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RADIO-LISTS: BBC FOUR
Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by bbc.co.uk/programmes/



SATURDAY 09 OCTOBER 2021

SAT 19:00 Coast (b00xj5s8)
Series 4 Reversions

The Needles: Isle of Wight

Nicholas Crane crosses the Solent to find out what's happened to England's largest island - the Isle of Wight. Once joined to the mainland, this fossil-rich area is a time capsule containing clues to the journey that the whole British Isles has been on and is still making. And so today what we see is the powerful result of a combination of rising sea levels and a sinking landscape.


SAT 19:10 The Celts: Blood, Iron and Sacrifice with Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver (b06h3ytf)
Episode 1

Anthropologist Professor Alice Roberts and archaeologist Neil Oliver go in search of the Celts - one of the world's most mysterious ancient people. In Britain and Ireland we are never far from our Celtic past, but in this series Neil and Alice travel much further afield, discovering the origins and beliefs of these Iron Age people in artefacts and human remains right across Europe, from Turkey to Portugal. What emerges is not a wild people on the western fringes of Europe, but a highly sophisticated tribal culture that influenced vast areas of the ancient world - and even Rome.

Rich with vivid drama reconstruction, we recreate this pivotal time and meet some of our most famous ancient leaders - from Queen Boudicca to Julius Caesar - and relive the battles they fought for the heart and soul of Europe. Alice and Neil discover that these key battles between the Celts and the Romans over the best part of 500 years constituted a fight for two very different forms of civilisation - a fight that came to define the world we live in today.

In the first episode, we see the origins of the Celts in the Alps of central Europe and relive the moment of first contact with the Romans in a pitched battle just north of Rome - a battle that the Celts won and that left the imperial city devastated.


SAT 20:10 Pole to Pole (p02gdbml)
Cold Start

Michael begins his journey with a perilous landing at the North Pole, continuing southwards with voyages across Scandinavia as he makes his way to Estonia and the Soviet Union.


SAT 21:00 Paris Police 1900 (p09tqjbm)
Series 1

Episode 1

Paris, 1899. The French Republic is in turmoil as rumours spread about the release from Devil's Island of Dreyfus, the notorious Jewish spy. Police Chief Louis Lepine is recalled to office from retirement. When a suitcase is recovered from the Seine, young and ambitious Police Inspector Antoine Jouin finds himself embroiled in his first murder case.

In French with English Subtitles.


SAT 21:55 Paris Police 1900 (p09tqjy6)
Series 1

Episode 2

Meg starts spying for Puybaraud and is told to infiltrate the Guérin family, who are behind the anti-Semitic league. Meanwhile, Lepine arrives to take charge of the Parisian police department. Jouin, grieving the death of his partner, focuses on the case of the body found in the Seine.

In French with English subtitles


SAT 22:55 The Trials of Oscar Pistorius (p08tfp7d)
Series 1

Part 1

When South Africans woke up on 14 February 2013, they could not have seen what was coming. Oscar Pistorius, one of their country’s most popular sportsmen and a figure of inspiration, had shot dead his girlfriend, model and paralegal Reeva Steenkamp.

The first episode of a four-part series explores the week following the murder of Reeva, from the moment of the late-night phone call, when it was still unclear who the victim was, to hours later when she was confirmed to be Reeva Steenkamp. South Africa was thrown into turmoil.

As his bail hearing unfolded, a surreal sequence of drama and emotion unfolded, and a terrible crime began to be chronicled by a ravenous global tabloid media. After becoming an overnight sensation at the 2004 Paralympics, as a double-amputee teenage sprinter who shattered records, the news was all the more shocking. Eight days after the killing of Reeva Steenkamp, Pistorius was granted bail.


SAT 00:30 Motherland (m000w753)
Series 3

Episode 2

The mums (and dad) join the merry-go-round of secondary school open days as they face the choice of where to send their kids at 11. Julia panics about which catchment area she lives in and even considers a fake religious conversion to beat the system. As Kevin’s divorce progresses, Liz helps him navigate the shark pool of lawyers and makes a worrying discovery about her own situation along the way. Meanwhile, queen bee Amanda struggles with playing second fiddle to Meg’s illness.


SAT 01:00 A Stitch in Time (b09l2rfv)
Series 1

Charles II

Fusing biography, art and the history of fashion, Amber Butchart explores the lives of historical figures through the clothes they wore. Here, she looks at Charles II.


SAT 01:30 Pole to Pole (p02gdbml)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:10 today]


SAT 02:20 The Celts: Blood, Iron and Sacrifice with Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver (b06h3ytf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:10 today]



SUNDAY 10 OCTOBER 2021

SUN 19:00 Carol Ann Duffy: Secular Prayers (b00kmt48)
Carol Ann Duffy, Britain's first ever woman Poet Laureate, believes that the continuance of the laureateship affirms the value of poetry in the imaginative life of the nation. This film compiles an archive anthology of her work, read by herself from the last 20 years.


SUN 19:10 Arena (m0010jm3)
Dylan Thomas: From Grave to Cradle

Author and broadcaster Nigel Williams examines the work and the legend of one of the most famous poets of the 20th century, Dylan Thomas.

