SAT 19:00 Archaeology: A Secret History (p0109jny)
In the Beginning

Archaeologist Richard Miles presents a series charting the history of the breakthroughs and watersheds in our long quest to understand our ancient past. He begins by going back 2,000 years to explore how archaeology began by trying to prove a biblical truth - a quest that soon got archaeologists into dangerous water.

SAT 20:00 Sicily: The Wonder of the Mediterranean (b08cwrg9)
Series 1

Episode 1

Historian Michael Scott begins his journey through Sicily on the slopes of Mount Etna, Europe's largest active volcano. For the ancient Greeks, the island was a land of gods and monsters - a dangerous and unpredictable world. Michael discovers how 3,000 years ago, the Greeks began to settle on Sicily's east coast - planting their olives and vines and building great city-states that soon came to rival even Athens itself.

He learns how great battles were fought between the Greeks and the Carthaginians for control of the island. How the Romans made it their first foreign colony and stripped Sicily of its forests to plant vast fields of grain. When Rome fell, waves of Barbarian invasions followed, before Sicily was conquered by the Byzantines - the eastern Roman Empire. How have those early invaders helped to shape the character of the island we see today? And what lessons have Sicilians learnt from their turbulent past?

SAT 21:00 State of Happiness (p0bqhshv)
Series 2

High Production Tempo

The alarm goes off at the Bravo platform, and Rein finds himself at the centre of events. Anna is tired of getting rejection letters, and Toril launches an ungodly plan.

In Norwegian and English with English subtitles.

SAT 21:45 State of Happiness (p0bqhshq)
Series 2

Well Killers

It’s Studio 37’s opening night, but is anyone going to show up? The nation holds its breath as the work to prevent an oil catastrophe continues.

In Norwegian and English with English subtitles.

SAT 22:30 Art of Scandinavia (b073mp87)
Dark Night of the Soul

Scandinavia - a land of extremes, on the edge of Europe. Andrew Graham-Dixon explores the extraordinary art to come out of the dark Norwegian soul, most famous for producing The Scream by Edvard Munch.

SAT 23:30 The Silk Road (p03qb1gq)
Episode 1

In the first episode of his series tracing the story of the most famous trade route in history, Dr Sam Willis starts in Venice and explores how its Renaissance architecture and art has been shaped by the east and by thousands of exchanges along the Silk Road.

From Venice Sam travels to China's ancient capital, Xian. Here, Sam's story takes him back in time to reveal the tale of an emperor who was so desperate for horses to help protect his borders that he struck one of the most significant trade deals in human history - he wanted war horses, he gave the most precious material in the world, silk. From this single deal, a network of trading paths were carved out across thousands of miles by merchants, traders, envoys, pilgrims and travellers. It is known to us today as the Silk Road.

SAT 00:30 Ever Decreasing Circles (b036d6mf)
Series 2


Ann is tired of being a housewife and decides it's time for a change. But will Martin approve of her plans?

SAT 01:00 Keeping Up Appearances (b007cky1)
Series 5

Episode 3

Hyacinth is in a sunny disposition, which mystifies Richard. The real horror of his situation dawns on him when he realises that he has forgotten their anniversary and that Hyacinth is beaming in anticipation of a gift which he has not bought her.

SAT 01:30 The Culture Show (m0012jfq)
Spielberg at 60

A special edition of The Culture Show that looks at the life and career of Stephen Spielberg, one of the most famous and commercially successful film directors in the world. Marking the occasion of his sixtieth birthday, Spielberg discusses the full range of his work, from Oscar-winning hits to occasional flops, and reveals his own favourite from the films he's made.

With contributions from many who've worked with him, including George Lucas, Sean Connery and Harrison Ford.

