The management of the BBC is now reconsidering the future of the BBC Singers.
The petition has now closed, with 150,494 signatures, and is here.
A response from the BBC to musicians (28/03/2023) is on a Twitter feed here.
The threat to reduce the staff of the three English orchestras by 20% is now being reconsidered: see a Guardian article here.

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SAT 19:00 Cricket: Today at the Test (m001c1hf)
England v South Africa 2022

Third Test: Day Three Highlights

Third day highlights of the third Test between England and South Africa at the Oval.

SAT 20:00 Golf: PGA Championship (m001c1hh)

Day Three Highlights

Among the world’s top golfers taking part is Rory McIlroy, who plays this tournament for the first time since 2019 in search of his second title after winning here in 2014. McIlroy is joined in the field by reigning US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, world number two Jon Rahm and last year’s winner, Billy Horschel.

Andrew Cotter and Ken Brown are the lead commentators.

SAT 21:00 State of Happiness (p0bqhsn3)
Series 2


The Alexander Kielland platform capsizes with more than 200 people on board. In Norwegian and English with English subtitles.

SAT 21:45 State of Happiness (p0bqhspq)
Series 2


The rescue operation following the tragedy continues. Ingrid finds a way to help. In Norwegian and English with English subtitles.

SAT 22:30 The Last Battle of the Vikings (b01p9fwg)
Nowhere in the British Isles was the Viking connection longer-lasting or deeper than in Scotland. Hundreds of years after their first hit-and-run raids, the Norsemen still dominated huge swathes of the country. But storm clouds were gathering. In 1263 the Norwegian king Haakon IV assembled a fleet of 120 longships to counter Scottish raids on the Norse Hebrides. It was a force comparable in size to the Spanish Armada over three centuries later. But like the Armada, the Norse fleet was eventually defeated by a powerful storm. Driven ashore near present-day Largs, the beleaguered Norsemen were attacked by a Scottish army. The outcome of this vicious encounter would mark the beginning of the end of Norse power in Scotland.

Marine archaeologist Dr Jon Henderson tells the incredible story of the Norsemen in Scotland. Visiting fascinating archaeological sites across Scotland and Norway, he reveals that, although the battle at Largs marked the end of an era for the Norsemen, their presence continued to shape the identity and culture of the Scottish nation to the present day.

SAT 23:30 Timeshift (m000l9vf)
Series 2

The Great British Seaside Holiday

Timeshift presents a bank holiday celebration of the British seaside holiday experience from its Victorian origins and heyday in the 1950s to its slow decline and attempts at reinvention since.

Interviewees including Jonathan Meades, Martin Parr and Bill Pertwee explain the way that the seaside has always been the place we all visit to lose our inhibitions and reveal a different side to ourselves. We look at how our different experiences of the seaside - end of the pier shows, fearsome landladies and holiday camps - have given rise to different traditions and a nostalgia, both working-class and middle-class, for a time when life's pleasures were simpler and foreign holidays were the preserve of the very rich.

SAT 00:15 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.

SAT 00:45 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.

SAT 01:15 Apples: British to the Core (b011wz53)
Horticulturalist Chris Beardshaw uncovers the British contribution to the history of our most iconic fruit. He reveals the 'golden age', when the passion and dedication of Victorian gardeners gave us more varieties than anywhere else in the world. Chris also finds out how the remarkable ingenuity of a small group of 20th-century British scientists helped create the modern mass-market apple.

SAT 02:15 The Hidden Wilds of the Motorway (m000kjm9)
Is there a wild side to Britain’s busiest road? Author and naturalist Helen Macdonald embarks on a clockwise loop around London’s orbital motorway - searching for hidden wildness and natural beauty within the sight and sound of the M25. Along her journey, Helen encounters the remarkable people, plants and animals living above, beside and beneath the motorway, and delves into the controversial history of the UK’s longest and least-loved bypass.

The M25 has been part of Britain’s landscape for nearly 35 years, so how has the natural world adapted to the motorway carving a path through its environment? Starting just south of the Thames at Kent’s Junction 1, Helen explores the woodland that lines the first 40 miles of the M25. In a first sign of how animals’ lives are shaped by the man-made world, great tits are changing the pitch of their calls in order to be heard above the roar of the road. But humans have often been less willing to adapt to the M25’s noisy presence.

The village of Shoreham won a battle to divert the motorway, thanks to the landscape paintings of 19th-century artist Samuel Palmer. Palmer’s paintings are highly prized today for their pre-impressionistic style and their idyllic visions of a benign countryside. Although Palmer’s vision was at odds with the harsher reality for farmworkers of the time, 20th-century locals leveraged their emotive value to save Shoreham’s valley and re-route the motorway through nearby woods.

Autumn rains trigger fungi to emerge into the roadside woodland. One species, Neurospora, offers a potential solution to our congested highways. Neurospora’s mobile DNA flows smoothly around an incredibly complex network of fungal freeways. Scientists are trying to figure out the fungi’s secret, in the hope of one day inspiring more robust transport networks.

The western arc of the motorway crosses a watery world of rivers and canals. Helen dives into the serene spaces created in gaps between the motorway and the waterways. Local author JG Ballard was obsessed with the hidden spaces around our urban infrastructure, using them as settings for his dystopian novels. Where the M25 crosses the river Thames, Helen searches for plant life on the damp concrete beneath the motorway. Mosses are often overlooked, but Natural History Museum botanist Dr Silvia Pressel reveals that the drought-resistant properties of these primitive plants are key to how plants made their move from water to the uninhabitable rocky land. This huge leap 500 million years ago paved the way for all of today’s land plants and the mammals that rely on them.

