Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 28 OCTOBER 2017

SAT 19:00 The Inca: Masters of the Clouds (b04xdpjy)
Foundations

Dr Jago Cooper reassesses the achievements of the Inca Empire. He begins in Peru, where evidence is still being uncovered that challenges preconceptions about its origins and significance. Venturing from the coast to the clouds, he reveals how the Inca transformed one of the most challenging landscapes in the world to ward off the worst effects of the climate, and created sophisticated systems of communication. He shows how one of many independent societies became a commanding empire - not through force, but by using subtle methods of persuasion.


SAT 20:00 Wild China (b00bybp3)
Tides of Change

Documentary series featuring pioneering images that capture the dazzling array of mysterious and wonderful creatures populating China's most beautiful landscapes.

Ancient tea-growing cultures, traditional seaweed-thatched villages, bird-filled wetlands, rare white dolphins, snake-infested islands and futuristic cities jostle along China's fertile eastern seaboard, which marks the front line in the scramble for resources and space between 700 million people and a surprising wealth of wildlife.


SAT 21:00 Beck (b06hk9yh)
The Hospital Murders

An elderly woman dies in a hospital in Stockholm from what seems to be an incurable disease, but her son refuses to believe that it was the disease that killed her.

In Swedish with English subtitles.


SAT 22:25 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 23:55 Top of the Pops (b09bklkn)
Gary Davies and Janice Long present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 18 October 1984. Featuring Spandau Ballet, Chaka Khan, Julian Lennon, John Waite, Meat Loaf, Ultravox and Wham.


SAT 00:30 Sound of Cinema: The Music That Made the Movies (b03b965y)
Pop Goes the Soundtrack

Composer Neil Brand explores how, in the second half of the 20th century, composers and film-makers embraced jazz, pop and rock to bring fresh energy and relevance to film scores.

He shows how in the 1960s, films as diverse as the James Bond movies, spaghetti westerns and Disney's musicals drew on the talents of pop arrangers and composers like John Barry, Ennio Morricone and the Sherman Brothers to create unforgettable soundtracks. But the role of the film composer would subsequently be challenged by directors like Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, who showed that a soundtrack consisting of carefully chosen pop songs could be as effective as a specially written one.

Neil's journey sees him meet leading film-makers and composers including Martin Scorsese and composers Richard Sherman (Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book), Lalo Schifrin (Bullitt) and David Arnold (Casino Royale).


SAT 01:35 The Inca: Masters of the Clouds (b04xdpjy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SAT 01:35 Wild China (b00bybp3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



SUNDAY 29 OCTOBER 2017

SUN 19:00 Botticelli's Venus: The Making of an Icon (b070sqb0)
Sam Roddick explores the enduring appeal of Botticelli's masterpiece The Birth of Venus, one of the most celebrated paintings in western art and a joyous celebration of female sexuality. Its journey to worldwide fame was far from straightforward and it lay in obscurity for centuries. Artist and entrepreneur Sam explains why Botticelli's nude was so revolutionary and explores its impact on contemporary culture with artists such as Terry Gilliam, who memorably reinvented Venus for his Monty Python's Flying Circus animations.


SUN 19:30 University Challenge (b09cbcsr)
2017/18

Episode 14

It is the last of the first-round matches tonight as the students of Merton College, Oxford, fight it out against King's College, London.

Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.


SUN 20:00 Speechless (b09cfky7)
Imagine a world in which you can think but cannot speak. For many stroke survivors, like former football star Junior and landlord Barry, this nightmare is a reality.

Inspired by the experience of his brother-in-law, filmmaker Richard Alwyn has made an intensely moving, personal film about language and its loss. Alwyn’s brother-in-law, journalist Dennis Barker, had a stroke in 2011 which left him speaking a bizarre, fluent gibberish – just one manifestation of the condition ‘aphasia’ in which people lose or have a severely impaired ability to use language.

SPEECHLESS tells the powerful stories of two men who can no longer take language for granted. Much of the film is made on the Neuro Rehab Unit of the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London’s Queen Square. There, Alwyn meets 55 year old Barry who has been in hospital for 4 months since a stroke left him barely able to speak. Courageous and determined, Barry’s personality constantly triumphs where his language fails. And two years after his stroke when just 35 years-old, former Premier League and international footballer Junior Agogo is still visiting the Unit as he battles to find his way in the world with depleted language. “I had thoughts but I’m saying, where was my voice? I was baffled, man.”

SPEECHLESS raises questions that straddle philosophy and science. Can we understand the world if we don’t have language to name and describe it? Can we think without language? How much is our identity wrapped up in language? These questions are at the heart of conversations that Alwyn has with clinicians and therapists working to get Barry and Junior back into the world.

SPEECHLESS is fascinating and moving, upsetting and uplifting in its depiction of the isolating and estranging condition, aphasia.


