Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 06 JANUARY 2018

SAT 19:00 Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History (b03knrvm)
Home Waters to High Seas

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

In this three-part series, maritime historian Dr Sam Willis looks at how and why the shipwreck came to loom so large. He begins with the embarrassing story of the top-heavy Mary Rose, the freak wrecking of the Spanish Armada and the terrifying real-life disasters at sea that inspired two of the greatest of all castaway tales - Shakespeare's The Tempest and Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.


SAT 20:00 Alaska: Earth's Frozen Kingdom (b0520t2w)
Spring

Alaska is one of the most iconic wildernesses on the planet - America's last frontier.

In this three-part series, we follow a year in Alaska and reveal the stories of pioneering Alaskans, both animal and human, as they battle the elements and reap the benefits of nature's seasonal gold rush.

Alaska is huge - by far the biggest US state - and still one of the wildest places on earth. It has deep forests and vast mountain ranges, and a third of it sits above the Arctic Circle.

The whole state goes through some of the most extreme seasonal changes: temperatures can reach over 90F in summer and can plummet to -80F in the winter.

Yet plenty survives here, and it is home to some of the hardiest animals on the planet. Each one has its own way of getting through the challenges of the seasons.

We meet black bear cubs faced with a daunting climb down from their tree-den and a mother sea otter nursing her baby through the chilly days of early spring. Stealthy 50-tonne sperm whales steal fish from the end of fishermen's lines, grizzly bears grow big on a sudden wealth of salmon and a huge male moose finds unlikely ways to impress a female. Thousands of bald eagles gather for a winter feast, and arctic foxes risk everything to find food in the alien world of an oil boomtown. People, too, must go with the flow of the extreme seasons, facing winter storms at sea to catch snow crabs, rushing across ice rivers with teams of huskies and taking advantage of Alaska's endless summer daylight to grow world-class giant vegetables.

As spring lights up the land, Alaska faces one of the greatest transformations on earth. Temperatures soar, and as the sun's rays hit the snow and ice, water, light and warmth return. Alaska's transition to spring may look magical, but for those animals emerging from a long winter's sleep, it's a time of intense competition, as everything is in a rush to cash in on Alaska's riches.


SAT 21:00 Spiral (b09ltxy7)
Series 6

Episode 3

Josephine is shaken after an assault. Roban resorts to an off-the-record test to build his case. Gilou and Laure grill two apparently reformed brothers for links to the dead cop.

In French with English subtitles.


SAT 22:00 Spiral (b09ltxy9)
Series 6

Episode 4

Told a guilty secret, Laure plots to correct matters, but must elude Tintin's dogged detective work. Josephine struggles to prove her client's claims in court. Roban must confront a colleague, and a health issue.

In French with English subtitles.


SAT 23:05 The Vietnam War (b0992pm4)
Series 1

A Sea of Fire (April 1969-May 1970)

With morale plummeting in Vietnam, President Nixon begins withdrawing American troops. As news breaks of an unthinkable massacre committed by American soldiers, the public debates the rectitude of the war, while an incursion into Cambodia reignites anti-war protests with tragic consequences.


SAT 00:00 The Bee Gees at the BBC... and Beyond (b04v8679)
Classic Bee Gees studio performances from the BBC and beyond including all the big hits, rare 60s performances from European TV, including a stunning I Started a Joke, a rarely seen Top of the Pops performance of World, the big hits of the 70s and some late performances from the 90s, with the brothers Gibb in perfect harmony.


SAT 01:00 Disco at the BBC (b01cqt74)
A foot-stomping return to the BBC vaults of Top of the Pops, The Old Grey Whistle Test and Later with Jools as the programme spins itself to a time when disco ruled the floor, the airwaves and our minds. The visual floorfillers include classics from luminaries such as Chic, Labelle and Rose Royce to glitter ball surprises by The Village People.


SAT 02:00 Alaska: Earth's Frozen Kingdom (b0520t2w)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SAT 03:00 Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History (b03knrvm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]



SUNDAY 07 JANUARY 2018

SUN 19:00 Only Connect (b09l8r8r)
Series 13

Snake Charmers v Inquisitors

Victoria Coren Mitchell hosts the series where knowledge will only take you so far. Patience and lateral thinking are also vital.

Two teams of round-two losers, the Snake Charmers and the Inquisitors, return for a last chance to stay in the competition. They compete to find the connections between things which, at first glance, seem utterly random. So join Victoria Coren Mitchell if you want to know what connects DiConcetto and Cruz, Moore and Prater, Green and Flynn, and Bono and Sarkisian.


SUN 19:30 Britain on Film (b036f8nw)
Series 2

Messing About in Boats

Throughout the 1960s, the short film series Look at Life captured almost every aspect of British society and culture, but its producers had a special fascination for one aspect in particular - our inordinate fondness for boats. This episode examines the films that documented a period that saw a raft of British sailors seeking endurance world records; boatmen and women striving to halt the decline of our rivers and canals; and high tension on the high seas, as disputes over fishing rights prompted the government to send gunboats to escort our trawlers.


SUN 20:00 Dan Snow on Lloyd George: My Great-Great-Grandfather (b084l1s9)
At the end of the First World War, Britain's prime minister David Lloyd George was a national hero, hailed as 'the man who won the war'. A hundred years after he became PM, Lloyd George's great-great-grandson Dan Snow explores his famous forebear's life and asks why he's not better remembered, why he's not as famous a wartime leader as his friend and protege Winston Churchill. It's a tale of sex and scandal, success and failure, with Dan discovering some home truths from his family's history.

