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.
The Roman army turns its attention to an island of rich resources, powerful tribes and druids, and advanced military equipment - Britain. This episode tells the story of the Celts' last stand against the Roman army - a revolt led by another great leader, the warrior queen Boudicca.
Arriving by ferry in Istanbul, Michael takes a Turkish bath before visiting Greece and Cyprus as he crosses the Mediterranean en route to Egypt, where he takes a boat up the Nile.
Meg has fallen for army intelligence officer Gabriel Sabran, the same man Jouin is pursuing in his investigation into Josephine Berger's murder.
Puybaraud receives a direct order from the Minister of the Interior to raid the union of anti-Semitic leagues, as tension rises before the Dreyfus trial in Rennes.
When Meg Steinheil is abducted, her husband asks Fiersi for help. Lepine and Cochefert are made fully aware of Puybaraud's double-dealing when the leaders of the anti-Semite leagues are forewarned of Paris-wide police raids on their organisations. Jouin is put in danger when attempting to interview Josephine Berger's mother, who has come to Paris to collect her grandchild.
Six weeks into the trial of Oscar Pistorius, he takes the stand to explain what happened in the early hours of 14 February 2013.
In 2012, Pistorius left South Africa to prepare for the London Olympics. That summer was the peak of his career – competing against able-bodied athletes in the 400 metres and qualifying for the semi-finals, a remarkable achievement. A few weeks later, he faltered at the Paralympics. Rather than the victory lap expected, he was beaten and afterwards was ungracious about the loss.
The following months saw Pistorius change. He became involved with a different crowd, whilst growing infatuated with guns and paranoid about security. At this point, he also met Reeva, the start of a whirlwind romance on the surface that would soon end with him murdering her.
In the witness stand, Pistorius stumbles in his response to tough questioning. When the verdict for manslaughter comes, the judge calls Pistorius a 'very poor witness'. The verdict of culpable homicide (the equivalent of manslaughter) is overturned on appeal and upgraded to murder. His sentence is increased from five to six years – and then on a further appeal increased to 15 years. He remains in prison in South Africa.
It’s time for the Year 6 school trip, and Julia, Liz and Meg find themselves on the coach journey from hell with humourless school secretary Mrs Lamb and clueless teaching assistant Ms Vaughn.
It all kicks off when a boy banned for bad behaviour is allowed on the coach along with his mother Ashley, and Liz decides to play the hero.
Meanwhile, Kevin takes his driving test, and Amanda pivots her lifestyle brand Hygge Tygge online. She manages to persuade Kevin to help pack up the shop - with unimaginable consequences.
An archive celebration of great reggae performances filmed in the BBC Studios, drawn from programmes such as The Old Grey Whistle Test, Top of the Pops and Later... with Jools Holland, and featuring the likes of Bob Marley and the Wailers, Gregory Isaacs, Desmond Dekker, Burning Spear, Althea and Donna, Dennis Brown, Buju Banton and many more.
SUNDAY 24 OCTOBER 2021
SUN 19:00 The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu (b00hkb0z)
Aminatta Forna tells the story of legendary Timbuktu and its long-hidden legacy of hundreds of thousands of ancient manuscripts. With its university founded around the same time as Oxford, Timbuktu is proof that the reading and writing of books have long been as important to Africans as they are to Europeans.
SUN 20:00 Africa Turns the Page: The Novels That Shaped a Continent (m000mf8x)
Africa has become a superpower in the world of the novel. Shortlists for the world’s major literary prizes are packed with African authors, while novelists like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie have become international celebrities. But how did Africa become such a hotbed of literary talent? In this fascinating and insightful film, Nigerian-born presenter and historian David Olusoga explores the incredible story of the African novel.
From the 1950s, as African nations fought for independence, writers such as Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Wole Soyinka became the conscience of a continent – often paying a personal price for speaking out against both colonialism and corruption. In their wake, the African novel was to spread around the world - writers of the African diaspora such as Buchi Emecheta and Ben Okri created masterpieces from their adopted home of the United Kingdom. These novelists wrote books that are funny, witty and often tragic. They achieved something that stretched beyond the world of literature – transforming the image of Africa itself.
The programme features interviews with some of the most pre-eminent novelists working today. We hear from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Aminatta Forna and 2019 Booker winner Bernardine Evaristo. The documentary features extraordinary archive of the key novelists and insightful contributions from leading figures whose lives were touched by their writing, including dramatist Kwame Kwei-Armah and MPs Diane Abbott and Kwasi Kwarteng.
SUN 21:00 Salt, by Selina Thompson (m0010zdp)
Performance artist Selina Thompson recreates her award-winning dramatic monologue about a journey she made by cargo ship to retrace the triangular route of the transatlantic slave trade. Poetic and deeply personal, Salt is part testimony, part performance and part excavation of collective memory through archive and music.
Throughout the film, Thompson explores her painfully difficult but ultimately redemptive exploration of the Atlantic triangle, and in doing so, takes us on a cathartic pilgrimage through grief, race and identity. Darkly comic in places but also intensely sad, Salt is Thompson’s deeply human response to being both British and a descendant of a people enslaved by the British.
Central to Salt is Thompson’s physical performance of her monologue. She plays a character, known simply as The Woman, who pounds great rocks of salt, tells profound stories and makes wry observations. The Woman allows Thompson’s particular journey and personal experience to hold a greater resonance, representing the afterlife of slavery and colonialism.
