Snowy peaks point towards the heavens as American painter Bob Ross surrounds a scene in a happy gathering of landscape finery.
Liz McIvor discovers how carving up the landscape in order to build canals helped further our understanding of the earth below. The canal builders struggled with rocks. Without maps or geological surveys, construction often relied on guesswork. The Kennet and Avon had more than its fair share of problems. William Smith, a surveyor working on the connecting Somerset Coal Canal, discovered a way of ordering layers of rocks. He eventually created the first geological map of England and Wales - the so-called 'map that changed the world'.
Sitcom about a couple who try to live self-sufficiently in Surbiton. Tom takes the law into his own hands when some of his leeks go missing.
Classic comedy series. Fletch and Godber reconcile themselves to a quiet evening in at Slade prison.
To mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Sir Walter Scott, author Damian Barr goes in search of the legacy and lasting influence of one of Scotland’s great historical figures, novelists and poets.
From the huge Scott monument on Princes Street Edinburgh, to Smailholm Tower in the Borders, from Loch Katrine - the setting for his most famous poem - The Lady of the Lake - to Doune Castle, a setting which continues to inspire historical novelists to this day - Damian takes us on a personal journey to discover the truth about the man, his world and his work.
With contributions from world experts: professor Alison Lumsden, Aberdeen University; novelist James Robertson; author of Scott-land Stuart Kelly and Abbotsford curator, Kirsty Archer-Thompson.
In Search of Sir Walter Scott reveals the long lasting influence of Scott and his writing, his political campaigning and his role in creating a version of Scotland we are still living with today.
Swashbuckling spectacular based on the novel by Sir Walter Scott. Ivanhoe the knight fights for the honour of King Richard, kidnapped in Austria, and saves a wealthy merchant who agrees to help raise the Lionheart's ransom.
Francesco da Mosto takes a look at Italy as the land of adventure and ambition - where fortunes are made and battles are fought.
Beginning in Venice with actor Ciaran Hinds, Francesco considers how his home town so renowned for its justice struck Shakespeare as the perfect setting for his disturbing tale of what happens to an outsider who goes against the law in The Merchant of Venice.
Heading south to Rome, Francesco discovers how in his great Roman plays Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare used this ancient city as a smokescreen to address the most burning political issues of his day while avoiding trouble with the Elizabethan censors. Francesco meets Shakespearean actor Mark Rylance, and also pops in to Rome's very own Globe to understand modern Italy's fascination with our English Bard.
Finally he travels from Naples to the beautiful Island of Stromboli, just off the north coast of Sicily, a magical setting for Shakespeare's final great masterpiece - The Tempest.
Plunge into exciting, strange and beautiful animated worlds with Radio 1 film critic Ali Plumb as he celebrates the new breed of animators whose short films include malicious toasters, cheeky Glaswegian pigeons, job-haunting ghosts and incredibly smelly fungi. Stylistically, the films include a beautiful pen and ink evocation of Manchester architecture, a super-real, digital recreation of the human body and all points between.
WEDNESDAY 01 SEPTEMBER 2021
WED 19:00 The Joy of Painting (m000nwrn)
Follow Bob Ross’s easy painting method to recreate the splendour of a little farm home in a winter wonderland, complete with soft hills bedecked in purple.
WED 19:30 Canals: The Making of a Nation (b068c3zh)
Liz McIvor tells the story of the early canal builders who struggled with the rugged terrain of England's Pennine hills. Creating a network of canals in this landscape was an uphill challenge - sometimes literally! But connecting the powerhouses of Yorkshire and Lancashire was a great prize at the time of the industrial revolution. What should the engineers do? Should they build over, under or around the hills? Who succeeded, and who struggled?
WED 20:00 Earth's Great Rivers (b0bwqng8)
For a river that conjures up images of pyramids and pharaohs, the Nile turns out to be a truly surprising river that changes at every twist and turn of its journey. As its flows into increasingly arid latitudes on its journey north it becomes an evermore vital lifeline for animals and people, but only if they can conquer the challenges that this ever-changing river throws at them. The Nile's story begins in a spectacular, tropical mountain range - the Rwenzoris. Streams plunge from these snowy peaks creating wetlands on the plains below. Here they create a mobile water garden of papyrus reeds, home to one of the world's strangest birds- a shoebill stork. Though beautiful, clumps of reeds break up and float around creating a challenging environment for would-be fishermen. A stork's best way of finding prey is to form a rather strange alliance - wily shoebills follow hippos whose great bulk opens up fishing channels for them.
