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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Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by


SAT 19:00 Treasures of Ancient Rome (b01mmrn5)
Pomp and Perversion

Alastair Sooke follows in the footsteps of Rome's mad, bad and dangerous emperors in the second part of his celebration of Roman art. He dons a wetsuit to explore the underwater remains of the Emperor Claudius's pleasure palace and ventures into the cave where Tiberius held wild parties. He finds their taste in art chimes perfectly with their obsession with sex and violence.

The other side of the coin was the bombastic art the Romans are best remembered for - monumental arches and columns that boast about their conquests. Trajan's Column in Rome reads like the storyboard of a modern-day propaganda film.

Sooke concludes with the remarkable legacy of the Emperor Hadrian. He gave the world the magnificent Pantheon in Rome - the eternal image of his lover Antinous, the most beautiful boy in the history of art - and a villa in Tivoli where he created one of the most ambitious art collections ever created.

SAT 20:00 Himalaya with Michael Palin (b0074qn6)
North by Northwest

Intrepid adventurer Michael Palin embarks on an epic journey. He travels through Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province, starting on the Khyber Pass and ending five miles from K2 on the Pakistan/China border. He passes through Darra, visits a street dentist in Peshawar, goes bull racing with a Pakistani aristocrat and is almost trampled to death, and finally crosses over the Lowari Pass into the buffer state of Chitral.

SAT 21:00 State of Happiness (p0bqhsnr)
Series 2

Peace and War

Marius’s biological dad shows up unexpectedly, the Iranian coup brings new opportunities to Nyman Diving, and Anna makes a new friend.

SAT 21:45 State of Happiness (p0bqhsnf)
Series 2

30 Dollars a Barrel

The price of oil reaches an all-time high, and Martin receives a tempting offer. Marius is having a hard time settling in at school.

SAT 22:35 Art of Scandinavia (b075dxdv)
Democratic by Design

In the final instalment of Andrew Graham-Dixon's windswept journey through the art of the Norselands, we arrive in Sweden - home of Ikea and a tradition of brilliant furniture design stretching back to the early years of the 20th century. Sweden has made its modern democratic mission one of comfort and civilised living for the masses - but has it got there?

SAT 23:35 The Silk Road (p03qb3q4)
Episode 3

In the final episode of his series tracing the story of the most famous trade route in history, Dr Sam Willis continues his journey west in Iran. The first BBC documentary team to be granted entry for nearly a decade, Sam begins in the legendary city of Persepolis - heart of the first Persian Empire.

Following an ancient caravan route through Persia's deserts, he visits a Zoroastrian temple where a holy fire has burned for 1,500 years, and Esfahan, one of the Silk Road's architectural jewels and rival to Sam's next destination - Istanbul. In the ancient capital of Byzantium, Sam discovers how the eastern Roman Empire was ruled through silk and how Venetian merchants cashed in on the wealth and trade it generated.

Sam's last stop takes him full circle to Venice. Visiting Marco Polo's house, Sam reminds us how the great traveller's book was one of the first to link east to west and how the ideas and products that trickled down the Silk Road not only helped to trigger the Renaissance, but set Europe on a path of unstoppable change.

SAT 00:35 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.

SAT 01:05 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.

SAT 01:35 Treasures of Ancient Rome (b01mmrn5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SAT 02:35 Himalaya with Michael Palin (b0074qn6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SUN 19:00 Being Beethoven (m000kqq2)
Series 1

Episode 1

‘…this strange deafness…’

Unfolding chronologically, Being Beethoven grapples with the living, breathing human being often lost behind the myth of the Romantic genius. Beethoven emerges as a man of contrasts and extremes — driven by love, anguish, fury and joy — qualities woven through both his life and his music.

By returning the composer to the context of his own time and place, telling his life story in the present tense, Being Beethoven reveals how the composer’s life frequently appears to follow an entirely different trajectory to his art. What emerges is a complex and often contradictory individual living a life marked by isolation, ill-health and deafness. A man who, despite the frequent wretchedness of his personal circumstances, manages to create musical masterpieces that have enthralled and uplifted the world for 250 years.

