Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4

RADIO-LISTS: BBC FOUR
Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by bbc.co.uk/programmes/



SATURDAY 25 JANUARY 2020

SAT 19:00 Natural World (b08k9xbm)
2017-2018

Puerto Rico: Island of Enchantment

David Attenborough tells the revealing story of this Caribbean island's exotic but vulnerable wildlife. A team of conservation champions are making it their mission to save the most precious species. We see how Puerto Rican parrots, manatees and turtles are now making a comeback.


SAT 20:00 Coast (b07yk7f4)
The Great Guide

England's South East

Tessa Dunlop and Neil Oliver present their insiders' guide to our frontline shoreline - England's south east. From the heart of the capital to Hastings, they reveal the stories of trade and defence that characterise this coast.

As well as selecting the best Coast stories from a decade of exploring these shores, Tessa hitches a ride with the Thames river police to the new London Gateway, where she gets an overview of Britain's trade with the world from the vantage point of a giant crane. From Ramsgate, she embarks on one of the Dunkirk 'Little Ships' to discover the vital role it played during the Second World War, before making her way to Dover, where she finds a magnificent Roman lighthouse that has guarded the shores for centuries.


SAT 21:00 Wisting (m000dt81)
Series 1

Episode 9

With the investigator still breathing down his neck, Wisting is determined to clear his name, whatever it takes. Line helps him to chase leads that his colleagues cannot follow up. Meanwhile, Hammer and Benjamin have encountered a suspect from a past case while helping with the search for Linnea, and Hammer is suspicious.


SAT 21:45 Wisting (m000dt83)
Series 1

Episode 10

The killer is still out there, but Wisting is trapped in prison after being arrested for obstruction of justice. With their quarry still so elusive, and the police being led down blind alleys, Wisting is one of the only people who suspects the truth. He needs to get out. Otherwise, Line will be investigating the case alone.


SAT 22:35 Clive James (m000dt85)
Postcard from LA

Clive James explores how to succeed in Los Angeles by learning the secret of the film business from Hollywood experts, advisers to the stars and the celebrities themselves.


SAT 23:25 Top of the Pops (m000dl2d)
Simon Mayo and Steve Wright present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 2 February 1989 and featuring Holly Johnson, Roy Orbison, Robert Howard and Kym Mazelle, Sheena Easton, Michael Ball, Yazz, Hue and Cry, Samantha Fox, Simply Red, Roachford, Marc Almond and Gene Pitney, and Bobby Brown.


SAT 23:55 Top of the Pops (m000dl2j)
Mike Read and Sybil Ruscoe present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 9 February 1989 and featuring Samantha Fox, Rick Astley, Yazz, Hue and Cry, Def Leppard, Poison, Texas, Michael Ball, Bobby Brown, Morrissey, Marc Almond and Gene Pitney, and Mike and the Mechanics.


SAT 00:25 Robert Burns: The People's Poet (b00h6s23)
Writer Andrew O'Hagan asks what made Robert Burns one of the world's favourite poets, as Scotland celebrates the 250th anniversary of the birth of one of its most famous sons. He travels through the landscape of modern Scotland in a poetic journey to the places that inspired Burns and to discover the story of his wild and dramatic life.


SAT 01:55 Coast (b07yk7f4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SAT 02:55 Monkman & Seagull's Genius Guide to Britain (b0bmfbrs)
Series 1

Northern Ireland

University Challenge icons and real-life best friends Eric Monkman and Bobby Seagull are on a road trip with a difference. Feeding their insatiable appetite for knowledge, they visit Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales in search of hidden gems of British scientific and technological ingenuity.

Their 'genius guide' to Northern Ireland celebrates some of the most significant and iconic transportation breakthroughs of the last century. It begins with an encounter with a piece of aviation history that has saved thousands of lives - the ejector seat, designed in Northern Ireland - and ends in Belfast on the deck of 'Titanic's Little Sister', with a host of inquisitive encounters along the way.

Heading west, there is a must-see for anyone with an interest in the cosmos. The Armagh Observatory has been monitoring the night sky and measuring the weather for over two centuries. Here, Monkman and Seagull encounter one of the most important telescopes ever made - the 1885 Grubb ten-inch Refractor, which played a pivotal role in the discovery and cataloguing of thousands of interstellar galaxies.

Passing through the small town of Enniskillen gives Monkman and Seagull the chance to visit a unique railway museum located inside a barber shop. As their journey through Northern Ireland nears its climax, Eric and Bobby arrive at the historic Belfast docks, where they step on board the ship known 'Titanic's little sister'. Built in 1911, The SS Nomadic ferried 274 passengers to the Titanic as it embarked upon its doomed journey and - somewhat eerily - is now the only remaining White Star Line ship in the world, outliving its tragic big sister. Finally, Monkman and Seagull meet one of the most iconic cars ever to be built in Northern Ireland - the DeLorean - famous for its appearances in the Back to the Future movies. The conversation soon turns to flux capacitors and the existential possibilities of time travel, which Monkman refuses to rule out the possibility of.



SUNDAY 26 JANUARY 2020

SUN 19:00 Addicted to Sheep (b070jj99)
Set in the North Pennines, an intimate portrait of a year in the life of tenant hill farmers Tom and Kay Hutchinson as they try to breed the perfect sheep.

Through the sun, rain, sleet and snow, we watch the Hutchinsons toil away against the stark, stunning landscapes of north east England and witness the hard work it takes just to survive. Their three young children are growing up close to the land, attending the local primary school entirely comprised of farmers' children, all thoroughly immersed in their remote rural world. While the odds often seem stacked against them, the film conveys the importance of a balanced family life and the good humour that binds this tight-knit community together.

An entertaining and subtle reminder of how important farming is to the economy and the social fabric of our communities. Following your passion does have its rewards, although not always financial.

