Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 25 FEBRUARY 2017

SAT 19:00 Indian Hill Railways (b00qzzlm)
The Nilgiri Mountain 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 Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a romantic line, popular with honeymooners and driven by love and devotion as well as steam. It chugs through the south Indian jungle up to a hill station, once known as Snooty Ooty.

The current guard is Ivan. Married for twenty years, he is concerned about his friend Jenni, the ticket inspector, because he's still a bachelor - but Jenni has a secret.

In the engine shed, Shivani, the railway's first female diesel engineer, is working on a steam loco. She has to make it look its best, as in the year of filming, 1999, the railway celebrated its centenary. The high point is the Black Beauty competition to pick the best engine on the line, but rains and landslides threaten the proceedings and the tourist business. Will love win out in the end?


SAT 20:00 Timeshift (b06jnzjx)
Series 15

The People's Liners - Britain's Lost Pleasure Fleets

Timeshift casts off for a colourful voyage of 'high teas on the high seas' in the company of passengers and crew of the vintage steamers which were once a common sight on the rivers and coastal waters around Britain.

Far more than a means of transport, these steamers attracted a devoted following, treating their passengers, whatever their pocket, to the adventure and trappings of an ocean voyage whilst actually rarely venturing out of sight of land. A highlight of the great British seaside holiday from the 1820s until the early 1960s - and open to all - they were 'the people's liners'.


SAT 21:00 Treasures of Ancient Egypt (p01mv1kj)
A New Dawn

Alastair Sooke concludes the epic story of Egyptian art by looking at how, despite political decline, the final era of the Egyptian Empire saw its art enjoy revival and rebirth. From the colossal statues of Rameses II that proclaimed the pharaoh's power to the final flourishes under Queen Cleopatra, Sooke discovers that the subsequent invasions by foreign rulers, from the Nubians and Alexander the Great to the Romans, produced a new hybrid art full of surprise. He also unearths a seam of astonishing satirical work, produced by ordinary men, that continues to inspire Egypt's graffiti artists today.


SAT 22:00 Timewatch (b00jcgpm)
2008-2009

Captain Cook: The Man Behind the Legend

In the late 18th century, Captain James Cook led three great voyages of discovery which pushed the borders of the British Empire to the ends of the earth. In just over a decade, his ability as a navigator and chartmaker would add one-third to the map of the known world. For many he was the greatest explorer in history, but for others he was a ruthless conqueror.

While the exploits of Captain Cook are well documented, much less is known about James Cook the man. Presenter Vanessa Collingridge sets out on her own voyage of discovery - travelling in his footsteps to uncover the forces that drove him to success, and ultimately to his own death.


SAT 23:00 Top of the Pops (b08fsfy0)
Steve Wright and Richard Skinner present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 31 March 1983. Featuring New Order, The Style Council, Mari Wilson, U2, Kajagoogoo, Tracey Ullman and Duran Duran.


SAT 23:30 Top of the Pops (b08fsgyp)
Simon Bates and Peter Powell present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 7 April 1983. Featuring Dexys Midnight Runners, Culture Club, Joboxers, Twisted Sister, Michael Jackson, FR David, Nick Heyward, Big Country and David Bowie.


SAT 00:05 Arena (b073rgy1)
Loretta Lynn - Still a Mountain Girl

Legendary country music singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn is loved by fans from across the world. She has sold over 45 million albums worldwide and won more awards than any other female country music star. With affectionate and irreverent contributions from her extended family of self-confessed rednecks, now in her early eighties and still going strong, Loretta looks back at her long and extraordinary life, from being born a coal miner's daughter in Kentucky to receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama in 2013. Featuring Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Jack White, Sissy Spacek and, of course, Loretta herself.


SAT 01:35 Country Kings at the BBC (p028vxj4)
Classic male country singers from the BBC vaults, journeying from The Everly Brothers and Jerry Lee Lewis to Garth Brooks and Willie Nelson, and featuring classic songs and performances by Glen Campbell, Charley Pride, George Hamilton IV, Kenny Rogers, Clint Black, Johnny Cash, Eric Church and more. This 50 years-plus compilation is a chronological look at country kings as featured on BBC studio shows as varied as In Concert, Wogan, The Late Show and Later with Jools Holland, plus early variety shows presented by the likes of Lulu, Harry Secombe and Shirley Abicair.


SAT 02:35 Country Queens at the BBC (p028vwnv)
Classic female country stars in action on a variety of BBC studio shows and featuring Bobbie Gentry, Anne Murray, Emmylou Harris, Tammy Wynette, Billie Jo Spears, Crystal Gayle, Taylor Swift, Lucinda Williams with Mary Chapin Carpenter and more. A chronological celebration of country queens at the BBC whether on Top of the Pops, OGWT, Later with Jools Holland, Parkinson or their own entertainment specials.