The salt the Woman breaks down into manageable pieces embodies that shared experience – the labour of negotiating racism, the tears, the sweat, the healing. The salt is also of the sea, itself a character in the piece that plays witness to the atrocities of the Middle Passage.
Complementing Thompson’s performance is a revealing, unflinchingly honest and at times humorous interview conducted by Afua Hirsch.
Thompson describes her journey, reflecting on the feelings and thoughts that defined her experience at the time, as well as her meditations now, five years after the original journey. She is an exceptional storyteller and her candidness, vivid powers of description and facility with language give Salt a raw and powerful intimacy.
Recalled in distinct chapters, Thompson’s journey takes her by sea from Belgium to Ghana, on to Jamaica and finally back across the Atlantic to Europe. She set out on this extraordinary journey not to try to experience the horror of the Middle Passage, but to ‘sit with it’, to commemorate the dead. Part way through her journey, that grieving process takes on an additional significance with the death of her beloved grandmother.
In exploring the past and its lasting legacy, Thompson is also looking for new definitions of home on the three continents she visits, having been told variously her whole life that all of them and none of them were home.
Footage of James Baldwin and Stuart Hall, who themselves grappled with this history and its afterlife, speaks to the inspiration and comfort Thompson drew from the black cultural archive and its distinct and rigorous legacy.
In Europe, Selina’s place of birth, she examines what it means to be black in a country that must grapple with its leading role in, and lasting benefits from, both slavery and colonialism. Her first sea voyage, where she encounters toxic racism and the abuse of power, becomes a contemporary replica of empire.
In Ghana, she explores the complexities of grief and remembrance, and what it means to commemorate a history and a people defined by absence. On her journey between Africa and the Caribbean, she confronts her own privilege and power, granted to her by her British passport.
In Jamaica, the country of her grandparents’ birth, she reflects on the nature of diasporic identity, on an island where most people’s ancestors came from somewhere else. On the final leg of her journey, overwhelmed by the weight of history and its ongoing legacy, she reaches a point of crisis, but ultimately, she does find home. Her long journey back into the past allows her, at last, to go forwards, as she closes with the quiet demand that we reckon with the past so that we can all do the same.
Salt is a deeply moving account of a young woman grappling with the afterlife of slavery and colonialism. The artist in Thompson creates a performance that somehow makes the overwhelming and unsurmountable bearable for her. Steeped in anger but delivered with the lightest of touches, Salt in its essence is about love and family, whether those bonds are biological, chosen through adoption or simply the bonds inherent within the black community. In exposing her pain, and her path towards healing, Thompson lays bare a rare yet vital truth.
SUN 21:45 imagine... (m000z9bj)
Bernardine Evaristo: Never Give Up
Alan Yentob explores the remarkable life and work of the trailblazing Anglo-Nigerian author Bernardine Evaristo, whose Booker Prize-winning novel Girl, Woman, Other has become a global phenomenon in recent years. With great wit and wisdom, Evaristo lays bare her unique approach to creativity across the decades as her latest book, an inspirational non-fiction work called Manifesto: On Never Giving Up, is published.
SUN 22:55 Ocean Autopsy: The Secret Story of Our Seas (m000jy2l)
Two-thirds of our planet is covered in water, split into five distinct oceans, but in reality Earth's seas are part of one huge global water system - a system that has been instrumental in shaping our destiny for millions of years. Now, however, in the 21st century, it is mankind that is shaping the destiny of our oceans. In unprecedented ways, humans are changing our seas and the life within. The ocean bed, the currents, marine life, even the water itself is transformed by what we are putting into our oceans.
In this revelatory BBC Four documentary special, oceanographer Dr Helen Czerski and zoologist Dr George McGavin carry out an ‘autopsy’ on the ocean itself and reveal the startling changes it's undergoing. Moving the story beyond the well-known impact of discarded plastic on our seas, the autopsy will investigate the effects of high levels of life-threatening toxins on marine ecosystems and the invisible plague of micro- and nano-plastics saturating the water. The destiny of our oceans is on a knife edge and the window of opportunity to save them is rapidly closing.
But all is not lost. Along the way, George and Helen follow some surprising stories of hope as scientists uncover biodiverse ecosystems at the bottom of wind turbines that act as artificial reefs. George also visits the team at the Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project, a coastal wetland restoration initiative on the Essex coast twice the size of the City of London, that has been transformed into a nature reserve for rare and threatened birds and other wildlife using excavated soil from Crossrail.
Our precinct is the North Sea. Industry has polluted these waters for longer than any other sea on the planet and, in the past 50 years, the North Sea has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the world’s oceans. The unique levels of human impact provide oceanographers with a crystal ball for the future of ocean change. If it is happening in the North Sea now, scientists can predict where they will see it globally in the future.
Embedded with a team of leading researchers on board the Pelagia, a Dutch Oceanographic research vessel, Helen is on a mission to perform a comprehensive health check on the North Sea, using gas-sampling techniques to investigate a mysterious methane leak that may be caused by sea temperature rise. Understanding its origins could be critical to uncovering the human effects of global warming. The team will have to work for 48 hours straight on this ‘floating laboratory’ in the ocean.
They also carry out a survey of the North Sea to generate a comprehensive map of micro-plastic movement in our oceans. Ninety-nine percent of the plastic we dump in the oceans is missing, so the team wants to find out where it is all going. Starting off on the coastline, the team samples plastic on the surface, documenting where they find each piece and what it is. They also sample the depths of the sea for micro-plastics and discover marine fungi that could provide a possible solution - they might be ‘eating’ micro plastics.
