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 Raiders of the Lost Past with Janina Ramirez (m000slq3)
Series 2

The Viking Ship

Janina is in Scandinavia, investigating the lost thousand-year-old ship that transformed the fierce reputation of the Vikings and became a symbol of a nation's fight for freedom.

SAT 20:00 Wild Arabia (b01r12zm)
The Jewel of Arabia

In a remote corner of southern Arabia one mountain range holds a remarkable secret. Swept by the annual Indian Ocean monsoon, the Dhofar mountains become a magical lost world of waterfalls and cloud forests filled with chameleons and honey badgers. Offshore, rare whales that have not bred with any others for over 60,000 years and green sea turtles come ashore in their thousands, shadowed by egg-stealing foxes. Heat-seeking cameras reveal, for the first time, striped hyenas doing battle with Arabian wolves. Meanwhile, local researchers come face to face with the incredibly rare Arabian leopard.

SAT 21:00 Señorita 89 (p0d65zhl)
Series 1


A party is in full swing on the night before the grand finale of the beauty pageant when a body falls from a terrace and into the path of a woman called Elena.

SAT 21:45 Señorita 89 (p0d661zc)
Series 1


Jocelyn learns that her sister has disappeared. The press takes interest, and Nora recruits Dolores, Ángeles and Jocelyn to sneak into a movie set in a cabin in the woods.

SAT 22:35 To the Manor Born (b0078747)
Series 2

Never Be Alone

Stately sitcom. Audrey helps Richard catalogue his antique china, only to discover one piece has been mislaid.

SAT 23:00 Ever Decreasing Circles (p00c1kht)
Series 4

Episode 4

After some poor results in an Open University test, Ann decides it would be a good idea to bounce her ideas off someone in future. However, her choice of study partner causes quite a stir.

SAT 23:35 The Young Ones (p00bfqm6)
Series 1


Although there are all sorts of interesting things going on around them, the gang are feeling incredibly bored, so they decide to go to the pub.

SAT 00:05 The Latest Secrets of Hieroglyphs (m001f72n)
The great history of Egypt is inscribed on its monuments, temples and tombs, but hieroglyphs – the written language of the ancient Egyptians – fell silent until 1822 when a young French scholar, Jean-François Champollion, became the first person to decipher their texts for over a thousand years. Champollion’s insights and the work of other scholars helped bring an entire civilisation back to life.

Today, researchers are increasingly interested in the authors who created these hieroglyphic works. Near Luxor, The Latest Secrets of Hieroglyphs follows a new generation of Egyptologists as they unlock the texts inscribed inside a richly adorned tomb, revealing the beliefs and lives of the priests, scribes, painters, engravers and builders who created this grand funerary monument.

SAT 01:05 Country Music by Ken Burns (m000bpkf)
Series 1

I Can't Stop Loving You (1953-1963)

In Memphis, the confluence of blues and hillbilly music at Sun Studios gave birth to rockabilly, the precursor of rock and roll. Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash were at the forefront.

In the recording studios of Music City, country music’s twang was replaced by something smoother - the Nashville sound. Patsy Cline became one of its biggest stars before her untimely death.

SAT 01:55 Country Music by Ken Burns (m000bypr)
Series 1

The Sons and Daughters of America (1964-1968)

The mid to late 60s were a time of cultural upheaval and country, as much as other genres of music, reflected the profound changes in American society.

Loretta Lynn wrote and performed songs that spoke to women everywhere, Charley Pride rose to stardom, when people responded to his voice instead of the colour of his skin, and Merle Haggard left prison to become the ‘Poet of the Common Man’.

Johnny Cash’s life and career descended into the chaos of addiction, but he found salvation thanks to the intervention of June Carter and a landmark album.

SAT 02:50 Country Music by Ken Burns (m000bypt)
Series 1

Will the Circle Be Unbroken (1968-1972)

As the Vietnam War intensified, America became more and more divided and country music was not immune. Kris Kristofferson, a former Rhodes scholar and army captain, reinvented himself as a writer whose lyricism set a new standard for country songs. And a hippie band from California, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, arrived in Nashville to create a landmark album that bridged the gap between generations.

In 1969, Johnny Cash made a triumphant return to the Ryman Auditorium, a venue that had kicked him out years earlier for breaking the footlights. To celebrate, he brought an eclectic range of guests with him from folk, pop, and jazz as well as country music.

Also profiled, the tormented early lives but uplifting careers of George Jones and Tammy Wynette, later known as 'Mr and Mrs Country Music'.


SUN 19:00 Bagpuss (m000wn0f)
Series 1

Ship in a Bottle

Ship in a Bottle, the very first episode of the classic animated puppet series for children. Bagpuss, an old cloth cat, lives with his friends in the window of Emily's shop - a place where anything can happen.

Emily brings home a bottle with some bits of wood inside.

SUN 19:15 Ivor the Engine (m000wn0k)
Series 1

The Trumpet

Classic animated puppet series for children. Ivor receives an unusual item in the post, which turns out to be a trumpet, ideal for rounding up Old Idwoll's sheep.

SUN 19:20 Crackerjack (m001fgqk)
An edition of the classic BBC TV children's programme, presented by Ed Stewart with Peter Glaze, Jan Hunt, Bernie Clifton and Val Mitchell, and featuring music by The Ramblers and Sparks.

SUN 20:00 BBC Young Musician (m001fgqr)

Jazz Final

Five emerging stars of jazz perform in the 2022 Grand Final of BBC Young Jazz Musician.