Episode 1 explores Beethoven's childhood, the crucible in which the man and his music are formed, and his subsequent rise to fame as a piano virtuoso, then composer, in late 18th-century Vienna. Groomed as a prodigy by a demanding and often violent father, Beethoven’s psyche is also marked by the death of his mother when he is 16 years old. Beethoven emerges as a great but troubled talent, an unstoppable force of nature until the onset of deafness tears his world apart.

The realisation that Beethoven is losing his hearing — the sense upon which not only his career is built, but his very sense of self — leads to a devastating psychological collapse and a letter, written to his brothers Carl and Johann, known as the Heiligenstadt Testament. In it, Beethoven not only contemplates suicide but also looks at his future and accepts that he will have to create his art under extraordinary circumstances.

As well as interviews with Beethoven biographers and scholars such as Jan Swafford and Barry Cooper, the series features contributions and performances from musicians including Iván Fischer, Marin Alsop, the Takács Quartet, Evelyn Glennie, Paul Lewis, Mark Padmore and Chi-chi Nwanoku.

SUN 20:00 BBC Proms (m001btjj)

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Chineke!

BBC Proms favourite Chineke! Orchestra is back on the Royal Albert Hall stage for a concert of music by Beethoven and celebrated American composer George Walker, whose centenary falls in 2022.

The ensemble is Europe’s first majority black and ethnically diverse orchestra, and has become a mainstay of the Proms since its 2017 debut.

The musicians are under the baton of German conductor Kevin John Edusei, and are joined by the recently formed Chineke! Voices to perform Beethoven’s epic Ninth Symphony. International soloists Nicole Cabell, Raehann Bryce-Davis, Zwakele Tshabalala and Ryan Speedo Green complete the line-up.

Clive Myrie presents, with special guests.

SUN 21:45 BBC Young Musician (m000xnz2)
2004: Nicola Benedetti's Prizewinning Performance

In 2004, 16-year-old violinist Nicola Benedetti won BBC Young Musician of the Year. This is her winning recital at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama from the semi-final stage of the competition. Playing works by Saint-Saens, Janacek and Judith Bingham on a 1751 Guarnerius violin, Nicola also had to cope with a faulty chin rest.

SUN 22:00 Afghanistan: The Lion's Last Roar? (b04nd3rq)
Episode 1

Eight years ago the British Army arrived in Helmand in Afghanistan confident they could keep the peace, defeat the Taliban and rebuild the impoverished province. Now Britain's troops are leaving - 453 have given their lives. This two-part series tells the story of the conflict in Afghanistan and asks what has been achieved and whether, after such a bruising experience, the British have the will to fight in distant lands again.

Part one examines the buildup to the conflict and reveals a story of misplaced hope and confused aims that quickly led to the very real threat of a catastrophic defeat.

SUN 23:00 Afghanistan: The Lion's Last Roar? (b04nzglz)
Episode 2

In 2006, five years in to the war against the Taliban, the British army found that it was facing military disaster in Afghanistan. In Helmand province, its troops were fighting an implacable and well-armed enemy that seemed impossible to defeat. As the death toll mounted, the British public began to lose faith in the campaign and question whether the sacrifice was necessary. The episode tells the story of the British attempts to extricate itself from the conflict, and asks whether the country will ever have the desire to put its troops into such battles again.

SUN 00:00 Jacqueline du Pre: A Gift beyond Words (b09bdyfz)
Jacqueline du Pre was one of the greatest performing musicians that Britain has ever produced. She stopped playing the cello at the age of 28, a victim of multiple sclerosis, and she died at 42 on 19 October 1987. This film, compiled by Christopher Nupen from the five prize-winning films he made during her lifetime, pays tribute to her on the 30th anniversary of her death.