SAT 03:35 Sounds of the Seventies (b01pcwhp)
Shorts

Roxy Music, Queen and Elton John

Glamour with a seventies subversive quality in this selection from the BBC's back pages. Roxy Music operate their Ladytron, Queen are Killer and Elton John is back.


SAT 03:50 Pop Go the Sixties (b00cw0pf)
Series 2

Procol Harum

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



SUNDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2017

SUN 19:00 Sound of Song (b04z23vl)
Reeling and Rocking

Musician Neil Brand explores the magical elements that come together to create great songs by recreating some of the most memorable and innovative recording sessions in music history - from Elvis's slapback echo in Memphis and The Beatles' tape loops at Abbey Road to Phil Spector's Wall of Sound and The Beach Boys' pop symphonies.

He shows that all this was made possible by the discovery of magnetic tape by an American soldier in the ruins of WWII Germany, the invention that, more than any other, drove the emergence of the music studio as a compositional tool and the rise of the producer as a new creative force shaping the sound of song.


SUN 20:00 South Downs: England's Mountains Green (b08fsbtk)
Peter Owen-Jones takes us into the heart of the UK's newest national park - the South Downs. Following the South Downs Way along the spine of the park, from the famous Seven Sisters cliffs to Winchester - the ancient capital of England - Peter experiences an extraordinary year exploring the park's stunning landscapes, rich history, wildlife and people. What emerges is a portrait of one of Britain's most iconic landscapes, described by William Blake as 'England's mountains green'.


SUN 21:00 Two Days, One Night (b050sh33)
Liege, Belgium. Fragile Sandra, urged on by her husband and a friend, has one weekend to reinstate her job by asking colleagues to forego a bonus and vote for her return instead.

Acclaimed drama centred on a powerful lead performance.

In French with English subtitles.


SUN 22:30 Hockney (b05gv4zf)
Hockney is the definitive exploration of one of the most significant artists of his generation. For the first time, David Hockney has given access to his personal archive of photographs and film, resulting in an unparalleled visual diary of a long life. 'I'm interested in ways of looking and trying to think of it in simple ways. If you can communicate that, of course people will respond - after all, everybody does look'. His is a long-term one-man campaign against the pessimism of the world, mastering new media - whether acrylic paint or iPad digits - in the search for a picture adequate to his sense of what it is to be alive.

The film chronicles Hockney's vast career, from his early life in working-class Bradford, where his love for pictures was developed through his admiration for cinema, to his relocation to Hollywood, where his life-long struggle to escape labels ('queer', 'working class', figurative artist') was fully realised. Hockney offers theories about art, the universe and everything. But as he reveals, it's the hidden self-interrogation that gives his famously optimistic pictures their unexpected edge and attack. The subject matter is a way into the picture to see something else, to open our eyes and our minds.

Acclaimed film-maker Randall Wright offers a unique view of this unconventional artist who is now reaching new peaks of popularity worldwide, remains as charismatic as ever, and at seventy-seven, is still working in the studio seven days a week.


SUN 00:15 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.


SUN 01:45 Order and Disorder (b01nj44h)
Information

Professor Jim Al-Khalili investigates one of the most important concepts in the world today - information. He discovers how we harnessed the power of symbols, everything from the first alphabet and the electric telegraph through to the modern digital age. But on this journey he learns that information is not just about human communication, it is woven very profoundly into the fabric of reality.


SUN 02:45 South Downs: England's Mountains Green (b08fsbtk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



MONDAY 27 FEBRUARY 2017

MON 19:00 100 Days (b08gjsvs)
Series 1

27/02/2017

As President Trump takes office, BBC News teams in Washington and London report on the events that are shaping our world.


MON 19:30 Reel History of Britain (p00jwr7t)
Britain's Green and Pleasant Land

Melvyn Bragg, accompanied by a vintage mobile cinema, travels across the country to show incredible footage preserved by the British Film Institute and other national and regional film archives, and tell the history of modern Britain.

This episode comes from the Museum of Kent Life and looks back to the 1930s. This was a time when British farming was on the brink of mechanisation, a move which would change the face of the countryside forever.

Gerry Smith paints a vivid picture of the tough but satisfying life he led as a young farmworker in the 1930s and the sadness he felt when his beloved horses were replaced by machines. Jonathan Dimbleby explains what the arrival of machines meant for the countryside, and John Reeves-Vane shows Melvyn how unmechanised rural life in Britain used to be.


MON 20:00 The Big Painting Challenge (b08gk0vm)
Series 1

Animals

There are eight amateur artists still in the frame, and they take a walk on the wild side as the competition once again gets trickier. This time they're heading to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and are asked to paint animals. Capturing that spark of life while stood in front of a living, breathing wild creature is incredibly tricky, and mentors Pascal and Diana are on hand to help every step of the way.

