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 Cricket: Today at the Test (m0018znv)
England v India 2022

Fifth Test: Day Two Highlights

Highlights of the second day of the delayed final Test of the 2021 series between England and India.

SAT 20:00 Michael Palin: Travels of a Lifetime (m000nx4k)
Series 1

Episode 4

Michael revisits his fourth - and in some ways, most personal - travel series. Inspired by the apparent emptiness of the Sahara Desert as seen from a flight and by boyhood dreams of exploration, Michael sets off to find out what this ‘blank space’ contains. He is delighted and inspired by the societies he encounters there – nomads, refugees, artists. He also confronts some harsh realities – the effects of war, the migrant crisis and the rise of militant Islam. From Gibraltar, Michael looks across the Mediterranean to what is for him a mysterious land – north Africa.

Arriving in Fez, Morocco, Michael finds himself immersed in an ancient city that seems to hark back to biblical times. Then, it is across the Atlas Mountains to confront the great desert itself. Here, Michael encounters the more modern reality of this land in the Smara refugee camp, home to displaced people from western Sahara. Then he sets his sights on one of the most alluring destinations of all - Timbuktu, the city that has fascinated so many travellers down the centuries. It is a challenging trip, but Michael makes it, and while the reality of the place doesn’t quite match his image, he learns about its extraordinary history and culture.

Further on, an encounter with a tribe nearly ends in disaster when a gun goes off in Michael’s face. But another tribe, the Wodaabe, prove fascinating and friendly as Michael sees the men perform an extraordinary dance to attract a bride. And with the Touareg nomads, Michael experiences a magical trek into deep desert as part of a camel train – a journey that allows him to make friends with his guides despite the fact that they don’t speak each other’s language. Finally, Michael reflects on how his life and career have changed since then, thanks to travel.

SAT 21:00 Inspector Montalbano (m0018znx)
The Catalanotti Method

Montalbano grapples with the murder of Carmelo Catalanotti, the leader of an amateur dramatics company whose devotion to Catalanotti and his peculiar take on theatre borders on fanaticism.

His assailant stabbed him in the chest, but without leaving a trace of blood. Might the key to discovering the identity of the killer be bound up in Catalanotti's disturbing conception of the stage?

The final episode of the Montalbano saga.

In Italian with English subtitles.

SAT 23:00 Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage (b00cwkbc)

Francesco da Mosto continues his sea tour around the Mediterranean. The stormy seas of the Cyclades take a turn for the worse as Francesco approaches Crete, the biggest of the Greek islands. As the storm passes, his first stop is the beautiful but abandoned island of Spinalonga - just off the coast of Crete. It is an island haunted by sadness and tragedy.

Docking at Iraklion, capital of Crete, Francesco sets off for the deep underground caves where Zeus, king of the gods, is reputed to have been born. Just down the road lies the immense palace of Knossus - excavated by an Englishman - reputedly the home to King Minos and the legendary Minotaur. There, he tries his hand at the ancient Cretan art of pot-making.

At the beautiful monastery of Arkadhi he stands in the very spot Cretan independence fighters blew themselves up with gunpowder rather than be captured. Their skulls, together with the remains of their enemies, are stacked on shelves in the monastery.

Then a surprise for Francesco - an invitation to a Cretan wedding - but first he must help prepare the wedding feast. With 1,500 guests invited, the task is enormous: 150 sheep make up the main course alone. Francesco dances until dawn and the boat has left Crete before he even knows it.

SAT 23:30 Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage (b00cwkbf)
The Dodecanese

Francesco da Mosto has been at sea for two months now as he travels from Venice to Istanbul. He approaches the last group of the Greek islands - the Dodecanese.

Rhodes was home to the legendary crusader knights of St John. Over the centuries, it was repeatedly caught up in fighting between the Christian and Islamic worlds, and even today it has the feel of a fortress island.

Next stop is the exotic Turquoise Coast. The coast is too shallow for the Black Swan to explore, so Francesco swaps boats and heads for the extraordinary Dalyan Tombs - great classical burial temples carved out of the high clifftops. They were deliberately carved high in the mountains so the spirits of the dead had less far to travel to heaven. On the way he encounters the huge loggerhead turtles of the region, which enjoy nothing more than crunching their way through the shells of giant crabs.

One of the most unexpected islands of the area - and an uncomfortable reminder for Francesco of his country's recent past - is the island of Leros. Mussolini redesigned Leros as a launch pad for his dreams of a Fascist empire that would dominate the Mediterranean. He rebuilt the main town as a military town with wide straight boulevards for army parades.

Next stop is Patmos, where St John the Divine is said to have experienced his revelations that make up the Book of Revelation in the Bible - foretelling the end of the world and the final struggle between God and Satan. The Cave of the Apocalypse on Patmos is said to be the actual site, and Francesco sees the crack in the roof of the cave out of which apparently the voice of God emerged.

And, at last, a surprise for Francesco renders him speechless.

