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 The Burrowers: Animals Underground (b0392wmg)
Episode 2

Chris Packham reveals the underground world of badgers, water voles and rabbits. In specially created full-scale replica burrows it is spring, and baby burrowers must grow up fast, ready to take their first steps above ground.

The programme reveals how baby rabbits learn to bond and looks at orphan badgers as they grow up. Will the water voles manage to produce their first litter? And how does a mole survive its solitary life almost entirely underground?

In another first, the team excavate a massive abandoned rabbit warren in the wild by casting it in concrete.

SAT 20:00 Patagonia: Earth's Secret Paradise (b06fnkr7)
Heat and Dust

Patagonia invites you into a rarely seen South American wilderness, home to surprising creatures who survive in environments that range from the mighty Andes Mountains to Cape Horn.

From the Andes peaks, we follow the path of the relentless wind, sweeping east through Patagonia's dry desert. We discover a weird world of maras - giant guinea pigs - and desert-dwelling penguins, and witness the first faltering steps of baby guanacos - Patagonia's very own camels. People live here too - brave souls who have taken on this arid world and carved out a home.

SAT 21:00 Hidden (p066svr5)
Series 1

Episode 1

When the body of Mali Pryce is discovered in a river in the Snowdonia National Park, DI Cadi John and DS Owen Vaughan are brought together to try and piece together the location and movements of the deceased in the years following her disappearance in 2011. The discovery of the body opens old wounds in the community, and Mali's father is furious with what he sees as police ineptitude. District nurse Lowri Driscoll battles with the unwanted attention of her ex-boyfriend, while Cadi tackles her own personal problems as she deals with her father Huw's failing health and family arguments with her sisters. The strange relationship between Dylan Harris and his mother Iona reaches crisis point.

SAT 22:00 The League of Gentlemen (b0074670)
Series 2

Destination: Royston Vasey

Award-winning black comedy series set in a remote town. An unusual circus comes to Royston Vasey, and Pauline faces up to life on the dole.

SAT 22:30 The League of Gentlemen (p008wm4y)
Series 2

Lust for Royston Vasey

Award-winning black comedy series set in a remote town which is populated by a range of bizarre characters.

A German exchange teacher arrives with his students. The Windermere B&B is closed for a very private function.

SAT 23:00 Top of the Pops (b0b61wt4)
Simon Bates and Janice Long present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 31 October 1985. Featuring Feargal Sharkey, Elton John, King, Jennifer Rush and Shakin' Stevens.

SAT 23:30 Top of the Pops (b0b61x50)
Steve Wright and Peter Powell present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 7 November 1985. Featuring A-ha, Far Corporation, Level 42, UB40, and Jennifer Rush.

SAT 00:00 Big in America: British Hits in the USA (b01bywsr)
Compilation of British rock 'n' roll acts in performance with tracks that crossed over to the US charts. From The Dave Clark Five to Coldplay, the Brits have rocked America and sometimes even done better across the pond than here - take a bow A Flock of Seagulls, Supertramp and Bush - who are also included here alongside darker British global exports like Black Sabbath and The Cure.

SAT 01:00 Patagonia: Earth's Secret Paradise (b06fnkr7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SAT 02:00 I Was There: Kate Adie on Tiananmen Square (b0b5y9l7)
Kate Adie re-examines her historic coverage of the massacre in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in June 1989.

In a long-form interview, Kate recalls how she was wounded by gunfire and narrowly escaped death herself as she and her cameraman remained in the line of fire while an estimated 2,000 pro-democracy demonstrators were shot down by Chinese government troops.

Kate reviews the reports she made on the ground, with additional insight from leading historian Professor Steve Tsang, and draws on the BBC's archive to assess how film-makers have portrayed China before and after the upheaval.

SAT 03:00 How to Get Ahead (b03z08mx)
At Versailles

Stephen Smith explores the flamboyant Baroque court of the Sun King, Louis XIV. Louis created the Palace of Versailles so he could surround himself with aristocrats, artists, interior designers, gardeners, wigmakers, chefs and musicians. Hordes of ambitious courtiers scrambled to get close to the king, but unseemly goings-on in the royal bedchamber reflected the quickest path to power.


SUN 19:00 Locomotion: Dan Snow's History of Railways (b01qh3z3)
Episode 3

Over just 50 years, Britain's railways grew from a handful of small lines carrying coal to the biggest industry in the strongest nation on the planet. A nation had built the railways and now those railways would build a nation, influencing working conditions for its employees, proving a valuable export across the globe and even changing warfare.

Yet the story of railways up until the beginning of the Second World War concerned who they really belonged to - the private rail companies who were obsessed with profit, the public who rode them, or the government, who needed them at times of crisis but was reluctant to regulate.

