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 Genius of the Ancient World (b064jf28)

Historian Bettany Hughes embarks on an expedition to India, Greece and China on the trail of three giants of ancient philosophy: Buddha, Socrates and Confucius. All three physically travelled great distances philosophising as they went and drawing conclusions from their journeys. With Bettany as our guide, she gets under the skin of these three great minds and shines a light on the overlooked significance of the 5th century BC in shaping modern thought across the world. In this first episode, Bettany investigates the revolutionary ideas of the Buddha.

SAT 20:00 Simon King's Shetland Adventure (b00qnw1f)
Episode 1

Simon King, wildlife cameraman and Springwatch presenter, sets off on an adventure to live on the Shetland Islands with his family through the changing seasons. Simon has travelled the world for 30 years, but his boyhood dream was to visit Shetland. Now he has the chance to film some of the remarkable wildlife and experience the beauty and the wild weather of Britain's most northerly isles.

Simon captures footage of killer whales coming in to kill a seal, an Arctic tern colony attacked by a bonxie, and a shy otter family. Simon, his wife Marguerite and two-year-old daughter Savannah settle into a remote cottage, but the winter weather and winds of over 100mph make life tough for them.

To celebrate winter, Simon joins the local Shetlanders in their Viking Up Helly Aa festivals, but there is a surprise for him: he is asked to come in drag, dressed as fellow Springwatch presenter Kate Humble. This doesn't stop him enjoying himself or helping to set light to a Viking boat in a genuine Shetland experience.

SAT 21:00 Trom (p0cffgmg)
Series 1

Goodbye and Hello

After receiving a mysterious message from a local activist, claiming she is his daughter and that her life is in danger, journalist Hannis Martinsson returns home to the Faroe Islands only to find her dead body surface amid a local whale hunt.

His search for answers soon brings him into conflict with the local police and uncovers a web of secrets in the close-knit community. How far is he willing to go to learn the truth?

In Faroese and Danish with English subtitles.

SAT 21:45 Trom (p0cffn9x)
Series 1

A New Dawn

As the mystery around Sonja deepens, Detective Chief Inspector Karla Mohr must work fast to settle down Hannis and her superiors, as well as the local community. Meanwhile, a rattled Hannis begins his own investigation, following Sonja’s warning that the local police are not to be trusted.

In Faroese and Danish with English subtitles.

SAT 22:30 Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage (b00d06bk)
The Dardanelles

Francesco da Mosto reaches the outer limits of the old Venetian empire on his voyage from Venice to Istanbul. Now he enters Turkish waters, the Strait of the Dardanelles, gateway to the east.

First stop are the haunting beaches of Gallipoli - scene of one of the worst massacres of the First World War. It was here that the Anzac forces of New Zealand and Australia were decimated as, alongside British troops, they tried to retake the Dardanelles.

After the bumpiest of bus rides inland, Francesco arrives at the city of Edirne, which boasts Turkey's finest - and biggest - mosque. The incredible acoustics of the giant dome are demonstrated by a local imam with the biggest pair of lungs in town.

In Edirne the most popular sport is wrestling. Naked, except for skin-tight leather trousers and covered in olive oil, the local wrestlers are giants of men. The sport is a severe trial of strength and the rules uncertain - it's even acceptable to put your hands down your opponent's trousers. Francesco is forced to give it a try.

The White Swan embarks on its final lap to Istanbul. But one detour is irresistible - to Bursa, birthplace of the doner kebab.

SAT 23:00 Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage (b00d06g4)

Franceso da Mosto reaches Istanbul, the final stop of his marathon voyage from Venice following the trading routes of the Venetian empire.

Istanbul straddles the Bosphorus as well as two continents. It has been home of both Christian and Islamic civilisations, and Francesco is eager to explore this great city.

First stop is the Palace of Topkapi - centre of power for the Ottoman empire. Most haunting of all is the palace harem, a prison to the sultan's many concubines. Beneath the city is a vast network of underground tunnels dating back more than a thousand years.

Donning hard hat and waders, Francesco enters one of the huge underground cisterns - looking more like a Roman emperor's palace than a water tank. Two giant heads of Medusa lie abandoned in the water.

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar is one of the world's biggest undercover markets and Francesco has a mission in mind. He is going to learn how to sell a Turkish carpet. As he learns the secrets of the trade, he is shown one of the most expensive and beautiful carpets in the city.

A visit to Istanbul would not be complete without the experience of a Turkish bath, however, so Francesco offers himself up for a vigorous soap and scrub. But soon it is time to say goodbye. A final celebration aboard the Black Swan with its long-suffering crew brings Francesco's journey to an end.

SAT 23:30 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?

SAT 00:00 Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane (b01rrxkl)
Crossfire Hurricane, directed by Brett Morgen, provides a remarkable new perspective on the Stones' unparalleled journey from blues-obsessed teenagers in the early 60s to rock royalty. It's all here in panoramic candour, from the Marquee Club to Hyde Park, from Altamont to 'Exile, from club gigs to stadium extravaganzas.

With never-before-seen footage and fresh insights from the band themselves, Crossfire Hurricane places the viewer on the frontline of the band's most legendary escapades.

Taking its title from a lyric in Jumping Jack Flash, Crossfire Hurricane gives the audience an intimate insight, for the first time, into exactly what it's like to be part of the Rolling Stones, as they overcame denunciation, drugs, dissensions and death to become the definitive survivors.

The odyssey includes film from the Stones' initial road trips and first controversies as they became the anti-Beatles, the group despised by authority because they connected and communicated with their own generation as no-one ever had. 'When we got together,' says Wyman, 'something magical happened, and no one could ever copy that'.