SAT 00:00 Face to Face (m000yw8p)
JG Ballard

In one of a series of occasional revivals of the BBC's classic Face to Face series, first broadcast in 1989, Jeremy Isaacs talks to science writer JG Ballard about his life, writing and fascination with the violence of the 20th century.

SAT 00:30 Ever Decreasing Circles (b036d6dw)
Series 1

Holiday Plans

It's time for members of the Close to go on a holiday outing. Some wish to repeat an earlier trip to the Bavarian Alps, but Paul has something altogether different in mind.

SAT 01:00 Keeping Up Appearances (b007b9yd)
Series 4

A Celebrity for the Barbecue

Sitcom. Hyacinth invents the outdoors indoors luxury barbecue - a complicated description for an even more complicated culinary event.

SAT 01:30 Michael Palin: Travels of a Lifetime (m000nx4k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SAT 02:30 The Chronicles of Erne (m000gb50)
Series 1


It is autumn and the trees around the Erne slowly transform into oranges and reds. The lowering sun and shorter days bathe the lough in a golden light and shorter days bring spectacular sunsets, where reflections on the water create an endless sky. Autumn is the Erne’s final hurrah before winter takes hold.

Frankie and Eddie Roofe have been fishing on the lough since they were boys, when their dad caught a pike so big it 'looked like an alligator'. Later on, they take part in the annual Erne Pike Classic fishing competition and the pressure is on to repeat their previous success of catching fish over 20lbs in weight.

Autumn is one of nature writer Dara McAnulty’s favourite seasons and the team learn about mushrooms and fungi and the 'wood wide web'. The episode also introduces Joe Kelly, a baker who has moved back from America and juggles running an artisan bakery with spending as much time as possible on his parents' island. And the show travels underground to examine the marble arch cave system carved out by rivers that will eventually flow into the Erne. The caves are a gateway into a hidden world.

As Dermot and Pat Lunny watch a truly spectacular sunset, Dermot talks about his experience with Parkinson's disease and how being on the water helps his mental health. 'It sucks being old,' Pat chimes in 'but on nights like this - well, it doesn’t suck quite as much.'

SAT 03:00 The Chronicles of Erne (m000gjmz)
Series 1


The Erne is slowly falling under its winter spell. Early morning mists and vast tranquil silences are punctuated by the faint calls of birds migrating from colder climates to spend their winters on the Erne. The whopper swan's honking call is a magnet for nature writer Dara McNulty, and down at Portora lock gates, commercial fishermen Eugene Brazil and Roy Shaw are cleaning and checking their nets for European silver eels.

At Enniskillen castle, painter Lorna Smyth is putting the finishing touches to her exhibition of Erne landscapes. She has been painting all year across the seasons and now her work is ready to show the public.

Winter is a busy time on the Lough for RSPBNI, there are regular surveys to be done of the influx of migratory birds and habitats to be managed for breeding waders like curlews ahead of next year's breeding season.

Winter is also wildfowling season on the lough. Wildfowlers hunt the wild duck, a practice that has been carried out on the lough for centuries. The wildfowlers talk about their sport and how they feel that it is not in contradiction with their love of nature.

French chef Pascal Brissaud is also out on the water enjoying a crisp still winter's day and Row the Erne are busy stealing winter days before their traditional handbuilt Irish currach, Is taken out of the water until spring. They also take out local school children and celebrate the winter solstice with a dawn row and Christmas lunch on the boat.


SUN 19:00 Cricket: Today at the Test (m0018zpf)
England v India 2022

Fifth Test: Day Three Highlights

Highlights of the third day of the delayed final Test of the 2021 series between England and India.

SUN 20:00 Summer Night Concert from Vienna (m0018zph)

The Vienna Philharmonic’s annual Summer Night Concert takes place in the unique setting of the spectacular Schönbrunn Palace Gardens. This year, Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons makes his Summer Night Concert debut, which will be broadcast to more than 80 countries worldwide.

This year's concert includes a performance by star French cellist Gautier Capuçon of Camille Saint-Säens's First Concerto for Cello together with music by Beethoven, Lysenko, Rossini, Dvorak and Johann Strauss Jr.

SUN 21:30 Rough Girls (m0015694)
A century after the formation of the first Northern Irish women’s football team, Derry Girls’ Tara Lynne O’Neill’s debut play, enacted by an all-female cast, chronicles the courage and determination of the women who became known as the suffragettes of soccer.

In Belfast in September 1917, in the midst of World War I and one year after the Easter Rising, a group of women representing the teams Celtic and Distillery got together to play football in front of 16,000 fans at Grosvenor Park. While the men were away at war, the women risked ridicule and rejection by kicking a ball. But the game proved so popular that it was repeated to ever-increasing crowds.

They went on to contest the first women’s international match that same year at the same venue, and carried on playing until the FA ban on women’s football in 1921. One hundred years later, Northern Ireland’s women’s football team qualified for the European Championship for the first time, making history once again.

