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.

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SAT 19:00 A History of Ancient Britain (b0108tsq)
Series 2

Age of Iron

Neil Oliver continues his epic story of how Britain and its people came to be. Diving for 3,000-year-old treasure and pot-holing through an ancient copper mine, he discovers how a golden age of bronze collapsed into social and economic crisis set against a period of sharp climate change and would eventually be replaced by a new era, of iron.

SAT 20:00 Rick Stein's Long Weekends (b085024t)

Rick's series of culinary city breaks continues with a trip to the north eastern Greek city of Thessaloniki nestling on the northern shores of the Aegean Sea. The city is revered as the gourmet capital of Greece and birthplace to possibly the greatest warrior general that ever lived, Alexander.

Rick explores a city of many identities, a time warp of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman structures surprisingly teeming with a very young student population hungry for dishes that reflect the freshest of seafood, vibrant mezzes flavoured with cinnamon, paprika and saffron and sweet syrupy pastries. A true blend of west meeting east. Rick arrives just in time for harvesting peaches on land and mussels out at sea.

At home he cooks veal and aubergine stew after meeting the doyenne of Greek cooking Vefa Alexiadou.

SAT 21:00 Beck (p0c3ynd9)
The Crying Cop

The police find themselves under heavy media pressure after fatally shooting a 14-year-old boy. A demonstration against the violence gets out of hand, and the police have to take further blame.

In Swedish with English subtitles.

SAT 22:30 Vikings (b01n3gbj)
Episode 3

Neil Oliver explores how the Viking Age finally ended, tracing the Norse voyages of discovery, the first Danish kings, and the Christian conversions that opened the door to European high society. He also uncovers the truth about England's King Canute - he was not an arrogant leader who thought he could hold back the waves, but the Viking ruler of an entire empire of the north and an early adopter of European standardisation.

SAT 23:30 Wogan: The Best Of (b05pzyd2)
Funny: Part 2

Sir Terry Wogan remembers some memorable moments from the Wogan show. This episode includes laughter and chat with Ronnie Barker, Fry and Laurie, Rik Mayall, John Cleese, Joan Rivers and two comedy Bobs - Hope and Monkhouse.

SAT 00:15 Yes, Prime Minister (b0074s32)
Series 2

The National Education Service

Jim Hacker decides to abolish the Department of Education and Science to reduce bureaucracy and save money, giving cash directly to schools. Sir Humphrey, of course, is appalled.

SAT 00:45 Keeping Up Appearances (b007b6rh)
Series 3

Richard's New Hobby

Hyacinth realises that Richard is bored after taking early retirement and provides him with a hobby - being artistic with a video camera. However, it's a decision she will live to regret.

SAT 01:15 Rick Stein's Long Weekends (b085024t)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SAT 02:15 A History of Ancient Britain (b0108tsq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SUNDAY 29 MAY 2022

SUN 19:00 Britten’s War Requiem: Staging a Masterpiece (m0002k5k)
Filmed over 12 months, with unprecedented access, this landmark film follows the English National Opera as they pursue the challenge of staging Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem. One of the greatest British choral works of the 20th century, War Requiem is seen by many as a true masterpiece.

The ENO are the first company to transform the work into a dramatised performance. Artistic director Daniel Kramer engaged a team drawn from across the world including the Turner Prize-winning artist Wolfgang Tillmans to adapt the piece that was originally written for the reconsecration of Coventry Cathedral. The original cathedral was destroyed during World War II, and Britten wanted to create a powerful statement against the horrors of war, a piece that inspired reconciliation. The result was an emotionally charged piece that requires three soloists, a large choir, a children’s choir, a large orchestra, two organs as well as a chamber orchestra. Juxtaposing the traditional Latin Requiem Mass with the World War I poet Wilfred Owen’s powerful anti-war poetry, the overall effect is a powerful emotional journey.

SUN 20:00 Ghosts in the Ruins (m0017wr9)
Created to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the consecration of Coventry Cathedral, Ghosts in the Ruin is a performance work that features original choral music, projections of archive imagery and poetry by local writers. The piece takes audiences on a physical journey between the new cathedral and the ruins of the original site, retelling the history of the space and exploring themes of reconciliation and sanctuary that characterise the city.

This is the film of the site-specific performance, commissioned by Coventry Cathedral and the Coventry City of Culture Trust, and created by Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement recipient Nitin Sawhney CBE with the people of Coventry.

Ghosts in the Ruins received its world premiere on 27 January 2022 in Coventry Cathedral.

SUN 21:00 A Jubilee of Music (m0017wrc)
As we prepare to celebrate the platinum jubilee, another opportunity to see the entertainment spectacular, originally broadcast on BBC One on New Year's Eve 1976, which looked back at the musical highlights of the first 25 years of the Queen's reign.

A host of stars including Vera Lynn, Acker Bilk, Max Bygraves, Petula Clark, Ken Dodd, Val Doonican, Kathy Kirby, Lulu, Matt Monro, Cliff Richard and Helen Shapiro relive their own greatest moments, alongside performances by Norman Wisdom with The Young Generation and Alyn Ainsworth and His Orchestra.