Intercut with this survey, Dr George McGavin visits Utrecht University. Here, leading animal pathologist Lonneke IJsseldijk performs a necropsy (an animal autopsy) on a harbour porpoise to try to find out how and why it died. Lonneke believes the best way to understand what is in our oceans is to look inside the animals that live there. She looks for chemical fingerprints of human toxic pollutants hidden inside, like PCBs that were used in the building industry in the 1980s but which never break down.
Throughout this ocean autopsy, Helen and George find terrifyingly high levels of micro- and nano-plastics, rising sea temperatures changing the ocean ecosystems, and marine mammal life whose very existence is threatened by human toxic pollutants saturating the oceans at every level - the ocean floor, the life in the oceans and even the water itself. But they also find stories of hope, where nature may be able to repair itself if given a chance. What they discover is that it is not too late, but the window to action the change we need is closing quickly. If we can understand what is happening to our waters now, can we act to save them?
SUN 00:30 The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu (b00hkb0z)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
SUN 01:30 Africa Turns the Page: The Novels That Shaped a Continent (m000mf8x)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
SUN 02:30 The Celts: Blood, Iron and Sacrifice with Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver (b06kpzcv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:10 on Saturday
MONDAY 25 OCTOBER 2021
MON 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002p6c)
Warwick to Radley
Michael Portillo embarks on a journey through Edwardian Britain, steered by his early twentieth century Bradshaw’s Guide. In Warwick’s medieval castle he uncovers the scene of an extravagant and scandalous ball, which changed the life of its hostess, Daisy Greville, Countess of Warwick.
At Cowley, Michael marvels at a spectacularly automated state-of-the-art production line producing 1,000 Minis a day and probes the pre-First World War origins of the Morris Oxford. He is delighted to find that cars for export are loaded in Italian Job style on to trains at the factory’s own railhead.
In Oxford, Michael finds how medieval pottery at the Ashmolean Museum inspired TE Lawrence to pursue archaeology in the Middle East, where he was co-opted into British intelligence and helped to mastermind the famous attacks on the Hejaz Railway. And at Radley, Michael hears a song setting by composer George Butterworth, who taught music at Radley College before he and many former pupils were killed in the First World War.
MON 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m0010zfc)
Join Bob Ross and experience the amazing beauty of the Northern Lights phenomenon as they dance across the dark, dark sky - this time in an oval!
MON 20:00 Raiders of the Lost Past with Janina Ramirez (m0008c5c)
The Lion Man
The Lion Man takes Nina deep into the dark heart of Nazi Germany, where in a remote cave in late August 1939, archaeologist Robert Wetzel came across the 40,000-year-old artwork now known as the Lion Man.
Just a week later, WWII broke out, the excavation came to halt and, in one of the great mysteries of archaeology, Wetzel never mentioned his incredible find again.
As Janina discovers, the Lion Man represents a revolution in the human story. Half-man and half-animal, it is the first artwork created from the human imagination, revealing the very origins of human art, religion and culture.
But, in fact, Janina learns that it is almost a miracle the Lion Man came to light at all, because it was not pulled out of the cave as a single artwork but as hundreds of tiny ivory shards, found in numerous chance discoveries across eight decades.
This incredible tale of exploration takes Janina from caves in southern Germany to Arctic Norway, as she finds out how the Lion Man gave us our first understanding of the birth of civilisation.
She also explores how the artwork gives us a disturbing insight into one of the most troubled periods in our recent history, asking how a pioneering archaeologist like Robert Wetzel could also believe that an ice-age artwork like the Lion Man could support the ideology of Nazi Germany.
MON 21:00 Nature and Us: A History through Art (m0010zff)
In the concluding episode of the series, James explores how the art of the last hundred years reflects how we swapped nature for progress in the first half of the 20th century before rediscovering its beauty in the decades following the Second World War, and how today’s artists are re-imagining our future relationship with nature.
The film begins in the first decades of the 20th century, an era of human self-confidence, intent on conquering nature. In the art of Piet Mondrian, James explores how an artist who began life as a landscape painter gradually leaves nature behind, tidying up the messy reality of nature into abstract lines. We meet Chinese artist Yang Yongliang on the streets of New York, whose sprawling digital landscapes ask questions about our drive for rapid urbanisation.
James continues to explore this story through the images of one of the best photographers of the last century – and one of its most brilliant women - Margaret Bourke-White. In 1930, she was the first professional western photographer to be allowed into the Soviet Union, where she captured the rapid transformation of the country from being largely rural into a modern, industrial state. James moves on to explore how the destructive power of the atomic age both terrified and inspired artists in the 1940s and 1950s, from painters like Bittinger to the world of sci-fi films.
We then see the arrival of a new kind of art – land art. In the late 60s and 70s, a growing number of artists left the city and started working not only in nature but with it. We meet two contemporary land artists based in New Zealand: Philippa Jones and Martin Hill, who use natural materials to create sculptures in the landscapes of New Zealand’s South Island. And finally, we explore how artist collective Random International are using technology to explore our future relationship with nature – through a series of mesmerising art works.
James finishes the episode and the series asking questions of the interviewees who have appeared across the series. How do they see our future relationship with nature?
He concludes that on the long journey we humans have been on since our beginnings, artists have played a vital role not only in reflecting but also shaping our attitudes to nature. They’ve helped us understand its intricacy, appreciate its beauty, and now – when the entire planet seems under threat – they can help us forge a new relationship with it.