SUN 01:00 Blood of the Clans (m000lw7z)
Series 1

The Year of Victories

Neil Oliver presents a drama-documentary series telling the tale of Scotland’s 17th-century civil war. When the Scottish Parliament, led by the chief of Clan Campbell, declares war on Charles I, clans loyal to the King rise up in rebellion. At the heart of this epic struggle lies an ancient feud between the Campbells and the MacDonalds, and all hell is unleashed as the royalist clans use the war to wreak bloody vengeance on their rivals in an epic conflict that threatens the stability of the newly emerging British state.

SUN 02:00 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.

SUN 03:00 Being Beethoven (m000kqq2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


MON 19:00 Our Coast (m000fjdk)
Series 1

County Down, Northern Ireland

This episode explores the County Down coastline between Belfast and Strangford Lough, all the way along the Ards Peninsula.

Adrian travels to the port of Belfast, home of the Titanic, to road test the largest hydraulic crane in the world and meet the incredible harbour pilots who invite him to help them park a 100-metre-long Dutch monster ship.

Mehreen goes kayaking on the turbulent waters of Strangford Lough to see how the dramatic currents of the UK’s largest sea inlet is putting Northern Ireland at the forefront of renewable energy research worldwide.

Other highlights include Helen Skelton testing the freezing waters of the North Channel, considered to be one of the most dangerous swims in the world, and environmental scientist Tara Shine in Portaferry, helping release some injured seals back into the wild. And local comedian Shane Todd visits the oldest bespoke racing car factory in the world.

Finally, Adrian and Mehreen meet the real-life dire wolves from Game of Thrones who are attracting coach loads of tourists to the County Down coast.

MON 20:00 Oceans Apart: Art and the Pacific with James Fox (b0blhn4t)
Series 1

New Zealand

Concluding the series on the clash between the West and Pacific peoples and cultures, James Fox explores how New Zealand's indigenous Maori people resisted colonisation and marginalisation and maintained their distinctive culture, so much so that it is now an integral part of modern New Zealand.

He encounters some of the greatest works of Maori carving, from the exquisitely painted paddles given to Captain Cook, to works by one of the great masters of Maori art, Tene Waitere, and shows how, from the beginning of their encounters with Europeans, the Maori adapted outside influences, whether it was modern firearms or the new religion of Christianity and produced fascinating hybrid work that ranges from elaborately carved rifle butts to a Madonna and child statue adorned with the Ta Moko, the sacred Maori facial tattoo.

Today, James Fox finds Maori culture in the midst of a full-scale Renaissance, embraced not only by the Maori themselves but all New Zealanders.

MON 21:00 The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story (m0003m0l)
Series 1

Episode 3

Documentary series exploring the Yorkshire Ripper investigation. In this final episode, Liza Williams charts the arrest of Peter Sutcliffe in January 1981, his subsequent trial and conviction, and the legacy for the relatives of his victims and the survivors of his attacks.

Speaking to one of Sutcliffe’s defence team, as well as a leading barrister from the prosecution and journalists who covered the trial, Liza traces the story from the moment of arrest. Witnesses were offered money for exclusives, potentially jeopardising the trial, and once it began long queues formed for the public gallery and front row seats in court were given to VIPs.

Peter Sutcliffe pleaded not guilty to murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility because of his mental state. The prosecution, however, argued that he should be found guilty of murder. Sutcliffe had confessed to all 13 murders and seven attacks, so there was no doubt who was to blame. However, looking back at court transcripts, Liza discovers that the women Sutcliffe attacked were once more classed as either prostitutes or ‘innocent’ victims. Meeting a woman who led a demonstration outside the Old Bailey, Liza finds out about the outrage they felt when the humanity of the murdered women was ignored.

On 22 May 1981, the Yorkshire Ripper trial reached its conclusion. Peter Sutcliffe was found guilty of murder and sentenced to a minimum term of 30 years. But as Liza discovers, that is not the end of the case. After Sutcliffe’s conviction, the failures of the police investigation start to be made public as a wide-ranging government report details mistake after mistake. Liza learns just how many clues and witnesses were ignored. But also, more powerfully, she discovers that the failings all link back to the police’s original theory about a ‘prostitute killer’ that took them in the wrong direction right from the start and led them to disregard vital evidence.