Dan's journey starts in north Wales in the village of Llanystumdwy, where Lloyd George was raised by his uncle after his father's death. It's an area Dan knows well from childhood holidays visiting his grandmother. He climbs Moel y Gest, a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea, a view virtually unchanged since Lloyd George's day. Taking the Ffestiniog railway up into the mountains Dan travels in Lloyd George's own railway carriage, reputedly a place when he would enjoy some private time with his secretary.

Like Lloyd George, Dan journeys from Wales to Parliament, filming in the House of Commons where his ancestor made such an impact. Initially Lloyd George was a radical Liberal, causing outrage by opposing the Boer War in 1899, but ten years later he was chancellor of the exchequer, introducing some of the most important legislation of the early 20th century. His budget of 1909 brought in national insurance and old age pensions and, as his biographer Roy Hattersley tells Dan, laid the foundations of the welfare state.

When Britain went to war in August 1914, Lloyd George was a pivotal member of the cabinet. Historian Margaret Macmillan, an expert on the First World War and another descendant of Lloyd George, points out that if he'd come out against the war the Liberal government would have fallen. Once war was declared Lloyd George was important in recruiting the new citizen's army, making speeches across the country. But in private he was making sure his sons didn't volunteer straightaway, another example of Lloyd George's double dealing.

Lloyd George's private life is as famous as his politics. Before the war he had a string of affairs, but by 1914 he was involved with his secretary Frances Stevenson. Half his age, she was a pioneering female civil servant and a constant companion during the First World War. Meeting her biographer John Campbell, Dan discovers some shocking secrets about their relationship during the war years.

Lloyd George's most significant work in the early years of the war was in munitions production. Britain, like all the other warring countries, was running out of shells. He revolutionised the war economy, creating a huge workforce, including many women, to produce the vast numbers of guns and ammunition needed to wage total war. Dan visits an engineering works in north Wales which in 1917 was turned over to armaments production.

But Lloyd George's dynamism wasn't reflected in the rest of the government, especially the prime minister Herbert Asquith. At the end of 1916 after the failure of the Somme, matters came to a head and Asquith was forced to resign to be replaced by Lloyd George. He was the first man from such humble origins to become prime minister.

In spring 1918, the Germans broke through and almost reached Paris, but the Allies fought back. This is when Lloyd George's war machine came into the effect - the huge amount of munitions he helped create, along with the newly arrived American troops, forced the German army into retreat, finally signing the Armistice on 11 November 1918.

In 1918, Lloyd George was wildly popular and re-elected by a landslide, but his postwar career was less successful. Dan visits the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles where Lloyd George signed the famous treaty, but many think that this fuelled German resentment and led to the Second World War 20 years later. At home, the 'land fit for heroes' which Lloyd George had promised didn't materialise and there was a postwar slump. When it was revealed that he'd sold honours to fund his Liberal Party his days were numbered, and he was finally ousted by his Conservative coalition partners in 1922.

Until his death in 1945 Lloyd George was a figure in the wilderness, never returned to power and further damaging his reputation with an ill-advised visit to Hitler in 1936. He was, as Dan concludes, a flawed hero, but one from whom he's proud to be descended.


SUN 21:00 Engineering Giants (b01llr67)
Ferry Strip-Down

Engineer turned comedian Tom Wrigglesworth and rising star of mechanical engineering Rob Bell climb on board the Pride of Bruges, a massive 25,000-tonne North Sea ferry as it is brought into dry dock in Newcastle.

It has been ploughing the route from Hull to Zeebrugge for over a quarter of a century and is now in need of the biggest overhaul of its life in an attempt to prolong its seaworthiness for another decade. Tom and Rob also travel to Europe's largest ship-breaking yard in Belgium, to discover what happens to ships at the end of their lives. As they watch massive hulls being torn apart, they gain more insights into how a ship works and how their massive carcasses are recycled.


SUN 22:00 The Bridge: Fifty Years Across the Forth (b04g80p8)
A unique amateur film provides the centrepiece of a documentary celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of Scotland's great landmarks, the Forth Road Bridge. The documentary traces the memories of the people who built the bridge, the biggest of its kind in Europe at the time, as well as those who ran the Forth ferries that stopped running when it opened in 1964.


SUN 23:00 Stations of the Cross (b064jdqt)
Fourteen-year-old Maria is undergoing instruction within a strict fundamentalist Catholic order to prepare for her confirmation. Father Weber, a young and engaging teacher, suggests that her class challenge their schoolmates and become soldiers for Jesus.

In German with English subtitles.


SUN 00:45 Dan Snow on Lloyd George: My Great-Great-Grandfather (b084l1s9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SUN 01:45 Engineering Giants (b01llr67)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


SUN 02:45 The Bridge: Fifty Years Across the Forth (b04g80p8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]



MONDAY 08 JANUARY 2018

MON 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b09ljtg7)
Series 1

08/01/2018

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


MON 19:30 Great Continental Railway Journeys (b03ty8t3)
Series 2 - Reversions

Turin to Venice: Part 2

Steered by his 1913 railway guide, Michael Portillo takes the train from the former political capital of Italy, Turin, to Casanova's capital of romance, Venice.

Along the way, he recreates the famous Italian Job on an historic Fiat test track and follows fashion in Milan before investigating the early 20th-century British love affair with Lake Como in a seaplane. In Verona, Michael discovers the 'House of the Capulets', bought to attract Edwardian tourists to the scene of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. He then heads over the rail bridge across the lagoon to Venice, where he finds a microcosm of pre-First World War Europe in the Venice Biennale art exhibition.


MON 20:00 Highlands - Scotland's Wild Heart (p03pjd66)
Spring - Season of Extremes

Series about the wildlife of the Scottish Highlands, narrated by Ewan McGregor.

