SATURDAY 13 JANUARY 2024
SAT 19:00 Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies (b01m81f5)
In the heady postwar years of the 1950s and 60s, British flying was at its zenith and its aircraft industry flourished in a dazzling display of ingenuity and design brilliance. Having invented the jet engine, Britain was now set to lead the world into the jet age with a new generation of fighters and bombers. The daring test pilots who flew them were as well known as the football stars of today, while their futuristic-looking aircraft, including the Meteor, Canberra, Valiant, Vulcan and the English Electric Lightning, were the military marvels of the age.
SAT 20:00 Arctic with Bruce Parry (b00xjyfx)
Bruce Parry journeys to the far north of Greenland, home to the last traditional Inuit hunters.
Bruce experiences the realities of life - and death - on a seal hunt, and learns how climate change is threatening their ancient way of life.
But while global warming is causing problems for the hunters, it is providing others with new opportunities. As the vast Greenland ice sheet melts, new mineral riches are being revealed. Bruce works with a mining team who are about to strike it big. Greenland is changing fast - but will there still be a place for hunters in the Arctic of the twenty-first century?
SAT 21:00 Decision to Leave (m001vf91)
Detective Hae-joon, the youngest officer to make inspector in Busan, is assigned the case of the discovery of a man's body at the base of a nearby mountain. His investigations lead him to the man's widow, a beautiful Chinese immigrant, who shows an apparent lack of concern at her husband's death.
In Korean and Mandarin with English subtitles
SAT 23:10 Parkinson (m001vf93)
Kenneth Williams, Maggie Smith and John Betjeman
Michael Parkinson with guests Kenneth Williams, Maggie Smith and John Betjeman.
SAT 00:40 To the Manor Born (b00785wp)
All New Together
Audrey moves out of Grantleigh Manor. Her hopes of seeing the estate run along old lines are dashed when she discovers the new owner's background.
SAT 01:10 Yes, Prime Minister (b03sblbn)
The Ministerial Broadcast
Hacker prepares to make his first broadcast as prime minister, announcing his grand new defence policy, but finds it is not so easy to speak on camera.
SAT 01:40 Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies (b01m81f5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
SAT 02:40 Arctic with Bruce Parry (b00xjyfx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
SUNDAY 14 JANUARY 2024
SUN 19:00 Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild (p00zsrqz)
Understanding the Natural World
David Attenborough reviews the most exciting scientific discoveries that have transformed our view of life on earth during his lifetime. How and where did life first begin? How do continents move? How do animals communicate? And why do they behave the way they do?
In a story of individual passions, dedication and ingenious insights he shares his memories of the scientists and the breakthroughs that helped shape his own career. He also recalls some of his more hair-raising attempts to bring new science to a television audience - by standing in the shadow of an erupting volcano as lumps of hot lava crashed around him, by being charged by a group of armed New Guinean tribesmen and the extraordinary sight of chimps hunting monkeys, captured on camera for the first time by Attenborough and his team.
SUN 20:00 New Forest: A Year in the Wild Wood (m0001y84)
Writer and environmentalist Peter Owen-Jones spends a year in the enchanting landscapes of the New Forest, exploring its wildlife, history and meeting the Commoners, the people whose ancient way of life has helped shaped the land since Neolithic times.
‘The New Forest is a timeless place - there are no fences and the animals roam free. I’ve always wondered how the forest and the commoning way of life have survived in the middle of southern England for so long. It’s been an incredible experience finding out.’ - Peter Owen-Jones.
Over the year, with its dramatic seasonal changes, Owen-Jones ventures out into the forest and immerses himself in the lives of the Commoners, a group of around 700 people who have retained grazing rights for their animals, which date back to medieval times. From the first foals born in spring to the release of the stallions and the annual herding of the ponies, he discovers a hardy people who, despite the urban development around them, and the pressures on the landscape of 13 million visitors a year, retain a deep love of the land and a determination to see their way of life survive.
The New Forest National Park covers an area of 566 square kilometres. It extends from the edge of Salisbury Plain through ancient forest, wild heathland and acid bog, down to the open sea. Here, Owen-Jones discovers hidden wildlife treasures. The rolling heathland is home to dazzling lizards, our largest dragonfly and carnivorous plants. And deep in the ancient woods, he finds goshawks that stalk their prey between the trees and an explosion of rare fungi. To his surprise, he discovers that many of the trees were planted by man to build battleships for the British Empire.
