Documentary series telling the story of the birth of Venice, one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world, presented by Francesco da Mosto. The golden age of art and architecture arrived and it was the moment the Venice we know today emerged - when wooden houses transformed into stone and marble palaces covered in gold and jewel-encrusted palaces lined the Grand Canal.
The fishermen of early Venice were changing, turning into princely merchants who traded throughout the east and west to become some of the richest patrons of art. Fine paintings and sculpture came to adorn every home as Venetians vied to impress.
This was the age of Venice producing the world's most famous artists and most heroic buildings as Titian and Palladio transformed the look and reputation of the city.
Meanwhile, a calamity hovered over the city, threatening to engulf it and ultimately take Venice to the very brink of disaster - the plague. No one, rich or poor would escape and the city would be left in ruins.
Michael Palin explores the countries that were for much of his life hidden behind the Iron Curtain but now are very much part of the new Europe of post-Soviet times. From high in the Julian Alps of Slovenia, along the magical coast of Croatia and deep into Bosnia and Serbia, he discovers new countries coming to terms with the bloody wars that created them and now enjoying the peace that prevails. From Dubrovnik, he sails to Albania where he finds a country adapting to a new openness.
Five years ago, Alice Ejbye's 18-year-old son Markus was murdered by a serial killer who was never found. Alice is now seriously ill and asks criminal profiler, Louise Bergstein, the daughter of her best friend, to help solve the case. At the same time, elsewhere on Funen, a man named Peter Vinge receives a fatal message from his wife Masja.
A young man has been found in the woods, tortured and stabbed to death. Profiler Louise Bergstein and the head of the investigation Karina Horup try to find evidence for whether the murder can be attributed to a serial killer who, after a five-year hiatus, may now be active again. They slowly work their way towards the killer's highly unusual motive. Meanwhile, Peter Vinge struggles with being a single parent to his son, Johannes, and looks for his next victim.
Sarah and Jan discover clues in the basement of the victim's school and the police pathologist has some shocking news for Sarah. Following the leaking of confidential information to the press, the atmosphere in Troels Hartmann's office is one of suspicion as his political career could be hanging in the balance.
Sarah realises that Nanna's friend Lisa may know more than she has let on, and something indicates that investigators ought to focus their attention in a different direction. Things are looking up for Troels and his political campaign, which advisor Rie is trying to control with an iron fist. But his hardships may not be over just yet. Pernille deals with her grief in her own way, while Theis finds it hard to hold himself together.
Copenhagen mayoral candidate Troels Hartmann is heading for trouble when it emerges that someone in his department has attempted to hide potentially crucial facts relating to the murder case. But who is behind the whitewash and why? Sarah and Jan pursue the lead, while chaos erupts in Sarah's personal life. As Pernille and Theis prepare to bury their daughter, Theis receives some shattering information.
SUNDAY 09 MAY 2021
SUN 19:00 Revolution and Romance: Musical Masters of the 19th Century (b07f2blk)
Talkin' 'Bout a Revolution
In the 19th century, as Suzy Klein shows in the second episode of the series, music wasn't just a backdrop to life, easing pain and enhancing pleasure. It became a revolutionary force that could - and did - change the world.
As the impact of the violence and turmoil unleashed in the French Revolution reverberated around Europe, it was music that most viscerally carried the message that the people could stand up to kings and emperors. In France during the revolution, La Marseillaise emerged as a rallying cry - sung by the mob as they stormed the royal palace. When Napoleon imposed his grip on the nation it became an anthem of subversion, along with countless songs that pilloried the return to autocracy and the crushing of freedom.
But it was not just on the streets, as Suzy shows, that revolutionary fervour was stoked up. Even opera, intended by the authorities to reinforce the status quo, became politically potent, fanning the flames of nationalism and revolution throughout Europe. One French opera actually helped trigger a revolution when it was performed in Belgium in 1830.
Suzy shows how music came to express not only revolutionary fervour, but also the growing force of nationalism that was sweeping Europe. She discovers how Chopin's music, beneath its lyrical surface, expressed more powerfully than words the defiant spirit of the Polish people suffering under the oppression of a foreign power. And she explores how Carl Weber's lovely work Der Freischutz articulated the longings for nationhood of the Germans and inspired Richard Wagner to attempt the transformation of the human spirit through his work.
But it was Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi whose music had the most profound political impact in the 19th century. Suzy travels to Parma, Verdi's home town, to meet the disciples who keep his flame alive to this day, venerating the man whose music embodied the fight for freedom and whose very name came to symbolise Italy's fight for nationhood.