It's late March in the Cairngorm mountains and the hills are on fire! Old heather is being burned in readiness for the grouse season. Traditionally, this inferno marks the end of winter and the start of spring in this wilderness. But spring is the most unpredictable of all seasons here. Ospreys, red squirrels, dippers, capercaillies, roe deer and bottlenose dolphins have struggled to find food and raise their young while coping with the extremes of wind and weather.


MON 21:00 My Astonishing Self: Gabriel Byrne on George Bernard Shaw (b09ltk1h)
Award-winning Irish actor Gabriel Byrne explores the life, works and passions of George Bernard Shaw, a giant of world literature, and - like Byrne - an emigrant Irishman with the outsider's ability to observe, needle and puncture.

With Ireland in his heart, he made England his home and London his stage. His insight was ageless - his ideas still resonate almost 70 years after his death. He is one of only two people to have ever been awarded both the Nobel Prize for Literature and an Oscar.

Gabriel Byrne sees Shaw as a revolutionary - a literary anarchist. Sharing Shaw's perspective as an 'artistic exile', Byrne explores Shaw's radical and unapologetic political thinking, and his unwavering ability to charm and satirise the establishment that so adored him. It is the story of the most relevant thinker, artist and literary genius Ireland ever produced.


MON 22:00 Workers or Shirkers? Ian Hislop's Victorian Benefits (b076vtmz)
An entertaining, provocative film in which Ian explores the colourful history behind one of the most explosive issues of our times - welfare: who deserves to be helped, and who doesn't.

With his customary mix of light touch and intelligence, Ian tells the stories of five individuals whose Victorian attitudes remain incredibly resonant, inspiring some revealing interviews. Iain Duncan Smith is visibly moved when describing the lack of aspiration he has encountered as minister in charge of benefits, Deirdre Kelly, also known as 'White Dee' from Benefits Street, gets on famously with Ian, teasing him for being middle class, and Owen Jones and Tristram Hunt MP provide illuminating food for thought on the questions that still haunt us.

Pioneer of the workhouse Edwin Chadwick feared that hand-outs would lead to scrounging and sought to make sure that workers were always better off than the unemployed. That sounds fair - but was his solution simply too unkind? James Greenwood, Britain's first undercover reporter, made poverty a cause celebre through sensational journalism - but is the media voyeuristic when it comes to reporting on those on benefits? Helen Bosanquet, an early social worker, believed that poverty was caused by 'bad character'. Are some people genuinely more deserving than others? Bosanquet came to blows with Beatrice Webb, whose economic explanations for the causes of poverty led her to argue for the first foundations of a welfare state. Finally, even if we want to be generous, are there limits on how much we can afford to help? That question faced Margaret Bondfield, Britain's first female cabinet minister, who, despite her own working-class trade unionist credentials, controversially ended up advocating cuts at a time of national austerity.


MON 23:00 The Victorians (b00hsr7s)
Series 1

Painting the Town

Jeremy Paxman takes his love of Victorian paintings as the starting point for a journey into Victorian Britain. Such pictures may not be fashionable today, but they are a goldmine of information about the most dynamic age in British history.

He investigates the most dramatic event of Victorian Britain - the explosion of great cities. At first the Victorians feared these new monsters in their midst, but then grew to love and transform them.

Jeremy explores the canals and sewers, suburbs and back streets, workhouses and magnificent buildings of the great Victorian city, while also experiencing the fun-filled chaos of Derby Day.


MON 00:00 Top of the Pops (b06w0s18)
Richard Skinner introduces the pop programme, with performances from The Look, Chas and Dave, The Beat, Matchbox, The Nolans and Racey, and a dance sequence from Legs & Co.


MON 00:40 Top of the Pops (b06whnr0)
Peter Powell introduces the pop programme, with performances from The Look, Spandau Ballet, XTC, Adam and the Ants, Bad Manners and Blondie.


MON 01:20 Highlands - Scotland's Wild Heart (p03pjd66)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


MON 02:20 My Astonishing Self: Gabriel Byrne on George Bernard Shaw (b09ltk1h)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



TUESDAY 09 JANUARY 2018

TUE 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b09ljtgd)
Series 1

09/01/2018

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


TUE 19:30 Great Continental Railway Journeys (b03ty91g)
Series 2 - Reversions

Dresden to Kiel: Part 1

Steered by his 1913 railway guide, Michael Portillo explores Germany, the powerhouse of today's European Union, and learns how tourists in the early 20th century would have been visiting quite a new country, which they admired and envied but also feared.

Beginning in Dresden, Michael explores the city of one of his favourite opera composers, Richard Wagner. He learns about the health craze of the time and attempts the equivalent of a 1913 Jane Fonda workout. He travels to Leipzig on a historic railway line, built by British engineers in 1839. In Brunswick, he learns how the arrival of the railway added its own flavour to the local beer before moving on to Hamburg, where he discovers model railway making on the grandest of scales.

In Kiel, Michael learns about the intense rivalry between Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and his uncle, British King Edward VII, at the Kiel Week yacht races. Michael boards an early 20th-century yacht to experience the thrill for himself and learns how British yachtsmen spied on the German navy.


TUE 20:00 Andrew Marr's The Making of Modern Britain (b00ntgb5)
Road to War

Britain basks in the heat of a long Edwardian summer, but tension and violence are never far below the surface. Women are attacked while campaigning for the vote, Ireland is divided over liberation from the British Empire, and dockers and miners strike for improved conditions and wages.

