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 Wild (b00796w0)
2006-07 Shorts

Dancing Cranes of Sweden

Wildlife documentary. Each year in the heart of southern Sweden, a special lake hosts a natural spectacle. It's a stop-off point for more than 10,000 cranes migrating northwards. The sight of these huge birds milling around on the icy banks of the lake is a remarkable sight in itself, but the best is yet to come. As the spring sunshine melts the snow and ice, the cranes start to dance. Once seen, the dance of the cranes is never forgotten.

SAT 19:10 Fred Dibnah's Industrial Age (b0074m97)
Wind, Water and Steam

Documentary series celebrating Britain's rich industrial heritage, presented by Fred Dibnah. The tour of treasured sites of industrial history begins on the old Bolton, Bury and Manchester Canal, looks at the early use of wind and water power, and traces the development of the steam engine. Fred visits a man who has built a windmill in his own back garden, and hunts for examples of early beam engines that are still functioning today.

SAT 19:40 Ancient Invisible Cities (b0bjj97g)
Series 1


Dr. Michael Scott uses the latest 3D scanning technology to reveal the historical secrets of Cairo and Ancient Egypt. He explores the first pyramid ever built at Saqqara and finds out how it helped inspire the Great Pyramid of Giza. The 3D scans confirm just how accurately the Great Pyramid was designed and constructed. Michael also investigates the sphinx to try to determine which pharaoh it represents.

But the history of Cairo is not only about the Ancient Egyptians. Michael goes in search of a Roman fortress hidden under a Greek Orthodox church. He also attempts to descend a 90 metre well carved in to solid bedrock beneath the Arabic citadel built by Saladin in the 12th century AD. This remarkable well was built by Crusader prisoners of war, and provided the citadel with water in times of siege.

Along the way Michael discovers that the Ancient Egyptians had built their capital, Memphis, close to where Cairo now stands on the banks of the river Nile. This evolved into a Roman fortress called Babylon. And finally the Arabs founded a city called Cairo. Today, it's the largest city in Africa.

SAT 20:40 Pole to Pole (p02j9742)
Plains and Boats and Trains

Michael flies a hot air balloon over one of Kenya’s top game parks before heading on to Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater and taking the world’s oldest ferry to Zambia.

SAT 21:30 Stieg Larsson's Millennium (m0011mqp)
Series 1

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Part 1

Crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist is convicted of libelling a billionaire industrialist and sentenced to three months' imprisonment to be served in six months' time. He is contacted by Henrik Vanger, who employs him to discover why his 16-year-old niece disappeared 40 years previously. Blomkvist is assisted by Lisbeth Salander, a troubled young woman with an extraordinary talent for computer hacking.

SAT 23:00 The World's Most Beautiful Eggs: The Genius of Carl Faberge (b0336tf3)
Stephen Smith explores the extraordinary life and work of the virtuoso jeweller Carl Faberge. He talks to HRH Prince Michael of Kent about Faberge items in the Royal Collection and to Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, who spent $100 million acquiring nine exquisite Faberge eggs. The bejewelled trinkets Faberge made for the last tsars of Russia in the twilight of their rule have become some of the most sought-after treasures in the world, sometimes worth millions.

Smith follows in Faberge's footsteps, from the legendary Green Vaults in Dresden to the palaces of the tsars and the corridors of the Kremlin museum, as he discovers how this fin-de-siecle genius transformed his father's modest business into the world's most famous supplier of luxury items.

SAT 00:00 Flat Pack Pop: Sweden's Music Miracle (m0002k6k)
Flat Pack Pop: Sweden’s Music Miracle charts the remarkable rise of Sweden as a global music superpower. Journalist James Ballardie explores the uniquely Swedish songwriting formula created by record producer Denniz Pop, discovering how the biggest chart hits of the last 30 years have been inspired by the myths and legends of this Land of the Midnight Sun.

In the 1990s, an elite band of unlikely entrepreneur songwriters and producers became responsible for the most dramatic revolution in music since Elvis first shook his hips. What started out as an experiment on the Stockholm underground club scene soon blossomed into an entire genre of its own. These unlikely heroes of bubblegum pop surfed the wave of the dotcom boom, launching the careers of Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys, Westlife and many, many more. Hundreds of millions of record sales later, today they have a combined net worth of many billions.

Featuring interviews with key Swedish songwriters, plus producers and artists including Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Ace of Base and Robyn, James’s search for the real lever-pullers behind today’s top tunes takes him from the icy streets of Stockholm to the barren plains of Kronoberg.

But why should Sweden – of all places – have become such a hotbed for hot tracks? Some say it’s the terrible weather and long months of darkness that created the perfect environment for Swedes to refine their craft. Others praise the stellar state-funded musical education programmes promoted by the socialist governments of the 60s and 70s. A Swedish love for simplistic melodies – harking back to the medieval cattle-herding calls that form the basis of Swedish folk music – is also a key weapon in the Swedish musical juggernaut’s arsenal.

