The BBC has announced that it has a sustainable plan for the future of the BBC Singers, in association with The VOCES8 Foundation.
The threat to reduce the staff of the three English orchestras by 20% has not been lifted, but it is being reconsidered.
See the BBC press release here.

Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4 Contact

Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by


SAT 19:00 Nature's Epic Journeys (b07czmbl)

Thousands of zebra face lions, hunting dogs, drought and starvation as they undertake the world's most recently discovered migration. Braving one of Botswana's most brutal wildernesses, they make Africa's longest land migration to reach the rich grasslands of Nxai Pan National Park.

Liz Bonnin leads a team of scientists and film-makers using cutting-edge technology to attempt something that has never been done before - following the zebra on the ground, every step of the way, to reveal the secrets behind this brand new discovery.

SAT 20:00 Tales from the Royal Bedchamber (b0386lxs)
Lucy Worsley gets into bed with our past monarchs to uncover the tales from the royal bedchamber. She reveals that our obsession with royal bedrooms, births and succession is nothing new. In fact, the rise and fall of their magnificent beds reflects the changing fortunes of the monarchy itself.

SAT 21:00 Inspector Montalbano (b0b3tj4f)

A local shop is burned down in a clear case of arson. Its owner seems to have disappeared into thin air. Montalbano investigates, but is also kept busy by multiple reports of strange kidnappings in which female victims are abducted and released unharmed shortly after, with all of their possessions untouched and for no apparent reason.

In Italian with English subtitles.

SAT 22:50 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 23:50 Britain's Treasure Islands (b077rl5m)
Ocean Odyssey

Naturalist Stewart McPherson's exploration of the British Overseas Territories begins in Bermuda in the North Atlantic, where he finds ancient castles and a bird that had been thought extinct for more than 300 years.

Stewart then travels to the British Indian Ocean Territory, which lies halfway between Tanzania and Indonesia, where he comes across the world's biggest land invertebrate. He eventually reaches Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific, where he meets the descendants of the mutineers of the Bounty.

SAT 00:50 Top of the Pops (b0b23fcv)
Simon Bates and Peter Powell present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 19 September 1985. Featuring Red Box, Madonna, Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, and David Bowie & Mick Jagger.

SAT 01:20 Nature's Epic Journeys (b07czmbl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SAT 02:20 Tales from the Royal Bedchamber (b0386lxs)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SUNDAY 20 MAY 2018

SUN 19:00 Timewatch (b00sl29f)
Atlantis: The Evidence

Historian Bettany Hughes unravels one of the most intriguing mysteries of all time. She presents a series of geological, archaeological and historical clues to show that the legend of Atlantis was inspired by a real historical event, the greatest natural disaster of the ancient world.

SUN 20:00 How to Build... a Nuclear Submarine (b00syt1w)
Fourteen years in the making and costing over a billion pounds, the Astute nuclear submarine is one of the most technologically advanced machines in the world, and for over a year the BBC filmed its construction inside one of the most secure and secret places in the country.

An amazing piece of British engineering or a controversial waste of tax payers' money? This documentary allows viewers to make up their own minds.

Among many of the workers, the film features Erin Browne, a 19-year-old apprentice electrician who wires up the boat; Commander Paul Knight, responsible for the safety of the nuclear reactor; and Derek Parker, whose job involves moving massive pieces of the submarine that weigh hundreds of tons into position before the welding team join them together.

Amazing computer graphics take us inside the construction of the submarine itself, giving a blueprint of the design, the life support systems and the weaponry, and help illustrate the areas that national security precluded filming in.

The story also takes a dramatic turn when an unforeseen event means the submarine has to sail into the open sea - for the first time - during one of the wettest and windiest weekends of the year.

SUN 21:00 The Greatest Tomb on Earth: Secrets of Ancient China (b080396k)
From the depths of the greatest tomb on earth comes an epic new story that could rewrite history, revealing for the first time the true origin of one of the world's most powerful nations: China.

In this landmark film, historian Dan Snow, physical anthropologist Professor Alice Roberts and scientist and explorer Dr Albert Lin investigate a series of earth-shattering discoveries at the mighty tomb guarded by the Terracotta Warriors, a site two hundred times bigger than Egypt's Valley of the Kings and the final resting place of China's first emperor.

Mobilising the latest technology, delving into some of the oldest texts, enlisting world experts and employing forensic science, together the three reveal an explosive secret from the foundations of the Chinese empire.

