Katty Kay in Washington and Christian Fraser in London return to report on the events that are shaping the world.
Former journalist and keen amateur sailor John Sergeant takes to the water in the wake of the plucky young heroes of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons, and learns how a globe-trotting foreign correspondent and acquintance of Lenin and Trotsky came to perfect a new, more authentic kind of children's literature that featured real children doing real things in real places.
Watercolours have always been the poor relation of oil painting. And yet the immediacy and freedom of painting in watercolours have made them the art of adventure and action - even war. It has been an art form the British have pioneered, at first celebrating the greatest landscapes of Europe and then recording the exotic beauty of the British Empire.
Sheila Hancock, an ardent fan of watercolours since her childhood and whose father was an amateur watercolourist, sets out on a journey to trace the art form. It takes in the glories of the Alps, the city of Venice and deepest India as she tracks the extraordinary story of professional and amateur watercolourists, and reveals some of the most beautiful and yet little-known pictures.
On the other side of the world under the crystal clear blue waters of the Pacific Ocean lies one of the most enchanting places on the planet. Over ten thousand miles away on the north eastern coast of Australia lies the Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural wonders of our world. It provides shelter to some hidden wildlife sanctuaries that contain some magical marine creatures.
Invited on a reef adventure by Emmy Award-winning underwater cinematographer and marine biologist Richard Fitzpatrick, conservationist and naturalist Iolo Williams dives deep beneath the surface of the coral sea to discover what state this natural wonder is in. Together they travel from the extreme swells of the northern part of the reef right down to the cooler pristine corals of the south. They discover how healthy the Great Barrier Reef really is in some of its key locations to see and find out if there are real signs of hope the reef can survive the threat of global warming.
Jeremy Paxman traces the story of the greatest empire the world has ever known: the British Empire. He continues his personal account of Britain's empire by looking at how traders, conquerors and settlers spread the British way of doing things around the world - in particular how they created a very British idea of home.
He begins in India, where early traders wore Indian costume and took Indian wives. Their descendants still cherish their mixed heritage. Victorian values put a stop to that as interracial mixing became taboo.
In Singapore, he visits a club where British colonials gathered together, in Canada, he finds a town whose inhabitants are still fiercely proud of the traditions of their Scottish ancestors, in Kenya, he meets the descendants of the first white settlers - men whose presence came to be bitterly resented as pressure for African independence grew.
And he traces the story of an Indian family in Leicester whose migrations have been determined by the changing fortunes of the British empire.
Comedian Jimmy Carr takes over Horizon for this one-off special programme, produced as part of BBC2's sitcom season.
Jimmy turns venerable documentary strand Horizon into a chat show, with eminent laughter scientists as guests and a studio audience to use as guinea pigs. Jimmy and his guests try to get to the bottom of what laughter is, why we enjoy it so much and what, if anything, it has to do with comedy.
Between them, and with the help of contributions from other scientists on film, Jimmy and guests discover that laughter is much older than our species, and may well have contributed to making us human.
In this final episode we're in the company's main control room with operations manager, and rugby enthusiast, Kevin McKenzie.
He reveals how the airline manages the challenges of operating out of the world's most congested airport, and deals with the knock-on effects of some passengers actions - from panic attacks before take-off to suspicious items discovered in luggage.
We follow the training of the airline's first intake of cadet pilots since the downturn in air travel after 9/11- each cadet has to pay £84,000 for the 18-month course, so failure would be expensive.
And through some of the company's 40,000 staff, including ex-Harrods manager David Page, we explore what makes BA such a Very British Airline.
Ellie Harrison and Dallas Campbell reveal the greatest treasures we've ever created.
Dallas braves vicious currents to dive on a shipwreck where gold, silver and 5,000 emeralds have been found. Ellie tells the tale of intrigue and obsession surrounding a jewelled room in Russia decorated with millions of pounds worth of amber. She enters the secretive world of the diamond cutters - each lives with the knowledge that a slip of the hand could cost them millions of pounds.
THURSDAY 04 OCTOBER 2018
THU 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b0bltjtr)
Katty Kay in Washington and Christian Fraser in London report on the events that are shaping the world.