SAT 02:30 Sicily: The Wonder of the Mediterranean (b08cwrg9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SUN 19:00 Perfect Pianists at the BBC (b0729r6r)
David Owen Norris takes us on a journey through 60 years of BBC archive to showcase some of the greatest names in the history of the piano. From the groundbreaking BBC studio recitals of Benno Moiseiwitsch, Solomon and Myra Hess in the 1950s, through the legendary concerts of Vladimir Horowitz and Arthur Rubinstein, to more recent performances, including Alfred Brendel, Mitsuko Uchida and Stephen Hough, David celebrates some of the greatest players in a pianistic tradition which goes back to Franz Liszt in the 19th century. Filmed at the Cobbe Collection, Hatchlands Park.

SUN 20:00 BBC Proms (m001bdvg)

Prokofiev and Dvorak with Marin Alsop

Legendary conductor Marin Alsop returns to the BBC Proms stage for the first time since 2018 to lead the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra in a programme of fiery repertoire that takes us on a journey around Europe and across three centuries.

Béla Bartók’s blood-curdling suite to The Miraculous Mandarin kicks off the concert, followed by Prokofiev’s electrifying and fiendish Third Piano Concerto, for which the orchestra is joined by superstar British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor.

After the interval, a brand new piece by Austrian composer Hannah Eisendle is followed by the main event: Dvorák's sumptuous Seventh Symphony.

Jess Gillam presents with special guests.

SUN 22:20 Dan Cruickshank and the Lost Treasure of Kabul (m001bflc)
In the face of war, Dan Cruickshank explores the wonders of a once-great civilisation, discovering monuments to rival the pyramids, treasure that outshines Tutankhamun's and even magical ancient sculptures of naked cavorting women, heroically hidden from the Taliban.

Afghanistan stands at the crossroads of western and eastern civilisation, but its brilliance has been clouded by centuries of conflict - from the conquering armies of Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan to occupation by the British and the Russians and finally the rise of the Taliban.

Travelling the most land-mined country in the world, dodging rival warlords and gangs of gunmen, Dan reveals for the first time the cultural tragedy of Afghanistan. But as he climbs the terribly scarred cliff face of the destroyed giant Buddhas of Bamiyan, he glimpses symbols of great hope for a lost civilisation.

SUN 23:20 Bauhaus Rules with Vic Reeves (m0007tqs)
Presented by Jim Moir, aka Vic Reeves, Bauhaus Rules brings the radical principles of the Bauhaus to a new generation, to discover if the school’s groundbreaking approach to training artists still holds its power 100 years on.

Over the course of a week, six Central St Martins graduates - across fine art, fashion, graphic design and architecture - are challenged each day to create a new work of art, design or performance, sticking strictly to rules inspired by the artists who taught at the Bauhaus.

SUN 00:20 We Want the Light: Jews and German Music (m00109wp)
What is the complex but fruitful relationship between Jewish people and German music? This award-winning film focuses on a pianist who played over 100 times in the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

SUN 01:50 Katherine Jenkins - Intimate Romantic (b00g8h7z)
Katherine Jenkins presents a collection of her favourite songs within the striking setting of Margam Park house and gardens. From her evergreen hit Time to Say Goodbye to Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You, this intimate concert is not to be missed. Her special guests are Classic Brit Award winners Blake.

SUN 02:50 The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand (m0001r5r)
Episode 3

In this final episode, Neil Brand asks how the movie musical survived in our modern age.

By the 1970s the whole landscape of cinema had shifted; the biggest movies were no longer feelgood romances but gritty dramas of urban life. And yet, right at this point, two directors famed for such films ventured into the world of musical film. Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York and Francis Ford Coppola’s One from The Heart were glossy, highly stylised homages to the golden age of the musical. And both failed to connect with a modern audience.

The musical would find its modern voice by adapting rather than trying to ape the classic formula of old; by being maverick and unconventional, as Neil Brand discovers when meeting Mel Brooks, creator of the unforgettable Springtime for Hitler. And he also meets Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, who argues that Ken Russell’s film of The Who’s rock opera Tommy is the best film ever made!

