SAT 19:00 Simon King's Shetland Adventure (b00qykcf)
Episode 3

Simon King, wildlife cameraman and Springwatch presenter, is fulfilling a boyhood dream and experiencing the Shetland Islands with his family through the changing seasons.

Simon is enjoying the islands at their best, with 19 hours of glorious sunlight, the remarkable 'simmer dim' - the Shetland term for the midnight gloaming - and a plethora of wildlife.

His expensive high-speed camera breaks, but with a little help from the locals, he manages to get it repaired and uses it to capture some wonderful footage of powerful gannets diving for fish.

He also follows an otter family's poignant separation as the one-year-old cub is pushed away by his mother to lead an independent life.

Shetland has more than lived up to Simon's expectations for wilderness and given his family an experience they will never forget. The visit ends with a sighting of a pod of killer whales, just metres away from where he is standing. A suitable end to a great trip.

SAT 20:00 D-Day: The Last Heroes (p0198pxz)
Original Series

Episode 1

In the first of a two-part series, historian Dan Snow examines how two years of meticulous planning, espionage and the analysis of millions of three-dimensional aerial photographs helped the Allied forces gain a foothold in northern France.

SAT 21:00 Close (m001zqvz)
The intense friendship between two 13-year-old boys Leo and Remi suddenly gets disrupted. Struggling to understand what has happened, Leo approaches Sophie, Remi's mother. Close is a film about friendship and responsibility.

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Lukas Dhont's second film is an emotionally transformative and unforgettable portrait of the intersection of friendship and love, identity and independence, and heartbreak and healing.

SAT 22:40 Parkinson (m001vf93)
Kenneth Williams, Maggie Smith and John Betjeman

Michael Parkinson with guests Kenneth Williams, Maggie Smith and John Betjeman.

SAT 00:05 Monitor (b00drs8w)
Larkin and Betjeman: Down Cemetery Road

Philip Larkin talks to John Betjeman in 1964 about his life, his poetry and the city of Hull, where he lived and worked as university librarian.

SAT 00:25 Metroland (b00cyyqw)
An exploration of the English rural idyll with John Betjeman's 1973 meditation on the residential suburbs which grew up alongside the Metropolitan Line, the first steam underground in the world.

SAT 01:15 No Place Like Home (p0hl33l9)
Series 1

Episode 6

Now all the family have decided to leave again, Arthur and Beryl can enjoy a second honeymoon - but their return home is full of surprises.

SAT 01:45 Simon King's Shetland Adventure (b00qykcf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SAT 02:45 D-Day: The Last Heroes (p0198pxz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SUNDAY 26 MAY 2024

SUN 19:00 Let's Imagine (b03495yn)
A Branch Line Railway with John Betjeman

In this documentary first broadcast in 1963, John Betjeman looks at the Evercreech Junction to Burnham-on-Sea railway line in Somerset.

Betjeman provides a unique profile of a working steam branch line railway as he travels along the original part of the Somerset Central Railway. Examining towns and stations along the way, Betjeman laments the tragic decline of steam railways. The journey culminates with a stroll around Highbridge Wharf, sentimentally narrated with a poem that sums up Betjeman's despair: 'Highbridge Wharf, your hopes have died...'.

SUN 19:30 Inside Classical (m001zqv1)
Series 2

Music Night from Alexandra Palace

Nessun Dorma and the theme from The Magnificent Seven are just two of the classics performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra on a night of glorious music making.

Katie Derham and the orchestra are joined by tenor and MasterChef winner Wynne Evans and violinist Aleksey Semenenko to celebrate more than 70 years of BBC Radio's legendary concert series Friday Night Is Music Night.

Conducted by Anna-Maria Helsing, this special concert from London’s famous Alexandra Palace also features favourites by Tchaikovsky and Sibelius.

For the past seven decades, Friday Night Is Music Night has been a staple of BBC radio, and this concert marks an exciting new chapter in its history. Millions of listeners have enjoyed it on BBC Radio 2, and now in its new home on Radio 3, it continues to showcase the mix of music that listeners have always enjoyed.

SUN 21:00 Maya Angelou at the BBC (m001zqv3)
Ten years after her death, American writer, poet and activist Maya Angelou remains one of literature’s most significant and inspirational figures, with acclaimed works like I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings still considered amongst the most important works of the 20th century.