SUN 22:05 Coventry Cathedral: Building for a New Britain (m000wvm3)
In November 1940, German bombers destroyed much of the city centre of Coventry and reduced the city’s medieval cathedral to rubble. Just 22 years later, in May 1962, a new cathedral designed by Basil Spence was consecrated on the site. Built in a bold modern style, incorporating the ruins of the old cathedral and adorned with a wealth of modern artworks, Coventry Cathedral is recognised today as one of Britain ‘s greatest postwar buildings.

Using a wealth of rarely seen archive film, together with voices from yesterday and today, the film tells the story of the new cathedral and of the times in which it was created.

SUN 23:20 Handmade: By Royal Appointment (b07gys9d)
House of Benney

In a small workshop in a country house in Wiltshire, silversmith Simon Benney makes distinctive jewellery and exquisite household objects for the royal family and private clients. Simon is following in the footsteps of his father Gerald Benney, who revolutionised the design of British silverware in the postwar era. This film follows the making of an engraved gold and diamond pendant, featuring Simon's trademark enamel finish, using techniques his father learnt from Faberge.

SUN 23:50 Handmade: By Royal Appointment (b07ht061)

Travelling between the factory in Hamburg, where Steinway pianos are still made largely by hand, and Steinway Hall in London, where a team of technicians maintain and restore the pianos, this film offers a portrait of the craftsmen behind the famous instrument.

From the stoic German factory workers bending the frames and polishing the veneers, to long-standing British restorer Jeff about to retire from the company, the film lifts the lid on the dedication and skills required to make and maintain a prestige piano.

Holders of a royal warrant since the days of Queen Victoria, Steinway supplies pianos to the royal household as well as many leading performers, and the film also follows renowned pianist Lang Lang preparing for a concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

SUN 00:20 Britten’s War Requiem: Staging a Masterpiece (m0002k5k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SUN 01:20 Ghosts in the Ruins (m0017wr9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SUN 02:20 Vikings (b01n3gbj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 on Saturday]

MONDAY 30 MAY 2022

MON 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000wgs1)
Series 13

Hampstead to Islington

Michael’s Bradshaw’s-inspired rail tour of London continues in Hampstead, where shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, a groundbreaking Jewish doctor found refuge. Sigmund Freud fled the Austrian capital of Vienna by train to escape the Nazis, who branded his work degenerate. Michael hears how the father of psychoanalysis was warmly welcomed in London and sees the famous couch, upon which patients would lie to recount their dreams.

In St John’s Wood, Michael discovers how Britain went on record between the wars at the Abbey Road Studios. He is amazed by the cavernous space in which Sir Edward Elgar and the London Symphony Orchestra played at the grand opening ceremony in 1931, and he's awed by the list of famous names to follow their lead, topped by the Beatles, who immortalised Abbey Road on an album cover. A young violinist brings Studio 2 to life with a tribute to Elgar.

At the Boot pub in Bloomsbury, Michael hears that, during the late 1920s, the National Darts Association set up its headquarters here. The popularity of the game was soaring, and Michael is surprised to hear who delivered a royal boost.

And in Finsbury, Michael learns how a Russian emigre, Berthold Lubetkin, shaped the architecture of the area with bold ideas and socialist principles. Michael visits the extraordinary Finsbury Health Centre, built a decade before the NHS, and tours the innovative and sculptural housing development Bevin Court.

MON 19:30 Coastal Path (b07qb61p)
Episode 1

In this series, explorer Paul Rose sets off on the walk of a lifetime - 630 miles of the South West Coast Path. He'll discover wildlife, wild traditions and wild adventure at every turn on this spectacular peninsula.

MON 20:00 Earth from Space (p072n8m0)
Series 1

Changing Planet

Cameras in space tell stories of life on our planet from a brand new perspective. At a time when the Earth’s surface is changing faster than ever in human history, watch cities grow, forest disappear and glaciers melt. In the ever-growing grey of cities one man is feeding thousands of parakeets; in Sumatra a female orang-utan and her daughter face life in a forest under threat; while in Tanzania local people use satellites to replant a forest, securing the future for a family of chimpanzees. This is our home as we’ve never seen it before.

MON 21:00 New Elizabethans with Andrew Marr (p07xsk95)
Series 1

Building a New Society

Andrew Marr examines the way Britain went from a rigid, deferential, hierarchical, patriarchal and class-obsessed society in the 1950s toward a more liberal, inclusive, egalitarian society in the latter part of the Queen’s reign. It is the story of the permissive society, of changing attitudes toward homosexuality, sexuality, gender and race, of a breaking down of class barriers and the growing equality won by women in the workplace.

But it isn’t an unfettered story of positivity and progress. Many liberties have been won at a cost and in the face of fierce criticism. This programme takes in both sides of that debate: the liberal victories of the ‘permissive society’ as well as the ferocious backlash of middle England at the perceived erosion of family values.

