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 (m0008567)
Series 1

The Sutton Hoo Hoard

Janina Ramirez explores the surprise discovery in a Suffolk garden of the Sutton Hoo Hoard – an incredible Anglo-Saxon ship-burial dating from the early 7th century AD and the final resting place of a supremely wealthy warrior-king.

The ship’s ruined burial chamber was packed with treasures: Byzantine silverware, sumptuous gold jewellery, a lavish feasting set and, most famously, an ornate iron helmet.

Now known as Britain’s Tutankhamun, the hoard transformed our understanding of the Dark Ages, revealing that 7th-century Britain was not the primitive place we had imagined, but a world of exquisite craftsmanship, extensive international connections, great halls, glittering treasures and formidable warriors.

The find captured the imagination of a nation on the brink of war, not just as incredible treasure, but as a symbol of pride and identity, and a representation of the Anglo-Saxon culture Britain was about to fight for.

Yet, as Janina discovers, the story of the hoard's survival and discovery is something of a miracle.

SAT 20:00 Write Around the World with Richard E. Grant (p09nlf5g)
Series 1

Episode 1

Book and travel lover Richard E. Grant journeys to southern Italy, visiting Naples, Pompeii, Positano and Matera, in the footsteps of writers inspired by the country, its culture and history.

Reading key passages from their books as he goes along, including works by Charles Dickens, Elena Ferrante, Elizabeth Gilbert, Norman Lewis, Robert Harris, Patricia Highsmith and Carlo Levi, Richard learns about both the lives and experiences of these great authors.

His journey gives him fresh insights into the people and diversity of the region as well as its distinctive and captivating landscapes. He also discovers examples of books that have had a direct effect on the area’s prosperity.

SAT 21:00 Señorita 89 (p0d6rj9l)
Series 1


Valenzuela's widow appears on television, asking for help. A famous band visit La Encantada and choose five girls for their video. Jocelyn runs away to find her sister.

SAT 21:45 Señorita 89 (p0d6rr11)
Series 1


The girls who tried to escape by going to the party with Nando are caught, Jocelyn and Dolores are taken to Concepción, and Antonio tells Ángeles he wants to help them.

SAT 22:30 To the Manor Born (b00787b0)
Series 2

The Honours List

Stately sitcom. Fearing that DeVere's plans to enlarge the fields will destroy the surrounding countryside, Audrey leads the local community's campaign to stop him.

SAT 23:00 To the Manor Born (b00787fd)
Series 2

Vive le Sport

Stately sitcom. Audrey puts her back out fetching in the firewood.

SAT 23:30 The Young Ones (p00bfqpk)
Series 1


The boys decide to throw a party, but before long it descends into chaos. A preachy Christian turns up, Rick gets annoyed when their guests arrive early, Cinderella appears, and Vyvyan tries to impress some girls.

SAT 00:05 Some People with Jokes (p00w080m)
Series 1

Some Vicars with Jokes - Part 2

More laughs from the pulpit as vicars from around the UK crack their favourite jokes. Old, new, clean and blue, it is a side-splitting sermon for saints and sinners alike.

SAT 00:35 The Real Marigold on Tour (b09jj4wk)
Series 2


Miriam Margoyles, Wayne Sleep, Bobby George and Jan Leeming reunite to head to the hot and vibrant city of Havana, Cuba, where life expectancy is high, food is rationed and the way to travel is in iconic 50s cars. After being wowed by the pink Cadillacs that pick them up from the airport, the group spend their first night learning to dance with the locals.

Later in the week, Wayne visits a dance troupe and realises his classical training doesn't count for much when it comes to learning Cuban dance. But much to his joy, he is invited to participate in the annual Cuban carnival. Meanwhile, Miriam struggles to adapt to life without high-speed broadband, although at least she still has gin.

Perhaps the biggest change comes for Jan, who meets a Cuban man while sea swimming. Not put off by the language barrier, the pair decide to go on a date. As the visit draws to an end and the group celebrate with their new friends, there's time to reflect on life in this fascinating and fast-changing country.

SAT 01:35 Secret Life of Farm Animals (m0001jgg)
Series 1


It's summer and we follow the first 12 weeks of a Hereford calf's life as he makes friends and settles into the herd. We discover that cows are much more than mother nature's muck-spreaders, rather they are highly social animals with complex personalities. They are also brilliant problem solvers with a love of music and given freedom to roam, thanks to the matriarch, they can thrive in the wild just as their ancient ancestors did. Is it any surprise that Hamish the ram wants to be one? But it's not just about cows. We also discover that chickens use 24 different vocalisations to communicate.