Born in 1914, Dylan Thomas was an unruly and undisciplined child who was interested only in English at school and was determined from childhood to become a poet. Little did he know that he would eventually become world-renowned.

Cited by Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Van Morrison and other cultural icons as a profound influence, Thomas occupies the space more readily associated with the likes of James Dean and Jack Kerouac, both of whom he preceded.

But it was his death that truly made him a legend. Did Dylan Thomas really die after drinking 18 straight whiskies at The White Horse in New York? Was he a genius or a sponging, womanising drunk?

The film unravels the myth by tracing the poet's biography backwards, from his much written about, much lied about death, to the heart of the Dylan Thomas story and his beginnings in a quiet street in suburban Swansea.


SUN 20:10 Alexander Pope: Rediscovering a Genius (m0010jm5)
An entertaining docudrama that portrays the astonishing life of Alexander Pope (1688-1744), a forgotten genius and a child prodigy akin to Mozart. He was the greatest poet of the 18th century and is the second most quoted writer in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations after Shakespeare.

Pope stood at just four feet six inches tall. He was a hunchback and an outsider in every way, yet he made the equivalent, in today's money, of one million pounds from his poetry. His satire and wit are all around us, in our everyday speech and songs, yet few are aware of the author and his achievements.

Pope’s work is concerned with feminism, friendship, freedom of speech, the environment, corruption in government and what it means to be a moral citizen.


SUN 21:00 Sylvia Plath – Inside the Bell Jar (b0bg2jgc)
Bringing to life that ‘queer sultry summer’ of 1953, Sylvia Plath: Inside The Bell Jar is the first film to unravel the story behind her seminal novel.

The book captures the struggles of an ambitious young woman’s attempts to deal with the constraints of 1950s America. As the bright lights of New York dim, her thoughts turn to depression and attempted suicide.

The film weaves the autobiographic narrative of the book with the testimony of her friends and daughter her Frieda Hughes, some speaking for the first time.


SUN 22:00 The Sky at Night (m0010jm7)
The Forgotten Solar System

Of the 100 probes that have been sent out into space, only one probe - Voyager 2 in 1989 - has ever sent back any information about the solar system's outer planets. From afar, they seem featureless and devoid of any significant geological activity.

Since then, long-range telescopes have shown that there is much more to Neptune and Uranus than previously thought and that they both warrant closer inspection. Time, however, is of the essence. Deep-space missions are dependent on Jupiter. The slingshot effect it provides to move probes along the way is only available to us every 25 years.


SUN 22:30 Welcome to the World of George the Poet (p07sj2d2)
Award-winning podcaster and spoken word artist George the Poet comes to the BBC’s own Radio Theatre for a one-off live show exploring what rap can teach us about education. For George, rap was always a vehicle for knowledge. But it isn’t always taken seriously by an establishment that often sees it as unconstructive. Rap was an essential part of George’s own development as a poet, and studying Sociology at Cambridge University allowed him to look more closely at what rap can do for marginalised communities. This show charts George’s own story of education – his evolution from Grime MC to Cambridge student to spoken word artist – and pays homage to the rap music that shaped him and his peers. George brings a number of friends to the stage to explore what rap can teach us about education.


SUN 23:50 Storyville (m000xw3j)
Carlos Ghosn: The Last Flight

In December 2019, Carlos Ghosn, former CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, charged with financial crimes, stunned the world by fleeing Japan in a box supposedly containing a priceless cello. It was an audacious Hollywood-worthy escape. With exclusive access to Ghosn himself, this gripping Storyville documentary charts the rise and fall of a superstar CEO from celebrated industry leader to wanted fugitive, exploring themes of corporate greed, ruthlessness, vanity and racism.

Born in Brazil, raised in Lebanon and educated in France, Ghosn personified the globalised free-trade system he built his career on. He came to prominence in 1999, when he led one of the most improbable turnarounds in corporate history and saved Nissan from bankruptcy. The first businessman to serve simultaneously as CEO for two Fortune 500 companies, he attained a level of celebrity status in Japan seldom bestowed on chief executives. Fans asked for autographs, a comic book on his life became a best-seller, he was invited to talk shows, and other businessmen envied his success. But he was also representative of the bloated excesses of corporate CEOs. After his sudden arrest by Japanese authorities, his detractors painted a picture of a visionary leader turned despot who took advantage of his position of power for personal gain.


SUN 01:30 A Stitch in Time (b09ll1fx)
Series 1

Arnolfini

Fusing biography, art and the history of fashion, Amber Butchart explores the lives of historical figures through the clothes they wore. Here, she looks at Dutch painter Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait.


SUN 02:00 Sylvia Plath – Inside the Bell Jar (b0bg2jgc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


SUN 03:00 Arena (m0010jm3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:10 today]



MONDAY 11 OCTOBER 2021

MON 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002fpx)
Series 10

Maltby to Hinckley

Michael Portillo continues his tour of Britain’s industrial heartlands guided by his early 20th-century Bradshaw’s. Michael heads for Maltby, where he is caught up with the thrill of the chase as he investigates the high-octane sport of whippet racing. He learns how this 'poor man’s sport' grew during the 19th century in the mining towns of the north and retains its appeal today.
From Derby, Michael heads for nearby Kedleston Hall, built for the Curzon family in 1765 and home to the first Marquess, Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India, at the turn of the 20th century. Michael learns of Curzon’s passion for architecture and art, and discovers how he protected Britain’s heritage.
Michael’s taste buds are sorely tested in Burton-on-Trent, where he endeavours to understand the appeal of a dark Edwardian spread which is loved – and hated – all over Britain. Even an arch fan may fail to get him to acquire the taste.
On arrival at Hinckley station, Michael is whisked by motorbike to the Triumph factory, where he discovers how these iconic vehicles were developed at the beginning of the 20th century. The first motorcycle to be built, in 1902, and a world-famous 1960s motorbike are housed here.


