Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

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



SATURDAY 03 FEBRUARY 2018

SAT 19:00 Sicily: The Wonder of the Mediterranean (b08cwrg9)
Series 1

Episode 1

Historian Michael Scott begins his journey through Sicily on the slopes of Mount Etna, Europe's largest active volcano. For the ancient Greeks, the island was a land of gods and monsters - a dangerous and unpredictable world. Michael discovers how 3,000 years ago, the Greeks began to settle on Sicily's east coast - planting their olives and vines and building great city-states that soon came to rival even Athens itself.

He learns how great battles were fought between the Greeks and the Carthaginians for control of the island. How the Romans made it their first foreign colony and stripped Sicily of its forests to plant vast fields of grain. When Rome fell, waves of Barbarian invasions followed, before Sicily was conquered by the Byzantines - the eastern Roman Empire. How have those early invaders helped to shape the character of the island we see today? And what lessons have Sicilians learnt from their turbulent past?


SAT 20:00 Natural World (b08r3xh9)
2017-2018

Nature's Miniature Miracles

This film tells the epic survival stories of the world's smallest animals. It really is a big bad world out there. So what happens if you are the little guy?

To make a living, these tiny heroes have evolved extraordinary skills and achieved mind-boggling feats. From the animal kingdom's greatest artist to the tiny creatures that provide so much of the air we breathe, this programme discovers what it takes to be a miniature miracle.


SAT 21:00 Spiral (b09qrc3w)
Series 6

Episode 11

Drissa Camara is double-crossed, but hopes his hold over Gilou will save him. The secrets and lies become too much for Tintin. Josephine is in jeopardy if she sticks to her story.

In French with English subtitles.


SAT 22:00 Spiral (b09qrc3z)
Series 6

Episode 12

A blunder by the depleted detective team has a shocking outcome, while what Moldovan also sells is revealed. Will Edelman's bluntness sway Josephine? Roban runs out of options.

In French with English subtitles.


SAT 23:05 Top of the Pops (b09q38h2)
Simon Bates and Janice Long present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 14 February 1985. Featuring Dead Or Alive, The Colour Field, Killing Joke, The Smiths, and Elaine Paige & Barbara Dickson.


SAT 23:40 Top of the Pops (b09q3ccs)
Mike Read and Bruno Brookes present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 21 February 1985. Featuring Howard Jones, Sharpe and Numan, Don Henley, Bryan Adams and Elaine Paige & Barbara Dickson.


SAT 00:10 Elvis: That's Alright Mama 60 Years On (b04c3l7g)
Actor and musician Sam Palladio hosts a musical tribute to Elvis Presley, 60 years to the day from when he recorded his first single, That's All Right, at Sun Studio in Memphis on 5 July 1954. Sam traces Elvis's story from childhood poverty in Mississippi, where he had to make do with a broom for a guitar, to the moment when, by accident, he ended up recording the song that changed the history of popular music. There are performances of the finest Elvis tracks from the likes of soul legend Candi Staton, LA duo The Pierces and country star Laura Bell Bundy.


SAT 01:10 Sicily: The Wonder of the Mediterranean (b08cwrg9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SAT 02:10 Natural World (b08r3xh9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



SUNDAY 04 FEBRUARY 2018

SUN 19:00 Only Connect (b09qmqds)
Series 13

Dandies v Escapologists

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

The Dandies and Escapologists return for a last chance to stay in the tournament. They compete to find the connections between things which, at first glance, seem utterly random. So join Victoria if you want to know what connects Light kiss, Snow leopard, American garden and A fastening with rope.


SUN 19:30 University Challenge (b09qmqdv)
2017/18

Episode 25

It is the first of the quarter-finals when two student teams fight it out to reach the next stage of the competition.

Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.


SUN 20:00 This World (b01pfvns)
Cuba with Simon Reeve

Adventurer and journalist Simon Reeve heads to Cuba to find a communist country in the middle of a capitalist revolution. Two years ago Cuba announced the most sweeping and radical economic reforms the country has seen in decades. From ending state rationing to cutting one million public-sector jobs, one of the last communist bastions in the world has begun rolling back the state on an unprecedented scale. Simon Reeve meets ordinary Cubans whose lives are being transformed, from the owners of fledgling businesses to the newly rich estate agents selling properties worth up to £750,000.

In this documentary for the BBC's award-winning This World strand, Simon gets under the skin of a colourful and vibrant country famous for its hospitality and humour and asks if this new economic openness could lead to political liberalisation in a totalitarian country with a poor human rights record. Will Cuba be able to maintain the positive aspects of its long isolation under socialism - low crime, top-notch education and one of the best health systems in the world - while embracing what certainly looks like capitalism? Is this the last chance to see Cuba before it becomes just like any other country?


SUN 21:00 Scotland's Vital Spark: The Clyde Puffer (b06s5n0f)
David Hayman explores the rich history of one of Scotland's best-loved boats, the Clyde Puffer. He meets the last of the men who worked on them, explores the communities whose lives they transformed, celebrates their fictional history in the form of the Vital Spark, and takes a trip out to sea on the last remaining steam-powered puffer.


SUN 22:00 Arena (b09gvgj8)
Stanley and his Daughters

'Children of geniuses tend to have a rather hard time of it. If you're a genius you have to be a bit tough', says Unity Spencer, daughter of Stanley Spencer, one of the most important 20th-century British artists.