SAT 02:35 Raiders of the Lost Past with Janina Ramirez (m0008567)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SUN 19:00 Jackanory (m001fy11)
The Garden of Live Flowers

Second instalment of a special seven-part Jackanory series devoted to Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures through the Looking Glass. First broadcast in 2001 and read by writer, dramatist and actor Alan Bennett.

SUN 19:10 Animal Magic (m001fy13)
An episode of the classic BBC natural history programme in which the inimitable Johnny Morris introduces us to three orangutans at Bristol Zoo and checks on the progress of a new ape house under construction. Vet David Taylor explains how to diagnose mumps, bronchitis and other diseases in dolphins.

SUN 19:35 Think of a Number (m001fy15)
Series 1

The Shape of Wealth

A light-hearted exploration of numbers and science, presented by Johnny Ball. Today's programme is about wealth and features a giant roll-a-penny, dicey things about dice, a number over 1,000 miles long, diamonds, the Crown Jewels and gold bars.

Meanwhile, where would you place two minus signs and one plus sign in this sequence of numbers, 123456789, for them to total 100?

SUN 20:00 Anything Goes: The Musical (m0012y8y)
Filmed live at the Barbican in London, this major new production of the classic musical comedy features an all-star cast led by renowned Broadway actress Sutton Foster, reprising her Tony-winning performance as Reno Sweeney, alongside the award-winning Robert Lindsay and Felicity Kendal, as well as beloved West End legend Gary Wilmot. A heart-warming romance, featuring spectacular dance routines and some of theatre’s most memorable songs.

When the SS American heads out to sea, etiquette and convention head out of the portholes as two unlikely pairs set off on the course to true love- proving that sometimes destiny needs a little help from a crew of singing sailors, a comical disguise and some good old-fashioned blackmail. This hilarious musical romp across the Atlantic, directed by the multi-award-winning Broadway director and choreographer Kathleen Marshall, features Cole Porter’s joyful score, including I Get a Kick Out of You, You’re the Top and the show-stopping Anything Goes.

SUN 22:20 This Cultural Life (m001fy17)
Series 2

Tim Minchin

Comedian, actor and composer Tim Minchin, the songwriter behind Matilda the Musical, chooses his creative influences and discusses his career.

SUN 22:50 Unsung Heroines: Danielle de Niese on the Lost World of Female Composers (b0b6znwz)
Danielle de Niese explores the lives and works of five female composers - from the Middle Ages to the late 20th century - who were famous in their lifetimes, but whose work was then forgotten.

Western classical music has traditionally been seen as a procession of male geniuses, but the truth is that women have always composed. Hildegard of Bingen, Francesca Caccini, Clara Schumann, Florence Price and Elizabeth Maconchy - all these women battled to fulfil their ambitions and overcome the obstacles that society placed in their way. They then disappeared into obscurity, and only some have found recognition again.

SUN 23:50 Discovering... (m0002k5f)
Series 1

The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra - Benjamin Britten

Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra (1945) is one of the most frequently performed works of any British composer. It has introduced and enlivened the interest of whole generations of children in the instruments of the orchestra, in thrilling style. It is, however, much more than an instruction manual for youngsters. Now a classic of the concert hall, it is frequently performed to children and adults alike.

Katie Derham presents a detailed analysis of the composition, and the story behind its creation, before it is performed in full by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales with guest conductor Moritz Gnann in Cardiff’s Hoddinott Hall.

Orchestra members explain to Katie how Britten drew on the past for themes and techniques, and reapplied them in a twentieth-century context to show off each instrument in captivating fashion. Through interviews and archive Katie learns how the piece was commissioned for a Ministry of Education film during a post-war Britain filled with the optimism and promise of building a new world that would provide high culture for all - a central tenet of Britten’s own approach; to write music that is ‘useful, and to the living’.

The film demonstrates how Britten takes the orchestra apart, allowing each instrument its own variation on Henry Purcell’s theme of 250 years earlier. Through the performance we see how the 13 variations get to the essence of each instrument’s characteristics, showing each section of the orchestra at its individual best.

SUN 00:50 How to Get Ahead (b03z08mx)
At Versailles

Stephen Smith explores the flamboyant Baroque court of the Sun King, Louis XIV. Louis created the Palace of Versailles so he could surround himself with aristocrats, artists, interior designers, gardeners, wigmakers, chefs and musicians. Hordes of ambitious courtiers scrambled to get close to the king, but unseemly goings-on in the royal bedchamber reflected the quickest path to power.

SUN 01:50 Canal Boat Diaries (m0015f8k)
Series 3

Barrowford to Bingley

Narrowboater and film-maker Robbie Cumming crosses the Pennines on the picturesque Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and lends a hand to hire boaters in Gargrave, North Yorkshire. He also encounters Bingley Five Rise Locks, a wonder of the inland waterways.