SUN 20:00 Britain's Pompeii: A Village Lost in Time (b07myxws)
Professor Alice Roberts joins the team excavating a 3,000-year-old Bronze Age village in the Cambridgeshire Fens that has been called the British Pompeii.
The village earned its nickname because 3,000 years ago it burned to the ground, and as it burned it fell into the peat, preserving both the houses and their contents. Until its discovery, we had little real idea of what life was like in Bronze Age Britain.
Now we can peek inside our Bronze Age ancestors' homes as archaeologists discover perfectly preserved roundhouses, and the contents inside them - right down to the utensils in their kitchens. These roundhouses were built in a style never seen in the UK before - testimony not only to the villagers' technical skills, but also of their connections to Europe.
The team has made other incredible discoveries on the dig - from Britain's oldest-found wheel, to swords used in battle, and bowls still containing preserved remnants of food. One of the biggest revelations is the discovery of a complete set of the early technology used to produce cloth - a full industrial process we've never seen in Britain before.
This glimpse into domestic life 3,000 years ago is unprecedented, but it also transforms our impressions of Bronze Age Britain - far from being poor and isolated, it seems the villagers were successful large-scale farmers who used their farming surplus to trade with Europe, exchanging their crops for beautiful glass jewellery and multiple metal tools per household.
As part of the dig, the archaeologists also investigate the cause of the fire - was it just a terrible accident, or did the villagers' wealth provoke an attack?
SUN 21:00 The Windermere Children: In Their Own Words (m000dt7g)
The story of the pioneering project to rehabilitate child survivors of the Holocaust on the shores of Lake Windermere. In the year that marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and the Holocaust, this powerful documentary, which accompanies the BBC Two drama, The Windermere Children, reveals a little-known story of 300 young orphaned Jewish refugees, who began new lives in England’s Lake District in the summer of 1945.
With compelling testimony from some of the last living Holocaust survivors, the film explores an extraordinary success story that emerged from the darkest of times, all beginning with the arrival of ten Stirling bombers carrying the 300 children from Prague to Carlisle on 14 August 1945. The survivor interviews include extraordinary first-hand accounts of both their wartime experiences, separation from their families and the horrors they experienced, but also their wonder at arriving in Britain and their lives thereafter.
The children hailed from very different backgrounds, including rural Poland, metropolitan Warsaw Czechoslovakia and Berlin. Some had grown up in poverty, others in middle-class comfort. Their rehabilitation in England was organised by one charity, the Central British Fund (CBF). Leonard Montefiore, a prominent Jewish philanthropist, used his pre-war experience of the Kindertransport and successfully lobbied the British government to agree to allow up to 1,000 young Jewish concentration camp survivors into Britain. It was decided that the first 300 children would be brought from the liberated camp of Theresienstadt to Britain. And serendipitously, empty accommodation was found on the shores of Lake Windermere in a defunct factory. During the war, it had built seaplanes, but after D-Day the factory was closed, and the workers’ accommodation stood empty. With space to house them and in a truly beautiful setting, it was to prove the perfect location for these traumatised children.
The CBF, however, was in uncharted territory. A project to mass-rehabilitate a group of traumatised children had never been attempted before. But in the idyllic setting of Windermere and with just the right team assembled, the children were given the chance to unlearn the survival techniques they’d picked up in the camps. With the freedom to ride bikes, play football, learn English, socialise with local teenagers and swim in the lake, they began to come to terms with the horrors they had experienced and the fact that their mothers, fathers and siblings had perished.
Despite the fact that the UK government initially only offered two-year temporary visas, with strict immigration policies enforced in other countries and without families to return to, it soon became clear that there was nowhere else for most of the children to go. Many of the 300 stayed in the UK for their entire lives, becoming British citizens and raising children of their own.
Now, 75 years later, the close friendships that were forged in Windermere remain and many consider each other as family. Reflecting on the survivors’ lives after Windermere, the film includes touching home movie footage and remarkable success stories, like Sir Ben Helfgott’s incredible weightlifting career, representing Britain at the 1956 Olympics, only eleven years after arriving in the UK. The documentary also tells the story of the charity they formed, the 45Aid society. With footage of their annual reunions, the documentary gives a sense of the generations of families who all trace their British beginnings to Windermere.