SUN 22:00 Dina (b0b49py6)
Dina's getting married in a few weeks and there's still so much to do. Her boyfriend, Scott, is moving in. This is a big deal as her flat will be the second home he's ever lived in. She has to get her dress, confirm all the arrangements, and make peace with her family. They worry for Dina, after the death of her first husband and the string of troubled relationships that followed. Throughout it all Dina remains indomitable. She's overcome tragedy and tough life challenges to find independence, the man she wants and, at 48, is bent on building the future that she now believes she deserves in this intimate, fascinating love story.

SUN 23:35 British Gardens in Time (b04092n6)
Great Dixter

Great Dixter lays claim to being the most innovative, spectacular and provocative garden of the 20th century. Made famous by the much-loved eccentric plantsman and writer Christopher Lloyd, who used the garden as a living laboratory and documented his experiments in a weekly column in Country Life, Great Dixter began life as a Gertrude Jekyll-inspired Arts and Crafts garden surrounding a house designed by Edwin Lutyens.

The Lloyd family created Dixter just before the outbreak of the First World War with the intention of establishing a rural idyll for Christo and his five siblings. Dixter was to be both Christo's horticultural nursery and the setting for his rebellion in late middle age as he finally threw off the shackles of his intense bond with his mother to make the garden and his life his own.

SUN 00:35 Science and Islam (b00gvg7w)
The Power of Doubt

Physicist Jim Al-Khalili tells the story of the great leap in scientific knowledge that took place in the Islamic world between the 8th and 14th centuries.

Al-Khalili turns detective, hunting for clues that show how the scientific revolution that took place in the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe had its roots in the earlier world of medieval Islam. He travels across Iran, Syria and Egypt to discover the huge astronomical advances made by Islamic scholars through their obsession with accurate measurement and coherent and rigorous mathematics.

He then visits Italy to see how those Islamic ideas permeated into the west and ultimately helped shape the works of the great European astronomer Copernicus, and investigates why science in the Islamic world appeared to go into decline after the 16th and 17th centuries, only for it to re-emerge in the present day.

Al-Khalili ends his journey in the Royan Institute in the Iranian capital Tehran, looking at how science is now regarded in the Islamic world.

SUN 01:35 Timewatch (b00sl29f)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SUN 02:35 How to Build... a Nuclear Submarine (b00syt1w)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MONDAY 21 MAY 2018

MON 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b0b3lmlq)
Series 1


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

MON 19:30 Civilisations Stories (b0b1bhhd)
Series 1

The First Refugees

Fashion historian Amber Butchart unravels the story of 'the first refugees'. The Huguenot silk weavers of Spitalfields made a perilous journey to Britain over 300 years ago and left a legacy of industry, great riches and artistic masterpieces.

This is one of history's most important stories of migration.

MON 20:00 Timewatch (b016ltm0)
Code-Breakers: Bletchley Park's Lost Heroes

Documentary that reveals the secret story behind one of the greatest intellectual feats of World War II, a feat that gave birth to the digital age. In 1943, a 24-year-old maths student and a GPO engineer combined to hack into Hitler's personal super-code machine - not Enigma but an even tougher system, which he called his 'secrets writer'. Their break turned the Battle of Kursk, powered the D-day landings and orchestrated the end of the conflict in Europe. But it was also to be used during the Cold War - which meant both men's achievements were hushed up and never officially recognised.

MON 21:00 Royal Wives at War (p03bhsd6)
A revealing new look at the abdication crisis of 1936 through the eyes of the two women at its very heart. In a series of dramatised monologues set in 1967, Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Wallis Simpson look back at the dramatic events which led to King Edward VIII giving up the throne for the woman he loved.

Combining drama reconstructions, archive footage and a chorus of acquaintances and biographers, Royal Wives at War returns to some of the original words and opinions of the two women at the heart of that battle and unravels the story of a frosty relationship between the Queen Mother and Wallis that lasted for decades.

MON 22:00 Castles: Britain's Fortified History (b04t6n19)
Instruments of Invasion

Sam Willis looks at the history of the castle from its first appearance with the Normans in 1066 to the longest siege on English soil at Kenilworth Castle 200 years later. The castle arrived as an instrument of invasion but soon became a weapon with which unruly barons challenged the Crown. Tintagel Castle, the place where King Arthur is said to have been conceived, is also on the itinerary. It remains one of the most evocative of castles to this day, drawing visitors from around the world with its tales of myth and legend.

MON 23:00 The Secret Life of the Motorway (b007x58q)
Falling in Love

Documentary series which celebrates the birth of motorways and hails the achievements of those behind the 'road revolution'. The first episode takes us from the excitement of the building of the first motorway in Britain, the M6 Preston By-pass, to the celebration of the most complex, Spaghetti Junction.

With amazing archive and often hilarious public information films, we take a trip back to a time when not only were motorways exciting and new, but there was also no speed limit. Interviews with the engineers who designed them, the navvies who built them and the people who drove on them bring to life and celebrate an achievement that we now take so much for granted.

