The BBC has announced that it has a sustainable plan for the future of the BBC Singers, in association with The VOCES8 Foundation.
The threat to reduce the staff of the three English orchestras by 20% has not been lifted, but it is being reconsidered.
See the BBC press release here.

Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4 Contact

Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by


SAT 19:00 Francesco's Venice (b0078sl0)

Francesco da Mosto tells the fantastic story of the birth of the most beautiful city in the world, Venice. Of how a city of palaces, of gold and jewels, of art and unrivalled treasures arose out of the swamp of a malaria-ridden lagoon.

Of how one city came to enjoy all the glory of a royal capital yet did away with kings and queens; of how a tomb violently robbed would make an entire people rich; and of how one man - tortured and blinded by his enemies - would lead Venice to a revenge so terrible it would go down in history as one of the worst crimes ever.

Da Mosto reveals the stunning interiors of the Doge's Palace, the Basilica of St Mark, the Ca da Mosto, the Ca D'Oro and the first low-level aerial shots of the city in years. As a Venetian by birth whose family has lived there for over a thousand years, Da Mosto also reveals secret Venice - beset by violence and political intrigue and yet a place which has become the most romantic destination on earth.

SAT 20:00 Coast (b07x0772)
The Great Guide


Tessa Dunlop and Neil Oliver present the ultimate guide to the Cornish coast - from the River Tamar to Tintagel Castle - as they tell the stories that make this stretch so unique. As well as choosing the pick of Coast stories from the past ten years, Tessa hops on and off a variety of boats to delve into untold secrets from these shores. From line fishing with a local Looe fisherman, exploring serpentine rock on The Lizard with a leading geologist, to uncovering a story of tragedy at sea and finding out what it is like living the wild coastal dream in the storm-hit harbour of Porthleven.

SAT 21:00 The Killing (b00xzy0f)
Series 1

Episode 1

Copenhagen Police Department detective Sarah Lund is looking forward to her last shift at work before moving to Sweden with her fiance, when her plans are thwarted. 19-year-old Nanna Birk Larsen is missing and when her belongings are found in a field, Sarah suddenly finds herself at the head of a high-profile investigation, with leads reaching as far and high as the offices of a mayoral election candidate.

SAT 21:55 The Killing (b00y514x)
Series 1

Episode 2

As the investigation into the disappearance of Nanna moves into its second day, Copenhagen police start to determine the particulars of the case. Detective Lund postpones her move to Sweden in order to lead proceedings, and when Nanna's body is discovered she is faced with a major murder investigation. Mayoral candidate Troels Hartmann finds himself implicated when it emerges that the car Nanna's body was found in was registered to his campaign office. But who was driving the car at the time of the crime?

SAT 22:50 The Killing (b00y5hvr)
Series 1

Episode 3

Copenhagen detective Sarah Lund and her replacement-to-be Jan Meyer are on the trail of a principal murder suspect, but Jan's impulsiveness threatens to jeopardise the investigation. Meanwhile, important new clues turn up at the victim's school, while the campaign office of mayoral candidate Troels Hartmann is rocked by leaks of confidential information.

SAT 23:50 Motherland (p05j1k3t)
Series 1

Episode 1

Julia moves out of her comfort zone when she reluctantly invites the entire class to her daughter's birthday party. With her mum still refusing to help out she relies on Liz's party hacks and Kevin's entertaining skills. She organises events for a living anyway, so this will be a breeze.

SAT 00:20 Motherland (p05j36kl)
Series 1

Episode 2

A school fundraiser is not Julia's idea of an evening out but somehow she finds herself heavily involved in order to impress a former colleague and new mum crush. Kevin has a battle with the cloakroom and despite Anne's protests, Liz takes care of the bar.

SAT 00:50 Motherland (p05j376v)
Series 1

Episode 3

A pool party ruins Julia's plans before an important event at work. When an attractive man leaves his wallet in the newsagents, Liz takes it in the hopes of returning it and securing a date. And a new dad on the scene who has a history with Amanda puts Kevin's nose out of joint.

SAT 01:20 Motherland (p05j39b9)
Series 1

Episode 4

While Paul is away, he has the perfect solution to aid Julia: he sends his parents to help. Luckily, Kevin has a huge fondness for the elderly and assists Julia in her in-laws' wrangling. Meanwhile, Amanda has a clear-out and reluctantly gives Liz her old coat, which seems to have an effect on our Liz.

SAT 01:45 Motherland (p05j39xn)
Series 1

Episode 5

Anne's new car propels her into the limelight as the mums try to get in on her new car pool. Kevin finds himself in the new role of confidant as Amanda shares a deep secret. And Liz and Julia's friendship is under fire as Liz realises she is just a 'mum' friend.

SAT 02:15 Motherland (p05j3br1)
Series 1

Episode 6

Julia's childcare problems are solved after she finds the perfect nanny, but her friendship with Liz is strained. Amanda is keeping a low profile after Kevin blurted out her secret. Liz visits Lee's new partner to give her some advice. The school caretaker is in hospital, but the mums have lost their ringleader, and there's nobody to organise a card.