Stanley's visionary art, his obsession with his work and the drama of a private life described as 'the most bizarre domestic soap opera in the history of British art' wreaked havoc on his family.

The break-up with his first wife, fellow artist Hilda Carline, was traumatic for his daughters Unity and Shirin. So too, was the fiasco of their father's second marriage to self-confessed lesbian, Patricia Preece.

The daughter's separation, post-divorce, took root in their lives and only now, in old age, have they come together again. Last summer, Unity packed up her Clapham home of 40 years, boxed up her old life, her father's drawings, sketchbooks and letters and moved to Wales to be close to Shirin. With Unity's son John, Stanley's grandson, they plan to live altogether.

The film explores the sisters' relationship - fractured, fraught but ultimately loving - as they try to understand and reclaim their father and investigate their family's archaeology. Unity, now 87, and Shirin, 91, begin a late rapprochement and attempt to become a family again as they build a new life together. Through them, the film provides an insight into Stanley's life, motivations and his art - offering a completely fresh take on one of Britain's and the 20th century's greatest artists.

With access to Stanley's and Hilda's correspondence, the film reflects on an extraordinary cache written over 30 years that John Spencer is painstakingly transcribing. These, together with a further nine years of letters which Stanley wrote to Hilda after her death, run to millions of words.


SUN 23:15 Stanley Spencer: The Colours of the Clyde (b03yggd0)
Stanley Spencer's Shipbuilding on the Clyde is one of the most astonishing - and least likely - achievements in British art. These colossal portraits of shipyard life were created by a painter best known for his intense, spiritual visions of the English countryside.

World War II uprooted Spencer and sent him to Scotland. But the harsh industrial landscape of Port Glasgow inspired an astonishing vision - and revived Spencer's creative passion. Artist Lachlan Goudie - who himself has been painting in the last of the Clyde shipyards - goes in search of his hero, tracking down the original designs for Spencer's ambitious scheme, meeting the shipyard foreman who helped the eccentric Englishman with his work, and revealing how one of the 20th century's greatest artworks began as a doodle on a roll of cheap toilet paper.


SUN 23:45 The Story of Maths (b00f3n43)
The Frontiers of Space

Four-part series about the history of mathematics, presented by Oxford professor Marcus du Sautoy.

By the 17th century, Europe had taken over from the Middle East as the world's powerhouse of mathematical ideas. Great strides had been made in understanding the geometry of objects fixed in time and space. The race was now on to discover the mathematics to describe objects in motion.

Marcus explores the work of Rene Descartes and Pierre Fermat, whose famous Last Theorem would puzzle mathematicians for more than 350 years. He also examines Isaac Newton's development of the calculus, and goes in search of Leonard Euler, the father of topology or 'bendy geometry', and Carl Friedrich Gauss who, at the age of 24, was responsible for inventing a new way of handling equations - modular arithmetic.


SUN 00:45 The Story of Maths (b00f7zsk)
To Infinity and Beyond

Marcus du Sautoy concludes his investigation into the history of mathematics with a look at some of the great unsolved problems that confronted mathematicians in the 20th century.

After exploring Georg Cantor's work on infinity and Henri Poincare's work on chaos theory, he looks at how mathematics was itself thrown into chaos by the discoveries of Kurt Godel, who showed that the unknowable is an integral part of maths, and Paul Cohen, who established that there were several different sorts of mathematics in which conflicting answers to the same question were possible.

He concludes his journey by considering the great unsolved problems of mathematics today, including the Riemann Hypothesis, a conjecture about the distribution of prime numbers. A million-dollar prize and a place in the history books await anyone who can prove Riemann's theorem.


SUN 01:45 This World (b01pfvns)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SUN 02:45 Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection (b09q02kn)
Series 1

Palaces and Pleasuredomes

Andrew Graham-Dixon continues his exploration of the Royal Collection, the vast collection of art and decorative objects owned by the Queen. In the third episode he has reached the age of the Romantics - the flamboyant George IV who created so much of the visual look of the modern monarchy, and Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, for whom collecting was an integral part of their happy marriage.

As Prince of Wales, George was a famously loose cannon - a spendaholic prince whose debts ballooned in tandem with the royal waistline. But as a collector, Andrew argues, George was one of the great artistic figures of the Romantic age. His tastes were very much formed by the fallout from the French Revolution; as the great French aristocratic collections were broken up, an exodus of great art flooded into London's auction rooms - and George was there to buy them. He assembled a world-class collection of Dutch and Flemish masters, including key works by Rembrandt, Cuyp and de Hooch, as well as some of the greatest examples of French furniture ever produced, which Andrew sees in the state rooms of Buckingham Palace.

George IV was a natural showman and Andrew argues that his visit to Edinburgh in 1822 helped pioneer the modern monarchy's use of spectacle. But, like Henry VIII and Charles before him, George had the sense to partner up with an artist of genius - Sir Thomas Lawrence. The result of their collaboration is seen in a series of stirring battlefield portraits that line Windsor Castle's Waterloo Chamber.

Queen Victoria is often depicted as the uptight opposite of her louche uncle, but Andrew argues that, for her, art was just as important. This was a passion that she could share with her beloved husband, Prince Albert, who believed that learning how to make art was the best way to understand it.

Andrew visits Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, still filled with their art possessions, including marble facsimiles of the arms and legs of her infant children, commissioned by Victoria herself.