Here, longtime admirer and cultural critic Bonnie Greer looks back on Maya’s extraordinary life through an exploration of the BBC’s rich archives, demonstrating how, as well as being a great writer, Maya was a television natural thanks to her unique combination of storytelling skills and unstoppable charisma.

SUN 22:00 Angelou on Burns (m0013vcs)
African American writer and poet Maya Angelou goes on a pilgrimage to Burns Country in Scotland.

She is welcomed to Ayrshire by a group of Burnsians who hold a party in her honour to celebrate Rabbie Burns's genius. They sing his songs and read his poems, while Angelou, in return, performs one of her own works.

Originally broadcast to commemorate the bicentenary of Burns's death in 1996, it is an evening where a shared passion for the Scottish bard creates a unique atmosphere.

SUN 22:50 imagine... (b08h542v)
Winter 2017

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

Documentary portrait of the trailblazing activist, poet and writer Maya Angelou. Born in 1928, she enthused generations with her bold and inspirational championing of the African American experience that pushed boundaries and redefined the way people think about race and culture.

Maya Angelou was captured on film just before she died in 2014, and this documentary celebrates her life and work, weaving her words with rare and intimate archival photographs and videos. It reveals hidden episodes of her exuberant life during some of America's defining moments, from her upbringing in the Depression-era south to her work with Malcolm X in Ghana and her inaugural speech for President Bill Clinton, the film takes us on an incredible journey through the life of a true American icon.

Contributors include Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Hillary Clinton and Maya Angelou's son Guy Johnson.

SUN 00:25 The Secret History of Writing (m000n7fk)
Series 1

Changing the Script

The written word is so important in everyday life that there can be few more radical acts than forcing an entire nation to learn a new script. Yet that is what happened in Turkey in 1928 when the founder of the modern Turkish nation, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, decreed that the Arabic script, which had been used to write the Turkish language for more than six centuries, would be replaced by the letters of the Latin alphabet.

His motivation lay in events that happened in Europe in the 15th century, at the beginning of the modern age, when society was transformed by the invention of the printing press. Because the shape of the letters of the Latin alphabet made them easier to print than other scripts, printing took off in Europe in a way it did not elsewhere. The resulting explosion in information led to scientific and industrial revolutions that, by the early 20th century, had taken Europe to unprecedented levels of wealth and power, giving European nations the means to dominate the globe.

This link between the Latin alphabet and the rise of western industrial society resulted in leaders in other parts of the world seeing the western script as the key to modernity. Could adopting the Latin alphabet be a shortcut to mass literacy and a modern society? Certainly, by switching from Arabic to Latin letters, it was possible to write Turkish phonetically, making it easier to learn to read and write, and so tackle the disastrously low levels of literacy in the country.

But alongside the practical motivation for the change, Mustafa Kemal also had a political one. Arabic was the script of the Koran, and when he banned the use of the Arabic alphabet, it was an attempt to alter the trajectory of Turkish history away from its Islamic past towards the kind of secular, technological society that was being created in Europe.

Indeed, in the 1920s, the Latin alphabet, with its promise of modernity, was on the march into central Asia, where most of the Islamic states had been absorbed by the expanding Russian Empire. Under the tsars, the languages of the region continued, however, to be written in the Arabic script.

But in 1917, the Russian Empire collapsed, and power was seized by the Communist Party. Its leader, Lenin, was determined to modernise and secularise the new Soviet Union. So, in 1929, the Soviet Union decreed the change to Latin letters in central Asia. But Lenin’s successor, Joseph Stalin, was determined to strengthen Moscow’s control and he did so by means of another script reform. In 1940, he replaced the Latin alphabet with the Russian Cyrillic alphabet.

Cyrillic remained the script of central Asia for five decades. But in 1991, the Soviet Union fell apart and central Asian states like Uzbekistan became independent nations. Uzbeks now had a new political identity, and there was no stronger way to signal this change than to change the script yet again. Out went Cyrillic and back came the Latin alphabet.