Owen-Jones delves into the history of the Commoners. He discovers how their pastoral way of life evolved from the practices of Neolithic herders and he reveals how the brutal Forest Laws imposed by William the Conqueror were used to crush them in order to preserve the forest as a royal hunting ground. Yet it was these same laws that inadvertently helped protect the New Forest that exists today. The Commoners now face perhaps their greatest threat. As the cost of property spirals and rents increase, their way of life, is under threat.
‘This has been an incredible year… I’ve met people who, against all odds, have retained this ancient way of life and a deep connection to and love of the land. It's what shapes and defines this extraordinary place.’ - Peter Owen-Jones
Peter Owen-Jones is a passionate author and environmentalist. He started life as a farm labourer, became an advertising executive, and then gave it all up to become an Anglican priest. Peter has presented a number of BBC programs, including Extreme Pilgrim and Around the World in 80 Faiths. South Downs: England’s Mountains Green’ was one of BBC4’s most watched films. Recent books include ‘Pathlands: 21 Tranquil Walks Among the Villages of Britain and Letters from an Extreme Pilgrim: Reflections on Life, Love and the Soul. Peter is deeply committed to and knowledgeable about the British countryside and its traditions.
The New Forest became a National Park in 2005. It is one of the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest in southern England.
SUN 21:00 Royal Ballet All-Star Gala (m000qpj1)
The stars of the Royal Ballet perform a very special selection of the best of ballet.
From the ultra-contemporary Untouchable by Hofesh Schechter to the Hollywood glitz of Carousel, there is something for everyone in this glorious gala. The stellar partnership of Marianela Nuñez and Vadim Muntagirov tackle one of the great classical pas de deux from Don Quixote, and the larger forces of the whole company are seen in Elite Syncopations. Natalia Osipova dances the famous Dying Swan, and choreographers including Wayne McGregor, Christopher Wheeldon and Cathy Marston rub shoulders with Frederick Ashton and Kenneth Macmillan.
The orchestra of the Royal Opera House is conducted by Jonathan Lo.
Presented by Anita Rani.
SUN 22:30 The Magic of Dance (p0gwdrjj)
The Romantic Ballet
Margot Fonteyn traces the story of the Romantic Ballet and its greatest exponents. In 1832, the most famous ballerina in the world was Marie Taglioni. One of the first ballerinas to dance on the tips of her toes, she epitomised the Romantic Age - ethereal and sylph-like. Her most famous role was La Sylphide. By mid-century, however, there were new styles, and it was left to the Russians to revive the romantic age in 1909, when they brought Les Sylphides to Paris.
SUN 23:30 The Magic of Dance (p0gwdt7w)
The Magnificent Beginning
The first real ballet school was founded by King Louis XIV of France in 1669. From Louis's great palace at Versailles, Margot Fonteyn tells the story of Louis's own love of dancing and how it led from the courtly dances of 17th-century France to the worldwide phenomenon of ballet that we know today. At Drottningholm in Sweden, she visits the Court Theatre and sees ballet performed in the original settings and under the original conditions.
SUN 00:30 Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild (p00zsrqz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
SUN 01:30 Royal Ballet All-Star Gala (m000qpj1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
SUN 03:00 New Forest: A Year in the Wild Wood (m0001y84)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
MONDAY 15 JANUARY 2024
MON 19:00 Seven Worlds, One Planet (m0009tt8)
Antarctica - a land of survivors enduring the most hostile conditions on earth. 98 per cent of the mainland is covered by ice on which virtually nothing can live. Even the sea freezes over, but the Weddell seal manages to survive here by keeping its breathing holes open by using its teeth to grind away the ice.
Below the sea ice, conditions have been stable for millennia. Life has flourished and diversified. Starfish, sea spiders and three million predatory worms carpet the ocean floor, and sea anemones feast on ocean giants. Islands on the fringes of the continent are free of sea ice, far more hospitable and crowded. Huge colonies of king penguins cover the land, and four-tonne elephant seals fight for territories on the beach.
