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.

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Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by


SAT 19:00 Ireland's Treasures Uncovered (b070w5kh)
The story of the iconic Irish artefacts that have helped to shape and create modern Ireland, both north and south.

The programme reveals the surprising tales behind treasures such as the Tara Brooch, the Broighter Hoard, the Waterford Charter Roll and others, revealing new stories behind the artefacts that we thought we knew. It also reveals the most recent astounding finds that are adding to the list of Ireland's Treasures.

Using key access to Ireland's two largest museums, in Belfast and Dublin, the programme brings together archaeologists and curators who have spent their lives working to understand the true context for these emblematic treasures.

SAT 20:00 Arctic with Bruce Parry (b00y4894)

Bruce travels to Alaska, America's last great wilderness, where modern-day pioneers are harvesting the vast natural wealth of the seas.

Bruce learns the ropes onboard a salmon-fishing boat, and dives to the bottom of the Bering Sea to look for gold.

In the far north Bruce witnesses the annual whale hunt of the Inupiak people whose ancient tradition is now at odds with the modern world and questions what is more important: the life of a whale or the death of a culture?

SAT 21:00 Pain and Glory (m0015f5m)
Salvador Mallo is a 60-something film director with a track record of successful cult titles behind him. As his health deteriorates, and amid recurring flashbacks from his childhood in rural Spain, Mallo takes stock of his life, forms a surprising new habit, and reconnects with former friends and lovers.

In Spanish with English subtitles.

SAT 22:45 The Human Voice (m0015f5p)
Film adaptation of Jean Cocteau's play of the same name. As a woman waits for her ex-lover to collect his suitcases from her flat, she gets one last chance to speak to him over the phone.

SAT 23:15 Wogan: The Best Of (b05n9252)

Sir Terry Wogan remembers some of the funniest guests he got to talk to whilst presenting his Wogan show.

The line-up includes early appearances from Steve Coogan and Harry Enfield, classic encounters with Pete and Dud, Les Dawson and Ernie Wise, and a sparkling turn from American funnyman Billy Crystal.

SAT 00:00 Yes, Prime Minister (b0074rvl)
Series 1

The Bishop's Gambit

Classic political comedy. Jim must recommend the appointment of bishops to the Queen but is not keen on the two offered by the Church.

SAT 00:30 Keeping Up Appearances (b007b9px)
Series 2

Singing for Emmet

Hyacinth finds herself with an ideal opportunity to impress Emmet with her singing when she discovers that he is involved in a concert at the church hall.

However, Richard has other things on his mind, dreading the thought of early retirement and having to spend more time with his wife.

SAT 01:00 Cornwall's Red River (m0014zrj)
Poet John Wedgwood Clarke explores the Red River in Cornwall, a watercourse barely more than a stream that has been heavily polluted by centuries of tin mining. Now, this powerful symbol of Cornish identity, home to some very rare, beautiful and resilient species, is slowly showing signs of coming back to life.

Extracts from John's poem, Red River at the A30 Culvert, reveal his mixed thoughts about the river's toxic legacy, but as he meets both those with a connection with the river's industrial past and who care for it today, he finds new hope for its future.

SAT 01:30 Arctic with Bruce Parry (b00y4894)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SAT 02:30 Ireland's Treasures Uncovered (b070w5kh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SUN 19:00 The Birth of British Music (b00l2k57)
Mendelssohn - The Prophet

Conductor Charles Hazlewood explores the lives, times and music of great composers. In the final programme in the series, he looks at Mendelssohn, whose music embodies the sound of the Victorian age. A friend of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Mendelssohn made ten visits to Britain and his work appealed strongly to British tastes.

Mendelssohn's melodies such as O for the Wings of a Dove and Hark! the Herald Angels Sing became hugely popular and his astonishing overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream perfectly captured the Victorians' fondness for Shakespeare and fairy stories. He portrayed the grandeur of Scotland through a romanticism shared with poets such as Keats and Wordsworth, and captured the public imagination with his pioneering use of a new conductor's tool - the baton.

Charles's journey includes a stormy boat trip to Fingal's Cave and a visit to a chocolate factory, as well as a trip to the recently restored Birmingham Town Hall, where a massed choir comprising choral groups from across the West Midlands is brought together with the BBC Concert Orchestra and soloist Andrew Shore to perform extracts from Mendelssohn's iconic work Elijah.

SUN 20:00 Steps of Freedom: The Story of Irish Dance (m0015f6r)
A major entertainment documentary that tells, for the first time, the extraordinary story of how Irish dance developed over centuries, from a traditional dance of the Irish people, to become the global phenomenon it is today, attracting millions of viewers and dancers throughout the world.