SUN 22:00 The Sky at Night (m000w067)
Mapping the Milky Way
The Gaia space telescope is not just create the ultimate star map of the Milky Way. It is also showing us our galaxy's past and how it will change in the future.
The Sky at Night team takes a look at the history of astrometry and meets the scientists now able to prove that change is the only constant in the universe.
SUN 22:30 Horizon (b06b9tnx)
Cosmic Dawn: The Real Moment of Creation
Forget the big bang. The real moment of creation was the cosmic dawn - the moment of first light. This is the scientific version of the story of Genesis.
The big bang gets all the credit for creating our universe. But in fact, the universe it gave was dark and boring. There were no stars, no galaxies, just a vast, black fog of gas - the cosmic dark ages.
But, after a hundred million years of nothing, came a dramatic moment of transformation - the cosmic dawn. It's the moment the first stars were born, the moment that lit up the universe, and made the first structure and the first ingredients of life. This was the real moment of creation.
Astronomers are now trying to witness the cosmic dawn. For the first time they have the tools to explore the very first stars of the universe and to tell the scientific story of our creation.
SUN 23:30 Mindful Escapes: Breathe, Release, Restore (m000mf8j)
How does connecting with the images and sounds of the natural world help us gain a greater sense of ease, perspective and connection?
This first episode is about breathing. By immersing ourselves in images of jellyfish floating, elephants swimming and lemurs swinging through the rainforest, we learn to focus on our breathing and are reminded that we are not separate from the world around us.
What is the relationship between each breath and mindfulness, and why is breathing so important to becoming still and being in the moment?
SUN 00:00 The Violence Paradox (m000vsf4)
No programme information found
SUN 00:55 The Violence Paradox (m000vsdw)
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.
SUN 01:50 Britain's Pompeii: A Village Lost in Time (b07myxws)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
SUN 02:50 Revolution and Romance: Musical Masters of the 19th Century (b07f2blk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
MONDAY 10 MAY 2021
MON 19:00 The Pennine Way (b05q1n6y)
Explorer Paul Rose swaps Antarctica and the world's deepest oceans for the Pennine Way - Britain's first national trail, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015.
At 268 miles long, the Pennine Way stretches from the Peak District in Derbyshire to the Scottish Borders. Paul discovers how much has changed along the route in the last half-century - and finds out how the Pennine Way owes its existence to the right-to-roam movement in the 1930s.
Paul hears about ghostly sightings along the trail and also meets actor and director Barrie Rutter to explore the literary roots of the south Pennines.
MON 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000w076)
Catch a glimpse of the sun as it tries to break through shades of soft crimson and bathe the land in gold. Bob Ross paints another black canvas beauty.
MON 20:00 Fake or Fortune? (m00071xj)
The Lost Gainsborough
The team investigate an 18th-century landscape: could it be a lost work by the great British master of landscape painting, Thomas Gainsborough?
The painting has been in the family of owner Mark Cropper for generations, and until the 1970s it was considered to be a Gainsborough. But then a valuation downgraded it to a Barker of Bath – an attribution Philip calls a ‘bin name’. Mark’s father tore off the Gainsborough label in disgust, but Mark would love to be able to put the name Gainsborough back on the painting.
Philip is intrigued by this painting as it’s a landscape he recognises. Mark’s picture looks very much like a famous print by Gainsborough, copied from one of his paintings, believed to be lost for many years. The trouble is that in 1999, Philip helped authenticate a different picture as 'the lost Gainsborough'. Could he and the experts who authenticated that picture have got it wrong?
The Gainsborough print of the lost picture was very famous, and over the years it has been copied many times. Could Mark’s picture be merely a copy of the print? By studying the various copies and prints and examining how they differ, Philip deduces that Mark’s picture isn’t a copy of the print, which means it’s either a copy of the original or the original itself.
Meanwhile, Fiona tries to trace the provenance of the picture. Her journey takes her to grand country houses, archives and auction houses up and down the country as she follows the trail of several labels on the back of the frame. She also meets the son of the former owner of the Gainsborough landscape that was authenticated in 1999, She is keen to know what provenance was attached to that picture.
At the Courtauld Institute, infrared and x-ray photography reveal a startling discovery beneath the layers of Mark's painting. Finally, the dossier of evidence is handed over to Hugh Belsey, the expert who will determine the fate of the painting.
MON 21:00 Gettys: The World's Richest Art Dynasty (b0b02x6s)
There are few families in history who have accumulated more wealth, collected more art and given away more money than the Gettys. With unique access to the family's inner world, this programme unearths the lasting cultural impact of three generations.