The Nile's headwaters create huge lakes in the equatorial heart of Africa - everything here is on a vast scale, especially Lake Victoria which is the size of Ireland. Here vast swarms of lakeflies sweep across its waters on a biblical scale, providing an unexpected feast for local people who trap the insects to make 'fly burgers'. It is not just Lake Victoria's immense size which makes it so dramatic. The vast lake has only a single exit channel of ferocious white water - the aptly named White Nile. People come from around the globe to tackle the rapids here which are some of the most powerful and infamous in the world. A local heroine, Amina Tayona (a mum from a nearby village) is brave enough to ride them. Amina has learnt to kayak on these treacherous rapids - and now competes against international athletes.
The next stage of the Nile's great journey are the wild Savannah lands of Uganda and the awesome spectacle of one the world's most powerful waterfalls, Murchison Falls. Here, valiant crocodile mothers try to defend their nest against hungry predators. Even though they are such fearsome predators - crocodiles have a weakness which other animals exploit. Watch as cunning Nile monitor lizards try to outwit an increasingly desperate Nile crocodile mother who faces a terrible dilemma. Further downstream is the setting for one of the episode's most surprising stories. Filmed for the first time using the latest camera-trap technology, cameras reveal strange goings-on at the abandoned country home of infamous and exiled dictator, Idi Amin. Its ruins are attracting new, wild guests. Many of Africa's big predators make their home here today.
In South Sudan, the Nile river slows and spreads out transforming into a huge wetland - the Sudd (Arabic for barrier). Half of its water is lost due to evaporation here and this is before the river embarks on its epic crossing of the Sahara - a desert the size of China. Every year, the dwindling Nile receives a massive, timely injection of water far to the east. In the Ethiopian highlands, the Nile's greatest tributary - the Blue Nile - is swelled by the wet season creating some of the most turbulent and dramatic seasonal waterfalls on Earth and forming a spectacular gorge which is nearly as deep as the Grand Canyon.
The Blue Nile is a river revered and used in a variety of incredible ways - from mass baptism ceremonies in the ancient Ethiopian city of Gondar to colonies of cheeky weaver birds who use the riverbank's reeds to build intricate nests. The Blue Nile replenishes the main Nile channel at the Sudanese capital city of Khartoum, the two become one and embark on the epic crossing of the Sahara. The miracle of the Nile is that it has allowed great civilisations to thrive in a desolate and arid region - today and throughout history. From the exotic city of Cairo, to the glories of ancient Egypt, breathtaking photography reveals the extent of the Nile's power to transport water from one part of world and deliver it to another, building and supporting life.
WED 21:00 H2O: The Molecule That Made Us (m000z8bd)
Civilisations begins in the jungles of the Congo on the trail of a new theory that puts water at the centre of how humans first stood upright.
In Egypt and China, an investigation shows how civilisations were shaped by their relationship to the great rivers, and in Mexico we reveal how access to underground water changed humanity’s footprint on the planet.
A new current is also explored, and at one of the largest ports on earth we learn how ‘virtual water’ has hidden the consequences of excess water use.
WED 21:55 Ocean Autopsy: The Secret Story of Our Seas (m000jy2l)
Two-thirds of our planet is covered in water, split into five distinct oceans, but in reality Earth's seas are part of one huge global water system - a system that has been instrumental in shaping our destiny for millions of years. Now, however, in the 21st century, it is mankind that is shaping the destiny of our oceans. In unprecedented ways, humans are changing our seas and the life within. The ocean bed, the currents, marine life, even the water itself is transformed by what we are putting into our oceans.
In this revelatory BBC Four documentary special, oceanographer Dr Helen Czerski and zoologist Dr George McGavin carry out an ‘autopsy’ on the ocean itself and reveal the startling changes it's undergoing. Moving the story beyond the well-known impact of discarded plastic on our seas, the autopsy will investigate the effects of high levels of life-threatening toxins on marine ecosystems and the invisible plague of micro- and nano-plastics saturating the water. The destiny of our oceans is on a knife edge and the window of opportunity to save them is rapidly closing.
But all is not lost. Along the way, George and Helen follow some surprising stories of hope as scientists uncover biodiverse ecosystems at the bottom of wind turbines that act as artificial reefs. George also visits the team at the Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project, a coastal wetland restoration initiative on the Essex coast twice the size of the City of London, that has been transformed into a nature reserve for rare and threatened birds and other wildlife using excavated soil from Crossrail.
