The BBC has announced that it has a sustainable plan for the future of the BBC Singers, in association with The VOCES8 Foundation.
The threat to reduce the staff of the three English orchestras by 20% has not been lifted, but it is being reconsidered.
See the BBC press release here.

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Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by


SAT 19:00 Treasures of Ancient Rome (p00wpvpr)
Warts 'n' All

Alastair Sooke traces how the Romans during the Republic went from being art thieves and copycats to pioneering a new artistic style - warts 'n' all realism. Roman portraits reveal what the great names from history, men like Julius Caesar and Cicero, actually looked like. Modern-day artists demonstrate the ingenious techniques used to create these true to life masterpieces in marble, bronze and paint.

We can step back into the Roman world thanks to their invention of the documentary-style marble relief and to a volcano called Vesuvius. Sooke explores the remarkable artistic legacy of Pompeii before showing how Rome's first emperor, Augustus, used the power of art to help forge an empire.

SAT 20:00 Sicily: The Wonder of the Mediterranean (b08dzx1h)
Series 1

Episode 2

Historian Michael Scott continues his journey through Sicily, tracing the island's story through the arrival of the Muslim Arabs and then the Normans - times in which religious and cultural tolerance was the order of the day. Michael explores the dark days of the Spanish Inquisition and then delves into the modern world - the unification with Italy and the rise of the Mafia.

Today, Sicily faces a new challenge. The island is on the frontline of Europe's migrant crisis but the Sicilian response, formed in part by their own turbulent history, may well surprise many northern Europeans.

SAT 21:00 State of Happiness (p0bqhsp4)
Series 2

The Ugly Face of Greed

The blowout is investigated. It’s the day of Marie’s christening, but Marius has gone missing. Anna’s secret is revealed.

In Norwegian and English with English subtitles.

SAT 21:45 State of Happiness (p0bqhskq)
Series 2

320 Metres Deep

Anna discovers that safety precautions are being abandoned during test dives. C-Max is struggling financially, and Christian learns why.

In Norwegian and English with English subtitles.

SAT 22:30 Art of Scandinavia (b074hh79)
Once Upon a Time in Denmark

In episode two of Andrew Graham-Dixon's epic journey through Scandinavian art and landscape, Denmark emerges from modest beginnings to become one of the greatest powers and arbiters of taste in northern Europe - a story of incredible transformation befitting the homeland of the great fairytale spinner Hans Christian Andersen, creator of The Ugly Duckling and The Emperor's New Clothes.

SAT 23:30 The Silk Road (p03qb25g)
Episode 2

In the second episode of his series tracing the story of the most famous trade route in history, Dr Sam Willis travels west to Central Asia, a part of the Silk Road often overlooked and yet the place of major innovations, big historical characters and a people - the Sogdians - whose role was pivotal to its success.

In the high mountain passes of Tajikistan, Sam meets the last survivors of that race, who once traded from the Mediterranean to the China Sea. In the Uzbek cities of Samarkand and Bukara, he discovers how they were built by armies of captive craftsmen for one of the greatest conquerors the world has ever seen - Timur.

From here, Sam follows the flow of goods back towards the markets of the west, showing how their trading culture sparked cultural, technical and artistic revolutions all along the Silk Road, and goes back to school to learn where modern mathematics and astronomy were born.

SAT 00:30 Ever Decreasing Circles (b036d6mk)
Series 2

The Psychiatrist

Martin and Ann both come to the conclusion that the other needs professional help when they meet a psychiatrist at one of Paul's parties.

SAT 01:00 Keeping Up Appearances (b007bsqf)
Series 5

Episode 4

While walking by an idyllic riverbank with Richard, Hyacinth conceives one of her most ambitious plans: to hold a riverside picnic as graceful as one of her candlelight suppers.

SAT 01:30 Treasures of Ancient Rome (p00wpvpr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SAT 02:30 Sicily: The Wonder of the Mediterranean (b08dzx1h)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SUN 19:00 Sir Simon Rattle at the BBC (m000z2d8)
Since his breakthrough in the 1970s, Sir Simon Rattle has performed alongside the world’s leading orchestras and soloists. This collection focuses attention on some of his finest broadcast moments from the BBC archive.

Renowned for interpreting the work of composers such as Mahler, Stravinsky and Gershwin, the programme also features his work at the BBC Proms as well as his love of contemporary music. It is a compilation that highlights the breadth of a career that to date spans five decades and which shows no signs of slowing.

SUN 20:00 BBC Proms (m001bm7m)

Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO

Sir Simon Rattle makes an emotional appearance at the Proms at the helm of the London Symphony Orchestra.