Presented this year by DJ Jamz Supernova, the contest is once again part of the EFG London Jazz Festival and takes place at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.

This joyful celebration of the most exciting new voices in UK jazz features pianists Luke Bacchus (21) and Nick Manz (20), guitarist Ralph Porrett (23), saxophonist Emma Rawicz (20) and double bassist Ewan Hastie (20). Each will perform a solo set alongside one of the UK’s leading jazz trios, Nikki Yeoh’s Infinitum, with Mark Mondesir on drums, Michael Mondesir on electric bass and Nikki Yeoh herself on piano.

Filmed in front of a live audience, the contest will be judged by a panel of leading jazz performers: award-winning singer Claire Martin, composer and pianist Bill Laurance, multi-instrumentalist, DJ and producer Emma-Jean Thackray, and singer-songwriter and cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson.

Before the announcement of the winner, there will also be a special guest performance by the winner of BBC Young Jazz Musician 2020, pianist and rising star Deschanel Gordon.

SUN 22:00 Barbara Thompson: Playing Against Time (b01cc76r)
For over forty years, virtuoso saxophonist/composer Barbara Thompson has been Britain's most brilliant and best-known female jazz musician. Her original compositions and soaring flute and saxophone improvisations have attracted large and enthusiastic audiences beyond the confines of contemporary jazz. She has released many albums and toured regularly throughout Europe, mainly with her own band Paraphernalia. But in 1997, the same year that she received an MBE for her services to music, disaster struck. Barbara was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Playing Against Time is a feature-length documentary about Barbara's inspiring and creative struggle with this disease, whose physical effects are particularly cruel, and visible, in the life of an improvising jazz musician.

Funded by a grant from the Wellcome Trust, the film has been made at intervals across a period of five years, beginning in 2005 with Barbara still performing with Paraphernalia on a 'farewell' European tour. After which, apart from one remarkable filmed appearance with her band at Ronnie Scott's in 2008, Barbara has put most of her carefully-managed energies into writing music for others to play.

Encouraged and supported by her husband, the virtuoso jazz-rock drummer Jon Hiseman, the film follows her progress during this period, interweaving medical and musical sequences as she struggles to sustain an active musical life, while seeking out and investigating new drugs and treatments for a disease for which a cure seems tantalisingly close. The film has been made with the full co-operation and participation of Barbara and Jon, both of whom talk about their experience with eloquence and humour. We also see several sequences showing Barbara at the height of her powers from Jazz, Rock and Marriage, an earlier documentary about Barbara and her husband, made by Mike Dibb for BBC2 in 1979.

Playing Against Time is an unusual and enlightening exploration of Parkinson's disease as seen through music, and about the increasing importance of music and rhythm in our neurological understanding and treatment of this and other degenerative diseases. The film includes important medical contributions from Professor Ray Chaudhuri, Barbara's specialist consultant and a major authority on the disease, and Professor Tip Aziz, the UK's foremost authority on deep brain stimulation.

Barbara's compositions range across the jazz/classical divide, from orchestral to choral and chamber groups, from the serious to the playful. In this film we watch her as she moves with ease from playing along with fellow Parkinson's sufferers singing bitterly humorous songs about their condition, to her working with the virtuoso tuba player James Gourlay on a challenging new Tuba Duo and Concerto, to workshopping one of her dynamic saxophone quartets with students from the Royal Northern College of Music.

Early in 2010, after long delays caused by NHS funding problems, Barbara was at last fitted with a new system of intravenous drug delivery which has enabled her to control her condition to the extent of allowing her (at least for a while) to return to the European stage. Playing Against Time thus ends on a cautiously optimistic note, with Barbara appearing with her husband Jon's veteran rock band Colosseum in an open air venue in Vienna, where she triumphantly belts out saxophone solos to a hugely enthusiastic audience.

SUN 23:15 Inside America's Treasure House: The Met (m00103dc)
Series 1

Episode 3

Autumn, 2020. The Met is open, but in a safe and very limited way. Visitor income helps keep the museum running, so times are hard. Since it was founded, like so many US arts institutions, the Metropolitan has largely been funded by benefactors. We visit Clyde B Jones III, the executive matching modern donors to exhibitions and events as the economy tanks.

Jones explains how hard it is to keep up the social links that the system depends on. He has, nonetheless, found it possible to drum up millions of dollars for the imminent remodelling of the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas galleries. Currently, the need to shade the massive south-facing glass wall that illuminates the rooms means artefacts are not shown to their best advantage. Now he must find the funds to replace those walls.

Some give money, but others donate items from their own collections. We meet curator Jaysen Dobney of the musical instruments department as a rock musician and long-term patron asks for help with his problem, a collection of 403 guitars. Dobney is only too happy to have a promised gift of a 60s Gibson Les Paul TV Special.

Every department is currently calling on its supporters. In Textile Conservation, Head Curator Janina Poskrobko makes breakfast for a visiting professor. We've been with her since dawn, at home in Staten island, saying her prayers. She must find the money for an unfunded project - the rescue of an Ottoman robe. We observe as she subtly raises the issue while showing him a Renaissance cape. The professor is a textile expert and passionate supporter. Might he dig deep?

The Costume Institute is normally funded by stars who pay to attend the famous Met Gala fashion event, but this year they're economising. The 2020 Ball is cancelled, so 2019's proceeds must be used carefully. We follow the building of About Time as the set undergoes construction and the garments are installed.

