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SAT 19:00 BBC Proms (b04w7sjs)

War Horse at the Proms

A major new musical adaptation of the international hit War Horse, created by the National Theatre for the BBC Proms.

Simon Russell Beale presents the unique production at the Royal Albert Hall with Gareth Malone's Proms Military Wives Choir, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Cambiata Choir North West, alongside the National Theatre Ensemble with the astonishing Handspring Puppets. There's even a role for writer Michael Morpurgo as himself.

Composer Adrian Sutton's War Horse Suite traces the story of Joey the horse from birth to death, the specially commissioned Some See Us is a haunting tribute to the young men slaughtered in World War I, and his elegiac Only Remembered bookends the show. Interweaved is music from composers influenced by the war, including Holst, Elgar and Ravel.

Simon Russell Beale goes behind the scenes as the production takes shape at rehearsals with National Theatre director Melly Still, Joey the horse journeys across the river from London's Southbank to the Royal Albert Hall, and Michael Morpurgo reflects on this latest incarnation of his much-loved tale.

The imaginative staging projects live action and archive footage on to screens hung like tattered flags, and there are dramatic entrances, audience participation and a few surprises, adding up to an exciting and intensely moving show.

SAT 20:20 John Denver at Wembley Arena (b03jgq83)
Country singer-songwriter John Denver performs in concert at Wembley Arena in 1979, featuring hits including Rocky Mountain High and Take Me Home, Country Roads.

SAT 21:00 Beck (b0bs25rz)
The Thin Ice

When the coach of a suburban junior hockey team is murdered, the police investigate.

In Swedish with English subtitles.

SAT 22:40 Top of the Pops (b0brk3w1)
John Peel and Janice Long present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 28 August 1986. Featuring Jermaine Stewart, Peter Cetera, Jaki Graham, Human League, Boris Gardiner and Janet Jackson.

SAT 23:10 Top of the Pops (b0brk4hs)
Gary Davies presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 4 September 1986. Featuring The Communards, MC Miker G & DJ Sven, Bruce Hornsby and The Range, Bon Jovi, Farley 'Jackmaster' Funk, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Boris Gardiner.

SAT 23:40 Better than the Original: The Joy of the Cover Version (b06n9q8y)
Documentary which celebrates the role of the cover version in the pop canon and investigates what it takes to reinvent someone else's song as a smash.

Through ten carefully chosen cover versions that whisk us from the British Invasion to a noughties X Factor final, this film journeys over five decades to track how artists as varied as The Moody Blues, Soft Cell, Puff Daddy and Alexandra Burke have scored number ones with their retake on someone else's song. Each of the ten classic cover versions has its own particular tale, tied not only into its musical and cultural context but also the personal testimony of the artists, producers and songwriters whose lives were changed in the process.

Narrated by Meera Syal, it explores the stories behind such iconic hits as House of the Rising Sun, Respect, Tainted Love, I'll Be Missing You and Hallelujah, with contributors including John Cale, Gloria Jones, Marc Almond, Rick Rubin, Faith Evans and British singer-songwriter Nerina Pallot.

The cover version has always been a staple of the pop charts. Yet it's often been viewed as the poor relation of writing your own songs. This film challenges and overturns that misconception by celebrating an exciting, underrated musical form that has the power to make or break an artist's career. Whether as tribute, reinterpretation or as an act of subversion, the extraordinary alchemy involved in covering a record can create a new, defining version - in some cases, even more original than the original.

SAT 00:40 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 01:40 Indie Classics at the BBC (b06g5jfp)
A look back through the archives at some of the classic tunes from the world of indie music through the 80s and early 90s, including the likes of Joy Division, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, Primal Scream and many more.

SAT 02:40 John Denver at Wembley Arena (b03jgq83)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:20 today]


SUN 19:00 A History of Christianity (b00nrtr8)
The First Christianity

When Diarmaid MacCulloch was a small boy, his parents used to drive him round historic churches. Little did they know that they had created a monster, with the history of the Christian Church becoming his life's work.

In a series sweeping across four continents, Professor MacCulloch goes in search of Christianity's forgotten origins. He overturns the familiar story that it all began when the apostle Paul took Christianity from Jerusalem to Rome. Instead, he shows that the true origins of Christianity lie further east, and that at one point it was poised to triumph in Asia, maybe even in China.

The headquarters of Christianity might well have been Baghdad not Rome, and if that had happened then western Christianity would have been very different.

SUN 20:00 Tennis: ATP Finals (b0brzngn)

Day 1 - Roger Federer v Kei Nishikori

Live coverage of the ATP Finals from London's O2 Arena as Roger Federer plays Kei Nishikori in the last men's tour event of the season.

Presented by Sue Barker.

