Barra Best sets out to uncover and explore some of Northern Ireland's lost railways. In this episode, he hears how the Fermanagh railways were used in a game of wartime espionage, takes a trip to the barbers, and uncovers the surprising story of Belleek's gallant lady admiral.
Find the glistening sun peeking through the trees in a wintry scene. American painter Bob Ross creates a cold day warmed by daylight's radiance.
The final episode of a three-part drama-documentary series telling the story of how England came within a whisker of disaster in summer 1588.
Newly discovered documents reveal a remarkable web of misunderstandings that stopped the Spanish from invading, and show how the English victory forged the reputation of Elizabeth.
Classic historical drama series. With the threat of war against Spain suddenly imminent, Elizabeth must place her faith in the strength of the navy, led by Sir Francis Drake.
Robert Cecil is the son of Elizabeth I's original spymaster. He has been groomed since birth to inherit his father's network but when he finally steps into his father's shoes, the queen's enemies are stronger than ever and Cecil must also watch his back. The Earl of Essex has established a rival network and is trying to oust Cecil as Elizabeth's spymaster.
Essex is everything Cecil is not. Cecil is bent-backed and under five foot tall. Essex is an athlete and a war hero who flirts with the queen. But the two men have known each other since childhood. And now they are locked in a battle that is part court theatrical, but which is also a lethal spy war in which people die horrifically violent deaths. The stakes are huge. For the winner, untold power. For the loser a one-way trip to the scaffold.
Cecil is also aware that the sun is setting on the reign of Elizabeth, who is in her sixties. He and Essex are not just battling for control of the queen, but for control over who will be her successor. For the power to select the next king of England. Essex begins a spy war within the spy war by secretly approaching James VI of Scotland and striking a deal to put him on Elizabeth's throne when she has passed away. So Cecil must somehow oust Essex from Elizabeth's court without making an enemy of James, who Cecil also wants to inherit the throne.
This is a secret conflict, involving double agents, coded letters, treachery and treason. It is a world that Cecil proves to be an absolute master of. Cecil ruthlessly manoeuvres Essex to the execution block and becomes the man who puts James on the English throne.
It's not just Irish eyes that are smiling when some of the Emerald Isle's finest exports tell their favourite jokes. Forget about the gift of the gab, this lot have got the gift of the gag.
Steve Wright introduces music from The Boomtown Rats, The Corrs, Enya, Shane McGowan and Johnny Depp, Stiff Little Fingers, Thin Lizzy, Sinead O'Connor and U2.
Some of the finest Irish singers and musicians, recorded in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall at Celtic Connections 2012. Eleanor McEvoy, Finbar Furey, Cara Dillon, Luka Bloom, Brian Kennedy and many others sing the songs that Ireland is famous for. Love songs, songs of emigration, songs of loss, contemporary and traditional are all beautifully accompanied by the house band, top Irish American group Solas.
THURSDAY 18 MARCH 2021
THU 19:00 Coast (b00tfv4z)
Series 5 Reversions
Coast ventures to the storm-battered Atlantic shore of Ireland's north west coast. In Dunkineeley, Dick Strawbridge discovers the secret role that neutral Ireland played assisting the Allies in World War II. Neil Oliver joins the Irish RNLI and finds himself being rescued from the choppy waters off Arranmore Island.
THU 19:10 Yorkshire Wolds Way (b088nwg0)
Adventurer Paul Rose explores the 79 miles of the Yorkshire Wolds Way, arguably Britain's least well-known national walking trail. The trail starts at the Humber Estuary and ends at the Yorkshire seaside resort of Filey. On the way, Paul takes in the views of the Yorkshire Wolds from the top of the Humber Bridge, learns to ride a penny farthing and searches out the spots made internationally famous by the artist David Hockney.
THU 19:40 The Joy of Painting (m000l41l)
As night settles over a rocky coast, Bob Ross produces a warm glow in the sky in a painting on black canvas.
THU 20:10 All Creatures Great and Small (p031d2p0)
Golden Lads and Girls
James's luck changes for the better in his romance with Helen, but for the Dalby family there seems to be no turning of the tide.
THU 21:00 My Feral Heart (m000t86w)
Luke, a young man with Down’s syndrome who prizes his independence, is forced into a care home after the death of his mother. There he rails against the restrictions imposed on him, but his frustrations are allayed by his budding friendships with his care worker Eve and a mysterious feral girl.
THU 22:15 Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema (b0bd7qlk)
Coming of Age
Mark Kermode continues his fresh and very personal look at the art of cinema by examining the techniques and conventions behind classic film genres, uncovering the ingredients that keep audiences coming back for more.
In this episode, Mark explores the genre that captures the joy and pain of growing up – the coming of age movie. It’s the most universal of all genres, the one we can all relate to from our own experience, yet it can also be the most autobiographical and personal. Film-makers across the world repeatedly return to core themes such as first love, breaking away from small town life and grown-ups who don’t understand. And wherever and whenever they’re set, these stories are vividly brought to life using techniques such as casting non-professional actors, camerawork that captures a child’s-eye view, and nostalgic pop soundtracks.
