Michael Portillo is in Suffolk on the last leg of his 1930s Bradshaw’s-inspired tour of East Anglia. He begins at the home of British horseracing, Newmarket, where he learns of the interwar success of a jockey turned trainer and helps to care for a famous ex-racehorse.
At Ickworth House near Bury St Edmonds, Michael gets a taste of life below stairs during the 1930s and is put to work preparing a 'plum betty'. With a taste for sweetness, Michael takes the train to Downham Market to explore how sugar began to be refined from sugar beet at Wissington in 1925.
Back on the Fen line, Michael is bound for King’s Lynn and Wells-next-the-Sea, where he boards the exceptionally narrow-gauge Wells and Walsingham light railway. Arriving in Walsingham, Michael discover that until Henry VIII’s Reformation, this small village was one of the great Roman Catholic shrines. During the 1920s and 30s, there was a revival in pilgrimage to Walsingham, and a new Anglican shrine to the Virgin Mary was built.
England's Vitality Roses face Australia's Origin Diamonds in the 2022 NetBall Quad Series at the Copper Box Arena in the Olympic Park, London.
A glorious national obsession is explored in this archive-rich look at the evolution of the weather forecast from print via radio to TV and beyond - and at the changing weather itself. It shows how the Met Office and the BBC have always used the latest technology to bring the holy grail of accurate forecasting that much closer - even if the odd messenger like TV weatherman Michael Fish has been shot along the way.
Yet as hand-drawn maps have been replaced by weather apps, the bigger drama of global warming has been playing itself out as if to prove that we were right all along to obsess about the weather. Featuring a very special rendition of the shipping forecast by a Cornish fishermen's choir.
Shipwrecks are the nightmare we have forgotten - the price Britain paid for ruling the waves from an island surrounded by treacherous rocks. The result is a coastline that is home to the world's highest concentration of sunken ships. But shipwrecks also changed the course of British history, helped shape our national character and drove innovations in seafaring technology, as well as gripping our imagination.
The terrible toll taken by shipwrecks was such that in the winter of 1820 some 20,000 seaman lost their lives in the North Sea alone. That's 20 jumbo jets. But in the final part of his series, maritime historian Sam Willis tells the stirring story of how the Victorians were finally driven into action, finding various ingenious solutions - from rockets that could fire rescue lines aboard stricken vessels to lifejackets, lifeboats and the Plimsoll Line, which outlawed overloading.
In Africa, he traces the legend of the Birkenhead Drill - the origin of 'women and children first'. Decorum even in disaster was the new Victorian way and it was conspicuously on hand to turn history's most iconic shipwreck - Titanic - into a tragic monument to British restraint.
Andrew Graham-Dixon explores how art in France took a dramatic turn following the French Revolution that ushered in a bold new world. From the execution of King Louis XVI and the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte - a figure who simultaneously repelled and inspired artists of his time - through to the rise of Romanticism and an art of seduction, sex and high drama, Andrew explores artists including Jacques-Louis David - whose art appeared on the barricades and in the streets - as well as the work of Delacroix, Ingres and the tragic but brilliant Theodore Gericault.
Filmed in the remote Gamo highlands of southern Ethiopia, this episode tells the story of Dorze house builders as they weave a traditional bamboo home for an elderly woman in their community.
The Dorze are a minority ethnic group who live in the mountains and have retained their distinct culture and dialect. They are renowned as producers of colourful cloth and for their unique houses, which are woven from strips of bamboo.
The film follows village elder Admasu Ourage as he oversees the building of a new house for his friend Dasanshi, whose old house is falling down. The whole process is captured, from the moment Dasanshi’s old house is moved, and the cutting and preparation of the bamboo, to the construction and completion of the new house. Their work is a window on to the significance of Orthodox Christian faith in Ethiopia; each stage of the build is accompanied by blessings and prayers of thanks, led by Admasu.
The film is also a portrait of a community in flux, as more and more Dorze people choose to build their houses with corrugated iron roofs instead of traditional, woven bamboo. For the Dorze, the construction of a new woven house is like ‘a child being born’. It is testament to a thriving community. Once complete, the whole village comes together to sing and dance in celebration.