The final watercourse Helen explores is the river Chess, one of only 200 chalk streams in the world, 85% of which are in southern England. This crystal-clear waterway passes right beneath the motorway through a tiny non-descript culvert. In early winter, female brown trout dig their nests right by the motorway in the gravel of the riverbed - a ritual unchanged for millions of years.

The motorway’s northern arc is defined by grasslands where Helen discovers foxes and kestrels in the verges beside the motorway. At Rothamsted Research Station, she discovers why this unfertilized environment is such a special place for wildlife, in contrast to the less diverse cropland beyond.

At Waltham Abbey in Essex, Helen reveals an incredible world lurking in the rubble of what was once Britain's largest gunpowder factory, where the wild has reclaimed the land. Just beyond this derelict landscape lies Epping Forest, home to 500 fallow deer. The motorway presents a huge potential hazard to the animals whilst they are distracted by the autumn rut. Luckily, the deer have worked out how to cross the motorway safely via a little-used farm bridge.

In the final eastern quarter, Helen finds industrial wastelands being reclaimed by nature. The co-ordinated acrobatic display of a flock of lapwing inspires Helen to meet a team of Cambridge University computer scientists. They are using animal swarm-inspired rules to programme fleets of robot cars, showing how, by co-operating with each other, they are able to avoid traffic jams. This semi-autonomous technology could soon be applied to our own road vehicles, allowing our motor cars to self-organise the solutions to potential snarl-ups. By borrowing simple principles from swarming animals, everyone will get home faster.

Helen concludes her lap of the M25 by approaching the giant QEII suspension bridge over the River Thames. Just upriver, Helen discovers the wonderfully wild Rainham Marshes. This former MOD firing range has been turned into a sanctuary for waders and wintering wildfowl. Rainham is a final example of how the brownfield sites encountered all along the motorway have an incredible capacity for wildlife. They are often already earmarked for development; in many cases we should be doing our best to protect them.


SUN 19:00 Being Beethoven (m000kxl2)
Series 1

Episode 2

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, the man who emerges is a complex and often contradictory individual - living a life marked by isolation, ill health and deafness. One who, despite the frequent wretchedness of his personal circumstances, manages to create musical masterpieces that have enthralled and uplifted the world for 250 years.

This episode sees Beethoven return to the town of Heiligenstadt, where the year before, devastated by the loss of his hearing, he had written the Heiligenstadt Testament; a document in which he contemplates suicide before finally resolving to embark on a new creative path. The works that he produces during this period — from the earth-shattering Eroica through to his Seventh Symphony — amount to one of the most extraordinary outpourings of creativity in the history of music.

However, as is so often the case, Beethoven’s life follows a very different trajectory to his art. The composer’s repeated attempts to find love with the same type of woman - young, beautiful and aristocratic - will result in his letter to the ‘Immortal Beloved’, a woman whose identity remains mysterious to this day.

Highlights include Martin Haselböck conducting a period performance of the Third Symphony in the hall in which it was premiered, and the Takács Quartet performing the electrifying finale to the Third Rasumovsky Quartet. 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 (m001c1kd)

Unmissable Moments

Take a whistlestop tour through the very best music from the 2022 Proms season in this one-off special. Eight weeks of world-class concerts become just 100 minutes of standout performances from the countless musicians who graced the Royal Albert Hall stage this summer.

The show is packed with tunes we know and love, with something for everyone. Emotional highlights include Elgar’s sublime Nimrod, the Proms’ tribute to the late, great Aretha Franklin, and a spine-tingling performance of the Ukrainian national anthem by the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra.

Along the way, expect favourites like Handel’s majestic Zadok the Priest, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Beethoven’s epic Ode to Joy and Dukas’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

There’s also fireworks from international soloists Yuja Wang, Kian Soltani, and Nicola Benedetti, as well as numbers from the first ever Gaming Prom and international superstar Cynthia Erivo’s Proms debut performance.

An ensemble of this year’s Proms presenters bring us this celebration of the greatest classical music festival in the world.

SUN 21:40 The Great Mountain Sheep Gather (m000hb4r)
Scafell Pike is England’s tallest mountain and home to a flock of native Herdwick sheep. Every summer, their shepherd must gather these notoriously hardy sheep and bring them down to the farm for shearing.

The Great Mountain Sheep Gather charts this journey across the fells with epic bird’s-eye view photography descending into the valley below. This timeless event has taken place in the Lake District for over a thousand years. Opening at dawn with the shepherd blindly navigating the foggy peaks and crags, this film reveals the skill, knowledge and bravery needed to care for a flock in this rugged land.

As the fog lifts to expose the breathtaking landscape, and the small pockets of sheep merge into one big group, the voice of Lakeland shepherd Andrew Harrison allows us to see this unique world through his eyes – the knowledge of the dogs, farmers and sheep passed down from generation to generation for centuries, the challenges of life in the fells, and the conflict posed by visitors and the 21st century.

Specially commissioned poetry written by Mark Pajak and read by Maxine Peake provides a counterpoint to the shepherd’s insights throughout this film. The programme’s unique visual perspective includes riding along on a dog, a sheep and with the shepherd himself. The bleats, barks and birdsong echoing down the valley create an evocative natural soundtrack.

Once the flock has assembled as one, this immersive chronicle follows the group as they descend and are greeted by sunshine and a sense of relief once they arrive at the farm. Five hundred sheep must now be sheared - the tale of a shepherd’s life.