SUN 20:00 Timeshift (b00xf6xk)
Series 10

The Modern Age of the Coach

Documentary which brings the story of the coach up to date, as it explores the most recent phase of Britain's love affair with group travel on four wheels - from school trips and football away-days to touring with bands and 'magic bus' overland treks to India.

The establishment of the National Coach Company may have standardised the livery and the experience of mainstream coach travel in the 1970s, but a multitude of alternative offerings meant the coach retained its hold on the public imagination, with even striking miners and New Age travellers getting in on a very British act.

SUN 21:00 Swallowed by the Sea: Ancient Egypt's Greatest Lost City (b04lss20)
Documentary following a team of maritime archaeologists as they uncover the remarkable city of Heracleion, lost to the sea and forgotten for over two thousand years.

In the fading days of the pharaohs, the city of Heracleion was the gateway to Egypt and a port beyond compare. In the 4th century BC, this was an opulent and prosperous place adorned with statues and sphinxes. It was a city of religious significance and home to the temple of Amun. In the 2nd century BC it was wiped off the face of the earth. In a mysterious subsidence, the coastline dropped by over 20ft and Heracleion was consumed by the sea. The lost city slept for centuries beneath the waters of the Mediterranean.

In 2000, archaeologists made an incredible find. Using ancient texts, they discovered the city's remains six kilometres off the Egyptian coast and only 10 metres underwater. Pristinely preserved, it is an archaeological jewel - an ancient Egyptian city frozen in time. The glorious temples, statues, houses and boats of the cities lie perfectly preserved by the sea, providing a snapshot of ancient Egyptian life. But many mysteries remain. What caused this sacred city to plunge into the sea? And why did its inhabitants deliberately sink over 65 ancient warships?

SUN 22:00 The Sky at Night (b0b6tpsn)
Jupiter: Up Close and Personal

Nasa's Juno spacecraft is currently making its 13th orbit of Jupiter on one of the most ambitious and risky space missions ever undertaken. The astonishing images it has captured are not just visually stunning, they also deliver spectacular scientific insight, revolutionising our ideas about Jupiter. Maggie Aderin-Pocock explores these stunning discoveries, from a new understanding of Jupiter's core and formation to revelations about how deep its raging storms penetrate the planet's mysterious interior.

SUN 22:30 Horizon (b06b9tnx)

Cosmic Dawn: The Real Moment of Creation

Forget the big bang. The real moment of creation was the cosmic dawn - the moment of first light. This is the scientific version of the story of Genesis.

The big bang gets all the credit for creating our universe. But in fact, the universe it gave was dark and boring. There were no stars, no galaxies, just a vast, black fog of gas - the cosmic dark ages.

But, after a hundred million years of nothing, came a dramatic moment of transformation - the cosmic dawn. It's the moment the first stars were born, the moment that lit up the universe, and made the first structure and the first ingredients of life. This was the real moment of creation.

Astronomers are now trying to witness the cosmic dawn. For the first time they have the tools to explore the very first stars of the universe and to tell the scientific story of our creation.

SUN 23:30 Civilisations Stories (b0b1bn2y)
Series 1

The Art of Mining

How coal created a lasting legacy of art in the east Midlands, and the fight to preserve it for future generations. An industry, which once employed more than 24,000 men in the region, will be remembered forever thanks to the rich collection of paintings, preserved colliery buildings and artefacts, many of them saved by volunteers.

SUN 00:00 Ego: The Strange and Wonderful World of Self-Portraits (b00vngl0)
Art critic Laura Cumming takes a journey through more than five centuries of self-portraits and finds out how the greatest names in western art transformed themselves into their own masterpieces.

The film argues that self-portraits are a unique form of art, one that always reveals the truth of how artists saw themselves and how they wanted to be known to the world. Examining the works of key self-portraitists including Durer, Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Warhol, Laura traces the development of the genre, uncovering the strange and various ways artists have managed to get their inner and outer selves to match up.

Laura investigates the stories behind key self-portraits, interviews artists as they attempt a self-portrait, and shows how the history of the self-portrait is about more than how art and artists have changed, it also charts the evolution of the way we see ourselves and what it means to be human.

She also discusses Courbet with Julian Barnes, Rembrandt's theatricality with Simon Callow, and meets the contemporary artists Mark Wallinger and Patrick Hughes, observing the latter making his first ever self-portrait.