Beautifully observed, this heartwarming film provides an insight into the past, present and future of a way of life far removed from the high-tech hustle and bustle of modern life.


SUN 20:00 Natural World (b00vv0nm)
2010-2011

The Dolphins of Shark Bay

A dolphin is about to be born in the treacherous waters of Shark Bay in Western Australia. Puck, the wise mother, must use all her skills to keep her newborn safe from the sharks that sweep into the bay every year. With the help of her close-knit family of females, she must teach the vulnerable baby dolphin the secrets of survival. From whistling to her unborn calf to the first few hours of baby Samu's life and the struggles her eldest son faces leaving home, this film provides a rare insight into the lives of bottlenose dolphins.


SUN 21:00 Fake or Fortune? (b03vc492)
Series 3

Gainsborough

The team face a daunting challenge as they search for lost masterpieces in Britain's public art collections. To focus their research they look to the Your Paintings online records, where many thousands of oil paintings are listed - 17,000 of them recorded as 'artist unknown'. From these Philip and Bendor believe they have identified several important yet previously unidentified works by Thomas Gainsborough - but can they prove it?

A handsome portrait of Joseph Gape, mayor of St Albans in the 18th century, languishes in a backroom of the city's museum. The identity of the artist who painted it is unknown - but Bendor thinks it is a Gainsborough that dates back to his days as Britain's foremost high society portrait painter. The team thinks there are telling signs in the way the man is dressed and the unusual shape of the frame - but they'll need to convince the world's leading Gainsborough expert.

An even tougher challenge is posed by Imaginary Landscape, held in London's Courtauld Institute. Philip thinks it is also an important lost work - a rare, late Gainsborough landscape, painted when the artist was experimenting with dreamlike scenes. But would Gainsborough really have executed it on paper rather than canvas, and why is conservationist Aviva Burnstock troubled by a distinctive blue pigment?

Philip made his name in the art world with his Gainsborough discoveries and his reputation is on the line as decision time looms.


SUN 22:00 Clive James (m000dt7m)
Postcard from New York

Clive James reluctantly revisits New York City. His exploits include being fitted with a bulletproof vest, hiring a bodyguard and interviews with famous native New Yorkers.


SUN 22:50 imagine... (b0bp1t3v)
2018

George Benjamin: What Do You Want to Do When You Grow Up?

He has been crowned with every laurel in contemporary classical music, composed operas which play on the world's most illustrious stages and been knighted for his services to music. Yet Sir George Benjamin is still relatively little known outside the classical world. Imagine... sets that straight. Intimate and humorous, this film tracks the creation of the British composer's latest opera Lessons in Love and Violence, which premiered at the Royal Opera House this year. The film follows his journey from composing songs aged three and being transfixed by Fantasia and 2001: Space Odyssey to his golden days as the youngest ever pupil of the legendary composer Olivier Messiaen in Paris. Early experiments with computers, a passion for folk instruments and virtuosity on the piano combined to produce the startling, moving music heard today.


SUN 00:15 Bunkers, Brutalism and Bloodymindedness: Concrete Poetry with Jonathan Meades (b03wcsdj)
Episode 2

Second of a two-part documentary in which Jonathan Meades makes the case for 20th-century concrete Brutalist architecture, which is once again being appreciated by a younger generation. Focusing initially on the massive influence of Le Corbusier's post-war work, he reclaims the reputation of buildings that, once much maligned, he argues stood for optimism and grandeur. Delivered in his signature provocative and confrontational manner, Meades's film draws on extraordinary buildings from all over Europe in a lavish, sometimes surreal, visual collage.


SUN 01:15 Architects of the Divine: The First Gothic Age (b04mq9x6)
Medieval historian Dr Janina Ramirez looks back to a time when British craftsmen and their patrons created a new form of architecture. The art and architecture of France would dominate England for much of the medieval age. Yet British stonemasons and builders would make Gothic architecture their own, inventing a national style for the first time - Perpendicular Gothic - and giving Britain a patriotic backdrop to suit its new ambitions of chivalry and power. From a grand debut at Gloucester Cathedral to commemorate a murdered king to its final glorious flowering at King's College Chapel in Cambridge, the Perpendicular age was Britain's finest.


SUN 02:15 Addicted to Sheep (b070jj99)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]



MONDAY 27 JANUARY 2020

MON 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (m000dt7b)
Series 1

27/01/2020

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


MON 19:30 Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage (b00cjscm)
Istria and Split

Francesco and the crew of the Black Swan hit the open sea and head down the Croatian coast. The hard life of a working sailor is creating some problems for Francesco, but he is learning the ropes as best he can. His first challenge is to scale the heights of the main mast to hang the Venetian flag aloft. In spite of his best attempt to hide his fear, it's a terrifying ordeal.

Next stop is Pula and the extraordinary amphitheatre, where fights to the death were regular Roman entertainment, as well as the Temple of Augustus and the great Arch of the Sergians. Nearby, Francesco goes in search of the extraordinary fresco of the Dance of Death in the little village of Beram. But here, he has every traveller's nightmare - how do you find the villager who holds the key to the church?

Next up is a stopover at the isolated lighthouse of Porer, which has saved many a Venetian ship navigating these treacherous waters. And then to the beautiful city of Split, with its astonishing palace of Diocletian - the oldest inhabited palace in the world. Only it is not home to anyone rich or royal - after Diocletian moved on, it became home to the biggest collection of squatters a palace has ever seen. And now it is still packed to the rafters with people and their ramshackle conversions with some architectural oddities to show for it.

On the coast of Split, the trip ends with Francesco and the crew playing the oldest ball game of the region - the weird and wonderful game of Picigin, which is a cross between tennis and football, played in the sea. Francesco tries to understand the rules, but it's all Croatian to him.