This recognition of the importance of pop culture, added to a 70s nostalgia for the seemingly more innocent days of the 50s, gave rise to another strain of successful movies: American Graffiti and, most memorably, Grease. It even hit the UK, as former teen star David Essex explains, with his starring role in 1974’s That’ll Be the Day.

The 1970s also saw the movie musical become much more reflective of an increasingly multicultural world, with the huge success of films such as Car Wash, with its soundtrack written by the great Motown composer Norman Whitfield. In Los Angeles, Neil meets up with the film’s director Michael Schultz to discuss how Hollywood took on soul and disco to reinvigorate the musical genre.

As we come to see where the movie musical now stands, we discover it has been as blockbusting as ever; firstly, in India, where the emergence of Bollywood has completely taken over Hindi cinema, with stars such as Shah Rukh Khan selling a film on sheer screen stardom alone - but also back in its base camp of Hollywood, where the success of both La La Land and The Greatest Showman have demonstrated that the movie musical is still a force to be reckoned with.


MON 19:00 Monty Don's Japanese Gardens (m0002k0x)
Series 1

Episode 1

Monty Don travels to Japan in spring. Amidst the cherry blossoms, he begins his journey through the iconic gardens of Japan. He visits one of 'the three great gardens of Japan' and the earliest surviving boating garden of the Heian period. He looks at the rolling green moss of a Buddhist garden and learns the secrets of creating a Zen landscape before visiting an unconventional garden created by a modern garden design legend.

Monty continues his travels to learn about the art of Japanese stonemasonry and the famous tea ceremonies and their accompanying gardens, before finally taking a lesson in the delicate art of traditional flower arranging - which turns out to be harder than it looks.

MON 20:00 Oceans Apart: Art and the Pacific with James Fox (b0bjj2r6)
Series 1


James Fox tells the story of Australia's indigenous culture, the oldest continuous culture anywhere in the world, and the disaster of its contact with the West.

He traces how Aboriginal peoples were almost destroyed by the impact of European colonization, but held on to their art to survive, to flourish and ultimately, to share their culture with the world.

James Fox begins by exploring the ancient rock art of Arnhem Land, Northern Australia, depicting fish and animals in an 'x-ray' style developed over 8000 years. The arrival of Captain Cook in Botany Bay, he argues, changed everything. Over the following centuries Aboriginal peoples were destroyed or marginalized as the new nation of Australia developed. Yet, in the 20th century, through works such as the watercolour landscapes of Albert Namatjira or the dot painting style of the Western desert, art has enabled Aboriginal people to re-imagine an Australia of their own.

Australia might long have been colonised but now, James Fox argues, Aboriginal people are recolonising it with their imaginations.

MON 21:00 The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story (m0003m05)
Series 1

Episode 1

Documentary series opening, in 1975, with the first three years of the investigation into finding the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe. The location of the first two murders in Chapeltown - then well known as Leeds’s main red light district - leads the police to decide that prostitution is the connection between the attacks, but also to them coming up with a neat theory about the killer’s motivation. After the second murder in January 1976, the police announce that they are hunting a ‘prostitute killer’, which had significant implications for how the investigation proceeded.

Speaking to the children of some of the very first murder victims and to police officers who worked on the investigation, as well as to journalists who covered the murders, Liza Williams explores the difference between the way the women were characterised by the investigation and how they are remembered by those who knew and loved them. Meeting a survivor of one of Sutcliffe’s earlier attacks, as well as the daughter of another, Liza finds out how their vital eyewitness evidence was ignored because neither were prostitutes and did not, as a result, fit the victim profile the police had decided upon.

While the police ploughed on with their theory of that the murderer was targeting prostitutes, the killer remained at large. Between February 1977 and May 1978 Peter Sutcliffe murdered seven more women.

MON 22:00 World War II: Behind Closed Doors (m000x8mb)
Episode 1

Documentary series revealing the 'behind-closed-doors' politics of World War II. This episode focuses on the secret history of the non-aggression pact between Hitler and Stalin.