First up, they get in a flap as they face the flamingos, and the deceivingly simple form of these feisty birds trips some of our artists up. As ever, the judges don't spare anyone's blushes when they pass comment on the efforts.

From graceful birds to lumbering animals, the easels move to the elephant enclosure, and the artists come face to face with these magnificent creatures. With the judges looking for the artists to convey a sense of life, the texture of the skin and the sheer size of the elephants, who will rise to the challenge and whose efforts will be more Dumbo than dramatic?

The public panel vote to keep one artist in the competition, and the judges decide whose time in the competition is up.

Mariella Frostrup and the Rev Richard Coles are the hosts.


MON 21:00 Britain's Pompeii: A Village Lost in Time (b07myxws)
Professor Alice Roberts joins the team excavating a 3,000-year-old Bronze Age village in the Cambridgeshire Fens that has been called the British Pompeii.

The village earned its nickname because 3,000 years ago it burned to the ground, and as it burned it fell into the peat, preserving both the houses and their contents. Until its discovery, we had little real idea of what life was like in Bronze Age Britain.

Now we can peek inside our Bronze Age ancestors' homes as archaeologists discover perfectly preserved roundhouses, and the contents inside them - right down to the utensils in their kitchens. These roundhouses were built in a style never seen in the UK before - testimony not only to the villagers' technical skills, but also of their connections to Europe.

The team has made other incredible discoveries on the dig - from Britain's oldest-found wheel, to swords used in battle, and bowls still containing preserved remnants of food. One of the biggest revelations is the discovery of a complete set of the early technology used to produce cloth - a full industrial process we've never seen in Britain before.

This glimpse into domestic life 3,000 years ago is unprecedented, but it also transforms our impressions of Bronze Age Britain - far from being poor and isolated, it seems the villagers were successful large-scale farmers who used their farming surplus to trade with Europe, exchanging their crops for beautiful glass jewellery and multiple metal tools per household.

As part of the dig, the archaeologists also investigate the cause of the fire - was it just a terrible accident, or did the villagers' wealth provoke an attack?


MON 22:00 Dan Cruickshank and the Family that Built Gothic Britain (b04m3ljr)
As good as any Dickens novel, this is the triumphant and tragic story of the greatest architectural dynasty of the 19th century. Dan Cruickshank charts the rise of Sir George Gilbert Scott to the very heights of success, the fall of his son George Junior and the rise again of his grandson Giles. It is a story of architects bent on a mission to rebuild Britain. From the Romantic heights of the Midland Hotel at St Pancras station to the modern image of Bankside power station (now Tate Modern), this is the story of a family that shaped the Victorian age and left a giant legacy.


MON 23:00 This World (b08g8p7s)
Born Too White

Documentary uncovering the discrimination and persecution of people with albinism in Tanzania and Malawi in East Africa. NHS doctor Oscar Duke, who himself has albinism, embarks on a personal journey to discover what life is like for people who share his condition in these countries. In Tanzania, home to among the highest proportion of people living with albinism in the world, people with albinism are vulnerable not only to bigotry, but also mutilation and murder. Oscar has taken a long time to come to terms with his condition, even hiding it from his wife when they first started dating. Now that they are planning a family, he has become even more interested in albinism and discovered that in East Africa, many live in fear of their lives.

Oscar himself struggled with the visual impairment albinism causes, but feels he has never really suffered from serious discrimination. In contrast, the stigma that surrounds people with albinism has been greatly ingrained within some African societies for many generations. In the last ten years alone, there have been a staggering 170 attacks in Tanzania, 70 of which were fatal.

This film explores why these terrible crimes are taking place and who is responsible. Oscar meets young people facing the brunt of this discrimination, from a boy whose arm was hacked off to the children placed in a secure camp for people with albinism in Tanzania. Oscar also attempts to challenge the very people responsible for making the lives of people with albinism a living hell. He confronts locals and their superstitions head-on, meeting a traditional 'healer' to understand the sway witchcraft has over African society, and in Malawi, comes face to face with an 'albino hunter' imprisoned for murder.


MON 00:00 Oceans (b00fpy59)
Southern Ocean

The team investigates why parts of the Southern Ocean are warming twice as fast as the rest of the world's oceans and looks at the impact of this phenomenon.

Expedition leader Paul Rose, environmentalist Philippe Cousteau Jr, maritime archaeologist Dr Lucy Blue and marine biologist and oceanographer Tooni Mahto brave some of the roughest seas and the strongest winds on the planet.