MON 20:00 A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley (b06gxzkj)
Episode 1

Lucy Worsley presents a series about the 'invention' of British romance - our very own, surprisingly passionate, tradition of love.

Lucy's romp through three centuries of love's rituals begins with the Georgian age, when the rules of courtship were being rewritten. Traditionally, marriage had been as much about business as love. Now, a glamorisation of romantic love inspired women and men to make their own romantic choices - they could flirt in newly-built assembly rooms, or elope to Gretna Green as an act of romantic rebellion.

But the main force of change was the arrival of the novel - Samuel Richardson, Fanny Burney and Jane Austen didn't just map out women's changing desires, they made people seek out the feelings and emotions described in their own lives, permanently changing how the British feel.


MON 21:00 Storyville (m000dt7d)
The Gene Revolution: Changing Human Nature

The biggest tech revolution of the 21st century isn't digital, it's biological. A breakthrough called CRISPR has given us unprecedented control over the basic building blocks of life. It opens the door to curing diseases, reshaping the biosphere and designing our own children.

This Storyville documentary is a provocative exploration of CRISPR's far-reaching implications, through the eyes of the scientists who discovered it, the families it’s affecting and the bio-engineers who are testing its limits. How will this new power change our relationship with nature? What will it mean for human evolution? To begin to answer these questions, we must look back billions of years and peer into an uncertain future.


MON 22:30 The Windermere Children: In Their Own Words (m000dt7g)
The story of the pioneering project to rehabilitate child survivors of the Holocaust on the shores of Lake Windermere. In the year that marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and the Holocaust, this powerful documentary, which accompanies the BBC Two drama, The Windermere Children, reveals a little-known story of 300 young orphaned Jewish refugees, who began new lives in England’s Lake District in the summer of 1945.

With compelling testimony from some of the last living Holocaust survivors, the film explores an extraordinary success story that emerged from the darkest of times, all beginning with the arrival of ten Stirling bombers carrying the 300 children from Prague to Carlisle on 14 August 1945. The survivor interviews include extraordinary first-hand accounts of both their wartime experiences, separation from their families and the horrors they experienced, but also their wonder at arriving in Britain and their lives thereafter.

The children hailed from very different backgrounds, including rural Poland, metropolitan Warsaw Czechoslovakia and Berlin. Some had grown up in poverty, others in middle-class comfort. Their rehabilitation in England was organised by one charity, the Central British Fund (CBF). Leonard Montefiore, a prominent Jewish philanthropist, used his pre-war experience of the Kindertransport and successfully lobbied the British government to agree to allow up to 1,000 young Jewish concentration camp survivors into Britain. It was decided that the first 300 children would be brought from the liberated camp of Theresienstadt to Britain. And serendipitously, empty accommodation was found on the shores of Lake Windermere in a defunct factory. During the war, it had built seaplanes, but after D-Day the factory was closed, and the workers’ accommodation stood empty. With space to house them and in a truly beautiful setting, it was to prove the perfect location for these traumatised children.

The CBF, however, was in uncharted territory. A project to mass-rehabilitate a group of traumatised children had never been attempted before. But in the idyllic setting of Windermere and with just the right team assembled, the children were given the chance to unlearn the survival techniques they’d picked up in the camps. With the freedom to ride bikes, play football, learn English, socialise with local teenagers and swim in the lake, they began to come to terms with the horrors they had experienced and the fact that their mothers, fathers and siblings had perished.

Despite the fact that the UK government initially only offered two-year temporary visas, with strict immigration policies enforced in other countries and without families to return to, it soon became clear that there was nowhere else for most of the children to go. Many of the 300 stayed in the UK for their entire lives, becoming British citizens and raising children of their own.

Now, 75 years later, the close friendships that were forged in Windermere remain and many consider each other as family. Reflecting on the survivors’ lives after Windermere, the film includes touching home movie footage and remarkable success stories, like Sir Ben Helfgott’s incredible weightlifting career, representing Britain at the 1956 Olympics, only eleven years after arriving in the UK. The documentary also tells the story of the charity they formed, the 45Aid society. With footage of their annual reunions, the documentary gives a sense of the generations of families who all trace their British beginnings to Windermere.


MON 23:30 Natural World (b09yj7dx)
2018-2019

Attenborough's Wonder of Eggs

David Attenborough has a passion for birds' eggs. These remarkable structures nurture new life, protecting it from the outside world at the same time as allowing it to breathe. They are strong enough to withstand the full weight of an incubating parent and weak enough to allow a chick to break free.

But how is an egg made? Why are they the shape they are? And perhaps most importantly, why lay an egg at all? Piece by piece, from creation to hatching, David reveals the wonder behind these miracles of nature.


MON 00:30 Treasures of the Indus (p02qvb6j)
Pakistan Unveiled

This is the story of the Indian subcontinent told through the treasures of three very different people, places and dynasties that have shaped the modern Indian world.

All too often, Pakistan is portrayed as a country of bombs, beards and burkhas. The view of it as a monolithic Muslim state is even embodied in the name of the country, 'the Islamic Republic of Pakistan'.

Yet, as Sona Datta shows, it used to be the meeting point for many different faiths from around the world and has an intriguing multicultural past - a past about which it is to some extent in denial. It also produced some extraordinary and little-known works of art which Sona, from her work as a curator at the British Museum, explores and explains.


MON 01:30 Gluck - Who Did She Think He Was? (p057nlsd)
The untold story of Britain's cross-dressing high society painter.

Gluck was one of the British Establishment's go-to portrait painters of the 1930s. Her shows were attended by royalty, aristocrats and celebrities. She also dressed as a man and called her exhibitions 'one-man shows'. Her lovers were all women, including flower arranger to the stars Constance Spry, and Edith Heald, the ex-mistress of WB Yeats.

How did Gluck get away with it?


