Chris Packham explores some of the most bizarre and extraordinary natural events on the planet.
Classic comedy directed by and starring Eric Sykes. Two workmen struggle with a plank of work as they attempt to move it from a timber yard to their building site.
A documentary in which Alison Steadman talks about her impressive career, featuring archive clips, both treasured and rarely seen, weaved together with sincere testimony from friends and colleagues.
The programme contains footage and stills from programmes such as Gavin and Stacey, Abigail's Party, Newshounds, Nuts in May and her early appearances in Frost's Weekly. It progresses from her earliest appearances on screen to what drove her choices, for good or ill, and their consequences.
Documentary telling the poignant true story of twin sisters from China, found as babies in a cardboard box in 2003 and adopted by two separate sets of parents - one from California, the other from a remote fishing village in Norway.
In the US, Mia is raised a typical all-American girl, with a bustling life filled with violin lessons, girl scouts and soccer, while Alexandra grows up in the quietude of the breathtakingly beautiful but isolated village of Fresvik, Norway.
Neither of the adoptive parents were told their daughters were twins, but a chance sighting at the orphanage enabled them to keep in touch, until a DNA test proved their hunch had been right. Both girls grew up knowing they had an identical twin living on the other side of the world.
The film tells the remarkable story of their parallel journey, punctuated by only the odd visit, videos and photographs - until they meet for a longer visit in Norway when they are eight years old. Despite living completely different lives and speaking different languages, they are mirrors of each other - the magical bond between them is extraordinary.
This is the story of our notions of family - the genetic ones we inherit and the ones we create.
Single, out of work and feeling sidelined, soon-to-be grandma Aurore is dreading growing old. When she bumps into an old flame – the gorgeous Doctor Totoche - despite the odd hot flush, Aurore starts to feel sexy again and decides to embrace middle-aged life. She takes a new job, has laughs with friends and finds romance in the arms of an unsuitable lover. When a chance school reunion brings Aurore and Totoche back together, with it arrives a new hope that life really can begin at 50.
A smart and joyous observation on women, motherhood, friendship and relationships. In French with English subtitles.
Performance artist Bryony Kimmings loves to make work about her own life. After award-winning work on men and mental health (Fake it 'til you Make it), sexually transmitted diseases (Sex Idiot) and her recent show on the breakup of her relationship and accompanying nervous breakdown (I’m a Phoenix, Bitch), she now turns her unflinching and hilarious gaze onto single motherhood. In collaboration with documentary film-maker Daisy Asquith, she creates a girl gang of brilliantly lovable single mums and takes inspiration from their emotional and hilarious stories to create an opera! A tour of English National Opera’s backstage workings gives Kimmings a crash course in all things operatic, and confirms it is the perfect medium to represent the drama and high-octane intensity of single motherhood.
MONDAY 15 MARCH 2021
MON 19:00 Walk the Line (b04lgnb6)
In a new three-part series, Walk the Line, Barra Best sets out to uncover and explore some of Northern Ireland's lost railways. In programme one, Barra discovers County Down's version of Stonehenge, spends a day at the races and hears about a battle of the railways to control Newcastle's growth as a tourist resort.
MON 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000kxkt)
Bob Ross creates an unexpected place of respite for the weary traveller by painting a lonesome cabin in the middle of a snowy setting.
MON 20:00 Fake or Fortune? (b09547zm)
The team are on the trail of two pictures brought to their attention by viewers, both believed to be by Paul Gauguin - one of the giants of 19th-century art. Could two lost works have surfaced in Cambridgeshire and a suburb of Manchester?
Paul Gauguin is one of the most intriguing artists of late 19th-century France, a stockbroker who abandoned Paris for a bohemian life in Tahiti. He is certainly one of the most valuable - his Tahitian masterpiece When Will you Marry? sold for $200 million in 2015, making it one of the most expensive paintings ever sold.
A woman in Manchester thinks she may have inherited Gauguin's very first pencil sketch for this iconic painting. If it's genuine, this fragile relic of the artist's time in Tahiti could be worth over £200,000, but its authenticity has been called into doubt.
To raise the stakes even further, the team are on the trail of a second possible Gauguin - a still life depicting a bowl of fruit. A Cambridge-based man has spent years trying to prove that his oil painting, inherited from a family friend, is a genuine work that dates back to the crucial moment when Gauguin discovered the style which made him famous.
