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.

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Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by


SAT 19:00 Hidden Kingdoms (b03t7wlq)
Urban Jungles

This is the ultimate hidden kingdom - the urban jungle.

In the colourful and chaotic streets of Rio, a young marmoset is separated from his street gang and forced to confront of the dangers of the city alone.

In the futuristic metropolis of Tokyo, a rhinoceros beetle escapes his captors and begins an extraordinary journey through this alien world to find sanctuary.

SAT 20:00 Wild Arabia (p014y5m7)
Shifting Sands

Huge changes have swept across Arabia since the discovery of oil and the Arab relationship with nature has changed too. This is summed up by the changes to camel racing, now an ultra hi-tech sport. Arabia's animals now live alongside a very modern society, but Arabia's people are using technology to protect nature - dugongs are fitted with satellite transmitters, hunting falcons chase down radio-controlled planes, and the world's first carbon-neutral city is being built in the very heart of oil country.

SAT 21:00 Black Lake (m00028xn)
Series 2

Episode 7

Oscar has vanished, but Uno doesn't want to inform the police right away, as it might threaten his work on the island. Instead, the group must help each other to look for him. During the search the tragic past of the island is revealed, and Minnie finds out more about Maja. It leads her back to the cholera hospital, where someone, or something, seems to be waiting for her. Swedish with English subtitles.

SAT 21:45 Black Lake (m00028xq)
Series 2

Episode 8

Who has stolen all the mobiles and cut the telephone lines to the mainland? And where is Gittan’s boat, the only way to get off the island? It’s clear that someone in the group is a killer, and does not want the others to leave. Minnie believes that she knows what is hunting her, and that it can be found in the old lighthouse. Is Maja there? Is she dead or alive? Swedish with English subtitles.

SAT 22:30 The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse (b00x9b7w)
The extraordinary story of comedian Bob Monkhouse's life and career, told through the vast private archive of films, TV shows, letters and memorabilia that he left behind.

SAT 00:00 Top of the Pops (m00023xj)
Gary Davies and Steve Wright present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 22 January 1987, featuring Dead or Alive, UB40, Randy Crawford, Curiosity Killed the Cat, Pepsi & Shirlie, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley and Swing Out Sister.

SAT 00:30 Guitar, Drum and Bass (m00023xl)
Series 1

On Bass... Tina Weymouth!

Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club celebrates the extraordinary contribution of bass to popular music, tracing its progress from street-corner doo-wop and the overlooked ‘guy at the back’ in rock ‘n’ roll, via Paul McCartney, the anonymous James Jamerson and Carol Kaye - whose genius bass lines underpinned The Beatles, Motown and LA sound respectively - British jazzer Herbie Flowers’s immortal line in Walk on the Wild Side, the emergence of 70s funky bass stars Bootsy Collins and Chic’s Bernard Edwards, the driving lead bass of postpunk maverick Peter Hook in both Joy Division and New Order, through to the growth of bass culture in reggae, whose sound systems sparked whole new genres in drum and bass, grime and beyond.

With Bootsy Collins, Dizzee Rascal, Ray Parker Jr, Nile Rodgers, Peter Hook, Carol Kaye, Herbie Flowers, Valerie Simpson, The Marcels’ Fred Jonson, DJ Aphrodite and Gail Ann Dorsey.

SAT 01:30 Hidden Kingdoms (b03t7wlq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SAT 02:30 Wild Arabia (p014y5m7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SUN 19:00 Indian Hill Railways (b00qzzlm)
The Nilgiri Mountain 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.

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a romantic line, popular with honeymooners and driven by love and devotion as well as steam. It chugs through the south Indian jungle up to a hill station, once known as Snooty Ooty.

The current guard is Ivan. Married for twenty years, he is concerned about his friend Jenni, the ticket inspector, because he's still a bachelor - but Jenni has a secret.

In the engine shed, Shivani, the railway's first female diesel engineer, is working on a steam loco. She has to make it look its best, as in the year of filming, 1999, the railway celebrated its centenary. The high point is the Black Beauty competition to pick the best engine on the line, but rains and landslides threaten the proceedings and the tourist business. Will love win out in the end?

SUN 20:00 Scotland's Vital Spark: The Clyde Puffer (b06s5n0f)
David Hayman explores the rich history of one of Scotland's best-loved boats, the Clyde Puffer. He meets the last of the men who worked on them, explores the communities whose lives they transformed, celebrates their fictional history in the form of the Vital Spark, and takes a trip out to sea on the last remaining steam-powered puffer.

SUN 21:00 Nolan: Australia’s Maverick Artist (m000264q)
Sidney Nolan is unquestionably one of the best-known names in the history of Australian modern art. His images are iconic treasures of the Australian visual language – everyone feels they know Nolan, but that is far from the truth. He was a restless spirit, boundlessly curious, intellectual and mischievous, and his creativity was unrelenting; he was a genius. This film explores and celebrates the artist and the man, going well beyond his early years to his extraordinary international career and all the success and turmoil that came with it.