SUN 02:20 Write Around the World with Richard E. Grant (p09nlf5g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Saturday]


MON 19:00 University Challenge (m0012xhb)
Christmas 2021

Edinburgh v Leicester

It’s the opening match of the Christmas quiz for grown-ups, with two teams doing battle for a place in the semi-finals.

The Edinburgh team includes founder of the Wahaca group of restaurants Thomasina Miers and actor and comedian Miles Jupp. Playing them is a team of Leicester alumni, including author Jeffrey Boakye and science presenter Dallas Campbell.

Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.

MON 19:30 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09s4gdz)
Series 3

Monterey to Santa Barbara

Steered by his late-19th-century Appleton's guidebook, Michael Portillo continues his railroad travels through southern California aboard the Coast Starlight service. In the historic port of Monterey, Michael raises the Bear Flag of the one-time Republic of California and above it, the Stars and Stripes. He discovers the city's Spanish and Mexican heritage and traces how the former fishing port described as 'stinking and decrepit' in John Steinbeck's novel Cannery Row has become a beacon for tourists. And how, in place of fish-processing canneries, there now stands a gleaming, state-of-the art aquarium, where Michael is invited to feed the fish.

Michael's next stop is Paso de Robles, where he tours the magnificent Hearst Castle, dream home of the newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst, to hear the tale of its creation. Onward to San Luis Obispo and the hills of Morro Bay and Michael joins avocado farmer Jim Shanley, amid his 4,000 avocado trees to harvest the pears and then learn how to make guacamole. Michael's last stop on this leg is outside Santa Barbara at Rancho Camulos, a former cattle ranch owned by a prominent Hispanic family and the setting for a best-selling romantic novel of the 19th century.

MON 20:00 What We Were Watching (m000cr9j)
Christmas 1979

Join Grace Dent on a televisual trip back in time to Christmas 1979 as she immerses herself in the sights, sounds and schedules of 40 years ago. As well as exploring what the nation’s viewers enjoyed watching on the box of delights, Grace sees if she can beat the year’s Mastermind grand finalist, and how well she fares on the Generation Game’s famous conveyor belt game.

With the 1970s a much-maligned period, it’s a surprise to find that the festive fortnight’s top shows had women winning when it came to seasonal goodwill. Penelope Keith and Wendy Craig led the way in sitcoms, Barbara Woodhouse had everyone on their best behaviour, and the most exciting music shows featured classic performances from Kate Bush and Debbie Harry’s Blondie. It was also the year that Tommy Cooper nearly killed off Michael Parkinson on live television, and The Black Stuff boys first went job hunting.

Of course, not all of Auntie Beeb’s programme presents stand the test of time quite so well. Basil Brush has a bizarre duet with Sasha Distel, Kenny Everett’s Blankety Blank appearance is far from being in the best possible taste, and the BBC’s female children’s presenters put dignity to one side as they compete in a beauty contest featuring high kicks and sparkling leotards.

MON 21:00 The Magical World of Julia Donaldson (m000qry5)
A celebration of the life and work of one of Britain's best-selling children's authors, with unique access to Julia Donaldson, her family, her rich archives and home movies, and the remarkable cast of characters that have sprung from her imagination. Specially commissioned animated illustrations from her long-term illustrator Axel Scheffler bring Julia's biography to life, and well-known admirers and collaborators pay tribute to the woman who has created characters and stories that have become fixtures of children’s bedtime routines all around the world, as well as spawning award-winning adaptations for stage and screen.

Looking at The Gruffalo, Zog and the Flying Doctors, Princess Mirror-Belle, The Scarecrow's Wedding, Stick Man and The Paper Dolls, the programme uncovers the surprising stories behind the creation of Julia's iconic characters and what they mean to a generation of readers. It also explores why Donaldson’s books appeal to both children and adults alike – tackling serious themes of love, loss, fear and bullying in a poignant but subtle way.

Passages from Julia's much-loved books are read by Helena Bonham Carter, Imelda Staunton and James McAvoy, and contributors including David Walliams, Nadiya Hussain, Claudia Winkleman, Sophie Dahl, Victoria Coren Mitchell and Michael Rosen pay tribute to her talent.

MON 22:00 A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley (b06hht8v)
Episode 2

Lucy Worsley journeys into the Victorian way of love in the second part of her series on the changing face of British romance. She discovers how medieval chivalry shaped Victorian courtship, and explores the influence of valentine's cards and flowers on romantic lives.

Lucy uncovers the way that literary passions - in novels by writers such as Charlotte Bronte, Mrs Henry Wood and HG Wells - translated into real-life desires, changing the way the British felt. This is a new view of the Victorians in love, which takes us from romance on the factory floor to the curious erotic possibilities of the seance.