SUN 21:00 Natural World (b00vv0nm)
2010-2011

The Dolphins of Shark Bay

A dolphin is about to be born in the treacherous waters of Shark Bay in Western Australia. Puck, the wise mother, must use all her skills to keep her newborn safe from the sharks that sweep into the bay every year. With the help of her close-knit family of females, she must teach the vulnerable baby dolphin the secrets of survival. From whistling to her unborn calf to the first few hours of baby Samu's life and the struggles her eldest son faces leaving home, this film provides a rare insight into the lives of bottlenose dolphins.


SUN 22:00 Natural World (b0377t15)
2013-2014

Giant Squid: Filming the Impossible - Natural World Special

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


SUN 22:45 Legends of the Deep: Deep Sea Sharks (b06237md)
Groundbreaking documentary which follows a Japanese-led team of scientists as they attempt to shed light on the mysterious world of deep sea sharks.

Only 50 specimens of the newly discovered 'megamouth' have ever been sighted. Over four years, scientists and film crews voyaged in midget submarines into the depths of Suruga Bay and Sagami Bay to film them. Prehistoric 'living fossil' sharks such as bluntnose sixgill sharks, goblin sharks and frilled sharks also lurk in the depths.

As part of the investigation, a sperm whale carcass was placed at the bottom of the sea to attract these sharks, which were then studied and observed from the submersible vessels. Revealing in detail the previously unknown behaviour of deep sea sharks, the film unravels another of the intriguing mysteries of our planet's biodiversity.


SUN 23:40 Picasso: Love, Sex and Art (b0543hfx)
At the time of his death in April 1973, aged 91, Pablo Picasso had become one of the 20th century's most influential and prolific artists. Picasso has been painted as many men - genius, womaniser, egomaniac. His reputation is still fiercely debated. Brought up in the Spanish town of Malaga, he would represent himself as the mythological minotaur - half-man, half-bull. The bull craved the women who would feed his life and his art.

Picasso reconstructed the female form - to the point of total abstraction. Many women would find themselves damaged forever by the experience of being his partner. Now, for the first time, the people who knew him best tell the story of those women, giving a new insight into the artist and his work.


SUN 00:40 The Search for the Lost Manuscript: Julian of Norwich (b07l6bd0)
Medieval art historian Dr Janina Ramirez tells the incredible story of a book hidden for centuries in the shadows of history, the first book ever written in English by a woman, Julian of Norwich, in 1373.

Revelations of Divine Love dared to present an alternative vision of man's relationship with God, a theology fundamentally at odds with the church of Julian's time. The book was suppressed for 500 years. It re-emerged in the 20th century as an iconic text for the women's movement and was acknowledged as a literary masterpiece.

Janina follows the trail of the lost manuscript, travelling from Norwich to Cambrai in northern France to discover how the book survived and the brave women who championed it.


SUN 01:40 Speechless (b09cfky7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SUN 02:40 Who's Afraid of Conceptual Art? (b07w6gkt)
Dr James Fox has never really got conceptual art. And he's not alone. Conceptual art has been treated with suspicion and incredulity by virtually everyone outside the art world for nearly a hundred years. Ever since Marcel Duchamp first displayed a signed urinal and claimed it was art in 1917. So was he taking the piss? Or was he on to something, creating a whole new approach to art that has now lasted a century?

Dr Fox embarks on an open-minded guide for the perplexed and asks 'What is conceptual art?', 'How should we approach it?' and crucially, 'Why should we care?'. Roaming between the past, present and future he examines a mind-bending selection of the most influential conceptual ideas and artworks, alongside meeting the leading movers and shakers of today. And who knows? In the end, Dr Fox might find himself unexpectedly seduced by this trickiest of art forms.



MONDAY 30 OCTOBER 2017

MON 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b09cc8yp)
Series 1

30/10/2017

The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


MON 19:30 Great Continental Railway Journeys (b05pl716)
Series 3 - Reversions

Warsaw to Krakow - Part 1

With his 1913 Bradshaw's in hand, Michael Portillo journeys deep into central Europe to explore a country where east meets west: Poland.

Beginning in Warsaw, Michael is puzzled by how a city famously razed to the ground after the Second World War can appear so beautifully preserved. He hitches a ride in a 1913 carriage to discover one of the secrets of its restoration. Inspired by the music and story of Poland's national icon Frederic Chopin, Michael takes to the floor to dance the polonaise with high school students rehearsing for their leavers' ball.

Heading south west from Warsaw, Michael's fellow passengers come to his rescue with a crash course in Polish pronunciation. Arriving in Lodz, he discovers how the former industrial heartland - the Manchester of Poland - supplied the vast Russian Empire of the early 20th century and marvels at how the region today has been transformed into a breathtaking version of 'Hollywoodzh'. Michael makes his movie debut.

In Poznan, at the heart of former German Poland, Michael takes in the view from the kaiser's balcony before climbing aboard what is possibly the last steam-powered commuter train. Michael is in his element, stoking the boiler on the footplate of the enormous locomotive.

Arriving in Wroclaw, Michael heads for a giant train factory, where they continue to manufacture car bodies for locomotives today. A spot of on-the-job training as a welder is a salutary lesson to stick with the day job.

