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 Francesco's Italy: Top to Toe (b007920b)
The Heart of Italy

Francesco da Mosto discovers why Rome is the Eternal City and goes head to head with Mussolini. Travelling via the fantastic water gardens of Villa d'Este and the royal seat of the Bourbon dynasty, he arrives in Naples. After an encounter with Italy's most astonishing sculpture - Sanmartino's Veiled Christ - and a lesson in Neapolitan pizza making, Francesco descends deep into the caverns of underground Naples and discovers an eerie cult of the dead.

SAT 20:00 Himalaya with Michael Palin (b0074qrs)
Leaping Tigers, Naked Nagas

Michael Palin continues his Himalayan trek.

Following the Yangtze along Tiger Leaping Gorge into Yunnan in China, Palin reaches the easternmost end of the Himalayas.

He gets a medical check-up before exploring medieval Lijiang with the director of the local orchestra. Heading across Myanmar to Nagaland in India he rides the steam train to Tipong Coalmine.

In Assam he rides an elephant and then stays in a strange monastery.

SAT 21:00 KaDeWe - Our Time Is Now (p0d0knvc)
Series 1

Against the Clock

Hedi becomes the talk of the locker room when she becomes the face of KaDeWe. Harry and Georg plan to bamboozle potential buyer Tietz by pretending that their business is failing.

In German with English subtitles.

SAT 21:45 KaDeWe - Our Time Is Now (p0d0kqfj)
Series 1

The End of Beauty

KaDeWe again finds itself in need of financial reinvestment. Tietz, Harry and Georg approach the bank, but politics is about to play a painful part in their negotiations.

In German with English subtitles.

SAT 22:40 Berlin 1945 (m000p9tw)
Series 1

Episode 3

The British, French and Americans are waiting to enter Berlin. In the meantime, the Soviets appoint mayors, organise the food supply and go on the hunt for war criminals. The Jewish community, among whom there are few survivors, regroup.

The fate of the city is determined at the Potsdam Conference. Life returns to the ruins, theatres reopen and orchestras play in the open air. By the end of 1945, the bond that held the Allies together is torn apart - and the Cold War begins.

SAT 23:30 Storyville (m001crw2)

Hla and Nyo Nyo live in a country torn by conflict. Hla is a Buddhist and the owner of an under-resourced medical clinic in western Myanmar, where the Rohingya (a Muslim minority community) are persecuted and denied basic rights. Nyo Nyo is a Rohingya and an apprentice midwife who acts as assistant and translator at the clinic.

Despite living in the area for generations, Nyo Nyo and her family are still considered intruders. Risking her own safety daily by helping Muslim patients, she is determined to become a steady healthcare provider and resource for the families who desperately need her.

Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing’s remarkable feature debut won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Made over the course of five turbulent years in Myanmar, it shines a spotlight on these courageous women, who unite to bring forth life, despite the risks and challenges of their own, and offers a rare insight into the complex reality of Myanmar and its people.

SAT 00:55 Alma's Not Normal (m000h3mf)
Series 1

Feng Suey

After a recent break-up, Alma tries to get her life back on track. But with no job, no qualifications and a rebellious streak a mile wide, it is not going to be easy. Meanwhile, her heroin-addicted mum has been sectioned for arson, and her vampish grandma Joan wants nothing to do with it.

A bitingly funny and unflinching take on class, sexuality, mental health and substance abuse, celebrating women dealing with the hand they were dealt while doggedly pursing their dreams.

SAT 01:25 Alma's Not Normal (p09r3qks)
Series 1


Alma’s dream of becoming an actress isn’t going to be easy, so she needs to find a day job. After unsuccessfully dipping her toe into the world of escorting, Alma reluctantly takes up the position of ‘sandwich artiste’ at SubNGo. But after a trial shift and an unfortunate incident with a chocolate muffin, Alma decides that it might not the right career path for her. She decides to give escorting another go, but will she able to go through with it this time?

SAT 01:55 Alma's Not Normal (p09r3qkk)
Series 1

The Richard Gere

Alma is finally making some money by embracing her role as Ruby, so she decides to treat best friend Leanne to a shopping spree. It’s during this that she discovers Bolton Acting School, which boasts the creme de la creme of local acting talent, and decides to join up. Just when life doesn’t look like it could get any better for Alma, she meets Phil. He’s a client who is handsome, sophisticated and insists on taking Ruby’s private number - but is he too good to be true?

Meanwhile, Alma arranges another family meeting between Lin and Joan at a posh restaurant. But it’s not to everybody’s taste.

SAT 02:25 Alma's Not Normal (p09r3qkh)
Series 1

Boom and Bust

There’s some good news for Lin, as the hospital informs her that her section could finally be lifted. However, this is dependent on her either moving into a hostel or in with a family member.

As Alma is finally getting her life back on track, and the hostel isn’t exactly the right place for a recovering addict, Alma has to convince her grandma to let Lin move in with her. But will this be a step too far for Lin and Joan?

SAT 02:55 Alma's Not Normal (p09r3qkb)
Series 1

On Record

When Alma discovers that her care-leaving background can help secure her an audition to join a theatre company for a national tour, she jumps at the chance. However, when social services sends through her records, Alma comes face to face with the stark reality of her childhood growing up in and out of the care system. Could this bombshell lead to Alma missing out on an opportunity she’s been waiting her whole life for?