The late patriarch J Paul Getty, founder of the Getty Oil Company and art collector, made the family incredibly wealthy and was once described as the richest living man in America. On his death, he left the largest endowment in history to an art museum, and the billion-dollar gift shook the international art market to its foundation. This endowment also gave birth to the Getty Centre in Los Angeles, which is now the wealthiest institution of its kind in the world.
Grandson Mark Getty, who himself became the founder of the multibillion-pound media empire Getty Images, tells the story of his family and their cultural legacy. With input from other Getty family members, the programme follows three generations of this art-hungry dynasty and hears stories of personal milestones, art scandals, philanthropy and the kidnapping of grandson Paul Getty III in 1973.
MON 22:15 Dancing Nation (m000w06v)
Highlights of Dancing Nation, a celebration of world-class dance featuring performances by many of the UK’s leading dance companies and exciting new talent.
As part of BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine, Dancing Nation was a unique festival curated and hosted in lockdown by Sadler’s Wells, London – one of the world’s foremost dance houses.
Brenda Emmanus presents highlights from the festival, including many newly filmed performances. The performances from the theatre’s main stage include Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures’ seminal 1988 work Spitfire, Candoco Dance Company’s ode to intimacy and imagination, choreographed by Yasmeen Godder, dance royalty Akram Khan and Natalia Osipova, together for the first time in Mud of Sorrow: Touch, and Far From The Norm’s award-winning BLKDOG, choreographed by Botis Seva.
Window Shopping, a brand new work from hip-hop dance powerhouse Breakin’ Convention, led by their artistic director Jonzi D, and Sphera, by breakthrough dance company Humanhood, both break away from the main stage and feature Sadler’s Wells’s architecture, while the streets of Belfast play host to choreographer Oona Doherty’s Hope Hunt and the Ascension into Lazarus.
The events of the past year feature in performances from dance companies around the UK. Choreographer Kenneth Tindall and Northern Ballet bring us a poignant new work, States of Mind, Birmingham Royal Ballet perform Lazuli Sky, choreographed by Will Tuckett, and Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement take centre stage in Anthony and Kel Matsena’s searing Shades of Blue.
Also included are extracts from existing filmed performances by hip-hop pioneers Boy Blue and an explosive debut collaboration by world-renowned Rambert and French choreographer Marion Motin.
MON 23:15 Mindful Escapes: Breathe, Release, Restore (m000mf8z)
Join mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe as he focuses on change and what we can learn from how animals adapt to changes in the world around them. Why is a chameleon's ability to alter its appearance crucial to its survival and what lessons are there from understanding how elephants grieve?
Learning to be mindful can help us cope with life’s stresses, and Andy shows how focusing on the sights and sounds of the natural world can help us deal with change in our lives and how to live in the moment.
MON 23:45 Danceworks (m000jjh7)
Firedance: Latin Fever
Supercharged by BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing, the exuberant Latin styles of salsa, Argentine tango and paso doble are taking off in ballroom dancing classes around Britain. This film follows two of Strictly’s most popular stars, Karen Hauer and Gorka Marquez, as they put together a spectacular Latin showcase called Firedance for their fans.
The sell-out show started touring regional theatres in the UK in March 2020 and joyously celebrates dance as pure entertainment. Tracking the rehearsal process and the early days of the tour, the film explores how Karen and Gorka express their emotion and physicality through every movement of their fiery routine.
MON 00:15 Danceworks (m000jjgy)
Sharon Eyal: A Basic Instinct
Sharon Eyal, a former star dancer and in-house choreographer at Tel Aviv’s pioneering Batsheva Dance Company, has become one of the most exciting and powerful choreographers in contemporary dance. Her recent collaborations with fashion house Christian Dior and American art-rockers The National have brought Eyal and her dark, sensual work into mainstream culture.
This film sees Sharon and her dance company L-E-V at their most raw, rehearsing and premiering new work against the brutalist backdrop of Bold Tendencies in Peckham, south London, a multi-storey car park turned hip arts venue. It is an aesthetic and an attitude that echoes Eyal’s origins in the underground techno rave scene in Tel Aviv, and the film documents how this common ground creates a uniquely intimate and visceral performance for the London crowd.
With contributions from the dancers, musicians and Sharon Eyal herself, and with backstage access to the company in London and Israel, this film is a rare opportunity to observe the creative process of one of the dance world’s most admired figures.