MON 23:00 World War II: Behind Closed Doors (b00fpxmx)
Episode 2

Joseph Stalin was a tyrant responsible for the death of millions - yet he was also a vital ally of Britain and America during the Second World War.

How was it possible for Churchill and Roosevelt to deal with one tyrant, Joseph Stalin, in order to help beat another - Adolf Hitler? That's one of the key questions at the heart of this six-part landmark history series for BBC2.

The series uses dramatic reconstructions based on extensive fresh research in Russian and Western archives, and extraordinary testimony from witnesses of the time, including former Soviet secret policemen who have not spoken before on camera.

This second episode focuses on the secret history of Stalin's dealings with Churchill and the West in the wake of the German invasion of the Soviet Union.

MON 00:00 Lost Films of WWII (m0008c3m)
Series 1

Episode 2

The story of the last years of the Second World War, and its immediate aftermath, told through a series of films shot by both civilians and members of the armed forces. They include fascinating footage of Warship Week fundraising events at home, digging for victory, life in the Lincolnshire town of Louth and a first-hand account by an SIS covert operations agent on active duty in the field.

This second episode includes the British breakthrough at El Alamein, revealed by a sergeant who filmed the guns pounding the German positions, and the most complete film of a Bomber Command squadron in action, made by a serviceman stationed at a Lincolnshire base.

Footage shot secretly by islander Olive Thompson offers a unique insight into life under German occupation, while a guard with an interest in home movie-making captured the daily routine of German prisoners of war in POW Camp 633 (Boughton Camp, New Ollerton, Nottinghamshire).

These lost films are a striking reminder of Britain in a different era. With much of the footage in colour, the past leaps to life with immediacy and reveals how world events impacted on the individual at home as well as in action.

MON 01:00 Wonders of the Universe (b00zf9dh)

Having explored the wonders of the solar system, Professor Brian Cox steps boldly on to an even bigger stage - the universe.

Who are we? Where do we come from? For thousands of years humanity has turned to religion and myth for answers to these enduring questions. But in this series, Brian presents a different set of answers - answers provided by science.

In this episode, Brian seeks to understand the nature of time and its role in creating both the universe and ourselves. From an extraordinary calendar built into the landscape of Peru to the beaches of Costa Rica, Brian explores the cycles of time which define our experience of life on Earth. But even the most epic cycles of life can't begin to compare to the vast expanse of cosmic time.

For instance, just as the Earth orbits the Sun, the solar system orbits the entire Milky Way galaxy. This orbit takes a staggering 250 million years to complete.

Ultimately, Brian discovers that time is not characterised by repetition but by irreversible change. From the relentless march of a glacier, to the decay of an old mining town, the ravaging effects of time are all around us. The vast universe is subject to these same laws of change. As we look out to the cosmos, we can see the story of its evolution unfold, from the death of the first stars to the birth of the youngest. This journey from birth to death will ultimately lead to the destruction not just of our planet, but also the entire universe, and with it the end of time itself.

Yet without this inevitable destruction, the universe would be without what is perhaps the greatest wonder of all - the brief moment in time in which life can exist.

MON 02:00 Monty Don's Japanese Gardens (m0002k0x)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MON 03:00 The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story (m0003m05)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Monty Don's Japanese Gardens (m0002pcx)
Series 1

Episode 2

Monty Don returns to Japan during the fiery blaze of autumn. He begins as he did in spring, at one of 'the three great gardens of Japan' to learn how they protect the garden from the coming winter.

He follows the history of the Japanese garden through the military strongholds of leaders past to the many styles, new and old, of the iconic stroll garden, and discovers a slice of Victorian England in the heart of Tokyo. He learns how the Japanese are weaving nature into their concrete urban jungle.