Andrew argues that Albert was a natural curator; he instilled a love for collecting in his children and compiled an early 'database' of the complete works of Raphael which he kept in his new 'print room' in Windsor Castle as a tool for art historians. But it is on the streets of South Kensington ('Albertopolis') that Andrew discovers Albert's real legacy - the museums and educational institutions here are a testimony to his vision for the area, purchased with the help of profits from the Great Exhibition.



MONDAY 05 FEBRUARY 2018

MON 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b09qqrq7)
Series 1

05/02/2018

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


MON 19:30 Railways of the Great War with Michael Portillo (b04dbrkp)
A Railway War Begins

World War I was a railway war. Michael Portillo finds out how the railways helped to precipitate a mechanised war, shaped how it was fought, conveyed millions to the trenches and bore witness to its end. He takes to historic tracks to rediscover the locomotives and wagons of the war that was supposed to end all war and hears the stories of the gallant men and women who used them in life and in death.

Michael travels through Britain and northern Europe uncovering railway stories from the Great War. He begins his quest in the French city of Metz on European tracks built with war in mind, charts the birth of the railway war at a small station in Luxembourg and discovers how Britain's railways coped with the challenge of sending thousands of troops to join the conflict from Southampton. Finally, he returns to France to learn how the early war of movement gave way to the stalemate of the trenches.


MON 20:00 Ultimate Swarms (p01dn81f)
Zoologist and explorer George McGavin goes in search of some of the world's most impressive swarms. By getting right to the heart of these natural spectacles, he finds out why swarms are the ultimate solution to surviving against all odds and discovers how unlocking the secrets to how animals swarm could be crucial to understanding our own increasingly crowded lives.


MON 21:00 Hull's Headscarf Heroes (b09r8jvr)
Documentary which marks the 50th anniversary of the triple trawler tragedy during January and February of 1968, in which 58 men died. It was one of Britain's deadliest maritime disasters, which tore through the heart of Hull's Hessle Road fishing community. The film tells the epic story of the Hull fishermen who did the most dangerous job in Britain and their wives whose protest ensured such a disaster never happened again. The women's campaign was one of the biggest and most successful civil action campaigns of the 20th century. Combining rare archive and emotional testimony - including that of Yvonne Blenkinsop, the last surviving leader of the women - those who lived through the tragedy and fought for change tell their incredible stories for the first time.

By the 1960s Hull was home to the greatest deep sea fishery on earth. 150 deep sea trawlers were based at St Andrews Dock and every year they brought in up to a quarter of a million tons of fish - 25 per cent of Britain's total catch. But to bring in such large quantities Hull's trawlermen had to take enormous risks, because the best hunting grounds were 1,000 miles away in the dangerous Arctic waters around Iceland. There was little regard for the men's health and safety, making this by far the most dangerous job in Britain with 6,000 Hull men lost at sea.

For Hull's women the fact that their men could die at work at any time was a constant worry, made bearable only by the joy of their return. We hear tragic stories of lost loved ones that cast a shadow over family life. This long history of hurt formed the background to the triple trawler disaster of January and early February 1968- an event which rocked even this extraordinarily stoic community.

In January 1968, Hull's trawlers headed into the Arctic in their quest for the biggest catch. By early February it became clear that three of them had sunk, first the St Romanus, then the Kingston Peridot and finally the Ross Cleveland. The last two were fishing in Arctic waters when they were hit by the worst storm in living memory and were obliterated by the hurricane force winds, blizzards and ferocious waves. Altogether 58 men were drowned.

Among those who lost a loved one was 17-year-old mother-of-two Denise Wilson. She tells the story of how she became the youngest widow in Hull. The man whose task was to break the news to the families was young port missionary Donald Woolley. He reveals that despite the grief and devastation at the catastrophic loss of so many fathers, brothers and sons, there was an extraordinary spirit of resilience amongst the young wives and mothers.

Fuelled by years of suffering and loss, the headscarfed women rose up to protest against the dangerous working conditions. They were led by larger-than-life fishwife Lilian Bilocca. Her daughter Virginia remembers how she began a petition that was signed by almost everyone in Hessle Road. This was followed by mass meetings, a march on the trawler bosses' offices and dramatic attempts to stop any unsafe trawlers going to sea. What they all wanted was a safer fishing industry - and they were prepared to do anything to get it.

Unbeknown to 'Big Lil' as she came to be known, while she was protesting, her young son Ernie was also caught up in the storm and fighting for his life. He tells the story of his nightmare ordeal. So too does trawlerman Ken Shakesby, who also nearly died in the storm. His wife Jean was another headscarf protester who almost lost her husband.

Yvonne Blenkinsop is the last survivor amongst the women who led the protest. She tells how she was inspired to fight for change by the death of her own father at sea a few years before. She made passionate speeches to the women of Hessle Road about the need for greater safety at sea. After preventing unsafe ships from leaving St Andrews Dock in Hull, during the first week of February 1968 three of the leaders - including Yvonne - travelled to London for top-level talks with the government. 88 safety measures were enacted immediately. The first to be implemented was a mother ship complete with up to date medical and radio facilities. The new fishermen's charter laid the foundations for safety at sea for generations to come, and was welcomed by all.

But in the 1970s the Hull fishing industry fell into rapid decline with the Cod Wars and sadly the old fishing industry disappeared. As it went the memory of what Yvonne, Lil Bilocca and the other women had achieved also faded. When Lil died in 1988 at the age of 59 there was little fanfare. Nevertheless today, with Hull as City of Culture there is now at last new recognition for the women who led one of the most successful protest movements of the last 50 years: Lil Bilocca and the 'headscarf heroes,' including the last surviving leader, the extraordinary Yvonne Blenkinsop.