The prodigious Nolan came from humble working-class beginnings and from a young age made his way straight to the centre of contemporary artistic and intellectual circles in Melbourne, where he both produced some of his most enduring images and also became tightly enmeshed in the complicated and doomed love affair that was to stay with him for the rest of his life. Restless and on fire with the excitement of the international modernist movement, Nolan created the St Kilda, Wimmera, Ned Kelly and the Central Australia series - passionate responses to the world, and the landscape and national mythology of Australia, but more importantly and more deeply, windows into the poetic psyche of the man.

Fuelled by insatiable curiosity, Nolan became a tireless traveller, settling in London, where he found 'his people', the stellar intellectual circle of artists, musicians, writers, collectors and connoisseurs. While living in London, Nolan continued to visit and travel around Australia because, he said simply, 'he was Australian', and then returned to England to paint what had inspired him here and in other parts of the world. He welcomed artistic challenges; he was an entrepreneur and an unselfconscious-self promoter who threw himself into music, theatre and opera design.

The film shows Nolan’s unexamined work in new light, exploring the range of experimental, innovative qualities that marked him as one of the world’s truly great painters in the 20th century - a man ahead of his time, exploring digital manipulation in its early incarnations, experimenting with desiccated carcasses many decades before Damien Hirst, and taking selfies before Instagram was thought of.

SUN 22:00 The Commune (m000264s)
Drama set in the 1970s. Erik, an architect, and Anna, a TV presenter, are an academic couple with a dream. Along with their daughter Freja, they set up a commune in Erik’s huge house in an upmarket area of Copenhagen. They live the collective dream, with house meetings and voting, dinners and parties, until a love affair puts the community to its greatest test.

In Danish with English subtitles.

SUN 23:45 Treasures of the Indus (b06bblwb)
Of Gods and Men

In a journey across the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Sona Datta traces the development of the Hindu religion from its origins as an amalgamation of local faith traditions to its dominant position today. She uncovers this fascinating tale by looking at the buildings in which the faith evolved, moving from the caves and rock temples on the shores of the Bay of Bengal at Mahabalipurem, through the monolithic stone temple at Tanjavur to the vast complex of ornately carved towers, tanks and courtyards at Madurai, where every evening the god Shiva processes around the precincts to visit the bedchamber of his partner Parvati.

SUN 00:45 The Last Journey of the Magna Carta King (b052hrdd)
Ben Robinson retraces the dramatic last days of King John, England's most disastrous monarch, and uncovers the legend of his lost treasure.

John is famous for accepting Magna Carta, which inspired our modern democracy. But ten days him from ruler of an empire to sudden death and left the kingdom in ruins.

Ben follows in the footsteps of the king's epic last journey, from the treacherous marshes of East Anglia, through Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, to his final resting place in Worcester. He is joined by medieval historian professor Stephen Church.

Together they examine the truth behind the legend that has lived on for 800 years. Did the crown jewels really end up in the mud of the Wash? Was the king poisoned? Does he deserve his reputation as our most disastrous monarch?

Thanks to unique documents, we can tell this epic tale in the king's own words. Not only can we get into the mind of the Magna Carta king, we can reveal in fantastic detail how and where he travelled.

Ben reveals what happened when treasure seekers attempted to find the king's lost jewels with the help of a diviner. And using the latest technology reveals how we can actually see back in time to reveal the landscape as it would have looked when King John made his last journey 800 years ago.

SUN 01:45 Indian Hill Railways (b00qzzlm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SUN 02:45 Nolan: Australia’s Maverick Artist (m000264q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


MON 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (m000263f)
Series 1


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

MON 19:30 Handmade on the Silk Road (b079cgml)
The Weaver

The Uyghur community in north west China have been making atlas silk for thousands of years. Mattursun Islam and his family are continuing the tradition, using a combination of handmade techniques and mechanised looms. From designing the patterns to colouring, dyeing and weaving the thread, this film follows each stage in absorbing detail. We also get an engaging glimpse into how their family and working life are closely connected. With rival companies often copying his designs, Mattursan is proud of his reputation. But he and his wife also enjoy a good-natured rivalry over who really runs things.

MON 20:00 Fake or Fortune? (b01mxxzg)
Series 2

Degas and the Little Dancer

Inheriting a work of art by one of the great Impressionist masters should be a joy, but for Patrick Rice it was a mixed blessing. His small oil painting depicting a ballet dancer on stage has always been thought to be a work by Edgar Hilaire Degas. Unfortunately, since the 1970s, experts have not agreed. The painting, which could be worth around half-a-million pounds if it is a Degas, is currently worth £200. In a last ditch attempt to discover the truth, Patrick and his son Jonathan ask Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould to handle the case.