In a deeply personal programme, Sir Simon and the orchestra perform Mahler’s mighty Second Symphony, ‘Resurrection’ – a musical odyssey on an epic scale – to a sellout crowd at the Royal Albert Hall.

The work has been indelibly linked with Sir Simon since he first rose to prominence as a student conductor when he was just a teenager.

A moving tribute to Sir Harrison Birtwistle, who died earlier this year, opens the concert. His rousing Donum Simoni MMXVIII was a musical gift composed specially for Sir Simon and the London Symphony Orchestra in 2018.

Petroc Trelawny presents.

SUN 21:40 The Satanic Verses: 30 Years On (m0002thf)
The publication of Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses in 1988 sparked a culture war in Britain between those in the Muslim community, who considered the book blasphemous and called for the book to be banned, and those defending it as an expression of freedom of speech.

Protests, which began in the north of England, soon spread across the UK and to the rest of the Islamic world, culminating in February 1989 with Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini issuing a fatwa - a death sentence on the writer.

Now, 30 years on, broadcaster and journalist Mobeen Azhar embarks on a journey, starting in his native Yorkshire where the protest first began, to examine the lasting effect the book has had on the Muslim community and how the events of 1989 continue to have an impact today.

Mobeen hears from a range of people who were affected by the so called 'Rushdie Affair' - from the men who took an early stand against the book and organised the original protests to the writer who wrestled at the time of the book's publication with the complex questions of free speech and her own religious beliefs, and a former member of the National Front who claims that the furore over the book became a recruiting tool for them.

SUN 22:40 The Silk Road (p03qb25g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:30 on Saturday]

SUN 23:40 Wonders of the Solar System (b00rf172)
Original Series

Empire of the Sun

Professor Brian Cox visits some of the most stunning locations on earth to describe how the laws of nature have carved natural wonders across the solar system.

In this first episode Brian explores the powerhouse of them all, the sun. In India he witnesses a total solar eclipse - when the link to the light and heat that sustains us is cut off for a few precious minutes.

But heat and light are not the only power of the sun over the solar system. In Norway, Brian watches the battle between the sun's wind and earth, as the night sky glows with the northern lights.

Beyond earth, the solar wind continues, creating dazzling aurora on other planets. Brian makes contact with Voyager, a probe that has been travelling since its launch 30 years ago. Now 14 billion kilometres away, Voyager has just detected the solar wind is beginning to peter out. But even here we haven't reached the end of the sun's rule.

Brian explains how its greatest power, gravity, reaches out for hundreds of billions of kilometres, where the lightest gravitational touch encircles our solar system in a mysterious cloud of comets.

SUN 00:40 Oceans Apart: Art and the Pacific with James Fox (b0bjj2r6)
Series 1


James Fox tells the story of Australia's indigenous culture, the oldest continuous culture anywhere in the world, and the disaster of its contact with the West.

He traces how Aboriginal peoples were almost destroyed by the impact of European colonization, but held on to their art to survive, to flourish and ultimately, to share their culture with the world.

James Fox begins by exploring the ancient rock art of Arnhem Land, Northern Australia, depicting fish and animals in an 'x-ray' style developed over 8000 years. The arrival of Captain Cook in Botany Bay, he argues, changed everything. Over the following centuries Aboriginal peoples were destroyed or marginalized as the new nation of Australia developed. Yet, in the 20th century, through works such as the watercolour landscapes of Albert Namatjira or the dot painting style of the Western desert, art has enabled Aboriginal people to re-imagine an Australia of their own.

Australia might long have been colonised but now, James Fox argues, Aboriginal people are recolonising it with their imaginations.

SUN 01:40 Sir Simon Rattle at the BBC (m000z2d8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SUN 02:40 The Satanic Verses: 30 Years On (m0002thf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:40 today]


MON 19:00 Cricket: Today at the Test (m001bm8g)
England v South Africa 2022

Second Test: Day Five Highlights

Highlights of the fifth day of the second Test between England and South Africa at Old Trafford.

MON 20:00 Oceans Apart: Art and the Pacific with James Fox (b0bkytn4)
Series 1


Continuing his exploration of the collision of the West and Pacific culture, James Fox explores how, ever since Captain Cook's voyages 250 years ago, the West has created a myth of Polynesia as paradise and, in doing so, destroyed the riches of indigenous culture.

He travels across the Pacific to uncover the sites and masterpieces of pre-contact Polynesian art, from the religious complex Taputapuatea on the island of Raiatea to the feathered 'Ku' heads from Hawaii, testament to the rich and sophisticated societies that once lived there. Yet, when Europeans encountered these cultures, waves of explorers, missionaries and colonisers destroyed what they didn't understand and appropriated what was left.