MON 22:00 Timeshift (b00nrtj6)
Series 9

The Last Days of the Liners

Documentary which tells the story of how, in the years following the Second World War, countries competed to launch the most magnificent passenger ships on the great ocean routes.

National pride and prestige were at stake. The Americans had the United States, the fastest liner of all; the Dutch had the elegant Rotterdam; the Italians had the sleek Michelangelo; the French had the France as their supreme symbol of national culture and cuisine; and Britain had the Queens Mary and Elizabeth.

The coming of the jetliner and the 1960s' assault on class and privilege might have swept this world away, but as the film explains, the giant vessels sailed on. Today, more people than ever travel on big ships - liners that have a modern take on glamour and romance.


MON 23:00 Horizon (b08tj2zr)
2017

Antarctica - Ice Station Rescue

Britain's state-of-the-art Antarctic research base Halley VI is in trouble. Built on the Brunt Ice Shelf, it sits atop a massive slab of ice that extends far beyond the Antarctic shoreline. But the ice is breaking apart and just 6km from the station is a ginormous crevasse, which threatens to separate Halley from the rest of the continent, setting the £28 million base adrift on a massive iceberg.

So Halley needs to move. But this is probably the toughest moving job on earth, and the team of 90 who have been tasked with the mission aren't just architectural or engineering experts. They are plumbers, mechanics and farmers from across the UK and beyond - ordinary men and women on an extraordinary adventure. Their practical skills will be what makes or breaks this move. The rescue mission has one thing in its favour: Halley was built on giant skis that mean it can be moved - in theory. But no-one has actually done it before. Embedded with the team, BBC film-maker Natalie Hewit spent three months living on the ice, following these everyday heroes as they battle in the most extreme environment on earth to move this vital polar research station.


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

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

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

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


MON 01:00 Top of the Pops (b07c433m)
David 'Kid' Jensen presents the TOTP hits of the week, first broadcast on 15 October 1981. Includes appearances from BA Robertson & Maggie Bell, Squeeze, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, This Year's Blonde, Toyah, The Creatures and Bad Manners. Also includes a dance sequence by Legs & Co.


MON 01:40 Top of the Pops (b07ckwvv)
Simon Bates presents the weekly pop chart show, originally broadcast on 29 October 1981. Includes appearances from Altered Images, Trevor Walters, Haircut 100, Squeeze, Olivia Newton John, OMD, BA Robertson & Maggie Bell, and Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin. Also includes a dance sequence by Legs & Co.


MON 02:15 Hull's Headscarf Heroes (b09r8jvr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



TUESDAY 06 FEBRUARY 2018

TUE 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b09qqrrb)
Series 1

06/02/2018

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


TUE 19:30 Railways of the Great War with Michael Portillo (b04dbs8k)
Railways and Railwaymen Called to Action

World War I was a railway war. Michael Portillo finds out how the railways helped to precipitate a mechanised war, shaped how it was fought, conveyed millions to the trenches and bore witness to its end. He takes to historic tracks to rediscover the locomotives and wagons of the war that was supposed to end all war and hears the stories of the gallant men and women who used them in life and in death.

Michael's journey begins in England's north east, where he finds out about the brave railwaymen who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Moving south to Oxfordshire, he learns how the manufacturing expertise of the railways turned a crisis into a victory. In Hampshire, Michael meets the proud son of a railwayman who, as a Royal Engineer, taught soldiers to be railwaymen and trained railwaymen to be soldiers. Finally, on the south coast he meets the big guns that turned the tide of war.


TUE 20:00 Andrew Marr's The Making of Modern Britain (b00p7099)
Britannia at Bay

The final film in Andrew Marr's epic six-part series is a vivid account of Britain in the Second World War.

Marr's story of 'the people's war' begins with the defeat that came to define modern Britain's national spirit: Dunkirk. In 1940, Britain stood alone against the might of the German war machine. Churchill produced the words that stirred the Blitz spirit, but a Nazi invasion seemed inevitable. How could Britain fight on? The 'Dad's Army' of the Home Guard was hastily assembled and Britain was forced to pull together in ways it never had before.

Andrew Marr finds some surprising twists to legendary stories; the Battle of Britain was not simply a story of reckless bravery, but also a one of lethally efficient command and control. The Blitz was a devastating attack from the air that everyone had dreaded, yet it didn't break the spirit of the people or dim their humour.

This was also the boffins' war, and Churchill understood the importance of science. He was prepared to give away Britain's most highly classified scientific and military secrets to help bring the Americans into the conflict. This wooing would help bring victory. But it came at a price: a bankrupt nation, a crumbling empire and a US cultural invasion that defines modern Britain to this day.


TUE 21:00 Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection (b09qrbvd)
Series 1

Modern Times

Andrew Graham-Dixon explores how royal collecting has changed since the days of Queen Victoria. This is a story of the British monarchy's remarkable survival, while elsewhere the crown heads of Europe crumbled in the face of world wars and revolutions. But it is also an age when women took charge of royal collecting; from Victoria to Elizabeth II, queens and queen consorts have used art to steady the ship of monarchy during this uncertain age.

