The management of the BBC is now reconsidering the future of the BBC Singers.
The petition has now closed, with 150,494 signatures, and is here.
A response from the BBC to musicians (28/03/2023) is on a Twitter feed here.
The threat to reduce the staff of the three English orchestras by 20% is now being reconsidered: see a Guardian article here.

Radio-Lists Home Now on BBC 4 Contact

Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by


SAT 19:00 The Normans (b00tfdsk)

In the second of this three-part series, Professor Robert Bartlett explores the impact of the Norman conquest of Britain and Ireland. Bartlett shows how William the Conqueror imposed a new aristocracy, savagely cut down opposition and built scores of castles and cathedrals to intimidate and control. He also commissioned the Domesday Book, the greatest national survey of England that had ever been attempted.

England adapted to its new masters and both the language and culture were transformed as the Normans and the English intermarried. Bartlett shows how the political and cultural landscape of Scotland, Wales and Ireland were also forged by the Normans and argues that the Normans created the blueprint for colonialism in the modern world.

SAT 20:00 Arctic with Bruce Parry (b00ylx9f)
Northern Europe

The final stage of Bruce Parry's six-month journey is through Arctic Europe. He travels to a remote Russian village, deep within the vast Boreal forest that stretches for thousands of miles across the top of the world. Life here has changed little for hundreds of years, and people still depend on the food they gather from the woods that surround them.

Bruce then travels north into Norway, where he lives with the Saami, reindeer herders who use snow machines, boats and even helicopters to move their animals.

Bruce's last stop is a remote scientific community in the Svalbard archipelago, where he learns about the fragility of Arctic ecosystem. As the long winter night draws in, Bruce is treated to an iconic Arctic spectacle as the aurora borealis light up the night sky.

SAT 21:00 Hidden (p0btb5ch)
Series 3

Episode 2

Cadi has to admit the truth to Rachel about her new job. Father McEwan pays a visit to Sion and Glyn, but Sion is suspicious about his motives.

SAT 22:00 Photograph (m0015x7n)
Rafi, a street photographer in Mumbai, goes about taking snaps of tourists. His revered grandmother is constantly nagging him to get married. On a whim, Rafi sends her a photograph of Miloni, a young woman studying to be an accountant, and then has to convince this complete stranger to pretend to be his girlfriend.

In Hindi, Gujarati and English with English subtitles.

SAT 23:45 Wogan: The Best Of (b05n92qj)
Best of British

Sir Terry Wogan presents more magical moments from his days in the hotseat of Britain's best-loved chat show. This episode's roll call is made up from some of the very best of British talent, and features appearances from Barbara Windsor, Roald Dahl, David Attenborough, Bob Geldof, Aled Jones and Cilla Black, plus Terry joining Bruce Forsyth for some song and dance.

SAT 00:30 Yes, Prime Minister (b0074rwy)
Series 2

Man Overboard

Sir Humphrey must stop Jim supporting a plan to move armed service jobs from the south to the north east to ease unemployment.

SAT 02:00 Keeping Up Appearances (b007b81t)
Series 2

The Three Piece Suite

Hyacinth is anxious that her neighbours view the arrival of her new suite, proudly boasting that it's an exact replica of one at Sandringham House. But the rest of the family conduct themselves less than regally.

SAT 02:30 Arctic with Bruce Parry (b00ylx9f)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SUN 19:00 Virtuoso Violinists at the BBC (b072x1qh)
Violinist Nicola Benedetti explores 60 years of BBC archive to celebrate the world of the violin and its most outstanding performers. From Nathan Milstein, Mischa Elman and Isaac Stern to Yehudi Menuhin, Itzhak Perlman and Nigel Kennedy, Nicola gives us a violinist's perspective on what makes a great performance in a tradition which stretches back to the 19th-century virtuoso Paganini. Filmed at the Royal Academy of Music Museum, London.

SUN 19:55 Secret Knowledge (b0376h9w)
Stradivarius and Me

The name of 17th-century violin maker Antonio Stradivari - or Stradivarius as he is usually known - is one that sends shivers down the spine of music lovers the world over. During his lifetime Stradivari made over 1,000 instruments, about 650 of which still survive. Their sound is legendary and for any violinist the opportunity to play one is a great privilege.

Clemency Burton-Hill indulges in her lifelong passion for the instrument as she explores the mysterious life and lasting influence of Stradivari - through four special violins on display at this summer's Stradivarius exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. She is joined by 2002 Young Musician of the Year winner Jennifer Pike to put some of the violins in the exhibition through their paces.

SUN 20:25 Max Richter's Sleep (m000qzlb)
'My personal lullaby for a frenetic world. A manifesto for a slower pace of existence' - Max Richter.

Max Richter's Sleep is a meditative respite from the rush and chaos of modern life that studies a universal experience.