James Fox shows how, from Captain Cook's time onward, these islands were re-imagined as a paradise with women available to be exploited. It's an idea he traces from the Arcadian landscapes depicted by Cook's on-board artist, William Hodges, through the art of Paul Gauguin and on to the tacky holiday idyll of modern Hawaii. And yet, James Fox finds, some indigenous artists are fighting back, reviving the traditional cultures of Polynesia and using art to protest against the objectification of its women.

MON 21:00 The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story (m0003m04)
Series 1

Episode 2

Documentary series exploring the Yorkshire Ripper investigation. Following the murder of Josephine Whitaker in April 1979, Peter Sutcliffe’s crimes started to make headlines across the country and the investigation became consumed by a series of letters and a tape that claimed to come from the killer himself.

The letters and tape, addressed directly to George Oldfield, West Yorkshire’s chief constable, were sent by a man calling himself Jack the Ripper. Oldfield was so certain that they came from the killer that other suspects were ruled out on the basis of their handwriting or whether they had a north-east accent like the one on the tape. Director Liza Williams discovers that Oldfield’s character and his hunches have a lot to answer for when it comes to the direction of the investigation and what evidence was ruled in or out.

Survivors and relatives of those who were attacked recount how they were not listened to when their descriptions of the attacker did not match the voice on the tape. Liza also speaks to police officers who tell her about other promising lines of inquiry, tracing clues left behind at murder scenes. The ‘Wearside Jack’ tapes, however, took centre stage.

While the police disregarded evidence and focused on the tapes, terror grew and the killer started to become a kind of cult figure, with Yorkshire Ripper chants at football matches and Thin Lizzy’s Killer on the Loose topping the charts. As Liza discovers, this myth-making provoked anger from women and the police’s failure to catch the killer led to a demonstration on the streets of Leeds.

Ending with the arrest of Peter Sutcliffe, the episode reveals how his name was already in multiple police files. He had been interviewed nine times during the course of the investigation. He did not have a Wearside accent like the voice on the tape, but was born and bred in Yorkshire. Had the police arrested him the first time he was questioned in November 1977, seven women’s lives might have been saved.

MON 22:00 World War II: Behind Closed Doors (b00ftb5d)
Episode 3

Joseph Stalin was a tyrant responsible for the death of millions - yet he was also a vital ally of Britain and America during the Second World War.

How was it possible for Churchill and Roosevelt to deal with one tyrant - Stalin - in order to help beat another - Adolf Hitler? That's one of the key questions at the heart of this series.

Using dramatic reconstructions, based on extensive fresh research in Russian and Western archives, and testimony from witnesses of the time, including former Soviet secret policemen who have not spoken before on camera, in order to tell a 'behind closed doors' history. It's a new way of looking at this most vital period, and may change the way people think about the war.

This episode focuses on the secret history of Churchill's first meeting with Stalin in Moscow and the behind-the-scenes actions of Roosevelt's emissary to the Soviet Union.

MON 23:00 World War II: Behind Closed Doors (b00fy4gr)
Episode 4

Joseph Stalin was a tyrant responsible for the death of millions, yet he was also a vital ally of Britain and America during the Second World War.

How was it possible for Churchill and Roosevelt to deal with one tyrant, Joseph Stalin, in order to help beat another, Adolf Hitler? That's one of the key questions at the heart of this new six part landmark history series.

The series uses dramatic reconstructions, based on extensive fresh research in Russian and Western archives, and extraordinary testimony from witnesses of the time, including former Soviet secret policemen who have not spoken before on camera.

This fourth episode focuses on the behind the scenes story of the first meeting of the 'Big Three', Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin, at Tehran, as well as the secret history of the Soviet attempt to cover up the mass murders at Katyn.

MON 00:00 A Very British History (m000f39b)
Series 2

The British Chinese

British-born Chinese vlogger Shu Lin explores the history of the Chinese community in the UK from the 1950s through to the present day. With film and TV archive, and first-hand accounts, she discovers how Chinese migrants transformed Britain’s bland post-war dining scene. From restaurants to television cooking shows, the eating habits of a nation were changed forever.

Shu Lin finds out how an area of Soho became the vibrant Chinatown we know today and traces how the British Chinese community has gone from relying heavily on the restaurant trade to achieving outstanding business and educational success.

MON 01:00 Wonders of the Solar System (b00rkksg)
Original Series

Order out of Chaos

Professor Brian Cox visits some of the most stunning locations on earth to describe how the laws of nature have carved natural wonders across the solar system.