It's one of the curiosities of the Royal Collection that as the monarchy's power diminished, so too did the objects they collected. Gone were epic canvases, instead came objects of exquisite, delicate and intimate beauty. Andrew marvels at a selection of the royal family's collection of Faberge jewellery - one of the greatest in the world - that includes the Mosaic Egg from 1914. So taken were Edward VII and his wife Queen Alexandria with the works of Peter Carl Faberge, that the jeweller opened a London shop to service the demands of royal clientele.

And then there's Queen Mary's Dolls' House - presented to George V's queen to thank her for her steadfastness during the first world war, the Dolls' House is an astonishing artistic collaboration by over 1,500 people and companies, replete with books containing new stories by authors like Arthur Conan Doyle, tiny champagne bottles filled with real champagne and even mini shotguns that can be broken, loaded and fired. More than just a dolls' house, this is a three-dimensional archive of a vanished artistic age.

The Collection reveals fresh insights into these remarkable women, in particular HM the Queen Mother, who loved art and collected with flair. At Clarence House, Andrew discovers a surprising collection of contemporary British art that she assembled in the 1930s and 1940s, including works by Walter Sickert, LS Lowry, Paul Nash and Augustus John. Andrew traces her greatest commission, a series of 26 paintings of Windsor Castle by John Piper, painted during the Second World War. With Windsor at risk of being bombed, Piper created an eerie dreamscape filled with black skies and foreboding.

Andrew also brings royal collecting up to date. From the outset Elizabeth II's priorities had been focused on preserving and displaying the Collection, and Andrew shows how one of the key events in its recent history - the Windsor Castle fire - was an unlikely catalyst in the reform of the Collection's care. Concluding his exploration, Andrew meets HRH the Prince of Wales to view two of his recent commissions, powerful portraits of veterans of the Battle of Britain and the D-Day landings, and to discuss the continued importance of this remarkable collection.


TUE 22:00 Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors (b08sqxk1)
Lucy Worsley explores the different houses in which Jane Austen lived and stayed, to discover just how much they shaped Jane's life and novels.

On a journey that takes her across England, Lucy visits properties that still exist, from grand stately homes to seaside holiday apartments, and brings to life those that have disappeared. The result is a revealing insight into one of the world's best-loved authors.


TUE 23:00 The Incredible Story of Marie Antoinette's Watch with Nicholas Parsons (b07xtbhr)
Nicholas Parsons, Just a Minute host and stalwart of the entertainment world, explores his life-long enthusiasm for clocks when he goes in search of the most valuable and famous watch in the world.

The so-called Marie Antoinette, once the target of one of the biggest museum heists in history, was the masterpiece made by 18th-century genius Nicholas Breguet for that doomed queen.

Tracing the enthralling story of Breguet's rise to fame, Parsons visits Paris and Versailles, and the vaults of today's multimillion-pound Breguet business. Exploring the innovative and dazzling work of the master watchmaker, Parsons unravels the mystery behind the creation of his most precious and most brilliant work.

Parsons then heads to Israel to discover how, in the 1980s, the world's most expensive watch was stolen in a daring heist and went missing for over 20 years.

Revealing a little-known side of one of our favourite TV and radio hosts, the film offers a glimpse into Parsons's own private clock collection while also telling an enthralling tale of scientific invention, doomed decadence and daring robbery.


TUE 00:00 Stories from the Dark Earth: Meet the Ancestors Revisited (b01sbvzt)
Families of the Stone Age

Julian Richards returns to the excavation of two burials from the Stone Age - the grave of an entire Neolithic family in Dorset and a tomb on Orkney that is helping to reveal some strange and unexpected burial rites from over 5,000 years ago.


TUE 01:00 Top of the Pops (b07cl0cn)
Peter Powell presents the weekly pop chart show, first broadcast on 5 November 1981. Includes appearances from The Dukes, Jets, ABC, Modern Romance, The Police, Rush, Julio Iglesias, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and The Four Tops.


TUE 01:35 Top of the Pops (b07d7sdm)
Steve Wright presents the pop chart show, first broadcast on 19 November 1981. Includes appearances by Modern Romance, The Pretenders, Fun Boy Three, ABC, Trevor Walters, Julio Iglesias, Diana Ross, Soft Cell and Zoo.


TUE 02:15 Andrew Marr's The Making of Modern Britain (b00p7099)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 07 FEBRUARY 2018

WED 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b09qqrs1)
Series 1

07/02/2018

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


WED 19:30 Railways of the Great War with Michael Portillo (b04dbskt)
Keeping the War Moving

World War I was a railway war. Michael Portillo finds out how the railways helped to precipitate a mechanised war, shaped how it was fought, conveyed millions to the trenches and bore witness to its end. He takes to historic tracks to rediscover the locomotives and wagons of the war that was supposed to end all war and hears the stories of the gallant men and women who used them in life and in death.

Michael travels through Britain and northern France uncovering railway stories from the Great War. He gets hands-on experience of the miniature tracks and trains that kept supplies flowing to the front line and visits North Eastern Railway headquarters in York to find out about the Great War's forgotten railway leader. He hears the story of the Bath railway poet, and pays homage at the site of Britain's deadliest train crash in Quintinshill. Finally, Michael crosses the Channel to discover how the railways fed millions of men in the trenches from a depot in Abancourt.