Oscar Wilde said, ‘Football is all very well as a game for rough girls, but it’s hardly suitable for delicate boys.’ This is the story of those ‘rough girls’.

Rough Girls was filmed for television at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, with a socially distanced audience, for BBC Arts.

SUN 23:00 Dark Matter: A History of the Afrofuture (m000wfcj)
The arc of black history shares an uncanny resemblance to the plot points of classic sci-fi including ‘alien’ abduction, enslavement and rebellion. It’s this unlikely relationship that provides the inspiration for Afrofuturism, the broad cultural trend that encompasses works by Jean-Michel Basquiat to Grace Jones, Solange Knowles and Sun Ra. In this film, we meet, see and hear from artists across three continents who each, in their own way, explore the Afrofuture to look at the horrors of the black past and imagine alternative futures.

The mysterious yet influential Detroit techno duo, Drexciya, take the Atlantic Ocean, a site of death and destruction during the African slave trade and reclaim it as a place of creation and beauty. Through a series of releases from the late 1990s through the early 2000s, they envisage the unborn children of enslaved pregnant women, thrown overboard during the Middle Passage to the Americas, adapting to breathe under water and thrive in a Black Atlantis. The mythos is vividly brought to life by the Drexciyan collaborator and graphic artist Abdul Qadim Haqq as a thriving, technological undersea world.

Visual artist Ellen Gallagher similarly transforms the violence of the ocean into rebirth and renewal. Her film Osedax, made with Edgar Cleijne, is an imaginative retelling of how the skeletal remains of dead whales sustain new life in the curious form of the bone-devouring worm of the title. Whereas for artist Hew Locke, as well as the ocean itself, it’s the Atlantic’s coastal fringes that inspire his world of bricolage phantoms, plucked from the ghost stories of a Guyanese childhood.

The Afrofuture is perhaps most commonly imagined through the rubric of outer space, thanks in no small part to avant-garde jazz musician and poet Sun Ra. Born in the southern US in the early 20th century, Ra underwent an interplanetary conversion, claiming to have been teleported to Saturn. As with funk pioneer, George Clinton, who describes a similar close encounter with extraterrestrials, Ra’s identification with an alien presence can be read as more than simple escapism. It’s also a biting satire on the alienating experience of being black in America. For Ra, space is also an alternate destiny for black people, as the title of his 1973 Afrofuturist feature film Space is the Place insists.

Reaching beyond these fictional ‘Afronauts’ is the conceptual artist Tavares Strachan. His performance piece, Star City, Training in Six Parts, sees Strachan visit the famous Russian space centre to undergo the same rigorous – and often tortuous – training of the Cosmonauts. Strachan likens one of the exercises, which measures our capacity to withstand disorientation and gravitational stress, to his impoverished upbringing in The Bahamas.

The film concludes with an exploration of the idea of double consciousness. Coined in the early 20th century by WEB Du Bois, the influential African American sociologist, double-consciousness describes how black people in western societies see themselves twice over. Through their lived experience but also how they’re perceived within a dominant white culture.

Curator and writer Ekow Eshun traces uses of the idea through Ralph Ellison’s lauded mid-20th-century novel Invisible Man, and painter Kerry James Marshall’s image of the same title, right up to the Black Lives Matter movement. Predicated upon recordings of anti-black violence often captured through digital tech, Eshun argues these ‘expose’ a double consciousness at work, the world as experienced and seen through black eyes, laid bare for all to witness.

Other artists and commentators featured in the programme include Nuotama Frances Bodomo, Aria Dean, Ayesha Hameed, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Shabaka Hutchings, Elvira Dyangani Ose, Cauleen Smith and Greg Tate.

SUN 00:00 A History of Art in Three Colours (b01l4fyl)

For the very first civilisations, the yellow lustre of gold is the most alluring and intoxicating colour of all. From the midst of prehistory to a bunker deep beneath the Bank of England, Fox reveals how golden treasures made across the ages reflect everything that has been held as sacred.

SUN 01:00 Summer Night Concert from Vienna (m0018zph)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SUN 02:30 The Golden Age of Steam Railways (b01p8w38)
Small Is Beautiful

Two-part documentary telling the remarkable story of a band of visionaries who rescued some of the little narrow gauge railways that once served Britain's industries. These small railways and the steam engines that ran on them were once the driving force of Britain's mines, quarries, factories and docks. Then, as they disappeared after 1945, volunteers set to work to bring the lines and the steam engines back to life and started a movement which spread throughout the world. Their home movies tell the story of how they helped millions reconnect with a past they thought had gone forever.


MON 19:00 Cricket: Today at the Test (m0018zqt)
England v India 2022

Fifth Test: Day Four Highlights

Highlights of the fourth day of the delayed final Test of the 2021 series between England and India.

MON 20:00 Building Britain's Biggest Nuclear Power Station (m000ww0l)
Series 1

Episode 2

In the second episode, our cameras pick up and follow the projects’ next major construction milestones.