This documentary film follows acclaimed composer and musician Max Richter and his creative partner, artist and Bafta-winning film-maker Yulia Mahr, as they navigate an ambitious performance of his celebrated eight-hour opus Sleep at an open-air concert in Los Angeles.

Emmy-nominated director Natalie Johns weaves in Mahr’s personal archive and performance footage from Berlin, Sydney and Paris to create a rich portrait of a shared artistic process, along with contributions that illuminate both the science and the story behind the work.

SUN 22:00 Skint (p0bmv92l)
Series 1

Heart of Glass

Singer Mia has just left care and needs to find the courage to go on stage and show the world how she feels. Set outside an Edinburgh club, and
starring Isis Hainsworth, writer/director Jenni Fagan’s raw and heartfelt monologue finds power in the moment after a lifetime of powerlessness.

SUN 22:15 Skint (p0bmv91y)
Series 1

The Taking of Balgrayhill Street

Donny fantasises about curry sauce with his chips, but is too proud to use the food bank. Set in the high rise flats of Glasgow, and starring Peter Mullan in a moving comedic performance, writer-director James Price’s monologue draws on his own history to explore what it feels like to be a hardworking man who has fallen on harder times.

SUN 22:30 Skint (p0bmv90s)
Series 1


Single mum Tasha has to make a decision when a large sum of money is accidentally deposited in her account. Set in the Welsh Valleys, and starring Tamara Brabon, writer Rachel Trezise’s monologue looks at the long-term effects of historical decline in the Valleys, and asks us to consider what we would do in Tasha’s position.

SUN 22:45 What Do Artists Do All Day? (b07l57yy)
Shirley Hughes

For over five decades, Shirley Hughes has been entertaining young children with her lovingly illustrated picture books. From the adventures of Alfie to the stories of Dave and his favourite toy Dogger, Shirley has created some of our most popular children's books. In 2007, Dogger was voted the nation's all-time favourite illustrated children's book and, aged 89, Shirley shows no signs of slowing down.

This programme sees Shirley working on the final page of her latest Alfie book, discussing her love of illustrating, the challenges of coming up with new ideas, and why she has no plans to retire.

SUN 23:15 The Sound of TV with Neil Brand (m000qcx6)
Series 1

Episode 3

In television’s early years, specially composed music, otherwise known as the score, which had driven big-budget movies for decades, rarely featured. In this final episode of the series, we see how the importance of a TV score grew, from its origins in the 1960s and 1970s, to reach a peak in the big-budget world of Netflix and HBO.

Neil Brand reveals that his first exposure to the impact of a score on television was in the documentaries of Jacques Cousteau, bringing adventure and drama to the natural world. He demonstrates how music has driven the success of BBC natural history programmes, talking with George Fenton, the film composer behind such landmarks as Blue Planet. Fenton was also pivotal in the development of music in TV drama, with his score for Jewel in the Crown. We learn how these breakthrough drama series competed with cinema in their scale and ambition.

We also meet some maverick creators of the TV score, including Roxy Music’s Andy MacKay, who wrote the songs that powered radical 70s drama Rock Follies, and David Chase, music buff and creator of The Sopranos. Neil gets to write his own score with Signature Tracks - the team behind some of the biggest successes of US reality TV such as Real Housewives and the Kardashian series.

Finally, we see how the television score has now been forced to compete with the movies in huge blockbuster series such as Stranger Things and Game of Thrones.

SUN 00:15 The Wonder of Animals (b04dq5tb)

At first sight, penguins seem ill-suited to their environment - rotund abdomens, stubby little legs and stiff wings appear to make the going tough. But in fact it is these very traits that enable this bird to thrive.

Chris explores details of the penguin's anatomy, using new scientific research to reveal how its legs, wings and body shape have allowed it to conquer an extraordinary range of habitats, from deep forests to tropical waters, bustling cities and even the toughest place on the planet - Antarctica.

SUN 00:45 The Wonder of Animals (b04dzrtp)

Bears can live in practically every habitat on Earth, from tropical jungles to the Arctic Ocean. Wherever they are found, they are capable of surviving extreme conditions and extracting the highest-quality food.

Detailing the latest research, Chris Packham explores the specialised adaptations that have enabled bears to thrive, including how a polar bear's hollow fur allows it to feed throughout the gruelling Arctic winter, whilst a state of 'walking hibernation' sees it through the summer months.

SUN 01:15 Virtuoso Violinists at the BBC (b072x1qh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SUN 02:10 Secret Knowledge (b0376h9w)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:55 today]

SUN 02:40 The Normans (b00tfdsk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Saturday]


MON 19:00 Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone (b009nhfq)
A Good Day's Work

Documentary series about the Bolton steeplejack Fred Dibnah and his love for Britain's industrial heritage. In this last programme in the series, Fred pays tribute to the hard-grafting workers without whom nothing would have been possible. To illustrate his point, Fred visits Warwick Castle, Workington Steel Works, Kilhope Lead Mining Museum, Ely Cathedral and Culzean Castle.