SUN 23:20 Secrets of the Museum (m000f1xp)
Series 1

Episode 1

Inside every museum is a hidden world, and now, cameras have been allowed behind the scenes at the world-famous Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Only a small part of the two million wonders in the collection are on display to the public. But in this new series we go behind closed doors to explore all the treasures of art, design and performance the museum has to offer.
We follow experts and conservators at work in this treasure trove of the nation’s favourite objects, as they breathe new life into fragile marvels, uncover hidden stories, and battle to keep the past alive.
In this week’s episode we follow the charming story of a hand-made children’s toy - Pumpie the elephant. Pumpie was made a hundred years ago by the Cattley family in west London. The children whose beloved stuffed toy he was made special outfits for him, painted his portrait, and took him with them on holiday. But Pumpie has suffered major moth damage over the years, and now needs urgent restoration.
Curator Will takes the treasured toy to head textile conservator Jo, who dyes new felt to patch up Pumpie’s moth-eaten trunk, darns his miniature admiral’s outfit and restores his original brass buttons so that he’s shipshape to go out on loan for a special exhibition.
But before Pumpie packs his trunk, a relative of the family who once owned him is invited into the conservation workshop to meet him for the first time.
Meanwhile curator Charlotte is on the case of a missing woman. The face of a beautiful 18th-century aristocrat has been meticulously painted in enamel on an ornate gold and enamel snuffbox. But nobody knows for certain who this mysterious woman might be.
Charlotte is determined to get to the bottom of this question with a visit to historic Ham House. She compares large-scale portraits and other miniatures with the snuffbox to establish the identity of Lady Frances Carteret.
Behind the scenes of the spectacular Christian Dior exhibition, we uncover the expert skill involved in creating bespoke mannequins to display the gowns. Each mannequin is sculpted by textile conservators Lillia and Lara to exactly fit the dimensions of each dress’s original owners. Pamela Mann, the original owner of a spectacular raspberry-pink cocktail dress, comes in to the Museum to see the results of the team’s labours, and tells us the story of how her husband - a former physician to the Royal Household - bought Pamela the dress from Harrods in the 1950s.
In the performance galleries, rock and pop curator Vicky and conservator Susana take us inside Kylie Minogue’s dressing room, which is on display as a time capsule of the star’s 2007 tour. As they check the condition of the dresses, shoes and make-up, we discover the significance of the objects from this moment in Kylie’s life - after her treatment for breast cancer.
Finally, paper conservator Anne gets to grips with a colourful Victorian curiosity called a paper peep-show. This folding paper marvel was made as a souvenir of the Great Exhibition in 1851, and is made up of a series of hand-painted cardboard plates that magically open like an accordion.
But the 170-year-old paper object is so delicate that it’s in danger of falling apart. We follow the careful surgery required, using tiny pieces of Japanese paper and wheat starch to restore the beautiful piece so that visitors will be able to take a peep into the past and see the Great Exhibition for themselves.

SUN 00:20 The Normans (b00tcgkl)
Men from the North

In the first episode of a three-part series, Professor Robert Bartlett explores how the Normans developed from a band of marauding Vikings into the formidable warriors who conquered England in 1066. He tells how the Normans established their new province of Normandy -'land of the northmen' - in northern France. They went on to build some of the finest churches in Europe and turned into an unstoppable force of Christian knights and warriors, whose legacy is all around us to this day. Under the leadership of Duke William, the Normans expanded into the neighbouring provinces of northern France. But William's greatest achievement was the conquest of England in 1066. The Battle of Hastings marked the end of the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy and monarchy. The culture and politics of England would now be transformed by the Normans.

SUN 01:20 The Last Battle of the Vikings (b01p9fwg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 on Saturday]

SUN 02:20 Being Beethoven (m000kxl2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


MON 19:00 Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection (p05qqyd8)
Series 1

Dangerous Magic

In a major four-part series, Andrew Graham-Dixon explores the history of the Royal Collection, the dazzling collection of art and decorative objects owned by the Queen. Containing over a million items, this is one of the largest art collections in the world - its masterpieces by Van Dyck, Holbein, Leonardo da Vinci, Vermeer and Canaletto line the walls of Windsor Castle, Hampton Court and many other palaces, museums and institutions around Britain.

Andrew argues that on the surface, the Royal Collection projects permanence, but within these objects are stories of calamity, artistic passions and reinvention. Their collecting shows how these kings and queens wielded power, but it also reveals their personalities - it's through their individual passions that we see them at their most human.

In this first episode, Andrew marvels at the works acquired by the great founders of the modern Royal Collection - Henry VIII and Charles I. Henry VIII deployed the most essential rule of royal collecting, that great art projects great power. Andrew decodes The Story of Abraham series of tapestries in Hampton Court Palace's Great Hall, explaining how these luxury artworks contain a simple message for his terrified court - obedience.

But Henry also presided over the first great age of the portrait in England; his painter, Hans Holbein the Younger, was a magician who stopped time, preserving the faces of Henry's court forever. Andrew visits the Royal Collection's set of over 80 Holbein drawings in Windsor Castle's print room to see how the artist helped the English to understand themselves in a new way.

Henry VIII tried to overwhelm with magnificence, but for Charles I art was a way to compete with other kings through taste. He was our first connoisseur-king and the greatest royal collector in British history. It was a fateful journey to Spain to win the hand of a Spanish princess that opened Charles's eyes to the works of Titian and Raphael. But his transformation into a world-class collector was sealed with the wholesale purchase of the enormous art collection of the impoverished Mantuan court. The greatest of the Mantuan treasures were Mantegna's nine-picture series of The Triumphs of Caesar that Charles installed at Hampton Court. They are themselves a visual depiction of how power - and art - passes from the weak to the strong. Charles was top dog for now - but for how long?

Andrew explores how Charles I's Royal Collection introduced a new artistic language to British art. The sensuality of Titian and the epic canvases of Tintoretto, still in the Royal Collection today, were a revelation for a country whose visual culture had been obliterated by the Reformation. And we see how Sir Anthony van Dyck created a glamorous new style for the king that could have served as a new beginning for British art. But this was a future that would never happen - the English Civil War and Charles I's execution put an end to this first great age of royal collecting, with the king's artworks sold in 'the most extravagant royal car-boot sale in history'.

