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 (b01msf6r)
The Empire Strikes Back

In the third and final part of the series, Alastair Sooke charts the decline and fall of the Roman Empire through some of its hidden and most magical artistic treasures. He travels to Leptis Magna in Libya shortly after the overthrow of Gaddafi and finds one of the best preserved Roman cities in the world and the cradle of later Roman art. Sooke discovers glorious mosaics which have never been filmed before, but also finds evidence of shocking neglect of Libya's Roman heritage by the Gaddafi regime.

His artistic tour takes him to Egypt and the northern frontiers of the empire where he encounters stunning mummy paintings and exquisite silver and glassware. As Rome careered from one crisis to another, official art became more hard boiled and militaristic and an obscure cult called Christianity rose up to seize the mantle of Western art for centuries to come.

SAT 20:00 Himalaya with Michael Palin (b0074qx6)
A Passage to India

Michael Palin continues his Himalayan trek by travelling from K2 in Pakistan to Ladakh in India - a short distance as the crow flies but, due to politics, a huge loop. He passes through the Sikh city of Amritsar, with its Golden Temple, and through Shimla with its Vice Regal Lodge, Gaiety Theatre and cosy half-timbered teahouses. He then meets the 14th Dalai Lama in Dharamsala where the Tibetan government is in exile.

SAT 21:00 The Girl with a Bracelet (m001c953)
Teenaged Lise is put on trial for the murder of her best friend. Under house arrest and unable to see friends, Lise retreats into herself and even her parents have to cope with doubt and the stress of not knowing what happened. With little evidence to prove Lise's involvement, the prosecution focuses instead on her character.

SAT 22:30 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.

SAT 00:10 Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors (b08sqxk1)
Lucy Worsley explores the different houses in which Jane Austen lived and stayed, to discover just how much they shaped Jane's life and novels.

On a journey that takes her across England, Lucy visits properties that still exist, from grand stately homes to seaside holiday apartments, and brings to life those that have disappeared. The result is a revealing insight into one of the world's best-loved authors.

SAT 01:10 Treasures of Ancient Rome (b01msf6r)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

SAT 02:10 Himalaya with Michael Palin (b0074qx6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


SUN 19:00 Rugby League: Super League Highlights (m001cbqg)

Play-Off Semi-Finals Highlights

Highlights from the Super League play-off semi-finals - Wigan v Leeds and St Helens v Salford.

SUN 20:00 The State Funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II (m001cqwp)
A National Minute's Silence for HM the Queen

A national minute's silence for HM the Queen.

SUN 20:05 Akram Khan's Giselle (m0003vk6)
English National Ballet performs Akram Khan’s Giselle, the award-winning reimagining of one of the greatest romantic ballets of all time.
The classic story of love, betrayal and redemption is retold by choreographer Akram Khan, with sets and costumes by academy award-winning designer Tim Yip, and an adaptation of Adolphe Adam’s original score created by composer Vincenzo Lamagna and performed by English National Ballet Philharmonic.

Acclaimed by audiences and critics since its premiere at Manchester International Festival in 2016, English National Ballet’s production has toured around the UK and been performed in Hong Kong, Ireland and New Zealand. This English National Ballet Production was supported by The Space and filmed live in 2017 at The Liverpool Empire.

SUN 21:40 Michael Clark's to a simple, rock 'n' roll... song (b0b2m5g8)
The latest work by groundbreaking choreographer Michael Clark. Acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, the London Evening Standard called the production 'an adrenaline shot that sends you away buzzing'.

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

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

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

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

SUN 22:35 Being Beethoven (m000l41g)
Series 1

Episode 3

'We are not in a good state…'

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 3 finds the composer unmoored and - personally and creatively - desperate to regain control in his every aspect of his life. In 1815, the death of his brother is the catalyst for a long and bitter legal battle for custody of Beethoven's nephew, Karl. What follows is a protracted period during which the composer’s desire for love and family tip over into obsession. Beethoven will, of course, embark on the extraordinary flowering of the late music - the Missa solemnis, the late quartets and the Ninth 'Choral' Symphony - but he doesn’t know that yet.