From Wroclaw it's on to the ancient capital of Poland, Krakow, where Michael lunches in a milk bar and takes a tour in an iconic vehicle of the communist era.


MON 20:00 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.


MON 21:00 Coming Home: Bowe Bergdahl vs the United States (b09d9cdp)
The story of the homecoming of US Army sergeant and former Taliban prisoner Bowe Bergdahl, after five years in captivity.

After walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009, US Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban and held in captivity for five years. This documentary by the film-maker and former Taliban hostage Sean Langan, who gained exclusive access to the former POW and his family, gives a unique perspective on Sgt Bergdahl's incredible story.

Sgt Bergdahl was tortured and kept in a tiny cage by the Taliban, and endured the worst case of prisoner abuse since the war in Vietnam. But his real nightmare began on his return home to America. Freed in 2014 by President Obama in exchange for five Taliban prisoners in Guantanamo, he was then vilified in sections of the media as a traitor who collaborated with the enemy and 'converted to Islam'. To the American public, he was being portrayed as the real-life version of Homeland's Sgt Brody, and presidential candidate Donald Trump called for him to be shot as a 'dirty rotten traitor'.

Days before his court martial in October 2017, he pleaded guilty to charges of desertion and endangering the lives of fellow soldiers but totally denied collaborating with the enemy. So what was his side of the story?

Film-maker Sean Langan was himself held captive for four months by the same group that captured Bowe Bergdahl. He too was locked in a dark cell, interrogated and put through mock executions. With his special insight, Langan gets exclusive access to Bowe Bergdahl and to his parents, Bob and Jani. He presents a moving story about a soldier who made a mistake but who then in captivity fought his captors hard and paid a terrible price, and about a family caught in a storm of false allegations and fake news. Bowe Bergdahl, Sean Langan discovers, was a man with serious psychological issues who became a political football in a deeply divided America.


MON 22:30 The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms (p030s6b3)
Without us noticing, modern life has been taken over. Algorithms run everything from search engines on the internet to satnavs and credit card data security - they even help us travel the world, find love and save lives.

Mathematician Professor Marcus du Sautoy demystifies the hidden world of algorithms. By showing us some of the algorithms most essential to our lives, he reveals where these 2,000-year-old problem-solvers came from, how they work, what they have achieved and how they are now so advanced they can even programme themselves.


MON 23:30 Lost Kingdoms of Central America (b04jvpqj)
Between Oceans and Empires

Dr Jago Cooper explores the rise and fall of the forgotten civilisations of Central America.

His quest takes him from from the crystal blue seas of the Caribbean to the New World's most impressive pyramids, flying over the smoking volcanoes of Costa Rica and travelling deep underground in the caves of central Mexico.

He travels in the footsteps of these peoples to reveal their secrets and unearth the astonishing cultures that flourished amongst some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world.

In this episode, Jago explores the forgotten people of ancient Costa Rica, who built a series of spectacular settlements amongst the rivers and volcanoes of Central America and whose enigmatic legacy - including hundreds of mysterious, giant stone spheres - is only now being unravelled by archaeologists.


MON 00:30 The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu (b00hkb0z)
Aminatta Forna tells the story of legendary Timbuktu and its long-hidden legacy of hundreds of thousands of ancient manuscripts. With its university founded around the same time as Oxford, Timbuktu is proof that the reading and writing of books have long been as important to Africans as they are to Europeans.


MON 01:30 Annabel's Nightclub: A String of Naked Lightbulbs (b06zqb0d)
Annabel's has long been the playground for the rich and famous, and now its story comes to life in this 50-year history of the most celebrated nightclub in the world. Renowned for its discretion, and as a haunt of some of our greatest celebrities, the film offers a hitherto unseen glimpse into the rarefied worlds behind the doors of 44 Berkeley Square.

As London's very first members-only nightclub, Annabel's remains the only nightclub visited by the Queen, and once courted infamy for refusing entry to the Beatles. The documentary provides a cultural biopsy of London since the Second World War, and the club's history from inception through to the present day.


MON 02:30 I Know Who You Are (b08zyfgd)
Series 1

Episode 6

We learn that Ana has indeed collected the 100,000 euros promised to her by Hector Castro, but she had to make a quick getaway when chased by a man on a motorcycle. David is disappointed when Eva proves that she no longer trusts him and is determined to discover the identity of the mole. Alicia and Heredia attempt to convince Juan Elias that he should not take the amnesia test, but Juan is determined to get to the truth.

In Spanish with English subtitles.



TUESDAY 31 OCTOBER 2017

TUE 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b09cc8yv)
Series 1

31/10/2017

The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


TUE 19:30 Great Continental Railway Journeys (b05pl75r)
Series 3 - Reversions

Warsaw to Krakow - Part 2

With his 1913 Bradshaw's in hand, Michael Portillo journeys deep into central Europe to explore a country where east meets west: Poland.