Our precinct is the North Sea. Industry has polluted these waters for longer than any other sea on the planet and, in the past 50 years, the North Sea has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the world’s oceans. The unique levels of human impact provide oceanographers with a crystal ball for the future of ocean change. If it is happening in the North Sea now, scientists can predict where they will see it globally in the future.
Embedded with a team of leading researchers on board the Pelagia, a Dutch Oceanographic research vessel, Helen is on a mission to perform a comprehensive health check on the North Sea, using gas-sampling techniques to investigate a mysterious methane leak that may be caused by sea temperature rise. Understanding its origins could be critical to uncovering the human effects of global warming. The team will have to work for 48 hours straight on this ‘floating laboratory’ in the ocean.
They also carry out a survey of the North Sea to generate a comprehensive map of micro-plastic movement in our oceans. Ninety-nine percent of the plastic we dump in the oceans is missing, so the team wants to find out where it is all going. Starting off on the coastline, the team samples plastic on the surface, documenting where they find each piece and what it is. They also sample the depths of the sea for micro-plastics and discover marine fungi that could provide a possible solution - they might be ‘eating’ micro plastics.
Intercut with this survey, Dr George McGavin visits Utrecht University. Here, leading animal pathologist Lonneke IJsseldijk performs a necropsy (an animal autopsy) on a harbour porpoise to try to find out how and why it died. Lonneke believes the best way to understand what is in our oceans is to look inside the animals that live there. She looks for chemical fingerprints of human toxic pollutants hidden inside, like PCBs that were used in the building industry in the 1980s but which never break down.
Throughout this ocean autopsy, Helen and George find terrifyingly high levels of micro- and nano-plastics, rising sea temperatures changing the ocean ecosystems, and marine mammal life whose very existence is threatened by human toxic pollutants saturating the oceans at every level - the ocean floor, the life in the oceans and even the water itself. But they also find stories of hope, where nature may be able to repair itself if given a chance. What they discover is that it is not too late, but the window to action the change we need is closing quickly. If we can understand what is happening to our waters now, can we act to save them?
WED 23:25 Dive, Dive, Dive! (b00s96m9)
To the sound of pinging sonar, Robert Llewellyn ups periscope to discover why submarine movies have gripped us for over a century. He travels along the River Medway to find a beached Cold War Russian nuclear sub and then on to the abandoned WWII German U-boat pens on the French coast, recalling many of the real events that inspired these films.
From 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to Das Boot and The Hunt for Red October, Llewellyn discovers that fear - and its antithesis, bravery - is the key, and he also reveals the unique role that Walt Disney played in promoting atomic submarines. Interviewees include director John McTiernan (The Hunt For Red October), Sir Christopher Frayling and screenwriter Michael Schiffer (Crimson Tide).
WED 00:25 Canals: The Making of a Nation (b068c3zh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
WED 00:55 Earth's Great Rivers (b0bwqng8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
WED 01:55 Motherland (p09gvb8k)
Amanda’s PTA charity FUNraiser is doubling up as her birthday celebration, meaning everyone is dragged into a big event.
Mixing sponsored cycling with Anne’s lethal cocktails results in a night of high drama and big revelations. Julia is ready to call time on her marriage to Paul and run off with builder Garry; Liz is thrown by the arrival of an unexpected visitor; and Meg rides high on her cancer all clear.
Meanwhile, Kevin’s attempts to clear the air with Amanda just make everything worse, and a put-upon Anne finally loses her rag.
WED 02:25 H2O: The Molecule That Made Us (m000z8bd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
THURSDAY 02 SEPTEMBER 2021
THU 19:00 BBC Proms (m000z8c7)
Beethoven’s Second Symphony
The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra returns for their second Prom of the season under the baton of Principal Guest Conductor Ilan Volkov, with a programme that collides the old with the new.
A cutting-edge world premiere from contemporary American composer George Lewis, which blends a conventional symphony orchestra with innovative electronics, is paired with two dynamic works by Beethoven: the dramatic concert aria Ah! Perfido, sung by renowned soprano Lucy Crowe, and his hopeful Second Symphony.
Presenter Jess Gillam is joined by special guests Sheila Hancock and Kate Romano.