The documentary features stunning original performances by some of the greatest practitioners of Irish dance of the present day and a wealth of archive materials including films, photographs and witness accounts revealing the history of Irish dance and its evolution. There is a strong American current running throughout the story as we show how the Irish diaspora played a pivotal part in shaping the form, particularly during the last century. Gene Kelly was among those in the Irish diaspora whose style, though strongly American, also drew heavily on his Irish roots.

In the worst and best of times, the Irish danced. And as it grew and changed, the Irish dance form was shaped by political and social forces, and by interactions with cultures from across Europe, Africa and America. Irish dance carries with it echoes of many other cultures with which the people of Ireland have interacted.

Steps of Freedom features some of the form’s finest dancers, including Jean Butler, Donnie Golden, Edwina Guckian, Jonathan Kelleher, Stephanie Keane, Morgan Bullock, Siobhan Manson, Garreth Coleman, Noel Spillane, Ty Knowlin, William Jackson and Cuthbert Artura.

Key musicians who appear in the film include Cormac Begley, Rhiannan Giddens, Liam O Maonlaí, Ronán Ó Sonadaigh, Steve Cooney and Colm Mac Con Iomaire.

SUN 21:00 The White Handkerchief (m00158z8)
30 January 2022 marked the fiftieth anniversary of Bloody Sunday. As the people of Derry city came together to commemorate the event, a bold new piece of musical theatre was staged in the Guildhall - the intended but never-reached destination for the fateful 1972 civil rights march.

Commissioned by the city’s Playhouse Theatre, The White Handkerchief seeks to create a dramatic elegy to the 13 killed alongside those others injured, and to catalyse a creative legacy from those devastating events.

The result is a bold experiment which renders the events of Bloody Sunday on a vivid new audio-visual canvas and seeks to inspire a new generation of local talent in musical theatre, offering a bright and unexpected legacy of that day 50 years ago.

Filmed over nine months, this intimate portrait takes viewers into the heart of the production and a city striving to come to terms with the defining event of its recent history.

SUN 22:00 Seamus Heaney and the Music of What Happens (m000bxwv)
Born into a farming family in rural Northern Ireland, Seamus Heaney became the finest poet of his generation and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995, but his career coincided with one of the bloodiest political upheavals of the 20th century, the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Six years after Heaney’s death in 2013, his wife Marie and his children talk about their family life and read some of the poems he wrote for them, and for the first time his four brothers remember their childhood and the shared experiences that inspired many of his finest poems.

SUN 23:30 Songs of Ireland (b01dpnx3)
Some of the finest Irish singers and musicians, recorded in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall at Celtic Connections 2012. Eleanor McEvoy, Finbar Furey, Cara Dillon, Luka Bloom, Brian Kennedy and many others sing the songs that Ireland is famous for. Love songs, songs of emigration, songs of loss, contemporary and traditional are all beautifully accompanied by the house band, top Irish American group Solas.

Ricky Ross presents an hour of great Irish music.

SUN 00:30 The Beauty of Diagrams (b00vl3h1)
Vitruvian Man

Series in which mathematician Marcus du Sautoy explores the stories behind some of the most familiar scientific diagrams.

He looks at Leonardo da Vinci's world-famous diagram of the perfect human body, which has many layers from anatomy to architecture, and defines our species like no other drawing before or since. The Vitruvian Man, drawn in the 1480s when he was living and working in Milan, has become one of the most famous images in the world. Leonardo's drawings form a vast body of work, covering every imaginable subject in spectacular detail: from feet, skulls and hands to muscles and sinews; from hearts and lungs to buildings, bridges and flying machines.

Vitruvian Man perfectly synthesises Leonardo's passions for anatomy, for the mechanics of the human body and for geometry. It is also full of surprises, illustrating an ancient architectural riddle set out 1,500 years earlier by the classical writer Vitruvius about the relative proportions of buildings and men – a riddle that, even today, still fascinates and beguiles experts and viewers alike.

SUN 01:00 The Beauty of Diagrams (b00w57gr)

Series in which mathematician Marcus du Sautoy explores the stories behind some of the most familiar scientific diagrams.

When Polish priest and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus developed his extraordinary theory of a sun-centred universe 500 years ago, he was flying in the face of both science and religion. Mankind had believed for thousands of years that the earth was at the centre of the cosmos, and to disagree was to risk derision and accusations of heresy.

For decades he was too afraid to publish, but the arrival of a young German scientist gave Copernicus courage, and his book and its extraordinary diagram were published in 1543, when he was on his deathbed. His image of the heliocentric universe changed for ever our understanding of the cosmos and of our place in it.