Brian reveals how beauty and order in earth's cosmic backyard was formed from nothing more than a chaotic cloud of gas. Chasing tornados in Oklahoma, he explains how the same physics that creates these spinning storms shaped the young solar system. Out of this celestial maelstrom emerged the jewel in the crown, Brian's second wonder - the magnificent rings of Saturn.

On an ice-choked lagoon in Iceland, he sees the nearest thing on earth to Saturn's rings. Using the latest scientific imagery and breathtaking graphics, he explains how the intricate patterns round Saturn are shaped by the cluster of more than 60 moons surrounding the planet.

One of those moons makes a spectacular contribution to the rings and is the third wonder of the solar system. Brian describes the astonishing discovery of giant fountains of ice erupting from the surface of Enceladus, which soar thousands of kilometres into space.

MON 02:00 Oceans Apart: Art and the Pacific with James Fox (b0bkytn4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 03:00 The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story (m0003m04)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Botany: A Blooming History (b0122k8y)
Hidden World

For 10,000 years or more, humans created new plant varieties for food by trial and error and a touch of serendipity. Then 150 years ago, a new era began. Pioneer botanists unlocked the patterns found in different types of plants and opened the door to a new branch of science - plant genetics. They discovered what controlled the random colours of snapdragon petals and the strange colours found in wild maize.

This was vital information. Some botanists even gave their lives to protect their collection of seeds. American wheat farmer Norman Borlaug was awarded the Nobel peace prize after he bred a new strain of wheat that lifted millions of people around the world out of starvation. Today, botanists believe advances in plant genetics hold the key to feeding the world's growing population.

TUE 20:00 Keeping Up Appearances (b007bsws)
Series 5

Episode 5

Hyacinth has decided that, instead of her usual gift to Richard of slippers, he should receive skis instead. When Richard protests that he has no intention of taking up the sport, Hyacinth responds that he can cultivate the correct image by strapping them atop the car and drive about with them occasionally.

TUE 20:30 Ever Decreasing Circles (p00c1jz5)
Series 3

Episode 1

Paul asks Martin to do him a favour by supervising the delivery of some manure he's expecting. Unfortunately, things don't quite go according to plan.

TUE 21:00 Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made the Commonwealth (p01n8f5d)
CS Mackay-Bennett

David Hayman explores the stories of four ships, built on the river Clyde, that helped forge links with countries throughout the Commonwealth of Nations.

Here, David tells the story of CS Mackay-Bennett, a cable repair ship launched on the Clyde in 1884. She kept information flowing along a network of underwater cables that connected Britain with her empire and the world - the Victorian internet of its day. It's also a story of a date with disaster, as the ship and her crew recovered the bodies of those who died when the Titanic sank. David travels to Halifax in Canada to find some facts about the ship and to unravel a DNA mystery that's taken over a century to solve.

TUE 22:00 A Picture of Birmingham, by Benjamin Zephaniah (m001bmc0)
Poet Benjamin Zephaniah revisits the place of his birth, Birmingham, on a mission to compose a new poem, which he will then read out on the streets of the city. While there, he watches Aston Villa and revisits the approved school he went to when he was a child.

TUE 22:30 imagine... (m000l4kr)

Lemn Sissay: The Memory of Me

Lemn Sissay's writings are a source of inspiration to huge numbers of people around the world. From poems on the walls and buildings of Manchester and beyond to the contemplative dawn verses published each morning on social media, his words bring solace and light to readers everywhere.

Following the publication of his new memoir My Name Is Why, he tells Alan Yentob what it was like to grow up as the only black child in a sleepy market town outside Wigan in the 1970s. Before being catapulted into the broken care system at the dawn of the 1980s, he was separated from his foster family at the tender age of twelve and left to fend for himself. His journey since has been one of discovery: learning not just that his name was Lemn, but that his parents were Ethiopian, a country he returns to for this film to find out more about his roots.

Featuring contributions from some of the well-known names Lemn has shared the stage with, such as Steve Coogan, Benjamin Zephaniah, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Julie Hesmondhalgh, as well as his close network of friends and supporters from his years in care, this is the story of the boy whose name meant Why.

TUE 23:35 Billy Connolly and Aly Bain: Fishing for Poetry - A Celebration of Norman MacCaig (b00vtxh2)
One of the greatest poets of his generation, Norman MacCaig (1910-96) was also an expert fly-fisher. His favourite loch, the Loch of the Green Corrie, lies high up in the mountains of Assynt in the far north-west of Scotland.

Fiddle maestro Aly Bain, Billy Connolly and award-winning poet and novelist Andrew Greig celebrate MacCaig in the centenary year of his birth with a journey from Edinburgh to Assynt and then the long climb to the Loch of the Green Corrie with its elusive trout.