With magical archive footage and vivid storytelling, Andrew Marr explains why fears of a German invasion were stoked by the popular press. He also shows how the radical new Liberal chancellor, David Lloyd George, faced a very modern dilemma: pensions or battleships, welfare or warfare? With the birth of flight and the movies, this is also a story of magnificent men in their flying machines, and future Hollywood stars Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel touring together across Britain.

The assassination of an archduke in Sarajevo sets in motion the wheels of world war. In the corridors of Westminster old allies Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George fight over strategy. Out on the streets, the people are eager for battle, determined to 'teach the Hun a lesson'. Britain is on the road to war.


TUE 21:00 England's Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey (b09lv17g)
Series 1

Episode 1

In this first episode, Helen Castor reveals an incendiary document, written in Edward's spidery handwriting on his deathbed, which cuts his sister Mary out of the line of succession and leaves the throne to his cousin Jane. It forms the basis of a constitutional crisis that dragged the country to the edge of civil war.

But was it Edward's idea? Or was the boy king manipulated by sinister forces behind the throne? Fearing a return to Catholicism, a cabal of rich and powerful men led by the Duke of Northumberland - the 'Wicked Duke' - covered up the king's death for several days and staged a coup, placing Lady Jane Grey on the throne without even telling her.

Within a day of Jane being told she is to be queen, she is entering the Tower of London, whilst Mary goes on the run to avoid capture and plan her revenge.


TUE 22:00 Fit to Rule: How Royal Illness Changed History (b01rxzby)
Original Series

Tudors to Stuarts: From Gods to Men

Lucy Worsley, chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces, explores how the physical and mental health of our past monarchs has shaped the history of the nation. From Henry VIII to Edward VIII's abdication in 1936, this three-part series reintroduces our past royals not just as powerful potentates, but as human beings, each with their own very personal problems of biology and psychology.

Stripping away the regal facade, Lucy examines their medical problems, doctors' reports, personal correspondence and intimate possessions to gain a unique insight into the real men and women behind the royal portraits. She uncovers how kings and queens have had to deal with infertility, religious extremism, depression, bisexuality and culture shock. But could these supposed chinks in the royal armour provide a surprising explanation for the enduring power of the British monarchy? Lucy argues that the survival of the monarchy has been determined not so much by the strengths of our past monarchs but by their weaknesses.

In this first episode, Lucy explores the medical histories of the Tudor and Stuart dynasties, beginning with the ascension of Henry VIII and tracing the changing fortunes of these two very different royal families up to the execution of Charles I. Five hundred years ago our monarchs derived their authority from God alone, but despite their semi-divine status, they were subject to exactly the same harsh physical realities as the rest of us. Lucy discovers how the Tudors and Stuarts coped with royal bodies that were often too young or too old, too infirm or too infertile and sometimes simply the wrong sex at a time when male heirs were all-important.

Lucy investigates the most critical medical problems and family psychodramas faced by a fascinating cast of royal characters, including the trouble Henry VIII had in producing a male heir and the cause of his daughter Mary I's phantom pregnancy. She sheds new light on the biological and psychological make-up of some of our greatest rulers by examining their personal correspondence and private possessions, including intimate love letters exchanged between James I and his lover the Duke of Buckingham, and the special orthopaedic boots worn by Charles I.


TUE 23:00 Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story (p02l4pjs)
A Question of Identity

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.

The first episode looks at the difficulty of identifying the body in a murder case. The question of identity is a crucial start to the investigation. From charred bones to bodies completely dissolved in acid, with each horrific new case science has had to adapt to identify both the victim and the murderer. Investigating four breakthrough cases, Gabriel reveals the scientific innovations that tipped the scales of justice in favour of the detective - and caught the killers.

Firstly, Gabriel investigates the use of teeth and bite marks to identify a victim or murderer, starting with a problematic case at Harvard Medical School in 1849. Next, she traces the use of entomology (the study of insects) to pinpoint the time of death - a crucial piece of evidence that helped identify both the killer and his victims when a gruesome collection of unidentifiable body parts was discovered in a river in Moffat in 1935.

Gabriel meets Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, the geneticist who pioneered the technique of DNA profiling. Initially used to establish paternity in an immigration dispute, the application of this revolutionary discovery to the field of criminal investigation was soon established. In 1986 it led to a world first - a person caught and convicted solely on the basis of DNA evidence.

Taking us right to the cutting edge of forensics, Gabriel then experiments with a new technique in development - molecular face fitting, which uses only a person's DNA to create an image of their face.


TUE 00:00 Top of the Pops (b06y8cnp)
Tommy Vance introduces the pop programme, featuring Slade, The Stranglers, Sheila Hylton, Susan Fassbender, John Lennon, The Gap Band, Phil Collins, Madness and Ultravox, and a dance performance from Legs & Co.


TUE 00:40 Top of the Pops (b06yjc20)
Simon Bates introduces the pop programme, featuring Joe Dolce, The Stray Cats, The Passions, Rainbow, Blondie, Spandau Ballet, Cliff Richard, Dire Straits, XTC and John Lennon, and a dance performance from Legs & Co.


TUE 01:20 England's Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey (b09lv17g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 02:20 Andrew Marr's The Making of Modern Britain (b00ntgb5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 10 JANUARY 2018

WED 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b09ljtgk)
Series 1

10/01/2018

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


WED 19:30 Great Continental Railway Journeys (b03x10q8)
Series 2 - Reversions

Dresden to Kiel: Part 2

Steered by his 1913 railway guide, Michael Portillo explores Germany, the powerhouse of today's European Union, and learns how tourists in the early 20th century would have been visiting quite a new country, which they admired and envied but also feared.