SUN 22:00 The Flying Archaeologist (b01s1llz)
Hadrian's Wall: Life on the Frontier

Archaeologist Ben Robinson flies over Hadrian's Wall to reveal a new view of its history. The first full aerial survey of Hadrian's Wall has helped uncover new evidence about the people who once lived there. Carried out over the last few years by English Heritage, it is allowing archaeologists to reinterpret the wall. Across the whole landscape hundreds of sites of human occupation have been discovered, showing that people were living here in considerable numbers. Their discoveries are suggesting that far from being a barren military landscape, the whole area was richly populated before during and after the wall was built. There is also exciting new evidence that the Romans were here earlier than previously thought.

SUN 22:30 Treasures of the Anglo Saxons (b00t6xzx)
Art historian Dr Nina Ramirez reveals the codes and messages hidden in Anglo-Saxon art. From the beautiful jewellery that adorned the first violent pagan invaders through to the stunning Christian manuscripts they would become famous for, she explores the beliefs and ideas that shaped Anglo-Saxon art.

Examining many of the greatest Anglo Saxon treasures - such as the Sutton Hoo Treasures, the Staffordshire Hoard, the Franks Casket and the Lindisfarne Gospels - Dr Ramirez charts 600 years of artistic development which was stopped dead in its tracks by the Norman Conquest.

SUN 23:30 There She Goes (b0brf3lk)
Series 1

The Wrong Grandad

Simon's mum and stepdad have come to stay. They want to take Ben back down to Devon for three weeks in the summer, which causes Simon and Emily to wonder why they are not willing to take Rosie.

While Simon and Emily go on a rare night out, nana and grandad look after the kids, but when they return, they sense that something has gone wrong.

SUN 00:00 Darcey Bussell: Looking for Margot (b0868lnk)
Margot Fonteyn has inspired generations of ballerinas. She was beautiful, brilliant, talented and never put a foot wrong on stage. Her late flowering partnering with a much younger man, Rudolf Nureyev, created the most dazzling ballet partnership in history.

And yet behind the scenes, as Darcey Bussell discovers, Margot's life was marked by tragedy and disappointment. She barely knew her father and was dominated by her well-meaning, yet fiercely ambitious, mother. She couldn't find love and never had children. And when she finally did marry, to a man she loved from afar for many years, he turned out to be very different from what she expected: a hero to his people, but not always to his wife.

Darcey goes behind the scenes at the Royal Opera House and the Royal Ballet, and travels from London to New York and Panama looking for Margot. She finds how Margot lost out in love, got drawn into a failed foreign revolution, danced on for far too long and died alone and in poverty, miles from home. Along the way, Darcey speaks to many people who have not spoken out before about Margot. In the end, Darcey learns that by following her heart, Margot did find a kind of happiness, even though it came at a very high price.

SUN 01:00 Mary Magdalene: Art's Scarlet Woman (b08ljvt7)
Waldemar Januszczak explores the impact of Mary Magdalene's myth on art and artists. All saints in art are inventions, but no saint in art has been invented quite as furiously as Mary Magdalene. For a thousand years, artists have been throwing themselves at the task of describing her and telling her story, from Caravaggio to Cezanne, Rubens to Rembrandt, Titian to van Gogh.

Her identity has evolved from being the close follower of Jesus who was the first witness to his resurrection, to one of a prostitute and sinner who escaped from persecution in the Holy Land by fleeing across the Mediterranean to end up living in a cave as a hermit in the south of France, enjoying ecstatic experiences with Christ.

SUN 02:00 A History of Christianity (b00nrtr8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


MON 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b0bqw542)
Series 1


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

MON 19:30 What Do Artists Do All Day? (b0brzngq)
Peter Jackson

To mark the centenary of WWI, Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, has produced an acclaimed documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old. Using the latest cutting edge production techniques to restore and colourise original footage from the Imperial War Museum, alongside interviews with servicemen, the film brings to life the soldiers' experiences in unprecedented detail. To accompany the film's BBC broadcast, this special episode of What Do Artists Do All Day follows Jackson at work on the documentary, discussing his motivations for making the film and revealing his own deep personal connection to the war, through his British grandfather who fought at the Somme.

MON 20:00 Ireland with Simon Reeve (b06qymr8)
Episode 1

Simon begins his journey in the south of Ireland, paramotoring with an Irish explorer. On the west coast, he does a spot of surfing before climbing Croagh Patrick in honour of Ireland's patron saint. This leg of his journey ends in Malin Head, Ireland's most northerly point.

MON 21:00 Deep Ocean: Lights in the Abyss (b0bs367k)
In a huge submarine canyon in California's Monterey Bay, there is an illuminating twilight zone. It is a world of countless exotic creatures, including sparkling jellyfish and deep sea fish that give off flashes. Using an ultra-high sensitivity 4K camera specifically developed for deep sea filming, together with experts in the field, Lights in the Abyss captures bioluminescent creatures in their natural habitat, deep in the Pacific Ocean.

Narrated by Sir David Attenborough.

MON 22:00 A Scottish Soldier: A Lost Diary of WWI (b0brk5dm)
Thousands of black soldiers fought in the First World War. Poet Jackie Kay tells the story of one of them - Arthur Roberts. Arthur grew up in Glasgow and joined the King's Own Scottish Borderers in 1917. He fought at Ypres and kept a detailed diary, which gives us a unique account of the war. Arthur's evocative writing and sketches paint a vivid first-hand picture of life in the trenches. Like Arthur, Jackie Kay is a black Glaswegian, and she explores what it was like being black 100 years ago.