Although bought as a Degas from a reputable London dealer in 1945 by Patrick's father, the painting, titled Danseuse Bleue et Contrebasses, failed to make the official record of Degas, the catalogue raisonne. As far as auction houses and experts are concerned, if it's not in the catalogue then it's not by Degas, and cannot be sold as such. Fiona and Philip follow the painting back through time to try to prove that it was created by one of France's greatest painters. It is a journey that takes them to Paris, Hamburg and Berlin. Could the picture be a fake created, like many others, amidst the chaos of World War Two? Or will the scholars responsible for authentification bring Patrick and his family life-changing news?

MON 21:00 Art of America (b017j25v)
Modern Dreams

In the second part of his fascinating journey exploring American art, Andrew Graham-Dixon gets under the skin of the modern American metropolis. Starting his journey at the foot of the Statue of Liberty, which he describes as a pioneering early skyscraper, Andrew discovers how the ambitions of visionary artists and architects helped America remove itself from the shadow of Europe and become the most advanced civilisation on earth.

Andrew travels to downtown Manhattan to explore the grimy world of early 20th-century painters John Sloan and George Bellows, and visits Stockbridge in Massachusetts to find out how the world of Norman Rockwell is not as sentimental as it first seems. In Chicago, he explores the visionary mind of architect Louis Sullivan and travels to the decaying outskirts of the city to see the underside of the American dream.

He uncovers the impact the Great Depression had on artists such as Edward Hopper and Arshile Gorky, and finds out how this struggle inspired America's first internationally acclaimed art movement - Abstract Expressionism. He pays a pilgrimage to Jackson Pollock's perfectly preserved studio in Long Island to discover the secrets of his unique drip technique, before flying across America to take in one of modern art's most moving experiences, Mark Rothko's chapel in Houston, Texas.

MON 22:00 Russia's Lost Princesses (b04g6rhb)
The World Turned Upside Down

The story of the final four years in the lives of Tsar Nicholas II's four daughters - Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia - concluding with their brutal murders in the bloody climax to the Russian revolution. Interviews with leading historians, archive footage and dramatic reconstruction reveal the real women behind the familiar images of beautiful girls in white dresses.

In 1914 Olga and Tatiana were 18 and 16 and old enough to be married off to eligible princes, but any prospect of escaping their strange and very isolated life in the Alexander Palace was thwarted by the outbreak of the First World War. The war destroyed all trace of the life the sisters had known, but when Olga and Tatiana volunteered as Red Cross nurses they did enjoy a brief taste of the real world beyond the palace gates. The sisters became very close to some of the dashing young officers they nursed and Olga's touching diary entries reveal how she fell passionately in love with one particular Georgian officer, Dmitri Shakh-Bagov.

March 1917 brought a dramatic end to over three centuries of Romanov rule and following their father's abdication the girls were forced to adjust to a world turned upside down. After five months under house arrest at the Alexander Palace the girls, along with the rest of their family, were sent into exile in Siberia. The sisters' letters from Siberia bring the boredom, frustration and uncertainty of their captivity powerfully to life. For much of their tragically short lives the girls had been as much prisoners as princesses and in their final weeks in exile in Siberia that imprisonment was absolute - the whitewashed windows of the house where they were held denied them even a glimpse of the outside world.

MON 23:00 Francesco's Venice (b0078sny)

Documentary series telling the story of the birth of Venice, one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world, presented by Francesco da Mosto. The golden age of art and architecture arrived and it was the moment the Venice we know today emerged - when wooden houses transformed into stone and marble palaces covered in gold and jewel-encrusted palaces lined the Grand Canal.

The fishermen of early Venice were changing, turning into princely merchants who traded throughout the east and west to become some of the richest patrons of art. Fine paintings and sculpture came to adorn every home as Venetians vied to impress.

This was the age of Venice producing the world's most famous artists and most heroic buildings as Titian and Palladio transformed the look and reputation of the city.

Meanwhile, a calamity hovered over the city, threatening to engulf it and ultimately take Venice to the very brink of disaster - the plague. No one, rich or poor would escape and the city would be left in ruins.

MON 00:00 Dan Cruickshank: At Home with the British (b07ckwvx)
The Terrace

Dan Cruickshank explores our love affair with the terrace - the home that more Britons live in than any other. We love it because it has proved brilliantly adaptable, encompassing the Victorian parlour and modern open-plan living with equal ease.