Beginning in Warsaw, Michael is puzzled by how a city famously razed to the ground after the Second World War can appear so beautifully preserved. He hitches a ride in a 1913 carriage to discover one of the secrets of its restoration. Inspired by the music and story of Poland's national icon Frederic Chopin, Michael takes to the floor to dance the polonaise with high school students rehearsing for their leavers' ball.

Heading south west from Warsaw, Michael's fellow passengers come to his rescue with a crash course in Polish pronunciation. Arriving in Lodz, he discovers how the former industrial heartland - the Manchester of Poland - supplied the vast Russian Empire of the early 20th century and marvels at how the region today has been transformed into a breathtaking version of 'Hollywoodzh'. Michael makes his movie debut.

In Poznan, at the heart of former German Poland, Michael takes in the view from the kaiser's balcony before climbing aboard what is possibly the last steam-powered commuter train. Michael is in his element, stoking the boiler on the footplate of the enormous locomotive.

Arriving in Wroclaw, Michael heads for a giant train factory, where they continue to manufacture car bodies for locomotives today. A spot of on-the-job training as a welder is a salutary lesson to stick with the day job.

From Wroclaw it's on to the ancient capital of Poland, Krakow, where Michael lunches in a milk bar and takes a tour in an iconic vehicle of the communist era.


TUE 20:00 Art of Scandinavia (b073mp87)
Dark Night of the Soul

Scandinavia - a land of extremes, on the edge of Europe. Andrew Graham-Dixon explores the extraordinary art to come out of the dark Norwegian soul, most famous for producing The Scream by Edvard Munch.


TUE 21:00 Bobby Sands: 66 Days (b096msfr)
Film-maker Brendan J Byrne explores the story of Bobby Sands's 66-day hunger strike in the spring of 1981. Using extracts from Bobby Sands's diary, testimony and footage from the archives, the film hears from journalists, historians, sociologists and medical experts as well as those who knew Sands.


TUE 22:30 A View from a Hill (b008j4jk)
Adaptation of the classic ghost story by MR James. Ambitious archaeologist Dr Fanshawe is sent to authenticate the collection of his boss's old school friend and finds nothing much of interest except an 'odd couple' squire and servant, a pair of binoculars and a gruesome local legend.


TUE 23:10 Frankenstein: Birth of a Monster (b007c55c)
The extraordinary story of how the 19-year-old Mary Shelley created Frankenstein, one of the world's most terrifying monsters. Daughter of Mary Woolstencraft, wife of Percy Byshe Shelley and close friend to Lord Byron, Mary Shelley's life was every bit as extraordinary as her most famous work. Dramatising the adventures, love affairs and tragedies of her young life, the film shows how her monstrous creation reflected her own extraordinary experiences.


TUE 00:10 Spider House (b04mqc4z)
Ever wondered what spiders really get up to in your home? In this Halloween special Alice Roberts overcomes her arachnophobia to enter a spider-filled house where an astonishing drama unfolds within its walls.

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

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

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

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

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

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


TUE 01:40 Art of Scandinavia (b073mp87)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


TUE 02:40 I Know Who You Are (b090w2mm)
Series 1

Episode 7

Three days before going missing, Ana Saura had recognised the man she had seen at Casa Castro, talking with Juan Elias on campus. Giralt learns that a colleague has interviewed the wife of a man who went missing on the same day as Ana and believes there to be a connection. Eva Duran keeps her promise to spend the day with Juan.

In Spanish with English subtitles.



WEDNESDAY 01 NOVEMBER 2017

WED 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b09cc8z0)
Series 1

01/11/2017

The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


WED 19:30 Great Continental Railway Journeys (b05pvb44)
Series 3 - Reversions

La Coruna to Lisbon

Armed with his 1913 Bradshaw's, Michael Portillo explores a very different Spain from the one he knows best and ventures across its border with Britain's oldest ally, Portugal.

In Galicia, Michael discovers the city of La Coruna, a fashionable destination for Edwardian Britons, for whom the principal attraction was the tomb of a British military hero. Michael uncovers the Celtic roots of the people and tries to master the bagpipes.

On the pilgrims' trail to Santiago de Compostela, Michael meets walkers from all over the world heading for the cathedral, and he is led into the archive to see one of the world's first guidebooks, dating from the 12th century.

Aboard the West Galician Railway, Michael hears how a 19th-century British railwayman sought his fortune in Galicia and ended up running the company. A visit to a sardine cannery has Michael scrubbing octopus tentacles, and setting sail with local fishermen to see if he can trap one.

Arriving at the ornately tiled Sao Bento station in Porto, he finds out about the birth of Britain's long alliance with the Portuguese. A glass of 1953 port awaits him at the city's Factory House, before he embarks on the Linha da Douro along the spectacular Douro Valley.

At Coimbra, Michael is moved by the mournful strains of the fado sung by university students, then boards the high-speed train to Lisbon.