They go in search of one of the planet's most curious and enigmatic creatures - the weedy sea dragon. They explore kelp forests to investigate how they're being threatened by the rise in sea temperatures and a new predator. They dive to one of the thousand shipwrecks in these waters, and in a unique sunken valley, they search for mysterious deep ocean creatures normally found hundreds of metres below the surface. And they enter a maze of perilous sea caves to hunt for evidence of ancient sea creatures that can reveal how this ocean formed.


MON 01:00 Art of China (b04c3cmw)
Episode 1

Andrew Graham-Dixon pieces together the spectacular recent discoveries of ancient art that are redefining China's understanding of its origins. He comes face to face with an extraordinary collection of sophisticated alien-like bronze masks created nearly four millennia ago and travels to the Yellow River to explore the tomb of a warrior empress where he discovers the origins of calligraphy.

Always seeking to understand art in its historical context, Andrew visits the tomb of the first emperor and comes face to face with the Terracotta Army. He ends his journey in western China, looking at the impact of the arrival of Buddhism from India on the wondrous paintings and sculptures of the Dunhuang caves.


MON 02:00 Timeshift (b06jnzjx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Saturday]


MON 03:00 Dan Cruickshank and the Family that Built Gothic Britain (b04m3ljr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]



TUESDAY 28 FEBRUARY 2017

TUE 19:00 100 Days (b08gjsvy)
Series 1

28/02/2017

As President Trump takes office, BBC News teams in Washington and London report on the events that are shaping our world.


TUE 19:30 Weird Nature (b0078hcf)
Bizarre Breeding

Discover dancing scorpions, courting birds that give trinkets as gifts, mice that mate themselves to death and a mantis that eats its partner in an exploration of strange behaviour in nature's bizarre breeding rituals.

Meet frogs that rear their young under their skin, fish that leap from the water to lay eggs on leaves and a bullfrog father that becomes lifeguard to his offspring. There are fish that change sex, others that bubble-wrap their young, male hamsters that act as midwives and even a male that becomes pregnant. And, in this weird world, discover a shrew that creates a living daisy chain of its own young.


TUE 20:00 Planet Earth II (b084xk6m)
Grasslands

Grasslands cover one-quarter of all land and support the vast gatherings of wildlife, but to survive here animals must endure the most hostile seasonal changes on the planet. From Asia's bizarre-looking saiga antelope to the giant anteaters of Brazil, grassland animals have adapted in extraordinary ways to cope with these extremes. In the flooded Okavango, lions take on formidable buffalo in epic battles, on the savannah, bee-eaters take advantage of elephants to help catch insects and, on the freezing northern tundra, caribou embark on great migrations shadowed by hungry arctic wolves.


TUE 21:00 The Secret Science of Pop (b08gk664)
Evolutionary biologist Professor Armand Leroi believes data science can transform the pop world. He gathers a team of scientists and researchers to analyse over 50 years of UK chart music. Can algorithms find the secret to pop success?

When the results are in, Armand teams up with hit producer Trevor Horn. Using machine-learning techniques, Armand and Trevor try to take a song by unsigned artist Nike Jemiyo and turn it into a potential chart-topper.

Armand also takes a scientific look at pop evolution. He hunts for the major revolutions in his historic chart data, looking for those artists who transformed the musical landscape. The outcomes are fascinating and surprising, though fans of the Fab Four may not be pleased with the results. As Armand puts it, the hallmark of The Beatles is 'average'.

Finally, by teaming up with BBC research and development, Armand finds out if his algorithms can discover the stars of the future. Can he predict which of thousands of demo tracks uploaded to BBC Introducing is most likely to be a hit without listening to a note?

This is a clash of science and culture and a unique experiment with no guarantee of success. How will the artists react to the scientist intruding on their turf? And will Armand succeed in finding a secret science of pop?


TUE 22:00 The Richest Songs in the World (b01pjrt5)
Mark Radcliffe presents a countdown of the ten songs which have earned the most money of all time - ten classic songs each with an extraordinary story behind them. Radcliffe lifts the lid on how music royalties work and reveals the biggest winners and losers in the history of popular music.


TUE 23:30 Indian Hill Railways (b00qzzlm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Saturday]


TUE 00:30 What a Performance! Pioneers of Popular Entertainment (b06rhpc7)
The Rise of Variety

In the second episode, Frank Skinner and Suzy Klein explore the golden age of variety theatre, from the start of the 20th century to the outbreak of the Second World War. They immerse themselves in the careers of megastars including George Formby and Gracie Fields, who both remain household names today. They also get to grips with some lesser-known artists, including La Loie Fuller, an innovative Chicago-born choreographer and dancer who took London by storm during the Edwardian era.

Two other stars of the pre-World War I era - the Scottish comedian and singer Sir Harry Lauder and the once hugely famous Vesta Tilley, a talented male impersonator - feature prominently as well, and Frank and Suzy attempt to recreate their acts, live on stage, at the end of the show.