SUN 01:30 The Birth of British Music (b00l2k57)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SUN 02:30 Seamus Heaney and the Music of What Happens (m000bxwv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


MON 19:00 Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone (b00792fx)
Men of Steel

Fred's heroes were the great engineers of the Victorian age. In this programme, we show Fred's great interest in their work and his belief in the values of hard work and enterprise that drove them on and led us to a greater appreciation of their significance and achievements.

MON 19:30 Canal Boat Diaries (m0015f6v)
Series 3

Wigan to Burnley

Narrowboater Robbie Cumming begins his 170-mile journey across the north of England and soon runs into difficulty when he encounters a problem with his craft's propeller in Wigan and runs aground in Blackburn. Nevertheless, he pushes on to navigate a true wonder of the waterways, the Burnley Embankment.

MON 20:00 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (m000rxmx)
Series 5


Bendor Grosvenor and Emma Dabiri visit Brighton Museum to investigate who painted two neglected pictures of religious subjects.

Bendor believes a grubby image of Mary Magdalene repenting her sins may be by a forgotten master of the Roman baroque, Francesco Trevisani. Emma visits the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge to hear how a medieval pope confused the biblical accounts and gave Mary a completely invented personality.

Bendor then travels to Rome to search for traces of Trevisani, while Emma investigates how Brighton’s lavishly decorated Royal Pavilion ended up an empty shell, ransacked and sold to the local council. The second picture is a sympathetic portrayal of Balthazar, a prince and one of the wise men from the Christmas story, which Bendor thinks may be by 16th-century Antwerp master Joos van Cleve. Examination reveals that it was once the left-hand door of a folding altarpiece. Bendor goes on to Edinburgh to see a similar altar, the finest work by van Cleve in Britain. Emma meets Rev Richard Coles to find out how, despite the lack of any description in the Bible, it became traditional to portray Balthazar as a black African.

MON 21:00 The Golden Age of Canals (b01173hf)
Most people thought that when the working traffic on canals faded away after the war, it would be the end of their story. But they were wrong. A few diehard enthusiasts and boat owners campaigned, lobbied and dug, sometimes with their bare hands, to keep the network of narrow canals open.

Some of these enthusiasts filmed their campaigns and their home movies tell the story of how, in the teeth of much political opposition, they saved the inland waterways for the nation and, more than 200 years after they were first built, created a second golden age of the canals.

Stan Offley, an IWA activist from Ellesmere Port, filmed his boating trips around the wide canals in the 40s, 50s and 60s in 16mm colour. But equally charming is the film made by Ed Frangleton, with help from Harry Arnold, of a hostel boat holiday on the Llangollen Canal in 1961. There are the films shot by ex-working boatman Ike Argent from his home in Nottinghamshire and looked after by his son Barry.

There is astonishing film of the last days of working boats, some shot by John Pyper when he spent time with the Beecheys in the 60s, film taken by Keith Christie of the last days of the cut around the BCN, and the films made by Keith and his mate Tony Gregory of their attempts to keep working the canals through their carrying company, Midland Canal Transport.

There is film of key restorations, the Stourbridge 16 being talked about with great wit and affection by one of the leading activists in that watershed of restorations in the mid-60s, David Tomlinson, and John Maynard's beautiful films of the restoration of the Huddersfield, 'the impossible restoration', shot over two decades.

All these and more are in the programme alongside the people who made the films and some of the stars of them. Together they tell the story of how, in the years after 1945, a few people fought the government like David fought Goliath to keep canals open and restore ones that had become defunct, and won against all the odds.

MON 22:00 Ian Hislop's Stiff Upper Lip - An Emotional History of Britain (b01n7r80)

Ian Hislop asks when and why we British have bottled up or let out our feelings and how this has affected our history.

Revealing as much about ourselves today as about our past, this is a narrative history of emotion and identity over the last three hundred years, packed with extraordinary characters, fascinating vignettes and much humour, illuminated through the lens of culture - novels, paintings, magazines, cartoons, film and television - from which Ian gives his personal take on our evolving national character.

Far from being part of our cultural DNA, emotional restraint was a relatively recent national trait. Foreigners in Tudor England couldn't believe how touchy-feely we could be - 'wherever you move there is nothing but kisses' wrote a shocked Erasmus. In this opening episode, Ian Hislop charts how and why the stiff upper lip emerged in the late 18th and early 19th century in a country till then often awash with sentiment.