It is a film that delves into some unexpected stories – all of which shine a light on a society in flux. Andrew sees how Nancy Mitford’s light-hearted guide to the difference between upper-class and vulgar language sounded the death knell of an old world. He sees how a former cavalry officer, who reported the conquest of Everest by Hillary and Tenzing in 1953, proved a harbinger of perhaps the most radical change of the era as James Morris became Jan Morris - historian, journalist and a pioneering transgender role model for the new Elizabethan age.

Andrew also looks at the divergent lives of two women who made us confront our attitudes to gender, sexuality and power - movie starlet Diana Dors and wannabe movie starlet Ruth Ellis, who achieved fame of a completely different kind. And Andrew also sees how social upheaval – breaking class barriers and social/sexual taboos alike – was championed in Westminster by the likes of Roy Jenkins, reflected on our television screens and theatres by performers like Graham Chapman and rejected in the heart of middle England by moral crusaders like Mary Whitehouse.

MON 22:00 The Ruth Ellis Files: A Very British Crime Story (b09w8jp0)
Series 1

Episode 3

In April 1955 Ruth Ellis shot her lover David Blakely dead. It's a case that shocked the nation and it still fascinates today. It has its place in ushering in the defence of diminished responsibility and the eventual abolishment of capital punishment. We all think we know the story, but why, when it was seemingly such an open and shut case, does it still divide opinion on whether Ruth Ellis got the justice she deserved?

Film-maker Gillian Pachter wants to find out. The result is a fresh investigation with fascinating true-crime twists and turns that also shines a unique light on attitudes to class, gender and sex in 1950s London.

In episode three Gillian turns her attention to Ruth's execution and the last-minute attempts to save her life even though Ruth herself was determined to die. Despite this Ruth decides to change her solicitor and Gillian is intrigued as to the reasons why. When Ruth does finally admit that someone else was involved in the murder, her new solicitor races to the Home Office in a bid to stop the execution.

He isn't alone in not wanting to see Ruth hanged. Gillian looks at the hundreds of letters that were sent by the British public to the government asking for Ruth to be reprieved. It's a fascinating snapshot of British attitudes in the 1950s: the letters point to Ruth's mental state, the domestic violence she'd suffered and even the trauma experienced by those who'd lived through the Blitz.

The police are sent to track down Ruth's other lover, Desmond Cussen, who Ruth now claims gave her the gun and drove her to the scene of the murder. But they can't find him and won't take Ruth's word for it. The Home Office decides to press on with the execution; they worry that if they don't follow through on such a high-profile murder case that this will accelerate the abolition of capital punishment.

Ruth is hanged and Gillian explores the role of her case in the introduction of the defence of diminished responsibility in England and its place in the eventual abolition of capital punishment in Britain in 1965. But Ruth's personal legacy is much more tragic as Gillian explores the effects of the events of 1955 on Ruth's family. This takes Gillian to a taped conversation recorded by Ruth's son in the 1980s, where his despair at what happened when he was ten is movingly clear; Andre lost his mother and he lost David, whom he loved. He took his own life in the 1980s and today his ashes are close to his mother's in a cemetery in Hertfordshire not far from where David Blakely was buried. Three victims of a truly tragic set of circumstances.

MON 23:00 Timeshift (b0105r8x)
Series 10

Crime and Punishment: The Story of Capital Punishment

Timeshift digs into the archive to trace the extraordinary story of the ultimate sanction. At the beginning of the 19th century you could still be hanged in Britain for offences such as stealing a sheep or shooting a rabbit. Even children as young as seven were sent to the gallows. The last hanging in this country took place as recently as 1964.

By opting for a dispassionate history rather than staging the usual polarised debate, the programme breaks new ground with its fascinating attention to detail, such as the protocols of the public execution or the 'science' of hanging. With contributions from both sides of the argument, it provides an essential guide to a subject that still divides us.

MON 00:00 Handmade: By Royal Appointment (b07g9q28)
John Lobb Shoes

In the shadow of St James's Palace is the workshop of shoemakers John Lobb. Since the mid-19th century, they have handcrafted shoes for gentlemen and boast royal warrants from both the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales. It's a rare heritage company still run by the original family and this film follows a day in the life of the shoemakers, who use methods that have barely changed since the company was founded. From pencilled outlines on brown paper to the cutting and stitching of leather, heels hammered on soles to the final polishing, the film follows the meticulous craft process and hears from the shoemakers themselves, many of whom have spent decades working for the company.

MON 00:30 Great British Railway Journeys (m000wgs1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MON 01:00 Coastal Path (b07qb61p)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

MON 01:30 Earth from Space (p072n8m0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 02:30 New Elizabethans with Andrew Marr (p07xsk95)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000wgtb)
Series 13

Dagenham to Battersea

Armed with his 1930s Bradshaw’s guide, Michael is in London, where he tracks the River Thames from east to west. Michael is drawn to the industrial eastern suburb by the unexpected sound of pipes. He finds their origins in a Sunday school band for girls begun by a cleric in the 1930s. Still going strong, the Dagenham Girl Pipers explain their history and success, as well as treating Michael to a performance of Tipperary.