Beginning in Dresden, Michael explores the city of one of his favourite opera composers, Richard Wagner. He learns about the health craze of the time and attempts the equivalent of a 1913 Jane Fonda workout. He travels to Leipzig on a historic railway line, built by British engineers in 1839. In Brunswick, he learns how the arrival of the railway added its own flavour to the local beer before moving on to Hamburg, where he discovers model railway-making on the grandest of scales.

In Kiel, Michael learns about the intense rivalry between Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and his uncle, British King Edward VII, at the Kiel Week yacht races. Michael boards an early 20th-century yacht to experience the thrill for himself and learns how British yachtsmen spied on the German navy.


WED 20:00 Handmade: By Royal Appointment (b07fky64)
Wedgwood

Film which follows the making of a Wedgwood vase. The culmination of over 250 years of expertise and heritage, the panther vase is handcrafted by artisan potters using the same techniques pioneered by Josiah Wedgwood in the 18th century. But the Wedgwood factory in Stoke is now a very different place. Under new, foreign ownership, it's a gleaming, modern operation, and as we follow the vase slowly taking shape, the film also takes a gentle look at how this quintessentially British company is reinventing itself for the 21st century.


WED 20:30 A Stitch in Time (b09ll1fx)
Series 1

Arnolfini

Fusing biography, art and the history of fashion, Amber Butchart explores the lives of historical figures through the clothes they wore. Here, she looks at Dutch painter Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait.


WED 21:00 England's Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey (b09m5rmf)
Series 1

Episode 2

Jane is known as the 'Nine Days Queen' - and three days into her reign the clock is ticking. Mary Tudor, eldest daughter of Henry VIII, is determined to seize power. Both women are raising armies.

The manipulative Duke of Northumberland is dispatched from the Tower of London to lead Jane's forces against Mary at her castle at Framlingham. Northumberland sets out for a battle that could descend into civil war. But ordinary people can turn the tide of history. Will they go against the odds and side with the Catholic Mary Tudor?

Jane's military leaders send heavily armed ships to the coast of East Anglia to prevent Mary escaping by sea and to cut her off from any help that might come from Catholic supporters in Europe. But the crews rebel and turn the ships and their weapons over to Mary. Mary and Jane now have armies matched in size and matched in firepower. The future of the country - its religion and its ruler - hangs in the balance.


WED 22:00 Fit to Rule: How Royal Illness Changed History (b01s28q3)
Original Series

Bad Blood: Stuarts to Hanoverians

Dr Lucy Worsley explores the medical histories of the later Stuarts, from the exile of James II and the succession of William and Mary to the rise of a new dynasty - the Hanoverians.

This was a transformational stage for the monarchy: following William and Mary's 'Glorious Revolution', monarchs were no longer semi-divine, but answerable to their people and to Parliament. But without their cloak of divinity, their human frailties were now under public scrutiny like never before, and if biology failed them, an increasingly powerful Parliament could step in and take control.

Lucy examines William III's health issues - a sickly child, his chronic ill health continued into adulthood and he proved unable to have children. For Mary the problems were more psychological. As her husband spent more and more time on his anti-Catholic campaigns abroad, she was left to rule in his place - a daunting proposition which served only to remind her of her own inadequacies - as a childless queen, and most harrowingly, as a daughter who had utterly betrayed her father.

Lucy then explores Queen Anne's tragic gynaecological history - she had 17 pregnancies, 12 of which ended in miscarriage or stillbirth and of her surviving children the oldest only lived 11 years. Plus the extraordinary lengths Parliament employed to find a Protestant successor when Anne died childless.

Unlike the Stuarts, the Hanoverians proved they had no problems producing heirs, but in producing a royal family they found themselves waging a very personal war, as toxic relationships between parents and heirs would threaten the power of the monarchy as much as infertility had threatened the Stuarts.

Lucy scrutinizes the so-called madness of George III, as new research and clinical analysis of his personal letters reveals the real reason behind his manic episodes, before finishing with George IV and his battles with obesity, alcohol and drugs.


WED 23:00 The Wonderful World of Blood - with Michael Mosley (b05nyyhf)
Of all the wonders of the human body, there's one more mysterious than any other. Blood: five precious litres that keep us alive. Yet how much do we really know about this sticky red substance and its mysterious, life-giving force?

Michael Mosley gives up a fifth of his own blood to perform six bold experiments. From starving it of oxygen to injecting it with snake venom, Michael reveals the extraordinary abilities of blood to adapt and keep us alive. Using specialist photography, the programme reveals the beauty in a single drop. Michael even discovers how it tastes when, in a television first, he prepares a black pudding with his own blood.

Down the ages, our understanding of blood has been as much myth as science, but Michael reveals there might be truth in the old vampire legends, as he meets one of the scientists behind the latest research that shows young blood might be able to reverse the ageing process - the holy grail of modern medicine.


WED 00:00 Top of the Pops (b06yrm6x)
Richard Skinner introduces the pop programme, featuring The Pretenders, Barbara Jones, Kelly Marie, Freeez, Beggar and Co, Coast to Coast, Slade and John Lennon, and a dance performance from Legs & Co.


WED 00:40 Top of the Pops (b06yrs1d)
Peter Powell introduces the pop programme, featuring Status Quo, Kim Wilde, Madness, Kiki Dee, Coast to Coast, The Passions, Roxy Music and Joe Dolce, and a dance performance from Legs & Co.


