as Shakin' All Over and The Sound of Fury, this is the story of how the likes of Lord Rockingham's XI, Vince Taylor and Cliff Richard and The Shadows laid the foundations for an enduring 50-year culture of rock 'n' roll.

Now well into their seventies, the flame still burns strong in the hearts of the original young ones. Featuring Sir Cliff Richard, Marty Wilde, Joe Brown, Bruce Welch, Cherry Wainer and The Quarrymen.


FRI 00:30 Top of the Pops (b07vxmxr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


FRI 01:00 The Everly Brothers: Harmonies from Heaven (b077x1fh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 02:00 Billy Fury: The Sound of Fury (b077x1fk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]




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

50s Britannia 23:30 FRI (b01sgbw2)

All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge 21:00 TUE (b07vxf66)

Beck 21:00 SAT (b07vvsjn)

Billy Fury: The Sound of Fury 22:00 FRI (b077x1fk)

Billy Fury: The Sound of Fury 02:00 FRI (b077x1fk)

British Sitcom: 60 Years of Laughing at Ourselves 21:00 MON (b07vxlnl)

British Sitcom: 60 Years of Laughing at Ourselves 02:30 MON (b07vxlnl)

Brushing up on... 19:30 TUE (b01s1c4y)

Brushing up on... 19:30 WED (b01s0zpm)

Burt Bacharach: A Life in Song 23:30 SAT (b06qnnbz)

Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story 22:00 WED (p02l4q38)

Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story 03:00 WED (p02l4q38)

Clydebuilt: The Ships that Made the Commonwealth 20:00 SAT (p01n8f5d)

Clydebuilt: The Ships that Made the Commonwealth 01:00 WED (p01n8f5d)

Duets at the BBC 23:35 THU (b01c2xwt)

Easy Listening Hits at the BBC 01:00 SAT (b011g943)

Egyptian Journeys with Dan Cruickshank 23:00 TUE (b0078z93)

Egyptian Journeys with Dan Cruickshank 23:30 TUE (b0078zdw)

From Andy Pandy to Zebedee: The Golden Age of Children's Television 19:00 SUN (b06t3mhm)

Hidden Histories: Britain's Oldest Family Businesses 22:00 TUE (b03slwfr)

Hive Minds 20:30 THU (b07vxfqr)

Horizon 22:30 SUN (b01mgllj)

Horizon 02:30 SUN (b01mgllj)

James May: The Reassembler 21:30 WED (b076wgvx)

Life Story 20:00 MON (p026vhmr)

Life Story 00:35 THU (p026vhmr)

Lost Sitcoms 21:00 WED (b07v86cq)

Madness on Wheels: Rallying's Craziest Years 20:00 SUN (b01fcncc)

Mercury Prize 21:00 THU (b07vxmp5)

Metamorphosis: The Science of Change 23:30 SUN (p00zv0wk)

Natural World 01:35 THU (b00qsxy5)

Operation Crossbow 00:30 SUN (b011cr8f)

Planet Oil: The Treasure That Conquered the World 00:00 TUE (b0546d5q)

Pop Go the Sixties 20:55 FRI (b0084cjh)

Rule Britannia! Music, Mischief and Morals in the 18th Century 20:00 WED (b041m4rl)

Rule Britannia! Music, Mischief and Morals in the 18th Century 02:00 WED (b041m4rl)

Sound of Cinema: The Music That Made the Movies 00:00 MON (b03bm2fy)

Sounds of the Sixties 20:45 FRI (b07179dp)

Tank Men 20:00 THU (b07tbzgx)

The Andy Williams Show 22:30 SAT (b00n5bt9)

The Andy Williams Show 02:35 SAT (b00n5bt9)

The Art of Australia 02:00 TUE (b03d6b1l)

The Beginning and End of the Universe 01:30 SUN (b075dxsq)

The Boats That Built Britain 19:30 MON (b00scqsj)

The Brecon Beacons with Iolo Williams 20:00 TUE (b076vhs7)

The Brecon Beacons with Iolo Williams 01:00 TUE (b076vhs7)

The Comet's Tale 21:00 SUN (b008d2x7)

The Everly Brothers: Harmonies from Heaven 21:00 FRI (b077x1fh)

The Everly Brothers: Harmonies from Heaven 01:00 FRI (b077x1fh)

The Genius of Turner: Painting the Industrial Revolution 19:00 SAT (b01s50kn)

The Genius of Turner: Painting the Industrial Revolution 23:00 MON (b01s50kn)

The Good Old Days 20:00 FRI (b07vxfv1)

The Rules of Abstraction with Matthew Collings 01:00 MON (b04gv5kl)

The Sky at Night 22:00 SUN (b07vxfqp)

The Sky at Night 19:30 THU (b07vxfqp)

Timeshift 22:00 MON (b03fv7sl)

Timeshift 03:00 TUE (b03fv7sl)

Top of the Pops 02:00 SAT (b07tq0fc)

Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (b07vxmxr)

Top of the Pops 00:30 FRI (b07vxmxr)

Voyager: To the Final Frontier 23:00 WED (b01nj48v)

Voyages of Discovery 00:00 WED (b0074t5l)

When Albums Ruled the World 22:05 THU (b01qhn70)

When Albums Ruled the World 02:30 THU (b01qhn70)

World News Today 19:00 MON (b07v81pq)

World News Today 19:00 TUE (b07v81pw)

World News Today 19:00 WED (b07v81q1)

World News Today 19:00 THU (b07v81q8)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b07v81qf)