THU 19:27 DEC Indonesia Tsunami Appeal (b0bp5rv7)
Dan Snow presents the DEC Indonesia Tsunami Appeal.
You can give by calling 0370 60 60 900 (standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply) or send a cheque to:
DEC Indonesia Tsunami Appeal to DEC, PO Box 999, London EC3A 3AA.
THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b0bm6svx)
John Peel and Janice Long present this pop chart programme, first broadcast on 29 May 1986. Featuring Doctor and the Medics, Robert Palmer, The Real Thing, Tears for Fears, Pete Wylie, Spitting Image and Peter Gabriel.
THU 20:00 Andrew Marr on Darwin's Dangerous Idea (b00jdcyd)
Life and Death
In the final episode of this groundbreaking series about Charles Darwin's legacy, Andrew Marr discovers how Darwin's ideas are helping us to save ourselves and all life on earth from extinction. Marr argues that Charles Darwin is the father of ecology. The modern environmental movement was built upon his insight that all life on earth is linked by a delicate web of connections. He also discovers that Darwin's dangerous idea is inspiring scientists to create a 'flotilla of Darwinian Noah's Arks' to help save life on earth from disaster.
Exploring the impact of industrialisation, intensive farming and our growing hunger for meat, Marr tells the story of our slow awakening to the full implications of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection and our own destructive powers as a species. After showing how Darwin developed his ideas by digging up fossils, exploring coral reefs and studying the habits of the humble earthworm, Marr explains how Darwin's dangerous idea was launched into the space age. He discovers the mysterious movements of the 'mouse society', snorkels over a coral reef and visits a 'boiling cauldron of evolution' - the tropical rainforest - which is now threatened by the shadow of mass extinction.
Over the last 150 years, the combination of Darwin's ideas with politics has often had disastrous social consequences. In this programme, Andrew Marr argues that our failure to combine politics with Darwin's insights into the delicate connections between all life on earth could be accelerating the countdown to our own extinction.
THU 21:00 The Motorway: Life in the Fast Lane (b04hg23s)
Weight of Traffic
Documentary following the army of workers overseeing and making repairs to the M6, the UK's major arterial motorway, and local residents Jim and Alan who live just 20 metres from where the roadworks are taking place. Built more than 40 years ago, the M6 carries up to 8,000 vehicles every hour and the surface needs constant maintenance. With the need to keep the heavy traffic flowing at all times competing with the constant need to make repairs, it is a battle to stop it all grinding to a halt.
For the last six years, there has been a succession of roadworks on this stretch of the motorway resulting in a string of complaints from Jim who has the Highways Agency number permanently 'logged in his phone'. With the latest roadworks again scheduled during the night when the motorway is at its quietest, Jim knows what to expect - 'you start seeing orange lights flashing and at 3 and 4 in the morning it's disco time'. For Alan, the noise of the roadworks outside his home is 'like a war game' and he ponders whether his next move is to call the 24-hour hotline or email his local MP. A few doors down, Jim has armed himself with a decibel meter to record the sound levels in the hope that someone will realise how 'unbearable' the disruption is.
Meanwhile, Jim and Alan are not the only ones having sleepless nights as the safety inspectors working the graveyard shift go on the lookout for heavy-freight truckers breaking the rules and a team of workers carry out the repairs to a four-mile stretch of the M6.
THU 22:00 Horizon (b039grrx)
Dinosaurs: The Hunt for Life
The hunt for life within the long-dead bones of dinosaurs may sound like the stuff of Hollywood fantasy, but one woman has found traces of life within the fossilised bones of a Tyrannosaurus rex.
Dr Mary Schweitzer has seen the remains of red blood cells and touched the soft tissue of an animal that died 68 million years ago. Most excitingly of all, she believes she may just have found signs of DNA. Her work is revolutionising our understanding of these iconic beasts.
THU 23:00 Blood and Gold: The Making of Spain with Simon Sebag Montefiore (b06s5x0t)
Simon uncovers the truth about Spain's hero El Cid. He also investigates the horror of the Spanish Inquisition and in the process discovers an unsettling story about one of his own ancestors.