MON 00:00 Clydebuilt: The Ships that Made the Commonwealth (p01n4kb7)
Cutty Sark

David Hayman explores the stories of four ships, built on the river Clyde, that helped forge links with countries throughout the Commonwealth of Nations - from iconic ships such as Cutty Sark and HMS Hood to the lesser-known CS Mackay-Bennett, a ship that laid the foundations of a Victorian communications revolution and played a crucial role in the world's worst maritime disaster.

Also, David investigates the story of a paddle steamer called Robert E. Lee and the controversial role Glasgow shipbuilders and captains played in the American Civil War. Cutty Sark, built on a tributary of the River Clyde near Glasgow and launched in 1869, is one of the most famous ships in the world.

In this programme, David Hayman travels to Australia to uncover the links Cutty Sark forged with this Commonwealth country, and to reflect on her legacy. It's a story of adventure, money, mutiny and murder. Ravaged by fire in 2007, Cutty Sark has been restored and today stands as a testament to the craftsmanship and ingenuity of Scottish ship designers.

MON 01:00 Kew's Forgotten Queen (b07xjghp)
Within Kew Gardens stands an extraordinary gallery, celebrating the work of one of the most prolific botanical artists of the Victorian age. At a time when women barely left their parlour rooms, Marianne North's globetrotting exploits defied convention as she travelled alone at the height of the British Empire. From Borneo and Brazil to Japan, South Africa, Australia and India, she fearlessly navigated the world twice over in her pursuit of capturing every living plant on canvas.

Actress Emilia Fox tells the story of how this Victorian rebel changed the face of botanical research, propelling her to the top of a male-dominated world of science and exploration, gaining the admiration of Charles Darwin and even Queen Victoria. Retracing Marianne's footsteps and her passion for the natural world, Emilia revisits the awe-inspiring locations of some of her greatest experiences.

With exclusive access to Kew Gardens and Marianne's wealth of personal memoirs, letters and paintings, this is a tantalising tale of a visionary who rejected marriage and social convention for a pioneering life of conservation and adventure. Her artistic legacy remains as mesmerising today as it was in 1882 when her gallery opened at Kew Gardens.

MON 02:00 Timewatch (b016ltm0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 03:00 Royal Wives at War (p03bhsd6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b0b3lmlx)
Series 1


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

TUE 19:30 Iolo's Snowdonia (b09qqnxv)
Series 1

Episode 1

Iolo starts his journey during spring in Nant Ffrancon in the Ogwen Valley where he finds one of Britain's most-threatened birds - the twite. Mountain guide Hannah Hughes takes him high up above the stunning glacial landscape of Cwm Idwal for a spectacular view of the high peaks. On the slopes of Snowdon, bluebells bloom, while shepherd Hefin Hughes keeps sheep off arctic plants. On the foothills of the Rhinog Mountains, cuckoos call. Iolo heads to a wonderful hidden river gorge in full flow and listens to the best dawn chorus in Snowdonia in an ancient woodland. He joins Josie Bridges, who is part of a team tracking pine martens that were released in mid-Wales during 2015 after apparently disappearing from the whole of Wales over 50 years ago. A family of pine martens has made its way to Snowdonia, a journey of around 50 miles from the release site. Iolo also discovers a relic of a past landscape. Bird Rock, an imposing crag in the Dysynni Valley, may have once overlooked the sea, and to this day cormorants still nest on the rock - it being Wales's only inland nesting colony.

TUE 20:00 Tomorrow's Worlds: The Unearthly History of Science Fiction (p026c7jt)

Dominic Sandbrook continues his exploration of the most innovative and imaginative of all genres with a look at science fiction's fascination with aliens. But what if we don't meet aliens in space and instead they come to earth - to conquer us?

Dominic and leading writers and film-makers look at science fiction's obsession with alien invasion, from all-out assault to sinister hidden threats, and how it has reflected real-life anxieties - whether they be the challenge to Victorian imperial power of HG Wells's War of the Worlds, the Cold War-era paranoia of Invasion of the Body Snatchers or more recent concerns about racism and immigration in District 9.

And we celebrate the most famous alien invaders of all - the Daleks.

Among the contributors are David Tennant and Steven Moffat (Doctor Who), Richard Dreyfuss (Close Encounters of the Third Kind), director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day) and special effects maestros Phil Tippett (Jurassic Park) and Doug Trumbull (Close Encounters).