MON 02:30 The Windermere Children: In Their Own Words (m000dt7g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]



TUESDAY 28 JANUARY 2020

TUE 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (m000dt70)
Series 1

28/01/2020

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


TUE 19:30 Monkman & Seagull's Genius Guide to Britain (b0bn9c3g)
Series 1

Scotland

University Challenge icons and real-life best friends Eric Monkman and Bobby Seagull are on a road trip with a difference. Feeding their insatiable appetite for knowledge, they visit Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales in search of hidden gems of British scientific and technological ingenuity.

Monkman and Seagull's genius road trip concludes with a whistle-stop tour of some of Scotland's most enigmatic scientific achievements. Their journey begins in Edinburgh at the birthplace of a little-known scientist who changed the face of history, and ends at gigantic power station buried deep within a Highland mountain. First stop for Monkman and Seagull is the Edinburgh birthplace of one of their childhood heroes. James Clerk Maxwell has been dubbed 'Scotland's Unknown Einstein', and his pioneering work includes the 1865 theory of electromagnetism.

Before heading west to Glasgow, Monkman and Seagull analyse a deep-fried Mars Bar, and discuss the science behind this notorious Scottish snack. In Glasgow, they explore the Hunterian Museum's collection of antiquarian experimental instruments and delve into the personal correspondence of iconic scientist Lord Kelvin. A drive along the banks of Loch Lomond prompts them to stop and explore the science of skimming stones, before their day ends at the picturesque town of Inveraray, home of an authentically preserved 19th-century jail.

Last stop on Monkman and Seagull's genius road trip through Scotland is the beguiling Ben Cruachan. This vast Scottish peak holds a dark secret - entering the mountain reveals its hollow interior, home to a gigantic hydroelectric power station.


TUE 20:00 The Incredible Story of Marie Antoinette's Watch with Nicholas Parsons (b07xtbhr)
Nicholas Parsons, Just a Minute host and stalwart of the entertainment world, explores his life-long enthusiasm for clocks when he goes in search of the most valuable and famous watch in the world.

The so-called Marie Antoinette, once the target of one of the biggest museum heists in history, was the masterpiece made by 18th-century genius Nicholas Breguet for that doomed queen.

Tracing the enthralling story of Breguet's rise to fame, Parsons visits Paris and Versailles, and the vaults of today's multimillion-pound Breguet business. Exploring the innovative and dazzling work of the master watchmaker, Parsons unravels the mystery behind the creation of his most precious and most brilliant work.

Parsons then heads to Israel to discover how, in the 1980s, the world's most expensive watch was stolen in a daring heist and went missing for over 20 years.

Revealing a little-known side of one of our favourite TV and radio hosts, the film offers a glimpse into Parsons's own private clock collection while also telling an enthralling tale of scientific invention, doomed decadence and daring robbery.


TUE 21:00 Europe: Them or Us (b077nrb1)
An Island Apart

The critical decision Britain's voters are about to take in the referendum is the culmination of decades of agonising debate about Britain's place in Europe, and its often lethal effect on British politics.

This programme takes viewers into the corridors of power to hear from the men and women who took the decisions which led us to where we are today. The first episode examines why British governments first shunned the new Common Market then begged to join it. It explores the decisive part played by three British prime ministers - Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan and Edward Heath. After being humiliated by the French president Charles de Gaulle when Britain first applied to join, Heath triumphantly took the UK into the Common Market ten years later. But the seeds of today's problems were already being sown.

The unfamiliar story - sometimes witty, sometimes poignant - emerges from a series of special interviews with Heath and two of his successors, Tony Blair and David Cameron, as well as other key British players - Roy Jenkins, Enoch Powell, Shirley Williams, Barbara Castle, Norman Tebbit, Nigel Farage and William Hague - plus the main civil servants and diplomats involved on both sides of the English Channel. Some of the interviews come from the 1996 BBC Two series The Poisoned Chalice, also produced by John Bridcut.


TUE 22:00 Europe: Them or Us (b078cwf7)
Voice of the People

The critical decision Britain's voters are about to take in the referendum is the culmination of decades of agonizing debate about Britain's place in Europe, and its often lethal effect on British politics.

Europe: Them or Us takes viewers into the corridors of power to hear from the men and women who took the decisions which led us to where we are today. In the second programme, Voice of the People, we go behind the closed doors of Whitehall and Brussels to hear from the decision makers about the twists and turns in Britain's relationship with the EEC, now EU. The film examines the way the first European referendum was fought 40 years ago and the changes in the European project since then. After the British people gave their consent in 1975, successive governments have battled to maintain that consent, leading eventually to the in-out referendum this June.

The film has contributions from four British prime ministers - Margaret Thatcher, who arguably took Britain deeper into the European project than anyone else, John Major, Tony Blair and David Cameron. Also taking part are Tony Benn, Nick Clegg, Jacques Delors, Iain Duncan Smith, Nigel Farage, Valery Giscard d'Estaing, William Hague, Roy Jenkins, Jack Straw and Norman Tebbit, and the main civil servants and diplomats involved on both sides of the English Channel. Some of the interviews come from the 1996 BBC Two series The Poisoned Chalice, also produced by John Bridcut.

Europe: Them or Us is a Crux production for BBC Two.


TUE 23:00 Border Country: When Ireland Was Divided (m0003n65)
Since the border between the UK and Ireland was created in 1922, film crews and journalists have descended there to try and make sense of its absurdities and contradictions – as well as the turmoil it can cause.

Border Country: When Ireland Was Divided brings 100 years of archival footage together with the stories of people whose lives have been affected by this crucial dividing line.


TUE 00:00 Britain and the Sea (p01k4zs9)
Adventure and Exploration

David Dimbleby sails the south west coast of England - along the coast of Devon and Cornwall - in his own sailing boat, Rocket, exploring maritime history, art and architecture as he goes. Caught up in stormy weather, he makes it to safety in the nick of time, to tell the story of Sir Francis Drake and a fantastic array of adventurers, explorers, pirates and smugglers.

