The BBC has announced that it has a sustainable plan for the future of the BBC Singers, in association with The VOCES8 Foundation.
The threat to reduce the staff of the three English orchestras by 20% has not been lifted, but it is being reconsidered.
See the BBC press release here.

Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4 Contact

Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by


SAT 19:00 Wild (b008nkvk)
2007-08 Shorts

Dean the Diving Decorator

Wildlife documentary. Dean is a painter and decorator by trade, but he dreams of being a wildlife cameraman. He's spent the past few years filming in a freezing flooded quarry in Leicester. Although he's an amateur, Dean's footage of courting pike was so good it was used in The Nature of Britain. This film was made to share more of Dean's fantastic footage. It also features Dean talking about his experiences. Presented by Jenny Eclair.

SAT 19:10 Castles: Britain's Fortified History (b04tt2f9)
Kingdom of Conquest

Sam Willis tells the story of the English ruler who left the most indelible mark on the castle - the great Plantagenet king, Edward I, who turned it into an instrument of colonisation. Edward spent vast sums to subdue Wales with a ring of iron comprised of some of the most fearsome fortresses ever built. Castles like Caernarfon and Beaumaris were used to impose England's will on the Welsh. But when Edward turned his attention to Scotland, laying siege to castles with great catapults, things didn't go so well for him.

SAT 20:10 Around the World in 80 Days (b0078959)
Oriental Express

Michael Palin's journey continues with a trip on a huge container ship across the South China Seas from Singapore to Hong Kong, then an express train ride through China to Shanghai putting him back on schedule for the first time since leaving Europe.

SAT 21:00 Persian Lessons (m001494x)
World War II. Gilles, a young Jewish man in a concentration camp, has his life saved when executioners realise he owns a Persian book. Brought before a camp officer who wants to learn Farsi, Gilles agrees to teach him despite not knowing a word of the language. Being a favourite of this officer may keep him alive, but that depends on how long GIlles can sustain the lie.

SAT 23:00 Parkinson: The Interviews (b01gkj72)
Series 1

David Niven

Actor, writer and raconteur David Niven spills the beans about the golden days of Hollywood as he talks about his work, his loves and his autobiographies with the wit and charm that became his trademark in two interviews from 1972 and 1975.

SAT 23:40 Yes, Prime Minister (b0074qvc)
Series 1

The Smoke Screen

The health minister wants to abolish smoking using prohibitive taxation, losing the Treasury £4bn revenue. Jim sees how he can use this to stop Treasury opposition to his plans for tax cuts.

SAT 00:10 Keeping Up Appearances (b0077kb8)
Series 2

The Candlelight Supper

Hyacinth has arranged one of her candlelight suppers, planning to impress Emmet, the director of the local amateur operatic society, with her singing. But circumstances beyond her control soon take over the proceedings.

SAT 00:40 Storyville (b091gw89)
Out of Thin Air: Murder in Iceland

In 1974, two men vanished several months apart. Iceland, with a population of just over 200,000, was a close, tight-knit community where everyone knew everyone, but the police got nowhere: there were no bodies, no witnesses and no forensic evidence. Then six suspects were arrested and confessed to the murders, many facing long, harsh sentences. It seemed like justice had been done, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Forty years later, this notorious murder case was reopened when new evidence brought into question everything that had gone before. It became clear that the suspects had very quickly lost trust in their memories and were confused about their involvement in the crimes they had confessed to. The extreme police interrogation techniques were brought under intense scrutiny.

This tense, psychological thriller tells the true story of the biggest-ever criminal investigation in Iceland's history, exploring one of the most shocking miscarriages of justice Europe has ever witnessed.

SAT 02:05 Around the World in 80 Days (b0078959)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:10 today]

SAT 02:55 Castles: Britain's Fortified History (b04tt2f9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:10 today]


SUN 19:00 Perfect Pianists at the BBC (b0729r6r)
David Owen Norris takes us on a journey through 60 years of BBC archive to showcase some of the greatest names in the history of the piano. From the groundbreaking BBC studio recitals of Benno Moiseiwitsch, Solomon and Myra Hess in the 1950s, through the legendary concerts of Vladimir Horowitz and Arthur Rubinstein, to more recent performances, including Alfred Brendel, Mitsuko Uchida and Stephen Hough, David celebrates some of the greatest players in a pianistic tradition which goes back to Franz Liszt in the 19th century. Filmed at the Cobbe Collection, Hatchlands Park.

SUN 20:00 Dames of Classic Drama at the BBC (b06nxrv3)
Today, they are at the centre of British cultural life and among our greatest exports - the acting dames, an exclusive club of stage and screen greats who were honoured for their services to drama. But, lurking in the BBC archives - from long before their talents were recognised by royal decree - we find the early work and some career defining moments of Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Diana Rigg and Helen Mirren. David Tennant narrates the story of our dames of classic drama, from a golden age of British television drama.

SUN 21:00 This Cultural Life (m0014960)
Series 1

Kwame Kwei-Armah

Playwright and artistic director of London's Young Vic theatre Kwame Kwei-Armah shares some of the influences that have had a significant impact on his work.

Kwei-Armah pursued careers in music and acting, playing paramedic Finlay Newton in BBC One's Casualty, before finding success at a writer. His award-winning plays include Elmina's Kitchen and Statement of Regret, both staged at the National Theatre. He tells John Wilson about his early years at stage school, how seeing a production of Joe Turner's Come and Gone, by August Wilson, changed the way he saw what theatre could do, and how Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave set him on a different path.