TUE 21:00 The Vikings Uncovered (b076r0sr)
Dan Snow uncovers the lost Vikings in America with space archaeologist Dr Sarah Parcak. Sarah uses satellites 383 miles above the earth to spot ruins as small as 30cm buried beneath the surface. As Sarah searches for Viking sites from Britain to America, Dan explores how they voyaged thousands of miles when most ships never left the shoreline. He also tracks their expansion west, first as raiders and then as settlers and traders throughout Britain and beyond to Iceland and Greenland. In North America they excavate what could be the most westerly Viking settlement ever discovered.

Lisa MacHale
Dudley Cruse.

TUE 22:30 Secret Knowledge (b03z08mv)
Hogarth - One Man and His Pug

To mark 250 years since William Hogarth's death, ceramics expert and self-confessed Hogarth fanatic Lars Tharp is determined to solve a mystery that has consumed his personal and professional life - the case of Hogarth's lost pug.

In this unique shaggy dog story, Tharp explains Hogarth's obsession with this most characterful of breeds and the pivotal role it played in his life and his work. A canine odyssey that only examines one of his most iconic works of art, but leads us into a world of satire, salaciousness and secrets. From harlots and rakes to the shadowy machinations of the freemasons, Tharp's ultimate goal is to lead an appeal to the nation to help him recover a rare piece of long-lost Hogarth memorabilia - a precious terracotta sculpture of his beloved pet pug.

For Tharp, this is the perfect moment in which to pay tribute to a man whom he regards as our greatest and most influential artist - and what better way to explore a man famed for his wit and humour than on the trail of his most iconic and idiosyncratic four-legged companion.

TUE 23:00 Mud, Sweat and Tractors: The Story of Agriculture (b00jwcb1)

Documentary series looking at the history of 20th-century farming in Britain opens by focusing on milk.

In the early years of the century, 150,000 dairy farmers milked by hand and sold milk door to door. By the end of the century, the 15,000 that were left were breeding cows that increased yields by 400 per cent and milk was sold through supermarkets.

This episode features the home movies and stories of two dairy farmers who survived to tell the story of how and why the revolution happened.

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

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

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

TUE 01:00 Timeshift (p01k49cg)
Series 13

Bouffants, Beehives and Bobs: The Hairstyles That Shaped Britain

It is said that the average woman gets through around 30 hairstyles in a lifetime, with some changing their look entirely every 15 months. Timeshift takes a loving and sometimes horrified look back at the iconic hairdos and 'must have' haircuts that both men and women in Britain have flirted with over the past 60 years.

And it's some journey... from the meringue-like confections of Raymond 'Teasy Weasy' via the geometric 'bob' cuts of Vidal Sassoon, stopping off to take in the 'big hair' heyday of bouffants and beehives, and not forgetting the mullet, the feather cut and the ultimate 'bad hair day' look of 1970s perms.

Our hair is the one part of our identity we can change in an instant and which speaks volumes about who we are, where we've come from and where we're going. Today, young women are revisiting hair fashions of an earlier generation - big hair and blowdrying are back in demand, whilst many young men sport Edwardian 'peaky blinder' short back and sides.

Narrated by Wayne Hemingway.

TUE 02:00 The Vikings Uncovered (b076r0sr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b0b3lmm8)
Series 1


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

WED 19:30 The Culture Show (b03xg9wp)

Henri Matisse - A Cut Above the Rest

Matisse was one of the most celebrated painters of the 20th century. Even in his own lifetime, he enjoyed a level of popularity envied by other artists. But in 1941, after a near-fatal operation for cancer, he decided to give up painting and sought a new way of drawing in colour. Scissors replaced a paintbrush and with the unique skill of a tailor, he set about creating his now famous cut-outs, which have yet to be rivalled for their originality and daring.

To coincide with a major Tate Modern exhibition in April, Alastair Sooke presents a moving and intimate portrait, with contributions from the Tate's Nicholas Serota, biographer Hilary Spurling and Jacqueline Duheme, who worked with Matisse in the late 1940s at this critical turning point in his career.

WED 20:00 Caribbean with Simon Reeve (p02l5269)
Episode 1

Simon begins his journey around the Caribbean on the island of Hispaniola and its two very different countries - the Dominican Republic, a tourist hotspot, and Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere. He ends this first leg on Puerto Rico, a Caribbean island that is practically America's 51st state.

From flying boats to drug busts, Simon explores both the light and dark sides of the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean's most popular tourist destination. He joins the police anti-narcotics division on the front line in the war against international drug cartels in Santo Domingo before crossing the border to Haiti, where he visits the notorious tented camps of Cite Soleil. These slums remain home to many of the survivors of the worst earthquake to hit the island in two centuries. From voodoo ceremonies to dolphin watching, Simon also discovers a vibrant, colourful and thriving side to life in Haiti borne out of the country's unique history.