MON 22:30 Storyville (b0brkdxx)
Quest: Surviving in America

An intimate portrait of the African-American Rainey family as they navigate life in their north Philadelphia neighbourhood gripped by poverty, drugs and gun violence. Filmed over the eight years of Obama's presidency, the film follows Christopher 'Quest' Rainey and his wife Christine's 'Ma Quest' as they try to raise their children and keep a group of local hip hop artists off the streets by cultivating a creative hub in their home music studio. Capturing the generosity, self-reliance and hope of a community, Quest is a vivid illumination of race, class and life in modern-day America.

MON 00:00 Timeshift (b06b36q3)
Series 15

A Very British Map: The Ordnance Survey Story

For over 200 years, Ordnance Survey has mapped every square mile of the British Isles, capturing not just the contours and geography of our nation, but of our lives. Originally intended for military use, OS maps were used during wartime to help locate enemy positions. In peacetime, they helped people discover and explore the countryside.

Today, the large fold-out paper maps, used by generations of ramblers, scouts and weekend adventurers, represent just a small part of the OS output. As Ordnance Survey adjusts to the digital age, Timeshift looks back to tell the story of a quintessentially British institution.

MON 01:00 Utopia: In Search of the Dream (b091gx74)
Series 1

Build It and They Will Come

Utopia has been imagined in a thousand different ways. Yet when people try to build utopia, they struggle and very often fail. Art historian professor Richard Clay asks whether utopian visions for living can ever reconcile the tension between the group and the individual, the rules and the desire to break free.

Travelling to America, he encounters experimental communities, searching for greater meaning in life. Richard visits a former Shaker village in New Hampshire and immerses himself for a day at the Twin Oaks eco-commune in Virginia, where residents share everything, even clothes. He looks back at the grand urban plans for the masses of the 20th-century utopian ideologies, from the New Deal housing projects of downtown Chicago to the concrete sprawl of a Soviet-era housing estate in Vilnius, Lithuania. He also meets utopian architects with a continuing faith that humanity's lot can be improved by better design. Interviewees include architect Norman Foster and designer Shoji Sadao.

MON 02:00 What Do Artists Do All Day? (b0brzngq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

MON 02:30 Ireland with Simon Reeve (b06qymr8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b0bqw55d)
Series 1


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

TUE 19:30 Regimental Stories (b015sl3d)
The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards was formed 300 years ago to crush Scottish rebellion against the monarchy. It went on to play a decisive role at Waterloo. Now a modern tank force, the regiment is still shaped and inspired by the daring charges of its cavalry past.

TUE 20:00 The Story of Wales (b01cqmb5)
Power Struggles

Huw Edwards presents this major television history of Wales, showing the country in ways it has never been seen before. This Story of Wales spans seven centuries, from the building of a great frontier to Owain Glyndwr's epic struggle for independence. We meet the medieval kings who shaped Wales and watch a nation emerge out of their lust for power and land. Amidst battles with Vikings, Saxons and Normans, Welsh culture flourishes. But the death of the last native prince is followed by a century of plague and famine. Then, the charismatic Glyndwr leads a rebellion against the English Crown.

TUE 21:00 Dan Cruickshank's Monuments of Remembrance (b0brk994)
Dan Cruickshank reveals the extraordinary story behind the design and building of iconic First World War memorials and explores the idea behind the creation of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

TUE 22:00 There She Goes (b0bs475p)
Series 1


Rosie is incredibly excited - Gandalf is finally coming because there is going to be a birthday with lots of presents! It doesn't matter to Rosie that it's Ben's birthday. The extended family set off for a birthday meal.

TUE 22:30 Great War Horses (b094f4tl)
The horses that provided the backbone of the Australian Light Horse regiments in World War I were popularly known as Walers. Bred for Australia's tough Outback conditions, Walers were well-equipped for the harsh climate and terrain of the Middle East, where the ANZAC forces faced the armies of the Ottoman Empire.

Great War Horses is a powerful, moving account of the men and horses of the Australian Light Horse and the pivotal role they played in World War I at the Battle of Romani (1916), the celebrated Light Horse charge at the Battle of Beersheba (1917) and the capture of Damascus in 1918.

TUE 23:30 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (b096m6nx)
Series 2


Pollok House is a country house right in the middle of a Glasgow city park, bordered on one side by the M77 and on the other side by the south side of Glasgow. It is owned by Glasgow City Council and looked after by the National Trust for Scotland. It truly is a house for the people, surrounded by the people. As well as an excellent tea room, Pollok has an impressive collection of Spanish art, the legacy of the man who once owned the house, Sir William Stirling-Maxwell. Unfortunately, some of Pollok's treasures have been placed in storage due to a leaking roof and urgent renovations. But could one of these displaced pictures be a priceless work, lost for centuries, hiding north of the border? It would be international news if it was.