SUN 21:30 Elmina's Kitchen (m0014962)
Kwame Kwei-Armah's play is set in a shabby West Indian cafe on Hackney's murder mile. In an area controlled by Yardies, one man's life is a daily battle to maintain an honest living, provide a stable life for his troublesome son, and make a platform to finally step up to his woman.

SUN 23:00 imagine... (m000ljpv)

My Name Is Kwame

Kwame Kwei-Armah is one of British theatre’s most exciting creative leaders. Currently the artistic director of London’s Young Vic, he has had a successful career as an actor, writer and director on both sides of the Atlantic. He came to fame playing paramedic Finlay Newton in the BBC drama Casualty, and his groundbreaking play Elmina’s Kitchen was one of the first by a black British writer to be staged at the National Theatre and in the West End.

In his first two years at the Young Vic, he has programmed a run of sell-out shows, including Death of a Salesman, Twelfth Night, Tree and the controversial Pulitzer Prize-winning Fairview.

As the Young Vic celebrates its 50th anniversary, Alan Yentob hears how a young Southall boy called Ian Roberts became the artist Kwame Kwei-Armah.

SUN 00:00 Africa with Ade Adepitan (m0002fcf)
Series 1

Episode 1

Ade Adepitan embarks on the first leg of his epic four-part journey around Africa. Starting in west Africa, this episode sees Ade travelling from Cape Verde to Senegal and the Ivory Coast, before finishing in Nigeria - the country of his birth.

In Cape Verde - a group of tiny volcanic islands in the Atlantic - Ade visits a community living in the shadow of an active volcano. He also witnesses how solar power is transforming lives by bringing electricity to isolated communities.

Ade's next stop is Senegal. Here he visits Goree Island - a former staging post in the transatlantic slave trade. He then travels down the coast to a fishing village, where he hears that much of Senegal’s catch is being taken by foreign companies and turned into fishmeal to feed western livestock. Making a last stop on his journey through Senegal, Ade visits Lake Retba where he joins the workers who wade through the lake gathering salt, which they sell for less than half a penny a kilogram. Ade’s host has tried to escape poverty by migrating to Europe, but - like so many others - he never got further than the horrors of the camps in Libya.

In the Ivory Coast, Ade meets more people who share the dream of getting to Europe. This time, however, they are footballers training to become professionals in Europe’s big leagues. But it does not always work out, as many are scammed into giving their cash to dodgy football agents.

The final stop is Nigeria. In Lagos he meets some old friends who play para soccer, and he also visits the largest church building on the planet. Travelling out of Lagos, he discovers a country in chaos. Under armed escort, he hears about a conflict that has created hundreds of thousands refugees, but barely been reported in the West. He finishes his journey at Nigeria’s equivalent to Silicon Valley – a company that believes tech can transform the continent.

SUN 01:00 Upstream (m0008z3c)
Upstream is a film by writer Robert Macfarlane and director Rob Petit. The film, which was shot entirely from the air, follows the course of the River Dee in Scotland all the way to its source in the Cairngorm mountains, the highest of any river in Britain. With a prose poem written especially for the film by Macfarlane (voiced by Julie Fowlis) and an original score by the Oscar-nominated composer Hauschka, the film takes as it epigraph the words of the Scottish writer Nan Shepherd (1893-1981): 'One cannot know the rivers till one has seen them at their sources,' wrote Shepherd, 'but this journey to sources is not to be undertaken lightly.' (The Living Mountain, 1977).

Eerie, hypnotic and experimental, this groundbreaking polyphonic film weaves together field recordings of the river, and the birds and creatures which live along it, the place names and stories - dark and light - of the Cairngorms, creating a 'songline' that draws the viewer up, against the flow, into wildness, winter and strangeness.

SUN 01:30 Dames of Classic Drama at the BBC (b06nxrv3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SUN 02:30 This Cultural Life (m0014960)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

SUN 03:00 Perfect Pianists at the BBC (b0729r6r)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


MON 19:00 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bpkr)
Series 1

Barton Swing Aqueduct to Liverpool Docks

Life on board a narrowboat with Robbie Cumming. There are engine issues and a leaky boat to fix before Robbie reaches Liverpool Docks.

MON 19:30 Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam (b0078kym)
The Early Pioneers

Fred Dibnah traces the development of steam power from the earliest experiments in the ancient world to the modern nuclear power station. Fred visits Cornwall to look at the early history of the steam engine, first developed to pump water from tin mines.

MON 20:00 The Impressionists: Painting and Revolution (b013cqpz)
Final Flourish

This episode takes a closer look at the late years of Impressionism, using the last show these artists did together as a starting point.

Waldemar looks in considerable depth at the work of Georges Seurat, taking into consideration his academic training at the Beaux-Arts School in Paris and the artists that influenced him, such as Piero della Francesca and Puvis de Chavannes.

There is also an insight into the complex but fascinating world of optics and art, and the ways in which the Impressionists were using the new discoveries in light and eyesight to influence their work. A fascinating 'after-image' experiment brings to life the ways in which our own eyes see colour, both in its presence and its absence.

Van Gogh's time in Paris, a period very little is known about, is also covered, charting the incredible journey the artist made from his brown and dull canvases to the splendid colour and light that pervaded his work on the cusp of his departure for the South of France.

The film finishes with a revisiting of Monet and his later waterlily paintings in the Orangerie in Paris. Waldemar investigates how a bad case of cataracts was responsible for a seismic shift in his colour palette and his brushstrokes. Spending time with an ophthalmologist, he finds out how old age and a fairly common ailment of the eyes caused Impressionism to shift and become radical again at the turn of the century and into the 20th century.