TUE 01:30 The Real Tom Thumb: History's Smallest Superstar (b04sms8d)
Michael Grade reveals the extraordinary and utterly unique story of General Tom Thumb, the world's first global show business celebrity. Just 31 inches tall, he went from humble beginnings in America to international superstardom, eventually performing on stage before over 50 million people, including President Lincoln and a devoted Queen Victoria. Yet Tom Thumb didn't choose his own career and his selling point was his disability. Is this story one of success or exploitation? And why do we remain just as fascinated by performers with unusual bodies?

As an impresario and lifelong entertainment devotee, Michael sets out to follow the remarkable life of Tom Thumb (real name Charles Stratton) from his discovery aged four by the legendary showman PT Barnum to his setting out on the first ever show business world tour. The journey takes him to New York and across snowy New England, then back to the UK to discover how adored Stratton was by the British public. It features exquisite handmade suits, tiny bespoke carriages and the first ever visit by a film crew to Stratton's specially designed home, complete with miniature staircase.

Looking to our own times, Michael meets contemporary entertainers to find out what it's like to be a little person or disabled actor today, and asks whether it's ever right for us to be entertained by people with unusual bodies. Expecting a tale of exploitation, in Stratton Michael eventually discovers the story of man who made the very most of his situation and had a truly unforgettable life. And in the process, there is a discovery that rewrites the history of Charles Stratton, suggesting he may have had a long-forgotten baby.


TUE 03:00 Planet Earth II (b084xk6m)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 01 MARCH 2017

WED 19:00 100 Days (b08gjsw3)
Series 1

01/03/2017

As President Trump takes office, BBC News teams in Washington and London report on the events that are shaping our world.


WED 19:30 Reel History of Britain (p00jwr8g)
Britain's Secondary Modern Schools

Melvyn Bragg, accompanied by a vintage mobile cinema, travels across the country, to show incredible footage preserved by the British Film Institute and other national and regional film archives, and tell the history of modern Britain.

This episode comes from the Francis Combe Academy in Watford and looks back to the 1960s, a time when passing or failing an exam - the eleven-plus - could map out a child's future.

Former Francis Combe pupil Bernie Batchelor comes face-to-face with his mischievous 12-year-old former self; former TV presenter Marylyn Mason explains how failing the eleven-plus drove her to work harder in later life, and pioneering film-maker John Krish, who made a documentary about this very school back in 1962, shares his memories of filming at the school.


WED 20:00 Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies (b01m81f5)
Military Marvels

In the heady postwar years of the 1950s and 60s, British flying was at its zenith and its aircraft industry flourished in a dazzling display of ingenuity and design brilliance. Having invented the jet engine, Britain was now set to lead the world into the jet age with a new generation of fighters and bombers. The daring test pilots who flew them were as well known as the football stars of today, while their futuristic-looking aircraft, including the Meteor, Canberra, Valiant, Vulcan and the English Electric Lightning, were the military marvels of the age.


WED 21:00 Roots (b07xs5sp)
Series 1

Episode 4

After 20 years in England, Chicken George makes his way back to America and reaches Tom Lea's farm, where he hopes to be reunited with his family. But tracking down his long-lost relations and making up for lost time won't be easy. Meanwhile, the American Civil War breaks out and lines are drawn.


WED 22:25 Wild China (b00bwky1)
Tibet

Documentary capturing pioneering images to exhibit the dazzling array of mysterious and wonderful creatures that live in China's most beautiful landscapes.

The vast Tibetan Plateau is one of the world's most remote places and home to chiru antelopes, wild yaks, foxes and bears. It has a remarkable culture shaped by over one 1,000 years of Buddhism, while its mountains and glaciers provide a vital life support system for half the planet.


WED 23:25 imagine... (b00p36t8)
Winter 2009

Dame Shirley Bassey - The Girl from Tiger Bay

Alan Yentob gains an insight into the creative world of Dame Shirley Bassey in a programme first shown in 2009. After a triumphant Glastonbury appearance and a major illness at the age of 72, Dame Shirley tentatively re-enters the ring to confront her life in song.

Some of the best contemporary songwriters, including Gary Barlow, the Pet Shop Boys, Manic Street Preachers, Rufus Wainwright, Richard Hawley and KT Tunstall, along with James Bond composer John Barry and lyricist Don Black, have interpreted her life through song for an album produced by David Arnold.

The songs frame and explore the myth of Shirley Bassey, the girl from Tiger Bay, and the voice and the desire are not found wanting. A backstory profiling Shirley, complete with archive of her greatest performances, tells the story of what makes her the living legend that she is today.


WED 00:25 Archaeology: A Secret History (p0109k4g)
The Power of the Past

Archaeologist Richard Miles presents a series charting the history of the breakthroughs and watersheds in our long quest to understand our ancient past. He shows how 20th-century attention turned from civilisation and kings to the search for the common man against a background of science and competing political ideologies.