Perhaps most impressive of all about Sweden’s musical miracle is the sheer duration of its success - with a streak of hits that has lasted longer than any of the classic songwriting factories that have defined pop history - from Motown and Tin Pan Alley to the Brill Building, Leiber and Stoller, and the Wall of Sound.

At its heart – Swedish pop sounds effortless and uncomplicated. In reality, it is the most intricate and precise songwriting method of any genre. These are industrial-strength melodies handcrafted to pierce the 21st century’s hubbub - in malls, stadiums, airports, casinos, gyms and the Super Bowl half-time shows.

It is the same ethos that drove IKEA and H&M to become such world-beating brands. Swedes are so successful at exporting their culture because ingrained in the Swedish mindset is a curious knack for appealing to the residents of other countries. Pulling apart the very best ideas from British and American music, and then rearranging them in a more effective and efficient way is the cornerstone of Swedish musical thinking.

As the 1990s drew to a close, the songwriting formula created by Denniz Pop made him and his followers filthy rich, a potential source of embarrassment in equality-obsessed Sweden. In accordance with Swedish ‘Jante Law’ – a social code that promotes the good of the community over the individual – Denniz and his team shunned the limelight, preferring to leave the pressures of fame to the unabashed Brits and Americans who sang their hits. But the dream could not last forever. In 1997 Denniz was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He died a year later at the age of just 35, less than two months before his greatest creation yet – Britney Spears’s Baby One More Time hit record store shelves.

Today, the most successful of Denniz Pop’s motley band of followers is his protégé Max Martin. Max is famously modest about his mixing desk wizardry – but he is responsible for some of the most potent melodies of our time, standing third only to John Lennon and Paul McCartney when it comes to racking up US No 1 hits.

Mysterious Max has turbocharged Denniz’s songwriting formula into a theory he calls ‘Melodic Math’. It is a complex musical algorithm perfect for the digital age. Decoding the secrets of Melodic Math, James will uncover centuries-old Swedish customs and folklore hidden in the unlikely music of One Direction, Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber.

With its huge hooks, massive drops and unmistakable sense of melancholy, the sound of Swedish pop is in fact the sound of modern pop. In Flat Pack Pop: Sweden’s Music Miracle, BBC Four will uncover how this bizarre brew of influences came to dominate our charts, without us even knowing where it came from.

SAT 01:00 Fred Dibnah's Industrial Age (b0074m97)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:10 today]

SAT 01:30 Pole to Pole (p02j9742)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:40 today]

SAT 02:20 Ancient Invisible Cities (b0bjj97g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:40 today]


SUN 19:00 Nigel Kennedy at the BBC (b04w0fyx)
Compilation of performances and appearances by Nigel Kennedy from the BBC archive, following his music development and career from a seven-year-old child on Town and Around to his virtuoso showstopper Czardas from the Last Night of the Proms 2013.

Featuring interviews with him through the years, and demonstrating a versatility of styles from classical to experimental to a jazz duet with Stephane Grappelli.

SUN 20:00 The Lark Ascending (b019c9t9)
Dame Diana Rigg explores the enduring popularity of The Lark Ascending by the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, which was recently voted Britain's favourite piece of classical music by listeners to Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4.

Composed at a key turning point in world history, The Lark Ascending represents music for all occasions. It is used in rites of passage such as births, deaths and marriages, and is a favourite for film-makers looking to create that quintessential English pastoral feel. Fans of the work include actor Peter Sallis, who wants a copy of The Lark Ascending to be buried with him, top violinist Tasmin Little, who has played the piece as part of the BBC Proms, and music critic Michael Kennedy, who was a personal friend of Vaughan Williams.

The programme includes a beautiful new performance of the work in the same village hall where it was heard for the first time in December 1920. The Lark Ascending is performed by 15-year-old violin prodigy Julia Hwang and pianist Charles Matthews, using the original arrangement for violin and piano.

SUN 20:30 The Sky at Night (m0011mtx)
Telescopes through Time

The Sky at Night team explore the history of the telescope – from Harriot and Galileo's lunar observations to the Hubble and James Webb space telescopes – revealing how developments in the power of lenses have increased our understanding of our place in the cosmos.

SUN 21:00 They Shall Not Grow Old (b0brzkzx)
Employing state-of-the-art technology to transform audio and moving image archive footage more than a century old, Peter Jackson brings to life the people who can best tell the story of World War I: the men who were there.

Driven by a personal interest in the conflict, Jackson sets out to explore the day-to-day experience of its combatants. Immersed for months in the BBC and Imperial War Museum archives, Jackson created narratives and strategies regarding how this story should be told. Using only the voices of those involved, the film explores the reality of war on the front line: their attitudes to the conflict, how they ate, rested and formed friendships in those moments between battles, as well as their hopes and dreams for the future. Each frame of the film has been hand-colourised by Jackson's team, the footage 3D-digitised, transformed with modern post-production techniques, enabling these soldiers to walk and talk among us.