MON 23:00 Horizon (b07z8034)

The Lost Tribes of Humanity

Alice Roberts explores recent discoveries in the study of human origins, revealing the transformation that has been brought about in this field by genetics.

Traditional paleo-anthropology, based on fossils, is being transformed by advanced genome sequencing techniques. We now know that there were at least four other distinct species of human on the planet at the same time as us - some of them identified from astonishingly well-preserved DNA extracted from 50,000-year-old bones, others hinted at by archaic sections of DNA hidden in our modern genome. What's more, we now know that our ancestors met and interacted with these other humans, in ways that still have ramifications today. Alice uses these revelations to update our picture of the human family tree.

MON 00:00 Painting the Holy Land (b09xvsmj)
Series 1

Episode 1

In a vibrant two-part special for Holy Week, artist Lachlan Goudie packs his easel to undertake a trip of a lifetime. Part travelogue, part spiritual quest, part artistic exploration, this series transports the viewer visually and emotionally as Lachlan challenges himself to capture the look and feel of the Holy Land and the Bible story.

In the first episode, Lachlan follows Jesus's last days on earth, travelling from the north of what is now Israel to Jerusalem. It's a pilgrimage that millions undertake and a story of love and suffering that has inspired some of the world's most remarkable masterpieces.

From an early age, Lachlan was gripped by a vivid sense of the Holy Land, and especially the Easter story gleaned from the images in his illustrated children's Bible. As he grew up, those images were supplanted by others - the great masterpieces of Leonardo and Raphael, among others. Above all, Lachlan absorbed the Bible story through the many powerful paintings of the crucifixion by his own father, the artist Alexander Goudie. All these artists had one thing in common: they had never been to the Holy Land.

Lachlan has always wondered what it might be like to visit and paint the actual sites where the Bible stories took place. In this film, Lachlan explores the Holy Land for himself, sketching and painting the people and landscapes he sees there - looking afresh at its sacred sites and bustling streets, through the eyes of an artist. Exploring and sketching the key sites of Christianity that marked the end of Jesus's earthly life, will the experience of working and travelling in the Holy Land make him think about his own relationship with the Bible story?

Along the way, in a series of surprising encounters, Lachlan meets locals who have their own take on daily life in the Holy Land. This is personal odyssey for Lachlan, exploring the places his father painted but never saw, rooted in the past but brimming with life in the present day.

MON 01:00 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09s4gdz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

MON 01:30 The Magical World of Julia Donaldson (m000qry5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

MON 02:30 A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley (b06hht8v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today]


TUE 19:00 University Challenge (m0012x93)
Christmas 2021

Winchester v Bradford

It’s the second match of the Christmas quiz, with two teams of graduates fighting it out for a place in the semi-finals.

Playing for Winchester are comedian Shappi Khorsandi and sports presenter Mike Bushell. Their opponents on the Bradford team include MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy and property expert Martin Roberts.

Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.

TUE 19:30 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09s4kg7)
Series 3

Los Angeles

Armed with his Appleton's guide to the United States, Michael Portillo arrives in Los Angeles to delight in the 'city of dreams', from its glorious Union Station to its golden beaches and palm-lined boulevards. Like many a Hollywood hopeful before him, Michael heads for the Warner Brothers studio, founded on Sunset Boulevard at the time of his Appleton's, with dreams of stardom ahead. His role as a fearless all-action hero is assured. For the view from the top he takes the Skyslide from the 70th floor of one of LA's tallest buildings before striding out on the Walk of Fame.

At the pioneering 19th-century Union Ice company, Michael discovers how Californians have kept their cool. He sees how ice blocks of titanic proportions are made and brings Christmas to LA with a giant snowmaker. Outside the city, Michael heads for San Marino to visit The Huntington, a cultural and research centre with fine libraries, art galleries and more than a dozen botanical gardens. In the cactus garden, Michael discovers more about the founder, nephew of a railroad baron and himself a pioneer of street cars and trolleys. Michael explores the city's latest initiative to break the legendary rush hour gridlock on Los Angeles freeways - a rail link with seven new stations on the LA metro.

TUE 20:00 To the Manor Born (b00787k2)
Series 3

The New Scout Hut

Stately sitcom. Audrey upbraids Richard for not sponsoring a charity event in aid of a new scout hut.

TUE 20:30 Sykes (p00h0pxj)
Series 4

Christmas Party

Eric and Hattie decide to spend Christmas at Corky's with his friends and relatives.

TUE 21:00 The Young Ones (p00bfqqv)
Series 1


A spell of bad weather means the friends must find ways to amuse themselves inside the house.

TUE 21:30 Comedy Playhouse: Where It All Began (b042m95q)
A trip through the Comedy Playhouse archive in the company of the people who made some of the most loved episodes from the original series.