SAT 03:25 Alma's Not Normal (p09r3qkd)
Series 1

Sticking with You

Things between Lin and Joan aren’t going well, and the news that Alma will be leaving for a six-month tour looks like it might push Lin over the edge. When the social worker visits, Lin snaps and disappears, leaving Alma to fear the worst – that her mum may have turned back to her old ways. Can Alma save her mum if she gives up on her dream and stays to help her?


SUN 19:00 BBC Young Musician (m001d03p)

Grand Final

BBC Young Musician 2022 reaches its climax as we bring you full coverage of the competition’s grand final from Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall.

For over 40 years, BBC Young Musician has been the UK’s premier platform for the most outstanding young classical talent in the country. At its heart, the competition is a celebration of the passion, dedication, ambition and potential of young performers across the four nations. But beyond that, it has the power to change lives and has launched some of the most significant musical careers of the past four decades: among the long list of former winners and finalists are many of the leading musicians of our time, including Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Nicola Benedetti, Alison Balsom, Natalie Clein, Stephen Hough and Thomas Adès.

Five extraordinary teenage performers have won their category finals in strings, woodwind, brass, percussion and keyboard. Tonight, these five winners each perform a full concerto at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall with the BBC Philharmonic and conductor Mark Wigglesworth.

The overall winner of the title BBC Young Musician 2022 will be chosen by a distinguished panel of judges: musician and composer Anoushka Shankar, conductor Ben Gernon, BBC Radio 3 editor Emma Bloxham and head of classical music at London’s Southbank Centre, Toks Dada. They join our chair of the jury, organist and director of music at Pembroke College, Cambridge, Anna Lapwood, who also chaired the judging panels at the category finals.

Presented by Josie d’Arby, Alexis Ffrench and Jess Gillam.

SUN 22:00 Children of the Caribbean Revolution with Lindsay Johns (m001d03r)
In this high-concept visual essay, writer and broadcaster Lindsay Johns reframes the history of the Caribbean to tell a new story. Not the traditional narrative of suffering and adversity but a celebratory one of superheroes and epic wars, unceasing resistance and never-ending rebellion, told through the stories of four inspirational leaders and their modern-day spiritual descendants.

Each of the four accounts represents a heroic figure, whose life should, arguably, be more widely known and more comprehensively taught. But it is more often the case that such lessons are only found in the kinds of Saturday or supplementary schools established and maintained by the Black community from the 1970s onwards in order to compensate for the partial history their children are taught in British schools. Stories such as that of the Jamaican rebel heroine, Queen Nanny of the Maroons. Born in Ghana in the 17th century and brought to Jamaica as a slave, she escaped into the Blue Mountains and joined the rebel Maroon community, where she rose to become a feared military leader, eventually beating the British into submission by winning autonomy for the Maroons to govern their own areas.

At the end of the 18th and into the 19th century, in what is now present-day Haiti, we meet Toussaint Louverture, the son of a king captured in the West African kingdom of Doheny. He began life as a slave himself but went on to become one of the most learned, loved and celebrated revolutionary leaders the world has ever known, beating the French, Spanish and British, and helping to found the first and only independent state ever to be born of a slave revolt.

Jumping to the 20th century and the former French Caribbean colony of Martinique, where Frantz Fanon was born. We learn about the man who fought with the Free French against the Nazis before qualifying as a psychiatrist and going to Algeria, where he diagnosed the psychological trauma of colonialism and inspired liberation leaders across the world. He fought with the Algerians against their French masters and wrote two landmark books – Black Skin, White Masks and The Wretched of the Earth – as well as surviving multiple assassination attempts before dying of leukaemia in 1961 at the age of 36.

Finally, we learn about Walter Rodney, the Guyanese academic who showed that African freedom fighters and their Caribbean brothers and sisters were really the same people, united by a common struggle. Rodney became a hero of the Pan-African liberation movement before his early death, killed by a bomb in the Guyanese capital Georgetown in 1980 at the age of 38. In exploring these incredible lives, the film takes us on an odyssey through space and time, connecting these revolutionary giants and often neglected figures with ordinary people living today in Britain, one of the most multicultural nations on earth.

Lindsay Johns is a British writer and broadcaster of South African heritage who lives and works in London. He is a frequent contributor to BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4 and is currently a non-residential fellow at the Hutchins Center, Harvard University.

SUN 23:00 Whoever Heard of a Black Artist? Britain's Hidden Art History (b0bcy4kd)
Brenda Emmanus follows acclaimed artist Sonia Boyce as she leads a team preparing a new exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery highlighting artists of African and Asian descent who have helped to shape the history of British art.

Sonia and her team have spent the past three years scouring our public art archives to find out just how many works of art by artists of African and Asian descent the nation really owns. They have found nearly 2,000, but many of these pieces have rarely, if ever, been displayed before. We go into the stores to rediscover these works and, more importantly, meet the groundbreaking artists from the Windrush generation, the 60s counterculture revolution and the Black Art movement of the 80s.

Contributors include Rasheed Araeen, Lubaina Himid, Yinka Shonibare, the BLK Art Group and Althea McNish.

SUN 00:00 Arena (m0011v76)
B. Catling: Where Does It All Come From?