WEDNESDAY 19 JANUARY 2022
WED 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000w16t)
Crewe to Shotton
Michael Portillo is in Crewe, a town steeped in railway history and immortalised in Victorian music hall, to investigate the making of the iconic cinema classic The Night Mail during the 1930s.
Following his Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael takes the train to Chester to discover the interwar origins of Britain’s most popular zoo. Michael learns how the work of Chester Zoo’s enlightened founder continues, and he helps to feed a young greater one-horned rhino.
Across the border in north Wales, Michael reaches the village of Gresford, the scene of one of Britain’s worst mining disasters, where 266 men lost their lives in 1934. Michael hears how it happened and how it is remembered in the community today. The Ifton Colliery Band plays Gresford - The Miners’ Hymn.
Over the River Dee, at Tata Steel in Shotton, Michael discovers a wartime boost to steel production on the site, where John Summers & Sons manufactured up to 50,000 Andersen shelters a week. The steel shelters and others designed by the company for people’s back gardens protected families from aerial bombardment by German planes.
WED 19:30 Fred Dibnah's Magnificent Monuments (b0074mc8)
Places of Worship
Steeplejack Fred Dibnah tours Britain admiring some of its engineering marvels. This edition takes in Preston, County Durham, St Paul's Cathedral and York Minster.
WED 20:00 New Zealand: Earth's Mythical Islands (b07mh601)
The most extreme and wild parts of New Zealand are in the South Island, which lie towards Antarctica, in the path of the tempestuous 'roaring forties'. This is home to some of the most rapidly rising mountains in the world, the Southern Alps.
From hyper-intelligent parrots to sinister snails with teeth and magical constellations of glow-worms, this is the story of New Zealand's wildest places and its most resilient pioneers, all of whom must embrace radical solutions to survive.
WED 21:00 My Family, the Holocaust and Me (m000pbwf)
Robert Rinder helps the second and third generations of three families affected by the Holocaust to retrace their relatives’ footsteps and discover the full truth about what happened to them. Robert also explores further his own family’s Holocaust stories.
In the first episode, Robert meets Bernie Graham, who remembers that, when he was a child, his grandfather pointed to his missing eye and said 'Nazis', but Bernie doesn’t know what happened to him. Bernie has heard that his grandmother was sent to Auschwitz but survived until after the liberation. Bernie travels for the first time in his life to Germany, where his family were living before the Second World War. There he discovers the horrific story behind his grandfather’s injuries, and that his grandmother was forced to pay for her own transportation to Sobibor, an extermination camp in Poland, where she was murdered.
Sisters Natalie and Louisa Clein know that their Dutch Jewish grandparents survived, but they have also been told that their grandmother’s sister Els died in the war. The sisters know nothing else about their great aunt’s fate. Natalie and Louisa travel to the Netherlands, where they find out about their grandmother’s incredible work in the Dutch resistance and how her sister Els was a famous dancer before the war. The trail takes them to a former Nazi transit camp, Westerbork, where Els was held, possibly for refusing the identifying star the Nazis decreed all Jewish people should wear. At Westerbork they discover the cruel twist of fate that thwarted Els’s chances of survival and led to her being murdered in Sobibor. For both sisters, their pain is mixed with pride at Els's extraordinary talent and character.
Robert also embarks on his own journey of discovery. He visits the town his family came from in Lithuania and also travels to the Treblinka death camp, where he knows that his Polish grandfather’s parents and siblings died.
WED 22:00 My Family, the Holocaust and Me (m000pk2k)
Robert Rinder continues his journey, meeting Noemie Lopian, whose French mother was arrested as a child by the Nazis. Noemie wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps to understand what happened and how her mother survived. In an extraordinary scene she meets the grandson of the man who hid her mother and her mother’s siblings in a chicken shed in his garden during round-ups of Jews in the town of Saint-Junien. Noemie also learns of the incredible sacrifice and courage of a young female French Resistance fighter who saved her mother’s life.