Riots and the chaos of early tours are graphically depicted, as is the birth of the Jagger-Richards songwriting partnership. The many dramas they encountered are also fully addressed, including the Redlands drug bust, the descent of Brian Jones into what Richards calls 'bye-bye land', and the terror and disillusionment of 1969's Altamont Festival.

The film illustrates the Stones' evolution from being, as Mick vividly describes it, 'the band everybody hated to the band everybody loves': through the hedonistic 1970s and Keith's turning-point bust in Canada, to the spectacular touring phenomenon we know today. Richards also reveals the song that he believes defines the 'essence' of his writing relationship with Jagger more than any other.

The film combines extensive historical footage, much of it widely unseen, with contemporary commentaries by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood and former Stones, Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor.

SAT 01:50 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.

SAT 02:20 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.


SUN 19:00 Our Classical Century (m0005wrw)
Series 1

1980s to the present

Music broadcaster Suzy Klein and West-End star Alexandra Burke chart how, in the 80s and 90s, a new generation of young musicians – from Simon Rattle and Nigel Kennedy to Vanessa-Mae - defied tradition and burst out of the accepted confines of the classical genre. We look at Torvill and Dean’s triumph at the Winter Olympics, the Three Tenors at Italia 90, Tavener’s haunting anthem accompanying the funeral of Princess Diana and the successful launch of Classic FM.

Alexandra meets Torvill and Dean to explore how Maurice Ravel’s Bolero burst into the pop charts in 1984. The skaters reveal why it was chosen and why it worked so well. Composer Richard Hartley explains to Suzy how he had to re-orchestrate Ravel’s composition on the synclavier to get it to the right length for the Olympic performance.

In 1989 Nigel Kennedy burst onto the scene with his punk loom and ferocious playing. A protege of Yehudi Menuhin, he tore up the conventions of the classical concert hall. Producer Barry McCann reveals how they marketed Kennedy and his chart-topping version of Vivaldi’s Summer and we see Kennedy in action today performing Jimmy Hendrix.

Sir Simon Rattle reveals how classical music transformed the reputation and fortunes of a city – Birmingham. The Midlands was the birthplace of Heavy Metal, music forged in the din of its industrial heritage. But the car industry had collapsed and in 1980 the arrival of Rattle, a charismatic young conductor with a passion for Mahler, proved the unlikely catalyst for Birmingham’s transformation. Suzy goes behind the scenes at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, one of the world’s finest concert halls while Sir Simon reveals why The Queen stayed away from the opening ceremony

In 1990 Puccini’s Nessun Dorma brought opera to a whole new audience of football supporters when the BBC used Pavarotti’s 1972 recording as their title music. When Pavarotti, Carreras and Domingo performed together for the first time on the eve of the final, The Three Tenors became icons of popular culture. At Arsenal FC’s Emirates stadium, Alexandra meets football fans inspired by Nessun Dorma to create the FA Fans Choir.

Until 1993 the options to hear classical music were through records, concert hall or Radio Three. Broadcaster Petroc Trelawny tells the inside story of the early days of the country’s first commercial classical radio station, Classic FM. Its recipe of popular music for a broad audience was an immediate hit, but Trelawny reveals that ‘the critics were quite sniffy.’ He also tells how founder Michael Bukht would reprimand him on air if the talking got in the way of the music.

During a rare interview with Vanessa-Mae, we see her barnstorming arrival on the music scene. Mae made her debut with the London Philharmonia aged 10 and at 13 set a world record as the youngest soloist to record both the Tchaikovsky and Beethoven violin concertos. A child of the 80s, a fan of Michael Jackson and Prince, Mae wanted to experiment, which she did with an album heavily influenced by pop and rock. To accompany it, she was filmed in pop videos shot cavorting in hot pants in Ibiza and playing the violin in the sea. It shocked the classical world, but gained Mae instant popularity and recognition with the young.

But as classical music was flirting with the pop world, it retained its power to unite the nation in exceptional times. The funeral of Princess Diana was a moment of national mourning, with John Tavener’s piece Song for Athene at the heart of the service. Martin Neary, who conducted the choir, explains why he chose the piece. Suzy explores why it so aptly captured the sense of ancient ritual and tradition, modernity and spirituality for the congregation and the millions watching the event on television. World-class cellist, Stephen Isserlis, performs excerpts from Tavener’s The Protecting Veil, a piece composed for him, and discusses the spiritual quality of the music.
In 2007, an ensemble of 12- to 26-year-olds from Venezuela’s most troubled neighbourhoods rocked the Royal Albert Hall with the Telegraph asking, ‘Was this the greatest Prom of all time?’ The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra was the product of a government-sponsored initiative known as El Sistema. Our presenters explore this remarkable illustration of how the idea of who can play classical music was transformed.

Crashing through the sound barrier the programme finally looks at the work of one of the UK’s most exciting young composers, Anna Meredith, who combines classical, electronic, pop, vocal and visual styles in her work.

Our Classical Century climaxes with a look to the future in which barriers between musical genres and performance styles are breaking down. Sir Simon Rattle explains: ‘Music’s like the virus you don’t get rid thankfully of because it’s incurable! We just try and spread it to as many people as we can and it should be in everybody’s life in some way or other. Music’s like weeds, it’s amazing where it grows.’

SUN 20:00 Michael Clark's to a simple, rock 'n' roll... song (b0b2m5g8)
The latest work by groundbreaking choreographer Michael Clark. Acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, the London Evening Standard called the production 'an adrenaline shot that sends you away buzzing'.