In 18th-century British society, public emoting was a sign of refinement and there was a vogue for all things sentimental. It was very much the done thing for women and men to weep at Samuel Richardson's novels or have Johann Zoffany paint their portraits to highlight their tenderness and sensitivity. But Ian reveals that a new idea - politeness - paved the way for the emergence of the stiff upper lip by prizing consistency of behaviour over emotional honesty. To illustrate this he plunders the candid diary of James Boswell, an aspirational young Scot plagued with anxieties about how far he should show his feelings in fashionable London.

Ian also tells the story of early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, who famously argued that women's heads should rule their hearts, but failed to practise what she preached when she fell in love with a dashing but dastardly American.

Ian argues that, strange as it may seem, we have the French to thank for our stiff upper lip - the horrors of the French Revolution and the threat from Napoleon teaching the British ruling classes just where rampant emotional expression might lead. Instead, the new breed of British heroes became men with admirable self-control, like Jane Austen's Mr Knightley, who famously tells Emma 'If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.'

This was a time of profound transition for Britain - and how it expressed its feelings - which Ian encapsulates with the tale of two national heroes - Nelson and Wellington. Admiral Nelson was the last 18th-century buccaneering adventurer - flamboyant, philandering, a man whose shameless sentimentality bolstered his huge popularity. His death-bed plea for an embrace from his best friend was so shocking to the Victorians a generation later that they changed 'kiss me, Hardy' to 'kismet'. By contrast, the Iron Duke, Wellington, was the prototype for the cool, calm and collected Brit. And it was Wellington, not Nelson, who would become the pre-eminent role model for the Victorians.

As Ian tracks the emergence of the stiff upper lip, he finds himself playing cricket on the Champs Élysées and discovers some 200-year-old merchandising David Beckham would be proud of. Along the way AN Wilson, Thomas Dixon and John Mullan help Ian get the measure of how our upper lips stiffened.

MON 23:00 imagine... (b008bypx)
Autumn 2007

Louise Bourgeois: Spiderwoman

Alan Yentob presents a profile of the provocative French-born American artist Louise Bourgeois, who was still producing cutting edge work at the age of 95.

Memories of a disturbed childhood have produced fantastic and disturbing sculptures of giant spiders and poured-plastic body parts. As a girl she restored old tapestries, worked with Leger and knew surrealists like Breton and Duchamp. In New York she emerged as an artist in her own right, bringing dread, desire, sex and the psyche into her work.

Yentob goes to a Sunday salon at her New York home where young artists queue up to get her often fiery reactions to their work. He talks with Tracey Emin, Antony Gormley, Stella Vine and others who have been inspired by this strange and mischievous artist.

MON 23:50 James May's Cars of the People (b0467lbp)
Series 1

Episode 1

In his quest to discover how we, the people, got our wheels, James travels to Germany, Italy and Russia to reveal the extraordinary story of how dictators kick-started the mobilisation of the masses.

It is a tale of design brilliance, abject failure, war, fraud and double dealing, featuring some of the best (and worst) cars and characters of the 20th century. James discovers how the British motor industry blew a gift-wrapped chance to rule the world and he gets his own back with a stunt that means bad news for one of the planet's most hated cars.

MON 00:50 Canal Boat Diaries (m0015f6v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

MON 01:20 Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone (b00792fx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MON 01:50 The Golden Age of Canals (b01173hf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

MON 02:50 Ian Hislop's Stiff Upper Lip - An Emotional History of Britain (b01n7r80)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone (b00792jc)
The Victorian Gentleman

Fred Dibnah was, by his own admission, a man born out of his time. His era should have been the 19th century. It is the age he admired and the time he would have liked to have lived and worked. This shows how Fred's love for the Victorian age led us to a greater appreciation and understanding of the engineering, architectural and decorative skills of the age.

TUE 19:30 Canal Boat Diaries (m0015f8k)
Series 3

Barrowford to Bingley

Narrowboater and film-maker Robbie Cumming crosses the Pennines on the picturesque Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and lends a hand to hire boaters in Gargrave, North Yorkshire. He also encounters Bingley Five Rise Locks, a wonder of the inland waterways.

TUE 20:00 Keeping Up Appearances (b007brhy)
Series 2

The Toy Store

Sitcom about an irrepressible snob. Hyacinth is forced to intervene when Daddy overspends in a toy department, dresses up as a spaceman and proceeds to go on the rampage. Unless the damage is paid for, the owners threaten to apprehend him as a security risk.

TUE 20:30 Yes, Prime Minister (b0074rw6)
Series 1

One of Us

The papers of a recently deceased head of MI5 show that he was, at one stage, spying for Russia. Worse still, he was investigated and cleared by an internal Civil Service Committee of Enquiry headed by Sir Humphrey Appleby.