THU 20:40 Coast (b0314n53)
Series 5 Reversions
Gower to Anglesey
The team journeys along the south and west coast of Wales. Neil Oliver ventures out to Worm's Head, a snake of land reaching out of the Gower Peninsula. Further up the coast, he finds out about the quarrying heritage of Abereiddi and Porthgain.
Alice Roberts attempts to solve the riddle of the singing sands - what makes some very special British beaches whistle when you walk on them? Alice records the sounds of Porth Oer's beautiful beach to reveal its surprisingly musical secrets.
THU 21:00 Great Moments in Aviation (m000z8cf)
Romantic film drama. 1957. Bound for England, a woman with dreams of becoming a pilot falls for a fellow passenger. Will the secret he is harbouring destroy their affair?
THU 22:30 Face to Face (m000z8cm)
Author Jeanette Winterson talks to Jeremy Isaacs about her sexuality, her passionate love of language, writing about sex and her relationship with her parents.
THU 23:10 Porridge (b007b8zw)
Comedy. Detained at Her Majesty's pleasure, cellmates Fletcher and Godber become unwilling accomplices to an escape attempt in this cinema version of the popular BBC comedy.
THU 00:40 In Search of Sir Walter Scott (m000yrpz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday
THU 01:40 Ocean Autopsy: The Secret Story of Our Seas (m000jy2l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:55 on Wednesday
FRIDAY 03 SEPTEMBER 2021
FRI 19:00 Cricket: Today at the Test (m000z8d2)
LIST OF THIS WEEK'S PROGRAMMES
England v India 2021
Fourth Test: Day Two Highlights
Cricket highlights, from the Kia Oval in London, of the second day of the fourth Test between India and England.
FRI 20:00 BBC Proms (m000z8d6)
Moses Sumney Meets Jules Buckley and the BBC Symphony Orchestra
Genre-defying Ghanaian-American musician Moses Sumney makes his Proms debut with conductor Jules Buckley and the BBC Symphony Orchestra as they perform new orchestral arrangements of tracks from his first two albums.
Moses Sumney describes his music as an amalgamation of soul, jazz, folk and experimental indie rock. Presented by Clara Amfo from the Royal Albert Hall, this Prom promises to be a unique trip through the multi-faceted music of this indefinable artist.
FRI 21:50 Sounds of the Seventies (b00lydy0)
The Moody Blues, The Faces and David Bowie
Three vintage rock performances from the BBC archives, featuring The Moody Blues, The Faces and David Bowie originally recorded for It's Lulu, Sounds for Saturday and The Old Grey Whistle Test.
FRI 22:00 Top of the Pops (m000z8dd)
Simon Mayo presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 1 August 1991 and featuring Right Said Fred, Deacon Blue and Morrissey.
FRI 22:30 The Kinks at the BBC (b012ht1w)
The story of The Kinks, one of the UK's most important and influential bands, as told from the vaults of the BBC archive.
From their humble beginnings in north London, brothers Ray and Dave Davies, school friend Pete Quaife and local drummer Mick Avory exploded onto the music scene of early 1960s London.
From this series of unique archive performances, we learn that blues was their first love and Dave's signature guitar sound would go on to influence a generation of guitar players. As Ray's uniquely English songwriting style developed, the spectre of Ray and Dave's rocky fraternal relationship continually loomed in the background, through concerts for The Old Grey Whistle Test in the 1970s to appearances on Top of the Pops in the 1980s.
The inevitable band split came in 1996, and the BBC archive continues with Ray's reinvention as a solo artist with performances on the Electric Proms and up to the present day on Later... with Jools Holland. All the while, the brothers continue to tease and goad the press - and one another - with talk of a Kinks reunion.
FRI 23:30 The Bee Gees at the BBC... and Beyond (b04v8679)
Classic Bee Gees studio performances from the BBC and beyond including all the big hits, rare 60s performances from European TV, including a stunning I Started a Joke, a rarely seen Top of the Pops performance of World, the big hits of the 70s and some late performances from the 90s, with the brothers Gibb in perfect harmony.
FRI 00:30 Bros: After the Screaming Stops (m0001qyv)
A film charting Matt and Luke Goss's reunion 28 years on from when they were one of the biggest bands in the world. The Goss twins have hardly spoken and not played together since their split. With an incredibly fractured relationship and only three weeks to go until sell-out gigs at the O2 London, will they be able to put their history aside and come together as brothers to play the show of their lives?