The triple bill pays homage to three of Clark's greatest musical influences. Act 1 features commanding choreography, pulsating with a propulsive force to the punk rock of Patti Smith's landmark album, Horses. Act 2 is a reflection on Erik Satie and his influence on Clark's mentors past and present, the dance meticulous, minimalist and coolly refined. Act 3 is an iridescent tribute to David Bowie, intricate, sublime, the mood moving from elegiac to joyously rebellious.

Recorded at the Barbican, London in 2017, this Olivier Award-nominated production features gorgeously arresting choreography performed by a company of fearless dancers including Harry Alexander, who won the Critics' Circle 'Emerging Artist' National Dance Award in 2017.

The production also features a stage adaptation by Charles Atlas - long-time collaborator with Michael Clark - of his multi-channel video installation Painting by Numbers.

With an introduction from the inimitable Jarvis Cocker, who credits Michael Clark with introducing him to the world of dance.

SUN 21:00 Paula Rego: Secrets and Stories (b08kz9qz)
A unique insight into the life and work of celebrated painter Paula Rego directed by her son, film-maker Nick Willing. Notoriously private and guarded, Rego opens up for the first time, surprising her son with secrets and stories of her unique life, battling fascism, a misogynistic art world and manic depression.

Born in Portugal, a country which her father told her was no good for women, Rego nevertheless used her powerful pictures as a weapon against the dictatorship before settling in London, where she continued to target women's issues such as abortion rights. But above all, her paintings are a cryptic glimpse into an intimate world of personal tragedy, perverse fantasies and awkward truths.

Nick Willing combines a huge archive of home movies and family photographs with interviews spanning 60 years and in-depth studies of Rego at work in her studio. What emerges is a powerful personal portrait of an artist whose legacy will survive the years, graphically illustrated in pastel, charcoal and oil paint.

SUN 22:30 imagine... (b07lswsg)
Summer 2016

DANGER! Cornelia Parker

Imagine reveals the darker side of one of Britain's most original and inventive artists. A sculptor working with found materials, Cornelia Parker creates beauty from acts of brutality - an exploded shed, piles of squashed silver, the charred remnants of a burnt church suspended in time. Born in 1956 to a German mother and an English father in rural Cheshire, Parker always struggled to fit in. Art was her escape. In 2016 she embarked on the most high-profile commission of her career - the roof of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alan Yentob follows Parker's creative process in a film that sees her delve deep into America's history, cinema and art, as well as her own personal past.

SUN 23:35 A History of Art in Three Colours (b01lcz2s)

Dr James Fox explores how, in the hands of artists, the colours gold, blue and white have stirred emotions, changed behaviour and even altered the course of history.

When, in the Middle Ages, the precious blue stone lapis lazuli arrived in Europe from the east, blue became the most exotic and mysterious of colours. And it was artists who used it to offer us tantalising glimpses of other worlds beyond our own.

SUN 00:35 Michael Clark's to a simple, rock 'n' roll... song (b0b2m5g8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

SUN 01:30 Simon King's Shetland Adventure (b00qnw1f)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Saturday]

SUN 02:30 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 19:00 Life of a Mountain (b04y4gd7)
A Year on Scafell Pike

A beautifully cinematic documentary following a year in the life of England's highest mountain, Scafell Pike, through the eyes of the farmers who work the valleys and fells, those who climb the mountain for pleasure and those who try to protect its slopes.

Filmed over a twelve-month period, it follows the seasons on the mountain from spring lambs through to winter snows. The contributions of the British Mountaineering Council and National Trust volunteers make clear the crucial importance of maintaining the landscape quality of England's highest peak for future generations.

MON 20:00 Atlantic: The Wildest Ocean on Earth (p02wnh9k)
Life Stream

In the wild North Atlantic, massive whale pods, giant turtles and monstrous jellyfish ride the Gulf Stream, a huge ocean current that becomes a migration superhighway and helps warm northern Europe. Meanwhile, fishermen battle for survival in mountainous seas as they try to reap the current's natural fertility.

MON 21:00 Horizon (m000hjpw)

Hubble: The Wonders of Space Revealed

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of its launch, this film tells the remarkable story of how Hubble revealed the awe and wonder of our universe and how a team of daring astronauts risked their lives to keep it working.

MON 22:00 The Sky at Night (m001968z)
The Sky at Day

The British weather is often the enemy of stargazers up and down the country. A forecast of a couple of hours of cloud cover will disappoint even the most determined amateur astronomers. In this programme, the Sky at Night becomes the ‘Sky at Day’, providing an alternative range of spectacles to observe and activities to partake in, ideal when the nights are short and the stars are hiding behind the clouds.

The most obvious spectacle to observe is of course our own star, the sun. A moment is needed to appreciate that whilst amateurs and scientists alike spend lifetimes and whole careers searching for distant stars in the night sky, we have a star on our celestial doorstep that we can actually send a space probe to. In 2018, that is exactly what Nasa did. The idea for the Parker Solar Probe was conceived in 1958, but it took 60 years to develop the technology to make it possible, namely working out how to prevent it from melting.

Justin Kasper, principal investigator for the Sweap instrument (Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons investigation), spoke to Chris about how the probe entered the sun’s atmosphere and made incredible discoveries about its structure. It revealed that the boundary where solar material anchored to the sun first escapes and becomes the solar wind is not a smooth ball but has spikes and valleys that wrinkle the ‘Alfvén critical surface’. Previously, the coronal streamers that cause this wrinkling had been observed from a distance but never measured directly until Sweap came along. Its discoveries are altering what scientists know about the way in which the sun’s atmosphere transforms into the solar wind.