Dr Bendor Grosvenor and Emma Dabiri travel to Glasgow to investigate a long-lost picture of one of the most famous gay men in history, possibly painted by one of the most famous artists in history. The subject of the painting is none other than George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, who was the gay lover of James VI of Scotland (James I of England). But how did he end up in Glasgow? While Bendor squares up to a rival portrait in Florence which claims to be the real Buckingham portrait, Emma finds that William Stirling-Maxwell had a secret family in Jamaica and that sugar and tobacco built Glasgow long before shipbuilding was its major industry.

TUE 00:30 Lost Kingdoms of Central America (b04jvpqj)
Between Oceans and Empires

Dr Jago Cooper explores the rise and fall of the forgotten civilisations of Central America.

His quest takes him from from the crystal blue seas of the Caribbean to the New World's most impressive pyramids, flying over the smoking volcanoes of Costa Rica and travelling deep underground in the caves of central Mexico.

He travels in the footsteps of these peoples to reveal their secrets and unearth the astonishing cultures that flourished amongst some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world.

In this episode, Jago explores the forgotten people of ancient Costa Rica, who built a series of spectacular settlements amongst the rivers and volcanoes of Central America and whose enigmatic legacy - including hundreds of mysterious, giant stone spheres - is only now being unravelled by archaeologists.

TUE 01:30 How Quizzing Got Cool: TV's Brains of Britain (b084fs6s)
We all love a good quiz. So here's a question - when did ordinary contestants turn into the pro-quizzers of today? Giving the answers are Victoria Coren Mitchell, Judith Keppel, Chris Tarrant, Mark Labbett, Nicholas Parsons and many more. Narrated by Ben Miller.

TUE 02:30 Dan Cruickshank's Monuments of Remembrance (b0brk994)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b0bqw565)
Series 1


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

WED 19:30 Regimental Stories (b015sl43)
The Coldstream Guards

Formed to fight against the monarchy during the English Civil War, the Coldstream Guards now serve as a bodyguard to the Queen. This film reveals how their history continues to motivate them to this day.

WED 20:00 Invasion! with Sam Willis (b09j2vwt)
Series 1

Episode 2

Dr Sam Willis tells the story of the Barbary Corsaire pirates, who made their HQ on Lundy Island, and brings together the evidence of the little-known tale of King Louis the Lion. This French king invaded Britain in the 13th century after being invited to do so by plotting nobles. He was even crowned at St Paul's, but politely retreated when asked. Sam also looks at one day in 1687 when a huge Dutch task force sped up the River Medway, and plots the progress of perhaps one of the most audacious attempted invasions ever - by the imposter Perkin Warbeck.

WED 21:00 Space Dive (b01nts6t)
Base jumper Felix Baumgartner embarks on an historic journey to the edge of space. His mission is to complete the highest and fastest free-fall ever, becoming the first person to skydive through the sound barrier. But he can't do it alone. The man who has held the record for over 50 years, retired Colonel Joe Kittinger, will train Felix to overcome his fears and break the record he set as a test pilot taking one of mankind's first steps towards space.

WED 22:30 Horizon (b08y3s55)

Dippy and the Whale

Over the last two years, the BBC's science strand Horizon has been behind the scenes at London's Natural History Museum, following the dramatic replacement of the iconic Dippy the Dinosaur skeleton cast with the real skeleton of a blue whale - the world's biggest animal.

Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, this special film follows the teams involved in what has to be one of the world's most unique engineering challenges.

Replacing Dippy is brave and bold - it is the first thing visitors see when they enter the grand Hintze Hall, but the Natural History Museum is changing, and the installation of the colossal blue whale skeleton is the start of a new chapter. The largest animal ever to have lived, blue whales were driven to the brink of extinction by hunting and were the first species humans decided to save, telling an inspiring story of hope for the natural world.

WED 23:30 Sleuths, Spies & Sorcerers: Andrew Marr's Paperback Heroes (p040pw15)

What is it about stories of magic, epic adventure, and imaginary worlds that has turned fantasy fiction into one of the world's most popular forms of storytelling, regularly filling the bestseller lists and entrancing adults and children alike?

In the second episode of his series that deconstructs the books we (really) read, Andrew Marr argues that these stories are filled with big ideas. Yes, there may be wizards with pointy hats as well as the odd dragon, but what fantasy novels are really good at is allowing us to see our own world in a surprising way, albeit through a twisted gothic filter.

The current leading exponent of fantasy fiction is a bearded Texan, George RR Martin, whose A Game of Thrones began a bookshelf-buckling series of novels, and spawned a vast TV empire. But Andrew reminds us that this is a genre whose origins are British, and at its heart is still a quest to reconnect readers with the ancient ideas and folk beliefs of the world before the Enlightenment.

Andrew breaks down fantasy books into a set of conventions that govern the modern genre - he looks at the intricacy with which imaginary worlds are built (as seen in George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series), the use of portals that are able to bridge this world and another (most famously, the wardrobe in CS Lewis's Narnia books), as well the concept of 'thinning' - these novels are typically set in a world in decline. In fantasy fiction, winter is always coming.

