RADIO-LISTS: BBC FOUR
Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by bbc.co.uk/programmes/
SATURDAY 13 AUGUST 2022
SAT 19:00 Genius of the Ancient World (b066d0v5)
In the final episode, Bettany travels to China on the trail of Confucius, a great sage of Chinese history whose ideas have fundamentally shaped the country of his birth for around 2,500 years.
SAT 20:00 Simon King's Shetland Adventure (b00qykcf)
Simon King, wildlife cameraman and Springwatch presenter, is fulfilling a boyhood dream and experiencing the Shetland Islands with his family through the changing seasons.
Simon is enjoying the islands at their best, with 19 hours of glorious sunlight, the remarkable 'simmer dim' - the Shetland term for the midnight gloaming - and a plethora of wildlife.
His expensive high-speed camera breaks, but with a little help from the locals, he manages to get it repaired and uses it to capture some wonderful footage of powerful gannets diving for fish.
He also follows an otter family's poignant separation as the one-year-old cub is pushed away by his mother to lead an independent life.
Shetland has more than lived up to Simon's expectations for wilderness and given his family an experience they will never forget. The visit ends with a sighting of a pod of killer whales, just metres away from where he is standing. A suitable end to a great trip.
SAT 21:00 Who You Think I Am (m001b6l9)
To spy on her lover Ludo, 50-year-old Claire Millaud creates a fake profile on social media and becomes Clara, a beautiful 24-year-old. Alex, Ludo’s friend, is instantly enamoured. Claire, trapped by her avatar, falls madly in love with him. Although everything is played out in the virtual world, the feelings that blossom are quite real.
In French with English subtitles.
SAT 22:35 Clive James (m000fj94)
Postcard from Paris
Clive James returns to Paris, the city calls his spiritual home. As a young man he wondered how to meet the women of Paris. This time he does, including writers, models and actresses.
SAT 23:25 Timeshift (b08dwxhn)
Flights of Fancy: Pigeons and the British
Timeshift ventures inside places of sporting achievement, scientific endeavour and male obsession - the lofts of pigeon fanciers - to tell the story of a remarkable bird. As racer, messenger and even beauty pageant contestant, the humble pigeon has been a steadfast part of British life for centuries.
Pigeons have served in two world wars, flown over oceans and crossed barriers of age, class and race to take their place as man's best feathered friend. Meanwhile, pigeon fanciers have contrived to make them faster and more eye-catching, using backyard genetics to breed the perfect bird.
Popular affection for pigeons has nosedived in recent decades due to a growing distaste at what they leave behind, and legislation has seen them chased out of public spaces. But as this programme shows, dedicated British pigeon fanciers are determined to keep their pastime alive. So what does the future hold for the 21st-century pigeon?
SAT 00:25 Ever Decreasing Circles (b036d6m1)
Sitcom about domestic disharmony in suburbia. Martin hopes to win the local snooker tournament, but is angry when it turns out Paul has a talent for the game as well.
SAT 00:55 Keeping Up Appearances (b007ckrt)
Suburban sitcom. Hyacinth suddenly has a lot on her hands - attending the mayor's fancy dress ball and getting to know an important new neighbour.
SAT 01:25 The Cruise (m000xp05)
Le Grand Buffet
Classic docusoap with Jane McDonald. Sean the juggler confronts 300 born-again Christians, Jane has a crisis on stage when half the audience walk out, and the galley serves up a sumptuous buffet.
SAT 01:55 Genius of the Ancient World (b066d0v5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
SAT 02:55 Simon King's Shetland Adventure (b00qykcf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
SUNDAY 14 AUGUST 2022
SUN 19:00 Eisteddfod (m001b6mq)
Eisteddfod 2022 with Huw Stephens: Part 3
One of the biggest festivals in Europe returns after a three-year absence to celebrate the best of Welsh culture – a natural showcase for music, dance, visual arts, literature, original performances and much more.
Huw Stephens heads to the historical market town of Tregaron to bring all the best performances from the different stages at this diverse festival, from soloists to choirs, folk bands, brass bands, rock bands, classy pop performances and classical music.
SUN 20:00 BBC Proms (m001b6ms)
Elgar’s Cello Concerto
Eva Ollikainen conducts the BBC Philharmonic in a Prom featuring three composers and three unique responses to the landscapes surrounding them.
Elgar’s much-loved Cello Concerto, rising from the autumnal woodlands of Sussex and performed by soloist Kian Soltani, sits alongside Sibelius’s mighty Second Symphony – a musical national awakening in the composer’s homeland of Finland.
A world premiere opens the concert, a brand new commission from Anna Thorvaldsdottir. Titled Archora, its craggy, elemental soundscape is reminiscent of her native Iceland.
Presenter Petroc Trelawny is joined by special guests.
SUN 22:00 Monitor (b007mw90)
Ken Russell's classic 1962 biography of English composer Edward Elgar, which uses actors to reconstruct events in Elgar's life. Made for the hundredth edition of pioneering BBC documentary series Monitor.