FRI 02:00 Top of the Pops (m000z8dd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today
FRI 02:30 Motherland (m000w173)
As a nit pandemic sweeps the school, Julia finds herself accused of triggering a second wave. Ostracised by the other mums, Julia needs to find a way back into their good books, so she throws a nit treatment party that brings everyone’s drama (and headlice) into her home.
The party reveals that Anne has some big news, Meg is facing a crisis and Kevin has committed a terrible crime of passion. As Amanda super-spreads the gossip, Liz waits for news about a career move – will she beat that 17-year-old to a job in the local shoe shop?
(Note: the times link back to the details; the pids link to the BBC page, including iPlayer)
Arena 21:00 MON (p032kjgg)
Arena 01:45 MON (p032kjgg)
BBC Proms 20:00 SUN (m000z8b8)
BBC Proms 19:00 THU (m000z8c7)
BBC Proms 20:00 FRI (m000z8d6)
Bros: After the Screaming Stops 00:30 FRI (m0001qyv)
Canals: The Making of a Nation 19:30 TUE (b06823cv)
Canals: The Making of a Nation 00:45 TUE (b06823cv)
Canals: The Making of a Nation 19:30 WED (b068c3zh)
Canals: The Making of a Nation 00:25 WED (b068c3zh)
Coast 20:40 THU (b0314n53)
Cricket: Today at the Test 19:00 FRI (m000z8d2)
Dive, Dive, Dive! 23:25 WED (b00s96m9)
Earth's Great Rivers 02:30 SAT (b0bx73pk)
Earth's Great Rivers 20:00 WED (b0bwqng8)
Earth's Great Rivers 00:55 WED (b0bwqng8)
Face to Face 22:30 THU (m000z8cm)
Get Animated! BBC Introducing Arts 01:15 TUE (m000hqnp)
Great Moments in Aviation 21:00 THU (m000z8cf)
H2O: The Molecule That Made Us 21:00 WED (m000z8bd)
H2O: The Molecule That Made Us 02:25 WED (m000z8bd)
In Search of Sir Walter Scott 21:00 TUE (m000yrpz)
In Search of Sir Walter Scott 02:15 TUE (m000yrpz)
In Search of Sir Walter Scott 00:40 THU (m000yrpz)
Ivanhoe 22:00 TUE (b00kz4l5)
Miss Marple 19:30 MON (m000z8b0)
Motherland 01:55 WED (p09gvb8k)
Motherland 02:30 FRI (m000w173)
Ocean Autopsy: The Secret Story of Our Seas 21:55 WED (m000jy2l)
Ocean Autopsy: The Secret Story of Our Seas 01:40 THU (m000jy2l)
Ordeal by Innocence 21:00 SAT (b09yswj5)
Ordeal by Innocence 22:00 SAT (b09zg9dd)
Ordeal by Innocence 23:00 SAT (b0b06rmw)
Our Coast 20:00 SAT (m000fjdk)
Our Coast 01:30 SAT (m000fjdk)
Porridge 20:30 TUE (b00828g8)
Porridge 23:10 THU (b007b8zw)
Rome Unpacked 02:35 SUN (b09m6bmp)
Shakespeare in Italy 23:45 TUE (b01hpfhz)
Sounds of the Seventies 21:50 FRI (b00lydy0)
Storyville 00:00 SAT (b09fz33h)
Talking Pictures 21:35 SUN (m000qs39)
Talking Pictures 02:05 SUN (m000qs39)
The Bee Gees at the BBC... and Beyond 23:30 FRI (b04v8679)
The Good Life 20:00 TUE (p00bzc2m)
The Great Detectives 22:05 MON (m000z8b3)
The Great Detectives 02:45 MON (m000z8b3)
The Joy of Painting 19:00 MON (m000np0k)
The Joy of Painting 19:00 TUE (m000nnzp)
The Joy of Painting 19:00 WED (m000nwrn)
The Kinks at the BBC 22:30 FRI (b012ht1w)
The Mystery of Murder: A Horizon Guide 00:05 SUN (b0555v7v)
The Pale Horse 22:05 SUN (m000f9xq)
The Pale Horse 23:05 SUN (m000fk28)
Timeshift 00:45 MON (b00ff170)
Top of the Pops 22:00 FRI (m000z8dd)
Top of the Pops 02:00 FRI (m000z8dd)
Treasures of Ancient Egypt 19:00 SAT (p01mv16n)
Witness for the Prosecution 22:50 MON (m000z8b6)
imagine... 19:00 SUN (m000kycj)
imagine... 01:05 SUN (m000kycj)