SAT 02:45 Coast (b07x0772)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SUNDAY 02 MAY 2021

SUN 19:00 Revolution and Romance: Musical Masters of the 19th Century (b07d9rwv)
We Can Be Heroes

In the first programme, Suzy Klein tells the story of a creative outpouring unrivalled before or since - the 19th century witnessed the emergence of composers such as Beethoven, Schubert, Berlioz, Chopin, Wagner, Verdi and Liszt, just to name a few of the stellar array whose genius we venerate to this day.

As the aristocracy weakened following the French Revolution, the industrial revolution created new wealth and the middle classes flourished, Suzy shows how it was possible for composers and performers to become the superstars of their age, no longer the servants of kings and princes.

Masters like Paganini and Liszt were idolised, commanded immense fees and had a following as adoring as any of the rock stars and singers of today. Composers tore up the rulebooks, embraced the spirit of Romanticism and poured out their souls in their bold and experimental work. And, freed from the chains of aristocratic patronage, they became entrepreneurs too, organising and profiting from their concerts and winning unprecedented wealth, fame and status.

But with commercial success came a very modern backlash - artistic credibility versus X Factor-style fame. Which would win out? Or could one coexist with the other? As music gained increasing power and influence as the art form of the 19th century, composers started to believe that they could change the world... and remarkably, they really did.

SUN 20:00 BBC Young Musician (m000vsfj)


The long-awaited grand final of BBC Young Musician 2020, delayed for a full year, will see three exceptional musicians compete for one of music’s most coveted titles. The finalists have had to wait for their moment in the spotlight, but it’s certain that the brilliance of the music-making will be even more special as the twenty-second edition of the contest reaches its much anticipated conclusion.

The grand final takes place at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, where each finalist will perform a full concerto with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and celebrated British conductor Mark Wigglesworth. Presenters Anna Lapwood, Josie d’Arby and Jess Gillam – herself a finalist in 2016 – are on hand to guide you through proceedings. Joining Anna with expert analysis is the 1980 winner of the title, oboist and conductor Nicholas Daniel.

A judging panel featuring some of the UK’s leading musical figures is tasked with making what is always a difficult decision. They are clarinettist and composer Mark Simpson, winner of BBC Young Musician in 2006, British-Iranian experimental composer, turntablist and artist Shiva Feshareki, principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Ryan Bancroft, award-winning composer and performer Errollyn Wallen, MBE, and returning to chair the jury, the chief executive of performance venue Saffron Hall, Angela Dixon.

As well as the performances by the three finalists, we will also see a return to the competition for a very special performance by the 2018 winner, pianist Lauren Zhang.

Who will follow in her footsteps? All will be revealed at the end of what promises to be a thrilling finale to BBC Young Musician 2020.

SUN 22:00 Between the Lines (m000vsfl)
Series 1

Nobody's Fireproof

When a senior police officer is arrested for seeing a sex worker, it sparks off a chain of events that could finish some careers. For Jenny Dean, the consequences are even greater.

SUN 22:50 Between the Lines (m000vsfn)
Series 1

The Chill Factor

Determined to find out what happened to Jenny, Tony Clark picks up a trail that leads right back to CIB and a confrontation on board HMS Belfast.

SUN 23:40 Motherland (p07mvqj6)
Series 2

No Mum Left Behind

As a new school year begins, a new mum at the school gates attracts the attention of Julia, Liz and Kevin. Amanda has all the gossip and tells them Meg is a high-flying businesswoman with five kids and a sexy silver-fox husband.

Meanwhile, Julia is struggling to keep her head above water at work when she is offered the choice of promotion or redundancy. When Meg invites the gang for drinks, they go along against Julia’s better judgement and the evening takes a surprising turn, leading Julia to make a big decision.

SUN 00:10 Motherland (p07mvr9b)
Series 2

Soft Opening

Having resigned from her job in PR, Julia tries to adapt to life as a freelancer and reluctantly agrees to help Amanda launch her new shop even though she believes it is nothing but a vanity project. The soft opening is a success but a careless online post threatens to destroy her good work.

Meanwhile, Liz rails against the gentrification of the area and the loss of her beloved kebab shop and Kevin reveals he has written an unusual children’s book, which he wants Amanda to sell in her shop.

SUN 00:40 Motherland (p07mvrqr)
Series 2

Mother's Load

Julia finds that working from home is impossible due to all the tasks she has to do for her family. Meg tells her this is her 'mother’s load' - all the things that no-one else will do but that need to be done to keep the home running. Julia removes herself to the cafe to work but even there finds that it is not that easy to get her work done. A possible solution presents itself when she shares a table with a fellow freelancer, but is Julia taking advantage of him?

SUN 01:10 Motherland (p07mvsgm)
Series 2

The Purge

Kevin reluctantly agrees to host a last-minute Halloween party despite the fact that he’s had no time to prepare. Meanwhile at the school gates the mums are all talking about a celebrity who has moved into the neighbourhood - Lee Mead from Holby.