WED 01:25 Treasures of Ancient Egypt (p01mv1kj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday]


WED 02:25 Wild China (b00bwky1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:25 today]


WED 03:20 Britain on Film (b01qhl0b)
Series 1

Animal Magic

In 1959, Britain's biggest cinema company, the Rank Organisation, decided to replace its newsreels with a series of short, quirky, topical documentaries that examined all aspects of life in Britain. For the next ten years, Look at Life chronicled - on high-grade 35mm colour film - the changing face of British society, industry and culture. Britain on Film draws upon the 500 films in this unique archive to offer illuminating and often surprising insights into what became a pivotal decade.

This episode examines Britain's ambiguous relationships with animals. Look at Life's coverage - which ranges from the fur trade, fox hunting and animal-based entertainments in circuses to our passion for pets - shows just how far attitudes to other species have shifted since the 1960s.



THURSDAY 02 MARCH 2017

THU 19:00 100 Days (b08gjsw8)
Series 1

02/03/2017

As President Trump takes office, BBC News teams in Washington and London report on the events that are shaping our world.


THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b08gk6z6)
Gary Davies and Andy Peebles present another edition of the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 14 April 1983. Featuring Sweet Dreams, Eurythmics, Bauhaus, Kissing the Pink, Sunfire, Kajagoogoo and David Bowie.


THU 20:00 Thailand: Earth's Tropical Paradise (b088pcls)
The Central Heartland

In central Thailand's forests, fertile plains and even city streets, nature finds a way of living alongside people. Spirituality can be found in human and animal relationships, both likely and unlikely. This bustling region is known as the nation's rice bowl - but even here, there are magical places to be found.


THU 21:00 Sound Waves: The Symphony of Physics (b08h06tq)
Series 1

Making Sound

Dr Helen Czerski investigates the extraordinary science behind the sounds we're familiar with and the sounds that we normally can't hear.

She begins by exploring the simplest of ideas: what is a sound? At the Palace of Westminster, Helen teams up with scientists from the University of Leicester to carry out state-of-the-art measurements using lasers to reveal how the most famous bell in the world - Big Ben - vibrates to create pressure waves in the air at particular frequencies. This is how Big Ben produces its distinct sound. It's the first time that these laser measurements have been done on Big Ben.

With soprano singer Lesley Garrett CBE, Helen explores the science of the singing voice - revealing in intimate detail its inner workings and how it produces sound. Lesley undergoes a laryngoscopy to show the vocal folds of her larynx. At University College London, Lesley sings I Dreamed a Dream inside an MRI scanner to reveal how her vocal tract acts as a 'resonator', amplifying and shaping the sound from her larynx.

Having explored the world of sounds with which we are familiar, Helen discovers the hidden world of sounds that lie beyond the range of human hearing. At the summit of Stromboli, one of Europe's most active volcanoes, Helen and volcanologist Dr Jeffrey Johnson use a special microphone to record the extraordinary deep tone produced by the volcano as it explodes - a frequency far too low for the human ear to detect. Helen reveals how the volcano produces sound in a similar way to a musical instrument - with the volcano vent acting as a 'sound resonator'.

Finally, at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy, Helen meets a scientist who has discovered evidence of sound waves in space, created by a giant black hole. These sounds are one million billion times lower than the limit of human hearing and could be the key in figuring out how galaxy clusters, the largest structures in the universe, grow.


THU 22:00 Andrew Marr: My Brain and Me (b08flqbv)
After suffering a life-threatening stroke four years ago, the broadcaster and political journalist Andrew Marr quickly regained his ability to speak and was able to resume work. But he is still frustrated by lack of movement in his left arm, hand and leg. In this very intimate story, Andrew is on a mission to understand the mysteries of the human brain and to achieve further recovery. He meets some of Britain's million plus stroke survivors and travels the world in search of a miracle cure.


THU 23:00 Nazis: A Warning from History (b0074kqm)
The Road to Treblinka

"We used to shoot them, give them up as lost and that was it." - Petras Zelionka, former member of the Nazi killing squad.

How could it happen? How was it possible that the Nazis created killing factories in order to exterminate the Jews and others they thought 'undesirable'?

Filmed in Poland, Germany and Lithuania, this documentary demonstrates how the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, in the fulfilment of Hitler's ideological vision, was a crucial catalyst to the radicalisation of the Nazi policy against the Jews.

With the help of archive discoveries and frank interviews with victims, bystanders and a former member of a Nazi killing squad, The Road to Treblinka traces the decision-making process that led to one of the greatest crimes the world has ever seen - the Holocaust.