Going back to the survivors and relatives of Sutcliffe’s victims, at the end of the final episode and the conclusion of the series, Liza explores the legacy left behind by his crimes and what it has been like to live as the child of a Ripper murder victim.

MON 22:00 World War II: Behind Closed Doors (b00g25st)
Episode 5

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, in order to tell a 'Behind Closed Doors' history. It's a new way on television of looking at this most vital period, and will change the way you think about the war.

This fifth episode focuses on the dramatic story of the Red Army's fight through Eastern Europe in 1944, as well as the behind the scenes history of the most famous Allied conference of the war at Yalta in the Crimea.

MON 23:00 World War II: Behind Closed Doors (b00g512c)
Episode 6

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, in order to tell a 'Behind Closed Doors' history.

This episode looks at the dramatic story of the collapse of the Alliance in the wake of the end of the war, and Stalin's desire to turn on his wartime comrades.

MON 00:00 A Very British History (m000f4xy)
Series 2

British Bangladeshis

Dr Aminul Hoque tells the story of the thousands of Bangladeshi families who settled in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s. Their arrival brought new foods, traditions, and workers for British industry. But the families themselves faced hardships and racism while building a new life in Britain.

Using film archive and his own experiences of growing up in east London, Aminul meets and tells the stories of Bengalis who made their homes here over the course of two key decades. He also returns to Bangladesh with his own family, taking his children for their first visit to their grandparents' village to explore their roots in the region of Sylhet.

MON 01:00 Blood of the Clans (m000lykv)
Series 1

The Highland Rogue

Neil Oliver turns his attention to a true Scottish legend - a certain Rob Roy MacGregor. For centuries, Rob has been celebrated as a colourful Highland maverick, as a well-intentioned rogue - Scotland’s answer to Robin Hood. But what is the true story? How did a humble cattle trader, born to an impoverished and disgraced clan, come to be despised by the most powerful noblemen in the land? How did Rob Roy become Britain’s most wanted man?

MON 02:00 Oceans Apart: Art and the Pacific with James Fox (b0blhn4t)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 03:00 The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story (m0003m0l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Our Coast (m000frj7)
Series 1

Dumfries and Galloway/South Ayrshire

This episode explores the south western coastline of Scotland’s gateway to the Irish Sea. Mehreen takes to the skies with the former RAF fighter pilot who is now using his flying skills to document the large-scale pollution that is hidden along the coastline.

Meanwhile, Adrian visits the beautiful harbour of Portpatrick to meet the local hero who persuaded his community to buy shares in the town’s harbour, revitalising it for all who live there.

Other highlights include engineer Danielle George being given a rare opportunity to get hands on in one of the UK’s major air traffic control centres in Prestwick. Wildlife expert Patrick Aryee joins local volunteers to help to track rare birdlife on the stunning Ailsa Craig, and cultural connoisseur Joe Lindsay visits a renowned artists’ colony that is also the setting for The Wicker Man. Finally, Adrian and Mehreen find out the secrets of cold smoking Scottish salmon.

TUE 20:00 Keeping Up Appearances (b007bt2g)
Series 5

Episode 6

Sitcom. Richard is worried that Hyacinth's attendance at an exclusive auction is going to cost him a lot of money. However, he ends up with a very different problem.

TUE 20:30 Ever Decreasing Circles (p00c1k10)
Series 3

Episode 2

Martin goes to Belgium on business where, against his better judgement, he's persuaded to go out on the town. The repercussions of this cause great consternation among his family and friends back home.

TUE 21:00 Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made the Commonwealth (p01n8jf6)
Robert E Lee

The story of the Robert E Lee, one of the most famous Clydebuilt blockade-running paddle steamers. During the American Civil War, Glasgow shipbuilders and captains made a fortune running the supplies of war to the Confederate South and bringing out valuable cotton. To run the blockade of Union warships these paddle steamers had to be fast and their crews fearless. Glasgow provided both but Britain was neutral and these ships shouldn't have been anywhere near someone else's war.