Meanwhile, fashionable friends are stepping up. In Detroit, America's most flamboyant private collector of couture, Sandy Shrier, opens her home, and her heart, to explain why the Met is so important to her - and why last year she donated 160 garments amassed over seven decades of collecting.

In London, we are with top-end cobbler Georgina Goodman, who has just taken a call from the Met, asking for help bolstering their huge accessories archive. In the mid-2000s, Goodman attracted the attention of couturier Alexander McQueen. Packing up her sketches, the designer reveals how she was charged with interpreting Lee McQueen's footwear visions, including the iconic armadillo shoe. The Met has a pair, but is keen to acquire Goodman's original sketches.

As Covid keeps visitor numbers low, every ticket purchased helps keep the lights on and the building open. With no tourist trade, the Met is back to where it began in 1870, catering for locals. Citizens are not obliged to pay for entry into the museum, but Naqiya Hussein has bought two tickets. She's joining the many young people, newly unlocked but making only tentative outings, on a Met Date. Her scientist beau Cyril and she enjoy the tranquillity of solitude in her favourite galleries, though the camera is ever present. A date here is a litmus test of love. If the million objects on display can't spark a conversation, it's never going to work.

Perhaps the greatest donation is a lifetime of work at the Met - or the possibility at least. We are with Vietnamese-American student Kevin Pham as he visits the medieval department at the Met Cloisters in northern Manhattan. He's one of 120 postgraduate interns, paid through a new $5M donation to study with a view to a possible career in the museum. The Met wants to build a new and diverse staff, and must succeed if it is to remain relevant. As Kevin says, the museum can't be the preserve of bearded old white men.

At Halloween, About Time opens. The annual Costume Institute show is always a blockbuster that draws in the crowds, and now the stakes are high. The newly reopened Met must show that it is still the place for fashion as art. This anniversary year, a mirrored gallery, packed with black garments from across 150 years, points to objects that are timeless in an industry now driven by constant change. We're with fashionistas as they thrill to the show, noting that even on a budget, Curator Andrew Bolton has managed to make a splash.

Philanthropy has always kept the Met alive and vibrant, and as the nights draw in, there's disquiet about the upcoming US election and its effect on giving. A change of administration, or the return of President Trump, might warp the delicate web of tax breaks and write-offs that underpin the whole arts world. With the fall-out of Covid and the tumult of Black Lives Matter in mind, CEO Dan Weiss gives a dark assessment of America's contribution to history. And on the night of the election itself, Head of Communications Ken Weine worries about money, staff and the fate of culture itself.

SUN 00:15 Country Music by Ken Burns (m000c5yc)
Series 1

Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way? (1973-1983)

The 1970s and early 1980s saw country music entering a vibrant era of new voices and attitudes. Dolly Parton made the crossover to mainstream success and became the most famous woman in country music. In 1980 she achieved an entirely new level of national stardom when she joined Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the hit Hollywood movie Nine to Five.

While George Jones and Tammy Wynette seemed to live out their songs’ tragic lyrics, Hank Williams Jr emerged from his father’s shadow. He performed Hank Williams Sr’s music when he was just eight years old, debuted on the Opry at the age of 11 singing Lovesick Blues and recorded an album of his father’s hits at 14. But as soon as he turned 18, he dropped his mother as a manager.

SUN 01:10 Country Music by Ken Burns (m000c5yf)
Series 1

Music Will Get Through (1973-1983)

Though no longer heard on country radio for much of the 1970s and early 1980s, bluegrass still had a strong core of avid fans. Marty Stuart toured with Lester Flatt and sometimes with the ‘father of bluegrass’, Bill Monroe.

Back in his home state of Texas, Willie Nelson discovered a new music scene in Austin, where a mixture of hippies and rednecks seemed to get along and welcomed offbeat artists like Nelson, whose music became a hit.

Ricky Skaggs had deep bluegrass credentials, but his time with Emmylou Harris’s Hot Band inspired him to experiment with a sound combining the acoustic instruments of a string band with something more electric. Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings launched the ‘Outlaw’ movement, and Emmylou Harris bridged folk and rock with country music in a way that influenced a new generation of artists.

SUN 02:00 Country Music by Ken Burns (m000cf2d)
Series 1

Don't Get Above Your Raisin' (1984-1996)

As country music’s popularity rocketed, the genre questioned whether it could stay true to its roots. The success of ‘New Traditionalists’ like Reba McEntire and the Judds suggested it could.

Garth Brooks overcame rejection and exploded onto the scene. And after being left behind by his label, Johnny Cash returned to a studio with just his guitar and his unforgettable voice to record albums that sold millions of copies and earnt him the respect of the industry he helped to create. Meanwhile, Rosanne Cash came out of the shadow of her father to start her own music career.

SUN 02:55 Secret Life of Farm Animals (b0btpf6z)
Series 1


It’s springtime on the farm and the focus is on sheep.

We follow the first 12 weeks of a lamb’s life on a Welsh Hill farm. Along the way we find out that sheep are highly social animals with not only a remarkable ability to recognise each other, but to recognise human faces too. We meet a ram that has befriended a shy four-year-old boy and we take a drone’s eye view of some multi-coloured sheep to show that despite being sociable, flocking is actually all about self-preservation. Other animals we meet on the farm include Charlie, a lonely goose looking for company in his own reflection.