We get up close and personal with the world’s largest land-based crane during the biggest lift on the project to date. We learn how the team has created an extensive flood defence system to protect the site from the worst imaginable weather events - including a once-in-10,000 year storm surge - to avoid a nuclear disaster like the one that befell the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan. We also follow specialists as they work to uncover unexploded World War II bombs that threaten the installation of the 4500-tonne cooling water intake heads.

MON 21:00 Inside Porton Down: Britain's Secret Weapons Research Facility (b07hx40t)
Dr Michael Mosley investigates Britain's most secretive and controversial military research base, Porton Down, on its 100th anniversary. He comes face to face with chemical and biological weapons old and new, reveals the truth about shocking animal and human testing, and discovers how the latest science and technology are helping to defend us against terrorist attacks and rogue nations.

MON 22:00 How to Build... (b00syt1w)
Series 1

A Nuclear Submarine

Fourteen years in the making and costing over a billion pounds, the Astute nuclear submarine is one of the most technologically advanced machines in the world, and for over a year the BBC filmed its construction inside one of the most secure and secret places in the country.

An amazing piece of British engineering or a controversial waste of tax payers' money? This documentary allows viewers to make up their own minds.

Among many of the workers, the film features Erin Browne, a 19-year-old apprentice electrician who wires up the boat; Commander Paul Knight, responsible for the safety of the nuclear reactor; and Derek Parker, whose job involves moving massive pieces of the submarine that weigh hundreds of tons into position before the welding team join them together.

Amazing computer graphics take us inside the construction of the submarine itself, giving a blueprint of the design, the life support systems and the weaponry, and help illustrate the areas that national security precluded filming in.

The story also takes a dramatic turn when an unforeseen event means the submarine has to sail into the open sea - for the first time - during one of the wettest and windiest weekends of the year.

MON 23:00 Chemistry: A Volatile History (b00q2mk5)
Discovering the Elements

The explosive story of chemistry is the story of the building blocks that make up our entire world - the elements. From fiery phosphorous to the pure untarnished lustre of gold and the dazzle of violent, violet potassium, everything is made of elements - the earth we walk on, the air we breathe, even us. Yet for centuries this world was largely unknown, and completely misunderstood.

In this three-part series, professor of theoretical physics Jim Al-Khalili traces the extraordinary story of how the elements were discovered and mapped. He follows in the footsteps of the pioneers who cracked their secrets and created a new science, propelling us into the modern age.

Just 92 elements made up the world, but the belief that there were only four - earth, fire, air and water - persisted until the 19th century. Professor Al-Khalili retraces the footsteps of the alchemists who first began to question the notion of the elements in their search for the secret of everlasting life.

He reveals the red herrings and rivalries which dogged scientific progress, and explores how new approaches to splitting matter brought us both remarkable elements and the new science of chemistry.

MON 00:00 The Wonder of Animals (b04hkd1h)

Chris Packham explores the anatomy and physiology of the largest land animal on the planet - the elephant. Their size seems ill-suited to surviving the most arid regions of Africa, but their inner workings allow them to defy the extreme heat of the desert and find food and water in seemingly barren landscapes, while their extraordinary memory enables them to repel predators.

Chris reveals how hairs on the skin help keep elephants cool, how sensors in their feet may be able to guide them towards rain and how a unique pouch in their mouths stores water. Recent research has even discovered that elephants can distinguish between the voices of human friend and foe.

MON 00:30 The Terror (p0954mm5)
Series 1

Go for Broke

Autumn, 1846. Over a year into seeking a passage around the north of Canada through icy Arctic seas, Sir John Franklin reckons his two ships are just weeks from success. But his dour deputy Francis Crozier fears otherwise, and a couple of deaths have started to spook the crewmen.

Inspired by the true-life unexplained fate of the exploration vessels Erebus and Terror.

MON 01:15 The Terror (p0954p2y)
Series 1


Spring 1847. Having weathered the winter, the crews search for signs of the ice relenting. Lt Gore’s group, leaving messages on a barren but known landmass, have a violent encounter.

MON 01:55 The Terror (p0954q0z)
Series 1

The Ladder

June 1847. Mourning another man, Franklin refuses Crozier’s request to seek rescue, while a trap laid for the beast on the ice results in carnage.

MON 02:40 The Terror (p0954qd2)
Series 1

Punished, as a Boy

November 1847. With more men picked off, crewman Hickey figures he knows who to blame, while Lady Franklin in London despairs at Admiralty inaction.


TUE 19:00 Cricket: Today at the Test (m0018zps)
England v India 2022

Fifth Test: Day Five Highlights

Highlights of the fifth day of the delayed final Test of the 2021 series between England and India.

TUE 20:00 Keeping Up Appearances (b007brqz)
Series 4

The Commodore

Hyacinth volunteers to meet a special guest for the ladies' luncheon club, a retired commodore. It is a task that shouldn't prove that difficult but soon puts Hyacinth in a compromising position.