Aboard a Thames Rocket boat, Michael finds out how the river is both the lifeblood of and an existential threat to the capital. He hears how a great flood claimed 14 lives in 1928 and investigates how London is protected today on a visit to the Thames Barrier.

Michael finishes this leg of his tour at one of London’s most iconic buildings, Battersea Power Station, built during the 1930s by Giles Gilbert Scott. Michael hears how Battersea once produced a fifth of London’s electricity. He discovers its inner workings and decorative detail and hears what the future holds for the former Cathedral of Power, now undergoing a £9 billion redevelopment.

TUE 19:30 Coastal Path (b07tbxp6)
Episode 2

Paul Rose explores the rugged north Cornish coast, taking a grand tour of Tintagel Castle, joining in the hustle and bustle of Padstow's Obby Oss festival and channelling his inner Turner in St Ives.

TUE 20:00 Keeping Up Appearances (b007b6wc)
Series 3

The Art Exhibition

When Hyacinth gets passionate about art, Daddy decides to join the Foreign Legion. Meanwhile, Mr Finchley has desires of his own for Rose.

TUE 20:30 Yes, Prime Minister (b037tb14)
Series 2

The Tangled Web

Jim unwittingly lies to the Commons about bugging an MP's phone. Sir Humphrey decides not to lie to the Privileges Committee on Jim's behalf, but then discovers that he too has something to hide.

TUE 21:00 New Elizabethans with Andrew Marr (p07xslns)
Series 1

A Brave New World

The second programme in the series looks at the way in which a colourful collection of New Elizabethans have sought to come to terms with Britain’s decline as a world power since 1952, to project British values and influence abroad, and to ensure Britain’s ongoing relevance at a time when so much seems to be slipping away. How have we coped with the loss of empire, American cultural and political hegemony, and the rise of a consolidated European superstate? These are issues that the British have wrestled with since the Queen ascended the throne in 1952, and which continue to divide and occupy us to this day.

Andrew Marr explores how Britain – a highly militarised nation with a vast standing army and formidable navy in 1952 – saw her power and influence crumble. Britain emerged from the Second World War broke, vastly in debt to the United States, and with an empire that was vanishing fast. Over the next 50 years, we lost an empire and gained a commonwealth, we fought to maintain our position and influence as a nuclear power, even as our armed forces were decimated by cuts, and we saw our society transformed by immigration, from the workplace to the high street.

It is the story of how we replaced hard military power with soft cultural power. How the sun began to set on the British empire, casting a rapidly lengthening shadow. And how we struck an uneasy alliance with American influence, cherishing the special relationship whilst agonising over the Americanisation of British society and values. Likewise, the reign of Elizabeth II has seen an uneasy flirtation with Europe as we embraced the sights, sounds and tastes of the continent - from food and wine to cheap holidays in the sun - but remained critically divided over membership of the political and economic club.

New Elizabethans profiled include familiar figures like Earl Mountbatten of Burma, cookery writer Elizabeth David and singer and activist Bob Geldof, as well as less familiar figures like Colonel Colin ‘Mad Mitch’ Mitchell and pioneering peace campaigner Helen John.

TUE 22:00 Queen Elizabeth: The Coronation (m0018088)
Queen Elizabeth II's coronation was one of the biggest ceremonial occasions ever. Broadcast live, the events of 2 June 1953 were a defining moment of the 20th century, not least for television, as cameras brought the new medium into millions of British homes for the first time. It was the most ambitious and technically difficult broadcast the BBC had ever tackled.

TUE 22:50 Natural World (b00wwbm4)

Butterflies: A Very British Obsession

Wildlife documentary featuring the fascinating lives of Britain's beautiful butterflies filmed in exquisite detail, and also a celebration of their enduring appeal to the British people. Butterfly-costumed carnival-goers dance at Notting Hill, street artist Nick Walker uses their image to brighten bare city walls, burlesque dancer Vicky Butterfly recreates butterfly dances, and women reveal their butterfly tattoos at Britain's biggest tattoo convention.

Britain's butterflies have never been so threatened, three-quarters are in decline - but do they still have a message for us? A search for butterflies leads to some of the most beautiful parts of Britain. It opens up the intriguing possibility that a passion for butterflies could help us preserve the landscapes that we love.

TUE 23:35 How to Make (m000h3cs)
Series 1

The Toothbrush

Designer, maker and materials engineer Zoe Laughlin explores an item so ubiquitous that most of us don’t give it a moment’s thought - the toothbrush. With 200 milion thrown away each year in the UK, she’s on a mission to find a more sustainable solution.