From Steptoe and Son to Last of the Summer Wine, a series of one-off comedy ideas produced some of the most watched comedy series of the last 50 years. With commentary and insider knowledge from June Whitfield, Paul Merton, Hugh Dennis and top writing team Ray Galton and Alan Simpson.

TUE 22:00 The Richard Dimbleby Lectures at 50 (m001fxxx)
Jonathan Dimbleby looks back on half a century of the BBC’s annual lectures, inspired by his broadcaster father Richard – the ‘voice of the nation’. Since 1972, leading figures from the arts, sciences, judiciary, politics, broadcasting, the forces and even the royal family have delivered speeches that have always been provocative, challenging and at the cutting edge of their particular field.

Jonathan looks through a personal selection of programmes and explores how thoughts expressed decades ago can still resonate today. Amongst the speakers featured in this collection are President Bill Clinton, Jeanette Winterson, Terry Pratchett, Bill Gates, Tim Berners-Lee, Stella Rimington and King Charles III.

TUE 23:00 A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley (b06jp0zq)
Episode 3

Lucy Worsley concludes her series with the most dramatic transformation of romance yet. Out of the carnage of World War One came a racier species of romantic love. It could be found in the novel The Sheik, the Fifty Shades of Grey of its time, while in real life Marie Stopes urged husbands and wives to explore their sexual desire.

New entertainments like dining out for two allowed couples to get to know one another without a chaperone, while going to the cinema provided a dark environment where hands could roam free. But as the hedonistic era of World War Two encouraged these more permissive attitudes, divorce rates soared. Romance, though, would prevail, with a fightback led by the queen of romance herself, Barbara Cartland.

TUE 00:00 What We Were Watching (m000cr9j)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Monday]

TUE 01:00 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09s4kg7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

TUE 01:30 Around the World in 80 Treasures (b0078vlr)
Series 1

Mexico to America

In episode two of Dan Cruickshank's global journey to find the top 80 man-made treasures in history, we travel from the mysteries of ancient Mayan tombs to that great symbol of the modern age - the Statue of Liberty, while taking in the drama of the giant warriors at Tula and the refinement of Thomas Jefferson's elegant home in Virginia. Dan also reveals his first dark treasures of this monumental journey - the ruthlessly efficient killer, the 1851 Navy Colt – the handgun that 'won' the west for the white man – and comes face to face with the 'Controller of the Universe' in Mexico City.

Elsewhere in Mexico, deep inside the pyramids of Palenque, Dan finds the great tomb of King Pacal. Even more surprising is the early civilisation of North America at Mesa Verde, where the clifftop people created a brilliant landscape that looks like something from outer space. From there it's an extraordinary leap to the high rise drama of Manhattan and the skyscraper that changed the world.

TUE 02:30 A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley (b06jp0zq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 today]


WED 19:00 University Challenge (m0012y5t)
Christmas 2021

Bristol v King's, Cambridge

The third match of the Christmas series for university alumni features a team from the University of Bristol, with broadcaster Aasmah Mir and playwright Mark Ravenhill. They fight it out for a place in the semi-finals with the team from King's College, Cambridge, including sociologist Tom Shakespeare and Professor Shahidha Bari.

Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.

WED 19:30 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09s4kjz)
Series 3

Los Angeles to Laguna Beach

Michael Portillo strikes oil in the suburbs of Los Angeles, contemplates his navel in the orange groves of Riverside, makes a California Roll and paints a pretty picture in Laguna Beach.

It is Mexican Independence Day and the locals are celebrating the country's hard-won independence from Spain in the early 19th century. There is dancing, singing and feasting in the streets and Michael is up for joining the party. He learns that one in two of the population of LA is Latino, mainly of Mexican descent, and hears after only a few decades, Mexico lost half its territory and California became part of the United States. Michael learns the secrets of backyard oil drilling in Los Angeles, home to the largest urban oil field in the United States. Nodding donkeys are everywhere - in residential neighbourhoods, parking lots and burger joints.

Michael sports a zesty orange jacket to visit the Citrus Variety Collection and learns the difference between a pummelo and a papeda. Alongside oil, the citrus fruit industry, he discovers, is one of the bedrocks of the state's economy. At Laguna Beach, Michael learns how artists from the east coast travelled west on the Transcontinental Railroad to found a colony of 'plein air' painters attracted by the beautiful coastline and glorious light to paint outside.

WED 20:00 Secret Life of Farm Animals (m0001ky3)
Series 1


We all think we know about farm animals - that sheep are stupid, pigs are smart and that cows lie down when it is going to rain. But there's a lot more to them than that. In this series we're bringing together some of the country's best farms to create one sun-dappled ideal where we will test animal intelligence, discover unlikely relationships and uncover a side of farm animals you've never seen before.