SUN 22:55 10 Best Elgar (m001b6mv)
From 2007, a line-up of star performers celebrate the very best of Edward Elgar's music in the 150th anniversary year of his birth.
SUN 23:55 The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand (m0001jgs)
In this first episode of a three-part series, presenter and musician Neil Brand argues that the movie musical was the most important form of cinema from the advent of the age of sound. Beginning with the very first film musical, 1929’s Broadway Melody, Brand looks at the huge and lasting impact of the musical and, in his trademark analysis of songs at the piano, takes us through some of the most important numbers in this first golden age.
The remarkable success of Broadway Melody winning one of the first ever Academy Awards meant that film studios were eager to cash in on the possibilities of musical film. But, as Brand reveals, this was not always to guaranteed success. He shows how the first big-budget, all-colour musical, 1930’s King of Jazz, failed to capture the box office. He discusses how its lack of actual African American jazz musicians was one of its problems, by looking at the first dedicated African American musical - King Vidor’s Hallelujah. With the help of a gospel choir from the Mother AME Zion Church in New York, he examines how much Hallelujah actually reflected life in the Deep South in 1920s America.
Continuing the theme, Brand goes on to explain how the Great Depression in 1930s US actually inspired some of the most progressive and memorable examples of the first golden age of movie musicals: MGM’s 42nd Street and Gold Diggers of 1933. These were remarkably socially aware films, and as Neil demonstrates, songs such as We’re in the Money and Remember My Forgotten Man were both beautifully tuneful and lyrically poignant.
In an unexpected turn, the programme shifts focus to the USSR, where a little-known story of musical film is uncovered. From the early 1930s, Joseph Stalin actually commissioned a series of film musicals to promote the ideology of the Soviet Union. Beginning with the slapstick of 1934’s The Jolly Fellows, two years later came Circus, one of the most extraordinary musical films in Russian history. A tale of an exiled American woman with a mixed-race child, Circus was a remarkable piece of propaganda promoting the Soviet Union as a country of racial inclusion, exactly as Stalin began his 'great purge' - to silence any dissenters from his communist plan.
Back in Hollywood, the musical was surging forward with a whole new level of song and dance movie star; most significantly, the incredible partnership of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers. Brand visits the Royal Ballet in London, where principal dancer Steven McRae dances and analyses one of Astaire’s most jaw-dropping numbers, No Strings. Neil also guides us through the music of Top Hat’s iconic song Cheek to Cheek.
Finally, we explore how the introduction of fantasy and fairy tale invigorated the movie musical in the latter years of the 1930s. Walt Disney’s Snow White was a gamble that took three years to make but became one of the highest grossing films of all time, followed by MGM’s unforgettable The Wizard of Oz, released to cinemas a mere two weeks before the outbreak of the Second World War.
SUN 00:55 The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand (m0001kz4)
In the second episode of the series, Neil Brand looks at how the movie musical entered a second golden age in the aftermath of World War II.
He starts by examining one of the most striking films of that era: 1942’s Die Grosse Liebe. This was made at the height of the conflict, and was a Hollywood-style musical with a distinctly German propaganda bent. Starring Hitler’s favourite chanteuse, Zarah Leander, it sent a patriotic and pro-war message through its songs, and became the highest-grossing film ever in the time of the Third Reich.
Once war had ceased, the American musical once again began to thrive with a colour (literally) and exuberance more pronounced than before. Central to its success, Brand argues, was the emergence of Gene Kelly as the superstar of this new age of Hollywood. Talking with Kelly’s widow, Patricia Ward Kelly, he looks at how this star brought the musical film into the streets of America, most famously with Singin' in the Rain, long believed to be one of the greatest films ever made in any genre.
While musicals lit up the idea of the American Dream, they were also a crucial part of national identity in other countries. In newly independent India, the musical became both a popular form and also a tool for reinforcing cultural identity. Brand takes an in-depth look at two of the most significant movies of this period: Guru Dutt’s Pyassa, and Mother India, long held as perhaps the most defining work of post-war Hindi film.
But it wasn’t just in India that the musical had taken hold of, and reinvigorated, what films could achieve. In China, the Shaw Brothers studios had leapt on the idea of music being a box office draw, and with two remarkable films, The Love Eterne and Hong Kong Nocturne - the latter a remarkable ‘swinging 60s’ romp - taken the country’s cinema to a whole new, Hollywood-inspired level.
Hollywood itself had been forced to adapt to keep up with the times. Rock and roll was seen as the future of musicals, first with simple B movies like Rock around the Clock, but later with the more sophisticated MGM movies of Elvis Presley, most notably Jailhouse Rock. And the rock musical kick started a renaissance in British film too, as Cliff Richard and The Shadows took to the screen in blockbusters such as The Young Ones and Summer Holiday. Neil meets Shadows guitarist Bruce Welch to get the insider story of how these Brit flicks became huge successes.