WED 01:20 England's Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey (b09m5rmf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 02:20 Workers or Shirkers? Ian Hislop's Victorian Benefits (b076vtmz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Monday]



THURSDAY 11 JANUARY 2018

THU 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b09ljtgq)
Series 1

11/01/2018

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


THU 19:30 Great Continental Railway Journeys (b03x12nk)
Series 2 - Reversions

Copenhagen to Oslo: Part 1

Armed with his 1913 railway guide, Michael Portillo explores Scandinavia and discovers the royal roots of early-20th-century British travellers' close dynastic ties with the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway. After braving one of the world's oldest rollercoasters in Copenhagen's famous Tivoli Gardens, Michael takes the train across the Oresund Bridge linking Denmark to Sweden, where he retraces the tracks of a train which carried a revolutionary Russian passenger on an epic voyage.

In Lund, he samples a smorgasbord before having a Highland fling in Gothenburg, where he test drives a vintage Volvo. Crossing the border again into Norway, Michael discovers how in 1913 this young nation expressed its own distinctively modern identity in plays, paintings and polar exploration.


THU 20:00 Bloody Queens: Elizabeth and Mary (b06wdzd1)
Of all the dangers Elizabeth I had to survive - the Spanish Armada, a Catholic continent plotting against her incessantly, restless nobles uneasy at serving a queen who refused to marry - none was so personally intense as her rivalry with another woman - her cousin and fellow queen, Mary, Queen of Scots. This was her longest, most gruelling battle - lasting over two decades, it threatened to tear apart both Elizabeth and her kingdom. In the end, it would force her to make the hardest decision of her life.

The two queens stared across the ultimate divides of their time: Protestant and Catholic, Tudor and Stuart, English and Scottish. Their fascination with one another grew into the greatest queenly face-off in our entire history. And yet, in 26 years of mutual obsession, they never actually met. Their confrontation was carried out through letters - a war of words so heartfelt and revealing that the two queens' passions can still be felt.

For the first time on television, this chronicle of love turned to hatred, of trust betrayed by plot and bloodshed, is dramatised purely from the original words of the two queens and their courtiers. Expert historians examine, interpret and argue over the monarchs' motives for their 'duel to the death' - for in the end only one queen could survive such emotional combat.


THU 21:00 England's Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey (b09m5rpg)
Series 1

Episode 3

Jane has been installed in the Tower of London by a powerful cabal of men in the royal court. They want to keep the Catholic Mary Tudor from power. Meanwhile, Mary has assembled an army and is ready to fight back.

Led by the manipulative Duke of Northumberland, Jane's forces have assembled close to Mary's castle at Framlingham. Poised on the brink of battle, the two sides are evenly matched and the outcome hangs by a thread. When a key supporter of Jane's defects to Mary's side, taking with him thousands of followers, the balance tips. The Duke of Northumberland is thrown into confusion and the country holds its breath to see what will happen next.

On the final day of Jane's nine-day reign, the men who placed her on the throne abandon her and switch sides to join Mary. Their ringleader is Jane's own uncle, the Earl of Arundel.

Jane and her father, the Duke of Suffolk, are prisoners in the Tower as Mary enters London in triumph.

Jane is put on trial, but at first her life is spared. It is only when Jane's father joins a second rebellion that Mary takes action. She decrees that Jane, her husband and her father should be executed.

Helen Castor discovers that despite her reign lasting only nine days, Jane did leave a legacy - when Elizabeth I finally inherits the throne the lessons she learned from observing Jane's struggles help her to rule for 44 years. And, crucially, that Jane opened the door for a woman to rule England in her own right.


THU 22:00 Fit to Rule: How Royal Illness Changed History (b01s5xjq)
Original Series

Happy Families: Hanoverians to Windsors

In the final episode, Dr Lucy Worsley investigates the medical histories and fraught family dynamics of Queen Victoria and her descendants. She begins and ends with two events which challenged the very survival of the crown and revealed how crucial the physical and mental health of the royal family remained: the sudden death of Princess Charlotte in 1817, and the abdication of Edward VIII over a century later.

In 1817, 21-year-old Princess Charlotte was the Hanoverian dynasty's great hope: popular with the public and about to give birth to her first child, thereby securing the royal succession for another generation. But, after a 50-hour labour, recorded in minute-by-minute detail by the country's leading midwife, the baby boy was delivered stillborn, and hours later, Charlotte died too. The nation was shocked by the sudden loss of the monarchy's next two generations, and a frantic race ensued for King George's unmarried sons to be the first to produce a legitimate heir. Two years later, the Duke of Kent's new German wife gave birth to a daughter, Princess Victoria.

Whilst producing children was not a problem for Victoria, rearing an heir who was fit to rule was another matter. Fearing their eight-year-old son and successor, Bertie (the future Edward VII), was not psychologically up to the job of king, Prince Albert turned to the new pseudo-science of phrenology in a bid to get to the root of his son's problems, and Lucy charts the effect their difficult mother-son relationship had on both their reigns.

Lucy also reveals the emotional strains the royals faced as they tried to reconcile the competing demands of public duty and a private life. She examines how Queen Victoria's severe depression after Prince Albert's death almost cost her the crown, and explores the emotional turmoil of Edward VIII, who ultimately declared himself unfit to rule, choosing love over the throne.


THU 23:00 Lost Land of the Volcano (b00mq3p1)
Episode 1

Series combining stunning wildlife with high-octane adventure, as a team of scientists and wildlife film-makers from the BBC's Natural History Unit explores one of the last great unspoilt jungle wildernesses on earth.

New Guinea is a rugged tropical island that is home to some of the strangest creatures on the planet. The team is based at the foot of Mount Bosavi, a giant extinct volcano covered in thick and largely unexplored rainforest. With the help of trackers from a remote tribe, they aim to search for the animals that live there - and they make amazing finds.

Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan discovers the nest of the world's smallest parrot, insect expert Dr George McGavin finds a talking beetle, the scientists identify types of frog, gecko and bat that are completely new to science, and adventurer Steve Backshall has to live and sleep underground as he explores a cave system flooded with white water.