TUE 21:00 Britain's Most Fragile Treasure (b0161dgq)
Historian Dr Janina Ramirez unlocks the secrets of a centuries-old masterpiece in glass. At 78 feet in height, the famous Great East Window at York Minster is the largest medieval stained-glass window in the country and the creative vision of a single artist, a mysterious master craftsman called John Thornton, one of the earliest named English artists.

The Great East Window has been called England's Sistine Chapel. Within its 311 stained-glass panels is the entire history of the world, from the first day to the Last Judgment, and yet it was made 100 years before Michelangelo's own masterpiece. The scale of Thornton's achievement is revealed as Dr Ramirez follows the work of a highly skilled conservation team at York Glaziers Trust. They dismantled the entire window as part of a five-year project to repair centuries of damage and restore it to its original glory.

It is a unique opportunity for Dr Ramirez to examine Thornton's greatest work at close quarters, to discover details that would normally be impossible to see and to reveal exactly how medieval artists made images of such delicacy and complexity using the simplest of tools.

The Great East Window of York Minster is far more than a work of artistic genius, it is a window into the medieval world and mind, telling us who we once were and who we still are, all preserved in the most fragile medium of all.

TUE 22:00 The Treasure Hunters (b040r3bv)
Raw Treasure

From pirates' hoards and shipwrecked booty to dazzling gems to precious metals, we lust after treasure, fight over it and go to the ends of the earth to find it - our planet is a treasure chest just waiting to be opened. In this series, Ellie Harrison and Dallas Campbell journey around the globe on the ultimate treasure hunt.

They scratch the surface of our planet to uncover its most extraordinary riches - from mountains of gold to the most valuable gemstones in the world and the largest natural treasure ever found.

In this episode, Ellie ventures down one of the deepest gold mines in the world in search of the gleaming metal that was once thought to be the skin of the gods and the sweat of the sun. Dallas free-dives for lustrous pearls in the waters around north west Australia and, using one of the largest treasure-hunting machines, he seeks out diamonds from the bottom of the ocean.

Dallas and Ellie reveal how you could make your fortune on the beach. Lumps of ambergris can wash up on almost any shoreline in the world. Although it starts life in a sperm whale's stomach, it ends up as a costly raw ingredient in the most expensive perfumes.

And while Dallas tries his hand at opal mining in one of the most hostile places on earth, Ellie discovers how one of the largest and most unusual treasures ever uncovered has helped us solve a 67-million-year-old puzzle.

TUE 23:00 The Treasure Hunters (b040zb5q)
Man-Made Treasure

Ellie Harrison and Dallas Campbell reveal the greatest treasures we've ever created.

Dallas braves vicious currents to dive on a shipwreck where gold, silver and 5,000 emeralds have been found. Ellie tells the tale of intrigue and obsession surrounding a jewelled room in Russia decorated with millions of pounds worth of amber. She enters the secretive world of the diamond cutters - each lives with the knowledge that a slip of the hand could cost them millions of pounds.

TUE 00:00 James May's Cars of the People (b0467lv5)
Series 1

Episode 2

James May downsizes to explore the weird world of the microcar.

He discovers how austerity and fears of congestion led to European tragicomic disasters in the shape of Britain's infamous three-wheelers, French deathtraps and German absurdities. James takes to the battlefield to settle one of the greatest rivalries in car history and travels to Japan for an urban race between a state-of-the-art micro sports car and the best-selling vehicle in history.

TUE 01:00 James May's Cars of the People (b04g1dvt)
Series 1

Episode 3

This episode is all about power and glory as James reveals the cars that finally gave the people hope. From the Rolls Royce that became a people's champion to the blue-collar heroes that launched a thousand burn ups, James reveals how aspiration and new wealth would drive the development of some of the greatest cars ever made.

James tries to make sense of the baffling world of company car hierarchy with a travelling salesman race-off, and indulges his 1980s urges with the twin delights of Lamborghini and Porsche. He also unveils his choice of the ultimate people's car - a car that can claim to be the greatest vehicle in history.

TUE 02:00 Canal Boat Diaries (m0015f8k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

TUE 02:30 Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone (b00792jc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

TUE 03:00 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (m000rxmx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Monday]


WED 19:00 Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone (b00792ln)
Preserving Our Past

Combining unseen footage with highlights from his programmes over the years, this series looks at the many sides of Fred Dibnah - engineer, steeplejack, artist, craftsman, steam enthusiast and inventor - and celebrates his contribution to our knowledge and appreciation of Britain's architectural, industrial and engineering heritage.

Fred is often associated with the iconic footage of the demolition of Britain's old industrial chimneys, but in truth this was the job he liked the least. What he really liked was restoring engines and chimneys, and one of his greatest triumphs was his steam traction engine, lovingly restored over 27 years and two marriages.