As the 1960s motored on, the movie musical hit both a boom and a bust. In France, Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg was a brilliant New Wave reimagining of the musical form as a kind of working-class operetta. Meanwhile, in Hollywood, Robert Wise’s The Sound of Music became a pinnacle of the form, catapulting Julie Andrews to superstardom and becoming one of the most profitable films of all time.
On the other hand, a series of big budget flops suggested the musical had run its course in the world of film. Who could forget Clint Eastwood warbling tunelessly through Paint Your Wagon? What would the future of the Hollywood musical be, if it had one?
The answer was a genius to rival Gene Kelly as a movie musical titan, choreographer-turned-director Bob Fosse. Dropping in on a dance class in New York where Fosse’s highly unique style is still being taught today, Neil Brand shows how with Sweet Charity and Cabaret, Fosse totally revived the fortunes of the musical film.
SUN 01:55 Eisteddfod (m001b6mq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
SUN 02:55 Monitor (b007mw90)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today
MONDAY 15 AUGUST 2022
MON 19:00 Monkman & Seagull’s Genius Adventures (m000jjnx)
University Challenge legends Eric Monkman and Bobby Seagull travel through time, exploring their favourite British scientific breakthroughs from across the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian era - a period when scientific progress changed the world.
In episode two, their genius adventure continues through the first half of the 19th century, as the duo seek out the birthplaces of the inventions that fuelled Britain’s industrial infrastructure.
First stop is The Royal Institution in London in 1815, where Monkman and Seagull uncover a simple invention that saved the lives of thousands of coal miners - the Davy lamp. They then pay a visit to 1821 and the preserved laboratory of Michael Faraday, another of their scientific heroes, whose research on electricity paved the way for its application as a ubiquitous energy supply.
Travelling north, they visit Stoke-on-Trent in 1824 to investigate a building material they believe is one of the unsung heroes of the Industrial Revolution – cement.
Next, they visit the small town of Rainhill between Liverpool and Manchester to join the celebrations for the 190th anniversary of the Stephenson’s Rocket locomotive winning the 1829 Rainhill time trials – a competition that paved the way for Britain’s modern railway network.
As the century progresses, Monkman and Seagull challenge each other to a bicycle race, in homage to this 19th-century revolutionary invention that transformed personal transport, as well as nationwide social patterns.
Their next stop is to get their hands on a model of Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine No 2 – conceived by the mathematical mastermind as the first steam-powered calculator. Monkman and Seagull challenge themselves to compete against this ingenious machine in a mathematical race against the clock. Finally, they travel to Bristol in 1843 and explore the SS Great Britain – a steamship that propelled overseas travel and commerce.
MON 20:00 Treasures of the Indus (b06bblwb)
Of Gods and Men
In a journey across the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Sona Datta traces the development of the Hindu religion from its origins as an amalgamation of local faith traditions to its dominant position today. She uncovers this fascinating tale by looking at the buildings in which the faith evolved, moving from the caves and rock temples on the shores of the Bay of Bengal at Mahabalipurem, through the monolithic stone temple at Tanjavur to the vast complex of ornately carved towers, tanks and courtyards at Madurai, where every evening the god Shiva processes around the precincts to visit the bedchamber of his partner Parvati.
MON 21:00 Dangerous Borders: A Journey across India and Pakistan (b092q9qx)
Journalists Adnan Sarwar and Babita Sharma are on the second part of their epic journey taking them both through the province of Punjab, along the volatile border that divides India and Pakistan. This lush, densely populated region was split in two at Partition and nowhere is the division more keenly felt.
Adnan begins at the Quaid-E-Azam Solar Park, a hugely impressive solar farm covering 6,500 acres and part of a massive £35 billion investment programme in Pakistan by the Chinese. Whilst this is going to go some way to solving the country's power shortage, it risks upsetting Pakistan's neighbours, who have a fractious relationship with China. Babita first visits the city of Chandigarh, which became the new capital of Indian Punjab at Partition. Designed by the pre-eminent modernist architect Le Corbusier, this was the vision of what the Indian government wanted the new state to become - modern and progressive - but the ambitions don't seem to have stood the test of time. A local resident, graffiti artist Sarwan, shares his bleak view of the continuing animosity between India and Pakistan.
A hundred and fifty miles away across the border in Lahore, Adnan meets a couple who, in 1947, spent over two months walking from India to the safety of Muslim-dominated Pakistan. Adnan hears of the unimaginable acts of brutality that they witnessed on the journey - it is the first time he has ever heard this first-hand and it has a hugely powerful emotional impact. He goes on to meet local rock star Salman Ahmad, whose songs have become political anthems, criticizing the endemic political corruption.