Having discovered the fate of his grandparents in episode one, Bernie Graham is desperate to know what happened to his uncle Bernhard, after whom he is named, and who he believes committed suicide in Dachau concentration camp. To unravel what happened to his uncle, Bernie travels to Dachau, where he finds out that his uncle fell ill and died after a horrendous journey there. Despite the dark truths that Bernie uncovers, he hopes that we can learn from these terrible events.
Robert’s mother's family were also impacted by the Holocaust, and he knows that his Polish grandfather’s parents and siblings died in Treblinka death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. Robert travels with his mother to Treblinka to discover how her grandparents, aunts, uncle, great-aunts and great-uncle were murdered. They meet the last survivor of Treblinka, 92-year-old Leon Rytz, who tells his harrowing story. The three of them say Kaddish together, the Jewish prayer of remembrance for those who have died.
WED 23:00 The Diary of Anne Frank (b00gnws1)
Anne is having a birthday party. She is blowing out the candles on her magnificent chocolate cake, surrounded by friends. Suddenly she wakes up and remembers she is in the annexe, and her 14th birthday will be a much more modest affair. Her family give her whatever they can, but the only present that really excites her is the bar of chocolate she is given.
Anne is growing into a young woman and is amazed by the changes happening to her body and emotions. Her periods have started and she is becoming aware of her sexuality. She has even started to look differently at Peter, especially when he passes her on the stairs, wearing just a towel. Otto measures Anne and Margot against the wall and finds that Anne has grown three inches in the last year.
The families are growing out of their clothes and don't have the money to replace them. In fact, the Van Daans have little money left and row furiously about whether they should sell Mrs Van Daan's fur coat. When Anne walks in on their argument, Mrs Van Daan turns on her and Anne goes up to the attic to sulk.
When Peter comes up to the attic she tells him that she sees him differently now and apologises for having teased him in the past. She asks him if he finds Margot attractive and he says he's never noticed. She invites herself to accompany him down to the warehouse to collect the potatoes.
WED 23:30 The Diary of Anne Frank (b00gny29)
Anne and her family are woken up by the sound of intruders downstairs. They creep out to the landing where they are met by Mr Dussel and the Van Daans, and they all huddle together on the stairs. When the noises seem to stop, Otto and Peter go downstairs to see what damage has been done and to lock the front door so as not to attract the police, but they discover that the burglars are still there and have to flee back to the annex before they are discovered. The families now hide together in the Frank's bedroom. Mrs Van Daan is desperate to go to the toilet but they can't risk her being heard moving, so she is forced to use a wastebasket in front of everyone.
The next morning Mr Kugler informs them that the burglars took a lot of valuables and that they must be more careful, but the families don't think they were to blame for the break-in. The tension and the summer heat start to get to them and they snap at each other. Anne tries to talk to Peter about her frustrations over anti-Semitism but he isn't interested and she realises they don't have much in common.
Food shortages are getting worse, Mrs Van Daan is annoying everyone with her endless chatter, and the authorities have confiscated their beloved radio. As the bombing raids get worse, Anne takes to running up and down the annex stairs to block out the sound. But they try to keep their spirits up and are thrilled when Miep finds some butter to bake a small cake for Edith's birthday.
WED 00:00 Art of France (b08f1bw0)
This Is the Modern World
In the final episode, Andrew begins with the impressionists. He plunges into one of the most wildly creative periods in the history of art, when France was changing at a rapid pace and angry young artists would reinvent how to paint, finding their muses in the bars, brothels and cabarets of belle epoque Paris and turning the world of art on its head. Monet, Degas and friends launched a febrile conversation about the role of painting in the modern world that would pave the way for just about every modern art movement of note, from the cubists to the Fauves, from the surrealists to the existentialists and from conceptual artists to the abstract expressionists.
WED 01:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000w16t)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
WED 01:30 Fred Dibnah's Magnificent Monuments (b0074mc8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
WED 02:00 New Zealand: Earth's Mythical Islands (b07mh601)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
WED 03:00 My Family, the Holocaust and Me (m000pbwf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
THURSDAY 20 JANUARY 2022
THU 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000w1pd)
Rhyl to Anglesey
Michael Portillo’s 1930s Bradshaw’s-inspired railway tour of north Wales takes him to a coast lined by magnificent castles and sweeping bays.