The abundance of life found here is down to the incredibly rich ocean surrounding the continent. The strongest currents in the world whip up nutrients to the surface that feed Antarctic krill. Numbering an estimated 400 trillion, their combined weight is greater than any other species in the world. Humpback whales round them up using sophisticated feeding techniques, and gentoo penguins escape the jaws of leopard seals and orcas to reach the open ocean and feed on them. On rare occasions krill swarm in baitballs measuring kilometres across, where they are feasted on by thousands of penguins, seals, albatross and fin whales.
Antarctica was only discovered 200 years ago, but humans have had an enormous impact in that time. The whaling industry killed over 1.5 million whales here, taking many species to the brink of extinction. But since the ban on commercial hunting in 1986, whales are making a remarkable comeback. In addition, the Antarctic treaty is exemplary in demonstrating that countries from around the world can unite to protect wildlife. However, due to climate change, the Southern Ocean is warming and sea levels are rising. Perhaps more worrying is that a warming of the coldest region on earth will have profound effects on global weather patterns. Although Antarctica is far away, what happens here will affect all of us.
MON 20:00 Stolen: Catching the Art Thieves (m001cbqm)
This episode looks at the theft of a self-portrait of Rembrandt in a brutal robbery in Stockholm and hears from the investigators leading a complex hunt from Russian organised crime to America. The investigation takes a surprising twist involving charismatic FBI agents operating in Hollywood.
MON 21:00 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (m000s4q2)
Bendor Grosvenor and Emma Dabiri travel to the grand Georgian mansion of Tatton Park in Cheshire, where Bendor has spotted a mysterious portrait of a 16th-century physician in its collection. Initially he wonders if the work might be by mannerist painter Parmigianino, but once the restoration is underway, and after examining other works by the Renaissance master, he is forced to abandon this idea and start again.
Emma explores the story of the man who bought the portrait, Wilbraham, the first Earl Egerton of Tatton, whose social climbing saw him turn the mansion into a marvel of luxury and won him an aristocratic title. Meanwhile Bendor, who is still confused by who the artist might be, is inspired by a chance remark from restorer Simon Gillespie. This new lead prompts a trip to Rome and Florence, which finally confirms an attribution for the painting and ultimately reveals the subject to be a well-known Renaissance anatomist. This prompts Emma to investigate the symbiotic relationship between art and anatomy.
MON 22:00 India: Nature's Wonderland (b06b3klq)
The hidden wonders of India's spectacular natural world are revealed by wildlife expert Liz Bonnin, actress Freida Pinto and mountaineer Jon Gupta.
Experience a village of birds, masks that come alive, the world's greatest mountain range and baby turtles erupting out of the sand.
This is truly a land like no other.
MON 23:00 Treasures of the Indus (b06bblwb)
Of Gods and Men
In a journey across the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Sona Datta traces the development of the Hindu religion from its origins as an amalgamation of local faith traditions to its dominant position today. She uncovers this fascinating tale by looking at the buildings in which the faith evolved, moving from the caves and rock temples on the shores of the Bay of Bengal at Mahabalipurem, through the monolithic stone temple at Tanjavur to the vast complex of ornately carved towers, tanks and courtyards at Madurai, where every evening the god Shiva processes around the precincts to visit the bedchamber of his partner Parvati.
MON 00:00 Inside America's Treasure House: The Met (m000zwpm)
The Met's 150th anniversary year has been derailed by Covid-19. Then in May 2020, the murder of George Floyd, only the latest in a litany of killings of African Americans by white police officers, forces America to confront, once again, inequalities in social justice.
At the museum, the executive are examining their historical record on inclusion, exclusion and diversity, in art and staffing, and find it wanting. In an open letter, questions have been raised and accusations levelled about systemic racism at all New York arts institutions. CEO Dan Weiss has been wrong-footed by anger from within the museum about a postcolonial state of mind expressed in some of the Met's most treasured objects.
In the American Wing, Weiss ponders a 21st-century question: some of the art reflects 19th-century tastes and attitudes to other cultures, in particular the First Nations, who were moved off their homelands even as the museum was being built. It's not just indigenous peoples; most citizens of New York are not Caucasian - where are their stories? How do black and brown visitors feel about their representation in an art house that says it wants to be all things to all people?