As this is Julia’s favourite programme she is determined to meet him and decides to take all the kids trick or treating hoping that they will find his house. Liz tags along as she has been stood up by a date and Anne is in attendance trying to make sure that the kids are safe. However by the time they reach Kevin’s one of the kids is missing - Amanda’s little boy Manus. Despite the fact that the happy teatime trick or treat atmosphere has now turned violent and terrifying Liz, Kevin and Julia must venture back out into the streets to search for him through terrifying hordes of teenage zombies and mutant nuns.

SUN 01:40 Motherland (p07mvszc)
Series 2

Le Weekend

The gang are delighted when Kevin books a cottage for them to spend half term holidays in the countryside with all their kids. But it is not as nice as the pictures online, and Kevin seems to have miscalculated the number of bedrooms.

When it transpires that Julia has failed to bring any booze, the atmosphere takes a turn for the worse. All hopes rest on Kevin’s plan to cook an event meal by roasting a whole pig in a pit he has dug in the garden. As the long night wears on, tempers begin to fray. Meanwhile, Liz catches the eye of a handsome shepherd.

SUN 02:10 Motherland (p07mvtbr)
Series 2

Good Job

Julia struggles to abide by the rules and clashes with Mrs Lamb as she attends her first ever school sports day. Apparently it's no longer acceptable to cheer for individual kids, and you can only offer generic support like 'good job'. Over at the Kidiverse soft play centre, Kevin is devastated that an important work presentation means he will miss the dads' race. Liz worries that her new boyfriend is blanking her. And Anne discovers something that leads to a nasty surprise for Amanda.

SUN 02:40 Revolution and Romance: Musical Masters of the 19th Century (b07d9rwv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MONDAY 03 MAY 2021

MON 19:00 River Walks (b0bty0gp)
Series 1

The Nidd

Blind adventurer Amar Latif takes us on a route along one of Yorkshire’s most stunning river valleys. He abseils into a hidden gorge, canoes across a reservoir, and meets the local llamas while following a riverside trail along the Nidd.

Grab your boots and join adventurer Amar Latif as he takes us on a journey along one of Yorkshire’s most surprising rivers. As a blind man with a passion for outdoor adventure, Amar discover how the stunning landscape along the River Nidd has been shaped, while abseiling into a hidden canyon, discovering the remains of an abandoned village, canoeing over Bradford’s water supply and meeting the local llamas.

Amar’s 13-mile route takes in the most stunning parts of this unique river valley. It’s the place where mysterious gorges have been carved out over thousands of years, where villages have been left abandoned after huge civil engineering projects, and where the farms of the future are taking hold in the landscape. It is packed with intriguing history, stunning nature and incredible views.

We hear how Amar was introduced to outdoor adventure after he became blind when he was 18. Climbing Yorkshire’s Three Peaks was his first major challenge so the scenery of North Yorkshire still means the world to him.

His journey starts at Scar House Reservoir, where the source of the Nidd rises dramatically behind the dam wall. He starts his journey by canoe with a local instructor, paddling across the reservoir – before he explores the remains of a mysterious vanishing village that was once home to 1,250 people. With impressive archive pictures, he discovers how it housed families working on the revolutionary reservoir project which now provides most of Bradford’s water supply. Remains include the projection booth of a stunning 600-seat cinema.

Amar’s journey then continues down the Nidd valley – where the landscape is rapidly changing. Farmer Martyn Brown has turned his back on sheep and crops, and spent this year planting 10,000 trees on his 970-acre farm by the Nidd. He is part of a movement to revolutionise the way farms connect with nature. Amar meets him to investigate how this farm is transforming the fortunes of the local wildlife – and also helps out with a spot of dry stone walling to stop the sheep nibbling the new trees.

Walking with his guide, Amar then heads up and over the moor before descending to the dramatic How Stean Gorge. On the way, there is a brief stop at Middlesmoor where he explains how blind people can still enjoy stunning views like this.

Putting on his wetsuit, Amar then takes on a spectacular limestone ravine carved out over thousands of years by the power of the river. With instructor Tony Liddy, he abseils 45 feet into the gorge below. With specialist waterproof cameras, they explore a hidden area of incredible beauty and examine the natural rock formations and how the gorge came to be.

Continuing downstream, with stunning aerials and idyllic filming, Amar and his guide continue to Pateley Bridge – stopping to help catch wild brown trout on the river.

Amar then heads to what is officially the oldest sweet shop in England. Tasting the old classics, operating the vintage confectionary machines and talking all things sweet with its charismatic owner, Amar revels in the nostalgia that brings so many visitors to this beautiful village.

His journey then continues down the river valley – as the autumn leaves line the path as the river widens. His journey concludes by meeting a remarkable farmer’s wife. After going to buy a horse and coming home with a llama ten years ago, Suzanne Benson is the proud owner of a llama trekking farm in the beautiful countryside beside the River Nidd. Suzanne takes Amar on a llama trek, where he reflects on how he was in Peru when he last came across one, and wonders if a llama would make for a good guide dog replacement. They finish with a scenic trek overlooking this unique part of the Yorkshire Dales.

With high quality drone filming, stunning helicopter aerials, shots under the surface of the river itself and bespoke craft filming, this is a high quality film showcasing one of the most impressive but rarely visited parts of Yorkshire – all fronted by a witty, engaging and dynamic new presenter.