SUN 01:30 Locomotion: Dan Snow's History of Railways (b01qh3z3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SUN 02:30 Swallowed by the Sea: Ancient Egypt's Greatest Lost City (b04lss20)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


MON 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b0b6223d)
Series 1


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

MON 19:30 Canals: The Making of a Nation (b0685bp2)
The Workers

This is the story of the men who built our canals - the navigators or 'navvies'. They represented an 'army' of hard physical men who were capable of enduring tough labour for long hours. Many roved the countryside looking for work and a better deal. They gained a reputation as troublesome outsiders, fond of drinking and living a life of ungodly debauchery. But who were they? Unreliable heathens and outcasts, or unsung heroes who used might and muscle to build canals and railways? We focus on the Manchester Ship Canal - the swansong for the navvies and hailed as the greatest engineering feat of the Victorian Age. The navvies worked at a time of rising trade unionism. But could they organise and campaign for a better deal?

MON 20:00 Colombia with Simon Reeve (b08n5flh)
Adventurer and journalist Simon Reeve heads to one of the most spectacular countries in the world - Colombia. For 50 years, Colombia has been in the grip of a brutal civil war that has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced seven million. But in late 2016, a peace deal was signed promising to end the conflict and finally bring peace to the country.

In this hour-long documentary for the award-winning This World strand, Simon explores Colombia at a pivotal point in its history. He travels into the jungle and comes face to face with the guerrilla army Farc, which is now promising to lay down arms. In the Pacific coast city of Buenaventura, Simon finds out more about the fearsome right-wing paramilitary gangs who now dominate the cocaine trade. As the Farc abandon the countryside, there is a fear that these groups will only grow in power. Travelling in the countryside, Simon meets the coca farmers who are demanding government support to stop growing coca and stop the flow of money to criminal gangs. With land ownership, poverty and drugs at the heart of Colombia's problems, it is in the countryside that the country's precarious future will be decided.

MON 21:00 Egypt's Lost Cities (b011pwms)
It is possible that only one per cent of the wonders of ancient Egypt have been discovered, but now, thanks to a pioneering approach to archaeology, that is about to change.

Dr Sarah Parcak uses satellites to probe beneath the sands, where she has found cities, temples and pyramids. Now, with Dallas Campbell and Liz Bonnin, she heads to Egypt to discover if these magnificent buildings are really there.

MON 22:30 Storyville (b0b6tgfg)
City of Ghosts

Bafta-nominated documentary telling the story of website Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS), where a group of young men band together and risk their lives to document and release videos, photos and written testimony of Islamic State atrocities in their home city of Raqqa.

From acclaimed Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Matthew Heineman, City of Ghosts follows the visceral and at times distressing journey of a network of brave young activists who band together to report the stories of atrocities inflicted on the Syrian citizens of Raqqa by ISIS, who invaded their city in 2014. The film reveals the very real dangers for this tight-knit group of citizen journalists, working undercover both inside and outside their homeland. They risk their lives daily to report stories of terror and destruction in the besieged city of Raqqa. The stories are posted on an online site -'Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently' - in the hope that they will reach the mainstream media and governments globally. A dramatic and heartbreaking story unfolds, as we witness the huge personal sacrifices the young journalists make to bring the plight of their people to the world.

City of Ghosts premiered at Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for Best Documentary at the 2018 Baftas.

MON 23:55 Ice Age Giants (p018ccn2)
Last of the Giants

Professor Alice Roberts journeys 40,000 years back in time on the trail of the great beasts of the ice age. This was the last time that giants like mammoths, woolly rhinos and sabre-toothed cats ruled our planet. Drawing on the latest scientific detective work and a dash of graphic wizardry, Alice brings the ice age giants back to life.

Astonishingly, even after thousands of years of ice crushing the northern hemisphere and temperatures of 20 degrees lower than those of today, many of the great giants of the ice age still walked the earth. It was only when the world had warmed up again that mammoths, woolly rhinos, sabre-toothed cats, giant ground sloths and glyptodonts finally became extinct. Alice sets off on her last voyage back to the ice age to discover why.

She learns the moving story of a mother mastodon, an extinct relative of the elephant. From her tusks, scientists can tell how many calves she had and whether they reached adulthood. This evidence, together with harrowing injuries on other skeletons, tells a perplexing story of a species on the edge of extinction - mastodons were turning on mastodons. By looking at the behaviour of elephants today, scientists have come up with a surprising theory as to why this happened.

The woolly rhino tells another story. Believe it or not, the one thing it couldn't stand was snow - which stopped it from getting enough grass. During the ice age in Europe and Siberia, snow was thin on the ground as so much water was locked up in the ice sheets. But when the ice ended, the snows increased, rhinos found themselves stuck and their little legs were unable to get them out of trouble.

MON 00:55 What a Performance! Pioneers of Popular Entertainment (b06s5zw9)
Variety Finds a New Home

In the third programme of this insightful and entertaining series about the history of popular entertainment, comedian Frank Skinner and music presenter Suzy Klein examine what happened to British popular entertainment - its stars and its audiences - during the Second World War and beyond.