MON 22:00 Once Upon a Time in Iraq (m000kxwq)
Waleed Nesyif was 18 when George Bush gave Saddam Hussein just 48 hours to leave Iraq. He was, like many Iraqi teenagers at that time, infatuated by the West. But while many of his generation grew up enjoying songs by the Backstreet Boys, Waleed formed Iraq’s first heavy metal band. By comparison to the American movies Waleed and his friends enjoyed, life under Saddam was oppressive, fuelled by fear and paranoia. If war meant life would eventually be more like the way it was in the movies, then in Waleed’s words, 'let’s get this s**t done'.
For others, it was more complicated. Um Qusay, a farmer’s wife from a small village near Tikrit, was under no illusions about the cruelty of Saddam’s regime. That did not mean however that she wanted a foreign army to invade her country to dispose of him. There were benefits to living in a police state. The streets were very safe, and if you did not oppose the government directly, you were free to live how you wished. Life might not have been perfect, but many felt that a war with America would be something that Iraq would not survive. Sally was just eight years old when American troops entered Baghdad. She had been told to be fearful of them, but when a soldier offered her a sweet, she decided that the stories she had been taught at school about the foreign imperialist devils were wrong, as only good people could be this kind.
As the statue to their former dictator falls in Firdos Square, there is a real sense of hope felt by many Iraqis. Maybe, just maybe, Iraq would emerge a better country - perhaps even as one of the best countries in the world. That was the very real hope of Ahmed Al Bashir. Now Iraq’s most famous comedian, as a teenager in 2003, Ahmed was excited by the opportunity to speak English with real Americans, waving at the invading troops and inviting them into his house. From his hotel room in northern Iraq, photographer Ashley Gilbertson watched, along with the rest of the world, as Saddam’s statue was torn down. ‘I’ve missed the war’ were his initial thoughts. What he and many others did not realise at the time was that this was not the war. The war was still to come. The initial hope, felt by many Iraqis, would be tragically short lived once the realities of occupation with no postwar plan hit the streets of Baghdad.
MON 23:00 Once Upon a Time in Iraq (m000l43w)
When Lieutenant Colonel Nate Sassaman arrived in Iraq in 2003, his belief in the task ahead - of delivering democracy and stability to the Iraqi people - was unquestioning. Sassaman was an inspirational leader to his men, and many felt that he was destined one day to become a general. Six months into his tour, caught in the political and literal crossfire of the insurgency, his good intentions and belief systems were shattered. Unprepared for the hostile environment he found himself in, with little support coming from Washington and taking daily attacks from insurgents, Sassaman was pushed to the very darkest regions of his psyche.
Alaa Adel was 12 years old in the summer of 2003, when she too was caught in crossfire on the streets of Baghdad. She suffered life-changing injuries when she was hit in the face by shrapnel from one of the first roadside bombs, which were planted by insurgents and intended for American forces.
Looking back at that time, both Sassaman and Alaa question the benefits of the war in Iraq. While one struggles with the guilt of their actions, the other lives with bristling resentment and ongoing anger.
MON 00:00 Nolan: Australia’s Maverick Artist (m000264q)
Sidney Nolan is unquestionably one of the best-known names in the history of Australian modern art. His images are iconic treasures of the Australian visual language – everyone feels they know Nolan, but that is far from the truth. He was a restless spirit, boundlessly curious, intellectual and mischievous, and his creativity was unrelenting; he was a genius. This film explores and celebrates the artist and the man, going well beyond his early years to his extraordinary international career and all the success and turmoil that came with it.
The prodigious Nolan came from humble working-class beginnings and from a young age made his way straight to the centre of contemporary artistic and intellectual circles in Melbourne, where he both produced some of his most enduring images and also became tightly enmeshed in the complicated and doomed love affair that was to stay with him for the rest of his life. Restless and on fire with the excitement of the international modernist movement, Nolan created the St Kilda, Wimmera, Ned Kelly and the Central Australia series - passionate responses to the world, and the landscape and national mythology of Australia, but more importantly and more deeply, windows into the poetic psyche of the man.
Fuelled by insatiable curiosity, Nolan became a tireless traveller, settling in London, where he found 'his people', the stellar intellectual circle of artists, musicians, writers, collectors and connoisseurs. While living in London, Nolan continued to visit and travel around Australia because, he said simply, 'he was Australian', and then returned to England to paint what had inspired him here and in other parts of the world. He welcomed artistic challenges; he was an entrepreneur and an unselfconscious-self promoter who threw himself into music, theatre and opera design.
The film shows Nolan’s unexamined work in new light, exploring the range of experimental, innovative qualities that marked him as one of the world’s truly great painters in the 20th century - a man ahead of his time, exploring digital manipulation in its early incarnations, experimenting with desiccated carcasses many decades before Damien Hirst, and taking selfies before Instagram was thought of.
MON 01:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002p6c)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
MON 01:30 Nature and Us: A History through Art (m0010zff)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
MON 02:30 Raiders of the Lost Past with Janina Ramirez (m0008c5c)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
TUESDAY 26 OCTOBER 2021
TUE 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002p7r)
Reading to Taplow
Armed with his Edwardian Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo picks up his rail journey from Warwick to Rye along the River Thames. In Reading, he traces the origins of education for workers. Messing about in boats is the name of the game in Henley-on-Thames, where Michael slips into a launch to hear about the world-famous regatta. Afternoon tea on the bank offers a chance to hear about four heroes of early 20th-century literary classic The Wind in the Willows.