MON 19:00 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09qmdfb)
Series 3

Thousand Islands to Oshawa, Ontario

Using his 1899 Appleton's guide, Michael Portillo's rail odyssey through eastern Canada continues along the Grand Trunk railway, following the route of the St Lawrence River.

At Brockville, he leaves the tracks for a nautical pilgrimage through the beautiful Thousand Islands. In the port city of Kingston, Ontario, Michael visits Fort Henry and, dressed for the occasion, is entrusted to fire the naval guns that protected the nation's southern border during the 19th century.

Travelling west to Port Hope, he learns of the antics of a celebrated 19th-century high-wire walker known as The Great Farini. And, in the spirit of showmanship, Michael tests his balance with the modern sport of slack lining.

This leg of the journey ends in Oshawa at the opulent home of the McLaughlin family, who helped build a new economy for Canada when they switched from manufacturing carriages to motor cars.

MON 19:30 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bjyw)
Series 1

Marple to Huddersfield

The reality of life afloat with Robbie Cumming. A fallen tree and a leaking lock pound hamper Robbie's journey across the Pennines.

MON 20:00 Immortal Egypt with Joann Fletcher (b06z8fjn)

In the final episode, Joann discovers how Egypt's enemies exploited a country weakened by internal strife, ultimately leading to its destruction.

Joann leaves Egypt and journeys south to Sudan where she finds the remarkable story of the forgotten Nubian kings. For a century, they ruled Egypt from their southern homeland, even building their own pyramids to bury their kings.

Back in upper Egypt, Joann finds the next group of invaders, the Saites, discovering how they had taken the Egyptian tradition of mummification to new extremes by preserving millions of animals. Finally in Luxor temple, she discovers Egypt's saviour and founder of one of the greatest cities on earth - Alexander the Great.

MON 21:00 A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley (b06gxzkj)
Episode 1

Lucy Worsley presents a series about the 'invention' of British romance - our very own, surprisingly passionate, tradition of love.

Lucy's romp through three centuries of love's rituals begins with the Georgian age, when the rules of courtship were being rewritten. Traditionally, marriage had been as much about business as love. Now, a glamorisation of romantic love inspired women and men to make their own romantic choices - they could flirt in newly-built assembly rooms, or elope to Gretna Green as an act of romantic rebellion.

But the main force of change was the arrival of the novel - Samuel Richardson, Fanny Burney and Jane Austen didn't just map out women's changing desires, they made people seek out the feelings and emotions described in their own lives, permanently changing how the British feel.

MON 22:00 Leonardo (b0078rw5)
The Secret Life of the Mona Lisa

She has her own bodyguards and lives in Paris in a humidified, air-conditioned box protected by triplex bullet proof glass. Despite this she is visited by six million tourists every year. She is Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Alan Yentob tells the story of how the Mona Lisa came to be the most famous work of art in the world. It's a tale full of notoriety, glamour and intrigue as the Mona Lisa is abducted, vandalised and exploited across the centuries.

With the help of leading scholars and original research Alan also finally solves the central mystery of the Mona Lisa - who she is and why she's smiling.

MON 23:00 Nature and Us: A History through Art (m0010zff)
Series 1

Episode 3

In the concluding episode of the series, James explores how the art of the last hundred years reflects how we swapped nature for progress in the first half of the 20th century before rediscovering its beauty in the decades following the Second World War, and how today’s artists are re-imagining our future relationship with nature.

The film begins in the first decades of the 20th century, an era of human self-confidence, intent on conquering nature. In the art of Piet Mondrian, James explores how an artist who began life as a landscape painter gradually leaves nature behind, tidying up the messy reality of nature into abstract lines. We meet Chinese artist Yang Yongliang on the streets of New York, whose sprawling digital landscapes ask questions about our drive for rapid urbanisation.

James continues to explore this story through the images of one of the best photographers of the last century – and one of its most brilliant women - Margaret Bourke-White. In 1930, she was the first professional western photographer to be allowed into the Soviet Union, where she captured the rapid transformation of the country from being largely rural into a modern, industrial state. James moves on to explore how the destructive power of the atomic age both terrified and inspired artists in the 1940s and 1950s, from painters like Bittinger to the world of sci-fi films.

We then see the arrival of a new kind of art – land art. In the late 60s and 70s, a growing number of artists left the city and started working not only in nature but with it. We meet two contemporary land artists based in New Zealand: Philippa Jones and Martin Hill, who use natural materials to create sculptures in the landscapes of New Zealand’s South Island. And finally, we explore how artist collective Random International are using technology to explore our future relationship with nature – through a series of mesmerising art works.

James finishes the episode and the series asking questions of the interviewees who have appeared across the series. How do they see our future relationship with nature?

He concludes that on the long journey we humans have been on since our beginnings, artists have played a vital role not only in reflecting but also shaping our attitudes to nature. They’ve helped us understand its intricacy, appreciate its beauty, and now – when the entire planet seems under threat – they can help us forge a new relationship with it.

MON 00:00 Maggi Hambling: Making Love with the Paint (m000nx23)
In a definitive and moving film to mark her 75th birthday, artist and national treasure Maggi Hambling tells her story while working on a mysterious black canvas.

Famously scary and a free spirit, Hambling is celebrated for her intensely moving portraits - the blind boxer Charlie Abrew, the lonely clown Max Wall - her Wave painting and Scallop, her signature sculpture on Aldeburgh beach, commemorating Benjamin Britten.