Musical highlights include Paul Lewis exploring the beauty and brutality of one of the greatest works of the piano repertoire, the Diabelli Variations, and the Takács Quartet playing the sublime Hymn of Thanksgiving.

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 23:35 Secrets of the Museum (m000f9b2)
Series 1

Episode 2

Behind the scenes at the Victoria and Albert Museum, priceless Raphael paintings give up their secrets. Keeper James gets hands-on with Beyonce’s ring and Queen Victoria’s coronet.

SUN 00:35 The Art Mysteries with Waldemar Januszczak (m000gg29)
Series 1

Van Gogh's Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear

Painted soon after he cut off his ear with a razor, Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear is one of his most celebrated works. But how much do we really know about it?

In a far-ranging investigation, Waldemar Januszczak delves into the clues hidden in the painting. The result is a tale of geishas, brothels, bullfights, love affairs, suffering and a fiery relationship with Gauguin. Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear has a powerful secret message, if you know what to look for.

SUN 01:05 The Celts: Blood, Iron and Sacrifice with Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver (b06h3ytf)
Episode 1

Anthropologist Professor Alice Roberts and archaeologist Neil Oliver go in search of the Celts - one of the world's most mysterious ancient people. In Britain and Ireland we are never far from our Celtic past, but in this series Neil and Alice travel much further afield, discovering the origins and beliefs of these Iron Age people in artefacts and human remains right across Europe, from Turkey to Portugal. What emerges is not a wild people on the western fringes of Europe, but a highly sophisticated tribal culture that influenced vast areas of the ancient world - and even Rome.

Rich with vivid drama reconstruction, we recreate this pivotal time and meet some of our most famous ancient leaders - from Queen Boudicca to Julius Caesar - and relive the battles they fought for the heart and soul of Europe. Alice and Neil discover that these key battles between the Celts and the Romans over the best part of 500 years constituted a fight for two very different forms of civilisation - a fight that came to define the world we live in today.

In the first episode, we see the origins of the Celts in the Alps of central Europe and relive the moment of first contact with the Romans in a pitched battle just north of Rome - a battle that the Celts won and that left the imperial city devastated.

SUN 02:05 Being Beethoven (m000l41g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:35 today]


MON 19:00 Great American Railroad Journeys (m000dt9s)
Series 4

Ninilchik to Wasilla

Michael Portillo heads for the last frontier of the United States, armed with his 1899 Appleton’s Guidebook to Alaska.

Beginning his journey amid the snow-capped mountains and ice-cold inlets of the Kenai Peninsula, Michael finds the golden onion domes of a Russian Orthodox church, along with traditional Russian food and costume and discovers that, 150 years ago, Alaska was a Russian colony.

In Seward, Michael feeds a rescued sea otter pup with a fearsome bite and learns how the luxurious pelts of these endearing creatures were once the most valuable in the world. On a boat trip around Seward Harbour, Michael hears from an indigenous former Alaskan state senator how, shortly before his guidebook was published, the Russian Empire sold Alaska to the United States.

Heading north on the Alaska Railroad past lakes and glaciers and through mountain tunnels, Michael learns what it took to build this epic 470-mile line. Reference in his Appleton’s over a century ago to climate change prompts him to explore the iceberg maze at the Spencer glacier aboard a rubber raft. In Anchorage, Michael joins the US Arctic Warriors for parachute training at joint forces base Elmendorf-Richardson. A magical encounter with cabbage fairies in Palmer teaches Michael a thing or two about growing giant vegetables close to the Arctic Circle.

In an underground sod house built from driftwood and whalebone, Michael hears how the language and traditions of indigenous people in Alaska were suppressed by the United States. After sharing a plate of smoked and dried fish with his indigenous host, he heads for the Alaska Native Heritage Centre, where athletes train for the annual World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. Michael’s chosen event is the Eskimo stick pull.

MON 20:00 Art of Persia (m000kbnz)
Series 1

Episode 2

Broadcaster and journalist Samira Ahmed takes viewers on a remarkable journey to places rarely seen, as she travels through Iran, telling the story of a complex and fascinating people, their culture and their history.