Back on earth, Dr Hannah Wakeford shows us how observing the sun as it rises and sets can tell us a huge amount about the composition of our atmosphere and the weather on the horizon. The adage ‘Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight. Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning’ is dismissed as many as an old wives’ tale. However, due to our unique position in the mid-latitudes, it turns out that this saying may be more accurate than many think. Hannah also explores, as light travels from the sun to our eye, how different wavelengths are absorbed and scattered by the atmosphere. The light that completes the journey to our eye or our telescope can reveal the combination of gases that make up the atmosphere. Hannah explains how this process has helped scientists to work out the composition of the atmosphere of other planets in our solar system and even exoplanets orbiting distant stars.

Exploring during the day can sometimes unlock a whole new scientific field. Guest presenter George Dransfield spoke to urban micrometeorite hunter Jon Larsen about how he accidentally discovered a micrometeorite on his garden table whilst eating strawberries on a fine summer’s day, and how, ever since, he has been pioneering a method for amateurs across the globe to discover pieces of stardust in their own back garden. George tries to find some micrometeorites of her own, and in the process, learns about the huge spectrum of micrometeorites that Jon, along with his partner Jan Braly Kihle, has found and photographed in astounding detail.

As well as hunting meteorites and watching the sunset, there is also stargazing to be done during the day. Amateur astronomer and outreach hero Simon Holbeche from Bath spends every sunny weekend showing members of the public the sun in a whole new light. Using different specialist telescopes and heavy solar filters, Simon is able to show passers-by the incredible sunspots on the solar surface and the exploding prominences in the sun’s atmosphere. His enduring hope is that the people he meets might become hooked by what they’ve seen, and one day come back to see the sky at night.

MON 22:30 Horizon (b06b9tnx)

Cosmic Dawn: The Real Moment of Creation

Forget the big bang. The real moment of creation was the cosmic dawn - the moment of first light. This is the scientific version of the story of Genesis.

The big bang gets all the credit for creating our universe. But in fact, the universe it gave was dark and boring. There were no stars, no galaxies, just a vast, black fog of gas - the cosmic dark ages.

But, after a hundred million years of nothing, came a dramatic moment of transformation - the cosmic dawn. It's the moment the first stars were born, the moment that lit up the universe, and made the first structure and the first ingredients of life. This was the real moment of creation.

Astronomers are now trying to witness the cosmic dawn. For the first time they have the tools to explore the very first stars of the universe and to tell the scientific story of our creation.

MON 23:30 Chemistry: A Volatile History (b00qjnqc)
The Power 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 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.

In the final part, Professor Al-Khalili uncovers tales of success and heartache in the story of chemists' battle to control and combine the elements, and build our modern world. He reveals the dramatic breakthroughs which harnessed their might to release almost unimaginable power, and he journeys to the centre of modern day alchemy, where scientists are attempting to command the extreme forces of nature and create brand new elements.

MON 00:30 The Wonder of Animals (b04j8ttk)
Great Apes

Chris Packham explores the evolution of the great ape's brain to reveal how different parts have been adapted over time by its anatomy, ingenuity and sociability, culminating in one of the most complex brains on the planet. Chris examines how the ability to use two hands asymmetrically sets the great ape apart from other tool-using animals and how social living is linked to the evolution of the amygdala in both humans and our ape cousins. New research reveals how bonobos' peace-loving reputation may have developed through a similar domestication process to that undergone by our pet dogs.

MON 01:00 The Wonder of Animals (b04jy2rz)

Chris Packham explores what lies beneath a crocodile's hard exterior to discover the secret to its 250-million-year history. It may look like a relic from a prehistoric world, but the crocodile boasts one of the most sophisticated physiologies on the planet. By following all stages of a crocodile hunt, from the warm-up to the ambush and the kill, Chris reveals how their extraordinary circulatory system enables them to hold their breath underwater for over an hour, how exceptionally sensitive skin detects their prey through water from over 20m away and how antibacterial blood means they can feast on anthrax-ridden meat.

MON 01:30 Life of a Mountain (b04y4gd7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MON 02:30 Atlantic: The Wildest Ocean on Earth (p02wnh9k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Life of a Mountain (b08f1cc0)
A Year on Blencathra

The sequel to Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike sees award-winning film-maker Terry Abraham return to the Lake District to showcase 'the people's mountain' - Blencathra.

This spectacular documentary looks at the lives of local residents, schoolchildren and visitors to the mountain with contributions from comedian Ed Byrne, broadcaster Stuart Maconie, mountaineer Alan Hinkes OBE and record-breaking fell runner Steve Birkinshaw.

Abraham's breathtaking photography and stunning time-lapse sequences of this unique landscape will inspire newcomers and regular visitors alike.

TUE 20:00 Keeping Up Appearances (b007bb1t)
Series 4

Looking at Properties

Hyacinth decides to have a second attempt at finding a small weekend home in the country and Elizabeth is called in to help her on her property search. But it quickly becomes clear Hyacinth and Richard have different views on the meaning of the word 'small'.

TUE 20:30 Ever Decreasing Circles (b036d6fw)
Series 2

The Tea Party

The residents of a retirement home pay a visit to Martin and Ann. How will they keep their guests entertained?

TUE 21:00 Royal History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley (m000pjt8)
Series 2

The Russian Revolution

We think we know the story of the Russian revolution - in October 1917, the Bolsheviks rose up, swept the tsar from power and communism was born. In this film, Lucy explores the myths and fibs that swirl around the dramatic events of 1917. She finds it was really a group of women workers who kick-started the Russian Revolution in February 1917. At the time, the Bolsheviks tried to stop it, and Lenin, the radical leader of the Bolsheviks, wasn’t even in the country.