No country has changed its script more often in such a relatively short period as Uzbekistan. But through all these dizzying changes there has been one constant: the pull of the Latin alphabet as a means of connecting with the wider world and as a symbol of a nation that embraces modernity.

In China too, the Communist Party under Chairman Mao made a determined effort to replace the ancient Chinese pictographic script with a phonetic system based on Latin letters. But, since so much of Chinese culture and history is embodied in the characters of the Chinese writing system, this attempt ultimately failed. However, today’s technology threatens to do what even Chairman Mao could not: persuade the Chinese people to embrace the use of Latin letters.

The native script of computers is a simple binary code of ones and zeros, but in order to facilitate human interaction with computers, American computer scientists developed Ascii, the American Standard Code for Information Interchange, which allows communication with computers using human language, written in Latin letters.

This universal standard meant, for many decades, that using a computer demanded that you use the Latin alphabet, and this is how most Chinese people interact with their computers and smart phones, using a Latin-based phonetic script called Pinyin. As a result, even highly educated Chinese are losing the ability to write using Chinese characters.

Could what is happening in China be the future of writing everywhere? With new ways of creating text becoming ever more popular, will there soon be any need to learn to write by hand at all? That said, there has always been more to script than language. For 5,000 years, scripts themselves have been repositories of cultural and religious identities that cannot easily be put into words. This is the hidden power, and value, of script. For, each time we pick up a pen, we express who we are in every letter we write.

SUN 01:25 Inside Classical (m001zqv1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

SUN 02:55 Maya Angelou at the BBC (m001zqv3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

MONDAY 27 MAY 2024

MON 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000wgs1)
Series 13

Hampstead to Islington

Michael’s Bradshaw’s-inspired rail tour of London continues in Hampstead, where shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, a groundbreaking Jewish doctor found refuge. Sigmund Freud fled the Austrian capital of Vienna by train to escape the Nazis, who branded his work degenerate. Michael hears how the father of psychoanalysis was warmly welcomed in London and sees the famous couch, upon which patients would lie to recount their dreams.

In St John’s Wood, Michael discovers how Britain went on record between the wars at the Abbey Road Studios. He is amazed by the cavernous space in which Sir Edward Elgar and the London Symphony Orchestra played at the grand opening ceremony in 1931, and he's awed by the list of famous names to follow their lead, topped by the Beatles, who immortalised Abbey Road on an album cover. A young violinist brings Studio 2 to life with a tribute to Elgar.

At the Boot pub in Bloomsbury, Michael hears that, during the late 1920s, the National Darts Association set up its headquarters here. The popularity of the game was soaring, and Michael is surprised to hear who delivered a royal boost.

And in Finsbury, Michael learns how a Russian emigre, Berthold Lubetkin, shaped the architecture of the area with bold ideas and socialist principles. Michael visits the extraordinary Finsbury Health Centre, built a decade before the NHS, and tours the innovative and sculptural housing development Bevin Court.

MON 19:30 War Walks (b0074m98)
Series 2


Professor Richard Holmes walks and rides over the Hastings battlefield that marks a turning point in British history, handling the weapons and equipment of the period and becoming a Norman knight to reveal just how close William the Conqueror came to defeat.

MON 20:00 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (b07xt8ww)
Series 1


Haddo House is one of Britain's most northerly stately homes. Tucked away in the wilds of Aberdeenshire, it has been home to prime ministers and earls - but is it also home to some of Scotland's greatest lost paintings?

Nearby, in the storerooms of the Montrose Museum lies a mystery painting with a giant hole in it. The portrait shows Richard Mead, the patron of one of Scotland's most celebrated painters, Allan Ramsay. According to the history books, the painting is a copy of a painting in the National Portrait Gallery in London. But has there been an unfortunate mix-up, and is the painting in London in fact the pretender?

MON 21:00 Cumbria's Red Squirrels (m001zqv6)
Cumbria is one of the last major strongholds for one of the British Isles’ iconic native mammals - red squirrels. An endangered species as well as a national favourite, affectionately known as 'red scamps', these beautiful creatures have lived here for thousands of years. Award-winning Cumbrian film-maker Terry Abraham reveals how Lakeland charities, volunteers, businesses and scientists are pulling together to protect these rare animals.