THU 23:50 Fifties British War Films: Days of Glory (b01pkj2m)
In the 1950s, Britain looked back on its epic war effort in films such as The Dam Busters, The Cruel Sea and The Colditz Story. However, even at the time these productions were criticised for being class-bound and living in the past.

Journalist and historian Simon Heffer argues that these films have real cinematic merit and a genuine cultural importance, that they tell us something significant not only about the 1950s Britain from which they emerged but also about what it means to be British today.

His case is supported by interviews with stars including Virginia McKenna, Sylvia Syms and Sir Donald Sinden, with further contributions from directors Guy Hamilton (The Colditz Story) and Michael Anderson (The Dam Busters).


THU 00:50 Top of the Pops (b08gk6z6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


THU 01:20 Sounds of the Eighties (b0074sjk)
Episode 2

Serious and sincere they may have been, never cracking a smile where a tortured, artistic look would do, but this tranche of 80s pop stars know how to make that look work - Eurythmics, Spandau Ballet, Phil Collins, Fine Young Cannibals, Tears for Fears, Suzanne Vega and Simply Red.


THU 01:45 Sound of Song (b04z23vl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Sunday]


THU 02:45 Sound Waves: The Symphony of Physics (b08h06tq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



FRIDAY 03 MARCH 2017

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b08gjswp)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (b08gk7wl)
Richard Skinner and Janice Long present another edition of the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 21 April 1983. Featuring Culture Club, The Human League, FR David, Heaven 17, Thompson Twins, Spandau Ballet and David Bowie.


FRI 20:00 The Good Old Days (b08gk7wr)
Leonard Sachs presents the old-time entertainment show, first broadcast on 14 February 1978. Features Alfred Marks, Moira Anderson, Arthur Askey, Sheila Steafel, Barry Cryer, Wong Mow Ting, Albert Aldred and members of the Players' Theatre, London.


FRI 21:00 Better than the Original: The Joy of the Cover Version (b06n9q8y)
Documentary which celebrates the role of the cover version in the pop canon and investigates what it takes to reinvent someone else's song as a smash.

Through ten carefully chosen cover versions that whisk us from the British Invasion to a noughties X Factor final, this film journeys over five decades to track how artists as varied as The Moody Blues, Soft Cell, Puff Daddy and Alexandra Burke have scored number ones with their retake on someone else's song. Each of the ten classic cover versions has its own particular tale, tied not only into its musical and cultural context but also the personal testimony of the artists, producers and songwriters whose lives were changed in the process.

Narrated by Meera Syal, it explores the stories behind such iconic hits as House of the Rising Sun, Respect, Tainted Love, I'll Be Missing You and Hallelujah, with contributors including John Cale, Gloria Jones, Marc Almond, Rick Rubin, Faith Evans and British singer-songwriter Nerina Pallot.

The cover version has always been a staple of the pop charts. Yet it's often been viewed as the poor relation of writing your own songs. This film challenges and overturns that misconception by celebrating an exciting, underrated musical form that has the power to make or break an artist's career. Whether as tribute, reinterpretation or as an act of subversion, the extraordinary alchemy involved in covering a record can create a new, defining version - in some cases, even more original than the original.


FRI 22:00 Ultimate Cover Versions at the BBC (b06ns4gf)
Smash hits from 60 years of great cover versions in performance from the BBC TV archive. Reinterpretations, tributes and acts of subversion from the British invasion to noughties X Factor finalist Alexandra Burke. Artists as varied as The Moody Blues, Soft Cell, Mariah Carey and UB40 with their 'retake' on someone else's song - ultimate chart hits that are, in some cases, perhaps even better than the original.

Arguably The Beatles, alongside Bob Dylan and The Beach Boys, introduced the notion of 'originality' and self-generating artists writing their songs into the pop lexicon in the 60s. One of the most fascinating consequences of this has been the 'original' cover version, a reinterpretation of someone else's song that has transformed it into pop gold with a shift of rhythm, intent and context. The pop cover has proved a remarkably imaginative and durable form and this compilation tracks this pop alchemy at its finest and most intriguing.


FRI 23:00 ... Sings The Beatles (b00ml7p5)
Recorded for the fortieth anniversary of Abbey Road, The Beatles' final album, a journey through the classic and curious covers in the BBC archives.

Featuring Sandie Shaw singing a sassy Day Tripper, Shirley Bassey belting out Something, a close-harmony Carpenters cover of Help!, Joe Cocker's chart-topping With a Little Help from My Friends, Oasis reinventing the Walrus and a little Lady Madonna from Macca himself.

Plus a few 'magical' moments from Candy Flip, The Korean Kittens and Su Pollard.