In the pretty village of Cookham, Michael encounters heaven on earth for the artist Stanley Spencer, and across the river at Cliveden he explores the great Italianate mansion, which once belonged to the Astor family. Michael finds out about one of its most famous members, the first woman to take a seat in Parliament, Nancy Astor.
TUE 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m0010zh7)
Experience the magic of early morning with Bob Ross in an oval painting, as gentle trickles and splashes of a happy stream pierce the silence.
TUE 20:00 The Good Life (b00787vb)
The Windbreak War
War breaks out between the Goods and the Leadbetters - there is nothing like a good fight over the fence to cement relationships.
TUE 20:30 One Foot in the Grave (b007cg9p)
I'll Retire to Bedlam
Victor and Margaret are trapped in their garden shed by a swarm of bees. Later, a trip to the eye clinic gives Victor a chance to moan about the NHS. While he's out, Margaret agrees to look after her niece's two children for a day.
TUE 21:00 Peter Sellers: A State of Comic Ecstasy (m000j4c1)
Peter Sellers was one of the 20th century's most astonishing actors. His meteoric rise to fame - from his beginnings with Spike Milligan on BBC Radio's The Goon Show in the 1950s to his multiple Oscar nominations and status as Stanley Kubrick's favourite actor - is equalled only by the endless complexities of his personal life - the multiple marriages, the chronic health problems, the petulant fits of rage, the deep insecurity, the unwise career choices and the long decline in his later years.
This film explores the life of this peerless actor and comedian, featuring interviews with family, friends, colleagues and critics, many of whom have never spoken out before. The film charts Sellers's formative years backstage as part of his parents' itinerant music hall revue group, his wartime service in India and Burma and his journey to global superstardom, where tales of his life backstage with the likes of Sophia Loren, Orson Welles and Alec Guinness were often more unbelievable than the roles they were playing out before the cameras. This is the story of the man who could play any role, apart from one - himself.
With contributions from family members, including second wife Britt Ekland and his daughters Sarah and Victoria, as well as former friends and girlfriends such as Sinead Cusack, Nanette Newman and Janette Scott, the film explores the life of Sellers with candour and affection. Colleagues like director Joe McGrath and actor Simon Williams recall tales of Sellers's extravagant behaviour onset, and famous fans like Michael Palin, Steve Coogan and Hanif Kureishi reveal why they hold Sellers in such high esteem.
This is a film about family and how Sellers's mercurial temperament has affected the generation that followed. His two surviving children Sarah and Victoria recall the challenges of growing up alongside his tempestuous mood swings, while his grandson Will explores the troubled legacy his grandfather left behind.
TUE 22:15 The Last Goon Show of All (b01074b8)
Recorded during the BBC’s fiftieth anniversary celebrations in 1972, a special edition of the much-loved radio comedy show, which took place before a distinguished audience at the Camden Theatre.
TUE 22:55 Once Upon a Time in Iraq (p08kr4ws)
At the start of the Iraq War in 2003, over 600 journalists and photographers are given permission by the US government to follow the war as embedded reporters. Dexter Filkins and photographer Ashley Gilbertson are working for the New York Times when they enter Fallujah with Bravo Company in November 2004.
It is the most intense battle of the entire war and the biggest the marines have fought since Vietnam. For the duration of the battle, both journalists live with the marines, filing their stories as they are constantly shot at. Illustrated by thousands of photographs taken by Gilbertson that week, many of them never before published, as well as unseen material taken by the marines themselves, this film takes viewers into the heart of the battle. Gilbertson’s decision to capture an image of an Iraqi sniper shooting from inside a minaret changes not only his life but the lives of the soldiers with him.
Nidhal Abed has lived in Fallujah her entire life. On 4 November 2004, her two-year-old son Mustafa is running a high fever. She leaves her home to take Mustafa to the doctors just a few streets away. What happens next ensures their lives are also never the same again.
With unique archive of the battle itself, this story is told through the marines, journalists and residents of Fallujah.
TUE 23:55 Utopia: In Search of the Dream (b090c2pj)
Blueprints for Better
In this first episode, Prof Richard Clay explores how utopian visions begin as blueprints for fairer worlds and asks whether they can inspire real change.
Charting 500 years of utopian visions and making bold connections between exploration and science fiction - from radical 18th-century politics to online communities like Wikipedia - Richard delves into colourful stories of some of the world's greatest utopian dreamers, including Thomas More, who coined the term 'utopia', Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels, and Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek.
Richard builds a compelling argument that utopian visions have been a powerful way of criticising the present, and he identifies key values he believes the imagined better futures tend to idealise. He shows how the concept of shared ownership, a 'commons' of both land and digital space online, has fired utopian thinking, and he explores the dream of equality through the campaign for civil rights in the 1960s and through a feminist theatrical production in today's America.
Immersing himself in a terrifying '1984' survival drama in Vilnius, Lithuania, Richard also looks at the flip side, asking why dystopias are so popular today in film, TV and comic book culture. He explores whether dystopian visions have been a way to remind ourselves that hard-won gains can be lost and that we must beware of humanity's darker side if we are ever to reach a better place.
Across Britain, Germany, Lithuania and America, Richard talks about the meaning of utopia with a rich range of interviewees, including Katherine Maher, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols, explorer Belinda Kirk, football commentator John Motson and Hollywood screenwriter Frank Spotnitz.