MON 22:00 Civilisation (b0074r6v)
The Fallacies of Hope

'Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive', wrote Wordsworth of the early days of the French Revolution, but the storming of the Bastille led not to freedom but to the Terror, the dictatorship of Napoleon and the dreary bureaucracies of the 19th century.

Kenneth Clark traces the progressive disillusionment of the artists of the Romantic movement through the music of Beethoven, the poetry of Byron and the sculpture of Rodin.

MON 22:50 Civilisation (b0074r72)
Heroic Materialism

To conclude this landmark series, Kenneth Clark considers the ways in which the heroic materialism of the past hundred years has been linked to an equally remarkable increase in humanitarianism. The achievement of engineers and scientists such as Brunel and Rutherford has been matched by the work of great reformers like Wilberforce and Shaftesbury. As Clark notes, the concept of kindness only became important in the last century.

MON 23:40 Inside the Mind of Robert Burns (m000dnsf)
Writer Alan Bissett explores the complex brain of Robert Burns in a quest to discover the real man behind the myths and reveal the conflicts in his life and work.

Burns was a poetic genius, but full of contradictions. He was a lover of women, and an exploiter of them; a Republican firebrand, and a social-climbing government excise man; an advocate of freedom who almost became a Caribbean slave master. Alan examines the groundbreaking research that suggests that the poet suffered from bi-polar disorder, a condition that led him to have severe mood swings.

One of Burns’ most famous poems, Tam O’Shanter, is now being interpreted as a journey through his abnormally high and low moods – literally facing his demons. And Cutty Sark was inspired by his sexual relationship with a Dumfries barmaid, not his long-suffering wife Jean Armour.

Alan’s expert contributors are Scotland’s current Makar (national poet) Jackie Kay, poet and Burns biographer Robert Crawford, literary scholars Gerard Carruthers, Moira Hansen and Pauline MacKay, social historian Katie Barclay and science historian Elaine Thomson. They tackle the
conundrums of Burns’ life and personality - his rocky relationships with women, his strange attitude to slavery and how he hid his radical leanings in dangerous times.

The documentary is interwoven with performances from The Burns Cabaret, in which Alan, singer Robyn Stapleton and actor Andrew Rothney highlight some of Burns’ most revealing work in front of a live audience. Classics such as Ae Fond Kiss and A Man’s A Man for A’ That share the stage with a less well-known version of Green Grow the Rashes and the political satire When Princes and Prelates - racy and obscene songs contained in The Merry Muses of Caledonia - Burns’s gift to a rakish gentlemen’s club.

MON 00:40 Angelou on Burns (m0013vcs)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday]

MON 01:30 Great British Railway Journeys (m000wgs1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MON 02:00 War Walks (b0074m98)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

MON 02:30 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (b07xt8ww)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000wgtb)
Series 13

Dagenham to Battersea

Armed with his 1930s Bradshaw’s guide, Michael is in London, where he tracks the River Thames from east to west. Michael is drawn to the industrial eastern suburb by the unexpected sound of pipes. He finds their origins in a Sunday school band for girls begun by a cleric in the 1930s. Still going strong, the Dagenham Girl Pipers explain their history and success, as well as treating Michael to a performance of Tipperary.

Aboard a Thames Rocket boat, Michael finds out how the river is both the lifeblood of and an existential threat to the capital. He hears how a great flood claimed 14 lives in 1928 and investigates how London is protected today on a visit to the Thames Barrier.

Michael finishes this leg of his tour at one of London’s most iconic buildings, Battersea Power Station, built during the 1930s by Giles Gilbert Scott. Michael hears how Battersea once produced a fifth of London’s electricity. He discovers its inner workings and decorative detail and hears what the future holds for the former Cathedral of Power, now undergoing a £9 billion redevelopment.

TUE 19:30 War Walks (b0074l5y)
Series 2


Professor Richard Holmes journeys to historic British sites. He visits a battlefield on which the course of British history was changed, as Henry Tudor's dynasty toppled that of King Richard III.

Holmes encounters members of the Wars of the Roses Federation, who gather to re-enact the battle, and meets present-day supporters of Richard, convinced that he was not the soulless villain portrayed by Shakespeare.