Lucy discovers that the tsar was forced to abdicate long before the Bolsheviks took control. And she finds out how King George V betrayed his cousin by opposing the British government’s offer of asylum to the tsar and his family. This was kept secret for decades.

Along the way, Lucy finds reveals how the Bolsheviks used films and books to big up the October revolution while belittling the February revolution as irrelevant and bourgeois. And when Lenin died in 1924, Stalin lied his way to the top - he repressed Lenin’s last wishes and faked paintings and photographs to support his claim to be Lenin’s chosen successor.

TUE 22:00 Charles I: Killing a King (m000cdzd)
Series 1

Episode 1

December, 1648.

The Puritan government has banned all celebrations and King Charles I is imprisoned in Windsor Castle. During Christmastide, the monarch would ordinarily feast and celebrate but instead he spends Christmas Day alone, in anticipation of what his future holds as king of England.

Parliament has been purged of all moderate MPs who are willing to compromise with the king. What is left is a contingent of MPs who are ready to remove Charles from power by whatever means possible. They are supported by the New Model Army, a powerful, professional fighting force, led by the religious zealot, powerful orator and talented solider, Oliver Cromwell. They spend Christmas Day urgently debating what to do with their king.

On Christmas night, there is a final attempt to reason with Charles when the Earl of Denbigh visits him at Windsor with terms. The king is convinced of his divine right to rule and refuses to see him. Three days later, new legislation is drawn up to put the Charles on trial for treason. Oliver Cromwell too stands by divine providence but believes his victory in the English Civil War is evidence that God is on his side and that the king must be brought to justice for the bloodshed he has wrought on the country.

The next day, their belief in bringing Charles to trial is cemented when a prophetess, Elizabeth Poole, stands before the Commons, claiming that the army will heal the wounds of the country, which is sick and ravaged by war. But there is still deliberation in Parliament, for this is dangerous ground. If the king is redeemed after the trial, those who sought to persecute him will be hunted down as traitors.

The instability of Charles’s position is not news to the people. On New Year’s Eve, a play is secretly held at Salisbury Court, where comically a king is crowned and then uncrowned. This might be comedy, but the undercurrent is deeply engrained with the truth. On New Year’s Day, the Commons overcome the first hurdle and pass an act to try the king. However, it is rejected by the Lords. Three days later, in an extraordinary, bold move, the Commons claim sovereignty over the country, ahead of the king and the Lords. On the 6 January 1649, the act to try the king is passed. Charles I will face trial as a tyrant, murderer and public enemy.

TUE 23:00 A Very British History (m000f3xf)
Series 2

Birmingham Irish I Am

Musician Angela Moran, whose grandparents were amongst thousands of Irish to move to Britain’s second city in the 1950s, tells the story of the Birmingham Irish through the memories of local people and rare archive footage.

She hears about life during the 50s and 60s, and also looks at the impact the 1974 terrorist pub bombings had on the city – an act of unimaginable horror in which 21 people were killed and 220 injured. There were consequences for the local Irish community too. The annual St Patrick’s Day Parade was cancelled and people hid their identity.

Angela also shares her own experiences of growing up in the 90s when being Irish was fashionable and something to be celebrated.

TUE 00:00 Climbing Blind (m000jb7t)
The incredible story of Jesse Dufton as he attempts to be the first blind person to lead a climb of the Old Man of Hoy, a sea stack with sheer cliff faces rising out of the sea, in Orkney, Scotland

Jesse was born with 20% central vision. At four years of age, Jesse was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare genetic disease that breaks down the retina’s cells. When he was 20, Jesse could no longer read. By the time he was 30, he could only detect light, with around a one to two per cent field of view. As a lifelong climber, what Jesse has achieved flies in the face of adversity, training for world cup events and leading traditional rock climbs with his sight guide and fiancée Molly.

As his sight degenerates, his climbing continues to make remarkable progress. His attempt on the Old Man of Hoy is testimony to his ambition to take on new and greater challenges, despite his devastating condition.

This engrossing documentary will make you laugh and cry as it delivers not just a truly gripping climbing story but an inspiring tale of human endeavour and attitude.

TUE 01:00 Life of a Mountain (b08f1cc0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

TUE 02:00 The Wonder of Animals (b04kzvxq)

Chris Packham explores the success of the most widespread of marine mammals, the dolphin. Contrary to their amiable reputation, they are in fact ruthless predators. They hunt using a combination of specialised anatomy and complex communication, requiring a big brain.

Chris explains the inner workings of dolphin echolocation, reveals how a pod uses body movements to communicate the location of food and explores the strategies used by orcas during a hunt.

TUE 02:30 Royal History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley (m000pjt8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 Joanna Lumley in the Land of the Northern Lights (b00dhv1n)
An amazing journey in Norway's far North as Joanna Lumley pursues a lifelong dream to track down the elusive, stunningly beautiful Northern Lights - 'the true wonder of the world,' as she puts it.

Joanna grew up in tropical Malaysia, and as a little girl never saw snow or felt cold. Inspired by fairytales and picture books, she always longed to make the journey north. At last she travels north across the Arctic Circle, up through Norway to Svalbard, the most northerly permanently inhabited place on Earth, where she has to cope with temperatures approaching minus 30 degrees centigrade.