In search of inspiration, she heads to Sweden’s impressive low-impact mega-factory Tepe, where handles made from sugar-cane-based plastic are ahead of the pack. She explores bespoke production techniques, employing 3D-laser sintering, and dips into the archives of the British Dental Association, revealing the light-bulb moment when the modern brush was hit upon in a prison cell.

Turning to toothpaste itself, pioneering scientists are using bio-active glass to get more fluoride to our teeth. Unconventional options used at Lush Cosmetic’s Willy Wonker-style lab get Zoe's taste buds tingling, before she reveals her final toothbrush and alternative 'paste'. Both are uniquely Zoe - and just a bit bonkers - but they could also provide a very real eco-friendly answer to our daily brushing needs.

TUE 00:35 The Beach: Isolation in Paradise (m000n18y)
Series 1

Episode 3

Film-maker Warwick Thornton’s international success has come at a personal cost. He has reached a crossroad in his life and something has to change.

He has chosen to try giving up life in the fast lane for a while to go it alone, on an isolated beach in Western Australia, one of the most beautiful yet brutal environments in the world, to see if the experience can transform and heal his life.

TUE 01:05 The Beach: Isolation in Paradise (m000n190)
Series 1

Episode 4

Film-maker Warwick Thornton’s international success has come at a personal cost. He has reached a crossroad in his life and something has to change.

He has chosen to try giving up life in the fast lane for a while to go it alone, on an isolated beach in Western Australia, one of the most beautiful yet brutal environments in the world, to see if the experience can transform and heal his life.

TUE 01:30 Great British Railway Journeys (m000wgtb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

TUE 02:00 Coastal Path (b07tbxp6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

TUE 02:30 New Elizabethans with Andrew Marr (p07xslns)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000wnmk)
Series 13

Park Royal to Westminster

Michael’s rail journey through the interwar capital follows Harry Beck’s radical map for the London Underground, embraced by Londoners since its launch in 1932. Michael finds out how persistence paid off for Beck after his design was initially rejected. At the Acton depot of the London Transport Museum, Michael traces the map’s origins among the 320,000 exhibits in the urban transport collection.

Heading into town, Michael swings by the Dorchester, newly listed in his 1936 guidebook after its recent opening. Piccadilly is his next stop, home to the Royal Academy of Arts and galleries galore. Michael discovers a shocking show which took place here in 1936 - London’s first exhibition of Surrealism. A contemporary critic paints a colourful picture of the surreal stunts of the day, including Spanish artist Salvador Dali dressed as a deep-sea diver holding two wolfhounds. Keen to explore how the surrealism of the 1930s influences artists today, Michael is persuaded by a young artist, who works with virtual reality, to try on a pair of VR goggles.

In Whitehall, Michael explores the subterranean headquarters of the war cabinet where Winston Churchill, leader of the wartime coalition government, and the chiefs of staff of the army, navy and air force discussed how the war would be conducted. Michael is fascinated by the fingernail marks on the armrests of Churchill’s chair.

WED 19:30 Coastal Path (b07v8bhz)
Episode 3

Paul Rose explores the spectacular South Cornwall coastline where he discovers one of the world's finest stages at the Minack Theatre, tries the high-octane sport of coasteering on the Lizard and fires Tudor cannons at Pendennis Castle in Falmouth.

WED 20:00 The Story of Welsh Art (m000st2g)
Series 1

Episode 1

Huw Stephens explores what has long been a missing piece in the cultural story of Britain and indeed Wales itself – the story of Welsh art.

Huw starts his journey on the island of Anglesey where he steps inside a prehistoric burial chamber to witness Welsh art in its earliest form. He sees an exquisite example of Bronze Age artistry in the form of a gold cape, found by chance in a field in North Wales and now one of the prize exhibits in the British Museum.

Religious art delivers some of the most powerful and physically impressive pieces, from towering Celtic crosses standing sentinel in churchyards, to the sleeping figure of Jesse, hewn out of a single piece of oak but also delicately depicted in a rare surviving example of Welsh medieval stained glass.

As artists moved their gaze beyond religion, the rise of portraiture began, with Hans Memling delivering the first known oil painting of a named Welsh person, John Donne, in the 15th century.

WED 21:00 New Elizabethans with Andrew Marr (p07xsmgl)
Series 1

Made in Britain

In the final episode, Andrew looks at one of the greatest challenges faced by modern Elizabethans: the loss of Britain’s manufacturing heartlands and the surprising impact it has had on the state of the nation. To tell this story, he selects a rich cast of characters who have – in his estimation – responded to the challenges and found ingenious ways of adapting to the changing industrial landscape.

When the Queen ascended the throne in 1952, the country she inherited could still be defined by its manufacturing bases: Sheffield steel, Cornish tin, Welsh coal and Clyde-built ships. Britain in 1952 was, after all, still one of the workshops of the world, if no longer the primary one. Manufacturing accounted for a third of everything that Britain produced, and employed around four in ten of all British workers. Britain turned out a quarter of the entire world's manufacturing exports. But over the next 40 years, all that would change.