The team have got a battle on their hands because the authenticity of both works has been called into question by leading auction houses. The quest to find out the truth about the two pictures takes them to Bilbao, Brittany, Paris and the Imperial War Museum as they delve into the story of the sketch owner's grandfather, a German art historian who fled the Nazis for a new life in England. But as the investigation progresses, they stumble across a forgery scandal that is only beginning to come to light.
MON 21:00 The Story of Welsh Art (p097c3k8)
In this final episode, Huw Stephens’s journey begins at the dawn of the 20th century with the artists who broke with tradition and depicted Wales in radical new ways. In Snowdonia, he learns how Augustus John and JD Innes led the way, obsessively painting the landscape with a freedom and vibrancy that still dazzles today. Equally bold was the work of Gwen John, whose work is in complete contrast to that of her brother Augustus. At the National Museum Wales in Cardiff, Huw discovers how she used light and tone to paint delicate and hypnotic portraits and interior scenes.
Between the wars, industrial south Wales produced some of the most powerful art of the century. Huw discovers how the work of Evan Walters and Cedric Morris is steeped in their experience of mining communities and the desperate poverty they endured. The lives of striking miners were rarely reflected in art, but Walters’s 1926 portrait of his friend William Hopkins captured his subject with dignity and honesty.
Travelling north, Huw heads out to Bardsey Island off the Llyn Peninsula, a place he first visited as a teenager. The landscape of Wales has long been a source of inspiration for artists and in the 1940s Brenda Chamberlain moved to Bardsey to immerse herself in its isolation. Inside the picturesque cottage where she lived, Huw sees her sketches of island life that she drew on the walls ‘as if they were a giant sketchbook’. At the same time, Kyffin Williams was painting the distinctive, dramatic landscapes of north Wales, establishing himself as the most popular Welsh artist of the 20th century.
Contemporary art in Wales reflects a post-devolution self-confidence that allows it to look both back and forward. In Swansea, Huw meets Daniel Trivedy and learns how his award-winning work Welsh Emergency Blanket took the patterns of traditional Welsh blankets and printed them on to the silver foil coverings given to refugees rescued from the sea. For his final stop, Huw visits Colwyn Bay where he meets internationally renowned artist Bedwyr Williams, whose work draws heavily on Welsh art history using humour and irreverence. It is a unique history, Bedwyr concludes, and one that makes him excited to be living and working in north Wales.
MON 22:00 Storyville (m000t86z)
Dark Secrets of a Trillion Dollar Island: Garenne
Dark Secrets of a Trillion Dollar Island: Garenne tells the extraordinary story of the child abuse scandal that erupted on the idyllic island of Jersey in 2007. For a long time, the victims’ voices had remained unheard, but when widespread allegations of sexual abuse resurfaced in the late 2000s, Jersey’s then health minister Stuart Syvret spoke out about the scale of this historic child abuse and the damage done to the victims.
Syvret’s words sparked a moment of reckoning for the small community, whose leaders were determined to protect the island’s reputation, home to a trillion dollars in offshore investment. This discreet offshore tax haven found itself in the middle of a major police investigation as the world’s media descended on the island, creating a media circus. In the midst of all this, the community became divided, with one group fearful that the scandal would drive investors away, and another demanding justice for the victims.
As bitterness and enmity drag on and the press desert Jersey, two unlikely bloggers decide to reignite the smouldering, unresolved issues. Teaming up with former police officers, survivors and supporters, they fight for the voices of the survivors to be heard, digging up past evidence and recording first-hand testimonials. In the process, they force the island to confront its past.
MON 23:25 Paula Rego: Secrets and Stories (b08kz9qz)
A unique insight into the life and work of celebrated painter Paula Rego directed by her son, film-maker Nick Willing. Notoriously private and guarded, Rego opens up for the first time, surprising her son with secrets and stories of her unique life, battling fascism, a misogynistic art world and manic depression.
Born in Portugal, a country which her father told her was no good for women, Rego nevertheless used her powerful pictures as a weapon against the dictatorship before settling in London, where she continued to target women's issues such as abortion rights. But above all, her paintings are a cryptic glimpse into an intimate world of personal tragedy, perverse fantasies and awkward truths.
Nick Willing combines a huge archive of home movies and family photographs with interviews spanning 60 years and in-depth studies of Rego at work in her studio. What emerges is a powerful personal portrait of an artist whose legacy will survive the years, graphically illustrated in pastel, charcoal and oil paint.