TUE 20:00 Hancock's Half Hour (p032khyk)
The Alpine Holiday

Hancock decides to take a holiday and after an eventful flight has to share his hotel room with a yodeller and Alpine Horn player.

TUE 20:30 The Perfect Morecambe and Wise (b04j5jk9)
Series 1

Episode 9

Eric and Ernie travel back to ancient Egypt as Glenda Jackson takes a starring role in Antony and Cleopatra. Hannah Gordon finds she has more than windmills on her mind, and the boys hit all the right notes as they perform Moonlight Bay with The Beatles in 1964.

TUE 21:00 My Hero (b01rlxcd)
Miranda Hart on Eric Morecambe

Miranda Hart explores the life of her comedy idol, Eric Morecambe. She visits the places he performed, meets the people who knew him and shares Morecambe and Wise performances that influenced her own work. Featuring rare footage and much-loved Morecambe and Wise gems, her journey takes her across Britain, from deepest Wales to meets comedy legend Eddie Braben; to the Essex studio of the artist who painted Eric at the height of his fame.

TUE 22:00 Storyville (m001zqty)
Dalton's Dream

In 2018, Jamaican national Dalton Harris won The X Factor and became the first non-British black singer to win the UK’s biggest TV singing competition, in its final series.

Shot over four years, this film charts a tumultuous period in the life of the young musician, who suffered a traumatic upbringing in rural Jamaica.

Dalton won a lucrative record deal that promised to transform his life, but the subsequent challenge of building on his success and embracing his identity in the face of prejudice - both in Jamaica and his adopted country - is documented in this intimate film about desire and ambition.

TUE 23:30 Coming Oot! A Fabulous History of Gay Scotland (b06qsv9r)
Celebrating the postwar history of Scotland's gay community which, over 70 years, has seen gay men and lesbians transform from Scotland's pariahs to Scotland's pride. Using a rich mix of eyewitness testimony, jaw-dropping archive and historical research, the documentary charts radically changing attitudes. Scotland was over a decade behind England and Wales in decriminalising homosexuality but now has the best gay rights in Europe: nothing short of a revolution.

TUE 00:30 Parkinson (m001vf93)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:40 on Saturday]

TUE 01:55 Great British Railway Journeys (m000wgtb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

TUE 02:25 imagine... (b08h542v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:50 on Sunday]


WED 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000wnmk)
Series 13

Park Royal to Westminster

Michael’s rail journey through the interwar capital follows Harry Beck’s radical map for the London Underground, embraced by Londoners since its launch in 1932. Michael finds out how persistence paid off for Beck after his design was initially rejected. At the Acton depot of the London Transport Museum, Michael traces the map’s origins among the 320,000 exhibits in the urban transport collection.

Heading into town, Michael swings by the Dorchester, newly listed in his 1936 guidebook after its recent opening. Piccadilly is his next stop, home to the Royal Academy of Arts and galleries galore. Michael discovers a shocking show which took place here in 1936 - London’s first exhibition of Surrealism. A contemporary critic paints a colourful picture of the surreal stunts of the day, including Spanish artist Salvador Dali dressed as a deep-sea diver holding two wolfhounds. Keen to explore how the surrealism of the 1930s influences artists today, Michael is persuaded by a young artist, who works with virtual reality, to try on a pair of VR goggles.

In Whitehall, Michael explores the subterranean headquarters of the war cabinet where Winston Churchill, leader of the wartime coalition government, and the chiefs of staff of the army, navy and air force discussed how the war would be conducted. Michael is fascinated by the fingernail marks on the armrests of Churchill’s chair.

WED 19:30 War Walks (b0074l6q)
Series 2

Battle of Naseby

In 1645, Charles I lost his struggle against parliament during the decisive clash of the English Civil War. Professor Richard Holmes follows the campaign that led to the Battle of Naseby, starting at the king's headquarters in Oxford. On the battlefield itself, he is able to touch the past, as metal detectors unearth musket balls buried for more than 350 years. Members of the Sealed Knot Civil War Reconstruction Society demonstrate the lethal power of the musket and the pike.