WED 20:00 Secret Knowledge (b053pzmb)
Wondrous Obsessions: The Cabinet of Curiosities

As the popularity of collecting fairs and Pinterest would attest, we are a nation of magpie obsessions. Renaissance expert Professor Nandini Das reveals the story behind the Cabinet of Curiosities - the original collecting craze that began in Renaissance Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, and which is experiencing a surprising revival in the work of contemporary artists today.


WED 20:30 A Stitch in Time (b09qrf0s)
Series 1

Marie Antoinette

Fusing biography, art and the history of fashion, Amber Butchart explores the lives of historical figures through their clothes. She looks at Marie Antoinette.


WED 21:00 Queen Victoria's Children (b01pp965)
The Best Laid Plans...

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert shared a passionate marriage. Behind closed doors, royal domestic life often seemed like a battlefield.

In a 60-year family saga this new three-part series explores the reign of Victoria through her personal relationships with her husband and her nine children. It is a story of manipulation, conflict, intimidation, emotional blackmail, and fevered attempts by her children to escape the clutches of their domineering and needy mother.

The series uses a wealth of written material and photos left by Victoria, Albert and their children, including letters, diaries, memoirs and journals, to bring the subject and characters to life.

This first episode focuses on Victoria's tempestuous relationship with Prince Albert, their attempts to engineer the upbringing of their children and to save the monarchy by projecting a modern image of the royal family.


WED 22:00 The Birth of Empire: The East India Company (b042w0xt)
Original Series

Episode 1

Dan Snow travels through India in the footsteps of the company that revolutionised British lifestyles and laid the foundations for today's global trading systems.

Four hundred years ago, British merchants landed on the coast of India and founded a trading post to export goods to London. Over the next 200 years, their tiny business grew into a commercial titan. Using the letters and diaries of the men and women who were there, this documentary tells the story of the East India Company, which revolutionised British lifestyles, sparked a new age of speculation and profit, and by accident created one of the most powerful empires in history.

However, what was an inexorable rise in its fortunes also ended in ignominy. Dogged by allegations of greed, corruption and corporate excess, by the 1770s the company's reputation was in tatters. Blamed for turning its back as millions died in the Bengal famine, and thrown into crisis by a credit crunch in Britain, the world's most powerful company had run out of cash, sparking a government intervention.


WED 23:00 Timewatch (b0078w1y)
2004-2005

The Killer Wave of 1607

At 9am on 20 January 1607, a massive wave devastated the counties of the Bristol Channel. It came without warning, sweeping all before it. The flooding stretched inland as far as the Glastonbury Tor. Two hundred square miles of Somerset, Devon, Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire were inundated. Up to 2,000 people died. Yet for 400 years, the killer wave of 1607 has been forgotten. Timewatch relives the terror and the human tragedy of 1607 and follows the research of two scientists who are increasingly convinced that the wave was not simply a freak storm but a tsunami.


WED 23:50 Timeshift (b03gtg7g)
Series 13

When Coal Was King

Timeshift explores the lost world of coal mining and the extraordinarily rich social and cultural lives of those who worked in what was once Britain's most important industry. It's a story told through a largely forgotten film archive that movingly documents the final years of coal's heyday from the 1940s to the 1980s. One priceless piece of footage features a ballet performance by tutu-wearing colliers.

Featuring contributions from those who worked underground, those who lived in the pit villages, those who filmed them at work and at play and those - like Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall - who have been inspired by what made coalfield culture so unique.

Narrated by Christopher Eccleston.


WED 00:50 Top of the Pops (b07dxty1)
Mike Read presents the pop chart show, first broadcast on 26 November 1981. Includes appearances by Kim Wilde, Jets, Toyah, Kool & The Gang, Earth Wind & Fire, Cliff Richard, Ultravox, and Queen & David Bowie.


WED 01:25 Top of the Pops (b07g8r7s)
David 'Kid' Jensen presents the pop chart show, first broadcast on 3rd December 1981. Includes appearances from Bad Manners, Soft Cell, Duran Duran, Fun Boy Three, Godley & Creme, The Human League, Julio Iglesias and Zoo.


WED 02:00 Queen Victoria's Children (b01pp965)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



THURSDAY 08 FEBRUARY 2018

THU 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b09qqrtc)
Series 1

08/02/2018

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 (b09qrfrq)
John Peel and Janice Long present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 7 March 1985. Featuring Shakin' Stevens, Madonna, Jermaine Jackson and Dead Or Alive.


THU 20:00 Hugh Masekela: Welcome to South Africa (b00s6bln)
South African musician Hugh Masekela celebrates his 70th birthday and reflects on his career in performance and interview, from first picking up a trumpet in the 50s through the apartheid years, exile and stardom in America, his return to South Africa on Nelson Mandela's release, and concluding with his vision of the future for his country.

The programme also features performances from his 70th birthday concert at the Barbican in London in December 2009, where he was joined by the London Symphony Orchestra, their Community Choir and guest South African singers.


THU 21:00 Forces of Nature with Brian Cox (b07m57mz)
The Pale Blue Dot

In this final episode Professor Brian Cox travels to Iceland, where the delicate splendour of a moonbow reveals the colours that paint our world, and he visits a volcano to explain why the sun shines. By exploring how sunlight transforms the plains of the Serengeti, drives the annual migration of humpback whales to the Caribbean and paints the moon red during a lunar eclipse, Brian reveals the colour signature of our life-supporting planet.

Finally, at an observatory high in the Swiss Alps, he shows how these colours aren't simply beautiful, but that understanding how they're created is allowing us to search for other Earths far out in the cosmos.