The programme moves on with a chronicle of a visit to the Met by Connecticut resident and mum of two Tracy-Ann Samuel. The African American community worker grew up in the city. For her and husband Cleon the Met was more than a museum; it was a portal to other cultures, ideas and, of course, beauty. She wants her girls, Kristen, ten, and Kelsie, four, to see positive depictions of people who look like them, and to ask questions about art that makes statements and assumptions about gender, power and race.
The theme of art and politics as indivisible begins. The Samuel family analyses the messaging in one of the Met's keystone treasures, Emanuel Leutze's Washington Crossing the Delaware. It's a celebrated depiction of heroism, idealising a pivotal moment in the struggle to create the republic, which forms part of the national narrative displayed in the American Wing. Kristen Samuel is a dispassionate viewer, but finds little to interest her.
In contrast, Wooden Boat People, two works by Cree artist Kent Monkman, speak directly to the family. Provocatively positioned in the Great Hall, the paintings were commissioned by the Met, who invited Monkman to look for inspiration in the collections. Leutze's Washington portrait was his choice. The works feature Monkman's gender-fluid alter ego, Miss Chief Testickle.
We see the Canadian artist in his rural studio near Toronto to hear of his relationship with the Met, colonial attitudes and the activities of the slave-owning, native-baiting Washington.
At the museum, there's more political comment, long hidden but now revealed by x-ray analysis of Jacques-Louis David's portrait of scientists Mr and Mrs Lavoisier. Painted just before the French Revolution, it had depicted the bourgeois couple as clever but chic, but was hurriedly overpainted to save them from the guillotine.
But should stories of the old, white and dead take precedence in the museum? And should it concern itself with anything more than the beauty of the exhibits? These issues are discussed by Head of Modern and Contemporary Art Sheena Wagstaff, who proactively promotes the work of African American and other unrepresented artists. She's just added Rashid Johnson's Five Broken Men to the collection.
The issue, says Mary Rockefeller, whose family have long been Met donors, is respect. Her father Nelson was so obsessed with what was once called ‘Primitive Art’ that he gave the Met his personal collection and then built a vast wing to house it. Named for Mary's twin David, who disappeared in Papua New Guinea, the collection of arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas is the setting for the existential question facing all museums: shouldn't the exhibits be given back?
Puerto Rican artist Miguel Luciano has taken the discussion a step forward by 3D modelling a 1,000-year-old wooden devotional statue from the Rockefeller collection. He's not for taking it back, but for re-contextualising an object designed to be handled. We are with him as he unveils it to veteran social photographer Hiram Maristany. Luciano is working on a Met programme that aims to use artefacts to build links with communities who might feel that the museum, and its collections, have little to say to them.
At the end of their visit, the Samuel family find that the season's stand-out exhibition, The American Struggle, speaks volumes to them. Thirty panels by Jacob Lawrence, leading African American painter of the postwar period, celebrate the contribution of black citizens to the birth of the nation. Tracy-Ann sees the Met has a long way to go, but the journey to greater diversity, fairer representation and visibility has begun.
MON 01:00 Seven Worlds, One Planet (m0009tt8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
MON 02:00 India: Nature's Wonderland (b06b3klq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today
MON 03:00 Stolen: Catching the Art Thieves (m001cbqm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
TUESDAY 16 JANUARY 2024
TUE 19:00 Seven Worlds, One Planet (m000b1tw)
Asia is the largest and most extreme continent on our planet, stretching from the Arctic Circle in the north to the tropical forests on the equator. The animals here face the hottest deserts, tallest jungles and highest mountains found anywhere on Earth. But the continent has not always looked like this. These extreme worlds were created when India collided with the rest of Asia 30 million years ago, shaping the continent as we know it today. Animals here have adapted to the extreme environments in almost unbelievable ways.
In the frozen lands of the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia, bears seek out active volcanoes – despite the dangers. And on the Siberian coast, a remarkable spectacle appears for a few weeks during the summer – tens of thousands of walruses haul themselves on to a beach in one of the largest gatherings of mammals seen anywhere in the world. In China, mysterious blue-faced monkeys walk upright through some of the least-explored forests on Earth, whilst the baking deserts of Iran are home to what has to be the world's most bizarre snake. On the barren plateaus of India, garishly coloured lizards fight like miniature kung fu masters as they try to find a mate before they die.