WED 20:00 Full Circle with Michael Palin (p00xb849)

Michael Palin undertakes a journey around the Pacific Rim through 18 countries. Arriving in Qingdao, Michael checks into his hotel - which is curiously like a Bavarian castle - and finds himself in a room that was once Chairman Mao's. Having climbed China's holiest mountain, he travels to Shanghai to see the new face of the nation, then takes a steamboat trip on the Yangtze River

WED 20:50 Michael Palin: The Art of Travel (m001kjgv)
Series 1


Michael Palin discovers that the Great Western Railway had the most sophisticated public relations machine of all the railway companies between the two world wars, producing high-quality publications and promotional gimmicks.

WED 21:00 Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies (b01ktflc)
The story of D-Day has been told from the point of view of the soldiers who fought in it, the tacticians who planned it and the generals who led it. But that epic event in world history has never been told before through the perspective of the strange handful of spies who made it possible. D-Day was a great victory of arms, a tactical coup, and a moral crusade. But it was also a triumph for espionage, deceit, and thinking of the most twisted sort.

Following on from his hugely successful BBC Two documentaries, Operation Mincemeat and Double Agent: The Eddie Chapman Story (Agent Zigzag), writer and presenter Ben Macintyre returns to the small screen to bring to life his third best-selling book - Double Cross The True Story of the D-Day Spies. Macintyre reveals the gripping true story of five of the double agents who helped to make D-day such a success.

WED 22:00 Bernard Hill Remembers... Boys from the Blackstuff (m00192zr)
Bernard Hill remembers Boys from the Blackstuff, Alan Bleasdale’s iconic drama, which was once described as ‘TV’s most complete dramatic response to the Thatcher era’. Hill’s performance as Yosser Hughes, with his ‘Gizza job’ catchphrase, captured the public’s imagination in a way that few roles have since. Here he looks back on how he got the part, why it struck such a chord, and what audiences should take from ‘Blackstuff’ today.

WED 22:10 Boys from the Blackstuff (b00v2xkq)
Series 1

Jobs for the Boys

Alan Bleasdale's acclaimed drama series - following on from his play The Black Stuff - is an astute social commentary about life in recession-hit Britain in the Thatcher era.

Chrissie, Dixie, Yosser, Loggo and George sign on at the benefit office before heading off for some short-term work for the builder Malloy. The conversion job turns out to be the future new offices of the DHSS. Unfortunately, DHSS officials Moss and Lawton suspect their scam and are determined to catch them in the act. Ineptitude on several sides, however, leads to tragedy.

WED 23:05 Boys from the Blackstuff (b00v3xln)
Series 1


Dixie Dean, working at night in the port as a security guard, is strongarmed into accepting bribes for allowing the removal of goods under his charge in a docked ship. Chrissie, Loggo and George, the other members of the original gang, meet up prior to Snowy Malone's funeral.

WED 00:05 Boys from the Blackstuff (b00v9glr)
Series 1

Shop Thy Neighbour

Alan Bleasdale's acclaimed drama series, an astute social commentary about life in recession-hit Britain in the Thatcher era. Chrissie and his wife Angie are driven to despair by money problems and hounding by the Department of Employment investigators.

WED 01:05 Boys from the Blackstuff (b00vff5g)
Series 1

Yosser's Story

After his wife leaves him, Yosser Hughes struggles to hold his family together. But with no work and the police and social services closing in, he is driven towards a final desperate act. Bernard Hill's moving portrayal of a man who has hit rock bottom earned him a BAFTA award for best actor.

WED 02:15 Boys from the Blackstuff (b00vjm2x)
Series 1

George's Last Ride

After his operation, George Malone walks out of hospital in his pyjamas. Chrissie, Loggo and George's sons return him, but he later leaves again. His wife knows that he wishes to die at home, so Chrissie takes George out in a wheelchair to the docks where he once worked.

WED 03:20 Great British Railway Journeys (m000wnmk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


THU 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002fg7)
Series 10

Warrington to Preston

Armed with his early 20th century Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo embarks on a new journey through Britain’s industrial heartland in the footsteps of King George V. Starting at what was then the gateway to Lancashire - Warrington - Michael discovers this was no ordinary royal tour. He learns how it began with huge excitement among townsfolk, whose mayor Dr George Joseph received the royal party in the parlour of Warrington’s magnificent town hall.