Reaching into the mists of time, Jackson aims to give these men voices, investigate the hopes and fears of these veterans that survived and were able to tell their stories, and detail the humility and humanity of those who represented a generation forever changed by the destruction of a global war.

SUN 22:35 Drama Shorts: BBC Introducing Arts (m0011mtz)
Actor, writer and producer Chizzy Akudolu presents a collection of dramatic short films from the best new filmmakers. Subjects include secrets, love and family, from awkward conversations about sausages to how to deal with zombies.

SUN 23:35 The Culture Show (b00ttbnb)
The Art of World War II: A Culture Show Special

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the Culture Show presents a special on the art of World War II. Despite being locked into a life-or-death struggle, wartime Britain saw an extraordinary explosion of art. From portraits to posters, cartoons to huge canvases, art was suddenly everywhere. Among the works were some of the most intense and immediate creations of the 20th century.

Presenter Alastair Sooke explores the often overlooked history of Britain's wartime renaissance. He meets the Blitz survivors, factory workers and Land Girls who became the subject of iconic paintings and talks to contemporary war artists about the challenges of creating art in conflict zones. Travelling from the shipyards of the Clyde to the concentration camps of northern Germany Alastair discovers how art bore witness, rising above propaganda to create an enduring, deeply humane record of the 'People's War' and laying the groundwork for our own understanding of what art should be and do.

SUN 00:35 Nigel Kennedy at the BBC (b04w0fyx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SUN 01:35 They Shall Not Grow Old (b0brzkzx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


MON 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dbdg)
Series 11

Bodmin to Totnes

Clutching his 1930s Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo reaches Bodmin en route to Totnes as he explores the West Country from St Ives to Salisbury Plain.

Out on the rugged moor, Michael hears how the celebrated author Daphne du Maurier captivated readers between the wars with her tales of smuggling at the Jamaica Inn.

In Devon, Michael takes the plunge at Plymouth’s beautiful art deco Tinside Lido. At Ivybridge, he boards a vehicle like no other to cross the causeway to Burgh Island, where a 1930s playboy built a splendid art deco party palace.

One stop further on the line, Michael arrives in Totnes, at the medieval Dartington Hall, which at the time of his guidebook became a haven for artists seeking refuge from the dictatorships of Europe. Michael discovers the wealthy couple who owned the estate drew many musicians and controversial choreographers to it. The spirit of modern dance is hard to resist.

MON 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m0011msn)
Series 5

Trail's End

Bob Ross creates a wonderful scene in an oval painting where an old fence follows a trail to the edge of the woods.

MON 20:00 Fake or Fortune? (b03srsjl)
Series 3


The Fake or Fortune team takes on a doubly challenging investigation as they try to prove that not one but two paintings are missing works by one of Britain's best-loved artists - John Constable.

Gillie Dance used to keep her painting of Yarmouth Jetty under the bed in her London home, never quite believing it could be by Constable - but Fiona Bruce starts to get excited when a previous owner turns out to have a close connection to the artist's family.

The other picture, A Sea Beach Brighton, used to hang in the prestigious Boston Museum of Fine Arts - until they mysteriously sold it off at a fraction of its value as a recognized Constable in the early 90s. American attorney Tom Toppin and his wife Bernie snapped it up - but they've been struggling to prove its authenticity ever since. Philip Mould has a hunch that the proof they seek lies in other Constable paintings in US galleries - but will the experts agree?

The trouble for the team is that Constable is one of Britain's most widely faked artists and there are surprises in store when paint analysis suggests one picture has a murky past, while an x-ray provokes screams from Fiona and owner Gillie when it reveals one of the biggest shocks of the series.

MON 21:00 Blood and Gold: The Making of Spain with Simon Sebag Montefiore (b06rwgp7)

In the first episode, Simon explores Spain's early years, its emergence as the battleground of empires and its golden age under the Cordoba Caliphate.

MON 22:00 Lost Hearts (m0001qqt)
Lost Hearts is a classic Ghost Story for Christmas by MR James, adapted by Robin Chapman. Orphaned Stephen goes to live with his uncle Abney and finds himself haunted by the ghosts of two children.

MON 22:35 The Story of the Ghost Story (m0011msq)
A look at the history of the ghost story, from tradition and folklore via the Gothic novel to the present, offering insights into the work of some of the genre's greatest writers.

MON 23:05 Timeshift (b0074sh1)
Series 6

The Da Vinci Code - The Greatest Story Ever Sold

After Dan Brown's publishing phenomenon The Da Vinci Code was cleared of plagiarism charges, this documentary explores the climate which has permitted a fictional story to make such an effective challenge to conventional history that it has forced a counter-attack from the Church, the art world and academics. Has Brown cracked the most difficult code of all our 21st-century cultural DNA?

Contributors include Richard Leigh, author of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, art critic Brian Sewell, novelist Sarah Dunant, columnist David Aaronovitch and Opus Dei director Jack Valero.