Maggi is both a comic extrovert and an intensely private artist, seen parading in a feather boa and fish nets or on television sporting a moustache. But now she mostly prefers the rural Suffolk of her childhood. It is here, for the first time, she has allowed cameras access to her studio, talking candidly to film-maker Randall Wright during breaks from work. Others offer their insights - her partner and fellow artist Tory Lawrence and much-loved friends, including art writer James Cahill and renowned artist Sarah Lucas.

As her trust in the documentary project grows, Maggi reveals her recent Laugh paintings, exploring her fascination with an expression that seems on the edge of tears. So much of her work finds beauty that is both poignant and unsettling. Her much-admired wave paintings have the majesty and restorative power of nature and yet threaten. Maggi’s major work War Requiem, inspired by Britten, presents the violence of war as terror-inspiring and awesome. Now she confronts man-made environmental disaster in the same tragic mode - her love for animals mediated by the shock that their beauty may not prevent extinction.

Finally, Maggi Hambling completes her new painting on a black canvas. Without giving too much away, the powerful image reveals a formative childhood memory. At 75, Maggi, in a morose mood, sometimes wonders at the futility of life, but she still battles every day to immortalise the memory of love.

MON 01:00 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09qmdfb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MON 01:30 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bjyw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

MON 02:00 Leonardo (b0078rw5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]

MON 03:00 Immortal Egypt with Joann Fletcher (b06z8fjn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09qmf9g)
Series 3


Michael Portillo's railway journey across eastern Canada concludes in the nation's largest metropolis, Toronto. He begins his Toronto tour at Union Station. Now busier than the city's international airport, Michael is shown the ambitious engineering works underground to support the growing number of commuters.

From the dig down, he boldly goes to the dizzying heights at the CN Tower for an extreme outdoor experience at the top of the structure. Nerves are calmed at the Royal York Hotel, one of a network of luxury hotels built by the railway known as the 'castles of the north'.

Catching the street car, Michael finds out how Toronto made itself a magnet for money after it set up its own stock exchange, but not before he presses the button to open the day's trading.

Ending his time in the city's High Park, he seeks out the origins of a celebrated Canadian song that helped to shape the maple leaf as the country's national symbol.

TUE 19:30 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bk2g)
Series 1

Sowerby Bridge to Manchester

The real side of boat life with Robbie Cumming. Robbie runs aground on the Rochdale Canal - will he make it to Manchester?

TUE 20:00 To the Manor Born (b007876q)
Series 2

Tramps and Poachers

Stately sitcom. Arthur arrives as usual to help out on the Grantleigh estate, but Audrey can't give him work.

TUE 20:30 Ever Decreasing Circles (p00c1kpy)
Series 4

Episode 7

The Personnel Department at Mole Valley Valves plan to extend their office, but this threatens Martin's office space. He decides to say nothing - but events take a strange course.

TUE 21:00 The Young Ones (p00bfqn8)
Series 1


The students wonder what to do when an unexploded bomb lands in their house. Mike sees an opportunity to make money, Rick wants to use it as a blackmail tool and Vyvyan tries to detonate it, but Neil's just worried about surviving the inevitable blast.

TUE 21:30 Green Lions: Cameroon 90 (p0dcwz86)
Every World Cup has a team that captures the heart of the world, but maybe none has ever been as popular as the Cameroon side of 1990. When the Green Lions defeated reigning world champions Argentina in the opening game, it was arguably the biggest upset in World Cup history. Barely afforded a hope upon qualification, the Cameroon team provided joy at Italia 90, both on and off the pitch.

Green Lions tells the story of a team of amateurs who became heroes. Young men, and one veteran, who dared to dream, achieved the impossible and inspired a generation around the globe.

TUE 22:50 Tomorrow's Worlds: The Unearthly History of Science Fiction (p026c7jt)

Dominic Sandbrook continues his exploration of the most innovative and imaginative of all genres with a look at science fiction's fascination with aliens. But what if we don't meet aliens in space and instead they come to earth - to conquer us?

Dominic and leading writers and film-makers look at science fiction's obsession with alien invasion, from all-out assault to sinister hidden threats, and how it has reflected real-life anxieties - whether they be the challenge to Victorian imperial power of HG Wells's War of the Worlds, the Cold War-era paranoia of Invasion of the Body Snatchers or more recent concerns about racism and immigration in District 9.

And we celebrate the most famous alien invaders of all - the Daleks.

Among the contributors are David Tennant and Steven Moffat (Doctor Who), Richard Dreyfuss (Close Encounters of the Third Kind), director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day) and special effects maestros Phil Tippett (Jurassic Park) and Doug Trumbull (Close Encounters).

TUE 23:50 Art on the BBC (m000fj9q)
Series 1

Michelangelo: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Michelangelo was not merely a giant of the Renaissance. He was also one of the era’s most controversial personalities. Art historian Sona Datta explores six decades of BBC archive to discover how TV has influenced our understanding of him.

Sona reveals how TV has tried to reconcile Michelangelo’s art with his difficult personality, bringing to life the story of a man who rose from humble beginnings to become the favoured artist of the rich and powerful. He left us with work that was both iconic and divine, but his bitter, jealous temperament earned him more than a few enemies.

TUE 00:50 How to Get Ahead (b03xsgwk)
At Medieval Court

Writer, broadcaster and Newsnight arts correspondent Stephen Smith looks back at the Medieval Age to find out what it took to get ahead at the court of Richard II. Richard presided over the first truly sophisticated and artistic court in England. Painters, sculptors, poets, tailors, weavers and builders flocked to court to make their fortunes. But these were dangerous times. Being close to Richard brought many a courtier to a sticky end. Featuring David Tennant and Clarissa Dickson Wright.