Following in the footsteps of King Edward VII, who visited his cousin King Carlos in 1903, Michael explores the city from the Santa Justa lift to the harbour at Belem. An attempt to make Portugal's national sweetmeat proves challenging, but help is at hand.

At the Palace Square, Michael hears how turbulent events at the time of his guide saw the Portuguese royal family almost wiped out.


WED 20:00 Queen Victoria's Letters: A Monarch Unveiled (b04p1vx1)
Episode 1

Examining the first half of Queen Victoria's life, biographer AN Wilson goes in search of a monarch too often misunderstood as the solid black-clad matron and reveals a woman who was passionately romantic and who spent her years as a child and young queen fighting the control of domineering men.

Queen Victoria was one of the 19th century's most prolific diarists, sometimes writing up to 2,500 words a day. From state affairs to family gossip, she poured out her emotions onto paper. Those close to her were afraid her more alarming opinions might escape in written form, causing havoc. In fact much of her writing was destroyed after her death and her personal journals edited by her daughter. But what survives frequently reveals a woman quite different to the one we think we know. AN Wilson reads her personal journals and unpublished letters and discovers the factors that shaped the queen's personality. From the tortured relationship with her mother, to the dominant men she clung to in search of a father figure and the powerful struggle that made her marriage to Prince Albert a battleground, Queen Victoria was always a woman in search of intimate relationships. As a daughter, a wife, a mother and the queen of a growing empire, as friends and family came and went, her pen remained her constant companion and friend.

Queen Victoria's journals and letters are read by Anna Chancellor throughout.


WED 21:00 Mrs Brown (b0078lkb)
Dramatisation of one of history's most unusual love stories. Queen Victoria is grieving over her husband's death and finds herself unable to carry out public duties. John Brown is summoned from Balmoral to walk the Queen's pony in the hope that she will start to become herself again. The confident Highlander displays a distinct lack of respect for court protocol and quickly becomes the Queen's most trusted companion.


WED 22:40 Billy Connolly: Portrait of a Lifetime (p0535lq5)
Celebrating Billy Connolly's 75th birthday and 50 years in the business, three Scottish artists - John Byrne, Jack Vettriano and Rachel MacLean - each create a new portrait of the Big Yin. As he sits with each artist, Billy talks about his remarkable life and career, which has taken him from musician and pioneering stand-up to Hollywood star and national treasure.


WED 23:40 The Toilet: An Unspoken History (b01kxyhd)
We each spend three years of our lives on the toilet, but how happy are we talking about this essential part of our lives? This film challenges that mindset by uncovering its role in our culture and exploring the social history of the toilet in Britain and abroad - as well as exploring many of our cultural toilet taboos.

Starting in Merida, Spain, with some of the earliest surviving Roman toilets, we journey around the world - from the UK to China, Japan and Bangladesh - visiting toilets, ranging from the historically significant to the beautiful, from the functional and sometimes not-so-functional to the downright bizarre.

Leading our journey is Everyman figure, Welsh poet and presenter Ifor ap Glyn, who has a passionate interest in the toilet, its history and how it has evolved over the centuries, right up to the development of the current design. Finally, there's a glimpse of the future and a possible solution to the global sanitation issues we now face.


WED 00:40 Timewatch (b00f6m71)
2008-2009

Young Victoria

Kate Williams tells the story of how an unassuming little girl rose to be the most powerful woman in the world. At her birth few believed Princess Victoria would ascend the throne, but a number of untimely deaths and the failure of her uncles to father any children meant that Victoria became heiress to the British throne. The battle between her and her mother the Duchess of Kent, however, was to become a fierce maternal struggle, as the duchess schemed to share in the power and riches that would one day be Victoria's.


WED 01:30 Birth of the British Novel (b00ydj1p)
Author Henry Hitchings explores the lives and works of Britain's radical and pioneering 18th-century novelists who, in just 80 years, established all the literary genres we recognise today. It was a golden age of creativity led by Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, Henry Fielding, Laurence Sterne, Fanny Burney and William Godwin, amongst others. Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver's Travels, Tom Jones and Tristram Shandy are novels that still sparkle with audacity and innovation.

On his journey through 18th-century fiction, Hitchings reveals how the novel was more than mere entertainment, it was also a subversive hand grenade that would change British society for the better. He travels from the homes of Britain's great and good to its lowliest prisons, meeting contemporary writers like Martin Amis, Will Self, Tom McCarthy and Jenny Uglow on the way.

Although 18th-century novels are woefully neglected today compared to those of the following two centuries, Hitchings shows how the best of them can offer as much pleasure to the reader as any modern classic.


WED 02:30 I Know Who You Are (b0910bdz)
Series 1

Episode 8

Two days before Ana's disappearance she went with Charry to transfer the money given to her by Hector Castro to an address in Bangkok. Giralt discovers that Ezequiel Cortes has been staying in a hostel but has not been seen for days. Juan Elias is jailed for lying at his initial hearing.

In Spanish with English subtitles.