They explore how it braved challenges from an American invasion called rock and roll, a whole lot of nudity and how, in the 50s, it faced its biggest threat as a new form of entertainment appeared in our living rooms. They bring the period wonderfully alive by studying the lives and acts of some of the major stars of popular entertainment of the day, and recreate in a final performance an act close to their hearts. For Suzy, this means attempting to replicate the formidably powerful sound of American supergroup the Andrews Sisters - an act she has loved since she a child. Frank takes on an act a little closer to home - Max Miller was a legendary British comic, who went on to influence generations of stand-ups, Frank included.

MON 01:55 The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu (b00hkb0z)
Aminatta Forna tells the story of legendary Timbuktu and its long-hidden legacy of hundreds of thousands of ancient manuscripts. With its university founded around the same time as Oxford, Timbuktu is proof that the reading and writing of books have long been as important to Africans as they are to Europeans.

MON 02:55 Colombia with Simon Reeve (b08n5flh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b0b6223v)
Series 1


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

TUE 19:30 Iolo's Snowdonia (b09sbs00)
Series 1

Episode 4

Over four seasons, Iolo Williams goes to his favourite locations in Snowdonia to look for stunning wildlife and meets people who help him discover the national park's true nature. In this final episode, it's winter and Iolo endures life-threatening wind chill, ice and snow on the Carneddau high peaks. A cold snap takes him to one of his old roaming grounds on the Berwyn moors, where he finds a solitary robin surviving in thick snow. Opposite Portmeirion, the stunning Dwyryd estuary is teeming with winter birds feeding. Crossbills busily eat cone seeds in a forest near Betws-y-Coed. Iolo also heads to Ceunant Llennyrch, a wonderful gorge hidden by an ancient woodland that's existed since trees first colonised Snowdonia after the last ice age. On the foothills of Cadair Idris, he learns that old folk had names for every piece of land.

TUE 20:00 World Cup Brush Up with Danny Baker (b045q1dd)
Some sanctuary from the World Cup on BBC FOUR? Not a chance.

But wait, there is actually very little football in this archive romp around the periphery of the four-yearly global jamboree. Danny Baker mulls over all the attendant hoopla, rigmarole, folderol and palaver that comes with this most mammoth of modern circuses.

Mascots! Managers! Fans! Tickets! Endless hours of TV padding! Creepy Kevin Keegan dolls! The tragic death of Pickles the Dog! That sort of thing.

TUE 21:00 Africa (b01q0t2r)

The very heart of Africa is covered in dense tropical rainforest. The animals that live here find the most ingenious ways to carve out their space in a claustrophobic landscape. Danger lurks in every shadow, but some animals thrive here, from honey-stealing chimps to birds with a lineage as old as the dinosaurs, thundering elephants and kick-boxing frogs. Here in the Congo, no matter how tough the competition, you must stand up and fight for yourself and your patch.

TUE 22:00 Africa's Great Civilisations (b0b6tp5l)
Series 1

Empires of Gold

The award-winning film-maker and academic Henry Louis Gates Jr travels the length and breadth of Africa to explore the continent's epic history.

Empires of Gold marks an era of great commercial and manufacturing growth throughout several of the continent's regions. Beginning with the revolutionary transformation of north and west Africa, Gates travels to the shores of the Sahara Desert, where farmers, traders, warriors and nomads have turned the region into the crossroads of some of history's most advanced and wealthiest civilisations.

TUE 23:00 Mud, Sweat and Tractors: The Story of Agriculture (b00k9bms)

A look at how two of our finest native breeds of cattle, Hereford and Aberdeen Angus, reigned supreme before the Second World War and helped earn Britain a reputation as the 'stockyard of the world'. The programme also shows how, since then, both breeds have been transformed to a much larger size - from standing only to the stockman's waist to reaching his shoulder.

TUE 00:00 Secrets of Bones (b03yfqj6)
Food for Thought

Ben Garrod uncovers the secrets of how vertebrates capture and devour their food using extreme jaws, bizarre teeth and specialised bony tools. He takes a cherry picker up a sperm whale's jaw and finds out which animal has teeth weighing five kilos each and which uses its skull as a suction pump. Ben gets his own skull scanned and 3D-printed to discover how diet in humans isn't just affecting our waistlines but is also changing the shape of our bones.

TUE 00:30 Secrets of Bones (b03z05zx)

Ben Garrod seeks out the big part that bones can play in reproduction. Through sexual selection, the skeleton has adapted to aid courtship, competition and even copulation. On his travels, Ben meets baseball players, drops a 10kg weight on a sheep's skull and finds out that by not having a penis bone humans are very much in the minority.