Fred also had a great appreciation for the scores of volunteers and workers up and down the country who dedicate their lives to preserving our past.

WED 19:30 Canal Boat Diaries (m0015f96)
Series 3

Dowley Gap to Ferrybridge

Jump on board with narrowboater Robbie Cumming as he explores the Victorian village of Saltaire in West Yorkshire on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, moors up in Leeds Dock, and goes in search of an abandoned waterway on the Aire and Calder Navigation.

WED 20:00 Secret Life of Farm Animals (b0btpf6z)
Series 1


It’s springtime on the farm and the focus is on sheep.

We follow the first 12 weeks of a lamb’s life on a Welsh Hill farm. Along the way we find out that sheep are highly social animals with not only a remarkable ability to recognise each other, but to recognise human faces too. We meet a ram that has befriended a shy four-year-old boy and we take a drone’s eye view of some multi-coloured sheep to show that despite being sociable, flocking is actually all about self-preservation. Other animals we meet on the farm include Charlie, a lonely goose looking for company in his own reflection.

WED 21:00 Princess Margaret: The Rebel Royal (b0bk8xcp)
Series 1

Pleasure vs Duty

This intimate two-part series profiles Princess Margaret, whose life and loves reflected the social and sexual revolution that transformed Britain during the 20th century. With sumptuous archive and revealing interviews, the series follows Margaret's life as she redefined our image of the modern princess.

This deeply personal account reveals how Princess Margaret's character combined the rebellious force of modernity and respect for tradition.

WED 22:00 Storyville (m000th7v)
Undercover OAP: The Mole Agent

A recently widowed 83-year-old goes undercover in a Chilean nursing home in a warm-hearted and surprising look at age, isolation and loneliness.

Sergio is a Chilean spy - sort of. At least, he is offered the role of one after a casting session organised by Detective Romulo, a private investigator who needs a credible mole to infiltrate a retirement home. Romulo’s client, the concerned daughter of a resident, suspects her mother is being abused and hires him to find out what is really happening.

However, Sergio is 83, not 007, and not an easy trainee when it comes to technology and spying techniques. But he is a keen student, looking for ways to distract himself after recently losing his wife. What could be a better distraction than some undercover spy action? While gathering intelligence, Sergio grows close to several residents and realises that the truth beneath the surface is not what anyone had suspected.

The film is a stylish combination of observational documentary and spy movie, resulting in a unique observation of compassion and loneliness.

WED 23:25 Takaya: Lone Wolf (m000byp7)
When a lone wolf is sighted in a small, uninhabited archipelago just off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, local resident and renowned wildlife photographer Cheryl Alexander goes in for a closer look. What follows is a seven-year relationship that pushes the boundaries of our understanding of lone wolf behaviour.

Cheryl’s never-before-seen footage details where Takaya came from, how he got to the island and how he has adapted to his new landscape. Working with leading experts to help decipher his remarkable behaviour, Cheryl is determined to show what this majestic hunter can teach us all.

WED 00:25 Canal Boat Diaries (m0015f96)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

WED 00:55 Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone (b00792ln)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

WED 01:25 Secret Life of Farm Animals (b0btpf6z)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 02:25 Princess Margaret: The Rebel Royal (b0bk8xcp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone (b00792nz)
All Steamed Up

Series which looks at the many sides of Fred Dibnah - engineer, steeplejack, artist, craftsman, steam enthusiast and inventor - and celebrates his contribution to our knowledge and appreciation of Britain's architectural, industrial and engineering heritage. From a very young age, Fred had a passion for steam-powered engines and machinery and he spent a large part of his life studying their construction and history.

THU 19:30 Canal Boat Diaries (m0015fbq)
Series 3

Knottingley to Ripon

The real side of boating with Robbie Cumming. On the last leg of his epic journey across the north of England, Robbie tackles the fast-flowing River Ouse and is forced to make an emergency stop. His destination is Ripon Basin at the outer reaches of our inland waterways.

THU 20:00 Michael Wood's Story of England (b00v3z4r)
The Great Famine and the Black Death

Groundbreaking series in which Michael Wood tells the story of one place throughout the whole of English history. The village is Kibworth in Leicestershire in the heart of England - a place that lived through the Black Death, the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution and was even bombed in World War Two.

Wood's fascinating tale reaches the catastrophic 14th century. Kibworth goes through the worst famine in European history, and then, as revealed in the astonishing village archive in Merton College Oxford, two thirds of the people die in the Black Death.

Helped by today's villagers - field walking and reading the historical texts - and by the local schoolchildren digging archaeological test pits, Wood follows stories of individual lives through these times, out of which the English idea of community and the English character begin to emerge.