TUE 20:30 Ever Decreasing Circles (b036d6fg)
Series 1

Vicars and Tarts

Martin organises a fundraising dance. Paul innocently lends a helping hand and in doing so mercilessly interferes with Martin's arrangements. How will Martin retaliate?

TUE 21:00 Royal History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley (m000pbdz)
Series 2

George IV and the Regency

We think of the Regency as genteel and well-ordered: beautiful buildings, Jane Austen's romances and red-coated officers defeating Napoleon at Waterloo. Lucy Worsley digs behind the facade of Georgian elegance to reveal the fibs that helped conceal a darker side to the Regency and suppress rebellion in an age of revolution.

This was the end of the Georgian era, when a mentally ill King George III was forced to hand power to his extravagant son – the prince regent and future King George IV. Both kings lived in the shadow of the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon.

To make matters worse for the royals, British radicals were demanding political reform. To stop rebellion, monarchy and government relied on spin, secrets and lies. Lucy reveals how an international victory at Waterloo became distinctly British, why the Peterloo Massacre was airbrushed out of history and how Scotland was dressed up in tartan to support the union.

TUE 22:00 Storyville (m0018zpw)
On the Morning You Wake (to the End of the World)

On 13 January 2018, Hawaiians were suddenly confronted by an urgent nuclear threat. This was the text message they received from their country's emergency management agency:

Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.

This documentary captures the voices of the people who experienced the events of that day, viscerally recreating what happened during the 38 minutes they had to react and make impossible decisions in the face of a possible nuclear catastrophe.

TUE 22:35 Age of the Image (m000gg2h)
Series 1

Seductive Dreams

James Fox tells the story of how, in the second half of the 20th century, artists, advertisers and film-makers used the power of images to sell us dreams. From the influence of Kodak on our family photos to psychologists persuading us what to buy, he explores how images seduced us with fantasies of a better life.

It’s a journey that takes us from the early days of the Marlboro Man to the radical feminist art of Judy Chicago and the reaction to male-dominated visual culture. Along the way, he celebrates Fellini’s mastery of cinematic fantasy, David Hockney’s subversive visions of male desire and Madonna’s groundbreaking music videos.

TUE 23:35 Chemistry: A Volatile History (b00qck1t)
The Order of the Elements

The explosive story of chemistry is the story of the building blocks that make up our entire world - the elements. From fiery phosphorus to the pure untarnished lustre of gold and the dazzle of violent, violet potassium, everything is made of elements - the earth we walk on, the air we breathe, even us. Yet for centuries this world was largely unknown, and completely misunderstood.

In this three-part series, professor of theoretical physics Jim Al-Khalili traces the extraordinary story of how the elements were discovered and mapped. He follows in the footsteps of the pioneers who cracked their secrets and created a new science, propelling us into the modern age.

In part two, Professor Al-Khalili looks at the 19th-century chemists who struggled to impose an order on the apparently random world of the elements. From working out how many there were to discovering their unique relationships with each other, the early scientists' bid to decode the hidden order of the elements was driven by false starts and bitter disputes. But ultimately the quest would lead to one of chemistry's most beautiful intellectual creations - the periodic table.

TUE 00:35 The Terror (p0954rlq)
Series 1

First Shot a Winner, Lads

Denied the one supply he relies on, Crozier’s command of his near-deserted ship is further tested when the beast gets aboard.

TUE 01:20 The Terror (p0954rlw)
Series 1

A Mercy

January 1848. Sorry stories are shared with Fitzjames and Crozier before the former orders a last hurrah for the stranded crewmen – with tragic consequences.

TUE 02:05 The Terror (p0954rm0)
Series 1

Horrible from Supper

The spring sun signals the beginning of the crew’s long trek towards potential rescue, but they are kept in the dark about what their contaminated food is doing to them.

TUE 02:50 The Terror (p0954rmc)
Series 1

Terror Camp Clear

Suspicion and panic sweep through the crew after an apparent savage attack, but there is method in the madness for some.


WED 19:00 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.

WED 20:00 Age of the Image (m000gnzv)
Series 1

Fake Views

James Fox explores how the image has become both more powerful and less trusted than ever before. Images increasingly surround us - on our phones, on billboards and in our homes. And the distinction between reality and image has become increasingly tenuous, from the hyper-real paintings and sculptures of artists like Audrey Flack and Ron Mueck to the seamless trickery of Hollywood special effects. But this goes hand in hand with the power the image has to shape our attitudes and outlook. Our ability to share images within seconds has had a profound effect on the way we see and respond to the world around us.

In an age of 24-hour rolling news, smartphones and the internet, the image has taken over from the written word as the most powerful engine of change. In an era of easy image manipulation - from Photoshop and green screens to deepfake technology – can we really trust what we see?

WED 21:00 Thatcher: A Very British Revolution (m00062r1)
Series 1


In episode five of the series covers the period after the 1987 election when Mrs Thatcher secured a third term as prime minister.