Samira gives a remarkable account of the clash between two powerful civilisations and explains how Iran preserved its distinctive language and culture despite the Arab conquest of Persia in AD651. From Zoroastrian fire temples to the fabled bazaars of Aladdin and an ancient magical storybook that became Iran’s national myth, this second episode in the series reveals how the country has proudly held onto its Persian identity, art and literature to this day.

MON 21:00 The Search for a New Earth (b0953y04)
Planet Earth has been home to humankind for over 200,000 years, but with a population of 7.3 billion and counting and limited resources, this planet might not support us forever. Professor Stephen Hawking thinks the human species will have to populate a new planet within 100 years if it is to survive. With climate change, pollution, deforestation, pandemics and population growth, our own planet is becoming increasingly precarious.

In this landmark film, Professor Hawking, engineer and radio astronomy expert Professor Danielle George and Christophe Galfard, former student of Professor Hawking, join forces to find out if, and how, humans can reach for the stars and relocate to different planets. Travelling the globe, they meet top scientists, technologists and engineers who are working to answer our biggest questions. Is there another planet out there that we could call home? How will we travel across the vast distances of space to get there? How will we survive the journey? And how will we set up a new human civilisation on an alien world?

Christophe and Danielle journey to the heart of the Atacama Desert, visiting the aptly named 'Very Large Telescope', where they meet the astronomers who are discovering new planets outside our solar system every single day. But are any of them suitable for human life? Travelling deeper into the Atacama, microbiologist Maria Farias introduces Christophe to a strange life form could help us make an unlimited supply of oxygen on another planet.

In Houston, Texas, engineer and ex-astronaut Franklin Chang Diaz shows Danielle the plasma powered rocket engine that could revolutionise space travel, taking humans into space faster than ever before. On the arctic island of Svalbard, Christophe witnesses the stunning Northern Lights. This mystical phenomenon is a glorious by-product of Earth's protective magnetic field, deflecting dangerous radiation. In space, we can't take this protective field with us, but in the Netherlands, Christophe meets anaesthesiologist Dr Rob Henning, who believes hibernating bears may hold the key to protecting the human body from the hazards of space. Muscle wastage is another problem for potential planetary pioneers. Without gravity, space travellers lose muscle and bone strength at an alarming rate. However, the European Space Agency may have the answer - artificial gravity. Christophe takes a spin on a human centrifuge that could help keep us healthy on our journey to distant planets.

In Arizona, Danielle explores the giant greenhouses of Biosphere 2, where scientist Gene Giacomelli is working on ways to sustain human life on a planet with no atmosphere, growing plants for not just for food but also oxygen. His lunar greenhouse could provide enough oxygen for a single astronaut to survive on a planet with no atmosphere. And finally, at Kennedy Space Centre she meets fellow engineer Robert Mueller, who showcases NASA's own 'robot army', under development as a means of mining the natural resources and building the infrastructure we need on another planet before humans even get there.

Taking in the latest advances in astronomy, biology and rocket technology. From the Atacama Desert to the wilds of the Arctic, from plasma rockets to human hibernation. We discover a whole world of cutting-edge research. This journey shows that Professor Hawking's ambition isn't as fantastical as it sounds - that science fact is closer to science fiction than we ever thought. As Professor Hawking states, 'We can, and must, use our curiosity and intelligence to look to the stars'.

MON 22:30 Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made the Commonwealth (p01n8dv0)
HMS Hood

In this episode, David Hayman meets some of the men who sailed on HMS Hood. He travels to Scapa Flow to experience what life was like for the hundreds of people working to protect the vital North Atlantic convoys.

In Australia, he uncovers the legacy of her flag-waving visits and he tries his hand at riveting to understand what it took to make this battlecruiser strong and watertight. David also investigates why this 'mighty' ship was flawed from the very day she was launched.

MON 23:30 Ian Hislop's Fake News: A True History (m00095hv)
Fake news is never out of today's headlines. But in his latest documentary taking the long view of a hot-button issue, Ian Hislop discovers fake news raking in cash or wreaking havoc long before our own confused, uncertain times. Ian mines history to identify what motivates fake news - from profit, power and politics to prejudice, paranoia and propaganda – as well as to try to figure out what to do about it. In America and back home, Ian meets, amongst others, someone whose fake news stories have reached millions and a victim of fakery alleged to be a mastermind of the spurious paedophile ring ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy. Viewers also get to see Ian doing something that has never been captured on film before – as he gets a taste of what it is like to be 'deepfaked'.