TUE 01:00 Art of China (b04dg5q7)
Episode 3

Andrew Graham-Dixon charts the journey from imperial to modern - the glorious rise and calamitous fall of China's last dynasty. Rulers were so entranced by the spell of western art that they failed to notice the rise of western dominance, with disastrous consequences. The subsequent profound identity crisis saw China's artists struggle with outside influence. It was an age of crisis, which ultimately led to bloody revolution and rebirth. After tyrant Mao's Cultural Revolution and Tiananmen Square, does its new art reveal a different side to the modern China we think we know?

TUE 02:00 World Cup Brush Up with Danny Baker (b045q1dd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

TUE 03:00 Saints and Sinners: Britain's Millennium of Monasteries (b054fmzl)
Episode 3

In the final episode of the series, Dr Janina Ramirez discovers how the immensely rich and powerful monasteries that had dominated British society for 1,000 were annihilated in less than five years.

In the 15th century, 800 monasteries in England owned one-third of the nation's land. Many monks were living in palatial monasteries and were patrons of the finest art and architecture. Janina examines monastery kitchen records and the bones of a medieval monk to discover the truth behind accusations of monastic gluttony and vice. She also explores how the arrival of the printing press put paid to the monasteries' monopoly of publishing and education.

Janina then traces the story of the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell. She explores whether the dissolution was the violent action of a greedy and overbearing monarch or if it was the inevitable 'end of days' for a rotten and outmoded institution.

She uncovers stories of shocking corruption alongside examples of extraordinary pious sacrifice. Although not a single monastery survived the systematic liquidation, Janina shows the lasting impact Britain's millennium of monasteries had on our society and culture.


WED 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b0b6224c)
Series 1


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

WED 19:30 Canals: The Making of a Nation (b068c3zh)

Liz McIvor tells the story of the early canal builders who struggled with the rugged terrain of England's Pennine hills. Creating a network of canals in this landscape was an uphill challenge - sometimes literally! But connecting the powerhouses of Yorkshire and Lancashire was a great prize at the time of the industrial revolution. What should the engineers do? Should they build over, under or around the hills? Who succeeded, and who struggled?

WED 20:00 The Fantastical World of Hormones with Professor John Wass (b03wctdg)
Hormones shape each and every one of us, affecting almost every aspect of our lives - our height, our weight, our appetites, how we grow and reproduce, and even how we behave and feel.

This documentary tells the wonderful and often weird story of how hormones were discovered.

Presenter John Wass, one the country's leading experts on hormones, relates some amazing stories - how as recently as the 19th century boys were castrated to keep their pure soprano voice, how juices were extracted from testicles in the hope they would rejuvenate old men and how true medical heroes like Frederick Banting discovered a way to make insulin, thus saving the lives of countless diabetes sufferers.

And hormones remain at the cutting edge of medicine as we try and deal with modern scourges like obesity.

WED 21:00 Can Science Make Me Perfect? with Alice Roberts (b0b6q3qy)
Anatomist Alice Roberts embarks on an audacious scientific stunt - to rebuild her own body from scratch, editing out errors left behind by evolution; to create the perfect body. With the help of one of the world's best virtual sculptors, Scott Eaton, and top SFX model maker Sangeet Prabhaker, Alice creates a life-size model of the perfect human body, to be revealed in front of 150 people at London's Science Museum.

Through natural selection, animals have evolved incredible biological designs, from supersharp senses to superpowered limbs. Alice is on a hunt to find the very best designs the natural world has to offer and use them to fix the flaws in our own human anatomy.

By meeting leading medical and animal experts, Alice finds out what the body's biggest problems are, and how amazing adaptations in the rest of the animal kingdom could provide inspiration for her perfect body. Using incredible CGI to morph her existing body into new forms, she demonstrates how rethinking our bodies could overcome millennia of natural selection.

Finally, in an epic reveal, Alice unveils the life-sized model of her perfect self in the Science Museum. There, in front of an audience, Alice meets the 'perfect human' version of herself for the first time.

Ambitious, audacious and packed with cutting-edge science, Can Science Make Me Perfect? With Alice Roberts challenges everything you thought you knew about the perfect body.

WED 22:30 Black and British: A Forgotten History (b084ndpt)
The Homecoming

Historian David Olusoga concludes his series with the three African kings who stood up to empire, an irresistible crooner, race riots in Liverpool and the shaping of black British identity in the 20th century.

WED 23:30 Indian Hill Railways (b00r5wk7)
The Kalka-Shimla Railway

From the Himalayas in the north to the Nilgiris in the south - for a hundred years these little trains have climbed through the clouds and into the wonderful world of Indian hill railways.

Shimla was once the summer capital of the Raj. They built churches, schools, a town hall and the railway and left behind their symbols of empire and an ethos of duty, loyalty and ambition - but they also left a divided subcontinent.