Friends and fellow poets - including Jackie Kay, Liz Lochhead, Douglas Dunn and Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney - also feature with anecdotes, tributes and readings of some of MacCaig's finest poems.

TUE 00:35 Wonders of the Solar System (b00rmpqh)
Original Series

The Thin Blue Line

Professor Brian Cox reveals how something as flimsy as an envelope of gas - an atmosphere - can create some of the most wondrous sights in the solar system. He takes a ride in an English Electric Lightning and flies 18 km up to the top of earth's atmosphere, where he sees the darkness of space above and the thin blue line of our atmosphere below. In the Namib desert in south-west Africa, he tells the story of Mercury. This tiny planet was stripped naked of its early atmosphere and is fully exposed to the ferocity of space.

Against the stunning backdrop of the glaciers of Alaska, Brian reveals his fourth wonder: Saturn's moon Titan, shrouded by a murky, thick atmosphere. He reveals that below the clouds lies a magical world. Titan is the only place beyond earth where we've found liquid pooling on the surface in vast lakes, as big as the Caspian Sea, but the lakes of Titan are filled with a mysterious liquid, and are quite unlike anything on earth.

TUE 01:35 Botany: A Blooming History (b0122k8y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

TUE 02:35 Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made the Commonwealth (p01n8f5d)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 Our Coast (m000f1v5)
Series 1


With the UK’s identity as an island nation more important today than for the last 50 years, Adrian Chiles, Mehreen Baig and a team of experts explore four spectacular coastlines linked by the Irish Sea and meet the people who call them home.

In the first episode, they visit the Merseyside coast, stretching from Sefton Sands in the North to the Wirral in the South, via the great port city of Liverpool.

Adrian goes onboard to explore the nooks and crannies of what is the largest ocean-crossing liner in the world, the Queen Mary 2. Mehreen meanwhile is off to board a slightly smaller craft, run by one of the oldest lifeboat stations anywhere in the country, the Hoylake Hovercraft.

Other highlights of the show include historian Emma Dabiri on the hunt for a Viking ship that might just be buried under a Wirral pub car park, environmental scientist Tara Shine finding out how the people of Formby are protecting one of the country’s last thriving colonies of red squirrels, and engineer Danielle George visiting the Birkenhead Hydraulic Tower, a local titan of Victorian industry which was bombed in the Blitz and is now about to become the centrepiece of an industrial renaissance.

WED 20:00 South Pacific (b00kwdqr)
Ocean of Volcanoes

Witness the birth, growth and death of an island in the greatest ocean on Earth. Millions of years are condensed into an hour revealing unforgettable images of an erupting underwater volcano; rivers of lava exploding below the waves; roads and houses buried by molten rivers of rock. From these violent beginnings emerge coral reefs of unparalleled richness, supporting large groups of grey reef sharks and giant manta rays.

The rising lands of the South Pacific have also given life to some very strange creatures, from the vampire bug that thrives in tropical snow, and the megapode, a bird that uses volcanic springs to incubate its eggs, to vast swarms of jellyfish trapped forever by a coral mountain. This is the Pacific as you've never seen it before.

WED 21:00 The Human Body: Secrets of Your Life Revealed (b096slhz)
Series 1


Over your lifetime you undergo an extraordinary change - no other animal on earth goes through such a dramatic metamorphosis. In this programme, Chris and Xand van Tulleken explore the latest understanding of how we all grow. They uncover the reason our childhood is longer than any other creature on Earth and reveal the communities of microbes - our microbiome - that we cultivate throughout our lives. They uncover the mysterious trigger for our transformation from child to adult and, for the first time, show the remarkable spark of life that is emitted when sperm and egg first meet.

WED 22:00 Moira Armstrong and Vivien Heilbron Remember... Sunset Song (m001bm9b)
Actor Vivien Heilbron and director Moira Armstrong look back on the 1971 BBC Scotland drama Sunset Song, based on Lewis Grassic Gibbon's classic novel.

Together, the friends discuss how their collaboration worked and the pressures of filming nude scenes, arguing over accents and working with animals. The pair also consider why Sunset Song was such a significant production and the legacy it has left behind.

WED 22:10 Sunset Song (m001bm9g)
Series 1

The Unfurrowed Field

Another opportunity to see the BBC's 1971 dramatisation of Lewis Grassic Gibbon's novel about a young girl's intellectual and sexual development within a repressive peasant community in Scotland just before the First World War.

'But for all my reading and schooling, two Chris Guthries there were that fought for my heart and tormented me.'