It's also a chance for David to enjoy some of Britain's most beautiful coastline and turn his hand to a bit of art himself. David also gingerly submits himself to one of the oldest maritime art forms of all - the art of the tattoo.


TUE 01:00 How to Get Ahead (b03xsgwk)
At Medieval Court

Writer, broadcaster and Newsnight arts correspondent Stephen Smith looks back at the Medieval Age to find out what it took to get ahead at the court of Richard II. Richard presided over the first truly sophisticated and artistic court in England. Painters, sculptors, poets, tailors, weavers and builders flocked to court to make their fortunes. But these were dangerous times. Being close to Richard brought many a courtier to a sticky end. Featuring David Tennant and Clarissa Dickson Wright.


TUE 02:00 Britain's Most Fragile Treasure (b0161dgq)
Historian Dr Janina Ramirez unlocks the secrets of a centuries-old masterpiece in glass. At 78 feet in height, the famous Great East Window at York Minster is the largest medieval stained-glass window in the country and the creative vision of a single artist, a mysterious master craftsman called John Thornton, one of the earliest named English artists.

The Great East Window has been called England's Sistine Chapel. Within its 311 stained-glass panels is the entire history of the world, from the first day to the Last Judgment, and yet it was made 100 years before Michelangelo's own masterpiece. The scale of Thornton's achievement is revealed as Dr Ramirez follows the work of a highly skilled conservation team at York Glaziers Trust. They dismantled the entire window as part of a five-year project to repair centuries of damage and restore it to its original glory.

It is a unique opportunity for Dr Ramirez to examine Thornton's greatest work at close quarters, to discover details that would normally be impossible to see and to reveal exactly how medieval artists made images of such delicacy and complexity using the simplest of tools.

The Great East Window of York Minster is far more than a work of artistic genius, it is a window into the medieval world and mind, telling us who we once were and who we still are, all preserved in the most fragile medium of all.


TUE 03:00 The Incredible Story of Marie Antoinette's Watch with Nicholas Parsons (b07xtbhr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



WEDNESDAY 29 JANUARY 2020

WED 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (m000dt7l)
Series 1

29/01/2020

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


WED 19:30 Handmade (b05tpw1j)
Metal

As part of BBC Four Goes Slow, this programme follows the forging of a steel knife. From the slow stoking of the fire to the hammering, welding and etching of the metal, the film is an absorbing portrait of the complex processes behind the making of the knife.

Forged in a spectacular industrial space, bladesmith Owen Bush uses a combination of modern and traditional techniques, some of which date to ancient times.

The most time-consuming element of the process is the shaping and blending of a sandwich of steels into a blade which, after polishing, is placed in a bath of acids, revealing an intricate pattern - a technique used by the Vikings and Saxons.

The bold style of the film-making, making use of long, static shots and with no music or commentary, allows the viewer to simply enjoy watching the painstaking and highly skilled craftsmanship.


WED 20:00 World's Busiest Railway 2015 (p02xxsb5)
Episode 1

Dan Snow, Anita Rani, Robert Llewellyn and John Sergeant are in India, exploring the world's busiest railway. From their base at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai they reveal the science, systems and staff responsible for keeping this supersized transport system running to schedule.

In this opening episode, Dan, Anita and Robert try commuting Mumbai-style, tackling 'super dense crush load' on the world's busiest commuter trains. With as many as 14 people crushed into a square metre, these trains are more than twice as crammed as the most crowded UK trains. Passengers hang from the sides of trains and cross the tracks, so they're in for quite a ride.

John Sergeant heads to Darjeeling's steam-powered hill railway and reveals the historical connection between tea and trains. And our cameras are on board with the astonishing dabba wallahs - a crack team of couriers who deliver 200,000 home-cooked lunches to offices all over Mumbai.


WED 21:00 The Brexit Storm: Laura Kuenssberg's Inside Story (m0003wxb)
Over nine tumultuous months, the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg takes us inside every twist and turn of the most extraordinary political story of our time – Brexit.

Cameras go behind the scenes to follow the political players and Laura as she reports on exceptional events. The film covers Theresa May's efforts to secure backing for her Chequers plan, cabinet resignations and backbench plots. We also see leadership challenges and historic parliamentary defeats, as well as a national campaign for a second referendum which causes splits within parties.

With Westminster in crisis and Theresa May grappling to get her deal through, this film reveals the country's most influential parliamentarians as they battle to secure the future they want for Britain – in or out of the EU.

This one-hour special takes the viewer into the centre of the Brexit storm in a highly charged and emotional battle for political victory.


WED 22:00 The Brexit Storm Continues: Laura Kuenssberg's Inside Story (m000cf6v)
Laura Kuenssberg goes behind the scenes and beyond the headlines once again as cameras follow her reporting on one of the fiercest political battles of this generation - Brexit.

Boris Johnson came to power promising to deliver Brexit 'do or die' by 31 October. He didn't achieve it and instead, the public were asked to vote in a general election that would decide if Brexit is delivered or if a second referendum should take place.

This film gains unique access to the prime minister, his cabinet and leading politicians who oppose him for a film that records up close the decisions and drama that unfolds as the deadline to Brexit day looms.

The story begins as Boris Johnson is elected leader of the Conservative party and with it becomes prime minister of the United Kingdom. The film follows his efforts over the summer to secure a deal with the European Union, who had previously refused to reopen the withdrawal agreement. Along the way, dramatic twists and turns in the story look set to block Boris Johnson's path for delivering on his promise to 'get Brexit done'.