MON 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000vsfy)
Series 4

Hint of Springtime

Feel the crisp new season as Bob Ross paints a scene of melting mountain snow and water rushing into a valley just awakening for spring.

MON 20:00 Fake or Fortune? (b0bj6gm7)
Series 7

A Double Whodunnit

In this episode, Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould investigate two rare portraits of black British subjects from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Painted with extraordinary skill and sophistication, both pictures are highly unusual in their positive depiction of black sitters at a time when Britain was still heavily engaged in slavery.

But this is also an intriguing double whodunnit. Who are the artists who broke with the conventions of the time to paint these exceptional works?

The first case is a double portrait featuring Dido Belle, a former slave who became a member of the aristocratic Mansfield family. The painting is on display at Scone Palace in Scotland and was commissioned by the first Lord Mansfield, Dido Belle’s guardian, sometime in the late 1770s or early 1780s at the height of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. In recent years, Belle’s incredible story has inspired books and a feature film about her life. Now the current Lady Mansfield is determined to discover the name of the artist who painted her.

The second painting is even more unusual – two beautifully dressed black girls holding a book in what appears to be a tropical landscape. Early clues suggest this could be a political painting somehow connected to the campaign to abolish slavery in Britain’s colonies. Could the sitters themselves be slaves, but if so why are they wearing such fine clothes?

The quest to solve both mysteries throws up some prime suspects from a golden era of British portraiture. But is new forensic and documentary evidence enough to convince a sceptical art world?

MON 21:00 Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema (m000gp05)
Series 2

British History Movies

‘History,’ says Mark Kermode, ‘is the quintessential British film genre.’ America may have its great outdoors for road movies and westerns, and teeming cities for cop and crime sagas. But there is more than enough in two millennia of British history to provide a bottomless well of story material.

To prove the point, Mark looks at some of the best films about British history in the order of when they are set, tracing the story of Britain from the Roman invasion to the modern era, via medieval times, the Tudors, the English Civil War and the 18th and 19th centuries. He shows, from action and adventure to political intrigue, and from forest-dwelling outlaws to embattled kings and queens, that British history encompasses a remarkable range of styles and situations. Each period is almost a genre in itself, with its own particular themes and characters. And facts are rarely allowed to stand in the way of a good story or striking image.

MON 22:00 Timeshift (b03p7jh9)
Series 13

Hurricanes and Heatwaves: The Highs and Lows of British Weather

A glorious national obsession is explored in this archive-rich look at the evolution of the weather forecast from print via radio to TV and beyond - and at the changing weather itself. It shows how the Met Office and the BBC have always used the latest technology to bring the holy grail of accurate forecasting that much closer - even if the odd messenger like TV weatherman Michael Fish has been shot along the way.

Yet as hand-drawn maps have been replaced by weather apps, the bigger drama of global warming has been playing itself out as if to prove that we were right all along to obsess about the weather. Featuring a very special rendition of the shipping forecast by a Cornish fishermen's choir.

MON 23:00 Rich Hall's Working for the American Dream (b0b8rc45)
Award-winning comedian Rich Hall explores the American dream and the dictum that came over with the very first pilgrims who set foot on Plymouth Rock - work hard and you will succeed.

With his sharp wit and acerbic insight, Rich looks at how Americans strive to achieve this dream and how it's been explored and perpetuated by politicians, industrialists, artists, writers and film-makers.

Rich also looks at the dark heart of the American dream and considers what happens when the dream turns into a nightmare, including the Great Depression of the 1930s, the boom and bust of Detroit and the modern demise of America's shrinking middle class. The land of opportunity has attracted all comers to live the American dream, and Rich Hall explains if it actually exists or if it's just a myth that's become unobtainable for Americans.

MON 00:30 The Joy of Painting (m000vsfy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

MON 01:00 River Walks (b0bty0gp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MON 01:30 Fake or Fortune? (b0bj6gm7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 02:30 Timeshift (b03p7jh9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


TUE 19:00 River Walks (b0bty0zm)
Series 1

The Severn

Shobna Gulati takes a revealing stroll through Shropshire and Worcestershire beside our longest river.
These days this stretch of the river is tranquil and quiet. But once hundreds of boats served the industries which had grown up along its banks. For Shobna it’s a voyage of discovery, as the former star of Coronation Street finds out about a part of the country that’s a world away from her native north west.

TUE 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000vsf2)
Series 4

Around the Bend

Join Bob Ross on a painting excursion along a beautiful scenic river – who knows what abundance of nature’s wealth lies beyond!

TUE 20:00 Yes, Minister (b0078366)
Series 2

The Compassionate Society

Political sitcom. Minister for administrative affairs Jim Hacker struggles to cut administrative staff in the Health Service.

TUE 20:30 To the Manor Born (b00785w5)
Series 1


When her inheritance is eaten up by her late husband's creditors, Audrey fforbes-Hamilton prepares to bid farewell to her beloved manor house, until a mysterious millionaire enters her life.

TUE 21:00 The Violence Paradox (m000vsf4)
Series 1

Episode 1

Taking his clues from archaeology, modern laboratory experiments, historical criminology and literature, psychologist Steven Pinker traces the social and neurobiological roots of human violence and asks, ‘Are human beings becoming less violent? And if so, why?’