TUE 22:00 Anjelica Huston on James Joyce: A Shout in the Street (b09mb966)
James Joyce led an eventful and turbulent life. From the beginning, he was something of an outsider. His childhood was impoverished and chaotic. Nonetheless, his alcoholic father ensured that he was educated at Ireland's elite schools. From an early age, Joyce revealed an impulse to rebel against social conventions. He not only rejected the Catholic religion, but, in his own words, 'declared open war on the Catholic church by all that I write and say and do'. He was a brilliant student - winning numerous scholarships and awards - and he was also sexually precocious, frequenting Dublin's prostitutes while still very young.

Then, on 16 June 1904, he became intimate with a young chambermaid from Galway called Nora Barnacle. That date would become the day on which he set all the action of his great novel, Ulysses. Nora became his lifelong partner, and they spent the rest of their lives outside Ireland. For many years, they lived in miserable conditions, but Joyce was ready to sacrifice himself - and others when necessary - to further his artistic ambitions. Eventually, he won worldwide literary celebrity, but he continued to live in some chaos, subject to recurrent eye complaints and other serious illnesses.

When the Nazis invaded France, he was concerned for the safety of his grandson Stephen, who was half-Jewish. Eventually, he managed to find sanctuary in Switzerland, but he died just a few weeks after he and his family had arrived there. Since then, his fame has grown, and he is now recognised as a towering figure in world literature, with Ulysses often cited as the most influential work of fiction of the twentieth century.

The story of Joyce's life and work is presented by the celebrated Oscar-winning actress, Anjelica Huston. She grew up in the west of Ireland, and has had a close association with Joyce's work for many years. She delivered an acclaimed stage performance of Molly Bloom's famous soliloquy from Ulysses some years ago, and also played the lead female role in the final movie made by her father, legendary director John Huston. This was an adaptation of Joyce's most famous short story, The Dead, generally reckoned to be one of the finest short stories ever written in the English language. Anjelica has said that, when she first read The Dead, it 'spoke to her soul', and her performance in her father's film is little short of sublime. The Dead is widely regarded as the most successful - and most authentic - adaptation of Joyce's work. However, it was filmed on a sound stage in downtown Los Angeles.

Anjelica brings a passionate understanding of the humanity, courage and consummate artistry of Joyce's writing. In this documentary, she is joined by other leading writers - such as Man Booker Prize winner Anne Enrigh and David Simon, the writer of groundbreaking TV series The Wire - as she explores Joyce's work, and seeks to explain its universal appeal. Other contributors include Colm Toibin, Dominic West, Ruth Gilligan, Fintan O'Toole, Edna O'Brien, Frank McGuinness, Jeffrey Eugenides and Elmear McBride.

TUE 23:00 Words First (m001btlb)
Series 1


Over the course of a voicemail, a young man checks in with his best friend and reminisces about their long friendship, admitting that he misses him more than ever. But why now?

Serendipity is part of the Words First series of spoken word animations, commissioned to celebrate the finalists of the 2022 BBC Words First talent development scheme.

The words and narration are by poet Charlie Staunton and the animation is by Daniel Smedley. The film is a Calling the Shots production for BBC Arts supported by Arts Council England.

The programme contains strong language.

TUE 23:05 Writing Home (b007cw2b)
Louis MacNiece

Writer Glenn Patterson celebrates the life and work of one of his favourite poets, Louis MacNeice, who was born at the beginning of the 19th century. Some 40 years after his death, MacNeice is being recognised as one of the greatest poets of the 20th century.

TUE 23:45 Words First (m001btlg)
Series 1

After the After Party

After a couple of drinks, a girl admits to her best friend that she’s always wanted to know what it feels like to be kissed by a girl. But how will they feel, and has their friendship been altered forever?