Finally, Simon reaches Puerto Rico, an island with close ties to the USA. He visits the tiny, paradisiacal island of Vieques, billed as the Caribbean's next major tourist destination. However, not everything here is as it seems, as Simon examines the impact six decades of bombing and weapons testing by the US Navy and Army has had on the landscape of this tiny island and on the people who live there.

WED 21:00 Big Sky, Big Dreams, Big Art: Made in the USA (b0b4fz5n)
Series 1

Episode 1

Series looking at American art. The first episode is set in the Wild West and begins with the sublime art of the Hudson River School, whose 19th-century evocations of the vastness of America did so much to fuel the myth of the promised land. Another huge influence was the mysterious rock art of Native Americans, which set a stirring precedent for non-naturalistic painting. The film culminates in a celebration of Jackson Pollock, born in Cody, Wyoming, who arrived in New York wearing a Stetson and cowboy boots, and whose famous drip paintings were influenced heavily by both the moods of the American west and the example of Native American artists.

WED 22:00 Black and British: A Forgotten History (b082w9p9)
First Encounters

Historian David Olusoga explores the enduring relationship between Britain and people whose origins lie in Africa. From the African Romans who guarded Hadrian's Wall in the 3rd century AD to the black trumpeter of the Tudor courts, David uncovers a history that is as surprising as it is revealing.

WED 23:00 Fighting for King and Empire: Britain's Caribbean Heroes (b05v08b7)
This programme is based on a film entitled Divided By Race - United in War and Peace, produced by

During the Second World War, thousands of men and women from the Caribbean colonies volunteered to come to Britain to join the fight against Hitler. They risked their lives for king and empire, but their contribution has largely been forgotten.

Some of the last surviving Caribbean veterans tell their extraordinary wartime stories - from torpedo attacks by German U-boats and the RAF's blanket-bombing of Germany to the culture shock of Britain's freezing winters and war-torn landscapes. This brave sacrifice confronted the pioneers from the Caribbean with a lifelong challenge - to be treated as equals by the British government and the British people.

In testimony full of wit and charm, the veterans candidly reveal their experiences as some of the only black people in wartime Britain. They remember encounters with a curious British public and confrontation with the prejudices of white American GIs stationed in Britain.

After the war, many veterans returned to the Caribbean where they discovered jobs were scarce. Some came back to Britain to help rebuild its cities. They settled down with jobs and homes, got married and began to integrate their rich heritage into British culture. Now mostly in their 80s and 90s - the oldest is 104 - these pioneers from the Caribbean have helped transform Britain and created an enduring multicultural legacy.

With vivid first-hand testimony, observational documentary and rare archive footage, the programme gives a unique perspective on the Second World War and the history of 20th-century Britain.

WED 00:00 Clydebuilt: The Ships that Made the Commonwealth (p01n8jf6)
Robert E Lee

The story of the Robert E Lee, one of the most famous Clydebuilt blockade-running paddle steamers. During the American Civil War, Glasgow shipbuilders and captains made a fortune running the supplies of war to the Confederate South and bringing out valuable cotton. To run the blockade of Union warships these paddle steamers had to be fast and their crews fearless. Glasgow provided both but Britain was neutral and these ships shouldn't have been anywhere near someone else's war.

WED 01:00 The Greatest Tomb on Earth: Secrets of Ancient China (b080396k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Sunday]

WED 02:00 Caribbean with Simon Reeve (p02l5269)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 03:00 Big Sky, Big Dreams, Big Art: Made in the USA (b0b4fz5n)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b0b3lmmf)
Series 1


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

THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b0b3lnml)
Janice Long and Dixie Peach present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 26 September 1985. Featuring Depeche Mode, Billy Idol, Jennifer Rush, The Style Council, Bonnie Tyler and David Bowie & Mick Jagger.

THU 20:00 The Sky at Night (b0b3lnks)


Galaxies are the building blocks of the universe. Our solar system sits inside a huge galaxy that we call the Milky Way - home to as many as 300 billion stars. But the Milky Way is itself just one of hundreds of billions of galaxies in the observable universe. Over the last 60 years of broadcasting, the Sky at Night has covered every major story of discovery about the galaxies, and in this film presenter Chris Lintott uses this archive to reveal the deepest secrets of galaxies, from their earliest beginnings to their very ends.

From the first galaxy ever discovered through to today's cutting edge attempts to map our own Milky Way, this is a story of incredible ingenuity, extraordinary technology and spectacular discoveries. We'll discover how galaxies work - from the secrets of their spiral arms to the dramatic events that drive their evolution - uncovering a weird and wonderful menagerie of objects along the way. Ultimately, the discovery of the galaxies is also the story of how we found our place in the cosmos, and discovered answers to some of the biggest questions in the Universe.