MON 19:30 Villages by the Sea (m000c799)
Series 1


Archaeologist Ben Robinson reveals the story of this Devon coastal gem’s transformation from fishing village to romantic Victorian seaside resort.

Our coastal villages are often seen as remote places for retreat and relaxation. However, they have often been on the front line of history - from the arrival of Christianity to battles with neighbours and nature, from slave trading to the birth of modern tourism.

Thanks to a powerful and pioneering woman, Clovelly found itself at the forefront of the Victorian seaside holiday revolution. Even today cars are banned and the village is privately owned, helping to preserve it as a reminder of a bygone age.

MON 20:00 Neanderthals - Meet Your Ancestors (b0b3gdg2)
Series 1

Episode 1

According to recent science the Neanderthals are not the knuckle-dragging apemen of popular imagination. In fact they are our distant ancestors. About 2% of the DNA of most people is of Neanderthal origin - and it continues to affect us today.

This first programme in a two-part series investigates what Neanderthals looked like and and how they lived in their Ice Age world. It turns out that almost everything we thought we knew about them is wrong. They weren't hunched, grunting, knuckle-dragging ape-men at all. In reality they were faster, smarter, better looking - and much more like us than we ever thought. Our guide is Ella Al-Shamahi, a young, British, rising star in Neanderthal research, with an unusual sideline as a stand-up comic. She enlists the skills of special effects company Jellyfish and Andy Serkis, best known as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings and Caesar in Planet of the Apes, to create the first ever scientifically accurate, 3D, working avatar of a real Neanderthal. In Andy Serkis's studio, Ella brings together a core group of experts from all over the world - our Key Investigating Scientists - who are at the cutting edge of Neanderthal research.

Ella also gathers evidence by pursuing leads across the globe, meeting leading experts in their labs and at significant sites of Neanderthal discovery, from Iraqi Kurdistan to Gibraltar. She begins with a fossil Neanderthal skull found in Shanidar Cave in Iraq that she calls Ned and takes it to a forensic expert who is able to reconstruct the face using clues from the bone structure, allowing us to admire the face of one of our ancient ancestors - one that hasn't been seen for more than 50,000 years.

Next, Ella enlists the help of her team to work out what Ned's body was like, building up layers from the fossil skeleton to create a digital Neanderthal. Then, using his motion-capture skills, Andy Serkis brings Ned back to life. Physically, he was smaller than modern humans, but much stronger and faster. With the help of our experts, we are able to reconstruct a Neanderthal hunt, showing how they used their immense strength and speed to ambush and bring down vast animals like woolly mammoths. These were people supremely adapted to their environment. But there was more to Neanderthals than their physiques. New archaeological research is revealing intriguing details about the Neanderthal mind. In the sea caves of Gibraltar, we find evidence of Neanderthal art - and even their penchant for dressing up in vulture feathers. And in London, computer modelling of the Neanderthal vocal track can let us hear a Neanderthal voice 40,000 years after they became extinct. These were no brutish apemen - they were surprisingly like us. So finally, to see just how well Neanderthals would blend in to modern society, we put Ned amongst the commuters on a busy tube train. He fits right in.

MON 21:00 The Golden Age of Steam Railways (b01pdsy6)
Branching Out

For more than 100 years steam trains ran Britain, but when steam started to disappear in the 1950s bands of volunteers got together to save some of the tracks and the steam engines that ran on them. Some of these enthusiasts filmed their exploits and the home movies they shot tell the story of how they did it, and how they helped people to reconnect to a world of steam most thought had been lost forever.

MON 22:00 Ian Hislop's Stiff Upper Lip - An Emotional History of Britain (b01nhccs)
Last Hurrah?

In the final part of his series, Ian Hislop takes a wry and witty look at the ups and downs of the stiff upper lip since the First World War and asks whether it still has a role in contemporary Britain.

He begins with the General Strike of 1926 and reveals how, despite growing class conflict, British resilience and control helped hold the nation back from all out revolution. He considers how, as the Empire declined in the 1930s, the stiff upper lip became something to have an affectionate laugh at, exploring in particular the British Character series of cartoons by Pont. From then onwards, Britons became increasingly self-conscious about the stiff upper lip; everyone, regardless of how they felt about it, recognised it as a facet of the national character.

This would serve us in good stead during the war years, when 'keeping calm and carrying on' became essential for national survival. Ian examines the original poster behind the now ubiquitous slogan and tells its story. He also unpicks the truths from the untruths which make up the legendary blitz spirit.

Ian shows, however, that for the post-war generation the stiff upper lip began to be something treated with disdain. He meets writer Alan Bennett, cast member of the groundbreaking 1960s satirical show Beyond the Fringe - and discusses its assault on old establishment values. But Ian also travels to the Welsh community of Aberfan, where in 1966 local people met terrible tragedy with an old-fashioned resilience and dignity in the face of an increasingly intrusive media which was now insisting that we all had a right to share in other people's grief.