MON 20:00 Art of Persia (m000k48g)
Series 1

Episode 1

Since Ayatollah Khomeini brought revolution to Iran in 1979, the country has become a byword for radical Islam. Western documentary teams are seldom given access, but broadcaster and journalist Samira Ahmed has been given a rare opportunity to discover Iran’s rich, colourful culture and extraordinary history.

In this first episode, Samira journeys to places rarely seen by western audiences to reveal how the Persian Empire was born, the mysterious writing of its early people and how Iran’s powerful kings built a vast empire that became the envy of the ancient world.

MON 21:00 Horizon (b09574pc)

Mars - A Traveller's Guide

The dream of sending humans to Mars is closer than ever before. In fact, many scientists think that the first person to set foot on the Red Planet is alive today. But where should the first explorers visit when they get there? Horizon has gathered the world's leading experts on Mars and asked them where they would go if they got the chance - and what would they need to survive?

Using incredible real images and data, Horizon brings these Martian landmarks to life - from vast plains to towering volcanoes, from deep valleys to hidden underground caverns. This film also shows where to land, where to live and even where to hunt for traces of extraterrestrial life.

This is the ultimate traveller's guide to Mars.

MON 22:00 The Sky at Night (m001c1m0)
Photographing the Universe

For centuries, humans have been drawing what they see in the night sky through telescopes. But there is something about a photograph that can make you feel you are right there, up close to the moon, planet, star or galaxy you are looking at. Having the light from those distance objects, fixed in an image, has meant scientists can analyse and understand the beautiful universe around us. So, this month, the Sky at Night is looking at the wonderful world of astrophotography.

Dr Jen Gupta visits Chris to talk about her favourite pictures, many of which have changed our very understanding of the cosmos. Some leave us with questions still unanswered, even 60 years on.

Maggie is in Scotland looking at the latest in new technology being built for the Very Large Telescope. Once installed, it will give scientists the ability to understand and study the formation of galaxies throughout the entire history of the universe.

Meanwhile, the Sky at Night’s very own astrophotographer, Pete Lawrence, takes a trip down memory lane, revisiting some of his highlights over the years.

Plus, a look at how the camera on your phone can be a great place to start if you are new to taking astrophotographs and want to give it a go.

With favourite pictures, competition-winning images and a guide to all there is to see and do in the coming month, there is lots to discover.

MON 22:30 8 Days: To the Moon and Back (m0006p5f)
Eight days, three hours, 18 minutes, 35 seconds. That is the total duration of the most important and celebrated space mission ever flown - Apollo 11 - when humans first set foot on the moon. It was a journey that changed the way we think about our place in the universe. But we only saw a fraction of what happened - a handful of iconic stills and a few precious hours of movie footage. Now it is time to discover the full story.

Previously classified cockpit audio, recorded by the astronauts themselves, gives a unique insight into their fears and excitement as they undertake the mission. And dramatic reconstruction brings those recordings to life, recreating the crucial scenes that were never filmed - the exhilarating launch, the first sight of the moon, the dramatic touchdown and nail-biting journey home. Original archive footage from the Apollo programme is combined with newly shot film and cinematic CGI to create the ultimate documentary of the ultimate human adventure.

MON 00:00 A Very British History (m000f4ym)
Series 2

Whatever Happened to the Boat People?

Therapist Rachel Nguyen tells the story of the Vietnamese Boat People who came to Britain in the 70s and 80s. British-born Rachel, whose parents fled post-war Vietnam, discovers how a new community came to exist in Britain when Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher eventually agreed to take in 10,000 Vietnamese refugees.

Scattered around the country following a controversial ‘dispersal policy’, the new community became almost invisible – even to this day many in the UK might not realise Britain has a Vietnamese community.

Through meeting people who lived through these events and by accessing rare archive footage and government papers, Rachel learns more about the community she was brought up in and the country into which her parents and the other Boat People arrived. Whilst they faced huge difficulties, there was also kindness from local people. She goes on to explore how life in Britain has changed for Vietnamese people of her generation.

MON 01:00 The Normans (b00tfdsk)

In the second of this three-part series, Professor Robert Bartlett explores the impact of the Norman conquest of Britain and Ireland. Bartlett shows how William the Conqueror imposed a new aristocracy, savagely cut down opposition and built scores of castles and cathedrals to intimidate and control. He also commissioned the Domesday Book, the greatest national survey of England that had ever been attempted.

England adapted to its new masters and both the language and culture were transformed as the Normans and the English intermarried. Bartlett shows how the political and cultural landscape of Scotland, Wales and Ireland were also forged by the Normans and argues that the Normans created the blueprint for colonialism in the modern world.

MON 02:00 Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection (p05qqyd8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MON 03:00 Art of Persia (m000k48g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection (b09p6mr9)
Series 1

Paradise Regained

In the year 1660, something miraculous began to happen. After the execution of Charles I, the Royal Collection had been sold off and scattered to the four winds. But now, with the restoration of Charles II, the monarchy was back. And with it their driven, sometimes obsessive, passion for art. Slowly but surely, new pieces were acquired, as others were returned out of fear of reprisal. The Royal Collection had sprung back to life.

Andrew Graham-Dixon tells the story of the Royal Collection's remarkable resurrection, following its fortunes from Charles II through to the 18th century and the enlightened purchases of George III. This is when some of the Queen's greatest treasures were collected - a magnificent silver-gilt salt cellar in the form of castle, kept in the Tower of London, a gold state coach, adorned with cherubs and tritons, and masterpieces by Vermeer, Canaletto and Leonardo da Vinci.