TUE 00:55 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002p7r)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
TUE 01:25 Peter Sellers: A State of Comic Ecstasy (m000j4c1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
TUE 02:45 Nature and Us: A History through Art (m0010zff)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday
WEDNESDAY 27 OCTOBER 2021
WED 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002p8y)
Ealing Broadway to South Kensington
Michael Portillo reaches the capital on his rail journey from Warwick to Rye in East Sussex. In the Queen of the Suburbs, Ealing, he finds comedy at the home of British cinema and is transformed for the silver screen by expert hair and make-up.
In Fulham, Michael heads underground to London’s new super sewer, which is taking shape beneath the River Thames. In central London, he visits the London School of Economics and Political Science to hear about its foundation by Fabians at the turn of the 20th century and to meet present day students.
An introduction to Japanese martial arts awaits Michael at the Budokwai dojo in Kensington. Will there be a soft landing?
WED 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m0010zhg)
Bob Ross creates the illusion of luscious textured wood as you are invited to step into another dimension of mountains overlooking a quiet northern river.
WED 20:00 Earth: The Power of the Planet (b008cykg)
Documentary series. Dr Iain Stewart reveals the role natural forces have played in the creation of the planet Earth. The first episode discusses volcanoes. Although they appear to be destructive, volcanoes have been crucial to the development of life on this planet. Iain's journey takes him to Ethiopia to discover lava lakes, to Iceland to scuba dive between continents and to New Zealand to sample some hot springs.
WED 21:00 Enslaved with Samuel L Jackson (m000nwyk)
Samuel L Jackson is joined by journalists Afua Hirsch and Simcha Jacobovici, along with Diving with a Purpose (DWP) – a team of underwater investigators dedicated to restoring their ancestors' lost history. Together, they investigate the events that ended the slave trade and the heritage and identity that was taken from the descendants of the millions of trafficked Africans.
Outrage in Britain at the treatment of captured Africans gained momentum, and by the early 1800s, attitudes had changed. What was once a seemingly unstoppable trade was abolished in 1807. Samuel L Jackson and Afua Hirsh examine the petitions, books, prints and the work of activists that led to the end of 400 years of the slave trade, while the DWP divers explore the tragic history and wreck site of The London, a slave ship carrying slaves who had won their freedom and been re-enslaved.
Having discovered that he is descended from the Benga people, Samuel L Jackson travels to Gabon and is welcomed into the tribe by the king and the elders, who share their traditions and stories. The DWP continue their work to recover the history of the enslaved and piece together this lost heritage. They travel to a community in Costa Rica to help a team of young divers look for evidence to support the stories that their African ancestors escaped from two Danish slave ships.
WED 22:00 Once Upon a Time in Iraq (p08kr52c)
When Saddam Hussein is captured by coalition forces in December 2003, politicians in the White House believe this will be the turning point they need to bring democracy to Iraq. Their task is to root out the minority forces still supporting Saddam and bring security and stability to the country. John Nixon, senior analyst in the CIA, is the first to interrogate Saddam after his capture. Having been the object of Nixon's obsession for years, the brutal dictator is now face to face with him. Here is his chance to get answers to the questions that have long haunted him. Saddam’s answers, however, leave Nixon both surprised and horrified.
During the five-week interrogation, Saddam explains, 'You Americans, you don’t understand what you have done. Iraq will become the playing field for international terrorism.' Prophetic words play out in the grim reality of the years following Saddam’s execution.
As the Americans celebrate the capture of Saddam, a new chapter of the war begins, as sectarian differences, long controlled by the Iraqi dictator, flare up to plunge Iraq into a gruesome civil war.
WED 23:00 Once Upon a Time in Iraq (p08kr5t9)
In 2004, Waleed Nesyif, heavy metal musician, is forced to flee Iraq following death threats for working for American journalists as a translator. By the time America finally withdraws all its troops from Iraq in 2011, he is a Canadian citizen, happily married and university educated. A year later, he returns to Iraq for the first time since leaving. It is not the same country he left. Naori Al Maliki is in his second term as prime minister, and his Shia-led sectarian policies reignite long-held Sunni grievances. The door is open for Isis. The legacy of the 2003 invasion plays out in a most brutal manner.
Omar Mohmamed, a university professor from Mosul, remembers clearly the night armed men invade his city, proclaiming they are the Islamic State. For the next three years, Omar lives under one of the most brutal regimes the world has ever known, witnessing daily executions, hand cutting and stonings. As the anonymous author of a blog exposing the atrocities committed by Isis, he risks his life to share the realities of life under Isis with the world.
He is not the only one to resist. Um Qusay risks her life by sheltering Shia soldiers in her house after they have escaped being executed by Isis. Seeing past sectarian differences, she explains, ‘I risked my life to help those boys because they were Iraqis’.
WED 00:00 Utopia: In Search of the Dream (b091gx74)
Build It and They Will Come
Utopia has been imagined in a thousand different ways. Yet when people try to build utopia, they struggle and very often fail. Art historian professor Richard Clay asks whether utopian visions for living can ever reconcile the tension between the group and the individual, the rules and the desire to break free.
Travelling to America, he encounters experimental communities, searching for greater meaning in life. Richard visits a former Shaker village in New Hampshire and immerses himself for a day at the Twin Oaks eco-commune in Virginia, where residents share everything, even clothes. He looks back at the grand urban plans for the masses of the 20th-century utopian ideologies, from the New Deal housing projects of downtown Chicago to the concrete sprawl of a Soviet-era housing estate in Vilnius, Lithuania. He also meets utopian architects with a continuing faith that humanity's lot can be improved by better design. Interviewees include architect Norman Foster and designer Shoji Sadao.