THU 21:00 Missions (b0b3q6ps)
Series 1


French sci-fi drama series. The rescued man is a reminder to Jeanne of her father's interest in space, and Mars.

THU 21:20 Missions (b0b3q6px)
Series 1


French sci-fi drama series. The crew has a sobering encounter with potential rescuers, and Jeanne tries to hypnotize the enigmatic Komarov.

THU 21:45 Horizon (b09574pc)

Mars - A Traveller's Guide

The dream of sending humans to Mars is closer than ever before. In fact, many scientists think that the first person to set foot on the Red Planet is alive today. But where should the first explorers visit when they get there? Horizon has gathered the world's leading experts on Mars and asked them where they would go if they got the chance - and what would they need to survive?

Using incredible real images and data, Horizon brings these Martian landmarks to life - from vast plains to towering volcanoes, from deep valleys to hidden underground caverns. This film also shows where to land, where to live and even where to hunt for traces of extraterrestrial life.

This is the ultimate traveller's guide to Mars.

THU 22:00 NASA: Triumph and Tragedy (b00lk0jq)
One Giant Leap

In 2009, NASA celebrates the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing. This documentary series offers audiences a unique chance to glimpse an astronaut's view of spaceflight. It is an epic story of heroes and their breathtaking successes as they further humanity's innate desire to explore.

The white-knuckle suspense thriller of Apollo 13's famous near-disaster was only a prelude to darker moments ahead. The launch of the space shuttle programme promised routine trips to earth orbit for many new astronauts, but, just when that promise seemed fulfilled, routine shuttle launches began to bore the public. NASA responded by training a school teacher to fly, in order to teach children lessons from space, but Christa McAuliffe's life was tragically cut short as she and the rest of the crew perished aboard the shuttle Challenger, leading to all missions being halted. Eventually the shuttle returned to orbit, but, after 15 years of successful missions, disaster struck again with the shocking loss of Columbia. It marked the beginning of the end for the space shuttle.

THU 23:00 Pain, Pus and Poison: The Search for Modern Medicines (p01f51z4)

Pain has a profound effect on our bodies - when we are experiencing it, millions of nerve cells deep within our brains are firing, telling us 'it hurts' - and for centuries the challenge has been to find something that will lessen or even switch off these sensations to bring us relief. Dr Michael Mosley discovers just what pain is, why we want to control it and how we ultimately did it when the discovery of morphine, the world's first pharmaceutical, at the beginning of the 19th century led to a 200-year journey of scientific breakthrough, discovery and self-experimentation.

THU 00:00 Clydebuilt: The Ships that Made the Commonwealth (p01n8dv0)
HMS Hood

In this episode, David Hayman meets some of the men who sailed on HMS Hood. He travels to Scapa Flow to experience what life was like for the hundreds of people working to protect the vital North Atlantic convoys.

In Australia, he uncovers the legacy of her flag-waving visits and he tries his hand at riveting to understand what it took to make this battlecruiser strong and watertight. David also investigates why this 'mighty' ship was flawed from the very day she was launched.

THU 01:05 Top of the Pops (b0b3lnml)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 01:35 The Sky at Night (b0b3lnks)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

THU 02:35 NASA: Triumph and Tragedy (b00lk0jq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

FRIDAY 25 MAY 2018

FRI 19:00 World News Today (b0b3lmml)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 Biggest Weekend (b0b4cm28)
Father John Misty and Courtney Barnett

Lauren Laverne and Colin Murray present coverage of the Biggest Weekend from the Titanic Slipway in Belfast, with highlights of the opening performance of the day from the mercurial Josh Tillman, aka Father John Misty, in a unique collaboration with the Ulster Orchestra, with arrangements of songs from his four albums including the just-released God's Favourite Customer.

Also featuring songs from Melbourne-based garage rocker Courtney Barnett, whose melodic but scuzzy rock 'n' roll blends slacker sentiments with a caustic eye for human folly, and who has just released her second album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, to further widespread acclaim.

FRI 20:00 Biggest Weekend (b0b4czwj)
Manic Street Preachers and The Breeders

Lauren Laverne and Colin Murray host the indie rock royalty summit, featuring a full set from Manic Street Preachers. First formed in 1986 and now a restless institution, the band are celebrating the release of their thirteenth album, the anthemic Resistance Is Futile, with which they have reached the number two spot for the fifth time. They are returning to Belfast, where they have played many times over the years, including a 'legendary' gig at the Limelight in 1990.