MON 22:00 The Sky at Night (m001b6m6)
The James Webb Road Trip
On 12 July 2022, the Sky at Night joined the rest of the world to watch as the James Webb Space Telescope released its long-awaited first images. And it didn’t disappoint. Stars and galaxies were revealed in such detail that they blew even the most experienced astronomers away. However, as spectacular as these images were, it was the data that they represented that really excited the scientists watching.
Chris Lintott travels around the country, meeting some of the scientists getting their hands on the very first batches of data coming from the JWST. His first stop is Professor Andy Bunker at the University of Oxford, who is pushing the world’s newest space telescope to its limits to look for some of the first stars and galaxies formed after the Big Bang.
Chris also meets Dr Mikako Matsuura of Cardiff University. She is studying the gas structures that dying stars exude as they reach the end of their lives. Mikako explains how the incredible infrared capabilities of the JWST allow her to probe the discs of dust and gas around nebulae and reveal the surprising conditions that form them.
Chris then heads on to the University of Bristol to visit Dr Hannah Wakeford, who is incredibly excited by her data, which is revealing previously unknown secrets from the atmospheres of exoplanets orbiting far-flung stars. Hannah’s method of studying exoplanets uses the JWST to measure the light from a target star as an exoplanet ‘transits’ in front of it, briefly and almost imperceptibly dimming it. It is these incredibly precise measurements, only made possible by the sensitivity of this new supertelescope, that she hopes will change what we know about the atmospheric composition of these distant worlds.
Finally, Chris visits Professor Leigh Fletcher at the University of Leicester. Leigh is using the space telescope to look a little closer to home and shows Chris the latest images of Jupiter revealed in a whole new light by the JWST’s infrared data. He explains to Chris the difficulties of capturing large bright objects in the telescope’s small field of view, and what his plans are for studying our solar system’s gas giants.
Meanwhile, Maggie Aderin-Pocock gives a JWST masterclass in the studio. Why is this telescope so revolutionary, and how exactly does it work? She looks at why the JWST is observing light from the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and also why scientists chose to place the telescope in a location so far from Earth that we could not fix it if something went wrong. Maggie also explores the instruments that call the telescope home and takes a closer look at some of the tricks they have up their sleeves.
MON 22:30 Einstein's Quantum Riddle (m000db95)
Einstein’s Quantum Riddle tells the remarkable story of perhaps the strangest phenomenon in science – quantum entanglement. It’s a story of mind-bending concepts and brilliant experiments, which lead us to a profound new understanding of reality.
At the start of the 20th century Albert Einstein helped usher in quantum mechanics - a revolutionary description of the behaviour of tiny particles. But he soon became uncomfortable with the counterintuitive ideas at the heart of the theory. He hunted for flaws in the equations and eventually discovered that they predicted a seemingly impossible situation.
Quantum theory suggested you could have two particles, which had interacted in the past, and even if you separated them by millions of miles they would somehow act in unison. If you measured one, forcing it to take on one of many properties, the other would instantly take on a corresponding property. Like rolling two dice, millions of miles apart, and as you look at one to see what number it landed on, the other instantly shows the same number. This bizarre prediction of magically connected particles became known as quantum entanglement. Einstein felt it couldn’t possibly be real – it seemed to break the rules of space and time. In 1935, with two of his colleagues, he published a paper that argued that this bizarre phenomenon implied the equations of quantum theory must be incomplete.
No-one could think of a way to test whether Einstein was right, until in 1964, John Bell, a physicist form Northern Ireland, published an astonishing paper. He’d found a key difference between Einstein’s ideas and those of quantum theory. It all boiled down to entanglement. As Professor David Kaiser puts it: ‘We now know this was one of the most significant articles in the history of physics. Not just the history of 20th-century physics; in the history of the field as a whole.’ In 1972 John Clauser and Stuart Freedman built an experiment based on John Bell’s work and found the first experimental evidence to suggest that quantum entanglement really is a part of the natural world.
Today, a technological revolution is under way, with labs around the world harnessing entanglement to create powerful new technologies such as quantum computers. At Google’s quantum computing lab in Santa Barbara, researcher Marissa Giustina describes their latest quantum-processing chip. And in Shanghai, at the University of Science and Technology, Professor Jian-Wei Pan explains that his team is working to send entangled particles from a satellite to a ground station to create totally secure communication links – a major step towards the creation of an unhackable ‘quantum internet’ of the future based on quantum entanglement.
Yet despite this progress, questions still remain about our experimental proof of entanglement. There are possible loopholes that could mean that entanglement may be an illusion and that Einstein was right all along. At the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in the Canary Islands, Professor Anton Zeilinger’s team is attempting a remarkable experiment to rule out the most challenging loophole. Their experiment uses two of Europe’s largest telescopes to collect light from two quasars, billions of light years away, to control intricate measurements of tiny quantum particles and put quantum entanglement to the ultimate test.