TUE 01:50 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09qmf9g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

TUE 02:20 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bk2g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

TUE 02:50 Raiders of the Lost Past with Janina Ramirez (m000slq3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Saturday]


WED 19:00 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.

WED 19:15 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09rhs33)
Series 3

Reno, Nevada, to Colfax, California

Led by his late 19th-century Appleton's guidebook, Michael Portillo sets off on a 1,000-mile American adventure to discover how the railroad conquered the wild landscapes of the West and transformed California into America's wealthiest region, one which has
revolutionised the world.

Beginning in the Silver State of Nevada, Michael takes to the skies over the dramatic Sierra Nevada mountain range. At Lake Tahoe, he hears of the first white explorer, dubbed 'The Pathfinder', who learnt the lay of the foreboding land and paved the way for the first settlers to arrive. Travelling on the historic Virginia and Truckee heritage line, Michael heads for the vast deposits of silver and gold ore that built Virginia City, once dubbed the richest place on earth. At Chollar Mine he explores the short-lived mining boom and meets a pistol packin' preacher when he swings by the Silver Queen saloon.

Crossing the border into the Golden State of California, he ascends the 7,000ft granite cliffs to the Donner Pass where ambitious plans to plough a rail route through the rugged terrain were made a reality by Chinese labourers, at huge human cost. In the spirit of Western horsemanship, Michael ends this leg in Colfax and gets in the saddle for a spot of cowboy dressage.

WED 19:45 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bpkr)
Series 1

Barton Swing Aqueduct to Liverpool Docks

Life on board a narrowboat with Robbie Cumming. There are engine issues and a leaky boat to fix before Robbie reaches Liverpool Docks.

WED 20:15 Billy Connolly: A Scot in the Arctic (p032kjf7)
'The Big Yin' embarks on a big adventure, as comedian Billy Connolly ventures from stage to ice - a frozen Arctic Ocean inhabited by ten-foot polar bears. The Scots mirth-maker is armed only with a small flimsy tent, a video camera and a BBC film crew. Not an ideal way to spend a week.

WED 21:00 Billy Connolly: Made in Scotland (b0bwzhy6)
Series 1

Episode 1

In British comedy there is a line in the sand and that line is Billy Connolly. Before he found fame on an international level, British comedy was an end-of-the-pier kind of affair - but through sheer talent and force of personality, Connolly ploughed a different and deeply personal yet universal approach to comedy and in doing so he changed the face of British comedy forever.

He has been called the Beatles and Jesus of comedy by his peers and an immature 'manure mouth' by the leader of the Scottish Zion Baptist Church. So say what you like about him but you can't deny everyone wants to know him. And that is what Made In Scotland is about - it is Billy as you have never seen him before - intimate, deeply personal and very funny.

Weaved around personal accounts and interviews from famous faces, Billy's life is revealed in all its glory - a shaggy dog story approach to his work - and one that has turned him from Billy Connolly the welder into Billy Connolly - The Big Yin.

Part one of two one-hour specials features Eddie Izzard, Ross Noble, Micky Flanagan, Lord Grade, Tracey Ullman, AL Kennedy, Val McDermid, Sharleen Spiteri and Eddi Reader. The film shows a true reflection of his far influence and still maintaining his unique but personal approach to comedy.

WED 22:00 Down Among the Big Boys (m000jcsm)
A big-time operator in Glasgow's criminal underworld masterminds a daring bank robbery. However, his steps are dogged by a smart young police officer who also happens to be his son-in-law.

Dark drama starring Billy Connolly.

WED 23:30 Play For Today (m001fgz4)
Series 7

The Elephant's Graveyard

Bunny’s wife thinks he is a postman, but in reality he spends his days in the Scottish hills. One day he meets Jody, a fellow walker. A bittersweet tale starring Billy Connolly.

WED 00:20 Scotland: Rome's Final Frontier (b01p66rv)
Were the ancient Scottish tribes too much for the Roman Empire? Or was Scotland simply not worth conquering? Archaeologist Dr Fraser Hunter looks back on three centuries of contact and conflict with Scotland’s Roman invaders. The first Tay Bridge, the first depiction of tartan and forgotten Roman camps that once held thirty-five thousand men. A story of a superpower pitted against tribesmen and warlords, and one with fascinating modern parallels.

WED 01:20 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09rhs33)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:15 today]

WED 01:50 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bpkr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:45 today]

WED 02:20 Billy Connolly: Made in Scotland (b0bwzhy6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 Coast (b05p6t8n)
Series 5 (Shortened Versions)

The Wash

Miranda Krestovnikoff wades out in the mud of the Wash, a vast tidal feeding ground for migrating birds. Miranda discovers the ingenious strategies that different birds use to fatten themselves up on the seafood of the Wash.

Neil Oliver visits the birthplace of his seafaring hero Lord Nelson and explores the Norfolk shoreline that inspired the young Nelson to greatness. He finds the curious ship-shaped pond Nelson dug at the family home while not fighting the French.

And off the Norfolk coast, Nick Crane explores the remarkable lost world of Doggerland, the home of the early Britons lost to sea some 10,000 years ago as sea levels rose after the last ice age.