With a box of crayons in hand, her journey takes her from train to boat, to husky-sled, to snowmobile, as she is pulled ever northwards by what she calls 'the strongest point of the compass'. She explores the romantic fjords of Lofoten and learns to ride a snowmobile, speeding across endless expanses of Lapland tundra with a Sami herdsman in search of his reindeer. As she reaches the Arctic Ocean, she prepares for bed in a hotel made entirely of ice. Everywhere she goes, she asks about the mysterious Northern Lights.

WED 20:00 Rise of the Continents (p019bctl)

Geologist Prof Iain Stewart shows how the continent of Africa was formed from the wreckage of a long-lost supercontinent. He discovers clues in its spectacular landmarks, mineral wealth and iconic wildlife, that help piece together the story of Africa’s formation. He also shows how this deep history has left its mark on the modern-day Africa and the world.

Iain starts at Victoria Falls, with a truly spectacular leap into the water right on the lip of the 100m waterfall. Hidden within this vast cliff-face is evidence that the falls were created by vast volcanic eruptions 180 million years ago. These eruptions marked the moment when Africa was carved from the supercontinent of Pangaea and began its journey as a separate continent.

The creation of Africa had a surprising impact on evolution. Scrambling up the sides of the pyramids of Giza in Egypt, Iain finds small marine creatures that reveal that this part of Africa was once a shallow sea that formed when Africa was created. And within the arid Western Desert, he reveals 17m long skeletons of early whales buried in the sand. These skeletons reveal how land-dwelling mammals were lured back into the shallow seas created by the birth of the Africa continent, leading to the evolution of whales.

Going back even further in time, Iain visits the diamond mines of Sierra Leone. These vast gravel pits once fuelled the devastating civil war here. Their diamonds reveal not just the very earliest origins of the land that today makes up Africa, but how the very first continents came into existence, billions of years ago.

Finally, Iain travels to the Serengeti Plains, where he discovers how the spectacular wildebeest migration is fuelled by a process that will eventually lead to Africa’s destruction. Every year the wildebeest return to give birth in an area of unusually nutrient-rich grass. This grass grows on fertile volcanic soil and studying ash and lava from the nearby volcano reveals that beneath Africa there lies a vast mantle plume of molten rock. This volcanic upwelling is so strong that scientists predict it will one day tear the ancient continent of Africa in two.

WED 21:00 Great British Photography Challenge (m000wfcw)
Series 1

Episode 1

The search is on for an exciting new name in British photography. Six talented amateur photographers have made it through a nationwide call-out to be selected for the opportunity of a lifetime. With top photographer and film-maker Rankin as their guide and mentor, this is a unique masterclass and a chance to show they have what it takes to stand out as a new name in British photography.

Across a month of assignments and feedback, they will tackle 12 very different challenges that showcase and stretch their skill and creativity. Every shot counts as they build up to the final task of creating a brand new portfolio of their work. Who will shine as they compete for the chance to be crowned the winner of the Great British Photography Challenge?

In this first episode of the series, the amateurs meet Rankin for the first time and share their homework assignment with him and the audience. We kick off the challenges faced in this episode in Brighton, with a speed assignment that uses nothing more than a smartphone. How will they fare when limited to the use of basic equipment? Also featured in this episode is a nature assignment with Chris Packham, who tasks the photographers with finding and presenting him with a stand-out image from his own backyard in the New Forest. And we see the contestants thrown in at the deep end with a brief to capture a celebrity portrait, tasked with taking a magazine cover photo of renowned actor and Rankin’s good friend Anna Friel.

Across the series, we’ll see the six photographers spending several weeks on the road, tackling various assignments around the country. All of them go through the entire experience and the series delivers multiple perspectives on each task. Guest experts are on hand to offer coaching in the field, and the first challenge featured in each episode always sees the photographers put on the spot to take a picture that will impress Rankin in just one hour, using only their smartphone cameras. Returning to the classroom from their travels, there’s group feedback on their shots, and the pressure is on to select and edit, from among the hundreds of images they’ve taken, a final portfolio that they believe shows their individual flair and way of seeing the world around them.

At the end of the series, it’s time to plan and mount the exhibitions of their final portfolios. Who will show Rankin and fellow judges from the art and fashion world they have what it takes to take home the title of winner of the Great British Photography Challenge?

WED 22:00 Boys from the Blackstuff (b00vff5g)
Yosser's Story

After his wife leaves him, Yosser Hughes struggles to hold his family together. But with no work and the police and social services closing in, he is driven towards a final desperate act. Bernard Hill's moving portrayal of a man who has hit rock bottom earned him a BAFTA award for best actor.

WED 23:10 Boys from the Blackstuff (b00vjm2x)
George's Last Ride

After his operation, George Malone walks out of hospital in his pyjamas. Chrissie, Loggo and George's sons return him, but he later leaves again. His wife knows that he wishes to die at home, so Chrissie takes George out in a wheelchair to the docks where he once worked.

WED 00:20 The Sky at Night (m001968z)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Monday]

WED 00:50 Joanna Lumley in the Land of the Northern Lights (b00dhv1n)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

WED 01:50 Rise of the Continents (p019bctl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 02:50 Great British Photography Challenge (m000wfcw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 Steam Days (p011w7y8)

Miles Kington looks at freight trains - the workhorses of Britain's railways - and the pattern of their usage before motorways. He examines the role of the British Rail Standard Class 9F steam locomotive, one of the most powerful to run on British railways, and hitches a lift in the cab of 92203 'Black Prince'.