MON 00:45 The Joy of Painting (m000w076)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
MON 01:15 The Pennine Way (b05q1n6y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
MON 01:45 Fake or Fortune? (b0bj6gm7)
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 02:45 Gettys: The World's Richest Art Dynasty (b0b02x6s)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
TUESDAY 11 MAY 2021
TUE 19:00 The Pennine Way (b05qt6vr)
Explorer Paul Rose's journey along the Pennine Way takes him to the Yorkshire Dales. In 1965, the Pennine Way was launched in the Dales village of Malham. Paul returns to hear from those who remember the opening ceremony. He also dons his climbing gear to have a crack at the limestone cliff face of Malham Cove, gets a front row seat at a sheep mart in Wensleydale and enjoys a well-earned pint in Britain's highest pub.
TUE 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000w078)
Deep Wilderness Home
Accompany Bob Ross on a journey into an untouched forest to discover an old country house, perched on a cliff and hidden in foliage.
TUE 20:00 Yes, Minister (b007836n)
Doing the Honours
Sir Humphrey has to combat Jim's economies, including cuts on profitable overseas students at his old college and linking civil servants' honours with achieving cuts.
TUE 20:30 To the Manor Born (b00785wp)
All New Together
Audrey moves out of Grantleigh Manor. Her hopes of seeing the estate run along old lines are dashed when she discovers the new owner's background.
TUE 21:00 Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies (b01ktflc)
The story of D-Day has been told from the point of view of the soldiers who fought in it, the tacticians who planned it and the generals who led it. But that epic event in world history has never been told before through the perspective of the strange handful of spies who made it possible. D-Day was a great victory of arms, a tactical coup, and a moral crusade. But it was also a triumph for espionage, deceit, and thinking of the most twisted sort.
Following on from his hugely successful BBC Two documentaries, Operation Mincemeat and Double Agent: The Eddie Chapman Story (Agent Zigzag), writer and presenter Ben Macintyre returns to the small screen to bring to life his third best-selling book - Double Cross The True Story of the D-Day Spies. Macintyre reveals the gripping true story of five of the double agents who helped to make D-day such a success.
TUE 22:00 Timewatch (b016ltm0)
Code-Breakers: Bletchley Park's Lost Heroes
Documentary that reveals the secret story behind one of the greatest intellectual feats of World War II, a feat that gave birth to the digital age. In 1943, a 24-year-old maths student and a GPO engineer combined to hack into Hitler's personal super-code machine - not Enigma but an even tougher system, which he called his 'secrets writer'. Their break turned the Battle of Kursk, powered the D-day landings and orchestrated the end of the conflict in Europe. But it was also to be used during the Cold War - which meant both men's achievements were hushed up and never officially recognised.
TUE 23:00 Mindful Escapes: Breathe, Release, Restore (m000mf8s)
Mindfulness is the ability to be present with a clear, calm, curious mind - and feelings of joy can be triggered when this happens. How can watching penguins pinching pebbles, seeing antelope leaping in the air or looking at scenes of summer flowers help us to feel more positive emotionally?
Mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe takes us on a global journey with imagery that will bring feelings of happiness and wellbeing to the viewer as we immerse ourselves in the sights and sounds of the natural world.
TUE 23:30 Danceworks (m000jjjn)
Ballet Black: The Waiting Game
London’s Ballet Black is a professional dance company bringing ballet to a more diverse audience by promoting dancers of black and Asian descent. The company made headlines in 2019 when it performed during Stormzy’s bravura Glastonbury set.
This film explores the work of artistic director Cassa Pancho as she nurtures aspiring young dancers and gains recognition for her company’s collaborations with world-class choreographers. It also follows the creative process of South African dancer and choreographer Mthuthuzeli November as he creates a dynamic new ballet inspired in equal measure by Samuel Beckett’s seminal Waiting for Godot and African rhythms and language.
TUE 00:00 Danceworks (m000jjj2)
María Pagés: An Ode to Flamenco
A film that transports us to Spain and the mesmerising work of flamenco star María Pagés. María’s passion for flamenco is infectious. A child prodigy, she came of age in the golden era of professional flamenco and is now passing her inspiration and experience on to the next generation as she promotes modern flamenco at her new dance centre in a working-class suburb of Madrid.