THU 21:00 Shakespeare in Love (m000rymh)
William Shakespeare hasn't written a hit in years, and theatre owner Henslowe is counting on Shakespeare's promised comedy, Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter, to keep his wolfish creditors from the door. At the casting session, Will hears his lines spoken with great feeling by an unknown young actor and his curiousity is fired. Soon he discovers the secret of the talented young actor and rediscovers his muse. As Shakespeare falls in love with an unattainable noblewoman, the farcical comedy transforms into the timeless tragedy that is Romeo and Juliet.

THU 22:55 Iris (b05zvqqz)
The tender and extraordinary story of the enduring love between the novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch and her husband John Bayley, from the romance of their early days at Oxford in the 1950s to her tragic death in 1999.

THU 00:25 Searching for Sam: Adrian Dunbar on Samuel Beckett (m000crfc)
Samuel Beckett has fascinated Adrian Dunbar since he was a young student. Now, 30 years after Beckett's death in Paris, Dunbar explores what made the man who made Waiting for Godot.

THU 01:25 Canal Boat Diaries (m0015fbq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 01:55 Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone (b00792nz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

THU 02:25 Michael Wood's Story of England (b00v3z4r)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


FRI 19:00 Dusty (m0015f8t)
Series 1

Episode 4

An edition of Dusty Springfield's 1960s variety show, first broadcast on 8 September 1966, with the voices of Madeline Bell, Lesley Duncan and Barbara Moore. Her special guests are American vocal quartet The Four Freshmen.

FRI 19:25 Dusty (m0015f8x)
Series 1

Episode 6

Dusty Springfield's 1960s variety show, first broadcast on 22 September 1966, with the voices of Madeline Bell, Lesley Duncan and Margaret Stredder. Her special guest is ventriloquist Señor Wences.

FRI 19:50 Sounds of the Sixties (b075f8rg)

First Steps

The Springfields, The Shadows and The Rolling Stones appear in this progressively more rebellious look at BBC early 1960s archive pop music.

FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m0015f8z)
Tony Dortie presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 13 August 1992 and featuring Take That, Undercover, Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé, Betty Boo, 2 Unlimited, Annie Lennox and Snap!

FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m0015f91)
Mark Franklin presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 20 August 1992 and featuring KWS, Extreme, Felix, Paul Weller, Michael Jackson, Thunder, Kylie Minogue and Snap!

FRI 21:00 St Patrick's Day at the BBC (m000t88d)
A collection of classic performances from the BBC archives to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, featuring some of the Emerald Isle’s finest and best-loved musical acts.

This selection reflects the huge impact that music from Ireland and Northern Ireland has made across the globe, with performances from U2, Sinead O’Connor, Van Morrison, The Pogues, The Corrs and The Cranberries. And it reminds us of the island's dominance of the world of pop, with the likes of boyband behemoths Boyzone and Westlife.

FRI 22:00 Ireland’s Greatest Small Music Festival: Other Voices (m0015f94)
Presented by Annie Macmanus, this one-off special celebrates the twentieth anniversary of Ireland’s Other Voices Festival.

Each winter since 2001, Other Voices has gathered music’s brightest voices together to perform to an audience of just 80 people in the tiny St James’ Church, located along the Dingle peninsula on the most westerly tip of Ireland.

Everyone from Amy Winehouse to Young Fathers, and St. Vincent to The National, have made the musical pilgrimage to west Kerry to play intimate sets on the church’s iconic stage.

This special anniversary film takes a look at the history and foundations of the acclaimed festival with never-before-seen interviews and stunning performances from Sam Fender, Sigrid, John Grant, Villagers, Dermot Kennedy and Kay Young. Annie will also open the Other Voices vault to showcase remarkable archive performances from Fontaines D.C., Little Simz and Arlo Parks.

FRI 23:00 TOTP2 (b0074820)
St Patrick's Day Special

Steve Wright introduces music from The Boomtown Rats, The Corrs, Enya, Shane McGowan and Johnny Depp, Stiff Little Fingers, Thin Lizzy, Sinead O'Connor and U2.

FRI 23:45 Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan (m000t84r)
The definitive documentary on musical icon Shane MacGowan. The wild and roving life of Ireland’s most beloved punk poet, as told by Shane himself and a small, intimate cast of close friends and members of his family.