WED 01:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002p8y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
WED 01:30 Enslaved with Samuel L Jackson (m000nwyk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
WED 02:30 Earth: The Power of the Planet (b008cykg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
THURSDAY 28 OCTOBER 2021
THU 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002pbk)
Piccadilly Circus to Gravesend
Michael Portillo hits the West End to explore an exotic store, which was a favourite among Edwardian ladies. At Covent Garden’s Royal Ballet School he hears how in 1909 a Russian ballet company took London by storm and how its prima ballerina inspired the school’s founding choreographer.
Leaving the capital from Charing Cross, Michael heads for Dartford in Kent, where he discovers the origins of netball and gymslips at the North Kent College. He finishes this leg of his journey from Warwick to Rye on the Thames at Gravesend, where he is impressed by the pilots of the Port of London Authority, founded in the early 20th century.
THU 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m0010zjp)
Go on a nature hike with Bob Ross. Follow the overgrown path, deep in the woods, and enjoy the silent beauty of the surrounding stillness.
THU 20:00 A House Through Time (m0004grx)
In this episode, David Olusoga follows the residents of the house through the early 20th century. The house is now being run as a boarding house by 41-year-old single mum Grace Eagle, who lives there with two of her children, Henry and Leonora. Curious to find out more about Grace’s circumstances, David uncovers a series of newspaper articles which reveal a furious public dispute about money between Grace and her estranged husband, Henry Eagle. To find out more, David goes to meet one of her living relatives, Carl Eagle. Carl explains that Grace was born in Tyneside, and at 17 she married Henry Eagle, aka Henrik Igel, an inventor and entrepreneur from Romania. The couple had three children, but the marriage foundered, not just from financial pressures, but due to Henry’s womanising. Grace left Henry to set up the business on Ravensworth Terrace.
But as David discovers from the 1911 census, this is no ordinary boarding house. Grace is running a theatrical boarding house, and her tenants are stars of the thriving music hall scene. David next visits the nearby Tyne and Wear Opera House to meet historian Anne Featherstone, to discuss the trick cyclists, jugglers and other colourful acts who lodged in Grace’s house.
But the lively atmosphere of the boarding house is soon threatened by the arrival of war. In 1914, the local recruiting office is besieged by young men eager to join up. An atmosphere of xenophobia is growing on Tyneside. A day after war is declared, the Aliens Restrictions Act is introduced. This law imposes a host of restrictions on foreign-born people in Britain. And although Grace is English, having married a Romanian she is now classed as ‘foreign’ herself.
The same is true for her eldest daughter Grace Marie, recently married a German man called Paul Wiese. The family are treated with suspicion, which soon turns to violence. Paul’s offices on the quayside in Newcastle are attacked by an anti-German mob, and the couple’s home is pelted with stones. Then Paul is discovered loitering near a temporary internment camp housing ‘enemy aliens’ and found guilty of ‘being found in circumstances of suspicion’. He is sent to Southend to be imprisoned on an internment ship moored off the coast.
With nowhere else to stay, Grace Marie and her children go to live with Grace Senior in the boarding house in Ravensworth Terrace. To find out more about what happened to Paul on the prison ship, David travels to Southend and meets expert Professor Heather Jones. The conditions on board were insanitary and overcrowded, she explains. In 1915, after a very cold winter, Paul contracted bronchitis and asthma, and died in March of that year. Grace Marie never saw her husband again.
David is keen to know what happened to Grace Marie. From her relative Jane Stupples David discovers that after the tragic death of her first husband, she found happiness again with a man named Billy Haselhurst. But sadly Billy lost his life just three years after Paul – he was shot in France in the final days of the war and died shortly afterwards.
Unsurprisingly after so much turmoil, the family didn’t remain in Ravensworth Terrace. In a trade directory of 1919, David finds a new tenant arrives in the house, a lodging housekeeper called Rose McQueeney. David discovers that Rose comes from an Irish family in Sunderland, and that her lodgers are mostly working men, also from Ireland. As design historian Deborah Sugg Ryan explains, running a boarding house was a multi-faceted job. Rose was cleaner, cook and mother figure to her tenants, working all hours, seven days a week.
But it seems Rose did find time for a social life. David finds a marriage certificate from 1920 revealing that Rose marries one of her lodgers, 24-year-old Irish colliery labourer Edward Kerrigan. Six months after the wedding the couple become parents to baby Patrick. But what appears to be a peaceful domestic setup is soon revealed to be anything but. David discovers a report in a local paper from 1921, implicating Edward Kerrigan in a case involving the theft of some explosives. His co-accused are named Richard Purcell and Gilbert Barrington. Digging deeper, David discovers that Purcell and Barrington are both members of the Irish Self Determination League, an organisation campaigning for Irish independence. Wondering if Kerrigan is connected to the group, David goes to meet historian Gerard Noonan. Gerard shows him evidence that proves that Edward Kerrigan was far more than a peaceful campaigner, he was actively involved in the local branch of the IRA and played a key role in an arson attack on a local aerodrome that made headline news in Newcastle. When the explosives theft case gets to court, Purcell and Barrington are found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison. But Kerrigan gets off with a £5 fine, and his IRA activities are never uncovered by police.
THU 21:00 Don't Look Now (m0010zjr)
Grieving the loss of their young daughter in a tragic accident, Laura and John Baxter visit Venice, where John is helping to restore a delapidated church. As John works, Laura is befriended by two sisters, one of whom warns them to leave the city, claiming she has seen their dead daughter.