THU 19:15 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09rhs6l)
Series 3

Sacramento to Napa Valley

Continuing his epic Californian rail journey, Michael Portillo begins this leg at the very spot that triggered the 1848 gold rush. He finds out how California's mineral treasures and population swell helped fast-track the region's statehood, with significant political consequences for the national slavery battle. Michael pans for gold in the clear waters of the American River, and delights in a titillating spectacle at California's first public theatre.

Venturing underground, he discovers how the streets of Sacramento were raised following the Great Flood of 1862 and visits the newly
constructed $900 million dam to improve the city's flood defences. It is a first for Michael in the kaleidoscopic sweet factory of an iconic American confectionary brand that can trace its roots back to the 19th century. And, taking a cue from his guidebook, he explores the fruits of the Napa Valley enjoying a gourmet lunch on board the Napa Valley wine train before joining the harvest of the state's distinctive Zinfandel grape.

THU 19:45 Nothing Like a Dame (b0b5y3xn)
Together, they are 342 years old. They are in their seventh decade of cutting-edge, epoch-defining performances on stage and on screen. Funny, smart, sharp, competitive, tearful, hilarious, savage, clever, caustic, cool, gorgeous, poignant, irreverent, iconic, old... and unbelievably young.

Special friends, special women and special dames - and this special film is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hang out with them all, at the same table, at the same time, and enjoy sparkling and unguarded conversation spliced with a raft of astonishing archive.

Atkins, Dench, Smith, Plowright. The dream dame team. Don't miss it.

THU 21:00 Mrs Brown (b0078lkb)
Dramatisation of one of history's most unusual love stories. Queen Victoria is grieving over her husband's death and finds herself unable to carry out public duties. John Brown is summoned from Balmoral to walk the Queen's pony in the hope that she will start to become herself again. The confident Highlander displays a distinct lack of respect for court protocol and quickly becomes the Queen's most trusted companion.

THU 22:40 Quartet (b03ftm2k)
An opera star arrives at a performers' retirement home amidst fraught preparations for a fundraising concert. Her presence adds to the tension, but it also offers an opportunity to reunite a successful quartet. The diva's one-time husband is upset to see her, while the two other former members relish the challenge.

THU 00:15 Talking Pictures (b04jrvv2)
Maggie Smith

Sylvia Smith narrates a look at the life of one of Britain's best and best-loved actresses, with classic archive footage of her appearances on the BBC demonstrating that when it comes to movie stardom, there really is nothing like a dame.

THU 00:55 Nothing Like a Dame (b0b5y3xn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:45 today]

THU 02:10 Wild Arabia (b01r12zm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Saturday]

THU 03:10 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09rhs6l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:15 today]


FRI 19:00 Top of the Pops (m001fh20)
Tony Dortie presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 18 November 1993 and featuring U2, 2 Unlimited, Terence Trent D’Arby, Culture Beat, Crowded House, Lesley Garrett with Amanda Thompson, and Meat Loaf.

FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (m001fh28)
Mark Franklin presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 25 November 1993 and featuring Janet Jackson, K-Klass, Elton John and Kiki Dee, The Wonder Stuff, Heart, Belinda Carlisle and Meat Loaf.

FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (b03fvds7)
Mike Read presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 23 November 1978 and featuring Racey, Olivia Newton-John, Elkie Brooks, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Sarah Brightman and Hot Gossip, David Essex, The Boomtown Rats and dance sequences by Legs & Co.

FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (b0b8hjp0)
Peter Powell and Dixie Peach present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 28 November 1985 and featuring David Grant and Jaki Graham, Whitney Houston, Prefab Sprout, Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin, and Wham!

FRI 21:00 Word Up! Black American Pop at the BBC (b017gss8)
A selection of some of the best performances by African-American artists of the 1980s from the BBC archives, featuring Cameo, Shalamar, Salt-n-Pepa, Chaka Khan, Kid Creole, Doug E Fresh, Whitney Houston and Luther Vandross.

FRI 22:00 Whitney at the BBC (m000qpll)
A celebration of the hits of one of the greatest and biggest-selling stars of all time that looks back Whitney Houston’s best performances at the BBC.

This selection of songs, wrapped up in one of soul music’s biggest-ever voices, captures how the world sat up and listened when Whitney burst onto the scene in 1985 with Saving all My Love for You. Taking us on a journey, hit by hit, through the 80s, 90s and 00s, this playlist is an absolute must for all her fans, reminding us why audiences fell in love with her time and again, and why her early death in 2012 was such a tragic loss to the world of music.

FRI 22:30 Queens of Soul (b05nhjsx)
The sisters are truly doing it for themselves in this celebration of the legendary female singers whose raw emotional vocal styles touched the hearts of followers worldwide. Featuring the effortless sounds of Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack, Gladys Knight, Randy Crawford, Angie Stone, Mary J Blige and Beyonce, to name a few.

The Queens of Soul presents the critically acclaimed and influential female singers who, decade by decade, changed the world one note at a time.

FRI 23:30 Lionel Richie at the BBC (b017sw7c)
A selection of Lionel Richie's greatest moments from the BBC archives, from his first Top of the Pops appearance with The Commodores in 1979 to highlights from his 2009 concert at the BBC's Maida Vale studios.

FRI 00:30 Country Music by Ken Burns (m000bhfy)
Series 1

Hard Times (1933-1945)

During the Great Depression and World War II, country music thrived and reached bigger audiences. Bob Wills adapted jazz's big band sound to create Texas swing, and Grand Ole Opry singer Roy Acuff became a national star. Despite a divorce between two of its members, the Carter Family carried on, turning out songs that went on to be classics. Nashville slowly became Music City and the centre of the growing country music industry.