MON 23:30 Horizon (b05527mp)
Secrets of the Solar System
New planets are now being discovered outside our solar system on a regular basis, and these strange new worlds are forcing scientists to rewrite the history of our own solar system. Far from a simple story of stable orbits, the creation of our solar system is a tale of hellfire, chaos and planetary pinball.
It's a miracle our Earth is here at all.
MON 00:30 Monkman & Seagull’s Genius Adventures (m000jjnx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
MON 01:30 The Cruise (m000xqph)
Teach Me Tonight
Romance is in the air when Laura marries Gary in the ship's disco. It's Jane's last chance to get the standing ovation she's been dreaming of, and Jack the dancer has a plan to help her.
MON 02:00 Treasures of the Indus (b06bblwb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
MON 03:00 Dangerous Borders: A Journey across India and Pakistan (b092q9qx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
TUESDAY 16 AUGUST 2022
TUE 19:00 Monkman & Seagull’s Genius Adventures (m000jr70)
University Challenge legends Eric Monkman and Bobby Seagull travel through time, exploring their favourite British scientific breakthroughs from across the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian era.
The final instalment sees the duo visit the birthplaces of their favourite inventions between 1850 and 1900, the height of the Victorian era, when British progress began to impact our everyday lives.
They begin in 1858, with a visit to Crossness Pumping Station – part of the first sanitation system ever built for London which revolutionised public health. They then retrace the footsteps of Charles Darwin at London Zoo in 1859, where they get their hands on a first edition of Darwin’s masterwork On the Origin of Species – a book that broadened understanding of human existence.
Afterwards, the duo visit a dinosaur park in Crystal Palace – home to the first prehistoric statues ever seen and the first public park dedicated to science.
Next is a stop-off at a Victorian fern forest in Devon, where Monkman and Seagull partake in the Victorian hobby of fern-hunting, a pastime taken up by Victorians who had newly afforded leisure time. They travel to a remote beach in Cornwall in 1870 for the story of Britain’s first successful undersea telegraph line, connecting Britain to India. They demonstrate this momentous breakthrough in rapid communication by sending messages to each other using Morse code.
At London’s Savoy Theatre, the pair visit 1881 and the first public building in the world to be lit entirely by electricity. Here, they demonstrate the world-transforming invention of the lightbulb by connecting a pencil lead, a battery and a glass jar.
Finally, Monkman and Seagull visit Cambridge to hold a modest glass tube from 1897 that was in fact responsible for the discovery of the electron - a breakthrough that paved the way for modern-day electronics.
TUE 20:00 Keeping Up Appearances (b007cky1)
Hyacinth is in a sunny disposition, which mystifies Richard. The real horror of his situation dawns on him when he realises that he has forgotten their anniversary and that Hyacinth is beaming in anticipation of a gift which he has not bought her.
TUE 20:30 Ever Decreasing Circles (b036d6mf)
Ann is tired of being a housewife and decides it's time for a change. But will Martin approve of her plans?
TUE 21:00 India's Partition: The Forgotten Story (p0595jtw)
In this documentary, British film-maker Gurinder Chadha, director of Bend It Like Beckham and Viceroy's House, travels from Southall to Delhi to find out about the Partition of India - one of the most seismic events of the 20th century. Partition saw India divided into two new nations - independent India and Pakistan. The split led to violence, disruption and death.
To find out why and how it happened, Gurinder crosses India, meeting people whose lives were torn apart by Partition and talking to historians who explain the motivations behind the split. Along the way, she discovers that Partition was caused by politicians who were more interested in their own power than in Indian unity, and finds out that the British also played a major role in the Partition.
TUE 22:00 imagine... (b08h542v)
Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise
Documentary portrait of the trailblazing activist, poet and writer Maya Angelou. Born in 1928, she enthused generations with her bold and inspirational championing of the African American experience that pushed boundaries and redefined the way people think about race and culture.
Maya Angelou was captured on film just before she died in 2014, and this documentary celebrates her life and work, weaving her words with rare and intimate archival photographs and videos. It reveals hidden episodes of her exuberant life during some of America's defining moments, from her upbringing in the Depression-era south to her work with Malcolm X in Ghana and her inaugural speech for President Bill Clinton, the film takes us on an incredible journey through the life of a true American icon.
Contributors include Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Hillary Clinton and Maya Angelou's son Guy Johnson.
TUE 23:35 Angelou on Burns (m0013vcs)
African American writer and poet Maya Angelou goes on a pilgrimage to Burns Country in Scotland.
She is welcomed to Ayrshire by a group of Burnsians who hold a party in her honour to celebrate Rabbie Burns's genius. They sing his songs and read his poems, while Angelou, in return, performs one of her own works.
Originally broadcast to commemorate the bicentenary of Burns's death in 1996, it is an evening where a shared passion for the Scottish bard creates a unique atmosphere.
TUE 00:20 Face to Face (p00lfshf)
Face to Face: Maya Angelou
Jeremy Isaacs asks American writer Maya Angelou about her life, writing and hopes for the future. What unfolds is a frank and sometimes shocking account of her journey to becoming an established author.