MON 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m0010jn4)
Series 5

Light at the Summit

Capture a vision of glory with Bob Ross as you view the brilliance of afternoon sunlight peeking over a distant mountain top.


MON 20:00 Secrets of the Museum (m000g6sp)
Series 1

Episode 6

Inside every museum is a hidden world, and now, cameras have been allowed behind the scenes at the world-famous Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Only a small part of the two million wonders in the collection are on display to the public. But in this series, we go behind closed doors to explore all the treasures of art, design and performance the museum has to offer.

We follow experts and conservators at work in this treasure trove of the nation’s favourite objects, as they breathe new life into fragile marvels, uncover hidden stories and battle to keep the past alive.

In this instalment, we join Catherine Sargent as she prepares a new exhibition devoted to cars. She must ensure these large objects are displayed at their best, but as with all the vehicles arriving on loan from around the world, it’s imperative that each one is moved into the museum without a scratch.

One of the largest and trickiest to transport is an extraordinary 1962 Chevy Impala, known as ‘Tipsy’, arriving from Los Angeles. It’s a unique car, that’s been painstakingly customised to turn it into a ‘low-rider’.

With its low-slung chassis, gleaming paintwork and personalised motifs, the car was a six-year labour of love for owner Tomas Vasquez. Seeing Tipsy up close before it’s moved into the museum, Catherine has some concern that it will be a tight squeeze getting it into the exhibition space. And with the added pressure of the owner flying into the UK to give his pride and joy one last loving polish before the opening, she has to ensure the move runs without a hitch.

Meanwhile, some of the finest of the V&A’s one-off objects are in the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert collection, and curator Alice Minter is choosing a selection of her favourites to be displayed in an upcoming exhibition that will tour around the world.

She’s found one rare masterpiece in storage that she thinks is going to be the star of the tour. It’s a tabletop decorated using a technique known as ‘micromosaic’, in which thousands of individually coloured pieces of glass are set into a pattern producing an effect like a painting. The process of making a micromosaic is so intricate that this tabletop would have taken a craftsman years to finish.

But Alice discovers that her beloved table is going to struggle to make the tour, as conservators have discovered cracks and swellings on the surface. X-rays reveal the full damage inside, with holes and corrosion making this object too vulnerable to move anywhere. Conservator Mariam makes the brave decision to conduct an experimental operation to save the tabletop from falling to pieces. She injects grout into the micromosaic, in the hope of gluing together its internal structure. Alice hopes this life-saving surgery will give this masterpiece a chance of going on display and being admired by the public.

Other rare survivors are unearthed in the Rock and Pop archive, as curator Vicky picks out the latest acquisitions for the V&A’s collection of objects relating to The Beatles. She’s interested in some of the animation cels from the groundbreaking movie Yellow Submarine. One of the film’s animators, Malcolm Draper, has been invited in to explain how they were made. It’s important for Vicky to understand the whole story of these objects to help keep alive the craft of drawing animation cels by hand.

Over in textiles conservation, a rare men’s kimono is being repaired so it can be displayed in an upcoming exhibition. Worn by a samurai feudal lord in the late 18th century, Elizabeth-Anne Haldane has discovered rips in its fine inner silk lining near the waist that may have been made by a samurai sword. To have any chance of displaying the chequerboard-patterned kimono on a mannequin, she must delicately dye a patch and sew it into the torn areas.

In the jewellery galleries, conservators and curators are excited to take delivery of a rare buried treasure – a medieval jewel discovered in a field in Northamptonshire by a metal detectorist. The extraordinarily rare ‘cluster brooch’ is made of gold and set with diamonds and a reddish stone called a spinel.

With only seven of its type ever found in the world, this is a special piece. Experienced conservator and gemologist Jo Whalley has the task of giving it a deep clean.

Using a mixture of spit and polish (as saliva contains enzymes that help to degrade soil and dirt), Jo must delicately remove the earth embedded in the jewel to reveal once more the full beauty of this miniature treasure.


MON 21:00 Nature and Us: A History through Art (m0010jn6)
Series 1

Episode 1

In this first episode, art historian James Fox explores the art of the ancient world to reveal the story of our earliest relationships with nature. From the art of prehistoric hunters and the advent of agriculture and our first cities to the arrival the great faiths, including Hinduism and Christianity, James shows how we began to wrestle with our place in nature and tried to control the great forces that shape our world. Along the way, we journey from Arctic Norway to the jungles of Guatemala and the holy city of Varanasi in India.