In 1835, New Yorkers were fooled by one of the most entertaining and successful fake news scoops of all time - a tale of flying man-bats spied on the moon through the world’s most powerful telescope. The moon hoax story ran in a cheap, new tabloid - The Sun. Within decades, a circulation war waged between two pioneering press barons - Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst - was seen by many as causing a real war, between America and Spain. Meanwhile, another American conflict, the Civil War of the 1860s, had proved that photography, which initially promised new standards of accuracy, also brought new ways of lying. Ian looks at the battlefield images of pioneering photojournalist Alexander Gardner, who achieved ends by means that would be judged unethical today. He also encounters the spooky 'spirit photography' of William Mumler.

Ian digs into one of the most pernicious conspiracy theories of all time - the protocols of the Elders of Zion. He is disturbed to find this virulently anti-Semitic tract available with one click and rave reviews on Amazon, despite comprehensive factual debunking a century ago. Ian also ponders the consequences of official British fake news-mongering. During WWI, lurid stories were spread about German factories manufacturing soap from corpses. But a consequence of such black propaganda was to undermine the currency of trust in government - rather like, Ian notes, the absence of WMDs in Iraq has more recently.

To understand more about the current crisis, Ian meets James Alefantis, owner of the Washington DC pizzeria who fell victim to the ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy. He also quizzes ex-construction worker Christopher Blair, a controversial figure sometimes dubbed 'the godfather of fake news'. He discusses how frightened we should be about fake news, and what can be done about it, with Damian Collins MP who chaired the parliamentary inquiry into fake news.

Collins argues that today's tech giants – Facebook in particular - should be taking even more active steps to take down disinformation. But that path also has its perils, as Ian finds out when he resurrects the extraordinary story of Victoria Woodhull, a woman who sued the British Museum for libel in the 1890s. This pioneering American feminist - the first woman who ran to be president - was an early victim of what today would be termed 'slut-shaming'. But does combatting lies give anyone the right to censor the historical record and limit free speech?

MON 00:30 The Celts: Blood, Iron and Sacrifice with Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver (b06jcxg7)
Episode 2

In episode two, we discover the golden age of the La Tene Celtic warrior and reveal how their world extended as far as central Turkey. But by the middle of the first century BC, the Celts were under threat from an expanding Roman Empire, and the Gallic warrior Vercingetorix would challenge Julius Caesar in an epic battle that would shape the future of Europe.

MON 01:30 Great American Railroad Journeys (m000dt9s)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MON 02:30 Art of Persia (m000kbnz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Great American Railroad Journeys (m000f1nm)
Series 4

Talkeetna to Juneau

Armed with his 1899 Appleton’s Guidebook to Alaska, Michael Portillo rides the Alaska Railroad north to explore the remote former goldrush settlement of Talkeetna. Deep in the forest outside town, Michael gets a taste of the pioneering spirit of early 20th-century prospectors and settlers from a modern day 'homesteader' and helps fell a tree to clear land for a log cabin.

From Talkeetna, Michael joins intrepid fellow passengers aboard the Hurricane Turn, the last 'flag stop' train in the United States, waving them off as they alight in the middle of bear country to fish, raft and camp. He continues by rail to admire the snow-capped mountains and glaciers and to cross the gorge on the spectacular Hurricane Gulch Bridge.

In the six-million-acre Denali National Park, which is crowned by the highest peak in the United States, Michael discovers how photographers a hundred years ago captured the beauty of the Alaskan landscape. Less than 200 miles from the Arctic Circle, at Fairbanks, Michael reaches the end of the Alaska Railroad and discovers how gold prospectors liberated the precious metal from the soil.

At Poker Flat, Micheal joins scientists who study the Northern Lights. Volunteers on the Tanana Valley Railroad offer him the chance to light the boiler of their 1899 Porter locomotive - a first for Britain’s premier rail fan.

In Alaska’s railwayless state capital, Juneau, Michael researches the life of the remarkable female author of his Appleton’s, Eliza Scidmore, before heading to the railhead for his next Alaskan journey.