For Andrew, the decline in Britain’s heavy industries has had a critical impact in shaping the nation we have become. He investigates the various reasons behind it, arguing that it is not down to a lack of talent. From Christopher Cockerell to Clive Sinclair, the New Elizabethans have demonstrated extraordinary imagination and innovation, even if this hasn’t always been successfully capitalised upon.

But this is not a story of failure - it’s a story of adaptation. Andrew shows how over the course of the Queen’s reign, we Elizabethans have learnt from the lessons of the past. He looks at how inventors like James Dyson have built up billion-pound empires, and, crucially, he examines how the British brand has become about more than motorcars and machines: as our heavy industries of old have declined, we have found other industries and other exports, like the songs of Dusty Springfield or the buildings of Zaha Hadid. He argues that British culture and creativity have become perhaps our most valuable assets, from advertising and architectural design to music and monarchy.

WED 22:00 Play For Today (b0074n6r)
Series 8

Abigail's Party

Comedy of manners focusing on the bourgeois affectation and sexual frustration of a young married couple. Abigail's mother Sue is invited to take refuge from her teenage daughter's party with a neighbouring couple, Beverly and Laurence. They have also invited Angela and Tony, new arrivals in the street. Beverly plies her guests with alcohol as Sue becomes increasingly withdrawn and embarrassed by the pretentious goings-on. Slowly, marital tensions emerge and the evening is breaking up in disarray when Laurence collapses with a heart attack.

WED 23:45 Drama out of a Crisis: A Celebration of Play For Today (m000ng9w)
Play for Today was a series of single dramas broadcast by the BBC between 1970 and 1984. These were years of crisis, a time when the consensus politics of Britain’s postwar world had begun to unravel. Industrial relations, education and the health service faced fundamental challenges, the country was struggling with the end of empire, and the personal had become increasingly political.

Play for Today reflected and responded to all of this and more in 300 dramas, shown in primetime on BBC One to audiences numbered in millions. Many of the best actors, writers and directors of the time contributed to the series, with some of the best-remembered broadcasts being Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party, Dennis Potter’s Blue Remembered Hills and the strange fantasy, Penda’s Fen, written by Alan Rudkin and directed by Alan Clarke.

The series was contemporary, often controversial and occasionally censored. But it was also immensely varied, showcasing social realism with comedy, costume drama with fantasy, and personal visions with state-of-the-nation overviews. It was mischievous, critical and challenging, and unafraid to tackle taboos.

Marking the fiftieth anniversary of the first Play for Today in October 1970, this film is a celebration of the series, told by a number of its producers, directors and writers. It explores the origins of the series, its achievements and its controversies. Presenting a rich range of often surprising extracts from the archive, the film features interviews with, among others, producers Kenith Trodd, Margaret Matheson and Richard Eyre, film-makers Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, and writer and director David Hare.

WED 01:15 Great British Railway Journeys (m000wnmk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

WED 01:45 Coastal Path (b07v8bhz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

WED 02:15 New Elizabethans with Andrew Marr (p07xsmgl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 Coastal Path (b07w13bp)
Episode 4

This week Paul Rose explores the soft and rolling south Devon coastline, where he takes a snorkelling trip around Burgh Island and hitches a ride on the Dartmouth to Paignton steam train.

THU 19:30 Coastal Path (b07wbzgt)
Episode 5

Paul Rose explores the Jurassic Coast, taking a walk through some two hundred million years of the earth's history. He uncovers prehistoric treasures in Charmouth and greets hatching signets at Abbotsbury Swannery.

THU 20:00 The RKO Story: Tales from Hollywood (b00gfg2n)
Howard's End

The story of RKO Radio Pictures told through the eyes of people who worked there concludes as Howard Hughes's purchase of RKO has a devastating effect on the studio.

THU 21:05 Cat People (b0078ns6)
Classic horror. Oliver, a young New Yorker, falls in love with Irena, a fashion designer whom he meets at the Central Park Zoo. But Irena is haunted by a past which threathens those around her with death and destruction.

THU 22:15 I Walked with a Zombie (b0078t0v)
A Canadian nurse, Betsy, arrives on a Caribbean island to tend an invalid woman who appears to suffer from an unexplained paralysis. The horrific truth soon emerges, however, amid the haunting rhythms of the voodoo drums.

THU 23:25 John Buchan: Master of Suspense (b0074t6x)
Unfairly known as a one-hit wonder for his noirish novel The Thirty-Nine Steps, this drama-documentary tells the story of the real John Buchan, affording him the attention he has long deserved. Drawing on both his published works and his private correspondence and papers, with unique access provided by his latest biographer, the film is the first full television profile of an extraordinary man.

THU 00:25 Female Filmmakers: BBC Introducing Arts (m000fzm7)
Celebrating the next generation of female filmmakers, these short films from BBC Introducing Arts are all made by women. Presented by Janina Ramirez, these talented, emerging artists use comedy, drama and dance to tell stories from a contemporary female perspective.