It is harvest season. We follow a litter of piglets from birth as they grow up in the Brecon Beacons. We test the theory that every piglet always returns to the same teat to suckle, show that pigs love mud to keep cool because they have practically no sweat glands, and we show how intelligent they are with a series of puzzles. We also reveal that they are masters at the art of deception. Pigs tell porkies! Along the way we meet a pair of kunekune pigs raised as domestic pets in the heart of London. We visit a farm that uses llamas to guard its sheep and meet a pet rabbit with a remarkable identity crisis.

WED 21:00 Winterwatch (b01q9d86)
1963: The Big Freeze

Chris Packham introduces a classic documentary from the BBC's archive, which takes a look at the worst winter of the 20th century in 1963. He also explores what we now know about how this big freeze affected Britain's wildlife, and how it would cope if we experienced another equally bad winter.

WED 22:00 The Singing Detective (b0074qy4)

Marlow as a child visits London, but is not impressed. A film option on Marlow's novel thickens the plot. His memories, his 30s style gumshoe fiction and his disease weave him an altered reality.

WED 23:10 The Singing Detective (b0074qy7)
Pitter Patter

Marlow is getting better and the different strands of his fiction and reality begin to occupy the same time and place.

WED 00:10 The Singing Detective (b0074qy8)
Who Done It

The young Philip Marlow returns to the country railway station following his mother's death in London. Forty years on, Marlow the hospital patient still dreams about the homecoming and the frightening figure of the scarecrow that now erupts into the ward.

WED 01:25 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09s4kjz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

WED 01:55 Secret Life of Farm Animals (m0001ky3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

WED 02:55 Winterwatch (b01q9d86)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


THU 19:00 University Challenge (m0012yqq)
Christmas 2021

LSE v Hertford, Oxford

In the fourth match of the Christmas series for grown-ups, a team of LSE alumni that includes newsreader Fatima Manji and Olympic rower Oliver Cook fight it out against four alumni from Hertford College, Oxford, including saxophonist Soweto Kinch and journalist Adam Fleming.

Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.

THU 19:30 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09s4kmy)
Series 3

La Jolla to San Diego

Michael Portillo is nearing the end of his thousand-mile rail journey from Reno, Nevada, to San Diego in southern California. In this final leg, clad in khaki boiler suit and sporting dark glasses, he joins the US Navy Pacific Fleet, birthplace of the elite flying academy Top Gun. Aboard the Pacific Surfliner, he arrives first in the coastal town of La Jolla, where he takes to the water in a kayak to explore the extraordinary 75-million-year-old caves.

In San Diego, he picks up the trail of the industrialist and property speculator John D Spreckels, who made the city boom in the 19th century and built a pavilion to house the largest outdoor pipe organ in the world. Michael is offered the chance to play it. Appleton's recommends a trip to a huge structure, completed in 1888, on which San Diegans have depended for water for 130 years - the
Sweetwater Dam.

THU 20:00 The Real Marigold on Tour (b09kcvrw)
Series 2


Sheila Ferguson, Rustie Lee, Paul Nicholas and Dennis Taylor reunite and head on an adventure to the cold but beautiful country of Iceland, where they split their time between a small fishing village and the capital, Reykjavik. In Husavik, the ladies visit a senior citizens centre - much to Sheila's initial trepidation. Meanwhile, Paul and Dennis join an all-male choir and end up singing to a huge audience in a canyon. The team then reunite to head out whale watching and are moved to tears by what they see. After experiencing the peaceful, slow pace of life in Husavik, the foursome head six hours south to the capital, where the pensioners' pastimes include aqua aerobics and gymnastics. Paul tries his hand at a handstand for the first time in many, many years! Sheila goes on a date with an Icelandic man and realises that, despite usually living thousands of miles apart, they have a lot in common.

THU 21:00 A Fish Called Wanda (b00lrpfr)
Offbeat black comedy in which a con artist uses her female charms to steal a stash of jewels from her gangster boyfriend, taking advantage of his henchman and a lawyer - with whom she later falls in love - to realise her cunning plan. The group's various criminal escapades are often complicated by the presence of a hapless mobster, whose mission to kill an elderly witness proves increasingly hard.

THU 22:45 Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema (m000r6gq)
Series 3

British Comedy

Mark Kermode returns with a third series of his Secrets of Cinema in which he explores the conventions that underpin our favourite movies and examines the techniques film-makers use to keep us coming back for more.

In a revealing look at one of the defining genres of British cinema, Mark argues that comedy films win laughs by tapping into our abiding national preoccupations. We love to root for the underdog or 'little man', a key figure who appears in countless guises. We delight in seeing class and manners satirised and subverted. We’re fascinated by films that mix comedy and crime. We enjoy home-grown pastiches and parodies that take the big beasts of Hollywood down a peg. And then there’s the infamous phenomenon of the British sex comedy...