FRI 01:20 Top of the Pops (m001fh20)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

FRI 01:50 Top of the Pops (m001fh28)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

FRI 02:20 Top of the Pops (b03fvds7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRI 02:50 Top of the Pops (b0b8hjp0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

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

A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley 21:00 MON (b06gxzkj)

Art on the BBC 23:50 TUE (m000fj9q)

BBC Young Musician 20:00 SUN (m001fgqr)

Bagpuss 19:00 SUN (m000wn0f)

Barbara Thompson: Playing Against Time 22:00 SUN (b01cc76r)

Billy Connolly: A Scot in the Arctic 20:15 WED (p032kjf7)

Billy Connolly: Made in Scotland 21:00 WED (b0bwzhy6)

Billy Connolly: Made in Scotland 02:20 WED (b0bwzhy6)

Canal Boat Diaries 19:30 MON (m000bjyw)

Canal Boat Diaries 01:30 MON (m000bjyw)

Canal Boat Diaries 19:30 TUE (m000bk2g)

Canal Boat Diaries 02:20 TUE (m000bk2g)

Canal Boat Diaries 19:45 WED (m000bpkr)

Canal Boat Diaries 01:50 WED (m000bpkr)

Coast 19:00 THU (b05p6t8n)

Country Music by Ken Burns 01:05 SAT (m000bpkf)

Country Music by Ken Burns 01:55 SAT (m000bypr)

Country Music by Ken Burns 02:50 SAT (m000bypt)

Country Music by Ken Burns 00:15 SUN (m000c5yc)

Country Music by Ken Burns 01:10 SUN (m000c5yf)

Country Music by Ken Burns 02:00 SUN (m000cf2d)

Country Music by Ken Burns 00:30 FRI (m000bhfy)

Crackerjack 19:20 SUN (m001fgqk)

Down Among the Big Boys 22:00 WED (m000jcsm)

Ever Decreasing Circles 23:00 SAT (p00c1kht)

Ever Decreasing Circles 20:30 TUE (p00c1kpy)

Great American Railroad Journeys 19:00 MON (b09qmdfb)

Great American Railroad Journeys 01:00 MON (b09qmdfb)

Great American Railroad Journeys 19:00 TUE (b09qmf9g)

Great American Railroad Journeys 01:50 TUE (b09qmf9g)

Great American Railroad Journeys 19:15 WED (b09rhs33)

Great American Railroad Journeys 01:20 WED (b09rhs33)

Great American Railroad Journeys 19:15 THU (b09rhs6l)

Great American Railroad Journeys 03:10 THU (b09rhs6l)

Green Lions: Cameroon 90 21:30 TUE (p0dcwz86)

Horizon 19:00 WED (b09574pc)

How to Get Ahead 00:50 TUE (b03xsgwk)

Immortal Egypt with Joann Fletcher 20:00 MON (b06z8fjn)

Immortal Egypt with Joann Fletcher 03:00 MON (b06z8fjn)

Inside America's Treasure House: The Met 23:15 SUN (m00103dc)

Ivor the Engine 19:15 SUN (m000wn0k)

Leonardo 22:00 MON (b0078rw5)

Leonardo 02:00 MON (b0078rw5)

Lionel Richie at the BBC 23:30 FRI (b017sw7c)

Maggi Hambling: Making Love with the Paint 00:00 MON (m000nx23)

Mrs Brown 21:00 THU (b0078lkb)

Nature and Us: A History through Art 23:00 MON (m0010zff)

Nothing Like a Dame 19:45 THU (b0b5y3xn)

Nothing Like a Dame 00:55 THU (b0b5y3xn)

Play For Today 23:30 WED (m001fgz4)

Quartet 22:40 THU (b03ftm2k)

Queens of Soul 22:30 FRI (b05nhjsx)

Raiders of the Lost Past with Janina Ramirez 19:00 SAT (m000slq3)

Raiders of the Lost Past with Janina Ramirez 02:50 TUE (m000slq3)

Scotland: Rome's Final Frontier 00:20 WED (b01p66rv)

Secret Life of Farm Animals 02:55 SUN (b0btpf6z)

Señorita 89 21:00 SAT (p0d65zhl)

Señorita 89 21:45 SAT (p0d661zc)

Talking Pictures 00:15 THU (b04jrvv2)

The Latest Secrets of Hieroglyphs 00:05 SAT (m001f72n)

The Young Ones 23:35 SAT (p00bfqm6)

The Young Ones 21:00 TUE (p00bfqn8)

To the Manor Born 22:35 SAT (b0078747)

To the Manor Born 20:00 TUE (b007876q)

Tomorrow's Worlds: The Unearthly History of Science Fiction 22:50 TUE (p026c7jt)

Top of the Pops 19:00 FRI (m001fh20)

Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (m001fh28)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (b03fvds7)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (b0b8hjp0)

Top of the Pops 01:20 FRI (m001fh20)

Top of the Pops 01:50 FRI (m001fh28)

Top of the Pops 02:20 FRI (b03fvds7)

Top of the Pops 02:50 FRI (b0b8hjp0)

Whitney at the BBC 22:00 FRI (m000qpll)

Wild Arabia 20:00 SAT (b01r12zm)

Wild Arabia 02:10 THU (b01r12zm)

Word Up! Black American Pop at the BBC 21:00 FRI (b017gss8)