An eye-popping insight into the extraordinary, late-flourishing career of maverick artist, teacher and performer Brian Catling RA, whose unique vision and imagination are celebrated through a shifting narrative of newly restored archive material, exclusive interviews and specially shot footage.

Brian Catling was born in 1948, a foundling adopted and raised in tenements on the Old Kent Road in postwar south London. He is an internationally exhibited and lauded sculptor and, as B. Catling, the author of The Vorrh Trilogy, a vast work of untrammelled imagination, and the novel Earwig, which provided the inspiration for Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s 2021 film of the same name. Catling is also a professor at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at the University of Oxford, a royal academician and a Cholmondeley Award-winning poet. He is also the erstwhile impresario of the legendarily disreputable Cabaret Melancholique and an occasional sinister cinematic presence, both in front of and behind the camera.

Where Does It All Come From is a window into Catling’s world that, like Catling himself, defies categorisation. It is shaped through a stitching-together of rediscovered archive material with newly shot interviews, fragments of previously unseen filmworks, interjections and interactions, ghosts and revenants. Important locations in Catling’s life and work – south London and Whitechapel, museums, churches, dives, Gozo, Leipzig, Copenhagen – are interwoven with imaginary landscapes and revisited, explored or recreated. Interviews and long-lost performances are remade and repurposed, seances held, dead or vagrant voices resuscitated. Characters, symbols and strange beings – some of whom then reveal their role and purpose – are glimpsed or merely spoken of, sometimes without explanation. At times, fiction hijacks fact to reveal other, deeper truths.

We see Catling at work, in the past and the present, in public performance, on stage, conjuring uncanny presences in galleries, abandoned rooms and in his studio. His histories are told, including childhood obsessions with outsiders and monsters, the early days of art school and labouring jobs at Truman’s Brewery, becoming an artist, a sculptor and maker of installations, and his decision to retreat from the London art world.

A host of writers, artists, musicians, curators and former students, including actor Ray Winstone recollecting a terrifying encounter in London’s Whitechapel, are also called upon to bear witness to a creative spirit who defies definition and is capable of endless self-reinvention.

SUN 01:10 The Art Mysteries with Waldemar Januszczak (m000gx1h)
Series 1

Gauguin's Vision After the Sermon

The Vision After the Sermon is a painting full of symbolism and mystery. But what does Gauguin’s famous work have to do with a 17-year-old girl called Madeleine, with Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, and with sumo wrestlers?

Waldemar Januszczak reveals all as he investigates Gauguin’s epic religious painting about good and evil, temptation and desire.

SUN 01:40 Secrets of the Museum (m000frqp)
Series 1

Episode 4

Inside every museum is a hidden world, and now, for the first time, 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.

This week, we meet curators and conservators trying to preserve some of the finest examples of craftsmanship in the world.

Deep in the museum stores, curator Keith is trying to breathe life into an object of extraordinary craftmanship – an original Stormtrooper costume from the Star Wars sequel The Empire Strikes Back, from 1980. He’s hoping to exhibit the costume in a refresh of the V&A’s Theatre and Performance Display. But when he and conservator Susana unpack the moulded-plastic body parts, a key piece is missing – the Stormtrooper’s helmet.

Unable to display the costume without the helmet, Keith contacts a group of prop-makers who specialise in making replicas of movie costumes. The prop-makers agree to make a replica of the original helmet, using the exact techniques pioneered by the Star Wars costume department in the 1970s. But the challenge for Keith’s prop-makers is to turn this box-fresh helmet into an authentic match with the original decades-old costume.

Meanwhile, two of the largest galleries in the museum, the Cast Courts, are undergoing a renovation. These galleries are home to one of the world’s largest collections of 19th century hand-made casts - replicas of some of Europe’s finest sculptures. As few people then could afford the luxury of travel, art works could be brought to them with these painstaking replicas. Now it’s the job of senior sculpture conservator Victor to give these precious casts a facelift.

The final part of the epic renovation is cleaning a piece representing the Assumption of the Virgin, made in 1890. This plaster cast depicts the Virgin Mary ascending to heaven surrounded by angels. It’s a perfect plaster copy of one of a number of 14th-century sculptured panels made for the exterior of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. Now the plaster cast will be given its first deep clean since it was made 130 years ago.

The importance of these fragile replicas is brought into sharp focus with news of a terrible fire at Notre Dame. Although many artefacts are destroyed there is relief that the original cast of the Assumption of Virgin has been spared.

The news highlights the importance of preserving the V&A’s delicate cast. But Victor and fellow conservator Adriana discover a crack in its structure, that could prove fatal. Over hours of careful conservation, the team work on supporting the fracture - but the real test will be when they try to hang it back on the gallery wall.

In the Rock and Pop archive, curator Vicky is examining a photograph donated after the V&A’s David Bowie Exhibition. It’s a rare print, known as ‘David Bowie is watching you’, taken in 1973 as part of a series of photos by photographer Brian Duffy to become the album cover for Aladdin Sane. The picture was donated by the photographer’s son Chris. Vicky wants to know more about the print and invites Chris to the museum. Chris remembers visiting the photoshoot when he was a teenager, and meeting David Bowie.

In paper conservation, senior preservations conservator Simon is dealing with a very different kind of photograph – a 65-metre-long Victorian photograph of the medieval Bayeux Tapestry. This unique photograph was commissioned by the British Government in 1871 and was one of the V&A’s first interactive exhibits, displayed on a moving roller so audiences could spool through the panorama of the battle.