MON 21:00 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (m001494m)
Series 5


Britain’s premier art detectives, Bendor Grosvenor and Emma Dabiri, are on the hunt to find and restore one of the nation’s great lost masterpieces. Can a mysterious painting of a beautiful society woman really be by the celebrated artist Joshua Reynolds and which celebrity playwright will lead them from Rome to Bath to London’s Royal Academy? With a fascinating treasure hunt into the art of the Georgians and a very modern 21st century digital restoration the results are truly spectacular.

Bendor traces the remarkable life of Sir Joshua from humble beginnings in the West Country to reach the pinnacle of the artistic establishment, becoming the first president of the Royal Academy and the country's most respected authority on art. In Rome, Bendor explores how Reynolds developed his style, known as the Grand Manner, and visiting the home of a private collector he looks at a little-known self-portrait by Reynolds. Bendor explains why he believes it to be the greatest self-portrait ever made by a British artist, with virtuoso brushwork and a fluidity that gives it a remarkably modern appeal. Intensely personal and sympathetic it was painted when Reynolds was at the height of his success, wealthy enough to buy a large house in the centre of London, lavishly furnished and adapted for his own needs. Bendor is also pleased to see the picture has many similarities to the portrait of Elizabeth Linley.

Emma explores the story of the man who donated the picture, Archibald McLellan, a wealthy businessman whose passion for art saw him amass an outstanding collection which he left to the city of Glasgow.

Reynolds' achievements culminated with his presidency of the newly created Royal Academy of the Arts, a position he made his own and which gave him an authority to promote his own opinions about painting. The suite of rooms at Somerset House in the Strand, where the Academy was originally housed, have recently been restored and Bendor visits to get a taste of the spaces that would have been familiar to Reynolds, including the Great Room where the tradition of the Summer Exhibition was born under Sir Joshua.

At the restoration studio the portrait itself has been subject to close scrutiny. At some point in the last few years, the surface of the painting had been coated with a thick varnish which has now discoloured and darkened. However, Reynolds' unorthodox painting methods, often using wax instead of oil to mix his paints, mean it must undergo stringent technical analysis to ensure it is safe to clean it. It soon becomes clear it will be impossible to restore the picture, which Bendor feels will damage the prospects of a favourable verdict from the Reynolds expert, Martin Postle.

Emma investigates the brief and tragic life of the woman who has always been the accepted subject of the picture, Elizabeth Linley. A child prodigy, she became a celebrity singer performing in her hometown of Bath from the age of nine. In her teens she was regarded as a great beauty and suffered frequent but unwelcome attention from suitors. She eloped and married the playwright and politician Richard Brindsley Sheridan and found herself at the centre of a constitutional crisis before her tragic early death at the age of 37. Emma is puzzled to know what evidence there is that the portrait is really Elizabeth as there have been doubts expressed in the past. When she looks at some of Reynolds' vivid and insightful portraits of female celebrities from the Georgian era she is surprised when she uncovers the true identity of the sitter in our portrait.

In order to give a sense of how the portrait would look if it had been possible to clean it, Bendor is amazed to see the results that can be achieved digitally. Using laser scanning techniques and high resolution re-colourisation a three-dimensional facsimile is created which he hopes will give his case a boost. The portrait is returned to Glasgow for the verdict to be revealed.

MON 22:00 Metalworks! (b01fhmhp)
The Golden Age of Silver

Dan Cruickshank visits Britain's finest country houses, museums and factories as he uncovers the 18th- and 19th-century fascination with silver. Delving into an unsurpassed era of shimmering opulence, heady indulgence and conspicuous consumption, Dan discovers the Georgian and Victorian obsession with this tantalising precious metal which represented status, wealth and excellent taste. He gives us a glimpse of some of the most extensive collections and exquisite pieces of silverware to have ever been made on British shores.

MON 23:00 Metalworks! (b01hdhpy)
The Knight's Tale

Art historian and curator Tobias Capwell celebrates the great age of armour. Referencing the unstoppable rise of the Royal Almain Armoury at Greenwich, he tells the forgotten story of how Henry VIII fused German high technology with Renaissance artistry in the pursuit of one aim - to become the very image of the perfect knight. Using the talents of foreign craftsmen and his court artist Hans Holbein, Henry transformed himself into a living metal sculpture. His daughter Elizabeth I further exploited that image, making her courtiers parade before her in the most innovative and richly decorated works ever commissioned in steel.

MON 00:00 Africa with Ade Adepitan (m0002jl2)
Series 1

Episode 2

The second leg of Ade Adepitan’s four-part journey around Africa, a continent undergoing huge change. This leg takes him across central Africa, from the coast of Gabon, through the giant Democratic Republic of Congo, and on to Uganda.

He starts off the coast of Gabon looking for humpback whales. It is one of Africa’s best spots for seeing them, thanks to Gabon’s vast marine sanctuaries. The country is an eco-paradise, not just in the water, but on land as well where 80% of it is forested. But the country has recently introduced one of the most destructive agri-businesses in the tropics - palm oil farming. Ade discovers how Gabon hopes to do it sustainably. The country has impressive environmental credentials, but on a tour of its divided capital Ade hears that some people are skeptical. One critic suggests it is a way for the country’s autocratic ruler Ali Bongo Ondimba to curry favour with the international community.