MON 00:05 A Timewatch Guide (b08xxsw5)
Series 4

Decoding Disaster

From earthquakes to tsunamis to volcanic eruptions, natural disasters are both terrifying and fascinating - providing endless fresh material for documentary makers. But how well do disaster documentaries keep pace with the scientific theories that advance every day?

To try and answer that question, Professor Danielle George is plunging into five decades of BBC archive. What she uncovers provides an extraordinary insight into one of the fastest moving branches of knowledge. From the legendary loss of Atlantis to the eruption that destroyed Pompeii, Danielle reveals how film-makers have changed their approach again and again in the light of new scientific theories.

While we rarely associate Britain with major natural disaster, at the end of the programme Danielle brings us close to home, exploring programmes which suggest that 400 years ago Britain was hit by a tidal wave that killed hundreds of people, and that an even bigger tsunami could threaten us again.

MON 01:05 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dbdg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MON 01:35 Fake or Fortune? (b03srsjl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 02:35 Blood and Gold: The Making of Spain with Simon Sebag Montefiore (b06rwgp7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dbnl)
Series 11

Paignton to Tiverton

Michael Portillo's exploration of the West Country continues in south Devon. Guided by his 1930s Bradshaw’s, Michael arrives in Paignton to investigate an extraordinarily high murder rate in the literature of the 1930s! The Dartmouth Steam Railway conveys him in style to the beautiful home of Agatha Christie, in the company of her great-grandson, James Prichard.

At Dawlish, Michael discovers violets were so prized between the wars they had their own train to London and that the flower trade continues to flourish at Whetman Pinks, established in the same year as Michael’s Bradshaw’s.

Exeter Station takes centre stage as Michael hears from the granddaughter of publisher Allen Lane how he was inspired to invent the Penguin paperback.

Striking north to Tiverton, in the pretty Culm Valley, Michael traces the origins of a national institution, the Young Farmers’ Clubs, and sees how the organisation has evolved.

TUE 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m0011mrl)
Series 5

Evergreen Valley

Drive through mountain country with Bob Ross and happen upon a ridge of thick, rich evergreens gracing the hollow below.

TUE 20:00 Keeping Up Appearances (b007bk0z)
Series 1

Daddy's Accident

The first episode of the comedy series about fastidious housewife Hyacinth Bucket sees Hyacinth's father have a nasty accident with a milk bottle.

TUE 20:30 One Foot in the Grave (b007b8bs)
Series 2

In Luton Airport No-One Can Hear You Scream

The Meldrews return from a disastrous Greek holiday to discover that their home has burnt down. Six months and a pile of insurance headaches later, they are ensconced in their new home and decide to throw a house-warming party. What could possibly go wrong?

TUE 21:00 dinnerladies (p00fcrm6)
Series 1


Jean prepares for her daughter's wedding, Bren and Dolly discuss the weekend's television and the new HR head tries to rope everyone into a group Scottish country dancing session.

TUE 21:30 dinnerladies (p00fcrp9)
Series 1


The dinner ladies are very excited about an impending visit from The Duke of Danby. Stan isn't, having had a previous run-in with him at Catterick Garrison army base.

TUE 22:00 In Conversation (b05y3nhw)
Julie Walters in Conversation with Richard E Grant

Julie Walters has been one of Britain's best-loved actresses since her award-winning big screen debut in Educating Rita. Her film career has since ranged from the song and dance of Mamma Mia! to the tragicomedy of Calendar Girls via a long-running role in the Harry Potter series. In this exclusive and revealing conversation, recorded in front of a live audience at the BFI Southbank, Julie discusses her movie career with Richard E Grant, who directed her in his own feature debut Wah-Wah.

TUE 23:00 Some People with Jokes (b037c5yn)
Series 1

Some Boffins with Jokes

Some of the nation's sharpest scientific minds and keenest brains tell their favourite jokes. Do boffins find the same things funny as us regular citizens? Let the nation decide.

TUE 23:30 Britain in Focus: A Photographic History (b08k0srb)
Series 1

Episode 3

In the final episode, Eamonn McCabe traces the story of British photography from the explosion of colour images in the late 1950s to the ongoing impact of the digital revolution.

Eamonn enters the colourful Britain of postcard producer John Hinde, whose postwar experiments with colour photography captured a new mood of optimism and leisure in the country. He sees how colour snaps began to replace black-and-white prints in the family album as cheaper cameras and new processing techniques allowed ordinary people to record the world around them in colour. Eamonn meets John Bulmer, who broke new ground by using colour for documentary photography in his striking images of the north of England for the Sunday Times colour magazine. And he finds out why Jane Bown refused to follow the trend by sticking to black and white for her striking portraits of the era's most memorable faces.

Eamonn explores how a new, independent movement in photography emerged in the 1970s, fostering talents like Peter Mitchell, who used colour photography to comment on a changing urban Britain. Eamonn sees how this new movement encouraged Fay Godwin to infuse her poetic landscapes with political and environmental concerns, and meets Birmingham-based photographer Vanley Burke, whose work chronicled the growing African-Caribbean community in Handsworth. And Eamonn joins one of today's best-known British photographers, Martin Parr, to find out how he has trained a satirical eye on modern society.