THURSDAY 02 NOVEMBER 2017

THU 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b09cc8z5)
Series 1

02/11/2017

Katty Kay in Washington and Christian Fraser in London return to report on the events that are shaping the world.


THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b09d9ftw)
Simon Bates and Richard Skinner present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 8 November 1984. Featuring Limahl, Status Quo, Depeche Mode, Alison Moyet, Billy Ocean, Chicago, Gary Numan, Eugene Wilde and Chaka Khan.


THU 20:00 Jim Clark: The Quiet Champion (b00jw9cw)
A comprehensive, entertaining and moving portrait of Jim Clark, one of the most talented and intriguing characters of the 1960s. From unlikely beginnings on a farm in Scotland, the introverted and media-shy Clark emerged to become the most successful racing driver of his time, and forged a reputation as one of the all-time great heroes of motor sport.

Using previously unseen archive footage, testimonials from friends, family and former colleagues, the film tells the extraordinary but tragic story of an enigmatic racing legend.


THU 21:00 Timewatch (b016xjwh)
The Most Courageous Raid of World War II

Lord Ashdown, a former special forces commando, tells the story of the 'Cockleshell Heroes', who led one of the most daring and audacious commando raids of World War II.

In 1942, Britain was struggling to fight back against Nazi Germany. Lacking the resources for a second front, Churchill encouraged innovative and daring new methods of combat. Enter stage left, Blondie Hasler.

With a unit of 12 Royal Marine commandos, Major Blondie Hasler believed his 'cockleshell' canoe could be effectively used in clandestine attacks on the enemy. Their brief was to navigate the most heavily defended estuary in Europe, to dodge searchlights, machine-gun posts and armed river-patrol craft 70 miles downriver, and then to blow up enemy shipping in Bordeaux harbour.

Lord Ashdown recreates parts of the raid and explains how this experience was used in preparing for one of the greatest land invasions in history, D-day.


THU 22:00 The Somme: Secret Tunnel Wars (b01skvnh)
Beneath the Somme battlefield lies one of the great secrets of the First World War, a recently-discovered network of deep tunnels thought to extend over several kilometres. This lost underground battlefield, centred on the small French village of La Boisselle in Picardy, was constructed largely by British troops between 1914 and 1916. Over 120 men died here in ongoing attempts to undermine the nearby German lines and these galleries still serve as a tomb for many of those men.

This documentary follows historian Peter Barton and a team of archaeologists as they become the first people in nearly a hundred years to enter this hidden, and still dangerous, labyrinth.

Military mines were the original weapons of shock and awe - with nowhere to hide from a mine explosion, these huge explosive charges could destroy a heavily-fortified trench in an instant. In order to get under the German lines to plant their mines, British tunnellers had to play a terrifying game of subterranean cat and mouse - constantly listening out for enemy digging and trying to intercept the German tunnels without being detected. To lose this game probably meant death.

As well uncovering the grim reality of this strange underground war, Peter discovers the story of the men who served here, including the tunnelling companies' special military units made up of ordinary civillian sewer workers and miners. He reveals their top secret mission that launched the Battle of the Somme's first day and discovers why British high command failed to capitalise on a crucial tactical advantage they had been given by the tunnellers.


THU 23:00 Empire of the Seas: How the Navy Forged the Modern World (b00q2ly2)
Series 1

Heart of Oak

Historian Dan Snow charts the defining role the Royal Navy played in Britain's struggle for modernity - a grand tale of the twists and turns which thrust the people of the British Isles into an indelible relationship with the sea and ships.

Heart of Oak opens with a dramatic retelling of 16th- and 17th-century history. Victory over the Armada proved a turning point in the nation's story as tiny, impoverished England was transformed into a seafaring nation, one whose future wealth and power lay on the oceans. The ruthless exploits of Elizabethan seafaring heroes like Francis Drake created a potent new sense of national identity that combined patriotism and Protestantism with private profiteering.

At sea and on land, Snow shows how the navy became an indispensable tool of state, weaving the stories of characters like Drake, God's republican warrior at sea Robert Blake, and Samuel Pepys, administrator par excellence, who laid the foundations for Britain's modern civil service.

With access to the modern navy and reconstructed ships of the time, Snow recounts the navy's metamorphosis from a rabble of West Country freebooters to possibly the most complex industrial enterprise on earth.


THU 00:00 Top of the Pops (b09d9ftw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


THU 00:40 The Man who Discovered Egypt (b01f13f4)
Documentary about English Egyptologist Flinders Petrie, the pioneer of systematic methodology in archaeology. Ancient Egypt was vandalised by tomb raiders and treasure hunters until this Victorian adventurer took them on. Most people have never heard of him, but this maverick undertook a scientific survey of the pyramids, discovered the oldest portraits in the world, unearthed Egypt's prehistoric roots - and in the process invented modern field archaeology, giving meaning to a whole civilisation.