Monty explores rooftop gardens and takes lessons in the intricate art of bonsai and moss balls, as well as visiting an astounding modern feat of architecture and garden design. He ends his journey by the Sea of Japan at a place that literally makes art out of its gardens.

TUE 20:00 Keeping Up Appearances (b007bsqf)
Series 5

Episode 4

While walking by an idyllic riverbank with Richard, Hyacinth conceives one of her most ambitious plans: to hold a riverside picnic as graceful as one of her candlelight suppers.

TUE 20:30 Ever Decreasing Circles (b036d6mk)
Series 2

The Psychiatrist

Martin and Ann both come to the conclusion that the other needs professional help when they meet a psychiatrist at one of Paul's parties.

TUE 21:00 Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made the Commonwealth (p01n4kb7)
Cutty Sark

David Hayman explores the stories of four ships, built on the river Clyde, that helped forge links with countries throughout the Commonwealth of Nations - from iconic ships such as Cutty Sark and HMS Hood to the lesser-known CS Mackay-Bennett, a ship that laid the foundations of a Victorian communications revolution and played a crucial role in the world's worst maritime disaster.

Also, David investigates the story of a paddle steamer called Robert E. Lee and the controversial role Glasgow shipbuilders and captains played in the American Civil War. Cutty Sark, built on a tributary of the River Clyde near Glasgow and launched in 1869, is one of the most famous ships in the world.

In this programme, David Hayman travels to Australia to uncover the links Cutty Sark forged with this Commonwealth country, and to reflect on her legacy. It's a story of adventure, money, mutiny and murder. Ravaged by fire in 2007, Cutty Sark has been restored and today stands as a testament to the craftsmanship and ingenuity of Scottish ship designers.

TUE 22:00 Great Poets in Their Own Words (b04dg1lz)
Making It New 1908-1955

The first episode explores the stylistic shifts in poetry as the 20th century dawned, when poets began to jettison tradition for modern forms of expression. They would reject the sentiment and moralising of Victorian poetry and call for a new directness and economy of language fitting for a postwar generation. Featuring the works of Ezra Pound, TS Eliot, Edith Sitwell, WH Auden, Stevie Smith, John Betjeman, RS Thomas and Dylan Thomas.

TUE 23:00 Great Poets in Their Own Words (b04dznbr)
Access All Areas 1955-1982

In the 1950s, English poetry becomes more democratic as poets like Philip Larkin turn away from the obscurity of modernism in favour of language and subject matter that reflect the feel of 50s Britain. American poets develop a raw confessional style, while in Britain poets reach out to new audiences - on television, in pubs, on the streets. Featuring the work of Philip Larkin, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, Roger McGough, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Seamus Heaney.

TUE 00:00 Stop All the Clocks: WH Auden in an Age of Anxiety (b097f2kd)
Why does the poet who began as the golden boy of the 1930s and ended up as the craggy-faced laureate-we-never-had have a greater hold on our imaginations than ever before?

Thirty-five years after his BBC film The Auden Landscape, director Adam Low returns to the poet and his work. Following Auden's surges of popularity from featuring in Four Weddings and a Funeral to being the poet New Yorkers turned to after 9/11, Low reveals how Auden's poetry helps us to have a better understanding of the 21st century and the tumultuous political climate in which we now live. Writers Alan Bennett, Polly Clark, Alexander McCall Smith and Richard Curtis, and poets James Fenton and Paul Muldoon share their passion for Auden and celebrate the potent impact of his work.

TUE 01:00 Wonders of the Universe (b00zm833)

In the second stop in his exploration of the wonders of the universe, Professor Brian Cox goes in search of humanity's very essence to answer the biggest questions of all: what are we? And where do we come from? This film is the story of matter - the stuff of which we are all made.

Brian reveals how our origins are entwined with the life cycle of the stars. But he begins his journey here on Earth. In Nepal, he observes a Hindu cremation. Hindu philosophy is based on an eternal cycle of creation and destruction, where the physical elements of the body are recycled on to the next stage. Brian draws a parallel with the life cycle of the stars that led to our own creation.