WED 22:55 Sunset Song (m001bm9q)
Series 1


'You knew you'd never be the same again, but the world went on, and you went with it. So you folded up your dreams and laid them away with the dark quiet corpse that was your childhood.'

WED 23:40 Sunset Song (m001bm9w)
Series 1


'But a worse thing came as slow September dragged to its end. A thing I would never tell a soul. Festering away in the closet of my mind, the memory would lie until it died.'

WED 00:25 Wonders of the Solar System (b00rtg5k)
Original Series

Dead or Alive

Professor Brian Cox visits some of the most stunning locations on Earth to describe how the laws of nature have carved natural wonders across the solar system.

The worlds that surround our planet are all made of rock, but there the similarity ends. Some have a beating geological heart, others are frozen in time. Brian travels to the tallest mountain on Earth, the volcano Mauna Kea on Hawaii, to show how something as basic as a planet's size can make the difference between life and death. Even on the summit of this volcano, Brian would stand in the shade of the tallest mountain in the solar system, an extinct volcano on Mars called Olympus Mons, which rises up 27 km.

Yet the fifth wonder in the series isn't on a planet at all. It's on a tiny moon of Jupiter. The discoveries made on Io have been astonishing. This fragment of rock should be cold and dead, yet, with the volcanic landscape of eastern Ethiopia as a backdrop, Brian reveals why Io is home to extraordinary lakes of lava and giant volcanic plumes that erupt 500 km into the sky.

WED 01:25 South Pacific (b00kwdqr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 02:25 The Human Body: Secrets of Your Life Revealed (b096slhz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 Our Coast (m000f9cm)
Series 1


Adrian and Mehreen arrive on Anglesey – the largest island in the Irish Sea - via the Menai Strait, a stretch of water so tempestuous that Lord Nelson said ‘if you can sail here, you can sail anywhere’.

Mehreen tells the story of the Menai Strait’s magnificent bridges and how – with record levels of traffic crossing from mainland Wales - they could be about to be joined by a third, with an extraordinary design that is literally ‘gigantic’. Meanwhile, Adrian dons a wet suit to meet a local paddle-boarding legend, to find out how she is playing a key role in helping Anglesey become the first plastic free county in the UK.

Other highlights include wildlife expert Patrick Aryee getting up close to the wild ponies of Newborough Warren, local comedian Tudur Owen fulfils a boyhood dream by joining the Holyhead truckers at their brand new truck stop, and weather presenter Lucy Martin explores the Anglesey ship wreck that changed how we forecast the weather forever.

Finally, Adrian and Mehreen visit the family whose factory pays the queen for the right to pump sea water from the Menai Strait so they can extract mineral rich sea salt from it.

THU 20:00 North by Northwest (b025ydrv)
Classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller. When advertising executive Roger Thornhill is mistaken for the mysterious Mr Kaplan by a ruthless espionage ring, he soon faces deadly peril, framed for murder. On the run, Thornhill seeks Kaplan, the one person who can verify his story.

THU 22:10 Talking Pictures (b03xp545)
Alfred Hitchcock

A retrospective look at television appearances made over the years by iconic Hollywood director Alfred Hitchcock, reflecting on the milestones and highlights of his life and career.

Narrated by Sylvia Syms.

THU 22:50 Hitchcock's Shower Scene: 78/52 (b09w3w9v)
Alfred Hitchcock's shocking murder scene in Psycho changed the course of world cinema. It took a week to film, one quarter of the film's entire production schedule, and the scene required 78 set-ups and 52 cuts to achieve.

Director Alexandre O Philippe's gripping documentary takes an unprecedented look at Hitchcock's infamous and iconic shower scene and its enduring legacy.

THU 00:15 Wonders of the Solar System (b00rz5ys)
Original Series


Professor Brian Cox visits some of the most stunning locations on earth to describe how the laws of nature have carved natural wonders across the solar system.

Brian descends to the bottom of the Pacific in a submarine to witness the extraordinary life forms that survive in the cold, black waters. All life on Earth needs water so the search for aliens in the solar system has followed the search for water.

Soaring above the dramatic Scablands of the United States, Brian discovers how the same landscape has been found on Mars. And it was all carved out in a geological heartbeat by a monumental flood.

Armed with a gas mask, Brian enters a cave in Mexico where bacteria breathe toxic gas and leak concentrated acid. Yet relatives of these creatures could be surviving in newly discovered caves on Mars.

But Brian's sixth wonder isn't a planet at all. Jupiter's moon Europa is a dazzling ball of ice etched with strange cracks. The patterns in the ice reveal that, far below, there is an ocean with more potentially life-giving water than all the oceans on Earth.