She sets out to play a full part in international affairs, partnering with American Presidents Reagan and Bush to engage with the Soviet Union and play a pivotal role in the journey to the end of the Cold War.

Her international prominence augments her dominant role in British politics where her long period in office of nearly a decade is unprecedented in the 20th century. Within Downing Street, she has a loyal coterie of advisors who project her influence and protect her position but some feel she has become over dependent on loyalists and detached from opinion with the country and the party.

She continues to push hard for the introduction of a radical reform of local government finance, the community charge. The policy is known as the poll tax and is widely disliked. Despite warnings that the tax will negatively affect her constituency in the country, Mrs Thatcher refuses to compromise. Protests against the tax explode in violence in central London but more damagingly, there is widespread disenchantment in Tory strongholds across the country.

Fractures emerge with senior cabinet colleagues over European policy that will jeopardise her authority. Her preference for the counsel of a part time advisor over the views of her chancellor on how to position sterling against other European currencies leads to Nigel Lawson's resignation.

Her prototypical scepticism about Brussels' ambitions for the EU lead to a growing tension with long-term ally Geoffrey Howe. A bravado performance in the House of Commons where she denounces the EU tips Howe into resignation.

Howe’s departure provokes a leadership challenge from Michael Heseltine who had left the cabinet some years before in protest at Mrs Thatcher's leadership style. Mrs Thatcher is plunged into a leadership contest. In contrast to the contest that propelled her to the party leadership in the 70s, her campaign is poorly organised and she has been weakened by the resignation of senior colleagues and the reverberations of the poll tax.

To her shock she does not defeat Mr Heseltine in the first ballot and is forced into a second ballot. Over a dramatic few days, she consults senior colleagues about whether she can depend on their support in a second ballot. Cabinet members tell her they believe she could lose and that she has lost control of the political momentum. Faced with this, she decides to resign.

In a highly-dramatic cabinet meeting, she offers a tearful resignation and prepares to leave Downing Street. In the country, emotions run high as supporters lament and opponents celebrate her departure.

The episode features interviews with Charles Powell, senior advisor, Bernard Ingham, press secretary, Caroline Slocock, private secretary, senior political figures Michael Heseltine, Nigel Lawson, Norman Tebbit, Ken Clarke, Ken Baker, Chris Patten, Peter Lilley and Malcolm Rifkind, and journalist Simon Jenkins.

WED 22:00 Bernard Hill Remembers... Boys from the Blackstuff (m00192zr)
Actor Bernard Hill, who famously played the character of Yosser Hughes, reflects on the iconic drama series Boys from the Blackstuff, which is being shown as part of the BBC's centenary celebrations.

WED 22:05 Boys from the Blackstuff (b00v2xkq)
Jobs for the Boys

Alan Bleasdale's acclaimed drama series - following on from his play The Black Stuff - is an astute social commentary about life in recession-hit Britain in the Thatcher era.

Chrissie, Dixie, Yosser, Loggo and George sign on at the benefit office before heading off for some short-term work for the builder Malloy. The conversion job turns out to be the future new offices of the DHSS. Unfortunately, DHSS officials Moss and Lawton suspect their scam and are determined to catch them in the act. Ineptitude on several sides, however, leads to tragedy.

WED 23:00 Boys from the Blackstuff (b00v3xln)

Dixie Dean, working at night in the port as a security guard, is strongarmed into accepting bribes for allowing the removal of goods under his charge in a docked ship. Chrissie, Loggo and George, the other members of the original gang, meet up prior to Snowy Malone's funeral.

WED 00:00 Boys from the Blackstuff (b00v9glr)
Shop Thy Neighbour

Alan Bleasdale's acclaimed drama series, an astute social commentary about life in recession-hit Britain in the Thatcher era. Chrissie and his wife Angie are driven to despair by money problems and hounding by the Department of Employment investigators.

WED 01:00 The Terror (p0954rmn)
Series 1

The C, the C, the Open C

In the wake of a massacre, two groups resume the trudge south, but one takes a troubling step to satisfy its starving men.

WED 01:55 The Terror (p0954rmr)
Series 1

We Are Gone

Guilt and ego require sacrifices from the surviving stragglers as a final reckoning looms in the wilderness.

WED 02:50 Thatcher: A Very British Revolution (m00062r1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 Life of a Mountain (m000rpmf)
A Year on Helvellyn

This spectacular film features a year in the life of the Lake District National Park’s most popular peak, Helvellyn. Three years in the making, award-winning film-maker Terry Abraham’s photography captures the beauty of the Lakeland fells and wildlife through the seasons and the insights of those that live by, care for and visit the mountain.

Sharing their wide-ranging expertise and passion for the peak, the film’s contributors create a picture of Helvellyn that combines nature, adventure sports, art, survival and history, and features an exhilarating RAF low-level fighter plane flight through its stunning and much-loved landscape.

This is the final instalment in Terry Abraham’s popular Lake District trilogy. His other two films feature Scafell Pike and Blencathra.