From Rebel without a Cause to Lady Bird by way of Kes, Boyz n the Hood and This Is England, Mark shows how recurring sequences like the makeover and the group singalong, and characters like the gang and mentor figure have helped create some of the most moving and resonant films in cinema.
THU 23:15 The Story of Welsh Art (p097c3k8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday
THU 00:15 Around the World in 80 Treasures (b0078vzw)
Uzbekistan to Syria
Documentary series in which Dan Cruickshank travels the world in search of man's greatest creations.
Dan hits some of the most mysterious and secret countries in the world, where the weary western traveller cannot be sure of a warm welcome. But he's in for a surprise as he is accosted by young girls in Bukhara and Persian carpet sellers in Iran. He couldn't be more welcome if he tried.
Tile making in Samarkand, the extraordinary Trading Domes of Bukhara in Uzbekistan and the Fire Temple of Baku in Azerbaijan take Dan to some of the most incredible but least-visited places in the world. There is also a real mystery to solve as he gingerly edges himself up a cliff face towards the biggest archaeological puzzle of the 19th century - the Behistun carvings.
After the pleasures of Iran, Dan heads for one of the glories of the ancient world - the great city of Persepolis, vanquished by Alexander the Great in 330BC. In its day, it was the most beautiful city in the world and there's more than enough left to savour the brilliance - like the Palace of One Hundred Columns and the Gate of All Nations.
Lastly, Dan visits Damascus in Syria and one of the most exotic souks in the world. Worn to a frazzle, he heads for the local hammam - the town steam bath - for pampering and a hubble-bubble pipe.
THU 01:15 The Joy of Painting (m000l41l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:40 today
THU 01:45 Yorkshire Wolds Way (b088nwg0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:10 today
THU 02:15 Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema (b0bd7qlk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:15 today
FRIDAY 19 MARCH 2021
FRI 19:00 Folk Hibernia at the BBC (b0074tkd)
LIST OF THIS WEEK'S PROGRAMMES
Celebrating the finest in Irish folk music with a compilation of performances taken from the BBC archives. Highlights include songs from The Clancy Brothers, The Chieftains, Christy Moore, The Pogues and Sharon Shannon.
FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m000t884)
Mark Goodier presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 18 October 1990 and featuring a-ha, Happy Mondays and Innocence.
FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m000t888)
Jakki Brambles presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 25 October 1990 and featuring Belinda Carlisle, Jason Donovan and The Beautiful South.
FRI 21:00 St Patrick's Day at the BBC (m000t88d)
A collection of classic performances from the BBC archives to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, featuring some of the Emerald Isle’s finest and best-loved musical acts.
This selection reflects the huge impact that music from Ireland and Northern Ireland has made across the globe, with performances from U2, Sinead O’Connor, Van Morrison, The Pogues, The Corrs and The Cranberries. And it reminds us of the island's dominance of the world of pop, with the likes of boyband behemoths Boyzone and Westlife.
FRI 22:00 Citizens of Boomtown: The Story of the Boomtown Rats (m000jjr5)
With guests including Bono, Sinead O’Connor, Dave Stewart, Jools Holland, David Mallet and Sting, as well as music writers, photographers and historians, this film explores the musical and social legacy of Ireland’s first rock superstars The Boomtown Rats, who changed their own lives, helped to change Ireland and, with Bob Geldof’s Live Aid, changed the world.
In this entertaining, dramatic and absorbing film, director Billy McGrath digs deep into the band’s history and remarkable songbook and highlights the key moments of its huge success and subsequent fall in 1985. And after over 30 years, why did the band regroup in 2013?
FRI 23:30 The Irish Rock Story: A Tale of Two Cities (b0555xv8)
Film telling the story of how rock music helped to change Ireland. The 40-year-old story of Irish rock and pop music is grounded in the very different musical traditions of the two main cities of the island, Belfast and Dublin.
This musical celebration charts the lives and careers of some of the biggest selling acts in Irish rock, punk and pop from Van Morrison and Thin Lizzy to The Undertones and U2. From the pioneers of the showbands touring in the late 50s through to the modern day, the film examines their lineage and connections and how the hardcore, rocking sound of Belfast merged with the more melodic, folky Dublin tradition to form what we now recognise as Irish rock and pop.
The film explores where these bands and musicians came from and the influence the political, social and cultural environments of the day had on them and how the music influenced those environments.
With contributions from many of the heavyweights of Irish rock and pop, including U2, Sinead O'Connor and Bob Geldof, it follows their careers as they forged an international presence and looks at how they helped change the island along the way.