Next, he explains how the Earth's resources have been recycled through the ages. How every atom that makes up everything we see was at some time a part of something else. Our world is made up of just 92 elements, and these same 92 elements are found throughout the entire universe. We are part of the universe because we are made of the same stuff as the universe.

TUE 02:00 Monty Don's Japanese Gardens (m0002pcx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

TUE 03:00 Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made the Commonwealth (p01n4kb7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 Botany: A Blooming History (b011s3dg)
A Confusion of Names

What makes plants grow is a simple enough question. The answer turns out to be one of the most complicated and fascinating stories in science and took over 300 years to unravel.

Timothy Walker, director of Oxford University Botanic Garden, reveals how the breakthroughs of Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, Chelsea gardener Phillip Miller and English naturalist John Ray created the science of botany. Between them, these quirky, temperamental characters unlocked the mysteries of the plant kingdom, and they began to glimpse a world where bigger, better and stronger plants could be created. Nurseryman Thomas Fairchild created the world's first artificial hybrid flower - an entirely new plant that didn't exist in nature.

Today, botanists continue the search for new flowers, better crops and improved medicines to treat life-threatening diseases.

WED 20:00 South Pacific (b00ks63z)
Endless Blue

A large part of the remote, blue wilderness of the South Pacific is a marine desert. Many animals that live in the ocean - among them sharks, whales and turtles - must go to extraordinary lengths to survive. Tiger sharks travel hundreds of miles to feast on fledging albatross chicks and, every year, sperm whales journey from one side of the South Pacific to the other in their search for food and mates. Theirs is a journey that can end in tragedy.

But the South Pacific is not all desert. New Zealand's super-rich coast supports huge pods of acrobatic dolphins; its coral reefs are some of the most diverse on earth; and there are few places richer in wildlife than the quirky Galapagos Islands, home to tropical penguins and surfing sea lions.

Using the greatest shipwreck story of all time - an event that inspired Moby Dick - the huge challenges of survival in this seemingly endless blue ocean are revealed.

WED 21:00 The Culture Show (b03vl8yz)
Hanif Kureishi: Writers Are Trouble - A Culture Show Special

Whenever Hanif Kureishi writes a new film or book, something is broken - a taboo, a confidence or new ground. The Buddha of Suburbia and My Beautiful Laundrette author, who first caused a stink turning his experiences of racism, Thatcherism and sexual transgression into corrosive comedy, has amused, provoked, annoyed and betrayed for over four decades now. It is with some relish, it seems, that the barbed and ruthless writer picks up a pen, and waits as friends, lovers and family take cover, fearing what bitter human frailty might get caught in his satirical gaze.

In the year he turns 60, Kureishi is putting out a new book, publicising his latest film and committing his life's archive to the vaults of the British Library. Alan Yentob might have expected to find him in a reflective mood but Hanif Kureishi is not one for mellowing. He takes his duty as national literary nuisance very seriously indeed.

WED 22:00 The Buddha of Suburbia (m001bdwt)
Series 1

Episodes 3 and 4

Conclusion of Hanif Kureishi's drama about an Anglo-Indian teen's sexual and political awakening in the 1970s. Karim becomes a star actor and goes with Pyke’s play to New York.

WED 00:00 Timeshift (b0864zn9)
Series 16

Booze, Beans and Bhajis: The Story of the Corner Shop

What is it about the British and the corner shop? The corner shop has always been there for us, it's a British institution. It was on the front line of what was happening in society from the '40s to the noughties. It saved our bacon during World War II and it has become a rite of passage for new immigrants.

Journalist Babita Sharma, the daughter of shopkeepers, explores the growing and shifting fortunes of the corner shop to discover why this unsung hero has been at the centre of ordinary lives for more than 70 years. With contributions from comedian Sanjeev Singh Kholi and actor Nitin Ganatra, the film uses the shop as a way to explore the social fabric of Britain - from economic change to immigration.