TUE 01:00 Monkman & Seagull’s Genius Adventures (m000jr70)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
TUE 02:00 Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life (b00hd5mf)
David Attenborough is a passionate Darwinian, and sees evolution as the cornerstone of all the programmes and series he has ever made. Here, he shares his personal view on Darwin's controversial idea. Taking us on a journey through the last 200 years, he tracks the changes in our understanding of the natural world. Ever since Darwin, major scientific discoveries have helped to underpin and strengthen Darwin's revolutionary idea so that today, the pieces of the puzzle fit together so neatly that there can be little doubt that Darwin was right. As David says: 'Now we can trace the ancestry of all animals in the tree of life and demonstrate the truth of Darwin's basic proposition. All life is related.'
David asks three key questions: how and why did Darwin come up with his theory of evolution? Why do we think he was right? And why is it more important now than ever before?
David starts his journey in Darwin's home at Down House in Kent, where Darwin worried and puzzled over the origins of life. He goes back to his roots in Leicestershire, where he hunted for fossils as a child and where another schoolboy unearthed a significant find in the 1950s, and he revisits Cambridge University, where both he and Darwin studied and where many years later the DNA double helix was discovered, providing the foundations for genetics.
At the end of his journey in the Natural History Museum in London, David concludes that Darwin's great insight revolutionised the way in which we see the world. We now understand why there are so many different species, and why they are distributed in the way they are. But above all, Darwin has shown us that we are not set apart from the natural world and do not have dominion over it. We are subject to its laws and processes, as are all other animals on earth to which, indeed, we are related.
TUE 03:00 India's Partition: The Forgotten Story (p0595jtw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
WEDNESDAY 17 AUGUST 2022
WED 19:00 Cricket: Today at the Test (m001b6nd)
England v South Africa 2022
First Test: Day One Highlights
Highlights of the first day of the first Test between England and South Africa at Lord's.
WED 20:00 South Pacific (b00kmv11)
In the South Pacific there is no such thing as a deserted island. They may be the most isolated in the world, but every one of the region's 20,000 islands has been colonised, from New Guinea - home to birds of paradise and the tribe whose brutal initiation ceremony turns young warriors into 'crocodile' men - to Fiji, French Polynesia and Hawaii.
This is the story of the ultimate castaways - from saltwater crocodiles and giant eels to crested iguanas and weird frogs - who succeeded against all odds to reach islands thousands of miles apart. These journeys are no mean feat. It has been estimated that an average of one species in every 60,000 years makes it to Hawaii. Incredibly, many of these colonisers made it to the islands thanks to some of the most violent forces of nature like cyclones and tsunamis.
The voyages of the South Pacific's first people - the Polynesians - were no less remarkable. These journeys were some of the greatest acts of navigation ever undertaken, and they changed the nature of the South Pacific forever.
WED 21:00 My Family, Partition and Me: India 1947 (b091zjfj)
Anita Rani presents the second episode of a two-part documentary series marking the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India.
Anita begins her own partition journey as she and her mother Lucky become the first members of their family to return to what is now Pakistan since the Partition of India. In the Punjabi village where her Sikh grandfather's first family were slaughtered, Anita meets locals who were eyewitnesses to that terrible event.
Across the border in India, Sameer Butt retraces the epic train journey across the Punjab to Pakistan which his seven-year-old Muslim grandfather Asad and his family took in 1947. Binita Kane explores how her Hindu family managed to escape the violence that engulfed their Bengali village, as well as the perils they faced as refugees.
WED 22:00 Hanif Kureishi Remembers... The Buddha of Suburbia (m001b6nh)
Writer Hanif Kureishi looks back on how his semi-autobiographical novel The Buddha of Suburbia became one of the defining BBC dramas of the 1990s. He discusses the ways in which it set new standards in representing multicultural Britain, the importance that humour plays in pushing forward serious ideas, and what it was like working with his musical hero, after David Bowie unexpectedly suggested that he write the soundtrack.
WED 22:10 The Buddha of Suburbia (m001b6nk)
Episodes 1 and 2
Hanif Kureishi's drama about an Anglo-Indian teen's sexual and political awakening during the mid-1970s.
When Karim's friend Jamila's future husband arrives from Bombay, he seems more interested in finding 221b Baker Street.
WED 00:05 The Sky at Night (m001b6m6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Monday
WED 00:35 Horizon (b05527mp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:30 on Monday
WED 01:35 South Pacific (b00kmv11)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
WED 02:35 My Family, Partition and Me: India 1947 (b091zjfj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
THURSDAY 18 AUGUST 2022
THU 19:00 Cricket: Today at the Test (m001b6nt)
England v South Africa 2022
First Test: Day Two Highlights
Highlights of the second day of the first Test between England and South Africa at Lord's.