Beginning with cave paintings of animals and a fascinating 12,000-year-old carving of a reindeer, James shows how we were once much closer to nature. We meet Nils Peder, a contemporary Sami Reindeer Herder in northern Norway. His way of life is still influenced by a belief in nature’s spiritual energy and power. But then as James studies an ancient Egyptian model of cattle, we reach a dramatic turning point in our relationship with nature - the advent of agriculture. At this point, humans collaborated with nature but ultimately took ‘control’. James takes this a step further with the extraordinary lion hunt carvings from the Assyrian palace of Nineveh. He demonstrates how it was at this time that humans began to set out to conquer nature. James then turns his attention to ways in which religion helped us make sense of the great shifts in our relationship with nature. We see the first human personifications of natural forces: the river Ganga in India and the ancient Greek god of the sky, Zeus. And we see how, in Christian art, nature becomes the backdrop for the very human-focused story of the crucifixion.

In this first great phase in human history, James reveals how we moved from caves to farms, to the emergence of the first civilisations and to global faiths. And through it all, he shows how we struggled to control nature and began to move away from it, no longer living as just one part of the natural world.


MON 22:00 The Special Relationship (b00ty79c)
In 1993, Tony Blair was a rising young star in British politics. Three years later, he ran for prime minister, bolstered with a strategy borrowed from President Bill Clinton's own run for office - and began a 'special relationship' with the US president that endured through triumph, conflict and personal scandal.

Political soulmates, the eager, young Blair and the charismatic Clinton dream of remaking the world together in a progressive fashion. Clinton helps Blair make peace in Northern Ireland, and Blair returns the favour by supporting a beleaguered Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal. But the bond is sundered over the festering crisis in Kosovo, as Blair's call for action clashes with Clinton's pragmatic approach. As Blair defiantly goes his own way and Hillary makes her own stunning rise in politics, Clinton realizes that Blair is about to embark on a new era and another 'special relationship' - with incoming president George W Bush.


MON 23:30 Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey (b01d7kd5)
Episode 1

Right now you're hurtling around the sun at 64,000 miles an hour (100,000km an hour). In the next year you'll travel 584 million miles, to end up back where you started.

Presenters Kate Humble and Dr Helen Czerski follow the Earth's voyage around the sun for one complete orbit, to witness the astonishing consequences this journey has for us all.

In this first episode they travel from July to the December solstice, experiencing spectacular weather and the largest tides on Earth. To show how the Earth's orbit affects our lives, Helen jumps out of an aeroplane and Kate briefly becomes the fastest driver on Earth.


MON 00:30 A Stitch in Time (b09mbb41)
Series 1

The Hedge Cutter

Fusing biography, art and the history of fashion, Amber Butchart explores the lives of historical figures through their clothes. A rare portrait of a working man.


MON 01:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002fpx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


MON 01:30 Nature and Us: A History through Art (m0010jn6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


MON 02:30 Secrets of the Museum (m000g6sp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



TUESDAY 12 OCTOBER 2021

TUE 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002fs8)
Series 10

Birmingham to the Potteries

Armed with his Bradshaw’s guide, Michael Portillo reaches Birmingham and discovers how a radical reformer would make his mark on the city of a thousand trades.

At Highbury Hall, he finds Joseph Chamberlain’s splendid mansion home and hears how he established a political dynasty including a prime minister and a foreign secretary.

Next stop is Cradley Heath, at the time of his Bradshaw’s one of five chain-making towns in the West Midlands. Michael learns how 90 per cent of the chain workshops in England and Wales were located here and that female workers earned a pittance to produce goods in their homes. He discovers how discontent came to a head in 1910 and a Scottish woman led workers to strike for the first time.

A book on Railway Law for the Man in the Train is required reading for Michael as he travels to Landywood, where he engages in some detective work on behalf of its author, one George Edalji. Michael follows an investigation carried out by Arthur Conan Doyle in the early 1900s into a miscarriage of justice.

At the centre of Britain’s ceramic industry in Stoke-on-Trent, Michael visits Wedgwood, established by the Queen’s Potter Josiah Wedgwood in 1759 and visited in 1913 by King George V and Queen Mary. He hears how the royal couple used their visit to forge links with working people and thereby strengthened the monarchy. Touring the factory, Michael admires the exquisite decoration of the ceramic painters and tries his hand at clay spinning.


TUE 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m0010jns)
Series 5

Countryside Barn

Follow a trail through the meadow with Bob Ross and enjoy the magnificent warmth and beauty of the sunlight’s glory as it rests gently on an old barn.


TUE 20:00 The Good Life (p02r4q90)
Series 3

A Tug of the Forelock

After Tom brainstorms an idea for revamping the cultivator into a transport vehicle, the Goods try their hand at becoming a housekeeping service to the Leadbetters to earn cash.


TUE 20:30 One Foot in the Grave (b007cg1z)
Series 1

The Big Sleep

Sitcom. Margaret tries to help her husband cope with early retirement by getting him a book from the library entitled Coping with Old Age.


TUE 21:00 The Mother (b0078tqd)
Drama about a widow who goes to stay with her grown up son and daughter. As she begins to come to terms with the past, she embarks on a startling new relationship with her daughter's boyfriend, which causes havoc in the family.