MON 00:55 The Joy of Painting (m000kxkt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
MON 01:25 Walk the Line (b04lgnb6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
MON 01:55 Fake or Fortune? (b09547zm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
MON 02:55 The Story of Welsh Art (p097c3k8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
TUESDAY 16 MARCH 2021
TUE 19:00 Walk the Line (b04lt702)
Barra Best sets out to uncover and explore some of Northern Ireland's lost railways. This week, he hears about the astronomer who fought to keep the railway out of Armagh and the mill owner who paid to get one built. He also ventures into the dark reaches of Ireland's longest railway tunnel.
TUE 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000kxlx)
Foot of the Mountain
A lake and some tall trees pay homage to a commanding mountain in the background with a cabin standing nearby in another classic Bob Ross creation.
TUE 20:00 Yes, Minister (b007832v)
Sitcom about a British government minister and the advisers who surround him. Jim tries to implement a privacy safeguard for a new national computer database - but Sir Humphrey, as usual, does not approve.
TUE 20:30 The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (p00x9qzn)
Reggie's revolt against the normality of his life is becoming brazen. While Elizabeth is away, he gives a dinner party without any food.
TUE 21:00 Ireland's Treasures Uncovered (b070w5kh)
The story of the iconic Irish artefacts that have helped to shape and create modern Ireland, both north and south.
The programme reveals the surprising tales behind treasures such as the Tara Brooch, the Broighter Hoard, the Waterford Charter Roll and others, revealing new stories behind the artefacts that we thought we knew. It also reveals the most recent astounding finds that are adding to the list of Ireland's Treasures.
Using key access to Ireland's two largest museums, in Belfast and Dublin, the programme brings together archaeologists and curators who have spent their lives working to understand the true context for these emblematic treasures.
TUE 22:00 Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan (m000t84r)
The definitive documentary on musical icon Shane MacGowan. The wild and roving life of Ireland’s most beloved punk poet, as told by Shane himself and a small, intimate cast of close friends and members of his family.
TUE 00:05 Man in Room 301 (p094c2c7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday
TUE 00:50 Man in Room 301 (p094c2cc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:45 on Saturday
TUE 01:30 The Joy of Painting (m000kxlx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
TUE 02:00 Walk the Line (b04lt702)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
TUE 02:30 Ireland's Treasures Uncovered (b070w5kh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
WEDNESDAY 17 MARCH 2021
WED 19:00 Walk the Line (b04mtt6z)
Barra Best sets out to uncover and explore some of Northern Ireland's lost railways. In this episode, he hears how the Fermanagh railways were used in a game of wartime espionage, takes a trip to the barbers, and uncovers the surprising story of Belleek's gallant lady admiral.
WED 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000l41n)
Find the glistening sun peeking through the trees in a wintry scene. American painter Bob Ross creates a cold day warmed by daylight's radiance.
WED 20:00 Armada: 12 Days to Save England (b05yxltf)
The final episode of a three-part drama-documentary series telling the story of how England came within a whisker of disaster in summer 1588.
Newly discovered documents reveal a remarkable web of misunderstandings that stopped the Spanish from invading, and show how the English victory forged the reputation of Elizabeth.
WED 21:00 Elizabeth R (p036g8c9)
The Enterprise of England
Classic historical drama series. With the threat of war against Spain suddenly imminent, Elizabeth must place her faith in the strength of the navy, led by Sir Francis Drake.
WED 22:30 Elizabeth I's Secret Agents (b09dcjgk)
Robert Cecil is the son of Elizabeth I's original spymaster. He has been groomed since birth to inherit his father's network but when he finally steps into his father's shoes, the queen's enemies are stronger than ever and Cecil must also watch his back. The Earl of Essex has established a rival network and is trying to oust Cecil as Elizabeth's spymaster.
Essex is everything Cecil is not. Cecil is bent-backed and under five foot tall. Essex is an athlete and a war hero who flirts with the queen. But the two men have known each other since childhood. And now they are locked in a battle that is part court theatrical, but which is also a lethal spy war in which people die horrifically violent deaths. The stakes are huge. For the winner, untold power. For the loser a one-way trip to the scaffold.
Cecil is also aware that the sun is setting on the reign of Elizabeth, who is in her sixties. He and Essex are not just battling for control of the queen, but for control over who will be her successor. For the power to select the next king of England. Essex begins a spy war within the spy war by secretly approaching James VI of Scotland and striking a deal to put him on Elizabeth's throne when she has passed away. So Cecil must somehow oust Essex from Elizabeth's court without making an enemy of James, who Cecil also wants to inherit the throne.