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 (m001c94m)
One Day in Ukraine

A snapshot of one day in a country under siege. Filmed on 14 March 2022, the 2,944th day of the Russian-Ukrainian war, by a collective of Ukrainian film-makers who wanted to document life in Kyiv for ordinary civilians, citizens-turned-activists and groups of territorial defence soldiers. Written and directed by Volodymyr Tykhyy and the Babylon 13 Collective.

TUE 22:20 Seamus Heaney and the Music of What Happens (m000bxwv)
Born into a farming family in rural Northern Ireland, Seamus Heaney became the finest poet of his generation and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995, but his career coincided with one of the bloodiest political upheavals of the 20th century, the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Six years after Heaney’s death in 2013, his wife Marie and his children talk about their family life and read some of the poems he wrote for them, and for the first time his four brothers remember their childhood and the shared experiences that inspired many of his finest poems.

TUE 23:50 The Celts: Blood, Iron and Sacrifice with Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver (b06kpzcv)
Episode 3

The Roman army turns its attention to an island of rich resources, powerful tribes and druids, and advanced military equipment - Britain. This episode tells the story of the Celts' last stand against the Roman army - a revolt led by another great leader, the warrior queen Boudicca.

TUE 00:50 Great American Railroad Journeys (m000f1nm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

TUE 01:50 The Search for a New Earth (b0953y04)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]


WED 19:00 Great American Railroad Journeys (m000f8tq)
Series 4

Skagway to Vancouver

Michael Portillo embarks on a second spectacular rail journey through Alaska into Canada on the White Pass and Yukon railway.

Arriving in Skagway by seaplane from railwayless Juneau, Michael heads first for Dyea and the Chilkoot trail, which the first gold prospectors hiked 100 years ago to the Klondike. Among them, he discovers, was author Jack London, whose stories of sled dogs captured the spirit of the gold rush.

In the puppy pen of a sled dog training camp, a dog musher tells Michael how huskies helped to build Alaska and gives him an insight into how the dogs continue to work and race today.

Boarding the 52-mile railway, built in 1898, which climbs 2,600 feet before dropping to the head of Canada’s Lake Bennett, Michael looks forward to beautiful scenery on a railway laden with history. At the lake, Michael meets an indigenous guide to hear of the role of First Nations people in the stampede for gold.

In Carcross, Yukon, Michael helps to carve a totem pole and is invited to shake his tail feathers in a “grouse” dance.

From Vancouver in the south of British Columbia, Michael prepares to trace some 600 miles of the first transcontinental railway route across the Canadian Rockies. He boards the Canadian Pacific Railway Engine 374, which linked the vast nation of Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific in 1887, to unearth the story behind this grand feat of engineering and the bribery and corruption which brought down a government. And Michael learns that without this railway, there might not be a unified Canada today.

From Vancouver’s Skytrain, Michael explores the nation’s most densely populated city. A taste of the outdoor life in the thousand-acre Stanley Park prompts Michael to head for the home of the Vancouver Giants and Trinity Northwestern University to try an iconic Canadian sport, ice hockey. It is a brave move - but not a glorious one.

Michael is on more familiar territory on set at the Canadian Motion Picture Park, known in the industry as the Hollywood of the north. He discovers the first film made in Canada was created at the time of his guide. Michael directs an Oscar-worthy scene of his own.

WED 20:00 From Ice to Fire: The Incredible Science of Temperature (b09rzqp3)
Series 1

Frozen Solid

Everything around us - from the tiniest insect on Earth to the most distant stars of the cosmos - exists somewhere on a vast scale from cold to hot. In this series, physicist Dr Helen Czerski explores the extraordinary science of temperature. She unlocks the extremes of the temperature scale, from absolute zero to searing heat of stars - and reveals how temperature works, how deep its influence on our lives is, and why it's the hidden force that has shaped our planet and the entire universe.

In episode one, Helen ventures to the bottom of the temperature scale, revealing how cold has shaped the world around us and why frozen doesn't mean what you might think. She meets the scientists pushing temperature to the very limits of cold, where the normal laws of physics break down and a new world of scientific possibility begins. The extraordinary behaviour of matter at temperatures close to absolute zero is driving the advance of technology, from superconductors to quantum computing.