THU 20:00 The Culture Show (m0012jfq)
Spielberg at 60
A special edition of The Culture Show that looks at the life and career of Stephen Spielberg, one of the most famous and commercially successful film directors in the world. Marking the occasion of his sixtieth birthday, Spielberg discusses the full range of his work, from Oscar-winning hits to occasional flops, and reveals his own favourite from the films he's made.
With contributions from many who've worked with him, including George Lucas, Sean Connery and Harrison Ford.
THU 21:00 Empire of the Sun (m000slr3)
December 1941. Eleven-year-old Jim Graham lives with his family in Shanghai's International Settlement. When the Imperial Japanese army marches into the city, their life of privileged splendour is shattered forever, and the family must flee for their lives. But in the turmoil of thousands of refugees, Jim is separated from his parents.
THU 23:25 Face to Face (m001b6ny)
Steven Spielberg, one of the most successful film directors of all time, talks about his career with Jeremy Isaacs.
THU 00:05 Lost Films of WWII (m000856x)
The story of Britain during the Second World War, retold from a uniquely vivid and personal perspective using rarely seen home movies. Rediscovered and shown together for the first time, old cine films are interwoven with testimony from both members of the film-makers’ families and those who lived through the war to give a first-hand account of life during conflict.
From footage shot by a Middlesborough dentist, who witnessed the rise of Nazism on a family holiday to the continent in 1939, to the images of the evacuation of Dunkirk secretly recorded by a young naval officer, the films show momentous events through the eyes of the ordinary people caught up in them.
In the first episode, the progress of the first half of the war is told through a series of films that include fascinating footage of the Home Guard in training in the village of Thornton in Yorkshire, moving images and accounts of the devastation of Sheffield during the Blitz, and the astonishing moment a doctor in Kent turned his camera skywards to film the Battle of Britain from his garden.
The toll the war took on servicemen is revealed through poignant depictions of the RAF’s Coastal Command 502 Squadron’s participation in the Battle for the Atlantic. Meanwhile, images of the home front adapting to war as civilians recorded their changing life at home and at work are a striking reminder of Britain in a different era. With much of the footage in colour, the past leaps to life with immediacy and reveals how world events impacted on the individual.
THU 01:05 Einstein's Quantum Riddle (m000db95)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 on Monday
THU 02:05 imagine... (b08h542v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Tuesday
FRIDAY 19 AUGUST 2022
FRI 19:00 Cricket: Today at the Test (m001b6nv)
LIST OF THIS WEEK'S PROGRAMMES
England v South Africa 2022
First Test: Day Three Highlights
Highlights of the third day of the first Test between England and South Africa at Lord's.
FRI 20:00 BBC Proms (m001b6nz)
NYO Play Gershwin, Ravel and Elfman
The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain returns to the Royal Albert Hall for its annual appearance at the Proms to perform Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and the concert version of Ravel’s sumptuous ballet Daphnis and Chloe.
One hundred and fifty musicians take to the stage to perform these two 20th-century classics and a brand new commission from legendary Hollywood composer Danny Elfman.
Jess Gillam presents, with special guests Segun Akinola and Isobel Waller-Bridge.
FRI 22:10 Top of the Pops (m001b6p1)
Mark Franklin presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 27 May 1993 and featuring Suede, Stereo MC’s, Tina Turner, Louchie Lou & Michie One, Lenny Kravitz, Tears for Fears, Lisa Stansfield and Ace of Base.
FRI 22:40 Stevie Wonder at the BBC (m0014rw6)
The Motown child prodigy who evolved into a true genius, Stevie Wonder is one of soul music’s all-time legends, a groundbreaking master blaster responsible for some of the best – and best-selling – songs to grace the pop charts.
This collection gathers together some of Stevie’s best BBC moments, from huge hits like I Just Called to Say I Love You and Happy Birthday to fan favourites like He’s Misstra Know-It-All and Love’s in Need of Love Today. Together, these songs underline why Stevie remains one of the music world’s most respected artists and showcase how, even after all these years, this most aptly named star still leaves audiences with a true sense of wonder.
FRI 23:40 A Night of Wonder (m0014rw8)
A studio concert featuring one of the enduring stars of popular music, Stevie Wonder. The show, filmed in 1995, features many of his greatest hits.
FRI 00:45 Stevie Wonder: A Musical History (b0bss4sq)
Well-known fans celebrate Stevie Wonder and his music by selecting some of his best-loved songs. Wonder is one of the dominant figures in American music, a multi-faceted genius whose music has permeated popular culture, and he is not short of celebrity fans. His musical achievements are lauded in this anthology of his greatest hits.
Contributors include actor Martin Freeman, singers Alexander O'Neal, James Morrison, Beverley Knight and Corinne Bailey Rae, New Order's Gillian Gilbert and Stephen Morris, DJs Ana Matronic, Trevor Nelson and Norman Jay, Heaven's 17's Glenn Gregory and Martyn Ware, journalist Sian Pattenden and presenter Emma Dabiri.