The last time it was on display was over 100 years ago. But years of manhandling have taken their toll. Now, the rolled-up photograph has been summoned to be part of a new V&A exhibition, filled with new images by legendary fashion photographer Tim Walker, inspired by objects from the museum’s collection. But first conservator Simon needs to assess if the fragile piece is robust enough to be displayed again.

In the Rapid Response Department, curators Corinna and Johanna feel there is one important everyday object missing from their 20th-century collection. They have been offered a very British piece of graphic design – a road sign, made in 1961 by graphic designer Margaret Calvert. Before collecting the sign, they visit Margaret at her home, filled with familiar road signs…

We also follow fashion curator Oriole, who alongside colleague Susan, is on a mission to acquire a piece representing the best of contemporary British craft. They visit fashion designers Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi, known as Preen, at their workshop. Oriole and Susan have the difficult task of choosing one single piece to represent the designers.

SUN 02:40 Whoever Heard of a Black Artist? Britain's Hidden Art History (b0bcy4kd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 today]


MON 19:00 Great American Railroad Journeys (m000gp3q)
Series 4

Portage la Prairie to Saskatoon

Steered by his 1899 Appleton’s Guide, Michael Portillo strikes west across Manitoba into the province of Saskatchewan. High above the prairie at Riding Mountain, Michael discovers how a middle-class British boy from Hastings transformed himself into an influential indigenous naturalist called Grey Owl.

Deep in the prairie, Michael finds a network of railways that once served the wheat farmers of Saskatchewan and learns how communities grew up around the grain elevators used to load the crop on to rail wagons. The Wheatland Express welcomes a new recruit to the sidings on the afternoon shift.

At Manitou Beach, Michael reaches the Dead Sea of Canada, a 14-mile lake three times saltier than the ocean. A Yellow Quill First Nations elder tells Michael about the healing properties of the water, and Michael tries it for himself.

Michael digs into Canada’s indigenous past at the country’s longest-running archaeological excavation, discovers an Englishman, whose work earned him the title Canada’s Wheat King, and, in the cultural hub of Saskatoon, Michael learns how to make a traditional Saskatoon berry pie.

North east of the South Saskatchewan River at Batoche, Michael reaches the battlefield, where in 1885 the French-speaking Métis people and their indigenous allies lost their struggle against Canadian control.

MON 20:00 Nicola Benedetti at the BBC (m0011f9y)
Since winning BBC Young Musician in 2005, Nicola Benedetti has become one of the country’s leading classical soloists. She has performed across the globe, alongside many of the world’s most renowned ensembles and conductors. Her passion for the music she plays has made her one of the most high profile advocates for the genre, and she combines this with a huge commitment to music education and the mentoring of young talent.

She has been recording music throughout her career, won a Grammy for her work on Wynton Marsalis's Violin Concerto in 2020, and Brits in 2012 and 2013 for Best Female Artist. She is known for her interpretation of composers such as Bruch, Korngold, Saint-Saëns and many others.

This compilation draws on the breadth of her work at the BBC, from the Proms to Blue Peter. Throughout, her drive to share the work that she so obviously loves shines through.

MON 21:00 This Cultural Life (m001d06m)
Series 2

Nicola Benedetti

Violinist Nicola Benedetti reveals the influences and experiences that have led her to become one of the world’s greatest classical musicians.

MON 21:30 James May at the Edge of Space (b00lc5ph)
James May always wanted to be an astronaut. Now, 40 years after the first Apollo landings, he gets a chance to fly to the edge of space in a U2 spy plane. But first he has to undergo three gruelling days of training with the US Air Force and learn to use a space suit to stay alive in air so thin it can kill in an instant. He discovers that during the flight there are only two people higher than him, and they are both real astronauts on the International Space Station.

MON 22:00 The Sky at Night (m001d06s)
Question Time

A special ‘Question Time’ edition of the programme, recorded at The Venue in De Montford University, Leicester, as part of the British Science Association’s annual science festival.

Chris, Maggie and Pete are joined on stage by planetary scientist Dr Suzie Imber and astronomer Professor Nial Tanvir to answer questions from viewers, covering all things astronomical – from the size of the universe to the possible nature of alien life.

Chaired by Dallas Campbell.

MON 23:00 Horizon (b0695t56)

Which Universe Are We In?

Imagine a world where dinosaurs still walk the Earth. A world where the Germans won World War II and you are president of the United States. Imagine a world where the laws of physics no longer apply and where infinite copies of you are playing out every storyline of your life.

It sounds like a plot stolen straight from Hollywood, but far from it. This is the multiverse.

Until very recently the whole idea of the multiverse was dismissed as a fantasy, but now this strangest of ideas is at the cutting edge of science.

And for a growing number of scientists, the multiverse is the only way we will ever truly make sense of the world we are in.

Horizon asks the question: Do multiple universes exist? And if so, which one are we actually in?

MON 00:00 The Secret Life of the Motorway (b007x58q)
Falling in Love

Documentary series which celebrates the birth of motorways and hails the achievements of those behind the 'road revolution'. The first episode takes us from the excitement of the building of the first motorway in Britain, the M6 Preston By-pass, to the celebration of the most complex, Spaghetti Junction.