THU 22:00 How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson (b055tb70)
Light

It was only a few centuries ago that the best source of light came from burning oil scooped out of a whale's head. Innovation expert Steven Johnson discovers the unsung heroes of invention in the surprising journey from the candle to the neon lights of Las Vegas and the world of lasers. And he explodes the myth of Thomas Edison's light-bulb moment of innovation.


THU 23:00 Calculating Ada: The Countess of Computing (p030s5bx)
Ada Lovelace was a most unlikely computer pioneer. In this film, Dr Hannah Fry tells the story of Ada's remarkable life. Born in the early 19th century, Ada was a countess of the realm, a scandalous socialite and an 'enchantress of numbers'. The film is an enthralling tale of how a life infused with brilliance, but blighted by illness and gambling addiction, helped give rise to the modern era of computing.

Hannah traces Ada's unlikely union with the father of computers, Charles Babbage. Babbage designed the world's first steam-powered computers - most famously the analytical engine - but it was Ada who realised the full potential of these new machines. During her own lifetime, Ada was most famous for being the daughter of romantic poet Lord Byron ('mad, bad and dangerous to know'). It was only with the advent of modern computing that Ada's understanding of their flexibility and power (that they could be far more than mere number crunchers) was recognised as truly visionary. Hannah explores how Ada's unique inheritance - poetic imagination and rational logic - made her the ideal prophet of the digital age.

This moving, intelligent and beautiful film makes you realise we nearly had a Victorian computer revolution.


THU 00:00 Top of the Pops (b09qrfrq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


THU 00:30 Elvis Costello: Mystery Dance (b03gq719)
Elvis Costello is one of the uncontested geniuses of the rock world. 33 albums and dozens of hit songs have established him as one of the most versatile and intelligent songwriters and performers of his generation. This film provides a definitive account of one of Britain's greatest living songwriters - the first portrait of its kind - directed by Mark Kidel, who was won numerous awards for his music documentaries, including portraits of Rod Stewart, Boy George, Tricky, Alfred Brendel, Ravi Shankar, John Adams and Robert Wyatt.

Elvis is a master of melody, but what distinguishes him above all is an almost uncanny way with words, from the playful use of the well-worn cliche to daring poetic associations, whether he is writing about the sorrow of love or the burning fire of desire, the power play of the bedroom or the world of politics.

The film tells the story of Elvis Costello - a childhood under the influence of his father Ross McManus, the singer with Joe Loss's popular dance band; a Catholic education which has clearly marked him deeply; his overnight success with The Attractions and subsequent disenchantment with the formatted pressures of the music business; a disillusionment which led him to reinvent himself a number of times; and writing and recording songs in various styles, including country, jazz, soul and classical.

The film focuses in particular on his collaborations with Paul McCartney and Allen Toussaint, who both contribute. It also features exclusive access to unreleased demos of songs written by McCartney and Costello. Elvis was interviewed in Liverpool, London and New York, revisiting the places in which he grew up. The main interview, shot over two days at the famed Avatar Studios in NYC, is characterised by unusual intimacy. Elvis talks for the first time at great length about his career, songwriting and music, and often breaks into song with relevant examples from his repertoire.


THU 01:30 Hugh Masekela: Welcome to South Africa (b00s6bln)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


THU 02:30 Forces of Nature with Brian Cox (b07m57mz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



FRIDAY 09 FEBRUARY 2018

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b09qqrvx)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (b09qrggd)
Richard Skinner and Simon Bates present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 4 April 1985. Featuring Glenn Frey, Phyllis Nelson, The Cool Notes, David Grant & Jaki Graham, and Phillip Bailey & Phil Collins.


FRI 20:00 Sounds of the Sixties (b072w25j)
Reversions

1964-6 The Beat Room 2

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


FRI 20:10 The Good Old Days (b09qrggg)
Leonard Sachs presents the old-time music hall programme, first broadcast on 16 July 1981. Featuring Roy Castle, Clive Dunn, Anna Dawson, Maryetta and Vernon Midgley, Dudley Stevens, The Cambridge Buskers, and members of the Players' Theatre, London.


FRI 21:00 Classic Albums (b08pg5tq)
Carly Simon: No Secrets

Carly Simon is one of the most influential singer-songwriters of her generation. The classic album that made her a global star was No Secrets, which included the enigmatic song You're So Vain. The album spent five weeks at number one in the US chart.

In this new interview Carly ties together her life and work on No Secrets - she is at her most honest, sometimes defiant, but with a wit and wisdom that comes from her rich and turbulent life. She tells of how the second single from the album, Right Thing to Do, was a refreshingly realistic love song, choosing to ignore her lover's problems. That lover was James Taylor; Carly wrote the lyrics on a plane after looking over at James and thinking 'there's nothing you can do to turn me away.'

The album's title track, We Have No Secrets, struck a chord with a generation trying to reconcile honesty in relationships with the emotional consequences that followed. Carly had a number of highly public affairs in the early 70s and her experience fed into the album's most famous song, the global hit You're So Vain. She performs the missing fourth verse on the piano, the first time she has ever sung it along with the melody.

Carly tells of how her producer made her do the vocal track on 'Vain' over and over, and how Mick Jagger ended up on backing vocals. The film has access to the master tapes and we hear Jagger's vocal track. Her producer reveals Carly was 'so turned on' after singing with Jagger that she recorded the whole vocal again - and that is the one on the album.