Next up is perhaps the most chaotic and corrupt country in Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ade discovers first-hand how everyone from the traffic police to the country’s top politicians are on the take. He also spends time with some of Kinshasa’s musicians and ‘sapeurs’ – people who get kitted out in the finest haute couture in one of the poorest countries on the planet.

In DRC’s far east, he finds out what lies at the heart of the country’s problems: a never-ending conflict amongst local militia, fuelled by foreign countries who want to get their hands on the DRC’s vast resources. After going on a tank patrol with the UN, he meets Kibomango, a champion boxer who is helping to rehabilitate some of the country’s 30,000 child soldiers.

Travelling into one of the most famous national parks in the world, Virunga, Ade discovers that few areas of the country have been left unscarred by the violence. And the impact on the wildlife has been extreme, as Ade encounters some of the world’s few remaining mountain gorillas.

His final stop on this trip is Uganda where he meets Bobi Wine, one of Africa’s most outspoken political campaigners. Bobi was recently arrested and beaten, and his driver killed, after his protests drew the attention of long-serving autocratic ruler Yoweri Museveni. Ade meets a defiant man who will not give up, no matter what threats are made on his life. He is part of a new generation of Africans who are fighting to take back control from the post-colonial leaders who have done so much to wreck the continent.

MON 01:00 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bpkr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MON 01:30 Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam (b0078kym)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

MON 02:00 The Impressionists: Painting and Revolution (b013cqpz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 03:00 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (m001494m)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Yorkshire Wolds Way (b088nwg0)
Episode 1

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.

TUE 19:30 Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam (b03lzh78)
The Age of the Steam Locomotive

Fred Dibnah traces the development of steam power, from early colliery railways to the end of steam travel in Britain in the 1960s.

TUE 20:00 Keeping Up Appearances (b007b7yc)
Series 2

Hyacinth Tees Off

Sitcom. Hyacinth and Richard go to join the Major at a hotel for a golfing weekend. The Major cries off playing, but has organised a friend to play with Richard.

TUE 20:30 Yes, Prime Minister (b0074rsm)
Series 1

The Key

Sir Humphrey has skilfully moved Dorothy Wainwright, the PM's political advisor, out of her office. She insists on moving back and tells Jim that he is letting Humphrey become too dominant.

TUE 21:00 The Secret Life of the Motorway (b007xmbm)
The Honeymoon Period

The second episode in this evocative series about Britain's motorways explores how they have transformed where we live, work and play in Britain over the last 50 years. From unbelievably glamorous early service stations to contemporary shopping centres with the infrastructure of a small town, this enthralling film is a journey through the wonderful, and the weird, places motorways have taken us. Contributors include seminal planner Sir Peter Hall, author Will Self, caravanners, hitchhikers and commuters, all on our eagerness to accelerate down the slip road, and the social changes that have followed.

TUE 22:00 Classic British Cars: Made in Coventry (m000w6sp)
To celebrate the award of UK City of Culture 2021 to Coventry, local boy Mark Evans tells the full history of the classic cars made in Coventry,

This passionate retrospective runs from the industry's beginnings in 1897 through to the present day and includes interviews and archive footage detailing the stories behind the creation of classic marques such as the Daimler, the Triumph, the Riley and the Jaguar and the companies and people behind them.

TUE 23:00 Metalworks! (b01hr877)
The Blacksmith's Tale

In a story where progress meets creative invention, this film looks at how the blacksmith created items in wrought and cast iron that both served and embellished society. From the earliest ornate hinges and doors to magnificent baroque gates and mass-produced street furniture, it reveals the mastery of metalworkers such as Jean Tijou, Robert Bakewell and John Tresilian, the designs of Robert Adam and George Gilbert Scott, and the mass marketers of the Victorian age such as the Saracen foundry.

Treasures are drawn from all corners of the UK in a celebration of the best of British decorative ironwork.

TUE 00:00 Africa with Ade Adepitan (m0002p4d)
Series 1

Episode 3

The third leg of Ade Adepitan’s epic four-part journey around Africa, a continent undergoing huge change. This leg takes him to the east of the continent, from Tanzania, through Ethiopia and on to war-torn Somalia.

Ade begins in Tanzania, in Selous Game Reserve – a game park the size of Switzerland. He is on the lookout for elephants. But the numbers in this park have fallen by 90 per cent over the last few decades. As well as poaching, one of the big problems is that elephants trample and eat crops – so the locals don’t like them. But a new collaring programme is helping numbers to recover.

Ade’s next stop is Ethiopia’s far north. He travels to the hottest place on the planet where he spends a night with some of the toughest people on earth - the Afar. He joins them doing what their ancestors have done for centuries – hacking blocks of salt from a dried-up salt lake and loading them onto camels. But change is finally coming to this place – thanks to another of its resources, the fertilizer potash. It is a sign of Ethiopia’s development, which Ade sees more of in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Having grown up with images of starving children in the famine-plagued 80s, Addis is nothing like Ade expected. The city is booming. And it is driving Ethiopia’s economy - now one of the fastest-growing in the world. Ade gets a guided tour from perhaps the world’s greatest-ever long distance runner, Haile Gebrselassie. Haile is now a businessman, with investments in coffee and construction
The real fuel in Ethiopia’s boom is manufacturing. Asia is still the workshop of the world, but with wages there on the rise, Chinese companies are increasingly looking to countries like Ethiopia to set up factories – as Ade discovers on a visit to a shoe factory.

Leaving Addis, Ade travels on Ethiopia’s new high-speed Chinese built train, which whisks him all the way to neighbouring Djibouti, a vital port for Ethiopia’s export-led economy.