THU 00:00 Top of the Pops (b0bm6svx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
THU 00:30 EMI: The Inside Story (b07c6fj7)
One record company has been a constant presence in popular music throughout our lives.
EMI brought The Beatles to the world and in every decade since has been instrumental in producing some of Britain's most celebrated and enduring music.
But behind the success lay a very British institution often at odds with the music it released. It had to come to terms with psychedelia, face punk head-on and find huge sums of money to feed the excesses of the 1980s.
Interviews with EMI artists including members of Queen, Pink Floyd, The Sex Pistols and Pet Shop Boys reveal how their demands for more and more control ultimately led to drastic changes at EMI. Former EMI employees share the gossip and goings-on in an industry infamous for its extravagance.
The British music industry is world-renowned. It has produced decades of memorable music that have reached all corners of the globe. EMI has always been at the forefront and has left an indelible mark on our culture forever.
THU 01:30 Awesome Beauty: The Art of Industrial Britain (b093q7gp)
Lachlan Goudie explores Britain's spectacular industrial landscapes and the artists and artworks inspired by them in a passionate and thought-provoking journey that challenges our national stereotypes. Travelling the length and breadth of the UK, and visiting an impressive range of industrial sites, from shipyards to quarries, mines to abandoned wind tunnels, steelworks to space age laboratories, Goudie builds a surprising and compelling alternative picture of Britain.
Featuring revelatory industrial art by the likes of JMW Turner, Graham Sutherland and photographer Maurice Broomfield, the film reveals the awesome beauty, drama and significance of our industrial heritage and proves there is so much more to these isles than the picture postcard cliche of a 'green and pleasant land'.
THU 02:30 Handmade in the Pacific (b0bm6pjv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 on Monday
THU 03:00 Andrew Marr on Darwin's Dangerous Idea (b00jdcyd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
FRIDAY 05 OCTOBER 2018
FRI 19:00 World News Today (b0bltjv2)
LIST OF THIS WEEK'S PROGRAMMES
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.
FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (b0bm6tdn)
Pop chart programme. Simon Bates and Gary Davies present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 5 June 1986. Featuring Cashflow, Simply Red, Pet Shop Boys, Doctor and the Medics, Genesis, Nu Shooz and Jaki Graham.
FRI 20:00 Gregory Porter's Popular Voices (b09gvqj9)
Gregory examines how early 20th-century blues growlers like Bessie Smith paved the way for the rhyme and flow of hip-hop, how truth became a quest of rock 'n' roll's greatest poets from Woody Guthrie to Gil Scott-Heron, from Lou Reed to Suzanne Vega, and why great popular voices, including Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Kurt Cobain, don't have to be technically perfect to resonate so deeply and stir our souls. With Dave Grohl, Suzanne Vega and KRS-One.
FRI 21:00 Rock 'n' Roll America (b0615nmw)
Sweet Little Sixteen
In Cold War mid-1950s America, as the new suburbia was spreading fast in a country driven by racial segregation, rock 'n' roll took the country by surprise. Out of the Deep South came a rhythm-driven fusion of blues, boogie woogie and vocal harmony played by young black pioneers like Fats Domino and Little Richard that seduced young white teens and, pre-civil rights, got black and white kids reeling and rocking together.
This fledgling sound was nurtured by small independent labels and travelled up from the Mississippi corridor spawning new artists. In Memphis, Elvis began his career as a local singer with a country twang who rocked up a blues song and sounded so black he confused his white listeners. And in St Louis, black blues guitarist Chuck Berry took a country song and turned it into his first rock 'n' roll hit, Maybellene.
Movies had a big role to play thanks to 'social problem' films exploring the teenager as misfit and delinquent - The Wild One showed teens a rebellious image and a look, and Blackboard Jungle gave them a soundtrack, with the film's theme tune Rock Around the Clock becoming the first rock 'n' roll Number 1 in 1955.