Characters featured include Maqsood, a refugee and a porter from Kashmir, and John Whitmarsh-Knight, a teacher looking for a home. Sanjay the stationmaster is hoping for promotion, and his boss Bataljit is waiting for a transfer, but everybody is waiting for the snow.

WED 00:30 How to Build a Cathedral (b00b09rb)
The great cathedrals were the wonders of the medieval world - the tallest buildings since the pyramids and the showpieces of medieval Christianity. Yet they were built at a time when most of us lived in hovels. Architectural historian Jon Cannon explores who the people were that built them and how they were able to achieve such a bold vision.

WED 01:30 The Fantastical World of Hormones with Professor John Wass (b03wctdg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 02:30 Can Science Make Me Perfect? with Alice Roberts (b0b6q3qy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b0b6224t)
Series 1


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

THU 19:30 The Sky at Night (b0b6tpsn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday]

THU 20:00 Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey (b01dq1h0)
Episode 3

Right now you're hurtling around the sun at 64,000 miles an hour (100,000 km an hour). In the next year you'll travel 584 million miles, to end up back where you started.

Presenters Kate Humble and Dr Helen Czerski follow the Earth's voyage around the sun for one complete orbit, to witness the astonishing consequences this journey has for us all.

In this final episode we complete our journey, travelling back from the March equinox to the end of June. Kate Humble is in the Arctic at a place where spring arrives with a bang, whilst Helen Czerski chases a tornado to show how the earth's angle of tilt creates the most extreme weather on the planet.

THU 21:00 City in the Sky (b07hn675)

There are around one million people airborne at any one time. But what goes up must come down - and bringing all those people safely back to earth depends on complex global networks and astonishing technology that stretches our ingenuity to the absolute limit.

In this programme, science broadcaster Dallas Campbell and Dr Hannah Fry explore just what it takes to bring the citizens of the sky back to the ground. Dallas has a front row seat when he is in the cockpit with one of just 26 pilots in the world qualified to land at Paro, Bhutan. Meanwhile, Hannah meets up with the air traffic controllers who, at some times of the year, deal with over 1,000 flights a day arriving at Atlanta - the busiest airport in the world. She also visits Bangor Airport in Maine where they are always on standby - there have been over 2,000 unscheduled landings in the last decade alone.

With the city in the sky predicted to double in size in the next 20 years, in this last episode in the series, the team also find out what the challenges are and what the future of aviation might look like.

THU 22:00 Missions (b0b6tvnq)
Series 1


Beyond the cavern, Jeanne learns more of what is required of her and becomes the Z2 crew's prime target. On Ulysses, desperate measures take a terrible toll.

THU 22:20 Missions (b0b6tw4s)
Series 1


The survivors race for Zillion 2, but neither Gemma nor Goldstein, her boss on Earth, have rescue in mind. The mission is far from over...

THU 22:40 Horizon (b076qqxh)

Oceans of the Solar System

The oceans define the earth. They are crucial to life and we used to think that they were unique to our blue planet. But we were wrong.

It has recently been discovered that there are oceans all over our solar system, and they are very similar to our own. And now scientists are going on an epic journey in search of new life in places that never seemed possible. Nasa is even planning to dive to the depths of a strange, distant ocean in a remarkable submarine.

Horizon discovers that the hunt for oceans in space is marking the dawn of a new era in the search for alien life.

THU 23:00 Horizon (b0675hcv)

First Britons

Horizon reveals how new archaeological discoveries are painting a different picture of the very first native Britons. For centuries it's been thought that these hunter-gatherers lived a brutal, hand-to-mouth existence. But extraordinary new evidence has forced scientists to rethink who these people were, where they came from and what impact they had on our early history.

Now, our impression is of a hardy, sophisticated people who withstood centuries of extreme climate change and a devastating tsunami that was to give birth to the island nation of Britain. Their way of life may even have survived beyond its greatest ever threat - the farming revolution.

THU 00:00 Timeshift (b00ff170)
How to Write a Mills and Boon

What happens when a literary novelist tries to write popular romantic fiction? To mark 100 years of romance publishers Mills and Boon, literary novelist Stella Duffy takes on the challenge of writing for them.

Romantic fiction is a global phenomenon, and Mills and Boon are among the biggest names in the business. The company welcomes submissions from new authors, but as Duffy soon finds out, writing a Mills and Boon is harder than it looks.

Help is at hand from the publishers themselves, a prolific Mills and Boon author and some avid romance fans, as Duffy's quest to create the perfect romantic novel takes her from London to Italy on a journey that is both an insight into the art of romantic fiction and the joy and frustration of writing itself.