The film explores the tension in María’s work between flamenco’s traditional roots in the streets of her birthplace of Seville and her theatrical shows, performances that push the boundaries of the dance style and tell bigger stories. The film culminates in a searing homecoming performance of a haunting new work for 2020 called Una Oda al Tiempo (An Ode to Time) back in flamenco’s heartland, Seville.
TUE 00:30 The Joy of Painting (m000w078)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
TUE 01:00 The Pennine Way (b05qt6vr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
TUE 01:30 Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies (b01ktflc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
TUE 02:30 Timewatch (b016ltm0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today
WEDNESDAY 12 MAY 2021
WED 19:00 The Pennine Way (b05rcysn)
Explorer Paul Rose heads for the North Pennines in the latest stage of his journey along the Pennine Way. He goes white-water rafting down the River Tees and takes in one of Britain's best views at High Cup Nick. Paul also hears about a weather phenomenon unique to the Pennine Way and spends a night at a remote mountain refuge close to the highest point of the Pennine Way.
WED 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000w064)
Bundle up with artist Bob Ros, peer into America's north country in the midst of winter, and experience a vision in the coldest of azure tones.
WED 20:00 Skies Above Britain (b07pmx1q)
Flying into Danger
In the first episode, Skies Above Britain explores how our skies are safeguarded - air traffic controllers deal with an unidentified aircraft flying across Gatwick's flight path, and the RAF scramble a typhoon jet to intercept an unresponsive plane.
We follow the RAF pilots training to fly Britain's front-line combat aircraft - the Typhoon. The supersonic jet flies at twice the speed of sound and becoming a Typhoon pilot is the pinnacle of the RAF. Trainees face a gruelling series of mental and physical tests, including being subject to high gravitational forces in a centrifuge and experiencing rapid air decompression and training for emergency scenarios, like ejecting over water.
In Humberside, the helicopter crews of HM Search and Rescue are often the only aircraft that fly when the skies are treacherous. We follow the crew on a dangerous mountain rescue, flying through thick fog, just feet away from a mountain's rock face to reach an injured hiker. When fog descends over London's airports, NATS must rapidly cut the number of planes allowed to enter British airspace.
Elsewhere, two vintage plane enthusiasts - brothers Nick and Giles English - explore their continued passion for flight, despite having faced personal tragedy in the air.
WED 21:00 Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain (b09gtbh2)
During the Blitz over 450,000 bombs dropped on Britain and every bomb has its own story. This series examines the specific effect of four bombs, from their initial impact on individual lives right through to their wider consequences for the Second World War and all the way to the present day.
Each episode begins with a single bomb in a single street in a single place - London, Hull, Clydebank and Bristol. Across the series personal testimony, memoirs and the records kept at the time provide a visceral and terrifying account of the Blitz that directly connects with the human experience of the bombs. As survivors and relatives attest, these bombs touched the lives of everyone and created a legacy we all still live with today.
Episode one follows a bomb that fell on Martindale Road in the East End of London on the first night of the Blitz. Stan Harris and Norman Pirie were boys in 1940, but their memories of that night are crystal clear.
Initially there was relief as this bomb remained unexploded and Martindale Road residents were evacuated. Sandra Belchamber's grandparents were caught up in the chaos and she explains their decision to leave London and to head for Kent. But Judy Gregory's grandmother, uncle, aunt and cousins put their faith in the authorities and headed to a local school to wait for buses to take them to safety. The buses did not come and they and hundreds of others became a sitting target for returning bombers. One man - journalist Ritchie Calder - tried to warn the authorities that the school was a tragedy waiting to happen, and when the bombers did return they scored a direct hit, killing hundreds.
Judy was moved to tears when she discovered that her family story is outlined in terse civil defence dispatches held in the local archives. An entire branch of her family tree is lost, a tragedy that ironically stemmed from a bomb that didn't go off.
Calder was determined to publicise the human cost of this bomb and those that did go off. His two grandsons explore his mission to explore the real problem London faced in the first weeks of the Blitz; the thousands of people who had lost absolutely everything including their homes. For the first time it was necessary to create city-wide welfare systems that work for everyone. This film explores the work of one exceptional MP who put these systems in place in record time and joined the call for a National Health Service.
WED 22:00 The Treasure Hunters (b040zb5q)
Ellie Harrison and Dallas Campbell reveal the greatest treasures we've ever created.
Dallas braves vicious currents to dive on a shipwreck where gold, silver and 5,000 emeralds have been found. Ellie tells the tale of intrigue and obsession surrounding a jewelled room in Russia decorated with millions of pounds worth of amber. She enters the secretive world of the diamond cutters - each lives with the knowledge that a slip of the hand could cost them millions of pounds.