THU 20:30 French and Saunders (p032kk4k)
French and Saunders Go to the Movies

Episode 2

A compilation of French and Saunders film parodies including Misery, Dangerous Liaisons, Thelma and Louise and Gone with the Wind.

THU 21:00 Dangerous Liaisons (m000lj9q)
Two 18th-century French aristocrats play a cruel game of seduction and manipulation, only to find that their cruel machinations will eventually destroy them too.

THU 22:55 The Wife (m000qzy4)
Successful writer Joe Castleman is delighted to receive an early morning telephone call from Sweden informing him that he has won this year's Nobel Prize for Literature. His steadfast wife Joan is equally delighted, but as she prepares to travel to Stockholm to support and encourage her husband, she reflects on her life from when she first met Joe, her married literature tutor with whom she embarks on the affair which would change the course of their lives.

THU 00:30 Life Cinematic (m000f8xk)
Series 1

Sam Taylor-Johnson

British director Sam Taylor-Johnson reveals the films that have influenced her life and career. Her choices range from classics such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest to modern blockbusters, including The Talented Mr Ripley, Brokeback Mountain and Claire Denis’s French masterpiece, Beau Travail.

Sam also offers insights into the making of her most recent movie, A Million Little Pieces, and reflects on her early introduction to cinema, as well as her experience of moving to Hollywood to live and work.

THU 01:30 Age of the Image (m000gg2h)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:35 on Tuesday]

THU 02:30 Royal History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley (m000pbdz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]


FRI 19:00 ... Sings Bacharach and David! (b01gxl5w)
The BBC have raided their remarkable archive once more to reveal evocative performances from Burt Bacharach and Hal David's astonishing songbook. Love songs from the famous songwriting duo were a familiar feature of 60s and 70s BBC entertainment programmes such as Dusty, Cilla and The Cliff Richard Show, but there are some surprises unearthed here too.

Highlights include Sandie Shaw singing Always Something There to Remind Me, Aretha Franklin performing I Say a Little Prayer, Dusty Springfield's Wishin' and Hopin', The Stranglers' rendition of Walk on By on Top of the Pops, The Carpenters in concert performing (They Long to Be) Close to You and Burt Bacharach revisiting his classic Kentucky Bluebird with Rufus Wainwright on Later...with Jools Holland.

FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m0018zst)
Tony Dortie presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 11 March 1993 and featuring Sister Sledge, Iron Maiden, Shaggy, Shabba Ranks, Bryan Ferry, Jamiroquai, P.M. Dawn, Cliff Richard and 2 Unlimited.

FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m0018zsw)
Mark Franklin presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 18 March 1993 and featuring Hue and Cry, Snow, Right Said Fred, Therapy?, Big Country, The Grid, Monie Love and Shaggy.

FRI 21:00 Depeche Mode at the BBC (b08l6sm2)
It's 2017 and synth giants Depeche Mode are back with their fourteenth studio album Spirit, the band's "timeliest work yet". As the rave reviews fly in, here is a look back at the journey of one of the UK's longest-lasting and most successful bands who emerged from the UK's post-punk scene over three decades ago by featuring clips from various BBC programmes, including Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, Synth Britannia, The OZone, Def II and The Whistle Test.

From their first appearance on Top of the Pops in 1981 and the tales of how they got there, to performing on Later...with Jools Holland in 2009, the programme shares archive testimony and recent interviews from core members Dave Gahan, Vince Clarke, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher. New Life, Just Can't Get Enough, Blasphemous Rumours and Personal Jesus are among some of the classic tracks performed.

FRI 22:00 6 Music Festival (b08ljxpb)

Depeche Mode

With the release of their new album Spirit, Depeche Mode return to the stage for BBC Radio 6 Music Festival, before they embark on a world tour. Depeche Mode, who formed in 1980 in Basildon, Essex, have not played at the 2,000-capacity Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow for more than 30 years, when they performed as part of their Some Great Reward tour. Now, back at the historic Barrowland, their amazing return as part of 6 Music Festival is captured.

FRI 23:00 Synth Britannia (b00n93c4)
Documentary following a generation of post-punk musicians who took the synthesiser from the experimental fringes to the centre of the pop stage.

In the late 1970s, small pockets of electronic artists including The Human League, Daniel Miller and Cabaret Voltaire were inspired by Kraftwerk and JG Ballard, and they dreamt of the sound of the future against the backdrop of bleak, high-rise Britain.

The crossover moment came in 1979 when Gary Numan's appearance on Top of the Pops with Tubeway Army's Are 'Friends' Electric? heralded the arrival of synthpop. Four lads from Basildon known as Depeche Mode would come to own the new sound, whilst post-punk bands like Ultravox, Soft Cell, OMD and Yazoo took the synth out of the pages of NME and onto the front page of Smash Hits.

By 1983, acts like Pet Shop Boys and New Order were showing that the future of electronic music would lie in dance music.