Andrew discovers the extraordinary peace offerings given to the 30-year-old Charles II by fearful citizens, because they had backed the Parliamentarians in the Civil War. And then there are works given by other countries, hoping to curry favour with the restored monarch - Holland gave sculptures, a yacht, a bed and a collection of paintings worth nearly £30 million in today's money, including two magnificent masterpieces by Titian that are still in the Collection.

At Windsor Castle, Andrew reveals Charles II's life of extravagance - this was a king who dined in public, as if he was a god, in an attempt to rival France's Louis XIV, the Sun King. His palace walls were hung with paintings of beautiful young women, the 'Windsor Beauties'. Even Charles's furniture speaks of excess - tables and mirrors completely covered in silver.

But Charles was also a king who bought wisely and Andrew is astonished by the recent discoveries of Royal Collection Trust conservators. Blank pages from Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks (most likely acquired in Charles II's reign) come alive under ultraviolet light, revealing drawings unseen for centuries.

Andrew shows how the Collection grew during the 18th century, despite philistine kings like George II ('I hate painting', he once shouted in his German accent). Under George III, royal collecting soared to new heights, driven by the new king's enlightened curiosity in the wider world and his desire to understand how it worked. Andrew travels to Venice to tell the story of one of the greatest purchases in the Royal Collection's history - as a young king, George III paid £20,000 to Canaletto's agent Consul Joseph Smith for a superb collection including over 50 paintings by the Venetian master.

George III, like Charles II, would be feted with gifts including the Padshahnama - an illustrated Indian chronicle of the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan (famous for commissioning the Taj Mahal). Andrew discovers the incredible painting, so delicate that it was, legend tells us, painted with brushes made with hairs taken from the necks of baby kittens. Because of his restless curiosity, by the end of his reign George III had overseen some of the greatest acquisitions in the Royal Collection's history.

TUE 20:00 Keeping Up Appearances (b007c3nz)
Series 5

Episode 7

Sitcom. When Hyacinth hears that Emmet is rehearsing a musical, she is beside herself. Unfortunately sorting out Daddy's antics has to take priority.

TUE 20:30 Ever Decreasing Circles (p00c1k2z)
Series 3

Episode 3

The suburban sitcom continues. New neighbours are due to move in to the close, much to Martin's chagrin.

TUE 21:00 Storyville (m001c1my)
Gorbachev. Heaven

Mikhail Gorbachev helped to shape the 20th century, being the architect of glasnost and perestroika. His actions brought down the Berlin Wall, giving countries of the former Soviet Union a chance to break away and be free. But while to many in the west he remains a hero, in his own country Gorbachev is condemned for destroying the Soviet empire.

This film is an intimate portrait of the former Russian leader in his final years, before his death in August 2022, living alone in an empty house outside Moscow and carrying the burdens of his past.

TUE 22:40 Ted Hughes: Stronger Than Death (b06j7pkl)
Ted Hughes is widely recognised as one of Britain's greatest poets. He is also one of the most controversial. The Heathcliff of poetry who 'attracted more scandal than any other literary figure with the exception of Lord Byron' as one contributor notes. Now, for the first time, the events of his life and the breadth and influence of his poetry are the focus of a major documentary.

Featuring the first television interview with Frieda Hughes - poet, artist and daughter of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Path - alongside a rich seam of testimony from family members, friends, fellow poets and writers, this film will illuminate one of the 20th century's most influential cultural figures and show how his compelling life story shaped his vision as a poet.

Hughes's significance is incontrovertible, yet so often during his lifetime, attention was focused on the scandalous events in his personal life. Love and work collided with tragic consequences during his marriage to Sylvia Plath. When she committed suicide, he was forced to weather a storm of speculation and accusation over her death, which gathered momentum after Assia Wevill, his lover, also killed herself.

Hughes's mythic creation Crow proclaims 'But who is stronger than death? Me, evidently', and this film will explore how Hughes's ability to survive the traumas in his own life were bound up in a belief in the power and importance of poetry.

It is a journey in which the passions and preoccupations that informed his unique poetic voice - nature, mythology, death and the occult - became increasingly infused with a more personal tone, culminating in the searing power of his final volume Birthday Letters - his only account of his life with Plath. Nine months later he was dead.

TUE 00:10 Sylvia Plath – Inside the Bell Jar (b0bg2jgc)
Bringing to life that ‘queer sultry summer’ of 1953, Sylvia Plath: Inside The Bell Jar is the first film to unravel the story behind her seminal novel.

The book captures the struggles of an ambitious young woman’s attempts to deal with the constraints of 1950s America. As the bright lights of New York dim, her thoughts turn to depression and attempted suicide.

The film weaves the autobiographic narrative of the book with the testimony of her friends and daughter her Frieda Hughes, some speaking for the first time.

TUE 01:10 The Normans (b00thpzb)
Normans of the South

Professor Robert Bartlett explores the impact of the Normans on southern Europe and the Middle East. The Normans spread south in the 11th century, winning control of southern Italy and the island of Sicily. There they created their most prosperous kingdom, where Christianity and Islam co-existed in relative harmony and mutual tolerance. It became a great centre of medieval culture and learning.

But events in the Middle East provoked the more aggressive side of the Norman character. In 1095, the Normans enthusiastically answered the pope's call for holy war against Islam and joined the first crusade. They lay siege to Jerusalem and eventually helped win back the holy city from the muslims. This bloody conquest left a deep rift between Christianity and Islam which is still being felt to this day.

TUE 02:10 Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection (b09p6mr9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


WED 19:00 Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection (b09q02kn)
Series 1

Palaces and Pleasuredomes

Andrew Graham-Dixon continues his exploration of the Royal Collection, the vast collection of art and decorative objects owned by the Queen. In the third episode he has reached the age of the Romantics - the flamboyant George IV who created so much of the visual look of the modern monarchy, and Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, for whom collecting was an integral part of their happy marriage.