To help him understand these books, Andrew meets bestselling fantasy writers and the programme includes interviews with Neil Gaiman, Alan Garner and Frances Hardinge.

As well as profiling key figures such as CS Lewis and Sir Terry Pratchett, Andrew considers the spell that medieval Oxford has cast on generations of authors from Lewis Carroll to Philip Pullman. And he gets to grips with the legacy of JRR Tolkien, a figure so important that his influence pops up everywhere 'like Mount Fuji in Japanese prints', according to Pratchett. Tolkien's predominance would not go unchallenged, and Andrew shows how writers like Ursula K Le Guin confronted Tolkien's rather European notions of what an imaginary world should be.

WED 00:30 Everyday Miracles: The Genius of Sofas, Stockings and Scanners (b04fmg34)

Professor Mark Miodownik concludes his odyssey of the stuff of modern life. This time he looks at how materials have enabled us to indulge our curiosity about the world around us. To go further and travel faster. He looks at how the bicycle suddenly stirred our national gene pool, why we should all be grateful for exploding glass and what levitation has to do with discovering your inner self. On the road and in the lab with dramatic experiments, Mark reveals why the everyday and even the mundane is anything but.

WED 01:30 Gallipoli: When Murdoch Went to War (b05sz6s6)
'My father shook up the establishment', claims Rupert Murdoch in this hour-long special that tells the true story behind the Gallipoli letter written in September 1915 by a young Australian journalist - Keith Murdoch.

According to journalistic legend, Keith Murdoch's letter toppled a general, shook a government and ended the bloodbath that was Gallipoli, one of the most infamous calamities of World War I. But the truth is far more complex.

With interviews and testimony from Rupert Murdoch, Sir Max Hastings, Sir Hew Strachan and other experts, plus dramatic reconstructions based on Keith Murdoch's own writings, the documentary tells the story of a young, ambitious journalist who visits the killing fields of Gallipoli and becomes embroiled in a scheme to evade the military censor. But when top-brass generals, cabinet ministers and press barons get involved, the scene is set for a political struggle in which reputations are destroyed, careers are made and the foundations for a new journalistic empire are laid.

WED 02:30 Great War Horses (b094f4tl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 on Tuesday]


THU 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b0bqw570)
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 (b0bs47xf)
Peter Powell and Stevie Wright present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 18 September 1986. Featuring Eurythmics, Michael McDonald, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Cameo, The Communards and Five Star.

THU 20:00 The Real Versailles (b07dprr6)
As BBC Two premieres its lavish new period drama set in the sumptuous surroundings of Versailles, Lucy Worsley and Helen Castor tell the real-life stories behind one of the world's grandest buildings. They reveal in vivid detail the colourful world of sex, drama and intrigue that Louis XIV and his courtiers inhabited.

As chief curator of Historic Royal Palaces, Lucy Worsley untangles Louis XIV's complex world of court etiquette, fashion and feasting, while court politics expert Helen Castor delves into the archives and unpicks the Machiavellian world that Louis created.

Our historians meet the real people behind the on-screen characters. They discover what drove Louis XIV to glorify his reign on a scale unmatched by any previous monarch, examine the tension between Louis and his only brother Philippe, an overt homosexual and battle hero, and they meet the coterie of women who competed for Louis's attention.

As Lucy and Helen show, Louis XIV was ruthless in his pursuit of glory and succeeded in defeating his enemies. In his record-breaking 72-year reign, France became renowned for its culture and sophistication.

THU 21:00 Our Classical Century (b0bs6xv8)
Series 1

1918 - 1936

Our Classical Century brings together the greatest moments in classical music in Britain over the last 100 years in a four-part series that celebrates moments of extraordinary music ambition and excellence, deep emotion and of great pleasure, and the artists who have brought audiences this music. Over the course of the series, viewers see and hear how, over the past one hundred years, classical music has shown dazzling virtuosity and innovation, and how music provided a unifying soundtrack to the times when national identity and destiny was at stake.

Presented by Suzy Klein and Sir Lenny Henry, this first programme captures the profound influence of the First World War on our classical music - how it affected a generation of musicians and composers and how the music they created became a crucial part of the nation’s sense of identity. From the martial might of Mars in Gustav Holst’s The Planets to the pastoral beauty of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ much-loved The Lark Ascending, this film tells the story of the music which brought together the United Kingdom.

Suzy and Lenny reveal the phenomenal popularity of the musical extravaganza Hiawatha by the now relatively unknown Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and examine the enduring impact of the American Jazz Age with George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. They also look at how Hubert Parry’s wartime composition to William Blake’s poem Jerusalem became the anthem of the Suffragette movement and at how the opening of Glyndebourne saw the start of a new chapter for opera in Britain.

THU 22:00 Alex Higgins: The People's Champion (b00tmzfb)
One man transfixed television viewers during snooker's golden age - Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins. This poignant documentary charts the remarkable rise and fall of the snooker genius, from his early days growing up in Belfast to his climb to the top of the sport as two-time world champion.