WED 21:00 A Timewatch Guide (b071gx2c)
Series 2

World War II

Professor Saul David uses the BBC archive to chart the history of the world's most destructive war, by chronicling how the story of the battle has changed. As new information has come to light, and forgotten stories are remembered, the history of World War II evolves. The BBC has followed that evolution, and this programme examines the most important stories, and how our understanding of them has been redefined since the war ended over 70 years ago.

WED 22:00 Our Friends in the North (p00y8syj)
Series 1


Geordie works in Barratt's porn empire, Nicky is a political activist - the reunion is disaster. Both are wanted by the police. Tosker is a businessman, Mary a local politician.

WED 23:15 Our Friends in the North (p00yh2tj)
Series 1


The world has turned sour for the four friends. Geordie is in jail, while Tosker works in a sausage factory. Tosker and Mary’s marriage is a sham.

WED 00:25 Our Friends in the North (p00yh3r9)
Series 1


As a new decade approaches, the friends are divided again. Nicky stands for Parliament, Tosker falls in love with the woman of his dreams and Geordie begins to deal in drugs.

WED 01:40 Great American Railroad Journeys (m000f8tq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

WED 02:40 A Timewatch Guide (b071gx2c)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 Great American Railroad Journeys (m000fjpg)
Series 4

Vancouver Island to Kamloops

Michael Portillo explores British Columbia, steered by his Appleton’s Guide to Canada, published in 1899. He discovers how two superpowers nearly came to war over a pig and joins the Royal Canadian Navy to firefight on board the frigate HMCS Regina.

Starting on Vancouver Island, Michael explores the rich British heritage and colonial past of the provincial capital of British Columbia, Victoria. He discovers the origins of the immensely powerful fur-trading enterprise, the Hudson’s Bay Company and, in the affluent James Bay area of Victoria, he finds the former home of an early 20th-century artist who documented the art and culture of the indigenous people of the western coast, Emily Carr.

At Saanichton, Michael helps to carve a 36-foot totem pole in the studio of a present-day First Nations artist. In the wilderness of British Columbia, Michael learns how to head off a charging bear and holds on tight in a sidewinder while Canadian lumberjacks nudge tons of logs along the water to a sawmill.

Striking east on the transcontinental railway, Michael stops first in Mission City, gold rush country in the 19th century but also a centre for the conversion by Catholic missionaries of the local indigenous population. Michael hears the tragic stories of First Nations children forcibly separated from their families and learns how Canada is facing up to the past.

From Kamloops, Michael follows his Appleton’s to the wild wooded hills above the city, where his guidebook tells him he may find grizzly, black and brown bears. Michael learns what bears like to eat and is thrilled to see how they live in the wild.

THU 20:00 imagine... (b09srjgv)
Winter 2017/18

Mel Brooks: Unwrapped

At the age of 91, Mel Brooks is unstoppable, with his musical Young Frankenstein opening to great critical acclaim in London in late 2017. Alan Yentob visits Mel at home in Hollywood, at work and at play.

With the aid of BBC archive stretching back decades, together they embark on an unpredictable, irresistible journey through the city of stars, meeting the legendary Carl Reiner along the way. The driver is Mel Brooks - you have been warned!

THU 21:10 The Producers (m000x93g)
A struggling producer and timid accountant scheme to make money by putting on a Broadway show they know will flop, so none of the numerous investors will expect their cash back. A tasteless glorification of Hitler and the Nazis looks guaranteed to fail.

THU 22:40 Blazing Saddles (m000x8pm)
When the citizens of Rock Ridge ask Governor Lepetomane to find a new sheriff to clean up their town, his nefarious assistant Hedley Lamarr picks Bart, a black convict, reasoning that the racist townsfolk will soon get rid of Bart and leave him free to get on with destroying Rock Ridge in secret. But Bart and his newfound friend, the Waco Kid, have other ideas and set about winning over the people of Rock Ridge and spoiling Lamarr's dastardly plans at every turn.