As Prince of Wales, George was a famously loose cannon - a spendaholic prince whose debts ballooned in tandem with the royal waistline. But as a collector, Andrew argues, George was one of the great artistic figures of the Romantic age. His tastes were very much formed by the fallout from the French Revolution; as the great French aristocratic collections were broken up, an exodus of great art flooded into London's auction rooms - and George was there to buy them. He assembled a world-class collection of Dutch and Flemish masters, including key works by Rembrandt, Cuyp and de Hooch, as well as some of the greatest examples of French furniture ever produced, which Andrew sees in the state rooms of Buckingham Palace.

George IV was a natural showman and Andrew argues that his visit to Edinburgh in 1822 helped pioneer the modern monarchy's use of spectacle. But, like Henry VIII and Charles before him, George had the sense to partner up with an artist of genius - Sir Thomas Lawrence. The result of their collaboration is seen in a series of stirring battlefield portraits that line Windsor Castle's Waterloo Chamber.

Queen Victoria is often depicted as the uptight opposite of her louche uncle, but Andrew argues that, for her, art was just as important. This was a passion that she could share with her beloved husband, Prince Albert, who believed that learning how to make art was the best way to understand it.

Andrew visits Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, still filled with their art possessions, including marble facsimiles of the arms and legs of her infant children, commissioned by Victoria herself.

Andrew argues that Albert was a natural curator; he instilled a love for collecting in his children and compiled an early 'database' of the complete works of Raphael which he kept in his new 'print room' in Windsor Castle as a tool for art historians. But it is on the streets of South Kensington ('Albertopolis') that Andrew discovers Albert's real legacy - the museums and educational institutions here are a testimony to his vision for the area, purchased with the help of profits from the Great Exhibition.

WED 20:00 South Pacific (b00l7q55)
Fragile Paradise

The South Pacific is still relatively healthy and teeming with fish, but it is a fragile paradise. International fishing fleets are taking a serious toll on the sharks, albatross and tuna, and there are other insidious threats to these bountiful seas. This episode looks at what is being done to preserve the ocean and its wildlife.

WED 21:00 The Human Body: Secrets of Your Life Revealed (b0990vnr)
Series 1


This programme explores the way our experiences shape our minds and bodies as we make the journey from the most helpless to the most sophisticated organism on earth. Dr Chris and Dr Xand van Tullekan uncover how we develop new skills - whether riding a bike or learning to walk.

They reveal the unexpected link between our heartbeat and our ability to talk. And they show, for the very first time, how memories are formed in our brains, and how our experiences continue to change our bodies and even our genes themselves throughout our lives.

WED 22:00 Christopher Eccleston Remembers... Our Friends in the North (m001c1md)
To mark the rescreening of Our Friends in the North, as part of the BBC’s centenary celebrations, Christopher Eccleston looks back on Peter Flannery’s acclaimed 1996 drama. Following the lives of four friends from Newcastle over a period of three decades, the series struck a chord with the nation’s viewers and turned its young cast into household names.

In this introduction to the series, Eccleston shares behind-the-scenes stories of how the drama was made and assesses the impact it had on audiences, himself and his fellow cast members.

WED 22:10 Our Friends in the North (p00y8rnc)
Series 1


First episode of a 9 part drama charting 30 years in the lives of four Geordie friends from 1964-1995. While Nicky decides he wants to change the world and Geordie heads for London, Mary and Tosker make a life changing mistake.

WED 23:20 Our Friends in the North (p00y8s0p)
Series 1


1966: While Harold Wilson and The Beatles rule England, everything has changed for the four from Newcastle.

WED 00:25 Our Friends in the North (p00y8sdr)
Series 1


1967: Geordie flirts with danger in his affair with Barratt's mistress. Mary and Tosker's flat and marriage are both falling apart.

WED 01:35 Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection (b09q02kn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

WED 02:35 The Human Body: Secrets of Your Life Revealed (b0990vnr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection (b09qrbvd)
Series 1

Modern Times

Andrew Graham-Dixon explores how royal collecting has changed since the days of Queen Victoria. This is a story of the British monarchy's remarkable survival, while elsewhere the crown heads of Europe crumbled in the face of world wars and revolutions. But it is also an age when women took charge of royal collecting; from Victoria to Elizabeth II, queens and queen consorts have used art to steady the ship of monarchy during this uncertain age.

It's one of the curiosities of the Royal Collection that as the monarchy's power diminished, so too did the objects they collected. Gone were epic canvases, instead came objects of exquisite, delicate and intimate beauty. Andrew marvels at a selection of the royal family's collection of Faberge jewellery - one of the greatest in the world - that includes the Mosaic Egg from 1914. So taken were Edward VII and his wife Queen Alexandria with the works of Peter Carl Faberge, that the jeweller opened a London shop to service the demands of royal clientele.

And then there's Queen Mary's Dolls' House - presented to George V's queen to thank her for her steadfastness during the first world war, the Dolls' House is an astonishing artistic collaboration by over 1,500 people and companies, replete with books containing new stories by authors like Arthur Conan Doyle, tiny champagne bottles filled with real champagne and even mini shotguns that can be broken, loaded and fired. More than just a dolls' house, this is a three-dimensional archive of a vanished artistic age.

The Collection reveals fresh insights into these remarkable women, in particular HM the Queen Mother, who loved art and collected with flair. At Clarence House, Andrew discovers a surprising collection of contemporary British art that she assembled in the 1930s and 1940s, including works by Walter Sickert, LS Lowry, Paul Nash and Augustus John. Andrew traces her greatest commission, a series of 26 paintings of Windsor Castle by John Piper, painted during the Second World War. With Windsor at risk of being bombed, Piper created an eerie dreamscape filled with black skies and foreboding.