TUE 21:55 The Violence Paradox (m000vsdw)
Series 1

Episode 2

Psychologist Steven Pinker examines the evidence that suggests that the world is becoming more peaceful, including how income equality and personal contact through sport may curb violence in modern societies, and the ways in which 'interrupters' in the USA are treating violence like a contagious disease.

TUE 22:50 Horizon (b04knbny)

Is Your Brain Male or Female?

Dr Michael Mosley and Professor Alice Roberts investigate whether male and female brains really are wired differently.

New research suggests that the connections in men and women's brains follow different patterns, patterns which may explain typical forms of male and female behaviour. But are these patterns innate, or are they shaped by the world around us?

Using a team of human lab rats and a troop of barbary monkeys, Michael and Alice test the science and challenge old stereotypes. They ask whether this new scientific research will benefit both men and women - or whether it could drive the sexes even further apart.

TUE 23:50 Tales of Winter: The Art of Snow and Ice (b01q6qj6)
Winter was not always beautiful. Until Pieter Bruegel painted Hunters in the Snow, the long bitter months had never been transformed into a thing of beauty. This documentary charts how mankind's ever changing struggle with winter has been reflected in western art throughout the ages, resulting in images that are now amongst the greatest paintings of all time. With contributions from Grayson Perry, Will Self, Don McCullin and many others, the film takes an eclectic group of people from all walks of life out into the cold to reflect on the paintings that have come to define the art of snow and ice.

TUE 01:20 The Joy of Painting (m000vsf2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

TUE 01:50 River Walks (b0bty0zm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

TUE 02:20 The Violence Paradox (m000vsf4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 River Walks (b0bty0pm)
Series 1

The Dart

Jemma Woodman takes a culinary tour of the beautiful River Dart, meeting those who get inspiration and food from this scenic part of the south west.

WED 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000vsdt)
Series 4

Countryside Oval

Travel with Bob Ross to a picturesque spot in the meadow and delight in the discovery of not one but two serene fishing holes.

WED 20:00 Digging for Britain (b0bt8vvf)
Series 7


Professor Alice Roberts celebrates the biggest and best archaeological discoveries of 2018 from the north of the UK. Each digging team has been filming its own excavations, giving us an unprecedented view of each excavation as it happens.

Alice begins the programme with a prehistoric Pompeii at the Black Loch of Myrton. Uncovering incredibly preserved 2500-year-old houses, archaeologists are stepping back in time and glimpsing what life was really like in an Iron Age village. We follow archaeologists uncovering a previously unknown Anglo-Saxon cemetery in Lincolnshire full of spectacular and unusual grave goods.

We go on the hunt for a lost Second World War reconnaissance Spitfire in Norway and piece together the story of its brave pilot.

Deep in the vaults at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, we explore one of its greatest treasures, the Westness Brooch. We also head to the island of Rousay in Orkney, where archaeologists rescue a Neolithic tomb before it gets washed away and discover an incredible trace of our ancestors on a rare Pictish stone.

In Salford, a major regeneration project is unearthing the largest jail in Georgian England and its radical approach to crime and punishment. Roving archaeologist, Raksha Dave gets privileged access behind the scenes in the conservation labs at Vindolanda Roman fort and discovers what really happens when the digging stops.

WED 21:00 The 1951 Festival of Britain: A Brave New World (b015d486)
Set against the post war period of debt, austerity and rationing, the 1951 Festival of Britain showed how to carve out a bright new future through design and ingenuity, while still having fun. Told by the people who made it happen and making use of some previously unseen colour footage, this is the story of how an extraordinary event changed Britain forever.

WED 22:00 The Treasure Hunters (b040r3bv)
Raw Treasure

From pirates' hoards and shipwrecked booty to dazzling gems to precious metals, we lust after treasure, fight over it and go to the ends of the earth to find it - our planet is a treasure chest just waiting to be opened. In this series, Ellie Harrison and Dallas Campbell journey around the globe on the ultimate treasure hunt.

They scratch the surface of our planet to uncover its most extraordinary riches - from mountains of gold to the most valuable gemstones in the world and the largest natural treasure ever found.

In this episode, Ellie ventures down one of the deepest gold mines in the world in search of the gleaming metal that was once thought to be the skin of the gods and the sweat of the sun. Dallas free-dives for lustrous pearls in the waters around north west Australia and, using one of the largest treasure-hunting machines, he seeks out diamonds from the bottom of the ocean.

Dallas and Ellie reveal how you could make your fortune on the beach. Lumps of ambergris can wash up on almost any shoreline in the world. Although it starts life in a sperm whale's stomach, it ends up as a costly raw ingredient in the most expensive perfumes.

And while Dallas tries his hand at opal mining in one of the most hostile places on earth, Ellie discovers how one of the largest and most unusual treasures ever uncovered has helped us solve a 67-million-year-old puzzle.

WED 23:00 Handmade (b05tpx1l)

As part of BBC Four Goes Slow, this programme follows the slow and painstaking process of making a classic Windsor chair.