Dan is in Toxteth, Liverpool 8. Famous for the riots that ripped it apart in the 1980s, Toxteth has a far richer and more varied history than that one tragic episode. Liverpool was the ultimate Victorian boom town, turned by trade and industry from provincial powerhouse into the second city of empire. 100,000 terraced houses were built to accommodate its vast workforce, with huge numbers in Toxteth. From a high of Victorian industry and immigration to a low of postwar decline, Toxteth's terraces have seen it all - even the 2015 Turner Prize, awarded for their remarkable 21st-century regeneration.

MON 01:00 Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors (b08sqxk1)
Lucy Worsley explores the different houses in which Jane Austen lived and stayed, to discover just how much they shaped Jane's life and novels.

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

MON 02:00 Fake or Fortune? (b01mxxzg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 03:00 Art of America (b017j25v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (m000263c)
Series 1


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

TUE 19:30 Pubs, Ponds and Power: The Story of the Village (b0bsrqfw)
Series 1

North East

Archaeologist Ben Robinson unlocks the ancient roots of the Northumberland village of Warkworth. With the help of locals, he discovers clues that point back almost 1,000 years to the Norman conquest when the invaders laid the foundations of a planned community, still visible to this day.

TUE 20:00 The Incredible Human Journey (b00ks641)

There are seven billion humans on Earth, spread across the whole planet. Scientific evidence suggests that most of us can trace our origins to one tiny group of people who left Africa around 70,000 years ago. In this five-part series, Dr Alice Roberts follows the archaeological and genetic footprints of our ancient ancestors to find out how their journeys transformed our species into the humans we are today, and how Homo Sapiens came to dominate the planet.

When our species first arrived in Europe, the peak of the Ice Age was approaching and the continent was already crawling with a rival: Stronger, at home in the cold and even (contrary to the popular image) brainier than us. So how did the European pioneers survive first the Neanderthals and then the deep freeze as they pushed across the continent?

Alice Roberts reconstructs the head of the 'first European' to come face to face with one of our ancestors; she discovers how art became crucial for survival in the face of Neanderthal competition; and what happened to change the skin colour of these European pioneers.

Finally, spectacular new finds on the edge of Europe suggest that the first known temples may have been a spark for a huge revolution in our ancestors' way of life - agriculture.

TUE 21:00 Kate Humble: Living with Nomads (b05xxkwx)

In this first episode, Kate travels to south west Nepal in search of the country's last community of nomads, the Raute people. Almost all of the Raute population has already settled in Nepal and India - just one group of 140 people remain living as nomads. These hunter-gatherers still move camp every few weeks through the steeply wooded hills and mountains in one of the poorest countries on the planet. Life for this last Raute group is increasingly tough, as they face pressure to settle from Nepal's government and hostility from the farmers on whose land they camp.

The Raute are famously private, and it proves a difficult task for Kate to get to know them. At the beginning they are wary, only engaging with her to ask for money. With perseverance and a rather unlikely rendition of Old MacDonald, Kate is slowly accepted into this tightly knit and proud community. But it's a demanding and emotional journey as she witnesses them move ever further from their ancient traditions and encounters first hand the hostility that the Raute face from mainstream Nepali society. As she helps them move camp twice, bearing heavy loads up punishingly steep hills, she comes face to face - and almost fist to fist - with the conflicts and contradictions facing Nepal's last nomads.

TUE 22:00 Wild West - America's Great Frontier (b080ywyx)
Restless Shores

From the mysterious Sea of Cortez to the wild and elemental Pacific Ocean, powerful earth forces shape the coastline of the wild west. These restless shores are a magnet for life; visited by the greatest of all animals, the blue whale, and by strange fish that come ashore on the full moon to spawn in their thousands. Fog-shrouded headlands nurture massive coastal redwoods and swollen-nosed lizards eke out a living on remote desert islands.

TUE 23:00 The Plantagenets (b03zrdw3)
Series 1

The Death of Kings

Professor Robert Bartlett charts the downfall of the Plantagenet dynasty. In the last century of their rule, four Plantagenet kings are violently deposed and murdered by members of their own family. It is the bloodiest episode in the entire history of the English monarchy. As the Plantagenets turn in on themselves, England is dragged into decades of brutal civil war.

TUE 00:00 Metalworks! (b01hr877)
The Blacksmith's Tale

In a story where progress meets creative invention, this film looks at how the blacksmith created items in wrought and cast iron that both served and embellished society. From the earliest ornate hinges and doors to magnificent baroque gates and mass-produced street furniture, it reveals the mastery of metalworkers such as Jean Tijou, Robert Bakewell and John Tresilian, the designs of Robert Adam and George Gilbert Scott, and the mass marketers of the Victorian age such as the Saracen foundry.

Treasures are drawn from all corners of the UK in a celebration of the best of British decorative ironwork.