The final stop on this leg of Ade’s trip is war-torn Somalia. He joins the African Union troops on a mission out of Mogadishu and discovers a country in ruins, thanks to decades of conflict with Islamist group al-Shabab. Even in areas ruled by the government conservative Islam dominates and women face restriction on their freedom. Back in Mogadishu, Ade shoots some hoops with a group of women defying the odds by playing basketball. His final encounter is with a female doctor who worked for the NHS for 30 years, and has now returned to Somalia to rebuild her country. She is prepared to give her life, if necessary, in her efforts to provide quality maternity care for new mothers.

TUE 01:00 Handmade (b05tpx1l)

As part of BBC Four Goes Slow, this programme follows the slow and painstaking process of making a classic Windsor chair.

A beautifully simple object, it is in fact anything but. Filmed over five days, the film reveals the complex, time-consuming processes involved in creating the chair, made by Jim Steele in his Warwickshire workshop.

This traditional design features woods chosen for their different qualities - ash, elm and hard-to-source yew.

Jim makes just 12 such chairs each year, using traditional techniques and aided by few modern tools. There are just two screws in the finished chair. From the steam bending of the back to the turning of spindles, the carving of the seat to the planing of the arms, it's a remarkable process to observe.

The bold style of the film, making use of long, static shots with no music or commentary allows the viewer to admire in exquisite detail the painstaking craftsmanship.

TUE 01:30 Yorkshire Wolds Way (b088nwg0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

TUE 02:00 Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam (b03lzh78)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

TUE 02:30 Classic British Cars: Made in Coventry (m000w6sp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


WED 19:00 Yorkshire Wolds Way (b08bbmyb)
Episode 2

Adventurer Paul Rose continues his exploration of the Yorkshire Wolds Way, arguably Britain's least well-known national walking trail. The 79-mile trail starts at the Humber Estuary and ends at the Yorkshire seaside resort of Filey. In this episode, Paul takes to the skies to get a unique view of this stretch of chalk downland and gets a special invitation to a military base that's been keeping the country safe since the start of the Second World War.

WED 19:30 Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam (b0078l4s)
Driving the Wheels of Industry

Fred looks at the key role that was played by steam power in the extraordinary expansion of industrial Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries, and at the continued use of huge stationary steam engines in mills, collieries and steelworks until well into the 20th century.

WED 20:00 Patagonia: Earth's Secret Paradise (b06fnkr7)
Heat and Dust

Patagonia invites you into a rarely seen South American wilderness, home to surprising creatures who survive in environments that range from the mighty Andes Mountains to Cape Horn.

From the Andes peaks, we follow the path of the relentless wind, sweeping east through Patagonia's dry desert. We discover a weird world of maras - giant guinea pigs - and desert-dwelling penguins, and witness the first faltering steps of baby guanacos - Patagonia's very own camels. People live here too - brave souls who have taken on this arid world and carved out a home.

WED 21:00 Digging for Britain (m0001jg7)
Series 7


Professor Alice Roberts explores this year’s most exciting archaeological finds from the east of Britain. Every new discovery was filmed by the archaeologists themselves, giving us an unprecedented view of each excavation as it happens.

In this episode, we join a team in Suffolk as they uncover an ancient lost monument as old as Stonehenge. We travel a little further east than usual to a WWI battlefield in France to explore one of Britain’s earliest and most disastrous tank battles, and then return to Suffolk as archaeologists try to make sense of some disturbing Roman burial practices. Also, one lucky metal detectorist chances upon a coin hoard that gives us insight into the effect the English civil war had on the lives of ordinary people.

Our roving archaeologist Raksha Dave goes behind the scenes at an archaeological lab in Brighton and follows an investigation into a lost
medieval village.

WED 22:00 Storyville (m001498x)

When Robert Mugabe was ousted by his own party, Zimbabwe’s new leaders promised a democratic presidential election – the first since the start of Mugabe’s rule almost 40 years earlier. Against a backdrop of economic crisis, food shortages and political violence, the stakes could not be higher.

Working to defeat the ruling party, which has controlled Zimbabwe since independence, is the young and charismatic Nelson Chamisa, who has been compared to a young Nelson Mandela. The campaign will set the course for the future of the country. After decades of corrupt elites using any means necessary to retain power, can a free, fair and transparent election truly be possible?

With this sequel to her widely acclaimed 2014 documentary Democrats, which followed the political battle to establish Zimbabwe’s first democratic constitution, Camilla Nielsson brings viewers into the heart of an epic struggle for power.

WED 23:35 Africa with Ade Adepitan (m0002tdd)
Series 1

Episode 4

The final leg of Ade Adepitan’s epic tour of Africa sees him travelling from the beaches of Mozambique, through South Africa, before ending his entire trip in Zimbabwe.

He begins on the golden sand beaches of Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago, one of Africa’s highlights. At Paradise Island, he finds an abandoned hotel, a visual reminder of Mozambique’s recent history - this place was once a high-end tourist destination, but 25 years of colonial and then civil war put a stop to development. But the local wildlife has benefited from the fact that so few tourists now come here, and Ade is able to snorkel with one of the world’s most elusive sea creatures - a dugong.