This is a secret conflict, involving double agents, coded letters, treachery and treason. It is a world that Cecil proves to be an absolute master of. Cecil ruthlessly manoeuvres Essex to the execution block and becomes the man who puts James on the English throne.
WED 23:30 Some People with Jokes (b03zqgk3)
Some Irish People with Jokes
It's not just Irish eyes that are smiling when some of the Emerald Isle's finest exports tell their favourite jokes. Forget about the gift of the gab, this lot have got the gift of the gag.
WED 00:00 TOTP2 (b0074820)
St Patrick's Day Special
Steve Wright introduces music from The Boomtown Rats, The Corrs, Enya, Shane McGowan and Johnny Depp, Stiff Little Fingers, Thin Lizzy, Sinead O'Connor and U2.
WED 00:45 Songs of Ireland (b01dpnx3)
Some of the finest Irish singers and musicians, recorded in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall at Celtic Connections 2012. Eleanor McEvoy, Finbar Furey, Cara Dillon, Luka Bloom, Brian Kennedy and many others sing the songs that Ireland is famous for. Love songs, songs of emigration, songs of loss, contemporary and traditional are all beautifully accompanied by the house band, top Irish American group Solas.
Ricky Ross presents an hour of great Irish music.
WED 01:45 The Joy of Painting (m000l41n)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
WED 02:15 Walk the Line (b04mtt6z)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
WED 02:45 Armada: 12 Days to Save England (b05yxltf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
THURSDAY 18 MARCH 2021
THU 19:00 Coast (b00tfv4z)
Series 5 Reversions
Coast ventures to the storm-battered Atlantic shore of Ireland's north west coast. In Dunkineeley, Dick Strawbridge discovers the secret role that neutral Ireland played assisting the Allies in World War II. Neil Oliver joins the Irish RNLI and finds himself being rescued from the choppy waters off Arranmore Island.
THU 19:10 Yorkshire Wolds Way (b088nwg0)
Adventurer Paul Rose explores the 79 miles of the Yorkshire Wolds Way, arguably Britain's least well-known national walking trail. The trail starts at the Humber Estuary and ends at the Yorkshire seaside resort of Filey. On the way, Paul takes in the views of the Yorkshire Wolds from the top of the Humber Bridge, learns to ride a penny farthing and searches out the spots made internationally famous by the artist David Hockney.
THU 19:40 The Joy of Painting (m000l41l)
As night settles over a rocky coast, Bob Ross produces a warm glow in the sky in a painting on black canvas.
THU 20:10 All Creatures Great and Small (p031d2p0)
Golden Lads and Girls
James's luck changes for the better in his romance with Helen, but for the Dalby family there seems to be no turning of the tide.
THU 21:00 My Feral Heart (m000t86w)
Luke, a young man with Down’s syndrome who prizes his independence, is forced into a care home after the death of his mother. There he rails against the restrictions imposed on him, but his frustrations are allayed by his budding friendships with his care worker Eve and a mysterious feral girl.
THU 22:15 Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema (b0bd7qlk)
Coming of Age
Mark Kermode continues his fresh and very personal look at the art of cinema by examining the techniques and conventions behind classic film genres, uncovering the ingredients that keep audiences coming back for more.
In this episode, Mark explores the genre that captures the joy and pain of growing up – the coming of age movie. It’s the most universal of all genres, the one we can all relate to from our own experience, yet it can also be the most autobiographical and personal. Film-makers across the world repeatedly return to core themes such as first love, breaking away from small town life and grown-ups who don’t understand. And wherever and whenever they’re set, these stories are vividly brought to life using techniques such as casting non-professional actors, camerawork that captures a child’s-eye view, and nostalgic pop soundtracks.
From Rebel without a Cause to Lady Bird by way of Kes, Boyz n the Hood and This Is England, Mark shows how recurring sequences like the makeover and the group singalong, and characters like the gang and mentor figure have helped create some of the most moving and resonant films in cinema.
THU 23:15 The Story of Welsh Art (p097c3k8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday
THU 00:15 Around the World in 80 Treasures (b0078vzw)
Uzbekistan to Syria
Documentary series in which Dan Cruickshank travels the world in search of man's greatest creations.