Higgins was pure showbiz, a mercurial talent at the table who played the game like nobody had done before. Boxing had Muhammad Ali, football was blessed by George Best - snooker had Alex Higgins. Yet like Best, Higgins's brilliance was flawed by his demons. We chart the depressing lows - the alcohol abuse, threatening to have fellow Ulsterman Dennis Taylor shot, headbutting a senior member of snooker's hierarchy and falling out of a top floor window and living to tell the tale after a row with his then-girlfriend.

The Higgins story is completed with the final chapter of his life spent battling throat cancer; desperate hours spent in pubs and working men's clubs trying to rekindle his halcyon days; finally unable to eat properly because he'd lost his teeth and in the end, ultimately found dead alone in sheltered accommodation.

At times uplifting, but at other moments very sad - this is a rollercoaster journey charting the life of snooker's 'rock and roll star'.

Contributors include Jimmy White, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Dennis Taylor, Barry Hearn, Steve Davis, Ray Reardon and members of the Higgins family.

THU 23:00 Arena (b07ltm21)
1966 - 50 Years Ago Today

Based on Jon Savage's book 1966: The Year the Decade Exploded, Arena marks the year pop music and popular culture ripped up the rule book in articulate, instinctive and radical new ways.

This was the year of Jonathan Miller's Alice in Wonderland, Morgan - A Suitable Case for Treatment, and the year that Strawberry Fields Forever was recorded. Television was still in black and white, but the world outside was bursting with colour and controversy. In America, in London, in Amsterdam, in Paris, revolutionary ideas slow-cooking since the late 1950s reached boiling point. In popular culture and the mass media, 1966 was a year of restless experimentation and the search for new forms of expression - particularly in pop music.

Written by Savage and director Paul Tickell, Arena's film takes viewers back to that moment in a vivid celebration of the music, films and TV that shaped the 1960s.

THU 00:05 Top of the Pops (b0bs47xf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 00:35 Tunes for Tyrants: Music and Power with Suzy Klein (b097f2gv)
Series 1


In the first episode of this fascinating and entertaining series exploring the politics of music, Suzy Klein takes us back to the volatile years following the Russian Revolution and World War I, when music was seen as a tool to change society.

Suzy explores the gender-bending cabarets of 1920s Berlin, smashes a piano in the spirit of the Bolshevik revolution, and discovers that playing a theremin is harder than it looks. She also reveals why one orchestra decided to work without a conductor, uncovers the dark politics behind Mack the Knife and probes the satirical songs which tried to puncture the rise of the Nazis. Finally, she tells the story of the infamous Horst Wessel song, which helped bring Hitler to power.

Suzy's musical stories are richly brought to life with the help of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and its Chorus, as well as wonderful solo performers. This was a golden age for music, and its jazz, popular songs, experimental symphonies and classics like Rachmaninoff all provoke debate - what kind of culture do we want? Is music for the elite or for the people? Was this a new age of liberal freedom to be relished - or were we hurtling towards the apocalypse?

With music's incredible power to bypass our brains and get straight to our hearts, it can at once invoke the very best in us and, Suzy argues, inflame the very worst. Music lovers beware!

THU 01:35 The Secret Science of Pop (b08gk664)
Evolutionary biologist Professor Armand Leroi believes data science can transform the pop world. He gathers a team of scientists and researchers to analyse over 50 years of UK chart music. Can algorithms find the secret to pop success?

When the results are in, Armand teams up with hit producer Trevor Horn. Using machine-learning techniques, Armand and Trevor try to take a song by unsigned artist Nike Jemiyo and turn it into a potential chart-topper.

Armand also takes a scientific look at pop evolution. He hunts for the major revolutions in his historic chart data, looking for those artists who transformed the musical landscape. The outcomes are fascinating and surprising, though fans of the Fab Four may not be pleased with the results. As Armand puts it, the hallmark of The Beatles is 'average'.

Finally, by teaming up with BBC research and development, Armand finds out if his algorithms can discover the stars of the future. Can he predict which of thousands of demo tracks uploaded to BBC Introducing is most likely to be a hit without listening to a note?

This is a clash of science and culture and a unique experiment with no guarantee of success. How will the artists react to the scientist intruding on their turf? And will Armand succeed in finding a secret science of pop?

THU 02:35 Invasion! with Sam Willis (b09j2vwt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Wednesday]


FRI 19:00 World News Today (b0bqw57m)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (b0bs48gl)
Janice Long presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 25 September 1986. Featuring Amazulu, Huey Lewis and the News, Farley 'Jackmaster' Funk, Genesis, Loose Ends, The Communards and Run DMC.

FRI 20:00 Vocal Giants and Beyond with Beverley Knight and James Morrison (b0brzps6)
Beverley Knight and James Morrison select their all-time favourite vocalists in a playlist packed with some of the world's greatest singers. They celebrate incredible voices and track their influence in an hour of astonishing archive performances.