THU 00:10 Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made the Commonwealth (p01n8dv0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 on Monday]

THU 01:10 Great American Railroad Journeys (m000fjpg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

THU 02:10 From Ice to Fire: The Incredible Science of Temperature (b09rzqp3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Wednesday]


FRI 19:00 One-Hit Wonders at the BBC (b05r7nxx)
Compilation of some indelible hits by artists we hardly heard from again, at least in a chart sense. Featuring Peter Sarstedt's Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)? - a number one in 1969 and a hit he never really matched, Trio's 1982 smash Da Da Da, Phyllis Nelson's 1985 lovers rock-style classic Move Closer, and The New Radicals' 1999 hit You Get What You Give.

We travel through the years selecting some of your favourite number ones and a few others that came close, revealing what's happened to the one-off hitmakers since and exploring the unwritten laws that help make sense of the one-hit wonder phenomenon.

FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m001c948)
Tony Dortie presents the chart programme, first broadcast on 29/07/1993. Featuring D:Ream, Robin S, Manic Street Preachers, Craig McLachlan and Debbie Gibson, Dannii Minogue, Bee Gees and Take That.

FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m001c94b)
Mark Franklin presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 05/08/1993. Featuring Juliet Roberts, Daniel O'Donnell, Urban Cookie Collective, Michelle Gayle, UB40, Bitty McLean and Take That.

FRI 21:00 Roy Orbison: Love Hurts (b09j0r8s)
Roy Orbison died 29 years ago but he's hardly forgotten. As one of rock 'n' roll's pioneers he achieved superstar status in the 60s, writing and releasing a series of smash singles such as Oh, Pretty Woman, Only the Lonely, In Dreams and Crying. But while his professional life was full of triumph, Roy suffered terrible misfortune in his personal life, losing his wife and two of his children in successive tragedies, rebuilding his life by relying on his music to distract him from desolation.

Roy's legacy as a beloved rock legend and a devoted father is revealed through intimate interviews with Roy's three surviving sons, featuring previously unseen home videos as Alex, Roy Jnr and Wesley Orbison discuss the immense talent and fierce determination that provided the driving force behind their father's incredible success and the dedication to Roy's family that helped create a strong spiritual base to escape the pressures of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle.

This is the personal story of the relationship between three children and their father; a father who died when they were young, and who they have reconnected with and come to understand through embracing his life's work. It is not often that one gets to understand the person who is the music phenomenon, but in this film about relationships, family, love, loss and affirmation, we get to see the man behind the ever-present dark sunglasses and brooding loner persona, witnessing his struggle with personal demons, and ultimately redemption and acknowledgement from his peers.

FRI 22:00 Roy Sings Orbison (b00g20wx)
Roy Orbison sings some of his greatest hits, including Only the Lonely, Crying, Penny Arcade, Blue Bayou, Running Scared, Candy Man, In Dreams, Mean Woman Blues, It's Over and Oh, Pretty Woman.

FRI 22:30 Later... with Jools Holland (m001c94d)
UK Rap, Grime and Hip-Hop

Jools looks back at some of the incredible performances from the UK’s finest stars of rap, grime and hip-hop, many of whom made their TV debuts on the show. From a trilogy of rap and garage acts in 2002 including So Solid Crew, Ms. Dynamite and The Streets to grime pioneers Kano, Skepta and Ghetts, and new stars of the scene who soon became global names like Stormzy, Dave and Little Simz.

This programme also looks back at some of the artists filmed in unique locations for the show during the pandemic such as Pa Salieu and Mahalia at London’s Conway Hall, Enny at the renowned Church Studios and Berwyn in his mum’s kitchen. You can also catch performances from UK artists like Birmingham’s Lady Leshurr, Northampton’s Slowthai and Manchester’s Bugzy Malone.

FRI 23:30 Hip-Hop at the BBC (b017zrm5)
Hip-hop through the decades from the BBC archives, including the Sugarhill Gang in 1979, Run DMC, LL Cool J and Eric B & Rakim in the 80s, Ice-T, Monie Love, Fugees and the Roots in the 90s and concluding with Dr Dre & Eminem, Dizzee Rascal and Jay-Z.