Finally, the film includes footage of Taylor Swift and Carly Simon performing You're So Vain together, and extracts from an interview where Swift herself talks about her love for the song.


FRI 22:00 Rock 'n' Roll Guns for Hire: The Story of the Sideman (b08xdlts)
Film shining a spotlight on the untold story of the sidemen, the musicians behind some of the greatest artists of all time. The sidemen are the forgotten 'guns for hire' that changed musical history. Featuring interviews with Mick Jagger, Billy Joel and Keith Richards, taking viewers from the 1960s to today, via global stars such as Prince, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and Beyonce.


FRI 23:30 Top of the Pops (b09qrggd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]


FRI 00:05 50s Britannia (b01sgbw2)
Rock 'n' Roll Britannia

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

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

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


FRI 01:05 Classic Albums (b08pg5tq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 02:05 Rock 'n' Roll Guns for Hire: The Story of the Sideman (b08xdlts)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]




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

50s Britannia 00:05 FRI (b01sgbw2)

A Stitch in Time 20:30 WED (b09qrf0s)

Andrew Marr's The Making of Modern Britain 20:00 TUE (b00p7099)

Andrew Marr's The Making of Modern Britain 02:15 TUE (b00p7099)

Arena 22:00 SUN (b09gvgj8)

Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection 02:45 SUN (b09q02kn)

Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection 21:00 TUE (b09qrbvd)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 MON (b09qqrq7)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 TUE (b09qqrrb)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 WED (b09qqrs1)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 THU (b09qqrtc)

Calculating Ada: The Countess of Computing 23:00 THU (p030s5bx)

Classic Albums 21:00 FRI (b08pg5tq)

Classic Albums 01:05 FRI (b08pg5tq)

Elvis Costello: Mystery Dance 00:30 THU (b03gq719)

Elvis: That's Alright Mama 60 Years On 00:10 SAT (b04c3l7g)

Forces of Nature with Brian Cox 21:00 THU (b07m57mz)

Forces of Nature with Brian Cox 02:30 THU (b07m57mz)

Horizon 23:00 MON (b08tj2zr)

How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson 22:00 THU (b055tb70)

Hugh Masekela: Welcome to South Africa 20:00 THU (b00s6bln)

Hugh Masekela: Welcome to South Africa 01:30 THU (b00s6bln)

Hull's Headscarf Heroes 21:00 MON (b09r8jvr)

Hull's Headscarf Heroes 02:15 MON (b09r8jvr)

Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors 22:00 TUE (b08sqxk1)

Natural World 20:00 SAT (b08r3xh9)

Natural World 02:10 SAT (b08r3xh9)

Only Connect 19:00 SUN (b09qmqds)

Queen Victoria's Children 21:00 WED (b01pp965)

Queen Victoria's Children 02:00 WED (b01pp965)

Railways of the Great War with Michael Portillo 19:30 MON (b04dbrkp)

Railways of the Great War with Michael Portillo 19:30 TUE (b04dbs8k)

Railways of the Great War with Michael Portillo 19:30 WED (b04dbskt)

Rock 'n' Roll Guns for Hire: The Story of the Sideman 22:00 FRI (b08xdlts)

Rock 'n' Roll Guns for Hire: The Story of the Sideman 02:05 FRI (b08xdlts)

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

Scotland's Vital Spark: The Clyde Puffer 21:00 SUN (b06s5n0f)

Secret Knowledge 20:00 WED (b053pzmb)

Sicily: The Wonder of the Mediterranean 19:00 SAT (b08cwrg9)

Sicily: The Wonder of the Mediterranean 01:10 SAT (b08cwrg9)

Sounds of the Sixties 20:00 FRI (b072w25j)

Spiral 21:00 SAT (b09qrc3w)

Spiral 22:00 SAT (b09qrc3z)

Stanley Spencer: The Colours of the Clyde 23:15 SUN (b03yggd0)

Stories from the Dark Earth: Meet the Ancestors Revisited 00:00 TUE (b01sbvzt)

The Birth of Empire: The East India Company 22:00 WED (b042w0xt)

The Good Old Days 20:10 FRI (b09qrggg)

The Incredible Story of Marie Antoinette's Watch with Nicholas Parsons 23:00 TUE (b07xtbhr)

The Story of Maths 23:45 SUN (b00f3n43)

The Story of Maths 00:45 SUN (b00f7zsk)

This World 20:00 SUN (b01pfvns)

This World 01:45 SUN (b01pfvns)

Timeshift 22:00 MON (b00nrtj6)

Timeshift 23:50 WED (b03gtg7g)

Timewatch 23:00 WED (b0078w1y)

Top of the Pops 23:05 SAT (b09q38h2)

Top of the Pops 23:40 SAT (b09q3ccs)

Top of the Pops 01:00 MON (b07c433m)

Top of the Pops 01:40 MON (b07ckwvv)

Top of the Pops 01:00 TUE (b07cl0cn)

Top of the Pops 01:35 TUE (b07d7sdm)

Top of the Pops 00:50 WED (b07dxty1)

Top of the Pops 01:25 WED (b07g8r7s)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b09qrfrq)

Top of the Pops 00:00 THU (b09qrfrq)

Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (b09qrggd)

Top of the Pops 23:30 FRI (b09qrggd)

Ultimate Swarms 20:00 MON (p01dn81f)

University Challenge 19:30 SUN (b09qmqdv)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b09qqrvx)