From side-splitting classics to overlooked gems, Mark shows how making fools of ourselves can make for seriously good cinema.

THU 23:45 Around the World in 80 Treasures (b0078vpz)
Series 1

Australia to Cambodia

Giant termite mounds, edible juicy ants and erotic cave paintings are the treasures Dan Cruickshank unearths in the outback. In Dan's view, even the brilliance of Sydney Harbour can't rival the artefacts of ancient Australia.

Dan then moves on to Indonesia and meets the Torajan people of Sulawesi for whom, with their elaborate funerals and continued contact with loved ones after they have died, the line between life and death is very different to that in the west.

Dan's excitement is palpable as he visits the highlight of his trip so far - the temples of Angkor Wat and the 12th-century city of Angkor Thom in Cambodia. A golden elephant is Dan's final prize in Thailand - another wonder of the ancient world.

Dan's visit to Indonesia and Thailand was made before the devastation wrought by the Indian Ocean tsunami and earthquake in 2004.

THU 00:45 Horizon (b07z8034)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 on Monday]

THU 01:45 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09s4kmy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 02:15 The Real Marigold on Tour (b09kcvrw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


FRI 19:00 University Challenge (m0012xm6)
Christmas 2021

Corpus Christi, Cambridge v St Anne's, Oxford

It’s match five of this special Christmas series for distinguished alumni. Novelist Helen Oyeyemi and literary editor Robert McCrum play on behalf of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, fighting it out for a place in the semi-finals against St Anne's College, Oxford, featuring comedian John Robins and engineer Roma Agrawal.

Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.

FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (m001fy5t)
Tony Dortie presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 16 December 1993 and featuring Meat Loaf, Chaka Demus & Pliers, Diana Ross, Haddaway and Take That.

FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m00165cp)
1993 Biggest Hits

A look back at some of the songs performed on the show in 1993. Dance music and Euro pop continued to dominate the charts with performances from Haddaway, Sub Sub, Ace of Base and Robin S. The early stages of Britpop begin to emerge with Suede and Radiohead, and Icelandic superstar Björk makes an early appearance. Then there are the big sellers from Meat Loaf and Gabrielle, and the grooves come courtesy of Jamiroquai, Chaka Demus & Pliers and many more.

FRI 21:00 Definitely Dusty (b00780bt)
Documentary looking at the life and work of soul and pop diva Dusty Springfield, singer of such classics as You Don't Have to Say You Love Me and Son of a Preacher Man, who was equally famous for her trademark panda eyes and blonde beehive.

Using archive footage and interviews shot in the UK and the US, it charts her progress from plain Catholic schoolgirl to glamorous star and ventures behind the extravagant image to reveal a complex and vulnerable character.

Featuring interviews with fellow musicians from a career spanning four decades, including Elton John, Burt Bacharach, Neil Tennant, Lulu and Martha Reeves.

Dusty's protective inner circle of friends have never spoken about her on camera before. Pat Rhodes, Dusty's personal secretary for her entire solo career, her manager Vicky Wickham, ardent fan-turned-backing singer Simon Bell and others talk about the highs and lows of the woman they knew and loved.

FRI 22:00 Dusty Springfield at the BBC (b01qyvw7)
A selection of Dusty Springfield's performances at the BBC from 1961 to 1995. Dusty was one of Britain's great pop divas, guaranteed to give us a big melody in songs soaring with drama and yearning.

The clips show Dusty's versatility as an artist and performer and include songs from her folk beginnings with The Springfields; the melodrama of You Don't Have to Say You Love Me; Dusty's homage to Motown with Heatwave and Nowhere to Run; the Jacques Brel song If You Go Away; the Bacharach and David tune The Look of Love; and Dusty's collaboration with Pet Shop Boys in the late 1980s.

There are also some great duets from Dusty's career with Tom Jones and Mel Torme.

FRI 23:00 Dusty (b01r1zmr)
Series 2

Episode 6

A vintage episode of Dusty Springfield's 1960s TV series, featuring special guest, singer-songwriter Scott Walker. Among the highlights, Dusty sings You Don't Have to Say You Love Me.

FRI 23:25 Country Music by Ken Burns (m000bpkc)
Series 1

The Hillbilly Shakespeare (1945-1953)

As country music adapted to the cultural changes of post-war society, Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs transformed traditional string band music into something more syncopated - bluegrass.

Out of the bars and juke joints came a new sound - honky-tonk - with electric guitars and songs about drinking, cheating and heartbreak. Its biggest star was Hank Williams, a singer who wrote songs of surprising emotional depth, derived from his troubled and tragically short life.

FRI 00:15 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.