WED 23:00 Mindful Escapes: Breathe, Release, Restore (m000mf8f)
The natural world offers a constant source of calm and comfort. How do images of hypnotic starling murmurations or macaques relaxing in hot springs in Japan encourage us to slow down? How can we experience more being and less doing?
Mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe talks us through the process and takes us on an immersive journey around the sights and sounds of resting wildlife all over the planet.
WED 23:30 The Sky at Night (m000w067)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday
WED 00:00 Blinded: Those Who Kill (p099clkg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Saturday
WED 00:50 Blinded: Those Who Kill (p099cmwp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:45 on Saturday
WED 01:35 The Joy of Painting (m000w064)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
WED 02:05 The Pennine Way (b05rcysn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
WED 02:35 Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain (b09gtbh2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
THURSDAY 13 MAY 2021
THU 19:00 Wild (b008yyq7)
A Wild Day in Heligan
Nature documentary looking at the animals that live in Cornwall's Lost Gardens of Heligan, filmed on a summer day.
THU 19:10 The Pennine Way (b05sy1ym)
The wilderness of rural Northumberland awaits explorer Paul Rose on the last stage of his Pennine Way journey. Paul makes a remarkable discovery at the Roman archaeological dig at Vindolanda. He also finds out what lies beyond the red flags while on exercise with the Grenadier Guards and why Pennine Way walkers can have a magical experience in the dark skies capital of Europe.
THU 19:40 The Joy of Painting (m000w06r)
Feast your eyes as Bob Ross executes a colourful display of nature’s exciting seashore panorama – beautifully tucked away inside an oval painting.
THU 20:10 All Creatures Great and Small (p031d2q6)
Practice Makes Perfect
James returns to Angus Grier and, to his shame and Grier's pleasure, is coerced into giving the wrong treatment. Grier's triumph is short-lived as James discovers his guilty secret.
THU 21:00 When Harry Met Sally (m000vthr)
Can a man and a woman be friends, without sex getting in the way? Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal find out in Rob Reiner and Nora Ephron's classic romantic comedy.
THU 22:30 Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema (b0bbn5x8)
Five-part documentary series. Film critic Mark Kermode presents a fresh and very personal look at the art of cinema by examining the techniques and conventions behind some classic genres: romcoms, heist movies, coming-of-age stories, science fiction and horror. In each episode, Mark uncovers the ingredients needed to make a great genre film and keep audiences coming back for more. How do you stage, shoot and edit a gripping car chase or orchestrate the shock moment in a horror movie? What is the secret to sizzling on-screen chemistry?
Mark begins with one of the most popular genres of all. They are sometimes sneered at by critics, but from the 1930s to the present day, many of our most beloved movies have been romantic comedies.
From Bringing Up Baby and The Lady Eve by way of Annie Hall, When Harry Met Sally and Pretty Woman to Love, Actually (a particular Kermode favourite) - as well as recent hits such as The Big Sick and La La Land - Mark examines the cinematic tricks and techniques involved in creating a classic romcom.
Mark celebrates old favourites, reveals hidden treasures and springs plenty of surprises. Examining films from Hollywood to Bollywood via other gems of world cinema, he reminds us how, much like love itself, the art of the romantic comedy is international.
THU 23:30 Dancing Nation (m000w06v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:15 on Monday
THU 00:30 Tap America: How a Nation Found Its Feet (b0b396jx)
Clarke Peters, the writer of Five Guys Named Moe and actor in the likes of The Wire and Three Billboards, explores the origins, development and modern significance of the great American vernacular art form he has loved since a child – tap dancing.
From 17th century accounts of the dances performed by African slaves on American soil to celebrated 19th century dance-offs and contests between Irish and African-American dancers, through to the troubled Hollywood heyday of tap in the 1930s and 40s when black dancers were routinely excluded from the film roles their talent deserved.
The Hollywood Greats like Fred Astaire actually owed much of their style to the craft and innovation of unsung black performers such as John Bubbles, Bill Bojangles Robinson, The Nicholas Brothers and Baby Laurence. In the painful years of the 'Great Tap Drought' when audiences abruptly fell out of love with the dance after World War Two – depriving a generation of talented tap dancers of their livelihood. From the 1950s to the 1970s, tap was almost single-handedly kept alive in the mainstream by the genius of Sammy Davis Jr.