A Supreme Court ruling decided that his decision to prorogue parliament was unlawful. A cross-party group of MPs work together to form a 'remain alliance' and pass legislation that requires Boris Johnson to ask for a Brexit extension, and the Labour party ultimately decides to vote to allow a general election to take place.

Throughout these events, MPs from all sides of the argument reveal their candid thoughts on the strategies they are pursuing and the pressures they face from an increasingly frustrated and divided electorate.

As the story unfolds, Laura gives her unique insight into what is really going on behind closed doors, and explains how the political decisions will mean lasting implications for the future of the political parties and the lives of those they represent.


WED 23:00 Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection (p05qqyd8)
Series 1

Dangerous Magic

In a major four-part series, Andrew Graham-Dixon explores the history of the Royal Collection, the dazzling collection of art and decorative objects owned by the Queen. Containing over a million items, this is one of the largest art collections in the world - its masterpieces by Van Dyck, Holbein, Leonardo da Vinci, Vermeer and Canaletto line the walls of Windsor Castle, Hampton Court and many other palaces, museums and institutions around Britain.

Andrew argues that on the surface, the Royal Collection projects permanence, but within these objects are stories of calamity, artistic passions and reinvention. Their collecting shows how these kings and queens wielded power, but it also reveals their personalities - it's through their individual passions that we see them at their most human.

In this first episode, Andrew marvels at the works acquired by the great founders of the modern Royal Collection - Henry VIII and Charles I. Henry VIII deployed the most essential rule of royal collecting, that great art projects great power. Andrew decodes The Story of Abraham series of tapestries in Hampton Court Palace's Great Hall, explaining how these luxury artworks contain a simple message for his terrified court - obedience.

But Henry also presided over the first great age of the portrait in England; his painter, Hans Holbein the Younger, was a magician who stopped time, preserving the faces of Henry's court forever. Andrew visits the Royal Collection's set of over 80 Holbein drawings in Windsor Castle's print room to see how the artist helped the English to understand themselves in a new way.

Henry VIII tried to overwhelm with magnificence, but for Charles I art was a way to compete with other kings through taste. He was our first connoisseur-king and the greatest royal collector in British history. It was a fateful journey to Spain to win the hand of a Spanish princess that opened Charles's eyes to the works of Titian and Raphael. But his transformation into a world-class collector was sealed with the wholesale purchase of the enormous art collection of the impoverished Mantuan court. The greatest of the Mantuan treasures were Mantegna's nine-picture series of The Triumphs of Caesar that Charles installed at Hampton Court. They are themselves a visual depiction of how power - and art - passes from the weak to the strong. Charles was top dog for now - but for how long?

Andrew explores how Charles I's Royal Collection introduced a new artistic language to British art. The sensuality of Titian and the epic canvases of Tintoretto, still in the Royal Collection today, were a revelation for a country whose visual culture had been obliterated by the Reformation. And we see how Sir Anthony van Dyck created a glamorous new style for the king that could have served as a new beginning for British art. But this was a future that would never happen - the English Civil War and Charles I's execution put an end to this first great age of royal collecting, with the king's artworks sold in 'the most extravagant royal car-boot sale in history'.


WED 00:00 Britain and the Sea (b03k2g3r)
Invasion and Defence

David Dimbleby continues his voyage round Britain, sailing his boat Rocket along the south east coast from Hampshire to Kent. This was the front line coast, the edge of Britain essential to its defence and the first point of attack for invasion forces. From the great battleships of Nelson to the sea forts of Henry VIII, this is a story that embraces Britain's darkest and most heroic moments.


WED 01:00 How to Get Ahead (b03yfwk1)
At Renaissance Court

Writer, broadcaster and Newsnight arts correspondent Stephen Smith explores Renaissance Florence under the reign of Grand Duke Cosimo Medici. Cosimo's fledgling court prized the finer things in life and some of the greatest painters, sculptors and craftsmen in world history came to serve the Grand Duke. But successful courtiers had to have brains as well as brawn. The canniest of them looked to theorists like Niccolo Machiavelli for underhand ways to get ahead, whilst enlightened polymaths turned their minds to the heavens, and to ice cream.


WED 02:00 World's Busiest Railway 2015 (p02xxsb5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


WED 03:00 A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley (b06gxzkj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Monday]



THURSDAY 30 JANUARY 2020

THU 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (m000dt6t)
Series 1

30/01/2020

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


THU 19:30 The Pennine Way (b05q1n6y)
Episode 1

Explorer Paul Rose swaps Antarctica and the world's deepest oceans for the Pennine Way - Britain's first national trail, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015.

At 268 miles long, the Pennine Way stretches from the Peak District in Derbyshire to the Scottish Borders. Paul discovers how much has changed along the route in the last half-century - and finds out how the Pennine Way owes its existence to the right-to-roam movement in the 1930s.

Paul hears about ghostly sightings along the trail and also meets actor and director Barrie Rutter to explore the literary roots of the south Pennines.


THU 20:00 The Great British Year (p01dflmb)
Original Series

Autumn

The fading sun brings an energy change to Britain - a time of storms and unpredictable weather. The trees go dormant, but not before a final fling of colour. For animals, the shortening days are a cue to prepare, hibernating and hoarding for the dark times ahead. For some, its still a time to breed - deer rut, seals give birth and the Atlantic salmon leaps waterfalls in order to lay its eggs. Beneath the fallen leaves, slime moulds, earthworms and fungi take advantage of autumn's spoils.


THU 21:00 Life Cinematic (m000dt6w)
Series 1

Sam Mendes

In this first episode of a new series, Life Cinematic, Oscar-nominated British director Sir Sam Mendes talks to Edith Bowman about the films that have influenced his life and career.

His choices range from classics such as Blue Velvet, Taxi Driver and The Godfather II to contemporary masterpieces, including Lost In Translation. Sam also provides insights into the making of his most recent film, 1917, and reflects on his early introduction to cinema, as well as his aspirations for the future.