THU 19:30 Hollywood's Brightest Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (b09jhrlt)
Documentary about Hollywood wild child Hedy Lamarr. Fleeing to America after escaping her Nazi sympathiser husband, Hedy Lamarr conquered Hollywood. Known as 'the most beautiful woman in the world', she was infamous for her marriages and affairs, from Spencer Tracy to JFK. This film rediscovers her not only as an actress, but as the brilliant mind who co-invented 1940s wireless technology.

THU 21:00 Thelma and Louise (m00196f6)
Tired of their daily lives, a housewife and a waitress decide to hit the road in search of adventure, but they soon end up on the run from the police.

THU 23:05 Talking Pictures (m001778f)
Meryl Streep

A celebration of Meryl Streep, perhaps the greatest actress of modern times, using decades’ worth of interviews and appearances on the BBC to tell the story of her life and incredible career.

From the early days of Kramer vs Kramer and Sophie’s Choice right up to Mamma Mia! and The Iron Lady, these conversations reveal how she has approached her most important roles over the years, giving an insight into the woman who has received more Oscar nominations that any other star and remains as acclaimed now as she was in the 1970s, when she lit up our screens for the very first time

THU 23:35 Florence Foster Jenkins (b084zbf0)
Based on a true heartwarming story. In the autumn of 1944, as war rages in the Pacific, New York heiress and founder of the Verdi Club Florence Foster Jenkins devotes her life to music with the unswerving support of her eminent actor and monologist husband St Clair Bayfield. Delighted to provide support for other musicians, she is finally inspired by a Lili Pons recital to revive her own singing career, despite having very little talent in that regard.

THU 01:20 Steam Days (p011w7y8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

THU 01:50 The Wonder of Animals (b04lcyzw)

Bats have colonised remote corners of the planet to become one of most widespread mammals on earth. Chris Packham explores their incredible anatomy, physiology and senses to understand what enables them to thrive in some surprising places.

Tiny hairs on their wings give them a detailed air-flow map during flight, heat sensors on the nose of vampire bats means they can sense the most blood-rich areas of a prey's body and iron oxide particles in the bat brain may act as a compass allowing them to find the most direct route back to the roost.

THU 02:20 Horizon (m000hjpw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]


FRI 19:00 Sounds of the Seventies (b08q7byy)

Gladys Knight, Bill Withers and Aretha Franklin

Three more portions of 70s soul from the BBC archives. Gladys Knight and the Pips perform Help Me Make It Through the Night, Bill Withers sings Ain't No Sunshine and Aretha Franklin sings Don't Play That Song.

FRI 19:15 World Athletics Championships (m00196dq)
Oregon 2022

Day 1 - Part 2

Coverage of the action on day one of the 2022 World Athletics Championships from Oregon, USA.

FRI 21:00 One Foot in the Grave (b007bbp5)
Series 4

The Pit and the Pendulum

Sitcom about grumpy senior citizen Victor Meldrew. Patrick's cherry tree launches an attack on Victor's junipers, which prompts Victor to seek professional help. Victor's interest in tropical fish arouses the interest of the local Greenpeace branch.

FRI 21:30 The Vicar of Dibley (b009xbyb)
Series 1

Community Spirit

Vicar Geraldine hopes to better the previous year's takings for the Autumn Fayre by finding a huge star to open it. Can Alice's famous cousin help them hit their target?

FRI 22:00 Top of the Pops (m00196dt)
Tony Dortie presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 25 March 1993 and featuring Sybil, The Bluebells, Shabba Ranks, Jade, Robin S., Cliff Richard, Lulu and Bobby Womack, and Shaggy.

FRI 22:30 Glen Campbell: The Rhinestone Cowboy (b01pwxs8)
In 2011, Glen Campbell announced he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and that he would be bowing out with a final album and farewell tour across Britain and America. This documentary tells Campbell's remarkable life story, from impoverished childhood in Arkansas to huge success, first as a guitarist and then as a singer, with great records like Wichita Lineman and Rhinestone Cowboy. With comments from friends and colleagues, including songwriter Jimmy Webb and Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees, it is a moving story of success, disgrace and redemption as rich as any of the storylines in Campbell's most famous songs.

The peak of Glen Campbell's career was in 1975, when he topped the charts around the world with Rhinestone Cowboy, but his musical journey to that point is fascinating. A self-taught teenage prodigy on the guitar, by his mid-twenties Campbell was one of the top session guitarists in LA, a key member of the band of session players now known as The Wrecking Crew. He played on hundreds of tracks while working for producers like Phil Spector and Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, including Daydream Believer by The Monkees, You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling by The Righteous Brothers, Strangers in the Night by Frank Sinatra and Viva Las Vegas by Elvis Presley.

But Campbell always wanted to make it under his own name. A string of records failed to chart until, in 1967, he finally found his distinctive country pop sound with hits like Gentle on My Mind and By the Time I Get to Phoenix. The latter was written by Jimmy Webb, and together the two created a string of great records like Wichita Lineman and Galveston. Campbell pioneered country crossover and opened the way for artists like Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.

By the end of the 1960s, Campbell was the fastest rising star in American pop with his own television show and a starring role in the original version of True Grit. Over the following ten years, he had more success with Rhinestone Cowboy and Southern Nights, but his private life was in turmoil. Divorce, drink and drugs saw this clean-cut all-American hero fall from grace and a tempestuous relationship with country star Tanya Tucker was front-page news.

Despite a relapse in 2003, when he was arrested for drunk driving and his police mug shot was shown around the world, the last two decades have been more settled. He remarried, started a new family and renewed his Christian faith, and was musically rediscovered by a new generation. Like his friend Johnny Cash, he released acclaimed new albums with young musicians, covering songs by contemporary artists like U2 and The Foo Fighters. Therefore the diagnosis with Alzheimer's was all the more poignant, but his dignified farewell has made him the public face of the disease in the USA.