THU 01:00 Dylan Thomas: A Poet's Guide (p01wtzqk)
Famous for his womanising, drinking and tragic death, Dylan Thomas is the rock star of 20th-century poetry. But for Welsh poet Owen Sheers, his tempestuous life often obscures the power of his poetry. Sheers takes us on a journey that reveals Dylan Thomas as a visionary and a craftsman.

THU 02:00 Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey (b01dq1h0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

THU 03:00 City in the Sky (b07hn675)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 19:00 World News Today (b0b6225b)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (b0b6v7pv)
Janice Long and Paul Jordan present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 21 November 1985. Featuring Madness, Wham, Dee C Lee, Lionel Richie, Doug E Fresh, Feargal Sharkey and Midge Ure.

FRI 20:00 TOTP2 (b01lwbt0)
Summertime Special

TOTP2 once more delves into the archives to brighten up your day with summer sizzlers from John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, the Undertones, Shaggy, Bananarama, Bobby Goldsboro, Bay City Rollers, Fun Boy Three, the Style Council and Don Henley.

Other scorchers include Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, the Sundays, Sabrina, Chris Rea, the Barracudas, Zoe, Martha and the Muffins, Bryan Adams, Girls Aloud and ELO.

FRI 21:00 Classic Albums (b007b6hv)
Paul Simon: Graceland

Since its release in 1986, Paul Simon's Graceland has had an enormous impact on rock music with its blend of rock and African rhythms. Simon and engineer Roy Halee demonstrate the multi-tracking and mixing of the album and reveal the inspiration behind the songs, and composer Philip Glass assesses the album's place in musical history. Featuring interviews with major artists involved in the album, including Joseph Shabalala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo and guitarist Ray Phiri, who shatter the myth about their relationship with Simon.

FRI 22:00 Africa: A Journey into Music (b0b624f1)
Series 1


DJ and broadcaster Rita Ray travels to Mali in West Africa, home to a deep musical culture and ancient instruments that are the hallmark of their sound.

Mali has produced more Grammy-winning artists than any other African country, and this well of talent has drawn in artists and producers from around the world to collaborate with the local musicians.

Whilst the country has been rocked by Islamist insurgency, leading to a ban on music in some areas, Rita finds out how a traditional way of life and rich musical culture have endured.

FRI 23:00 Kings of 70s Romance (b007cjtw)
While teenage girls in the 1970s were screaming for Donny Osmond and David Cassidy, the more mature woman had fantasy figures of her own setting her heart a-flutter. Kings of 70s Romance tells the story of these - some might say unlikely - pin-ups. Whether it was Gilbert O'Sullivan or Barry White, Leo Sayer or David Soul - or for those with more exotic tastes, Demis Roussos - these were men whose lyrics conjured up images of candle-lit dinners, red roses, and cosy nights in with the man of your dreams. For millions of female fans their romantic music was the perfect soundtrack for dreams of escape from the day-to-day drudgery of life in 70s Britain. As well as our main contributors we feature comments form Gloria Hunniford and Martha Kearney.

FRI 00:00 Top of the Pops (b0b6v7pv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

FRI 00:30 Classic Albums (b007b6hv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 01:30 How to Be a World Music Star: Buena Vista, Bhundu Boys and Beyond (b038rp8k)
Documentary telling the story of the British world music revolution from the early 1980s to the present. Through a variety of careers, starting with Zimbabwe's Bhundu Boys and culminating with Portugal's Mariza in the new millennium, the film explores what it takes to bring music from 'out there' over here.

Through the testimony of artists from all around the world alongside key British producers and broadcasters including Andy Kershaw, Joe Boyd and Nick Gold, it tracks the evolving story of what British audiences have wanted from what has come to be called 'world music' and what a range of artists, including Les Mystere des Voix Bulgares, Salif Keita, Youssou N'Dour, Baaba Maal, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Buena Vista Social Club and Tinariwen, have made of us.

At the dawn of the 80s, in an age of spandex and synthesizers, many music fans were becoming bored with the pop charts and hungered for a new music that could excite them once again. Where music from the rest of the world had once been regarded as mere exotica, there was increasingly a sense that world music could be the future of pop music.

The documentary traces the hopes and ambitions of a new music industry as cultures came together for the first time, producing much brilliant music and a degree of human comedy.

From the tribal warriors of Mali who fought in rebellions with guitars and guns strapped to their shoulders, all-female choirs from the other side of the Iron Curtain playing to rock fans, a band from Zimbabwe who supported Madonna to a group of old men from Cuba who took the world by storm with their music from another era, these tales from musicians from out there arriving over here trace an evolving market that has both offered a blueprint for the future and an escape into a romantic past.