Assessing the impact of the 'big bang' of digital photography, Eamonn goes back to his roots as a sports photographer - covering boxing in the East End of London. He reflects on how technology has developed from when he started in the 1970s, with manual cameras and rolls of film, to the digital cameras of today. Eamonn then sees how the digital revolution has shaped a new generation of practitioners - in whose hands a thoroughly 21st-century British photography is being created.

TUE 00:30 Secrets of Skin (m000cdz8)
Series 1


How does a giraffe stay cool? What are different porcupine quills teaching us about medicine? What makes some people more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes than others? All the answers and more lie in the secrets of how skin protects us from a hostile world. When it comes to protecting our delicate insides, skin is like an external suit of armour. Animals have adapted ways of protecting themselves from everything a hostile planet has to throw at them.

Hippos produce their own sunscreen to protect themselves against the dangers of UV rays from the sun. Only recently discovered by science, is the truth behind a giraffe’s spots, a network of blood vessels that they use to cool themselves down in the blazing heat of the African savannah.

Professor Ben Garrod discovers how. He tests the limitations of human skin by plunging himself into a deep freezer to demonstrate how human skin just isn’t well insulated enough to cope with extreme cold. He discovers how human skin is an entire ecosystem for bugs and bacteria as he comes face to face with what is growing on his skin. And he gets bitten by mosquitoes and stable flies as he learns that disease-carrying insects have evolved to pierce everything from human skin to horse hide.

TUE 01:00 Secrets of Skin (m000cf0y)
Series 1


Why are male mandrill faces (big bold primates from West Africa) red and blue? How are birds' feathers so colourful? What do ringtail lemurs do to talk to one another? Their skin holds the key. As Professor Ben Garrod explores how animals communicate with one another, he uncovers a myriad more wonderful ways.

Skin has evolved in some remarkable ways to enable animals to communicate with each other, from vibrant displays of colour to skin pouches to amplify sound. Ben shows how animals have evolved to use skin to make themselves heard loud and clear. Birds are notable for their use of coloured feathers to attract mates, show status and as displays of aggression. But, as Ben discovers, long before birds evolved their unrivalled use of colour, it is now believed that their ancestors, the dinosaurs, could well have been using colour to communicate. Ben also uncovers how one species of fish communicates using electricity, and a common British bird has been secretly communicating for years, without us ever knowing.

TUE 01:30 Inside Museums (m000ngbs)
Series 1

St Fagans National Museum of History

Arts enthusiast Cerys Matthews is given an ‘access-all-areas’ pass to her favourite museum, St Fagans National Museum of History in Cardiff for the BBC's #MuseumPassion season.

Home to more than 40 faithfully re-erected historical buildings, it’s one of the UK's most visited heritage attractions and, as a living history museum, it lives, breathes and embodies the culture and identity of Wales. Cerys steps back in time, yet also draws powerful parallels with the present and our current circumstances as we cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

St Fagans is steeped in Welsh history, yet the buildings and objects that are housed there also have a powerful contemporary relevance. They speak of the vital importance and occasional perils of community life.

In its early 20th-century, miners’ cottages, Cerys discovers how a previous generation coped with the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. Did close-knit community life help, or were there drawbacks?

Community spirit has many strengths, then and now, and grassroots pubs where people gathered to socialise could provide a central support hub, like the Vulcan Pub, built in 1853 in Cardiff. It has been saved from destruction by the museum and is being rebuilt, brick by brick, on the St Fagans site.

Cerys unpacks the stories behind centuries-old buildings and crafts and reveals the secrets of a selection of objects - from a 1950s caravan to the skull of a 6,000-year-old man. But today, museums also capture history as it happens. Cerys meets Curator of Black History Nasir Adam to find out more about some items that were made and, only recently, donated by the public. They will soon form part of a new exhibition.

St Fagans’ ethos is that theirs is a museum made with and by the people of Wales. It is shot through with community strength and spirit. Craft, industry, passion and pride can all be seen here. Their labours continue to bear fruit and their rich history is held in trust for future generations.

Cerys discovers that we can take comforting lessons for the future from time spent in the past. Objects, architecture and human stories that reveal, however daunting the challenges we might face, they can be overcome. Our history shows us that. The people of the past serve as a reminder. And they beckon us onwards and offer us hope.

TUE 02:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dbnl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

TUE 02:30 In Conversation (b05y3nhw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


WED 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dblt)
Series 11

Taunton to Salisbury Plain

Michael Portillo crosses the county line from Devon into Somerset on his rail exploration of the West Country steered by his 1930s Bradshaw's guide.

He sees first-hand how willow farmers sought to overcome the challenge from the production of synthetic plastics during the 1930s. He hears how tourism for all budgets spread across the region, especially amongst the young, for whom youth hostels sprang up, with good wishes from none other than the prime minister of the day, Stanley Baldwin.