The south of the continent couldn't be more different. When India collided with Asia, the Himalayas were formed. These mountains blocked clouds, helping to create the monsoon. Heavy rains fell and tropical forests, full of life, developed to the south. Here, baby orangutans learn to climb the tallest jungle trees on the planet and a female Sumatran rhino - one of the rainforest's rarest inhabitants – sings a mournful and haunting song. Will anyone return her call? These forests - home to thousands of incredible species - are in danger of being lost forever. Under threat from deforestation and human development, today the largest continent on Earth is running out of space for its wildlife. But there's hope in Asia's tropical waters, where endangered whale sharks gather to find food and get a helping hand from a surprising source.
TUE 20:00 To the Manor Born (b00785zt)
Going to Church
Class-based sitcom. Audrey takes DeVere to task for failing to turn up in church on Sunday, but then fails to practise what she preaches.
TUE 20:30 Yes, Prime Minister (b0074qvc)
The Smoke Screen
The health minister wants to abolish smoking using prohibitive taxation, losing the Treasury £4bn revenue. Jim sees how he can use this to stop Treasury opposition to his plans for tax cuts.
TUE 21:00 England's Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey (b09lv17g)
In this first episode, Helen Castor reveals an incendiary document, written in Edward's spidery handwriting on his deathbed, which cuts his sister Mary out of the line of succession and leaves the throne to his cousin Jane. It forms the basis of a constitutional crisis that dragged the country to the edge of civil war.
But was it Edward's idea? Or was the boy king manipulated by sinister forces behind the throne? Fearing a return to Catholicism, a cabal of rich and powerful men led by the Duke of Northumberland - the 'Wicked Duke' - covered up the king's death for several days and staged a coup, placing Lady Jane Grey on the throne without even telling her.
Within a day of Jane being told she is to be queen, she is entering the Tower of London, whilst Mary goes on the run to avoid capture and plan her revenge.
TUE 22:00 The Great American Buffalo (m001vfc4)
By the late 1880s, the buffalo have been reduced to fewer than 1,000, and teeter on the brink of extinction. But a diverse and unlikely collection of Americans have started a few private herds in different locations, and for different reasons. In the early 1900s, their efforts grow into a movement that rescues the national mammal from disappearing forever.
TUE 23:55 The US and the Holocaust (p0dm3fnf)
Yearning to Breathe Free (1938-1942)
After Kristallnacht, Germany’s Jews are desperate to escape Hitler’s tyranny. Americans are united in their disapproval of the Nazis’ brutality, but remain divided on whether and even how to act as World War II begins. Charles Lindbergh speaks for isolationists, while FDR tries to support Europe’s democracies. The Nazis invade the Soviet Union, and the Holocaust begins in secret.
TUE 02:05 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (m000s4q2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday
WEDNESDAY 17 JANUARY 2024
WED 19:00 Seven Worlds, One Planet (m000b9f8)
South America - the most species-rich continent on earth. From the bone-dry deserts of the Atacama, where penguins weave their way through a minefield of snapping sea lions, to the lush cloud forests of the Andes, where Andean bears scale 30-metre trees in search of elusive fruits, South America is full of the unusual and ingenious.
In the far south of the continent, predators prowl the jagged Patagonian landscape. Underneath vertical spires of rock, a mother puma must draw on all her experience and strength to bring down a formidable prey. Guanaco, a relative of the camel, are three times her weight and able to fling a puma in the air.
East of the Andes lies the world’s largest rainforest - the Amazon. To stand out from the crowd here, male blue manakins have developed elaborate and comical dance routines. Poison dart frogs have unique ways to protect their young. Fathers carry their tadpoles piggy-back style to individual pockets of water throughout the forest, but must remember where they hid each one. Precious clay-licks attract rainbow-coloured flocks of macaws and butterflies, all desperate to lap up the precious salts.