FRI 01:50 Top of the Pops (m0015f8z)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRI 02:20 Top of the Pops (m0015f91)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

FRI 02:50 St Patrick's Day at the BBC (m000t88d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

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

Arctic with Bruce Parry 20:00 SAT (b00y4894)

Arctic with Bruce Parry 01:30 SAT (b00y4894)

Britain's Lost Masterpieces 20:00 MON (m000rxmx)

Britain's Lost Masterpieces 03:00 TUE (m000rxmx)

Britain's Most Fragile Treasure 21:00 TUE (b0161dgq)

Canal Boat Diaries 19:30 MON (m0015f6v)

Canal Boat Diaries 00:50 MON (m0015f6v)

Canal Boat Diaries 19:30 TUE (m0015f8k)

Canal Boat Diaries 02:00 TUE (m0015f8k)

Canal Boat Diaries 19:30 WED (m0015f96)

Canal Boat Diaries 00:25 WED (m0015f96)

Canal Boat Diaries 19:30 THU (m0015fbq)

Canal Boat Diaries 01:25 THU (m0015fbq)

Cornwall's Red River 01:00 SAT (m0014zrj)

Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan 23:45 FRI (m000t84r)

Dusty 19:00 FRI (m0015f8t)

Dusty 19:25 FRI (m0015f8x)

Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone 19:00 MON (b00792fx)

Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone 01:20 MON (b00792fx)

Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone 19:00 TUE (b00792jc)

Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone 02:30 TUE (b00792jc)

Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone 19:00 WED (b00792ln)

Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone 00:55 WED (b00792ln)

Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone 19:00 THU (b00792nz)

Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone 01:55 THU (b00792nz)

Ian Hislop's Stiff Upper Lip - An Emotional History of Britain 22:00 MON (b01n7r80)

Ian Hislop's Stiff Upper Lip - An Emotional History of Britain 02:50 MON (b01n7r80)

Ireland's Treasures Uncovered 19:00 SAT (b070w5kh)

Ireland's Treasures Uncovered 02:30 SAT (b070w5kh)

Ireland’s Greatest Small Music Festival: Other Voices 22:00 FRI (m0015f94)

Iris 22:55 THU (b05zvqqz)

James May's Cars of the People 23:50 MON (b0467lbp)

James May's Cars of the People 00:00 TUE (b0467lv5)

James May's Cars of the People 01:00 TUE (b04g1dvt)

Keeping Up Appearances 00:30 SAT (b007b9px)

Keeping Up Appearances 20:00 TUE (b007brhy)

Michael Wood's Story of England 20:00 THU (b00v3z4r)

Michael Wood's Story of England 02:25 THU (b00v3z4r)

Pain and Glory 21:00 SAT (m0015f5m)

Princess Margaret: The Rebel Royal 21:00 WED (b0bk8xcp)

Princess Margaret: The Rebel Royal 02:25 WED (b0bk8xcp)

Seamus Heaney and the Music of What Happens 22:00 SUN (m000bxwv)

Seamus Heaney and the Music of What Happens 02:30 SUN (m000bxwv)

Searching for Sam: Adrian Dunbar on Samuel Beckett 00:25 THU (m000crfc)

Secret Life of Farm Animals 20:00 WED (b0btpf6z)

Secret Life of Farm Animals 01:25 WED (b0btpf6z)

Shakespeare in Love 21:00 THU (m000rymh)

Songs of Ireland 23:30 SUN (b01dpnx3)

Sounds of the Sixties 19:50 FRI (b075f8rg)

St Patrick's Day at the BBC 21:00 FRI (m000t88d)

St Patrick's Day at the BBC 02:50 FRI (m000t88d)

Steps of Freedom: The Story of Irish Dance 20:00 SUN (m0015f6r)

Storyville 22:00 WED (m000th7v)

TOTP2 23:00 FRI (b0074820)

Takaya: Lone Wolf 23:25 WED (m000byp7)

The Beauty of Diagrams 00:30 SUN (b00vl3h1)

The Beauty of Diagrams 01:00 SUN (b00w57gr)

The Birth of British Music 19:00 SUN (b00l2k57)

The Birth of British Music 01:30 SUN (b00l2k57)

The Golden Age of Canals 21:00 MON (b01173hf)

The Golden Age of Canals 01:50 MON (b01173hf)

The Human Voice 22:45 SAT (m0015f5p)

The Treasure Hunters 22:00 TUE (b040r3bv)

The Treasure Hunters 23:00 TUE (b040zb5q)

The White Handkerchief 21:00 SUN (m00158z8)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m0015f8z)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m0015f91)

Top of the Pops 01:50 FRI (m0015f8z)

Top of the Pops 02:20 FRI (m0015f91)

Wogan: The Best Of 23:15 SAT (b05n9252)

Yes, Prime Minister 00:00 SAT (b0074rvl)

Yes, Prime Minister 20:30 TUE (b0074rw6)

imagine... 23:00 MON (b008bypx)