Since the wars, Mozambique has struggled to develop, and Ade meets someone for whom life is especially hard – a wheelchair user like himself. In a country where disability is viewed with fear and superstition – and believed by many to be contagious – even catching a bus proves impossible for Castigo. The best thing in his life is exactly the same thing that turned Ade’s life around - wheelchair basketball - and Ade can’t help getting carried away in a game. Along the coast, at one of Mozambique’s largest ports, Ade finds out that China is investing a huge amount in Mozambique – and elsewhere across Africa. The money often comes with strings attached, but a poor country like Mozambique needs financial help, which has to come from somewhere.

Ade’s next stop is South Africa. The country is famous for its wildlife but Ade hears how Chinese influence is having a dramatic impact here – the country’s rhino population has been decimated by poachers, driven by a demand for rhino horn in Chinese medicine. Ade follows rangers with a surprising way of tackling the problem - by cutting off the rhino horn themselves, they hope to deter poachers.

Ade travels to Johannesburg to see how the country is faring 25 years after apartheid ended. On a tour of the city, he is upset to discover that although the black population now have voting rights, they are living in an economic form of apartheid, with 25% unemployed and many squatting on whatever land they can find. In an emotional scene, Ade visits a squatted piece of land, moments after the police have destroyed people’s houses, to hear claims that Mandela’s legacy has been forgotten. Land reform is the big political issue here today, with many calling for a redistribution of land from rich white farmers to the black population.

The final stop on Ade’s African adventure is Zimbabwe – where land reform has already happened, with disastrous results. Ade finds a country still struggling economically. His first stop is the Kariba dam, and a hair-raising boat ride on the vast and stunning Lake Kariba. Ade finds that locals are worried about the stability of the Kariba dam and work has begun to stabilize undermined foundations. The worrying decay of this crucial dam is a sign of how much this country suffered under the rule of Robert Mugabe.

As Ade has seen so often on his trip around Africa, Zimbabwe is a country that should be rich. It has huge quantities of gold – enough, in theory, for the entire population to be a millionaire. But there isn’t the infrastructure of investment to get at it - in a country dogged by poverty and corruption. But the departure of dictator Robert Mugabe brought a new optimism, and Ade meets gold miners who are willing to risk daily exposure to toxic mercury for every scrap of gold they can get and an entrepreneur who believes the industry can be transformed. Despite the return of violence and repression in Zimbabwe, Ade ends his journey on a high, visiting a remote hut that has been turned into the set of a music video. He joins UK indie musician Shingai Shoniwa as she shoots the video for her forthcoming debut single, Coming Home, in a country that she believes is on the up, and deserves a fresh chance.

WED 00:35 Yorkshire Wolds Way (b08bbmyb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

WED 01:05 Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam (b0078l4s)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

WED 01:35 Patagonia: Earth's Secret Paradise (b06fnkr7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 02:35 Digging for Britain (m0001jg7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 River Walks (b0bty0gp)
Series 1

The Nidd

Blind adventurer Amar Latif takes us on a route along one of Yorkshire’s most stunning river valleys. He abseils into a hidden gorge, canoes across a reservoir, and meets the local llamas while following a riverside trail along the Nidd.

Grab your boots and join adventurer Amar Latif as he takes us on a journey along one of Yorkshire’s most surprising rivers. As a blind man with a passion for outdoor adventure, Amar discover how the stunning landscape along the River Nidd has been shaped, while abseiling into a hidden canyon, discovering the remains of an abandoned village, canoeing over Bradford’s water supply and meeting the local llamas.

Amar’s 13-mile route takes in the most stunning parts of this unique river valley. It’s the place where mysterious gorges have been carved out over thousands of years, where villages have been left abandoned after huge civil engineering projects, and where the farms of the future are taking hold in the landscape. It is packed with intriguing history, stunning nature and incredible views.

We hear how Amar was introduced to outdoor adventure after he became blind when he was 18. Climbing Yorkshire’s Three Peaks was his first major challenge so the scenery of North Yorkshire still means the world to him.

His journey starts at Scar House Reservoir, where the source of the Nidd rises dramatically behind the dam wall. He starts his journey by canoe with a local instructor, paddling across the reservoir – before he explores the remains of a mysterious vanishing village that was once home to 1,250 people. With impressive archive pictures, he discovers how it housed families working on the revolutionary reservoir project which now provides most of Bradford’s water supply. Remains include the projection booth of a stunning 600-seat cinema.

Amar’s journey then continues down the Nidd valley – where the landscape is rapidly changing. Farmer Martyn Brown has turned his back on sheep and crops, and spent this year planting 10,000 trees on his 970-acre farm by the Nidd. He is part of a movement to revolutionise the way farms connect with nature. Amar meets him to investigate how this farm is transforming the fortunes of the local wildlife – and also helps out with a spot of dry stone walling to stop the sheep nibbling the new trees.

Walking with his guide, Amar then heads up and over the moor before descending to the dramatic How Stean Gorge. On the way, there is a brief stop at Middlesmoor where he explains how blind people can still enjoy stunning views like this.

Putting on his wetsuit, Amar then takes on a spectacular limestone ravine carved out over thousands of years by the power of the river. With instructor Tony Liddy, he abseils 45 feet into the gorge below. With specialist waterproof cameras, they explore a hidden area of incredible beauty and examine the natural rock formations and how the gorge came to be.

Continuing downstream, with stunning aerials and idyllic filming, Amar and his guide continue to Pateley Bridge – stopping to help catch wild brown trout on the river.

Amar then heads to what is officially the oldest sweet shop in England. Tasting the old classics, operating the vintage confectionary machines and talking all things sweet with its charismatic owner, Amar revels in the nostalgia that brings so many visitors to this beautiful village.