FRI 00:30 Showbands: How Ireland Learned to Party (m00038lv)
Ardal O'Hanlon looks at what started the showband era in Ireland, the people involved, and how it came to an end in the 1980s.
FRI 01:30 TOTP2 (b0074820)
[Repeat of broadcast at 00:00 on Wednesday
FRI 02:15 St Patrick's Day at the BBC (m000t88d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
(Note: the times link back to the details; the pids link to the BBC page, including iPlayer)
Alaska: Earth's Frozen Kingdom 19:00 SAT (b0520t2w)
Alaska: Earth's Frozen Kingdom 02:25 SUN (b0520t2w)
All Creatures Great and Small 20:10 THU (p031d2p0)
Armada: 12 Days to Save England 20:00 WED (b05yxltf)
Armada: 12 Days to Save England 02:45 WED (b05yxltf)
Around the World in 80 Treasures 00:15 THU (b0078vzw)
Citizens of Boomtown: The Story of the Boomtown Rats 22:00 FRI (m000jjr5)
Coast 19:00 THU (b00tfv4z)
Country Kings at the BBC 00:35 SAT (p028vxj4)
Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan 22:00 TUE (m000t84r)
Elizabeth I's Secret Agents 22:30 WED (b09dcjgk)
Elizabeth R 21:00 WED (p036g8c9)
Fake or Fortune? 20:00 MON (b09547zm)
Fake or Fortune? 01:55 MON (b09547zm)
Folk Hibernia at the BBC 19:00 FRI (b0074tkd)
Glastonbury 23:25 SAT (b04d8xv8)
I Got Life! 22:00 SUN (m000t85w)
Ireland's Treasures Uncovered 21:00 TUE (b070w5kh)
Ireland's Treasures Uncovered 02:30 TUE (b070w5kh)
Man in Room 301 21:00 SAT (p094c2c7)
Man in Room 301 21:45 SAT (p094c2cc)
Man in Room 301 00:05 TUE (p094c2c7)
Man in Room 301 00:50 TUE (p094c2cc)
Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema 22:15 THU (b0bd7qlk)
Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema 02:15 THU (b0bd7qlk)
My Feral Heart 21:00 THU (m000t86w)
Nature's Weirdest Events 19:00 SUN (b05qt6zd)
Opera Mums with Bryony Kimmings 23:25 SUN (m000mf8c)
Paula Rego: Secrets and Stories 23:25 MON (b08kz9qz)
Showbands: How Ireland Learned to Party 00:30 FRI (m00038lv)
Some People with Jokes 23:30 WED (b03zqgk3)
Songs of Ireland 00:45 WED (b01dpnx3)
St Patrick's Day at the BBC 21:00 FRI (m000t88d)
St Patrick's Day at the BBC 02:15 FRI (m000t88d)
Storyville 22:00 MON (m000t86z)
TOTP2 00:00 WED (b0074820)
TOTP2 01:30 FRI (b0074820)
The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin 20:30 TUE (p00x9qzn)
The Irish Rock Story: A Tale of Two Cities 23:30 FRI (b0555xv8)
The Joy of Painting 19:30 MON (m000kxkt)
The Joy of Painting 00:55 MON (m000kxkt)
The Joy of Painting 19:30 TUE (m000kxlx)
The Joy of Painting 01:30 TUE (m000kxlx)
The Joy of Painting 19:30 WED (m000l41n)
The Joy of Painting 01:45 WED (m000l41n)
The Joy of Painting 19:40 THU (m000l41l)
The Joy of Painting 01:15 THU (m000l41l)
The Many Faces of... 20:00 SUN (b00wylqq)
The Many Faces of... 00:25 SUN (b00wylqq)
The Plank 19:10 SUN (m000t85t)
The Story of Welsh Art 21:00 MON (p097c3k8)
The Story of Welsh Art 02:55 MON (p097c3k8)
The Story of Welsh Art 23:15 THU (p097c3k8)
Top of the Pops 01:35 SAT (m000t132)
Top of the Pops 02:05 SAT (m000t134)
Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m000t884)
Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m000t888)
Twin Sisters: A World Apart 21:00 SUN (b053pxdt)
Twin Sisters: A World Apart 01:25 SUN (b053pxdt)
Vikings 22:25 SAT (b01n3gbj)
Voyages of Discovery 20:00 SAT (b0074t2w)
Voyages of Discovery 02:35 SAT (b0074t2w)
Walk the Line 19:00 MON (b04lgnb6)
Walk the Line 01:25 MON (b04lgnb6)
Walk the Line 19:00 TUE (b04lt702)
Walk the Line 02:00 TUE (b04lt702)
Walk the Line 19:00 WED (b04mtt6z)
Walk the Line 02:15 WED (b04mtt6z)
Yes, Minister 20:00 TUE (b007832v)
Yorkshire Wolds Way 19:10 THU (b088nwg0)
Yorkshire Wolds Way 01:45 THU (b088nwg0)