James picks Tina Turner's epic Proud Mary rendition as one of his all-time greats, and Beverley introduces him to Big Mama Thornton - a woman who taught Elvis a thing a two.

What is it like to sing with your 'idol of idols'? Beverley reveals how she felt when this opportunity presented itself.

Experience the raw stadium-rock vocal of Steve Tyler and the soaring acoustic purity of Eva Cassidy, the intensity of Otis Redding and the passion of Prince. Whitney Houston sings live to an audience of millions and Sir Tom Jones returns to the green grass of Wales to deliver one of his classic hits. Finally, a pitch-perfect George Michael blows the roof off Wembley stadium in this feel-good hour of dazzling show-stoppers.

FRI 21:00 Primal Scream: The Lost Memphis Tapes (b0brzps8)
The programme shows Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie's fascination with music from an early age, listening to the sounds of Elvis and Aretha Franklin before graduating to punk. He talks about his passion for music and how to keep creativity on the right track. In the early 90s the UK music scene was changing - with Oasis and Blur emerging, this alternative rock band was recording in Memphis but suddenly sounded out of step with the music scene.

As the documentary reveals, nine songs were recorded for the band's 1994 album Give Out But Don't Give Up, including Jailbird, Rocks, and Cry Myself Blind, but the album that was released, after further mixes were made to make the new album more contemporary, was not the mix Primal Scream wanted. In the film Bobby Gillespie talks candidly about how this process led him to question his own judgement and that for many years the experience left him feeling that he had failed himself and his audience.

With exclusive, previously unreleased footage of behind-the-scenes studio sessions, this is the story of how the original mixtapes of the album were rediscovered in a basement by Andrew Innes, Primal Scream's rhythm guitarist. The sessions recorded by the band in Memphis with the legendary record producer Tom Dowd, along with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section musicians Roger Hawkins, drums, and David Hood, bass, did not make the light of day, because some of the mixes were not suitable in the musical climate at the time.

Bobby and Andrew go back to Memphis 25 years later to revisit Ardent Studios, where the band first recorded the original album, and meet some of the musicians and engineers involved in the process. It gives Bobby the chance to remaster the album he had originally envisaged all those years ago. The film has new interviews with Bobby, Andrew, David and Jeff Powell, the original engineer, giving their own, unique perspectives of the events of more than 20 years ago. Plus, there are archive interviews with the Memphis Horns, George Clinton and Roger Hawkins.

With the rediscovery of the original session tapes, the band is finally able to release the beautiful music they always wanted the public to hear.

FRI 22:00 Reggae Fever: David Rodigan (b0brzpsb)
David Rodigan's unlikely career as a reggae broadcaster and DJ has developed in parallel with the evolution of Jamaican music in the UK. His passion and his profession have given him a privileged, insiders' view of the UK's love affair with Jamaican music that began in the 1950s. His constant championing of it has afforded him national treasure status with generations of British Jamaicans and all lovers of reggae music.

This is a film about the career of David Rodigan but it's also a window through which to see a wider human story about social change in the UK: a story of immigration and integration, and music's role within it.

The beginning of his career conjures up a forgotten era when reggae was reviled by liberal, hippyish music fans because of its association with skinheads. At one point, his fellow students agreed to share a house with him only if Rodigan agreed not to play reggae. Instead, he would haunt London's specialist record shops and sneak out to Jamaican clubs alone.

His break first came on BBC Radio London, where his knowledge and infectious enthusiasm won him the gig. Since that first break, he's had shows on Capital, Kiss and now BBC Radio 1Xtra and BBC Radio 2. In the 80s, his radio show became such a Sunday lunchtime fixture in London's West Indian households that it was colloquially known as 'rice 'n' peas'. Bob Marley personally chose Rodigan's show to play out the world exclusive of Could You Be Loved.

As well as being a DJ, Rodigan also began to 'soundclash' on a global stage. This musical competition where crew members from opposing sound systems pit their skills against each other involves the playing of records in turn, with the crowd ultimately deciding who has 'killed' the other crew, by playing the better chosen track. But standard versions of tracks don't cut it in a clash, where the true currency is 'dubplates' - versions of tracks recut, often by the original artist, with lyrics changed to praise the playing crew or diss the opposing one.

In Jamaica, after he began clashing live on national radio with DJ Barry G, he became so famous that his name was even adopted by a Kingston gangster. He began competing on the World Soundclash stage alongside the likes of Jamaica's Stone Love and Japan's Mighty Crown as the soundclash became a global phenomenon. David is probably the only person ever to have been awarded an MBE and the title of World Clash Champion.

In recent years, Rodigan's live DJ appearances have started attracting a far younger audience. It can be seen as a reflection of the way different forms of music from the different cultures that have arrived in Britain over the last 70 years have integrated, taken root and spawned new scenes, attitudes and tastes.

As well as appearing at student unions across the country and continuing to clash by himself, he's also now a part of clash crew Rebel Sound, first assembled for Red Bull Culture Clash in 2014. In this environment, David found himself amidst a melting pot of beats, loops and popping, infectious bass-driven riddims - playing to the kids who are discovering him and therefore reggae music through other artists.