The film includes contributions by many of Campbell's friends and colleagues, including his family in Arkansas, fellow session musicians Carol Kaye and Leon Russell, long-time friend and collaborator Jimmy Webb, former Monkee Mickey Dolenz, broadcaster Bob Harris, lyricist Don Black and country music writer Robert Oermann.

FRI 23:30 An Evening with Glen Campbell (b01pyfht)
A special concert recorded at the Royal Festival Hall in 1977, where 80 musicians played new arrangements of Glen Campbell's hit songs.

FRI 00:50 Exotic Pop at the BBC (b013g87m)
Compilation of international hits from the BBC archives that paint exotic musical portraits of far away countries or instantly conjure up memories of holidays abroad. This smorgasbord of foreign pop delights includes performances by Demis Roussos, Vanessa Paradis, Gheorghe Zamfir and Sylvia, amongst many others.

FRI 01:50 Top of the Pops (m00196dt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

FRI 02:20 Glen Campbell: The Rhinestone Cowboy (b01pwxs8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]

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

A History of Art in Three Colours 23:35 SUN (b01lcz2s)

A Very British History 23:00 TUE (m000f3xf)

An Evening with Glen Campbell 23:30 FRI (b01pyfht)

Atlantic: The Wildest Ocean on Earth 20:00 MON (p02wnh9k)

Atlantic: The Wildest Ocean on Earth 02:30 MON (p02wnh9k)

Boys from the Blackstuff 22:00 WED (b00vff5g)

Boys from the Blackstuff 23:10 WED (b00vjm2x)

Building Britain's Biggest Nuclear Power Station 02:20 SAT (m000ww0l)

Charles I: Killing a King 22:00 TUE (m000cdzd)

Chemistry: A Volatile History 23:30 MON (b00qjnqc)

Climbing Blind 00:00 TUE (m000jb7t)

Ever Decreasing Circles 23:30 SAT (b036d6fg)

Ever Decreasing Circles 20:30 TUE (b036d6fw)

Exotic Pop at the BBC 00:50 FRI (b013g87m)

Florence Foster Jenkins 23:35 THU (b084zbf0)

Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage 22:30 SAT (b00d06bk)

Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage 23:00 SAT (b00d06g4)

Genius of the Ancient World 19:00 SAT (b064jf28)

Glen Campbell: The Rhinestone Cowboy 22:30 FRI (b01pwxs8)

Glen Campbell: The Rhinestone Cowboy 02:20 FRI (b01pwxs8)

Great British Photography Challenge 21:00 WED (m000wfcw)

Great British Photography Challenge 02:50 WED (m000wfcw)

Hollywood's Brightest Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story 19:30 THU (b09jhrlt)

Horizon 21:00 MON (m000hjpw)

Horizon 22:30 MON (b06b9tnx)

Horizon 02:20 THU (m000hjpw)

Joanna Lumley in the Land of the Northern Lights 19:00 WED (b00dhv1n)

Joanna Lumley in the Land of the Northern Lights 00:50 WED (b00dhv1n)

Keeping Up Appearances 01:50 SAT (b007brqz)

Keeping Up Appearances 20:00 TUE (b007bb1t)

Life of a Mountain 19:00 MON (b04y4gd7)

Life of a Mountain 01:30 MON (b04y4gd7)

Life of a Mountain 19:00 TUE (b08f1cc0)

Life of a Mountain 01:00 TUE (b08f1cc0)

Michael Clark's to a simple, rock 'n' roll... song 20:00 SUN (b0b2m5g8)

Michael Clark's to a simple, rock 'n' roll... song 00:35 SUN (b0b2m5g8)

One Foot in the Grave 21:00 FRI (b007bbp5)

Our Classical Century 19:00 SUN (m0005wrw)

Paula Rego: Secrets and Stories 21:00 SUN (b08kz9qz)

Rise of the Continents 20:00 WED (p019bctl)

Rise of the Continents 01:50 WED (p019bctl)

Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane 00:00 SAT (b01rrxkl)

Royal History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley 21:00 TUE (m000pjt8)

Royal History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley 02:30 TUE (m000pjt8)

Simon King's Shetland Adventure 20:00 SAT (b00qnw1f)

Simon King's Shetland Adventure 01:30 SUN (b00qnw1f)

Sounds of the Seventies 19:00 FRI (b08q7byy)

Steam Days 19:00 THU (p011w7y8)

Steam Days 01:20 THU (p011w7y8)

Talking Pictures 23:05 THU (m001778f)

The Golden Age of Steam Railways 02:30 SUN (b01pdsy6)

The Sky at Night 22:00 MON (m001968z)

The Sky at Night 00:20 WED (m001968z)

The Vicar of Dibley 21:30 FRI (b009xbyb)

The Wonder of Animals 00:30 MON (b04j8ttk)

The Wonder of Animals 01:00 MON (b04jy2rz)

The Wonder of Animals 02:00 TUE (b04kzvxq)

The Wonder of Animals 01:50 THU (b04lcyzw)

Thelma and Louise 21:00 THU (m00196f6)

Top of the Pops 22:00 FRI (m00196dt)

Top of the Pops 01:50 FRI (m00196dt)

Trom 21:00 SAT (p0cffgmg)

Trom 21:45 SAT (p0cffn9x)

World Athletics Championships 19:15 FRI (m00196dq)

imagine... 22:30 SUN (b07lswsg)