Photo: Marco Cervi

THU 01:25 Coastal Path (b07w13bp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

THU 01:55 Coastal Path (b07wbzgt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 02:25 The RKO Story: Tales from Hollywood (b00gfg2n)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


FRI 19:00 Gershwin's Summertime: The Song That Conquered the World (b017nf05)
An intriguing investigation into the extraordinary life of Gershwin's classic composition, Summertime. One of the most covered songs in the world, it has been recorded in almost every style of music - from jazz to opera, rock to reggae, soul to samba. Its musical adaptability is breathtaking, but Summertime also resonates on a deep emotional level. This visually and sonically engaging film explores the composition's magical properties, examining how this song has, with stealth, captured the imagination of the world.

From its complex birth in 1935 as a lullaby in Gershwin's all-black opera Porgy and Bess, this film traces the hidden history of Summertime, focusing on key recordings, including those by Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, Mahalia Jackson, Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald. It reveals how musicians have projected their own dreams and desires onto the song, reimagining Summertime throughout the 20th century as a civil rights prayer, a hippie lullaby, an ode to seduction and a modern freedom song.

Back in the 1930s, Gershwin never dreamt of the global impact Summertime would have. But as this film shows, it has magically tapped into something deep inside us all - nostalgia and innocence, sadness and joy, and our intrinsic desire for freedom. Full of evocative archive footage as well as a myriad versions of Summertime - from the celebrated to the obscure - the film tells the surprising and illuminating tale behind this world-famous song.

FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m0017wtw)
Tony Dortie presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 7 January 1993 and featuring The Frank & Walters, Jesus Jones, Snap! ft Niki Haris, Slipstream, Little Angels, Apache Indian, Paul McCartney and Whitney Houston.

FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m0017wty)
Tony Dortie presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 14 January 1993 and featuring Pop Will Eat Itself, West End ft Sybil, Take That, Shanice, Arrested Development, Sunscreem, Duran Duran and Whitney Houston.

FRI 21:00 The Joy of Easy Listening (b011g614)
In-depth documentary investigation into the story of a popular music genre that is often said to be made to be heard but not listened to. The film looks at easy listening's architects and practitioners, its dangers and delights, and the mark it has left on modern life.

From its emergence in the 50s to its heyday in the 60s, through its survival in the 70s and 80s and its revival in the 90s and beyond, the film traces the hidden history of a music that has reflected society every bit as much as pop and rock - just in a more relaxed way.

Invented at the dawn of rock 'n' roll, easy listening has shadowed pop music and the emerging teenage market since the mid-50s. It is a genre that equally soundtracks our modern age, but perhaps for a rather more 'mature' generation and therefore with its own distinct purpose and aesthetic.

Contributors include Richard Carpenter, Herb Alpert, Richard Clayderman, Engelbert Humperdinck, Jimmy Webb, Mike Flowers, James Last and others.

FRI 22:30 Easy Listening Hits at the BBC (b011g943)
Compilation of easy listening tracks that offers the perfect soundtrack for your cocktail party. There's music to please every lounge lizard, with unique performances from the greatest easy listening artists of the 60s and 70s, including Burt Bacharach, Andy Williams, Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66, The Carpenters and many more.

FRI 23:30 I Can Go for That: The Smooth World of Yacht Rock (m0005wwn)
Series 1

Episode 1

Part one of Katie Puckrik’s voyage through a halcyon period of Los Angeles studio craft when studio-based artists like The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan and Hall & Oates produced the smoothest R&B and married it to adult themes about longing, aspiration and melancholy.

In its day this music was never identified as a genre, but in the 21st century, in a nod to its finely crafted nature, it has come to be known as yacht rock. Katie’s account of yacht rock is both the soundtrack of her American teen years and a reappraisal of a critically neglected era of music, when the sophisticated smooth sounds of the West Coast were a palliative for an America in turmoil.

Starting with the forerunners of this soft sound, Katie looks at the singer-songwriters of Laurel Canyon as well as soft rock pioneers such as the band America, whose songs offered Americans an escape from economic depression at home and the enduring conflict in Vietnam abroad. Popularised by a boom in FM radio stations, this smooth, easily digestible sound found mainstream appeal. Katie argues that the pure yacht sound was born in 1976, when seasoned session musician Michael McDonald joined The Doobie Brothers. Alongside The Doobies’ mellow tracks, Steely Dan and Hall & Oates also delivered perfect studio-engineered productions that remain as escapist and indulgent a listen today as they did when they were made.

The gleaming yacht sound was in part defined by a group of session players and composers, including McDonald, who played across the range of ‘yacht’ bands, informing their specific tone and level of musicianship. In this film, one such musician, Jay Graydon, talks about the yacht phenomenon and being part of the scene back in the day. Meanwhile John Oates reveals some of the inspirations behind his hit She’s Gone. Other contributors include producer Mark Ronson and JD Ryznar, creator of internet hit the Yacht Rock Show.