Contributors include Philip Oakey, Vince Clarke, Martin Gore, Bernard Sumner, Gary Numan and Neil Tennant.

FRI 00:30 Synth Britannia at the BBC (b00n93c6)
A journey through the BBC's synthpop archives from Roxy Music and Tubeway Army to New Order and Sparks. Turn your Moogs up to 11 as we take a trip back into the 70s and 80s!

FRI 01:30 Pet Shop Boys in Concert 1991 (m0012zms)
The 1991 Pet Shop Boys world tour combined theatre and drama in an inspired musical spectacle and featured some of the duo's greatest hits, including It's a Sin and Suburbia.

FRI 02:30 Top of the Pops (m0018zst)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRI 03:00 Top of the Pops (m0018zsw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

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

... Sings Bacharach and David! 19:00 FRI (b01gxl5w)

6 Music Festival 22:00 FRI (b08ljxpb)

A History of Art in Three Colours 00:00 SUN (b01l4fyl)

Age of the Image 22:35 TUE (m000gg2h)

Age of the Image 20:00 WED (m000gnzv)

Age of the Image 01:30 THU (m000gg2h)

Bernard Hill Remembers... Boys from the Blackstuff 22:00 WED (m00192zr)

Boys from the Blackstuff 22:05 WED (b00v2xkq)

Boys from the Blackstuff 23:00 WED (b00v3xln)

Boys from the Blackstuff 00:00 WED (b00v9glr)

Building Britain's Biggest Nuclear Power Station 20:00 MON (m000ww0l)

Chemistry: A Volatile History 23:00 MON (b00q2mk5)

Chemistry: A Volatile History 23:35 TUE (b00qck1t)

Cricket: Today at the Test 19:00 SAT (m0018znv)

Cricket: Today at the Test 19:00 SUN (m0018zpf)

Cricket: Today at the Test 19:00 MON (m0018zqt)

Cricket: Today at the Test 19:00 TUE (m0018zps)

Dangerous Liaisons 21:00 THU (m000lj9q)

Dark Matter: A History of the Afrofuture 23:00 SUN (m000wfcj)

Depeche Mode at the BBC 21:00 FRI (b08l6sm2)

Ever Decreasing Circles 00:30 SAT (b036d6dw)

Ever Decreasing Circles 20:30 TUE (b036d6fg)

Face to Face 00:00 SAT (m000yw8p)

Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage 23:00 SAT (b00cwkbc)

Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage 23:30 SAT (b00cwkbf)

French and Saunders 20:30 THU (p032kk4k)

How to Build... 22:00 MON (b00syt1w)

Inside Porton Down: Britain's Secret Weapons Research Facility 21:00 MON (b07hx40t)

Inspector Montalbano 21:00 SAT (m0018znx)

Keeping Up Appearances 01:00 SAT (b007b9yd)

Keeping Up Appearances 20:00 TUE (b007brqz)

Life Cinematic 00:30 THU (m000f8xk)

Life of a Mountain 19:00 THU (m000rpmf)

Michael Palin: Travels of a Lifetime 20:00 SAT (m000nx4k)

Michael Palin: Travels of a Lifetime 01:30 SAT (m000nx4k)

Pet Shop Boys in Concert 1991 01:30 FRI (m0012zms)

Rough Girls 21:30 SUN (m0015694)

Royal History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley 21:00 TUE (m000pbdz)

Royal History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley 02:30 THU (m000pbdz)

Storyville 22:00 TUE (m0018zpw)

Summer Night Concert from Vienna 20:00 SUN (m0018zph)

Summer Night Concert from Vienna 01:00 SUN (m0018zph)

Synth Britannia at the BBC 00:30 FRI (b00n93c6)

Synth Britannia 23:00 FRI (b00n93c4)

Thatcher: A Very British Revolution 21:00 WED (m00062r1)

Thatcher: A Very British Revolution 02:50 WED (m00062r1)

The Chronicles of Erne 02:30 SAT (m000gb50)

The Chronicles of Erne 03:00 SAT (m000gjmz)

The Golden Age of Steam Railways 02:30 SUN (b01p8w38)

The Golden Age of Steam Railways 19:00 WED (b01pdsy6)

The Terror 00:30 MON (p0954mm5)

The Terror 01:15 MON (p0954p2y)

The Terror 01:55 MON (p0954q0z)

The Terror 02:40 MON (p0954qd2)

The Terror 00:35 TUE (p0954rlq)

The Terror 01:20 TUE (p0954rlw)

The Terror 02:05 TUE (p0954rm0)

The Terror 02:50 TUE (p0954rmc)

The Terror 01:00 WED (p0954rmn)

The Terror 01:55 WED (p0954rmr)

The Wife 22:55 THU (m000qzy4)

The Wonder of Animals 00:00 MON (b04hkd1h)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m0018zst)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m0018zsw)

Top of the Pops 02:30 FRI (m0018zst)

Top of the Pops 03:00 FRI (m0018zsw)