With amazing archive and often hilarious public information films, we take a trip back to a time when not only were motorways exciting and new, but there was also no speed limit. Interviews with the engineers who designed them, the navvies who built them and the people who drove on them bring to life and celebrate an achievement that we now take so much for granted.

MON 01:00 Francesco's Italy: Top to Toe (b007920b)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Saturday]

MON 02:00 Great American Railroad Journeys (m000gp3q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MON 03:00 Forest, Field & Sky: Art out of Nature (b079ckkf)
Dr James Fox takes a journey through six different landscapes across Britain, meeting artists whose work explores our relationship to the natural world. From Andy Goldsworthy's beautiful stone sculptures to James Turrell's extraordinary sky spaces, this is a film about art made out of nature itself. Featuring spectacular images of landscape and art, James travels from the furthest reaches of the Scottish coast and the farmlands of Cumbria to woods of north Wales. In each location he marvels at how artists' interactions with the landscape have created a very different kind of modern art - and make us look again at the world around us.


TUE 19:00 Great American Railroad Journeys (m000gx86)
Series 4

Edmonton to Jasper

Michael Portillo continues west through the Canadian Prairie on his thousand-mile rail journey from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Jasper, Alberta. Following his 1899 Appleton’s guide, Michael explores a glossy, glassy, oil-rich Edmonton, second city of Alberta. On the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, he travels three centuries back in time to experience the life of les voyageurs, who travelled huge distances within Canada by foot and canoe to trade fur with indigenous people.

Michael admires Edmonton’s early 20th-century heritage streetcars, preserved by the Radial Railway Society, and seizes the chance to drive one across a spectacular high-level bridge over the North Saskatchewan River.

Edmonton prides itself on its modern light rail system, offering rapid transit to 80 million passengers per year. Michael hears how this growing city plans to keep pace. His journey across Canada’s vast open spaces reaches a dramatic scenic conclusion in the Rocky Mountains. Deep in the Columbia icefield in a massive, all-terrain Ice Explorer, Michael is awed by the scale, not least of the vehicle, but of the vast Athabasca Glacier.

Travelling via Hinton to Jasper, Michael learns of the race to lay transcontinental rails through the Rocky Mountains on two different routes.

In the woodland around Hinton, Michael marvels at the scale of Canada’s forestry industry and discovers how the enchanting beaver, once slaughtered for its fur, is now pampered.

TUE 20:00 Keeping Up Appearances (b007btq9)
Series 5

Episode 10

Sitcom. Hyacinth decides to share her undoubted experience of being a perfect hostess and advertises in the local paper.

TUE 20:30 Ever Decreasing Circles (p00c1k8j)
Series 3

Episode 6

The local people are planning a fete to raise funds for the RSPCA. It is proposed that the main event of the afternoon should be a mock battle. Martin fancies himself as a general of the Cavaliers. However, events take an unexpected course.

TUE 21:00 Storyville (m001d059)
Beneath the Surface

In 2014, following a tip-off, a group of journalists exposed a troubled history for indigenous Sámi women, men and children in Norway. It revealed generations of negligence, abuse and suffering, supported by a mass of evidence and previously unseen archival footage.

As the case goes to court, the community remains defiant against a judicial system whose attitudes highlight fissures in the purported equal treatment of all citizens. The community’s battle aims to break a vicious cycle of racism and to achieve meaningful, lasting change for future generations.

TUE 22:30 Storyville (b008s9l9)
Stranded! The Andes Plane Crash Survivors

In October 1972, a student rugby team boarded a small plane in Montevideo to fly across the Andes for a long weekend of playing rugby and partying in Chile. But they never reached their destination as a storm brought their plane down in the high Andes, leaving the survivors stranded on a remote glacier.

Ill-equipped, with no food and little hope of rescue, the survivors faced extreme hardship and many life-or-death situations, including the agonising decision to eat the flesh of those killed in the crash to stay alive. Thirty years later, those that got down from the mountain relive their 72 days 'up there' to give this extraordinarily powerful, vivid and immediate account of human endurance and heroism.

TUE 00:20 The Secret Life of the Motorway (b007xmbm)
The Honeymoon Period

The second episode in this evocative series about Britain's motorways explores how they have transformed where we live, work and play in Britain over the last 50 years.

From unbelievably glamorous early service stations to contemporary shopping centres with the infrastructure of a small town, this enthralling film is a journey through the wonderful and the weird places motorways have taken us.

Contributors include seminal planner Sir Peter Hall, author Will Self, caravanners, hitchhikers and commuters, all on our eagerness to accelerate down the slip road and the social changes that have followed.

TUE 01:20 Great American Railroad Journeys (m000gx86)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

TUE 02:20 Children of the Caribbean Revolution with Lindsay Johns (m001d03r)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday]


WED 19:00 Great Asian Railway Journeys (m000h3g0)
Series 1 (60-Minute Versions)

Hong Kong

Michael Portillo is in south east Asia, armed with his 1913 Bradshaw’s Handbook. Published at the height of European imperialism, it leads Michael on a spectacular 2,500-mile railway adventure across six vibrant and independent nations.

Michael explores towering megacities and magnificent mosques, visits jewelled temples and golden Buddhas and rides some of the world’s most exhilarating and notorious railways.