THU 22:00 Revolutionary Road (b019767t)
Celebrated Sam Mendes film adapted from Richard Yates's acclaimed novel, reuniting the Titanic stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

April and Frank Wheeler are a young, thriving couple living with their two children in a Connecticut suburb in the mid-1950s. Their self-assured exterior masks a creeping frustration at their inability to feel fulfilled in their relationships or careers. Frank is mired in a well-paying but boring office job, and April is a housewife still mourning the demise of her hoped-for acting career.

Determined to identify themselves as superior to the mediocre sprawl of suburbanites who surround them, they decide to move to France, where they will be better able to develop their true artistic sensibilities, free of the consumerist demands of capitalist America. But as their relationship deteriorates into an endless cycle of squabbling, jealousy and recriminations, their trip and their dreams of self-fulfilment are thrown into jeopardy.


THU 23:50 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.


THU 00:50 How to Get Ahead (b03z08mx)
At Versailles

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


THU 01:50 A History of Art in Three Colours (b01lng0m)
White

In the Age of Reason, it was the rediscovery of the white columns and marbles of antiquity that made white the most virtuous of colours. For flamboyant JJ Wickelmann and British genius Josiah Wedgwood, white embodied all the Enlightenment's values of justice, equality and reason.


THU 02:50 Life Cinematic (m000dt6w)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



FRIDAY 31 JANUARY 2020

FRI 19:00 BBC News Special (m000ff18)
Brexit Day

As the United Kingdom prepares to leave the European Union, Katty Kay, Christian Fraser and Ros Atkins lead a special live programme from London and Brussels - with reports from around the world, BBC Reality Check analysis, and Your Questions Answered.


FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (m000dt74)
Mark Goodier and Andy Crane present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 16 February 1989 and featuring Def Leppard, Simple Minds, Gloria Estefan, Poison, Edie Brickell and The New Bohemians, Pop Will Eat Itself, Debbie Gibson, Texas, Sam Brown, The Style Council, Marc Almond and Gene Pitney, and S-Express.


FRI 20:00 Sound of Musicals with Neil Brand (b08bqfd2)
Seasons of Love

Series in which composer Neil Brand explores how musical theatre evolved over the last 100 years to become today's global phenomenon. Neil hears the inside story from leading composers and talent past and present, and recreates classic songs, looking in detail at how these work musically and lyrically to captivate the audience.

In the concluding episode, he explores why musical theatre is thriving in the 21st century. He charts the rise of the 'megamusical' phenomenon, with shows like Cats and Les Miserables, learns the behind-the-scenes story of how Disney transformed The Lion King from a cartoon into a record-breaking stage success, and sees how musicals have captured contemporary life in shows like Rent and Avenue Q. Neil recreates classic numbers to reveal the secrets of their songwriting, including The Rocky Horror Show's Sweet Transvestite, Don't Cry for Me Argentina from Evita, and Les Miserables' Empty Chairs at Empty Tables. Neil meets a host of top musical theatre talent, including master lyricist Tim Rice, Lion King director Julie Taymor, and leading composers Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast) and Robert Lopez (Avenue Q and Frozen).


FRI 21:00 Top of the Pops (m000dt76)
Bruno Brookes and Susie Mathis present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 23 February 1989 and featuring S-Express, Michael Jackson, Edie Brickell and The New Bohemians, Rick Astley, Tyree ft Kool Rock Stead, Living in a Box, Tone Loc, Dusty Springfield, Hue and Cry, Michael Ball, Simple Minds, and Bananarama and Lananeeneenoonoo.


FRI 21:30 Stewart Copeland's Adventures in Music (m000dt78)
Series 1

Episode 3

Stewart Copeland explores the transcendental powers of music and how certain sounds have the ability to move us, transport the mind and even help us escape this world - if only briefly.

As a child, Stewart’s path was determined when, despite being raised by strict atheists, he was deeply moved by the massed voices of the Wells Cathedral choir singing Jerusalem. Ever since, he has been fascinated by the ability of music to leave us feeling uplifted.

In this episode, Stewart travels to Morocco to discover the polyrhythms of Gnawa and back to Wells Cathedral to understand the mechanics of choral polyphony. He meets Kanye West collaborator Caroline Shaw to examine melody and the effect of the human voice, CeCe Winans to discuss the roots of gospel, takes a gong bath in New York, and visits minimalist master Steve Reich to unpack the trance-inducing powers of repetition.


FRI 22:30 Buddy Holly: Rave On (b08q8f1n)
He was lanky, he wore glasses and he sang as if permanently battling hiccups. Aesthetically, Buddy Holly might have been the most unlikely looking rock 'n' roll star of the 50s. But he was, after Elvis Presley, unquestionably the most influential.

It was an all-too-brief career that lasted barely 18 months from That'll Be The Day topping the Billboard charts to the plane crash in February 1959 in Iowa that took Holly's life. That day was immortalised in Don McLean's 1971 song American Pie, and has become known as 'the day the music died'.

This film tells the story of Buddy Holly's tragically short life and career through interviews with those who knew him and worked with him. This combined with contributions from music fans paints a picture of an artist who changed music. Rock 'n' roll started with Elvis, but pop music started with Buddy Holly and The Crickets.

In an age of solo stars, Holly also led the first recognisable 'pop' group, The Crickets, who in name alone inspired The Beatles. As a songwriter, he revolutionised rock 'n' roll by introducing dynamic new rhythms and unpredictable melodies beyond its traditional blues roots. In his songs, written and recorded in the late 50s, we can already hear the beat group sound of the 60s and beyond.

Buddy Holly's story remains one of the most dramatic tales in rock 'n' roll, one which nearly 60 years after his breakthrough hit That'll Be The Day, deserves to be told again for a new generation. His life was tragically short. His legacy is triumphantly infinite.