In the city of Bath, Michael visits the former home of a refugee emperor, whose country was invaded by the Italian dictator Mussolini, and in whose name a religious movement began, which now flourishes worldwide.

Travelling east into Wiltshire, Michael reaches the largest training area of the British Army, Salisbury Plain, where the Royal Tank Regiment, established in 1939, is on manoeuvres with its awesome Streetfighter tank.

WED 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m0011mtt)
Series 5

Balmy Beach

Bob Ross invites you for a walk along the shore, with soothing waves rolling in from the sea to the palm trees – all captured within a delightful seashell shape on canvas.

WED 20:00 Earth: The Power of the Planet (b008g1kt)

Documentary series in which Dr Iain Stewart reveals the natural forces that have shaped the earth's development. Ice isn't just something to put in a gin and tonic - it has carved out landscapes, unleashed catstrophes and shaped human evolution. Now it could cause the destruction of our civilisation. Iain visits the Jacobshavn glacier in Greenland which has retreated 10km in the last few years because of global warming.

WED 21:00 Charley Boorman: Sydney to Tokyo by Any Means (b00nj7xd)
Episode 3

Charley Boorman embarks on his second series of By Any Means, this time starting his adventure in Sydney and travelling up the Pacific Rim through Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and eventually finishing in Tokyo, Japan.

Charley, crushed by the disappointment of not being able to get into West Papua on foot, is forced to take a series of commercial flights in order to resume his journey north to Tokyo.

Picking up his route in Indonesia, Charley is excited about a new country and a new adventure ahead.

Beginning in Makassar in South Sulawesi, Charley travels up the island and drops in on a Muslim wedding. There he sees another side to how the ceremony is celebrated and even enjoys the delights of home-cooked food.

After getting back in the saddle with the Indonesian Harley Davidson club, Charley samples the interesting local cuisine - bat and dog meat.

WED 22:00 Rise of the Clans (b0bt7wsr)
Series 1

The Bruce Supremacy

Neil Oliver travels back in time to reveal the real life Game of Thrones - the story of Scotland's ancient clans. A blood-soaked saga of battles and feuds, loyalty and betrayal, love and death set against the country's wild mountains and glens. In this first episode, Neil follows the clans as they rallied behind Robert the Bruce in his against-all-odds bid to win Scotland's crown. After their crucial role in crushing the English at Bannockburn in 1314, Bruce rewarded the loyal chiefs with land and titles. They rise to shape the fate of kingdom in the centuries to come.

WED 23:00 Rich Hall's Countrier Than You (b08j8lqb)
Award-winning comedian Rich Hall takes a country music journey from Tennessee to Texas to look at the movements and artists that don't get as much notoriety but have helped shape the genre over the years.

With the help of prominent performers and producers including Michael Martin Murphey, Robbie Fulks and Ray Benson, Rich explores the early origins of country music in Nashville and Austin. He visits the rustic studios where this much-loved sound was born and discovers how the genre has reinvented itself with influences from bluegrass, western swing and Americana.

Rich also explores how the music industries differ between these two cities and how they each generated their own distinct twist on the genre, from cosmic country and redneck country to the outlaw artists of the 1970s. Through Working Dog, a three-minute self-penned soap opera about a collie dog, Rich illustrates how different styles can change.

As he unearths the roots and inner workings of country music, Rich finds it's more than just music - it's a lifestyle.

WED 00:30 Emmylou Harris's Ten Commandments of Country (b0081mbk)
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.

WED 01:30 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dblt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

WED 02:00 Earth: The Power of the Planet (b008g1kt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 03:00 Rise of the Clans (b0bt7wsr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


THU 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dl5b)
Series 11

Canterbury to Alexandra Palace

Steered by his 1930s Bradshaw’s guidebook, this week Michael Portillo explores the east of England in the interwar period.

Beginning in Canterbury in Kent, Michael treads the boards as he uncovers the political message behind a play, published in 1936, inspired by the 12th-century murder of Archbishop Thomas à Becket.

In Maidstone, Michael learns of the international origins of the most British symbol of remembrance, before paying his respects at a war memorial based on London’s Cenotaph.

Outside Sevenoaks, Michael visits the country home of one of his political heroes, Sir Winston Churchill, and discovers how the 1930s were wilderness years at Chartwell, as Churchill warned against Nazi German appeasement.

As Michael enters the capital, there is a visit to the brand new London Bridge station before he heads to Alexandra Palace, the birthplace of television.

THU 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000qcwy)
Winter Specials

Pastel Winter

Soft colours flow from the magnificent brushes of Bob Ross in this lovely, warm winter painting. Don’t miss seeing this pretty scene unfold.

American painter Bob Ross offers soothing words of encouragement to viewers and painting hobbyists in an enormously popular series that has captivated audiences worldwide since 1982. Ross is a cult figure, with nearly two million Facebook followers and 3,000 instructors globally. His soothing, nurturing personality is therapy for the weary, and his respect for nature and wildlife helps heighten environmental awareness.