The death of the corner shop has been predicted many times - but still it soldiers on. So just how has it managed to survive?

WED 01:00 Wonders of the Universe (b00zv39p)

In the third episode, Professor Brian Cox takes on the story of the force that sculpts the entire universe - gravity.

Gravity seems so familiar, and yet it is one of the strangest and most surprising forces in the universe. Starting with a zero-gravity flight, Brian experiences the feeling of total weightlessness, and considers how much of an effect gravity has had on the world around us.

But gravity also acts over much greater distances. It is the great orchestrator of the cosmos. It dictates our orbit around the sun, our relationship with the other planets in our solar system, and even the way in which our solar system orbits our galaxy.

Yet the paradox of gravity is that it is actually a relatively weak force. Brian takes a face distorting trip in a centrifuge to explain how it is that gravity achieves its great power, before looking at the role it plays in one of the most extraordinary phenomena in the universe - a neutron star. Although it is just a few kilometres across, it is so dense that its gravity is 100,000 million times as strong as on Earth.

Over the centuries our quest to understand gravity has allowed us to understand some of the true wonders of the universe, and Brian reveals that it is scientists' continuing search for answers that inspires his own sense of wonder.

WED 02:00 Botany: A Blooming History (b011s3dg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

WED 03:00 South Pacific (b00ks63z)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


THU 19:00 Botany: A Blooming History (b011wz4q)

The air we breathe, and all the food we eat, is created from water, sunlight, carbon dioxide and a few minerals. That's it, nothing else. It sounds simple, but this process is one of the most fascinating and complicated in all of science. Without it there could be no life on earth. It's that important.

For centuries people believed that plants grew by eating soil. In the 17th century, pioneer botanists began to make the connection between the growth of a plant and the energy from the sun. They discovered how plants use water, sunlight and carbon dioxide to produce sugars - how, in fact, a plant grows.

The process of photosynthesis is still at the heart of scientific research today. Universities across the world are working hard to replicate in the lab what plants do with ruthless efficiency. Their goal is to produce a clean, limitless fuel and if they get it right it will change all our lives.

THU 20:00 Witness for the Prosecution (m000z8b6)
Eminent barrister Sir Wilfrid Roberts returns to his chambers after illness, with strict instructions from his doctor not to take on any strenuous criminal cases. But he cannot resist the prospect of defending Leonard Vole, who has been accused of murdering a wealthy widow.

THU 21:50 The Apartment (m000cryv)
CC Baxter, an office clerk in New York City, lets company executives use his apartment for their extramarital affairs, in the hope of getting promoted.

He discovers that his heartless boss, Mr Sheldrake, is taking the woman that he secretly admires, Miss Kubelik, to his apartment and is torn between his career and the woman he loves.

Baxter then has to intervene to save her life when Mr Sheldrake callously dumps her at Christmas.

THU 23:55 Talking Pictures (b05qp1m2)
Hollywood's Great Directors

A retrospective look at the careers of some of the greatest and most successful directors in movie history, talking about their favourite films, the stars they worked with and their sometimes difficult relationships with Hollywood's studio bosses. Features rarely seen interviews with a line-up of directing legends, including John Ford, Frank Capra, Sidney Lumet, George Cukor, Billy Wilder and Cecil B DeMille.

THU 00:35 Wonders of the Universe (b0101h6w)

In the last episode of Professor Brian Cox's epic journey across the universe, he travels from the fossils of the Burgess Shale to the sands of the oldest desert in the world to show how light holds the key to our understanding of the whole universe, including our own deepest origins.

To understand how light holds the key to the story of the universe, you first have to understand its peculiar properties. Brian considers how the properties of light that lend colour to desert sands and the spectrum of a rainbow can lead to profound insights into the history and evolution of our universe.