Ian identifies the influence of American 'therapy culture' on British attitudes to emotional expression in the 1970s and peeks inside Cosmopolitan magazine to see how this seduced a wider public. A general national unbuttoning was epitomised by the touchy-feely approach of Princess Diana and the nation's outpouring of grief at her death. Ian meets the first person to lay flowers at Kensington Gardens and shares his own feelings about the day of the funeral.

Finally Ian asks whether the frequent displays of emotion and floods of tears on today's TV confirm the stiff upper lip's departure or whether just possibly, when the going gets tough, there's still a little of it left?

MON 23:00 Tails You Win: The Science of Chance (p00yh2rc)
Smart and witty, jam-packed with augmented-reality graphics and fascinating history, this film, presented by professor David Spiegelhalter, tries to pin down what chance is and how it works in the real world. For once this really is 'risky' television.

The film follows in the footsteps of The Joy of Stats, which won the prestigious Grierson Award for Best Science/Natural History programme of 2011. Now the same blend of wit and wisdom, animation, graphics and gleeful nerdery is applied to the joys of chance and the mysteries of probability, the vital branch of mathematics that gives us a handle on what might happen in the future. Professor Spiegelhalter is ideally suited to that task, being Winton professor for the public understanding of risk at Cambridge University, as well as being a recent Winter Wipeout contestant on BBC TV.

How can you maximise your chances of living till you're 100? Why do many of us experience so many spooky coincidences? Should I take an umbrella? These are just some of the everyday questions the film tackles as it moves between Cambridge, Las Vegas, San Francisco and... Reading.

Yet the film isn't shy of some rather loftier questions. After all, our lives are pulled about and pushed around by the mysterious workings of chance, fate, luck, call it what you will. But what actually is chance? Is it something fundamental to the fabric of the universe? Or rather, as the French 18th century scientist Pierre Laplace put it, 'merely a measure of our ignorance'.

Along the way Spiegelhalter is thrilled to discover One Million Random Digits, probably the most boring book in the world, but one full of hidden patterns and shapes. He introduces us to the cheery little unit called the micromort (a one-in-a-million chance of dying), taking the rational decision to go sky-diving because doing so only increases his risk of dying this year from 7000 to 7007 micromorts. And in one sequence he uses the latest infographics to demonstrate how life expectancy has increased in his lifetime and how it is affected by our lifestyle choices - drinking, obesity, smoking and exercise.

Did you know that by running regularly for half an hour a day you can expect to extend your life by half an hour a day? So all very well... if you like running.

Ultimately, Tails You Win: The Science of Chance tells the story of how we discovered how chance works, and even to work out the odds for the future; how we tried - but so often failed - to conquer it; and how we may finally be learning to love it, increasingly setting uncertainty itself to work to help crack some of science's more intractable problems.

Other contributors include former England cricketer Ed Smith, whose career was cut down in its prime through a freak, unlucky accident; Las Vegas gambling legend Mike Shackleford, the self-styled 'Wizard of Odds'; and chief economist of the Bank of England, Spencer Dale.

MON 00:00 The Wonder of Animals (b04fmg8d)
Big Cats

Chris Packham delves beneath the skin of the big cats to explore what makes them such good hunters, and he reveals that it is not all about brawn.

New scientific research shows how subtle adaptations in their anatomy and physiology contribute to the success of all stages of a big cat hunt: the stalk, the capture and the kill.

Leg hairs help the leopard to stalk, and intricate muscle fibres drive the snow leopard to capture its prey. For the jaguar, jaw muscles and whiskers combine to give it a precision bite that can take down a caiman, and an enlarged area of the lioness's brain gives it the edge over all their big cat cousins.

MON 00:30 Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone (b009nhfq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MON 01:00 Villages by the Sea (m000c799)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

MON 01:30 The Golden Age of Steam Railways (b01pdsy6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

MON 02:30 Ian Hislop's Stiff Upper Lip - An Emotional History of Britain (b01nhccs)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Steam Days (b00dwflc)
The Fishing Line

First transmitted in 1986, Miles Kington experiences the power of a London, Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) Stanier 'Black Five' on a journey from Fort William across the western Highlands via Glenfinnan to Mallaig.

While observing breathtaking scenery and stunning engineering achievements, including Glenfinnan viaduct, Kington uncovers what the West Highland Line meant to the traditional crofting communities that had been devastated by the Highland clearances.

TUE 19:30 Villages by the Sea (m000c7m1)
Series 1


Archaeologist Ben Robinson discovers the story of the monks and villagers of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, off the Northumberland coast.

Our coastal villages are often seen as remote places for retreat and relaxation. However, they have often been on the front line of history - from the arrival of Christianity to battles with neighbours and nature; from slave trading to the birth of modern tourism.