Beginning in Hong Kong, Michael investigates the shocking drug wars in which Britain won the island and Kowloon from China and the impact today of their return alongside that of the leased New Territories.

Amid mass demonstrations, Michael asks Hong Kongers in Wan Chai what is at stake for them now.

Michael’s railway highlights include the cable funicular to the top of Hong Kong’s highest mountain, the Peak, and the enviably efficient and shiny mass transit system. He learns about British railway ambitions for the region at the turn of the 20th century and visits the state-of-the-art West Kowloon station with its high-speed link to China – the largest underground high-speed station in the world.

WED 20:00 The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms (p030s6b3)
Without us noticing, modern life has been taken over. Algorithms run everything from search engines on the internet to satnavs and credit card data security - they even help us travel the world, find love and save lives.

Mathematician Professor Marcus du Sautoy demystifies the hidden world of algorithms. By showing us some of the algorithms most essential to our lives, he reveals where these 2,000-year-old problem-solvers came from, how they work, what they have achieved and how they are now so advanced they can even programme themselves.

WED 21:00 Uprising (m000y3c8)
Series 1


The story of the aftermath of the New Cross fire and the run up to the Black People’s Day of Action. As news spread about the fire at 439 New Cross Road, the scale of the tragedy overwhelmed the local community. Amid uncertainty about whether the fire had been caused by a racist firebomb attack, anger mounted at the police investigation and the seeming indifference of the press and the government to the loss of so many black lives. The Black People’s Day of Action, a mass demonstration, was organised to bring the tragedy to the attention of the nation.

WED 22:00 Play For Today (b01cddgd)
Series 14

A Coming to Terms for Billy

Third in a trilogy of plays by Graham Reid, telling the story of the conflict between a father and son in Belfast. It is more than two years since Norman Martin left his family to seek work in England. News of his return home is met with mixed reactions.

WED 23:25 This Cultural Life (m0011v72)
Series 1

Kenneth Branagh

Actor and film-maker Sir Kenneth Branagh talks to John Wilson about the key influences and inspirations that have shaped his own work. In a wide-ranging conversation, he reveals some of his formative artistic experiences and discusses his creative process.

Branagh discusses his working-class upbringing in late 1960s Northern Ireland at the start of the Troubles, as explored in his most personal film to date, Belfast. He traces the beginnings of his passion for Shakespeare back to the discovery of LP recordings of Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud, and reveals his admiration for Alan Bleasdale's 1980s television series Boys from the Blackstuff. He also discusses his participation in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.

This Cultural Life is a BBC Radio 4 podcast.

WED 23:55 The Sky at Night (m001d06s)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Monday]

WED 00:55 The Secret Life of the Motorway (b007xmdn)
The End of the Affair

When the first motorways opened, they did so to national celebration. But after the first 1,000 miles had been built, their impact on both town and country was becoming apparent, and people started to protest.

Middle England rose up and disrupted public inquiries to voice their frustration at motorway building, but it continued, and over time the frustration gave way to concerns about saving the planet. In the early 1990s, that meant young people willing to risk everything to stop the motorways being built. The programme shows how people began to question the promises made by the motorway and along the way found their voice of protest.

WED 01:55 Great Asian Railway Journeys (m000h3g0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

WED 02:55 The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms (p030s6b3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


THU 19:00 Great Asian Railway Journeys (m000h9x8)
Series 1 (60-Minute Versions)

Chiang Mai to the River Kwai

Steered by his 1913 Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo embarks on a two-part rail adventure through Thailand, from the northern city of Chiang Mai to Kanchanaburi on the River Kwai and from Bangkok to the southern beach resort of Hua Hin.

On this leg, Michael helps out at an elephant hospital, where they care for animals wounded by landmines and other injuries. He tries his hand at the art of umbrella-making and learns about northern Thai cuisine.

Michael explores the walled and moated city of Chiang Mai, former capital of the Lanna Kingdom before it was annexed by the king of Siam. Travelling south to Lampang, Michael discovers the former centre of the teak wood business and investigates how successive Thai kings preserved their independence from the rival colonial powers of Britain and France. He discovers the history of a British governess at the royal court and learns how Britain used her consulate to promote her influence in the kingdom.

At what was once one of the greatest cities in Asia, the former Siamese capital Ayutthaya, Michael admires the gigantic ruined temples.

There is a trip to an unusual market - a must for any self-respecting train-lover. And Michael finishes this leg of his Thai journey close to the border with Myanmar to ride one of the world’s most notorious railway lines and, for him, the most poignant - the Death Railway.

THU 20:00 Wild China (b00brvjx)

Documentary that showcases pioneering images capturing the dazzling array of mysterious creatures that live in China's most beautiful landscapes. Beneath billowing clouds, in China's far south west, rich jungles nestle below towering peaks. Jewel-coloured birds and ancient tribes share forested valleys where wild elephants still roam. How do these forests exist? Perhaps the rugged landscape holds the key.

THU 21:00 Belle (m001d08k)
Historical film drama, set in late 1700s London, inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of Royal Navy captain, Sir John Lindsay.

Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle, Lord William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, and his wife, Belle's lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the colour of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing.

Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar's son bent on change, who with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield's role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England.