In southern Brazil, freshwater springs bubble up crystal clear. Piraputanga fish cruise through the turquoise waters following capuchin monkeys feeding overhead. Fruit dropped by the primates makes an easy meal for the fish until giant anacondas send the monkeys scrambling for safety. The hungry fish resort to leaping athletically from the water, snatching fruit directly from the branches.
The rainforests of South America are under threat. A few small patches of Colombian forest are the last remaining refuge of one of the world’s rarest monkeys. Cotton-top tamarins flit through the treetops hunting down insects, a wild shock of white hair on the top of their heads.
Great dusky swifts fly dangerously close to the spectacular Iguazu falls - then mysteriously disappear. They nest behind the mighty wall of water, safe from predators, but this leaves the chicks in a precarious position. To survive their maiden flight they must somehow punch through the world’s most powerful waterfalls.
WED 20:00 Sahara with Michael Palin (b0074p58)
Michael reaches Timbuktu along with a camel train carrying the giant salt blocks that made the city one of the greatest centres of Islamic learning up until the 16th century. He wanders through the rubble that is 21st-century Timbuktu to find the Imam, who shows him original astronomical textbooks that predate Galileo's discoveries by 200 years.
Leaving one of Timbuktu's most famous addresses, the house of Alexander Laing, the Scottish explorer who had his throat slit for not converting to Islam, Michael heads east to the land of the Wodaabe. These nomadic herders are some of the last true pastoralists of the African continent - famous as much for their male beauty pageant as their stylish cattle. Living in the bush with them, Michael watches the complex rituals surrounding this extraordinary annual pageant, the Gerewol, where the girls get to choose the prettiest boy.
It is the season after the rains, a time of relative plenty for the nomads, and Michael's Wodaabe family, led by the English-speaking Doulla, travel to Ingall for the Cure Salee - a gathering of clans that takes place every year. Amidst the chaos of camel races, shopping and general mayhem, Michael meets up with a group of Tuareg for the next leg of his journey, a camel train across the Tenere desert to Algeria.
Omar introduces him to the delights and vicissitudes of life on the move in the most desolate landscape on the planet. Walking 12 hours a day, eating the odd sheep and learning the rudiments of Tamashek, the language of the Tuareg, Michael finally gets to grips with the heart and soul of the desert. The going is tough, but the sense of comradeship with both the other cameleers and the camels, who are their lifeline, is palpable.
WED 21:00 Horizon (m000hjpw)
Hubble: The Wonders of Space Revealed
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of its launch, this film tells the remarkable story of how Hubble revealed the awe and wonder of our universe and how a team of daring astronauts risked their lives to keep it working.
WED 22:00 Screen Two (m001vfck)
Adaptation of Muriel Spark's witty and macabre novel set in 1950s London, featuring a distinguished cast that includes Maggie Smith and Michael Hordern.
'Remember you must die,' says the anonymous voice on the telephone. Is it a practical joke or is there a more sinister purpose threatening the lives of the recipients, all part of an ageing coterie of friends who share guilty secrets from the past?
WED 23:40 The Many Primes of Muriel Spark (b09qlx14)
Kirsty Wark celebrates the life and work of Dame Muriel Spark, author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and one of the 20th century's most enigmatic cultural figures, on the one-hundredth anniversary of her birth.
Born in Edinburgh, Muriel's extraordinary life took her to colonial Africa, wartime London, literary New York and vibrant 1960s Rome. Her most famous novel - The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - immortalised the city of her childhood but with an added darkness and acerbic wit that became her trademark style.
Kirsty retraces Muriel's footsteps from the cobbled streets of Edinburgh to the sublime beauty of Victoria Falls. Contributions from writers AL Kennedy, Janice Galloway, Ali Smith, William Boyd and Val McDermid tell of Muriel Spark's unique literary style and a life full of reinvention.
Kirsty meets with the journalist Alan Taylor, who has recently published his memoir of Muriel, and she travels to Italy for the first television interview with Penelope Jardine, Muriel's close friend of 40 years.