FRI 23:30 Reginald D Hunter's Songs of the South (p02j952b)
Alabama and Georgia

In the second of a three-part road trip, Georgia-born but London-based Reginald D Hunter heads home to explore the interplay between gospel, soul and hip-hop. Passing through Alabama, Reg witnesses a Lynyrd Skynyrd gig and discovers the soul riches of the town of Muscle Shoals.

Arriving in Georgia, Reg visits the Athens of the B52s and REM, as well as Martin Luther King's and Ludacris's Atlanta.

Featuring Arrested Development, St Paul and the Broken Bones, Clarence Carter and Sharon Jones.


FRI 00:30 The Story Of... (b0074fbj)
Series 1

Pulp's Common People

Documentary series uncovering the stories behind famous songs. This edition looks at Pulp's Britpop anthem Common People. Jarvis Cocker goes back to St Martin's College, where he met the girl who would inspire him to write a song that examines class, politics and Britain in the 90s. Pulp reunite at their old rehearsal rooms above a pottery shop to reminisce about the song's success and what the track means to them.


FRI 01:30 Stewart Copeland's Adventures in Music (m000dt78)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:30 today]


FRI 02:30 Sound of Musicals with Neil Brand (b08bqfd2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]




LIST OF THIS WEEK'S PROGRAMMES
(Note: the times link back to the details; the pids link to the BBC page, including iPlayer)

A History of Art in Three Colours 01:50 THU (b01lng0m)

A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley 20:00 MON (b06gxzkj)

A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley 03:00 WED (b06gxzkj)

Addicted to Sheep 19:00 SUN (b070jj99)

Addicted to Sheep 02:15 SUN (b070jj99)

Architects of the Divine: The First Gothic Age 01:15 SUN (b04mq9x6)

Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection 23:00 WED (p05qqyd8)

BBC News Special 19:00 FRI (m000ff18)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 MON (m000dt7b)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 TUE (m000dt70)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 WED (m000dt7l)

Beyond 100 Days 19:00 THU (m000dt6t)

Border Country: When Ireland Was Divided 23:00 TUE (m0003n65)

Britain and the Sea 00:00 TUE (p01k4zs9)

Britain and the Sea 00:00 WED (b03k2g3r)

Britain's Most Fragile Treasure 02:00 TUE (b0161dgq)

Buddy Holly: Rave On 22:30 FRI (b08q8f1n)

Bunkers, Brutalism and Bloodymindedness: Concrete Poetry with Jonathan Meades 00:15 SUN (b03wcsdj)

Clive James 22:35 SAT (m000dt85)

Clive James 22:00 SUN (m000dt7m)

Coast 20:00 SAT (b07yk7f4)

Coast 01:55 SAT (b07yk7f4)

Europe: Them or Us 21:00 TUE (b077nrb1)

Europe: Them or Us 22:00 TUE (b078cwf7)

Fake or Fortune? 21:00 SUN (b03vc492)

Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage 19:30 MON (b00cjscm)

Gluck - Who Did She Think He Was? 01:30 MON (p057nlsd)

Handmade 19:30 WED (b05tpw1j)

How We Built Britain 23:50 THU (b007nj7g)

How to Get Ahead 01:00 TUE (b03xsgwk)

How to Get Ahead 01:00 WED (b03yfwk1)

How to Get Ahead 00:50 THU (b03z08mx)

Life Cinematic 21:00 THU (m000dt6w)

Life Cinematic 02:50 THU (m000dt6w)

Monkman & Seagull's Genius Guide to Britain 02:55 SAT (b0bmfbrs)

Monkman & Seagull's Genius Guide to Britain 19:30 TUE (b0bn9c3g)

Natural World 19:00 SAT (b08k9xbm)

Natural World 20:00 SUN (b00vv0nm)

Natural World 23:30 MON (b09yj7dx)

Reginald D Hunter's Songs of the South 23:30 FRI (p02j952b)

Revolutionary Road 22:00 THU (b019767t)

Robert Burns: The People's Poet 00:25 SAT (b00h6s23)

Sound of Musicals with Neil Brand 20:00 FRI (b08bqfd2)

Sound of Musicals with Neil Brand 02:30 FRI (b08bqfd2)

Stewart Copeland's Adventures in Music 21:30 FRI (m000dt78)

Stewart Copeland's Adventures in Music 01:30 FRI (m000dt78)

Storyville 21:00 MON (m000dt7d)

The Brexit Storm Continues: Laura Kuenssberg's Inside Story 22:00 WED (m000cf6v)

The Brexit Storm: Laura Kuenssberg's Inside Story 21:00 WED (m0003wxb)

The Great British Year 20:00 THU (p01dflmb)

The Incredible Story of Marie Antoinette's Watch with Nicholas Parsons 20:00 TUE (b07xtbhr)

The Incredible Story of Marie Antoinette's Watch with Nicholas Parsons 03:00 TUE (b07xtbhr)

The Pennine Way 19:30 THU (b05q1n6y)

The Story Of... 00:30 FRI (b0074fbj)

The Windermere Children: In Their Own Words 22:30 MON (m000dt7g)

The Windermere Children: In Their Own Words 02:30 MON (m000dt7g)

Top of the Pops 23:25 SAT (m000dl2d)

Top of the Pops 23:55 SAT (m000dl2j)

Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (m000dt74)

Top of the Pops 21:00 FRI (m000dt76)

Treasures of the Indus 00:30 MON (p02qvb6j)

Wisting 21:00 SAT (m000dt81)

Wisting 21:45 SAT (m000dt83)

World's Busiest Railway 2015 20:00 WED (p02xxsb5)

World's Busiest Railway 2015 02:00 WED (p02xxsb5)

imagine... 22:50 SUN (b0bp1t3v)