His journey then continues down the river valley – as the autumn leaves line the path as the river widens. His journey concludes by meeting a remarkable farmer’s wife. After going to buy a horse and coming home with a llama ten years ago, Suzanne Benson is the proud owner of a llama trekking farm in the beautiful countryside beside the River Nidd. Suzanne takes Amar on a llama trek, where he reflects on how he was in Peru when he last came across one, and wonders if a llama would make for a good guide dog replacement. They finish with a scenic trek overlooking this unique part of the Yorkshire Dales.

With high quality drone filming, stunning helicopter aerials, shots under the surface of the river itself and bespoke craft filming, this is a high quality film showcasing one of the most impressive but rarely visited parts of Yorkshire – all fronted by a witty, engaging and dynamic new presenter.

THU 19:30 Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam (b0078l7l)
Steaming Down the Road

Fred traces the development of steam power. He looks at early experiments in its use for road transport, and at the development of the traction engine.

THU 20:00 Fort Apache (b0077zzm)
The first of John Ford's cavalry trilogy, in which a commanding officer, bitter at his demotion after the Civil War, takes his resentment out on the men of Fort Apache, a remote outpost in the Arizona desert.

He is determined to tighten up discipline but eventually shows his ignorance of American Indian behaviour when he leads his troops into a deadly confrontation.

THU 22:05 She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (b007894r)
In the second in John Ford's cavalry trilogy, a US cavalry officer suffers a setback on his last mission and is 'retired' before he can take further action. To avert a full-scale war, he decides to act alone.

THU 23:45 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (m001494m)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]

THU 00:45 Handmade (b05tpw1j)

As part of BBC Four Goes Slow, this programme follows the forging of a steel knife. From the slow stoking of the fire to the hammering, welding and etching of the metal, the film is an absorbing portrait of the complex processes behind the making of the knife.

Forged in a spectacular industrial space, bladesmith Owen Bush uses a combination of modern and traditional techniques, some of which date to ancient times.

The most time-consuming element of the process is the shaping and blending of a sandwich of steels into a blade which, after polishing, is placed in a bath of acids, revealing an intricate pattern - a technique used by the Vikings and Saxons.

The bold style of the film-making, making use of long, static shots and with no music or commentary, allows the viewer to simply enjoy watching the painstaking and highly skilled craftsmanship.

THU 01:15 River Walks (b0bty0gp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

THU 01:45 Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam (b0078l7l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 02:15 The Secret Life of the Motorway (b007xmbm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]


FRI 19:00 Peggy Lee Entertains (m001499v)
American jazz singer Peggy Lee performs some of her most popular songs.

FRI 19:45 Top of the Pops (b08skpzg)
1984 - Big Hits

Celebrating the big hits from a big year in British pop. The big hitters in this compilation are performed by the likes of The Smiths, Duran Duran, Sade, The Weather Girls, Wham! and Bronski Beat, to name a few.

Further stellar appearances come from the TOTP debuts of iconic Americans Madonna, Miami Sound Machine and Cyndi Lauper, who runs riot in the studio.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood celebrate their 1984 chart dominance with one of their celebrated renditions of Two Tribes, while we couldn't let you forget a little ditty from Black Lace - you'll be singing this for days... you have been warned!

FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m001499y)
Mark Franklin and Femi Oke present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 23 April 1992 and featuring EMF, Curtis Stigers, Iron Maiden, Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, Michael Jackson and Right Said Fred.

FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m00149b0)
Tony Dortie and Claudia Simon present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 30 April 1992 and featuring Marc Almond, En Vogue, SL2, The Sisters of Mercy, Michael Jackson, The Cure and Right Said Fred.

FRI 21:00 Love Songs at the BBC: A Valentine's Day Special (b00ymh70)
It's a time for guilty pleasures, for courtship, for declarations of love, for looking someone in the eye and whispering sweet nothings, accompanied by a compilation of some of the greatest and squishiest love songs from the likes of Celine Dion, Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, Jason and Kylie, 10cc and Lionel Richie, all from the Top of the Pops era. If Hot Chocolate and Chaka Khan don't get the temperatures rising, then nothing will.

FRI 22:00 Barry White in Concert 1975 (b0074pvz)
Barry White live in concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1975.

FRI 22:50 Classic Albums (m000f8xc)
Tears for Fears: Songs from the Big Chair

Documentary that explores the creation of the second album by Tears for Fears. Songs from the Big Chair took the gothic synth-pop foundations of the band and combined them with arena-ready anthems, leading to critical acclaim and three international hit singles, Mothers Talk, Shout and Everybody Wants to Rule the World.

This documentary, made with the full cooperation of the band, explores how the album was recorded and how the band left their indelible imprint on new wave music.

FRI 23:50 Nile Rodgers: How to Make It in the Music Business (b097xsp9)
Series 1

Episode 2

Nile Rodgers reveals how he became the go-to producer of the 80s, creating signature sounds for some of the world's biggest stars: Diana Ross, Carly Simon, David Bowie, Madonna and Duran Duran.

The first artist Nile worked with was Diana Ross. The album they created, Diana, became the biggest-selling studio album of her career and spawned three international hit singles. In the film, Nile explains how they came up with the songs.

Nile and Carly Simon reveal the working process that led to the song Why, which flopped in America. Nile explains why and is candid about what you do when failure comes knocking.

When Nile met David Bowie, neither could have known how much it would change both their lives. After a number of critically received albums, Bowie was looking to do something different and asked Nile for an album of hits - and that is what Nile gave him; Let's Dance became Bowie's biggest-selling album. In an intimate mini-masterclass, Nile explains how the song Let's Dance developed from Bowie's initial idea into a global hit.