TUE 22:45 Nothing Like a Dame (b0b5y3xn)
Together, they are 342 years old. They are in their seventh decade of cutting-edge, epoch-defining performances on stage and on screen. Funny, smart, sharp, competitive, tearful, hilarious, savage, clever, caustic, cool, gorgeous, poignant, irreverent, iconic, old... and unbelievably young.

Special friends, special women and special dames - and this special film is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hang out with them all, at the same table, at the same time, and enjoy sparkling and unguarded conversation spliced with a raft of astonishing archive.

Atkins, Dench, Smith, Plowright. The dream dame team. Don't miss it.


TUE 00:05 The Sky at Night (m0010jm7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday]


TUE 00:35 Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey (b01djm9b)
Episode 2

Right now you're hurtling around the sun at 64,000 miles an hour (100,000 kms an hour). In the next year you'll travel 584 million miles, to end up back where you started.

Presenters Kate Humble and Dr Helen Czerski follow the Earth's voyage around the sun for one complete orbit, to witness the astonishing consequences this journey has for us all.

In this second episode we travel from January to the March equinox. Kate Humble gets closer to the sun than she has ever been before, whilst Helen Czerski visits a place that gets some of the biggest and fastest snowstorms on Earth.


TUE 01:35 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002fs8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


TUE 02:05 Nature and Us: A History through Art (m0010jn6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]



WEDNESDAY 13 OCTOBER 2021

WED 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002jn2)
Series 10

Newry to Portadown

Steered by his Edwardian Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo navigates his way by rail – and ferry - across Northern Ireland and the Scottish Highlands from Newry to Argyll and Bute.

Early 20th-century Britain was reeling from industrial strife and suffragette outrages, but the biggest crisis of all was the conflict in Ireland. Beginning in Newry, Michael finds a specially chartered train would deliver demonstrators campaigning for Irish Home Rule to a rally in the town.

On the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic at Glaslough, Michael is amused to discover a christening robe belonging to Sir Winston Churchill and hears how he and his American mother saved the impressive Castle Leslie.

Michael finds himself in a sticky situation at an Edwardian bakery in Portadown when he attempts to make an Irish staple, soda bread. At Scarva, Michael discovers the importance of Irish linen for aircraft during the First World War, and in the hangars of the Ulster Aviation Society he learns how a replica Ferguson Flyer from 1909 was built.


WED 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m0010jp0)
Series 5

Mountain Lake Falls

Guest artist Steve Ross invites you to experience the refreshing beauty of a highland lake and its gentle splashing waterfall.


WED 20:00 India: Nature's Wonderland (p02z83jc)
Episode 1

Wildlife expert Liz Bonnin, actor Freida Pinto and mountaineer Jon Gupta reveal the hidden wonders of India's surprising natural world. This is a land where the tea comes with added elephants, gibbons sing to greet the morning, tigers dance and lions roam.


WED 21:00 Enslaved with Samuel L Jackson (m000ngf2)
Series 1

A Precious Cargo

Samuel L Jackson - with journalists Afua Hirsch and Simcha Jacobovici - examines how, for over 400 years, the transatlantic slave trade became the greatest wealth-generating machine the world had known and the engine that drove the global economy. Afua goes to Brazil, once the world’s greatest supplier of sugar, to discover how Europeans' insatiable appetite for this sweetener drove the explosion of the slave trade in the 17th century, leading to a constant demand for the supply of cheap trans-Atlantic labour to work the plantations. She then visits Bristol, revealing how the enormous profits generated by these enslaved Africans built much of the modern world we live in today.

Jackson reveals how slave owners came up with increasingly inventive ways to turn their losses into profits when trafficked Africans were lost at sea. As the economics of the slave trade began to unravel, one infamous British court case ultimately helped paved the way for abolition. Jackson teams up with Diving with a Purpose (DWP), a group of underwater investigators who view the ocean floor as a graveyard and a crime scene. They dive the Suriname river in South America in search of a Dutch shipwreck called the Leusden, scene of a horrific mass murder and a crime largely forgotten for 300 years.


WED 22:00 Restoring the Earth: The Age of Nature (m0010jp3)
Series 1

Understanding

Taking in visits to the USA, China, Scotland and South Africa, this episode explores the connections within and between ecosystems.

Discover how a single species can influence a landscape, from tiny fireflies to iconic wolves, and how planting trees can reverse the impact of deforestation, help native wildlife to thrive and aid in mitigating the effects of climate change. The programme also examines the complexity within every ecosystem and shows how the wrong species in the wrong place can have catastrophic impacts.


WED 22:50 From Ice to Fire: The Incredible Science of Temperature (b09t9txy)
Series 1

Playing with Fire

Dr Helen Czerksi explores the extraordinary science of heat. She reveals how heat is the hidden energy contained within matter, with the power to transform it from one state to another. Our ability to harness this fundamental law of science has led to some of humanity's greatest achievements, from the molten metals that enabled us to make tools, to the great engines of the Industrial Revolution powered by steam, to the searing heat of plasmas that offer almost unlimited power.


WED 23:50 Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey (b01dq1h0)
Episode 3

Right now you're hurtling around the sun at 64,000 miles an hour (100,000 km an hour). In the next year you'll travel 584 million miles, to end up back where you started.

Presenters Kate Humble and Dr Helen Czerski follow the Earth's voyage around the sun for one complete orbit, to witness the astonishing consequences this journey has for us all.