From Holy Island, monks spread Christianity to the rest of Northern England and created one of Britain’s finest treasures – the Lindisfarne Gospels. Viking attacks caused the monks to flee but the village survived. Today the community has to share their village with thousands of tourists.

TUE 20:00 Keeping Up Appearances (b007b855)
Series 2

A Picnic for Daddy

Sitcom about an irrepressible snob. Hyacinth's plan to take Daddy on a picnic backfires when he takes the car, leaving the rest of the family stranded.

TUE 20:30 Yes, Prime Minister (b0074rxz)
Series 2

Official Secrets

Jim Hacker's predecessor is publishing his memoirs and must be cleared by the PM's office for security reasons. One chapter shows Hacker in a very bad light - but has he got grounds for refusing to publish?

TUE 21:00 Gods of Snooker (m000w0ps)
Series 1

Episode 1

The first episode explores how Alex 'The Hurricane' Higgins helped transform snooker from a game played in the backrooms of working men’s clubs to a national sporting obsession.

Interest in the sport had been growing thanks to the new possibilities of colour broadcasting, and in particular the weekly snooker show Pot Black, first commissioned by none other than David Attenborough. But it was the antics of the unpredictable Ulstersman and snooker genius, Higgins, that took the game stratospheric.

Raw and unpredictable on the table, outspoken and badly behaved off it, Higgins declared war on the 1970s snooker establishment, entering into a years-long rivalry with the man who more than anyone embodied the old guard, ex-policeman Ray Reardon. Higgins and Reardon didn’t see eye to eye, but it was well known that Higgins could start a fight in an empty room. As the 70s wore on, the tabloids gleefully reported on a string of on- and off-the-table misdeeds.

Almost inevitably, Reardon and Higgins eventually came face to face in the World Championship final of 1982, in what was by far the biggest tournament to date. The clash of the two snooker titans - the paragon of the establishment against the self-described ‘People’s Champion’ - would be the match that redefined the British public’s relationship with the sport and set the course for a decade where it would become box office gold.

TUE 22:00 The Wednesday Play (m0015x8f)
Up the Junction

Classic play by Nell Dunn about three working-class young women who live, work and play in Battersea.

TUE 23:10 The British Garden: Life and Death on Your Lawn (b08xyqcs)
The British back garden is a familiar setting, but underneath the peonies and petunias is a much wilder hidden world, a miniature Serengeti, with beauty and brutality in equal measure. In this documentary, Chris Packham and a team of wildlife experts spend an entire year exploring every inch of a series of interlinked back gardens in Welwyn Garden City. They want to answer a fundamental question: how much wildlife lives beyond our back doors? How good for wildlife is the great British garden?

Through all four seasons, Chris reveals a stranger side to some of our more familiar garden residents. In summer he meets a very modern family of foxes - with a single dad in charge - and finds that a single fox litter can have up to five different fathers. In winter he shows that a robin's red breast is actually war paint. And finally, in spring he finds a boiling ball of frisky frogs in a once-in-a-year mating frenzy.

The secret lives of the gardens' smallest residents are even weirder. The team finds male crickets that bribe females with food during sex, spiders that change colour to help catch prey, and life-and-death battles going on under our noses in the compost heap.

So how many different species call our gardens home? How well do our gardens support wildlife? By the end of the year, with the help of a crack team from London's Natural History Museum and some of the country's top naturalists, Chris will find out. He'll also discover which type of garden attracts the most wildlife. The results are not what you might expect... You'll never look at your garden in quite the same way again.

TUE 00:40 Steam Days (b00dwflc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

TUE 01:10 Villages by the Sea (m000c7m1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

TUE 01:40 Gods of Snooker (m000w0ps)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

TUE 02:40 Neanderthals - Meet Your Ancestors (b0b3gdg2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Monday]


WED 19:00 Steam Days (b00f5lrr)
Going Great Western

First transmitted in 1986, Miles Kington explores the line laid from Bristol to Exeter by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and then travels through south Devon in all its glory.

Along the way Kington examines the enormous task faced by Brunel in the design and construction of the Royal Albert Bridge, which carries the Cornish Main Line railway in and out of Cornwall. Perhaps less well known is the impact of the railway line and the rail company on promoting tourism in the Edwardian golden age of British seaside resorts.

WED 19:30 Villages by the Sea (m000c79y)
Series 1

Robin Hood's Bay

Archaeologist Ben Robinson reveals the story of smuggling intrigue and bravery on the Yorkshire coast.

WED 20:00 Secret Life of Farm Animals (m0001ky3)
Series 1


We all think we know about farm animals - that sheep are stupid, pigs are smart and that cows lie down when it is going to rain. But there's a lot more to them than that. In this series we're bringing together some of the country's best farms to create one sun-dappled ideal where we will test animal intelligence, discover unlikely relationships and uncover a side of farm animals you've never seen before.