FRI 03:00 Africa: A Journey into Music (b0b624f1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

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

Africa's Great Civilisations 22:00 TUE (b0b6tp5l)

Africa: A Journey into Music 22:00 FRI (b0b624f1)

Africa: A Journey into Music 03:00 FRI (b0b624f1)

Africa 21:00 TUE (b01q0t2r)

Art of China 01:00 TUE (b04dg5q7)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 MON (b0b6223d)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 TUE (b0b6223v)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 WED (b0b6224c)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 THU (b0b6224t)

Big in America: British Hits in the USA 00:00 SAT (b01bywsr)

Black and British: A Forgotten History 22:30 WED (b084ndpt)

Can Science Make Me Perfect? with Alice Roberts 21:00 WED (b0b6q3qy)

Can Science Make Me Perfect? with Alice Roberts 02:30 WED (b0b6q3qy)

Canals: The Making of a Nation 19:30 MON (b0685bp2)

Canals: The Making of a Nation 19:30 WED (b068c3zh)

City in the Sky 21:00 THU (b07hn675)

City in the Sky 03:00 THU (b07hn675)

Civilisations Stories 23:30 SUN (b0b1bn2y)

Classic Albums 21:00 FRI (b007b6hv)

Classic Albums 00:30 FRI (b007b6hv)

Colombia with Simon Reeve 20:00 MON (b08n5flh)

Colombia with Simon Reeve 02:55 MON (b08n5flh)

Dylan Thomas: A Poet's Guide 01:00 THU (p01wtzqk)

Ego: The Strange and Wonderful World of Self-Portraits 00:00 SUN (b00vngl0)

Egypt's Lost Cities 21:00 MON (b011pwms)

Hidden 21:00 SAT (p066svr5)

Horizon 22:30 SUN (b06b9tnx)

Horizon 22:40 THU (b076qqxh)

Horizon 23:00 THU (b0675hcv)

How to Be a World Music Star: Buena Vista, Bhundu Boys and Beyond 01:30 FRI (b038rp8k)

How to Build a Cathedral 00:30 WED (b00b09rb)

How to Get Ahead 03:00 SAT (b03z08mx)

I Was There: Kate Adie on Tiananmen Square 02:00 SAT (b0b5y9l7)

Ice Age Giants 23:55 MON (p018ccn2)

Indian Hill Railways 23:30 WED (b00r5wk7)

Iolo's Snowdonia 19:30 TUE (b09sbs00)

Kings of 70s Romance 23:00 FRI (b007cjtw)

Locomotion: Dan Snow's History of Railways 19:00 SUN (b01qh3z3)

Locomotion: Dan Snow's History of Railways 01:30 SUN (b01qh3z3)

Missions 22:00 THU (b0b6tvnq)

Missions 22:20 THU (b0b6tw4s)

Mud, Sweat and Tractors: The Story of Agriculture 23:00 TUE (b00k9bms)

Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey 20:00 THU (b01dq1h0)

Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey 02:00 THU (b01dq1h0)

Patagonia: Earth's Secret Paradise 20:00 SAT (b06fnkr7)

Patagonia: Earth's Secret Paradise 01:00 SAT (b06fnkr7)

Saints and Sinners: Britain's Millennium of Monasteries 03:00 TUE (b054fmzl)

Secrets of Bones 00:00 TUE (b03yfqj6)

Secrets of Bones 00:30 TUE (b03z05zx)

Storyville 22:30 MON (b0b6tgfg)

Swallowed by the Sea: Ancient Egypt's Greatest Lost City 21:00 SUN (b04lss20)

Swallowed by the Sea: Ancient Egypt's Greatest Lost City 02:30 SUN (b04lss20)

TOTP2 20:00 FRI (b01lwbt0)

The Burrowers: Animals Underground 19:00 SAT (b0392wmg)

The Fantastical World of Hormones with Professor John Wass 20:00 WED (b03wctdg)

The Fantastical World of Hormones with Professor John Wass 01:30 WED (b03wctdg)

The League of Gentlemen 22:00 SAT (b0074670)

The League of Gentlemen 22:30 SAT (p008wm4y)

The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu 01:55 MON (b00hkb0z)

The Sky at Night 22:00 SUN (b0b6tpsn)

The Sky at Night 19:30 THU (b0b6tpsn)

Timeshift 20:00 SUN (b00xf6xk)

Timeshift 00:00 THU (b00ff170)

Top of the Pops 23:00 SAT (b0b61wt4)

Top of the Pops 23:30 SAT (b0b61x50)

Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (b0b6v7pv)

Top of the Pops 00:00 FRI (b0b6v7pv)

What a Performance! Pioneers of Popular Entertainment 00:55 MON (b06s5zw9)

World Cup Brush Up with Danny Baker 20:00 TUE (b045q1dd)

World Cup Brush Up with Danny Baker 02:00 TUE (b045q1dd)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b0b6225b)