In this final episode we complete our journey, travelling back from the March equinox to the end of June. Kate Humble is in the Arctic at a place where spring arrives with a bang, whilst Helen Czerski chases a tornado to show how the earth's angle of tilt creates the most extreme weather on the planet.


WED 00:50 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002jn2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


WED 01:20 Enslaved with Samuel L Jackson (m000ngf2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 02:20 Restoring the Earth: The Age of Nature (m0010jp3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]



THURSDAY 14 OCTOBER 2021

THU 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002jrh)
Series 10

Belfast to Portrush

Michael Portillo continues his rail journey through Northern Ireland steered by his Bradshaw’s Guide. In Belfast’s grand Edwardian City Hall, Michael investigates the scene of a watershed moment in Irish history and hears how thousands of Ulster Protestants were mobilised by train to sign a document pledging opposition to Home Rule for Ireland.

Michael follows Belfast author CS Lewis into the wardrobe to reach the magical world of Narnia and learns how religion influenced Lewis's work. From Antrim, he heads to the shores of Lough Neagh, the biggest lake in the British Isles, where he finds the largest wild eel fishery in Europe and joins a fisherman and his wife for a traditional eel meal.

On the greens of Portrush, Michael visits the Royal Portrush Golf Club to find out how Ireland’s fair sex dominated the fairways at the time of his guide.


THU 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m0010lnc)
Series 5

Cypress Creek

Take a stroll with Bob Ross deep into the swamp and breathe in the fragrance of damp earth and moss-filled trees.


THU 20:00 A House Through Time (m00048rf)
Series 2

Episode 2

In episode two, David Olusoga tracks the lives of the residents of Ravensworth Terrace through the turbulent decades from the 1860s to the 1900s.

In 1861 the house is occupied by elderly widow Mary Colbeck, living here with her 13-year-old grandson James Todd. David is curious about this setup – why is James living with his grandmother? Where are his parents? Peeling back ten years to the 1851 census, David discovers that Mary Colbeck is a well-to-do landowner. She lives on a large estate and owns three other farms. Her grandson James is one of eight children, the son of Mary’s daughter Margaret, who has married local industrialist Frederick Todd. Frederick’s family own a large glass-making factory on the banks of the Tyne.

But David discovers that this apparently respectable and well-matched couple have fallen into financial difficulty. As historian Cathy Ross explains, Newcastle’s glass-making industry is changing rapidly, and the Todds’ business fails to keep pace with the times. David then discovers a series of extraordinary newspaper articles that describe what happened next. Threatened by the forced sale of his factory, Frederick Todd attacks one of his creditors with a knife before trying to take his own life. He is thrown into gaol.

The scandal not only damages the family’s reputation, but forces Mary to sell her estate in the country and downsize to Ravensworth Terrace, in order to free up money to support her family.

David then discovers a death certificate for Frederick Todd, who dies in 1864, aged just 46. Three years later, his wife Margaret also dies in extraordinary circumstances. Reports describe her as an alcoholic who set herself on fire while drunk. This appalling incident is witnessed by her six-year-old daughter Mary Victoria. The death and scandal have devastating effects on all Margaret’s children, now orphaned and dependent on their grandmother Mary. She does her best to support them, but sadly there is no happy ending for her grandson James, who dies of consumption aged 22, nor for little Mary Victoria, who dies in a convalescent home in Torquay, aged just ten. In 1878, Mary Colbeck dies at Ravensworth Terrace.

By now the neighbourhood is moving down the social scale. After a brief spell as lodgings, the house at Ravensworth Terrace is taken over by an organisation called the ‘Diocesan Home for Friendless Girls’. As David discovers from historian Fern Riddell, the role of this organisation is to rescue girls from the street who are at risk of falling into prostitution and trains them up for domestic service. Tracing the young women trainees, most of them orphaned, abandoned or penniless, is a difficult task. But David discovers that one young girl, Alice Coulson, who comes to live at the Home at the age of 15, has a happy ending to her story. Alice finished her training in Ravensworth Terrace, and goes to work for a wealthy family in the seaside town of Filey, where she meets her future husband.

The next resident of Ravensworth Terrace is draper Bevan Harris. David discovers that he is not just a businessman, but an enthusiastic follower of Spiritualism, the belief that the dead can communicate with the living. He even hosts seances at the house in Ravensworth Terrace, as David discovers from experts Roger Luckhurst and Pat Beesley. The reason for his unwavering belief soon becomes clear. David discovers numerous deaths in Bevan’s family, and with infant mortality accounting for around a quarter of all deaths in the 1890s and life expectancy around 46, it is little surprise that people like Bevan Harris sought out the solace of Spiritualism. Harris himself writes ‘oh what a blessing is Spiritualism in these trying circumstances’ after the premature death of his wife from cancer.

In 1894, Bevan Harris moves to Nottingham to continue his Spiritualist mission, and the house sees the arrival of new tenants. Mary Ellen Oram is a draper and her husband William a captain in the merchant navy. To find out more about them David arranges to meet their descendant, Tony Holmes. To his surprise, Tony reveals that in 1900, Mary Ellen is committed to the local lunatic asylum, suffering from ‘melancholia’, what would today be termed depression. Money worries are behind Mary Ellen’s mental health problems. By 1898 her business had failed and her husband loses his job after being found guilty of overloading his ship with coal.