It is harvest season. We follow a litter of piglets from birth as they grow up in the Brecon Beacons. We test the theory that every piglet always returns to the same teat to suckle, show that pigs love mud to keep cool because they have practically no sweat glands, and we show how intelligent they are with a series of puzzles. We also reveal that they are masters at the art of deception. Pigs tell porkies! Along the way we meet a pair of kunekune pigs raised as domestic pets in the heart of London. We visit a farm that uses llamas to guard its sheep and meet a pet rabbit with a remarkable identity crisis.

WED 21:00 Putin, Russia and the West (b01b3hkm)
Taking Control

Vladimir Putin began his career as a KGB spy, but when he became president he made himself a valued ally of the west. How did he do it? And what made Washington and London turn against him?

In this four-part series Putin's top colleagues - and the western statesmen who eventually clashed with him - tell the inside story of one of the world's most powerful men.

In this opening episode, George W Bush meets Putin in June 2001 and declares he looked him in the eye and 'got a sense of his soul'. Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice recall their discomfort. But Rice, the only Bush adviser in the private talks, reveals that, three months before 9/11, Putin gave Bush a prophetic warning about Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Taliban. After 9/11, Putin describes how he convinced his shocked colleagues that Russia should align with the West. Sergei Ivanov, Russian's defence minister, tells how the Taliban secretly offered to join forces with Russia against America.

WED 22:00 Storyville (m0015x8s)
The Earth Is Blue as an Orange

Single mother Anna and her four children are living under siege in Ukraine in 2019. Eldest daughter Mira dreams of becoming a film-maker and so, as bombs descend on neighbouring homes, she and her siblings construct, act in, and edit a film about their lives in the war zone.

The Earth Is Blue as an Orange observes the family as they cope with war by using their cameras to create meaning out of a meaningless conflict.

WED 23:15 Dog Tales and Cat Tales (m000mf93)
Series 1

Dog Tales: The Making of Man's Best Friend

Dogs have been at our side longer than any other animal in history. They have made us better hunters and better farmers, saved our lives and protected us from harm. And even though dogs may come in all shapes and sizes, they all have one thing in common – they seem to love us. If you were designing the perfect companion for humans, you’d probably end up with something like a dog.

So, how did we get so lucky?

In this show, we unravel the scientific secrets that explain what makes a dog… a dog. We reveal that the emotional bond between human and dog is so profound, it is helping transform the lives of hardened criminals in the US prison system convicted of the most violent crimes.

We examine a 30,000-year-old Belgian wolf skull that some believe marks the first transition from wolf to dog. Many scientists suspect that it is the arrival of us, modern humans, that transformed grey wolves into dogs.

We visit a fox farm in Siberia where a unique selective breeding experiment has been going on for 60 years. This programme helps to explain how the presence of humans transformed the biology, behaviour and appearance of wolves. Some scientists suspect that wolves may have even initiated this process themselves through self-selection.

We go to a dog show to explore the huge variety of shapes and sizes we see in modern dogs and reveal that dogs share a unique ability to vary shape and size by altering just a handful of genes. The Dog Genome Project is discovering that what drove most of this variety was intensive human selection for extreme genes.

We also explore experiments with wolves and dogs at the Wolf Science Centre in Austria, which reveal that the common assumption that our bond with dogs results from selection for intelligence is simply wrong. In fact, recent scientific studies suggest that what makes dogs seem intelligent to us is their unique emotional make-up. It turns out that the secret of our bond with dogs may be love. Not our love for them, but their love for us. MRI scanning of dogs’ brains in Atlanta, Georgia, seems to confirm that dogs genuinely love us.

We visit Callie Truelove, a young girl living with the rare genetic condition Williams Syndrome. This makes Callie extremely loving and sociable. But geneticists have discovered that the same mutations that give Callie her super social nature have also been found in dogs. Some scientists suspect that this is the true secret behind what makes the dog humanity’s best friend.

WED 00:15 Steam Days (b00f5lrr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

WED 00:45 Villages by the Sea (m000c79y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

WED 01:15 Secret Life of Farm Animals (m0001ky3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 02:15 Putin, Russia and the West (b01b3hkm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 Steam Days (p011w7wx)
The Quest for Speed

First transmitted in 1986, Miles Kington looks at three locomotives, including the ‘City of Truro’ and ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’, which played a part in keeping Britain on the tracks towards the world speed record. In conversation with John Bellwood from the National Railway Museum in York, Kington reflects on the pros and cons of Patrick Stirling’s Single Wheeler locomotive.

THU 19:30 Villages by the Sea (m000c78p)
Series 1


Archaeologist Ben Robinson discovers the surprising story of this former medieval port on the Suffolk coast.

Coastal villages are often seen as remote places for retreat and relaxation. However, they have often been on the front line of history - from the arrival of Christianity to battles with neighbours and nature, from slave trading to the birth of modern tourism.

Today, Walberswick is a favourite coastal retreat for writers, artists and day trippers. But for centuries, the village lurched from prosperity to poverty. In medieval times, it fought a bitter battle for supremacy against the neighbouring port of Dunwich and finally fell victim to politics, fire and the might of the sea.