THU 22:40 A United Kingdom (m0003mrb)
1947. On the eve of his return from his studies in London to Bechuanaland where he is to become king, Prince Seretse Khama falls in love and marries Ruth Williams, a white woman from south London. Bringing Ruth home causes a major international outcry, not least with the British Protectorate, who are concerned not to upset the neighbouring country of South Africa, who are about to implement apartheid, but with his uncle - the regent who is horrified by the break in his country's tradition. Facing obstacles from all sides, the couple find comfort in the love they share for each other. Based on a true story.

THU 00:25 Uprising (m000y3c8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Wednesday]

THU 01:25 Great Asian Railway Journeys (m000h9x8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

THU 02:25 The Secret Life of the Motorway (b007x58q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 00:00 on Monday]


FRI 19:00 Cher at the BBC (m000wnmt)
Turn back time on a journey through the BBC archives to celebrate singing superstar Cher and her 75th birthday. This selection of songs and chat show moments features many of the hits that have made Cher the only artist to have US number ones in each of the past six decades.

Including favourites like Believe, Love and Understanding, Walking in Memphis and her first UK chart topper I Got You Babe, recorded with ex-husband and singing partner Sonny Bono.

FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m001d09x)
Tony Dortie presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 9 September 1993 and featuring Bjork, Moby, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, James, Stone Temple Pilots, New Order, Beverley Craven and Culture Beat.

FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m001d09z)
Mark Franklin presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 16 September 1993 and featuring Radiohead, Motörhead, Pet Shop Boys, Jade, Lenny Kravitz, Chaka Demus & Pliers, Belinda Carlisle and Culture Beat.

FRI 21:00 Meat Loaf: In and Out of Hell (b04xdrrb)
Since the release of the Bat Out of Hell album, Meat Loaf has possessed the kind of international status that few artists obtain. His larger-than-life persona and performances are fuelled by a passion for theatre and storytelling. This candid profile reveals the man and his music through his own testimony and from the accounts of those closest to him.

Meat Loaf's life story is one of epic proportions - he survived a childhood of domestic violence only to face years of record company rejection before eventually finding global fame. Along the way he experienced bankruptcy, health scares, bust-ups and one of the greatest comebacks of all time. All this and more is explored in the film, which features behind-the-scenes footage of his Las Vegas residency, plus plans for a new album featuring songs by Jim Steinman.

The film also revisits the Dallas of Meat Loaf's early years and includes insights from his high school friends, who reveal how Meat really got his famous moniker.

After his mother died, Meat Loaf fled Texas for the bright lights of LA. He sang in itinerant rock bands, but no-one would give him a recording contract. By 1969 he was broke and disillusioned. His break would take the form of a musical. He was offered a part in Hair, having been invited to audition whilst working as a parking attendant outside the theatre. Shortly afterwards he met Jim Steinman and the road to success really began. Yet the Hair gig was the beginning of an enduring love affair with theatre that is reflected in his singing persona today.

His first album, the now legendary Bat Out of Hell, was initially rejected by scores of record companies, yet went on to spend a staggering 485 weeks in the UK charts. The whole album is a masterwork of storytelling that Meat Loaf and Steinman worked on for four years and then battled to get heard. Meat Loaf and those who worked on the album - from Todd Rundgren to Ellen Foley - reflect on the songs, and celebrate the alchemy that resulted in such a blistering back catalogue.

When Bat Out Of Hell II was finally released 15 years after the first album, it defied industry expectations, with I'd Do Anything for Love reaching number one in 28 countries. It is considered one of the greatest comebacks in music history. More albums and hits were to follow across the '90s and '00s, alongside a varied and successful acting career. Mark Kermode examines some of the roles Meat Loaf made his own, in films as diverse as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Fight Club.

Having traversed the peaks and troughs of a career spanning the best part of 50 years, this consummate performer finally reveals what spurs him on, in this, the inside story of a bat out of hell who continues to blaze a trail into the hearts and minds of millions.

FRI 22:00 Mike Oldfield: Tubular Bells (b00g8h9q)
A live studio performance from 1974 of Mike Oldfield's composition Tubular Bells, which had been acclaimed in the press as a unique achievement in popular music.

FRI 22:30 Unfinished: The Making of Massive Attack (b07thrcg)
The story of how Bristol found its musical identity and tracing the creation of the city's most famous band. The documentary looks at the emergence of the 'Bristol Sound' in the 1980s culminating in the release of Massive Attack's first album. Narrated by actor Paul McGann - who was a part of Bristol's creative scene throughout this period - it traces the history of the scene. From the sound system culture that arrived in the city with the immigrants from the Caribbean, and how that mixed with the existing punk and new wave scene in Bristol, to hip-hop which arrived in Bristol from New York before any other city in Britain was aware of it.

It explores how this clash of cultures and musical styles gave the city a musical identity which to that point it lacked, unlike other industrial cities in Britain such as Liverpool and Manchester. Featuring contributions from key influencers of the creative scene including Milo Johnson of The Wild Bunch, Mark Stewart of The Pop Group, DJ and Producer Roni Size, and Neil Davidge - producer of Massive Attack's later work.

FRI 23:00 Sam Smith in Concert (b06mvyhg)
In early September 2015, the BBC's Radio Theatre in the heart of London opened its doors to the acclaimed singer-songwriter Sam Smith for a special show for BBC Radio 2.