Of all the wonders of the solar system forged by the laws of nature, there is one that stands out. In the final episode of this series, Brian reveals the greatest wonder of them all.

THU 01:15 Our Coast (m000f9cm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

THU 02:15 Art of Scandinavia (b074hh79)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 on Saturday]


FRI 19:00 Top of the Pops (m001bm8s)
Tony Dortie presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 17 June 1993 and featuring Sting, Gabrielle, The Time Frequency, Sister Sledge, Haddaway, Terence Trent D’Arby ft Des’ree, Deborah Harry and UB40.

FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (m001bm8v)
Mark Franklin presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 24 June 1993 and featuring Rod Stewart, M People, East 17, Chaka Demus & Pliers, Brian May with Cozy Powell, Gloria Gaynor, Alexander O’Neal and Gabrielle.

FRI 20:00 BBC Proms (m001bm8x)

100 Years of the BBC: Public Service Broadcasting with Jules Buckley

Public Service Broadcasting – a band who bring wit, invention and multimedia spectacle to the stage – return to the Proms after their previous, staggeringly innovative, 2019 outing, The Race for Space.

This time, Public Service Broadcasting join conductor Jules Buckley and the BBC Symphony Orchestra for This New Noise, a world premiere specially commissioned for the BBC’s centenary

The band’s use of archive footage, sampling and imaginative musical techniques travels back through a hundred years of broadcasting history, making this a musical event like no other.

Edith Bowman presents.

FRI 21:00 Simon & Garfunkel: Concert in Central Park (m0010kk0)
On 19 September 1981, Simon & Garfunkel reunited for a free public concert on the Great Lawn of New York City's Central Park, raising awareness and funding to help restore the world’s most famous urban park.

The duo had rarely performed since their breakup in 1970, but their music continued to resonate with the city from which they came. This unforgettable performance, which drew one of the largest audiences ever assembled for a single concert, features all of Simon & Garfunkel’s greatest hits as well as selections from their solo catalogues, newly arranged with an expanded 11-man band.

Songs performed include Mrs Robinson, America, Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard, Bridge Over Troubled Water, The Boxer, Old Friends, The Sound of Silence and Late in the Evening.

FRI 22:30 Simon & Garfunkel: The Harmony Game (m0010kjw)
At the end of a decade when the world was in crisis and inspiration needed resurrecting, an influential duo released a masterpiece of popular music, Bridge over Troubled Water. Through darkness and light, the album takes its listeners on an emotional ride that echoes its era, and has proved to be a work that continues to inspire an audience the world over. Its symphonic hymn of a title track became an anthem for a generation.

This film tells the story behind what is widely considered Simon and Garfunkel's greatest work. The influential duo's last studio album has its legacy shrouded in rock'n'roll mythology, complete with legendary tales of inspiration, innovation and separation. Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel and their collaborators share the journey in their own words and reflect back on its impact 40 years later, using never-before-seen film, photos and memorabilia.

FRI 23:40 BBC One Sessions (b007cj5l)
Paul Simon

The legendary American singer-songwriter with his six-piece band in an intimate concert from LSO St Luke's in London's Shoreditch. Simon plays songs from throughout his solo career and his 60s heyday with Simon and Garfunkel including You Can Call Me Al, The Only Living Boy in New York, The Boxer and Still Crazy After All These Years, alongside songs from his gold-selling album, Surprise. The band sing jaw-dropping harmonies, play everything from penny whistle to baritone sax and accordion while Simon sings, plays guitar and conducts the band in front of 250 fans.

FRI 00:30 Singer-Songwriters at the BBC (b015f5c8)
Series 2

Episode 1

The celebration of the singing songwriting troubadours of the 1960s and 70s continues with a further trawl through the BBC archives for timeless and classic performances.

Don McLean performs his huge hit American Pie from 1972 and Tim Buckley provides some sublime sounds with a rendition of his song Happy Time. Also making an appearance is the long-lamented John Martyn, folk queen Sandy Denny and, in a duet with Joe Egan as Stealers Wheel, the late Gerry Rafferty. Stealers Wheel chum and one-time collaborator Rab Noakes also makes a contribution to this compilation.

Leonard Cohen and Julie Felix present a unique collaboration and performance of Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye, and there's an unforgettable performance of Case of You by Joni Mitchell. No celebration of this genre would be complete without contributions from songwriting heavyweights such as Elton John, Paul Simon, Loudon Wainwright III and Yusuf Islam aka Cat Stevens.