The cameras follow the team every sweaty step of the way as they search for the evidence that may help preserve this last great jungle forever.


THU 00:00 Top of the Pops (b06zdnkk)
Mike Read introduces the pop programme, featuring Duran Duran, Shakin Stevens, Phil Collins, The Who, Adam and the Ants, Toyah, Motorhead & Girlschool, Joe Dolce, Talking Heads and The Teardrop Explodes, and a dance performance from Legs & Co.


THU 00:40 Bloody Queens: Elizabeth and Mary (b06wdzd1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


THU 01:40 England's Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey (b09m5rpg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 02:40 Peaky Blinders (b09jhn03)
Series 4

The Duel

Tommy finds himself engaged in bloody battle with Luca Changretta and his gang. The family gather to find out what happened, but Lizzie has even greater news to break.

Meanwhile, an army colonel has questions for Ada about her past as a communist, and Jessie Eden confirms just how far she is prepared to go in pursuit of her cause. And sensing an opportunity to capitalise on his situation, Luca Changretta makes his way to London to present a plan to Alfie Solomons.



FRIDAY 12 JANUARY 2018

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b09ljtgw)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (b09lv80h)
John Peel and Richard Skinner present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 3 January 1985. Featuring Smiley Culture, Sal Solo, Paul Young, Tears For Fears, Toy Dolls, Madonna and Band Aid.


FRI 20:10 The Good Old Days (b09hgfcg)
Leonard Sachs presents the old-time music hall programme, first broadcast on 20 August 1980. Featuring Ted Durante and Hilda, Sheila Buxton, Billy Dainty, Liz Robertson, Arthur Askey and members of the Players' Theatre Group.


FRI 21:00 David Bowie: Five Years (b0214tj1)
An intimate portrait of five key years in David Bowie's career. Featuring a wealth of previously unseen archive this film looks at how Bowie continually evolved, from Ziggy Stardust to the soul star of Young Americans and the 'Thin White Duke'. It explores his regeneration in Berlin with the critically acclaimed album Heroes, his triumph with Scary Monsters and his global success with Let's Dance. With interviews with all his closest collaborators, this film investigates how Bowie became an icon of our times.


FRI 22:30 David Bowie and the Story of Ziggy Stardust (b01k0y0n)
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is arguably the most important album in the mind-blowing career of David Bowie. Released in 1972, it's the record that set the mercurial musician on course to becoming one of the best-known pop stars on the planet. In just over a year, Bowie's messianic Martian invaded the minds of the nation's youth with a killer combination of extraterrestrial rock 'n' roll and outrageous sexuality, all delivered in high-heeled boots, multicoloured dresses and extravagant make-up. In Bowie's own words, Ziggy was 'a cross between Nijinsky and Woolworths', but this unlikely culture clash worked - Ziggy turned Bowie into stardust.

This documentary tells the story of how Bowie arrived at one of the most iconic creations in the history of pop music. The songs, the hairstyles, the fashion and the theatrical stage presentation merged together to turn David Bowie into the biggest craze since the Beatles. Ziggy's instant success gave the impression that he was the perfectly planned pop star. But, as the film reveals, it had been a momentous struggle for David Bowie to hit on just the right formula that would take him to the top.

Narrated by fan Jarvis Cocker, it reveals Bowie's mission to the stars through the musicians and colleagues who helped him in his unwavering quest for fame - a musical voyage that led Bowie to doubt his true identity, eventually forcing the sudden demise of his alien alter ego, Ziggy.

Contributors include Trevor Bolder (bass player, Spiders from Mars), Woody Woodmansey (drummer, Spider from Mars), Mike Garson (Spiders' keyboardist), Suzi Ronson (Mick Ronson's widow, who gave Bowie that haircut), Ken Scott (producer), Elton John (contemporary and fan), Lindsay Kemp (Bowie's mime teacher), Leee Black Childers (worked for Mainman, Bowie's production company), Cherry Vanilla (Bowie's PA/press officer), George Underwood (Bowie's friend), Mick Rock (Ziggy's official photographer), Steve Harley, Marc Almond, Holly Johnson, Peter Hook, Jon Savage, Peter Doggett and Dylan Jones.


FRI 23:30 Glam Rock at the BBC (b094mcwn)
A spangly celebration of the outburst of far-out pop and fuzz-filled rock that lit up the British charts in the early 1970s. Top of the Pops is our primary arena and its gloriously gaudy visual effects are used here aplenty! The compilation also utilises footage from a selection of BBC concerts as well as from Crackerjack and Cilla. It features classic BBC TV performances from T. Rex, David Bowie, Roxy Music, Alice Cooper, Suzi Quatro, Slade, The Sweet, Elton John, Queen, Sparks and many more.


FRI 00:30 Top of the Pops (b09lv80h)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


FRI 01:15 Northern Soul: Living for the Weekend (b04bf1lf)
The northern soul phenomenon was the most exciting underground British club movement of the 70s. At its high point, thousands of disenchanted white working class youths across the north of England danced to obscure, mid-60s Motown-inspired sounds until the sun rose. A dynamic culture of fashions, dance moves, vinyl obsession and much more grew up around this - all fuelled by the love of rare black American soul music with an express-train beat.

Through vivid first-hand accounts and rare archive footage, this film charts northern soul's dramatic rise, fall and rebirth. It reveals the scene's roots in the mod culture of the 60s and how key clubs like Manchester's Twisted Wheel and Sheffield's Mojo helped create the prototype that would blossom in the next decade.