Andrew also brings royal collecting up to date. From the outset Elizabeth II's priorities had been focused on preserving and displaying the Collection, and Andrew shows how one of the key events in its recent history - the Windsor Castle fire - was an unlikely catalyst in the reform of the Collection's care. Concluding his exploration, Andrew meets HRH the Prince of Wales to view two of his recent commissions, powerful portraits of veterans of the Battle of Britain and the D-Day landings, and to discuss the continued importance of this remarkable collection.

THU 20:00 The Last Days of Anne Boleyn (p015vhp1)
Anne Boleyn is one of the most famous and controversial women in British history. In 1536, she became the first queen in Britain's history to be executed. The brutal speed of her downfall and the astonishing nature of the charges against her - treason, adultery, even incest - make her story shocking even to this day.

Yet whilst we know how Anne died, the story of why she had to go and who authored her violent end has been the subject of fiery debate across six centuries. In a radical new approach to televised history, a stellar cast of writers and historians, including Hilary Mantel, David Starkey, Philippa Gregory and others, battle out the story of her last days and give their own unique interpretations of her destruction.

THU 21:00 The Elephant Man (m000hrgj)
In 1884, an ambitious young surgeon is intrigued by a sideshow freak billed as the Elephant Man. He finds, behind the disfigured exhibit, an intelligent person whose rehabilitation he undertakes.

THU 23:00 The Sky at Night (m001c1m0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Monday]

THU 23:30 Afghanistan: The Great Game - A Personal View by Rory Stewart (b01jb9fn)
Episode 1

Rory Stewart tells the story of British interventions in Afghanistan in the 19th century, when the British Empire became obsessed with the idea that their rival, Russia, was considering the invasion of Afghanistan as a staging post for an attack on British India.

It was a period of mutual suspicion and paranoia that later became known as The Great Game. Afghanistan was perceived by Victorian Britain, as it's believed to be today, to be an immediate threat to British national security.

In this first film, Rory Stewart tells the story of the decision-making that led to the first British invasion of Afghanistan, and the three Anglo-Afghan wars fought in this era. And he tells the story of Afghanistan's unlikely reaction to this period. When an Afghan-elite made a futile attempt to impose western-inspired ideas and modernity on the country.

THU 00:30 Afghanistan: The Great Game - A Personal View by Rory Stewart (b01jk7qd)
Episode 2

Rory Stewart tells the story of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the twentieth century, and its parallels with the American-led coalition's intervention today.

He explains that, quite contrary to popular understanding, the Soviets were reluctant invaders who agonized over the risks of intervention, but despite all these misgivings, they were sucked into Afghanistan.

At first they thought it would take them a matter of months, but eight years later, when they departed, they had gained nothing but humiliation and horror.

In this film Rory Stewart meets the soldiers and generals on both sides, and he meets the CIA spies who covertly funded the Afghans to the tune of nine billions dollars.

And he explains the bloody and tragic aftermath of this invasion - civil war, the rise of the Taliban, and the US-led invasion following the World Trade Centre attack.

THU 01:30 Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection (b09qrbvd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

THU 02:30 Horizon (b09574pc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]


FRI 19:00 Ultimate Cover Versions at the BBC (b06ns4gf)
Smash hits from 60 years of great cover versions in performance from the BBC TV archive. Reinterpretations, tributes and acts of subversion from the British invasion to noughties X Factor finalist Alexandra Burke. Artists as varied as The Moody Blues, Soft Cell, Mariah Carey and UB40 with their 'retake' on someone else's song - ultimate chart hits that are, in some cases, perhaps even better than the original.

Arguably The Beatles, alongside Bob Dylan and The Beach Boys, introduced the notion of 'originality' and self-generating artists writing their songs into the pop lexicon in the 60s. One of the most fascinating consequences of this has been the 'original' cover version, a reinterpretation of someone else's song that has transformed it into pop gold with a shift of rhythm, intent and context. The pop cover has proved a remarkably imaginative and durable form and this compilation tracks this pop alchemy at its finest and most intriguing.

FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m001c1qq)
Tony Dortie presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 15 July 1993 and featuring Danni Minogue, 4 Non Blondes, Deacon Blue, Kenny Thomas, Oui 3 and Take That.

FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m001c1qs)
Mark Franklin presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 22 July 1993 and featuring Shara Nelson, Urban Cookie Collective, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Utah Saints, The Waterboys and Jason Donovan.

FRI 21:00 In Concert (b0074sq9)
Carole King

Vintage footage of the singer/songwriter performing her songs I Feel the Earth Move, (You Make Me Feel) Like a Natural Woman, So Far Away, It's Too Late, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow and Up on the Roof for a BBC live studio performance in 1971. James Taylor guests on guitar.

FRI 21:30 Carole King: Natural Woman (m0014kjs)
Documentary telling, in her own words, the story of Carole King's upbringing in Brooklyn and the subsequent success that she had as half of husband-and-wife songwriting team Goffin and King for Aldon Music on Broadway.

It was during this era in the early 1960s that they created a string of pop hits such as Take Good Care of My Baby for Bobby Vee, The Locomotion for Little Eva and Will You Love Me Tomorrow for the Shirelles, which became the first number one hit by a black American girl group. They also wrote the era-defining Up on the Roof for the Drifters and the magnificent Natural Woman for Aretha Franklin.

By 1970 Carole was divorced from songwriting partner Gerry Goffin and had moved to Los Angeles. It was here that she created her classic solo album Tapestry, packed with delightful tunes but also, for the first time, her own lyrics, very much sung from the heart. The album included It's Too Late, I Feel the Earth Move and You've Got a Friend and held the record for the most weeks at number one by a solo female artist for nearly 20 years. It became a trusted part of everyone's record collection and has sold over 25 million copies to date.