Also featuring songs from the set of the reformed Breeders, lead by sisters Kim and Kelley Deal and Josephine Wiggs. After an extended hiatus, they have just released their fifth album, All Nerve. The Breeders are Ohio-based and first formed by Kim Deal as a side project from The Pixies. They released their debut album Pod in 1990.

FRI 21:00 Biggest Weekend (b0b4d7bh)

Lauren Laverne and Colin Murray host Beck's live set from the 6 Music-curated, Belfast-based opening night of the Biggest Weekend. Beck and band are currently touring his thirteenth studio album, Colors, which finds the LA-based enigma in the funky form that lead to his 1994 breakthrough album Odelay.

FRI 22:00 Biggest Weekend (b0b4d7bk)

Lauren Laverne and Colin Murray host a stunning live set from the reformed and rejuvenated Hartnoll brothers, British dance music royalty, with their chiming sonic landscape and stuttering beats. They got back together in 2017 and prepare to hunch over their equipment, wave their iconic torch glasses and bring awe and amazement to Belfast yet again.

FRI 23:30 One-Hit Wonders at the BBC (b05r7nxx)
Compilation of some indelible hits by artists we hardly heard from again, at least in a chart sense. Featuring Peter Sarstedt's Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)? - a number one in 1969 and a hit he never really matched, Trio's 1982 smash Da Da Da, Phyllis Nelson's 1985 lovers rock-style classic Move Closer, and The New Radicals' 1999 hit You Get What You Give.

We travel through the years selecting some of your favourite number ones and a few others that came close, revealing what's happened to the one-off hitmakers since and exploring the unwritten laws that help make sense of the one-hit wonder phenomenon.

FRI 00:30 Agnetha: ABBA and After (b02x9zwc)
In this documentary, the BBC have exclusive access to Agnetha Faltskog, 'The Girl with the Golden Hair' as the song goes, celebrating her extraordinary singing career which began in the mid-60s when she was just 15. Within just two years, she was a singing sensation at the top of the charts in Sweden.

Along came husband Bjorn Ulvaeus and the phenomenal band ABBA that engulfed the world in the 70s, featuring Agnetha's touching voice and striking looks. Agnetha lacked confidence on stage as the global demand for the group grew and grew, while being away from her young children caused her great turmoil.

With special behind-the-scenes access to the making of her comeback album, the film follows this reluctant star - the subject of much tabloid speculation since she retreated from the stage post-ABBA - as she returns to recording aged 63. Included in the film is her first meeting with Gary Barlow, who contributes a duet to the new album.

The programme features interviews with Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Gary Barlow, Tony Blackburn, Sir Tim Rice and record producers Peter Nordahl and Jorgen Elofsson.

FRI 01:30 Oh You Pretty Things: The Story of Music and Fashion (b04j1wxw)

Just how did Britain become the place where the best music goes with the most eye-catching styles? Lauren Laverne narrates a series about the love affair between our music and fashion, looking at how musicians and designers came up with the coolest and craziest looks and how we emulated our idols.

British pop and rock is our great gift to the world, at the heart of the irrepressible creative brilliance of Britain. But it has never just been about the music. Across the decades we have unleashed a uniquely British talent for fusing the best sounds with stunning style and fashion to dazzling effect.

The series begins in the golden years of the 1960s. Mod legends The Small Faces became the best-dressed band in England, Cilla Black and fashion label BIBA were a perfect fit, while The Beatles and The Stones embraced the foppish hair and frilly shirts of psychedelia. Through rude boys and rockers, the relationship between music and fashion blossomed, becoming intimately entwined in the sound and vision of Roxy Music.

But this isn't just a story of brillant musicians and maverick designers, it's a story that touches us all because, at some point in our lives, we've all delved into the great dressing-up box and joined the pageant that is British music and fashion.

FRI 02:30 Play it Loud: The Story of the Marshall Amp (b04c3l7j)
One iconic black box has probably more than anything else come to define the sound of rock - the Marshall amplifier. It has been, quite literally, behind some of the greatest names in modern music.

It all started in 1962 when drum shop owner Jim Marshall discovered the distinctive growl that gave the electric guitar an exciting new voice. Music got a whole lot louder as young musicians like Clapton, Townshend and Hendrix adopted the revolutionary 'Marshall Sound'. The electric guitar now spoke for a new generation and the genre of rock was born.

Soon Marshall stacks and walls were an essential backdrop of rock 'n' roll. The excesses of rock machismo were gloriously lampooned in the 1984 movie This is Spinal Tap. In an extraordinary piece of reverse irony, it was this comic exposure that rescued the company from financial meltdown.

With contributions from rock legends like Pete Townshend, Lemmy and Slash, plus an interview with the 'Father of Loud' Jim Marshall, this documentary cruises down the rock ages with all the dials set to 'eleven'.