After the After Party is part of the Words First series of spoken word animations, commissioned to celebrate the finalists of the 2022 BBC Words First talent development scheme.

The words and narration are by poet Eve Atkinson and the animation is by Jess Mountfield. The film is a Calling the Shots production for BBC Arts supported by Arts Council England.

TUE 23:50 Dylan Thomas: A Poet's Guide (p01wtzqk)
Famous for his womanising, drinking and tragic death, Dylan Thomas is the rock star of 20th-century poetry. But for Welsh poet Owen Sheers, his tempestuous life often obscures the power of his poetry. Sheers takes us on a journey that reveals Dylan Thomas as a visionary and a craftsman.

TUE 00:50 Blood of the Clans (m000m3pr)
Series 1

The Last Rebels

Neil Oliver presents a drama-documentary revealing the divided loyalties of the clans during the 1745 rebellion. When Bonnie Prince Charlie arrives in Scotland to regain the crown of his ancestors the clans are called upon to rise in armed revolt for him. Many do, and they invade England. But others oppose him and join the British side to fight against the rebels. Some though play a cunning double game, pretending to be loyal to the British whilst secretly raising clansmen for the prince…

TUE 01:50 Our Coast (m000frj7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

TUE 02:50 Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made the Commonwealth (p01n8jf6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 Capability Brown's Unfinished Garden (b07xt6t9)
Capability Brown is known as the founder of landscape design. In the 1700s, he created some of the most magnificent landscapes in England. He travelled the length and breadth of the country, improving more than 200 of the greatest estates in the land for some of the most influential people of the 18th century.

But there is one plan that never got off the drawing board. The only land Capability ever owned was in Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire, but he died before he could carry out any plans for his own garden. Today, it is a piece of flat land bisected by the A14 dual carriageway.

Landscape designer and Gardeners' Question Time regular Bunny Guinness travels across England to some of Capability's finest landscapes - Blenheim, Burghley, Milton Abbey and Castle Ashby - to understand what he might have created. Rediscovering plans and letters, and using the latest technology, Capability Brown's unfinished garden is brought to life.

WED 20:00 South Pacific (b00l5jl0)
Strange Islands

Flightless parrots, burrowing bats, giant skinks and kangaroos in trees; on the isolated islands of the South Pacific, the wildlife has evolved in extraordinary ways. But island living can carry a high price, for when new species arrive all hell breaks loose. And there lies a puzzle - why do animals perfectly adapted to island life simply give up the ghost? The answer is revealed by the remarkable stories of some unlikely animals that survived on tiny islands off the coast of New Zealand. The human history of the region is further evidence that, however idyllic it may appear, life on a South Pacific island may never be very far from catastrophe.

WED 21:00 The Human Body: Secrets of Your Life Revealed (b097ryyx)
Series 1


Drs Chris and Xand van Tulleken discover the everyday miracles that keep you alive. They explore the extraordinary lengths our bodies go to in order to keep our organs working at every moment of every day. They see how powerful reflexes keep us safe from danger and uncover the amazing mechanisms our bodies call on to repair damage. And for the first time ever, they see exactly how our immune systems’ killer cells go into battle against deadly infection.

WED 22:00 Sunset Song (m001btmh)
Series 1

Seed Time

'It wasn't like waking from a dream, marrying, but more like going into one. And I wasn't sure, not for days, what things we had dreamt and what we had actually done.'

WED 22:45 Sunset Song (m001btmk)
Series 1


'Our best friends were out of Kinraddie now. But we had ourselves. And seeing your Ewan grow straight and strong, with that slim body like his father's, it made a strange dizziness go singing in my heart.'

WED 23:30 Sunset Song (m001btmm)
Series 1

The Song

'Everything I had ever loved and desired went out to the madness beyond the hills on that ill road that flung its evil white ribbon down into the dusk.'