FRI 01:45 ... Sings Stevie Wonder (b07jlzkd)
Compilation celebrating over 50 years of covers of Stevie Wonder's classic songbook filmed at BBC studio shows over the years. Featuring Cilla Black, Jimmy Helms, Dionne Warwick, The Osmonds, India Arie, James Morrison and a storming performance of Ed Sheeran with Jools and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra taking on Master Blaster (Jammin') on Hootenanny. Expect a special emphasis on Wonder's bank of classic ballads which include Isn't She Lovely, Love's in Need of Love Today, For Once in My Life, You Are the Sunshine of My Life and many more.
FRI 02:45 Stevie Wonder at the BBC (m0014rw6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:40 today
(Note: the times link back to the details; the pids link to the BBC page, including iPlayer)
... Sings Stevie Wonder 01:45 FRI (b07jlzkd)
10 Best Elgar 22:55 SUN (m001b6mv)
A Night of Wonder 23:40 FRI (m0014rw8)
Angelou on Burns 23:35 TUE (m0013vcs)
BBC Proms 20:00 SUN (m001b6ms)
BBC Proms 20:00 FRI (m001b6nz)
Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life 02:00 TUE (b00hd5mf)
Clive James 22:35 SAT (m000fj94)
Cricket: Today at the Test 19:00 WED (m001b6nd)
Cricket: Today at the Test 19:00 THU (m001b6nt)
Cricket: Today at the Test 19:00 FRI (m001b6nv)
Dangerous Borders: A Journey across India and Pakistan 21:00 MON (b092q9qx)
Dangerous Borders: A Journey across India and Pakistan 03:00 MON (b092q9qx)
Einstein's Quantum Riddle 22:30 MON (m000db95)
Einstein's Quantum Riddle 01:05 THU (m000db95)
Eisteddfod 19:00 SUN (m001b6mq)
Eisteddfod 01:55 SUN (m001b6mq)
Empire of the Sun 21:00 THU (m000slr3)
Ever Decreasing Circles 00:25 SAT (b036d6m1)
Ever Decreasing Circles 20:30 TUE (b036d6mf)
Face to Face 00:20 TUE (p00lfshf)
Face to Face 23:25 THU (m001b6ny)
Genius of the Ancient World 19:00 SAT (b066d0v5)
Genius of the Ancient World 01:55 SAT (b066d0v5)
Hanif Kureishi Remembers... The Buddha of Suburbia 22:00 WED (m001b6nh)
Horizon 23:30 MON (b05527mp)
Horizon 00:35 WED (b05527mp)
India's Partition: The Forgotten Story 21:00 TUE (p0595jtw)
India's Partition: The Forgotten Story 03:00 TUE (p0595jtw)
Keeping Up Appearances 00:55 SAT (b007ckrt)
Keeping Up Appearances 20:00 TUE (b007cky1)
Lost Films of WWII 00:05 THU (m000856x)
Monitor 22:00 SUN (b007mw90)
Monitor 02:55 SUN (b007mw90)
Monkman & Seagull’s Genius Adventures 19:00 MON (m000jjnx)
Monkman & Seagull’s Genius Adventures 00:30 MON (m000jjnx)
Monkman & Seagull’s Genius Adventures 19:00 TUE (m000jr70)
Monkman & Seagull’s Genius Adventures 01:00 TUE (m000jr70)
My Family, Partition and Me: India 1947 21:00 WED (b091zjfj)
My Family, Partition and Me: India 1947 02:35 WED (b091zjfj)
Simon King's Shetland Adventure 20:00 SAT (b00qykcf)
Simon King's Shetland Adventure 02:55 SAT (b00qykcf)
South Pacific 20:00 WED (b00kmv11)
South Pacific 01:35 WED (b00kmv11)
Stevie Wonder at the BBC 22:40 FRI (m0014rw6)
Stevie Wonder at the BBC 02:45 FRI (m0014rw6)
Stevie Wonder: A Musical History 00:45 FRI (b0bss4sq)
The Buddha of Suburbia 22:10 WED (m001b6nk)
The Cruise 01:25 SAT (m000xp05)
The Cruise 01:30 MON (m000xqph)
The Culture Show 20:00 THU (m0012jfq)
The Sky at Night 22:00 MON (m001b6m6)
The Sky at Night 00:05 WED (m001b6m6)
The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand 23:55 SUN (m0001jgs)
The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand 00:55 SUN (m0001kz4)
Timeshift 23:25 SAT (b08dwxhn)
Top of the Pops 22:10 FRI (m001b6p1)
Treasures of the Indus 20:00 MON (b06bblwb)
Treasures of the Indus 02:00 MON (b06bblwb)
Who You Think I Am 21:00 SAT (m001b6l9)
imagine... 22:00 TUE (b08h542v)
imagine... 02:05 THU (b08h542v)