A beautifully simple object, it is in fact anything but. Filmed over five days, the film reveals the complex, time-consuming processes involved in creating the chair, made by Jim Steele in his Warwickshire workshop.

This traditional design features woods chosen for their different qualities - ash, elm and hard-to-source yew.

Jim makes just 12 such chairs each year, using traditional techniques and aided by few modern tools. There are just two screws in the finished chair. From the steam bending of the back to the turning of spindles, the carving of the seat to the planing of the arms, it's a remarkable process to observe.

The bold style of the film, making use of long, static shots with no music or commentary allows the viewer to admire in exquisite detail the painstaking craftsmanship.

WED 23:30 Bacchus Uncovered: Ancient God of Ecstasy (b09z8d01)
Professor Bettany Hughes investigates the story of Bacchus, god of wine, revelry, theatre and excess, travelling to Georgia, Jordan, Greece and Britain to discover his origins and his presence in the modern world, and explore how 'losing oneself' plays a vital role in the development of civilisation.

In this fascinating journey, Bettany begins in Georgia where she discovers evidence of the world's oldest wine production, and the role it may have played in building communities. In Athens, she reveals Bacchus's pivotal role in a society where his ecstatic worship was embraced by all classes, and most importantly women. On Cyprus, she uncovers startling parallels between Bacchus and Christ. Finally, Bettany follows the god's modern embrace in Nietzsche's philosophy, experimental theatre and the hedonistic hippie movement to conclude that, while this god of ecstasy is worthy of contemporary reconsideration, it is vital to heed the warning of the ancients - 'MEDEN AGAN' - nothing in excess.

WED 00:30 The Joy of Painting (m000vsdt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

WED 01:00 River Walks (b0bty0pm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

WED 01:30 The 1951 Festival of Britain: A Brave New World (b015d486)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

WED 02:30 The Violence Paradox (m000vsdw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:55 on Tuesday]


THU 19:00 River Walks (b0bty0j0)
Series 1

River Lea

Sean Fletcher puts on his hiking boots and heads north east to walk the eight-mile route along the River Lea. He takes in the landmarks of an industrial past and discovers what the future holds for the river in this fast-growing part of the capital.

THU 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000vsh9)
Series 4

Splendour of Winter

Bob Ross shows you how to capture on canvas the beauty of a still winter’s day, with a happy sun shining bright in the sky.

THU 20:00 Citizen Kane (b0074n82)
Frequently voted one of the best films ever made, Orson Welles's masterpiece tells the story of newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane in a series of flashbacks. A reporter is intrigued by the dying Kane's last word - rosebud - and sets out to find a new angle on the life of one of the most powerful men in America. Nine Oscar nominations resulted in only one award for the outspoken Welles - Best Screenplay.

THU 22:00 The Eyes of Orson Welles (m000235q)
Granted exclusive access to hundreds of drawings and paintings by Orson Welles, film-maker Mark Cousins dives deep into the visual world of this legendary director and actor, to reveal a portrait of the artist as he’s never been seen before – through his own eyes, sketched by his own hand, painted with his own brush. Executive produced by Michael Moore, The Eyes of Orson Welles brings vividly to life the passions, politics and power of this 20th-century showman and explores how the genius of Welles still resonates today, more than 30 years after his death.

Welles was one of the great creative figures of the 20th century. But one aspect of his life and art has never been discussed. Like Akira Kurosawa and Sergei Eisenstein, Welles loved to draw and paint. As a child prodigy, he trained as an artist, before a drawing trip to Ireland in his teens led to his sensational stage debut at Dublin’s Gate Theatre. Welles continued to draw and paint throughout his life, and his groundbreaking film and theatre work was profoundly shaped by his graphic imagination.

When he died over 30 years ago, he left behind hundreds of character sketches, set designs, visualisations of unmade projects, illustrations to entertain his children and friends, images in the margins of personal letters, and portraits of the people and places that inspired him. They are a window on to the world of Welles, and a vivid illustration of his creativity and visual thinking. Most of these have never been made public. Now, for the first time, Welles’s daughter Beatrice has granted Mark Cousins access to this treasure trove of imagery, to make a film about what he finds there.

The Eyes of Orson Welles is a cinematic essay which avoids the techniques of conventional TV documentaries. It combines Cousins’s trademark commentary with new digital scans and specially made animations of the artworks, which bring vividly to life the magic of Welles’s graphic world. These are intercut with clips from Welles’s films, recordings of his radio performances and TV interviews, and encounters with Beatrice Welles, telling the personal stories of the images. An original score by young Northern Irish composer Matt Regan gives the film emotion and expressivity. The title music is Albinoni’s famous Adagio, a nod to the fact that Welles was the first film-maker to use this in a movie soundtrack, in his 1961 adaptation of Kafka’s The Trial.