Dan hits some of the most mysterious and secret countries in the world, where the weary western traveller cannot be sure of a warm welcome. But he's in for a surprise as he is accosted by young girls in Bukhara and Persian carpet sellers in Iran. He couldn't be more welcome if he tried.
Tile making in Samarkand, the extraordinary Trading Domes of Bukhara in Uzbekistan and the Fire Temple of Baku in Azerbaijan take Dan to some of the most incredible but least-visited places in the world. There is also a real mystery to solve as he gingerly edges himself up a cliff face towards the biggest archaeological puzzle of the 19th century - the Behistun carvings.
After the pleasures of Iran, Dan heads for one of the glories of the ancient world - the great city of Persepolis, vanquished by Alexander the Great in 330BC. In its day, it was the most beautiful city in the world and there's more than enough left to savour the brilliance - like the Palace of One Hundred Columns and the Gate of All Nations.
Lastly, Dan visits Damascus in Syria and one of the most exotic souks in the world. Worn to a frazzle, he heads for the local hammam - the town steam bath - for pampering and a hubble-bubble pipe.
THU 01:15 The Joy of Painting (m000l41l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:40 today
THU 01:45 Yorkshire Wolds Way (b088nwg0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:10 today
THU 02:15 Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema (b0bd7qlk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:15 today
FRIDAY 19 MARCH 2021
FRI 19:00 Folk Hibernia at the BBC (b0074tkd)
Celebrating the finest in Irish folk music with a compilation of performances taken from the BBC archives. Highlights include songs from The Clancy Brothers, The Chieftains, Christy Moore, The Pogues and Sharon Shannon.
FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m000t884)
Mark Goodier presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 18 October 1990 and featuring a-ha, Happy Mondays and Innocence.
FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m000t888)
Jakki Brambles presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 25 October 1990 and featuring Belinda Carlisle, Jason Donovan and The Beautiful South.
FRI 21:00 St Patrick's Day at the BBC (m000t88d)
A collection of classic performances from the BBC archives to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, featuring some of the Emerald Isle’s finest and best-loved musical acts.
This selection reflects the huge impact that music from Ireland and Northern Ireland has made across the globe, with performances from U2, Sinead O’Connor, Van Morrison, The Pogues, The Corrs and The Cranberries. And it reminds us of the island's dominance of the world of pop, with the likes of boyband behemoths Boyzone and Westlife.
FRI 22:00 Citizens of Boomtown: The Story of the Boomtown Rats (m000jjr5)
With guests including Bono, Sinead O’Connor, Dave Stewart, Jools Holland, David Mallet and Sting, as well as music writers, photographers and historians, this film explores the musical and social legacy of Ireland’s first rock superstars The Boomtown Rats, who changed their own lives, helped to change Ireland and, with Bob Geldof’s Live Aid, changed the world.
In this entertaining, dramatic and absorbing film, director Billy McGrath digs deep into the band’s history and remarkable songbook and highlights the key moments of its huge success and subsequent fall in 1985. And after over 30 years, why did the band regroup in 2013?
FRI 23:30 The Irish Rock Story: A Tale of Two Cities (b0555xv8)
Film telling the story of how rock music helped to change Ireland. The 40-year-old story of Irish rock and pop music is grounded in the very different musical traditions of the two main cities of the island, Belfast and Dublin.
This musical celebration charts the lives and careers of some of the biggest selling acts in Irish rock, punk and pop from Van Morrison and Thin Lizzy to The Undertones and U2. From the pioneers of the showbands touring in the late 50s through to the modern day, the film examines their lineage and connections and how the hardcore, rocking sound of Belfast merged with the more melodic, folky Dublin tradition to form what we now recognise as Irish rock and pop.
The film explores where these bands and musicians came from and the influence the political, social and cultural environments of the day had on them and how the music influenced those environments.
With contributions from many of the heavyweights of Irish rock and pop, including U2, Sinead O'Connor and Bob Geldof, it follows their careers as they forged an international presence and looks at how they helped change the island along the way.
FRI 00:30 Showbands: How Ireland Learned to Party (m00038lv)
Ardal O'Hanlon looks at what started the showband era in Ireland, the people involved, and how it came to an end in the 1980s.
FRI 01:30 TOTP2 (b0074820)
[Repeat of broadcast at 00:00 on Wednesday
FRI 02:15 St Patrick's Day at the BBC (m000t88d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today