FRI 00:30 Top of the Pops (m001c948)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRI 01:00 Top of the Pops (m001c94b)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

FRI 01:30 One-Hit Wonders at the BBC (b05r7nxx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

FRI 02:30 Roy Orbison: Love Hurts (b09j0r8s)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 03:30 Roy Sings Orbison (b00g20wx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

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

A Timewatch Guide 21:00 WED (b071gx2c)

A Timewatch Guide 02:40 WED (b071gx2c)

Akram Khan's Giselle 20:05 SUN (m0003vk6)

Art of Persia 20:00 MON (m000kbnz)

Art of Persia 02:30 MON (m000kbnz)

Being Beethoven 22:35 SUN (m000l41g)

Being Beethoven 02:05 SUN (m000l41g)

Blazing Saddles 22:40 THU (m000x8pm)

Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made the Commonwealth 22:30 MON (p01n8dv0)

Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made the Commonwealth 00:10 THU (p01n8dv0)

Ever Decreasing Circles 20:30 TUE (p00c1k2z)

From Ice to Fire: The Incredible Science of Temperature 20:00 WED (b09rzqp3)

From Ice to Fire: The Incredible Science of Temperature 02:10 THU (b09rzqp3)

Great American Railroad Journeys 19:00 MON (m000dt9s)

Great American Railroad Journeys 01:30 MON (m000dt9s)

Great American Railroad Journeys 19:00 TUE (m000f1nm)

Great American Railroad Journeys 00:50 TUE (m000f1nm)

Great American Railroad Journeys 19:00 WED (m000f8tq)

Great American Railroad Journeys 01:40 WED (m000f8tq)

Great American Railroad Journeys 19:00 THU (m000fjpg)

Great American Railroad Journeys 01:10 THU (m000fjpg)

Himalaya with Michael Palin 20:00 SAT (b0074qx6)

Himalaya with Michael Palin 02:10 SAT (b0074qx6)

Hip-Hop at the BBC 23:30 FRI (b017zrm5)

Ian Hislop's Fake News: A True History 23:30 MON (m00095hv)

Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors 00:10 SAT (b08sqxk1)

Keeping Up Appearances 20:00 TUE (b007c3nz)

Later... with Jools Holland 22:30 FRI (m001c94d)

Michael Clark's to a simple, rock 'n' roll... song 21:40 SUN (b0b2m5g8)

One-Hit Wonders at the BBC 19:00 FRI (b05r7nxx)

One-Hit Wonders at the BBC 01:30 FRI (b05r7nxx)

Our Friends in the North 22:00 WED (p00y8syj)

Our Friends in the North 23:15 WED (p00yh2tj)

Our Friends in the North 00:25 WED (p00yh3r9)

Roy Orbison: Love Hurts 21:00 FRI (b09j0r8s)

Roy Orbison: Love Hurts 02:30 FRI (b09j0r8s)

Roy Sings Orbison 22:00 FRI (b00g20wx)

Roy Sings Orbison 03:30 FRI (b00g20wx)

Rugby League: Super League Highlights 19:00 SUN (m001cbqg)

Seamus Heaney and the Music of What Happens 22:20 TUE (m000bxwv)

Secrets of the Museum 23:35 SUN (m000f9b2)

Storyville 22:30 SAT (m001c1my)

Storyville 21:00 TUE (m001c94m)

The Art Mysteries with Waldemar Januszczak 00:35 SUN (m000gg29)

The Celts: Blood, Iron and Sacrifice with Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver 01:05 SUN (b06h3ytf)

The Celts: Blood, Iron and Sacrifice with Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver 00:30 MON (b06jcxg7)

The Celts: Blood, Iron and Sacrifice with Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver 23:50 TUE (b06kpzcv)

The Girl with a Bracelet 21:00 SAT (m001c953)

The Producers 21:10 THU (m000x93g)

The Search for a New Earth 21:00 MON (b0953y04)

The Search for a New Earth 01:50 TUE (b0953y04)

The State Funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II 20:00 SUN (m001cqwp)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m001c948)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m001c94b)

Top of the Pops 00:30 FRI (m001c948)

Top of the Pops 01:00 FRI (m001c94b)

Treasures of Ancient Rome 19:00 SAT (b01msf6r)

Treasures of Ancient Rome 01:10 SAT (b01msf6r)

imagine... 20:00 THU (b09srjgv)