THU 01:40 Jim Clark: The Quiet Champion (b00jw9cw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


THU 02:40 I Know Who You Are (b091gv25)
Series 1

Episode 9

We learn that 13 minutes before going missing, Ana is devastated to hear that Juan Elias is about to break his promise to stand down in the election. Giralt is questioning Heredia, who is now heavily implicated in Ana's disappearance, when circumstantial evidence increases after a body is found dumped near his summer property.

In Spanish with English subtitles.



FRIDAY 03 NOVEMBER 2017

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b09cc8zb)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 The Good Old Days (b09dbw41)
Leonard Sachs presents the old-time music hall programme, first broadcast on 24 April 1979.

Featuring Les Dawson, Sweet Substitute, Peter Hudson, Joan Merrigan, Paul Rhodes, Julia Sutton, Eleanor McCready, Ralph Heid, Eve 'n Alan, and Members of the Players Theatre, London.


FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (b09dbvl0)
Mike Read and Bruno Brookes present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 15 November 1984. Featuring Matt Bianco, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Alvin Stardust, Nik Kershaw and Chaka Khan.


FRI 21:00 Queen: Rock the World (b09d5xpf)
Behind-the-scenes archive documentary following Queen's Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon as they record their sixth album News of the World and embark on a groundbreaking tour of North America.

By 1977, Queen had become a major headlining act in the UK, releasing chart-topping albums and singles as well as playing sell-out concerts in all the country's major venues. However, they were facing an increasingly hostile music press, who had a new favourite in punk and had turned against the elaborate, multi-layered recording techniques that had become the hallmark of the band's previous albums.

But an unfazed Queen had their sights set on greater things. As the band announced plans to record their next album, the expectation was it would be another production extravaganza, but Freddie, Brian, Roger and John already had other ideas. News of the World showcased them at their most raw, simple and best, returning to their roots as a live act. With a self-imposed limit on studio time and produced entirely on their own for the first time, this stripped-back album took the fans and press by surprise and demonstrated Queen's ability to transcend fashions. It was to prove a seminal moment in the band's history.

At the time, BBC music presenter Bob Harris was given exclusive and extensive access to the band to cover this period. Conducting insightful interviews with all four band members as well as filming them at work in the studio as they were planning and rehearsing their forthcoming North American tour, and then following them as they performed across the US, Bob captured a band attempting to replicate their huge domestic success on the global stage. Curiously, the documentary he set out to make was never completed, and the footage lay unused in the archive until now.

To mark the 40th anniversary of the release of the News of the World album, the footage has now been carefully restored and revisited to compile this hour-long portrait of a group setting out to take the next step on their remarkable journey to becoming one of the biggest bands on the planet. Armed with an array of new songs, including the monster hits We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions, Queen dazzled the American audience and laid the foundations of a relationship that endures to this very day.

Coming full circle, this film is bookended by footage shot in the summer of 2017 as Brian May and Roger Taylor took Queen back to the US with Adam Lambert as lead singer. Revisiting many of the cities they had performed in 40 years previously and including many of the songs from that 1977 album, they prove that despite the tragic loss of Freddie Mercury over 25 years ago, Queen can still rock the world.


FRI 22:00 Queen: The Legendary 1975 Concert (b00p4hgm)
On Christmas Eve 1975, Queen crowned a glorious year with a special concert at London's Hammersmith Odeon. The show on the final night of their triumphant UK tour was broadcast live on BBC TV and radio, and has become a legendary event in Queen's history.

Featuring stunning renditions of early hits Keep Yourself Alive, Liar and Now I'm Here alongside Brian May's epic guitar showcase Brighton Rock, a rip-roaring version of the then new Bohemian Rhapsody and the crowd-pleasing Rock 'n' Roll Medley, this hour-long concert shows Queen at an early peak and poised to conquer the world.


FRI 23:05 Top of the Pops (b08skpzg)
1984 - Big Hits

Celebrating the big hits from a big year in British pop. The big hitters in this compilation are performed by the likes of The Smiths, Duran Duran, Sade, The Weather Girls, Wham! and Bronski Beat, to name a few.

Further stellar appearances come from the TOTP debuts of iconic Americans Madonna, Miami Sound Machine and Cyndi Lauper, who runs riot in the studio.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood celebrate their 1984 chart dominance with one of their celebrated renditions of Two Tribes, while we couldn't let you forget a little ditty from Black Lace - you'll be singing this for days... you have been warned!


FRI 00:05 Top of the Pops (b09dbvl0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


FRI 00:35 Hot Chocolate at the BBC (b06dl1c5)
Errol Brown, who died aged 71 in May 2015, was probably the most famous and ubiquitous black British pop star of the 70s and early 80s. He co-founded Hot Chocolate with Tony Wilson in 1970 and the band went on to have a hit every year between 1971 and 1984.

This compilation of BBC performances and rare interview extracts celebrates Errol and Hot Chocolate, showcasing their Top 10 hits alongside rarely seen early performances and cult fan favourites.