FRI 01:30 Simon & Garfunkel: Concert in Central Park (m0010kk0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 03:00 Top of the Pops (m001bm8s)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

FRI 03:30 Top of the Pops (m001bm8v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

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

A Picture of Birmingham, by Benjamin Zephaniah 22:00 TUE (m001bmc0)

A Very British History 00:00 MON (m000f39b)

Art of Scandinavia 22:30 SAT (b074hh79)

Art of Scandinavia 02:15 THU (b074hh79)

BBC One Sessions 23:40 FRI (b007cj5l)

BBC Proms 20:00 SUN (m001bm7m)

BBC Proms 20:00 FRI (m001bm8x)

Billy Connolly and Aly Bain: Fishing for Poetry - A Celebration of Norman MacCaig 23:35 TUE (b00vtxh2)

Botany: A Blooming History 19:00 TUE (b0122k8y)

Botany: A Blooming History 01:35 TUE (b0122k8y)

Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made the Commonwealth 21:00 TUE (p01n8f5d)

Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made the Commonwealth 02:35 TUE (p01n8f5d)

Cricket: Today at the Test 19:00 MON (m001bm8g)

Ever Decreasing Circles 00:30 SAT (b036d6mk)

Ever Decreasing Circles 20:30 TUE (p00c1jz5)

Hitchcock's Shower Scene: 78/52 22:50 THU (b09w3w9v)

Keeping Up Appearances 01:00 SAT (b007bsqf)

Keeping Up Appearances 20:00 TUE (b007bsws)

Moira Armstrong and Vivien Heilbron Remember... Sunset Song 22:00 WED (m001bm9b)

North by Northwest 20:00 THU (b025ydrv)

Oceans Apart: Art and the Pacific with James Fox 00:40 SUN (b0bjj2r6)

Oceans Apart: Art and the Pacific with James Fox 20:00 MON (b0bkytn4)

Oceans Apart: Art and the Pacific with James Fox 02:00 MON (b0bkytn4)

Our Coast 19:00 WED (m000f1v5)

Our Coast 19:00 THU (m000f9cm)

Our Coast 01:15 THU (m000f9cm)

Sicily: The Wonder of the Mediterranean 20:00 SAT (b08dzx1h)

Sicily: The Wonder of the Mediterranean 02:30 SAT (b08dzx1h)

Simon & Garfunkel: Concert in Central Park 21:00 FRI (m0010kk0)

Simon & Garfunkel: Concert in Central Park 01:30 FRI (m0010kk0)

Simon & Garfunkel: The Harmony Game 22:30 FRI (m0010kjw)

Singer-Songwriters at the BBC 00:30 FRI (b015f5c8)

Sir Simon Rattle at the BBC 19:00 SUN (m000z2d8)

Sir Simon Rattle at the BBC 01:40 SUN (m000z2d8)

South Pacific 20:00 WED (b00kwdqr)

South Pacific 01:25 WED (b00kwdqr)

State of Happiness 21:00 SAT (p0bqhsp4)

State of Happiness 21:45 SAT (p0bqhskq)

Sunset Song 22:10 WED (m001bm9g)

Sunset Song 22:55 WED (m001bm9q)

Sunset Song 23:40 WED (m001bm9w)

Talking Pictures 22:10 THU (b03xp545)

The Human Body: Secrets of Your Life Revealed 21:00 WED (b096slhz)

The Human Body: Secrets of Your Life Revealed 02:25 WED (b096slhz)

The Satanic Verses: 30 Years On 21:40 SUN (m0002thf)

The Satanic Verses: 30 Years On 02:40 SUN (m0002thf)

The Silk Road 23:30 SAT (p03qb25g)

The Silk Road 22:40 SUN (p03qb25g)

The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story 21:00 MON (m0003m04)

The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story 03:00 MON (m0003m04)

Top of the Pops 19:00 FRI (m001bm8s)

Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (m001bm8v)

Top of the Pops 03:00 FRI (m001bm8s)

Top of the Pops 03:30 FRI (m001bm8v)

Treasures of Ancient Rome 19:00 SAT (p00wpvpr)

Treasures of Ancient Rome 01:30 SAT (p00wpvpr)

Wonders of the Solar System 23:40 SUN (b00rf172)

Wonders of the Solar System 01:00 MON (b00rkksg)

Wonders of the Solar System 00:35 TUE (b00rmpqh)

Wonders of the Solar System 00:25 WED (b00rtg5k)

Wonders of the Solar System 00:15 THU (b00rz5ys)

World War II: Behind Closed Doors 22:00 MON (b00ftb5d)

World War II: Behind Closed Doors 23:00 MON (b00fy4gr)

imagine... 22:30 TUE (m000l4kr)