WED 00:15 Capability Brown's Unfinished Garden (b07xt6t9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

WED 01:15 South Pacific (b00l5jl0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 02:15 The Human Body: Secrets of Your Life Revealed (b097ryyx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]



FRI 19:00 Top of the Pops (m001btp0)
Tony Dortie presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 1 July 1993 and featuring Joey Laurence, New Order, Evolution, 4 Non Blondes, Jade, Take That and Gabrielle.

FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (m001btp2)
Mark Franklin presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 8 July 1993 and featuring Haddaway, Taylor Dayne, Michael Jackson, Kim Wilde, Chaka Demus & Pliers, M People, Gloria Gaynor and Gabrielle.

FRI 20:00 BBC Proms (m001btp4)

Nicola Benedetti Plays Wynton Marsalis

Superstar violinist Nicola Benedetti takes to the stage at the Royal Albert Hall tonight with a very special Proms premiere performance of a concerto written specially for her by American jazz legend Wynton Marsalis. An electrifying mix of jazz and Scottish folk, it forms the centrepiece of a programme packed with fizz and sparkle. Also featured are Bernstein’s kaleidoscopic Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and a blast of salty ocean air in Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes.

Thomas Søndergård conducts the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and Georgia Mann presents, with special guests.

FRI 22:20 Radio 2 Live (p08p5mbq)
At Home Performances - 2020


Stomping rock from Chrissie Hynde and company.

FRI 22:45 Arena (b08d80fd)
Alone with Chrissie Hynde

Arena spends the summer with supercool self-confessed rock chick, Chrissie Hynde - shopping for clothes in Paris, hanging out with Sandra Bernhard in New York, life in London and a special trip back to her home town of Akron, Ohio.

A thoughtful and intimate portrait of a 'lone, hungry, irritable wolf', featuring a glorious live performance at one of London's newest venues.

FRI 00:20 Totally British: 70s Rock 'n' Roll (b01r3pm9)

Trawled from the depths of the BBC Archive and classic BBC shows of the day - Old Grey Whistle Test, Top of the Pops and Full House - a collection of performance gems from a totally rock 'n' roll early 1970s.

This was a golden era for British rock 'n' roll as everyone moved on from the whimsical 60s and looked around for something with a bit more oomph! In a pre-heavy metal world bands were experimenting with influences that dated back to 50s rock 'n' roll, whilst taking their groove from old-school rhythm and blues. It was also a time when men grew their hair long!

In a celebration of this era, we kick off with an early 1970s Badfinger number direct from the BBC library and continue the groove from the BBC vaults with classic rock 'n' roll heroes like Free, Status Quo, the Faces, Humble Pie and Mott the Hoople. Plus from deep within the BBC archives we dig out some rarities from the likes of Babe Ruth, Stone the Crows, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Man, Heavy Metal Kids and original rockers Thin Lizzy... to name but a few.

Sit back and enjoy a 60-minute non-stop ride of unadulterated Totally British 70s Rock 'n' Roll!

FRI 01:20 Totally British: 70s Rock 'n' Roll (b01r7hk5)

A romp through the BBC archive library from 1975 to 1979 has unearthed some seldom-seen performances of the rarely explored genre of pub rock and other late 70s rock 'n' roll gems from classic music programmes like the Old Grey Whistle Test and Top of the Pops. Before the DIY culture of punk took hold there was a whole breed of real musicians who honed their craft in the backrooms of pubs. And towards the end of the 70s men's hair was starting to get shorter too.

This compilation has uncovered rarely seen footage from the likes of Canvey Island's Dr Feelgood, original pub rockers Ducks DeLuxe, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Elvis Costello, Meal Ticket, Steve Gibbons Band, Dave Edmunds and chum Nick Lowe, a pre-Mike & the Mechanics' Paul Carrack in his first band Ace, a post-Faces Ronnie Lane, The Motors, the first TV performance from Dire Straits, Graham Parker and the Rumour and many more.