In the series, Ross demonstrates his unique painting technique, which eliminates the need for each layer of paint to dry. In real time, he creates tranquil scenes taken from nature, including his trademark ‘happy’ clouds, cascading waterfalls, snow-covered forests, serene lakes and distant mountain summits.

Many of Bob’s faithful viewers are not painters at all. They are relaxing and unwinding with Bob’s gentle manner and encouraging words, captivated by the magic taking place on the canvas.

THU 20:00 Walt Disney (b08605f7)
Episode 1

Documentary about the life and legacy of Walt Disney, featuring archival footage only recently released from the Disney vaults, alongside scenes from some of his greatest films and the sketches from which they were created.

Those who helped turn his dreams into reality - his friends, family, animators and designers - reveal the real man behind the legend. They disclose the previously unknown processes, single-mindedness and sometimes sheer unpleasantness and discrimination that lay behind his seemingly effortless masterpieces.

Through bankruptcy, strikes, great risk and more, Disney's refusal to accept failure and his determined pursuit of his creative vision produced cartoons and movies that would define an entire industry. Both an inspiring story and a cautionary tale about the price of ambition, this film offers an unprecedented look at the man who created a world and built an empire.

Part one explores Disney's early days, when he created Mickey Mouse, through to the triumph of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full-length animated film.

THU 21:00 Escape from Alcatraz (b007c244)
Fact-based story set in America's former maximum-security prison, from which escape was supposed to be impossible. For habitual jailbreaker Frank Morris, Alcatraz is just another set of bars and walls that will never hold him.

THU 22:50 On the Town (b00789db)
Oscar-winning musical following three sailors on shore leave. Determined to enjoy their freedom, the young men embark on whirlwind romances. Starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.

THU 00:25 The Sky at Night (m0011mtx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 on Sunday]

THU 00:55 Drama Shorts: BBC Introducing Arts (m0011mtz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:35 on Sunday]

THU 01:55 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dl5b)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

THU 02:25 The Culture Show (b00ttbnb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:35 on Sunday]


FRI 19:00 Country Queens at the BBC (p028vwnv)
Classic female country stars in action on a variety of BBC studio shows and featuring Bobbie Gentry, Anne Murray, Emmylou Harris, Tammy Wynette, Billie Jo Spears, Crystal Gayle, Taylor Swift, Lucinda Williams with Mary Chapin Carpenter and more. A chronological celebration of country queens at the BBC whether on Top of the Pops, OGWT, Later with Jools Holland, Parkinson or their own entertainment specials.

FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m0011myb)
Mark Franklin and Elayne Smith present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 5 December 1991 and featuring Shades of Rhythm, Erasure, Simply Red, Guns N' Roses, Diana Ross, Cliff Richard, The KLF featuring Tammy Wynette, and George Michael and Elton John.

FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m0011myd)
Tony Dortie and Claudia Simon present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 12 December 1991 and featuring Cathy Dennis, Digital, Cliff Richard, Kym Sims, Salt 'N' Pepa, Right Said Fred, Martika, and George Michael and Elton John.

FRI 21:00 Kenny Rogers: Cards on the Table (b04pl3kw)
Examining the life and career of the artist who 'knows when to hold 'em and knows when to fold 'em', this documentary chronicles Kenny Rogers's remarkable rise to the top of his game and the golden era of country music he ushered in.

With an exclusive, candid interview from Rogers himself and performance footage gathered on his recent Through the Years tour, this honest and eye-opening film provides a backstage pass to a remarkable 50-year career of performing and recording.

Associates and luminaries provide personal insight into how the poor, music-obsessed boy from Houston, Texas went on to become a superstar with over 120 million albums sold worldwide. Singer, songwriter and producer Kim Carnes recalls how the New Christy Minstrels folk group - of which she and Kenny were members in the late 1960s - was like a 'school on the road' that provided them both with a springboard from which to explore other musical ambitions. Actor and musician Mickey Jones recounts his time with Kenny in the band The First Edition, whose hit single Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) made Kenny an unlikely poster boy for the psychedelic generation. Longtime friend Lionel Richie reveals how a trip to the bathroom played a crucial role in the recording session for Lady, one of Kenny's biggest hits.

Away from music, the programme reveals how Kenny's drive and ambition - what he describes as his 'impulsive-obsessive' nature - led to success in other fields: according to the renowned photographer John Sexton, the country music legend was determined to master the art of photography (Kenny was recently awarded an honorary Master of Photography degree by the Professional Photographers Association).

For over half a century, Kenny has kept us entertained with some of the best-known and best-loved music ever recorded. With a career spanning everything from jazz to folk, 60s psychedelia to R&B, perhaps his real legacy lies in the fact that he introduced a trailblazing pop sensibility to country music.

FRI 22:00 Country Music Awards (m0011myg)

The best bits from country music's biggest night of the year.