THU 20:00 Michael Wood's Story of England (b00vfgtg)
Henry VIII to the Industrial Revolution

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.

The tale reaches the dramatic events of Henry VIII's Reformation and the battles of the English Civil War. We track Kibworth's 17th century dissenters, travel on the Grand Union Canal and meet an 18th century feminist writer from Kibworth who was a pioneer of children's books.

The story of a young highwayman transported to Australia comes alive as his living descendents come back to the village to uncover their roots. Lastly, the Industrial Revolution comes to the village with framework knitting factories, changing the village and its people forever.

THU 21:00 La La Land (m000309g)
Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician, fall in love while struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern-day Los Angeles, this award-winning musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.

THU 23:00 Pride and Prejudice (b00vp0zm)
Period drama based on Jane Austen's classic novel about the five husband-hunting Bennet sisters and the impact of the handsome but apparently aloof Mr Darcy on the spirited Elizabeth. Though attracted to Darcy, Elizabeth - the second of the Bennet daughters - is repelled by his cold manner and by rumours of the man's cruelty towards one of his friends.

THU 00:55 Skint (p0bmv92l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday]

THU 01:10 Skint (p0bmv91y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:15 on Sunday]

THU 01:25 Skint (p0bmv90s)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 on Sunday]

THU 01:40 Villages by the Sea (m000c78p)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 02:10 Michael Wood's Story of England (b00vfgtg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


FRI 19:00 Dusty (m0015x8w)
Series 2

Episode 3

Dusty Springfield's 1960s variety show, first broadcast on 29 August 1967, with the voices of Madeline Bell, Leslie Duncan and Maggie Stredder. Her special guest is Puerto Rican musician José Feliciano.

FRI 19:25 Dusty (b0074q99)
Series 2

Episode 4

Vintage episode of Dusty Springfield's 1960s TV series, featuring special guest Tom Jones. Madeline Bell, Lesley Duncan and Margaret Stredder supply the backing vocals.

FRI 19:50 Sounds of the Sixties (b07sx0qm)

First Steps 2

Craig Douglas gets lonesome, Joe Brown & the Bruvvers only take a minute, and Peter & Gordon live in a world without love in this swinging sixties archive show.

FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m0015x8y)
Mark Franklin presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 24 September 1992 and featuring Messiah, Sade, Boy George, Suede, Boyz II Men, Tasmin Archer, Mike Oldfield and Snap!

FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m0015x90)
Mark Franklin and Claudia Simon present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 1 October 1992 and featuring Stereo MC's, Crowded House, Doctor Spin, Dr. Alban, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Bizarre Inc featuring Angie Brown, Status Quo and The Shamen.

FRI 21:00 Neil Diamond at the BBC (m000rgm8)
A look back over the decades at some of the brightest and best BBC moments from legendary singer-songwriter Neil Diamond. This compilation features performances from the early 1970s of hits like Sweet Caroline, Forever in Blue Jeans and Solitary Man, and appearances on a range of BBC programmes including Wogan, The Shirley Bassey Show, Later... with Jools Holland and, of course, Top of the Pops.

Alongside all the hits are some rarely seen interview clips that capture Neil’s feelings about his enduring career and show how his dislike of fame has always sat in conflict with his passion for performing the songs that he and his fans love so much.

FRI 22:00 Electric Proms (b00vzzsw)

Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond in concert from London's Roundhouse with his six-piece band performing tracks from his 2010 album Dreams, which explores the 60s and 70s songs he loves, and reinventing his classics. This is Neil Diamond stripped down with strings in his most intimate performance for years.

FRI 23:00 ...Sings Neil Diamond (b00vzzsy)
A compilation from the BBC archive of performances featuring songs written by, or associated with, Neil Diamond. Featuring Lulu, UB40, Vince Hill, Robert Wyatt, Gladys Knight, Urge Overkill, Lena Zavaroni, The Hollies and a duet by Neil Diamond and Shirley Bassey.

FRI 23:30 How Pop Songs Work (b008nk4h)
Celebration of the magic of pop music and the skill and musical dexterity that goes into writing, performing and producing hit records. Conductor Charles Hazlewood explores the mechanics of pop songs such as Imagine, Tomorrow Never Knows and Back to Black by breaking them down into six key areas, aided by contributions from a cast of writers, producers and arrangers including Guy Chambers, Martin Fry, Steve Levine, Richard Niles, Nick Ingman, John Altman and Rob Davis.