By the early 70s a new generation of youngsters in the north were transforming the old ballrooms and dancehalls of their parents' generation into citadels of the northern soul experience, creating a genuine alternative to mainstream British pop culture. This was decades before the internet, when people had to travel great distances to enjoy the music they felt so passionate about.

Set against a rich cultural and social backdrop, the film shows how the euphoria and release that northern soul gave these clubbers provided an escape from the bleak reality of their daily lives during the turbulent 70s. After thriving in almost total isolation from the rest of the UK, northern soul was commercialised and broke nationwide in the second half of the 70s. But just as this happened, the once-healthy rivalry between the clubs in the north fell apart amidst bitter in-fighting over the direction the scene should go.

Today, northern soul is more popular than ever, but it was back in the 70s that one of the most fascinating and unique British club cultures rose to glory. Contributors include key northern soul DJs like Richard Searling, Ian Levine, Colin Curtis and Kev Roberts alongside Lisa Stansfield, Norman Jay, Pete Waterman, Marc Almond, Peter Stringfellow and others.


FRI 02:15 David Bowie and the Story of Ziggy Stardust (b01k0y0n)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]




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

A Stitch in Time 20:30 WED (b09ll1fx)

Alaska: Earth's Frozen Kingdom 20:00 SAT (b0520t2w)

Alaska: Earth's Frozen Kingdom 02:00 SAT (b0520t2w)

Andrew Marr's The Making of Modern Britain 20:00 TUE (b00ntgb5)

Andrew Marr's The Making of Modern Britain 02:20 TUE (b00ntgb5)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 MON (b09ljtg7)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 TUE (b09ljtgd)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 WED (b09ljtgk)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 THU (b09ljtgq)

Bloody Queens: Elizabeth and Mary 20:00 THU (b06wdzd1)

Bloody Queens: Elizabeth and Mary 00:40 THU (b06wdzd1)

Britain on Film 19:30 SUN (b036f8nw)

Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story 23:00 TUE (p02l4pjs)

Dan Snow on Lloyd George: My Great-Great-Grandfather 20:00 SUN (b084l1s9)

Dan Snow on Lloyd George: My Great-Great-Grandfather 00:45 SUN (b084l1s9)

David Bowie and the Story of Ziggy Stardust 22:30 FRI (b01k0y0n)

David Bowie and the Story of Ziggy Stardust 02:15 FRI (b01k0y0n)

David Bowie: Five Years 21:00 FRI (b0214tj1)

Disco at the BBC 01:00 SAT (b01cqt74)

Engineering Giants 21:00 SUN (b01llr67)

Engineering Giants 01:45 SUN (b01llr67)

England's Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey 21:00 TUE (b09lv17g)

England's Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey 01:20 TUE (b09lv17g)

England's Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey 21:00 WED (b09m5rmf)

England's Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey 01:20 WED (b09m5rmf)

England's Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey 21:00 THU (b09m5rpg)

England's Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey 01:40 THU (b09m5rpg)

Fit to Rule: How Royal Illness Changed History 22:00 TUE (b01rxzby)

Fit to Rule: How Royal Illness Changed History 22:00 WED (b01s28q3)

Fit to Rule: How Royal Illness Changed History 22:00 THU (b01s5xjq)

Glam Rock at the BBC 23:30 FRI (b094mcwn)

Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 MON (b03ty8t3)

Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 TUE (b03ty91g)

Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 WED (b03x10q8)

Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 THU (b03x12nk)

Handmade: By Royal Appointment 20:00 WED (b07fky64)

Highlands - Scotland's Wild Heart 20:00 MON (p03pjd66)

Highlands - Scotland's Wild Heart 01:20 MON (p03pjd66)

Lost Land of the Volcano 23:00 THU (b00mq3p1)

My Astonishing Self: Gabriel Byrne on George Bernard Shaw 21:00 MON (b09ltk1h)

My Astonishing Self: Gabriel Byrne on George Bernard Shaw 02:20 MON (b09ltk1h)

Northern Soul: Living for the Weekend 01:15 FRI (b04bf1lf)

Only Connect 19:00 SUN (b09l8r8r)

Peaky Blinders 02:40 THU (b09jhn03)

Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History 19:00 SAT (b03knrvm)

Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History 03:00 SAT (b03knrvm)

Spiral 21:00 SAT (b09ltxy7)

Spiral 22:00 SAT (b09ltxy9)

Stations of the Cross 23:00 SUN (b064jdqt)

The Bee Gees at the BBC... and Beyond 00:00 SAT (b04v8679)

The Bridge: Fifty Years Across the Forth 22:00 SUN (b04g80p8)

The Bridge: Fifty Years Across the Forth 02:45 SUN (b04g80p8)

The Good Old Days 20:10 FRI (b09hgfcg)

The Victorians 23:00 MON (b00hsr7s)

The Vietnam War 23:05 SAT (b0992pm4)

The Wonderful World of Blood - with Michael Mosley 23:00 WED (b05nyyhf)

Top of the Pops 00:00 MON (b06w0s18)

Top of the Pops 00:40 MON (b06whnr0)

Top of the Pops 00:00 TUE (b06y8cnp)

Top of the Pops 00:40 TUE (b06yjc20)

Top of the Pops 00:00 WED (b06yrm6x)

Top of the Pops 00:40 WED (b06yrs1d)

Top of the Pops 00:00 THU (b06zdnkk)

Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (b09lv80h)

Top of the Pops 00:30 FRI (b09lv80h)

Workers or Shirkers? Ian Hislop's Victorian Benefits 22:00 MON (b076vtmz)

Workers or Shirkers? Ian Hislop's Victorian Benefits 02:20 WED (b076vtmz)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b09ljtgw)