TUE 01:00 Genius of the Modern World (b07h0hg9)

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was one of the most brilliant and dangerous minds of the 19th century. His uncompromising and often brutal ideas smashed the comfortable presuppositions and assumptions of religion, morality and science. His was a world not just bereft of God but almost of humanity, breathtaking in both its post-religious starkness and its originality.

Bettany Hughes goes in search of the beliefs of a man whose work is amongst the most devastatingly manipulated and misinterpreted in philosophical history. Nietzsche's dislike of systems and of seeking truths left his ideas ambiguous and sometimes incoherent. It was this that made him vulnerable to interpretation, and as a result his thoughts - which warned against the very notion of a political system like totalitarianism - were manipulated to strengthen its ideals.

Vocally opposed to anti-Semitism, his anti-Semitic sister made sure he became the poster boy for Hitler's drive for an Aryan ideal. Anti-nationalistic, he came to symbolise a regime he would have loathed. His philosophical quest led him to isolation and ultimately madness, but his ideas helped shape the intellectual landscape of the modern world.

TUE 02:00 The Incredible Human Journey (b00ks641)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

TUE 02:55 Kate Humble: Living with Nomads (b05xxkwx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (m00026zw)
Series 1


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

WED 19:30 Pubs, Ponds and Power: The Story of the Village (b0bsrqm9)
Series 1


Archaeologist Ben Robinson explores Lavenham in Suffolk, the best-preserved medieval village in the country. In the 16th century, Lavenham was one of the wealthiest places in England, becoming rich on its woollen cloth industry, but the industry declined and the wealthy abandoned Lavenham. By the 19th century it was a place of poverty, but today it is once more a jewel of a village.

WED 20:00 Armada: 12 Days to Save England (b05yxltf)
Series 1


The final episode of a three-part drama-documentary series telling the story of how England came within a whisker of disaster in summer 1588.

Newly discovered documents reveal a remarkable web of misunderstandings that stopped the Spanish from invading, and show how the English victory forged the reputation of Elizabeth.

WED 21:00 Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain (b007lr84)
The Land of Lost Content

The second programme in the series explodes the popular image of the 1950s as a golden age of order and prosperity, and of lost content. A Conservative government is back in power. The economy appears to be improving. New homes are being built, the age of mass car ownership is dawning and people have money in their pockets. But 1950s Britain is not as calm as it looks, or as strong.

Andrew Marr describes a relentless build-up of pressure from frustrated, resentful people who are hungry for change. This is a Britain of growing racial tensions, of working-class teenagers who don't want to know their place any longer, of CND protesters and a new breed of scathing satirists. It's a country which is learning to laugh at its rulers and starting to distrust them. Especially after their prime minister takes them to war in the Middle East on the basis of a lie.

When a working-class girl called Christine Keeler meets the Secretary of State for War John Profumo in a swimming pool one hot summer's evening in 1961, the closed world of the British establishment collides with the cocky new Britain growing up around it. The sixties spirit of change is in the air and Britain will never be governed in the same way again. This is the fascinating story of the perfect political storm.

WED 22:00 How We Built Britain (b007nj7g)
The East: A New Dawn

David Dimbleby journeys through Britain, and through 1,000 years of our history, to discover the buildings that have made us who we are.

His journey begins in the east of England, in medieval times the richest place in Britain, and home to some of our most spectacular buildings. He climbs the tower of Ely Cathedral, explores magnificent castles, learns how to build a medieval barn, goes on a pilgrimage, experiences life in a great hall and learns how the Black Death turned England upside down.

WED 23:00 Scotland's Finest: The Story of the Highland Games (b01kpnrg)
A journey into the history, pageantry and characters that have shaped a Scottish phenomenon. Acclaimed actor Bill Paterson narrates the astonishing story of the Highland Games. From the battling clans to Queen Victoria's infatuation with her Highland subjects, the games have become a symbol of community and identity in Scotland and all across the world.

WED 00:00 Immortal Egypt with Joann Fletcher (b06yjrgg)

In the third episode, Joann explores the magnificent Colossi of Memnon, built under Egypt's greatest pharaoh - Amenhotep III.

Joann explores the dizzying heights of Egypt's civilisation and the lives of the workers and artisans caught up in Egypt's most ambitious building project: the Valley of the Kings. But this golden age is threatened by the growing power of Karnak's priests. When Amenhotep's successors Akhenaten and Nefertiti strike back at the priests with a religious rebellion, it is their son Tutankhamen who tries to rectify it.

By finding clues in Tutankhamen's treasure, Joann reveals how his early death was a chance for Egypt to start afresh and rewrite history. With the country restored to its former glory, Egypt's fate lay in the hands of Theban priest kings. Joann retraces their final act of desecration - decades of state-sanctioned looting of the Valley of the Kings. This lays Egypt bare, making way for a new era of foreign invaders.