FRI 00:30 Top of the Pops (m0017wtw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRI 01:00 Top of the Pops (m0017wty)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

FRI 01:30 Gershwin's Summertime: The Song That Conquered the World (b017nf05)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

FRI 02:30 The Joy of Easy Listening (b011g614)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

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

A History of Ancient Britain 19:00 SAT (b0108tsq)

A History of Ancient Britain 02:15 SAT (b0108tsq)

A Jubilee of Music 21:00 SUN (m0017wrc)

Beck 21:00 SAT (p0c3ynd9)

Britten’s War Requiem: Staging a Masterpiece 19:00 SUN (m0002k5k)

Britten’s War Requiem: Staging a Masterpiece 00:20 SUN (m0002k5k)

Cat People 21:05 THU (b0078ns6)

Coastal Path 19:30 MON (b07qb61p)

Coastal Path 01:00 MON (b07qb61p)

Coastal Path 19:30 TUE (b07tbxp6)

Coastal Path 02:00 TUE (b07tbxp6)

Coastal Path 19:30 WED (b07v8bhz)

Coastal Path 01:45 WED (b07v8bhz)

Coastal Path 19:00 THU (b07w13bp)

Coastal Path 19:30 THU (b07wbzgt)

Coastal Path 01:25 THU (b07w13bp)

Coastal Path 01:55 THU (b07wbzgt)

Coventry Cathedral: Building for a New Britain 22:05 SUN (m000wvm3)

Drama out of a Crisis: A Celebration of Play For Today 23:45 WED (m000ng9w)

Earth from Space 20:00 MON (p072n8m0)

Earth from Space 01:30 MON (p072n8m0)

Easy Listening Hits at the BBC 22:30 FRI (b011g943)

Female Filmmakers: BBC Introducing Arts 00:25 THU (m000fzm7)

Gershwin's Summertime: The Song That Conquered the World 19:00 FRI (b017nf05)

Gershwin's Summertime: The Song That Conquered the World 01:30 FRI (b017nf05)

Ghosts in the Ruins 20:00 SUN (m0017wr9)

Ghosts in the Ruins 01:20 SUN (m0017wr9)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 MON (m000wgs1)

Great British Railway Journeys 00:30 MON (m000wgs1)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 TUE (m000wgtb)

Great British Railway Journeys 01:30 TUE (m000wgtb)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 WED (m000wnmk)

Great British Railway Journeys 01:15 WED (m000wnmk)

Handmade: By Royal Appointment 23:20 SUN (b07gys9d)

Handmade: By Royal Appointment 23:50 SUN (b07ht061)

Handmade: By Royal Appointment 00:00 MON (b07g9q28)

How to Make 23:35 TUE (m000h3cs)

I Can Go for That: The Smooth World of Yacht Rock 23:30 FRI (m0005wwn)

I Walked with a Zombie 22:15 THU (b0078t0v)

John Buchan: Master of Suspense 23:25 THU (b0074t6x)

Keeping Up Appearances 00:45 SAT (b007b6rh)

Keeping Up Appearances 20:00 TUE (b007b6wc)

Natural World 22:50 TUE (b00wwbm4)

New Elizabethans with Andrew Marr 21:00 MON (p07xsk95)

New Elizabethans with Andrew Marr 02:30 MON (p07xsk95)

New Elizabethans with Andrew Marr 21:00 TUE (p07xslns)

New Elizabethans with Andrew Marr 02:30 TUE (p07xslns)

New Elizabethans with Andrew Marr 21:00 WED (p07xsmgl)

New Elizabethans with Andrew Marr 02:15 WED (p07xsmgl)

Play For Today 22:00 WED (b0074n6r)

Queen Elizabeth: The Coronation 22:00 TUE (m0018088)

Rick Stein's Long Weekends 20:00 SAT (b085024t)

Rick Stein's Long Weekends 01:15 SAT (b085024t)

The Beach: Isolation in Paradise 00:35 TUE (m000n18y)

The Beach: Isolation in Paradise 01:05 TUE (m000n190)

The Joy of Easy Listening 21:00 FRI (b011g614)

The Joy of Easy Listening 02:30 FRI (b011g614)

The RKO Story: Tales from Hollywood 20:00 THU (b00gfg2n)

The RKO Story: Tales from Hollywood 02:25 THU (b00gfg2n)

The Ruth Ellis Files: A Very British Crime Story 22:00 MON (b09w8jp0)

The Story of Welsh Art 20:00 WED (m000st2g)

Timeshift 23:00 MON (b0105r8x)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m0017wtw)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m0017wty)

Top of the Pops 00:30 FRI (m0017wtw)

Top of the Pops 01:00 FRI (m0017wty)

Vikings 22:30 SAT (b01n3gbj)

Vikings 02:20 SUN (b01n3gbj)

Wogan: The Best Of 23:30 SAT (b05pzyd2)

Yes, Prime Minister 00:15 SAT (b0074s32)

Yes, Prime Minister 20:30 TUE (b037tb14)