The film is told in three central acts – Pawn, Knight and King – with an epilogue on the theme of Jester. The Pawn sequence looks at Welles’s politics, his sympathy with ordinary people, those images that deal with the modesty of human beings – children, decent people who are not in positions of power. The Knight section looks at Welles's obsession with love, his romances with the likes of Dolores del Rio and Rita Hayworth, and his quixotic attachment to what he himself saw as outmoded chivalric ideals. The King section looks at Welles’s fascination with power and its corruption, through illustrations that deal with figures such as Macbeth, Henry V, Kane and Welles himself – the epic mode of human beings, the lawmakers and abusers. The Jester epilogue explores the images that are about fun or mockery, with a surprising intervention by Welles himself.

Cousins also travels to key locations in Welles’s life – New York, Chicago, Kenosha, Arizona, Los Angeles, Spain, Italy, Morocco, Ireland – to capture beautiful images and locate the artworks, and serve to dramatise some of the defining moments in Welles’s career and personal life.

Mark shot the film with two handheld cameras, one a conventional HD camera and one a 4K camera which gives a new Steadicam style of tracking shot without the need for tracks and dolly. It’s the sort of technology that Welles would have loved and could only have dreamed of as he spent a lifetime wrestling with the creative and financial limitations of traditional film-making techniques. This shooting style reflects the immediacy of Welles’s sketches and paintings in their swift engagement with the visual world. These cameras are like Mark’s paintbrushes, giving him a direct, personal and tactile contact between his hand and the captured/created image, without the intermediation of cumbersome equipment and crews.

In the end, this essay film is about much more than the drawings and paintings. Just as Leonardo da Vinci’s sketchbooks show his passions, his changes of mind, his trains of thought and visual thinking, so this film is an almost mythic encounter with the imagination of this great artist, who extended cinema, was profoundly political, engaged with questions about power, existentialism, memory, destiny, psychology, space and light. These ingredients make The Eyes of Orson Welles not only a portrait of a great man, but an account of the 20th century and a meditation on the continuing relevance of his genius in what Mark describes as these Wellesian times.

THU 23:40 Handmade (b05tpw1j)

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.

THU 00:10 A History of Art in Three Colours (b01lng0m)

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 01:10 The Joy of Painting (m000vsh9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 01:40 River Walks (b0bty0j0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

THU 02:10 Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema (m000gp05)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]

FRIDAY 07 MAY 2021

FRI 19:00 Easy Listening Hits at the BBC (b011g943)
Compilation of easy listening tracks that offers the perfect soundtrack for your cocktail party. There's music to please every lounge lizard, with unique performances from the greatest easy listening artists of the 60s and 70s, including Burt Bacharach, Andy Williams, Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66, The Carpenters and many more.

FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m000v4b6)
Simon Mayo presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 13 December 1990 and featuring Shakin' Stevens, Malandra Burrows and Seal.

FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m000v4b8)
Bruno Brookes presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 20 December 1990 and featuring Snap!, Cliff Richard and The Carpenters.

FRI 21:00 Emmylou Harris: From a Deeper Well (m000vsg7)
Profile of veteran country singer Emmylou Harris, witnessing the heady success of her career while also discussing her late flowering of intensely personal and groundbreaking music, dealing with loss and the passing years.

FRI 22:00 Timeshift (b0081mbk)
Series 7

Emmylou Harris's Ten Commandments of Country

Live performance in which Emmylou Harris presents her ten rules of what makes a great country song, personally chosen from her own extensive repertoire. Filmed in Los Angeles in an intimate venue, the show features songs with Emmylou accompanied by her blue grass band. Each track illustrates one of her ten commandments, with a short introduction to explain why it was chosen and what element of country music it best represents.

FRI 23:00 The Old Grey Whistle Test (m000vsgf)
Emmylou Harris

Innovative country legend Emmylou Harris and The Hot Band perform in a special concert recorded for the Old Grey Whistle Test in 1977. The set includes Luxury Liner and Tulsa Queen as well as other old favourites.

FRI 23:40 Sisters in Country: Dolly, Linda and Emmylou (b081sx50)
Documentary which explores how Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris's careers took off in the 1970s with very distinct takes on country before they ended up uniting as close harmony singers and eventually collaborated on 1987's four-million-selling debut album, Trio.

In the 60s country music was viewed by most of America as blue collar, and Dolly was country through and through. Linda Ronstadt's take on classic country helped make her the biggest female star in mid-70s America. Folkie Emmylou learned about country from mentor Gram Parsons and, after his death in 1973, she became a bandleader in her own right. It was Emmylou and Linda - the two west coast folk rockers - who voiced their mutual appreciation of Dolly, the mountain girl singer from Tennessee, when they became early students of her work.

The artists talk about uniting as harmony singers and eventually collaborating on their debut album, Trio. The album helped launch the mountain music revival that would peak with the soundtrack to O Brother Where Art Thou. In 2012 Linda Ronstadt was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, which left her unable to sing, but 2016 saw unreleased songs from their sessions compiled to create a third Trio album. This is the story of how their alliance made them pioneers in bringing different music worlds together and raising the game for women in the country tradition.

Contributors: Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Rodney Crowell, George Lucas, Peter Asher, Chris Hillman, Laura Cantrell, Robert K Oermann, John Boylan, Phil Kaufman, David Lindley, Albert Lee, Herb Pedersen, George Massenberg and Applewood Road.