Featuring Jerry Lee Lewis, Don Everly, Little Richard, Tom Jones, Wanda Jackson, Pat Boone, The Spaniels, PF Sloan, Joe Boyd, Jerry Phillips, Marshall Chess, JM Van Eaton (Jerry Lee Lewis's drummer), Charles Connor (Little Richard's drummer) and Dick Richards (Bill Haley's drummer).
FRI 22:00 Can You Feel It - How Dance Music Conquered the World (b0bm6tlp)
In the final, part we tell the story of the DJ. With a cast that features todays biggest DJ stars alongside house pioneers, we plot the DJ path from invisibility to centre stage. How is it that people who play records are today's highest paid music stars? As Norman Cook says, 'There's two types of people in the world. Those that hear a record they like and have to listen to it over and over again in their headphones. They're called normal people. Then there's another kind that as soon as they hear a record they like, they have to play it to loads of other people. And they're called DJs'.
Today the DJ is a major celebrity. Rich, influential and very powerful. As David Guetta says, 'It was impossible to think that we were going to become the biggest musical phenomenon in the world. But we did it'.
We follow the record box from Greg Wilson - demonstrating mixing two records on a 1980s edition of The Tube - through Ibiza vibe-pioneer Alfredo, to Paul Oakenfold's legendary sets at acid house night Spectrum. And we tell the stories of today's megastar mixers. DJs who earn upwards of $50 million a year.
With in-depth interviews with David Guetta, Steve Aoki, Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk, Black Madonna, Moby and Midland, we discover the highs and the inevitable lows of this new brand of music stardom. The sometimes isolated existence of the lone DJ is brought in to sharp focus by the recent tragic death of 28-year-old Swedish House megastar Avicii.
Other contributors include Pete Tong, Jeff Mills, Terry Farley, Fabio and Nina Kravitz.
FRI 23:00 The People's History of Pop (b077rchk)
The Birth of the Fan
Twiggy celebrates the 60s, meeting skiffle musicians, fans of The Shadows, Liverpudlians who frequented the Cavern Club at the height of Merseybeat, Beatles devotees, Ready Steady Go! dancers, mods, lovers of ska, bluebeat and Millie Small, and fans of The Rolling Stones.
Unearthed pop treasures include a recording of John Lennon's first ever recorded performance with his band The Quarrymen.
FRI 00:00 Top of the Pops (b0bm6tdn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
FRI 00:30 Promises & Lies: The Story of UB40 (b084j56n)
One of the most commercially successful acts of all time, UB40 enjoyed decades of huge success, selling over 70 million records with global hits including Red Red Wine, Can't Help Falling in Love and I Got You Babe.
But stardom and fame came at a price, and the band found themselves victims of their own success - bankrupt and penniless.
Ali Campbell, Robin Campbell, Astro, Brian Travers, Mickey Virtue and Jimmy Brown recount their phenomenal rise to fame and speak with candour about their ongoing dispute that has split a family and a band as they continue to tour as two separate groups - both using the name UB40.