WED 01:00 Pubs, Ponds and Power: The Story of the Village (b0bsrqfw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 on Tuesday]

WED 01:30 Pubs, Ponds and Power: The Story of the Village (b0bsrqm9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

WED 02:00 Armada: 12 Days to Save England (b05yxltf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 03:00 Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain (b007lr84)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (m0002702)
Series 1


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

THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (m0002704)
Janice Long and John Peel present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 5 February 1987. Featuring The Blow Monkeys, Randy Crawford, The Smiths, Curiosity Killed the Cat, Michael Crawford, and Aretha Franklin and George Michael.

THU 20:00 Wonders of Life (b01qrxpc)
Original Series

Endless Forms Most Beautiful

The universe is almost entirely devoid of life. Earth, the planet we call home, seems to defy the laws of physics. It is teeming with life in all colours, shapes and sizes. No-one knows for sure how many different species are alive right now, our best guess is close to 8.7 million. In this film, Professor Brian Cox asks how, from a lifeless cosmos ruled by the laws of physics and chemistry, it is possible that a planet can produce so much wonderful, varied biology.

It's an epic journey through time that begins with Brian undertaking a species count in the cloud forests of Madagascar. Here, creatures exist that are unique to this isolated Indian Ocean island.

He searches for clues to how species have become so diverse by considering the chemistry of a lion, tracing their molecular connection to the heavens with a visit to the Southern African Large Telescope. Witnessing the ancient formation of stars Brian follows carbon, life's most precious ingredient, as it is captured by the living world. From plants to insects, through grazing herds, all the way up to Africa's big cats, Brian follows carbon as it passes through the food chain.

This leads him to the one carbon rich molecule that controls it all: DNA, the blue print for all living things. On the ancient Karoo plains Brian discovers how once DNA arrived it was inevitably changed. He shows that the universe itself plays an important part in shaping this molecule.

Finally he returns to Madagascar to search for its most famous inhabitants: lemurs. There are over 90 different species across the country, but perhaps one of the most bizarre is known locally as the aye-aye. Being nocturnal and living in some of the densest, most mountainous terrain makes them incredibly difficult to find. Yet Brian is determined to find one because they hold one of the best demonstrations of how DNA is shaped by the environment. For Brian the aye-aye holds the key to understanding why we find ourselves on such a rich, varied and complex living world.

THU 21:00 American History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley (m0002706)
Series 1

The American Civil War

In the second programme of this three-part series, Lucy Worsley debunks the myths behind one of the USA’s great historical landmarks: the American Civil War. At the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington DC, Lucy explains that Abraham Lincoln has gone down in history as the saviour of the union, and for ending slavery. He did it at the expense of the bloodiest conflict ever to take place on American soil, a civil war that pitted Lincoln’s ‘free’ North against the slave-owning Confederate states in the South. But Lucy reveals that Lincoln’s personal views, and the behaviour of his troops towards African Americans, were not as noble as they appeared. Then, in the South, after the war, she learns how history was rewritten in a bid to downplay the evils of slavery, and how a 1915 blockbuster film about the Civil War relaunched the Ku Klux Klan with terrifying results. Lucy visits the Georgia countryside of Scarlett O’Hara, but Gone with the Wind’s technicolor depiction of the old South and contented slaves was just part of a continued effort to whitewash history and romanticise a dark past. Back in Washington DC, Lucy meets a historian who explains that the next person to reconsider the Civil War’s legacy was Martin Luther King. Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he demanded that the USA honour a ‘bad cheque’ African Americans had been written when freedom was promised at the end of the war. Finally, she travels to Charlottesville, Virginia, and meets locals with differing opinions on a statue of the Confederate general Robert E Lee. The statue became a fatal flashpoint in 2017, when Confederate flags mingled with Klan costumes at a mass rally - sad proof, one historian suggests to Lucy, that the Civil War has never really ended.

THU 22:00 Britain's Treasure Islands (b077rl5m)
Ocean Odyssey

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

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

THU 23:00 Timeshift (b03mp53s)
Series 13

The Ladybird Books Story: The Bugs that Got Britain Reading

To millions of people, Ladybird books were as much a part of childhood as battery-powered torches and warm school milk. These now iconic pocket-sized books once informed us on such diverse subjects as how magnets work, what to look for in winter and how to make decorations out of old eggshells. But they also helped to teach many of us to read via a unique literacy scheme known as 'key words'. Ladybird books were also a visual treat - some of the best-known contemporary illustrators were recruited to provide images which today provide a perfect snapshot of the lost world of Ladybirdland: a place that is forever the gloriously ordinary, orderly 1950s.