FRI 00:00 Top of the Pops (b08gk7wl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


FRI 00:35 Better than the Original: The Joy of the Cover Version (b06n9q8y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 01:35 Ultimate Cover Versions at the BBC (b06ns4gf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


FRI 02:35 ... Sings The Beatles (b00ml7p5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 today]


FRI 03:35 Sounds of the Sixties (b009x6kv)
Reversions

The Folk Revival

Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen feature in this folk tinged episode of 60s archive.




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

... Sings The Beatles 23:00 FRI (b00ml7p5)

... Sings The Beatles 02:35 FRI (b00ml7p5)

100 Days 19:00 MON (b08gjsvs)

100 Days 19:00 TUE (b08gjsvy)

100 Days 19:00 WED (b08gjsw3)

100 Days 19:00 THU (b08gjsw8)

Andrew Marr: My Brain and Me 22:00 THU (b08flqbv)

Archaeology: A Secret History 00:25 WED (p0109k4g)

Arena 00:05 SAT (b073rgy1)

Art of China 01:00 MON (b04c3cmw)

Better than the Original: The Joy of the Cover Version 21:00 FRI (b06n9q8y)

Better than the Original: The Joy of the Cover Version 00:35 FRI (b06n9q8y)

Britain on Film 03:20 WED (b01qhl0b)

Britain's Pompeii: A Village Lost in Time 21:00 MON (b07myxws)

Country Kings at the BBC 01:35 SAT (p028vxj4)

Country Queens at the BBC 02:35 SAT (p028vwnv)

Dan Cruickshank and the Family that Built Gothic Britain 22:00 MON (b04m3ljr)

Dan Cruickshank and the Family that Built Gothic Britain 03:00 MON (b04m3ljr)

Fifties British War Films: Days of Glory 23:50 THU (b01pkj2m)

Hockney 22:30 SUN (b05gv4zf)

Indian Hill Railways 19:00 SAT (b00qzzlm)

Indian Hill Railways 23:30 TUE (b00qzzlm)

Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies 20:00 WED (b01m81f5)

Nazis: A Warning from History 23:00 THU (b0074kqm)

Oceans 00:00 MON (b00fpy59)

Order and Disorder 01:45 SUN (b01nj44h)

Planet Earth II 20:00 TUE (b084xk6m)

Planet Earth II 03:00 TUE (b084xk6m)

Pop Go the Sixties 03:50 SAT (b00cw0pf)

Reel History of Britain 19:30 MON (p00jwr7t)

Reel History of Britain 19:30 WED (p00jwr8g)

Roots 21:00 WED (b07xs5sp)

Sound Waves: The Symphony of Physics 21:00 THU (b08h06tq)

Sound Waves: The Symphony of Physics 02:45 THU (b08h06tq)

Sound of Song 19:00 SUN (b04z23vl)

Sound of Song 01:45 THU (b04z23vl)

Sounds of the Eighties 01:20 THU (b0074sjk)

Sounds of the Seventies 03:35 SAT (b01pcwhp)

Sounds of the Sixties 03:35 FRI (b009x6kv)

South Downs: England's Mountains Green 20:00 SUN (b08fsbtk)

South Downs: England's Mountains Green 02:45 SUN (b08fsbtk)

Thailand: Earth's Tropical Paradise 20:00 THU (b088pcls)

The Big Painting Challenge 20:00 MON (b08gk0vm)

The Good Old Days 20:00 FRI (b08gk7wr)

The Real Tom Thumb: History's Smallest Superstar 01:30 TUE (b04sms8d)

The Richest Songs in the World 22:00 TUE (b01pjrt5)

The Secret Science of Pop 21:00 TUE (b08gk664)

This World 23:00 MON (b08g8p7s)

Timeshift 20:00 SAT (b06jnzjx)

Timeshift 02:00 MON (b06jnzjx)

Timewatch 22:00 SAT (b00jcgpm)

Top of the Pops 23:00 SAT (b08fsfy0)

Top of the Pops 23:30 SAT (b08fsgyp)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b08gk6z6)

Top of the Pops 00:50 THU (b08gk6z6)

Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (b08gk7wl)

Top of the Pops 00:00 FRI (b08gk7wl)

Treasures of Ancient Egypt 21:00 SAT (p01mv1kj)

Treasures of Ancient Egypt 01:25 WED (p01mv1kj)

Treasures of the Louvre 00:15 SUN (b01r3n6r)

Two Days, One Night 21:00 SUN (b050sh33)

Ultimate Cover Versions at the BBC 22:00 FRI (b06ns4gf)

Ultimate Cover Versions at the BBC 01:35 FRI (b06ns4gf)

Weird Nature 19:30 TUE (b0078hcf)

What a Performance! Pioneers of Popular Entertainment 00:30 TUE (b06rhpc7)

Wild China 22:25 WED (b00bwky1)

Wild China 02:25 WED (b00bwky1)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b08gjswp)

imagine... 23:25 WED (b00p36t8)