Classic mystery thriller from Nicolas Roeg.
THU 22:45 Interview with the Vampire (b00gd270)
Gothic horror story based on Anne Rice's novel about a 200-year-old vampire who decides to tell his life story to an increasingly beguiled journalist in modern-day San Francisco. Weary with wandering the world in search of fresh prey, the vampire begins to relate episodes from his past embracing two centuries.
THU 00:45 Utopia: In Search of the Dream (b092sb6f)
A Good Place Within
Art historian Richard Clay asks whether utopia is, ultimately, a state of mind. Can we find utopia within? He explores the many ways we have created to immerse ourselves in a perfect moment, of epiphany or transcendence, pushing the boundaries of artistic expression and pleasure.
Seeking answers in a broad range of arts, Richard meets digital games pioneer Sid Meier, Rada improvisation teacher Chris Heimann and opera impresario Martin Graham. He tries to compose a haiku and uncovers traces of the hedonistic medieval carnival tradition in the churches and pubs of his native Lancashire.
Richard also compares and contrasts different musical escapes, interviewing Acid House legend A Guy Called Gerald and the celebrated minimalist composer Steve Reich. This is not about the utopia of the future but about the utopia of the immediate world that we can experience now.
THU 01:45 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002pbk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
THU 02:15 Motherland (p09gvb8k)
Amanda’s PTA charity FUNraiser is doubling up as her birthday celebration, meaning everyone is dragged into a big event.
Mixing sponsored cycling with Anne’s lethal cocktails results in a night of high drama and big revelations. Julia is ready to call time on her marriage to Paul and run off with builder Garry; Liz is thrown by the arrival of an unexpected visitor; and Meg rides high on her cancer all clear.
Meanwhile, Kevin’s attempts to clear the air with Amanda just make everything worse, and a put-upon Anne finally loses her rag.
THU 02:45 A House Through Time (m0004grx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
FRIDAY 29 OCTOBER 2021
FRI 19:00 The Live Lounge Show (m0010zj3)
Lizzo, Lil Nas X and Camila Cabello
Radio 1 take us behind the scenes of the world-famous Live Lounge - showcasing the biggest names in music, including Lizzo, Lil Nas X and Camila Cabello.
FRI 20:00 TOTP2 (b00874gg)
To get you in the mood for Halloween, Steve Wright pops out from behind the cellar door to introduce an hour of the spookiest Top of the Pops clips ever. Enjoy the Automatic, the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Ray Parker Jr and Bobby 'Boris' Pickett. Hide behind the sofa as we bring you witches, monsters and Michael Jackson.
FRI 21:00 The Shadows at Sixty (m000hqn0)
A look back at the incredible success of The Shadows as they celebrate their sixtieth anniversary. Starting from where they began as The Drifters to then becoming the backing band for Cliff Richard and enjoying huge success in their own right, the programme celebrates The Shadows’ achievements across a time of constant change within the social, cultural and musical landscape.
The Shadows were at the forefront of the UK beat boom generation and the first backing group to emerge as big stars in their own right. Using unseen archive, personal testimony and interviews with the band, along with those they influenced, including Brian May, David Gilmour, Pete Townshend, The Shadows at Sixty is not just a trip down memory lane, but an in-depth, often emotional story of a group’s journey through six decades.
FRI 22:00 Great Guitar Riffs at the BBC (b049mtxy)
Compilation of BBC performances featuring some of the best axe men and women in rock 'n' roll, from Hendrix to The Kinks, Cream to AC/DC, The Smiths to Rage Against the Machine and Radiohead to Foo Fighters. Whether it is The Shadows playing FBI on Crackerjack, Jeff Beck with The Yardbirds, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream's Sunshine of Your Love from their final gig, Pixies on the Late Show, AC/DC on Top of the Pops or Fools Gold from The Stone Roses, this compilation is a celebration of rock 'n' roll guitar complete with riffs, fingerstylin', wah-wah pedals and Marshall amps.
FRI 23:00 The Old Grey Whistle Test (m0010zj5)
From 1977, Bob Harris introduces The Kinks in concert at the BBC TV Theatre in London's Shepherd's Bush, including a warm-up number not featured in the original broadcast.
FRI 23:45 Guitar, Drum and Bass (m00023xl)
On Bass... Tina Weymouth!
Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club celebrates the extraordinary contribution of bass to popular music, tracing its progress from street-corner doo-wop and the overlooked ‘guy at the back’ in rock ‘n’ roll, via Paul McCartney, the anonymous James Jamerson and Carol Kaye - whose genius bass lines underpinned The Beatles, Motown and LA sound respectively - British jazzer Herbie Flowers’s immortal line in Walk on the Wild Side, the emergence of 70s funky bass stars Bootsy Collins and Chic’s Bernard Edwards, the driving lead bass of postpunk maverick Peter Hook in both Joy Division and New Order, through to the growth of bass culture in reggae, whose sound systems sparked whole new genres in drum and bass, grime and beyond.
With Bootsy Collins, Dizzee Rascal, Ray Parker Jr, Nile Rodgers, Peter Hook, Carol Kaye, Herbie Flowers, Valerie Simpson, The Marcels’ Fred Jonson, DJ Aphrodite and Gail Ann Dorsey.
FRI 00:45 TOTP2 (b00874gg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
FRI 01:45 The Live Lounge Show (m0010zj3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
FRI 02:45 The Shadows at Sixty (m000hqn0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today