In Colwyn Bay, he hears how an army of civil servants from the Ministries of Food and Agriculture in London invaded the quiet seaside town and masterminded a groundbreaking campaign to feed the nation. 'Dig for Victory' urged people to grow their own vegetables. Michael helps out at an allotment.
In the holiday resort of Rhyl, Michael discovers how its amusement park and lake were created and makes a delightful excursion aboard the oldest miniature railway in Britain.
Heading west to Gwynedd, Michael reaches the university city of Bangor, where he finds the largest number of Welsh speakers in the country. Michael investigates the Welsh tongue at the city’s BBC studios and makes a radio announcement in Welsh.
Crossing the Menai Strait by the Britannia Bridge, Michael arrives on Anglesey and the elegant seat of the Marquesses of the island. Michael is excited to find in their elegant mansion an impressive mural on a grand scale by the artist Rex Whistler and to hear how it was painted.
THU 19:30 Fred Dibnah's Magnificent Monuments (b0074mcj)
Places of Work
Fred Dibnah continues his tour of Britain's great building feats with a look at our places of work.
In Chatham he visits one of our oldest dockyards, while at Armley Mills in Leeds he discovers an early form of fireproofing.
His journey takes him from a 1,000-year-old tithe barn in Sussex, where he tries his hand at thatching, to the symbol of modern architecture, the Lloyd's building.
THU 20:00 Paint Your Wagon (m000crg6)
On the rugged trail west in the days of the Gold Rush, hard-fighting, hard-drinking, happy-go-lucky Ben Rumson meets and joins forces with the quiet-living Pardner. However, their friendship is tested when Pardner falls in love with Elizabeth, the wife Ben has recently acquired at auction.
Musical western with songs including Wanderin' Star, I Talk to the Trees and They Call the Wind Maria.
THU 22:30 Wagon Master (b00c6s7w)
Poetic story of a pioneering Mormon community. Forced out of Crystal City, a group of Mormons head westward in search of the promised land. The journey is treacherous, and two footloose horse traders are persuaded to 'give the Lord a hand' and guide them across the desert. On the trail, the wagon train encounters travelling entertainers, fugitive gunfighters and Native Americans.
THU 23:50 How the Wild West Was Won with Ray Mears (b044z1k0)
Ray Mears explores how 500,000 square miles of flat, treeless grassland was the setting for some of the Wild West's most dramatic stories of Plains Indians, wagon trains, homesteaders and cattle drives.
Ray joins the Blackfeet Indian Nation as they demonstrate bareback riding skills before a ritual buffalo hunt and sacrifice, and learns how their ancestors were dependent upon the buffalo for their survival. He follows in the wagon ruts of the early pioneers along the Oregon Trail and hitches a ride on a prairie schooner with wagon master Kim Merchant. He discovers the stories of the early homesteaders who lived in sod-houses and farmed the wild grassland around them.
At a cattle auction in Dodge City he explores the story of the railways, cow-towns and the buffalo massacre. His journey across the Great Plains ends at Moore Ranch where he joins a long-horn cattle drive and learns about the life and myth of one of the Wild West's most iconic figures, the cowboy.
THU 00:50 Handmade in Africa (m000m2dj)
Master kora-maker Seydou Kane crafts a new kora from scratch in his studio in downtown Dakar, Senegal. Dating back to the 13th century, the kora, also known as a west African lute or harp, has long been of sacred importance to the people of Senegal. Many believe it to be imbued with the essence of Allah, and that it has the power to ward off evil spirits.
The film follows Seydou as he gathers the natural materials he needs to make the kora: cow hide, a calabash gourd and rosewood. Seydou shows how making a kora involves several intricate processes and skills, from tightening the cowskin to carving wooden handles and tuning the strings. The instrument is the principal instrument of the griots, a caste of musicians, storytellers and oral historians who, a little like European minstrels, are cultural custodians of traditional myths and stories. They sing songs of royal legend and Islamic faith. With the kora complete, the film culminates in a performance of a traditional song by a local griot musician.