Following the royal route, Michael heads to Huyton to the seat of the Stanley family, Knowsley Hall, where he finds King George V and Queen Mary were accommodated and entertained in grand style by the 17th Earl of Derby. His great-grandson, the 19th earl, takes Michael behind the scenes.

Travelling on to Leyland, Michael visits the Hutton and Howick Women’s Institute, the first to be created in Lancashire, to learn about its suffragette origins and founder Edith Rigby. Michael helps to make some pink fabric flowers, then joins the chorus for women’s suffrage.
Michael arrives in Preston at one of his favourite railway stations and heads for Preston North End’s Deepdale football stadium, where he discovers the origins of one of Britain’s earliest and most successful women’s football teams, the Dick Kerr Ladies.

THU 19:30 War Walks (b0074l7h)
Series 2


Few battles resound down the centuries as loudly as the Boyne. The defeat of James II by William III in 1690 is commemorated every July, when the Protestant marching season begins in Northern Ireland.

Richard Holmes walks beside the beautiful river where the two kings clashed and shows how the battle was almost over before it was fought - if a Jacobite gunner had been a little luckier, William would have been killed while inspecting enemy positions along the banks.

THU 20:00 A House Through Time (m000zynb)
Series 4

Episode 3

By 1913, Number 5 is home to respectable couple Frederick and Louisa Pryce Lewis. From a clue in the family photo album, David follows the trail of their younger son Walter, tracking him from Australia to the battlefields of Gallipoli and finally back to Leeds, where David discovers that Walter has turned to a life of crime.

Successful textiles chemist Percival King and wife Rose are the next to move into the house, with their young daughter. But this apparently happy family is split apart when Percival suddenly resigns from his job, admits himself to a psychiatric institution then disappears without warning.

Our next residents, Laurence and May Bendit, are a married couple with a shared passion for the spiritual movement of theosophy who raise their young children at Number 5. But when Laurence develops an interest in the paranormal, an encounter with a mysterious clairvoyant puts his marriage under threat.

THU 21:00 Timewatch (b008p88c)

Bloody Omaha

History series. Researchers and historians are still arguing about why Omaha Beach was the hardest beach to capture in the D-Day landings. Presenter Richard Hammond analyses the latest theories with Dr Simon Trew of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.

THU 22:00 Blazing Saddles (m000x8pm)
When the citizens of Rock Ridge ask Governor Lepetomane to find a new sheriff to clean up their town, his nefarious assistant Hedley Lamarr picks Bart, a black convict, reasoning that the racist townsfolk will soon get rid of Bart and leave him free to get on with destroying Rock Ridge in secret. But Bart and his newfound friend, the Waco Kid, have other ideas and set about winning over the people of Rock Ridge and spoiling Lamarr's dastardly plans at every turn.

THU 23:30 imagine... (b09srjgv)
Winter 2017/18

Mel Brooks: Unwrapped

At the age of 91, Mel Brooks is unstoppable, with his musical Young Frankenstein opening to great critical acclaim in London in late 2017. Alan Yentob visits Mel at home in Hollywood, at work and at play.

With the aid of BBC archive stretching back decades, together they embark on an unpredictable, irresistible journey through the city of stars, meeting the legendary Carl Reiner along the way. The driver is Mel Brooks - you have been warned!

THU 00:40 Cumbria's Red Squirrels (m001zqv6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]

THU 01:40 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002fg7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

THU 02:10 War Walks (b0074l7h)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 02:40 A House Through Time (m000zynb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRIDAY 31 MAY 2024

FRI 19:00 Top of the Pops (m001zqts)
Nicky Campbell presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 29 February 1996 and featuring Terrorvision, Gusto, Celine Dion, Gabrielle, Sting, Tina Turner, Pet Shop Boys & David Bowie, Take That and Oasis.

FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (m001zqtv)
Louise Wener presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 7 March 1996 and featuring The Lightning Seeds, Sasha & Maria, Bon Jovi, Eternal, Gat Decor, Boyzone, Lush, Supergrass and Take That.

FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (b05yt1c2)
David 'Kid' Jensen presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 29 May 1980 and featuring Liquid Gold, Hot Chocolate, Elton John, Don McLean, Thin Lizzy, Roxy Music, OMD, Jermaine Jackson, Stiff Little Fingers, Mystic Merlin and Lena Zavaroni. Includes a dance sequence by Legs & Co.

FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (b011wh1d)
From the year that sculpted pop, Tony Blackburn introduces The Glitter Band, New Edition, JJ Barrie, Our Kid, Cliff Richard, Mud, Thin Lizzy, Dolly Parton and The Rolling Stones.

FRI 21:00 Top of the Pops (b08zn99n)
Peter Powell and Gary Davies present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 19 April 1984. Featuring The Special AKA, Thompson Twins, Blancmange, Queen, Nik Kershaw, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Lionel Richie and Kool and the Gang.

FRI 21:30 Top of the Pops (m001wybm)
Steve Wright and Peter Powell present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 13 December 1984 and featuring Black Lace, Wham!, Paul Young, Kool & the Gang, Madonna, Tears for Fears and Band Aid.

FRI 22:00 Cyndi Lauper at the BBC (m001vvg5)
A celebration of the songs of Cyndi Lauper, who took the charts by storm in 1984 with her debut international hit Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, released in the same week as Madonna’s first hit, Holiday. Cyndi surprised the critics of the day almost immediately and showed she deserved so much more than labels like ‘kooky’ and ‘quirky’, with sensitive songs like Time After Time and True Colors that still resonate as strongly today as they did back in the 1980s. This trip through the BBC’s archives follows Cyndi’s journey from the start, and captures why she became, and remains, one of the most positive female forces in modern pop music.

FRI 22:30 Madonna at the BBC (m0012x7c)
A look back at a selection of magical Madonna moments on various BBC shows, from her first Top of the Pops appearance with Holiday in 1984 right up to the present day. This collection covers Madonna's journey from Material Girl to Queen of Pop and captures how over the years her ability to combine charisma, controversy and classic pop tunes has made her the female icon of her times and a true global superstar.

FRI 23:30 Phil Collins at the BBC (m000x2qq)
The sound of Phil Collins is in the air tonight as we take a trip through the BBC’s archives with the man who, against all odds, went from being the drummer in Genesis to one of the biggest solo performers of the 1980s and 90s. This collection features Phil’s performances on a range of BBC shows, from Top of the Pops to Parkinson and The Two Ronnies, as well as the hits that saw him top the charts multiple times here and in the US, including You Can’t Hurry Love, A Groovy Kind of Love, One More Night, I Missed Again and Two Hearts.

FRI 00:30 Killing Me Softly: The Roberta Flack Story (b046psxl)
Roberta Flack's Grammy Award-winning song The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face was America's biggest selling single of 1972. The following year her gentle, pure voice charmed middle America once again when Killing Me Softly with His Song reached the top of the charts and ran off with another Grammy for single of the year. In the early 70s Roberta Flack was one of the most successful pop stars in the world.

But Flack was no overnight sensation. She didn't have a hit single till she was 35 years of age. Nor was her success a traditional African-American rags-to-riches story. She came from the black middle class that had been born out of the self-contained hub of segregated America. She studied classical music at Howard University, America's top black university, and probably would have pursued a classical career had that door been open to her in 50s America. Instead, she taught music in Washington's public school system for 10 years while she struggled for her break.

In those race-conscious times, she also had her detractors. While she was singing duets of black consciousness with soul singer Donnie Hathaway, she was married to her white bass player. Also, they said she sounded too white; the gospel-infused voices of Aretha Franklin and James Brown, which came out of the dominant Baptist church, were what real soul singers sounded like. What those critics didn't understand was that there are many musical traditions within black America and Roberta Flack came from the more restrained Methodist one where they sang hymns rather than gospel.

This is the story of the emergence of a different kind of soul singer, set against the turbulent backdrop of America's Civil Rights movement. Contributors include Roberta Flack, Dionne Warwick, Johnny Mathis, Cissy Houston, Imani Perry, professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, musician and critic Greg Tate, musicologist Fredera Hadley and film-maker and critic John Akomfrah.

FRI 01:30 Top of the Pops (m001zqts)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

FRI 02:00 Top of the Pops (m001zqtv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

FRI 02:30 Top of the Pops (b05yt1c2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRI 03:00 Top of the Pops (b011wh1d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]