FRI 01:10 Top of the Pops (m001fy5t)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

FRI 01:40 Top of the Pops (m00165cp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRI 02:40 Definitely Dusty (b00780bt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

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

A Fish Called Wanda 21:00 THU (b00lrpfr)

A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley 22:00 MON (b06hht8v)

A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley 02:30 MON (b06hht8v)

A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley 23:00 TUE (b06jp0zq)

A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley 02:30 TUE (b06jp0zq)

Animal Magic 19:10 SUN (m001fy13)

Anything Goes: The Musical 20:00 SUN (m0012y8y)

Around the World in 80 Treasures 01:30 TUE (b0078vlr)

Around the World in 80 Treasures 23:45 THU (b0078vpz)

Canal Boat Diaries 01:50 SUN (m0015f8k)

Comedy Playhouse: Where It All Began 21:30 TUE (b042m95q)

Country Music by Ken Burns 23:25 FRI (m000bpkc)

Country Music by Ken Burns 00:15 FRI (m000bpkf)

Definitely Dusty 21:00 FRI (b00780bt)

Definitely Dusty 02:40 FRI (b00780bt)

Discovering... 23:50 SUN (m0002k5f)

Dusty Springfield at the BBC 22:00 FRI (b01qyvw7)

Dusty 23:00 FRI (b01r1zmr)

Great American Railroad Journeys 19:30 MON (b09s4gdz)

Great American Railroad Journeys 01:00 MON (b09s4gdz)

Great American Railroad Journeys 19:30 TUE (b09s4kg7)

Great American Railroad Journeys 01:00 TUE (b09s4kg7)

Great American Railroad Journeys 19:30 WED (b09s4kjz)

Great American Railroad Journeys 01:25 WED (b09s4kjz)

Great American Railroad Journeys 19:30 THU (b09s4kmy)

Great American Railroad Journeys 01:45 THU (b09s4kmy)

Horizon 23:00 MON (b07z8034)

Horizon 00:45 THU (b07z8034)

How to Get Ahead 00:50 SUN (b03z08mx)

Jackanory 19:00 SUN (m001fy11)

Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema 22:45 THU (m000r6gq)

Painting the Holy Land 00:00 MON (b09xvsmj)

Raiders of the Lost Past with Janina Ramirez 19:00 SAT (m0008567)

Raiders of the Lost Past with Janina Ramirez 02:35 SAT (m0008567)

Secret Life of Farm Animals 01:35 SAT (m0001jgg)

Secret Life of Farm Animals 20:00 WED (m0001ky3)

Secret Life of Farm Animals 01:55 WED (m0001ky3)

Señorita 89 21:00 SAT (p0d6rj9l)

Señorita 89 21:45 SAT (p0d6rr11)

Some People with Jokes 00:05 SAT (p00w080m)

Sykes 20:30 TUE (p00h0pxj)

The Magical World of Julia Donaldson 21:00 MON (m000qry5)

The Magical World of Julia Donaldson 01:30 MON (m000qry5)

The Real Marigold on Tour 00:35 SAT (b09jj4wk)

The Real Marigold on Tour 20:00 THU (b09kcvrw)

The Real Marigold on Tour 02:15 THU (b09kcvrw)

The Richard Dimbleby Lectures at 50 22:00 TUE (m001fxxx)

The Singing Detective 22:00 WED (b0074qy4)

The Singing Detective 23:10 WED (b0074qy7)

The Singing Detective 00:10 WED (b0074qy8)

The Young Ones 23:30 SAT (p00bfqpk)

The Young Ones 21:00 TUE (p00bfqqv)

Think of a Number 19:35 SUN (m001fy15)

This Cultural Life 22:20 SUN (m001fy17)

To the Manor Born 22:30 SAT (b00787b0)

To the Manor Born 23:00 SAT (b00787fd)

To the Manor Born 20:00 TUE (b00787k2)

Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (m001fy5t)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m00165cp)

Top of the Pops 01:10 FRI (m001fy5t)

Top of the Pops 01:40 FRI (m00165cp)

University Challenge 19:00 MON (m0012xhb)

University Challenge 19:00 TUE (m0012x93)

University Challenge 19:00 WED (m0012y5t)

University Challenge 19:00 THU (m0012yqq)

University Challenge 19:00 FRI (m0012xm6)

Unsung Heroines: Danielle de Niese on the Lost World of Female Composers 22:50 SUN (b0b6znwz)

What We Were Watching 20:00 MON (m000cr9j)

What We Were Watching 00:00 TUE (m000cr9j)

Winterwatch 21:00 WED (b01q9d86)

Winterwatch 02:55 WED (b01q9d86)

Write Around the World with Richard E. Grant 20:00 SAT (p09nlf5g)

Write Around the World with Richard E. Grant 02:20 SUN (p09nlf5g)