(Note: the times link back to the details; the pids link to the BBC page, including iPlayer)

Agnetha: ABBA and After 00:30 FRI (b02x9zwc)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 MON (b0b3lmlq)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 TUE (b0b3lmlx)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 WED (b0b3lmm8)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 THU (b0b3lmmf)

Big Sky, Big Dreams, Big Art: Made in the USA 21:00 WED (b0b4fz5n)

Big Sky, Big Dreams, Big Art: Made in the USA 03:00 WED (b0b4fz5n)

Biggest Weekend 19:30 FRI (b0b4cm28)

Biggest Weekend 20:00 FRI (b0b4czwj)

Biggest Weekend 21:00 FRI (b0b4d7bh)

Biggest Weekend 22:00 FRI (b0b4d7bk)

Black and British: A Forgotten History 22:00 WED (b082w9p9)

Britain's Treasure Islands 23:50 SAT (b077rl5m)

British Gardens in Time 23:35 SUN (b04092n6)

Caribbean with Simon Reeve 20:00 WED (p02l5269)

Caribbean with Simon Reeve 02:00 WED (p02l5269)

Castles: Britain's Fortified History 22:00 MON (b04t6n19)

Civilisations Stories 19:30 MON (b0b1bhhd)

Clydebuilt: The Ships that Made the Commonwealth 00:00 MON (p01n4kb7)

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

Clydebuilt: The Ships that Made the Commonwealth 00:00 WED (p01n8jf6)

Clydebuilt: The Ships that Made the Commonwealth 00:00 THU (p01n8dv0)

Dina 22:00 SUN (b0b49py6)

Fighting for King and Empire: Britain's Caribbean Heroes 23:00 WED (b05v08b7)

Horizon 21:45 THU (b09574pc)

How to Build... a Nuclear Submarine 20:00 SUN (b00syt1w)

How to Build... a Nuclear Submarine 02:35 SUN (b00syt1w)

Inspector Montalbano 21:00 SAT (b0b3tj4f)

Iolo's Snowdonia 19:30 TUE (b09qqnxv)

Kew's Forgotten Queen 01:00 MON (b07xjghp)

Missions 21:00 THU (b0b3q6ps)

Missions 21:20 THU (b0b3q6px)

Mud, Sweat and Tractors: The Story of Agriculture 23:00 TUE (b00jwcb1)

NASA: Triumph and Tragedy 22:00 THU (b00lk0jq)

NASA: Triumph and Tragedy 02:35 THU (b00lk0jq)

Nature's Epic Journeys 19:00 SAT (b07czmbl)

Nature's Epic Journeys 01:20 SAT (b07czmbl)

Oh You Pretty Things: The Story of Music and Fashion 01:30 FRI (b04j1wxw)

One-Hit Wonders at the BBC 23:30 FRI (b05r7nxx)

Pain, Pus and Poison: The Search for Modern Medicines 23:00 THU (p01f51z4)

Play it Loud: The Story of the Marshall Amp 02:30 FRI (b04c3l7j)

Royal Wives at War 21:00 MON (p03bhsd6)

Royal Wives at War 03:00 MON (p03bhsd6)

Science and Islam 00:35 SUN (b00gvg7w)

Secret Knowledge 22:30 TUE (b03z08mv)

Sicily: The Wonder of the Mediterranean 22:50 SAT (b08cwrg9)

Tales from the Royal Bedchamber 20:00 SAT (b0386lxs)

Tales from the Royal Bedchamber 02:20 SAT (b0386lxs)

The Culture Show 19:30 WED (b03xg9wp)

The Greatest Tomb on Earth: Secrets of Ancient China 21:00 SUN (b080396k)

The Greatest Tomb on Earth: Secrets of Ancient China 01:00 WED (b080396k)

The Secret Life of the Motorway 23:00 MON (b007x58q)

The Sky at Night 20:00 THU (b0b3lnks)

The Sky at Night 01:35 THU (b0b3lnks)

The Vikings Uncovered 21:00 TUE (b076r0sr)

The Vikings Uncovered 02:00 TUE (b076r0sr)

Timeshift 01:00 TUE (p01k49cg)

Timewatch 19:00 SUN (b00sl29f)

Timewatch 01:35 SUN (b00sl29f)

Timewatch 20:00 MON (b016ltm0)

Timewatch 02:00 MON (b016ltm0)

Tomorrow's Worlds: The Unearthly History of Science Fiction 20:00 TUE (p026c7jt)

Top of the Pops 00:50 SAT (b0b23fcv)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b0b3lnml)

Top of the Pops 01:05 THU (b0b3lnml)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b0b3lmml)