This one-off concert showcases Sam's incredible vocal ability and masterful songwriting that has captivated audiences from around the world. Their monumental rise to fame has seen them claim four Grammys and two Brits, and, in 2014, saw them as the only artist to sell over one million copies of an album in both the UK and US.

In this intimate show, Sam and their band perform the likes of Money on My Mind, Like I Can, Latch, Stay With Me and Leave Your Lover, all hits from their debut, In the Lonely Hour, their album about unrequited love.

FRI 23:55 Top of the Pops (m001d09x)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRI 00:25 Top of the Pops (m001d09z)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

FRI 00:55 Meat Loaf: In and Out of Hell (b04xdrrb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 01:55 Cher at the BBC (m000wnmt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

FRI 02:55 Mike Oldfield: Tubular Bells (b00g8h9q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

FRI 03:20 Unfinished: The Making of Massive Attack (b07thrcg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today]

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

A United Kingdom 22:40 THU (m0003mrb)

Alma's Not Normal 00:55 SAT (m000h3mf)

Alma's Not Normal 01:25 SAT (p09r3qks)

Alma's Not Normal 01:55 SAT (p09r3qkk)

Alma's Not Normal 02:25 SAT (p09r3qkh)

Alma's Not Normal 02:55 SAT (p09r3qkb)

Alma's Not Normal 03:25 SAT (p09r3qkd)

Arena 00:00 SUN (m0011v76)

BBC Young Musician 19:00 SUN (m001d03p)

Belle 21:00 THU (m001d08k)

Berlin 1945 22:40 SAT (m000p9tw)

Cher at the BBC 19:00 FRI (m000wnmt)

Cher at the BBC 01:55 FRI (m000wnmt)

Children of the Caribbean Revolution with Lindsay Johns 22:00 SUN (m001d03r)

Children of the Caribbean Revolution with Lindsay Johns 02:20 TUE (m001d03r)

Ever Decreasing Circles 20:30 TUE (p00c1k8j)

Forest, Field & Sky: Art out of Nature 03:00 MON (b079ckkf)

Francesco's Italy: Top to Toe 19:00 SAT (b007920b)

Francesco's Italy: Top to Toe 01:00 MON (b007920b)

Great American Railroad Journeys 19:00 MON (m000gp3q)

Great American Railroad Journeys 02:00 MON (m000gp3q)

Great American Railroad Journeys 19:00 TUE (m000gx86)

Great American Railroad Journeys 01:20 TUE (m000gx86)

Great Asian Railway Journeys 19:00 WED (m000h3g0)

Great Asian Railway Journeys 01:55 WED (m000h3g0)

Great Asian Railway Journeys 19:00 THU (m000h9x8)

Great Asian Railway Journeys 01:25 THU (m000h9x8)

Himalaya with Michael Palin 20:00 SAT (b0074qrs)

Horizon 23:00 MON (b0695t56)

James May at the Edge of Space 21:30 MON (b00lc5ph)

KaDeWe - Our Time Is Now 21:00 SAT (p0d0knvc)

KaDeWe - Our Time Is Now 21:45 SAT (p0d0kqfj)

Keeping Up Appearances 20:00 TUE (b007btq9)

Meat Loaf: In and Out of Hell 21:00 FRI (b04xdrrb)

Meat Loaf: In and Out of Hell 00:55 FRI (b04xdrrb)

Mike Oldfield: Tubular Bells 22:00 FRI (b00g8h9q)

Mike Oldfield: Tubular Bells 02:55 FRI (b00g8h9q)

Nicola Benedetti at the BBC 20:00 MON (m0011f9y)

Play For Today 22:00 WED (b01cddgd)

Sam Smith in Concert 23:00 FRI (b06mvyhg)

Secrets of the Museum 01:40 SUN (m000frqp)

Storyville 23:30 SAT (m001crw2)

Storyville 21:00 TUE (m001d059)

Storyville 22:30 TUE (b008s9l9)

The Art Mysteries with Waldemar Januszczak 01:10 SUN (m000gx1h)

The Secret Life of the Motorway 00:00 MON (b007x58q)

The Secret Life of the Motorway 00:20 TUE (b007xmbm)

The Secret Life of the Motorway 00:55 WED (b007xmdn)

The Secret Life of the Motorway 02:25 THU (b007x58q)

The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms 20:00 WED (p030s6b3)

The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms 02:55 WED (p030s6b3)

The Sky at Night 22:00 MON (m001d06s)

The Sky at Night 23:55 WED (m001d06s)

This Cultural Life 21:00 MON (m001d06m)

This Cultural Life 23:25 WED (m0011v72)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m001d09x)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m001d09z)

Top of the Pops 23:55 FRI (m001d09x)

Top of the Pops 00:25 FRI (m001d09z)

Unfinished: The Making of Massive Attack 22:30 FRI (b07thrcg)

Unfinished: The Making of Massive Attack 03:20 FRI (b07thrcg)

Uprising 21:00 WED (m000y3c8)

Uprising 00:25 THU (m000y3c8)

Whoever Heard of a Black Artist? Britain's Hidden Art History 23:00 SUN (b0bcy4kd)

Whoever Heard of a Black Artist? Britain's Hidden Art History 02:40 SUN (b0bcy4kd)

Wild China 20:00 THU (b00brvjx)