FRI 00:40 Country at the BBC (b08qgkzv)
Grab your partner by the hand - the BBC have raided their archive and brought to light glittering performances by country artists over the last four decades.

Star appearances include Tammy Wynette, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash and, of course, Dolly Parton. All the greats have performed for the BBC at some point - on entertainment shows, in concert and at the BBC studios. Some of the rhinestones revealed are Charley Pride's Crystal Chandeliers from The Lulu Show, Emmylou Harris singing Together Again on The Old Grey Whistle Test and Glen Campbell's Rhinestone Cowboy from The Val Doonican Music Show.

We're brought up to date with modern country hits from Top of the Pops and Later...with Jools Holland.

FRI 01:40 Emmylou Harris: From a Deeper Well (m000vsg7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 02:40 Easy Listening Hits at the BBC (b011g943)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

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

A History of Art in Three Colours 00:10 THU (b01lng0m)

BBC Young Musician 20:00 SUN (m000vsfj)

Bacchus Uncovered: Ancient God of Ecstasy 23:30 WED (b09z8d01)

Between the Lines 22:00 SUN (m000vsfl)

Between the Lines 22:50 SUN (m000vsfn)

Citizen Kane 20:00 THU (b0074n82)

Coast 20:00 SAT (b07x0772)

Coast 02:45 SAT (b07x0772)

Country at the BBC 00:40 FRI (b08qgkzv)

Digging for Britain 20:00 WED (b0bt8vvf)

Easy Listening Hits at the BBC 19:00 FRI (b011g943)

Easy Listening Hits at the BBC 02:40 FRI (b011g943)

Emmylou Harris: From a Deeper Well 21:00 FRI (m000vsg7)

Emmylou Harris: From a Deeper Well 01:40 FRI (m000vsg7)

Fake or Fortune? 20:00 MON (b0bj6gm7)

Fake or Fortune? 01:30 MON (b0bj6gm7)

Francesco's Venice 19:00 SAT (b0078sl0)

Handmade 23:00 WED (b05tpx1l)

Handmade 23:40 THU (b05tpw1j)

Horizon 22:50 TUE (b04knbny)

Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema 21:00 MON (m000gp05)

Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema 02:10 THU (m000gp05)

Motherland 23:50 SAT (p05j1k3t)

Motherland 00:20 SAT (p05j36kl)

Motherland 00:50 SAT (p05j376v)

Motherland 01:20 SAT (p05j39b9)

Motherland 01:45 SAT (p05j39xn)

Motherland 02:15 SAT (p05j3br1)

Motherland 23:40 SUN (p07mvqj6)

Motherland 00:10 SUN (p07mvr9b)

Motherland 00:40 SUN (p07mvrqr)

Motherland 01:10 SUN (p07mvsgm)

Motherland 01:40 SUN (p07mvszc)

Motherland 02:10 SUN (p07mvtbr)

Revolution and Romance: Musical Masters of the 19th Century 19:00 SUN (b07d9rwv)

Revolution and Romance: Musical Masters of the 19th Century 02:40 SUN (b07d9rwv)

Rich Hall's Working for the American Dream 23:00 MON (b0b8rc45)

River Walks 19:00 MON (b0bty0gp)

River Walks 01:00 MON (b0bty0gp)

River Walks 19:00 TUE (b0bty0zm)

River Walks 01:50 TUE (b0bty0zm)

River Walks 19:00 WED (b0bty0pm)

River Walks 01:00 WED (b0bty0pm)

River Walks 19:00 THU (b0bty0j0)

River Walks 01:40 THU (b0bty0j0)

Sisters in Country: Dolly, Linda and Emmylou 23:40 FRI (b081sx50)

Tales of Winter: The Art of Snow and Ice 23:50 TUE (b01q6qj6)

The 1951 Festival of Britain: A Brave New World 21:00 WED (b015d486)

The 1951 Festival of Britain: A Brave New World 01:30 WED (b015d486)

The Eyes of Orson Welles 22:00 THU (m000235q)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 MON (m000vsfy)

The Joy of Painting 00:30 MON (m000vsfy)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 TUE (m000vsf2)

The Joy of Painting 01:20 TUE (m000vsf2)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 WED (m000vsdt)

The Joy of Painting 00:30 WED (m000vsdt)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 THU (m000vsh9)

The Joy of Painting 01:10 THU (m000vsh9)

The Killing 21:00 SAT (b00xzy0f)

The Killing 21:55 SAT (b00y514x)

The Killing 22:50 SAT (b00y5hvr)

The Old Grey Whistle Test 23:00 FRI (m000vsgf)

The Treasure Hunters 22:00 WED (b040r3bv)

The Violence Paradox 21:00 TUE (m000vsf4)

The Violence Paradox 21:55 TUE (m000vsdw)

The Violence Paradox 02:20 TUE (m000vsf4)

The Violence Paradox 02:30 WED (m000vsdw)

Timeshift 22:00 MON (b03p7jh9)

Timeshift 02:30 MON (b03p7jh9)

Timeshift 22:00 FRI (b0081mbk)

To the Manor Born 20:30 TUE (b00785w5)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m000v4b6)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m000v4b8)

Yes, Minister 20:00 TUE (b0078366)