THU 01:20 Great British Railway Journeys (m000w1pd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
THU 01:50 Fred Dibnah's Magnificent Monuments (b0074mcj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
THU 02:20 My Family, the Holocaust and Me (m000pk2k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Wednesday
FRIDAY 21 JANUARY 2022
FRI 19:00 Sounds of the Seventies (b08r3xc9)
T. Rex, Mott the Hoople, Alvin Stardust and Suzi Quatro
Another mouth-watering madeleine of musical morsels bound to get the memories going. T. Rex perform Hot Love, Mott the Hoople perform Roll Away the Stone, Alvin Stardust has a Jealous Mind and Suzi Quatro comes alive at Devil Gate Drive.
FRI 19:10 The Shirley Bassey Show (m0013mbq)
Shirley Bassey stars in her musical show, with guests The Stan Getz Quartet, Morris Albert and The Shirley Bassey Dancers, choreographed by Nigel Lythgoe.
FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m0013mbs)
Tony Dortie and Mark Franklin present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 20 February 1992 and featuring The Brand New Heavies, The Temptations, Julia Fordham, Bryan Adams, Opus III, Simply Red, Shanice and Shakespears Sister.
FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m0013mbv)
Mark Franklin and Femi Oke present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 5 March 1992 and featuring The Charlatans, Mr. Big, Opus III, The KLF, Crowded House, Shanice and Shakespears Sister.
FRI 21:00 Radio 2 In Concert (b082byrv)
On the eve of the release of their 2016 album, Acoustic, Simple Minds took to the stage at the Hackney Empire to perform a stripped-down and reimagined set of their songs spanning their eclectic and illustrious career.
This Radio 2 In Concert hosted by Jo Whiley sees the Glaswegian rockers replace the synths with guitars to perform an acoustic set of songs without losing any of their essence.
FRI 22:30 Texas with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (b08vfk31)
Texas join forces with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in the iconic Barrowland in Glasgow for a special collaboration, originally broadcast for BBC Music Day in 2017. The set features unique versions of classic tracks like Summer Son, I Don't Want a Lover and Black Eyed Boy.
FRI 23:30 Primal Scream: The Lost Memphis Tapes (b0brzps8)
The programme shows Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie's fascination with music from an early age, listening to the sounds of Elvis and Aretha Franklin before graduating to punk. He talks about his passion for music and how to keep creativity on the right track. In the early 90s the UK music scene was changing - with Oasis and Blur emerging, this alternative rock band was recording in Memphis but suddenly sounded out of step with the music scene.
As the documentary reveals, nine songs were recorded for the band's 1994 album Give Out But Don't Give Up, including Jailbird, Rocks, and Cry Myself Blind, but the album that was released, after further mixes were made to make the new album more contemporary, was not the mix Primal Scream wanted. In the film Bobby Gillespie talks candidly about how this process led him to question his own judgement and that for many years the experience left him feeling that he had failed himself and his audience.
With exclusive, previously unreleased footage of behind-the-scenes studio sessions, this is the story of how the original mixtapes of the album were rediscovered in a basement by Andrew Innes, Primal Scream's rhythm guitarist. The sessions recorded by the band in Memphis with the legendary record producer Tom Dowd, along with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section musicians Roger Hawkins, drums, and David Hood, bass, did not make the light of day, because some of the mixes were not suitable in the musical climate at the time.
Bobby and Andrew go back to Memphis 25 years later to revisit Ardent Studios, where the band first recorded the original album, and meet some of the musicians and engineers involved in the process. It gives Bobby the chance to remaster the album he had originally envisaged all those years ago. The film has new interviews with Bobby, Andrew, David and Jeff Powell, the original engineer, giving their own, unique perspectives of the events of more than 20 years ago. Plus, there are archive interviews with the Memphis Horns, George Clinton and Roger Hawkins.
With the rediscovery of the original session tapes, the band is finally able to release the beautiful music they always wanted the public to hear.
FRI 00:30 Top of the Pops (m0013mbs)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
FRI 01:00 Top of the Pops (m0013mbv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today
FRI 01:30 The Shirley Bassey Show (m0013mbq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:10 today
FRI 02:20 Radio 2 In Concert (b082byrv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today