We journey through over 15 years of chart smashes showcasing all the infectious numbers - Every 1's a Winner, Emma, So You Win Again and It Started With a Kiss - and of course, The Full Monty scene-stealer You Sexy Thing, a song that was in the charts in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

There are reminders of just how many Top 10 moments they had, with Girl Crazy and No Doubt About It, the hit that got away - Mindless Boogie - and their first appearance on BBC television with Love Is Life. Hot Chocolate were that rarity, a 70s British pop band who largely wrote their own tunes and arrangements and a mixed race band who perhaps inadvertently helped foster an early sense of British multi-culturalism. In Errol, they had a frontman who was not only a great singer, songwriter and frontman, but also resolutely and undemonstratively always himself, at ease in his own skin.


FRI 01:35 Queen: Rock the World (b09d5xpf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 02:35 I Know Who You Are (b091gv27)
Series 1

Episode 10

All is revealed as we learn what really happened on the night of Ana's disappearance.

In Spanish with English subtitles.




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

A View from a Hill 22:30 TUE (b008j4jk)

Annabel's Nightclub: A String of Naked Lightbulbs 01:30 MON (b06zqb0d)

Art of Scandinavia 20:00 TUE (b073mp87)

Art of Scandinavia 01:40 TUE (b073mp87)

Beck 21:00 SAT (b06hk9yh)

Beck 22:25 SAT (b07vvsjn)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 MON (b09cc8yp)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 TUE (b09cc8yv)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 WED (b09cc8z0)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 THU (b09cc8z5)

Billy Connolly: Portrait of a Lifetime 22:40 WED (p0535lq5)

Birth of the British Novel 01:30 WED (b00ydj1p)

Bobby Sands: 66 Days 21:00 TUE (b096msfr)

Botticelli's Venus: The Making of an Icon 19:00 SUN (b070sqb0)

Coming Home: Bowe Bergdahl vs the United States 21:00 MON (b09d9cdp)

Empire of the Seas: How the Navy Forged the Modern World 23:00 THU (b00q2ly2)

Frankenstein: Birth of a Monster 23:10 TUE (b007c55c)

Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 MON (b05pl716)

Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 TUE (b05pl75r)

Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 WED (b05pvb44)

Hot Chocolate at the BBC 00:35 FRI (b06dl1c5)

I Know Who You Are 02:30 MON (b08zyfgd)

I Know Who You Are 02:40 TUE (b090w2mm)

I Know Who You Are 02:30 WED (b0910bdz)

I Know Who You Are 02:40 THU (b091gv25)

I Know Who You Are 02:35 FRI (b091gv27)

Jim Clark: The Quiet Champion 20:00 THU (b00jw9cw)

Jim Clark: The Quiet Champion 01:40 THU (b00jw9cw)

Legends of the Deep: Deep Sea Sharks 22:45 SUN (b06237md)

Lost Kingdoms of Central America 23:30 MON (b04jvpqj)

Mrs Brown 21:00 WED (b0078lkb)

Natural World 21:00 SUN (b00vv0nm)

Natural World 22:00 SUN (b0377t15)

Picasso: Love, Sex and Art 23:40 SUN (b0543hfx)

Queen Victoria's Letters: A Monarch Unveiled 20:00 WED (b04p1vx1)

Queen: Rock the World 21:00 FRI (b09d5xpf)

Queen: Rock the World 01:35 FRI (b09d5xpf)

Queen: The Legendary 1975 Concert 22:00 FRI (b00p4hgm)

Sound of Cinema: The Music That Made the Movies 00:30 SAT (b03b965y)

Speechless 20:00 SUN (b09cfky7)

Speechless 01:40 SUN (b09cfky7)

Spider House 00:10 TUE (b04mqc4z)

The Good Old Days 19:30 FRI (b09dbw41)

The Inca: Masters of the Clouds 19:00 SAT (b04xdpjy)

The Inca: Masters of the Clouds 01:35 SAT (b04xdpjy)

The Lady Who Flew Africa: The Aviatrix 20:00 MON (b05n29m7)

The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu 00:30 MON (b00hkb0z)

The Man who Discovered Egypt 00:40 THU (b01f13f4)

The Search for the Lost Manuscript: Julian of Norwich 00:40 SUN (b07l6bd0)

The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms 22:30 MON (p030s6b3)

The Somme: Secret Tunnel Wars 22:00 THU (b01skvnh)

The Toilet: An Unspoken History 23:40 WED (b01kxyhd)

Timewatch 00:40 WED (b00f6m71)

Timewatch 21:00 THU (b016xjwh)

Top of the Pops 23:55 SAT (b09bklkn)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b09d9ftw)

Top of the Pops 00:00 THU (b09d9ftw)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (b09dbvl0)

Top of the Pops 23:05 FRI (b08skpzg)

Top of the Pops 00:05 FRI (b09dbvl0)

University Challenge 19:30 SUN (b09cbcsr)

Who's Afraid of Conceptual Art? 02:40 SUN (b07w6gkt)

Wild China 20:00 SAT (b00bybp3)

Wild China 01:35 SAT (b00bybp3)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b09cc8zb)