And as Deborah Sugg Ryan explains, Mary Ellen opened her business at exactly the wrong time, when high street drapers were facing stiff competition from new department stores. Mary Ellen is institutionalised for two years, and, David discovers, that she is not the only family member to spend time there. Her husband William was sent to the asylum after suffering from a stroke. Unlike his wife, who was released after two years, the unfortunate William Oram died just eight months after his admission.


THU 21:00 The Conjuring (m0010lf5)
1971. The Perron family’s new life in a dilapidated old house turns into a nightmare, so desperate mother Carolyn seeks helps from paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Based on a real-life experience.


THU 22:45 The Conjuring 2 - The Enfield Case (m0010k0m)
1977. Haunted by a horror in Amityville, paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren unwillingly come to north London to aid a single mother and her children – victims of a possessive poltergeist. Based on documented events.


THU 00:50 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002jrh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


THU 01:20 India: Nature's Wonderland (p02z83jc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Wednesday]


THU 02:20 A House Through Time (m00048rf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]



FRIDAY 15 OCTOBER 2021

FRI 19:00 ... Sings Motown (b05nyyv5)
Archive compilation celebrating the incredible body of work by Detroit's finest songwriting teams and artists for perhaps America's greatest ever record label, Motown.

This compilation of Motown covers spans the 1960s to the present day and features: Paul Weller and Amy Winehouse with I Heard It Through the Grapevine on Jools's Hootenanny, Roberta Flack's version of Stevie Wonder's Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer from an early edition of the OGWT, early adopter Dusty Springfield with Nowhere to Run on her 60s BBC TV show and The Flying Lizards with Barrett Strong's Money (That's What I Want) from Top of the Pops in 1979.

Of course, there are quite a few 80s hit covers from the decade that rediscovered Motown as a hitmaking machine, many of them from Top of the Pops including Kim Wilde's You Keep Me Hangin' On and Paul Young's 1983 Number 1 with Marvin Gaye's 1962 B-side, Wherever I Lay My Hat.

Then it's on into the 90s with Mercy Mercy Me from the late lamented Robert Palmer and Mariah Carey's take on The Jackson Five's I'll Be There. Plus of course, Phil Collins but, rightly or wrongly, not with You Can't Hurry Love but with his 21st-century reading of Stevie Wonder's Blame It on the Sun from Later with Jools.


FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m0010k2p)
Tony Dortie and Mark Franklin present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 3 October 1991 and featuring Bryan Adams, Erasure, Voice of the Beehive, Kenny Thomas, Belinda Carlisle, Stevie Wonder, Julian Lennon and Status Quo.


FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m0010k2r)
Tony Dortie and Mark Franklin present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 10 October 1991 and featuring Queen, Bryan Adams, DJ Carl Cox, Morrissey, Marc Cohn, Cathy Dennis, Simply Red and 2 Unlimited.


FRI 21:00 Billie: In Search of Billie Holiday (m000t8qv)
Billie Holiday, known one of the greatest voices of all time as well as a woman of breathtaking talent and global popularity, was a figure of controversy throughout her short life - a black woman in a white man’s world, a victim and a rebel. Her infamous Strange Fruit, the first protest song of the civil rights movement, earned her powerful enemies. She was also an enigma, her telling of her own life story a mix of half truths and free-form improvisations.

Then, in the late 1960s journalist Linda Lipnack Kuehl set out to write the definitive biography of Billie. Over the next decade, she tracked down and tape-recorded interviews with the extraordinary characters that populated the iconic singer’s short, tumultuous life.

Raw, emotional and brutally honest, these incredible testimonies ranged from musical greats like Charles Mingus, Tony Bennett, Sylvia Syms and Count Basie to her cousin, schoolfriends, lovers, lawyers, pimps and even the FBI agents who arrested her. But Linda’s book was never finished, and the tapes remained unplayed – until now.

With unprecedented and exclusive access to Linda's astonishing 200 hours of never-before-heard interviews, this documentary showcases an American legend, capturing her depths and complexity through the voices of those who knew her best. Painstakingly restored with footage and stills colourised by one of the world's leading colour artists, it is an arresting and powerful tale of one of the greatest singers who ever lived, and of Linda Lipnack Kuehl, the woman who would sacrifice her life in trying to tell it.


FRI 22:30 Jazz Divas Gold (b01sbxqy)
BBC Four explores the archives for the sultry sounds and looks of 'Jazz Divas Gold'! Featured Jazz legends include Ella Fitzgerald, Marion Montgomery, Cleo Laine, Blossom Dearie, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone, Peggy Lee, Betty Carter, Amy Winehouse, Eartha Kitt and many more who can be seen from 1965 to 2008 on BBC treasures such as Not So Much a Programme, More a Way of Life, Show of the Week, Not Only...But Also, Birdland, Parkinson, Later..with Jools Holland, Morecambe and Wise and more...so let's hear it for the ladies!


FRI 23:30 The Old Grey Whistle Test (m0010k2t)
Fun Boy Three

A special concert recorded at the Royal Theatre, Hitchin. First broadcast on 6 May 1983, the programme features Fun Boy Three performing many of their best-loved songs.