WED 00:40 Parkinson (m001vf93)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:10 on Saturday
WED 02:10 Sahara with Michael Palin (b0074p58)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
THURSDAY 18 JANUARY 2024
THU 19:00 Seven Worlds, One Planet (m000bj0s)
Australia, a land cast adrift at the time of the dinosaurs. Isolated for millions of years, the weird and wonderful animals marooned here are like nowhere else on Earth. In the north of this island continent is the Daintree, one of the world’s oldest tropical forests. It’s home to the most dangerous bird on earth - the cassowary. A dinosaur-like bird standing 6 feet tall, they are formidable but their success is down to how well a father cassowary can carefully protect his tiny stripy chicks. Inland the continent is full of more surprises. The wombat, a tough short-legged marsupial, roams Australia’s mountain ranges surviving freezing snowstorms. In the hot gum tree forests is a newly discovered predator with a bizarre courtship ritual. And on the wide, open grasslands the dingo, Australia’s elusive and much persecuted wild dog, hunts kangaroos to provide food for its pups. Chases can cover many miles and are often unsuccessful. Life in Australia is tough and it’s getting tougher. Since its isolation the continent has been rapidly drifting north, getting hotter and drier – turning the forests and grasslands to dust. Over 70% of Australia is now arid land. In the sun scorched red centre, reptiles rule the desert. Giant perentie lizards patrol the dusty land in search of smaller lizards to eat and weird thorny devils drink using only their skin. At watering holes, huge flocks of wild budgerigars bring a splash of bright colour. This Island continent now lies so far north it is surrounded by warm, clear tropical waters - and here coral reefs thrive. They are home to a kaleidoscope of tiny colourful fish and the largest number of shark species in the world. Once every 10 years or more, thousands of sharks gather creating an amazing spectacle. But Australia’s animals face a challenge as a result of humans. More species of mammals have been lost here than anywhere else on the planet. An extensive site containing thousands of extraordinary ancient carvings is all that remains of some.
But on a secret offshore island, the enigmatic and rare Tasmaian devil, a pugnacious marsupial predator, has one of its last strongholds.
THU 20:00 Citizen Kane (b0074n82)
Frequently voted one of the best films ever made, Orson Welles's masterpiece tells the story of newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane in a series of flashbacks. A reporter is intrigued by the dying Kane's last word - rosebud - and sets out to find a new angle on the life of one of the most powerful men in America. Nine Oscar nominations resulted in only one award for the outspoken Welles - Best Screenplay.
THU 22:00 Alan Yentob Remembers... Orson Welles (m001vfds)
Orson Welles was the genius who changed the face of cinema with his 1941 directorial debut, Citizen Kane, and who became one of the key artistic figures of the 20th century – a great raconteur as well as a great artist, and larger than life in every sense.
In 1982, Welles was the focus of a two-part BBC documentary that told the story of his life, The Orson Welles Story, and here, its producer, Alan Yentob, looks back on his encounters with this giant of a man, telling the tale of their behind-the-scenes dealings and explaining why he believes Welles’s legacy is still significant today and why he will always deserve his reputation as a genius of cinema.
THU 22:15 Arena (b00plc51)
The Orson Welles Story
First of a two-part film profile of Orson Welles, looking at his life and career in theatre, radio and particularly film. With Jeanne Moreau, John Huston, Peter Bogdanovitch, Robert Wise, Charlton Heston, and a detailed interview with Welles himself. This part deals with his work up to Touch of Evil.
THU 00:05 The Long Hot Summer (m001nby9)
When Ben Quick, a reputed barn-burner and ruthless opportunist, arrives in the small Southern town of Frenchman's Bend, it doesn't take him long to impress the town's 'owner', Will Varner. But this handsome stranger's heartless charm is not as appealing to Varner's daughter Clara.
THU 02:00 Seven Worlds, One Planet (m000bj0s)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
THU 03:00 England's Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey (b09lv17g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday
FRIDAY 19 JANUARY 2024
FRI 19:00 Top of the Pops (b08skpzg)
1984 - Big Hits
Celebrating the big hits from a big year in British pop. The big hitters in this compilation are performed by the likes of The Smiths, Duran Duran, Sade, The Weather Girls, Wham! and Bronski Beat, to name a few.
Further stellar appearances come from the TOTP debuts of iconic Americans Madonna, Miami Sound Machine and Cyndi Lauper, who runs riot in the studio.
Frankie Goes to Hollywood celebrate their 1984 chart dominance with one of their celebrated renditions of Two Tribes, while we couldn't let you forget a little ditty from Black Lace - you'll be singing this for days... you have been warned!
FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (b09kt44m)
1985 - Big Hits
Celebrating the big hits of 1985 with a selection of iconic Top of the Pops performances spanning the genres, from pure pop to power ballads, from Hi-NRG to hip-hop, to R&B and indie classics. Featuring Wham!, The Smiths, Kate Bush, a-ha, Eurythmics, The Cure, Dead or Alive, Bonnie Tyler, Tears for Fears, Sister Sledge, Jennifer Rush, Doug E Fresh and many more.
FRI 21:00 Top of the Pops (b0b8rmnv)
1986 - Biggest Hits
Top of the Pops Big Hits is back with a bang for the year of 1986. Pop, new wave, rock, funk and R&B are all celebrated within this 60-minute special.
The treasure troves of the BBC archives are open, so expect smoke machines, shoulder pads and perms along with studio performances from Bon Jovi, Cyndi Lauper, Cameo, The Pretenders, The Real Thing, Billy Ocean and The Communards. Other highlights include The Housemartins, Kim Wilde and The Human League plus The Cure and many more.
FRI 22:00 Top of the Pops (m0001wdv)
1987 - Big Hits
As BBC Four's weekly repeats of Top of the Pops reach 1987, we celebrate this high watermark of hits with some classic TOTP performances from this spectacular year. The programme includes studio appearances from Rick Astley with Never Gonna Give You Up to the godfather of punk, Iggy Pop, whose unforgettable appearance on the show is one not to be missed!
The programme also honours Manchester’s finest, New Order, and Scottish soft rockers Wet Wet Wet, along with pop royalty Whitney Houston, Curiosity Killed the Cat, Boy George, The Bee Gees, The Pogues and a rare TOTP sighting of Eric B & Rakim. Pepsi and Shirlie, and many more are also poured into the mix, providing that perfect measure of definitive 80s pop.
FRI 23:00 Top of the Pops (m0005prw)
1988 - Big Hits
As the 1980s draw to a close, Top of the Pops remains a broad church. We celebrate 1988 by cherry-picking the cream of the crop.
The programme includes stand-out hits from Yazz, S’Express and Bomb the Bass, representing the growing popularity of house music, new Australian pop royalty Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, who ruled the charts along with teen stars Bros and Tiffany, soul legends Womack and Womack, the Irish mist of Enya, British reggae from Maxi Priest and the balladry of Everything But The Girl.
Other big hitters representing a year in the TOTP studio include Celtic duo The Proclaimers, Buffalo Girl Neneh Cherry, student queen Tanita Tikaram, Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart live in the studio as Eurythmics, Israeli queen Ofra Haza and the chart-topping new authentics Fairground Attraction with Perfect.
FRI 00:00 Top of the Pops (b08skpz5)
The Story of 1984
1984 sees Top of the Pops at the height of its 80s pomp - the year of big hair and big tunes. A BBC ban on Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Relax in January leads to an embarrassing Frankie-shaped hole on the show when it reaches No 1. One of the sounds of 1984 is Hi-NRG, that goes overground from the gay club scene into the mainstream charts. And 1984 is perhaps the gayest year in pop, with a trail blazed by Bronski Beat, who are out and proud and on Top of the Pops.
1984 sees the rise of the one-man acts such as Nik Kershaw and Howard Jones. And jazz pop's soaraway star is Sade, who brings a stripped-back soulful vibe to Top of the Pops. Yet 1984 isn't all about smooth sounds. German singer Nena hits the top spot with 99 Red Balloons - shocking Brits with her hairy armpits. And The Special AKA's Free Nelson Mandela combines a political message with an irresistible tune.
And the year ends on a landmark moment when many of the stars of the chart-topping Band Aid single appear in the studio as the climax to the Christmas show. It's a moment that reaffirms Top of the Pops's place at the heart of British pop culture.
Featuring original interviews with Trevor Horn, members of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Hazell Dean, Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw, Paul Young, Nigel Planer, Nena, Jerry Dammers and Midge Ure.
FRI 01:00 Top of the Pops (b09kt44m)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
FRI 02:00 Top of the Pops (b0b8rmnv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
FRI 03:00 Top of the Pops (m0001wdv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today