Clarke explores the fascinating story of the 'Tap Revival' of the early 1980s – spearheaded by the legendary Gregory Hines – and finds out how tap was made modern again, culminating in the hip-hop-inspired hoofing of Savion Glover and beyond. He ends his journey by meeting some of the biggest stars on today’s tap scene, such as Michelle Dorrance and Chloe Arnold’s Syncopated Ladies (who happen to be Beyoncé’s favourite tap ensemble)!
THU 01:30 The Joy of Painting (m000w06r)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:40 today
THU 02:00 The Pennine Way (b05sy1ym)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:10 today
THU 02:30 Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema (b0bbn5x8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today
FRIDAY 14 MAY 2021
FRI 19:00 How Pop Songs Work (b008nk4h)
Celebration of the magic of pop music and the skill and musical dexterity that goes into writing, performing and producing hit records. Conductor Charles Hazlewood explores the mechanics of pop songs such as Imagine, Tomorrow Never Knows and Back to Black by breaking them down into six key areas, aided by contributions from a cast of writers, producers and arrangers including Guy Chambers, Martin Fry, Steve Levine, Richard Niles, Nick Ingman, John Altman and Rob Davis.
FRI 20:00 Ultimate Cover Versions at the BBC (b06ns4gf)
Smash hits from 60 years of great cover versions in performance from the BBC TV archive. Reinterpretations, tributes and acts of subversion from the British invasion to noughties X Factor finalist Alexandra Burke. Artists as varied as The Moody Blues, Soft Cell, Mariah Carey and UB40 with their 'retake' on someone else's song - ultimate chart hits that are, in some cases, perhaps even better than the original.
Arguably The Beatles, alongside Bob Dylan and The Beach Boys, introduced the notion of 'originality' and self-generating artists writing their songs into the pop lexicon in the 60s. One of the most fascinating consequences of this has been the 'original' cover version, a reinterpretation of someone else's song that has transformed it into pop gold with a shift of rhythm, intent and context. The pop cover has proved a remarkably imaginative and durable form and this compilation tracks this pop alchemy at its finest and most intriguing.
FRI 21:00 Top of the Pops (m000vbsr)
Mark Goodier and Anthea Turner present a Top of the Pops Christmas Day special, including a review of the hits that topped the charts in 1990 and featuring performances by The Beautiful South, Elton John and Kylie Minogue.
FRI 22:00 The Old Grey Whistle Test Story (b0074t7r)
Jo Brand narrates a profile which celebrates the life and times of the BBC's first flagship live music programme, The Old Grey Whistle Test, which ran from 1971 to 1987. It looks at the music, the presenters, the TV rivals, the sparse studio and the legacy, finds out why Bob Harris whispered, what Sid Vicious tried to do to him and what Camel did with a woodwind quartet and why. All these questions are answered and many more, followed by loving compilations of those early 70s years, the era that time forgot.
FRI 22:40 The Old Grey Whistle Test (b014vzy3)
The Old Grey Whistle Test was launched on 21 September 1971 from a tiny studio tucked behind a lift shaft on the fourth floor of BBC Television Centre. From humble beginnings, it has gone on to provide some of the best and most treasured music archive that the BBC has to offer.
This programme takes us on a journey and celebrates the musically mixed-up decade that was the 1970s, and which is reflected in the OGWT archive. There are classic performances from the glam era by Elton John and David Bowie, an early UK TV appearance from Curtis Mayfield, the beginnings of heavy metal with Steppenwolf's iconic Born to Be Wild anthem and the early punk machinations of the 'mock rock' New York Dolls. Archive from the pinnacle year, 1973, features Roxy Music, The Wailers and Vinegar Joe. The programme's finale celebrates the advent of punk and new wave with unforgettable performances from Patti Smith, Blondie, Iggy Pop and The Jam.
Artists featured are Elton John, Lindisfarne, David Bowie, Curtis Mayfield, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Steppenwolf, Vinegar Joe, Brinsley Schwarz, New York Dolls, Argent, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Captain Beefheart, Johnny Winter, Dr Feelgood, Gil Scott Heron, Patti Smith, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Cher & Gregg Allman, Talking Heads, The Jam, Blondie, Iggy Pop and The Specials.
FRI 00:10 How Pop Songs Work (b008nk4h)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
FRI 01:10 Ultimate Cover Versions at the BBC (b06ns4gf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
FRI 02:10 Top of the Pops (m000vbsr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today