FRI 01:30 Gregory Porter's Popular Voices (b09gvqj9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
FRI 02:30 Rock 'n' Roll America (b0615nmw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
(Note: the times link back to the details; the pids link to the BBC page, including iPlayer)
A History of Ancient Britain 21:00 MON (b01971gm)
A History of Ancient Britain 03:00 MON (b01971gm)
A Very British Airline 00:00 WED (b047hjf9)
A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley 20:00 TUE (b06jp0zq)
A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley 03:00 TUE (b06jp0zq)
Andrew Marr on Darwin's Dangerous Idea 20:00 THU (b00jdcyd)
Andrew Marr on Darwin's Dangerous Idea 03:00 THU (b00jdcyd)
Awesome Beauty: The Art of Industrial Britain 01:30 THU (b093q7gp)
Beyond 100 Days 19:00 MON (b0bltjsf)
Beyond 100 Days 19:00 TUE (b0bltjsy)
Beyond 100 Days 19:00 WED (b0bltjtc)
Beyond 100 Days 19:00 THU (b0bltjtr)
Big Cats 20:00 SAT (b09p26p3)
Big Cats 02:40 SAT (b09p26p3)
Blood and Gold: The Making of Spain with Simon Sebag Montefiore 23:00 THU (b06s5x0t)
Bought with Love: The Secret History of British Art Collections 01:00 MON (b037c5gt)
Can You Feel It - How Dance Music Conquered the World 22:00 FRI (b0bm6tlp)
DEC Indonesia Tsunami Appeal 19:27 THU (b0bp5rv7)
Dara & Ed's Road to Mandalay 23:00 TUE (b08psbn8)
EMI: The Inside Story 00:30 THU (b07c6fj7)
Empire 22:00 WED (b01db7xc)
Engineering Giants 19:00 SUN (b01l1w71)
Farther and Sun: A Dyslexic Road Trip 21:00 SUN (b0bm6pdg)
Feud: Bette and Joan 22:00 SUN (p05lgl4b)
Feud: Bette and Joan 22:55 SUN (p05ll0j1)
Greece with Simon Reeve 22:00 TUE (p03gk743)
Gregory Porter's Popular Voices 20:00 FRI (b09gvqj9)
Gregory Porter's Popular Voices 01:30 FRI (b09gvqj9)
Handmade in the Pacific 19:30 MON (b0bm6pjv)
Handmade in the Pacific 02:30 THU (b0bm6pjv)
Horizon 23:00 WED (b07vxkbv)
Horizon 22:00 THU (b039grrx)
Inside No. 9 22:40 SAT (b03tvm9q)
Inside No. 9 23:10 SAT (b03vkx2t)
James May's Cars of the People 20:00 SUN (b04g1dvt)
James May's Cars of the People 02:45 SUN (b04g1dvt)
Life Story 21:00 TUE (b04n8xgq)
Life Story 02:00 TUE (b04n8xgq)
Monkey Planet 19:00 SAT (p01s0yd4)
Monkey Planet 01:40 SAT (p01s0yd4)
Mystery Road 21:00 SAT (b0bm6nfl)
Mystery Road 21:50 SAT (b0bm6p1z)
Pappano's Classical Voices 01:45 SUN (b0638jby)
Promises & Lies: The Story of UB40 00:30 FRI (b084j56n)
Rock 'n' Roll America 21:00 FRI (b0615nmw)
Rock 'n' Roll America 02:30 FRI (b0615nmw)
Rococo: Travel, Pleasure, Madness 00:00 TUE (b03sg830)
Roots, Reggae, Rebellion 00:40 SAT (b0824dd7)
Sheila Hancock Brushes Up: The Art of Watercolours 20:00 WED (b00yzgtn)
Sheila Hancock Brushes Up: The Art of Watercolours 02:00 WED (b00yzgtn)
South Pacific 20:00 MON (b00kwdqr)
South Pacific 02:00 MON (b00kwdqr)
Storyville 23:30 MON (b076nqjb)
The Hidden Art of Islam 01:00 TUE (b01dczjj)
The Last Explorers 23:45 SUN (b018c57k)
The Motorway: Life in the Fast Lane 21:00 THU (b04hg23s)
The People's History of Pop 23:00 FRI (b077rchk)
The Science of D-Day 19:30 TUE (b045gr8m)
The Secret Life of Books 19:30 WED (b06pm5v9)
The Secret Life of Landfill: A Rubbish History 22:00 MON (b0bgpc2f)
The Treasure Hunters 01:00 WED (b040zb5q)
Top of the Pops 23:40 SAT (b0blhsnc)
Top of the Pops 00:10 SAT (b0blht78)
Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b0bm6svx)
Top of the Pops 00:00 THU (b0bm6svx)
Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (b0bm6tdn)
Top of the Pops 00:00 FRI (b0bm6tdn)
Treasures of Ancient Greece 00:45 SUN (b05qqgrr)
Wonders of the Great Barrier Reef with Iolo Williams 21:00 WED (b0bltzbn)
Wonders of the Great Barrier Reef with Iolo Williams 03:00 WED (b0bltzbn)
World News Today 19:00 FRI (b0bltjv2)