THU 00:00 Top of the Pops (m0002704)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 00:30 From Scotland with Love (b047lx52)
Made entirely of Scottish film archive, a journey into our collective past, the film explores universal themes of love, loss, resistance, migration, work and play. Ordinary people, some long since dead, their names and identities largely forgotten, appear shimmering from the depths of the vaults to take a starring role. These silent individuals become composite characters, who emerge to tell us their stories, given voice by King Creosote's poetic music and lyrics.

THU 01:40 Wonders of Life (b01qrxpc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

THU 02:40 American History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley (m0002706)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


FRI 19:00 World News Today (m00026zs)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (m00026zx)
Simon Mayo and Peter Powell present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 12 February 1987. Featuring Level 42, Ben E King, Pepsi & Shirlie, Five Star, Carly Simon, Vesta Williams, Aretha Franklin and George Michael, and Taffy.

FRI 20:00 Len Goodman's Big Band Bonanza (b04w7zlm)
Len Goodman investigates the rise and fall of British big band music and charts its recent revival. Before the war, popular jazz and dance band music enjoyed universal appeal, capable of reaching out to people across the generations.

Len spent many of his early days listening, and of course dancing, to the music of Ted Heath, Glenn Miller and Joe Loss. He has an enormous affection for the days when swing was king and top of the pile were the big bands. Len returns to some of his old stamping grounds and discovers why we continue to love this bold and brassy art form.

The film looks at how the bands survived, and indeed thrived, in the years after the war. Eventually, though, the world around them moved on. The rise of teenager culture, rock 'n' roll, pop and other forms of jazz, blues and folk meant big bands were struggling to compete in a crowded market, one that catered for an incredibly diverse range of musical tastes.

Today we've come full circle. The big bands are enjoying something of a revival, and once again have universal appeal. Bands live on in towns and cities across the UK. Artists such as Robbie Williams have also introduced a new generation to the sound of swing and popular big band jazz. And, as Len says: 'Everyone seems to have an affection for it - and, you know what - when I hear Glenn Miller's music drifting lazily through the air, I can really understand why...'.

FRI 21:00 Guitar, Drum and Bass (m0002700)
Series 1

On Guitar... Lenny Kaye!

Lenny Kaye, Patti Smith’s guitarist, explains how the quest for new guitar sounds has driven the history of popular music, from Les Paul’s first guitar to Bo Diddley’s tremolo, Duane Eddy’s whammy bar, Keith Richards’s fuzz pedal, The Who’s feedback, The Byrds’ 12-string, Hendrix’s wah-wah pedal, Uli Roth and Van Halen’s shredding, The Edge’s digital delay, Ry Cooder’s slide, and KT Tunstall and Ed Sheeran’s looper pedals. With Duane Eddy, Roger McGuinn, The Edge, Bonnie Raitt, Seasick Steve, KT Tunstall, Joe Bonamassa, Uli Roth, Vernon Reid, Heart’s Nancy Wilson, The Runaways’ Lita Ford and producer Shel Talmy.

FRI 22:00 Great Guitar Riffs at the BBC (b049mtxy)
Compilation of BBC performances featuring some of the best axe men and women in rock 'n' roll, from Hendrix to The Kinks, Cream to AC/DC, The Smiths to Rage Against the Machine and Radiohead to Foo Fighters. Whether it is The Shadows playing FBI on Crackerjack, Jeff Beck with The Yardbirds, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream's Sunshine of Your Love from their final gig, Pixies on the Late Show, AC/DC on Top of the Pops or Fools Gold from The Stone Roses, this compilation is a celebration of rock 'n' roll guitar complete with riffs, fingerstylin', wah-wah pedals and Marshall amps.

FRI 23:00 Reginald D Hunter's Songs of the South (p02j959j)
Mississippi and Louisiana

In the final part of his road trip, Reginald D Hunter follows in the footsteps of Huckleberry Finn with a trip down the Mississippi from Memphis to New Orleans through the Delta to learn about the birth of blues and how it manifests itself today.

In Louisiana, Reg takes a detour to a bayou to learn about Creole culture and zydeco before winding up in New Orleans to meet the city's musical triumvirate of Dr John, Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas.

Also featuring Stax musicians Steve Cropper and Eddie Floyd.

FRI 00:00 Top of the Pops (m00026zx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

FRI 00:30 Popular Voices at the BBC (b09ffzkd)
Series 1


This compilation is a companion piece to the Showstoppers episode of Gregory Porter's Popular Voices, celebrating bravura singers who bring the house down with their showstopping vocal delivery and performances. We take a look back through the archives as some of the biggest names in popular music history have stopped by the BBC studios to dazzle us with their jaw-dropping brilliance.

From Mahalia Jackson's breathtaking gospel delivery to Ella Fitzgerald's rapid-fire scat; Tom Jones and Dusty Springfield's 60s big balladry to the soul divas of the 80s and beyond; alongside superb vocal eccentrics like Kate Bush and Bjork; and the staggering vocal range of Jeff Buckley, captured in his only BBC performance on The Late Show in 1994 - these performances all have the wow factor in common.