Now in his 40th professional year, David is quite rightly celebrating, his passion for the music he loves burning as brightly as ever. This film is a testament to this most unlikely of reggae aficionados - a celebration of a man whose story is strangely intertwined with not only the evolution of music in this country but also the evolution of the culture.

FRI 00:30 Top of the Pops (b0bs48gl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

FRI 01:05 Vocal Giants and Beyond with Beverley Knight and James Morrison (b0brzps6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRI 02:05 Primal Scream: The Lost Memphis Tapes (b0brzps8)
[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 Christianity 19:00 SUN (b00nrtr8)

A History of Christianity 02:00 SUN (b00nrtr8)

A Scottish Soldier: A Lost Diary of WWI 22:00 MON (b0brk5dm)

Alex Higgins: The People's Champion 22:00 THU (b00tmzfb)

Arena 23:00 THU (b07ltm21)

BBC Proms 19:00 SAT (b04w7sjs)

Beck 21:00 SAT (b0bs25rz)

Better than the Original: The Joy of the Cover Version 23:40 SAT (b06n9q8y)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 MON (b0bqw542)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 TUE (b0bqw55d)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 WED (b0bqw565)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 THU (b0bqw570)

Big in America: British Hits in the USA 00:40 SAT (b01bywsr)

Britain's Lost Masterpieces 23:30 TUE (b096m6nx)

Dan Cruickshank's Monuments of Remembrance 21:00 TUE (b0brk994)

Dan Cruickshank's Monuments of Remembrance 02:30 TUE (b0brk994)

Darcey Bussell: Looking for Margot 00:00 SUN (b0868lnk)

Deep Ocean: Lights in the Abyss 21:00 MON (b0bs367k)

Everyday Miracles: The Genius of Sofas, Stockings and Scanners 00:30 WED (b04fmg34)

Gallipoli: When Murdoch Went to War 01:30 WED (b05sz6s6)

Great War Horses 22:30 TUE (b094f4tl)

Great War Horses 02:30 WED (b094f4tl)

Horizon 22:30 WED (b08y3s55)

How Quizzing Got Cool: TV's Brains of Britain 01:30 TUE (b084fs6s)

Indie Classics at the BBC 01:40 SAT (b06g5jfp)

Invasion! with Sam Willis 20:00 WED (b09j2vwt)

Invasion! with Sam Willis 02:35 THU (b09j2vwt)

Ireland with Simon Reeve 20:00 MON (b06qymr8)

Ireland with Simon Reeve 02:30 MON (b06qymr8)

John Denver at Wembley Arena 20:20 SAT (b03jgq83)

John Denver at Wembley Arena 02:40 SAT (b03jgq83)

Lost Kingdoms of Central America 00:30 TUE (b04jvpqj)

Mary Magdalene: Art's Scarlet Woman 01:00 SUN (b08ljvt7)

Our Classical Century 21:00 THU (b0bs6xv8)

Primal Scream: The Lost Memphis Tapes 21:00 FRI (b0brzps8)

Primal Scream: The Lost Memphis Tapes 02:05 FRI (b0brzps8)

Reggae Fever: David Rodigan 22:00 FRI (b0brzpsb)

Regimental Stories 19:30 TUE (b015sl3d)

Regimental Stories 19:30 WED (b015sl43)

Sleuths, Spies & Sorcerers: Andrew Marr's Paperback Heroes 23:30 WED (p040pw15)

Space Dive 21:00 WED (b01nts6t)

Storyville 22:30 MON (b0brkdxx)

Tennis: ATP Finals 20:00 SUN (b0brzngn)

The Flying Archaeologist 22:00 SUN (b01s1llz)

The Real Versailles 20:00 THU (b07dprr6)

The Secret Science of Pop 01:35 THU (b08gk664)

The Story of Wales 20:00 TUE (b01cqmb5)

There She Goes 23:30 SUN (b0brf3lk)

There She Goes 22:00 TUE (b0bs475p)

Timeshift 00:00 MON (b06b36q3)

Top of the Pops 22:40 SAT (b0brk3w1)

Top of the Pops 23:10 SAT (b0brk4hs)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b0bs47xf)

Top of the Pops 00:05 THU (b0bs47xf)

Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (b0bs48gl)

Top of the Pops 00:30 FRI (b0bs48gl)

Treasures of the Anglo Saxons 22:30 SUN (b00t6xzx)

Tunes for Tyrants: Music and Power with Suzy Klein 00:35 THU (b097f2gv)

Utopia: In Search of the Dream 01:00 MON (b091gx74)

Vocal Giants and Beyond with Beverley Knight and James Morrison 20:00 FRI (b0brzps6)

Vocal Giants and Beyond with Beverley Knight and James Morrison 01:05 FRI (b0brzps6)

What Do Artists Do All Day? 19:30 MON (b0brzngq)

What Do Artists Do All Day? 02:00 MON (b0brzngq)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (b0bqw57m)