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 Arena (b073rgy1)
Loretta Lynn - Still a Mountain Girl

Legendary country music singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn is loved by fans from across the world. She has sold over 45 million albums worldwide and won more awards than any other female country music star. With affectionate and irreverent contributions from her extended family of self-confessed rednecks, now in her early eighties and still going strong, Loretta looks back at her long and extraordinary life, from being born a coal miner's daughter in Kentucky to receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama in 2013. Featuring Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Jack White, Sissy Spacek and, of course, Loretta herself.

FRI 01:10 Top of the Pops (m0011myb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRI 01:40 Top of the Pops (m0011myd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

FRI 02:10 Country Queens at the BBC (p028vwnv)
[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 Timewatch Guide 00:05 MON (b08xxsw5)

Ancient Invisible Cities 19:40 SAT (b0bjj97g)

Ancient Invisible Cities 02:20 SAT (b0bjj97g)

Arena 23:40 FRI (b073rgy1)

Blood and Gold: The Making of Spain with Simon Sebag Montefiore 21:00 MON (b06rwgp7)

Blood and Gold: The Making of Spain with Simon Sebag Montefiore 02:35 MON (b06rwgp7)

Britain in Focus: A Photographic History 23:30 TUE (b08k0srb)

Charley Boorman: Sydney to Tokyo by Any Means 21:00 WED (b00nj7xd)

Country Music Awards 22:00 FRI (m0011myg)

Country Queens at the BBC 19:00 FRI (p028vwnv)

Country Queens at the BBC 02:10 FRI (p028vwnv)

Drama Shorts: BBC Introducing Arts 22:35 SUN (m0011mtz)

Drama Shorts: BBC Introducing Arts 00:55 THU (m0011mtz)

Earth: The Power of the Planet 20:00 WED (b008g1kt)

Earth: The Power of the Planet 02:00 WED (b008g1kt)

Emmylou Harris's Ten Commandments of Country 00:30 WED (b0081mbk)

Escape from Alcatraz 21:00 THU (b007c244)

Fake or Fortune? 20:00 MON (b03srsjl)

Fake or Fortune? 01:35 MON (b03srsjl)

Flat Pack Pop: Sweden's Music Miracle 00:00 SAT (m0002k6k)

Fred Dibnah's Industrial Age 19:10 SAT (b0074m97)

Fred Dibnah's Industrial Age 01:00 SAT (b0074m97)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 MON (m000dbdg)

Great British Railway Journeys 01:05 MON (m000dbdg)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 TUE (m000dbnl)

Great British Railway Journeys 02:00 TUE (m000dbnl)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 WED (m000dblt)

Great British Railway Journeys 01:30 WED (m000dblt)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 THU (m000dl5b)

Great British Railway Journeys 01:55 THU (m000dl5b)

In Conversation 22:00 TUE (b05y3nhw)

In Conversation 02:30 TUE (b05y3nhw)

Inside Museums 01:30 TUE (m000ngbs)

Keeping Up Appearances 20:00 TUE (b007bk0z)

Kenny Rogers: Cards on the Table 21:00 FRI (b04pl3kw)

Lost Hearts 22:00 MON (m0001qqt)

Nigel Kennedy at the BBC 19:00 SUN (b04w0fyx)

Nigel Kennedy at the BBC 00:35 SUN (b04w0fyx)

On the Town 22:50 THU (b00789db)

One Foot in the Grave 20:30 TUE (b007b8bs)

Pole to Pole 20:40 SAT (p02j9742)

Pole to Pole 01:30 SAT (p02j9742)

Rich Hall's Countrier Than You 23:00 WED (b08j8lqb)

Rise of the Clans 22:00 WED (b0bt7wsr)

Rise of the Clans 03:00 WED (b0bt7wsr)

Secrets of Skin 00:30 TUE (m000cdz8)

Secrets of Skin 01:00 TUE (m000cf0y)

Some People with Jokes 23:00 TUE (b037c5yn)

Stieg Larsson's Millennium 21:30 SAT (m0011mqp)

The Culture Show 23:35 SUN (b00ttbnb)

The Culture Show 02:25 THU (b00ttbnb)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 MON (m0011msn)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 TUE (m0011mrl)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 WED (m0011mtt)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 THU (m000qcwy)

The Lark Ascending 20:00 SUN (b019c9t9)

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

The Sky at Night 20:30 SUN (m0011mtx)

The Sky at Night 00:25 THU (m0011mtx)

The Story of the Ghost Story 22:35 MON (m0011msq)

The World's Most Beautiful Eggs: The Genius of Carl Faberge 23:00 SAT (b0336tf3)

They Shall Not Grow Old 21:00 SUN (b0brzkzx)

They Shall Not Grow Old 01:35 SUN (b0brzkzx)

Timeshift 23:05 MON (b0074sh1)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m0011myb)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m0011myd)

Top of the Pops 01:10 FRI (m0011myb)

Top of the Pops 01:40 FRI (m0011myd)

Walt Disney 20:00 THU (b08605f7)

Wild 19:00 SAT (b00796w0)

dinnerladies 21:00 TUE (p00fcrm6)

dinnerladies 21:30 TUE (p00fcrp9)