FRI 00:30 Top of the Pops (m0015x8y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRI 01:00 Top of the Pops (m0015x90)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

FRI 01:30 Neil Diamond at the BBC (m000rgm8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 02:30 Dusty (m0015x8w)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

FRI 02:55 Dusty (b0074q99)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:25 today]

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

...Sings Neil Diamond 23:00 FRI (b00vzzsy)

Arctic with Bruce Parry 20:00 SAT (b00ylx9f)

Arctic with Bruce Parry 02:30 SAT (b00ylx9f)

Dog Tales and Cat Tales 23:15 WED (m000mf93)

Dusty 19:00 FRI (m0015x8w)

Dusty 19:25 FRI (b0074q99)

Dusty 02:30 FRI (m0015x8w)

Dusty 02:55 FRI (b0074q99)

Electric Proms 22:00 FRI (b00vzzsw)

Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone 19:00 MON (b009nhfq)

Fred Dibnah's World of Steam, Steel and Stone 00:30 MON (b009nhfq)

Gods of Snooker 21:00 TUE (m000w0ps)

Gods of Snooker 01:40 TUE (m000w0ps)

Hidden 21:00 SAT (p0btb5ch)

How Pop Songs Work 23:30 FRI (b008nk4h)

Ian Hislop's Stiff Upper Lip - An Emotional History of Britain 22:00 MON (b01nhccs)

Ian Hislop's Stiff Upper Lip - An Emotional History of Britain 02:30 MON (b01nhccs)

Keeping Up Appearances 02:00 SAT (b007b81t)

Keeping Up Appearances 20:00 TUE (b007b855)

La La Land 21:00 THU (m000309g)

Max Richter's Sleep 20:25 SUN (m000qzlb)

Michael Wood's Story of England 20:00 THU (b00vfgtg)

Michael Wood's Story of England 02:10 THU (b00vfgtg)

Neanderthals - Meet Your Ancestors 20:00 MON (b0b3gdg2)

Neanderthals - Meet Your Ancestors 02:40 TUE (b0b3gdg2)

Neil Diamond at the BBC 21:00 FRI (m000rgm8)

Neil Diamond at the BBC 01:30 FRI (m000rgm8)

Photograph 22:00 SAT (m0015x7n)

Pride and Prejudice 23:00 THU (b00vp0zm)

Putin, Russia and the West 21:00 WED (b01b3hkm)

Putin, Russia and the West 02:15 WED (b01b3hkm)

Secret Knowledge 19:55 SUN (b0376h9w)

Secret Knowledge 02:10 SUN (b0376h9w)

Secret Life of Farm Animals 20:00 WED (m0001ky3)

Secret Life of Farm Animals 01:15 WED (m0001ky3)

Skint 22:00 SUN (p0bmv92l)

Skint 22:15 SUN (p0bmv91y)

Skint 22:30 SUN (p0bmv90s)

Skint 00:55 THU (p0bmv92l)

Skint 01:10 THU (p0bmv91y)

Skint 01:25 THU (p0bmv90s)

Sounds of the Sixties 19:50 FRI (b07sx0qm)

Steam Days 19:00 TUE (b00dwflc)

Steam Days 00:40 TUE (b00dwflc)

Steam Days 19:00 WED (b00f5lrr)

Steam Days 00:15 WED (b00f5lrr)

Steam Days 19:00 THU (p011w7wx)

Storyville 22:00 WED (m0015x8s)

Tails You Win: The Science of Chance 23:00 MON (p00yh2rc)

The British Garden: Life and Death on Your Lawn 23:10 TUE (b08xyqcs)

The Golden Age of Steam Railways 21:00 MON (b01pdsy6)

The Golden Age of Steam Railways 01:30 MON (b01pdsy6)

The Normans 19:00 SAT (b00tfdsk)

The Normans 02:40 SUN (b00tfdsk)

The Sound of TV with Neil Brand 23:15 SUN (m000qcx6)

The Wednesday Play 22:00 TUE (m0015x8f)

The Wonder of Animals 00:15 SUN (b04dq5tb)

The Wonder of Animals 00:45 SUN (b04dzrtp)

The Wonder of Animals 00:00 MON (b04fmg8d)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m0015x8y)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m0015x90)

Top of the Pops 00:30 FRI (m0015x8y)

Top of the Pops 01:00 FRI (m0015x90)

Villages by the Sea 19:30 MON (m000c799)

Villages by the Sea 01:00 MON (m000c799)

Villages by the Sea 19:30 TUE (m000c7m1)

Villages by the Sea 01:10 TUE (m000c7m1)

Villages by the Sea 19:30 WED (m000c79y)

Villages by the Sea 00:45 WED (m000c79y)

Villages by the Sea 19:30 THU (m000c78p)

Villages by the Sea 01:40 THU (m000c78p)

Virtuoso Violinists at the BBC 19:00 SUN (b072x1qh)

Virtuoso Violinists at the BBC 01:15 SUN (b072x1qh)

What Do Artists Do All Day? 22:45 SUN (b07l57yy)

Wogan: The Best Of 23:45 SAT (b05n92qj)

Yes, Prime Minister 00:30 SAT (b0074rwy)

Yes, Prime Minister 20:30 TUE (b0074rxz)