Finally, with some of the world's most fascinating fossils in hand Brian considers how, but for an apparently obscure moment in the early evolutionary history of life, all the secrets of light may have remained hidden. Because although the universe is bathed in light that carries extraordinary amounts of information about where we come from, it would have remained invisible without a crucial evolutionary development that allowed us to see. Only because of that development can we now observe, capture and contemplate the incredible wonders of the universe that we inhabit.

THU 01:35 Botany: A Blooming History (b011wz4q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

THU 02:35 Art of Scandinavia (b073mp87)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 on Saturday]


FRI 19:00 Top of the Pops (m001bdx1)
Tony Dortie presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 3 June 1993 and featuring Jamiroquai, a-ha, Bryan Ferry, Haddaway, P.M. Dawn with Boy George, UB40, Tasmin Archer and Ace of Base.

FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (m001bdx3)
Mark Franklin presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 10 June 1993 and featuring Therapy?, Snap!, Pet Shop Boys, Chaka Demus & Pliers, Sade, Lisa Stansfield, Spin Doctors and UB40.

FRI 20:00 BBC Proms (m001bdx5)

Aretha Franklin: A Tribute to the Queen of Soul

In Aretha Franklin’s six-decade career, she won 18 Grammys and was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Celebrating what would have been the singer’s eightieth birthday, the BBC Proms pay tribute to a true icon.

Jules Buckley debuts his new ensemble and is joined by American singer and Quincy Jones protégée Sheléa to showcase the songs made famous by the Queen of Soul.

Aretha’s live performances were visceral rituals, in which she readily opened her heart to her audience. Her song Respect became an anthem of both the Civil Rights Movement and gender empowerment. In 2009, she performed at Barack Obama’s first inauguration. Her music was the soundtrack to African American history.

Clara Amfo presents this unforgettable event, with special guests.

FRI 22:00 Aretha Franklin: Duets (m00164b5)
A chance to hear admirers including Elton John, Gloria Estefan, Smokey Robinson, PM Dawn, Bonnie Raitt and Rod Stewart sharing a stage with the Queen of Soul herself.

The concert took place at New York City's Neederlander Theatre in 1993, as an Aids benefit. Elton, Smokey and Rod provide backing vocals on the first number Chain of Fools.

FRI 23:00 Amazing Grace (m000qzvh)
The never-before-seen movie featuring Aretha Franklin recording the most successful gospel album of all time, Amazing Grace. Crafted from footage originally captured in 1972.

FRI 00:25 Aretha Franklin: Respect (b0bht4g1)
This tribute pays respect to the voice and life of Aretha Franklin who died on Thursday at 76. The daughter of legendary preacher C.L. Franklin who hailed from the same Deep South as many of the blues legends, Aretha was raised in Detroit where her father preached at the New Bethel Baptist Church and where she grew up singing gospel. She had two children in her early teens, signed to Columbia in 1960 and her career ignited when she signed to Atlantic in 1967. Global hits such as I Say A Little Prayer and Respect then quickly established her as The Queen of Soul while her majestic delivery and regal presence made her an iconic figure in the emerging Civil Rights movement. Aretha enjoyed renewed success in the 1980s when collaborating with Luther Vandross, cameoing in The Blues Brothers and then duetting with the likes of Annie Lennox and George Michael. Franklin was the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and has sold over 75 million records. As recently as 2015 she stunned audiences at the with her extraordinary performance of (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman in front of President Barack Obama and its co-writer Carole King at the Kennedy Center.

Contributors include Sir Tom Jones, Beverly Knight, Clarke Peters and Trevor Nelson.

FRI 00:55 Classic Soul at the BBC (b0074pvv)
A collection of some of the greatest soul performances from the BBC's archive, featuring Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Dusty Springfield, Isaac Hayes, Solomon Burke and Percy Sledge.

FRI 01:55 Aretha Franklin: Duets (m00164b5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

FRI 02:55 Top of the Pops (m001bdx1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

FRI 03:25 Top of the Pops (m001bdx3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]