The film features some wonderful unseen material and home movies, and narrates her life as an acclaimed singer-songwriter. To date, more than 400 of her compositions have been recorded by over 1,000 artists, resulting in 100 hit singles.

More recently, in 2013, Carole was the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song by the Library of Congress for her songwriting, whilst in 2014 Broadway production Beautiful, which tells her life story during the Goffin and King era, has received rave reviews. And in 2015, Carole was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, celebrating her lifetime artistic achievements.

Nowadays Carole King would see herself as an environmental activist as much as a songwriter, and she is to be found constantly lobbying congress in defence of the wildlife and ecosystems of her beloved Idaho.

FRI 22:25 Later... with Jools Holland (m001c1qv)

To be advised.

FRI 23:25 The Spice Girls at the BBC (m0010cwf)
To mark 25 years since Geri, Emma, Victoria and the Mels first exploded onto the world stage, we take a trip into the music archives to uncover the performances that every Spice Girls devotee really, really wants to see again.

These are the Fab Five’s finest appearances on a range of BBC shows from over the years and includes all the favourites, from their breakout number one Wannabe through to their final release as a girl band, Headlines. Our playlist also contains a selection of the hits the girls enjoyed when they’d said ‘Goodbye’ and launched themselves as solo stars.

FRI 00:25 Top of the Pops (m001c1qq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRI 00:55 Top of the Pops (m001c1qs)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

FRI 01:25 Carole King: Natural Woman (m0014kjs)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:30 today]

FRI 02:15 In Concert (b0074sq9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 02:50 Later... with Jools Holland (m001c1qv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:25 today]

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

8 Days: To the Moon and Back 22:30 MON (m0006p5f)

A Very British History 00:00 MON (m000f4ym)

Afghanistan: The Great Game - A Personal View by Rory Stewart 23:30 THU (b01jb9fn)

Afghanistan: The Great Game - A Personal View by Rory Stewart 00:30 THU (b01jk7qd)

Apples: British to the Core 01:15 SAT (b011wz53)

Art of Persia 20:00 MON (m000k48g)

Art of Persia 03:00 MON (m000k48g)

Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection 19:00 MON (p05qqyd8)

Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection 02:00 MON (p05qqyd8)

Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection 19:00 TUE (b09p6mr9)

Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection 02:10 TUE (b09p6mr9)

Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection 19:00 WED (b09q02kn)

Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection 01:35 WED (b09q02kn)

Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection 19:00 THU (b09qrbvd)

Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection 01:30 THU (b09qrbvd)

BBC Proms 20:00 SUN (m001c1kd)

Being Beethoven 19:00 SUN (m000kxl2)

Being Beethoven 02:20 SUN (m000kxl2)

Carole King: Natural Woman 21:30 FRI (m0014kjs)

Carole King: Natural Woman 01:25 FRI (m0014kjs)

Christopher Eccleston Remembers... Our Friends in the North 22:00 WED (m001c1md)

Cricket: Today at the Test 19:00 SAT (m001c1hf)

Ever Decreasing Circles 00:45 SAT (p00c1k10)

Ever Decreasing Circles 20:30 TUE (p00c1k2z)

Golf: PGA Championship 20:00 SAT (m001c1hh)

Horizon 21:00 MON (b09574pc)

Horizon 02:30 THU (b09574pc)

In Concert 21:00 FRI (b0074sq9)

In Concert 02:15 FRI (b0074sq9)

Keeping Up Appearances 00:15 SAT (b007bt2g)

Keeping Up Appearances 20:00 TUE (b007c3nz)

Later... with Jools Holland 22:25 FRI (m001c1qv)

Later... with Jools Holland 02:50 FRI (m001c1qv)

Our Friends in the North 22:10 WED (p00y8rnc)

Our Friends in the North 23:20 WED (p00y8s0p)

Our Friends in the North 00:25 WED (p00y8sdr)

Secrets of the Museum 23:20 SUN (m000f1xp)

South Pacific 20:00 WED (b00l7q55)

State of Happiness 21:00 SAT (p0bqhsn3)

State of Happiness 21:45 SAT (p0bqhspq)

Storyville 21:00 TUE (m001c1my)

Sylvia Plath – Inside the Bell Jar 00:10 TUE (b0bg2jgc)

Ted Hughes: Stronger Than Death 22:40 TUE (b06j7pkl)

The Elephant Man 21:00 THU (m000hrgj)

The Great Mountain Sheep Gather 21:40 SUN (m000hb4r)

The Hidden Wilds of the Motorway 02:15 SAT (m000kjm9)

The Human Body: Secrets of Your Life Revealed 21:00 WED (b0990vnr)

The Human Body: Secrets of Your Life Revealed 02:35 WED (b0990vnr)

The Last Battle of the Vikings 22:30 SAT (b01p9fwg)

The Last Battle of the Vikings 01:20 SUN (b01p9fwg)

The Last Days of Anne Boleyn 20:00 THU (p015vhp1)

The Normans 00:20 SUN (b00tcgkl)

The Normans 01:00 MON (b00tfdsk)

The Normans 01:10 TUE (b00thpzb)

The Sky at Night 22:00 MON (m001c1m0)

The Sky at Night 23:00 THU (m001c1m0)

The Spice Girls at the BBC 23:25 FRI (m0010cwf)

Timeshift 23:30 SAT (m000l9vf)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m001c1qq)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m001c1qs)

Top of the Pops 00:25 FRI (m001c1qq)

Top of the Pops 00:55 FRI (m001c1qs)

Ultimate Cover Versions at the BBC 19:00 FRI (b06ns4gf)