The album Nile produced for Madonna was Like a Virgin. We learn about how his deal was structured with her record company, and how this gave Nile one of the biggest paydays of his career.

Duran Duran's third album contained a song they felt hadn't realised its full potential - The Reflex. Nile used a recently bought Synclavier and gave the song and the band an entirely new sound. Nile and Nick Rhodes explain how the record was made.

FRI 00:50 Top of the Pops (m001499y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRI 01:20 Top of the Pops (m00149b0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

FRI 01:50 Peggy Lee Entertains (m001499v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

FRI 02:40 Love Songs at the BBC: A Valentine's Day Special (b00ymh70)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

(Note: the times link back to the details; the pids link to the BBC page, including iPlayer)

Africa with Ade Adepitan 00:00 SUN (m0002fcf)

Africa with Ade Adepitan 00:00 MON (m0002jl2)

Africa with Ade Adepitan 00:00 TUE (m0002p4d)

Africa with Ade Adepitan 23:35 WED (m0002tdd)

Around the World in 80 Days 20:10 SAT (b0078959)

Around the World in 80 Days 02:05 SAT (b0078959)

Barry White in Concert 1975 22:00 FRI (b0074pvz)

Britain's Lost Masterpieces 21:00 MON (m001494m)

Britain's Lost Masterpieces 03:00 MON (m001494m)

Britain's Lost Masterpieces 23:45 THU (m001494m)

Canal Boat Diaries 19:00 MON (m000bpkr)

Canal Boat Diaries 01:00 MON (m000bpkr)

Castles: Britain's Fortified History 19:10 SAT (b04tt2f9)

Castles: Britain's Fortified History 02:55 SAT (b04tt2f9)

Classic Albums 22:50 FRI (m000f8xc)

Classic British Cars: Made in Coventry 22:00 TUE (m000w6sp)

Classic British Cars: Made in Coventry 02:30 TUE (m000w6sp)

Dames of Classic Drama at the BBC 20:00 SUN (b06nxrv3)

Dames of Classic Drama at the BBC 01:30 SUN (b06nxrv3)

Digging for Britain 21:00 WED (m0001jg7)

Digging for Britain 02:35 WED (m0001jg7)

Elmina's Kitchen 21:30 SUN (m0014962)

Fort Apache 20:00 THU (b0077zzm)

Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam 19:30 MON (b0078kym)

Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam 01:30 MON (b0078kym)

Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam 19:30 TUE (b03lzh78)

Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam 02:00 TUE (b03lzh78)

Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam 19:30 WED (b0078l4s)

Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam 01:05 WED (b0078l4s)

Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam 19:30 THU (b0078l7l)

Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam 01:45 THU (b0078l7l)

Handmade 01:00 TUE (b05tpx1l)

Handmade 00:45 THU (b05tpw1j)

Keeping Up Appearances 00:10 SAT (b0077kb8)

Keeping Up Appearances 20:00 TUE (b007b7yc)

Love Songs at the BBC: A Valentine's Day Special 21:00 FRI (b00ymh70)

Love Songs at the BBC: A Valentine's Day Special 02:40 FRI (b00ymh70)

Metalworks! 22:00 MON (b01fhmhp)

Metalworks! 23:00 MON (b01hdhpy)

Metalworks! 23:00 TUE (b01hr877)

Nile Rodgers: How to Make It in the Music Business 23:50 FRI (b097xsp9)

Parkinson: The Interviews 23:00 SAT (b01gkj72)

Patagonia: Earth's Secret Paradise 20:00 WED (b06fnkr7)

Patagonia: Earth's Secret Paradise 01:35 WED (b06fnkr7)

Peggy Lee Entertains 19:00 FRI (m001499v)

Peggy Lee Entertains 01:50 FRI (m001499v)

Perfect Pianists at the BBC 19:00 SUN (b0729r6r)

Perfect Pianists at the BBC 03:00 SUN (b0729r6r)

Persian Lessons 21:00 SAT (m001494x)

River Walks 19:00 THU (b0bty0gp)

River Walks 01:15 THU (b0bty0gp)

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon 22:05 THU (b007894r)

Storyville 00:40 SAT (b091gw89)

Storyville 22:00 WED (m001498x)

The Impressionists: Painting and Revolution 20:00 MON (b013cqpz)

The Impressionists: Painting and Revolution 02:00 MON (b013cqpz)

The Secret Life of the Motorway 21:00 TUE (b007xmbm)

The Secret Life of the Motorway 02:15 THU (b007xmbm)

This Cultural Life 21:00 SUN (m0014960)

This Cultural Life 02:30 SUN (m0014960)

Top of the Pops 19:45 FRI (b08skpzg)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m001499y)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m00149b0)

Top of the Pops 00:50 FRI (m001499y)

Top of the Pops 01:20 FRI (m00149b0)

Upstream 01:00 SUN (m0008z3c)

Wild 19:00 SAT (b008nkvk)

Yes, Prime Minister 23:40 SAT (b0074qvc)

Yes, Prime Minister 20:30 TUE (b0074rsm)

Yorkshire Wolds Way 19:00 TUE (b088nwg0)

Yorkshire Wolds Way 01:30 TUE (b088nwg0)

Yorkshire Wolds Way 19:00 WED (b08bbmyb)

Yorkshire Wolds Way 00:35 WED (b08bbmyb)

imagine... 23:00 SUN (m000ljpv)