Featuring clips from various BBC programmes including How It is, Dusty, Top of the Pops, It's Lulu and Wogan, these are our showstoppers.

FRI 01:30 Len Goodman's Big Band Bonanza (b04w7zlm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRI 02:30 Guitar, Drum and Bass (m0002700)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

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

American History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley 21:00 THU (m0002706)

American History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley 02:40 THU (m0002706)

Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain 21:00 WED (b007lr84)

Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain 03:00 WED (b007lr84)

Armada: 12 Days to Save England 20:00 WED (b05yxltf)

Armada: 12 Days to Save England 02:00 WED (b05yxltf)

Art of America 21:00 MON (b017j25v)

Art of America 03:00 MON (b017j25v)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 MON (m000263f)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 TUE (m000263c)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 WED (m00026zw)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 THU (m0002702)

Black Lake 21:00 SAT (m00028xn)

Black Lake 21:45 SAT (m00028xq)

Britain's Treasure Islands 22:00 THU (b077rl5m)

Dan Cruickshank: At Home with the British 00:00 MON (b07ckwvx)

Fake or Fortune? 20:00 MON (b01mxxzg)

Fake or Fortune? 02:00 MON (b01mxxzg)

Francesco's Venice 23:00 MON (b0078sny)

From Scotland with Love 00:30 THU (b047lx52)

Genius of the Modern World 01:00 TUE (b07h0hg9)

Great Guitar Riffs at the BBC 22:00 FRI (b049mtxy)

Guitar, Drum and Bass 00:30 SAT (m00023xl)

Guitar, Drum and Bass 21:00 FRI (m0002700)

Guitar, Drum and Bass 02:30 FRI (m0002700)

Handmade on the Silk Road 19:30 MON (b079cgml)

Hidden Kingdoms 19:00 SAT (b03t7wlq)

Hidden Kingdoms 01:30 SAT (b03t7wlq)

How We Built Britain 22:00 WED (b007nj7g)

Immortal Egypt with Joann Fletcher 00:00 WED (b06yjrgg)

Indian Hill Railways 19:00 SUN (b00qzzlm)

Indian Hill Railways 01:45 SUN (b00qzzlm)

Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors 01:00 MON (b08sqxk1)

Kate Humble: Living with Nomads 21:00 TUE (b05xxkwx)

Kate Humble: Living with Nomads 02:55 TUE (b05xxkwx)

Len Goodman's Big Band Bonanza 20:00 FRI (b04w7zlm)

Len Goodman's Big Band Bonanza 01:30 FRI (b04w7zlm)

Metalworks! 00:00 TUE (b01hr877)

Nolan: Australia’s Maverick Artist 21:00 SUN (m000264q)

Nolan: Australia’s Maverick Artist 02:45 SUN (m000264q)

Popular Voices at the BBC 00:30 FRI (b09ffzkd)

Pubs, Ponds and Power: The Story of the Village 19:30 TUE (b0bsrqfw)

Pubs, Ponds and Power: The Story of the Village 19:30 WED (b0bsrqm9)

Pubs, Ponds and Power: The Story of the Village 01:00 WED (b0bsrqfw)

Pubs, Ponds and Power: The Story of the Village 01:30 WED (b0bsrqm9)

Reginald D Hunter's Songs of the South 23:00 FRI (p02j959j)

Russia's Lost Princesses 22:00 MON (b04g6rhb)

Scotland's Finest: The Story of the Highland Games 23:00 WED (b01kpnrg)

Scotland's Vital Spark: The Clyde Puffer 20:00 SUN (b06s5n0f)

The Commune 22:00 SUN (m000264s)

The Incredible Human Journey 20:00 TUE (b00ks641)

The Incredible Human Journey 02:00 TUE (b00ks641)

The Last Journey of the Magna Carta King 00:45 SUN (b052hrdd)

The Plantagenets 23:00 TUE (b03zrdw3)

The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse 22:30 SAT (b00x9b7w)

Timeshift 23:00 THU (b03mp53s)

Top of the Pops 00:00 SAT (m00023xj)

Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (m0002704)

Top of the Pops 00:00 THU (m0002704)

Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (m00026zx)

Top of the Pops 00:00 FRI (m00026zx)

Treasures of the Indus 23:45 SUN (b06bblwb)

Wild Arabia 20:00 SAT (p014y5m7)

Wild Arabia 02:30 SAT (p014y5m7)

Wild West - America's Great Frontier 22:00 TUE (b080ywyx)

Wonders of Life 20:00 THU (b01qrxpc)

Wonders of Life 01:40 THU (b01qrxpc)

World News Today 19:00 FRI (m00026zs)