FRI 02:20 Top of the Pops (m001btp0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

FRI 02:50 Top of the Pops (m001btp2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

FRI 03:20 Radio 2 Live (p08p5mbq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:20 today]

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

A Very British History 00:00 MON (m000f4xy)

Afghanistan: The Lion's Last Roar? 22:00 SUN (b04nd3rq)

Afghanistan: The Lion's Last Roar? 23:00 SUN (b04nzglz)

Anjelica Huston on James Joyce: A Shout in the Street 22:00 TUE (b09mb966)

Arena 22:45 FRI (b08d80fd)

Art of Scandinavia 22:35 SAT (b075dxdv)

BBC Proms 20:00 SUN (m001btjj)

BBC Proms 20:00 FRI (m001btp4)

BBC Young Musician 21:45 SUN (m000xnz2)

Being Beethoven 19:00 SUN (m000kqq2)

Being Beethoven 03:00 SUN (m000kqq2)

Billy Connolly and Aly Bain: Fishing for Poetry - A Celebration of Norman MacCaig 02:00 SUN (b00vtxh2)

Blood of the Clans 01:00 SUN (m000lw7z)

Blood of the Clans 01:00 MON (m000lykv)

Blood of the Clans 00:50 TUE (m000m3pr)

Capability Brown's Unfinished Garden 19:00 WED (b07xt6t9)

Capability Brown's Unfinished Garden 00:15 WED (b07xt6t9)

Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made the Commonwealth 21:00 TUE (p01n8jf6)

Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made the Commonwealth 02:50 TUE (p01n8jf6)

Dylan Thomas: A Poet's Guide 23:50 TUE (p01wtzqk)

Ever Decreasing Circles 00:35 SAT (p00c1jz5)

Ever Decreasing Circles 20:30 TUE (p00c1k10)

Himalaya with Michael Palin 20:00 SAT (b0074qn6)

Himalaya with Michael Palin 02:35 SAT (b0074qn6)

Jacqueline du Pre: A Gift beyond Words 00:00 SUN (b09bdyfz)

Keeping Up Appearances 01:05 SAT (b007bsws)

Keeping Up Appearances 20:00 TUE (b007bt2g)

Oceans Apart: Art and the Pacific with James Fox 20:00 MON (b0blhn4t)

Oceans Apart: Art and the Pacific with James Fox 02:00 MON (b0blhn4t)

Our Coast 19:00 MON (m000fjdk)

Our Coast 19:00 TUE (m000frj7)

Our Coast 01:50 TUE (m000frj7)

Radio 2 Live 22:20 FRI (p08p5mbq)

Radio 2 Live 03:20 FRI (p08p5mbq)

South Pacific 20:00 WED (b00l5jl0)

South Pacific 01:15 WED (b00l5jl0)

State of Happiness 21:00 SAT (p0bqhsnr)

State of Happiness 21:45 SAT (p0bqhsnf)

Sunset Song 22:00 WED (m001btmh)

Sunset Song 22:45 WED (m001btmk)

Sunset Song 23:30 WED (m001btmm)

The Human Body: Secrets of Your Life Revealed 21:00 WED (b097ryyx)

The Human Body: Secrets of Your Life Revealed 02:15 WED (b097ryyx)

The Silk Road 23:35 SAT (p03qb3q4)

The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story 21:00 MON (m0003m0l)

The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story 03:00 MON (m0003m0l)

Top of the Pops 19:00 FRI (m001btp0)

Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (m001btp2)

Top of the Pops 02:20 FRI (m001btp0)

Top of the Pops 02:50 FRI (m001btp2)

Totally British: 70s Rock 'n' Roll 00:20 FRI (b01r3pm9)

Totally British: 70s Rock 'n' Roll 01:20 FRI (b01r7hk5)

Treasures of Ancient Rome 19:00 SAT (b01mmrn5)

Treasures of Ancient Rome 01:35 SAT (b01mmrn5)

Words First 23:00 TUE (m001btlb)

Words First 23:45 TUE (m001btlg)

World War II: Behind Closed Doors 22:00 MON (b00g25st)

World War II: Behind Closed Doors 23:00 MON (b00g512c)

Writing Home 23:05 TUE (b007cw2b)