FRI 00:00 Radio 2 In Concert (b0bsrsnp)
Emeli Sandé

Multiple Brit Award-winning singer and songwriter Emeli Sande established herself as one of the UK's most exciting artists in 2012, with the release of her debut album Our Version of Events. The album spent a total of ten weeks at number one and was the bestselling album of 2012 in the UK. Her follow-up Long Live the Angels came in 2016 and featured the singles Hurts and Breathing Underwater. Expect songs from both of her big-selling albums in the intimate setting of the BBC Radio Theatre in London.


FRI 01:00 Top of the Pops (m0010k2p)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


FRI 01:30 Top of the Pops (m0010k2r)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]


FRI 02:00 Billie: In Search of Billie Holiday (m000t8qv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]




LIST OF THIS WEEK'S PROGRAMMES
(Note: the times link back to the details; the pids link to the BBC page, including iPlayer)

... Sings Motown 19:00 FRI (b05nyyv5)

A House Through Time 20:00 THU (m00048rf)

A House Through Time 02:20 THU (m00048rf)

A Stitch in Time 01:00 SAT (b09l2rfv)

A Stitch in Time 01:30 SUN (b09ll1fx)

A Stitch in Time 00:30 MON (b09mbb41)

Alexander Pope: Rediscovering a Genius 20:10 SUN (m0010jm5)

Arena 19:10 SUN (m0010jm3)

Arena 03:00 SUN (m0010jm3)

Billie: In Search of Billie Holiday 21:00 FRI (m000t8qv)

Billie: In Search of Billie Holiday 02:00 FRI (m000t8qv)

Carol Ann Duffy: Secular Prayers 19:00 SUN (b00kmt48)

Coast 19:00 SAT (b00xj5s8)

Enslaved with Samuel L Jackson 21:00 WED (m000ngf2)

Enslaved with Samuel L Jackson 01:20 WED (m000ngf2)

From Ice to Fire: The Incredible Science of Temperature 22:50 WED (b09t9txy)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 MON (m0002fpx)

Great British Railway Journeys 01:00 MON (m0002fpx)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 TUE (m0002fs8)

Great British Railway Journeys 01:35 TUE (m0002fs8)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 WED (m0002jn2)

Great British Railway Journeys 00:50 WED (m0002jn2)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 THU (m0002jrh)

Great British Railway Journeys 00:50 THU (m0002jrh)

India: Nature's Wonderland 20:00 WED (p02z83jc)

India: Nature's Wonderland 01:20 THU (p02z83jc)

Jazz Divas Gold 22:30 FRI (b01sbxqy)

Motherland 00:30 SAT (m000w753)

Nature and Us: A History through Art 21:00 MON (m0010jn6)

Nature and Us: A History through Art 01:30 MON (m0010jn6)

Nature and Us: A History through Art 02:05 TUE (m0010jn6)

Nothing Like a Dame 22:45 TUE (b0b5y3xn)

One Foot in the Grave 20:30 TUE (b007cg1z)

Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey 23:30 MON (b01d7kd5)

Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey 00:35 TUE (b01djm9b)

Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey 23:50 WED (b01dq1h0)

Paris Police 1900 21:00 SAT (p09tqjbm)

Paris Police 1900 21:55 SAT (p09tqjy6)

Pole to Pole 20:10 SAT (p02gdbml)

Pole to Pole 01:30 SAT (p02gdbml)

Radio 2 In Concert 00:00 FRI (b0bsrsnp)

Restoring the Earth: The Age of Nature 22:00 WED (m0010jp3)

Restoring the Earth: The Age of Nature 02:20 WED (m0010jp3)

Secrets of the Museum 20:00 MON (m000g6sp)

Secrets of the Museum 02:30 MON (m000g6sp)

Storyville 23:50 SUN (m000xw3j)

Sylvia Plath – Inside the Bell Jar 21:00 SUN (b0bg2jgc)

Sylvia Plath – Inside the Bell Jar 02:00 SUN (b0bg2jgc)

The Celts: Blood, Iron and Sacrifice with Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver 19:10 SAT (b06h3ytf)

The Celts: Blood, Iron and Sacrifice with Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver 02:20 SAT (b06h3ytf)

The Conjuring 2 - The Enfield Case 22:45 THU (m0010k0m)

The Conjuring 21:00 THU (m0010lf5)

The Good Life 20:00 TUE (p02r4q90)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 MON (m0010jn4)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 TUE (m0010jns)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 WED (m0010jp0)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 THU (m0010lnc)

The Mother 21:00 TUE (b0078tqd)

The Old Grey Whistle Test 23:30 FRI (m0010k2t)

The Sky at Night 22:00 SUN (m0010jm7)

The Sky at Night 00:05 TUE (m0010jm7)

The Special Relationship 22:00 MON (b00ty79c)

The Trials of Oscar Pistorius 22:55 SAT (p08tfp7d)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m0010k2p)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m0010k2r)

Top of the Pops 01:00 FRI (m0010k2p)

Top of the Pops 01:30 FRI (m0010k2r)

Welcome to the World of George the Poet 22:30 SUN (p07sj2d2)